"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face." - Gatorade
This training is getting to the point where it's getting real. I am now over a month into it and I am nearing the half way point. I am running more and more every week. I am running farther and farther. Do I want to get up off of my couch all the time? Absolutely not. There are so many days where the last thing that I want to do is to go run. There are so many times where it is simply not fun. It would be so easy to just stop - to call it quits. But I have never really been one to just take the easy way out. So when I am forced to make a decision of whether to quit or not, I look at the benefit and the accomplishment. And this one's a big one. So I will trek on until May 6th. But I won't stop there. This is just the beginning...
Monday - Rest
And rest I did!
Tuesday - 3 Miles
3.15 miles - 30:09 - 9:34 pace
Tonight's run was pretty good minus the TERRIBLE mistake of eating a bunch of peanut butter desserts this afternoon and therefore skipping dinner. Big mistake. Toward 1.5-2 I felt like I might throw up. I didn't. However, I felt strong during this run. I am noticing the progress even from week to week - although I am constantly sore, each run seems to get easier and easier.
Wednesday - 4 Miles
4.26 miles - 40:19 - 9:27 pace
I spent most of the day in pain because of my lower back. Uh oh. But I went to the chiropractor after work and that helped a lot! I tried a new strategy tonight. My normal route is fairly flat but has a slight slope the entire way. Just enough to make an impact. So normally I start downhill and then turn around and end uphill. I decided to flip it tonight - so started uphill then half way through it switched to downhill. My splits were: 9:41, 9:31, 9:36, 9:14 - ended very strong.
Thursday - 3 Miles
3.01 miles - 28:54 - 9:36 pace
The first mile was good, but then I tanked. This run was pretty miserable. I felt sluggish and tired the entire way. Pretty disappointing feeling going into a rest day. On the plus side, just 3 weeks ago I couldn't run under a 10:00 pace - now, I can have a terrible run and still be well below. Very promising, and I love seeing the progress. After this run, more soreness, and being in more pain this week I am looking forward to this off day tomorrow and a super epic 5 mile race in Moab, UT.
Friday - Off
Saturday - 5 Mile Race
5 miles - 47:47 - 9:33 pace
What an amazingly beautiful race! After a beautiful drive into Moab, UT, we got settled for the night. Woke up bright and early, boarded the shuttle, and made my way to the starting area of the 5 mile race. The view was unbelievable, as we were wedged in the canyon on the border of Arches National Park. After waiting a while for the race to start, we took our positions and ran through the canyon. Words can't even describe how beautiful the first half of this run was. Then we rounded the corner and the last 2.5 miles were into and through the town. What I started noticing at this point was how I was passing so many people! Usually there are a few. And a few that pass me. But for a couple miles, I was passing everybody! I started picking out a few of the people I HAD to beat and kept trekking my way toward the finish. I rounded the final corner, had a decent finish, but not my usual sprint. I knew I had a decent time and was excited to lay low for a bit, watching the rest of the finishers of the 5 mile and the first several of the half marathon. On the way out, we decided to check out the finish area that had music and other activities. They had already posted the results of the 5 mile race - "cool, let's see what my official time was." I look on the sheet - find my time - and I see 48:38. Cool, not a bad time - and I know that's gun time so I know my chip time is a bit faster than that. I glance at the sheet - "Wow - I finished in the first 1/3ish of everybody - that never happens." Pause for a few seconds. "Just for s's and g's, let's see how many people finished ahead of me in my age group..." Look. Look. One. Look. Two. Look. Look. Wait, what? Were there just two? Looked again. Ummm... So I went over to the awards table and caught a glimpse of their official sheet. 3rd place: Jeff Parker. No freaking way! This is something that would have been a goal in my life, but I basically gave myself a 0% chance of ever placing in my age group. I am still in shock. What I find funny is I originally signed up for this to be my first half marathon. I chickened out a bit but also realized that they don't have finishers medals for the races- even the half (except for top 3 in each age group), which I found odd, so I decided to switch to the 5 miler. And at the end of the day, I came home with my medal!
Final time : Gun time: 48:38 - Chip time: 47:47
3/16 Age group
Side note: The only other 5 mile race I've done was a month ago. I beat that time by 3 1/2 minutes.
Tried to spend the day in Canyonlands National Park, but it was rainy/snowy/windy, so not the greatest day to explore. So we had a nice lunch and made the drive back to Denver.