adventures in running

>11/21/10 — Williams Route 66 5k —- the graduation race

>I did an excellent job keeping up with my blog during my first “Couch to 5k” program. Since my last post was in September, and it was my 2nd time in “class” ….. I didn’t do so well the second time blogging.

Last semester I ran with the slowest beginning running group (P3.) They start with running 1 minute and walking 3. I was in the middle of the pack most of the time. I very rarely ended up at the back. The pace was good for me. This semester I wanted more of a challenge. I really wanted to continue where we left off in the previous semester, run 5 walk 1, and increase our running every week. There was a group kind of like that, but they started at running 7 minutes at a time, and they ran at a faster pace than I could keep up. So, I went back to the beginning group, but to go to the next faster running group.

I did okay with this group, but I noticed right off that I was in the back. EVERYTIME we ran, I was in the back. I believe I did a good job of keeping the same distance with the person in front of me for most of the training session, but during week 9, I realized I was seriously lagging behind. Now, my running buddy S was back there with me. I think she can run a little faster than me, but she’s usually content to run next to me. There was also another lady who seemed to run back there with us often. I finished week 9 with P2 and looked at the next 3 weeks (it’s a 12 week program) and it was run 4 walk 2, run 4 walk 1, and run 5 walk 1. I KNEW I couldn’t keep up with P2 doing running that long. So, I decided to go back and run with the P3 group for the last 3 weeks. I was still in the middle of the pack, but I felt much better at that pace. The problem is …. there still really isn’t a good group for me. Well, another problem is …. they’re not starting another training session until February. FEBRUARY! I’m going to have to run by myself until then? I don’t do well motivating myself to run!!!

P2 was much more difficult than P3 was. P2 and P3 both run hills one night a week, and do a relatively flat course the other night. While we ran hills in P3, they were relatively small hills. It would take no more than 2 minutes to run up the hill. In P2, early on, they were running up Richmond Hill. It’s the road that runs next to Kirk of the Hills church at 61st and Yale. That hill doesn’t ever seem to stop. And once you get up that hill, you turn and go up another hill. HORRENDOUS!!!!!

Although I hate to say it, that horrendous hill training truly helped me on my graduation run! I wish P3 would run that hill, I think it would help them, too!!

So …. now for the best part ….. my graduation race!

Mom wanted to run it, and since I wouldn’t let her run my first graduation race, I thought she should be able to run this one …..

So, we left about 20 minutes later than I had planned. I didn’t have time to do my business before we left. (TMI, I know, sorry!) I had a VIP pass for parking, but once we got to the general location, I couldn’t find the VIP parking (although my running buddy, S, and I scoped it out on Saturday,) so I just parked in a little strip center, in front of a coffee shop. (Not important, but humorous, the sign on the coffee shop didn’t say “closed,” it said “shut.” However, when we got back to the car it was no longer “shut,” it was “open.”)

S called at about that time, and wanted to meet by the finish line. She wasn’t going take her phone ’cause she didn’t have anything to carry it in. She forgot she had an arm band. So, we missed the group pictures again …… missed them last go round ’cause we were using the restroom. I found the start line for the 5k, and the rest of the group getting their picture taken, and couldn’t find the finish line. So ….. I decided I’d stay by our start line, thinking S would eventually have to find her way there so she could run the race!

While I was waiting, I saw a friend from high school who was going to run the half marathon! And also saw a co-worker whose husband was running the full marathon.  I never thought I’d see anyone I knew ….. but saw two people! Then, after the marathoners and half marathoners had taken off, I spotted S!! WHEW!!! I was worried I may have to run without her …. and that wouldn’t have been a good thing!

So, we had determined that we would run the whole 5k. Actually, I think that was S. I think she got the big idea to run the whole thing ……

Through out our couch to 5k experience we’ve set goals and accomplished them ….
To run and walk a 5k using our intervals – Firecracker 5k
To run a whole mile without walking – Nightmare on 2nd Street Fun Run
To run a whole 5k without walking – we’ll get to that later …..

We had purchased “energy jelly beans” with electrolytes at the expo the day before. I brought my 3 packages. She brought ClifBar ShotBloks. Not sure they actually helped us, but I know they did mentally!

So, the gun fires …. and we walk to the start line. We hit the start line and start running.  At our very slow pace. With lots of people passing us. Some of them were walking.

I’ve gotta say, the first 2 kilometers were the most difficult. My calves were on fire! But, we both just pushed through the pain. Once we hit 2k, we knew we could do it. We had driven the course the day before. That’s the first time we actually knew the course we’d be running and I really think it helped us mentally. We knew where the turn around was. We knew that once we hit that turn around, we wouldn’t have to worry about any more hills.

Truly, once we hit 2k, we knew we could run the whole thing. There was no way I was going to be the weak link and say I needed to walk. And I know S wasn’t going to say it! She’s had a problem the entire time we’ve been training with her feet going numb. Her feet went numb at about 2k, but she kept running. We ran past where I’d parked my car. We turned onto a road close to the finish line ’cause we were narrowed down to one lane because the marathoners and half marathoners were taking up the rest of the road. I knew I could do it then! I figured the finish line would be “just ahead” BUT IT WASN’T!! IT WAS AROUND ANOTHER CORNER. And guess who was standing at that corner waiting??? Our coach! TO PUSH US TO RUN HARDER AND FASTER!!! S and I both turned our turbo on, and hers went faster than mine!!! LOL

So, we did accomplish the goal to run the entire 5k as well!!! I ran it in 48:22. I ran for 48 minutes and 22 seconds without walking!!!!

And then we stretched so we weren’t in pain for days to come!

Thanks S, for sticking with me and pushing me!! I’m not sure I would have pushed myself to run the entire 5k this time if you hadn’t pushed me and run it with me!!

Coming up to the finish line …..
I run with my thumb up like that. If I don’t run with my water bottle, I run with both thumbs up ….. I wasn’t just giving a thumbs up. I was just thinking about the finish line!!! Mom took this pic ….. AFTER she’d crossed the finish line. She runs faster than I do!
This is S and I in the VIP tent ….. AFTER RUNNING THE ENTIRE 5K!!
In case you were wondering ….. that’s a can of Sierra Mist in my hand.
So, trust me, I am not done with this running thing! I am seriously contemplating running a half marathon in January of 2012. At Disney World. In Orlando, Florida. I will still be 30, barely! I figure if I’m going to run a half marathon, it should be somewhere fun!!!
So, 5k? CHECK 10k? Certainly! In preparation for my 13.1 miles!!!
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