Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Cowtown 10K

Trying to put the feelings going through my head right now into words is difficult. I have so many all at once. Today I ran my first official 10K. I have only run more than 5 miles twice. So I wasn't sure how well I would do. I knew I would finish, that wasn't the question. I wasn't sure if I would finish running or walking. I am happy to report that I was running to the end. 

I was super excited as they started releasing the runners. I couldn't get the smile off of my face. That is so weird to me. I never wanted to run until a year and eight months ago. Something just changed inside of me. I became a runner. 

I knew I wanted to keep an even pace as I ran, but taking advantage of the downhill portions as best I could and when I felt a little extra energy. I did not push myself too hard. I have learned that if I do that it forces me to walk. That was NOT my goal this morning. I wanted to run as much of the race as I could without stopping unless I had to. And I didn't want to walk any of it other than through the water stations, since I prefer to drink my water instead of wear it.

There were four water stations spread out over the 6.2 miles. I skipped the first one. I did not slow my pace until we were right around the corner from mile 3. I did that only so I could drink a small cup of water. I walked through three water stations and I stopped three times to stretch my calves. It helped me to keep going and not walk. My feet did great until after I had crossed the mile 5 marker. Then they started bothering me. But I kept going. The last time I stretched my legs and my feet it didn't help my feet as much as I would have liked.

I know that will be my biggest challenge as I increase my distance for the Half in August. I am going to have to take it slowly and add just a quarter mile a week until I reach that 13 miles. I will increase my weight training so that I can get stronger and build muscle at the same time that I increase my distance.

My last mile was the slowest but still a good time. My tracker says I finished it in 1 hour and 22 minutes. That is amazing to me! I usually take a little bit longer, probably five minutes or so longer. Once I got over the finish line and stopped running my excitement returned two fold. I DID IT. I really did it. And I did it in record time, for me. 

I have signed up for a couple of 5K's, one in March and one in April but I am going to be working on training for the Half during this time. My goal is to run three days a week. Tuesdays - 4 miles. Thursdays - 5 miles and Saturday or Sunday depending on when I can run - 6 miles plus .25 of a mile more each week. I know that will take a long time to build up to 13.1 miles but I have until August 2 to accomplish it. I also plan to do weight/strength training three days a week; Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. I also want to have one day that I will be doing stretching and rolling exercises to stay limber and help prevent injury. That will be whatever day is my off day, Saturday or Sunday. I will add a walk on that day, when possible. 

My eating is something I need to keep working on. Doing more running and more weights is going to cause me to become even more hungry. So I need to feed my body healthy things that will keep me strong and not make me gain weight, only muscle. I can't wait to see the progress I will make by the beginning of summer and beyond. I just have to keep my mind focused and not get off track. 

I hope you have set some goals for yourself. We all need to be more active and eat better. It isn't as hard as we make it. One step at a time. One day at a time. You can do it!

Changing my life one day at a time. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hot Chocolate 5K 2014

Saturday I ran my eighth 5K. Last year this race was my very first one. I think I will call it my "anniversary" 5K. I plan to run it every year. My son and I went to pick up my packet on Friday. The hoodie was wonderful and warm. It even has thumb holes in the sleeves, a real plus since the weather has been so cold lately. The colors are GREAT, too. I like it a lot better than the one from last year. This one has a zipper and that helps the hood to stay on your head instead of fall off. Last years was just a pull over and the hood would never stay on my head.

The Hot Chocolate 5K was held in Dallas at Fair Park, again. Thankfully, the traffic wasn't as bad as it was last year. Sadly, the exits were closed off again this year so we had to find a different way into the designated parking area. We didn't arrive at 6 a.m. like they suggested. That is just too early to get everyone up and stand out there, plus I think the traffic may be worse the earlier you are since they tell you to be there at that time? We arrived a little after 7. The walk from the parking lot to the starting line was a good 15 minutes. I had to make a stop at the port-a-potty before getting in line to run. Thankfully they had a lot of them and the lines weren't too bad. But I managed to get in the line where my group was despite the fact that they had already let a few of the groups go by then.

It was 32 degrees and foggy. It was misting a little the whole race. I managed to keep my pace even the entire time and actually ran the whole time. I did not have to slow down or walk. I am super excited about that. This is my first 5K that I have been able to do it. That is progress. As I ran across the finish line I raised my arms and just shouted. I couldn't help it. It was such a victory for me.

After the race I got my finisher's mug filled with yummy goodies. It had hot chocolate, a spot with chocolate fondue for dipping, a banana, a marshmallow, small bag of pretzels, a wafer cookie and a rice crispy treat, all to dip in the chocolate. Yummy. I ate the banana dipped in chocolate but gave the other goodies to my daughter since she had been sitting in the cold with no food in her tummy while I ran. I did not sit around like many to eat. My family had been out in the cold long enough. They were there for me before the sun was up and it was very cold, like I said. We went to IHOP and had some pancakes and get out of the cold. I tried to wait awhile to lay down, hoping that I could get a nap in but was not able to fall asleep at 2 even though I laid there for almost an hour and a half. Around 5, I was able to lay down and get a couple of hours sleep. I ate something and then went back to bed. I slept all night. I can never nap after a race. I am too wound up from the excitement, I suppose. 

My next race is in two weeks. It is my Cowtown 10K. I am super excited about it. I have one 5K in March and one 5K in April. I am planning on signing up for a Half the end of April. I can't even tell you how exciting and scary that is to me. I begin training for the Half next week.

Changing my life one day at a time.