Archive for October, 2011

My first 5K race recap

The Twin Cities 5k has come and gone, and I have been meaning to post about it for a while now.  It was an important day for me, and it gave me a big boost to keep on getting out there to run as often as I can.  Here’s how it went:

On the day of the race I woke up at 6:30 and began to get ready to make the drive into St Paul MN for the Twin Cities Marathon 5K.  I can’t even really believe I was able to sleep the night before…I was really wound up and there was no one else in the house to tell me to calm the hell down.  But I was nervous – It would be my first time running in a timed race, and really, my first time running with other people!

Knowing my list-making, organizing Virgo self the way I do, I spent some time the night before gathering all my bits together in an effort to reassure myself it wasn’t going to be a free for all anxiety-fest in the morning.   The chip was attached to my shoe, my money and car key were safely in a clip-on pocket, and I had my race number and clothes ready for the next day.

My first race number!

I also managed to spend money on things that may or may not have helped me…muscle milk, gatorade for before and after, and a some kind of energy bar.  My husband laughed at me when he saw my stash in the fridge.  But I felt prepared!  I read somewhere that caffeine can help before a race, so I made myself some (even though I had quit the stuff a month ago).  I drove into the city, and thank god I got there early – the roads were all roped off and my planned driving route was kaput.  I drove around, talking to myself in slight anxiety, and then found a spot fairly close to the capital where we were starting off.  After I parked and started to walk over, I felt better.  Energetic!  I had done everything I could do (aside from training more) to get ready for this run, and now I just wanted to get my number attached to my shirt and get running!

I met my friend, and we pinned numbers on each other, checked our coats (it was chilly, really chilly that morning) and got in the middle of the large crowd at the race start.  It was great being in the center of all these people!  Everyone was excited and smiling, there were all ages  and sizes of people waiting to run, and there was a real community feeling going around.  My parents had watched my kids the night before, and they were going to be waiting for me at the finish line; I couldn’t wait to get there and see my boy’s faces.  Honestly, one of the greatest rewards in running for me (after the sense of accomplishment when I get through a workout) is to have my kids see me working hard and training.  It means a lot that they are proud of me and getting to see the results of physical work.

Anyway, the race itself went smoothly.  I ended up being somewhere in the middle of the group – not last, as I had feared 🙂  The feeling I had while running it was that it seemed to take forever and it also seemed to go by so fast.  I think I mostly couldn’t wait to cross my first finish line and see all of those people waiting for us.  The encouragement from other runners and the people watching from the sidewalks was really motivational foe me, it helped me more than they probably knew.  I remember one women in particular, she yelled out “GO Addidas!” (it was written on my shirt), and I swear that helped me keep up for the next mile and a half.  It’s probably a little stupid, but I still think of that sometimes when my motivation is gone and I just want to walk my way home and it gets me to go a little further than I thought I could.

I came into view of the finish line, it was a fantastic downhill run straight towards the capital, and I tried to appreciate every stride I took to get there.  I heard people clapping and cheering, there was music from the loudspeakers and the group of nearby drummers, and then there was the blue banner that read FINISH!  I crossed it, looked around, and saw my family waiting for me.  It was fantastic!  A moment I will remember always as my first race.  I finished it in 39 minutes, much faster than I thought I would considering my nerves and the big hills.  The runs that I had done at home only took me 3 miles, and they nearly always took me 40-45 minutes to finish.  So I was really happy with my time, and so glad that I finished it running and un-injured.

I’m totally addicted, I can’t wait to do another one.

Still running! Loving it.

It’s been a while since I posted here, I’ve been trying to divide my time up between too many things!

Fall is my favorite time of year, and this one has been great for me to practice my running.  In Minnesota, we can have really short fall seasons, where cool dry weather is in and out so fast you’d swear it went from being 85 degrees to snowing in one week.  But this year, we’ve been blessed with a really mild fall, full of sunny 60 degree days.  I am also feeling really thankful that I am able to have a couple of days each week where each of my kids is in school at the same time so I can get some runs in without having to jockey around babysitters or deal with my husband’s crazy work schedule.

Yes, Monday and Wednesday mornings are my favorite times this year…I get the kids off to school and preschool, and I have two and a half hours to myself to run, shower, and have a quick snack.  Love it!  Right now I’m averaging about 3.5 to 4 miles per run, and it takes me between 40 and 55 minutes.  A lot of it depends on where I run.  Here in the south of MN, there are a TON of hills.  When I run near my home, I spend a half mile just getting up a huge hill so I can run back down the next half mile; it goes on like that the whole run.  I kind of love it though!

One of the things I have learned about myself is that I’m going to be more motivated and energized to do something if it seems hard or there is a real physical challenge involved.  That’s one of the reasons I can’t deal with treadmills.  I mean, treadmills can be a great workout tool, I know you can really work the crap out of yourself.  But the fact is…you are in control of how hard it is.  If it gets to be too much, you can lower the incline or slow down the pace.  If I’m outside running, and I’ve only gone halfway and I’m feeling tired, that’s just too bad – I’m going to have to get back somehow!  Today for example, it was really chilly and windy.  I haven’t gotten any running pants yet, so I’m still wearing my thin wicking capris.  I had a couple of long shirts on, a hat, and some gloves, but MAN I was chilly.  I would get to the top of a hill, the wind would be blowing right through my hat into my ears, and I thought “Well, the only way to get out of this is to run faster.  This is an endurance run!”, and it was one of my best running times.  I even added a couple of blocks since I was feeling pretty strong!  But I know that soon I’m going to have to invest in some warmer pants – I’m planning on running outside all winter.  I love finding things to do in the winter, I get really antsy and pent-up if I just stay in all the time and try to deal with bored kids.  So this year I’m really excited, this will be my first running winter!  I need to do some research and figure out what to buy.  I know I need a better hat, and some wool socks, and lined pants.  I think I’m going to be spending some dough at our local Sports store very soon!

I’m planning on doing more 5k’s this winter, we have one in the Twin Cities on Thanksgiving and one on Valentine’s, and I’m doing both of those.  I’m excited!

My weight lifting has fallen behind a little bit…I need to get back on the plan.  I was doing weights three days a week and running three days a week with a rest day thrown in, but lately it’s been just the running and resting.  I guess I needed a break!