Tag: 5k

Give Me Strength

Week 11

Like the final 5k of every half marathon I’ve completed and the last .5 of every 5k, this week is about mental toughness and the tenacity to finish what I started. I put more thought into how the names were placed on the calendar this week. I was very strategic in assigning each day of dedicated miles. In real time, I’ll need to log sixty miles in order to guarantee that I will be at 994 miles when I arrive at the start line of my race and have the necessary energy to cross the finish line. Lord, I ask for strength and wellness. Water intake, food consumption and adequate rest will be imperative to get me through.

Day 1

I’m excited about my running dedication today. This person is resilient, determined and fabulous. Today, I’m running for my niece; Michelle. I went to one of my favorite spots. I set my intervals and was doing well for the first few miles. My shins started to hurt, indicative of a need for new shoes. I think I’m going to run the soles off the Sauconys I’m wearing. The weather was perfect and everything went well. I thought of seeing Michelle post on Facebook that things are often tough. Usually the next post shows that she has pushed through. I did the same and ran one extra mile.

Day 2

This is my last scheduled double digit day although I’m sure there will be at least one more. My run is dedicated to my Dad (RIP).

It had been a few weeks since I’d run at this park. It quickly became my favorite place as this was the first real time I felt like I was enjoying all that fall has to offer. The temperature was perfect and the leaves were gorgeous.

I parked my car in a different place this time to keep it fresh. The first mile, I intended to use as a warm up and time to commune with my thoughts. Shortly before I reached the first mile, the coffee I treated myself to was ready to leave me. I despise the thought of a porta pottie but it was the better option, over leaving. There was a huge playground near and I thought surely a place that catered to children would have restrooms. Wrong. At 1.5, I almost became that runner we’ve all seen who darts in the woods to find a private tree. My inner diva wouldn’t allow it. At mile two, I was relieved to see a big blue box. After my brief meeting, I was on my way and able to run comfortably. I was taking it all in. I enjoyed hearing my feet crunch the leaves beneath my feet. My pace was steady and I felt amazing.

I stopped a few times to take pictures. But for the most part, I ran the whole time. I had turned around to return to my car and happened upon a statue. I had passed it several times before on my treks through the park, but I had never gone close enough to really see it. I was once again shocked at how the universe works. Right in the middle of the marble slab was the U.S. Coast Guard seal. My Dad was a Coastie. I took this as his wink from Heaven that he approved of my efforts. I spent a minute there and was on my way. Still heading in the direction of my car, I saw a face in the distance that looked familiar. As I got closer, I realized it was Kristin, whom I had run with in the past. I decided to join her for a few and made a u-turn. I was happy for the push. Had I not seen her, my run would have turned to intervals. After running a nice distance, it was time for me to turn around. I wished her a good remainder of her run and well wishes on her upcoming race in Puerto Rico.

Upon my return to the parking lot, I heard roosters crowing and monkeys “talking”. I thought this to be extremely odd sounds for a park in the middle of the city. I laughed when I realized it had slipped my mind that I had parked in front of the zoo.

Day 3

I didn’t feel like it….at all. I was scheduled to do five. Even though this should’ve been a pretty quick and easy run, I didn’t want to do it. I looked at the calendar to find the day dedicated to my nieces and nephews. I knew that five wasn’t happening, instead; I opted for .1 for each of them. At 2.4 miles, I was glad to be done and glad that I didn’t have any more nieces or nephews.

I’m sure I’ll wish I had done more later in the week to make the weekend easier. But what I gave was honestly more than I had. Getting closer to fifty.

Day 4

I opened my eyes and checked the weather. The temperature had taken a nose dive. The high was going to be twenty degrees lower than yesterday. In the darkness, I headed to the gym. It was empty so I turned on my music. I liked the time alone and hoped that my hour would be in solitude. Today was dedicated to my son. I pumped out those miles in his honor. I thought about how many miles I would do. I considered one for every day he’s been gone. When I realized how many that would actually be, I opted to try to get as close to the amount of days I’d have to see him.

Day 5

It’s Halloween. Holidays always excite me. Although I’m tired. I will get my Nike+ badge.

Another day for the male child. I was mentally and physically drained. I had gotten some bad news yesterday and I really wanted to throw in the 1,000 mile towel. My mind and body got together and decided they didn’t want to do any miles today. I knew that I wouldn’t let him give me excuses or a pass to do nothing. I didn’t do what I had planned but I got in a few miles. His absence from the home has been difficult, but every time anything brings me down; the thought of him encouraging me gives me all that I need.

Day 6

Today, I run for my sister. I was mentally back on track. But after completing over 165 miles for the month, I knew I needed to give my body a break. As a nurse, my sister would encourage me to listen to my body.

I got in a power walk because I realized that even though I wouldn’t get in the eight I was anticipating, anything I did would be miles closer to my goal.

Sleep is for SUCKERS!!!!!

Week 10
I’m 147 miles away from 1,000 miles. I have three weeks to get there. This is not an unobtainable goal but it does present a bit of a challenge. Fifty miles a week to get there. I will probably have to do at least three days of double dipping for the next two weeks in order to have fewer miles in the last week and fresher legs for the race.

Day 1

It was another one of those days that I preferred to stay in bed. I tried to keep my eyes closed for a few minutes longer as I attempted to picture my workout calendar to figure out who today’s run was for. I had no idea and knew the only way I’d know would be to get up.

I laughed when I saw the name Pam M. as I could hear her voice in my head saying, “Sleep is for suckers!” I pictured one of her previous cover photos on Facebook and her constant mantra of #noexcuses.

In my mind, I was going to start my week off easy. It was 53 degrees and I intended to enjoy my walk to the gym in the cool morning air. I also planned to walk my five miles. That didn’t happen. Somewhere between the bed and adjusting the settings on the treadmill, this became a training run. Each mile was faster than the previous mile for the first four miles. In the final mile, I added 42 seconds. That didn’t bother me much as the treadmill was set to slow the pace for a cool down.

For a run I didn’t want to do, I’d say it turned out pretty good. Five down, fifty to go.

Day 2

I slept horribly and my normal Tuesday routine was anything but. At 1:00 pm, I had completed zero miles. I hadn’t even bothered to look to see who the miles were dedicated to. I knew I couldn’t end the day with zero. I sent a distress text to a friend asking if she’d run with me when she got off work. Thirty minutes before I was to meet her, I was wishing I never asked. I didn’t feel like it.

We met at one of my favorite trails. She had never been there. I really like introducing people to new running places. We ran the trail and through some neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were very hilly and we ran most of the hills. The highlight of the run was open house. The neighborhood is being developed and we saw an open house sign. I was surprised that the door was actually unlocked. For $252,000 we would get an open floor plan home. Downstairs had hardwood in the foyer and kitchen. There was a master with a huge bathroom with double vanity. A second bath with a cute sink was just off the living area. For cool nights, the owners could also enjoy the fireplace. Upstairs, you were met by a grand bonus/media room. There were three additional rooms. One was small and I’d suggest an office. The other two were larger but I wasn’t impressed by the closets. I would have preferred less space in the bonus and more storage space. I loved the first floor and would have been happy with just that space. The less than great second floor, makes this home a deal breaker for me. I now feel a desire to go earlier to run the community again so I can see the other houses.

Today, I ran for Kat. I laughed at the irony. During her visit, we ran a hilly course. She would’ve loved to hate me for today’s run. We also can’t be trusted to “just run” together. She would’ve been in the houses with me. And had she been there, you’d also see pictures.

Ten down, 45 to go.

Day 3

Today’s run was dedicated to my high school track coach. He was the first person to introduce me to distance running. I cringed at the idea of running six miles for practice. Maybe that’s why I don’t like the 10k distance. But once I realized it wasn’t horrible and I was capable, I was ok with it. Thanks coach.

Thirty five more to go.

Day 4

I dedicated today’s run to injured runners and those who can’t run. I am completely in awe of how I randomly placed the names on no particular day of the calendar and each day somehow aligns with the name. In my mind, I think this day was important to me because I’ve seen my friends and people in the running community sign up for and train for a race and find themselves out of money and out of the race. I also put injured runners on the calendar to remind myself that even though I lace up, I won’t always run. Sometimes we must do what we can and not push it. When I thought about those who CAN’T run, I had in mind people (primarily children) who can’t physically run for whatever reason. Today (I realized) is my little buddy’s birthday who can’t physically run. I’m reminded of his winning smile the few times I’ve had the pleasure of his presence with his mom pushing him.

I walked all of my miles today because I know the next two days probably won’t be fun and definitely won’t be easy.

Four today. Thirty one to go!

Day 5

My morning started with a call from the person today is dedicated to. Pusha Pam was on her way to complete the Marine Corps Marathon. It was great to hear her enthusiasm. I knew that she would be on my mind during my double digit run.

Another night run for me on the treadmill. It would also be another night of Amazing Race while I ran. I skipped sushi for the evening and had kielbasa sausage. I prayed it would sit well in my stomach. I decided I would run ninety minutes nonstop. This would be my longest nonstop run in a while. I promised myself I wouldn’t look at the mileage until I had been going for two hours. When I looked, I hadn’t gone as far as I thought or as far as I would have liked but I heard Pusha’s voice in my head reminding me that I could do it and to keep pushing. I heard her voice say, “it’s you against yourself. Hang in there.”

I also watched a few wedding dress shows, “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Something Borrowed”. I took a long break from watching shows like this because I had the “always a bridesmaid” thought in my head. These days, I’m excited for the brides and I like to watch the shows. Maybe one day in the not so distant future I’ll get to be the one trying on wedding gowns.

After two hours, I decided to walk the remainder of my time. This decision was made not because I was tired but because it was late and I’m usually too amped after a night run to sleep. I slowed to a brisk walk and completed my double digit walk/run.

I don’t think I’m going to reach my goal for the week. In fact, I will probably have double digits by the time I go to bed tomorrow. I really just want to push to have less than 100 miles to get to 1000 before next week begins.

Oh yeah. I burned almost a thousand calories.

Day 5

My miles today are dedicated to a true warrior. Regina is a two time breast cancer survivor. I met her when I was a freshman in college. Her husband was in the military stationed at Fort Lee, fifteen minutes from my school. They are the family of the guy I was dating. From our very first meeting, she and the whole house took me in as family.

I was crushed when I heard she was suffering. At the time, we had both relocated and I was too far to come quick. I made sure to check in periodically and was overjoyed to hear that her cancer was in remission. That year, I started volunteering at breast cancer walks and races. It made me feel good to see so many people supporting cancer research and survivors. Before I started running, every year I promised myself that I would complete the 5k in her honor. The year I decided to join her and her daughters in Charlotte, shortly before the walk, she was back in the hospital. In prayer and because she couldn’t, I made the trip to Charlotte to volunteer. Afterwards, I went to visit her in the hospital. She looked weak, but her spirits seemed high. Soon after, Regina had won her battle again.

The following year, I wasn’t able to join her and the girls. I did, however; finally make good on my promise to run a breast cancer race in her honor. That year, along with a crowd of ladies dressed in pink, I completed the “Women’s Only” in Greensboro, NC.

This year, the breast cancer event dates didn’t mesh with my schedule. For the first time since her original diagnosis, I was not able to participate in an event. Today, I celebrate and log my miles for a two time survivor.

She is a true inspiration of every cliche’ that tells us to never give up.

What does one notice after two hours in the gym? The mileage on the machine says eight miles and the mileage on my Nike+ app say 2.notenough. Doggone you technology. Add that to my earlier miles and we’ve got two double digit days in a row. Tomorrow I’ll get in an easy two miler…a very easy two miler and prepare my mind and body to tackle the last 100 miles.

Let the training….begin

It’s about that time. I have another half marathon in less than ninety days. Everything about training will be different. I’m training in a new state, South Carolina. I’ve switched shoes. This time I’m wearing Saucony Omni 12. I went to a new running shoe store and had the soles cut. This technique is supposed to give more flexibility. I’ve worn the shoes for one 5k and quite a few runs. So far, so good. I’m changing my training plan. This time, I’ll be using the Coach on the Nike+ app. This training plan will have me running five times a week. Four days of running is the max I’ve done previously for training. The one thing that won’t be changing is my training partner. Georgia will get to be my ride or die again for the next twelve weeks. This little stuffed frog always brings a smile to my face. I’m sure she’ll be happy to train for a race in her namesake state. Rock n Roll Savannah….see you soon.

Stay tuned for weekly updates on my training.

Running in the cold with a cold

Week 11
I couldn’t think of a better way to start the New Year than with a race. I did something I’ve never done before. I didn’t pre plan to do this. Less than 48 hours before the start, I went to register. I hadn’t been feeling my best but figured if I dressed warm, I could handle it in less than 40 minutes. It was cold. I think over celebrating on New Year’s Eve and low temperatures kept some participants away. There were about 120 people registered for the two races (a 5k and 10k). We started the course with an out and back on the street that lead into the park. We then used the trail, most of which was paved. At mile two, I questioned my decision to race. my throat was scratchy, my nose was running and my ears were cold. But i pushed to the end and was happy to see my sweetie at the finish line. A modest 36 minutes. Eighth in my age group. i’ll take it.
Everyone was friendly. I enjoyed the race overall and would support the racing company in the future.

Beat the Heat…..again

One year ago, I showed up at the start line for my first 5k. I vowed never to complete that race again because the conditions were not so great. By conditions, I mean it was hot…really hot! But, I did sign up and I did finish…..again.
It felt nice not being the new kid on the block. Unlike the year before, I felt confident and my I wasn’t nervous.
I looked back mentally at what I thought I needed to do different this year. The first thing on the list was to wear my fuel belt. I didn’t have it last year and at the first water station I was sadly disappointed when I was handed a cup of very warm water. I was very hot and all I wanted was something cold. At the second water station, I wanted to cry because I knew this water was going to be warmer than the last. But, I was thirsty. I had to take it. This year, I froze two of my water bottles so my water would be cool and I wouldn’t have to stop.
The second thing on my list to do different this year was run the entire course. Last year, I was slightly upset with myself for walking when I knew that physically I was capable of running three miles. I was inspired by a shirt on the course that said, “Run when you can. Walk if you need to. Crawl if you must. But never give up.” If I chose to walk, in my mind I was giving up. So I kept going. I had to have several talks with myself to keep running, but I didn’t walk at all.
The third thing on my list was to finish with a better time this year, than last year. Go me!!! I did that too.

This year, the only thing I would have changed was to get more rest. I had a little too much planned for a race day. I stayed up too late the night before and woke up at 4:30am for a yard sale. When the yard sale ended, I went to work. I tried to squeeze a nap in between work and the race but it was unsuccessful.

I’m glad that even though I vowed never to do this race again, I was able to complete it with two women who were there with me at the start line last year. I love the memories I continue to make with my sole sisters Kat and Pam. I was most happy about being the encouragement for my friend John to begin a fitness journey. She finished her first 5k almost two minutes faster than her goal time.

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Rule #1

Today I broke Rule #1 of racing. Don’t try anything new on race day. Though today wasn’t exactly race day, it was a training run on the actual course of my next race. I had run this course before. It’s the site of my first 5k. I vowed never to run this race again. But somehow I got roped into not only running the course for practice but registering to race it again.
After finally convincing a friend to start running, she decided that “Beat the Heat” would be her first 5k. I asked if she wanted me to come cheer her on or come run it with her. I had my fingers crossed that she would choose cheer. But no, she wanted me to run. This made my running buddies happy as they had already decided that ” WE” should make this our reunion run. I had already declined. They were excited when I told them I was signing up.
This morning, after twenty years on land; I thought it was time to get in the water. I put on my swimsuit and made my way to the pool. I didn’t want to just get in and get out for the sake of saying I did it. I needed to stay in for a while; hold on to the wall and kick a bit, walk the length a few times. It never crossed my mind that this was “something new” in regards to rule number one. After the pool, I went to work. From work, I went straight to the run. I started out strong but then began to feel my legs weaken. I wondered what was going on. At first I thought it was the heat. Then I thought it was the hills. But I realized it was neither. It was the pool. I had really already worked out for the day and used my legs slightly different than I use them to run. My legs were tired. I had to have what felt like a long conversation with myself to keep going. The situation with my legs caused me not only to fall behind the group, but to follow a person who had taken a wrong turn. This caused my 3.1 to be a bit longer. I actually completed 3.33.
Note to self….getting in the pool is “something new” and another workout. Until I build my strength and endurance in the pool, I need to get in on a day I don’t run or run first. Body…..I’m sorry for doing this to you today.

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Finding My MOJO

I set a goal to log 1,000 miles in a fiscal year (12 June 2012 – 11 June 2013).  On June 2, 2013, I reached that goal crossing the finish line at Run Like A Girl four miler in Richmond, VA.  I was filled with emotions.  I was excited.  I was proud and I felt accomplished.  I had decided after reaching 1,000 that I would take a week to go easy to recharge and recover.  I decided that my miles would be a minimum.  Minimum ended up being thirteen.  In my mind, I would be ready to resume my twenty five plus miles a week the following week.  I reached eighteen miles.  I was feeling blah.

My friend teased me that I was having the turning 40 blues.  I knew that wasn’t it.  I was excited about the new age milestone.  I welcomed my initiation into the society of fierce, fabulous, forty year young women.

I couldn’t put my finger on what I was feeling or why I was having the feeling.  This morning….I got it!  It had been twenty two days since I laced up to run – I mean really run.  In the past three weeks, my body showed up on the pavement, but not my heart.  I was drained from the inside out.  I had reached my goal without setting a new goal.  This morning when I started my Nike+ app, I set a goal.  Run three miles without stopping..Mile one was a breeze with just over a ten minute mile pace.  It was humid and I wished I had gone earlier.  At mile two, I had slowed down a bit and I began to think that I should finish my 5k doing intervals.  My body battled my mind and logged into my heart.  That’s when it hit me.  I really am driven by the goals I set for myself.  And this was the first goal I had set on the pavement since I completed my last goal.  I told myself, “Today’s goal is a non-stop 3.1 and that’s what we’re going to do.  Suck it up!”  At mile 3.2, I felt my chest swell a bit that I actually didn’t give up.  I walked the next half mile and took the time to set new goals.

Goal number 1 – Log 500 more miles by Christmas.

Goal number 2 – Complete a 5k race in under 30 minutes.

Goal number 3 – I’m keeping to myself…..for now.

I left my mojo in Richmond but found her on the pavement in Greensboro.

Running Nerds Winter Blast

December 25, 2012

I rose before the sun to meet my sole sisters for a Christmas morning run.  I was pleased to see fifteen women up and out, many sacrificing time spent with family.  Being away from my own family, it was especially nice to start my day with my running family.

I had registered for the Running Nerds virtual winter 5k that had to be completed by New Year’s Day.  I knew that I would push myself harder if I ran it with the group as opposed to running it alone.  So, I dressed in my race t-shirt and attached my number (522) to my shirt and put my jacket on.  I started my warm up chatting it up with a few of the girls.  We were going to run intervals; which I had never done in a race.  But no one knew I was racing.  I ran as close to the lead group as I could.  I had high hopes for completing this 5k with a personal record.  As I ran, I had my Nike+ app going.  At one mile, when my pace was just over eleven minutes, i knew I was off to a good start.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue the intervals or just do what I had done in my previous race and run the entire time.  It was just three miles and I knew I was capable of running the whole thing.  At mile two, my app indicated that my pace was just over twelve minutes.  When I reached mile three, I had done what I set out to do.  I had completed another race and I had set a personal record of three minutes faster than my previous race.

I was thankful for my unofficial race partners who kept me motivated, not just the race but also for the additional five miles that we ran.

What an awesome Christmas run.  All I wanted was an Epsom salt bath.

Beat the Heat

July 21, 2012

Today is the big day.  My first official 5k.  I got up in the morning glad that I had to go to work.  I figured at least I’d have something to do to occupy my time and mind before the 7pm start.  The weather was perfect, less than eighty and no sun.  Part of the battle was already won as there was no heat to beat.

Funny how the weather has a mind of its own and it was perfect, until a few hours before race time.  The sun was blazing and it felt just the way I hoped it wouldn’t; hazy, hot and humid.  As the sound of the gun being fired indicated it was time to run, the less than eighty had crept to above ninety degrees.  The start of the race was overwhelming as over eight hundred bodies shuffled across the starting line.  As the faster runners moved further ahead, I felt relieved to have more space.  No One was super close to me and I could just concentrate on the run. As the sun beamed down on me, running became almost unbearable.  When I got to the first mile aid station, I was excited to see water.  I wasn’t excited when I tasted the water.  It was hot! Throwing my cup to the grown in disappointment I trekked on. At 1.5 miles I started to walk.  The heat had gotten the best of me.  The group ahead of me were further away and the group behind me got closer.  At mile two, I decided it was time to jog.  This decision came not because I was concerned about my race time or anything race related.  I picked up the pace because although it was hot, the skies began to darken and the thunder in the distance was getting closer.  In my mind, my objective went from beat the heat to beat the storm.  I got more hot water as my thirst had grown into something awful and picked up my pace even more.  I was thrilled to see familiar faces along the course cheering me on.

Rounding the last corner, there was a man assuring us that we were almost near the end.  On the right, there were runners who had completed the race that had come back on the course to cheer the rest of us along.  None of the words were extremely comforting.  But I thought it was nice of them to do.  I just wanted the race to be over.  My attitude changed the moment I saw the finish line.  I knew that I had beat the heat, beat the storm and completed my first 5k.  The best part of the whole race wasn’t finishing but the ice cold beverage that was handed to me by one of the run run leaders who had worked with me to assure that I was ready to run.

When the last runner crossed the finish line, I heard the announcer of the awards ceremony say that a new course record had been set.  I was thrilled to get my award, a certificate for completing my first 5k.  But, it was time to go.  The storm was coming and I still had a hike to get back to my car.  A few of my run buddies hung around.  I figured my air conditioner in the car would be a better way to cool me than the rain I knew was coming.  Just as I entered the highway, the bottom fell out.  I was glad I left when I did.

When the race results were posted, I learned that I was finisher 703 with a time of 41 minutes and thirteen seconds.  I almost met my goal of 40 minutes.  Maybe next time, when it’s not so hot.

Mission…..almost complete

July 10

Today is the final day of the Couch to 5k Class.  The workout is to run thirty minutes without stopping.  I was excited about this milestone.  I figured if I actually ran the whole thirty minutes that I was probably really ready to run the 5k in two weeks.

I ran at an easy pace and covered a longer distance than previous runs on the greenway.  My adrenaline was high when I finished the run and returned to the place that I had started.  I was filled with many feelings.  I was exhausted, excited and amazed.  As I began my cool down, I began to reflect on day 1.  I remembered doing the intervals and feeling like I was going to pass out.  That ninety second run seemed  like forever.  I chuckled at the thought of the day and the fact that I felt like crying at the end of the first day because I didn’t think I could do it.  And today I felt like crying because I knew that I could!

The graduation run is in thirteen days.  And guess what?  I’m ready.