Seaside 5K Shenanigans

Gary, his mom & I drove down to Maryland on Friday night for our 5K. My sister offered to come pick up our kitten and take her home for the weekend because I was worried about leaving her for the weekend. Our other cat, Zooey, is a pro at being left alone. A big bowl of crunchies and she’s good to go. However… she’s getting a little hefty and I think she’s overeating or stress eating – we came home to find she’d thrown up a little pile of undigested crunchies. I’m going to increase our playtimes a bit so we’ll get some exercise and bonding time.

Wendi came to pick up Gus and sent us tons of cute pictures all weekend. It was probably after the tenth picture of Gus sleeping on Wendi’s shoulder that we began to face the fact that we might not actually get the cat back.

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We got a good night’s sleep and headed to Ocean City for the 5K. Aunt Kara and I planned to alternate running and walking for 1 minute for the entire time. Gary said he was going to stick with us, but I knew he wanted to zoom ahead. I do believe his only goal for the race was to beat me. He claims that he just wanted to run a good race, but if you think about it, he thinks I always run a great race, so if he beats me, therefore he also runs a great race. See, it’s a compliment!

The weather was a bit chilly at 7:30 AM when we left for Ocean City. There was some kerfuffle about the race start time, as one website said 8:45 AM and another said 9:15 AM. There was also shenanigans about the food at the end of the race – the website clearly said candy, but all they had were strawberry Gushers. Race organizers, that is not candy. Some of the goodies they had last year were not available this year, like bagels and soda, and that was kind of a bummer since I talked it up so much to the new racers. We did get beer though (last year it was two tickets and this year we only got one, not that it matters to me but I’m just saying.) Maybe this year the photographer will actually post race photos – the photo website has nothing from last year’s race and they haven’t answered my emails. These are my gripes. and now on to sunnier shores.

We got to OC, caught up with my running buddy Lauren, and tried to work out the jitters before starting. Gary stuck with us for about two seconds before he pulled ahead. He got a good lead on us and kept it the whole time. This year the race seemed to go much faster than any 5K I’ve ever run before! I think the pacing of the Run 1/ Walk 1 system worked really well for me. Mile 1 went by pretty quickly, Mile 2 I could feel myself start dragging a little. Kara and I tried to chat with each other about running but I was finding myself very out of breath during the walk portions. She was kicking butt though! Totally didn’t seem tired at all. We kept up with each other pretty well, she definitely pushed me to run faster. We took an extra walk break at the halfway point, waved to our friends as they passed us on the way back to the finish line, grabbed some water. I think I wanted to take an extra minute during one walk break but we didn’t. Mile 3: my legs were getting sore. Not training started to take its toll! It was challenging, but I kept thinking that I was there to push myself. We found Lauren and our moms about 1/4 mile from the Finish waiting to watch us cross. At that point I kept running through the walk breaks – we saw Gary finish ahead of us, then Kara & I crossed the finish line at the same time. She didn’t even seem tired, but I was like, “Ok, let’s find somewhere to sit down.”

We had our beer, water, bananas, etc. Took some smiling “I Did It!” pictures and hung out in the tent. Eventually they announced that all the 5K runners had finished and they were posting the times. Gary finished in 48:56. Their printer was running out of ink and some of the lines didn’t print too clearly so it was tough to read my name, but I found Kara’s name and I knew I was next to her- we finished at 49:42, tied for last! (We actually weren’t last, the printer ran out of ink and didn’t print anything else after my name!) HEY, THAT’S A PR! Last year I ran 52:15 at this race, and my previous best was 50:10. Yeah, someone runs a sub-50 5K! High fives were had all around. We took off our shoes and ran into the ocean.

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Seaside 10 miler/ 5K Goals Have Changed Drastically

The Seaside 10 miler/5K is this Saturday in Ocean City! I’m doing the 5K (obvs) with Gary and my Aunt Kara. I am so excited they signed up for this with me! Kara has been training like crazy, but Gary and my training got knocked off track a few weeks ago when we started buying our house. I haven’t actually run in a few weeks, although last week I mowed the grass for the first time with our self-propelled lawn mower, and chased it up a few hills in the back yard for some short hill sprints.

I’ve been dreading this 5K for a while because I wanted to run it faster than I did last year. It was my first 5K, and I’d hoped that the year of training since then had made me slightly more athletic. Honestly, I’ve gained muscle and weight. Haven’t lost a pound, haven’t really gotten any faster. I am able to run for much longer, though. I remember my first few times out running at the apartments when I would say, Ok, run to that tree. Now I can run circles around that tree! I’ll be running to a tree so far away I can’t even see it when I start running. It might take me half an hour though.

I have been talking to my Aunt Kara about the 5K. She found a great training plan that works for her (1 minute run, 1 minute walk) and she was wondering what my plan is, if she’s going to be able to keep up with me. It got me actually thinking about my plan, because I totally don’t have one anymore. I have been obsessed with getting a PR… but then I came to a realization. My husband and aunt signed up for this race with me. I will probably have more fun if I just hang out with them and stop worrying about my time. My parents & Gary’s mom are also coming down to watch us run!

OK, now I need your help with something: there is no safe option for running in the dark at the new house – it’s a very woodsy road and there are no sidewalks or shoulder. I would rather not run on a treadmill because it just flat out bores me. Any ideas about places I might go to run after work now that winter is setting in and it’s getting darker? I’m going to try to incorporate more strength training but I just really want to run. There are some schools around so I will try to inquire about running on their tracks. Otherwise I’ll be going back to the apartments to run on their sidewalks!

Running but not Blogging

Things have been a little hectic lately. My father-in-law is in the hospital, so we’re anxiously awaiting news everyday. Waiting and worrying are exhausting. Last night, I got home, Skyped with my friend Claire, played some videogames, ate dinner, and was in bed (no joke) by like 7 PM. and I’m still exhausted this morning. 

I have been sticking with the running portions of the plan I’ve been using – Running on Tuesday/Thursday & then long runs on the weekend. Last weekend it was just too hot to run two miles, so my husband and I walked it. Better than nothing! The cross-training days are sort of not my priority right now – I just don’t have the energy, and there are too many other projects! 

“What kind of other projects?” You might be asking. So the very first 5K I ever ran was last October, the Seaside 5K in Ocean City, MD. It’s a 10 mile & 5K race, and since it’s so close to Halloween, they encourage you to wear costumes. Last year, I wore a Miskatonic University T-Shirt (the fictional university created by H.P. Lovecraft, a pretty famous horror writer, who if you’ve never heard of him, you’re dead to me. Just kidding! But seriously, love him.) This year, I want to wear a costume. I signed up with Lauren, the same friend who ran the race with me last time. She might do the 10 mile but I am sticking with the 5K… and so is my husband! Gary signed up to do the 5K race with me! And now I begin to plan the costumes…. I have a few ideas, it just depends on how into it everyone else is. I’m also trying to convince my Aunt Kara to run with us. My parents are also coming for the weekend (just like last time) so we’ll all hang out at the beach and get fries and doughnuts after the race and relax. Now… do I want to be Princess Leia or a Rockford Peach?

I am also doing The Color Run next Saturday! I have heard that there are so many people, you can’t really run, so I’m not really training for anything. I’m going with my friend Kim and her sister, and we are The Rainbow Sprites! We’re making tutus this Sunday. I’m kind of really excited about it. Maybe I’m more excited about the tutu than the run itself. Must remember to pack a change of clothes, or a tarp for the car. 

Running Timelessly

I have definitely gotten my money’s worth out of my AAA membership this year (and my husband’s) because I wound up on the side of the road with a flat tire on my way home from book club tonight. Ugh. The auto shop where they towed my car is within walking distance of my house, so I figured they’d fix it up in the morning and I could be on my way to work. Not quite – they opened at 7:30, couldn’t check my car out until 10:30, and I didn’t get my car back until the afternoon, because I didn’t know the car was ready until a few hours after it was done; the shop called my husband at work to tell him the car was ready, instead of my cell phone, even though I told them to call me and not him. Come on, guys. Get it together.

So I didn’t run today because I wanted to be home when they called that my car was ready. I did paint my nails and catch up on some reading, woohoo. I feel kind of annoyed that I had to take a day off from work and I couldn’t enjoy it because I was sitting around here waiting for a phone call that wasn’t coming. GRR.

I did get to enjoy the weather when I walked over to the shop to pick up my car, then I headed straight to the pharmacy to pick up my allergy medication because I had gone a few days without it, and my sinuses were going to explode. Allergies are evil.  Mainly, I’m allergic to cats, which is hopelessly ironic because I’ve been surrounded by cats my whole life – I grew up with two cats, and we’ve had our Zooey for about 4 years now. I was working at an animal hospital about two years ago, and when I quit there and started a new job sans animals, it was like someone flicked a switch and suddenly: incredible sinus pain and pressure, runny nose, sneezing every fifteen minutes, itchy red eyes, that awful itchy sharp feeling inside my nose that makes me want to punch myself in the face. Went straight home, feeling cranky. Drowsiness is a side effect of the allergy meds, and it hit me in full force – I napped until my husband got home from the gym with dinner. I ate my salad and sandwich and sort of lazed about until 8:30 when I decided to go running.

It was full dark but I was going to stick to the sidewalks in my complex, and for being damn close to Trenton, it’s really not a bad area. I decided to try this Timeless Challenge, no plan, just run based on feel, walk breaks when I need them, you know. It was the first time I ever ran at night and it was kind of awesome. It’s so quiet and beautiful outside – even the grass seemed greener in the lamplight. and the weather was so fantastic. Barely a chill. I made it a short run because, although my allergy symptoms are just about gone now, the sinuses were still acting up and I was getting sort of halfway between lightheaded and headache-y.

I didn’t pay attention to my watch for the first bit of my run, and it did seem like I ran better. I was able to focus more on what was going on in my own head.  I ran freely with the wind in my hair. *brushes hair out of eyes and keeps running* Walk breaks were just long enough to recover some energy and give me the oomph for my next burst of speed. Somehow I need to hide my watch somewhere other than my wrist because I am too tempted to keep checking it, and it is just too distracting. I need to like, wrap it around the strap of my sports bra or something. Hey, that’s not a bad idea.

5K this weekend!

 

Dashing Through the Snow…

On Saturday, I ran the Mercerville Mistletoe 5K. All the proceeds from the entry fees for the race went to the Wounded Warrior Project. It’s kind of a nice bonus when you can run a 5K and help a charity at the same time. There are so many 5Ks out there for a specific cause or charity. I’d like to participate in one kind of like we used to do in school, where you go forth and ask for donations from your friends and family. I’ve been searching online for 5Ks to run in the future, and there are so many all over New Jersey next year. I want to RUN ALL THE 5KS! How do you pick your 5Ks? I might just start with ones I know other people are doing, or ones that are just geographically close to me. I wish more 5Ks gave out medals, because even though it’s only a few miles, for some of us, it’s an incredible achievement and I’d like something shiny to show off. I was sort of disappointed that I didn’t get anything from my first race, although I kept the bib I wore and my husband bought me a cool frame for it. I’m also keeping all the bibs from my races – I plan to make some kind of race scrapbook with pictures of me from each race I run. Might be cool to track my progress!

The race on Saturday was awesome and crazy! It started snowing like mad at about noon, and the race started at 2 PM. We got there, signed in, and I caught up with my co-worker John (he gave me the heads up about the race.) We were all pretty antsy to get running because it was still snowing like crazy and it was cold. (side note: I had bought a pair of pants to run in like two days beforehand because I didn’t have any pants, just running shorts, and they were so incredibly warm, so that worked out perfectly!) After we started, I kept up with the pack for like a quarter mile, and then people started pulling ahead. I have accepted the fact that I am just a slow runner, and I have to remember at the beginning of the race to keep my pace and not try to keep up with everybody else. We started at the firehouse and ran on suburban roads back to the firehouse. So, first complication – snow & ice on the roads kind of made things interesting. Also, cars. I’m just glad no one got hit, because there were a few snow banks that forced us to literally run out into the traffic lanes. and hills! There were hills! Whew. There were a few people running near me that I tried to keep pace with, but my foot started falling asleep at about 1.5 – 2 miles. I try to walk it off (well, run it off) and just keep going but it’s uncomfortable. Stopping and just taking the weight off my foot makes it go away, and then I can run another ten steps before it falls asleep again. About 3/4 mile from the finish, I hear footsteps behind me and someone catches up to me and says, “Finally! I caught you. You were my goal.” Cool! I helped her in some small way! She also helped me push myself, because every time I heard her footsteps I started running so she wouldn’t catch me! About 1/2 mile from the end, I’m walking because I’m having trouble with my foot, and I hear more footsteps…. it was my husband! He snuck up from behind and encouraged me to keep running. He ran off to the sidelines while I headed for the finish line, and then I heard him yell, “Does that clock say 49 minutes?!” My PR is 52 minutes, 15 seconds, so I started booking it to the end. Funny, I hit a really strong stride about ten steps away from the finish line…could have used some of that oomph beforehand! Ah, well… I crossed the finish line, fist-bumped my husband, and went home to dry off. I hadn’t realized how much snow I’d collected during the race. Also, I got an awesome t-shirt! It’s the little things. OK, gotta go be awesome now.