Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Alpha and the Omega

Last week I did nothing. No, really. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. And then I had a 10K to run on Saturday.

At 5800 feet elevation.

It was a tad bit challenging to say the least. I went home to visit my parents at it was Riverfest weekend and they have a 5K and 10K and 2 mile walk. The whole family went out to have fun. I ran with my friends husband. Being the nice guy that he is he ran with me the whole time and never complained when I walked. We came in dead last. In my defense there were only about 25 people running the 10K. I do better with numbers. I can be very average in a group of 2000 people. 35,000 - whoa, I might even break into the < 50% population. But with 25, I fall into the bottom 1%. But that's ok. It was fun, and now I never have to worry about what it's like to be last again. Not that bad. And for the altitude difference I only added about 3 minutes onto my time.

Imagine my surprise then when little old me of all people WON 1st place int the 20-29 year old division!!! Clearly I was the only one in that division if I came in last and got first. My dad goes "You're the alpha and the omega, honey!" I sure am. And when else am I EVER going to take home 1st place, let alone any medal for running? If there is serious competition that is. I laughed really hard getting the medal, but now I just think - who cares. It was really fun!

And now I have this renewed spirit for running and Triathlon training. I can run 1 mile faster. I can run a 10K in 1:04, I can beat my 10 mile time AND I can finish this triathlon! Once again I am excited to try. I really needed that you know. I was actually disappointed with my 10K time on Saturday which lasted only for that day, after that I realized I had fun and I can do better. So now I'm focused on the future. Not weather, not my schedule, not a speeding bullet can stop me now.

I realized too that I don't blog much when things are going bad. I had been feeling so 'bleck' for the past 3 weeks or so. Running and health weren't energizing me. So thanks God for that bad run and the 1st place medal which I shall cherish forever and put next to my Accounting plaque from high school in which I filled in the bubbles in 5 minutes and as a fluke took home 2nd place and by my regional science fair award where I competed against 2 others and got 1st place. (In my defense I did go on to state where the fair was more competitive and I got 3rd.)

I guess I got something left in me for one more summer of running.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lucky Me

I should buy a lottery ticket. Or at the very least head to a casino. I feel like things have been coming up roses lately. I just got back from a trip to see my friend in North Carolina. Here are my lucky stories since Friday.

On Friday I found out that I did in fact run 8:59 mile! Yeah. That was nice to confirm.

Saturday I found out that I was one of the 400 out of 2500 people that ran the 1 mile who are guaranteed entry for the TC 10 if I want it. While I feel luck for being picked (it's usually a lottery system to get in) I'm thinking - gee whiz - what a great prize. Maybe I can get struck by lightning too. Still I feel lucky to be chosen so like last year when I put my name in and let fate decide I guess fate has spoken again and well.....I'll probably sign up for it. Then reluctantly try to beat my last time. It was a hard race. And it got hot in the summer training!

Then on my flight home, I saw Andie MacDowell at the airport! I never ever saw a real life celebrity before and so I was awestruck! She looked really good in person. Very natural. I guess she is from North Carolina. Anyway, she was standing right next to me in line and was on my flight. She didn't sit in coach though. But I was in the exit row so I thought if I had any shot at all to sit next to her, it would be in the exit row.

Also, just today, I took the day off which was good in itself, but I ran 3 miles. I just decided to run what I felt, but run the whole thing. Lately I have been giving up early and walking a minute in the middle. I knew I could go all the way though. Not only did I go all the way, I did it in 31:40 which is about 10:30 minute miles. It felt good the whole way except I don't think my lungs have quite healed. They were still a little tired and winded toward the end. I think I'm getting better anyway.

And that's it. I've been feeling very lucky. Fortunate. Blessed.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Smokin' Mile

Tonight I ran my smokin' mile. It felt like I was smoking. Like for 15 years and I just quit yesterday. I can't remember when my lungs hurt so badly. I mean, a mile is too short of a distance to go tempo and to long of a distance to be just a sprint. Apparently, it might be worth training for the next time I want to beat my fastest mile. All I wanted to do was run in less than 10 minutes. I was pretty sure I could do that. So then I thought, ok - let's try for 9:30. I think I might be able to do that. But ok - let's not tell anyone in case you can't, but really, secretly it would be awesome to do it in 9. Less than nine? I can't even imagine my elation!

I ran the first 1/2 in 4:13. That's an 8:30 pace!!! Crazy! Well, everyone was going by me so fast that I wanted to run fast too. Also, I signed up with my age group and I'm glad I did. Even though 90% of my age group can run faster than me (it should be noted that included in the 29 and younger was 16 yo track stars and 21 yo cross country athletes - I'm 29, the oldest in the group. Tough competition) I was glad I signed up for the age wave. The general wave was packed and I think that would have slowed me down.

There were tons of people clapping which I was really surprised to see. Another good thing about being at the back in my age group was that I was running solo. The next person back was maybe 15-20 feet. So literally, the cheering, cowbell ringing, encouragement shouting was just for me. And the people after me, but at that moment they only had me to look at and cheer for. It was so cool!

A mile is tough. Did I mention that? I thought my lungs were going to explode. I was coughing and couldn't breathe well and just felt sick. I mean you are basically giving all you have for 10 minutes (or 4 depending on your ability). When I saw the finish line clock at the end it said 8:52. And I thought "Oh HEEEELLLLL NO!!!" I did not just bust my butt and risk a possible lung transplant to miss my 9 minute mile by only a few seconds. So I tore on. When I crossed I think the clock might have said 9:02, but wait for the chip time.....if I was just a few seconds off from the gun time I might just get it! Maybe even hit 8:59.

I think it was just startling to me how different 1 mile is than say, 13. I'd like to get better at the 1 mile someday. Distance running is not all that you need to do to run a fast 1 mile. Just because I can run 5 at 11 minutes/mile does not mean I can run 1 in 5 minutes!

This was fun. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!! I'll re-post when I get my official time.

The biggest "Yeah Right!" ever

Last night I had this plan to run to my boyfriends house (literally), feed and let out his dog, go for a 40 minute bike ride (because my bike is in his garage) and then run home. It's only about 1.5 miles to his house from mine so not a big deal it would seem.

I run over, do my chores and hop on my bike headed towards a trail. Nice bike ride. I averaged a pace of about 14.3 I think, although I only went for 30 minutes. It took me 15 minutes out and I figured that it always takes me longer coming back so I thought I would come out with about 35 minutes. I guess the wind was behind me because I made it back in 15. I headed back to my boyfriends house which is a lot of uphill from the trail. Here I go - ready to run home....


I couldn't feel my legs. And not in the way that they are exhausted and numb, but in the way like I was just jumping on a trampoline and now I can't jump on my own. It seemed like I was trying to run fast, but not really getting anywhere. I only made it a quarter of a mile before I started to walk, and then it seemed like I was going even slower. Well..I mean I was going slower, but it felt really really slow! I thought "Wow, when I finish this triathlon I'll probably read this post and go 'PaaaHahahaha!! Remember when I couldn't even run half a mile after a bike ride' hmmm....good times". Yup. That's what I'll think.

I finally made it home with running/walking. Towards the end I was able to run more and more it just took some getting used to. Part of the problem I had I think was because I have been sick with an bothersome cold for the past 2 days. When I got home, my lungs felt like I had just run hill repeats. They were pretty worn out. Don't get me wrong, had I been 100% I'm sure it still would have gone down like that, but maybe I would have had a little better results. I decided not to count the 3 miles I ran, but also not be worried if I don't make the 15 this week.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I don’t really believe that unless I complete every single workout to the exact specifications of the training plan I won’t be able to do the triathlon. But still, I am very frustrated that there never seems to be enough time to have fun with friends, relax with myself, and spend time with my boyfriend and workout enough.

I’m just very frustrated that in the 3 weeks of training, I haven’t really gotten the full load of what I wanted to do in. My #1 priority is running. 15 miles a week. Period. This week I am going to be 1 bike and 2 strength training and 1 swim short. But here is the thing, I’m not sure what more I’m willing to sacrifice. I don’t want my life to revolve around the next race any more that it already is. I’m focused sure, but come on, there is more I want to do in a week. I think what I need to do is stick to a reasonable plan. Is it reasonable to workout for 30-60 minutes every day? I think so. Is it reasonable to cram 2-3 workouts a day in for 4 days because I took 3 days off? I think NOT. I know myself well enough to know that this is unnecessary and I will burn out quickly.

But still, I have the problem of this week. I’m going out of town this weekend. I think I’ll be able to get 3-5 miles of running in while on vacation. Yesterday I was sick (today it is still lingering) and tomorrow I have my speedy 1 mile to run. I guess I am going to have to make biking the priority tonight and running the main even for tomorrow.

This whole post reeks of complaints. I hope though, that it reminds me that if I have to miss a workout for a really good night out with friends, I’m ok with that. And if I have to miss a happy hour to get in a really good bike ride, I’m ok with that too. Balance. That’s the key I guess. This week just feels like the balance has been shifted too much towards not working out. I don’t see that this could have been avoided and that is what is making me frustrated.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

MS Walk

This is the second year I am participating with my aunt in the MS Walk (this Sunday). It’s usually a 7-9 mile walk to raise awareness and money for multiple sclerosis. This is my aunt’s 10th year doing the walk!! I believe she started walking when my uncle was diagnosed. Her dedication is inspiring.

There is a fundraising element involved with doing the walk so this year I thought I would extend my efforts to my co-workers rather than just friends and family. I cannot believe the support I received!!! Unbelievable, terrific and unexpected giving from the group I sent an email too. It is so nice to work with people who feel that much social responsibility, or maybe compassion or whatever they feel; it is outstanding.

It really isn’t my success though. Like I said, all I did was send out the email; it’s people who take the time to read the request and then act on it who really make the difference in other people’s lives. All I have to do is walk. I’m very thankful for my job and the people I am surrounded by.