Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Fast Forward

I feel like I've been stalling on getting to what's going on now.  You feeling that too?  Just tell me to get on with it already!!  I think it's time that I get us all caught up to the present instead of talking in lots of detail (much of which I maybe forgetting, oops) of things that happened 3 months ago.  So let's hit the fast forward button, shall we?

March was my next race and it was for the St. Patty's Day 5K.  It's a HUGE race in my city, there were over 20,000 people running this race, yeah extreme racing no doubt!  My friend D and I were running the race together and it was her first official race.  We dressed up in lots of green and had lots of shamrock goodness all over. 

They had several waves of course.  We were in the Red Wave which was for timed joggers and runners, my first over timed race.  Oh boy!
The course was packed for much of the race and for the first 1.95 miles, it was a gradual grade uphill.  Oof! My friend and I would run for as long as we could and then we would walk for maybe a minute and get right back into our rhythm.  Luckily, the rest of the course was a gradual downhill run and I think we ran the whole way back down.  Don't you just love running downhill? My time always improves when this happens. :) 
We finished the race and hit the biggest wall of people when we crossed the finish line.  Hello 10,000 of our closest and sweatiest friends.  There was no place to walk off the run or catch your breath, you were just stuck standing there, moving slowly like a herd of cattle.  It was awful.  It was just a huge bottle neck from people trying to deposit their timing chips.  Lovely.  By the time we walked the .25 mile out of the "corral" area, deposited our chips, we finally got to the water station.  D and I were cold (it was 33 degrees out) and just done with all the crowds (hoards of people everywhere trying to get all the swag), we decided to grab our water and get out of there. 

Good thing too...because it started snowing.  Yep, gotta love Seattle in March, you can run a race and get snowed on.  So we hightailed it to the nearest Starbucks and got us some hot coffee to help keep us warm for our long walk back to the car.  Where we got more wet doing (from snowing) than getting sweaty while running.  Touche Seattle, touche.

The results for the race were released the next day and I had run the race in 47:03, which came out to 12:56/mile, since the race was almost 4 miles.  Trickery!!!  5K my eye!!  So not bad, actually it was a HUGE improvement from my first race.  I felt more confident since I had been through a race previously and I had my friend, who I had been running a few times with, with me.  Now I would have liked to run all the way through without stopping, as that was my goal from my last race, but that didn't happen.  All in all, I was happy with my run.

Next race I had on my radar was the Bellevue Family 5K.  It's a smaller race and gave me another goal to train for.  See, I had been bad when training for the St. Patty's Day race.  Yeah, I had run maybe 5 times before.  I know, I know...bad me!  So I tried running more to get myself ready for this race.  And I don't know what it was, but I just couldn't.  I couldn't get motivated.  I made excuses and just did not get out as much as I wanted and should have to prepare for this race.

The race came and I was running this one alone.  No friends and the hubby is officially sitting out all my races from now on. So I grabbed my iPod shuffle to take with me, that would be my running buddy for this race.  The course started in Downtown Bellevue and looped around ending at the same place it started.  I don't know who mapped out this course, but they should be hung by their thumbs!  Who has a steep hill climb at the beginning AND the end of a race?!?  I mean come on!!

So I trucked along and found a person that was running at a comfortable pace and kept pace with her, hanging back a bit and tried to zone out.  I ended up fighting the whole way and my legs felt like lead towards the end, right before the hill climb up.  The girl I'd kept pace with stopped and walked up the hill, but I was going to be damned if I stopped so close to the end.  So I dug deep, and I mean deep, and ran.  I kept running, cursing myself all along the way.  I rounded the corner and saw the finish and I kept churning, and picked up the pace a bit, giving it the last of my energy and finally crossed the finish.

I felt like I was gonna puke.  I was light-headed and way nauseous.  I stumbled over to the guy collecting the timing chips, nearly falling over onto him (luckily a railing was there).  The hubby came over to me and immediately gave me water and allowed me to walk around to cool down and hopefully not puke.  I hate to puke, ugh, worse feeling ever. I grabbed a banana and a free coconut water, downed them both and started feeling 100% better.

Now when I was walking back to the car with the hubby, I noticed something I hadn't before while running or racing.  My nipples were hard and hurting!  I got home and took a hot shower, but still that didn't get them to go down, they hurt less, but were still very pronounced.  Has that happened to anyone else?  Is that fairly common?  Regardless, they eventually went back down later that afternoon, but damn, that hurt.

The results for this race were posted the next day and I eagerly checked my time, only to be slightly disappointed in myself.  I had ran this 5K in 40:47 with my average mile splits being 13:09.  Slower than my previous race where I ran almost .75 mile farther.  I will admit it, I beat myself up about this.  I looked at my lack of training and knew that I could have done better for myself.  I also was thinking, is my running goal oriented or fitness oriented?  I had to think about that, because that is a really good question that we all should be asking.  Are we doing this for the right reasons and if not, then why are we doing it?

Well that brings us up to this past weekend where I ran the Beat the Bridge 8K race at my old college stomping grounds at the University of Washington.  Did I beat the bridge?  Well, I guess you'll have to see.  Until then all I have to say is GO DAWGS!

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