Still running!

I can't believe it has been a month since my last entry on this blog!  I did Bloomsday, and then I ran the Windermere 5K two weeks later.  So, now I have two 5K's and a 12K under my belt!  All of my race numbers are hanging on my corkboard where I can see them every day. 

Bloomsday was an awesome experience.  50,000 runners on a 7.46 mile course.  Quite literally the course was packed from mile 0 to mile 7. 

I have volunteered for Bloomsday in the past, and I remember getting dizzy from the constant mass of people moving by me while I was holding out water for them.  This time though, I was in it!  Because of the excitement of the day, and because the mass of people kept me moving, I ran the majority of the way, walking a couple of times for a few minutes, and then walking up Doomsday hill. 

I did the race in 95 minutes.  When I came around the corner and saw the finish line, I began to cry. 

My next race, the Windermere 5K, was a different story.  Because the 5K is packaged with a marathon and half-marathon, the 5K is run in the afternoon, after all the marathoners have completed the course.  This meant that we started running at 2 p.m., on a warm day. 

I had been training on the course for a couple of weeks, but was not prepared for the heat of that day.  When I crossed the finish line, I was suffering from a little bit of heat exhaustion.  I finished nonetheless, and vowed to stick with morning runs from now on. 

Yesterday, I went running with a friend and was able to keep up with her for the most part.  We ran about 4 miles and it felt great.  My body is still feeling it the days after longer runs (it took me almost a week to recover from Bloomsday) but the fact is, it DOES recover. 

And that's good enough for me. 


Week 11 - Getting ready for Bloomsday

Today I accomplished the impossible.  Or so I thought.  I ran/walked the full 7.46 mile Bloomsday course with a friend.  After the initial comedy of setting out, realizing our camelbacks were too distracting and constricting, turning around and dumping them, we started again and were on our way.  We set an intention of doing intervals of running for seven minutes and walking for two minutes and it worked out pretty great.  After about four of the intervals, the seven minutes seemed to get shorter and shorter, although so did the two minutes.

There are three pretty substantial hills on the course.  The first, coming out of Browne's Addition and up to Government Way, is short but steep.  The next, dubbed Cemetary Hill, is long and low.  The third and most famous, fondly called Doomsday Hill, is long AND steep!  I ended up walking most of the way up Doomsday, but by then my hip flexors were killing me.  So I'm okay with it.  :D

My intention is to take two easy runs this week on Tuesday and Thursday and walk every day.  I am pretty sore this evening and I expect things will tighten up more tomorrow and into Tuesday. 

The best part is that I DID IT and now, the course doesn't seem as intimidating or long.  AND, an added benefit is that I imagine my 5k's will seem shorter.  I hope so, as I intend to do the Windemere 5k in a few weeks.  Wait, maybe I'll do the half marathon...just kidding!


Week 10 - Race for the Cure!

Well folks, I did it!  I ran the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Race in Spokane on April 18, 2010.  I have to tell you that it was fantastic!  The weather was perfect and the race inspiring.  I found myself getting caught up in the emotions of the day and was quite overcome after I finished the race.  I know so many friends who have been affected by breast cancer, and I dedicate this race to them.  Here are some photos from my race:

Me and my number. I was very proud!Lining up for the start with 9,000 other runners!

Releasing of the survivor balloons.Action shot on the course!Coming around, almost done!All done! What a great day!

What an awesome feeling.  I didn't have to stop at all, and I completed the 5k in about 33 minutes, which was faster than my predicted 36 minutes.  My body didn't suffer any ramifications, which is a testament to the Couch to 5k program I have been doing for the last 10 weeks.  I had a blast and I can't wait to do more races!  Which reminds me, Bloomsday is just around the corner!


Week 7

I could be running right now.  But I'm not.  Today is Tuesday and if it's Tuesday, it's running day, yet here I sit writing my runner's log instead of actually, um, running. 

The last two weeks have been tough.  Tough both physically and mentally.  Two Saturdays ago, I ran for the first time for a solid 20 minutes.  Up to that point, my training intervals had been running/walking which was getting fairly easy to do.  But then they throw in that big 20.  After about eight minutes, I hit a wall, then at about 12, I got into a zone.  When it was over, I was elated and excited that I had been able to do it.  I walked for a good ten minutes, then stretched well.  I remember commenting to my friend that my back seemed really tight.  About five minutes later, I was lifting something (not with my legs) and it clenched up on me.  Since that day, I have been enduring muscle spasms, low back stiffness and non-bliss in my right hip. 

Even so, I was able to continue on my program this past week.  The training and walking on my off days loosened my back, and after each run I would stretch and ice.  I also saw a massage therapist.  Saturday was another big day, 27 minutes running (this after I figured out that the times the website gave for training were based on 10-minute miles).  I increased the time to correspond with the distance I should have been training for that day, 2.25 miles. 

Today, I was scheduled to run for 30 minutes.  I know that physically, I could do it.  Even though my back is really tight today, and I am pressed for time, I could do it.  The challenge I'm encountering is the mental aspect.  I just can't seem to fathom running for 30 minutes.  I'm not sure why it seems like such a big deal.  I know people that run for 36 hours straight (100 mile races).  So why does 30 minutes seem insurmountable? I will choose to look at this as an opportunity for me to explore my beliefs about what I think I can and cannot do. 

Perfection in any pursuit is an illusion.  By design, I'm not perfect, and my body and my mind are telling me so by putting the brakes on the training a bit.  When that happens, I have to listen to them.  I can run tomorrow, and I most certainly will.  It's not the end of the world to miss a day.  It won't derail my training or keep me from running in the Race for the Cure or Bloomsday. 

So, I choose to withhold judgment.  I choose to be compassionate with myself and my body.  I choose to take a day off and write instead of run.  As long as its my choice, I am empowered by my decision.  And feeling empowered, then I can continue to move forward. 


Week, um, 6

Ha ha.  I just realized I posted last week's entry under Week 6 when it was actually Week 5.  And not only did I get the week wrong, I got my training wrong one of the days too.  So that's why the 20-minute run seemed a little long on Saturday...