Sunday, July 18, 2010

2 mile PR!

In the beginning of my running adventures, I took several baseline runs so that I could measure how much I would improve over time. The two I initially took were a 5k run, since I knew most races were 5k, and a 2 mile run, which is what the Army soldiers perform in their PT test. For a woman my age, the passing time is 20:30. Here are my times over the past few months:

March 30th-Baseline test- 22:50
May 22nd-22:12 (-38 seconds off baseline)
May 27th-22:45 (-5 seconds off baseline)
July 18- 20:24 (-2:20 off baseline; passed PT test run for my age!)

Wow, two minutes off my time!! YEAH!!!! Of course, I was running hard knowing that this was a "test", rather than running at a weekend leisurely pace. But it is nice to see the improvement, and know that all this exercise is not wasted. :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Race Day-Race Across the Spectrum-5k

Today I ran my second 5k race, and I could tell going into today that it was not going to be a record setting day, for several reasons. First, my pacer would have to stay at home to watch our kids. Since my parents are enjoying a much-deserved vacation, Joel stayed home with kiddos so I could be the runner to support The Brown Center for Autism.

It was the first year this center was holding a race as a major fundraiser, and it was a bigger success than they had originally planned for---there were 482 runners today!!! However, the race course could use some work for next year (something they have acknowledged)---we went from two lane street to running trail, and the walkers in the group decided to walk in the middle, meaning the runners had to run around them (which is harder than you would image). Before we had even run a quarter-mile my mental state when from "serious run" to "wahoo---this is walk to support autism" (which is not bad, just not what I had anticipated). Once the participants hit the trail, the serious and fast runners sped up, and the area where I was seemed to thin out a little more, making the running more possible.

Crockett Park was built when I was in middle school and high school, but since it is a little farther from my house I never went there much. But I have to say that is can be ranked as one of the best public parks I have EVER been to. The running trails were long, and while we looped around one several times, there were many more to be explored in future runs. There were some hills, which I will have to conquer if I am to be a serious runner, but I am super excited to return to this park in the future.

My time for today was 34:54, 1:30 SLOWER than my first race! GRRR!!! But I was only half-surprised at the outcome. I wish I could have done better, but I think that first road block at the beginning of the race really slowed me down. HOWEVER....I was still a winner!!! They gave away door prizes, and I won the gift certificate that gives me 1 free loaf of bread per month from Panera Bread. YUM! Carbs! :)

Overall, not a bad day. Next race....August 14th. Let the countdown begin.....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Serious problem

Hi, my name is Lane, and I have a serious problem. I think I may like this running thing. After finishing my first 5k race, I have taken a moment to reflect upon the experience, and came to this thought: I kind of like it. Really, I do. Here are my thoughts.

I was excited and dreading my first 5k at the same time. I had run a 5k as a workout to get a baseline of exactly how quickly I could run it. On that day, my 5k was recorded at 40:32. Not too bad, but not exactly something I want to *brag* about either. And so I was excited to see how much I improved over the course of training for 3 months prior to this race. But I was dreading this race because, come on, it is 3.1 miles. That would be considered my long run for the week. My weekly runs were in the 1-2 miles range, so this distance would be much more grueling than what I was typically prepared to do.

During the race, as I have previously written, I hated every minute of it. "Why am I doing this?" can into my head more times than I care to count. I nearly choked on the cup of water that I tried to drink. I was ill-prepared for the small hills in what I thought was a flat course. But I finished, I accomplished my goals. I want to race again.

So now I think I have a serious problem....I think I like running, and I like racing. I'm not racing to compete with others at this point. My main competitor is myself and my record. On July 17th I will be running my next 5k. So can I beat my 33:24 PR?

Another symptom of my problem is that I have scouted out the future races in my area. There are several half-marathons, but I think my for I will run a few more 5ks, maybe a 5 miler and then graduate to a 10k before I decided to train for a half-marathon. Maybe next year. But for now, here is what I am thinking of doing:

August 14th- Williamson County Fair 5k

September 18th-Helping Healing Hearts 5k

November 6th-Hoover Run for Hope 5k

November 20th-R3 Turkey Trot 5 Miles/10 Miles race (probably running the 5 miler)

So there. Now that I have put this out, hopefully everyone reading this can help keep me accountable to this training routine. I'll have to see how it goes once Joel leaves next month, but I am hopeful and optomistic that my parents can help watch the kids when I go to see them so I can get some longer runs, without pushing a stroller.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Race Day!!!

Today was race day. My first race EVER. So, how did I do?? Well, let me take you on a little journey of this morning.

My alarm went off at 0530, and my first thought (which seemed to be a running theme throughout the morning) was "Why am I doing this??" Ugh. But I stumbled out of bed, dressed for the race, had a cup of coffee and some fruit, and off to the race we go!

We had checked in on Friday, when we picked up our race t-shirt and bibs for the race. The t-shirts were pretty cool for such a little race. They are blue and not the cheap cotton tees that you see for some races, but rather a dri-tech kind of shirt! SWEET!! So when we arrived at the appointed time of 0615, we received our chips and waited around for the start time. At one point I noticed the ambulance had arrived and was parking. I pointed to Joel and said, "Look, my ride home has arrived." He did not find that nearly as funny as I.

Joel's parents are in town for the holiday weekend, and since their hotel is across the street from the starting line, they were gracious enough to come over, take a few pictures, and stay to cheer us on. I'm sure it reminded Adele of Joel's cross country running days in high school---arrive, watch them start, then sit around for 40 minutes waiting for them to cross the finish line. I would also like to give a big SHOUT OUT to my Father-in-law, Paul. He was awake and at our race early in the morning, even though he could have been catching up on his much needed sleep. So YEAH PAUL! for braving the sauna-like elements of the early Tennessee morning to come cheer us on!

I have never seen such a big crowd for what I originally thought of as a small race. The highest bib number I saw was around 1197. We were 237 and 238. But what got me really excited was seeing the 1 mile Kid's race that started 1 hour after our race. Awww, how cute, and a great way to encourage running and a healthy lifestyle. How cool is that??

Joel and I lined up about 2/3 back of the pack at the starting line. We ran across the starting line "chip pad", and at the same time I started up my ipod and Nike+. And we're off!!

We started the run, and of course I was feeling pretty good about this. I thought maybe I could get through this event! We ran down Maryland Way, and made a left turn up Brentwood Blvd. Not too bad....oh crap, there's a hill....that's a BIG hill. I cold feel the life being sucked from out of me. Again, the thought creeped into my head, "Why am I doing this??"Thankfully, the turn onto Cadillac Drive came just before the hill, so I was saved!

We continued our run down Cadillac Drive, onto Warren Penn Drive, back down Maryland way, and "over the river and through the woods"! Not really, but it was a nice scenic run in what would be described as the business section of my hometown. It was nice to see several water stations along the way and various places also cheerleaders for us runners. YEAH ME! :)

There was a lot of running, some walking, a lot of whining by me, and various bribes of doughnuts after the race (courtesy of Joel and a stop at Publix) but we could FINALLY see the finish line! YEAH!!! For the last 400 yards I picked up the pace, and ran as fast as I possibly could for that moment. We ran over the finishing "chip pad", and there was victory!! Actually, there were volunteers handing out bottles of water, same thing right??

I was just dying and wanted to sit down, Joel's advice was not to because I would cramp up. I'm thinking, "Ok, but if I'm going to die, I think cramping would be the least of my worries." So I drank my warm bottle of water, had a few orange slices, and we called it quits for the day.

As previously stated, I had three goals for this run:

1. Finish without dropped dead- ACHIEVED
2. Finish in under 40 minutes- ACHIEVED
3. Finish in under 35 minutes- ACHIEVED!!

According to my Nike+, I have a new PR for my 5k--33:24!! That is 7:14 faster than when I ran a 5k workout in March!! YEAH ME! It makes me feel better about my mantra "I think I can, I think I can," and turning it into "I know I can, I know I can."

P.S-If you have reached the end of this blog entry, you totally deserve a doughnut!