Saturday, March 30, 2013

Catch up time.

When your mother comes to you and asks "Are you ever going to blog again?" then maybe you should... I guess it has been three full months since the last post. It's not that I haven't been running; I've been running my little guts out. And I've done three races. So I suppose I should actually say something about all that :)

I'll start with bubbling on for a minute about my latest acquisition, a Nordictrack treadmill. I named him Odin, it seemed appropriate, what with him being a NORDICtrack and all. Odin has been a tremendous help with my pace. I've worked my way down closer to an 11 minute mile with nice consistency. Odin keeps me from getting lazy. When I run outside and get tired, I slow down without realizing it. To slow down on the treadmill, I have to make a conscious effort and push the button to slow down. So for the most part, I stick it out until the end of the run.

Now remember how I signed up for that crazy thing called the Goofy Challenge? Well, I survived it and even kind of enjoyed it a bit. It was honestly one of the more difficult things I've ever done, but that doesn't mean I won't do it again. The major difficulty came from the humidity. You would think that the major difficulty would be from the 39.3 miles you have to run, but no. I had no idea that I could sweat so much. After the first mile of the half marathon, I was basically drenched. It was also hotter than average for that time of year. They had signs up all over warning people to hydrate and slow their pace. Hey, you don't have to tell me twice. I like to drink and run slow, so it was my kind of atmosphere. I actually felt fairly sassy at the end of the half and sped across the finish line, since I took it so slow throughout the race up to mile 12.5, it seemed like the thing to do.

This picture is at mile 4. Notice the insane amount of sweat. It's my gift, and my curse.

When Sunday morning rolled around and it was time to run the marathon, I started to panic. I actually got nauseous waiting in the corral. That hasn't happened to me before a race. I knew I wasn't really prepared for this. The half wasn't such a big deal. I do those all the time. But a full marathon in and of itself is rough, and throwing it in the day after a half is something else entirely. It's interesting how much one's mind influences one's body. I was actually pretty miserable for the first 16 miles of the race. I even considered dropping out, it was that bad. But I'm very stubborn and this race was darned expensive. I decided to stick with the 7 hour pace group (since you had to cross the line in 7 hours to get the medal, it was sort of a no-brainer). They were doing a 20 second run with 40 second walk ratio. It worked really well and I started feeling much better. The group was fun too, lots of joking and laughing. It took my mind off how much my feet hurt. I broke away from the group with a quarter mile to go. I actually felt refreshed and strong enough to sprint that last quarter mile and cross the finish line with a smile on my face. And when you can end a race with a smile, you're bound to do it again. So in January 2015, I'm planning on running the newly introduced Dopey Challenge. It consists of a 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, then the half marathon on Saturday, and the full marathon on Sunday. Bring. It. On.

A couple weeks ago I completed half marathon number 21, running the Canyonlands Half marathon for the second time. It's exciting to have been running long enough to be repeating races now. I'm pleased to report that I beat my time from last year by just over 9 minutes. It was a gorgeous day to be running in red rock country. They also added a finisher medal for this year. Bonus!

And because running 13.1 miles isn't enough sometimes, you go hiking after. That's to insure you won't be able to walk normally the next day.

My next race is April 7th.. I'll be running the inaugural Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in San Francisco. It should be a grand adventure, which I'll report on in a timely manner (I promise mom, okay?).

Until then, happy running!