Monday, July 28, 2014

Personal Acheivements

Sorry to leave y'all hanging for so long! I haven't given up the blogging just yet :)

I've been struggling with my running lately. Lots of traveling wreaks havoc on my training schedule. However, if I'm being honest, that's not really the problem. I could have gone running while I was traveling. I just haven't been motivated, and I've been really tired. I haven't been eating as well. Unfortunately, all these things play off of each other to make running seem downright impossible.


I had signed up for the Goodlettsville Classic 4 Miler, scheduled for this past Saturday. I hadn't run all week, but I knew that I had to do it because I had signed up. I wasn't anticipating a good time and I wasn't real excited about it. I started the run and it seemed like there were a ton of really serious runners and I fell to the back half of the pack very early on. When my phone announced the first mile split, I knew it'd be a pretty fast mile. It was a 10:50 mile. That is the fastest mile I've run since high school. It may not sound like much to most people, but to me that was exciting. I still wasn't too sure of the race though. I figured I had started off fast because everyone else had and that I would die off pretty quickly. The second mile split came and it was a 10:58 mile. I was slightly encouraged by that pace, but still not confident. The third mile was slower, at 11:18. At that point, I realized that even if I totally bombed the last mile, I would be getting a pretty decent time for me. I didn't hear the split for the last mile, but my final time was right around 45 minutes. I was pretty happy with that! I was tired and got really sore the next day, but I had done it anyway!

Now for the best part-I WON! No, I didn't win overall-I got 118th. No, I didn't win the female division-I got 43rd. I won the female 20-24 division! Normally, I don't even stand a chance because my age and gender bracket is usually super competitive. However, for this race, apparently there were only 2 of us who ran it. That signals the first time I have ever won anything related to running! Finishing is reward enough and enough of an accomplishment to keep me going. However, I was so down on myself that this was what I really needed. I may never win anything ever again and I'm alright with that. (But I get a medal!)

I feel like God was telling me that even though it has been a crazy couple of weeks, He is still able. I should not have been able to run 4 miles that easily and quickly after hardly running for two weeks. However, I know that through His strength, God pushed me through this one because He knew what was best. He knew that it would motivate me to get going again. Shoot, I cleaned the apartment and did laundry yesterday. There's some motivation I definetly didn't have before this race.

So while it was the hardest race mentally I think I've ever run, I won. That's just how running works I guess.

**Note to family members: While I am travelling with you this weekend, I need to be kept accountable. I need to run 3 miles on Friday and 7 miles on Saturday. Please kick me in the butt if needed. Thanks

**Note to Dad: I looked up routes around our hotel this weekend. There's a greenway-type trail a block away. Just fyi ;)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Back to the Beginning

So I forgot to take a pic of the shirt, medal, and bib from Friday. So y'all will have to wait until tomorrow :)

Because my next half marathon is exactly 12 weeks out, I am starting the training program over. This made sense to me for several reasons.

1. When a training schedule doesn't exactly line up with the date of the race I get really frustrated and confused about how to handle it. So by re-starting the program, I will ensure that when the schedule says "half marathon" I will be running a half marathon. (except for my race is on Saturday and good ole' Hal Hidgon puts the race on Sunday)

2. I had gotten WAY off the schedule anyway. After being home in Chicago for a busy weekend from June 27-29, I missed a crucial long run. Then, the week after being gone I had this 10k which had me psyched out. In summary, I only ran twice last week and only one run was in accordance with the schedule I had committed to. It's hard to get back on track after missing a week and a half of training.

3. I'm tired. This intermediate schedule is hard for me. I'm mentally and physically drained and I need a break. However, I don't want to lose everything I've worked for. So if I start the program over, I will be back down to a first week mileage of around 17 miles with a long run of 5 miles. This sounds so refreshing!

So it's back to the beginning for me. Timing, schedule, and rest have made it necessary to call it quits on this round and start a new one. I'm excited for a fresh start!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Music City 10k = CONQUERED!

On Friday, I completed the Music City 10k in 1:16:12. That is better than the 1:20 I was anticipating, but I wasn't focusing on time too much.

As my first 10k, I was nervous about pacing and rightly so. My first 5k was 37:00 which is just about right, but I didn't factor in the hilliness of the course. Miles 1-2 and 3-4 were fairly flat and quick, but the rest of it was almost all up hill. I ended up having to walk a bit in the hilly portion, but still very happy with my time.

What Do You Run For? Event Management hosted this event and they decided to test out "water bags" instead of cups at the water stops. You can learn more about them here:

The reason I mention them is because I have a strong opinion on them. While they are an amazing idea and concept, I really did not like how they worked. For those of you who didn't look at the link, essentially they are little plastic bags filled with filtered water. You are instructed to bite, squeeze, and drink. However, I couldn't bite through it without a major struggle. I don't know if I just have weak teeth or what, but I got dehydrated during the race because I couldn't bite through the water bags.

On the more positive side, I will take a picture of the medal, shirt, and bib and post it tomorrow so you have something to look forward to :) Now to watch some Djokovic v. Federer at Wimbledon...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wonderful Monotony

As a runner, monotony becomes your best friend. You get used to going long periods of time with nothing to do but pound the pavement over and over. However, that's not completely true. A lot of the time, I enjoy the monotony of running because it gives me time to think. Our society does not leave much time devoted to thinking. I have found that I think about practical things like schedules and what I need to do. I also contemplate deeper life questions. I even try to determine what the squirrels and geese I'm passing are thinking. I get to feel like a mini-philosopher for a little bit.

That is mostly what I enjoyed from my run yesterday. I have been super busy for the past week and I have gotten kind of caught up in the rush. Taking an hour and running on the treadmill ready forced me to stop and slow down. Physically, it was a pretty fast four mile run, but mentally I got to slow down. Treadmills are great for that. I don't have to worry about cars, or weather, or other people, or animals. I can plug in my music and zone out the world. That is one of my favorite places to be!

I'm gearing up to run the Music City 10k this Friday to celebrate the 4th of July. It's my first 10k and even though I know I can do the distance, I am nervous. I've never run 6.2 miles in an actual event before and I don't know how to approach it. I know how to plan a 5k speed. I know how to conserve speed for a half marathon. However, a 6.2 is smack dab in the middle of those two and I can't quite come up with a plan. I'll probably just do it and it'll be fine, but I'm nervous all the same. Weather is supposed to be gorgeous, but I wish the race was an hour or so earlier to miss the heat of the day (it starts at 8).

Thanks for reading!