Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Loop, my first 5k race report!

Holy cow, I'm thrilled! I'm so happy I FINISHED the race, and I beat my PR!! My shins were fine once I warmed up!

I finished with a time of 32:58! I was 80th overall (out of 94) and 9th in my age group. My pace was 10:38, which I'm very, very happy about! My sister came in under her goal at 37:56 and was 84th overall and 12th in our age group. We both had shin pain earlier this week, but we ran the race fine! My shins were a little tight when I started, but they warmed up. Boy am I glad I had advice from so many people! Resting, icing and compression REALLY helped me heal in time for this race! (I'm icing my shins as I type this, too)

So, for anyone who is interested (and for me in the future), here are all the details of my first race:

I slept well last night, actually. I did wake up a few times, but fell back asleep pretty quickly. I even hit the snooze button once when my alarm went off this morning! Though when it went off again, I jumped up out of bed. I had a cup of coffee, then double-checked to make sure I had everything. I realized I couldn't find my headbands! I searched the whole house, but could only find one of them (I wear two for some reason...)

So we drove to Walmart quick to see if I could find another headband (I need a tight one to hold my glasses in place; otherwise, they fall down when I sweat and I get annoyed), and my husband got a coffee at DD. I was so tempted to get something to eat, but I knew that could spell trouble. I stuck to eating my banana, my normal pre-run snack.

We picked up Traci (my sister) and headed to Ringtown. Of course, we couldn't find a parking spot, so we had to park down the road (at the finish line, actually). We picked up our numbers (I got #9! My favorite number is 3, but my second favorite is 3-3's, or 9!) and our pins and everything for timing.

We spotted my Mom there! I was so happy she could come to see us run! She lives about 2 miles from the race course.

They let the walkers start first at 9am, which we thought was a little weird. We weren't sure when we were going to start, so we didn't know when to warm up. Runners were jogging, doing side running moves, stretching and all sorts of things. It turned out, I forgot my camera in the car, so we walked up a big hill to warm up.

We lined up at the starting line (Traci and I toward the back of the crowd), and instead of having a gun or an air horn, one guy just said, "Ready, Set, Go!" which was a little odd, but it worked. It was chip-timed, anyway.

At first, everyone took off ahead of me, even my sister! There were like 4 people running behind us, and I think they were all elderly... Traci told me, "Don't worry, the people ahead of us will slow down," and they did. I passed a few people (which felt pretty exhilarating) and felt great once my shins warmed up a little. The temperature did, too! Wow, it was hot today! I was wearing compression pants I found at a sporting goods store which were designed for warm weather, so my legs felt great, actually. I'd definitely recommend running in them! (They're Underarmour compression pants. I got a Youth large - I'm short - but they make them in women's sizes, too)

I took more walking breaks that I would have liked. My legs weren't tired at all, but my breathing was a little labored today. I think it was a bit humid. The first mile felt fairly easy; the second mile was tougher; and I wasn't totally sure I'd make it through the third mile. But I did! I sprinted across the finish line. My Mom was surprised how fast I was at the end; she didn't even get a picture of me! My husband got a good one, though.

Here are my first race pics!

Traci and I, pre-race. Man it was bright out there!

Racers taking off up the first hill! The finish line is just above this hill, so we have to run it twice!

Me crossing the finish line! I honestly can't remember what I was thinking at that point. I was just sprinting as fast as I could so I could finish under 33 minutes!

Traci, Mom and me. I'm so glad my Mom was there to see us run!

Me and my wonderful husband, who came to the race to support me and to take photos of the event. Thanks!!

It was a small race, with under 100 runners, and I was surprised I placed at #80 considering I thought my time was pretty good for a beginner. I loved staying at the finish line, cheering on everyone else, and it felt awesome when they cheered me on, too! We raced through town, and some people had garden hoses out to cool off runners. It really felt like a community event. One pre-teen boy ran ahead of me and every time he took a walking break and I'd start jogging, if I got near him, he'd start running again. It was like he didn't want me to pass him. I saw him later with a medal for placing in the top three in his age group. I like to think that I inspired him to keep going. EVERYONE, at the race, in my family, on SparkPeople, and my friends, definitely inspired me today.

Thank you!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Roller Coaster and today's lunch!

So yesterday I was all "Mrs. Brightside," and then last night I couldn't sleep, worrying about the race. What if I can't run at all? What if I try to run and injure myself and can't finish at all? What if I finish, but I'm in last place? It kept me up for hours. Then when I fell asleep, I dreamt that I was able to run the race.

When I woke up to the same shin pain, I felt devastated all over again! My husband keeps trying to help (bless him), but I was miserable again.

Then I put on some pantyhose. LOL

I know compression is part of the healing process (RICE, right?), but I don't have compression socks and I couldn't find any ace bandage, so I thought I'd try pantyhose. And you know what? My legs feel better! When I came home from a hair cut (which is also contributing to me feeling better), I jogged up the steps to my front door, and I didn't feel any pain! I just might wear them to the race tomorrow. Would that be weird? If they're nude, no one will notice, right??

So I'm back on the happy side again. I have a feeling that WHEN (not IF) I cross that finish line tomorrow, I just might cry. I'm having an emotional week! (And I have to say that, as an emotional eater, I've been doing well at sticking to my ranges and making sure I don't eat lots of junk food!)

And, because I love sharing, here's a pic of my lunch today:

a mini-pizza (sauce, cottage cheese and cheddar cheese) on half an Arnold's Sandwich Thin with a romaine salad (with broccoli, cucumber, grapes and blueberries) and 1 tbsp of light balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

I'll have a second lunch (hubby calls me a Hobbit) before I go to work because this one is only 192 calories!

I hope I sleep tonight! And I hope I have a good race report to write about tomorrow!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Bright Side

I'm trying to stay positive (but realistic) about my chances of running the race in 2 days. My shins still hurt (only when I try to run or jog up the stairs, not when I'm sitting or standing). An SP article says to rest them for a week or two. Saturday will be 6 days from my last run, so there's a very tiny chance I'll be able to run.

If not, I'm looking on the bright side. Even if I don't run:

1. I still get a tshirt for the race! All walkers and runners who pre-registered get the free swag, so that's cool!

2. I'll still finish the race, no matter what. Even if I have to walk the whole thing, I will. I'll finish.

3. There will be other races this year. This might not be my first race that I run, but there will be others.

4. The 5k benefits the rec center of the town where I grew up, so it's for a good cause regardless of whether or not I run.

5. I'm still getting out and exercising, a fun day spent with my sister!

6. There's always next year!

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for your support, comments and advice! It's definitely helped me through this. This hasn't deterred me from running all together. I want to run again, but when I do (after I've healed), I'll take it easy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

shin pain, 3 days until race.

I'm feeling pretty down, disappointed, angry, and depressed. I'm trying to stay positive, and maybe my shins will stop hurting by Saturday and I'll be able to run the 5k. But I'm doubting it. It hurts when I jog up stairs, or when I try to jog in place. I take one step, and it's shooting pains in my shins. Not good.

This week, I'm just trying to focus on getting all my nutrients and vitamins and drinking plenty of water. Who knows? Maybe it was a potassium or calcium deficiency that caused the shin pain? And maybe if I make sure I get the right amounts this whole week, maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to run on Saturday.

I don't care if I have to walk almost the whole 5k race at this point. I've run the course several times, and I know the time I'm capable of if I can run comfortably. At this point, I just want to finish the race! Even if it's a "Run, Walk, Crawl, Finish" situation.

Send healing thoughts! :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today's a new day!

I suppose it's inevitable. We can't be perfect all the time. I read this quote today, and I love it:

“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” – Benjamin Mays

I'm an emotional eater. When I get upset, I lose all willpower. I got some startling news at work on Friday, and though I fought the rising temptations, I eventually gave in. I ate badly that night, and it continued through the weekend, ending in a kind of bad run yesterday. (Not terrible, but I just wasn't into it and finished 3 minutes slower than my best time) I probably didn't go over my calories by much, but I had almost no fruits and veggies the entire weekend! Yikes!

Anyway, today's a new day, and I'm getting back on track. There were some good things about the weekend, as opposed to the eating-without-tracking that was going on. I tried falafel for the first time, and I absolutely loved it! From what I've read, falafel is basically ground-up chickpeas on a pita with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers with a tahini-based sauce. Delicious! (I consider myself a flexetarian since I often find myself eating vegetarian meals like this one and the Greek Spinach Veggie Burgers I made last week)

I bought a hydration belt for running! I went with the Nathan Trail Mix which has two pockets for stuff and two 10-ounce water bottles. I tried it on yesterday's run. For the first mile, I absolutely hated it! It bounced around and spilled water all over my back (which I didn't exactly mind in the upper 80-degree heat!). Then when I took a walking break, I tightened it, and it was a million times better! I hardly noticed it then! I'm definitely going to use it on my runs now!

Speaking of running, my very first 5k race is this weekend! I've practiced the course several times now (at least 5, I think), and I'm going to take a break from it this week, I think. It's a tough course, and I'm getting a little tired of running it, honestly. So instead of trekking it one more time, I'm going to do a nice and slow run at a local state park later on this week. I'm going to give myself two rest days before the race, though.

Then next week, I'll start training for the 10k in October! My sister and I still want to run together on the weekends, working on increasing our distance.

So I'm not going to let a little "off-the-wagon" session get me down! From here, I can only move forward! Today's a new day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

great run today!

8 days and counting until my first 5k race! I ran a practice run on the route again today (sooo glad I'm practicing! it's a tough course!), and I got another best time, 33:32! I'm ecstatic about my progress! I was never a runner, and now I'm averaging an 11-min mile! Woo-hoo!

I have to make myself take the first mile slow, though. Usually, I've got so much energy, I just want to sprint! LOL!

I'm not sure what was different about today's run, but I just felt really powerful today. I almost didn't run because my calves were feeling a little tight during a strength training session this morning, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway. I figured if they got bad, I'd turn around and walk back to my car. I made it through, though!

The last mile was a little tough, but the first mile (I took it a tiny bit slower, 10 seconds slower, I think) felt amazing. While I ran, I looked around at the beautiful scenery, and I just felt so good running! I really wish I could bring a camera with me on my runs. The area is really beautiful!

I did take one photo when I was finished:

This is the starting line for the race. 8 days away, 2 more practices and I can't wait!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


It's been a while, I know! I tend to blog often over at SparkPeople, but I don't want to neglect this place!

So what's been new with me? A lot, actually!

For starters, I finished the Couch-to-5k Program! In 9 weeks, I went from no running experience whatsoever to being able to run 3 miles! I doubted the program (and myself) a little, but it really worked! Now I'm totally hooked on running, and I'm thinking about possibly starting a local running club!

Here's another new thing:

I created a nutrition/fitness journal. I already track my food & workout info on SparkPeople, but for some reason writing it down on paper makes me feel more responsible for what I'm doing. It makes me want to stick to my goals. I've covered the front cover with motivational words and sayings.

I've been doing well on training for my first 5k race (in 9 days!) and I've practiced the route 3 times now, improving my time by a few minutes each time! I'm getting really excited for the race, and I'm hoping the weather cooperates!

I'm mostly working on being a healthier, more positive me, and I'm happy with my progress so far!