Thursday, May 31, 2012

#2 Run a 10k

#2 on my 30 during 30 list was to run a 10k.  Back in early March I committed to a "Couch to 10k" program that I had thrown on my ipod touch and used to train for a 10k.  There seemed to be a lot of excuses for me during that time to not go for the 60 minute run/walk that the program required three times a week.  Some days I was biking home because my car had been stolen, and no one wants to run after biking up to the ridge I live on.  I had a cold for a few weeks, allergies for others, the weather was bad, I was busy, whatever!  I had a lot of excuses.  I still managed to get in a significant amount of training.  I know this because the program keeps track of which workouts I completed, but I also did a few runs with Dave without the ipod.  Lastly, my legs and behind are less jiggly than they were in early March.

I feel good when running now.  When I first started, I had a hard time running for more than a few minutes at a time without feeling the lack of muscles in my legs and the lack of heart health and lung health.  My last two weeks of training I was doing 10 minutes of running, 1 minute walk on and off for 60 minutes.  It felt good.  I trained on trails near my house, not the sidewalk like I had originally imagined.  The trails were just more beautiful and motivating, even if I had to jump around rocks and cacti some of the time.  They also had a lot of elevation change.  My usual route started with a massive hill, went downhill slowly, then back up at the end.  Twice I ran straight up 1,000 feet from my house to the base of the mountains (okay, I didn't run that whole time, there was plenty of walking).  One thing that was missing from my training was any concept of distance.  I never knew how far I was actually running.  I just ran when it told me to run and walked when it told me to walk.  I think this was good for me.  I was able to just focus on being in shape and not on the 10k distance.  It made me a little nervous though because I had never ran 6+ miles in a row.  I didn't know what my body would do after maybe 4 miles.  Luckily, I had another non-runner friend training in a similar way and we just vowed to do our best!

On Memorial Day, several my friends and 55,000 other people gathered to run in the Bolder Boulder.  The bus situation was poorly described on the website, so I biked a little longer than usual to get to a park n ride that I knew would have bus service to the starting line.  Three biked miles and $4.50 later, I had my ticket to the starting line and managed to get there in plenty of time before our N-wave gathered.  The trick to this was to pack lightly, only bringing with me what I was going to run with... a bike key but no house key, an insurance card, and bus pass, but no ID, energy chews and a kleenex, but no phone.  Unfortunately it was about 50 degrees when I left the house and was biking downhill in the cold.  I had to bring a light jacket.  Later I had to wrap it around my waste and run with it, was was super annoying.  I decided to run with my ipod as well, which I really liked.  I planned it for the workout that had me running 10 minutes, walking 1 (I ran the first 15 minutes because of the 5 minute warmup it allowed for).  I planned out some good tunes to keep me motivated.  
Our little crew all gathered in our wave together and planned our meeting place for when we got separated after the finish.  We made our way up to the starting line.  We were near the back of the wave, but the timing is linked to a thingy on your shoe, not on your specific wave time.  Once I crossed the starting line there were literally thousands of people WALKING in front of me!  Really?  You couldn't at least TRY running the first mile?  Yes, we signed up for the jog/walk wave, but I was clearly being way too polite about this whole "I might be slow" thing.  I saw two friends start running around the walkers and I decided to do the same, hoping my other inexperienced runner friend would follow, but we all managed to get separated right at the beginning after a few zig-zags around slow people.  The zig zagging takes a serious amount of time.  Several times I was pinned behind an entire line of walkers.  It felt good being one of the fastest people around, but I know my times would have been better if I was being pulled along by a fast wave, rather than dodging people.  I'm proud of the slow people of Colorado for coming out for it, I just wish that I had chosen a wave in front of them.  My fault.  Still, don't sign up for a jogging/walking wave if you have NO intention of even jogging past the starting line.  (Looking back, we had signed up for the 90-100 minute jog/walk wave... definitely a bad move.) 

I always feel not so great when I first start running.  My muscles feel weak, I breath heavily and get a dry throat, I'm tempted to walk.  I know this about myself, so I set rules that I would only walk when the lady on my ipod told me to.  Turns out after my body numbs to the experience a bit, the pain isn't as noticeable and and I find my groove.  The first mile marker came really quickly and so did the free water.  I used the water station as a chance to pass as many people as I could!  After this the route goes uphill for quite some time.  These hills are insignificant compared to the trails I was used to running on, but they were still very noticeable.  I had a hard time up to the summit of the route and my slowest mile was mile 3.  Mile 5 felt great because it was downhill.

At one point near the end I reached a limit of too much running.  I walked for a good two minutes and ate an energy chew, which is hard to do while breathing heavily.  Perhaps a liquid shot would have been preferable.  Little did I know that this long break before the final hill was the time that Dave was spectating!  I must have looked like such a wuss!  Little did he know that I was doing so well the mile before!  I've got a few pictures of me looking like a wuss, walking.  Oh the regret!
The last section is a run up a hill into the stadium.  People had flat out given up and had spread their slow selves all over the 2-lane road making it nearly impossible to get around them.  The steep hill is what I had trained for!  I ran my fastest past those slow pokes and into the stadium and past the finish line, dodging muffin-tops left and right!  (Okay, I probably have a muffin top myself... but I'm getting better!)

I could have done better.  I want to do it all over again, like, tomorrow.  I can see where this would be addicting.  The race was so distracting, I wasn't in nearly as much discomfort as I usually am when I run alone!  The next day I felt mildly sore, but the only thing that lingered was my lungs feeling a little weak, like I have to cough. 

My total time was 1:08:03.  This means that I was running at a pace of waves that left an hour before I did.  At least now I know that next time (next time?  am I crazy?)  I should sign up for a sub-70 minute wave.  Lesson learned.  Running in the wave we did was fun and confidence boosting.  And that might be a great way to leave my first 10k.  It was so fun running with friends, even if we weren't together during the run, knowing they were ahead and behind me was a great feeling!

I'm going to keep running.  I like the way my body is starting to feel/look.  I'm less... blobular than I used to be.  Less hunchback-of-Notre Dame.  Less jiggly.  More likely to wear a swim suit in front of people.  I appreciate the feeling of my heart being more healthy.  I'm 30!  I'm starting to feel as young as I am and I don't want to stop going down that road.  What should I run in next?

My stats:
Mile times of 0:10:16.92, 0:10:40.45, 0:11:32.75, 0:11:14.56, 0:10:19.72, 0:11:27.28 and a finish time of 1:08:03.13, 10:58 per mile. 

I placed 308th among 623 other 30-year-old women.  
I was 9,430th out of 25,075 total females.

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