Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Campus on the Run 2010

On Saturday I participated in another 5K.  This time I ran all over the Washington State University campus in a race called Campus on the Run.  Here's what happened:

  • I showed up really early and got my long-sleeved tee and race number.  I stretched.
  • I stretched some more.
  • I participated in a cheesy group warm-up activity.
  • I stood at the starting line next to a dude holding a sign that said "12-15 minutes mile."
  • I started running when the gun went off.
(Okay, so not a lot happened before the race...  During the race, however...)

  • At about .3 miles, the course was already heading into its first uphill.  I was super-thankful to  Scott, since it was his idea to run the course two days before to determine good running and walking points on the course.  While everyone around me tried to run up the hill, I walked at a comfortable pace and caught my breath.  I knew where I was going to walk and where I was going to run for the whole 3.1 miles.
  • At the top of the hill, I picked up my pace again.  I jogged until the next uphill section.  This one was a long one.  I climbed to the nuclear power plant and watched as the faster runners flew down the hill as I was walking up.
  • The crest marked the first mile point.  Lots of people got water and looked exhausted, but I felt pretty good.  I picked up my feet and enjoyed my long jog to the bottom and the fact that I was running under a 12-minute mile on such a hilly course.  I felt bad for the lady running in pajama pants.
  • My second mile was my best.  I felt like I had energy; my knee didn't hurt, and I even noticed that I was running with a smile on my face.  As I passed other runners, I updated them on the distance we had all run so far.
  • During the third mile I realized that I had some competition.  For once, though, someone else was competing with me, and I wasn't competing back.  Two young women dressed in purple roller derby-esque outfits kept passing me on the uphills, and I kept passing them on the downhills.  I heard them talking about how they needed to pass me and how they hoped to "beat the girl in the yellow Brooks top."  I had to giggle a little, especially since it seemed like they were working so hard.  (Running uphill is really hard.)  It shouldn't matter, I suppose, but I ended up crossing the finish line before both of them. :)
  • On the last straightaway, I have to admit that I was tired.  My knee was a little sore, and I could tell that I was jogging on an incline, no matter how slight it was.  I wanted to cross that finish line in under 36 minutes.  I didn't allow myself to walk, and I kept my pace steady all the way to the end.  I crossed with an unofficial time of 35:50, which I am proud of for the course and my current fitness level.  Official times have not come out yet.
 I was happy with my race, and I am looking forward to my next one in April.  I'll be running my first 10K in Spokane.  Woo hoo!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Spokane in Spring

Last week I went to Spokane for a little run along the river.  It was beautiful.  Just thought I share a couple of pics.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Paddy's 5K

Yesterday was a good running day.  Scott and I went down to Clarkston,WA and ran the St. Paddy's Day 5K together.  Well, more accurately, we stood at the starting line together, and then I saw him a half-hour later when I crossed the finish line. :)

So here are the details:

  • The gun went off, and I immediately started too quickly.  Mind you, I wasn't sprinting or anything, but the Garmin said I was running at a 9-minute mile, and I knew that I couldn't maintain that speed.  So, I consciously slowed my jog and watched as small children, a woman with a stroller, and one old man after another passed me.
  • At about a quarter mile, I started passing a bunch of runners who started off too fast.  They had to walk; but my legs felt good.
  • At about the one-mile mark, a fellow racer started running with me.  It was his first race, and he was doing great.  We were both breathing pretty hard, but it was nice to hear him talk; it distracted me from my desire to walk.
  • At the turn-around point (half way), my new friend said that he was going to walk for a bit, so I said my goodbyes, skipped the water at the aide station, and re-committed myself to my goal - to run this 5K without walking.
  • The way back to the finish line seemed longer than the way to the half-way point.  I felt myself breathing pretty hard, and my legs didn't feel strong anymore (though I was happy that my knee didn't hurt).  I started singing songs in my head, namely "The Star-Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful," "Jingle Bells," and "Alouette."  Even as I ran, I knew that my choices of songs were kind of strange, but I didn't care.  I knew all the words, and I was able to sing them to the rhythm of my feet hitting the path.  Whatever kept my mind off of my lungs was welcome.
  • By 2 or 2.5 miles, I moved away from singing and into the praying portion of my race - "I am sooo ready for my second wind, Dude."  Yes, I actually called God "Dude."  I think He knows I meant no disrespect, though; I was just longing for a little divine intervention, some more energy.  And I know that I am not the only one who prays during runs; my friend Emily says that she makes deals with God to get a little divine assistance.
  • When I was within half a mile from the finish line, I knew that I could finish without walking.  Even though there was little climb and some wind in my face, I pushed myself up towards the finish line.  I crossed with a time of 33:33 (which, for those of you who know me, is awesome on a couple of levels).  

After the race, I coughed and struggled to catch my breath, but I was really pleased with the way the race turned out.  It was only 10:30 in the morning, and I had already beat my best 5K time.  I ate a half of poppyseed muffin, drank a little water, and stuck around to watch Scott accept a medal for coming in THIRD overall (and first in his age group).  I cheered (I think I was more excited than he was), took pictures, and felt proud of both of us.

Races like this one make me want to keep registering for more.  I think I will be ready for a 10K next month.