“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” - Walt Disney

Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Group Run (Ever)

Well, to round out what has been a whole host of new experiences lately, this morning was my first (ever) Galloway Group run!  The group meets at 6:30am, and I needed to get there early since I missed the first official run two weeks ago - this meant I had to leave the house at 5:45!  I joined the WWF (We Will Finish) group for this first run - they do a 2:1 run:walk ratio.  I was a little concerned about the higher ratio, but figured I'd see how I felt after the run and make adjustments next week if needed.  Also, even though it isn't considered a truly "long" run, it was on the schedule as one, so they said we were going to try to run 2 min/mi slower than race pace.

As we were running, I took the opportunity to run with several different people and really enjoyed having other people nearby to chat with.  However, once again I was surprised by the hilliness of Dallas (175 ft of elevation gain)!  It turns out we were in the same area as that dreaded hill up to the exchange point for the Rock'n'Roll Dallas Relay.  Our planned 4.8 mile run ended up being a little longer than planned due to a missing street sign, which resulted in us missing a turn, and suddenly 4.8 miles turned into 5.6!  Oh well - what doesn't kill you..., right?

Did I mention it was steamy!?!?  Temps in the high 70s/low 80s and humid.  I ended up having to cut short each of the last three run intervals and walk a little longer inbetween - my legs were ok, but my breathing was too fast and I was seriously huffing and puffing!  I talked to the group coordinator about it after the run and she suggested either dropping back to the back of the pack of my group or perhaps even switching to the next slowest group for the longer runs.  I think this will be something I'll have to play by ear as we continue - maybe stick with the current group for short runs and fall back for the longer ones?

All in all, it was a good morning!  I'm excited about the group and what lies ahead of us in marathon training!

Today's run:
  • 5.6 miles; 1:15:51; 13:33 min/mi avg. pace
    • Total mileage includes some walking at the beginning, but I didn't keep track of when we switched.
    • Also, once again, I forgot to turn my Garmin back on, so I'm using the "total elapsed time" from start to finish of the run - a little longer than actual running time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Running Day

Today, June 1st, is National Running Day!  The purpose of the day is for "...runners everywhere share their passion for a lifestyle that is one of the best, and simplest, ways to stay fit—and so much more."

Obviously, since you're reading this blog, you know that I'm pretty passionate about running (but not in they way you'd think - more on that later).  And if you know me in the "real" world, you've probably heard me babble on about training plans, shoes, gear, races, and "bling."  You've probably even been a victim of my scheme to coerce my friends and family to register for races with me.

A co-worker told me today that she hates running.  Hates it.  She said it's boring, it hurts, and it's just no fun.  I looked her squarely in the eye and said "I know."  She was shocked.  I explained that I don't, actually, routinely enjoy the process of running.  It is boring.  It does hurt.  So why do I do it? 

It's a question asked not just by her, but also by the NRD page today, and one that I ask myself a lot.  Why?  The conclusion I've reached over the many miles of pavement is that it's the feeling of accomplishment afterwards.  I'm a late convert to running.  I was not athletic in high school or college - I preferred curling up with a good book or movie to going outside and doing something.  If you'd told me 5 years ago that I'd be running half marathons and training for a full, I'd've suggested you visit a shrink.

Maybe it's because of that history that today, whether it's the shortest training run, a 5K or 10K race, or a Half Marathon, there's just that feeling when I'm done - no matter how much it may have sucked at the time, when it's over, it's something I'm proud of - really proud of.  That's why I run.  Every time I start out, it's with the anticipation of being done and the pride of having done it.

That's a long explanation for something that's really very simple: I run because I can.  I run because I didn't.  I run because I'm proud.

Today's stats:
  • 10 min. warm-up walk
  • 3.44 mi run; 00:45:00 min; 13:04 min/mi avg pace

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Olentangy Trail Run

I had a new and exciting experience this weekend - I got to do my weekend run with one of my best friends while I was visiting him in Ohio/Indiana!  He runs much faster and further than I do, but he said he'd slow down and stay with me while I got in a 4-5 mile run.

He took us to the Upper Olentangy Trail in Columbus, where we did an out-and-back from the parking lot at the Parklands to the lake at Antrim Park - approximately a 5 mile round trip.  It was an extremely humid morning but it was only about 65 degrees, so it was sticky but not uncomfortable.

Mike wasn't very impressed with my run/walk intervals, and pushed me to turn the Garmin off and let him choose a landmark that we would run to, then do a walk interval - rather than relying solely on the watch.  I tried to keep this up, but had to walk earlier than the landmark almost every time - not a very uplifting experience.  I was also worried that this might tire me out a little too early and I'd be slower on the way back.  But I do appreciate him encouraging and persuading me to go outside my comfort zone - something I should probably do more often.

Once we reached the lake, he continued on and did a lap around the lake at his pace, and I switched on the Garmin and headed back along the route we'd just come down.  He caught up with me with about a mile left, and joined me in doing my standard run/walk intervals back to the car.  He'll probably not want to "run" with me ever again, but I enjoyed getting to spend the time with him and experiencing one of his favorite running routes.

Friday's statistics:

Since I turned my Garmin off after the warm-up walk, I don't have a completely accurate accounting of the first leg of the run, but the second leg, the return trip, is correct.
  • 10 min. warm-up walk
  • 1st leg: 2 miles
  • 2nd leg: 2.55 miles; 0:32:22; 12:41min/mi avg