Tag Archives: training

And then I ran a 10K.

Legs running a 5K

Running

I can’t believe I forgot to write about my greatest athletic accomplishment to date. At this point, it was almost three months ago! No photos exist to capture the event, fortunately – by the time I crossed the finish line, I felt like I was dying in a very real way. Despite the relative warmth of the day, I was shivering and chilled – after running six miles. It was weird.

Anyway, I ran a 10K and I almost still can’t believe it.

I don’t really know what possessed me to do such a thing. I guess it started because I had fun doing a couple of 5K races and wanted to push my limits a bit. It ended because I was caught up in a steady rush of people and couldn’t just stop running. No matter how bad I wanted to, I had to keep going. And you better believe I wanted to stop.

It was kind of awful because the first mile of the race went so well. I felt like I was too slow. There was a lot of adrenaline and I was literally stuck in the middle of a huge group of people that seemed to be jogging well below my average pace. When my Nike Running app chimed into my headphones to let me know that my average pace was a full minute below what I’d intended it to be, I freaked out and tried to slow down. My fear was tiring early. Unfortunately, that fear came true. By the fourth mile, I was ready to cry. The last couple of miles were pretty painful, but I did finish and was proud to have completed the race running throughout. I wish I had been just a couple of minutes faster – then I would have broken the hour mark – but considering the course was hilly and off-road, I am trying not to be too hard on myself.

Up next? A half-marathon this weekend. I’m terrified. The bright side? The course is nice and flat, and it’s going around the bay in Tampa. During the summer that I lived in Tampa, Xavier and I loved to bike and rollerblade down that road, so it holds lots of warm and fuzzy memories for me. Hopefully those fond memories won’t be trampled by the pain of the half-marathon I will complete there. I have no delusions about a time goal. Hopefully I’ll just finish and get the T-shirt! And on the bright side, my friend and running buddy Marie will be there with me. We plan to run together, and hopefully that will make the event much more pleasant.

Wish me luck… I’ll let you know how it goes.

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The New Workout Plan

In the last month, I’ve competed in two 5K events and I’m ready to set a schedule for the upcoming months. There’s no rest for the weary.

(Unless it’s raining outside. Then I will rest, no matter what. Because now matter how hardcore you are, there’s no need to run in the rain).

As much as I hated running when I first started, I’ve grown to enjoy it somewhat. Now that my muscles have strengthened and my cardiac endurance has increased, a brisk five-mile jog feels less like torture and more like freedom. Sure, it hurts sometimes. But I’ve learned that it’s easiest to keep moving through the pain, and eventually it goes away.

The 5K races were fun, but I’m beginning to focus on longer efforts. As exciting as it is to quickly and easily run four miles, my workouts need to be longer than what that now takes me. For fat-burning, endurance-building purposes, I need to be exercising for a minimum of 45-60 minutes. So I’ve been pushing myself to go just a little bit more.

Endurance is key

That brings me to my next point: it’s becoming critical to have a workout buddy. I’m lucky that Marie is around. She used to run competitively and is naturally incredibly fast, so working with her pushes my limits. And she finds it helpful to run with me, since my pace helps her complete longer runs and build endurance. When you know you’re accountable to someone, you’re more likely to complete your workouts. Plus, I just enjoy running with her. Marie and I both live in Midtown, but about two miles apart – on opposite sides of Piedmont Park. This means we can warm up by jogging to the midpoint, then have some great terrain to tackle together.

This past Sunday, we had plans to run at 9:00 am. We would meet in the middle and then take the newly opened Beltline trail for our distance run. Well, my internal clock usually wakes me up by 8:30, even on weekends, so I didn’t bother setting an alarm. Unfortunately, I woke up at 9:04 to Marie’s 25-minute-old text message: “leaving my house in 5-10!” That put her on foot, somewhere very close to my place. I was groggy, half-asleep, and would have loved returning to fully asleep. But three minutes later, I was out the door because I couldn’t let her down. (And she was nice enough to not give me a hard time when I caught her much closer to my house than hers).

Piedmont Park – not a bad view for a run

(Anyway, an hour and a half later, I was showered and back in bed. No harm done).

Where am I going with this? To continue my quest of fitness, I need friends and goals. And I’ve got my next goal: the Beltline 10K on December 1. Goal time? I’d love to break 60 minutes.

Here we go…

(All photos are mine).