Thursday, March 29, 2012

Message In A Bottle

Me in front of CitiField "Home of the Mets"

my family
       On Saturday, I participated in a 5K event with my friend Cindy. I was so happy to sign up for this event but the closer I got to the race, the more nervous I became.A few weeks before I had a couple of "bad" runs where I felt pain and had to stop in the middle of training. One of the pains was in my right heel. I went to the podiatrist who informed me that it was not a heel spur but that my muscles are so tight that they are pulling on the heel. On recommendation from my chiropractor, I have really invested in stretching. While training, my concentration was on the challenge that I would run the entire 3.1 miles. I hated the idea of pain interrupting my endurance. But my chiropractor suggested that I stop and stretch when I start feeling pain. I would never think of that because I was so busy trying to run the distance. I took my training back to the track in my neighborhood which is .82 miles for each lap (four laps is a little over a 5K). After two laps I started to feel a little worn and I stopped to stretch before leaving the track. But the funniest thing happened. After I stretched I felt this jolt of energy that told me to keep running and I did. I felt good.
me and Cindy at the start

Cindy and Pete

         So on race day, I was my usual nervous self. I brought my hubby and the boys along to cheer me on. I met up with Cindy and her boyfriend Pete and then I went to the start line. When the whistle blew, I started jogging my slow pace. I am not up to running really fast and I like to conserve my energy to make it until the end. About two-thirds into the first mile I ran into a crack on the trail and twisted my ankle slightly but I kept on running.Before I knew it, I was up to the first mile marker at 15.39mins. I was still feeling good and I kept on running. In a few minutes, a water station popped up. I usually do not stop for water but the cautious me said get some. Of course I tried to run with the water (note to self: running while trying to drink water is dumb). I kept running after I discarded my cup. Pretty soon, I was at the second mile marker at 33 mins. I was starting to feel the distance but I was not in pain so I kept running.
           The last mile seemed to last forever. I was looking for the finish line and it seemed like it would never appear. But it did appear just in time. As I was running towards the finish line , I saw my friend Cindy cheering me on. I looked around expecting  my son Josh to take a picture of me struggling to get to the end. But he was not there. None of my family was there. Apparently they were wandering through the park.  I went through the finish line, grabbed my freebie banana, bagel and water and hugged Cindy. We went to post race stretch and then to get our times. My time was 49:09 mins. Last year it was 52+ mins. I cannot believe that even though I was concentrating on endurance, I had also improved my time shaving 3mins off of last year's time.
me and Cindy after the race

           We wound up walking miles to a diner for our victory feast. But we were actually conservative and had veggie egg white omelets , whole wheat toast and home fries. Then we were off to Main Street to catch our bus home. Just like last year, we stopped in the Modells Sporting Goods store to look for workout gear. I purchased two new sports bras as my treat to myself for completing the race. It is always cool to reward yourself with non-food treats. Last year I bought pink sneakers. I also racked up alot of activity points for the whole day. On my pedometer I had 21,876 steps and 9.32 miles. This includes walking to the bus, walking to and from the event and the race.
me showing off my race number

my non-food reward

             While I was relaxing on my bed channel surfing, I came across a show on the Living well network starring Ali Vincent from The Biggest Loser. She helps someone change their lifestyle through eating and exercise. The woman she was helping on the episode wanted to do a 5K. Ali put together a group of people she had been working with. All of them were very overweight and all of them were enthusiastic about running a 5K. Ali set up what I thought was a cool style for running the event.She told her team to run for two minutes and walk for 30 seconds. That was how I started running to begin with. So if you are interested in learning to run or want to compete in a race, remember that you can run and walk in intervals that might not strain your endurance. I thought that was neat.

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