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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Army Run - Recap!

Sunday was the big day. The day that I'd been training for since June. THE ARMY RUN!

It was my first race, ever, so the experience was all new, from the pick-up of the race kit to the run itself.

The race kits were available to be picked up (in person, of course. Why would they mail it? That would be too easy :P) two days before the race, so since I was already on school campus on Friday, I decided that a quick walk over at 1pm when they started handing them out would be a nice change of scene.

Quick? Hahaha!

First of all, it was a gorgeous rainy day, and I was lacking in the umbrella department. So I walked over to City Hall in the rain, and saw that almost everyone else doing the Army Run had the same idea as me. So I got to the back of the line and waited. It was a loooong line, but it was moving relatively quickly. I got under the tent where the volunteers were set up to pick up my kit, and waited some more. I finally got my bib and pins, and was sent to pick up my shirt at another table. Thankfully, no line there! After I got my shirt, I was once again sent to another place to make sure my chip was activated. Off to the Drill Hall in the rain I went. And it was yet another experience. Every few steps, vendors tried to peddle their wares. I quickly pretended I was busy on my phone so I wouldn't have to say "no" every few seconds!

One hour later, I had everything I needed! I went home wet and cold, but feeling accomplished :P

Two days later.... RACE DAY! I woke up early to make sure I got some breakfast in well before the run (I had a bagel), and got ready to go. Mike and Lily were coming to cheer me on as well! The morning was chilly, and the shirts for the race, though long-sleeved, were thin. I was glad I decided to wear my pants instead of shorts! I met up with some friends, and we chatted for a bit, and finally headed into our corrals to await the start of the race.

The anticipation of everyone in the crowd was so neat to see! Everyone checking their watches, nervously talking, and waiting for the big cannon start. After some music and a countdown... BOOM! The race had begun! My corral was a little bit  back from the start, so it took us a few minutes to get to the starting line. As soon as we got there, the two people I was with took off! We had agreed beforehand to run our own pace, and mine was definitely the slowest pace. :)

The run was a lot of fun. Being in such a big group (which I was nervous about at first, I don't like big crowds, but this one was okay!) and seeing everyone with the same goal as you - to complete the 5K - was inspiring. It was a lot of fun to run past people on the sidelines who were cheering everyone on. It was also fun passing the injured soldiers and hearing everyone cheer for them and thank them as we went. Being able to pass some people, but at the same time being passed by others, also provided motivation to just keep going. And many people on the sidelines had motivational signs they were holding up. It was a wonderful experience!

My goal was to finish in under 35 minutes, which was how long it took me the last time I did a 5K in training. My second goal was not to stop. And guess what? I managed both! I finished the run in 33 minutes, 13 seconds, and I ran the whole way (only stopping for seconds to grab some water part way through).

It's an experience I will definitely do again!
My sister and I at breakfast after the race!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

5K Training - Going for Distance

Oops, I did it again. :P I waited another week to take another run! Today, I decided to be different. I know the race is a mere 11 days away, and as of last run, I still hadn't run a full 5K. So today, I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it. Just run the damn 5K and get it over with, see how fast I could do it, and prove to myself that I could, in fact, do it.

So I ran. Non-stop. I didn't map out my distance beforehand, so just ran and hoped for the best, hoped that I would make 5K. I knew what 4.3K looked like, so I just ran a bit longer. I didn't use my training program, and instead just glanced at my phone from time to time to make sure I knew how long I'd been running for different landmarks.

And, I did it. I was able to run 5K without stopping! Not only did I run 5K, I ran 5.15K! I overshot it, and guess what? I ran it in 35 minutes. 35 minutes, and that was after a week of not running, AND I've only ran about twice in the past 3.5 weeks.

I think it's safe to say that I'll be just fine for the Army Run! I just have to make sure to push myself to keep running in the meantime, as well as when it's over.

And even cooler about my run? I've just inspired Mike to get out and go for a run. I have a feeling he's trying to compete with me, but I'm helping someone else get out there and run! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

5K Training - Week 8, Runs 1 & 2

So, you may have noticed I've been kind of lacking in the blogging department. What you don't know is that I've also been lacking in the training department. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I fell off the running wagon for awhile there. I have no good excuse. I went on vacation for a week to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and niece in Baltimore (I'll blog about our adventures there soon!), but there was no good reason to not run while I was there. The hotel we stayed at even gave guests a free membership at the gym across the street, but it wasn't enough to get me out of vacation mode.

Oh well. What's done is done. The good news is that I'm getting back into it, finishing my training since the Army Run is now less than 3 weeks away!

Run 1 of Week 8, which is 28 minutes straight of running sandwiched between 5 minute walks, was completed way back on August 17. I never updated on it, but it went well! I managed to run 4.31 km in the 28 minutes of straight running, which is a little slower than what I was originally aiming for, but I was really happy with that number!

While I was on vacation, I bought myself a pair of shoes especially for running. As I mentioned before, I was very overdue for new shoes, and these ones have more support at the middle of the foot to encourage striking mid-foot instead of at the heel (Skechers Go Run). So last night, doing Run 2 of Week 8, I wore them for the first time. I really like them! They are light and comfortable, and I think (hope?) they help my posture and back, which is still terribly sore, by the way.

So since it had been about 2 1/2 weeks since my last run, I wanted to get back in the game. I wanted to make sure I ran for the full 28 minutes, even if it was a slower run. And I'm proud that my body seemed to remember exactly what to do. I easily ran the whole 28 minutes, although it was definitely a much, much slower pace. I covered 3.86 km in the 28 minutes of running, but I know that it will just keep getting better as long as I stay in the game. And I plan to!

I don't think I'll make my goal of finishing the Army Run in 30 minutes, but I'm okay with that. I'm pretty proud of myself for getting into this in the first place, something I never thought I'd be able to do. My goal is to run 5K non-stop, and to do my best with where I am now. Time will tell how fast I'll be able to run it!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

5K Training - Week 7, Run 3

So I've been on a short hiatus it seems. But it's only been a week since I've blogged. Not a year. So I'm good :)

On Tuesday I finally went for my last run of Week 7. After many evenings with pouring rain and/or thunderstorms, I didn't get out for my usual runs. I was a bit worried that having been so long between runs, I'd have trouble with my run (it's been awhile, so as a reminder, it was a 5 minute warm-up walk, 25 minute run, and 5 minute cool-down walk). But I'm pleased to announce that it went pretty well! I decided to go for a music-free run, and it went well. I think I run better with no music for some reason. I'm weird like that!

This run I was able to keep the same pace even though it had been close to a week since my last run... I ran 3.73 km in 25 minutes! I was definitely looking forward for my phone to announce that I could stop running for the last 5 minutes of my run! I'm starting to think that running the 5K in 30 minutes this year might not be attainable, but I'm sure going to keep trying.

My only complaint about my running is the back pain I mentioned in one of my earlier run posts. But my complaint has changed a bit... If I DON'T go for a run in awhile, my tailbone is in excruciating pain all. the. time. But if I go for a run, it seems to keep it more in check, and while it is still a bit painful, it is nowhere near as bad as when I don't run. I guess I'm doomed to stay a runner ;)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Corn! Sweet, Golden, Glorious Corn!

It's no secret. I, like most normal human beings, ADORE corn on the cob. And not just a little bit, either. I look forward to this time of year to enjoy this amazing vegetable. With just a little bit of butter and salt (and of course, some toothpicks for the corn that inevitably gets stuck in your teeth!), it's perfect as a side, or even as a light meal on its own.

So you can only imagine my excitement when I read the blog for Bryson Farms (where I get my vegetables delivered from) and it mentioned that corn was now in season and that it would appear in this week's basket.

And, other than only getting 2 ears, this corn did not disappoint! I don't know if it's because I haven't bought any corn on the cob from the grocery store this year (so this was my first cob of the season), but I don't remember corn being this tasty, sweet and tender. Lily loved it, too!

So, what else did I get this week?

  • Head of lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Bag of brown mushrooms
  • Big container of heirloom tomatoes (colourful!)
  • Bag of small red potatoes
  • Basil
  • A funny-looking squash
  • Zucchini
  • Salad greens
  • Radish sprouts
  • Yellow beans
  • Garlic
  • 2 ears of corn
  • Heirloom carrots
  • 1 big yellow onion
Pretty good haul! I am overloaded with carrots, so I'm planning on trying a grated carrot salad (thanks, Nicole!). I may send the recipe to Something New Thursdays over at Mama Lego's blog! I also plan on using some of the kale in a Paleo recipe I'm cooking up for some friends who just had their second baby. Perhaps for the meal plan, some homemade mushroom soup with the mushrooms, some potato salad, and a tomato salad!

Lily is enjoying picking up all the tomatoes, including this ginormous black/green/red one!

Ahhhh. So golden. So tasty.

5K Training - Week 7, Run 2

Wednesday marked the second run of week 7. So close to being done my training, I can taste it! :P I'm pleased to say that this run was easier than my last one. It was less humid, and I was able to just focus on the running and breathing so much more without negative distractions from myself. This time, I decided to use an iPhone app my aunt Monique told me about (thanks, Aunt Monique!) called TuneIn to listen to the radio. Newer songs! Still out loud, though.

This run was slightly faster than my last two! I was able to run 3.75km in 25 minutes. Not bad, but not quite where I want to be, either!

What I may try for my next run is back to old school. By that I mean I was originally running with no music, so I'm going to give that a try and see if it helps my time or concentration. I'll let you know if it helps or hinders my time!