Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beauty on Runs

Picture from here
Do we really see the beauty around us as we run? The clouds that look like God painted them in the sky, the herons (my friend Madelyn always points them out), the mountain lakes, the deserts?  I would like to argue that sometimes we are more caught up with ourselves.  Either how far or how fast I am running is usually something that is constantly on my mind as I run.  But there are moments, like one today, I put all of that aside for a moment and just take in the beauty of my world. 

Today during my long run, I was privileged to see a gorgeous sunrise--the kind where the clouds look all pink and choppy and fluffy all across the sky as the sun moves through them.  I was reminded about a scene from Forrest Gump (and later about the most beautiful place I've ever seen--Kaui in 2009--see below). 

Forrest Gump ran all through the movie--as a child to outrun the mean kids ("Run, Forrest, run!), in college as a football quarterback, and then as an adult when he ran across the continent since he "just felt like running."  His efforts on the coast-to-coast runs were admired.  Others sought him for advice.  They ran behind him, hoping for some wonderful message.  A way to run as far as he did.  Yet I think his message is simply this:  Enjoy what you are doing as long as you can by taking in the beauty around you.

When Jenny asks him about his life experiences he says:
Sometimes it would stop raining long enough for the stars to come out... and then it was nice. It was like just before the sun goes to bed down on the bayou. There was always a million sparkles on the water... like that mountain lake. It was so clear, Jenny, it looked like there were two skies one on top of the other. And then in the desert, when the sun comes up, I couldn't tell where heaven stopped and the earth began. It's so beautiful.

I think some runners are good at describing their mileage, their training, their food intake, and each little thing they do that makes them a better runner.  I'm not too good at that, I'm afraid, though I will continue to try.  But I do like finding the beauty and the opportunity in each run that I take...and more and more so the older I get.  I want to be the kind of runner who feels moved by experiences I have while running, moved by the beauty of God's creation.  It is all around us, yet we never take the time to see it.  Forrest's message is a simple message delivered by a simple person, yet it rings so true to me. 

I am reminded of Wilson Bentley, who lived from 1865 to 1931.  I learned about him through reading the children's book Snowflake Bentley.  Really, Katie?  A children's book?  Sorry, people, I work with what I have!  Anyway, he lived on a farm in Vermont and took pictures of snowflakes and other objects in nature.  People said that snow in Vermont was as common as dirt and not worth is taking the time to study it, take pictures of it, or preserve it. 

Yet he said, "The average dairy farmer gets up at dawn because he has to go to work in the cow yard.  I get up at dawn too.  But it is because I want to find some leaf, hung with dew; or a spider web which the dew has made into the most delicate rope of pearls...I take my camera with me, get down on my knees in the wet grass, and photograph these exquisite bits of nature.  Because I do this I can show these lovely things to people who never would have seen the without my help.  They will get their daily quart of milk, all right.  Other farmers will attend to that.  But I think I am giving them something which is just as important." 

If you are still reading this, I think Forrest's message, Wilson's message, and mine are one in the same.  Instead of rushing past everything (whether on your run or elsewhere), take the time to see the beauty that is all around you. 

I plan to see the beauty in my world today.

Friday, July 29, 2011

First Tempo Run

Thanks to Hal,  I am now running a tempo run every three weeks.  I tried it for the first time with my friend Jane this past Wednesday.  Beforehand, I sent my group an email saying:

I have a tempo run tomorrow--40 minutes. I would like to start with the group and go from there. Anyone want to join me?
It is 10-15 min warmup
gradually increase until you are running about a 7 min mile pace for 6 minutes
cool down for 10 min
total 40 minutes (I may do more)

If I didn't have a marathon to train for, I don't think I'd be up for this run like some of my friends have over the last few Wednesdays as they ran with me.  I've had lots of company on my track and hill workouts.  They are willing to try these things in order to push themselves and to see what they are made of, and not to meet an end goal as I am.  I am most impressed by a new friend in our group who ran with us for the first time during one of our track workouts and has been back for more speed and hill runs.  I admire her strength and the fact that she is not intimidated by new things (unlike me!).

But the pace for the tempo run made some of my group shy away.  I got answers such as:
  • "Sounds interesting."
  • "I will probably skip out on this one and go to the gym."
  • "Sounds like something…different…"
Then my good friend Jane said, "I may try that with you. I just need a speedier workout on Wednesdays."  It was music to my ears, as I just love company on my runs--and someone to talk and laugh with while we run!  She described our run so well here.  It ended up being somewhat of a confusing run, but I hope still a beneficial one.  Here is what Hal says about tempo runs (note the highlighted ambiguous "gradual!"):  

A tempo run is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace. Notice I said "near" 10-K race pace. Coach Jack Daniels defines the peak pace for tempo runs at the pace you might run if racing flat-out for about an hour. That's fairly fast, particularly if the tempo run is 45 minutes long, but you're only going to be near peak pace for 3-6 minutes in the middle of the run. In the Advanced 1 programs, tempo runs also are scheduled for Thursdays. Here's how to do this workout. A tempo run of 30 to 40 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, build to peak speed during the next 10-20 minutes, then finish with 5-10 minutes easy running. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout and only for those few minutes mentioned above. You can do tempo runs almost anywhere: on the road, on trails or even on a track. Tempo runs should not be punishing. You should finish refreshed, which will happen if you don't push the pace too hard or too long. It helps also to pick a scenic course for your tempo runs. You can do your tempo run with another runner, but usually it works better to run solo. There's less danger of going too slow or (more the problem) too fast if you choose his pace, not yours.

My splits were 10:21, 8:58, 7:46, 8:11, 10:04, 10:49, 9:16.  You can see there was a definite peak that I think Hal was going for with his whole "buildup to near a 10K pace" thing.  And I was near a 7:00 minute mile for the required 6 minutes. 

But, boy, was that tough!  And there was a point where I just shouted out, "What's the point of this???"  We were so unsure of how fast to be going, and I was just questioning why we need tempo runs at all (I mean, I've never done them before!). 

I think I answered my own question that day.  I said, "I know I didn't have it here (pointing to my body) during my marathon PR (I'd say collapsing at the finish qualifies me to say I wasn't all there physically.).  But I was there here (pointing to my head).  I am working to get my body to where my head was that day.  If it means I still get a 3:18 (or slower), I will be fine.  As long as it's my that body carries me." 

Here's hoping that more tempo runs like this will help me towards that goal.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recent Reflections While Running

People think about lots of different things while they run.  Sometimes it's our breathing, a pain we notice creeping in, our surroundings, or things that are going well or weighing us down in our lives.  Yet every so often, our thoughts stretch beyond these, and we leave the run feeling quite a bit different and refreshed. 

Recently, I decided to try to record some of my more reflective thoughts over the course of a few solo runs.  I was surprised to notice a theme.  All of them related back to my recent bible study topic of God's love (Chapter 9 from God: As He Longs for You to See Him by Chip Ingram).  I have enjoyed spending my quiet times on my runs reflecting on the characteristics of God listed in this book, but the chapter on love was particularly meaningful to me.  Perhaps it was because I once felt unlovable.  Perhaps it is because I am running more and more everyday and hungering for it with something akin to love.   

On my runs, I thought about how God has blessed me with running, especially now and in this season of my life.  I think this is proof of God's love for me.  I think back to where I was fifteen years ago and how much I hated myself.  And I think about how much of myself I have sacrificed for motherhood.  Whole pieces of who I used to be don't exist anymore.  But then I think about my God who loves me and who knows my every desire and delight.  And I know that He gave me the ability to run, and He gave me this peak in my running.  People may be looking at me to see to whom I give credit to for these accomplishments.  I think of recent compliments I have been given, such as "Great job today!" or "You're running strong!" or "Another win!"  I hope that I am glorifying Him (and not myself) through my running.  None of my victories would be possible without Him.  I want to always give the credit to Him for every blessing in my life.  His love of me (of all of us) is indescribable.  I like to picture how happy He is while I am running.  I can only dimly compare it to how happy I feel while I am watching my own children is their happiest pursuits.

Song lyrics always seem to sink much deeper into my soul when I am running.  When I run alone, I can listen to Christian music and really listen to the lyrics.  Reflecting on those is a very meaningful part of my time with God.  Lately He has spoken to me about His love through two songs.  Rather than have my little moments and then completely forget all about them, I chose to write out what I experienced.

Mandisa's song "Definition of Me" was playing today as I ran.  I was pushing the double stroller up the biggest hill on my route.  I looked down at my arms, and sweat was literally just dripping off of my wrists as I grasped the stroller and pushed with all of my might.  Drip, drip, drip.  And I pictured all of my ugliness and hateful thoughts and sin just dripping out of me like the sweat and being replaced by God and His goodness.  It was a pretty spiritual and amazing experience for me, and it happened right in the middle of an ordinary run on an ordinary day.  No one could see my tears behind my sunglasses as the beautiful message of this song pierced me:

I want the love, I want the light
I want the beauty on the inside
I want the one that you can't see
To be the definition of me.

Oh how I want to exhibit just a piece of God's love, how I want it to shine from within me!  This song really reminded me of how I'd like to be and about where my focus should be.

On another run-- a solo long run-- music was my friend that helped me pass the time and forget the pain of trying to run a marathon-paced long run by myself.  Running can easily become our "god," especially those of us who spend a lot of time, effort, and energy either running, thinking about running, or talking about running.  The song "How He Loves" by the David Crowder band was playing, and it spoke to me because it reminded me that God wants us to hunger for Him in the same way we hunger for running (or whatever we might be passionate about).  The same way I am hungering for a marathon PR---am I hungering for God that way? 

And the song brought me to tears when it came to the chorus of "Oh, how He loves us so..."  Sometimes I feel completely unworthy of being able to run.  I feel like I don't deserve His love or anyone else's.  I think back when I was starving myself, my body literally devouring its own muscles.  And I am so thankful that He loves me and that He pulled me out of that abyss and that He gave me a husband and two beautiful children to love.  Here are the lyrics to the song:   

Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.

If you spend too many runs with your mind somewhere else, on the mundane and trivial things of this world, I challenge you to really listen with your soul as you run.  I know I am looking forward to seeing what God will reveal to me in my future runs.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Paint the Streets 5K Race Report

The Paint the Street 5K was held this morning at 7:00 a.m.  This race is for a good cause--United Cerebral Palsy of Huntsville & Tennessee Valley, Inc. (UCP) spinal cord injury services. From their website, "the race was created in honor of Carlene Hall, an amazing woman who displayed uncommon faith and courage in the face of a debilitating spinal cord injury."  Rick and I were glad to run this race today and to support this cause.

Our babysitter enabled us to both run today.  I am so excited about finding a sitter at the races.  I wish we'd found her sooner!  Rick got a 19:36 and then ran back to our house afterwards for a total of 11 miles.  I finished first overall female.  See below to see how embarrassed I was to stand on a finisher's podium for my win.  I jumped up there and hopped quickly back down.  I felt so silly up there! 

My splits were:
20:15 (6:32 pace)

I am pretty happy with my performance today.  I ran 12 miles yesterday at an 8:34 pace, and my group ran hills on Wednesday.  I will say that trying to run 5Ks while in the middle of marathon training (with the hardest training program I have ever used) is TOUGH.  You can't fit it all in!  So I am pleased that I held on to the pace better than in the Twilight 5K.  I think anytime my slowest mile is NOT the third mile, I should be pleased.  It is still hard for me to run fast that whole last mile. 

Today I was thinking about this news story I had seen last night.  It was about a guy in a wheelchair, Chris Waddell, who was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.  He didn't want to just compete in the Paralympics, trying to beat someone else with a disability, he wanted to climb this mountain instead.  Anyway, he has a documentary out called "One Revolution."  It's all about the struggles he faced as he climbed the mountain.  Today, I thought about him as I struggled near the end of the race.  It seemed fitting due to this race's cause, and it made me realize that this race is nothing compared to other's day-to-day challenges.  I am blessed! 
Going to the podium
Picture from Christy Scott

Hopping quickly back down
Can you see my daughter watching me to the right?

Twilight 1-Mile Fun Run

In all of my excitement about our new babysitter for the Twilight 5K, I completely forgot to mention the 1-mile run that was held before the 5K last weekend.  I decided to give my kids (5 year old son and almost 4 year old daughter)  the choice to run the race, and both were eager to do it.  So they went to their rooms and dug out their only running clothes--the red and white shirts we bought them two years ago for Cotton Row--see here and here.  We dug out some tennis shoes (my daughter's happened to be Mary Jane style pink ones!) and headed for the races. 

When the 1-mile started, I wondered how I would be able to stay with both of them.  Usually Rick takes our son, but that night it was just me.  My son wanted to run ahead of my daughter and me, and I decided to let him.  Near the end of the mile, I ran ahead of my daughter around a corner so I could see my son finish.  Well, he had already finished and was getting water from the coolers!  My friend said his time was 9:45.  It was the first time he'd broken 10 minutes! 

My daughter loved the attention from the crowd as she finished.  I've said it before, but our children can be a good reminder of how important crowd support is at races.  Adults may not react as openly as she did, but we surely get motivated when we hear those cheers and shouts of encouragement!  She LIT UP with all of the cheers.  Her face was just glowing as she turned from left to right, taking in the fans cheering for her.  Many were calling out, "Go Pigtails!" since her hair was done in the cutest ringlet pigtails that night.  She finished around 12:30, a PR for her!  Both of my kids have talked about how much fun that race was many times since then.  One mile fun runs are a GREAT family activity, and I hope we can inspire other young families to give them a try too!   

Little ringlet pigtail

Firecracker 5K Pictures

Here are a couple of pictures of us from the Firecracker 5K from the Morningside Baptist Church website.  It's so nice to have the internet and to be able to get pictures from the races like these.  Most of my earlier races are picture-less!

Katie and Rick

Crossing the finish line in 19:55

Stopping my watch after the finish

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 14-15 Training

Thursday, July 14

Hal called for a 7 mile "marathon pace" run today, and for me that's a 7:27.  I headed out without a Garmin at 8:30 in the hot morning sun for my run.  Oh yeah, and I was pushing the double stroller. 

Needless to say, I did NOT run a 7:27 pace.  But I did run for 70 minutes, was dripping with sweat when I was done (my hands were pruney like I'd been in a swimming pool), and managed to fit in a stop at a nearby playground for my two kids to get some exercise too.

I read a blog about a mom that pushes a triple stroller.  I really admire her because she is brave enough to post her splits when she runs with it.  I don't think I've ever worn a Garmin when I'm running with the double.  It is hard enough to run with 100 pounds of stroller and children!  In case anyone reading this wants a few tips for running with the kids, here is what I thought about today.
  • Pack snacks  Mine usually eat their breakfast in the stroller (cereal, Poptarts, granola bars, etc.) or their lunch (cheese cubes or slices, crackers, drink).  If they finish it all, they get dessert.  Here is where you can add in foods that take a long time to eat (gummy bears, ring pops, and--my favorite--candy buttons).  Today I packed my kids' food in reusable bags, with the dessert inside this bag in a ziplock bag.  My kids could easily take their bags to the stroller and strap themselves in. 

Dry cereal breakfast with a gummy bear dessert

  • Repeat your route  Others may disagree, but I think doing the same 3-6 mile route with your stroller is just enough, and this way the kids know how much longer they have to sit. 

  • Reward them at the end  My favorite thing to do is to "race" my kids for the last block or so as we head home.  I let them upstrap and then "race" me home (of course, I let them win).  This lets them have some fun too! 
Happy faces (and ballet poses!) as we head out for our run
Friday, July 15

I had intended for this to be a 14 mile run since I was adding 2 miles to the 12 miles I had run last week in my long run.  I started the run with my friends, and we did our first mile in 11:02.  The rest of the miles were around a 10:00 pace.  They did 6 miles with me. 

Since I had not gotten a marathon pace run yesterday, I tried to speed up gradually so that my last few miles would be faster.  I was aiming to get a few of them to marathon pace.  I was happy to note that the last few miles ended up feeling great.  I think the speedwork is helping me to feel stronger in the long runs.  This is something I will try to note since it is a new thing for me.  I felt so good that I decided to add 2 more miles to the 14, and I ended up with 16.58 miles.  The last 5.58 were: 8:47, 8:07, 7:56, 7:46, 7:28, and 7:19 (for the .58).  My music died early on, but I think running the miles without distraction was also a good move training-wise.  I liked how focused I felt. 

One week down, 11 more to go!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Twilight 5K Race Report

I decided at the last minute to run the Twilight 5K held on Saturday, July 16 at 7:15 p.m. (women's start time--men run at 6:30 p.m.).  Rick was on a day trip, so I needed to find someone to watch my kids while I ran.  Well, I found a great solution Saturday afternoon (thanks to a fellow Fleet Feet teammate Christy Scott and facebook)!  My friend's daughter babysat my kids at the race.  I only needed her for 45 minutes or so instead of hiring a sitter to stay at my house for a couple of hours!  I loved this solution and may have to use it again when Rick and I both want to run a race.  The kids played outside the whole time.  The race is held on a college campus, and there is alot of space for them to roam.  This race is unique because the men and women run separately.  I like being able to watch the men's race, and I think this race is great for young families with a husband and wife who both want to run.

A couple of things worked against me in this race.  I had run about 16 1/2 miles on Friday morning, so I wasn't fresh for the race.  Also, it was a night race, and I'm more used to morning races (most people are!).

I did my best and finished 2nd overall.  I had a really hard time keeping the pace in the last mile.  But I improved my time by over 30 seconds from my time last year in this race.  Fellow Fleet Feet teammate Linda Scavarda was a welcome site at the turnaround as she called out, "This next part's all downhill!"  That was just what I needed to hear at that point!  I was very impressed with the race directors, David and Ashley Cain, since they managed to direct the race while also tending to their four children, the youngest being under a month!

Mile 1 6:18
Mile 2 6:42
Mile 3 6:53
.1 41
20:35 (6:38 pace)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Committing to the 3:15 Marathon with Hal Higdon's Help

For the first time ever, I am trying to closely follow a training guide for the Chicago Marathon on October 9.  This will be my 23rd marathon, and, though I always follow a program for the long runs, I have never followed the speed, tempo, or hill workouts in any training program.  But I do think there is something appealing about being able to commit to a time goal and then lay the foundation to take you there.  I am willing to give it a try.  My usual race-day approach is to start way too fast and try to hang on until the end, and this has led to alot of misery during the last few miles.  Also, I feel like I could improve on my PR with a little more training. 

I decided to try for--well, at least to train for-- a 3:15, or a 7:27 pace.  This is a 3-minute improvement from my PR marathon last February, which was on another flat course.  Last week, I was shocked to notice that we are only 12 weeks away from Chicago!  I quickly looked up programs (after consulting with my "trainer," Rick!).  He recommended Hal Higdon's Advanced 1 program found here, though I am having to modify it since it's a 16-week program.  I started "official" training with a 12-mile long run that left me pretty drained (it is super hot and humid right now here in Alabama).  It's not a good sign to be that beat after only a 12-miler! 

Hal's descriptions state that less than 10% will commit to the advanced programs because they are so demanding.  I am not sure I can stick with it, but it sure helps that some of my friends are on board with also trying the speedwork, tempo, and hill repeats called for by this program.  My most uncertain workout is the weekly marathon pace run, which Hal calls for on the day before the long run.  The day before the long run?  I usually take it easy on that day!  I may have to run some of those pushing a single jogger too.  I certainly would slow the pace down a bit for that though!

Today was a 5x800 speedwork session.  I did not have my friend Julia's advice on how fast to do them (and I had forgotten the recommendations Hal gives on the link above), so they were all over the place as I found my rhythm.  The 800s are much harder to do than the 200s and 400s, and not just because they are longer.  I had so much trouble finding the right pace.

When I got home, I looked up my splits on my watch and averaged them to a 3:15:
3:25, 3:08, 3:11, 3:14, 3:19

And, lo and behold, I looked up Hal's suggestions and read this:
I've prescribed 800 repeats for this program, also done every third week. Run an 800 at faster-than-marathon pace, rest by jogging and/or walking 400, then start again. Further instructions are included in the Interactive emails, but you might want to consider running these like "Yasso Repeats." Regular readers of Runner's World are familiar with what I mean. Bart Yasso is Promotions Director for the magazine. Bart suggests that you run your 800 repeats using the same numbers as your marathon time. In other words, if you run a 3-hour marathon, you do the 800s in 3 minutes. A 3:10 marathoner does 3:10 repeats; 3:20 marathoner, 3:20 repeats, etc. It seems silly, but it works.

I am aiming for a 3:15 marathon, and my repeats averaged 3:15.  Now to get them to be a consistent 3:15!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Firecracker 5K Race Report

The Firecracker 5K was held on Monday, July 4.  If you viewed the link in my previous entry, then you know that I was able to PR in this race and that I finished first overall female.  I want to give credit to my husband, Rick, who paced me during the race.  And thanks to the church who directed the race, Morningside Baptist, since they offered the childcare that made the pacing situation possible.

  • Good course: The course was a flat, out-and-back course.  No surprises, no hills!
  • Had a pacer:  The race has childcare (which is a first in the 10 years since I've been racing).  Rick was able to run with me and pace me.
  • Prior speedwork:  I had done two speedwork sessions on the two Wednesdays prior to the race.  It was was my first chance to see if speedwork would help me on race day.
  • Heat: It was a muggy, hot day, and the course only had about a mile of shade.
  • Holiday weekend eating:  We had a cookout the night before, and my stomach was not agreeing with me.  It kept me up tossing and turning the night before.

We got to the race around 7:15 a.m., and the first thing we did was try to find the childcare I had read about on the website.  The first person I asked said, "No, we don't have any childcare," and she probably saw the saddest, most confused look on my face.  But luckily, she asked another woman and we found out that they were indeed having childcare.  After introducing our children to the childcare workers, we quickly left for our warm up.  It was great being able to warm up with Rick!

The Race

My first mile was a 6:14, right where Rick had recommended (he'd suggested a 6:15, so that I'd have a little cushion when I slowed down.  Plus he knows that I like to start fast.).  My fellow Fleet Feet teammate, Lynn Curry, was right behind me for this mile, but no female was ahead of me.  Rick gave me good words of encouragement after seeing the first split.  The second mile had a turn-around in it, which I liked since I could cheer for the men coming back around and then the women that I passed after I turned around.  This mile was a 6:32, slower than the 6:26 I needed, but easy for me to average with the first mile and know I was okay for overall pace. 

The last mile, which should have felt very rewarding for me since I was reaching my goal, instead felt just miserable!  Unlike the second mile, the third mile was almost completely in the sun.  I could just feel the sweat pouring off of me.  Rick was telling me to gradually increase my speed, but I was thinking, "I can't!!!"  And I think I said as much to him.  We passed fellow teammate Eric Fritz, who later congratulated me on facebook for my ability to "hang on and get it done" (I was happy he put it nicely, since when I passed him it was more like I was moaning and grunting and muttering about how miserable I felt!).  Before the race, Rick had told me about a defining moment that would happen in the race, one where I would want to slow down.  He said here is where I would have to dig deep.  Somewhere during the third mile, I remembered what he had said.  He later told me that I was surging (so much so that he was having trouble keeping with me), but then I would slow back down.  So the mile passed with alot of self-doubt, pain, and frustration at myself.  I was shocked to see 6:27 on my watch (Rick later told me he didn't want to look down at the Garmin for that mile, he just wanted to see the average pace.  We both thought it was going to be slower than it was). 

When I saw the finish line, I immediately looked at the clock and saw 19:40 still on it!  I knew I could cruise in and still get the sub-20, so that is what I did (even though Rick was trying to encourage me to go even faster...the goal was sub-20 and that's all I had in me for that day).  I saw 19:57 on the clock as I passed by, though my official time was 19:55.  I had gotten my goal!

After the race, we picked up the kids and stayed for the awards.  My daughter liked seeing the reenactors who had booths set up all along the front of the church while we waited.  I was discouraged that they called out my name wrong and that they also listed my name wrong in the results, but a quick email to the director solved the problem and the results are now correct (apparently racer #13's name was also listed as me--racer #14).  Rick, the kids, and I went back out to the greenway for another few miles.  My son rode his bike, and my daughter napped in the stroller!  We teased our little "Southern belle" all the way home (she is always saying how hot/tired she is when she does the least amount of exercise by far!). 

Post Race

Rick and I learned alot about pacing/being paced in this race.  As someone being paced, I discovered that I just wanted general statements of encouragement about how I am doing (things like "good job,"  "looking great," "you got this").  Rick was telling me things like, "Pump your arms, pick up your legs!" but that was too specific for me and made me feel worse about how I was doing.  So I think he learned that saying less is sometimes better!

The feeling of accomplishment from this race is hard to put into words.  I have no idea why it took me almost four years since having children to get back to my old PR.  To be honest, I sort of thought I would never get that time again.  I know I am not in as good of shape these days, so I know my accomplishment is more mental than physical.  I want the time now, and it's much harder for me to make this body do it than it was before.  I now have a marathon and a 5K PR on this side of having kids.  Maybe the 10K should be my next target?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Firecracker 5K Local T.V. Coverage

Here is a link to the local t.v. coverage of the Firecracker 5K!  More details to follow!