Wow!!! I’m still on a high from yesterday. Three huge accomplishments I could have never imagined. I want to narrow it down to just one thing to explain my results, but I seriously think there are several things that contributed to this perfect storm:
1) No Sugar, No Grains
– Although I go through a few spurts of weakness (The entire month of February) I have done a good job of maintaining a no excessive sugar and grain eating regimen. I feel energized, have less joint pain, and less muscle fatigue after hard workouts. I feel great, I look great, and I’m seeing results in the gym and on my runs.
2) Started Weight-Lifting
– After my collegiate soccer career, I’ve never been a fan of the weight room. Not that I didn’t know how to lift. It was more like, I didn’t know why. I was handed workouts and never had an understanding of what muscles I was building and how it enhanced my performance. Therefore, lifting weights just became another chore. Now, after some encouragement from my boyfriend, we began lifting together this year. I’ve actually begun to love it. Understanding muscle strength helps with all daily muscle functions including running, makes lifting that much more fun.
3) Finding a Supportive Community
– Not everyone is going to understand or enjoy the fact that I run, especially the fact I run a long ways for a long time. Some people don’t know the difference between a marathon and a 5k, and that’s alright. I don’t need to bog everyone down with my running knowledge or everything mile I’ve run over the weekend (that’s what my blog is for). If they want to know, they’ll ask. Other than that, I’ve learned to surround myself with a community of people that don’t think it’s crazy that I’m running when it’s below freezing or windy. People that really want to know and care will be supportive because it makes me happy.
My new pre-race ritual:
1 egg cooked in butter
1 cup of coffee
Packed my new FuelBelt with a HammerGel, a mini Larabar, water, Nuun drink, and salt tablet water.
I’ve had three songs stuck in my head the last few days, and since I don’t run with an iPod, I decided I should probably listen to them so I could drown out any bad thoughts that would come into my head later during my run. I had just enough time to listen to these on the way to the race.
The run started off cold. Really, really cold. I convinced myself my face was going to be damaged from frostbite about 2 miles in, and I was okay with it. Crazy self-talk, I know.
I had a really great race. I literally couldn’t feel my feet because it was so cold, but that almost made it even easier to run. If I can’t feel them, they don’t hurt. At about mile 4, I got called a name by another runner. He called me graceful. It was more like, “Dang girl, you run so dang graceful.” I laughed and told him, “I’m glad I look graceful, because I don’t feel it.” I always joked about naming one of my children Grace when I do have kids, because that is something I’m not. In fact, the gracefullness wore off today, because I tripped and fell backwards into my boyfriend’s trash can.
At about mile 6 I tore open my HammerGel and began “trickling sugar”. For those who don’t know. Trickling sugar is just a method of consuming small amounts of sugar during an endurance exercise to help fuel you. I just consumed about 1/2 teaspoon full. My one gel lasted me my enitre race. I tried to “trickle sugar” every 1 1/2 to 2 miles.
I hit the 12.5k mark at 1:08, which I was definitely thrilled to see that. I knew from there, it was the final descend. Not really having much of a time goal in mind from the get-go, once I saw this, I just wanted to loop back in about the same amount of time.
Between mile 10 and 11, a man started to pass me on my left. Normally, I would speed up making it difficult for him to pass. But, I had to remind myself to run my race. Don’t get distracted and throw off my race. As the gentleman passed me, he complimented me on my racing swag. I chose to wear all purple with my bright pink FuelBelt and kicks. I jokingly said something along the lines of, “I knew I was running 15-miles today, so I thought I should look good.” He replied, “You’re stylish, and you’re running 15-miles which makes you a badass.” I laughed. These men obviously don’t know me, but I’ll take the charming remarks.
As I closed in towards to mile 12, I started paying more attention to my watch. I had been running about an 8:30 minute/mile the majority of this race. When my time was below 2 hours when approaching the half-marathon distance, I knew I was about to set a PR. Not just that, but a sub 2 hours half-marathon. I made sure to keep a steady pace. I set a half-marathon of 1:55. I couldn’t believe it. This trumps my last half-marathon by more than 20 minutes. That’s just unheard of. I ran OKC in 2:19 last April, and Route 66 in 2:12 in November 2011.
The last 2-miles were my toughest. I think the giddiness of setting my PR had worn off, and I realized I still had a little ways to go. At mile 14, my form really started to dissipate, and I was just moving my legs just to be finished. I was able to bust out a few wind sprints to bring it on home. My official time, get this, 2:18:59. Seconds really mean everything. I literally ran this faster than my last half-marathon, which makes me laugh a little.
After grabbing a snack, I headed over to the results area, where I waited for a crowd of men to stop ooo-ing and ah-ing over their times, which they can’t change now. I decided to trust my sub-par vision, as I squinted between the few people in front of me. I saw my name, and drew eyes left on the results page. “3/4 Krystal Wright.” What a great feeling! I feel bad to the Crystal that finished seconds behind me. Okay, not really.
Note to self and everyone who cares: I don’t care who you are, there is absolutely no exception to the rule: Don’t wear new gear on race day. Don’t kid yourself, no one is the exception. Holy chaffing.
Ran my first 25k, placed 3rd in my age group, placed 1st in my race series, and set a new PR for my half-marathon, 1:55. What a great weekend.
This definitely deserved some quality R&R out in Okie country with the boyfriend. Thunder Up!
February 20- 5.19 mile run
February 21- 3.20 mile run
February 25- 3.10 mile run
February 26- 5.05 mile run
February 28- 5.20 mile run
February total mileage: 93.85 miles
March 2- 15.50 mile run
March 3- 3.50 mile run
Week 8 total mileage: 32.35 miles