Sunday, May 01, 2011
I did it! I did it! I did it!
It's one of those things you have to shout from the rooftops! After 4 months of very dedicated training, I ran my first official 5k yesterday. It was quite the momentous occasion.
The day before the big event, I started slipping into a deep preoccupation. Gradually everything else competing for my attention was shunted aside. All I could think about was the race, the weather, what should I wear to deal with the probable rain, every possible thing I needed to remember to bring along (not much, but was I forgetting something?!?!?!). I probably slept about 3 hours the night before the race.
The day of, I got up plenty early to have time for a light breakfast and lots of water and time to digest and get ready and get there on time to get my packet and meet my running companions.
Rain, rain, go away!
I met my sister Jana and friend Cheryl. They're experienced at these 5ks and are quite a bit faster than me, so we weren't planning on sticking together, but at least starting together. Then we found Christy. We all headed over to the starting area, and before we knew it, it was time to go!
Instantly, I lost Jana, Cheryl, and Christy, which was fine. We never planned on sticking together. I just thought it was funny that we separated *at* the starting line. I never saw any of them again until the finish.
The rain was unpleasant, but not the worst thing in the world. Today was much colder and windier, so I was very glad our race was yesterday instead. The half marathon and marathon were held today. Brrr! But yesterday the rain really wasn't much of a bother.
The bother was the breathing! The whole entire race I felt like I wasn't breathing properly. I couldn't get a good breath. I was doing the 3:2 ratio, but still, it was pretty bad. I tried to just put it out of my head and get on with it, but it was mighty uncomfortable.
Part of the reason for my shortness of breath was probably that I was running too fast! I was truly trying to pace myself. Take it nice and easy. The first stretch had a slight incline. I'm not used to running hills. As we approached the first mile marker, I saw the big digital display showing the elapsed time: 10 minutes!?!?! That's waaaaaaaaaaay faster than I normally run AND going uphill! So I knew I had to slow it down a bit.
I kept plodding along. At the starting line, I couldn't get my MP3 player to turn on, so I ran without music. I listened to the conversations around me and kept counting out my breaths 1-2-3-1-2-1-2-3-1-2. I knew Jana and Cheryl were way ahead of me, but I thought Christy, in her white jacket, was right behind me. So every time I saw someone in white starting to pass me, I turned to see, just sure it was going to be her. Then I thought I must have missed her and she was way out in front of me too. Just keep breathing.....
At the 2nd mile marker, I was at 22 minutes, so I had slowed down, which was good. Despite the difficult breathing, I had the presence of mind to be grateful that I didn't have a side ache or knee problems, and the rain was letting up. Everything was okay. I had to blow my nose a few times, but I refused to stop or walk. Just keep going. Keep breathing.....
I was running right behind a couple high school girls for a while. That was nice having someone set the pace. Later when I looked at the map, I didn't even remember turning left toward the community college. I really was just focused on the people around me and moving forward. As we got closer to the end, I looked around more. I think then I was able to relax a little and appreciate that I was almost done. If I had gotten that far, I knew I could finish it. And I was pretty sure I would have met my time goal since I started off so fast.
We ran by my work building, and then as we got closer to Riverside Park, I could hear the people up ahead cheering. That was a nice boost. They weren't cheering for me but for others way ahead of me. Still, it made me feel determined to muster up the energy to finish strong. Now was not the time to slow down!
As I ran into Riverside Park, someone in the crowd shouted, “You’re almost there! Good job!” I smiled and kept on trucking, and the next thing I knew, I looked up and there was my mom standing in the crowd struggling with her umbrella. She didn’t see me, so I shouted “Mom!” at her and waved. I rounded the northern end of the park and ran toward the finish line. I could see the clock up ahead and knew that I was probably going to beat my time. And then I saw Mom, Dad, Jana, Cheryl, and Carrie cheering me on, and then… I crossed the finish line! 35:54!
Christy *was* right behind me! I was so excited for both of us! We did it!!! It was not easy, but what a great feeling to set your mind on a goal and work so hard on it, and then DO IT. It’s very empowering to know that you can set your mind to something and achieve it.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Yesterday was the end of our little Biggest Loser competition, which has been a big source of motivation for me. Not that I was in it to win, but just the constant checking in, thinking about it, and talking about it with others. Now that that is done (I lost 10% and came in 2nd, by the way), I feel the need to reset my goals.
1) I have more weight to lose. My new goal is to lose 14 pounds by the end of June.
2) I still have the 5k coming up soon and will keep training for that. I'm not sure about running beyond that. I guess I need to iron out my workout plans beyond April 30. I'm planning on starting to bike a lot through spring and summer, but I don't want to totally abandon running either. Would a weekend run be enough to maintain the running? I know that bike commuting last year was pretty exhausting, so I can't imagine running on a day that I'm biking. Hmmm, will have to work this out.
3) Toning. I've been slacking off on toning, and I definitely need to add some variety. I'm going to restart yoga and start doing some toning videos.
4) Meditation. I've been meaning to attempt this more seriously, have tried it a few times, and have been reading about it. I need to set aside some time for it every day and DO IT.
5) Sleep. I don't get enough sleep. Must Get More Sleep.
That's probably enough to focus on for the next two and a half months.
*** Lose Weight *** Bike/Run *** Tone *** Meditate *** Sleep ***
Sunday, April 03, 2011
I'm pretty fired up about my 5k training run yesterday. See, I'm preparing to run a "real" 5k end of April. I am a total newbie runner and am thrilled with every bit of progress I make.
Every Saturday I've been running a 5k on the treadmill. Really almost all of my running so far has been on the treadmill. With these training 5ks, I walked when I needed, but have been aiming for less walking, with the eventual goal of running the whole 5k on April 30. My times were improving until I got sick:
43 >> 42:08 >> 40:08 >> sick >> 44:52 >> 41:42 >> YESTERDAY (my first outdoor attempt at a "training 5k")
I mapped out 3.1 miles in my neighborhood and took off. Again, I told myself I could walk if I had to, but try not to. Coming up on 1 mile, I was seriously thinking I needed to rest, but then I remembered how hard it is to start again after you've given your legs a rest.
My other difficulty is I always get a runny nose when I run. Usually I stop running and walk long enough to blow my nose. But I thought this is dumb -- surely I can run and blow at the same time. Turns out I can. So I kept on running.
Midway through I wasn't sure how much longer I could run, but mentally I just felt like I needed to push myself. So I kept on running. When I was within the last half mile, I knew I just had to push through it, and I did! Running into a strong wind, I was so proud of myself for running the whole thing!
37:38! My best time yet!
I have 4 more weeks to prep for the actual 5k. I would love to bring that time down a bit more!
Sunday, April 03, 2011
Sunday is becoming not only my day off from exercise, but also a relaxing and reconnecting time for our family. I love it! No pressure to do stuff. Just be and enjoy. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Smile.
Monday, March 28, 2011
It's time to shake things up, I do believe. I've been doing really well, but the weight is stuck, and I'm feeling kind of blaaaaaah. Maybe it's spring fever (minus the warm temps). Oh yeah, that's called CABIN fever. I'm just sort of sick of the same old same old. It's time to try something NEW.
I actually had a fantastic run today, which was a very pleasant surprise after a more difficult run Saturday. I felt GREAT running tonight! I had been getting a little nervous about being ready for my upcoming 5k, but this makes me more confident that I can do it! Yeah!
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