Posts Tagged ‘5k’

Get Lucky!

Or as I like to call it:  finish a race without having to use the port-a-potty.

Tomorrow is St Patrick’s Day, and here in the Twin Cities there is no shortage of places to go that manage to incorporate beer into whatever activity is happening.  And race day is no different!  Saturday at 9am, I will be lining up at 2nd St and Portland Ave in Minneapolis to start the 7k Get Lucky race, my second one in the Monster Series I signed up for with Team Ortho.   As I am still working on increasing my mileage for the half in June, I thought it would be a better choice to run the manageable 7k as opposed to the Triple 7, and the course should be pretty great tomorrow: the temp is supposed to be 62 degrees at 9am!  It’s going to be kind of amazing to run in a t-shirt and capris as opposed to the base layer, cotton layer, and fleece I was wearing for the polar Dash.  I may even celebrate by wearing a festive silly hat, but we’ll see about that one 🙂

You can't go wrong with a course that includes not one, but TWO stations for Irish dancers.

Remember my excitement over the medals?  Well, tomorrow around 9:50 a cute little shamrock number will be coming home with me – my son will be so happy, it’s been driving him nuts that there is only one in the case and it’s all lopsided and sitting funny because it doesn’t have anything to lean on.  Lopsided no longer!

A non-lopsided view of them all together. The Polar Dash one I have will be happy to have a friend to lean on!

A non-lopsided view of them all together. The Polar Dash one I have will be happy to have a friend to lean on!

Along with my new green accessory, I will get the real prize of the day: a free beer pass at Kieran’s Irish Pub.  Yes, it will be 10 am.  Yes, I will be sweaty and in need of a shower.  But there will be beer, by god, there will be beer!

Race day is always kind of wonky for me (I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, but since I don’t have a symbiotic brain meld with any other runners, my race day is all I know about).  My husband works nights, which leaves me a little puzzle to figure out each time a race morning comes around: what am I supposed to do with these kids?  My kids, I mean, not the kids of the world (although that is a good question, too.  Maybe a bit too much to be solved today, but I’ll let you know what I come up with).  Luckily, my parents have been really helpful the last few races by letting the boys stay over the night before to avoid an ungodly early morning race day free-for-all.  As they are 7 and 4, they are vastly more interested in watching an episode of Spongebob than standing in a crowd of people waiting for their mom to come panting down the road towards the finish line.  I have a feeling that when they first heard that they would get to see me cross a finish line, there were certain expectations of what that would mean formed in their imaginations.  Probably confetti, a close race where I magically finish #1 – possibly ending in a very large trophy coming home with us, and, most of all, an actual finish line that someone would break through.  Okay, I may be projecting my own dreams of race day onto them a little bit.  But I can tell you that the reality of race day for a kid is not nearly as fun as it sounds, and for that reason they are happy to know that this time they get to have an easy, late breakfast with grandma and grandpa and they aren’t required to make an appearance.

All of this is to say I will be kid-free for the Get Lucky, and this ensures that I will be enjoying my complimentary beer.  At 10 am.

Juggling momhood and running can be a bit tricky, but it has paid off in one unexpected way: my minivan is hella helpful when 7 people need to be hauled to a race with limited parking options.  This may be the only time since my uneasy purchase of the van – my self-image took a bit of a beating that day – that I’ve been proud to offer it up.  Hey!  We can all meet and ride together!  I have a VAN.  Tomorrow the van will be parked across the street from the pub, waiting to take us all home after the race has been run, the medals have been received, and the beer has been drunk.

It may kill sex appeal, but by god, it carries a lot of people.

I may do everyone a favor and bring a change of clothes for the post-race (got to love those bag check areas!).  Tonight I will be home alone with my pre-race thoughts, no kids, no husband.  I may go out for a couple mile walk just to escape the thought-swirl. 

Do I have my bib?  Should I wear my hydration belt? No, not for 4.5 miles.  But it has bib hooks!  And a place for my phone!  Maybe I could somehow take off the water canister so I don’t look like an over-prepared nutjob and then I could still use the belt.  I can’t forget to bring my ID or there will be no free beer for me.  I’m going to need that pocket for my ID!  I should probably shave my legs tonight.  Do I have my bib?…

Yeah, I think a walk would be a good plan.  Tomorrow I’ll just get up at the crack of dawn, have a little brekkie, and deal with any nitpicky stuff that pops up.  My plan for the race is to enjoy the weather, enjoy the people, and not let the pace of others freak me out.  If I finish under my normal pace, that’s great, and if I don’t…well, I get the beer either way.  My pace at my very first 5k was 13:30 a mile.  My average now is around 10:50 a mile.  So it really doesn’t matter what tomorrow brings, pace-wise.  I know that I’m improving, so I’m ready for a fun day tomorrow in beautiful Minneapolis!

 

 

I know what I’ll be doing for the next 10 months…

I had a realization of magnitude today at approximately 4:30 am.  In the dark early morning quiet of my bedroom, the cat sleeping by my head and the humidifier gently whirring, my eyes were thrown open and I was seized with a combination of panic and fear that only comes from reality slapping you directly across the face. 

I’m going to be running a 10k race in four weeks.

This morning was the morning that I lay in bed and made the connection that the race I had signed up for was no longer a floaty non-specific goal. Oh, it’s called a Polar Dash…isn’t that charming?  What a great thing to do sometime this winter!  It will get me some nice fresh air when I get bored of being inside, I had thought. 

But now the 10k was very present, very holy-shit-this-just-got-real.   I have four weeks to get it together for the race.  In January.  In Minnesota.  How had this all happened?  What was I thinking?  Had someone slipped me a drug at the exact moment that I was wandering around Facebook and saw my cousin’s announcement of  “Just signed up for the Monster Dash Series for 2012!”  and though Yeah!  That’s it!   Her posting had intrigued me, and I did some more digging on the  Team Ortho Monster Series website. I was blown away by the idea of signing up for a series of races that would take me through almost an entire year of goals to reach and training to keep me occupied.  I thought Whoa, what is this? A race series?  With tons of swag?  And medals

As a person who's never gotten any kind of sporting medals, these are my catnip.

I’m all over this, this is my wintertime thing.  Sign me up. 

And they did.  Or rather, I did, right after I gave them my credit card number. 

Now, before this whole thing starts to spiral out of control into a regret tailspin, let me just say:  I would have wanted to run in these races anyway when they came up on the calendar.  I would have seen the announcements in my email, and gone and registered for them at $35-$40 a pop like everyone else.  So it really didn’t cost me any more to sign up for all of them at once (and let’s not forget there are medals!  The lucite case only comes with the race series!  And the gear!  Don’t forget the gear!), it was just kind of a serious hit up front.

I’m not really sure what possessed me to do it.  It could be that it  happened right around Black Friday and I was itching to spend.  It could be because I had finished my second 5k with a slight improvement in time and I was feeling kind of like Yeah, things are just getting better and better…I should just keep giving myself big goals to reach, because obviously I can do anything I set my mind to.  Which, in theory, seems like a healthy thing to tell yourself – until you realize that your goals are fast approaching, the pay-up or shut-up phase has arrived, and you had better get your ass in gear. 

I mean, look at the swag they’re giving out!  Can you blame me?

So What do you Get? Well besides the bragging rights of finishing a fantastic race, Team Ortho Foundation prides itself on having great gear that we give to our participants. Some items you will receive early, but most you will get at the specific event (see Series SWAG Schedule below).2012 Event Gear for all race participants:
Polar Dash – polar fleece (unisex), medal, chip-timed for 10K and Half Marathon
Get Lucky — full zip hoodie (men’s & women’s sizing), medal, chip-timed
Minneapolis Marathon—performance shirt (men’s and women’s cut)
Minneapolis Duathlon — Bike Jersey
Monster Dash— Unisex Monster Dash shirt for 5K & medal ; Male/Female-cut 1/2 zip jacket for the Half Marathon and 10 MIle, plus a finisher’s medal.Plus Exclusive Series SWAG! People who sign up for the series get an added bonus:  the choice of a race series jacket or a Lucite display for your your 2012 medals.

I ended up signing up the next 10 months of my fitness life to:

10k Polar Dash, Jan 1st

7k Get Lucky!, March 17th

Minneapolis Half Marathon (Yep.  13.1 miles.), June 3rd

Minneapolis Duathlon, August 26th (run 5k, bike 18 miles, run 5k.  I’m looking for relay team members for this one…I haven’t quite reached this level of self-delusion yet)

10 mile Twin Cities Monster Dash, October 29th (The promo trailer for this one is pretty cool, it may have been one of those things that directed my mouse to the Register Here tab)

Alright, so I spent a little time in denial earlier today.  But now I’ve flown through the other phases and gotten right to Acceptance!  I have four weeks to get myself in decent condition to run 6.2 miles without hurting or embarrassing myself.  It’s not completely far-fetched, I have done a couple 5k’s, and I have done a handful of five mile runs around the neighborhood.  But I’ve been pretty negligent on the cross-training front, and the losing-weight-eating-healthy front. 

So. 

It’s time to get serious now.  No more Yep, I’m totally going to eat all that pizza on my plate, I’m running, it’s fine! 

No more  Hey. I’m running.  I don’t want to wear myself out by weight lifting, too!  And adding yoga?  What am I, a machine?

I spent money on this race series, more than I really should have (right before Christmas), and it would be a disgusting waste to half-ass my way through all of them just because it’s easier to sit, and eat, and let myself be happy with only achieving as much as I’ve already done.   I’m pretty sure I can do more, I can be stronger, I can run with fewer walk-breaks, I can finish these races in a way that I know I’ve done the best I can do at this point in my fitness life.

I think I might need to make a training calendar.

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.