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Posts Tagged ‘5k’

Saturday morning I ran a 5k in my fastest time EVER! I beat my previous record by one second, but it’s a PR nonetheless and I’ll take it.

Due to severe flooding in our area, the course was switched up a bit. I was a little bummed when I first found out. It was on the same bike path, just a different section. The original course was on the really flat part of the path that I’ve run a million times. The new route had us going downhill on the way out and uphill at a slight grade on the way back. Not a huge deal, but I don’t like change and it just made me a little nervous. The race ended up being a really small field of about 20 people, mostly men. My insecurities crept up and I found myself just praying that I wouldn’t be last. I know that’s not what it’s about, but it’s still a huge hangup for me.

I started out a little too fast and quickly felt it in my breathing. I reined it in a little and settled into a pace that felt comfortable. I made myself find that point before I looked down at my Garmin. I was really glad when I found that my “happy pace” was still faster than what I normally run. I struggle with keeping a steady pace, but managed to stay pretty consistent for the first two miles, running splits of 9:33 and 9:58 respectively.

That’s when the hill kicked in. It’s more of a grade than a visible “Oh, here comes the hill.” I could still feel it, mostly in my calves where I was already a little sore from my New Rules of Lifting for Women workout on Friday. At one point they started to cramp a bit so I decided to walk a little. That hurt even worse so I picked back up to a jog and rode it out to the finish, obviously at a slower pace. The last 1/4 mile was by far the hardest. My body was done, but I was so close to a PR and I wanted it BAD! My legs felt like Jell-o, but I gunned it and gave it everything I had. I stopped the time on my watch as I hit the line and was a little scared to look down. When I did and saw that 30:59 I smiled and did a little internal happy dance.

A good friend from church is a pretty serious (and very fast) runner and had come out to do the race “just for fun.” He was cheering me on at the finish line which was pretty cool. Once I got some water, he asked me how my run had been. I was a little embarassed to admit that 30:59 was a PR for me. I mean, this is Mr. I-just-won-this-5k-and-I’ve-run-the-Boston-Marathon-twice. Instead of laughing, he was extremely supportive and almost as excited as I was about my accomplishment. While we waited for the awards ceremony, we had a great discussion about running being a personal sport. One person’s goal might be to run a 4 minute mile pace while another person’s can be just to complete a 5k. Both goals are equally as exciting to achieve for the invidivual that set them.

That talk really made me feel so positive about my running. I want to get my 5k under 30 minutes so badly. Some days it seems unachievable and other days it feels just plain silly that I’m actually shooting for a time most “real” runners would consider to be super slow. Having this discussion with someone I respect as a runner made me remember that I run, therefore I’m a real runner. I accomplish something amazing every time I get out there and put one foot in front of the other. My goals are my own. They don’t have anything to do with what anyone else is doing. It reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quote:

The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

(Baz Luhrman, Wear Sunscreen)

In this case, the race really was with myself. I was the only female in the 20-29 year old division so I got a gold medal!

I’ve received participation medals before, but never as an award based on where I finished. It was pretty cool. I was the 2nd female to finish, but the overall places weren’t divided out by male/female so the boys swept those. The race organizers felt bad when they realized their mistake and said they’d mail them to the top 3 ladies, but we all said it was okay.

There was another first at this race, but it was bittersweet. Remember my not-so-supportive support person? I finished ahead of her and she was not happy. Not even one little bit. This has only happened one other time when she had to pee really, really bad and couldn’t put in any real effort. It didn’t seem to phase her then, but this time she was visibly upset. I congratulated her as she crossed the finish line, but she just rolled her eyes and went and stood off to the side by herself. I let her have her space. At first I felt a little guilty for having passed her, but then I realized how silly that was. My race had absolutely nothing to do with her.  By the time we got in our cars she was speaking to me again although it was still obviously bothering her. I refused to let her mood rain on my parade. I just remembered my quote and smiled all the way home.

🙂

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 Last April, I ran my first post-baby 5k. My goal was 36 minutes and I finished in 36:24. I was a little disappointed, but still very proud to be back in the running saddle. It also gave me a benchmark, a time from which to improve.

This year I was giddy when registration opened for the 2011 installment of this race and mailed my form back the day I got it.  I didn’t get to prepare quite as much as I’d hoped. It was either too cold, too rainy or both to take the stroller out and it’s hard to get a real workout in on the treadmill when you’re also trying to chase a toddler around the gym. 🙂 Still, I was excited to run the same course and see what my time was compared to the previous year.

Our weight-loss group at church decided to do it as a group, most people walking while my sister-in-law and I ran the course. It was so much fun to have an active social event! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and felt a certain sense of accomplishment in completing the 5k. For most of them, it was their first.

Since it was an out-and-back course, one of the other ladies in our group had the chance to snap photos as we passed the on the way back. That’s me, sporting my new running skirt and shoes for their 5k debut. Loving them

I finished in 33:40. My goal was to best my post-baby PR of 33:06, set at the Turkey Trot I ran back in November. Just missed it! Honestly, I know exactly why.  There were a few times I know I could have pushed harder, but didn’t. At the turn-around, I slowed to a walk to fix my hair that was driving me nuts. I dilly-dallied, took my time and didn’t get back to running as quickly as I should have. I also let my Garmin control me a little too much. When I looked down and saw a time that was faster than I usually run, I’d tell myself “there’s no way I can maintain this” and slow down a little, even if I was feeling good at that pace. I need to learn to use it as a tool rather than to get preoccupied with the display and psyche myself out.

While I was a bit disappointed, knowing I didn’t push myself the way I should have makes me even more motivated for future races. That’s a good thing because this week I signed up for 3 more races on May 14th, 21st and June 18th. Bring ’em on!

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Is it seriously Wednesday already? It seems like I *just* woke up on Saturday morning. It’s been go, go, go since the 5k with entertaining, shopping and visiting. I didn’t forget about you, bloggies! As promised, I’m back with my race report from the 5k on Saturday. Gold star to you if you finish reading this whole post because it’s LONG. 🙂

I’ve run 5ks before, but for some reason I was all jittery and butterfly stomached for this one. I think it was part excitement and part pressure that I was putting on myself. This was my first race post-baby (not counting the disastrous race 3 days after I was cleared to run again) and I had one very definite, very concrete goal: I wanted to run the whole thing. I didn’t care how long it took me to run it, but I was NOT going to walk.

I was a little preoccupied with getting Peanut up, packed and loaded in the car so I didn’t get to snap a picture of the gorgeous morning. The race was only about 5 minutes from our house so I wasn’t up to see the sunrise, but the morning could not have been any more clear and perfect for a run. My husband drove us down to the park where we met my sister-in-law and got checked in. For being a small race, the event was VERY well organized and the race crew was extremely friendly.

The half marathon stepped off at 9am on the dot. About 5 minutes later they called for the 5kers and everyone made their way to the start/finish line. My stomach completely bottomed out when I saw that there were only about 30-40 participants. One thought immediately came into my mind: “I’m going to be last.” I got really panicky all of a sudden and thought about bailing. I shared my concern with my sister-in-law and she told me to just do my best. Honestly, that statement should have made me feel better, but it felt more like pity coming from someone who is as fiercely competitive as she is. One thing that helped me loosen up was that all the competitors were very friendly. The whole lot of us stood there chatting and laughing while we waited for the start. One couple were owners of a local bike shop and gave me some great advice about what to look for when buying a running stroller.

For the last minute before the race, I closed my eyes, put in my headphones and just kept repeating my Baz Luhrman running mantra: “The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.” I got goosebumps in the 10 second countdown until the start. When they yelled “GO!” my whole mindset shifted. I felt calm and relaxed and just started running. I kept pace right behind my sister-in-law for the first quarter mile or so, but quickly realized that I couldn’t sustain that pace and settled into my own rhythm.

There was a volunteer yelling out times at the 1-mile mark. I was at 11:23 and completely fine with that. I felt really good so I decided to push a little bit harder on my way to the turn-around. My sister-in-law passed me on her way back and gave me the thumbs up and told me that I wasn’t even close to last. While that shouldn’t have mattered but, not gonna lie, it made me feel good.

I rounded the cone at the turn-around and headed for home feeling pretty good. That lasted for about another half mile. With one mile left to go, my breathing got difficult and I was having trouble getting it under control. I slowed my pace a little, determined not to walk, and kept plugging along.

The bike path where we were running has mile markers so it was easy to know where I was. I’d told myself that when I hit the 0.5 mile mark I was going to bust a move and push as hard as I could to the finish. Unfortunately, I was still struggling a bit when I got to that point and facing a bit of an uphill section. I told myself to keep running and putting one foot in front of the other, but decided I wasn’t ready to sprint.

The finish line banner was hanging from a bridge overpass. I spotted it as I rounded the corner about .25 miles out and decided it was time to make my move. I have no idea where that extra gas came from, but it was there. I bolted like lightening! I picked up the pace even more when I spotted my husband, sister-in-law and baby girl waiting at the finish line, cheering me on.

My official time was 36:24. My heart rate monitor (which I started & stopped as I hit the line) said 36:12. Either way, I was beyond thrilled. That’s only a few minutes off the time of the last 5k I ran before I got pregnant. I think I was a bit shocked, too. 40 minutes was sort of the time I’d had in my head as a realistic expectation of what I’d be able to do.

Peanut gave me a huge smile that melted my heart when I got to her stroller and my husband gave me a giant hug. The whole rest of the day he told me how great I did and how proud he was of me. That was really nice to hear. He also took this post-race photo of me. I am being VERY brave and posting it here even though I look like complete crap. Please remember that I just had a baby 6 months ago. Oh, and if anyone knows of a good hairdo that keeps your hair out of your face without exposing the fivehead, I’d really appreciate some tips. 🙂

Also very nice was this beer that I drank after I’d gotten showered:

My in-laws came over for a cookout around noon. My husband insisted that I relax while he did all the grilling. I did get the task of setting up the buffet. I got caught up in my task and forgot photos again. My husband made chicken & shrimp kabobs, grilled baby bella mushrooms and some yummy bread. My mother-in-law brought pasta salad and my sister-in-law made some healthy cream cheese bars that were HEAVENLY. Recipe and review of those to come because I am going to be making them very, very soon.

The rest of Saturday evening was really low-key. I read while Peanut played in her ExerSaucer and my husband played Madden. I love evenings like that.

Sunday morning my husband asked me the thing every woman likes to hear first thing in the morning. Get your mind out of the gutter! 😉 I meant that he asked me: “Do you want me to make breakfast?” Of course my answer was yes! I was treated to a delicious omelette made with turkey bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and leftover baby bella mushrooms. Nom.

I’m planning a special Earth Day event for Peanut tomorrow. Check back tomorrow, probably late afternoon, for a photo recap. I promise adorableness. 🙂

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5k Flashback

I was looking back through my old posts last night and really realized how long this “break” has been. Too long. Far too long.

I didn’t even get to share my last 5k with all of you! At 18 weeks pregnant, it was harder than I thought. There’s something about internal organs being mashed up under your ribcage that makes breathing just a teensy bit more difficult. I did my very best. Ran when I could. Walked when my body started yelling at me. No land speed records were set, but I was proud of myself for giving it my all. My husband took this hideous scary lovely picture afterward:

5kafter

Please disregard the Panera bagel that’s being shoveled into my mouth. I’m pretty sure I burned at least half enough calories during the race to cover it. Mmmm. Asiago cheese. My favorite.

I’d planned to race again (another 5k) tomorrow, but was strongly discouraged from doing so by my doctor. Heat was his main concern. Oh, and the fact that I’m not supposed to be doing anything high impact. Baby is priority #1 right now so I’m heading his advice and sitting this one out. Maybe I’ll go for a 3.1 mile walk on the bike path instead.

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