Monday, October 31, 2011

Who really looks hot when they're running?

This picture always makes me laugh. While I’m sure that I don’t look like the top runner at all, I hold out some hope that I don’t look like the bottom one either. Some days I’m not 100% sure on the latter. Take today for example. I left it all out on the trail this afternoon. I took whatever stress I had in me, and pounded it into the ground through Sherwood Park. I kept thinking that I should slow down, but my body would have none of it. Better out than in I suppose.  By the tail end of my run I was just trying to keep it together to finish. I was tired, I’m pretty sure I had that Nadal thing going on that I once saw in myself in a race picture – and I don’t mean picking my shorts out of my bum, I mean that funny half squished face he makes, and I was counting the meters to the light at the end of the tunnel, aka the top of my street. But I persevered and made it. Some days after my run it’s a big Yay Me. Today was one of those days. I wonder why that is? Why isn’t’ every run the same. Some days I feel like I could go on forever, others I’m just hoping that I can make it home. But in the end the one thing that counts is that I was out there trying to do my thing, just like all of the other runners that I see on the streets and trails who resemble the bottom girl. And Nadal.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saucony Trek or Treat Night Trail Race

So back when I did my very first race this year, the Waterfront Trail, my friend Ryan was supposed to run it with me. Unfortunately, God love her, Ryan’s grandmother passed away the day before. Disappointed that she didn’t get to do the race I told her to pick another and we’d do it. Ryan chose the Saucony Trek or Treat Night Trail Race.

My training the week before the Trek or Treat was a bit spotty so I was nervous.  During Saturday’s run I ended up getting a cramp after 4.5k and had to come in early. I know that I didn’t eat much nor drink a lot the day before so I’m thinking that was the problem. I have been very careful with my water intake since then. Sunday I ran with the dog. While I love running with Gordie, he stops for far more poos and pees than a person would. He also likes to stop and say hello to anyone else out there....not something that I do much. Tuesday I went out and killed 5.5k at an average pace of 5:29! I’ve never been able to get my average below 5:33 so I was super excited. Unfortunately with the crap weather we’ve had this week that was it for my prerace training. Let’s hope it’s good enough and that I’ve figured out what is causing my cramps, the very thing that doomed me in the Waterfront Trail.

Ryan and I arrive at St Volodymyr Cultural Centre and it’s crazy. Cars everywhere, decorations, people running all over the place in costumes, it’s totally nuts. We even see some guy in a big Pikachu costume! Not sure how he plans on running in that, but I’ll tell you one thing- I’d better beat him! With this being Ryan’s first race, and my third, I lead the way. LOL Up to the table we went to get our bibs (they were Halloween themed), and then over to the chip station, and then over to the....wait a minute! No goodie bags?! What kind of cheap ass race has no goodie bags? Oh wait, there’s the t-shirt table.....oh.....only the first 200 registrants get a t-shirt, but if you’d like one it’s only $15. Seeing as I’m coveting race t-shirts I fork over the cash and stuff it into my pocket. Off to the starting line we go. I am hoping to see some kind of bag/coat check on my way out there. Due to the 8* temp I wore my vest, but obviously don’t want to run in it. Guess what? Along with no goodie bags there’s no coat check. This could be a problem because I really overheat while running. Oh well, not much I can do now. At the start line we put on our sexy headlamps and get ready for the gun.

And here we go........wait. There’s some sort of technical error, false start. Ok, here we go for real this time. The beginning of the race is very bunched up because there’s not a lot of room on the single lane road, but after about 500m we lose the dead weight and fall into our pace. I quickly realize that my stupid sexy headlight isn’t tight enough because it keeps slipping down. It seems every 10 steps or so I have to readjust it. This is going to get old fast! Somewhere around 2k I lose Ryan and focus on passing all of the angels, cheerleaders and super heros ahead of me who’s costumes are slowing them down. All of a sudden my phone starts ringing! WHAT?! Who is calling me right now? I let it go to voice mail and carry on. I pass the water station, grab a cup, accidentally spill it all over myself and keep going. Around 3k my legs start feeling heavy. EEK! I feel like I’m slowing down, but my RunStar app is telling me that I’m keeping the same pace so it’s ok. I am really regretting this vest now too because I am SO HOT! The sweat is pouring off of me. Fortunately the headband for this stupid sexy light is collecting it all. The course is a bit hillier than I had planned; they said that it was flat, but it’s not that much unlike the trail that I run through Sherwood Park on so I’m ok. I plod along on my heavy legs, sweating and adjusting and then look UP and realize at the top of this hill is the finish line! YES! I can see illumination from a headlight behind me so I put my head down and run for all I am worth. This person is NOT passing me on the home stretch. And it had better not be Pikachu! I blast through the finish line (with my phone ringing again! WHAT?!) at a clock time of 26:46, give up my chip and wait for Ryan. She comes in not far behind me at a clock time of 27:48. We walk it off for a little bit and look around for water and see that there isn’t any. It must be inside.......nope. They are serving coffee and hot chocolate to wash down your complimentary slice of pizza (no thanks). WTH? I know that it’s cold outside, but who wants a coffee right after they run. I’m realizing that this race is totally ghetto and won’t be doing it again next year. All in all, I’m happy with my performance and Ryan says that she wants to do another race, so apart from all of the things that this race didn’t have it did give us the taste of competition and sense of accomplishment that we were seeking so at the end of the day not a total waste.

Next up....Resolution Run on New Year’s Eve with my running mentor Sarah!

Oh, and if you’re wondering, it was Noah calling to see if he could sleep over at his friends house. Did I mention he also called in the middle of the Run for the Cure? Kids!

Our Full Results

Sam: Place52/299  Clock Time26:46 Class Placing(40-49F) 5/64 Gender Place25  Average Pace5:22      
Ryan: Place67/299 Clock Time27:48 Class Placing(30-39F)11/76 Gender Place33 Average Pace5:34

These two pictures are ripped off from the official photographers website. I thought the bottom one was cool with all the headlamps.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My First Post

How exciting! My first post. What will I say? Should I be witty or insightful? Talk about serving or running? My options are wide open. I'm tired from work last night where I kissed countless butts all in an effort to keep my kids fed. Much too tired to roll out of bed and run this morning. This afternoon was rainy and tonight I'm just looking for excuses. Let's just chalk this day up as a loss and plan on working hard tomorrow.

I'm getting excited for next Friday's Trek or Treat Run. Gotta make sure that I keep myself signed up for races to keep that motivation going. As the weather gets crummy I may need all of the motivation that I can get. I only started running in June and I'm super proud of how far I've come. Starting with week one in the Running Room's Learn to Run program I could barely do the walk 2; run 1, now I can run 5k in less than 30 minutes! Last weekend I did my farthest distance yet, 7k, and I could have kept going! I've got 2 races under my belt with 2 more to come before the year is out and I'm already combing the lists for more. To say that I'm addicted to races is an understatement. The feeling of accomplishment that I get when I cross that finish line, or meet my training goal can't be beat and it's what will keep me motivated as the weather turns nasty.