On Saturday, February 27th, I ran my first race of the season. It was a 5K (3.1 miles) at Squaw Creek Park. The race was on the paved roads and they were all cleared of snow so it was a totally dry run. The temperature was a different issue. The temp was around 27 degrees and then there was the wind chill on top of that. The race didn't start till 11:00 which was a good thing. There were 307 runners so I was not the only person out there freezing my butt off! There was even people in shorts! Not me! I had three layers on my core. When I was running into the wind I had my hood up and was zipped up to my chin. When the wind was to my back, the sun would warm me to the point that I would unzip my jackets, take my hood down and take my gloves off.
Rachelle asked me if I had anything left to give after it was over. Interesting question. Yes, I could have run longer. I had decided to hold steady and keep a constant pace throughout - although I did "push it" during the last stretch of the race. My finish time was 33:30. I checked the final results on the CVRA web site last night and found out I was 6th in my age group (women 50-54). There was 11 of us total. The women who placed 1st thru 3rd all ran in 24 to 26 minutes! WOW! That is really fast (from my perspective). I'd like to think that there will be a day in my future that I might run a 5K in 25 minutes. I think I'll consider that a long-term goal!
I know most of the people reading my blog right now are doing so to keep up with Jim's health status. But in case you decided to read this particular post I'm going to recap on how I came to the point that I'm running races.
Our daughter Rachelle has been competing in triathlons for several years now. I've watched her grow and progress in her athletic ability and have been truly inspired. In 2009, Rachelle and I had conversations about my starting to run. For my birthday in May she said she wanted to give me what I needed to get started. First on the agenda was a good pair of running shoes. We went to Running Wild and I was fitted into a pair of great shoes. Next was some running clothes and we went out to Dick's Sporting Goods and got some things that were practical and looked great. The next step was up to me. Rachelle found a running program called "Couch Potato to 5K". This is a 9 week program. I jumped right in and got started. This program starts things very slow and builds you up week after week. If you are interested in more details you can see my post on July 5th.
I ran three races last year - the Fifth Season 5K Race (7/4), the Indian Summer Distance Classic - 4 mile (9/26) and the Especially for You Race Against Breast Cancer - 5K (10/11). This year I have set a new goal for myself. I have registered to do a quarter marathon in Madison WI on Memorial Day weekend. Rachelle has given me a training schedule and I'm following it quite closely. I run three times a week - Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. On Monday, Wednesday & Friday I cross train. I've been doing various programs, Turbo Jam, Denise Austin, yoga, and medicine ball. I'm switching around all the time and trying to keep things interesting. So I'm sure you are wondering when I do all this...right? Well, it is very early in the morning. I get up 4:45 or 5:00 each day and train for 20-30 minutes depending on the day. The morning is the only time that I can control. When you work till 6 p.m. or later each evening like we do, it doesn't leave much time to do much of anything after you get home and eat.
So how do I stay motivated to get up and exercise each day? First, of all I don't call it exercising. I'm in training. It makes a difference for me...in my head. There is something about knowing that I have a race coming up. By registering for races and having goals set up to accomplish, I am thereby motivated to stay on the training schedule. I'm excited. When I think back to my first race on July 4, 2009 - when I had to walk a couple times because I couldn't run the whole thing...and now...no more walking...mission accomplished! The fun has just begun!