I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘5k’

The Reason: Race Report

My Auntie Daph continues to inspire me, 6 years after stupid old ovarian cancer took her from us. It pleases me to think that seeing her family unite around beating the cause that was the source of so much pain near the end of her life in a healthy way honors her. Makes beating my 5k time from a month ago seem like a silly thing with which to concern myself, no? 

If that last sentence made you laugh out loud, then you know me well. 

Did I mention that this was the Big One’s first 5k as well? She has been sharing her running achievements with me excitedly leading up to the race. Finally, I got one that enjoys the training! Like the young person with boundless energy she is, she decided to go to Halloween Horror Nights the night before. 

Lady J, Stepmother: “I hope she isn’t too tired! I want her to enjoy her first race experience!” 

Lady J, Nervous Runner: “I hope she doesn’t bust up my sleep coming home. My ass is not 20.” 
The first thought listed WAS my first thought. Honest. 

Guess what! God is awesome, and yesterday it was reflected in the fact that both the Stepmommy and nervous runner got their wishes! I felt something incredible on the course – *gasp* – a BREEZE! I had a goal in mind to do better than a month ago, but the feeling of just seeing where my body is at the moment was liberating. If I didn’t beat it, it is what it is. It’s nice having a cause like beating ovarian cancer to fall back on just in case you run the best race ever. I often  judge my effort based on if I want to stop running or how badly I want to see the finish line. “You can run for 10 more minutes! You can run for 9 more minutes and 30 more seconds! You can run for 9 more minutes and 28 seconds! Damn. Just keep going.” 

32:55! 32 seconds faster than a month previous. It’s like, my training has been effective or something. I had enough time to beg for water, tell Daddy how my run went, and cheer for my family as each of them crossed the finish line, including my girls, who were grinning from ear to ear. 


Running is powerful. Family is powerful. God is The Power. 

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Never Silent – Noise v. Music: Race Report 

I have a confession to make. 

While I can honestly say I was proud of my performance in last week’s 5k, I wasn’t “satisfied,” and thus my quest for my next 5k before marathon training began hours after last week’s finish. I shared this with 3M, and naturally, she responded with suggestions. Though I was unsure if I could really make any gains in a week, I thought, ‘what the hell. I like to race. Let’s see what happens!’ 

I didn’t run at all this past week, as I was unusually tired and feeling in limbo before my marathon training is to start. I just tried to eat cleanly and show up rested. Last night, I was setting out my clothes/equipment for today and realized I did not see my wireless headphones. “Meh,” I thought. My phone on my arm felt heavy last week anyhow. “I’ll run without music!” 

Mind you, I have never run a running race without music. The last time I raced without music was at the end of my 70.3 almost 2 years ago. “Whatever. It’s ‘just’ a 5k. The silence won’t be a big deal.”  At the horn, I realized something quickly. 

There. 

Is.

No. 

Silence.

I mean this both literally and figuratively. Of course, there were plenty of things to hear as I struggled in the heat and humidity. Parents encouraging their kids. The occasional cowbell. My feet. My clearing my throat. My feet. The ducks. My feet. 

My feet. They’re loud. Seriously. 

Soon after I began mile 2, I felt very tempted to slow down. “You can slow down. You’ll still probably beat your time from last week.” Then, “It’s hot. Why am I doing this.” This was followed by the inevitable, “I am whining about 3.1 miles. Am I really strong enough to complete 23.1 more?” 

Oh, dear. I wish that no music meant silence. Quite the opposite. The inside of my head is incredibly noisy. I often tell my classroom students that we are in a music room and not a noise room. Our music is intentional, our noise is scattered and rarely pleasant. The music that I play during races helps to distract me from the noise in my head. I became thankful for my loud, musical feet – the organized, steady beat of my progress toward the finish line. Keep making music. Keep moving forward. 

I crossed the finish line in 33:27 – 1:05 faster than the previous week. Music triumphed over noise once again. I know now that if I am to complete a marathon, I must become a better musician. 

Always multitasking.

War is Hell: Race Report

N.B. – Before I begin writing, I want where I stand to be clear. I actually do believe in a real hell, and eternal separation from the Lord is no joke. However, it’s difficult for me to resist such an amusing metaphor. He’s still working on me. Give me a break. 

It has been quite some time since I’ve posted. Whenever I take any kind of hiatus, it’s not because I don’t have anything to say; rather, it’s because I’m not sure how to say it OR I am unsure if saying it is in my best interest. 

Well, I still run. 

I am proud of the fact that I committed to a training plan over the summer. 2016 has been a tad busy, what with getting married and moving in with Adonis. I’m thankful that my relationship with running is as solid as a rock! It makes me sad to miss runs, even when I struggle through them. There is nothing in the world like running and racing, but prioritizing it is a struggle. If I want to do big things, like run a marathon before the end of the year, I probably should be able to commit to a training plan for a 5k this very hot summer. 

I woke up this morning, ecstatic to run the race that will determine what the next 18 weeks of my life will look like. It is difficult for me to manage my expectations, as I tend to be disappointed that I am not the fittest I have ever been. My constant battle is to be pleased with whatever my best happens to be in any given moment. 

War paint.


My goal pace was 11:25, but I wanted to go faster. “How fast can I go? Should I put on a pace alert? Maybe when I’m going 9 minute miles, that’s too fast.” Okay Joan. Calm down. I chose to dispense with the pace alert and just run the fastest I could. 

This race was PACKED, which didn’t help the already blazing temperature. Moreover, the course itself wasn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing. Aaaaand there’s a brick road, let’s finish this without twisting your ankle! Then I saw a chick running alongside me with one leg. I stopped my mental whining.

The telltale signs of my running my fastest were all there – cursing during the 3rd mile, feeling tempted to slow down, questioning why I do this, barely being able to smile when I saw any camera. I crossed the finish line with nothing remaining in the tank. A look at my watch later showed that each mile was slightly faster, but not just that! 

Who beat her goal pace? This girl.


I worked hard for this 34:32, y’all. I’ll tell anyone about it with pride, and I say this as I watch my colleagues running in Rio this morning. I am proud to be the kind of person that curses her way to a 5k finish line, only to hand in a sweaty registration form for a half-marathon moments later. 

Perhaps one day I will stop putting myself through my mental hell, my mental separation from God’s unchanging love and acceptance, because it’s awful not being able to really appreciate what a gift that running truly is. Every step I take brings me closer! 

Winning at Failing: Race Report 

I had this grand goal in mind when I signed up for this particular race series. In 2013-2014, I did the Active Suncoast 22.4 Challenge – a 5k, a half, and a 10k. Each course was well-supported, scenic, and flat. Moreover, it dawned on me that each of my running PRs were on these courses. I thought to myself, “Yes! I will do this again! This is officially my PR series!” 

Nope. 

I knew there was no way on earth I would hit less than 29 minutes for a 5k in my current shape. Moreover, weather decided to drop into the 40s and all the running I had (or hadn’t) been doing was in the 60s. Did I mention I was still trying to shake a bad cold? And how much I hate running in pants? 

Goal modified, I created a playlist that reflected the new “win” – 6 songs – 32 minutes. I put tissue in my jacket pocket, prepared for the worst.

I don’t know what it was, but I felt great as I ran. I was able to run with very little coughing. My nose felt clear! I smiled as people ran by in winter themed outfits, even giggled when I was outrun by an Olaf. It happens. I was pleased that I had put “Paradise City” as my last song, as it was my warning that I needed to pick it up if I wanted to reach my goal. Sure enough, by the time the tempo changed, I saw the finish line around the corner. I increased my turnover and just made it before I would have had to run in silence, clearly apt punishment for a musician not meeting her running goal. 

I’m getting pretty good at failing. Practice makes perfect! 

  

I’m making everyone do this next year! Race Report

It’s not too often that I sign up for a race days before it is to take place, but like I said, I’m hungry for stickers. Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a medal and a t-shirt. Let’s see how I run a 5k these days all by myself – no offense, Adonis. I love having you by my side but centering myself and focusing on my race – it’s pretty special. Plus, you can sleep in. 

I am not an amusement park person, so this was my first time at Legoland. Like Disney, we simply run through the park, but there is no free admission afterward. Whatevs. I think this park is for kids anyway. Oh wait,  I’m just a kid with a job. My strategy was to keep each mile at 10 something – definitely pushing for me but not too much, especially since I still was dealing with a cold that I couldn’t shake. Incidentally, I saw my doctor at the starting line. Who knew doctors actually do things they recommend? I might go back to her. 

I started toward the back with the thought of moving up as the race went along. I checked my watched frequently to make sure I was maintaining my desired pace. I coughed. I hacked up a partial lung. Doc was nowhere in sight. I pressed on. 

Aside from the coughing, I felt pretty strong. The former Cypress Gardens is beautiful. I saw the Water Park and made plans to frolic there later. I thanked God at each mile marker and grinned as I made the final turn. Evidently, the finish was just outside the park entrance, but the only reason I knew that was because that was where the medal holders were. No finish line sign?! I felt gypped, but otherwise I really loved this race and can’t wait to do it again with my family next year, especially since I think that’s the only way I can get them to come to the park. Great weather, well-organized. 18 out of 73 in my AG! I may be coughing but that’s better than sucking! Whee! 

  

He made me get dirty: Race Report

Just like a man. 

“The road is boring! I won’t like it!”

“Well, what about running through a park? Like on a trail?” 

“Yeah! Sign me up for that!” 

And just like that, Lady J signs up for her first trail run. I had never been SUPER against trail running. I just know the road and saw no pressing need or desire to venture onto the trail. Then there was Adonis, and clearly we’ve seen how he has ways of making me do a 180. He’s happy to be with some trees, I’m happy to be running with him, everybody wins. How bad could it be? So we find a 5k – his first, my first trail run of any kind. 

I liked it. I know that seemed like a segue into a disastrous story, but it wasn’t. Made ya look. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect aside from dirt. I got some dirt. I got some grass. I got a…hill at the very beginning of the race? Like a big ass one. Trail race organizers are jerks. Anyhow, the plan was to stay together and do 4/2 intervals to be very safe, since I wasn’t feeling too hot. The horn sounded and we are a-running. The space in the beginning was very open, and then we went into the woods where we had to run almost single file. 

I’m not gonna lie. It was very pretty! The weather was cool enough for a jacket. We passed a river. I jumped over some roots. We followed the flags that kept us from getting lost. It reminded me of running in elementary school through this trail that was behind campus! 

Indeed, it didn’t feel like quite the pounding road running is, as trail runners love to boast. The vibe was much more chill, which my not so inner-introvert appreciated. I know I will be back on the road, but I am definitely willing to get dirty again. I don’t think I would enjoy any distance longer than a 10k; I like seeing the road in front of me for longer distances. It helps with the epicness in my twisted brain. But I finished second in my age group! That fiancé, always getting me to do new things and rock at them. I’ll keep him. 

  

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