Monthly Archives: March 2015

5K on on St. Patrick’s Day

No, that typo in the title is not mine; it was on the shirt. And no, the 5K was not on St. Patrick’s Day, but that is still the name of the race.

Last year’s time: 35:45
This year’s time: 33:28

Yes, I was pregnant last year, and I was pissed I had run so slow, but I had just run my half marathon. I was nauseous, but I will still skinny and in running shape. And I went faster this year.

33 minutes is a pretty average 5K pace for me, a normal pre-pregnancy time. This particular route is pretty flat and fast, but nonetheless, I am taking it. I think I can consider this race running like I did before my son.

And after killing myself for over 5 months now, I will take that as a win.

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This year was not cold, and I was not plagued with morning sickness. But I also greeted the finish line with no ambitions. I had not run a timed 5K since the Jingle Bell 5K in December, and I was simply curious to see if my pace had changed since then. I shaved off nearly 3 minutes in so many months.

I run differently since having my son. I am less rigid and driven. Yes, I always want to run the full distance, and I still cling to the same pace goals. Yet I now accept when it doesn’t happen. If I have a rough day, if I have to walk, it is ok.

So I just ran the 5K. I did go a little too fast my first mile, but nothing like my usual. I knew the route from the previous year, which was helpful. I was not surprised by the pointless T-shaped switchbacks in the last mile. I just wore my green, wogged, and forced myself not to think about pace or passing people or anything.

It mostly worked, and in the end, the time was definitely a success. It makes me wonder what I will run like after my rib and sciatic nerve are fully recovered and when I lose my last 15 pounds to be prepregnancy size. It would be quite a shock if I could come out better than I went in and maybe finally worth all this work.

The races are lined up. I pretty much have at least one per month selected (or already registered) through the end of the year. And I am pulling no punches. There is another half marathon on the docket (all downhill, thankfully); I am returning to Cripple Creek (my most challenging race to date). No more recovery; this is normal running now. Running now takes a backseat to two kids, a partner, two jobs… but it’s still a high priority!

Sanity always is.

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February Stats

February was a month of extremes and not much progress.

First, I stopped fucking around. I threw everything and the kitchen sink at my body. I kept running; I joined a gym and signed up for a 90-day challenge; I started P90X3; I sampled classes in Barre and at the gym; I adjusted my eating.

All of that made me fatter, so in my discouragement, I said, fuck it. We went on vacation, and I did whatever I wanted. Vacation included two races and endless walking, so no damage done thankfully.

Ultimately, my running got neglected a bit with the addition of all these other fitness attempts. In the end, I lost a couple pounds and inches but still not the amount I am looking for. I still have plenty of weight to lose, and I have not been able to find the combination to make that happen.

I guess I continue on. I am just going to try to eat right and do exercise that I enjoy plus some strength training that I don’t. Maybe one distant day I’ll feel like myself again.

february

Total miles: 45
Total miles run outside: 37
Longest distance: 7 miles
Best times: n/a

Total weight loss: 24 pounds
Weight loss in February: 4 pounds

Total inch loss: 5″- 6″- 4″
Inch loss in February: 1″- 2″- 1″


Disney Frozen 5K and Enchanted 10K

Disney, thy name is clusterfuck.

I was a Disney virgin. Never went as a kid. Never took my young children. It was not until my Disney enthusiast friend dangled a weekend of races in front of my when my daughter was old enough to enjoy the trip that I relented.

The entire experience was, in a word, intense. The way Vegas is an exhausting bombardment of the senses but for children. Which may, in the end, be more draining and overstimulating.

But the races. Again, I say clusterfuck.

First, it was the 5K. Florida was tragically unseasonably frigid and windy, and we had to line up in our corrals in the dark in the wee hours. We boarded the bus around 4 am and stood in the freezing dark for over an hour. I was cold; I was tired, and I was cranky. I was also nagged by the worry that my children were back at the hotel being awful for my friend’s mother (they were not; they were angels).

Once our corral finally lined up and the starting gun finally went off, I started to enjoy the 5K though. I was running. The sun was rising. I was warm and actually doing something besides waiting impatiently.

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Our route looped us through a long parking lot before bringing us around the world showcase in Epcot. I was able to find my usual race euphoria, where I jogged along enjoying the scenery. I appreciated the menagerie of princess and Frozen costumes that looked like Pinterest exploded on the race course.  I listened to “Let it Go” playing over and over in language after language.

The race was packed, and there could be no real running through the crowd even if I wanted to, but it suited a leisurely jog that was more about the location and characters alongside the race than a PR. The race was not even timed.

We finished the 5K; then our real race began.

We hurried back to the resort, dressed my daughter, and sprinted back to Epcot for her kid race.

My daughter’s little dash was potentially the highlight of my running that weekend and maybe the cutest thing I have ever seen. It was also, ironically, the most organized of all the races we participated in that weekend. Only for her would I dress as Anna to her Elsa. Only for her would I wear that same sweaty costume all day so we could get her to the Magic Kingdom for her princess makeover on time.

But she ran her 100 meters holding my hand tight, and she loved it. And she proudly wore her race shirt to school to tell everyone about it. I think I may have started to impart my love for running on her, and I cannot wait to nurture that.

The next day, it was the 10K.

For this race, we had to be up and on the bus even earlier. So my alarm, of course, malfunctioned, and I, of course, overslept. I began my running day sprinting to the bus in the cold, dark night. But we made it and were back waiting in the cold corrals once again. Me barely awake, my friend hurting a lot from the race the previous day then how much we walked afterwards.

The 10K, I did not enjoy. The route was stupid. We left Epcot to run on a highway. Then, while we retraced the 5K’s round of the world showcase and saw some of the boardwalk, the majority was the service road/backstage portion of Epcot. Very boring and VERY congested.

My friend was also hurting. A lot. Her feet (with plantar fasciitis) and calves were killing her. She had been limping when we walked to the corrals, so jogging and attempting to speed walk was pretty brutal. Unfortunately, the 10K required a 16 minute pace, complete with three women with balloons yelling and “encouraging” you before they sweep you off the course.

We spent the majority of the race, at least the last half, trying to outrun these damn women. As if we could, the course was so packed I could not have run or even walked faster if I wanted. It was pretty much infuriating.

The best part of the 10K for me was my friend. She pushed herself completely, farther than she wanted to, through all kinds of pain. I was so completely proud of her.

All in all, I am glad I did the trip and the races. It was definitely a bucket list experience worth checking off. Would I do it again? I’m not quite sure.

The greatest lesson I learned was to not pair two back-to-back races with days in the Disney parks. It is all walking and carrying kids, neverending. It just is too much when included with miles of running in an unfathomable crowd before dawn. I was more exhausted than I knew what to do with as I was wearing an infant and escorting a tiny princess through castles and to meet other princesses.