Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The race was...great! Hard. Rewarding. I finished in 2:09, 8 minutes faster than the Shamrock. Here are some stats I got emailed to me afterwards:
Your time 2:09:22.99 gave you a 9:53 pace per mile.
Your 3M time was 29:09.62 for a pace of 9:43 per mile.
Your 6M time was 58:44.30 for a pace of 9:51 per mile.
Your 10M time was 1:38:13.99 for a pace of 9:52 per mile.
I was excited to realize I ran the whole distance under 10 minutes per mile! I can run a lot faster for shorter distances, but tend to hit 10 minute miles tops for long runs. It's interesting to see how my pace slowed slightly as I neared the end.
My day started with a 4:30 am wakeup call. Yikes! I had breakfast, got ready, and woke up Billy (he stayed at my parents) to drive me out to the Dismal Swamp. People, I never go to the Dismal Swamp. What a name! It took us about a half hour to get there (would have taken much longer if it hadn't been so horribly early on a Saturday morning).
We met up with my friend Brittany and one of her friends, and spotted some friends from church as well. I was getting pretty nervous before the start because I didn't know how my stomach would react to the long run...especially since my training had been going pretty rough. I am thankful to say that my stomach cooperated! I did, however, get a random side stitch that threatened to explode the whole run, but I did my best to ignore it.
Brittany and I ran at the same pace--I wanted to slow down at a couple of points, and even stopped to walk for a second when my side stitch burst open and hurt so bad at--get this--mile 12! One stupid mile from the end. She was a great motivator and wouldn't let me stop, which I was not too happy with at the time but am grateful for now that I look back!
I will say that I make it a point to pray during my runs. In this case, I really wanted to throw in the towel the last 3 miles. I told God that He can move mountains, and to please give me some of His strength, that I couldn't do it alone but could only finish with His help. This may sound dramatic to some, but it's really mentally and physically exhausting to know that you have no choice but to finish what you started, and you better find some way to figure out how to do it. It made me feel a heck of a lot better and stronger to know that I didn't have to do it on my own.
Other race mishaps include me grabbing a pack of carbohydrate gel around mile 10. I struggled to get the thing open and managed to get it to explode all over my hands. I ran the remaining 3.1 miles with sticky hands!
The course itself was really boring--it was a straight out-and-back course. Literally. We got 6 and a half miles out, turned around, and went back. Thrilling! Our scenery? Trees and dry field, with the occasional run-down barn shack. Nice. The "beware of bears--frequent sightings" signs definitely kept me on my toes!
Billy was waiting for me at the finish line, as was Tropical Smoothie. That sweet, sugary smoothie was the absolute best way to refuel! Yum.
Right before we took off:
Yeah...he beat us:
Taking off! Note: this is how the start of a race looks (and this was a very small race--under 900 compared to 20,000 at the Shamrock). You basically dodge other runners until you fall into your pace and they fall into theirs. It thins out after the first mile or so.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sign up for a race as soon as you feel up to it.
Find a committed running partner. It is much harder to skip a run when you have someone else depending on you.
It gets easier.
Don’t expect every run to be better than the last one; some of them will hurt.
- Last Monday: 6.25 miles on the TM (some hills, some speed). This was my last decent run and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
- Last Thursday: 5.5 miles outside. This was just plain hard. I was recovering from a sinus infection...enough said.
- Saturday I ran 10 miles outside at the oceanfront. Positives: it was beautiful out and Billy rode a bike alongside me, acting as my traveling aid station equipped with water, tissues, and Clif Shot Blocks. Negatives: it was just plain hard. I was slow and struggled with cramps (which I never get!). This run left me wondering what the heck I'm thinking with another half next week.
Aside from running, I've been doing well with incorporating crosstraining. Last week, I ran 3 days, crosstrained (weights & some alternative cardio) 3 days, and took 1 rest day. Hopefully I can continue this trend because it felt very well balanced. I honestly don't know how I'm going to perform this Saturday in the Dismal Swamp Stomp. I definitely don't think I'll PR; in fact I'll be surprised if I can run the whole thing without taking a couple of walk breaks. I'm hoping this weak streak will pass before then.
April 4th was my bridal shower! I had an amazing time. My mom's good friend Amy hosted the shower, and my MOH Chelsea organized and ran it. I was so overly impressed with both of them and the work they put into it. The food was incredible, the games were fun, and the gifts were generous, to say the least. Most importantly, the company was wonderful.
My cousin Rachael (who is a bridesmaid) flew in from GA. She plays volleyball on scholarship for Kennesaw!
I love these girls.
I'll be back with a race re-cap (if I survive)!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
It's good to be back on the blog. Thanks for all the congrats on here and on facebook regarding the Shamrock. It feels like so long ago now!
I definitely took the day off from exercise after the race. I planned on 3 days off, but after the first day I was getting so antsy! I opted for some easy elliptical and upper body strength, as well as lots of stretching. Good stuff. I took 2 runs last week: a 5 miler on the indoor track at ODU (as well as a Body Pump class with Chels), and a 6.4 miler outside to take advantage of the beautiful Saturday weather. That 6.4 miler was totally unscheduled and impromptu. I literally ran out my front door and kept going, deciding I would turn around once I hit the end of Little Neck Road. I always plan out running routes and distances, so this was so freeing and made me feel super spontaneous.
This week, I've completed 3 runs so far, all outside: a 4 miler from ODU to North Shore Road, another 6.4 Little Neck route (same as last week's), and a 3 miler Larchmont loop. Sounds simple enough, but these past 2 runs have flat out sucked. I didn't give myself enough time to digest after an apple with PB before the 6.4 miler, which equaled that apple with PB nearly coming up to say hello the entire time. Then today, I thought 3 miles would be a piece of cake, but I huffed and puffed my way through it. Oh well, better luck next time! I'm shooting for a 10 miler this Sunday. I want to get in one long run before I start my taper for the Dismal Swamp Stomp on April 18th!
In non-running news:
Graduation is in a month! Insert dance here. As much as I can't wait to say sayanara to my undergraduate career, I really will miss seeing the faces of all the friends I've made. I have really enjoyed college and learned so much in all apects of life.
My wedding shower is this Saturday! I am beyond stoked. I get to hang out with all (or most) of the ladies in my life! I'll definitely post pictures.
Yesterday (April Fool's) marked Billy's and my one year engageaversary! Yep, we got engaged exactly one year ago yesterday. Man, that went fast.
Did you play any April Food's jokes this year? I didn't...I'm boring, I know. I actually had a fairly decent one planned out (I was going to call my mom and tell her I spilled coffee all over all the wedding invitations) but I never got around to it.
I'll also post later with some very exciting, although bittersweet, news in my life regarding my work. God has once again shown me how silly it is to worry and be anxious about things, when His plan is so much greater. I pray I find joy, contentment, and fulfillment in Him through the hard, trying times and not just the new, exciting times.