Friday, November 26, 2010

Holy Turkey Trot!

I ran a 22:26 5k!  I reached my goal with room to spare and ran faster than I thought I could.  After the race, my dad reminded me that marathon training probably does help for shorter distances, too.  I guess I forgot that.  Yay! Now I'll have to look at my plans for the Resolution Run to see what is possible.  Can I take another thirty seconds off and run under 22:00?  Should I aim for a minute?  That sounds a little crazy...

The Greensboro Gobbler is hilly and crowded.  There was a dog jog before the 5k, so there were tons of people, people with dogs, people in costumes, and even people with dogs in costume.  I saw Gumby cheat by sneaking through the woods in the 5k, but others probably noticed, too.  It's hard to hide when you're Gumby.

I was fifth in my age group, so no commemorative mug.  The upside is that I'm at the top of my age group right now so next year I'll move up into slightly less competitive territory.  I was 20 overall for females, and there were over 1200 runners in all.  Big race!

I am so thankful for family that supports (enables?) my running addiction and for crazy runner friends who make it look oh so normal.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Absence makes the heart... incredibly grateful for a package waiting on the doorstep from Garmin!  My new (well, refurbished) watch arrived yesterday and I took it for a spin this afternoon.  Oh, I am so addicted to knowing my exact pace!  I tried to revel in non-watch running while I was without, but I hated it.  Hated it.  I want to know that there's a reason my heart is beating so fast or my breathing changes.  I think it's that lazy, Cheez-it eating teenager buried inside me, but I do not trust myself to come up with the plan of attack for a run.

Garmin and I ran a fast two miles right after work.  If I can run just a little faster than I did today on Thursday, I'll sneak under that 23-minute mark.  Even if I don't, today's run felt great.  My legs aren't sore, my lungs aren't too angry about the bazillion leaves falling and spewing their allergens, and I have my watch back.  Bring it on!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Countin' down to the Gobbler

The Greensboro Gobbler, that is.  I'm running my first 5k since January 1 on Thursday.  My goal was, ahem, is to run faster than 23:00.  That means 22:??, but after today's little 3-miler I'm not so sure that's going to happen.

I am still without a Garmin, but Runner's World sent me this very fashionable watch for renewing my subscription.  According to the watch, I ran three miles in just under 24 minutes, which is great except that I was totally exhausted at the end.  I would like to blame this fatigue on anything and everything unrelated to my lack of running, but I might as well be honest.  I haven't been running.  I don't think I ran once last week; I'd pack my running stuff but something would come up.  One day I got completely set for my run after school only to find out that I'd forgotten running shoes.  They're kind of important, you know.  I still did the elliptical, and I've even been working on upper body strength because I've always wanted to do a few pull-ups, but those things aren't running.

So this afternoon I ran three miles on the Greenway and it pretty near killed me.  My legs were sore, my breathing wasn't right, and I stopped a few times to catch my breath.  I never do that, but today I did.  I think my legs were sore from standing so much this weekend, but the breathing and stopping come directly from not running since last Saturday.  whoops.

I will run tomorrow and Tuesday.  Tomorrow I plan do go easy, and Tuesday I want to run at the track.  I will try not to do anything stupid to make my legs even deader than they feel today.  I will stretch every morning and evening.  And whatever time I get Thursday will be okay, as long as it's under 24:00.  I killed my marathon goal by ten minutes, so maybe I'll surprise myself Thursday morning and run a 22-something.  I'd say I'm crossing my fingers, but I know it won't help.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sewanee Fun Run

This weekend we visited Sewanee for Reunion and Homecoming, which included something called an "Alumni Fun Run".  Not being an alum, I was nervous about there being room for me in it.  Maybe they only have enough numbers for registered graduates?

Ha.  Turns out that a fun run is not a race, at least not this fun run.  I asked a woman the day before how to register, and she said to show up.  I asked when; pre-registration is often an hour or so before the starting time, right?  She said to just come "around 8:00, maybe a few minutes before to get a snack."  Hmm...

Saturday I showed up around 7:45 at the (beautiful sandstone)* Alumni house.  There was an off-leash lab frolicking, several runners in various levels of winter wear, a lovely spread of coffee, water bottles, muffins, and fresh fruit, as well as a man in a tweed jacket with his Great Dane, but no giant clock, packet pick-up, not even a starting line.  Around 8:00 a woman told us to follow two running professors to the cross and back, about 3 miles.  Then we were off!  

My Garmin died about a week ago, and the new one will not arrive for another week, so I was clockless.  We started as a group running down the middle of the street.  Did they block off the roads for us?  Were there cops protecting us from traffic?  Not exactly; it's just that easy to run in the road on a Saturday morning.  I met some nice ladies and then sped up to catch the quicker people.  No watch, no real sense of the distance, no worrying about placing or PRs or anything.  It was pretty nice.  The run began on the road, switched to trail, and the turnaround was the Sewanee Cross.  Simply gorgeous.  Then we headed back on the road and ended downhill back to the Alumni house.  The campus is stunning, especially in the fall, and the sometimes foggy Sewanee sky was clear blue.

I have absolutely no clue how far or fast I ran and I'm pretty sure I don't care.  I'll call it 3 miles and 25:00 in my log, but that's probably too slow and too short.  The important thing is how nice it was to run for the sake of running.  I could only gauge my effort on how my legs, lungs, and mind felt, and I haven't done that in a long time.

* Thanks Jason!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

On the art of crashing an alumni run

I didn't attend Sewanee, but my partner did.  We're going to Reunion Weekend and there's a 5k "Fun Run for Alumni."   I doubt there will be registration, awards, or possibly even an official clock, so the alumni part of the title can't be that serious, right?  I was going to run on the mountain anyway, so why not run with other people, even if I didn't go to school with them?  If anyone asks, I'll just chant "tigers, tigers, leave 'em in the lurch..." or run away very quickly.

This 5k is 12 days before the Greensboro Gobbler, and I'd love to know what kind of time to expect.  I want to run a sub-23:00, but it's a stretch.  I have to run at a 7:33 pace to hit 23:30 and 7:23 to squeeze by with 22:59.  Can I do that?  I don't know, but it's a heck of a lot shorter than a marathon.  If I have another race before the Gobbler to prepare for, maybe it'll get me motivated.  Or, if the fun run goes badly, maybe that will shame me into training well for the Thanksgiving run.

This week I plan to run hills one day and do speedwork one day.  Lately my speedwork has not been on the track, so I might try to make the local track workout on Tuesday.  I'll probably do 800's or mile repeats at below 5k pace- maybe around 7:00?  The hill workout will probably involve this one long hill on the Greenway; it's between .25 and .5 miles.  How's that for a hill?

In completely unrelated news (except for references to Thanksgiving), we sent our turkey off to be "processed" today.  That's a euphemism for having it killed, plucked, prepared, and frozen for later use.  Our male turkey has become very dominant and violent.  We've had to chase him with shovels as he attacked us.  He even attacked our neighbor- three times in one day!  Yes, he has lived long enough and now he'll be a delicious part of our Thanksgiving feast.

So, here's to running and eating turkey, but not at the same time.