Monday, January 31, 2011

9 Miles... and Donuts

Today I set a PR for distance. That's kind of a cool thing, even if I set a new PR almost every week as I train for 13.1. Katy kept the kids so I could run outdoors in the afternoon.

My route was east on Bethany, north on Malone, west on Exchange, south on Cedar, east on McDermott, south on Fountain Gate, south on Allen Heights, east on Bethany, and through the neighborhood to Katy's house. Or you can just look at the map. I've misplaced my Garmin (trying to decide how long to keep looking before I buy another) so I'm reliant on the MapMyRun app. It's ok, but it didn't start recording my run until I was about 0.3 miles into the run (which I didn't know until I looked at the run afterward), so I kept running until the voice told me I hit 9 miles... and therefore I ran about 9.3. It also miscalculated my pace. I'm pretty sure the time was right, just at 1:40, and with an actual distance of 9.3 miles, that's about 10:45 per mile. I briefly considered not even timing this run in an effort to force myself to just relax and take it easy. I can't do it. I have to keep track of the stats.

The first mile hurt, my knees felt stiff. I ran past a gallon-sized ziplock bag that contained 3 glazed donut holes. Yummy! But as usual, by the time I hit mile 2 I was feeling better. I don't really like the route I took- a lot more traffic than I'd like to deal with, a lot more crossing of major streets, and some areas without sidewalks. I much prefer the areas in west Allen that I've been running. I'd love to find some more trails. I ran almost to Exchange & 75 where I caught part of the 5k route that I've done before. It's a pretty awesome feeling to run the end of that (when I've never been able to run it as part of a 5k) and know that I'm going strong and still have 5 miles to get home. I ate my snack of cherry Sport Beans at mile 5- my favorite flavor. Miles 4-6 were my favorite. Somewhere between miles 5 and 6 I ran past Max's Donuts. Wow! I haven't been there in forever. Sounds delicious. Then came Sonic. A Diet Dr. Pepper with vanilla sounds heavenly right now. Oh well, take a swig of water instead. Despite my thoughts of food on this run, I don't like to smell food while running. Gross.

I managed to take an ice bath, despite another episode of Raynaud's. I wore gloves for most of the run, but it happened about 20 minutes after I quit running (and before the ice bath). That's 2 episodes in one day. Hmmmm....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fast Four

Today I took off running from Lifetime Fitness. I didn't map my run ahead of time, something that I really kind of enjoy. I like to know where I'm going and what the plan is. That's a general life thing, but it carries into running. I started out fast. I turned into the Star Creek neighborhood. Beautiful houses make good scenery. I found a paved trail that I really liked. No, loved. It was wooded, but not so secluded that it felt potentially unsafe, though the first squirrel that ran out in front of me scared me to death. At the end of the paved trail, I saw another trail that led back to the north. It was crushed gravel, so I thought that might be a nice break on my legs from concrete. I would love to find more trails like that. My pace for the first 2 miles was so fast that I was hurting by the time I hit mile 3. By the time I was nearing the front doors of Lifetime, I was begging for the MapMyRun voice to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Please, just say, "Distance: 4 miles"... I promise, I'll love you forever.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

8+ Mile Long Run

I worked from 9-3 today, then ran on my way home. I decided to try and run the trail from Luke's Locker again. This time I caught all the turns (missed a critical turn last time and my mapped run looks like something Lane drew). I like that trail. It's a little secluded in some spots, but it's nice to have the nature and quiet.

I love they way running allows me to think. I can sort things out like I can't anywhere else. Or I can lose myself in my thoughts just the same. I love hearing my feet hit the ground, one foot after another. I love the highs and lows that flow throughout a run. I love being proud of myself when I'm finished.

It got cold at the end of my run and I had an episode of Raynaud's Phenomenon.
It affected 4 fingers on each hand, which is unusual for me. It also took about 30 minutes to reverse, so I just couldn't make myself do an ice bath. I'm sorely regretting that choice now. My knees and quads are super stiff.

According to MapMyRun, my total distance was 8.21, total time 1:28, and average pace 10:39.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The 10k

It was cold! I've never run in temperatures under 40 degrees. It was a rule, but you can't have weather rules when you have a race. I wore gloves, but my fingers felt like ice for the first 2 miles. It was a small race, less than 100 people, but everyone took off. I held back, sticking to my plan. Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" blasting through my ear buds does it every time. I start every run with that song. It's my twisted motivation. When I was losing weight, I'd position myself on a treadmill behind somebody who had the bottom I wanted. Or not. Either way motivated me to keep going. Fat bottomed girls... I had a carefully crafted playlist for the race and Queen should have brought me home, too, but somehow I ended up on a shuffled version of the playlist. I ran with my brand new Garmin watch... looking to see my current pace is way addictive. But I also ran using the MapMyRun app. I get distance and pace updates every mile through my ear buds. I could hardly believe it when I saw the 1 mile sign and heard that voice in my ears. That wasn't so bad! 10:40? Really? Really not bad. It's only gonna get faster from here. Feeling good, aside from the icicle fingers.

Miles 2 and 3 were a little faster, around 10:20. I wore my hydration belt since it holds my phone and snack nicely, so I threw a bottle of water in it just in case I wanted water when there wasn't any sight of a water station. I really don't like to drink water when I run (2 pregnancies don't help that). I think I prefer my own water anyway. It's easier to drink from my little sport tops and I don't have to start my ice bath prematurely by spilling water all over myself as I try to keep running and drink at the same time. I passed a few people during those miles. Hills got ya, huh? I hadn't looked behind me until we made a turn near the end of mile 3. I think I was the last of the runners. It looked like everyone behind me was walking. Still feeling good. Fingers don't hurt.

Hit the halfway marker and still had plenty left in me, so I started picking up the pace. I slowly gained on a girl in front of me until I passed her. Then, it was on to the group of 4 people who were running together. I finally caught them. I was pushing 9 minute pace for the last half of the race. At one point I saw a volunteer pointing to her right. Oh. That's what the course description meant when it said "up steep hill." That's THE hill. At least it was quick.

The second half goes so quickly. It was over before I knew it. I finished 74th out of 94, with a time of 1:01:59.7... exactly 10 minute miles. I've never been a bottom half kind of girl, much less bottom 3/4. But you know what? I ran 6.2 miles faster than I ever have before. And that kicks ass. I love running.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Meet The Half Virgin

My name is Kristi and I'm a "half virgin". Half marathon virgin, that is. (My husband, Jake, hates the name of this blog). My journey to run my first half marathon began in October 2010. My sister-in-law challenged some family members to a weight loss competition. We started the week after I turned 30, following a weekend of margaritas and really bad (but oh, so tasty) food. That first workout I think I could smell the tequila that I was sweating out of my system. I couldn't run even a half mile. My pace on the treadmill was 4.3 miles per hour. Over the next 2 months I gradually increased my time on the treadmill to an hour, jogging 5 12-minute miles. I lost 22 pounds and won the contest (and cash prize). On December 5th, my sister-in-law ran her first half, the Dallas White Rock. When she was training, I thought to myself, "There's no way I could ever run that far or that long." I've been through not one, but TWO, fire academies and hated every step of the running we did. Running sucks. Or, at least it always has. Seeing her run past us on the course, I was inspired by her strength. I wanted that for myself. I started training on Monday, December 19, 2010.

I'm playing a bit of catch up since I didn't start blogging from the beginning. I've increased my mileage and my times have gotten faster. I'm up to 8 miles on my long run as of this week. My first 10k is tomorrow. I've entered some 5ks and run as much as the first 2 miles, but never been able to run an entire 5k. And here I am running a 10k. In it's entirety.

I drove the course earlier this week to get a feel for it. Holy hills!!! The first mile is nothing but big, rolling hills. Once I clear the first mile it flattens out until mile 4-5. My plan is to start super slow and not let the hills burn out my legs. I know I can handle the distance. My goal is under 66 minutes.