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Archive for September, 2010

There were a lot of factors leading up to this race that made me wonder just how it would go.

First, my running/walking partner had to back out due to illness. So I was alone. Then, I disobeyed a lot of the rules of what not to do the night before, such as staying up way too late and drinking alcohol (not a lot, but still, you risk dehydration with that).

I also did not train properly for 9.3 miles. The most I have run recently is 5, but mostly 2-3 on average.

While this story has a happy ending, I still feel obligated to say: Don’t try this at home.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. after having just gone to bed at 2. I had a late night PB&J sandwich when I got home from a friend’s house, so I wasn’t starving when I woke up, but I knew since it was a long race that I would need the fuel. So I had some frozen waffles with PB and banana. And coffee!

When I got to the course, I had to use the “facilities” which were just 4 port-a-potties with a line of about 50 people. I thought about backing out but I knew I’d feel better if I just did what I needed to do before I started running. So because of that, I started the race a little more than 4 minutes late, but that’s okay.

I had no agenda.

I didn’t know whether I would walk or run or for how long. I wore an iPod but not a watch. I ran when I thought I could run and slowed down when I needed to. I took walking breaks as necessary and hit all but one water stop along the way.

The course wasn’t much to look at but it was flat, which was a welcome break from all the hills I’ve been doing lately. I think that is why I was able to run more than I thought I could. I don’t know how people did the 30k though (you had the option of 15k or 30k), I can’t imagine repeating the same course twice.

I was glad they had mile markers for most of it (all but mile 6, I believe) because it helped me pace myself and realize how much longer I had to go.

For the first 7 miles, I ended up running most of the way, taking a 1 minute walking break after each mile. I used my iPod to gauge the time, basically when the third song started, I walked until the first chorus. Some songs have shorter verses than others but I’m sure it all averaged out.

Toward the end, I was taking more frequent walking breaks, at every song instead of every third song. Have you ever used something other than a watch to pace yourself?

When I saw the 9 mile marker, I knew it was time to finish strong. Even though my legs were starting to get tired and sore, I kept pushing and crossed the finish line, astounded that I had just run most of a 9.3 mile race.

It’s amazing how far your mind will take you (or in some cases hold you back).

Here are my stats for those who are interested:

  • Distance: 9.3 miles
  • Time: 1:54:39 (I started more than 4 minutes late! So really 1:50!)
  • Avg. pace (based on official time): 12:18/mile

This race made me realize something else about myself: I am built for endurance, not speed.

As much as I like to challenge myself and beat PR’s, I think I am going to leave speed training to 5k races only. Once I go beyond 3 miles, I like to just settle in and enjoy the run, covering the distance regardless of time. Anyone else like that?

Because of this race, I am not at all nervous about the half marathon I have in a month now (which uses most of the same course). In fact, I’m hoping to get in a few more long runs before then, now that I know I have it in me! 🙂

I took a nice epsom salt bath when I got home, had a little nap and also did this for a while:

But I was also sure not to rest too much and get up and move around some too, which was easy since we had a friend’s birthday party to attend yesterday afternoon. I have found that helps keep me from getting too sore and I am feeling pretty good today thanks to these measures (and some Advil, ha ha).

I also did some yoga moves that a friend shared with me to stretch out my legs and hip flexors. My hips give me more trouble when I walk but it’s still a good stretch to do for prevention of tight muscles!

Have you ever surprised yourself during a race or in another fitness venture? How did it make you feel?

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Pioneer 5k 2010

Subtitle: Cooler weather is my friend! 🙂

This past Saturday, we ran another 5k. This time, the run went through Seneca Park here in Louisville and the scenery was beautiful. It was a cool, crisp morning, so I ran in a long sleeved t-shirt for the first time this season. I foresee a very good Fall and Winter for myself, at least as far as running goes.

The first mile went really fast, as it was mostly flat and downhill, and when I crossed the guy with a watch calling out the times (“10 minutes even” he said as I strode by) I knew this would be a better finish than my last few 5ks.

The second and third miles had a lot of hills, but still weren’t as bad as those darned ones in Cherokee Park. Why does that place bother me so much? It’s such a beautiful park but I hate running in it.

Maybe it was because that was my first race in a while. Or maybe I just need to practice more there? I don’t know, ha ha. I do know that my preferences for running in parks goes: Iroquois, Seneca, Cherokee. Tom Sawyer park is okay but I didn’t really care for running in the grass.

Anyway, I digress. I finished the second mile in 11 minutes, so my time slowed considerably for those hills. But I did not have to walk at all! I just slowed down on the uphill and then let the momentum carry me back down the hill.

When we got toward the end and I could see the finish line, I ran as hard as I could while keeping good form. Farrah kept yelling “Put your arms down and use them!” Ha ha, I do tend to tighten up my arms, which is why my shoulders get so sore from running. Weird, huh?

When I crossed the finish line, I was so proud of myself. This is just the beginning of what is sure to be a triumphant return to running for me!

  • Distance: 3.10 miles
  • Time: 33:17
  • Average Pace: 10:42/mile

That’s a 3 minute, 29 second improvement over my last time! Hence the subtitle of this post. Cooler weather is definitely my friend.

Looking forward to my next race on September 19th — a 15k! That’s 9.3 miles people. Better start increasing my training distance 🙂

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Sometime in September 2007, I decided that I wanted to run.

I had never really ran before, in fact I did my best to avoid it for most of my life. Even while playing sports in high school, I would pretend to have a cramp during practice so I could walk or fake an asthma-like attack, which I am so ashamed to admit.

But that’s the mentality I had back then, when I was unhealthy.

In early 2007, when I started my life over and became healthier, everything changed. I no longer wanted to get out of stuff. I wanted to conquer the world. Running had always been that thing I knew I “couldn’t” do and I wanted to prove myself wrong.

So, I went and signed up for a half marathon! Luckily, I gave myself 7 months to get there 🙂

In September, I started a 10 week running program to “learn” how to run with my friend Candy. We would meet at my house or a local park and go through the intervals, starting with 2 minutes of running/4 minutes walking, repeat. We all have to start somewhere.

I worked my way up each week, increasing my running time and decreasing my walking time until I could run 30 minutes straight. This program really worked for me. After that, I started focusing on mileage and followed a 16-week training program for the half marathon, including my first 5k, 10k and 10-mile races!

When I cross the finish line of each race, I am reminded of where I have come from and it overwhelms me. When I get down on myself, thinking I’m not training hard enough or running fast enough, I try to remember those times I faked an asthma attack or injury to get out of it.

Now I pay to run! Who am I? 😉

You can read more of my running story here, but I just wanted to take the time to remind you all that if there is something you want to do, go for it. Don’t think you can’t do it just because you never have before or because you had a bad attitude about it in the past.

Three years later, I’m still running 🙂

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Oops, I almost forgot that I ran a little 5k this past weekend!

I am happy to say that I felt a lot better during this race than the last one, probably because I got to run at Iroquois Park this time. Even though the hills at Iroquois are steep, I enjoy them so much more because it’s not long before they come back down 😉

Anyway, I ran most of the race until the middle of mile 2 when I got a cramp in my lower back and had to walk for a couple of minutes. I have definitely been neglecting my core workouts the past couple of months and it came back to bite me!

A strong core is so important for running, so I’m going to have to get back on it!

Here’s how I finished:

  • Distance: Approximately 3.1 miles
  • Time: 36:46
  • Avg. pace: 11:50/mile

I feel pretty good about that considering it was the first time I’d ran since the Fleet Feet Fiesta! I’ve really got to run more than once a week if I want to build up my distance and improve my speed. It’s just hard to get motivated, especially when the weather is so hot.

Bring on the fall!

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I have yet another 5k this coming Saturday. Can you tell that this is how I keep myself accountable?

This run will be through Seneca Park, so I’m excited as I have never ran an actual race there but have ran around the park many times (and on their trails)!

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