Thursday, July 23, 2009

slow and happy

My pace seems to be getting slower and slower. I’m not sure why. And frankly, I don’t care so much. The only time it slightly bothers me is if I’m at a race where there are lots of people I know. Being so slow gives me less time to socialize with them afterwards. Heck, some are even gone by the time I finish! Also, sometimes all of the food and water is gone by the time I reach the finish line. On occasion it also makes me feel less worthy. Am I a “real” runner if my pace is the same as fast walkers? Of course I am. But some of those elite runners might think otherwise. But something TrailPixie wrote on my blog recently made me realize that I should be running for the pure joy of it and not worry about who is ahead or behind me. Just live in the moment of the run. I like this recommendation!!

There are many ways to improve my pace if that was important to me. But I guess I have decided that is not important. When you are trying to run a marathon in all 50 states, pace because a lot less important than the overall goal of completing the race. It doesn’t matter what your time is as long as you finish. My certificate from the 50 States Marathon Club is not going to state the finish times at each race! So as long as I finish while the course is still officially open, I’m good.

By the way, there is one route I take near my workplace that is full of rabbits! I love it! It’s a shorter route so I usually only take it on shorter runs. But I love seeing the rabbits! Sometimes I even count them; I don’t think I’ve ever gotten under 5. They are out most often after work, so that is when I try to go there. I’m sure the neighbors don’t enjoy the rabbits as much as I do, as their plants/gardens are probably suffering. But they make me smile.

I’ve got a 5 mile race tonight. It’s going to be over 80% humidity tonight. UGH!!!! My only saving grace is that it is going to be cloudy so at least I won’t have to deal with the sun, too. I should remind myself that I ran a marathon PR on a day like this. It was probably about 5-10 degrees cooler on that day, but the rest of the weather conditions are about the same.

PS--I'm now up to running 4+ miles without stopping. Should come in handy tonight at the race.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"out of the mouths of babes"

Today I was scheduled for a 5 mile run. I ran after work and decided to spend as much time on a trail as I could. As I was running on the trail I saw a couple of young girls and their dog next to a stream. I stopped and asked if I could pet the dog. We all started talking. They asked how long I was running for and I said 5 miles. As we continued to talk, I showed them my satellite watch, which showed that I had run 1.64 miles so far. One of the girls then said "Gee, you sure have a long way to go."

After that, the remaining 3.36 miles seemed like they took FOREVER. The innocent comment from the little girl sure made an impact. I tried to tell her that the good news was that I was almost half-way there, but that didn't seem to make a difference to me mentally. The "long way to go" comment remained in my head the rest of the run!

Side note: I ran 12 miles on Monday night and actually ran 3.75 before stopping for water/stretching. Woo hoo!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

small milestone

Today I hit a post-marathon milestone. It's a small one, and for most long-distance runners, it's also a pathetic one. But for the first time since my last marathon (May 3rd for those of you not keeping score), I ran 3 straight miles on a training run without stopping for anything (water, stretching, etc.) I've run many miles since my marathon (including an 11 miler) but all of those runs have included very frequent stops. I know it sounds kind of a pathetic... but that's where I'm at with my running right now. And I just have to be happy that I'm out there.

I should note that in previous training runs it's not like the frequent stops were very long. I mean, I wasn't stopping to play a video game or go shopping! But the stops were there, if only for 30 seconds to take a swig of water or stretch my legs. Stopping isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in the long run it can help you to run faster. But I am still psyched that I was able to run 3 miles without stopping.

Let's see how I do tomorrow during my 12 miler!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


It's been a while since my last post. That's because I was on vacation for 12 days with no computer. I must admit that being offline for that long was great!! I did sneak a peek into my email and Facebook on a very rare occasion on my nephew's laptop, but I didn't post anything. And it felt good.

What didn't feel so good was my running on vacation. The heat and humidity make running harder for everyone, but for some reason it's treacherous for me. My paces slows to a tortoise pace. I have to take lots of breaks, drink lots of fluids, and down electrolyte tablets. But I plug along figuring that at least I'm getting the mileage in.

I arrived at my vacation spot on Friday night around 10pm and had pretzels for dinner. The next morning I had a 5 mile race at 8:30. On race day, the pretzels and long drive didn't do so well for me. My race time was the slowest I'd ever run for a 5 miler. In fact, my pace was on par with my marathon pace. Yes, folks, I ran a 5 mile race at the same pace I run a 26.2 mile race!! I must have walked for about 3/4 mile of the race total. It was blazing hot with no shade. I was a melty mess. I knew I was in trouble when the old man who was huffing and puffing passed me in the last mile.

Oh well! I finished. And the following week I was able to run 11 miles at a faster pace. Not a "fast" pace, but "faster" than the race. :)