Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Couple of Race Updates

Just after I posted my last post, I ran a 5k that weekend. We've had such mild weather here that I was looking forward to nice weather. The race was on Saturday... I woke up in the middle of the night because the wind was so strong, I could hear it howling outside. I said to my husband "if this continues, I'm not running in the morning." His response was "but you already paid for it." Deep down I knew I had to run the race, not only because I paid for it, but I have to get used to running in all conditions, in case the half marathon has not-so-good conditions. So, I got up in the morning expecting to go myself. The weather was so bad, and it had snowed that hubby decided we were all going to go because he didn't want me to drive myself (it was probably a 40 minute drive on a good day). The thermometer said 13 degrees--I had never run in anything below 20 degrees, and I was scared. I hate to be cold. I bundled up good--gloves, earband, beanie, neck gator, extra layers. I even had my Yak Trax--my first time in a race. The race actually went really well. I was less than a minute off my PR time, which was awesome, considering the weather and snow. I ended up overdressing on the layers. I was happy to have the extra socks, earband, beanie, and gloves, but my core was really warm. I was actually grateful for some wind to cool me off (and there was PLENTY of wind). Hubby and kiddos waited in the car for me, right next to the finish line so they could stay warm, but watch.

The next race was just this last Sunday. Our local Roadrunners group was holding a Cookie Classic. It was a straight out-and-back but at the turnaround you had to eat 2 cookies then you could head back. Perfect, right? That was not the highlight of my run. No... Hubby was running this one, so I had the kids with me. #1 and #2 were asked if they wanted to run the race, since they are always interested in running. #1 ran cross country last fall, so he has some experience running. #2 is 3 years old and has run probably a mile, very slowly (her legs are really short), but she kept telling me she wanted to do 3 miles. I decided I would push #3 in the double jogging stroller and run with the two older kids. I'd have the double stroller because I just knew someone would want a ride. We went out at the back of the pack, but not quite last. As we went out, we were pretty slow but we were still running. #1 went ahead of us a little, but still in sight. #2 held my hand as I pushed the stroller and I went her speed. The three of us ran like that for about 1.5 miles, until it was time for a little walk break. Shortly after we started walking though, we could see the turnaround right around a curve so we started jogging again--remember, there were cookies involved :) I downed my two cookies, while all THREE kids each had one cookie.

We turned around and started running. Around mile 2, hubby came back to meet us and encourage us to keep going. He took #1 and #3 in the stroller and took off. This allowed me to focus on jogging with #2. She continued to hold my hand the whole time, which I loved. She continued running til about 2.5 miles and couldn't do it anymore. She started walking because her side and ankle hurt. I just kept encouraging her (and #1, when he was still with me) and telling her she was doing awesome. On and off she would jog, then walk a little bit. Around 2.75, I think she had enough. She stopped and asked me to pick her up. I didn't want to because I wanted her to get her 3 miles in. Finally when she was at her wit's end, I picked her up and started jogging with her. Not much further, hubby came back with the jogging stroller and asked if #2 wanted a ride. She said no. At that point, I put her down because we could see the finish line. I encouraged her to finish it out. Still holding my hand she started jogging.. then she picked it up and went faster, then she went faster. We crossed the finish line together in less than one hour (including the cookie stop)! It was amazing! Both my kids did it--#1 at age 6, and #2 at age 3, completed a 5k! I carried my girl for less than 1/10 of a mile so she did her three miles. Amazing! This here, is a proud mama. It was so much fun, and I'm so glad we could share this together as a family.

On a side note, I ran 8 miles on Saturday morning with some friends. That's the furthest in this training cycle so far. It went pretty well, much easier than last year. A couple things could contribute to that--1. I was running with friends this year, where I was running myself last year, and 2. I know that I've already done this distance and further so I know I can do it again. Special bonus on the run--we saw a beaver! I've never seen a live one before and this one ran right across from us, less than 5 feet away. Pretty cool, the things you can see in the solitude of a run.

This weekend of runs has been pretty amazing! I'm still on a high...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ahead of Schedule

Last week's training called for 3.5 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, then 5.5 on Saturday or Sunday. I used Monday last week to redeem myself on last weekend's 5 miler, so I ran on Wednesday too. I think my legs are finally getting the hang of the new style of running. I still go back and forth between the balls of my feet and not. I think I can do this!

I went and ran on Sunday with some of the slower girls in our training group. It's so nice to have someone to train with and keep you going. Only problem is that I was torn between keeping my own pace and keeping with the girls. I finally had to tell myself to do what I have to do. Luckily one of them stayed with me too. The other girls are involved in a training plan with the local marathon training group, and their plan is based on time--mine is based on miles. They had to do 1:10 and I had 5.5 miles. We started off not knowing what distance/time we were going to run. The other girls were just going to see how they felt. The trail we took is a towpath trail along the river, so it was an out-and-back. We ended up turning around at 3 miles (not sure of the time, though) and doing a total of 6 miles, in 1:06. It was an 11:03 pace, which is great for us/me for a long run. So, I'm a week ahead of schedule in my training but I'm cool with that. We'll see how things go, I might need an rest week in there somewhere :)

This week is a stepback week. I have 3 miles on the schedule for Tuesday and Thursday, then a 5k race on the weekend. I haven't done a 5k in a while, so I'm pretty excited to see what I can do.

I also won a workout DVD from Fit Bottomed Mommas (thank you!). It was a Biggest Loser At-Home Challenge. I've done it twice already and really like the concept. There are 5 minutes of warm up, 10 minutes of Phase 1 Cardio, 10 minutes of Phase 1 Strength Training, then 10 minutes of Phase 2 Cardio, then 10 minutes of Phase 2 Strength, then 5 minute cool down. I was really sore after day 1, but I'm really starting to like it. It might become my "off day" training.