Sunday, March 10, 2013

First 5K of the Year

So yesterday morning was my first 5K of the year. It was at Blair Oaks and was a fundraiser for the Booster Club. I signed up on my own and didn't really have a running "buddy". At first I was bummed  that no one else I knew closely had signed up for it and that I would be going alone. However, I've figured out that I run better alone at my own pace. If I run with someone else or try to go at their pace, I find myself either lagging too much or pushing too hard and don't get my best time and/or distance in. I do like the environment of a race, though. It's great to have other people pushing themselves and panting right along with me, each at everyone's own pace. I also like a good challenge. :) That's why I wouldn't let that lady beat me right at the end. As she was catching up to me and speeding up, I decided to kick it in gear as well. I didn't look back to see who it was (I ended up not even knowing her), but decided I didn't want to let her get around me right at the end.

The race: 
I've started writing the results, date, etc. on the back of the medal so I remember the specifics of my accomplishments. I'm hoping there are more of these headed my way in the future. :) 

It was raining on my way to the race and spitting around while we were all checking in and waiting for the race to start. Luckily the rain stopped before we started running and held off most of the rest of the day (until later in the evening). It was around 41 degrees, which turned out to be a pretty good temperature to run at. I do better when it's a little cooler outside, although not when it's at or below freezing. Before the race I made sure I had several drinks of my bottle of water and went to the bathroom, and stood around and visited with a few people I ended up knowing there, including a few students. Finally, it was time for us to line up to race. They requested the runners to come to the front, and I found myself pretty far up toward the starting line. I scooted back a little seeing some people around who looked like some pretty intense runners with some pretty muscular legs. After telling us about a few rules and explaining the course, the announcer shouted out "Ready", "Set", "Go". And we were off. I found that there was a pretty big group who took out pretty fast and at first I tried to stay fairly close, but then decided to just regulate myself to my own pace. The course started out on the track, but then headed out around the campus. There was one big hill that we got out of the way toward the beginning and surprisingly it didn't get me down too bad at all. The rest of the course had a few small inclines, but no huge hills. A few times throughout the race I found people passing me, but there were many times I actually passed other people including on one fairly small but long incline toward the end. People all around me had gave up running for part of the race, walked awhile, and then took off running again. There was no way I was going to let myself stop running. If I'm training to try to run 13.1 miles straight through, I for sure needed to be able to run 3.1 miles without stopping. The last half a mile was back down the hill we started out going up and then one more lap around the track before getting to the finish line. I liked that people could watch you finish your last lap all the way to the ending. It pushed me into running a little bit faster and as mentioned kept me ahead of just one more person when I wouldn't let the lady pass me right at the end. As I neared the finish and could see the clock ticking I realized that the timer did indeed say 20-something minutes. I for sure wanted to finish in under 30 minutes, but I didn't realize that it only said 26 minutes. I was stoked! I heard them shout out my time as I crossed the line 26:34. They took my tag off my number and I walked one more lap around the track. It wasn't until I heard my watch beep at me a little further past the finish line that I realized the ending was right at 3 miles instead of 3.1, but at worst case scenario, my finishing time would have been a minute longer to get in that .1 of a mile and I still would have been excited for a 27:34 if that's what it would have been. After the race, I hung around for the medal ceremony and was pretty tickled when they got to announcing the 20-29 age division and my name was called out for the first place medal (one other lady in this age division finished before me, but she got the first overall female finisher award). I looked today at the website and they have the results posted. I was #31 finisher overall out of 118 finishers. I was also the 10th lady to finish. This helped me to realize that I really am a strong runner. I often doubt myself, but as I saw myself passing people who looked to be pretty fit and they were huffing and puffing just as much if not more than I was, I realized that my hard work really is paying off. I don't care if I'm the #1 finisher overall or anything like that. I just like to see that my time is improving more and more each time. This was a great self-esteem booster for my half-marathon training. My goal for the half is to finish in under 2 and a half hours, but the closer to 2 hours I can get, the better. I can now easily do 3 miles in under 30 minutes, so I'm on pace for definitely meeting my goal. Now I've got to work on getting more long runs in. So glad the time changed last night! Tough day to lose an hour today, but at least we'll have daylight longer in the evenings now.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Game On

Well I haven't posted in about two weeks and I've gone through a lot of fitness ups and downs during that time. The snowy Missouri weather had gotten me down. I don't have easy access to a treadmill, gym, or any other good place to workout or run when the weather is bad and the roads are snowy and muddy, so I was getting pretty discouraged about training for a half-marathon. Not to mention my hubby getting the news that he'll be going back to his old job soon (TOO SOON). This means it will be just me and the kids all week most weeks (Monday morning through Thursday night). I am SO not looking forward to this change. It has been probably some of the best 3 1/2 months of my life having Trevor around to help with the kids. He has not been home this much since before we were married. It is nice to have someone help get the kids ready in the morning and picked up in the evening. We even ride to work together, so we have "adult conversation" time for once without kids whining, fussing, or talking in the background. The kids also enjoy having him around (probably because Mommy is a happier person). Trev is very good about helping around the house when he's here, too. We share the work with dishes, supper, bath time, bedtime, etc. Anyway.... guess I'll just enjoy it while it lasts and start hitting my knees praying it changes for good again.
Upon finding out this news, and dealing with the bad weather, I almost talked myself out of training for the half-marathon. I was feeling rather guilty, too that I want to try to put in that much time and work for myself. Sometimes I feel selfish about it, but then I think about how much I try to not let training time affect family time. I do my weekend running during naptime, and weekly running (when I can get it in) most of the time after school, while I'm waiting on Trev to come pick me up. Well after having some time feeling "down and out" I finally got it a long jog last weekend. I headed out on Sunday. It was still a little cool outside, but I bundled up, put my old running shoes on (road was still a little snowy and a lot muddy), and took off. I had decided that I would strive for 4 miles total with for sure 3.1 jogged (to make sure I was capable of a 5K for this coming weekends race). I had a lot of thoughts during my run. I thought about quitting (many times) for that run and for the half-marathon. I thought about losing weight and how I've plateaued AGAIN for quite some time now. I had many thoughts on my over hour long run. As I was running, I kept pushing myself further and further. Prior to Sunday I had only done a total of 1.6 miles with only 1 ran in the past two weeks. Not much of anything since my long 7.22 mile run/walk with my SIL, Kelly. I finally stopped running at 3.75 miles, but anytime I go for a run and decide to walk for awhile, it doesn't take much distance and time of walking before I realize I should be running because I'm still feeling pretty darn good. Now that I've become a "runner" it is sometimes hard to head out and just WALK! For some reason running makes me feel so powerful and good inside. I began running again on my trip. I kept pushing myself further and further and even once I got back to the house, I decided to keep going and even out my number a little more and push myself a little more. I ended my run at 5.5 total miles jogged with 6.3 total miles traveled. This was just the booster I needed to get me through the week. The weather finally started to improve this week as well. The beginning of the week was still cold out and I had meetings after work multiple days. However, with the daylight being extended more and more each day, I found that I now have time in the evening to get supper and a walk in before dark (in either order). So I got in 2 miles total on Wednesday with 1.5 jogged. Thursday brought 1.6 miles total while pushing Laci in the jogging stroller and 1 mile was jogged. That was actually quite the challenge again. I'm used to just running by myself lately, so pushing the stroller was a little more difficult, but again I found that now that I'm a runner I couldn't myself to just walk a leisurely stroll. I WANTED TO RUN! That's something else I never thought I'd say! Friday evening (tonight) the weather was even nicer and although I know I have a race tomorrow, I couldn't pass up the opportunity for another run. I brought my clothes to school today and changed after work and headed out to "kill the time" before Trev came to pick me up. I ended up getting in 3.21 miles with 2.5 total jogged which actually felt like nothing! I felt so great afterwards, like I hardly even worked out. It's great to feel that "in shape." With getting in some miles throughout the week again, I now am at the point of "game on" for the half-marathon again. I know it's not going to be easy, but I'll accept nothing less than finishing. Even if I don't run the entire thing, although I know in the back of my mind I HAVE TO to feel the greatest accomplishment, I still have to push myself to complete the race. I need to just get signed up so I know I for sure can't back out, which I won't let myself do anyway. I don't like backing out on people when I've promised I'll be there for them. It's a feeling I don't like to deal with if I don't have to. So tomorrow is another 3.1 miles for the 5K at Blair Oaks. I'm looking forward to it, too! It feels great to know I CAN and WILL run the distance. Last year it was a question of can I really run that far straight through and felt like a huge accomplishment when I did. Now I know I can run that far, I'm just going to push myself to see how quickly I can do so. I'm not going to officially set a time goal for this one. It's my first race of the year and I plan to do several more, so I just want to use it as my time setter and set some better goals after that. I'll let you know how it goes!

Goal update:
75.41 total miles
54.5 total jogged
67 books read to Hunter
5 hours of toning (slacking yet again)
1 Master's class under my belt and week 1 assignment already done for the next class, which doesn't begin until next Monday!

This weeks motivation:
Never give up. - Earl Nightingale. Dream