Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 - list of races to do

The new year is almost here and I thought I'd get my list of races on here. I'm a solo runner now (Matt and his freakishly long legs are too fast for me now) so this is all on me to stick with it and not give up. Who are we kidding ... I'll give up ... but the point is, I hope I will get back on the bandwagon and keep trying even after I get frustrated or not be able to get out and run. There's only so much of the treadmill I can handle ...

January - no race scheduled. With the crazy weather we've been having, no telling what it'll be like outside anyway!

February - trying a new race this year up in Indianapolis on the 27th. It's a 4 or 8 mile run/walk benefiting the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and it's only the 2nd year for it. Matt and I are signed up for the 8 mile. Starts at the City Market downtown -- hope it's fun! We opted to do this one instead of the 1st leg of the Triple Crown. Reason? $25 for a 5k with thousands of runners vs. $25 for more than double the distance and hopefully not nearly as many runners. No contest.

March - 2nd and 3rd legs of the Triple Crown (10k and 10 miles) - only goal for me is to get a PR in both. I was faster on the 10k in 2015 compared to 2014 ... but bombed the 10 miler in 2015 compared to the prior year. Not sure what happened but it won't happen again. Just hoping to PR. Oh ... AND get over to Iroquois Mountain before the 10-miler and practice running up that beast.

April - KDF Half-Marathon! Again, just looking for a PR. Question - is a PR based on the distance or the race itself? This race has more hills and people than the Indianapolis Monumental, plus it was raining last year AND I was battling bronchitis. If I want a PR, do I aim to beat my KDF-half time from 2015? or my Indpls Monumental time -- which was my fastest half time thus far?

May - no race scheduled but I'd like to get back to running the Fast Freddie's 5 mile loop on Memorial Day weekend. That was a Memorial Day and Labor Day tradition for Matt and me that we didn't do at all last year.

June - Will probably sign up for the Barnyard Dash at Huber's again. 10k and crazy hilly. Only goal would be to beat my time.

July - Independence Day 5k again? possibly! Also will be the month I officially start MARATHON TRAINING!

August - no race scheduled. Odds are, it'll be too stinking hot anyway! Would love to find a race that starts after dark or before sun-up. I don't do well with heat.

September - Fast Freddie practice loop again on Labor Day. Also, a 10k at my high school in Indianapolis and goal would be to beat my time from 2014. But again, need to find out if a quest for a PR is to beat the time from that race or to beat my 10k time for all races. There is also a half-marathon in Indianapolis for women only. I checked the marathon training schedule and I would need to run 16 miles on that particular day anyway ... very tempted to sign up for the Indy Womens' Half.

October - no race scheduled. Last October, we were able to find a 10k race going on while we were on vacation. Actually, it was the last day of vacation but we were able to con ask nicely if we could return to the condo and shower before hitting the road, the condo owners allowed it. Besides, Bob was running it too and we ended up getting out of the condo before they came back from their vacation home. Hoping we can find another race while in Hilton Head in 2016, but if not, marathon training will be continuing.

November - Marathon!! main goal is to finish strong and uninjured. Also, Fast Freddie's 5 miler on Thanksgiving Day. Definitely going to be ordering a shirt for everyone in the family. Only the names of the top 500 finishers make it to the next year's shirt and Matt is going to be on there!

December - no race scheduled at this time

Tally:
5k - 1
5 mile - 1
10k - 3
8 mile - 1
10 mile - 1
Half - 2
Full - 1

Always looking for more races to do but I also want to be a spectator at some races. I know how much they motivate me to continue so I'd like to be able to do the same for other runners. 2016 is looking good! Hope to be able hit my RunKeeper goal of running 500 miles -- didn't make it in 2015 so I'm keeping the same number to strive for next year.

Doable? Suggestions?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Indianapolis Monumental

This is my race. This is the one I want to continue doing each year and is the one that started my running journey.

March 2012 - my dad died in his sleep. It was a heart attack, but he was also going to be getting a stent put in for dialysis that next week and he was having anxiety over that. He was retired military but was not an active person. I never considered him overweight - but with his health problems (diabetes, being on oxygen, sleep apnea, heart problems, cancer survivor, kidney problems, and fully recovered from a stroke that wasn't a stroke the year before) he had slowed down considerably from his already inactive lifestyle. He was 76 years old.

Summer and November 2012 - friends from high school were going to be running the half-marathon in Indianapolis that November and invited me to join them. I agreed but kept procrastinating on registering and starting some sort of training (had zero, basically). It was a week or so before when I finally decided to register but was realistic in that I knew I'd never be able to do a half without training. Matt agreed to run the 5k with me -- again, I hadn't run in a LONG time and had never done an organized race before. To get downtown and see the crowds and all the runners ... REAL runners ... I was overwhelmed. I ran as much as I could, but walked a lot. Finished and couldn't wait to do it again. :)

November 2013 - Matt and I ran the 5k again and I only wanted to beat my time from last year -- did it and decided I'd go for the half next!

November 2014 - Matt and I ran the half. I ran/walked the whole thing with my friend, Johanna, and had a three-tier goal: to finish before the female marathon runner finished (success!); to finish under 2:45 (also success); and if I finish before 2:30, I would sign up for the full marathon (fail). I wasn't too disappointed in the last goal because I wanted to run the race again to beat my time.

November 2015 - Matt has been losing some weight (men can drop it like a hot potato - stinks!) and I knew I couldn't run with him. Johanna and her husband were running it again -- Ted had a seeded bib so I ran with Joey for the first 4-5 miles. Last year, we were able to make it to mile 8 before I had to start doing my run/walk intervals ... I don't know if it was lack of training (probably), lack of sleep (probably), poor nutrition (probably), or all of the above (probably) but I didn't feel confident about this one, especially with having to start the intervals 3 miles earlier. I waved Johanna on and just tried my best. I didn't have a timer set so I would run when I could for as long as I could and then walk -- but I would only walk when I could see a landmark to stop at and one to restart at. I didn't even check my Runkeeper pace or time ... just wanted to finish!

The weather was much nicer than the year before and the spectators were out in droves - I loved it! I didn't want to walk in front of any of them so that made me run more. I was coming up on the last mile or so and was in a crowd of runners when all of a sudden, I heard a loud thud/smack behind me. Immediately, the group I was in all turned around and there was a runner who had just faceplanted on the pavement. We helped her up and she waved us all on ("I'm fine! Keep running! We're almost to the end!") Well, if you can faceplant and still finish running, I guess I can keep going too!

There's one point where the full marathon rejoins with the half on Meridian Street and I remembered from last year how inspiring it was to see the full runners still sprinting after 24 miles (at that point) and how I didn't want to be seen walking when they were still racing. This time, I was so busy looking at the spectators and the buildings that it wasn't until I was almost to the end that I realized I didn't see any full runners in their lane. My mind couldn't process what that meant though at that point.

The finish line had been moved this year so I didn't really know how much further I had to go. I guess I was about 1/2 mile to the end and just wanted to quit. Someone else's coach looked right at me and said "you've got this, girl! I believe in you!" And that's all I needed. I seriously want to be a spectator on a course now because they really do help the recreational runners finish this stupid thing we started.

I turned the corner onto Maryland? Washington? I don't know but there, in all its glory, was the freakin' finish line ... you know how in horror movies, the door someone is running for keeps getting further away? That's what it felt like. But thank you, Jesus, I finished and even had some juice left in the engine to sprint the last 50 yards.

Here's the thing though ... I saw Johanna and Ted at the finish line and Joey was yelling "you beat your time! you did it!!" Again, my mind couldn't process things at this point but I did remember to turn off my Runkeeper while looking for Matt. Wait - what's this? Runkeeper said I finished in 2:30:20? And I had waited a few seconds after finishing to turn it off. I finally found Matt and we went to the results tent to get our official times ... sweet cracker sandwich ... my time was 2:29:48!! And Matt finished with a 20+ minute PR! Seriously, with what I thought was more walking than last year since I was by myself and stopping to make sure that lady was OK, I was not expecting that time.

So here I am ... preparing to register for my first marathon next year. Registration starts at midnight on January 1st, so that's about the main reason I stay up on New Years' Eve -- to get my registration in at the reduced price and so I don't chicken out. AND several friends have said they will be registering as well. Matt will be doing the half but I wonder if I can convince him to run some of my long training runs with me or maybe bike alongside me.

Good times ahead ... good times.

Looking for a training program/schedule now so any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Playing catch-up on this rainy day ...

Well ... yeah. Anyway, been running, been racing, haven't been training as I'd hoped. Rather than post on each race after the Barnyard Dash, just going to do a quick-ish recap of the last 5 months.

July:
Two years ago, the four of us ran the Independence Day run in New Albany - it started at the Amphitheater, ran to 'midtown' and then back. We skipped last year (not sure why) but decided to try it again this year. With the 4th being on a Saturday, the Farmer's Market was in full swing so they started and ended the race in the middle of the Farmer's Market! Not what I was hoping to see. The main point was to get the kids out and running. I don't remember my time but it wasn't very good, I know. We'll probably do this one again but only when the Farmer's Market isn't open ... too much of a crowd for me and very few encouraging spectators, if you know what I mean.

August:
No race. Hotter than anything so I didn't do much running outside either. Yeah for treadmills though! Matt and I did do some runs along the riverfront. I wish they'd get the Greenway done between New Albany/Clarksville/Jeffersonville -- there's just not enough foot traffic and it makes me nervous to try to run there by myself. Need to take some self-defense classes, or start packing heat, or stop watching CSI-type shows and movies where women are abducted while running.

September:
Ran a 10k up at my high school in Indianapolis. It is very well-organized and well-attended and inexpensive! It was only $20 or $25 for the 10k and came with a great long-sleeve tech shirt. I ran it last year for the first time with a couple of high school friends. They weren't able to make it this year so Matt ran with me for part of it. I don't remember much about it -- I don't think I went out too fast but I definitely hadn't warmed up sufficiently and started getting leg cramps at mile 2. Matt had long-since passed me by but I caught up with him at maybe mile 4? The race itself runs through neighborhoods around the high school so I had fun remembering friends who lived in those neighborhoods. Even the high school mascot was running the 5k part of the race. All the elementary schools had running programs and the students were participating in the 5k. I wish running had been this popular when I was in elementary school! Anyway, after the 5k split off, there were very few that were continuing on with the 10k. I walked far more than I had intended to and finished later than my time from last year (and after Matt, he would like that to be noted).

October:
Ran another 10k this month but while on vacation. We were already planning our trip to Hilton Head and I checked the Running in the USA website and found a race that was going to be on the day we were leaving for home. (side note: first embedded link for me right there. baby steps.) After a request was put in with our friends (the condo owners and one of whom was also running in the race), we were able to leave the kids at the condo while we ran and then came back to shower and hit the road. They didn't want to stand around in the chilly morning waiting for an hour. I don't blame them but I do wish they would be more supportive without being forced to be supportive. This one was also well-attended and the available food/drinks after really hit the spot -- pizza, bananas, oranges, apples, water, Gatorade (of a questionable color).

November:
doing the Indianapolis Monumental on a separate post :)
Also ran Fast Freddie's Festive 5-mile Foot Feast on Thanksgiving morning. We ended up leaving the house a little later than planned so when we got to the fairgrounds, I had to use the port-a-potty. I know they're probably donated but they really should have more than 3 of them for a race with nearly 1000 people. By the time I got through the line and headed to the start line, the race had started. Question: why can't they have a timing mat at the start and then move it to the finish after the last person has started? My time ended up being a couple minutes after the official time because of my pre-race potty stop. Anyway, ran more than I did last year and must have run faster during those intervals too, as even my official time was faster than last year's by about 3 minutes! Matt FLEW and he is getting his name on the back of next year's shirts for being in the top 500 finishers! Awesome and so proud of him! :)

December:
no race planned but just playing catch-up on my RunKeeper annual goal of 500 miles. I thought if I did a running streak from November 1st, I'd surely make it. That didn't stick either so now I'm just running when I can. January 1st will be the day I register for my first marathon and I'm just a-hoping that I can stick with THAT training program ...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Barnyard Dash 10k in the rain

So ... since the Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon on April 25, I've run a total of 19 miles. That's less than 10 miles per month. And I found out the hard way that having a race on the calendar is about the only thing that will keep me motivated to get out there and run. 

In checking the www.pacersandracers.com site's race calendar, I found the Barnyard Dash that would be up in Starlight. It's not flat country up there but it's a race and is reasonably priced ($20 for the 10k run or 5k walk and comes with a tech t-shirt). And Matt agreed once again to run with me. Sucker. 

So here's the morning photo on the drive to Starlight ... 

Thank you to Tropical Storm Bill for the rain ... no, really. Because if it hadn't been raining, it would have been humid and hot and full of misery. As it was, it was a rainy race and partially full of misery due to the hills and not knowing where the water stops were going to be. And of course, not being prepared. At all. 

It was actually a pretty fun race. Not crowded and saw several familiar faces. The race itself was a fundraiser for the Crusade for Children, so I don't feel bad for dodging all the road blocks collecting money during the telethon. What with participating in the Triple Crown of Running and this race, I've given this year. 

Ok so Starlight, not a flat course and Hill Road is not a misnomer. But we finished and I can say that I'll probably add this to our/my annual race calendar. Didn't get a PR but with an approximate finish time of 1:16, I did way better than I thought I would, given the lack of training and the hills. And I learned that we need to stick around for the door prizes -- my name was called for a $50 cash prize but I had to be there to get it. :(  But we were on our way to make the final payment on the car (done!), stop by Pacers and Racers for Matt's new shoes they had ordered, and then to K├Âlkin Coffee for our regular Saturday stop. It's been a good day!

Next up is a 5k on Independence Day and I'm on the lookout for a local race in August. It'll probably need to start at 6 a.m. to beat the heat -- or I might look into one of those Virtual Runs. 




Friday, May 22, 2015

Big Four Walking Bridge -- my lifeline

Flashback to May 20, 2014 -- the Big Four pedestrian bridge opened. Correction: the INDIANA side opened on 5/20/14 ... the KENTUCKY side had been opened for more than a year by that point and was getting quite a bit of traffic. In my lunch-hour walks along the river, I would look up and see multitudes (a few) walking on the bridge from the KY side and look out over the Indiana folks. I always imagined a tour guide standing up at the 'end' where it was barricaded before getting to the Indiana ramp -- "And below, we have the Hoosiers in the native habitat. Please do not feed them."

Since the Indiana side actually opened after I was on my lunchtime walk, and I had an appointment the next day, I wasn't able to walk the bridge until 5/22/14 ... exactly a year ago today! Call me crazy but I get emotional over the dumbest things. And apparently, walking up the ramp of a bridge that I watched being built for months is one of those things. I remember just getting teary-eyed and thinking how cool this was.

The bridge has been an important part of my activity/exercise in this past year and unless it was raining and as long as I was at work for the whole day, I was walking the bridge. A loop from work to the other side of bridge and back comes to around 3.25 miles, which is perfect. Walking at a brisk pace and adding the section on the KY side that goes past the Lincoln statue/amphitheater gets me about 3.7 miles and back to work right at an hour.

View from the Louisville side

I see some of the same folks each day -- we have a bond and wave at each other, nod the head, whatever. And this time of year brings out school field trips -- one time, I was mistaken for a student since I was wearing the same color clothes as their school uniform. I'd like to say that it was a high school group ... but it wasn't. I'm pretty sure they were elementary school kids. Being short isn't all fun and games. HOWEVER, if they were going back to school for naptime and snack? I'd have joined them in a heartbeat!

On the bridge

There are runners and cyclists that I see on a regular basis -- I usually try to make eye contact with the runners, in case they look like they're struggling and I want to give them an encouraging smile.

From one bridge watching the building of another bridge

You can tell the ones who are on it for the first time and are 'just visiting' or are tourists for the day. Then there are the ones who are on the bridge for the walking/exercise -- it's very motivating to see someone who doesn't look very physically active and they are dressed in workout-wear, with their water bottle, and you can see the determination in their eyes. I love it!

Back home again, in Indiana ... (I sang that while writing it)

So how is this my lifeline? That's a bit overdramatic, but I will say that the bridge has helped get me out of the office, away from the stresses of the job or people (not complaining! just need a break), kept me from wasting time for an hour going shopping (wasting gas and money and buying things we don't need) and I will say it's become something I feel like I have to do -- if not walk the bridge, then walk somewhere. On days where I know it's going to be raining or the weather was too extreme, I'd still walk ... just use the treadmill at work instead. But as long as it was above freezing and below 90 degrees, I walked and will continue to do so. And I know my co-workers are eternally grateful that we don't have cubicles and I only stink up my own office when I return. :)

Oh ... and my Runkeeper goal for 2015 is to track 500 walked miles. As of today (5/22/15) I'm at 56% of the goal! Woohoo!!




Thursday, May 14, 2015

PACT

So about 2 years ago ... maybe 3? ... I joined GymPACT which essentially pays me to work out. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme, by any means. I think the average payout was about 20 cents each time I went to the Y or worked out at home that I said I would (at least 3x/week but no more than once per day). I don't even know if the 20 cents (rough estimate) was what was motivating me as much as the threat of losing money if I didn't exercise ... to the tune of $5 each time.

It used to be that you had to have a smartphone to participate in PACT but with all the activity trackers, non-smartphone users can participate now. Plus, they've added two new pacts to participate in -- food tracking and fruits/vegetables. The food tracking is done on MyFitnessPal (also no need for a smartphone) and the fruits/veggies are tracked by photos uploaded through the app (so yes, smartphone needed). The reason for these pacts are to learn how to track your food choices and increase the number of healthy fruits and vegetables each week -- meaning, no french fries. The food log counts if you've tracked at least 3 meals in a day and have a minimum of 1200 calories tallied -- they don't want people starving themselves and it's so you track and get credit for the whole day. The fruits/veggies are tricky ... because the uploaded photos are then voted on by members of the PACT community on whether they are healthy or not, a full serving, actually being eaten and are not a photo of a computer screen (you'd be surprised how many people try to pull that one).

I never tried to max out all the pacts (7 workouts, 7 food logs, and 35 fruits/veggies - only 5 per day - each week) but I came close many times and would end up with around $4 a week. The money then stayed in my account until I was ready to cash out into PayPal. Again, I haven't gotten rich with this but it's definitely a way to stay motivated by not losing money.

www.gympact.com -- check it out.

So ... after all this time, I've only missed a weekly pact twice. The first time was a burnout from vacation and just didn't get moving each day as I thought I would. The second time -- last week. And considering the weather has been gorgeous, to find out that there was a day I didn't go for a walk at lunch (need to track at least 30 minutes of exercise or 10,000 steps on an activity tracker to count) ... I was perturbed. Very. And am now determined not to let that happen again. I stopped the food log and fruit/veggie pacts just because I was getting tired of tracking my food and taking pictures every time I ate something ... but seriously, not even hitting 10,000 steps on my FitBit 3 days last week?? (only have 5 days set for my pact) ... yep, perturbed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kentucky Derby Festival Half-Marathon

Well ... first race done in the rain! And with a cold-bordering on bronchitis! And a PR! Boo-ya!

I was worried about this one. Now that it's over, I'm not sure why because it was a really good course and well-organized. I think it was because of the rain and my cold and not completing the training as much as I had planned. But we survived and both of us ended with a PR!

Thoughts on this one --
I liked the corrals. We started in D corral -- I guess they assign corrals based on what time we put down when we registered. Which is funny because we totally had to guess on our finish time since we registered for this race the night before we ran our first half-marathon in Indianapolis. Their expo had a discount code for the KDF race which expired on Oct. 31 (that night) so we registered and guessed at a finish time. I *think* I put 2:30 as our estimated finish time but I could be wrong. The thing is, we were passing walkers who had bibs labelled with the H and G corrals and this was at the beginning of the race. Look, people ... if they put you in a corral, get there. Don't start the race with the As or Bs or whatever ... which is where they had to have started by the time we got around to passing them.

Saw my first barefoot runner. Ouch.

Lots of tutus - cute but not sure that's for me.

So very glad I wore a baseball cap. It started misting after the start of the race but I never really noticed the rain until the last 2 or 3 miles. By then, it was coming down pretty hard and having to swerve around the puddles was probably adding to my mileage (but also adding to my time). And yo - free advertising for Adams Auction Services.

Running through Churchill Downs wasn't as exciting for me as it was for everyone around me. Selfies everywhere at the entrance and then once inside with the Twin Spires (apparently, those must be capitalized). And it smelled of horse poo. Matt was ahead of me at this point but I realized how nice it would have been to run with someone ... especially when I look up at the backstretch and see horses running their practice drills/sprints/whatnot ... and I immediately point and say 'ooh, look!' ... and no one is around me. Yep ...

In reading the route for this race, I thought we were going to have to go on the killer overpass that is at the end of the Papa John's 10-miler. Thankfully ... no. We turned onto 3rd Street to head back downtown right at that corner.

Once back on 3rd Street, I caught back up with Matt and ran with him for most of that stretch. I'm not sure what happened because at one point once we were getting close to downtown, I kept running and he wasn't there any more. I think his calf was cramping at that point. Bananas, man. Eat a banana.

And finishing? Not sure why I do this but at each race, I'm saving some energy for the finale and end up sprinting (as much as my stumpy legs will allow me to sprint) across the finish line.

PR time? 2:34:44 -- about 2 minutes faster than the Indianapolis Monumental official time.

Ultimate half goal? to finish in less than 2:30 and then sign up for a marathon ...

Papa John's 10 Miler

This one was rough. Not sure why but it didn't go as well as the 5k and 10k from prior weeks. Maybe because we got there a little late ... or rather we got there on time but we ended up standing in the porta-potty line for almost 10 minutes at the start. Good thing this is chip-timed because by the time we were both done and got to the start line, it had started about 8 minutes before and we were having to weave through walkers to find a good pace.

I knew a little more of what to expect with this one and was pretty much dreading the entire portion of Iroquois Park/Mountain. I think I'm going to have to work on hills before next year's race. That's all there is to it.

Ran a large portion of this one with Matt. I don't know if I was slowing him down or encouraging him to run more but it was nice to be with him and chat along the way while we ran and walked (mostly ran).

No PR on this race. This year's result was 1:59:20 compared to last year's result of 1:56:29. Definitely going to have to work on that before next year. Definitely.

Rodes City 10k run - done!

Packet pickup - smooth sailing until I get my number. I mean, really??

 

I mean - what to do? Answer: this ...


The 1/2 was because I'm training (somewhat) for the Kentucky Derby Festival half marathon ... But still. Just didn't want that number hanging over my head or tied to me. It's not like anyone could even see the number. It was pretty cool that morning so I wore my jacket for the start of the race and tied around my waist/over the number when I got too warm. 

Thoughts on this race .. 
Better prepared this year but I think they changed the course just a little - have to check to verify. 

I highly recommend men and women ask friends to do a gear check with them before a race. Am I wearing too many items? Do the running tights work for me or against me? Examples: I was behind one woman whose rights were just "busy" and they were holding in some jiggly legs -- absolutely nothing wrong there and I applaud her for running! But it was like her legs were some psychedelic movement - it encouraged me to run past her so I wouldn't see the weird movement. You had to see it. Then another lady was wearing light grey that showed their absorbent nature -- two words ... bum sweat. Again, motivation to run faster to pass her. The guys didn't fare better but it made me thankful for my black running capris/tights. 

On spotting a dead squirrel in the road -- wow, those elite runners sure are fast! Roadkill in a race, who'd a thunk it?

Matt and I ran together for most of this one so that was nice. With his freakishly long legs, he runs faster than I do but with my run/walk/interval thing, I end up catching up with him after a bit and then pass him up. I'm not trying to, I just do. :)

Ended this one with a PR from last year. Finished in 1:07:58 this year compared to 1:09:52 in 2014. I'll take it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Anthem 5k - rocked that race!

So Saturday was the first leg of the Triple Crown of Running, which is part of the Kentucky Derby Festival but doesn't include the KDF Marathon/Mini-Marathon. Since Matt and I are registered for the Half (the "mini"), I've been trying to stick with the training program we signed up with that's sponsored by Norton Health. I've missed many runs and might not have been able to do the full amount suggested for each day ... but it's been motivating to get out there and get the runs in or head to the Y to run on the treadmill there. I don't like running on the tready at home any longer -- too many distractions.

So we're at the day of the race and I'm remembering my very first 5k in November of 2012. Scared to death, worried I was going to pass out along the way, really just wanted to finish and didn't have a goal time in mind. I think I did it in about 40 minutes. I didn't even keep the medal they handed out but donated it to Medals for Mettle (the medals are then given to kids with cancer or to special needs kids/adults). I didn't really feel like I had earned it anyway -- no training, just doing it for the sake of doing it.

Back to this race ... (I ramble, apparently). Since it was 'only' a 5k, I didn't want to eat too much for breakfast but also didn't want to overeat/overfuel. A slice of 100% whole grain toast w/ organic peanut butter, glass of water and about 1/2 cup of coffee and I was good to go. I didn't sleep well but as before, I didn't really have a timed goal - just wanted to finish and do better than I did on last year's Anthem 5k (different course out in Timbuktu but I was going to use that as the time to beat).

Matt and I are then out the door and looking for a parking place. We were lucky to find one not too far away from the start line (a few city blocks) and found out later was even closer to the finish line (woot woot!). Temperature was 28 degrees -- chilly but it wasn't nearly as bad as when we ran the Indianapolis Monumental Half last year (19 degrees with a single digit wind chill). Lots of people there already and we just walked around and jogged a couple blocks to warm up. By that time it was close to go-time.

A National Anthem later and we're moving along towards the start line. Fortunately, they split the corrals this time and runners were to start first with walkers to start after the runners took off. That really helped as we were all pretty much moving along towards the start line at a regular speed ... until Matt saw a line of port-o-potties and decided to go one more time before starting. I figured he pass me anyway so I went ahead and started. I don't have a runner's watch so I don't know what my pace was but I was comfortable. I wasn't passing too many people and not too many were passing me. Lots of potholes and still some patches of snow/ice on the road -- mainly along by the hospitals, so that's convenient if someone falls. Kentuckiana had just had about 12 inches of snow two days before but we were also in a thaw so a lot of that had melted or would be melting soon ... but it was still 28 degrees so things could have been slick too.

Running along, I saw Matt's friend from footy (also Matt) but didn't recognize anyone else. Was still waiting for my Matt to pass me by. What I was thinking about along the way: feeling pretty good still, looking at the architecture, looking for spectators (they really do encourage me to keep running but there was hardly anyone out!), hey - it's the guy from Pacers and Racers at the one-mile marker!, then trying to remember his name, then realizing a few blocks later that hey - that was the one-mile marker and I'm still running and feeling good!

I'm not a runner -- I'm a run/walker. I don't have set intervals but I run till I'm tired, pick a landmark to stop at, and then pick a landmark to start running again at. It's worked for me in all the other races and I felt good about doing it for this 5k. The thing is, I wasn't getting tired and was still feeling pretty good. Also still didn't know my pace but I was feeling fine. I knew a water stop was on the way and didn't think I'd stop for water -- I mean, it's "only" a 5k. Water stop is here - I see all the lovely cups of water and the friendly faces ... I'm hooked. I tell myself, if I can get over and take from the last person in line, I was meant to have water. It worked and I'm glad I slowed. I walked about 20 feet or so (enough to get a drink without waterboarding myself) and started running again. I didn't really know the route but figured I was halfway at the water stop and still feeling good. By the time we got to Main Street, I was feeling tired and wanted to walk. That was when the talking to myself really took over -- no one's going to know or care if you walk. Go ahead and walk a little! I'll know. I'll know that I walked. (then remembering the medal/bib holder Matt and the kids got me for my birthday) "She believed she could so she did" I'm going to do it. How the heck much longer is this going to be? (I could see the big inflatable FINISH line up ahead but it seemed to be getting further away, not closer) .... and then there I was within a couple blocks. I didn't sprint the rest of the way but I did have some energy left to push it the last bit.

Unfortunately, it's a big crowd of people, even at the finish so my professional photos weren't that good and you can barely see me. But you know what? I finished ... and in 6 minutes faster than I did last year! 32:07! I felt awesome at the end too.

Matt ended not too long after me -- and while I wish we could have run together so I had someone to talk to, I'm also glad we didn't. His pace is faster than mine so I would have felt compelled to run faster OR he would have tried to slow down to my speed. He ended up walking a little more than I did so I would have felt obligated to walk with him OR he would have kept running and might have gotten tired out before the end. We'll never know.

I'm glad it's over and I'm looking forward to the 10k coming up in 2 weeks. This one will have a little bit more hills to it - very slight, but still there. Also probably not as many people participating -- there were about 5500 runners/walkers at the 5k. I'm not planning to run this one in its entirety -- just want to beat my time from last year!

This running thing is fun! :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

On starting a streak ...

I'm no good at New Year's Resolutions and committing to something day in and day out is a joke for me. However, I would like to put out here that I am starting a run-streak, as of yesterday. And considering I'm the only one who reads this now, I'll only be letting myself down. :)

Yesterday was cold. Too cold to go out for a walk at lunch so I had plans to go to the YMCA. But life got in the way ... Matt couldn't pick up the kittens from the vet (spayed) so I needed to get them. That meant I couldn't stop off at GFS and Old Navy on the way home for coffee supplies and a winter coat for Allie and then head to the Y before or after supper. That's all OK ... I can roll with the punches. Still had plans to just get the kittens and then go to the Y. Until I get home and find out Allie was feeling sick. Again, roll with the punches. So Will goes with me to get the kittens, on the way home I find out Allie isn't just feeling sick, she's getting sick (luckily in the trashcan) so no Y for me. Again, rolling with those punches. As much as I dislike the treadmill at home, it was time to get back on it. While I was considering how far I'd go (time goal? distance goal? or just a little bit until I get bored/tired goal?), I was reading the newest issue of Runner's World. They just "happened" to have a segment in there about what crazy things people do to keep their streak going. Streak? Maybe I should try that! I'm not going meet my goal of 500 miles for 2014 but maybe I can do that as my goal for 2015! And then I was thinking ... why wait 48 days to start a resolution, start it now!

So that's what I did. I went to the next day of the Couch to 10k program that I left off at and did that. I ended up walking more than the program called for but I stuck with it to the end -- ended up with almost 4.5 miles in 56 minutes. And we'll see if I can keep this up. My hope/plan/wish/dream/goal is simply to run at least a mile each day.

I just want to get outside!

I love winter - really I do. Or I used to. That was before running.

We have the first leg of the Triple Crown coming up this weekend ... it's 'just' a 5k, but I'm looking forward to it because it means I get to run outside again. We also have a massive winter storm coming our way starting this morning with rain-rain-rain that will go all day-day-day. Tomorrow will switch over to snow (with possible sleet or freezing rain in the middle). Depending on which weather-guy/gal you choose to listen to, it could be up to 16 inches of snow on Wednesday afternoon/evening. I choose to think they are hyping it up for no good reason and that we'll just get rain that will wash away all the snow and ice that's leftover from the last and only winter storm we've had this year. I do NOT want to think about 16 inches of snow on Wednesday, plummeting temperatures on Thursday, and then trying to run a 5k on snow or ice covered streets on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

Nope nope nope nope ....