Posts Tagged ‘5k’

Doubts

While we were at the Shamrock race expo, they were registering people for the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, which is scheduled for the first weekend of October. I knew I had wanted to run that race, and Byram said “Go ahead and register today! Sign me up for the 5k while you’re at it.”

Well, two problems occurred. I had an account with the race production company (imATHLETE; also puts on Shamrock), but it was set up by Byram and he didn’t remember the password. Second, they were doing registrations on iPads, which I am not proficient in the use of. After 10 minutes of not even getting past the log in, I gave up and said I would register from home.

Three weeks later, being yesterday, I did. Byram had forgotten all about it, so I wanted to surprise him and sign him up for the 5k on Saturday, and I signed myself up for the “Shell Yeah” challenge, the 5k and the 13.1 the following day.

I kept waiting on Byram to check his email and was sure he would find a “Registration Confirmation” email and be so surprised, but apparently it only came to me. I waited a whole day before I sprung the surprise to him on FaceBook, and then forgot it is April Fool’s day, so he didn’t think I was serious at first.

Ah well, way to blow the wind out of my surprise sails.

In the meantime, I am contemplating three letters. MTT. That is Sports Backers’ speak for Marathon Training Team. $165 will get me 24 weeks of supported team training, my race entry fee, and ultimately a Richmond Marathon finisher’s medal (it really is all about the bling, I suppose).

It isn’t a question of can I do it. I know I can if I stick to the training plan. It isn’t a question of is my family okay with it. Byram (and Grace) have both thrown in their encouragement to the idea (I don’t think they realize how many hours I will be out of the house on runs in September and October). The question is all about my mental ability. Am I mentally tough enough?

Right now, all I have are doubts. 5+ hours of running, stuck in my own brain for that long? I get mentally weary at the 12 mile marker in a half. That will never do.

I trust my legs. I have doubts about my brain.

But I know of only one way to remove those doubts.

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Back To It

I didn’t run a single step between November 17th and December 1st. I walked some, I might have dashed across a cross-walk, but no running for the joy of running. Late in those two sedentary weeks, my body felt bloated and my mind felt cluttered. It was driving me slowly insane not to feel confident enough to go for a run. I never quite grasp how important running is for my mental health until I have to go an extended period without it.

This Monday past, I packed my green gym bag with a technical shirt, sports bra, running pants, socks and shoes for the first time in a long time and committed to starting my plan to get faster.

I am going back to the beginning, back to where I started. Couch to 5k. When I started running in April of 2010, it was in the basement of the parking deck of my office. I was too embarrassed to be seen doing it in public, so it was slow, sweaty walk/run laps in the darkness of the deck. At the very beginning, even the 60 seconds of running in the first week was too much for my terrible conditioning. I think I had to spend two weeks on every single week of the plan for a while, and I think I was hung up on week 5 with a 20 minute run for 3 or 4 weeks before I succeeded.

But ultimately, I did succeed and of course finally found my way out of the darkness of the parking deck and into the light of day. And I eventually went a lot farther than a 5k, too, but never at any speed much better than maybe an 11 minute mile.

I want to run faster but have not had much success just trying to speed up with the normal types of ways to get faster, all of which are variations on just run faster and run up hills. I remember that C25K worked for me and so I think it would work for me again, just running faster. So Monday, I put myself on the treadmill and walked at 3.2 mph for 90 seconds, and then sped it up to 7.0 mph for 90 seconds. Wash, rinse, repeat until 25 minutes are up. This was actually Week 2 of the plan, but my conditioning is good enough that I was able to skip Week 1 altogether. So 7.0 mph was challenging without being crushing, but I was glad too when I got my walk breaks.

Wednesday, I decided I could walk faster on my walk breaks so I set the slow speed for 3.5 mph and kept my run speed at 7.0. I was not sure how the run would go considering I had roller skated for 90 minutes the night before, but it went fine. I will finish Week 2 of the plan today at lunch.

Are you surprised that I feel a bit intimidated by next week’s plan? I will have a couple of 3 minute runs at full speed. And the Friday after Christmas, if I can keep up with the plan, there is a 20 minute run at speed. That is not just intimidating; at this moment, it just seems flat out impossible to run an 8:30ish couple of miles on the treadmill without stopping.

Now it is not currently my plan to suddenly become a 8:30 minute miler. It is my plan to get closer to a 9:30 to 9:45 minute miler. But since I am doing this on the treadmill (so I can easily control my pace), I am training at a faster than goal pace to compensate for the easier to run on surface. It is only a theory that this will work; in a few weeks, I will start running outdoors again and that is when I will see whether my theory translates to faster outdoor runs.

Stay tuned. It should be interesting.

Getting Ready To Run

Jitters. I has them.

I wonder if pre-race jitters ever go away? This is really only my third start in a race, and being such a newb, jitters are understandable, I suppose.

What do I have to be nervous about? I have trained well. I have pushed my distance much further than the 3.1 miles I am running on Saturday morning. I am not worried about winning or not finishing. But the thought of standing in the chill air in a big crowd on Saturday morning still gives my stomach little flutters. Maybe it is 1 part excitement and 1 part anxiety. I don’t really know.

I feel very unprepared for this race. Not over my training or ability, but there has been no pre-race communication so far about where the race will begin, if there are packets, or anything. Writing this made me go check and packet pickup is tomorrow and Friday at a location on West Broad Street. My wonderful and incredibly supportive better half has volunteered to go and pick up my packet for me. Hopefully the packet will have more details in it, and I think just knowing the basic details will improve my jitters.

I really wanted to run a sub-30 minute 5K. That would mean a race pace of 9:30 or so a mile but I have not successfully achieved that pace for any real distance in my training runs. If the course is fairly flat and I am in optimal shape that morning, I might be able to dig deep and go all out to meet that goal. We will see.

I am going to run at lunch today, an easy 2 miles, and then rest tomorrow and Friday. I am watching my hydration and figuring out nutrition and all. My biggest challenge is eating Saturday morning. If the race goes off at 8:30, I probably need to eat no later than 6:30.

I realize this is just a fun run for a charity, but can you tell I really, really want a PR? And I want it to be a significant PR. Not, you know, 5 seconds better. I guess I really want to cut 3 or 4 minutes off my standing record.

Now I know the source of my nerves.

My brain is trying to prepare myself for disappointment and my heart is telling my brain to go bugger off.

Worst Run…Never?

When I went out, the Weather Channel said it was 44 degrees and the windchill was 39 degrees. I had only packed shorts and t-shirts to run in this week for work. I was really, genuinely reluctant to go out. No, to be honest, I flat out didn’t want to go. A smug sense of pride and an urging from my Beloved made me go.

It was supposed to be an “easy” run day, but because it was so cold I picked up the pace a bit, for warmth and to hurry up and finish this run. Along the way, I decide to make it a pseudo-tempo run. Couldn’t be a real tempo run; it wasn’t long enough, but I decided to keep that “comfortably hard” pace I had started out with going as long as I could. Comfortably hard eventually became straight up uncomfortable, and I felt strangely conscious of every aspect of my run.

Of my horribly runny nose. Of my loose skin bouncing up and down around my hips, butt, and thighs with each pace. Of the grit picked up and thrown by the big vehicles on the Mayo Bridge. Of each gust of wind. Of my achy left knee. Of my toes rubbing in the toe-box of my shoes.

I hated this run. I wished I hadn’t gone out. I was cursing myself for bothering. For not packing cold weather gear. For thinking this was a good hobby to pick up.

The doubts crept in too. If I can’t run 2.3 miles and be happy and comfortable, how will I run 3.1 in 6 weeks and how will I run 13.1 in 4.5 months? (More on that later.) A tear rolled down my cheek as I neared the flood gate on my return trip and I don’t know that it was entirely due to the cold air.

Unhappily, I plopped into my chair and logged my info into my training log, noting the weather, my effort, and anything notable (only that it felt like the worst run ever), and hit save, and once the program auto-calculated all my stats, like calories burned and pace, something strange happened.

The number 10:48 showed up in the average pace box. 10:48? That couldn’t be right. I figured I entered the time wrong. No. 25:25 was my time and that’s what I entered. Somehow, I struck 10 seconds off my pace from Wednesday’s fartlek run, and 20 seconds off my pace from my last run before that.

Looking back on my log, it says I ran a faster pace (10:37) on the same route earlier this month (10/6). I don’t remember that at all, and the only notes I made on that particular run was “Great!” I guess so, Miss Smarty Pants. That was only a week after Warrior Dash so maybe I got a little benefit in speed from the ultra-hard effort of the Dash. I don’t know. I do know that I have been stuck in the 11-12 min. doldrums since April. Heat and the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever kept me from training too hard this summer, and now I am working hard to play catch-up just to get ready for a little 5K fun run.

But from where I am standing, I think I can actually see something that looks like progress.

Jingle All The Way (T-6 weeks)

Warrior Dash has come and gone and I finally decided on a new race to run. I have 6 weeks (and 4 days from today) to get ready for the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis that I am running in honor of my Mom, who has fallen prey to rheumatoid arthritis.

I say “get ready for” meaning I am going to spend the next six weeks training to get faster. I want to run a sub-30 minute race. So, speed work and long runs, here I come.

If you are willing to contribute to the cause of helping fight against arthritis, please click on this link and search my name (Kim Moore).

I will try and post my training efforts here as I go.