Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back in the swing of things

I got out for my run last night! It felt so good. I only ran a short, easy 3K.

I have to cut back my mileage a little bit this week for a couple of reasons. For starters, I can't jump right into where I was because I didn't run for a week. You can stop running for a couple days without any ill effects, but you start to see a deterioration after about a week. The other reason is that I still have a cough and my lungs still feel a bit heavy. I didn't want to overdo it and suffer a setback.

So I ran my 3K at my average pace. It was glorious! Sunny with a bit of wind, the path wasn't crowded at all. My quads are a little sore today, but otherwise I feel fantastic.

Next up is a 5K tomorrow. I also need to start planning how I will gradually increase my mileage base in anticipation of my half-marathon training that starts in the winter.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Army Run DNS

I didn't run the Army Run 5Kthis morning. I'm feeling better than I was a few days ago, but I'm still not feeling great. I can't help but feel a bit sad about missing the run, given I registered 3 months ago and it was my goal race. But, I know it's for the best and that being healthy for the wedding is more important.

While I trained for the last month, 5Ks are a very approachable race. I could run one next weekend if I wanted to. Thankfully there are still a few more in the region in the next month and a half. It's not like this race and goal was a half-marathon or marathon where I'd trained long and hard over 12 or 16 weeks. Right now, I'm targeting a 5K in the beginning of November.

I did get a new fancy long-sleeved tech tee out of it though!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I'm getting sick! Gah! Noooo!

I'm not surprised. Quite a few people I know have been sick and it's been making the rounds at work. So far it's just a sore throat/sinuses/ears... but I've heard it gets worse. The bright side is that I don't have a fever!

The thing is, I really want to run on Sunday. But, getting sick is throwing a wrench in that plan. Normally I would've run the race if the cold wasn't in my lungs. But, it's more important for me to be healthy for my wedding than to PR the 5K on Sunday. And, I think my fiancé might kill me if I ran it while I was sick!

So I'm taking more vitamins than usual, resting and drinking lots of fluids. I've cancelled my run tonight and hopefully I'll be better by Friday so I can have a bit of a tune-up run on Friday or Saturday.

Fingers are crossed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pre-wedding and pre-Army Run jitters

My wedding is coming up in 3 weeks. This means no slacking off in the eating or exercise departments. I tried on my dress this week and I can't gain weight. It fits like a glove!

Since I can't slack off on Weight Watchers and running, I've decided to set a goal for my 5K and a food-related reward. If I break 30:00, I get key lime pie. I finished my last serious race with training in 30:01 (on my Nike+) or 30:08 (chip time, no mat at the starting line). I really think I can do it this time. I've added in some modest speedwork and I've been realistic about my weekly mileage. I hope these decisions pay off on race day.

I'm excited and nervous for this race, as it's going to be a big field. All my 5Ks have been relatively small races of only a few hundred runners. The Army Run, however, is going to be big. REALLY BIG. They had a cap of 7,000 runners last year, a number that was split between the 5K and half-marathon distances. This year, the organizers removed the limit on the number of runners. The thing is, a 5K is a very attractive distance for a lot of people. It's very approachable to the average runner and people who are in shape, but aren't runners. It's a great introductory distance for new runners and big, publicized races tend to attract a lot of them. I expect a lot of jostling, a lot of newbies, people in the wrong starting position and walkers all over the place. It'll be a challenge, that's for sure.

But I'm still excited. There's nothing like the atmosphere of big races like the Army Run. The crowd support is amazing. It gives me the chills just thinking of it. And seeing that many people in one place to run is an inspiring sight.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My first half-marathon

I've registered for my first half-marathon! I'm so excited!

I committed to running shorter distances in 2009. I ran one 10K and the rest were all 5Ks. I wanted to get some experience racing and just enjoy running. I didn't want to immerse myself in running, or burn out, either. I often just jump into something so whole-heartedly that I end up just dropping it part-way through. I've done with other hobbies and activities. Another reason for the shorter races was the fact that I didn't have the time to do the necessary training for anything longer than a 10K.

As I've raced throughout this season, I've become more comfortable with the thought of the half-marathon. It seems like a good challenge, both mentally and physically. The mental side of the distance (21K) is daunting, but I think I can do it. And in the Winter/Spring I'll have the time to really work on building up my base mileage and I'll be able to devote enough time to properly train for a good half-marathon time.

It feels really good to have registered and committed to the half-marathon.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Much better

All the rest, ice, stretching and massage is starting to pay dividends. And my fashion transgressions at the office have been overlooked. My calves feel much better and my left heel and foot are feeling tons better.

I've been stretching my legs 3x a day and before I get out of bed in the morning. I've been wearing a pair of running shoes instead of heels or flats. I've been icing my feet as much as I can. I cut back my mileage intensity, frequency, and distance.

I really hope I caught this early enough that it will continue to improve. I'm dying to break 30:00 in the 5K in a few weeks' time. I've felt good enough to throw in some RPE pick-ups in one run (real perceived effort) and it seems to have made a difference in my run today. My pace was a good 20 seconds faster than my last few runs. I felt so good, both during and after my runs.

It feels good to be back on track.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Why I Run

A friend asked me recently: "Why do you run?" I had to really think long and hard about what my reasons were. Much of my answer is so intangible that the logical reasons are those that only a fellow runner would understand.

Needless to say, I'm still thinking about this question today, almost a week after she initially asked.

Here are some of my answers:
  • I run because it makes me feel good inside, as though I am doing something that is benefitting my body and my overall health.
  • I run because it gives me a reason to get off the couch so that I can enjoy the outdoors and the nice (and the not-so-nice) weather.
  • I run because it empowers me. Once I finish a particularly good or difficult workout, I feel as though I can take on the world.
  • I run so I can eat the blueberry tart at Starbucks without regret.
  • I run so that I can be blessed with the occasional runner's high.
  • I run today so that I can run faster tomorrow.
  • I run because it gives me precious time to myself, which, in turn, keeps me sane. It gives me the quiet time to sort through my thoughts.
  • I run so I can tune out the world around me, so I can forget my worries and stress and just focus on the next 10-50 feet of pavement in front of me instead.
  • I run so that I can accomplish my goals of completing specific races or distances.
These thoughts are just an attempt at putting those feelings that running evokes into words. Remembering these ideas is essential on those days where you don't want to tie up the laces for a run.