September 20, 2014

September 20 - Beat the Blerch (10K Race)

Total time: 1:39:31
Total distance: 6.2 miles

You guys. YOU GUYS.


It was amazing. The morning was cloudy and cool which is my perfect, ideal running weather. The route quickly went from paved roads to gravel trails, which was something I wasn't used to. The park was gorgeous. The trail was gorgeous. I was in a very zen state of mind throughout almost the entire thing.

I started off like I always do, but something magical happened around Mile 3. (Perhaps it was the cake at the aid station.) During miles 3 & 4, I felt so good that I decided I was going to run the whole thing, even if I had to drag myself across the finish line. And aside from the pit stop/photo ops at the aid station, I did. I ran the whole thing. All 6.2 miles. I didn't come all that way to not give it absolutely everything I had.

When I crossed that finish line, I felt damn near euphoric. Better than I had after any 5K. The elusive runner's high, perhaps. But it was that moment that I felt almost invincible. I had done this thing, this crazy thing that I never thought I'd ever be able to do. What else could I do? What couldn't I do?

Looking at my time afterward, I was momentarily confused and couldn't figure out why my times didn't match up... And then I realized my watch auto-paused when I stopped to take a picture with Sasquatch and the Blerches at the aid station. (Obviously). So, official race time is 1:39:31 but actual time spent running was the 1:38:10 time. Either way. Better than the 1:45 I was expecting! I have decided I really like this distance because once I get past Mile 2, I usually feel pretty good. Maybe a half marathon is on the cards someday after all? We'll see. For now, I shall bask in the glory of my 10K.

September 18, 2014

September 18

Total time: 32 minutes
Total distance: 2 miles

I am the worst. Not only have I not been adequately training for this 10K (which is in, you know, TWO DAYS) but I waited until now to try out my new shoes because of reasons that aren't entirely clear but probably have something to do with procrastination. Well, and the fact that the Shoe Guy told me to run 1-2 miles on a treadmill first before taking them outside - he practically made me pinky swear - which I wasn't sure there was a valid reason for doing so, other than simply being able to return them if I decided I didn't like them. So with a somewhat guilty conscience, I put on the new shoes and went outside. I mean, let's be real: I wasn't going to return them. I don't have time. I needed them, like, a month ago.

Anyway, everyone say hello to my new shoes: the Saucony Cortana 4. They were, uh, a bit more expensive than my PureFlows, but I can justify almost anything when it comes to injury prevention and well-being. I didn't really like the PureFlow 3s (which is too bad, because they had them in my favorite color) and these felt the best, so. I guess it's an investment, right?

Also! When I went to get fitted for new shoes, the Shoe Guy examined my old ones and said approvingly, "good wear pattern." I felt so vindicated as a runner, you guys. 

I'm still on the fence if I should take them to Seattle with me or not. I'm leaning towards yes, because they are new and cushiony. They're not at all broken in, but I am certain that my old ones will hurt my feet if I try to wear them for more than a mile or two. Six miles with blistering, aching feet sounds miserable. I mean, the new ones could conceivably hurt my feet too, but at least they're... new and cushiony. I'm probably overthinking this. 

Anyway - a nice slow and steady run with the new kicks. I ended up liking them a lot, which is good, because I have officially voided their returnability.

September 5, 2014

September 5

Total time: 47:20 minutes
Total distance: 3.10 miles

I live in the same city as my alma mater, and they recently launched an art project where decorated statues of our mascot were painted/sculpted and placed around town.... effectively creating a scavenger hunt for those of us who are into such things. (Hint: I am one of those people.)

There were quite a few of them near-ish to my house, so I decided that tonight's run would be a pretty casual loop into the semi-campus area to capture a few of these elusive statues. I ran/walked/lollygagged to the stadium and back, stopping to take photos of the sculptures on the way. It was completely aimless and wonderful, which is probably what a Friday evening run should be. By the time I circled back and made it to my park (my usual running grounds), I'd actually managed to get in the equivalent of a 5K.

I've also made peace with the fact that I think I need new shoes. And soon. I am going to murder my feet if I wear these things in the 10K. I know you're not supposed to wear new shoes for a race, but I can't see how they'd be any worse than these. At least new ones will have cushion. So, I'll be off to the running store hopefully this weekend to get me a new pair... and it might be an entirely new pair, since my current style (the Brooks PureFlow 2) is discontinued, and my running message board peeps say the PureFlow 3s are actually noticeably different. Not super keen on spending the money right now, but I'm even less keen on injuring myself, so: that's that.

August 23, 2014

August 23 - Huxley Prairie Fest (5K Race)

Total time: 44:45 minutes
Total distance: 3.10 miles

5K in the lightning! In the lightning! In the raaaaain!* (For that to make sense and/or be funny, you need to be marginally familiar with this awesomely juvenile/NSFW video from my early years of college.) #strife 

In all seriousness, though, the rain didn't really bother me and it was much preferred to the super hot day we were supposed to get. What did bother me was that the race started about fifteen/twenty minutes late, that there was no real "start" line (even though it was supposed to be chip-timed?) and that the route went through residential neighborhoods where people were driving around and where any of us could have feasibly gotten hit by a car. I was not terribly keen on that bit. Closed roads = safer. 

Anyway. Knocked almost 3 minutes off my last 5K but wasn't quite fast enough to beat my 2014 PR of 44:29. Ah, well. Next time? 

Also, ended finishing fourth from last. Meh.

*The lightning had pretty much stopped by the time the race was supposed to start, but that ruins my joke, so...

August 17, 2014

August 17

Total time: 14:31
Total distance: 1.01 miles

I had to do a double take on this one when entering the numbers - it was nearly identical to July 29's run. Upon closer inspection, they are only three tenths of a second different than each other.

I'm having troubles getting my Garmin to sync right now which is kind of annoying, and I didn't take a post-run photo, so... uh. This is a pretty weak entry, but it wasn't really that remarkable of a run, either, so. I guess they can't all be noteworthy.

August 6, 2014

August 6

Total time: 1 hr, 42 minutes
Total distance: 6 miles

So, at some point, I figured I should at least get an idea of what six miles looks like. So I did this through what I like to call EXTREME INTERVALS. By which I mean, I didn't do intervals by time - I did them by distance. I ran 2 miles, walked 0.5 mile, ran 1.5 miles, walked 1 mile, ran 1 mile. EXTREME INTERVALS. 

It was pretty intense. There were several points where I didn't think I was going to be able to do it, but the other part of my brain was like, "but you have to. You're not going to get any better if you don't push yourself." So I did. And it was hard. But I feel so much more prepared for my 10K race next month than I had at any point up until now. I may even survive the thing. I probably won't be able to run all of it, and that's okay. 

August 2, 2014

August 2 - Iowa Irish Fest (5K Race)

Total time: 47:36 minutes
Total distance: 3.19 miles

Generally, running multiple miles in the Iowa August heat and humidity is a terrible idea, but the weather the morning of this race was actually rather comfortable. I'd wanted to do the 5K attached to the Iowa Irish Fest last year but I can't remember what it conflicted with... at any rate, it didn't work out. I signed up really late, so I didn't get a t-shirt, which made me a little sad. I mean, I need another t-shirt like I need another hole in my head, but they were kind of cool and it's not like my registration was any cheaper for not getting one. Ya know?

In addition to it being simply a cool event, some recent digging on has dug up the fact that one of my great-great-great grandfathers on my mother's side came on over from Ireland. I still have some work to do, so I can't give a full percentage of Irishness in my veins, but it's a pretty recent immigration, so I'm going to go ahead and say that my attendance at such an event is justified. (As well as attendance at any given Oktoberfest. Or Swedish or English events, apparently. We're very Western European.)

This is all very beside the point, which is that I finally - IN AUGUST - ran my first 5K for the year. As in, ran the whole thing.

My time was, interestingly, slower than the 5Ks that I intervaled this year, but no matter. That wasn't really the point. The point was to run the whole thing, which I did.

Plus then I got to hang out with my sister and nephew at the 'fest for the rest of the afternoon, and that was pretty fun. It's always nice to have someone waiting for you at the finish line, too, for a change.