Monday, September 26, 2011

Chiropractic 5K

I hate 5k's. They are so hard. There's no easing into things. There's no warm up time. It's just balls to the wall (as Janz's grandpa puts it!) from the very beginning. I don't know how to pace myself really well and as a result I usually either go out too fast or too slow. But I have told myself that I need to do more of these smaller races to gain experience, use them as a sort of speed work, and overcome my fears. Truthfully, before last December, I had only run 1 5k in my life. And it was for a dear friend who had lost her son. He had been an organ donor and we did it in his honor. I was injured and my time was not great (31 something...) and I had no desire to do another. Well I guess I did a Santa Run 5k but that was just for the pictures and the cookies and milk. And we finished that in 31:49.

This year I've done 3 now. (26:40, 28:36 (barefoot), 27:25) And this one was the one that I felt the most pressure behind it. The chiropractor that I've gone to in the past to help with my IT band issues was putting on a 5k. They do it to raise funds for the pregnancy center in our town. I've had a really good relationship with my chiropractor. He's been so good to help with my issues. But he's not sold on the barefoot running thing so I felt like I had something to prove. Pretty silly, I know. So I showed up in my running sandals ready to go. Truthfully, I didn't know how it was going to go. You just never know what kind of running day it's going to be.

The "before" picture. Me, Jodi, and Robyn

I started off at a comfortable fast pace. There were a couple of times in the first mile that I wanted to go faster but wasn't sure if I could sustain it or not so I backed off. But after the mile and a half marker I just let it go. There were some good uphills as well as downhills, nothing too major, just slight inclines. And on the last 1/2 mile uphill I pushed it. I'm a little better on the inclines than the declines. I was coming up on a girl I knew was in my age group who I never thought I'd ever be able to keep up with. I was feeling the need to puke because I was pushing it so hard. I contemplated backing off. But just decided to keep going. I was on a crazy mission to see what I could do, what I could physically and mentally push through. So I began dry heaving while I was running. Not a pretty picture I'm sure. I caught up to her, said hi, and passed slowly. She caught up to me and passed me. Now I am not a competitive person, but I wasn't in the mood to be passed at this point in the race. So I picked it up and passed her. Another girl caught up. Pretty soon we were in a 3 way sprint to the finish. I came in second in that little fight but ahead of the girl in my age group. It was a pretty exciting finish! I didn't even hear my time but I filled out my card and went over to get a drink. It wasn't until about 15 minutes later that I found my time card and discovered that I'd won 3rd in my age group and scored a new PR of 24:50. Shocked doesn't even begin to explain what I was thinking. And really worry because I don't know if I'll ever beat that!

Jodi and I both took 3rd in our age groups!
I had a nice chat with my Dr. and it was good to catch up. I don't know how he feels about barefoot running, but he said it was obviously doing good things for me. I passed my year mark of barefoot and minimalist running a couple of weeks ago and I still need to do a post on that.

After the awards Jodi and I downed some chocolate milk and headed over to the bike/hiking trail that I've been building. It was the city's grand opening of the trail now that we have over a 2 mile loop completed. We ran it and though my legs were feeling a bit sluggish, we enjoyed the views and the conversation. It was a long day and by the end I was exhausted. Who knew a 5k could take so much out of you!

How do you feel about shorter races?
Love them or do you long for distance? I have to say that I long for distance but there was a definite feeling of accomplishment after this exciting finish!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Top of Utah 1/2 Marathon, Man Vs. Mud 5K, and Peach Days 10K

To say that life has been crazy lately would be an understatement. And until I get to a catch up post, here's a catch up race post! Each race really deserves it's own but since I've been such a slacker they're gonna get lumped all together. Which is fitting because that's how my life feels right now.

The Top of Utah Half: this really is such a great course. It's the sweet part of the marathon between miles 7 and 20 and is so beautiful. It's the canyon that I spent most of my dating dates with my husband so I love to reminisce as we run down it. I can pick out certain fishing spots and a certain place where we fogged up his windows one night. And I've run it the last 3 years so I knew that no matter what shape I was in that I was going to have to run it again.

It's a perfect end of summer event. I felt so good for most of the race. The last couple of miles were tough but only because I was having some shoe issues. I've really been lucky (code word for blessed) because I was offered a chance to try some Invisible Shoe huarache style sandals. I will be doing a full review on them later but the bottom line is that I LOVE them. However, I found during a test run in the 4mm thin style that I could feel the knot after about 8 miles. I wound up having to wear these ones during the half and the last 6 miles felt like I was stepping on a rock with every step. Not comfy. I'm not sure yet if I'll just get used to it or if the 6mm ones are going to have to be my choice for over a certain mileage. Time will tell.

Tough or not, I finished in 2:04 and was pleased. Not a PR but it was a good day none the less.

The next weekend me and 5 of my friends battled the Man Vs. Mud 5K. It had 27 obstacles and I really didn't think we'd be doing much running at all. I was surprised that it really did have some good stretches in between challenges.

The Hot Mudders!

There were 4 HUGE slip and slides with the last one ending in a giant mud puddle.

My favorite challenges were the very long mud trough, the mud pit at the end, and the army crawl through the mud. Our team was the Hot Mudders and we all had such a great time. It was my most favorite run to date. I don't mind getting dirty normally but this was extreme and it was a blast!

I've never been so dirty or had so much fun in all my life.

I stood in the shower with my clothes on and then proceeded to strip. I didn't ever think the water would be clear again or that I'd get the mud out of my nose, ears, and hair. What a blast!

The next weekend was Peach Days. They have one of the oldest races (started in 1974) in Utah and also one of the toughest. This was the first race I ever ran. But I have become very picky when it comes to running it. If the weather is bad I just won't do it. A couple of people have died doing this race. This year it was nice, so the night before I decided to run it.

Fresh peaches at the finish.

I had been having a crappy running week. I tripped on the Wednesday before while running around the block barefoot with my son. I had my glasses on and misjudged the distance while stepping up a curb. I tweaked my ankle and limped a little but thought everything was fine. After the 10K I realized that it was not completely back to normal yet and that maybe I shouldn't have run on it. However, I did manage a 6 minute PR from the last time I ran it 3 years ago and finished with a time of 55:26. Some said the timer was off by a minute but I'm not sure so I'll just go with what they gave me. It was still a pretty great day! And I promise that I'm going to get caught up with all of you!