Sunday, September 27, 2009

Running with Angel

I don't know if you ever read the story about what happened during my 1st ever 1/2 marathon....but my angel helped me through that and allowed me to accomplish my goal. It was a totally amazing experience, one I will never forget.Today I had another amazing run, a run with Angel. Let me tell you about it!

Last night we took our son, Cotton, and his girlfriend, Angel, out for dinner to celebrate Cotton's 27th trip around the sun! While we were visiting we got to talking about running the "Rock". Angel mentioned that she would like to give it a try. She has only run a couple of times before, and I think they said her longest run had been about 3 miles. I told her that I would be happy to run with her if she really wanted to go. Cotton warned her that we get up REALLY early to go run, but she said she wanted to give it a try, so we all agreed we would meet there between 5:15 and 5:30 A.M.

I was really excited because, like most people, when I find something I enjoy as much as I enjoy running I like to share it. Angel was going to give me that opportunity. I found out later that she was worried that she would upset our training schedule for our marathon. Nah, our goal isn't the same as Cotton's! He is training to finish the marathon in a time that would qualify for Boston - so he has a very specific schedule that he needs to follow to accomplish that goal which includes long runs, intervals, hill repeats, track runs, etc. Our goal is to get across the finish line before they send out search parties looking for us! This allows us a bit more leeway in our training so I was happy to take a day to let her give White Rock a try!

We got to the meeting place at about 5:20 and they were there waiting for us. Cotton went ahead and took off and the rest of us warmed up a little and then we were on our way. Angel has a good form and she was running well. We got just about a mile and a half before she needed to rest a bit and walk some. This is what we had all told her she would need to do. She walked a little, ran a little more, and walked and ran. After that run she was feeling the effects of the energy drink she had that morning so we rested a little extra :) .... Then we were off again, in search of a good water fountain. We did the run-walk to the fountain and all got some water. Angel felt pretty good - so I continued letting her set the pace. I would just tell her when we hit each mile mark.

I really figured that we would get to the 3.5 mile water stop and she would be ready to turn around and head back to the car. That would give us a 7 mile round trip run - which is REALLY good for someone just starting out...but she said she thought if she kept doing the run-walk she could make it the entire 9.1 miles around the lake - we went once again.

As we would come to different parts of the trail I would talk to her about our experiences, "This is where I 'died' when I got ticked at some runners that passed me so I tried running really, really fast...I should have known better!", or "Oh, cool, we are nearly to the spillway - you'll like that, it is a great downhill for a pretty good piece!". After the spillway she needed to stop and adjust her socks...they had slipped down and bunched up underneath the arch of her foot and they were rubbing a little. OUCH...the beginning of blisters! NOT fun!

We got to the spot where I thought she might have some problems and I told her that we had gone 4 and 1/2 miles, so there was no turning back now, and that if she would run all the way to the next bridge I would tell her something really cool that she had just accomplished, besides run/walking the "Rock". She took off and we ran to the bridge. As we slowed to a walk I turned and grinned..."You just ran 1/4 mile UPHILL, after running half of the lake! What an AWESOME accomplishment!" I was just sooooo proud of her!

We made it to the next water stop and she pulled off her shoe and sure enough there was a blister on one foot and a hot spot on the other. She was still trying to run/walk, but Rick made her stop and walk when he noticed that she was really beginning to favor the foot with the blister. It was throwing off her gait, and that is a way to really end up injuring yourself. He told her not to try to be a hero, to just walk the rest of the way. I know she was feeling really good, and really wanted to run, but she listened and we walked most of the rest of the way.

For only her 3rd time running, to have run nearly a full 10K (6.1 miles) I was so impressed. We had a really good talk, she kept a pretty steady walking pace, and we completed the "Rock" in just over 2 hours.

I felt amazingly good through the entire run - I was able to run and talk, to push her just a little, and we got to watch the sun rise over the lake! What a blessing for me! I am so, so glad that we were talking about the run at dinner, that she said she would like to try it, and I am so VERY glad that she came out and gave me the blessing of being my running buddy today! Rick and I were talking on the way home, and we feel that we would love to run with her any week she wants to come and join us.....She'll probably end up speeding me up in the long run (pun intended, lol).....

Can you see how lucky I am? I have run with the Angels TWICE now!!!! Thank you ANGEL!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day 5K Complete


The results are in: Rick and I both posted an official time of 31:35 for a 10:10 overall pace! He took 4th in his age group and I took 1st in mine....unfortunately, due to the length of time before ANY results were posted we weren't there when the awards were given out, so had to forfeit our medals......I am NOT a happy camper right now!!!!!!!


Well, we finished the first in our series of races for this season, and as far as I'm concerned it was a success....I met the goal I had set for myself! I ran the entire race, did NOT walk ONE STEP! It has been a long time coming - since back in February when I ran the Cowtown 1/2....I don't know exactly what happened there, but I haven't been able to run a complete 5K since then without walking at least a little near the end.

We got up early this morning, since the run was at White Rock and parking is limited, and drove down to our regular parking spot at the Big Thicket. We walked from there to the Bath House to pick up our bibs and shirts - walked back to the car to lock up the shirts...(had them stolen at the last DRC race because we didn't have a safe place to store them!) and walked back to the Bath House to wait for the start. I was a little surprised when we got there and found out that the race wasn't chip timed - but more about that later! There were nice people setting up a drink station at the finish line, so we were able to hydrate a little with some gatorade before the start.

We walked over to the start area and got in the line towards the middle of the pack and waited for the "shout" - no gun - and off we went. I felt REALLY good...was into a good pace right away, feeling strong and not breathing too hard. The 15K racers peeled off at about .75 miles into the race so the pack thinned out pretty good there. At the one mile marker my Garmin beeped and told me we had just completed the first mile in 9:23 . This was quite the surprise becaue I just didn't feel like I was pushing that hard...I was still feeling strong and breathing easy! This is better than my first mile in any 5K I have run before by over 10 seconds! I did try to slow it down a little, knowing that when I start out that fast I generally can't get all the way through the race without walking and I REALLY didn't want to walk today!

We continued to run and just under the bridge there was a water stop where I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and swigged a bit down...didn't really even slow to a walk there - but jogged on through! Whoo hoo!!! The next thing I knew we were at the turn around. Still feeling good - where normally I would be starting to really labor with my breathing.

At the two mile mark my Garmin again beeped and told me we had just completed mile 2 at a 9:44 pace! Can you say AMAZ-Z-Zing!!! Still going strong...still able to talk (a little) to Rick to let him know I was OK. Then we hit the 2.5 mile mark....I guess that is where I hit the proverbial wall.....I no longer felt as good - Rick could tell I was lagging back and slowing down. He was very encouraging and kept reminding me to dig deep - that I was stronger than I thought and I could do this. We were going uphill at this point and I was really struggling to keep going, but I wasn't stopping!

We hit the 3 mile mark and Garmin let me know how much I had slowed down... this mile was completed at a 10:32 pace. (About my normal race pace) Still not bad, and I'm very pleased. I struggled up the rest of the hill gasping for air all the way and was sooooo happy to start running down the hill into the grass because that meant we were closing in on the finish line. Rick and I hit the cones leading to the finish line and we really kicked it up a notch and sprintedto the finish line (Garmin says we did this part at a 6:58 pace!) Once through we stayed in the chute to turn in our bib information to be recorded and headed over for fluids and bananas. After we cooled down a little we watched several other racers come across the line. I really wanted to stay and see what our official time was and how we did in the overall and age categories.

Here is the only place I really have a complaint - we waited at the finish for over an hour for the results! When we left at 9:00 they were still waiting! In this day of chip timing and computer mobility I really don't see any reason that the 5K results weren't being announced before an hour was up. As of this posting I still don't have official information.....It is for this reason that we will not run another Thurston Racing event until they get this fixed. It is a real shame too, because it was a nice event - well organized with nice was just the timing that made it frustrating. I guess we may be a little spoiled by the other races (even those that aren't chip timed) by having times posted by the time you get your water and cool down a bit. You can go check out the preliminary results to see how you did and leave if you need to.

Anyway....I know I reached my goal of not walking at all through the race, and my unofficial time, which will be a bit slower than the official time since I got all the way through the chute before I hit stop on the Garmin was 31:46...the best 5K time I've run this year!

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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.