Thursday, May 3, 2012

My May Motivation

I’m running faster.  I know I am.  My race times may not show it – but I feel myself getting faster.  I’m currently one of those people that run essentially the same pace per mile regardless of it being a 5k, 10k or half marathon. 

I’m working on changing that. 

Now that my half marathon is behind me – I plan on taking time this month to enjoy running again.  To run because I want to -  not because my schedule dictates that I run a certain number of miles on a specific day.   Truth be told – I still have a schedule.  It’s just a  much gentler, nicer one.  My long run is going to top out at 6 miles this month.  My training runs during the week – between 3 and 4. 

I like the idea.  Going out and running for a half hour – forty five minutes because I want to is something I can get behind. 

Back to my speed.  My training runs these past two weeks have definitely been faster.  I’m pushing myself.  I feel it every night when I am trying to sleep and my legs are aching.  I know I’ve forced them to give me more than they are used to. 

I have one race on the calendar for the month – and that’s a 10k.  I’ve only run one other 10k and that was back in October.  It’ll be interesting to see if my pace improves this time around.  I plan on it – I just don’t want to overshoot my goal. 

That’s always my dilemma – do I aim high and then possibly feel disappointed in my results or do I go conservative and then feel “extra motivated” when I surpass my expectations? 

How do you determine what your goal is for a race? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 half marathon recap....

Before I move officially move into May (and I promise to be a better blogger this month) I want to be sure I recap my FIRST half marathon. 

I learned a lot about myself on this journey.  This is the first "quest" I've been on that I have stuck with based on sheer determination.  I have been running - since June of last year - 3, 4, 5 days+ a week.  I haven't done anything that consistently for at least 11 years.  (which is how old my son is about to turn!)

Two days before my race - my " running partner" - who has not trained with me in 6 months but had committed to run the half bailed on me.  I can't say that I was surprised but I was forced to really look inside myself. 

The biggest accomplishment of my life I was going to do alone.  I think that's my biggest takeaway from this.  Don't get me wrong - I am proud that I ran those 13.1 miles (at least most of them) but I am really PROUD that I made a decision to go - by myself  - and run for me. 

The race for the More Magazine + Fitness All Women's Half Marathon that took place in Central Park on April 15th.  The race started at 8am and since I live about 90 minutes outside of the city I needed to go in the night before. 

After playing tag with my husband (literally dropping our kids off at his office since he had to work that day) I took the train into Grand Central.  I proudly got my metro card and took the subway downtown to the expo.  Because at that point I was having (and still may be) a love / hate relationship with running I wasn't really into it.  I didn't want to buy more running gear if I was going to lay off running for awhile. 

Subway back up to my hotel and I spent the night by myself.  REALLY SUCKED to be in the city alone.  (and in bed by 9pm!)  Felt like a total waste of money and the experience.  I missed my husband and if we weren't dogsitting for our neighbors I probably would have pushed him to join me. 

Anyways....the weather on race day was really nice.  ALMOST too nice.  The corrals were very clearly marked and the porto potty lines weren't too crazy.  As the race kicked off it started to rain but it wasn't cold so I considered that to be a good thing.   The sun coming out in all its glory about half way through made it HOT. 

I was surprised by all of the walkers.  Right from the beginning there were walkers.  I'm a strict rule follower so I found this kind of annoying.  Walkers were supposed to start in the back. I'm slow - but I wasn't in the walking corral.  :-)

There were just under 8k runners.  We were on top of each other.  A lot of weaving in and out.  This didn't really bother me- I'm so used to running alone that to be in with such a tight group of people was a new experience for me. 

After the first mile I felt pretty good.  (that first mile I always have to push myself through - as crazy as that sounds) Until mile 7.5 I ran at a steady pace - around 10:40 per mile.  

Central Park is a lot of rolling hills with one mother of a hill on the Upper East.  The first time I stopped to walk was at mile 7.5 and I only walked for less than a minute- just to "regroup". 

At mile 10 I hit a wall.  My legs were lead.  The sides of my hips hurt, it was hot and I was TIRED.  I had to push myself to run.  I think I stopped 3 times in the last 3 miles!! 

My end time was 2:23:51.  Just under an 11 minute mile pace which was my goal.  Truth be told - I wanted to be sure I came in under 2:30 and I really wanted 2:15.  2:15 didn't happen - but I was pretty happy with myself. 

Overall it was a great experience and it taught me that for my next one (because I'm sure there will be a next one) I can do it.  Nothing to fear. 

I am healthy, I have trained for this - I am strong.  A good mantra - I think I'll keep it.