Thursday, March 24, 2016

Where did that come from?

I realize that I bragged about this all over Facebook, but I haven't blogged about my recent 5K race with a huge PR. If you've been dying to hear the details, and just admit it, you have, this is your chance!

Several weeks ago my friend Cristy mentioned that she and another friend, Joy, were doing a St. Patrick's Day 5K and had a team and registration was cheap. I thought it sounded like a fun idea, so I signed up. I quickly began thinking that I've been getting faster and maybe this was finally my chance to run a 5K in under 30 minutes. The only thing I did for a while was thinking about that, and not actually do any work toward it. Several days before the race I decided I was going to do a 3 mile treadmill run at race pace to see if I could do it. I had no real faith in my ability to get it done. None. I got up in the morning anyway and headed to the gym, determined that I was going to give it everything I had. Cristy sent me several encouraging messages, and I got started. I did it! I couldn't believe it, but was very hopeful for the weekend. I needed more miles that day, so after work I headed out for a 5 mile run. The first mile was under 10 minutes. I told myself I needed to slow down. The second mile was under 10 minutes, and I told myself the same thing. I didn't slow down though. Mile 5 was awful, but I had come so far I wasn't giving up! I finished in 48 minutes, 51 seconds. Whoa. Before that morning the longest I had gone at a sub-10 pace was 2 miles. At that point I knew that unless something happened I could probably expect a finish in under 30 minutes.

The day before the race I had a minor wardrobe emergency. It's a St Patrick's Day race, so obviously I needed to wear green. It was cool enough I couldn't wear shorts, and the only capris I had with pockets were purple. I showed Rick my outfit choices. He made fun of me for thinking I could wear it. Then I felt bad because I was going to look stupid. Rick kindly said "what time does Lululemon close?" I was able to get a great pair of capris for the race that I felt good in and were comfy.

Race morning was early! We left Eureka at 5:30. I was nervous, but not terrified. It was chilly and had decent chance of rain, so that was unpleasant. Cristy is a lot faster than me, so my goal was to keep her in my sights as long as I can. There were so many people though I lost track of her almost instantly. Mile 1 felt great, and I had to slow myself down a little bit. Mile 2 started out great, but I was running too fast. I was afraid I'd blow up. I kept trying to slow myself down. Not long before the end of mile 2 I finally caught site of Cristy and was close enough I wanted to try to catch her. I didn't think I could, but it would give me a goal. At the beginning of mile 3 there was a hill, and I was getting closer to her thinking that something wasn't right because I shouldn't be able to catch her. I caught her and tapped her on the shoulder and asked if she was ok. She said yes and we started running together. After a while she started to walk and waved me on. I was so conflicted. It was almost painful to leave her, but I knew she wouldn't want me to give up on my goal. It turned out she was having some stomach issues. With about a quarter of a mile to go I was tired and breathing really hard, but decided to just go for it. I gave it all I had and finished in 28:14! I blew my goal out of the water. I still don't know how it happened. I don't know what I've done to cause me to speed up, but I need to do more of it!

Joy was walking the race with a friend because she's battling an injury right now, so we waited for her.  I'm so grouchy and sad when I can't run that I'm not sure I would have the courage to walk it injured, so I'm impressed Joy came! Plus she's super nice and fun, so I'm really glad she was there! Cristy's daughter Danielle ran as well and finished in a super fast time I can't remember. She's a speed demon! We went and changed clothes, picked up Joy's daughter, did a bit of shopping, and finished our day with a giant meal at Jose Pepper's. I think there's something to be said for these short races that are done in the morning.

I'm running a half marathon next weekend in El Dorado that I'm excited and nervous about. I have a time goal in mind, but it's going to take a unicorn day to make it happen. We'll see!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Back in the saddle!

Wow, it's been a while! I've been running, but I took a break from ultras, and from the stress of running, and just did what I wanted for a long time. It was amazing!

Last spring after running Heartland 50, I had reached total burnout. I didn't love running anymore. I wasn't in a very good place mentally. I decided it was time to stop doing races, and just do what I want. I spent the summer doing short runs, like 3 or 4 miles, and did it several days a week, but never pressured myself. I also started lifting and going to spin classes. Where has lifting been all of my life?! I have been focusing on losing weight, and just getting stronger and better.

Here is a picture of me at Pumpkin Holler 100, and a picture of me last week. Same shirt. I've only lost around 10 pounds, but I can see a huge difference!

At the end of 2015 I decided I was ready to tackle ultras again. I've been training for a 50K, but to be honest, I'm not sure if I'll do it. Right now I'm still really enjoying running for myself, and not for a race. I want to do a 100 in the fall, so my thought was I'll train for a 50K to help get me ready for 100 mile training. Well, I've accomplished that main goal of getting ready for 100 training. I'm pretty much there. Not ready to run a 100 of course, but ready to train for one. So, maybe I'll sign up for the 50K and run it, and maybe not. We'll see.

It has been challenging to ramp up my miles and maintain my lifting. I think as I increase the miles more I'll have to decrease the lifting to two days per week instead of three. Life with my boys is kind of hectic, so most of the time I'm moving stuff around as the week gets busier, and just hanging on for dear life. I'm thrilled at the end of the week when I've hit a mileage goal! It doesn't always look like I expected it to, but I'm getting it done.

Right at this moment, I'm in a great place with my physical fitness. I'm managing to balance it with my family obligations, and with my desires, rather than running because I feel like I need to or it's what I should be doing. Not to say I don't have to force myself sometimes, because I do, but overall I'm enjoying myself a lot.


  • Body recomposition. Lose fat, gain muscle
  • Start a 100 mile training plan
  • Keep lifting. Don't give it up as I increase my miles.
  • Eat healthy to fuel my body and my workouts, and not work out to undo the damage                   of what I ate.