Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

personal record

When we last saw our heroine…

When we last saw our heroine, she was still hemming and hawing about whether or not to do a 5k race this morning, leaning heavily towards do, since she was already downing her go-go juice (Pink Lemonade Rock Star!) and about to begin the grueling process of waking up the paparazzi (aka, Fritz).

I was a total frickin’ basket case last night. Insecurities. I don’t know where the hell they’re coming from. I slept horribly, thanks both to overly snuggly cats (GET! OFF! ME!) and an overly snoring husband. It felt like every five minutes I was nudging him saying, “Maybe if you rolled onto your left side? Maybe on your back? Maybe try taking a sip of this Gatorade? Is it allergies? Want me to get you a Benadryl? Maybe I should take another Benadryl. Or twelve more.” And all the while, I kept churning over in my head, “Run the race, don’t run the race.” Giving myself reasons to do it, and reasons not to. Then beating myself up for beating myself up. It was crazy. Eventually, I clicked off my alarm clock and decided, “If I oversleep… that will settle it.”

I didn’t oversleep. And the sun was shining. So I did it. And I did well. Not quite as good as I would have liked, but well. Very well.

I finished in 25:30, which is 31 seconds slower than my personal record back in October, but 46 seconds faster than my last 5k a month ago, and about two and a half minutes faster than the same race last year. And… I even walked a couple of times. It was cold and my lungs hurt, so  I thought, “Screw this shit.” I’d rather go a little bit slower and cross the finish line feeling good, than push myself to the point of feeling pain.

That time was enough to get me 2nd place in my age group, but wouldn’t you know it… this race only gives prizes to the first in group. Poop. And another peeve is that the woman who edged me out is a 30 year old. Makes me wish I was 40 already. I’d still have been second in my age group, but I’d give map props to someone two years older than me who cleaned my clock, instead of someone almost a decade younger than me. Silly, I know.

But the biggest peeve of all was that the woman who won best female last year finished in 25:44. So I was faster than last year’s winner. Guess I wasn’t the only one who was thinking, “I’ll get into the little race with less competition!”

I’m glad I did it. Wish I would have been able to push just a teeny bit faster, but also happy to know I’m back to about where I was before my injury. And I learned that wearing my hair in pigtails for running trumps a ponytail. My hair is a little too short for a pony now – it looks more like a stubby little hamster tail – but the layers stay nicely in pigtails. Don’t care if I look ridiculous. I felt cute, and my hair didn’t end up soggy, sweaty and disgusting.

I also realized that I need a watch with a stopwatch. I carry my phone when I run by myself, and use the stopwatch function on that. But I don’t like carrying lots of extra crap when I run races, because I know I’m not likely to get hit by a car or fall down a ravine or any other “gotta dial 911” circumstance. But I psych myself out during races and don’t realize I’m doing as well as I am. If I got to the halfway point in about twelve minutes, I’d have thought, “Hot damn! I’m kicking ass!” and would have kept going. Instead, I thought, “Ugh. People keep passing me. I suck. I’m not doing all that great. Might… as… well… just… walk.” Then I get to the finish line and realize I was doing way better than I thought I was. Happened in the last three races. Not going to happen again. I’m not saying I won’t walk, but I won’t walk because I feel defeated.

Anyway… onto the pictures!

According to the scale, I weigh two pounds less than I did a year ago at another 5k. The scale, like the cake, is a lie.

According to the scale, I weigh two pounds less than I did a year ago at another 5k. Which goes to show that the scale, like the cake, is a lie.

At the starting line. Really glad I wore my shades to combat the glare off the nearly naked Captain America there!

At the starting line. Really glad I wore my shades to combat the glare off the nearly naked Captain America there! Seriously, dude. It's only about 35 degrees!!!

 

And they're off....

And they're off....

I look so determined!

I look so determined!

I was listening to Yackety Sax, better known as the Benny Hill theme, which is great to run to, but...

I was listening to Yackety Sax, better known as the Benny Hill theme, which is great to run to, but...

But I was afraid when I came from behind that light pole, I'd be in my bra and panties, being chased by a perverted old man!

But I was afraid when I came from behind that light pole, I'd be in my bra and panties, being chased by a perverted old man!

I love having my own paparazzi!

I love having my own paparazzi!

Woohoo!!!

Woohoo!!!

All that clicking just plum tuckered Fritz right out.

All that clicking just plum tuckered Fritz right out.

 

Edited on April 29th to add…

Here’s what happened after the race. It was taking the volunteers for-freakin-EVER to post the results. Every so often, I’d mosey on over to the leaderboard and try to sneak a peak, and that’s when I saw it… one of the women who passed me was 30. Darn. My age group.  It had already been almost an hour since I finished, and it was getting quite dull just sitting around.

I still stuck around a little longer, while they were filling out the poster board with the winner’s on it. And, in marker, they started writing “K-R-I…” in the Female 30-39 slot. Kristy. Yep. that was the name of the other girl. Definitely not “L-O-R…” for Lorina. Since I didn’t win, and I had to poop and didn’t want to venture into that disgusting portapotty again, we left.

Last night, the results were posted on the local running site. And… HOLY CRAP! There was my name listed as the top female in the 30-39 age group! I did win!!! Not sure what happened with Kristy – maybe she wasn’t 30 after all, maybe she was actually a man, maybe she cheated and hid under the bridge and only joined the race in the last mile… but none of that matters. I WON! 

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Couch to 5k Revisited!

I’m doing it again. Couch to 5k. The running program that got me off my ass starting last December and made it possible for me to run 3.1 miles when I never thought I could. But now… I’m in it for speed!

With the program, you do walk and run intervals. When I first did it, I walked at about 3.5 mph and ran at 5 mph. And I was amazed each week that I was able to follow the program, then increase my speed a little, so that by the time I did my first 5k race, I finished in 29:42. Since then, I kept up the running, and was able to do a 5k about a month ago in 24:59! That’s almost 7.5 mph. That got me thinking… if I can run that fast without ever doing any speed training, what would happen if I did try to go faster?

When I ran that last race, I didn’t feel like I was flying. It felt like a jog. A fast jog, but not the way I’d run if zombies were chasing me or if a bus was coming straight at me. When I do “out and back” races and reach the point where the front runners have reached the turn-around point and are coming back towards us mortal humans, they’re out and out sprinting. And they look like they’re in a great deal of pain. But they sprint the entire race. They don’t jog.

I want to be like them. I want to run as if my life depended on it the whole distance. I don’t want to be in pain or look like I’m in pain, but I want a frickin’ trophy, dammit!

Now that the weather is turning yucky again, and I know I’m not going to want to run outside when it’s very cold or snowing or icy, I’m hitting the treadmill once again and restarting C25K, but this time, instead of walking and running, I’m running, and running faster.

I’m amazed that it’s going as well as it is. I’m typically starting with a 5 minute walk at 3.5mph to warm up, followed by jogging at 6.2 mph, then running at 8.2 mph, on an incline of 2 to simulate outdoor running. A few times, I bumped the speed up to 9 mph. Holy crap… that’s almost twice as fast as when I started running! I can’t keep up that pace for long, but just the fact that I can continue to put one foot in front of the other at that speed stuns me.

Today was week three. In week three, you warm up for 5 minutes, then run 90 seconds, with 90 seconds for recovery, then run 3 minutes, with three minutes recovery, then repeat. And you know what? Running three minutes was just as easy as running 90 seconds. I could have kept going. It takes me longer than 90 seconds to really get into the groove of it, so I’d even go so far as to say that this was easier than week two, where all I did was 90 second intervals.

I did have to pause the treadmill a couple of times to mop some of the sweat off my face and out of my eyes, and take a drink of water. That always happens to me on a treadmill. Even with Big Ass Ceiling Fans, there’s just not enough air flow. I swelter.  Running outside, even on a calm day, at least I’d have the 8 mph wind I created to cool me down a little.

It’s my goal to be able to do a 5k in under 22 minutes by Spring. I’m excited about this!

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Lupus Loop Results!!!

I started running in late December with the Couch to 5k Plan. I never ran before, except a few times when making up skipped gym classes in high school, more than 20 years ago. I couldn’t run one block without getting wheezy and out of breath.

I did my first races in March, then ran some more in April, then a 5 miler in May, and the Warrior Dash in June. Since then, I’ve kept up the running, but didn’t do any official races until today… the Lupus Loop 5k. My mom died three years ago, and Lupus was one of the contributing factors, along with a host of other problems. So it’s a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.

I was nervous, because my recorded times when jogging weren’t really any different than when I ran my races months back. I didn’t know if I really improved any. And if I didn’t, that’s just fine, because I’m 39 years old, so I’m not exactly an up and coming primo-athlete.

When I checked the stats for last year’s race, though, my spirits perked up. My running times were probably good enough to get me 2nd place in my age group. And 1st and 2nd place each got medals. Before the race, I checked the awards, eyed the silver medallion for 2nd place and said, in my best Wayne Campbell voice, “You will be mine… oh, yes… you will be mine.” I glanced at the first place medal and murmured, “Or you. That would be nice…”

Lining up before the race...

Lining up before the race...

I had no idea how fast I was running. Probably too fast to keep up that pace. It hurt a bit. The familiar self-doubts were there. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?! You’re not a runner! Just stop and walk. It’s fine if you stop and walk.” But I told that little voice in my head to STFU, and kept going.

At about the halfway point, I realized, “I’m ok! I’m doing this, and I’m doing ok!” There was one of those single-digit-body fat uber-athlete women ahead of me in short shorts and a sports bra. The kind that makes you feel like a cross between a slug and the Michelin Man. But I realized… she was still about the same distance ahead of me as she was in the first mile. I’m kinda, sorta, almost… keeping up with her! Then I started to realize that I was slowing down… not because I needed to or wanted to, but because the person ahead of me was slowing down, and I still had more oomph in me! In the last half mile or so, I passed two men. Men who looked like they were in much, much better shape than me. Men who looked like runners. And I was passing them. Me! The girl who only started running 9 months ago!

Heading towards the finish line...

Heading towards the finish line...

With the finish line coming up, I kept chugging. I swear the line kept getting further away, though, like the hallway in Poltergeist that kept getting longer and longer as the mom tried to run down it. Then I saw the number on the timer. Holy crap! I was blowing my personal record out of the water!

Finished! In more ways than one...

Finished! In more ways than one...

25:29!

That’s over four minutes faster than my first 5k back in March, and two and a half minutes faster than my previous best! We waited while they filled out names, ages, genders and times on the big old time-sheet, squinting and trying to see where I ranked. I knew I did good. Really good. Better than I thought I could. I was 20th place overall, and then, they started marking the sheet for the awards and ….

With my medal!

With my medal!

I won! I was first in my age group! One of my recent goals was to get some kind of award, but I thought I’d maybe get third in my group sometime next year, once I was over 40 and was the youngest in my age group instead of the oldest. But nope, I got first place!!!

MINE!

MINE!

That little mean voice is still in the back of my head, saying that it was because there was smaller (5 year) age groups instead of grouping by decade, and a smaller crowd than a lot of races, but I’m still telling that voice to STFU. That little voice has been proved wrong already today, since it wanted me to walk after the first mile, and I plan on continuing to prove it wrong time and time again.

Best of all? I raised, with the help of some amazing friends, $130 for the Lupus Foundation of PA. *Smooches!* to all who chipped in!

For what it’s worth, the two best races I’ve run were both the day after birthday parties, where alcohol, junk food and cake were consumed. Forget clean eating! I’m turbo-powered from sweets and mojitos!!!!

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