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Archive for October, 2010

Spirit Run

On Saturday I’ll compete in my first 5K run.  My sister will be running with me, though I promised her that she could run at the pace she is comfortable with and she doesn’t have to stay with me through the race.

This is the first “public” run I’ve done since the triathlon and the first time I’ve ever entered something like this.

My goal is to complete the 5K (that’s 3.1 miles for the unitiated) in less than 38 minutes. 

Yesterday I ran 3.5 miles in 40 minutes, so I think this is a reasonable goal.  Though I’ve heard through the grapevine that this course is hilly, so that might effect my time.

Wish me luck and come join me if you can!

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2011 Planned Races

A year ago I think I would have laughed very loudly at you had you implied that I would be registering for no less than 6 running-related events in 2011. 

This probably seems like a large number, considering I only did one race this year, but having a goal is extremely important for me to be able to continue with my training.  As soon as I loose sight of a goal race, I start to slack off, evidenced by my “slow” weeks over the past month. 

So, what do I plan on racing next year?

January 30, 2011 (already registered) — Hunt Midwest Groundhog Run (10K)  Kansas City, MO

April 30, 2011 — Falls Duathlon (2 mi run, 14 mi bike, 3 mi run)  Cannon Falls, MN

May 29, 2011 —  MedCity Marathon (relay leg – 6 mi)  Rochester, MN

June 19, 2011 — RochesterFest Sprint Triathlon   Rochester, MN

July 9, 2011 —  Midnight Madness (10K)  Ames, IA

September 3, 2011 — St. Croix Valley Sprint Triathlon   Hudson, WI

Now, on a related note, I would like to set a larger goal for myself of completing a race (no matter the distance) in every state.  This coming year I’ll stick to more local races, and the following year I’ll try for some races a little farther from home.  I’d like to do a women’s only triathlon my cousin did a few years ago in Napa Valley.  And I’d like to do the Disney half-marathon in Florida with my sister.  And of course there is the Aflac women’s only triathlon in Vegas, which would be a blast to do.  If I do all of the ones I’m planning on for 2011 and these three, that’s like 6 states out of 50.  I guess it will take me a while to reach this goal! 🙂

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I know I said this a few weeks ago, but keeping progress in perspective is just sooo important!

I’ve been having a few “off” weeks – making excuses for not going to the gym, skipping my “rest” workout, and only doing my runs.  But even a “slow” week now is 10 times better than a week a year ago.  A year ago, I never went to the gym.  Okay, that’s not exactly true either, but I very rarely went to the gym.  In fact, I didn’t even go to the gym enough to get my attendance discount at Mayo – that’s only 30 times in 3 months!  Fortunately, the last quarter I was able to get in a lot more than 30 visits to the gym, and finally earned myself that coveted gym membership discount.

Fortunately for me, I’ve solved the “slacker” problem, at least for now – I hadn’t yet registered for the 10K race I am planning on doing in January, so I think I was able to push my training to the back of my mind.  Now, however, I’ve registered myself and my sister to do the 10K on January 30th in Kansas City and, once again, I have a goal for myself that I must complete.  On January 30th – which is, holy crap, only 3 months away – I have to be able to run 6.2 miles (my current max is still only 4 miles – but again, keep that progress in perspective, Tiff!) and I’d like to be able to run at a 10-11 minute mile pace.

Progress on that front has actually been pretty good.  My race pace September 4th was 13.5 minute miles.  I am now consistently running 12 minute miles.  I’m hoping that in 3 months I should be able to cut at least another minute off my mile.  I’m going to have to cut two minutes in order to keep up with my sister though, so I guess it’s time to get out and run!

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When I am struggling for inspiration to actually get myself off my butt and go for a run, I find reading about other runners’ successes is very helpful.  Even reading tricks and tips from blogs or advice columns about weight loss, exercise, or running is helpful.  Somehow, knowing that someone else out there is exercising and I’m not is a powerful motivator.

Here are my top recommendations for reading material:

  • Runner’s World (either online or subscription magazine – a great resource)
  • Athena Diaries (an inspiration for all the plus size women out there – this blogger now does ultra runs!)
  • Renee’s Ramblings (a local runner friend of the family — Hi Renee! — she bikes, runs, and bakes!)
  • Plus Runner (another great blogger who shares her experience as a plus size triathlete and runner)
  • Slow Fat Triathlete (I picked up this funny and useful book right before my first triathlon)

Leave your suggestions in comments!

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Running Buddy

Before I talk about my new running  buddy, I want to talk about the health assessment I did at the Healthy Living Center on Thursday.  It had been more than 2 years since I did my last health assessment, so I wanted to see what my improvement would be like.  Unfortunately, they have a few new tests, so I couldn’t compare everything.  But the things I could compare — holy crap!  I’m totally awesome.

I am more than 10 pounds lighter than last time I did this test, which to me means that I’ve actually lost more than 15 pounds since I started training, since I know I weighed more last winter than I did 2 summers ago.  But besides that, the most interesting thing is that my extremity measurements didn’t change much.  That means that I’ve gained muscle, but also that I don’t gain weight in my extremeties and, unfortunately, gain it all around the midsection and boob area.  However, another positive number was that my strength tests all went up by at least 11%.  And my resting heart rate was 10 beats slower this year than it was two years ago. 

So that was exciting.  It’s nice to see progress even if, as I said the other day, it’s not as progressive as you would like.

So on to my new running buddy.  Yesterday I was supposed to run 3.5 miles.  It’s been unseasonably warm in Minnesota over the past week and on Sunday it was close to 80 degrees when I went out for a run in the afternoon.  So I haven’t had to purchase winter exercise gear just yet. 🙂  I decided that since it was so nice outside, I should take advantage of the weather and go running outside.

Now, I’m not normally an “outside” type of girl.  I get bit by bugs.  I don’t like sunscreen and I don’t like getting sun burnt.  I don’t like wind.  I don’t like running hills. 

There are a lot of things I don’t like about running outside, but fortunately for me, none of them really matter.  In the end, running outside is so much better for me than running on the treadmill at the gym.  So I force myself to do it, if only occassionally.

Yesterday I decided to take my dog with me.  Boscoe is a mutt that we rescued from Paws & Claws, the local non-profit animal shelter about five and half years ago.  Boscoe is the absolute best dog in the universe, there is no doubt about that.  He is super cuddly.  He is well behaved.  He likes running around outdoors, but he also likes to be lazy.  He does lots of cute tricks.  He likes kids and other dogs.  And, like all dogs, he makes me smile every day when I get home. 

But he also just loves to go for car rides and runs.  So when I suggested he go for a run with me around Silver Lake, he was ecstatic.  After gathering up the necessary gear and making sure he pooped before we got there (I just hate having to carry around a poop bag), we were off. 

My plan called for running 3.5 miles.  The Silver Lake loop is 1.8 miles, so I decided to just go ahead and do the two loops for 3.6 miles total.  I put the Gentle Leader on Boscoe and headed out.  By mile 2, the dog was exhausted.  And even though I exchanged walking for running every couple of minutes, I still had to drag him behind me for a good part of the run.

When we got home, he just collapsed on the floor and groaned and proceeded to sleep for the next couple of hours. 

At least my running buddy made me feel successful.  If I can run longer and faster than my dog, I call that an achievement.

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