Sunburst

I did it! I finished! I’m still processing the entire experience.

DSCF5398

The weather wasn’t ideal for any outdoor activity yesterday. The morning was an especially good one for burrowing under the bed covers, but I got myself out of bed and out the door pretty much on schedule. Right as the 5K racers were lining up, there was a thunderstorm threatening. We were worried the race was going to be delayed or even cancelled. Luckily it blew over and eventually the sun came out. It ended up being a very hot, humid, and thankfully breezy, sunny day.

DSCF5382

Even though I arrived an hour early, I almost missed the start of the race. I misjudged the time and went to make one last potty stop. The line to the bathroom was so long, that I cut it really close. I hopped in the back of the pack with all the walkers just as the gun went off. My dad says I was one of the last people to cross the starting line. I honestly wasn’t paying attention to my position. I was just happy I made it in time. While I was a ball of panicked adrenaline from worrying I was going to miss the start, I think being last helped. I have a habit, like most new runners, of going out too fast. However, I couldn’t get around some of the walkers in the beginning, so it forced me to start slow.

DSCF5386

The course itself wasn’t anything to write home about, but Indiana is not the most exciting state on the map. It was pretty in some spots along the river, but it got a bit twisted and confusing as it went through some of the neighborhoods. And there was one out and back stretch that was so boring I started going down the, “Why am I doing this? This is the dumbest thing ever! I could be home in bed!” route. The stifling 88% humidity didn’t help. I felt so sticky and heavy the entire time. And there were times I was struggling to catch my breath. Luckily around mile 7, OK Go! saved me by reminding me that “This Too Shall Pass”. And it did.

I’m not a football or Notre Dame fan, so I didn’t really get all the hype about Sunburst’s finish line. I get it now. Sunburst has the coolest finish line ever (at least in my experience, which is a bit limited). I felt like such a rock star running through the tunnel to the 50 yd line of the football field.

022

I am thankful that I obsessively read blog posts about marathon running tips and others’ race reports leading up to Sunburst. One tip in particular saved me. (I’d link, but I read so many random posts I don’t remember where this tip came from.) It was a marathon race report. The runner was running in hot/humid conditions and commented that while she noticed most of the other runners struggling around her, she stayed strong by always finding the shade and taking 2 cups of water at every stop – 1 to drink and the other to pour over her head. I’m glad that piece of advice popped into my head when it did, because that is what I ended up doing during the second half of the race and it helped me manage the heat and humidity. I am also thankful for all the good citizens of South Bend who left their sprinklers in the road for us to run through. I jumped through a few like a little kid. It helped give me the boost I needed to make it to the finish line with a smile still on my face.

DSCF5392_2

My official time was 2:44:58. Not very fast, but I’m happy with my time. Given how the end of my training went, I honestly didn’t expect to finish under 3 hours. I went in with a goal to just finish. I decided to leave my competitiveness behind yesterday and just run for fun and the experience. I realize now, it’s really not about the time. It’s the entire journey – all the hard work, sweat, and perseverance that got me to the finish line – that I am most proud of. I learned a lot, I made some mistakes, and most important, I had a great time.

I think the half is my favorite distance so far. I want to run another in the near future. Maybe one in the fall when it’s not so hot. I’m also entertaining ideas of training for a full marathon in a few years. But for now, I have a few 5K’s on the horizon with the kids, so I think my goal is to work on my pace. I have to be able to keep up with the kidlets. Or at least not be too far behind them.

Advertisements

Rest Day

IMG_0116

Chuck napping after our run.

I knew as soon as I posted about the “good weather ahead” last time, I would jinx myself.  But other than a large snowstorm mid-week, which once again threw a wrench in my training schedule, it was a pretty uneventful week here. I ran. I read. I knit. We built a snowman in the backyard. Nothing terribly exciting. I did cook some yummy food while stuck inside this week so I have recipes to share soon.

I made it almost all the way through my first magic loop sock. It was fairly easy to learn thanks to verypinkknits videos. I’ve always hated knitting with double-pointed needles, so I was happy that the Magic Loop Method worked so well.

knit sock

I frogged the cape I was working on. It was getting too tedious and the loose stitches between the color changes was driving my perfectionist mind nuts. I decided to quit before I got too far ahead – or behind, however you want to look at it. Maybe later I’ll try the cape again (with the proper yarn this time), but I’m setting it aside for now. In the meantime, I’ve found another pattern to knit after I’ve finished my socks.

****

Half Marathon Training Week 3

Week 3 didn’t go as well as I had hoped thanks to Old Man Winter paying us what is hopefully his final visit this year. I did get creative and stick to the plan for the most part though. (And I’m seriously considering saving up for a treadmill.)

  • Sunday: 2 easy miles
  • Monday: 3 easy miles + core work
  • Tuesday: Yoga
  • Wednesday: Strength training circuit
  • Thursday: 30 minutes running circles in my basement with my Wii Fit while watching the mid-day news. I played some of the games for another 15 minutes. According to my son’s science fair experiment this counts as legitimate exercise. Besides, I was snowed in and this was my only option.
  • Friday: 3 miles at race pace
  • Saturday: 3 easy miles

The Fog Comes

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

-Carl Sandburg

Today it was foggy and wet and warm. It was a perfect spring day….in January?!? I decided to stop questioning and take advantage by going out for a short run. I love running in a light rain. And the fog added a stillness to the air this morning. I even ran without music today, which is rare.

I met a new puppy on my route. He was a cute little Pit Bull who kept bringing me empty beer cans, dropping them at my feet and then beckoning me with his cute puppy eyes to play fetch. A few minutes prior I was starting to get angry at all the empty cans littered along the road. He refocused me back to a more positive frame of mind. He ran with me for about a quarter-mile before he went back home. I started to get worried that I was going to have to bring him back to his house myself, but he eventually got tired of our little game and went back home. I might pack some treats, or a tennis ball in my pocket next time I take this route, just in case he’s out and feeling playful again.

I didn’t snap a photo of my new friend. It was raining pretty steady at the time and I didn’t want my phone to get wet. I did snap this photo of a horse farm I passed along the way.

IMG_0091

I ran almost 4 miles this morning at a nice slow pace. It was a good morning.

A New Year, A New Title…

…and a new look.

Now that I have been managing to keep this blog going, and it is starting to develop some focus, I thought it needed a new name to reflect that. The name came to me last night when I was knitting and considering starting another running blog to keep track of my running goals and training. I thought it might be a good way to keep me motivated so I won’t talk myself out of any of them. However, I’ve learned from past experiences that I’m not good at maintaining multiple blogs, so I decided to just keep everything here. Reading, running, and knitting are all related in the fact that they all help me maintain my sanity, so it seems logical to me to keep the posts here together. And I’ll still post photos, gardening, and recipes because those are related to running in an indirect way – I snap photos when I run, and I need to eat.

Hope you’ll all stick around for the new year’s adventures. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.