Monday, October 18, 2010

After this... a hiatus

So after this last post about running, I'll get back to the posts with pictures of the kid.  Just bare with me.

After the race, I took a week off.  My knee was really stiff and sore.  I thought a week off would be helpful.  I didn't think about running at all once I got over the race recap.  I guess that's good and bad.

Tonight was back to it.  In fact, I started Week 5 of my 9 weeks of training.  I'm mostly running now.  My lungs really were fine.  I was quite slow, but my knees and legs were talking to me the whole time.  Apparently in my week off, I've forgotten everything I've learned about running.

I haven't had on my running shoes since the race.  It felt good to slip them back on.  It was a comfortable, predictable thing.  My goal for tonight was slow and steady.  I had no thoughts or concerns with time.  I just wanted to run my training plan while making sure my knee wasn't too bad off.

I'd been working on my form in my previous 4 weeks.  I'm trying to develop good habits instead of bad ones that I'd have to unlearn when I was no longer praying I didn't die while running.  But tonight, apparently I seemed to have forgotten all about that.  I felt like I was running like Phoebe from Friends.

As big a jump in running as I made in Week 4, I make larger leaps in Week 5.  On Day 3, I'm going to run for 20 minutes straight.  Can anyone say, "OH HOLY CRAP!"?  I've been able to do everything the training has called for when it was called for.  So I believe that I'll be able to do that... but once again... OH HOLY CRAP!

So that's it for the running posts for a while....  Up next  - Caroline, Caroline and more Caroline...

P.S.  Happy Birthday to the most beautiful girl in the world, Jolie!! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hitting Home

You may have noticed over the course of the last couple of weeks that posts have been more running, less baby.  And it's true, the focus for us lately has been training for our Disney 5K.  But I also went back to Weight Watchers at the end of May.  It's not a diet, really.  It's just a new food reality.

Since that time, I've lost 30 pounds.  And it's great.  And I'm happy.  But sometimes it just doesn't hit home how much that is.  My clothes are looser... baggy even.  Some clothes I can't wear anymore.  But I didn't necessarily FEEL different.

Back in July, I bought this great jacket.  I found it on super sale.  I can't even link to it because it was on such super sale that they apparently don't exist anymore.  Just take my word for it - it's a great jacket.  But it didn't quite button.  It fit through the shoulders but that's about it.

I got it because of the price and the knowledge that come fall when I'd wear it all the time, it would button.  So I put it on this morning.... AND IT BUTTONED!  And I don't think my 30 lbs had really hit home until then.  Woot!

Can't wait until the next 30 is gone!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Results

First, I just want to say thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement as I've embarked on this journey. The calls, emails, interest, and motivation are greatly appreciated. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that T is also running, but is on the sidelines right now with knee troubles. So this is a family effort.

Saturday was kind of crazy, really. We had to leave the house by 7:15 at the latest and we did manage to get out earlier than that. Which turned out to be really good because as we approached downtown, the interstate slowed to a crawl. We did manage to park in short order because I didn't follow the crowd and took a street other than the one everyone else in OKC was taking. See, kids? Being different and not a follower can pay off.

We got out of the car and I pinned my bib number to my shirt - nice and crooked, might I add. T didn't even go, "you're number is practically sideways" (which it was). It was a chilly morning, but not really cold. Caroline was sporting a pink sweater in honor of the event and her new blue jeans that I bought a with absolutely no room for growth. I can't imagine we'll be wearing them very long.... glad they were on sale.

We walked 2 blocks over to the race area. It was starting at the Bricktown Ballpark - home of the Oklahoma City Redhawks Triple A baseball team. I parted ways with T and Caroline at the corner before we got into the crowds. They were headed to IHOP for breakfast while I raced.

I made my way to the race queue. I found the back of the 5K pack.... I wanted to be positioned way in the back as to not get in any one's way. One of my fears had been tripping in the mob or getting caught up in a pace that was way too fast for me. When I was talking about this with Stephanie last week, she said that this race wasn't really one for "serious runners" and much more casual than other races.

Serious runners? Wait.... am I a serious runner? She laughed at me and said that I was. She laughs at me a lot.

So the gun went off and it was probably a good few minutes before I even really moved because people were flooding into the race from outside the tape. They didn't bother lining up in the tape prior to the gun going off. Yes, I understand it would have been too crowded, but maybe they should have allowed more space in the queue. I was wanting to start my time when I got to the start line, but my thumb apparently hit it and I'd been on the clock for a couple of minutes while I was standing there waiting to get moving. I did have a sensor on my shoe that would clock my actual time I crossed both the start and finish lines... but I won't know those official results for a while.

Anyway, as I started I was just walking. I was approaching this day as just the final training run of week 4 for me. A typical training run is 2 miles for me right now. For the last 1.1 miles, I figured I'd just do what I could... walk or run... slow or slower.... It should really be called Obstacle Course for the Cure. Runners were jumping up on the sidewalk going around the walkers in the middle that were walking 5 and 6 across in their groups. Even though I was moving faster than the walkers (once I started running), I wasn't jumping up on the sidewalk and then down again. I'm not known for my gracefulness and the last thing I needed was wiping out 2 minutes into the race.

I guess it should also be mentioned that after 4 week of running, my leg muscles were starting to let me know they weren't my biggest fans at the moment. With my leg muscles all stiff, they were causing my knee to hurt.... a lot. I think a lot of it was mental, but some actual pain too (since it's still hurting today). I know I'm not injured though. So I'm scheduling a massage today.... maybe if I hadn't have put it off so long, I wouldn't be in the pain I'm in now.

Anyway, so things were moving along fine. I'm doing my regular training run. Then I get swept up in some crowd and am doing this crazy fast pace for me. I don't even realize I'm doing it until I can't breathe and I haven't even been running that long. I won't know how fast I'm running until long after the race is over. But at the moment, all I know is that I'm wishing for it to be over and I'm not even half way through.

It was great to see all the kids running with their parents. It was great to see the community support of the racers. It was a beautiful weather day. And all I can think about is putting one foot in front of the other. My knee isn't really hurting too much when I run, but it is hurting when I walk. And I'm walking now because I'd been running so fast.

Luckily, a lot of the second half of the race was downhill. Yes, that meant that a lot of the first half of it was uphill. So after taking a few minutes to regroup my head (trust me, I needed more than minutes), I started running again. And I said to myself, "just run to that stoplight." I got to the stoplight and was ok... so I kept running. And I got to the 4K completed mark and realized it was almost over and I wasn't about to die. I had promised T I'd send him a text to let him know when I was coming. So I sent him a quick one and then started on the last uphill climb.

When I got to the top of the uphill climb, there were people cheering us. A softball team had made an arch with their arms and wanted people to run through it.... of course, I obliged. I got some high fives and a final cup of water... and yes, I'm running this whole time. I know, I was surprised I made it through the team arch and didn't trip or fall over too.

And when I got to the base of the bridge and saw the finish line... I also saw my cheering section. T was taking pictures and Caroline was waving... not at me... just at everyone in general. It put a huge smile on my face... I waved back and kicked it in gear to finish.

After I finished, I made my way back to them. T was pushing Caroline up the block in the stroller and she was waving at people like this was her own personal parade. It was so cute it made me laugh out loud. I got a big hug.... and then a water and a banana and we headed to the car.

My finishing time was about 50 minutes. It's not quite fast enough to avoid the giant Mickey hand in January, but also not too bad for my first race. It gives me a place to start to compare future races.

I wasn't even close to the last finisher, so that was pretty cool. I also completed the 3.1 miles faster than I walked 2 miles back in April for the Redbud Classic.... so that's definite improvement. And considering I'm only 4 weeks into 9 weeks of training, I think I did pretty well.

Next up - The Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's time

Race Day is upon us....  well, by this time tomorrow morning, I'll be done.  Hopefully long finished, since the race starts at 8!  I had a good run last night and a personal best time for 2 miles.  I'm under my pace I need to maintain for the Disney race to avoid the dreaded giant Mickey hand that will sweep my slow behind off the course.  Now, can I maintain that for another 1.1 miles?

Tomorrow I'm going to start the race as the final training day of my 4th week.  Once that workout is done, I'm going to run as much as I can, and we'll see where that puts me.  Tomorrow is just a litmus tests of sorts.  Caroline and T will be enjoying breakfast at IHOP while I race, but I can't wait to see their faces at the finish line!

If you are interested in making a donation to Komen Race for the Cure, you can do so HERE.  I appreciate those who have donated so far.

Stay tuned for an update tomorrow evening.... I even hope to have a couple pictures.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Racing for the Cure

I'm registered for my first race.... T is sporting a bum knee, so it's going to be just me.  I'm ok doing it by myself.  In fact, I'm looking forward to seeing my cheering squad at the finish line.  But in the meantime, I've got some fundraising to do.

As you know, Race for the Cure is also about fundraising for the fight against breast cancer.  If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so at my personal link HERE.  I appreciate everyone's support and encouragement as I continue on this journey.

I'll have race pictures and updates next weekend.