Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today Was A Good Day

Cindy and I before the race
              Last night I set my alarm for 4:30am so that I could get up and go on a morning run. To my surprise, I jumped up as soon as my alarm went off. I fed the cats, brushed my teeth and put on my workout clothes without waking my old man. Then I grabbed my MP3, keys and phone and went out the door. I was so proud of myself for actually leaving the house before 5am and not procrastinating like I usually do. But on this day I did not. I got on the elevator and went straight out the door into the darkness, into the ..........rain. That's right. I was so gun ho on running I didn't even look out of the window to see if it was raining. So what's a girl to do. She's awake, she's dressed, what should she do? I ran around my building for a long as I could stand it. Then when I could not stand it anymore, I tested the rain. It was light so I figured I could take a chance. I ran out to the track and ran around the track twice; counting six skunks in my path along the way( yes I gave them a wide berth). I ran all the way back home to get ready for work.


               A long time ago I would not believe that I would become someone who wants to run so badly that she would run in the dark or in the rain or with skunks. But it seems that I have become that person. I did not become that person overnight. I was a walker. I would walk as often as I could. I lost weight walking. But after reading an article that said if you can walk for miles, you can run, I thought can I really run? I mean running is only for thin people, isn't it? I did take myself out to the track and run around for thirty seconds at a time in the middle of my walking laps and I found out that I could run.              I will not lie to you. Running is hard. You will have aches and pains after running. You will need to make sure that your sneakers are in good condition. I found myself purchasing running gear. First there was clothes with wicking, followed by running hat, spi-belt, and even more running clothes. I also purchased a subscription to Runners World magazine, downloaded a book about running for women on my nook and joined the NY Road Runners Club so that I would have access to races.  Signing up for and then running races is a good way to keep myself on track. I know this from experience because after a race last September, I did not run again until January when I remembered that there was an upcoming race in April. I have been running ever since.  I try to run three days a week for training. I also try to run the distance of the race on the weekend.
Mile 2 marker
              Last Saturday, my friend Cindy and I ran in the Percy Sutton 5K in Harlem. I had been running for 3.2 miles to train and Cindy had been doing "hill drills" for hills. But two days before the 5K, I found out that some of this race had hills. So I decided that since I did not train for them, I would walk them. But that is not what happened. I found myself attempting to run up the hill in my slow running way. I told myself that I could stop when it became too much. To my surprise, I made it up the first hill. Right around the corner came a second hill. I was feeling exuberant so I ran up that hill too. Not terribly far away was another hill. I did not make it all the way up that hill. The only reason I kept running is because I heard one of the race volunteers say that the water station was up ahead. I forgot to take a picture of Mile Marker 1 because of thirst. All of that happened during the first mile. After the water, I just kept on running. On the last mile or so to the end came the downhill portion of the race. I remember my friend Cindy saying "going downhill is so much fun". It is not. It is a crash course in balance and pounding on your muscles and feet to keep from rolling down the hill like a tumbleweed. But I did keep on running down hills and the blocks to the finish line.
3 mile marker
             After the race, Cindy and her old man Pete made me climb more stairs than I do in a week to get to the other side of the park for breakfast. Do you know what I got for all this torture besides a bagel, a t-shirt and a piece of fruit that disintegrated in my backpack?  I found out that I shaved four minutes off of my previous 5K's including my training. I found that even though I did not do hill drills ( though I will start them now), I prepared my body to do the best that it could and it did even better than I thought. Now there is something to say about good running days and bad running days. The four miler in July almost broke my spirit because I had convinced myself that I sucked. But I also kept on training , knowing that another race was a month away.
           Running has become fun to me. It hurts. My podiatrist is making a fortune keeping my feet pretty. I own quite a few running clothes but not enough in pink. I have to talk myself out of bed and out on to the track to train. I have to suffer anxiety the days leading into and the day of the race. I constantly worry about whether folks are laughing at me or cheering me on when they see me running. Most of the time I try to stay in a focus/tunnel vision like mode when I am running. And of course there must be music even if it has to be in one ear because it is five o'clock in the morning and a skunk wants to cross my path. I feel the pull in my chest when I am doing walking laps. A voice in my head is saying run! But I am trying not to create injury because I want the running to continue.

Last Week's Activity
  • Wed.- walk 30 min
  • Thurs. - jog 42 min
  • Fri. - walk 40 min
  • Sat. - walk 1hr 20 min
  • Sun. - Jog 41 min
  • Mon. - walk with 3lbs weights 1hr 8min
  • Tues. 40 min weight training

Bobism: I have a friend who puts her fork down in the middle of a meal and says she's done and I don't understand that.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on running all those hills! Keep at it! I've been swimming a lot this summer and I think it's strengthened my knees and made running easier on them, so I've been doing more running. I can't get up as early as you, but it's been a great way to clear my head after a long day.

    And as always I love a good bobism!