Tag Archives: hal higdon

Race Recap: Great Race

29 Sep

I don’t even know where to start with this recap other than to say this was such an awesome race!!  I had built this one up so much in my head that I had been nauseous for DAYS, I mean I’d been running but I definitely did not stick to my training plan.  Oopsie?  The night before I tried really hard to just relax, but of course I want to fuss over everything when I’m stressed out.  I ran down to the expo on Saturday and grabbed my bib, I did a few laps around and talked myself down from buying anything because I wanted EVERYTHING.  I did stick around and play with the kitties at the ARL booth and say hi to the Greyhounds.

Great-Race-2014-Expo-Bib

I made sure I ate something carbaliciously familiar the night before and somehow managed to get an awesome night’s sleep.  I woke up at 6:30 and at a pumpkin english muffin (who knew those existed?!) with peanut butter, a bottle of water, and a banana.  Then I paced around my house for several hours.  I finally decided to head to the starting line super early because I thought it would be better to just stretch and people watch.  As soon as I parked my car I realized that my phone armband thing was broken which was soooooooo annoying.  The stupid velcro just came completely off so it wouldn’t stick together anymore.  I guess if something had to go wrong on race day morning, I’m glad it was just that!

great-race-2014-starting-line

The starting line was insanity.  This was by far the biggest race I’ve ever been to.  The relay didn’t seem crowded to me because I started at an exchange point and the crowd was pretty small.  It looked like this in front and behind me.  I seriously could not stop people watching, I’m such a creeper!  The crowd started slowly walking towards the starting line and I was so so so nervous because this race starts with a hill.  As the people crossed under the start, the tempo picked up a little bit and they were blasting the song “Shout.”  It was seriously the perfect time in the song as I started, the way the crowd was picking up speed at that exact moment – I seriously can’t even explain how awesome that feeling was!  I was totally not nervous anymore and I killed it up the hill.

I felt like I was pacing myself pretty well, which was easy since it was so crowded.  I tried to just find someone who looked experienced and was running around the same pace I wanted to be at, then just tried to stick with them!  That worked like a charm for the first 2.5 miles.  As we got into the Oakland, I was shocked that the first 1/3 of the race went so fast.  I started to struggle around UPMC because I felt like my bladder was about to pop – luckily that’s right where the 5K starting line was so there were bathrooms available.  I seriously wished there had been at least one other bathroom available  before the middle of the race.

The second half of the race was a LOT harder than the first for me.  It was getting really hot and there is not much shade from Oakland until you get downtown.  I made sure to walk through every water station.  The first actual walking break I had to take was right at the mile 5 marker because I started getting a side stitch.  My legs felt like jelly as soon as I started walking so I kept telling myself to push through it because ain’t nobody got time for that.  I think I SPRINTED down the hill on the Boulevard of the Allies and I knew I would be okay when I was still passing people as we pushed into downtown.  I just remember thinking – “OMG, this is the coolest thing EVER!” as I ran into downtown.  That was another big first for me!

As soon as I saw the finish line banner I gave it all I had and finished strong.  I was actually kind of nervous at the mile 6 marker that I would be crawling across the timing mat because I was just so done at that point.  Of course the crowds and the adrenaline wouldn’t let that happen though. 🙂

finish-line-photo-great-race-2014

It was really disorientating after the finish line because it was just a massive crowd of confused, tired, sweaty, disoriented zombies wandering around a grassy knoll.  I made a bee-line for the water station, which was really understaffed if you ask me.  All I wanted was a banana and people would. not. move.

Starving

I grabbed 2 bananas and an apple and headed directly for a shady spot closer to the point and away from the crowds.  I just laid there and couldn’t move.  You know I’m just exhausted when there is a squirrel within 15 feet of me and I literally don’t react.  (I do NOT like squirrels.)  I laid in the grass, ate my apple, and listened to my favorite cool down music.  I want to always remember those few minutes and that feeling:

great-race-2014-point-park-view

It was seriously so awesome!  My Garmin said I finished in 1:07:22, but my official time was 1:09:55.  Since this is my first official 10K, I’m considering this my PDR race AND since I ran basically this same distance in the relay in May – it was a PR too!  Just a great day all around and an absolutely awesome race.   Definitely didn’t have the energy for a full smile though!

great-race-2014-finish-red-face

I took the shuttle back to the starting line where my car was and I will NEVER do that again.  I underestimated how badly a city bus full of sweaty runners could actually smell.  I will run this race again and again and again though!

 

Woop! Woop!

14 Jan

Sound the alarm!

I woke up at 5:30.  In the morning.  Which still felt like the night.  Got dressed, got in my car, and met up with a friend to run.  Oh and did I mention it was raining?  I found it to be hugely gratifying.  After all this cold weather/rain/snow/freezing rain/hail nonsense I’ve been dealing with, I finally feel like a legit runner.  We did 2 easy miles at a slow walk/jog pace – can’t scare my new running buddy off!

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Not long after snapping this beaut, a homeless man happened across our path on his way to use the bathroom in the woods.  Pretty much it was a good morning to be running with a buddy.  I ran the last half mile with some extra pep in my step, let’s just say that.

Also, I rather easily talked my friend into doing the Brave American 5K with me in the beginning of March.  I think this will be her first 5K, and I plan on using it as the test 5K in Hal Higdon’s Intermediate  5K Program.

Cold-Weather-Running-Nike

Coming To Terms

26 Sep

I can’t even say that my absence has been well spent.  Well spent on working, yes.  But working isn’t what I write a blog about.  I would even venture to say that I’ve been avoiding you.  And avoiding this:  I will not be running The Great Race on Saturday.

I just can’t.  And not like I just can’t because I don’t believe in myself.  I can’t in that I haven’t put my shiny new running shoes on for over a month.  I can’t in that I’m not one of those people who can unintentionally step away from running and then just pick up right where I left off.  I’m also not the kind of person who can admit defeat.  But, here I am.  Coming to terms with the fact that my 2013 race season has ended and it was the year of the 5K.

The year of the 5K wasn’t a bad year.  It was actually my best year ever.  2013 is the year I started running.  Training for and running two 5Ks is nothing at all to be ashamed of.  In the Ole 5K, I surpassed my estimated pace goals by 2 minutes and shocked myself completely.  I learned that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.

Ole5K.Halfway

In the John Thompson 5K, I placed third in my age group (I still can’t believe that), despite the fact that I had no idea how much more difficult a trail race is from a street race.

Medal.JT5K

I really feel like I ruled in 2013.   And oh, yeah:  I also whelped a litter of puppies, flipped a friggin’ house, helped run a professional association, not to mention opened a new facility and picked up a ton more work at Changin’ Time.

2013 has been a year of huge personal and professional accomplishments.  2013 has also been a year of coming to terms with the fact that I can’t do it all.  And I have to be okay with that.  I have to take pride in what I have been able to accomplish and use my experience to develop realistic goals of the future.

On Self-Doubt

12 Aug

I have a confession to make.  I left the Great Race running clinic feeling very discouraged.  Despite having bought new running shoes afterwards, which should have made me the happiest girl in the world, I literally boycotted running for a week.  Not cool.

So, what happened?

At the clinic, I felt like an imposter.  The whole “I run, therefore I am a runner,” thing – I get it.  And most days I own that.  But seeing all of the other runners at the clinic kind of took me back to the feelings of inadequacy I had throughout high school and college.  That version of myself was lazy, overweight, inactive, non-athletic.  The people around me at the clinic were athletes.  They were runners.  I was an imposter, wandering around amongst them, trying to lay low and sneak back out to my car before they figured out that I shouldn’t be there.

At 29 years old, you’d think I wouldn’t let that little voice in my head break me down.  But there she was, louder than ever.  And I listened to her when she told me that I will never be the runner that I want to be.  I thought over and over again about all of the flaws I have in my running form and felt embarrassed, silly for thinking of myself as an actual, real runner.  How silly I must look with my horrible form and my not-even-running shoes.  Last week I blogged less, I ran not at all, I ate all of the things, and I felt like crap about all of it.

Christina was out of town Saturday night – Sunday, which left me alone with my thoughts, a pint of ice cream, and Lifetime Movie Network.  Normally, that combination is a recipe for emotional disaster but I’m really not the person that I used to be.  Yet another one of life’s lessons right in front of my face, so blatant that I couldn’t even see it.

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” – Oprah Winfrey

I read that quote out loud and said: I know that’s right, girl.  Then I sat there lost in my thoughts for a few minutes and let it really sink in:  No, really.  She’s completely right.  I can either keep feeling sorry for myself because I haven’t seen the progress that I wanted OR I can accept the fact that I haven’t worked hard enough to earn that progress.

I run, therefore I am a runner.  The kind of runner I am is dependent on me.  My form, my endurance, my determination; those are all things that are dependent on me.  Just me.  I desperately want to lace up my shoes, walk out the door, and run for miles and miles.  I’ve never wanted anything so badly in my life.  But that doesn’t happen, not just because I wish for it anyway.  Running is slow progress, it’s pushing through shin splints and blisters, it’s talking yourself out of taking yet another walking break, it’s lacing up my shoes even though I’d rather slip back into a dream, it’s feeling exhausted but running anyway.  There’s no finish line, no people cheering, no water stations, no bathrooms, no medals.  Really there’s just me and my shoes on the pavement, with music in my ears pushing me to go harder, sometimes joined by a poodle who finds intrepid joy in this simple act of moving forward.

I love running, even though sometimes I find myself talking about it like a burden or a chore.  I started this journey for one simple reason: to improve my self.  Running is like life – I can say I want to be more determined, more motivated, more hard-working, insert whatever here.  Without action, those are just wishes, as fleeting as the wishes lost on so many birthday candles.  Those wishes become goals when I actually start working towards them.  Running has shown me that I will never reach my goal unless I give it 115%.  And then a little more after that.  This weekend I realized that I have to stop thinking about running like a backpack full of boulders, this thing I carry around with me that weighs me down with self doubt and guilt.  Running is a lesson.  And when I stop being afraid to learn it, then I will be a runner.

Lessons and Improvements

29 Jul

It’s time for my weekly workout recap!!  I know you were on the edge of your seat all weekend wondering how my progress was.  It’s okay.  You can admit it, its just between us.

reginageorge

Monday: I basically used Monday as a recovery day from my long run on Sunday (a whopping 2.5 miles).  In retrospect, I should’ve done a stretching workout.  It may have prevented some problems I faced throughout the week.

Tuesday: Ran 2.54 miles, but noticed a pain in the arches of my feet.  I’m not sure if this is happening because my shoes are getting old, because I’m getting old, or because I’m just out of shape!  I took walking breaks when it started to get really uncomfortable and that seemed to help.  Also, how awesome is it that I found these single serving chocolate milks on clearance at the grocery store for 39 cents each!?  The box must’ve opened and they couldn’t sell it.  Very convenient for a gal who usually drinks chocolate milk after cardio as a recovery aide!

chocolate milk

Wednesday:  Rest day.  I spent the day obsessing about why my arches were hurting and the shin splints that tormented me all day.  I am constantly battling shin splints and live in fear of having a Kevin Ware-ish moment with one of my legs.  Irrational?  Yes.  But I am so paranoid about getting injured because I just don’t want to have a major setback right as I’m building up momentum.

Thursday:  Cross training day, in which I power walked 2 miles.  This came at a perfect time.  Everything below my knees had been incredibly sore and this walk really helped me loosen everything up.  During the walk, I reflected on why I am feeling weird pains.  I decided that it’s probably because I am pushing myself to run faster than I should be.  I committed to running at a slower pace the rest of the week to see if that would help.  Also, on August 3rd, I will be attending a running clinic offered for The Great Race.  Hopefully they can tell me more about my pronation and steer me toward a better suited running shoe.

Friday: Ran 2.03 miles and had shin splints even worse than earlier in the week!  WTH!!!!  When I got home, I iced them off and on for about an hour and felt a little bit better.  By Saturday, I was honestly feeling really worried.

Saturday:  Cross training day, which I spent helping Christina on the remodel.  Between the squatting, lifting, and just general construction/painting/cleaning tasks I tackled – trust me, this day was not wasted!  None of this helped my shin splints at all, but I also didn’t feel any worse.  In fact, by Saturday night I was having anxiety about my long run Sunday morning.

Sunday:  I woke up and thought Get up and walk around.  If your shins are hurting, don’t push yourself into injury.  Just listen to your body.  And you guys.  My body was ready to run!  I felt great.  I was determined for this day to be better than the previous days.  So, I tried a different strategy: I brought a partner.  A long-legged partner who I knew wouldn’t get tired before me.

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And my strategy worked.  We crushed it.  Yeah, my shins were a little sore when I got home, but during the run I was more focused on Hallie than obsessing over every little pain I felt in my body.  I mean, I didn’t even turn my music on until mile 2.  I can attribute a few things to the success of this run:  having a distraction, slowing down and focusing on distance, listening to my body, and fueling better throughout the week.

Here are my carrots for next week:

This week I clocked 9.57 miles.

My fastest pace was 10:30.

My farthest distance was 3 miles.

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