Saturday, January 31, 2009

Great Day!

Today was a great running day for a couple of reasons! The first was that Rick and I both met our January challenge of running 75 miles in one month. Rick's doesn't show that he did it because his iPod gave up the ghost and it took him two runs to figure out it was shot before he got a new one. He is now the proud owner of a 4th generation iPod! Anyway, that being said Rick ran 77.04 miles in the month of January, and I ran 77.34 miles. It was a fun challenge and helped keep us focused through the blustery month of January.

The second reason was that today was the DRC Tal Morrison Classic 5K/15K. It is a run sponsored by the running club Cotton signed us up for as our Christmas present. It is for a really good cause - scholorships! We chose to run the 5K this time.
We got up about 5:45 this morning and got ready to go out to White Rock Lake. We got to the race start at about 7:15 or so and headed up to Winfrey Point to get our bibs and pick up our new members running shirts. Then it was back to the car to put the shirts away, LOL. By the time we got back it was time for the final rest break before the race. We ran into Cotton's first grade teacher again and said hello and then I stood in line for a bit. We got down to the start line just in the nick of time.
Unfortunately, this is NOT a chip timed event so I pretty much knew I wasn't going to break my 30 minute mark on this one, as bad as I wanted it and as hard as I've been working to get there it wasn't going to be this particular race today.
The temperature was in the high 30's by race time at 8:00 ~ pretty cold, but fairly decent running weather in wind to speak of. The gun went off and we (along with the other 600 or so runners) headed across the line. It took us a bit to get there. I hit the Garmin at the start so I'd have a pretty good record of the race for myself anyway. It was a slow go at the beginning, as with all races. No one was walking ahead of us this time though - and that was nice! We all started off at a pretty gentle pace and by the time I got a chance to look at Garmin we had done about .25 miles and were on a 10:00 minute/mile pace. Not too bad - I actually wanted to start out slow this time to see if it would help me at the end of the race. Rick stayed right with me and we just kept chugging along. I felt really good and I was starting to warm up a little as we ran. I looked down at mile one and we ran the entire first mile in 10:10, even with the slow start! I saw a glimmer of hope to make my goal!
We kept running and before I knew it Rick was tapping my arm and telling me there was a water stop up ahead. I moved over, grabbed a glass, took a couple of gulps without stopping and caught up with Rick again. It was so funny because I came up on his left side just as he was glancing over his right shoulder to look for me. I tapped him on his arm so he would know I was there and we picked up the pace again. It was time for the turn-around...we were 1/2 way done and I was still feeling good ~ in fact my hands were finally warming up!
The second half was even better than the first. There weren't as many people in front of us and they were more spread out so it was easier to keep our pace up. I kept trying to find runners I thought I could pass and really focusing on doing that. As we reached mile 2 I looked at the Garmin and it told me we had just completed the second mile with a 9:38 splilt time! Told you I was feeling good! Our overall Garmin time now was now 19:50...we were under 10 minute mile pace! I was amazed to say the least...things were looking good!
At about this point the young man we were running behind (I figure he must have been about 10 or so) just hit his wall. He had been running with a nice steady pace - right at the same pace Rick and I were running - but all of a sudden he just shook his head and slowed down to a walk...I felt bad for him as we passed him and kept on going. This is one of the few times I have actually passed a "kid"...they are usually FAST and pass me like I'm standing still!
As we ran the final 3.1 miles I was able to appreciate the beauty of the surroundings. The lake was awesome, and the wooded areas as beautiful as ever. The day was perfect! I kept seeing landmarks that brought back memories of our early morning training runs for the 1/2 marathon we ran back in November. We really need to get back to running outside to train for our 1/2 next month...
We hit the 2.5 mile marker and I was feeling better than I have in any race I have run so far. My legs still felt good, I was still relaxed, I didn't feel like I needed fluids, and my breathing wasn't too labored. I knew this was going to be a good one! Our final full mile split was 9:13! I think that is about the fastest full mile I have run since we started! That gave us a time of 29:03 for the full 3 miles ~ SURELY I would finish the race at under 30 minutes....only 1/10 of a mile to go....We picked up the pace and kept going towards the finish. As soon as we crossed the line I turned off the Garmin and looked at my final result...30:25!!! How could that be??? I looked over at the distance and saw not 3.10 miles, but 3.16 miles...could .06 miles make that big a difference? As soon as I got the opportunity I looked at what we had run the last .16 miles at...1:20! So close! We think our "official clock time" was right at 31:00 minutes, but we aren't sure, and the results haven't been posted yet. When I got home I hooked everything up and checked our time on SportTracks. We actually did the 3.1 official miles in ~ drum roll please ~ 29:54! That is :03 seconds faster than my fastest recorded 5K race time! HAH! I KNEW this race felt good!!! is back to training tomorrow. Now we are working on the cowtown 1/2 marathon, only 4 weeks away! I'm looking forward to that one too!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We're Still At It

Yes we are....we are still running several times a week. We did have a little break last weekend, but we were right back on the treadmill last night! Now it is VERY crowded right now at the gym - all those New Year's resolutions - so we decided that we would run for 30 minutes and then determine what we needed to do after that.

I've been feeling pretty good running for a full hour and completing about 6 miles in right around 62 I decided that last night I would challenge myself. I haven't run a decent time for a 5K distance since last May. I've really been struggling with this. I honestly beleive it is because I've been really trying to add distance and make a longer distance feel really good and keep a steady pace. I've also been working on slight negative splits on those longer distances which means I need to run the first few miles at a little slower pace. Anyway - back to my challenge. I WAS going to complete this 5K in under 30 minutes! Darn it! I WAS!!! Off I went.

I started out a little slow - warming up...then I saw Rick ramp his speed up to a 10 minute mile and I knew it was time to speed it up if I was going to make my challenge to myself. I started running some intervals at 6.0 for 400 meters, then 6.2 for 400 meters, then 6.0, then 6.5 and reapeating that. When all was said and done I had completed the entire 3.1 miles in 29:53!!! My overall finish was 3.27 miles in 32 minutes....I was elated!!!

After a quick "potty" break we looked around and there were still a few treadmills available so we decided to try another 30 minutes. As you can imagine my legs were pretty much shot, so I did the "run/walk" thing. Of course THAT is what is showing on my mini....not my beautiful sub 30 minute 5K...THAT's why I had to TELL you about it!!!

Of course ALL that mileage was added to my challenge miles - I'm now up to over 50 miles for the month and the 75 miles looks like it might just happen! After all, I still have 9 more days and I only need about 20 more miles!!!

Now, Rick and I have joined the DRC (Dallas Running Club) and one of our first races is coming up on 1/31. We decided to do the 5K instead of the 15K since it is pretty close to our first 1/2 marathon of the year. I'm hoping that I can finish that one as well as I did on the treadmill...problem is the sidewalk doesn't require me to keep moving my feet at a certain pace to remain standing, so unfortunately I tend to slow down more when I get tired, LOL....I'll let you know how that goes!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just a runnin'

I'm still here, still chuggin' along. I think this running thing may be all about me learning patience with myself! I want to RUN...I want to run FAST! I know I'm going faster than I was at this time last year overall - even if it hasn't shown in my last couple races, I know my treadmill pace last March was 5.2 where now it is I have gotten a little faster. My problem is I want to be a LOT faster - and I want to be able to run as far as I want really, really fast...Now I ask you, is that too much to ask for??
On Friday we did our long run. Because it is winter we went to the gym and ran on the treadmill. (we've been doing this since the Rudolph run in early December). I was determined that I was going to do the treadmill for the entire 90 minute workout....not 60 on the treadmill and then move to the elliptical. So to change it up a little we decided to do 3 - 30 minute runs. Now on Thursday after our weight workout we went up and ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill and I had an awsome run...never went below 6.0 for speed...even went up to 6.5 for a while. I felt great! So of course I thought I could start out like that for this run, but nooooooooooooo! Let's just say the legs let me know in NO uncertain terms that was NOT going to be the case. I slowed the beast down to 5.8 and ran, then to 5.7 and ran. I did finish that run and I had done my normal 3.some-odd miles...Then we started our 2nd set. I slowed the treadmill down to a 5.5 pace and low and behold - it felt good! Even though I had already run a little over 3 miles, it felt good! I could breathe, it didn't hurt, I didn't have to stop running to breathe! Wow! That hadn't happened in a while! While I didn't run as far, I did run better this second 30 minutes. The final 30 was a real struggle. I did a run/walk interval type run just to get through the time. When all was said and done I had completed over 8 miles in 90 minutes, so I wasn't too awfully disappointed.

Now the point of all that was to say that I think I've been trying too hard to increase the speed again. I slowed down from the get-go for tonights run, started at 5.5, and felt after 20 minutes I upped it to 5.6, and felt after 20 minutes I upped it to 5.7...not so good. I did start to have problems breathing and had to hang on a bit so after 10 minutes I went back down to 5.6. In the 62 minutes we ran I completed 5.8 miles. Not the best mileage I've ever done in that time, but it felt better than it has felt since November.

I think I'll just slow down and smell the roses for a while and try to work on the distance rather than the speed. After all, my next race is a 1/2 marathon right now...Sure I'd like to finish in less than my 2:27 hope is by increasing the amount of time I can run without stopping to catch my breath will decrease my real race time in the end. I guess we'll see in February!

Tomorrow I go back to school...back to the daily grind...back to some fun and friends....I have mixed feelings about this, I have really enjoyed my vacation time and for the first time in ages I wasn't antsy toward the end...I was still content to spend my days at home working around the house, reading, spending time with my husband - kids - and grandkids, taking care of the dog. Now it is time to get is to wishing the best for the kids in 2009.... that it doesn't feel too much like this for anyone!

About Me

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This is about my life. My life as a wife. My life as a mother. My life as a Memaw. My life as a teacher. My life as a runner. My life such as it is.