Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Lost Week

I have had a migraine headache all week and have not run. I'm pretty miserable. I've reached the endless circle stage. When my head hurts like this I can't lay down, so I don't sleep, so I become exhausted which makes my head hurt, then I can't lay down so I don't sleep so I get even more exhausted. Eventually I will collapse and sleep for 10 or so hours and feel better when I wake up. I'm hoping that it is soon. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rejoined the Gym

Today was my first day in the gym in about 6 months. I ran about 15 minutes on the treadmill and did some light weight lifting. 

When you are forced to cut household expenses you learn what is really important. The Love and I gave up our gym membership about 6 months ago to save money. He agreed to walk outside 4-5 times a week and I was running. I figured I could figure out a way to lift weights at home. However, cold weather is just around the corner and I am not doing any kind of resistance training. 

We were not quite as successful working out without the gym as we had told ourselves we would be. It was extremely hot and humid this summer which kept us both inside several different times. I just couldn't get my act together to do upper body exercises here at home. And sometimes we skipped because our schedules just wouldn't allow us to workout during the day. Plus, I think we both missed the option of working out at the gym. 

A couple of weeks ago we received a letter from our gym offering "amnesty" if you rejoined on a certain date. That prompted The Love and me to really evaluate our options. We visited another bare bones gym close to home thinking it would meet our needs at a lower cost. But neither of us felt very comfortable there. All the machines were really close together; it felt crowded. 
So we looked at the monthly cash flow and decided the gym membership is important enough that we will economize somewhere else. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween 10k Race

Distance: 6.2 mi. (10k)
Time: 1:18:50
Pace: 12:43 mi/min
Time of Day: 8 a.m.
Weather: close to 60°F., sun coming up over the buildings downtown; just a beautiful morning!

This race was a winner for me! 

I have been lax about running recently for a variety of weak reasons. I was out of town a couple of times, I had a miserable head cold for about a week, and The Love also was sick-just not the same times as me…really weak excuses. In fact, at one point last week I told The Love I wasn't going to run this race. But then I changed my mind and decided I would give it a go and if I ended up walking—well, walking was exercise and better than giving up totally. I also told him he didn't have to attend the race because it was just 6 miles, he had poker Saturday night, he was getting over his vicious cold, etc.

So I went to the race by myself. I found a parking spot pretty close to the finish line. Yeah! It was kind a weird being by myself. Running seems to me to be a group sport, especially this kind of race where the element of "fun" is front & center. It was hilarious to see all the costumes. Some were elaborate as in the guy with the refrigerator box-sized pink Cadillac that he literally carried the entire race. Some were just a token costume like the funky plastic head band. But there lots and lots of groups of people. I felt pretty alone at the start.

But as the race progressed I embraced that singleness. I watched my pace closely so I didn't get caught up in the out-of-the-gate-9-minute-mile. I set a goal to finish around 12:45 min/mi. As groups fell apart I chugged along by myself passing first this person and then that person. As I went up and down the hills I pumped my arms hard and slowed my pace slightly, using the downhills to recover. I did walk about 1/4 mile up a hill that was the 2nd of two hills in a row and the 3rd in a sequence of hills. That was at around 2.5 miles. But after that it was pretty smooth sailing. I fell into a groove a couple of times which was a great feeling. I finished pretty strong. 

This race brought into focus for me a couple of things. First, I am not as slow as I used to be . I was looking back at the first race I ever ran last February. It was 5 miles and I ran at a 13:01 min/mi. The Son ran with me as support and he kept me going. I believe I would have been much slower if I had been running alone. The Family ROC race I ran in September was a 5k and I ran at 11:49 min/mi. Half the distance of this 10k and I was less than a minute faster there. I am not speedy by any means, and I think I don't really care any more. I will continue to work on speed because I know I can improve. But I'm content with aiming for a consistent 12 min. mile. 

The second thing I realized is that I have a solid running base. I haven't run much the past month and I would have to look at my log to see the last time I ran 6 miles. But I was able to do it yesterday! I have a, dare I say, solid base to operate from. It is awesome knowing that I really can run 6 miles and feel good at the end.

The final thing I learned yesterday is that I can do this by myself. I navigated the race site before and after. I didn't forget where I parked the car. And most important of all I monitored my running, adjusting pace when necessary, motivating myself when needed, cheering myself along. I can do this. I missed having The Love with me yesterday (especially the towel he hands me at the end to wipe away the sweat). His smiling face at the finish line is a joy! But I did it all by myself yesterday. And that is huge for me!