Tuesday, April 19, 2011
So this past Sunday morning I woke up early to head up to Oleta State River Park in North Miami Beach for my first 10k trail run. There were three races that day; the 5k, 10k and 13.1 mile trail run. I have ran quite a few 5k races and one 8k and so I decided it was time to take it to the next level; 10k with an adventure.
I did not know what I was getting myself into so I decided to look at the photos from the last trail run they did one month ago. The first photos were of the runners having the option to use either one or two logs to make it to the other side of the trail and keep running. The next photo showed everyone ducking under a low hanging branch with lots of caution tape to catch your eye. And the finish photos showed the runners coming out of the trail crossing the finish line. Okay so I am thinking what have I gotten myself into??????
I have a warm up ritual for every race; walk or jog to warm up and then off to the port o potties 15 minutes before the race starts. I had the option to walk back to the registration area to use the outhouses (really nice...they had a real toilet that flushed, toilet paper, and a sink) or go in the bush. I chose the first option; I am a city girl. Well I missed the trail instructions but I was given a brief recap by two ladies that I started a conversation with earlier; 5k runners do the trail once, and the 10k runners go twice.
So off we go. The half marathon runners started off first and then my group the 10k runners and last but not least the 5k runners (aka the Ferrari runners of the group by the announcer...lol). Yep they were more like gazelles in the wild. I had no expectations as to what time I would finish because I have never done a trail run before but if I had to guess I would say maybe one hour and a half.
It was an interesting run. First we ran down the road we drove on to make it to the starting line.
Next we ran in the trail and there we came across the one or two logs get across the trail challenge. This slows down your time because you have to wait for the person in front of you to get across. The lady in front of me decided to sit down when she was halfway across the log and scoot the rest of the way. She apologized and I told her that it was a okay with me however she got across the log. I walked across while holding on to a low hanging branch. Whew, I made it across and kept running for maybe another 50 yards when I came to a stop because there was a small body of water and no logs or way to get across easily. Someone started to walk on the side (we all followed) and then there was a small log in the water where you could take one step on it and then the next step you were across. Whew, I make it across again without getting wet. Yay!!!!! I was not so lucky at the next body of water.
There was a guy standing in the muddy water who I thought was there to help people get in the water safely and onto the next part of the trail. Lol!!!! I'm sorry to laugh ahead of time, but he lost his shoe in the mud and he was trying to find it with his foot. I had no choice but to hop in and keep going. I had on brand new trail shoes that had never seen such filth. I was not alone I heard several groans from others saying the same about their brand new shoes.
Now my feet are soaked with filthy water that I had to wade through up to my knees. Yuck, and I would have to say we were only about half a mile into the race. That was the end of the "challenging" part of the trail run.
I took this photo and it cost me about two minutes off my time trying to get my IPhone back into my arm sleeve. It is so peaceful in there.
It seemed like forever that I was following someone, jumping over tree roots, huge rocks, and man made fixtures for mountain bike trail rides. I finally made it out of the trail to the finish line and boy was I sooooo excited. I grabbed a little water, started chatting with another person and was so elated to have finished my first trail run. Wrong. Remember I am doing the 10k so I had to go back in the trail AGAIN. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that two ladies ahead of me were also running the 10k. One lady just talked, and talked and talked. Her talking got me through the trail one more time.
This race was not as organized as the previous races I have run so I am still waiting for my official time and their photos. According to my IPhone app. I ran 7.3 miles in one hour and thirty five minutes. All in all it was a different race. Maybe I will try this run again in the fall.
I was a chatty person at this race. I had another person take these photos for me after I finished running.
And of course I got the opportunity to spread the spark. I had finished reading my magazine that I received from buying "The Spark" book in January and so I gave it to the two ladies to look over.
Friday, April 08, 2011
I am healthy!!!!!!!!! Finally.
I finally broke my plateau. What a good feeling. My father-in-law came to visit from Switzerland, a few weeks ago and he just went home on Sunday, and of course he brought some Swiss chocolate. The selection has gotten a little lean since I took him to Walgreens during one of his previous visits and showed him our selection of Swiss chocolates. There are a couple that he brings that I absolutely love; hence the plateau (six boxes later). When my father-in-law was in town, we had lunch at restaurants everyday during the week. I tried to choose the healthier options, but they are still loaded with tons of sodium. Now that I have broken my plateau, I have to make sure I do not want to get overconfident and sabotage my new weight by eating too many bad foods. I changed things up a little by trying to add one more cup of water each day, changing up my exercise routine and by getting back to my normal nutritional plan.
I had a great run this morning. I need to learn how to pace myself. I was not trying to do so, but I ended up running 8 minutes/mile. I started off with a half mile walk and then I was off for my run. So I walked to my back gate to start walking when out of nowhere a black bird swooped down really close to my left shoulder. I did not think much of it as I walked out the gate and behind my shopping plaza. I was going to go for a 2 mile run, but decided that I was not tired so I would jog by the back gate, keep jogging behind the shopping plaza and double back through the front gate to get in an extra mile. Again, as I am going by the back gate the same bird swooped really close to my left shoulder almost clipping my ear. So this is what one of the ladies at my son's school was talking about a couple of weeks ago. She said she was having a hard time running because the birds were nesting and they kept swooping down really close to her. This has only happened to me at my back gate so I guess I will have to eliminate that route for a while.
I feel so happy that I had to share. Finally I can see the 150's in the near future.
Enjoy the weekend.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
So yesterday I headed over to Miami Beach for the Ocean Drive 5k. The weather was perfect for a race. It was not too hot, too cold, and there was little wind. To be honest I was feeling a little iffy about this race. I have been feeling a little off for the past couple of weeks. I get up and exercise consistently, and I feel good while I am exercising but I just can't put my finger on the emotion I am feeling right now.
The race start was a little later than usual (8:30) compared to the usual 7:30 starts. This gave me plenty of time to drive over, find a parking spot at a paid meter, pick up my bib and t shirt, and get a 30 minute walk in. Spring break is in full swing here in Miami and while I was getting my warm up walk in, the street workers were busy cleaning up from last night's parties. It was so nice to see the beach and all the activity going on; I live in the city suburbs so it is not as scenic and colorful compared to Miami Beach.
The race starts and it took me about 30 seconds to cross the start line. This was a nice size crowd compared to my local City of Doral race. I already mentioned that I was feeling a little blah and I thought about quitting before the 1st mile marker. I trotted on anyways. I'm still new to running but I set goals for each race as to where I would like to be at each mile. I was hoping to be under 9 minutes and I was. My goal was to do better than my last 5k (29:08 minutes).
I don't listen to music so I listen to my body, take in the view and well try to get away from runners that sound like they are about to keel over before the 1st mile. Yep, I had one of those on my tail. He was wheezing or something and I had to endure his tortured breathing for about another half a mile before I lost him.
I am glad that I did not give up on the first mile because I kept running and finished in 28:57. I am happy with my time. Is there still room for improvement; absolutely. My goal is to finish a 5k under 25 minutes. But in the meantime, I have to amp it up a bit. I have two crazy races coming up. In April I am going to do a 10k trail run and in May a good friend of mine goaded me into doing the down and dirty run at the zoo. They are going to do the 5k and I am going to sign up for the 10k. Yikes, what am I thinking? Just do it. Hmmm, I think I have seen that somewhere before.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I just started running again a couple of months ago. I have ran a couple of 5ks and one 8k. Waiting for the race to start, I look around and see a lot of people fidgeting with their IPods. I listen to music when I walk and when I go on my runs but not at races. I am afraid that I will focus on the music more and maybe do a little dance. I think it could improve my times because the music will motivate me to run faster. But on the other hand, I think I could run too fast in the beginning and struggle through the rest of the race. If you listen to music, what type of music do you listen to while running? For instance, do you have separate music for running versus what you listen to all the time? Just curious.
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