Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Runnin' of the Green

Contrary to popular belief, I have not actually disappeared off the face of the planet.  For the last month I have simply realized that I am too busy to blog!!  Yes, I miss blogging and putting down some interesting (or not) tidbits out on the blogosphere but, alas, my family takes first priority.

As the girls get older, they have added more after-school (and some before-school) activities to the agenda.  For me, that means school pick-up at 3:30 or 4:30 or 5.  Depending on the day.  And sometimes one girl at a different time.  Some days it is a rush to get Isabelle to dance class.  Other days it's gymnastics for both girls.  Or the Friday hip hop dance nightmare (Charlotte is at 5:30, Isabelle is at 6:30....we'll be changing this next year:).  Wednesday night is pretty much the only night that isn't filled with some activity or another.  After school pick-up, homework needs attending to (which I am involved with!!).  Then, there is the question of what exactly am I putting on the table to nourish the family.  After that, it's clean-up time.  And the kids bed-time.  And taking care of my athletes emails and schedules.  And by the time it's all said and done......I have about 3 minutes of "alone" time on the couch that I usually just look at the TV with glazed eyes thinking I really ought to get to bed.
Isabelle's school project "ancient cliff dwelling".  She worked hard on this!
Charlotte aka Toothless has been quite busy well, losing her teeth!

Of course, this normally comes after a day of training!!!  Which is going very well!  After a couple of month adjustment period with the Dirkinator I have a decent feel for the schedule.  And the best part of my training is that I normally know what my week looks like well in advance.  So I can plan my non-kid time a bit better.  Well, sometimes a bit better.  More often than not I find I haven't been to the grocery store in far too long and then I go to Costco hungry and walk out $500 later.  Oops.

In fact, training has gone so well that I asked Dirk if I could enter a couple of running races - and he emphatically said YES!  The first one was a week and half ago - the Runnin' of the Green.  It's a 7k distance with lots of runners (6,000) and a great atmosphere.  Yes, I was nervous:)  It had been almost 2 full years since I had run a stand-alone run race!

With a 10:15 leisurely start, there was plenty of time in the morning to make my way downtown with PIC and her family.  Running races are such NON events in that there is just not that much to do before the race.  Put on your runners and warm-up.  That's it.  If you have a Garmin, you turn that on and get it ready to go.  Or, in my case, turn it on and wonder why it doesn't have a visible screen.  D'oh!  No electronic feedback!!  I'm running by feel on this one.

Since I was with PIC, she MADE me start near the front but I managed to back up just a bit from where she was at.  Those runners looked fast and I just didn't know what to expect!  We were off and I tried to settle into a decent pace on this hilly course.  I figured if I hit mile 1 around the 6:50 mark, that wouldn't be a blow-up pace and I should be able to hang on from there.  Did I mention this is a hilly course?  Well, I hit mile one about 6:51 (thanks Troy for letting me use your watch!).  This was on the first big hill.....oh boy.  I found a girl that was running about the same pace as I was and just hung on her shoulder.  This race wasn't without just a bit of drama though.....my pacer moved to avoid another runner, I followed her shoulder and another girl behind me grunted Uh Uh then proceeded to elbow me and push me out of the way.  Beotch!!!!  I tried to keep her in my sights so I could run her down later......

Mile 2 was brutal!!  Uphill!!  I was gasping for breath and thinking entering this was a bad idea!!  But I kept with my pacer.  Then a weird thing happened, we hit a downhill.  Now, normally I HATE downhills because I feel like I am totally out of control and may fall over.  But not today.  I embraced that downhill and ran it.  And passed my pacer!!  Woot Woot!  Aggro girl was still in sight but she was gaining time on me.  Mile 2 was 7:15ish I think - I have a hard time with math when I race:)  Mile 3 had a bit of uphill and downhill and I saw PIC on the out and back, she was kicking it!!  Run, run, run...another uphill and Mile 4.  No idea what mile 3 pace was and I lost aggro girl.  Glorious mile 4 had a great downhill but I didn't feel as good here and I could tell my heart rate and no intention of lowering.  Then the last uphill, turn the corner and there was the finish.

Oy.  So, my first run race in forever was over.  Boy did that hurt.  But, as always, 2 minutes later and a big glass of water and it wasn't so bad.  How did I do?  Pretty well!  This was definitely a tester race for me to see if I had any speed left in these old legs and where my training has taken me so far.  I ended up at 30:40, a 7:05 pace.  Yeah!!!  That earned me 8th place in 40-49 out of 684 runners in that age group.  All in all a good day!
PIC and I doing the 30 second race recap

Next up, a half marathon in a 1.5 weeks.....the heart rates that Dirk and I have discussed for this race simply frighten me.  That high? Really?  I told him I was afraid of blowing up and dying and he assured me I wouldn't die.  Blow up maybe but definitely not die.  And if I do blow up?  Excellent learning lessons.

No promises on when my next post hits!  But spring break starts at the end of this week so I assume I just might have an extra say 5 minutes a day to myself:)