Monday, October 24, 2011

USMCR Freedom 5k

This past Saturday I ran in my fourth race the USMCR Freedom 5k.  Actually, we (the family) all ran in this race.  The race was organized by the Marines and it benefited the Hope for Warriors.  The race director is the husband of one of my running friends from the running school.  A few of the girls from our running group also ran in this race.  Everybody did GREAT!!  I set a new PR of 31:22!!  I was so surprised (and happy) with my finish time.  I'm starting to think a finish time of under 30 minutes is going to be possible.  Maybe after a few more races.  I also met another goal - I ran the ENTIRE race.  No walk breaks, yay!

It was pretty chilly outside that morning so it gave me a preview of what fall running will be like.  It wasn't that bad once I started running.  The body heats up pretty quick.  I wore a pair of compression capris (which I love now) a long sleeve tech shirt and the tech race shirt.  The race shirt was thin so it was purely for fashion purposes!  Actually about a mile into the race, I wondered if I would get too hot in long sleeves.  I didn't think about the sun being out - when I ran eariler in the week it was still chilly but in the evening and the sun was going down.  But it was all good.  Here are some pics.

I was also very proud of my son since this was his first race and he had a finish time of 26:38!  And proud of my husband who also set a new PR of 20:23 and won first place in his age group!  We are becoming a running family!  Well onto the next race which is this Saturday and it's the Halloween themed race.  Remember that super cute costume I mentioned in an eariler post?  I don't think I will be setting any new PR's running in a costume but it's still going to be fun!

The past few weeks

It's been a few weeks since I have posted because nothing really exciting has been going on in my running world.  I did find a training program for an 8k online by Hal Higdon.  I found his name from another running blog that I read.  It seemed like the level I needed was intermediate because it started with 3 mile runs which is what I have been doing.  But the total weekly mileage was around 16 miles for the first week and I have only been running about 9-10 miles a week.  That seemed like too much of a jump at this point.  The training program also included speed training and a longer slow run once a week.  I would like to do both of those in addition to my weekly runs.  So I didn't really start following the plan but I have continued to run about 10 miles a week.  The 8k that I plan to run is not until March 2012 so I have some time to build up my weekly mileage and then I could start this training plan at a later date.

Am I a runner yet?  Depends on your definition. I read this quote "If you run, you are a runner".  Well, then by that quote I am a runner.  But others may think you need to be able to run fast or run greater distances like marathons.  One day last week I had a realization that I am a runner.  We had to go by a store after work and it was about 6:45 when we got back home and I still needed to get a run in.  It starts getting dark around 7pm.  So I thought I would just go for a quick run around the neighborhood since the street lights would be on.  I ran for about 20 minutes and it even started to rain some, just a little mist.  Running out there in the dark I felt like a runner.

Now fast forward to the next evening's run.  When I got home from work the skies were dark and it looked like it was going to pour down rain.  We checked the radar and it looked okay.  If we went ahead and ran we could probably make it back home before the rain.  We is my hubby (Michael), my son (Ryan) and myself.  Ryan and I are running together since Michael is super fast.  There was a light mist when we started and I hoped it wouldn't start to rain harder.  But it did.  As soon as we hit the trails the rain started to come down harder.  I found some trees to hang out under and decided that was it for me.  Of course the boys continued on to run, not phased by the rain.  It was at that point that I realized...uh...maybe I'm not a runner after all.  I will admit I'm not that dedicated to run in the pouring (or halfway pouring) rain.  And I'm OK with that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Running school comes to an end

Last night was the celebration picnic for the women's running school (WRS). We met at a park that we have ran a few times.  Of course me and some of my running buddies managed to get in a short 2 mile run before the picnic started! After eating and chatting, we recognized all the coaches who made it possible for us to finish this running school with success. 

The Women's Only 5k was this past Saturday and unfortunately, I was not able to run in it because of work.  I normally don't work on weekends except for twice a year and this year it just happened to be October 1st. But it's okay, there is always next year.  And I am so glad that the girls on the black team all did great!  I wish I could have made in this picture but don't they look great?!

This is a picture from the Women's Only race last year that I again wasn't able to run in, but did volunteer. Also this was the day I made my hip flexor injury much worse (see one of my first posts). That's me being not-so-slim in the front left corner.  To be fair, I did have on two t-shirts, a jacket and that lovely orange vest.  But what a difference I am physically from one year ago. Wow.

I never actually wrote down my goals for the running school (like I was supposed to in my manual) but I had them in my head.  When I finished I wanted to: 1. Run 3 miles at least 3 times a week; 2. Run in 5k races; 3. Improve my 5k race time; 4.  Find a group/new friends to run with.  I'm happy to say that I met ALL of my goals!!  I'm so glad I joined the WRS and as I said in one of my earlier posts, the third time was the charm!  I truly believe I am on my way to becoming an official runner.  What is an official runner?  I guess that all depends on who you ask.  I'll save my thoughts on that topic for a later post.

So now that the school is over what's going to keep me motivated and running?  Well, I have a list of 5k races to get me through December.  Five races if I make it too all of them.  One of them being a Halloween themed race and I actually purchased a costume this past weekend!  This is not me at all - I normally don't get into dressing up and haven't since I was a kid.  I wasn't even looking for a costume, but saw the cutest one and it was pretty cheap (but didn't look cheap as far as costumes go).  I had originally decided not to do the race because Michael (my hubby) has a race that morning and my son has a football game later.  It is already a busy Saturday.  But after I found this costume, the idea popped in my head that I had to get it and run in this race.  So I did!  OMG, it's so cute I can't stand it!

Besides the races, I need to figure out a training plan.  A few of my running buddies plan to join another school.  This one is a 16 week program that trains you for a half-marathon.  They plan to do a half-marathon in March.  I'm not ready to start training for a half-marathon.  I do want to improve my pace and distance.  I think this school will also offer a 10k program if there is enough interest.  Still, I'm not sure that I want to commit to another school right now and spend more money.  These race fees add up!  Plus, there is a bunch of information and training plans online for free.  Running in the fall is going to be new for me.  I'm going to need some warmer running clothes and I'm sure I need a new pair of running shoes!  It will also be getting darker earlier and eventually our group will not be able to run in the evening.  I guess I will be spending more time at the Y on the treadmill.  So I think my plan is to find a training program online that will increase my pace and distance, continue meeting my running group and run in some 5k races!