Race Day

I ran my first 5K race today (I don’t count my inflatable obstacle courses as we don’t run them) since my accident. I probably could have last summer, but I was timid and waiting for the “right” race.

One of my husband’s cousins put today’s race on Facebook a while back, and I clicked interested. Then my co-worker mentioned it, we realized that we were talking about the same race and our team was born. Fortunately, she was the captain 🙂 It is a great cause, the Sexual Assault and Crisis Center. We didn’t raise as much as we hoped, but a little more than we thought we would.

The biggest issue  was my week leading up to it: do I run? A lot? Fast and short or long lazy distances?  It had been so long since I had a pre-race week, and it’s not like I ran that many to begin with. Plus, my heavy run days tend to be Fri-Sat-Sun because of work, and I didn’t want to load up right before the race and have tired legs.

In then end I walked a lot. I did run a fast 2 miles on Friday–before I walked an hour and a quarter with a friend. Daisy got her time out with me too, and she walks quickly. Our walked mile would have been 15 minutes, except someone had to go to the bathroom, and it was really 15:30.

I am not sure if I will repeat that for my next 5K (and there will be another, soon) or not. I certainly didn’t have any problems running, and my legs felt good. But maybe some speed work outs and drills earlier in the week would have increased my time? Or maybe in the weeks leading up to it? I guess I will be playing around before each 5K to see what works. Good thing I had already planned to do three this summer!

I think I could have gone a bit faster, but I had no idea what the course was like and I didn’t want to get slammed with a hill at the end (which happened in my last race. See, I DO learn things!) They started us up a hill, and then we went down one we had to return, and this is where I love my hilly home area: I use the term “hill” loosely. Really, they were just gentle grades and I passed several people going up them (who frequently passed me going back down the hill).

Next year I will know where to kick it into gear (the team agreed that next year is a must). As it was, I didn’t start sprinting until I realized I could suddenly see the finish line. And who knew, I had enough left at the end to sprint for the finish.

I finished in 29:26, which is less than one minute slower than my last race. I was pretty pumped when I realized that my previous race was at the end of  the season, whereas this is just my beginning. I was even more excited about being 68th out of over 400 participants.

Now, not all of them ran. In fact, most of my team did not. So after finishing, I walked back to find them and walked the rest of their way with them. Nice cool down!




Weekly Rundown

I decided not to do a rundown two weeks ago because  I had a cold and, well, my exercise was not terribly exciting. I did exercise, but it was a lot of walking and yoga. Then last week, I’m not sure what happened except life was busy and I was onto this week before I even knew it. Now it’s Saturday and I better get posting or I will be in next week!

I am working with a mix of outdoor and treadmill runs now and I am loving it. I get out for my long runs and then do some quick speed sessions on the treadmill. Hoping that will translate to faster miles on my long runs too. Those hills are slowing me down  🙂

And, as usual, it is hard to get a balance in my workouts. I wanna run. Hard to make time to do yoga (which is important to stretch out my muscles so I can keep running), and the weights have pretty much gone by the wayside. Now that it is–finally–warmer, I have to fit in Daisy walks and horse activities. I know, it is a terrible life I lead.

Monday:  was once again my day off.

Tuesday: Following a ten-hour day, it is hard to get home and do anything besides feed the horses and eat dinner. Now that the days are longer I would like to do more but our dinner time is fairly strict, and, sadly, I have the mindset that once I eat, I am done for the day. I guess I need to get over that! Meanwhile, I did do a 1 mile walk in 20 minutes on the treadmill between horses and dinner.

Wednesday: I snuck in a quick easy mile (10 minutes) on the treadmill when I got home. I followed that with 15 minutes  of stretchy yoga. I have been doing a short routine  that fits in easily and on the weeks that I do it four or so times, I am actually quite flexible. I came up with it for a friend who had never ever done yoga before,  so I am rather proud of how well the flow works and accomplishes its goal, which is to calm and increase flexibility.

Thursday:  I did manage to do weights, but only 2 sets of 10 reps with 5 burpees in between sets. I only do weights to help with my running, so they are never a priority for me to do a lot or even more than I have to.  I followed the weights with my 15 minutes of stretchy yoga.

Friday: My long run. I picked my destination, which was a 5.22 mile route filled with lots of big hills. It was one of my favorite routes earlier in my running career, but I hadn’t actually run it since the accident. I did walk it last year with Daisy, and I have run parts but not the whole route. I was actually nervous as I laced up my sneakers.  Telling myself that it would be fine, and that I could turn around sooner if I felt the need (while knowing in the back of my head that I would never do that after I had set a goal), I headed out the driveway. It was a fabulous run. It wasn’t a fast run, my splits averaged around 11 minutes and it took 58:19, but it was still a fabulous run.  The hills really didn’t bother me and once again I realized just how much more in shape I am than I was last year. I think all the flights of stairs I made sure to get in during my walks at work really helped with the hills, although my lower back ached slightly after the run, telling me I need more core work so my back is supported better going up hills. More planks and burpees are in my future.

Saturday: I did a quick treadmill run. As I mentioned above, I am trying to increase my time, and I did 2 miles in 18 minutes. Which is pretty dang good for me! Maybe on a relatively flat trail, I could come close to that outside.

Sunday: A busy day–I managed 21,000 steps and, yes, I slept very well that night! I started off with a long “relaxing” run. It was meant to be relaxing, anyway. I did 4.31 miles, and I didn’t hurry much with the first three. But I have always considered myself a distance runner, as my miles naturally tend to get faster on long runs. So I spontaneously decided to see how fast I could do the fourth mile. It was certainly my fastest, and it felt pretty good. But the hill made my heart rate spike about 10 beats higher than my friend the cardio RN had freaked out about last time. Oops. Maybe I shouldn’t work quite so hard going up hills. Happy to say it does drop immediately when I reach the top. Stupid hills. Later in the day I  got on my horse for the first time this spring. About time! Of course, I spent half an hour cleaning the mud and spring shed and trimming her mane. My ride lasted about 10 minutes since the ground is still mucky and soft everywhere. But I had a great time playing with her, and she seemed to enjoy the attention. Last thing I did was finally get Daisy out for a walk. I had promised her, and she had a blast, sniffing up and down the road for our 1.44 mile walk. I’m starting her out with short distances since we are just beginning for the season and she needs to get in shape for longer walks.


I bought another pair of sneakers to run outside in. I know there will be weather throughout the spring and summer that will force me inside on the treadmill.  As I live on a dirt road, getting all the dirt out of the treads so my carpet at the end of the treadmill belt doesn’t get a little (or big) pile of dirt is near impossible. I learned this last summer.

So I finally bit the bullet (sneakers aren’t cheap) and ordered them. I figure in the long run (hee hee), they will both last longer as I switch off and I won’t need another pair as soon. They arrived Monday April 2nd.

And the weather abruptly dropped cold. Not that I couldn’t have run outside, but it simply wasn’t inviting with the cold wind whipping us every time we ventured out. And then it rained every other day 😦

Today was sunny with no wind and only puffy white clouds floating around. Ah, it was beautiful! Teeshirt and hoodie kept me warm–almost too warm by the end.  New sneakers worked as expected, and it was just the most beautiful run.

Last year the first hill gave me issues, and it was my third run before I made it up at a run.

Floated right up it this morning 🙂

I feel like I am in such better shape than last spring and oh, it makes me happy. I did 3.34 miles in 35 minutes, which is not quite as fast a pace as I have been running on the treadmill. But throw in six hills (some bigger than others, but definitely some substantial ones) in those 3.34 miles and I feel it was  definitely a decent run.

Too bad we are expecting freezing rain tomorrow!


Weekly Rundown

Last week in March! There is definitely a spring vibe in the air, even if it is only wishful thinking. The days get bright earlier and stay light longer.

I find that I am not quite as ready for bed as I was two weeks ago–although I still sleep as well, and almost as quickly! I also find that I am more ambitious  with my workouts, willing to work harder and longer.

Monday: in the spirit of getting ready to run outside, I decided to go at a faster pace. I had been using the presets, which are great for conditioning as they vary the pace, but I wanted to see if I could run a solid 2 miles at a continuous pace. Turns out, I can! It was only 10 minute miles, but it is a good start at this time of year. Especially since I didn’t pass out when I was done, and I did it after a 10-hour work day 🙂

Tuesday: took the day off, except for my walk at break.

Wednesday: As I don’t have all that much time when I get home from work, especially since the horses seem to want to be fed and their stall cleaned like every night, I squeezed in a 20 minute walk on the treadmill. Twenty seems to be the magic number, since it was a 20 minute run on Monday after work too.

Thursday: I kinda took Thursday off too, although I did a brisk 15 minute walk at work during my break. Getting out of my office and striding about the hospital for 15 minutes (especially when it is nice enough to go outside) refreshes me and helps me get back to work in a relaxed mood. I also did 10 minutes of stretching yoga after work for further relaxation. It is a short routine, but I have been doing it more regularly and I can see that I am getting more flexible than just by doing long practices twice a week.

Friday: Still thinking I needed some solid runs behind me, I decided to run a 5K on the treadmill.  I did the first mile at 6.0, the second at 6.2 and the last at 6.4 MPH.  I felt incredibly good afterwards as I stretched it out. My first race I signed up for is at the end of the month, and I feel pretty positive about being able to finish it decently now.

Saturday: going back to the preset workouts, I did a 30 minute run (about 2.5 miles). I followed that with a 10 minute walk. I had discovered previously that I could do arm dips (reverse pushups?) on the treadmill (did I mention how short I am?) using the side handlebars. I hadn’t done any in quite a while, and for some reason I thought 4 sets of 4 dips spread throughout the 10 minute walk was a good idea. I mean, it was, but oooh, my muscles reacted the next day!

Sunday: another run on the treadmill. Funny how I no longer dislike the treadmill as much as I used to. I will be happy to get back outside, but I won’t really mind the days weather forces me inside. And I am very happy that I have the treadmill, so weather no longer controls my exercise routine. Now if Mother Nature would just let it be spring!