Thursday, May 13, 2010

Race Day!

So I've been debating on how to tell the race day story.  So I decided to tell the story in context of some of my playlist.  Because, it's all about the playlist. 
Tuesday before the race, I was in a car accident.  Someone got their pedals confused, and slammed into the side of my car.  My back was not happy for a few days, so I didn't train at all last week.  The week I cut my hand, I didn't train at all, because I didn't want to screw up the stitches.  

Race Day:
At 4:30 am, I woke up with extreme race anxiety, to the point where I wanted to pack up and go home.  Dana had a moment where she had to convince me to stay.  So I ate some breakfast, we packed up, and got there early.  We had our moment with the paparazzi (otherwise known as Dana's parents).  We got to the corral and then tried to stay warm.

While standing there I received many compliments on the shirt.  I love the shirt.  My apologies to Charm City Run, as I would have worn a CCR shirt if it had been warmer.  Alas, it was cold.  I listened to "I Will Survive" ala Cake, while waiting in the corral.  (My green shirt was long sleeve, my Charm City Run shirt is short sleeved.  Oh well, next race)

Promptly at 8:15 am, the race began.  As I crossed over the start line, I hit play on the iPod. 
Playing at the start line: Tik ToK by Ke$ha
I'm a slow runner.  I'm a new runner.  It was like playing a weird version of Frogger, trying to get to a spot where I wasn't in anyone else's way.  Walk, Walk, Walk, Run, Run, Run, and I get to the clock at mile #1.   
Playing at mile #1: Lose Yourself by Eminem...Internal Monologue at that moment: 17 Minutes?  17 Minutes?  Awesome!
During "Lose Yourself," I almost lost it.  In the intro: "If you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you wanted in just one moment, would you take it, or let it slip?"  I have had a goal of running a 5K for years, and I was on my way to do it.  In addition to that, I'm about to live out a childhood dream.  I'm heading to one of my favorite places on Earth!  
During mile #2, I was taking it pretty easy.  People kept passing me, and complementing me on my awesome shirt.  I even had 2 people thank me for allowing them to pass!  I had some great music to keep me going.  Let's be serious, "What you Own" + "Don't Stop Believin" + "Three Little Birds"?  Awesome.  The water break was also helpful...I was beginning to need some water.  
Playing at mile #2: So What by Pink...Internal Monologue at that moment: How long did it take me to do that mile?  It took me a few minutes to do the math.  It was about an 18 minute mile.  So I was consistent.  And yes, I am still a rock star, thank you Pink.  
The course got really narrow at this point (narrower than it had been before).  And I'm thinking to myself that I'm going to finish in under an hour, which was my goal.  I get to the top of a hill, and I can see the side of the Art Museum, which means the finish line is approaching!  I believe I was listening to "Early Bird" by Erasure and Cyndi Lauper.  It might have been the Backstreet Boys, I can't remember.  Regardless, at the very moment that I realized I could do the race in 55 minutes, I tripped and fell.  I scraped up my knee and my left hand pretty badly.  Some folks helped me get up, and someone handed me some napkins to initially clean up my knee.  So I had conversation with myself.  I could still run, or I could walk the rest of it.  I had a 3-5 second moment where I kinda wanted to give up.  I could let a "simple" fall keep me down.  Or I could keep going.  And then it passed.  I brushed myself off and just kept going, pausing occasionally to wipe blood off my knee.  And then.  I saw the official clock.  And I was shocked.  Absolutely shocked.  The clock said 53:30.  Before this, my fastest training run was 55 minutes. So, I started running at full speed down the hill to the finish line.  My official chip time was 54:05!  (Clock time: 54:16!)  I did it!  I couldn't believe that I beat my best training run by a minute.   I believe I was listening to the Remedy by Jason Mraz when I crossed the line.  Dana and Dana's Parents were waiting for me.  I was nearly in tears, as I was so proud of myself.  I did it!  As I said, I have wanted to run a 5K for years, and I finally did it!
After that, I got my knee cleaned by the medics.  It's healing well.  I think.  I had it looked at after I got back to Baltimore.  It still hurts a bit, but it looks much better than it did on Sunday.
It's been a couple days since the race, and I'm still shocked that I ran it in 54:05.  I'm looking at races to run in the fall.  My goal is to run one in the fall in 50 minutes.  By this time next year, I want to be at a 45 minute 5K.  I think that's pretty attainable.  (East Coast Friends - Who's with me for my next race?)

Here's the official play list:

Somebody to Love (ala Glee)
Come on Eileen
Lose Yourself
According to You
What you Own
Don't Stop Believin
Three Little Birds
So What
Say Hey
I want it that Way
Holding Out for a Hero
Early Bird
The Remedy
4 Minutes

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Anita, your hand looks like a football!"

Laura said these words to me after my left hand was stitched up after I sliced it with a box cutter.

I have 7 stitches on the back of my left hand.  I will spare the gory details, but I will say this.....Safety First using box cutters and trying to open Lenten Banks.
I cut myself on the top of the hand in the meaty part between my thumb and index finger.  I have been wearing this brace that the doctor gave me to immobilize my thumb, so I don't split the sutures.   So, I really can't use my left hand.  So this week, I have to be really careful on the whole running thing.
I might try to bike this week at the least get my heart rate going...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

So it's been a month since I last posted.  And so much has happened in that past month.

So, running.  About that.  I took a break.  I needed to do that.  Allergies, some rain, and some slight ankle/knee pain necessitated a break.

I registered for the Philadelphia Race for the Cure on May 9.  I'll be running with Dana....Well, she will run ahead of me because she is faster than me.  In fact, my race shirt is already in my t-shirt drawer, and my race number and race chip are attached to the back of my front door.  (Shameless Plug: I'm only $200 away from my fundraising goal!  Wanna donate?  Click here.)  I refuse to wear the shirt until the day after the race.  As my coach Juda said, (and taking a page from the movie PCU) "Do not wear the shirt of the race that you are running in." Juda added "I will pretend that I don't know you."   I can't wear the shirt until after the race is over.  It's similar to my "I can't look at the program until the show is over" phobia.  My goal is to finish in 55 minutes.  If I finish any faster than 55 minutes, hey, that's awesome.  And whatever time I finish'll be my personal record!

I'm now trying to decide what to wear at the race...the shirt I got for the last race is long sleeved, and I think it'll be too hot to wear for a May 9 race.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Race Day that Wasn't

I didn't get to run in the race.  

I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to the race, and because I don't know that part of the city well, I didn't know what I could do to get out of the traffic jam. 

The race had long started by the time I got to the starting line.  I cut through and went to the finish line to find the aforementioned coach Juda.  I hugged her, and the rest of the folks from the group that I could find, and then I went home.  

All day today, I've been upset with myself.  I worked so hard, and missed the race because of a traffic jam.  I let myself down, and I feel like I let my friends down too.  All of you have been cheering me on, and I didn't run.  (I've had cheerleaders from many states and Germany and Korea!)  I realize that I'm not a failure, but I feel like I failed on this one.  I was reading some of the comments from you guys saying, "you will do this," yada yada yada, and, I didn't.

However, if I don't keep running, if I let this derail me, that's letting me down, that's letting you down, that's letting my coach down.  

So, I'm trying not to derail myself.  I need someone to shame me into going for a run on Monday morning.  There is a race on 3/27, that I may run.  Dana and I are probably running the Race for the Cure on 5/9.

So, I give you permission to give me a hard time tomorrow, and to get me running again.  

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Long Overdue Running Update

I just realized that it's been weeks since I posted anything!  

Due to Snowmageddon II and III, I lost a week of February.  The sidewalk to the gym wasn't plowed, and I'm pretty sure it was closed for all of Snowmageddon.  I did some cross training, and I shoveled my car out twice, so I was being active, but not running.  

It's getting warmer in Baltimore, so I don't have to bundle up to run, which has been wonderful.  There were some nights where I was wearing my mask that I bought for ice fishing.  For awhile, the wind was pretty bad.  

I'm doing really well with the training group from Charm City Run.  Juda, the trainer, is a saint beyond all words. She is incredibly patient with me.  I am always the last one to finish, and she's always waiting for me in the parking lot, cheering me on.  I've never felt like a burden, even though I probably am.  

Today, if my math is right, I did a mile at 18:35, which for me is a personal best in this whole process.  Maybe finishing in 50 minutes isn't such an insane goal!   

However, the most shocking thing that has happened in all of this happened to me on Saturday.  I was on my couch, under my awesome quilt, and I really didn't want to get up and run.  So, I posted the following as my Facebook status: "Dear Anita, Please go and run. Love, Your will power."  I then had a flurry of responses from Doug, Tauna, Julia, Christy, and Lauren M., encouraging me to run.  I am telling you, that run was sponsored by them.  Then on Monday, I posted on Facebook that I was thinking about running another 5K in May or June.  My friend Joanna commented on my status: "you're my fitness hero."  I cried when I read that.  I have never been someone's fitness hero.  Just typing that got me choked up again.  When I went out for my run today, all of those voices were in my head, saying, "Anita, you can do this."  I can do this.  And on March 14, I will cross the finish line.  And it will be awesome.  

Saturday, February 06, 2010

So, I had my first training group meetings this week.  I am by far the slowest and the least in shape person of the group.  I had a feeling that was going to be the case.  I don't like the attention that this fact creates.  Folks in the group keep thinking that I'm injured or something like that.  I finish last, and as I'm finishing, every person in the group asks me if I'm okay or cheers really loud for me.  I'm fine, I'm just slow!  I'm doing a little better on not pushing myself too hard.

On a different note, I did 1.6 miles in 31:50 which for me is pretty awesome!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Patience is a virture that The Duck doesn't always have...

...with herself.  Patience with others?  I'm pretty patient with others.  With myself?  not so much.

Shin Splints.  Shin Splints.  Shin Splints.  I hate them.  I loathe them.

So, last night, I joined a training group at Charm City Run.  I'm excited about it.  I'm excited about not being in isolation when I'm running.  The trainer, Juda, has an extreme amount of faith in all of us.  She seems to think that all of us will finish in about 45 minutes.  The plan that she is putting us on is very similar to the plan that I was already on, which is nice.  It's good to know that I was and am on the right track.

I've had marked improvement.  When I first started, I was doing 1.25ish miles in about 30ish minutes.  I'm up to 1.3ish in 30ish minutes.  That seems small, but hey, that's improvement.  I'll take improvement any day!

I've been realizing something as I've been going through this whole process.  I'm a really good student.  Put me in a classroom and I'm happy.  It really doesn't matter what that something is.  I took pottery for awhile, and I loved it.  I took a photography class, and I loved it.  There's a very distinct reason why I was a student for 24 years of my life.  (Fall 2008 was the first fall I did not go back to school at all...I'm weird, I + community college + grad school...I wear the geek name with pride.)  I'm a professional learner.  With that being said, I generally am a fast learner.

Running is a completely different type of learning.  It's retraining the body to do something that it doesn't always want to do.  I want the instant gratification, that I will be a great runner tomorrow.  Learning to run doesn't work that way.  Learning to run is a process.  The process doesn't allow for me to jump to the end.  The process requires me to keep plugging away, and keep building my strength.  I think that is why I keep pushing myself.  This is not a goal that I can achieve tomorrow.  This isn't like other goals...ones that can be rushed through.  I think that's why I keep pushing myself way too hard.  I keep thinking that I can be at my final goal...tomorrow.  If I do that, I will hurt myself, and then fall off the bandwagon, and then dash the goal before I even remotely get there.

I've had a couple conversations lately about how hard I've been on myself lately.  This just adds to it.  I'm having to learn to be patient with myself, and learn that this goal is one that cannot be rushed.  It will happen, with everyone's support, and by me...learning to be patient with myself, and chugging along.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Team Awesome

So Running.  Yeah, about that.

I'm still working on getting into a routine.  Last weekend was complete craziness (in a really good way), so I didn't get any treadmill time in.  This week, I pushed myself a smidge too hard and had some killer shin splints.  Also, I realize that I need to change my eating habits, which has been a lot of prep work.  The flip side is that I've had some good brain storming sessions while running, which is awesome!  When I've made it to the gym, I have done at least a mile, usually 1.25 miles.

So this week, I'm working on continuing to change my eating habits, and learning how to stretch to keep the shin splints at bay.

A 5K has been chosen....the Shamrock 5K in Baltimore in March!  I really hope that I haven't picked one that is happening too soon, but we shall see.  I think I can do it.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


"When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story."  Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

I have been saying for a couple years that I wanted to start running, and actually run a 5K.  Because of what has been going on, now seems like a good time to start training for it.  So, guess what...2010 is the year!  Training for a 5K doesn't allow me to keep some of the really bad habits I've picked up since arriving in Baltimore.  It gets me up and moving.  So, what does this mean for you dear reader...I need you to keep me honest.  I'm going to need words of support when I don't want to keep going.  Many of you are runners as well, and know more than I do, so I will need questions answered when they arise.  And in general, I need you to be awesome.  Because, well, you are.  Honestly, I need me to be awesome, too.
The last time I saw the inside of a gym was while I was still in Minnesota!  So, the plan I have set up is a modified plan from Running Planet.  My January schedule is kinda crazy, and if I'm going to do this, I need to take that into account.  I'm trying to set myself up for success.  There are 2 5Ks that I am considering...The Shamrock 5K in March, the Baltimore Womens Classic in June.  The one in March might be too soon, but I've also been told that it's a good first race.  There is a local training group for the Shamrock one, so it sounds like there is a ton of support for me as well.  

With that being said, Sunday was supposed to be day #1. Church today was rough today, and I came home exhausted. I sat down on the couch, and the next thing I knew it was 7:45 pm.  I went over to the gym, and it was closed for the day.  Note to self: Find out the hours for the gym.  So, instead, I walked around the neighborhood and got my heart rate up for about 15 minutes.  I didn't stay out too long, because the creepy neighbor was being creepy. So, tomorrow will be the official day #1. 

The plan for the week:
1/4 - Walk for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace. Since this is your first workout, take it nice and easy. Walk at a pace that gets your heart rate up and makes you breath heavier than normal, but you should not be out of breath.
1/5 - Walk for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace. Same workout as yesterday.
1/6 - Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. Walk for 5 minutes and then jog for 30 seconds. Follow that sequence for the entire workout. This is your first taste of running. Do not run for more than 30 seconds at a time. Run at a pace that is fairly comfortable.
1/7 - Rest. Let your body recover from its first encounter with running.
1/8 - Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. Walk for 5 minutes and jog for 30 seconds. This is the same workout as Thursday. Keep your pace comfortable.
1/9 - Walk/Jog for 30 minutes. You make a slight increase in the jogging interval here. Walk for 5 minutes and jog for 1 minute. You will start making consistent increases in the time of your running intervals.
1/10 - Rest. 

My plan is to blog at least once a week about progress and mileage.  Maybe more if something interesting happens.  The journey officially begins tomorrow.