Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's here! It's here!

This jacket arrived in the mail today. I bought it for myself for my birthday. I had looked at it in December when it cost $70 and decided that was way too much for a jacket I didn’t really need. Then Brooks was nice enough to send me a link to their winter clearance sale page and there is was for $28. $28!! So I bought it.

I shop for almost everything online. I hate stores, people, lines. I like tracking my purchases and waiting for the delivery person to show up and drop it off. I have only bought a few things I didn’t like and had to send back. I only shop at stores that have free returns.

It’s warm enough to run outside today (45 degrees), but I’m working until 5:00 and it’s been raining for most of the day. I really don’t enjoy splashing through puddles.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll find time show off my Brooks ID Elite jacket to the world.

0 miles, 0:00 minutes, 0:00 pace (slacker!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Not snow, nor sleet, nor ice will stop my treadmill run

I love this poster.
Crappy day. Snow, sleet, ice, more ice. Definitely not running outside today. I guess that’s why I bought a treadmill. My goal is 20 miles a week. I don’t always make it.

Time is the enemy. After work, there are several things I want to do. But if I do them, then I won’t have time to run. I don’t know how people so it. People who work and raise kids and own a home and go shopping and walk the dog. There’s just not enough time.

When I first got the treadmill, it was fun. It was big and had all these buttons and programs. Each day I pushed myself a few minutes farther. And then spring arrived. Well, the thing is still big, but not so fun anymore. I really have to force myself to put on running clothes and hop on the thing. Even with music and movies, it’s just not as fun as running outside. It feels more like work. And it's so easy to stop after 30 minutes. Just hit the stop button and the run is over. Outside, it doesn't work that way. If I run two miles out, I have to run two miles back. I couldn't cheat if I wanted to.

Treadmill run 4.25 miles, time 40:20, pace 9:29

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Final Freeze

Two miles to go in the January Freeze 10K.
It was 7 degrees for the final January Freeze 10K race. And it snowed the night before so there was a nice little coating of white stuff on the ground to keep life interesting. I briefly considered not running due to the low temperature, but knew I’d regret it later. I bundled up in heavyweight running tights under a pair of lined track pants, two long sleeve running shirts under a very heavy hooded sweatshirt, two pairs of socks, my heavier canvas running shoes (no mesh on these things), a ski mask made for running, and my mittens with a flip-back top so I can cool my off fingers when they get too warm. It all worked because I was only a little cold for the first mile and then quite warm the rest of the race. A lot of runners had cold feet and could barely run. Running shoes are usually very light and made of mesh material to let air circulate. Not good for running in the cold.  Running in the snow was a little difficult. I had to go slow and there were spots where I was sliding around and couldn’t get much traction, but still a good race. 85 runners braved the cold for the final race. Five dropped out after the first mile. I finished with a time of 57:46. Not my best time for a 10K, but not my worst time either.

My running friend was behind me for most of the race, but in the final half mile, she caught up to me and then mange to pass me and beat me by 4 seconds. She’s been running for many years and to lose to her by 4 seconds feels more like a win than a loss.

The next race is in February and it’s a 5K. It’s called the Cupid’s Chase and it’s a national race held in 28 cities. All runners start at the same time regardless of time zones. The entry fee is a little high, $35 in advance and $50 day of, but I’m going to run it. The money goes towards helping people with disabilities and there will be medals and trophies for the winners.

My personal best for a 5K is 26:16. I don't know what happened that day because I thought I was running slow. Then I looked down at my GPS watch and saw I was actually a minute ahead of my usual pace. My average time for 5K is 27:something. I'd like to move into the 25:something range this year, but don't know how my legs and lungs feel about that yet.

Just running is fun; running fast is hard.

Freeze 4 (10K (6.2 miles)) time 57:46, pace 9:18

Friday, January 25, 2013

January Freeze

January 24th already. I was going to start this new blog on January 1st, but that didn’t happen. Obviously. It’s hard to find time. The time to do much of anything. Working for a living consumes a lot of time, but what am I going to do? Not working is not an option.

So far for January I have run in three 10K races and turned 48. Turning 48 was no big deal. I feel good, health-wise, and haven’t gained a pound since September of 2012. I also haven’t lost a pound. I was hoping to be five pounds lighter by now. Maybe when winter ends, if it ever ends, I’ll be able to get out and run more. One of the bad things about living in upstate NY is that winter drags on forever.

I never imagined I’d be running in January. Running outside. The local running club holds a series of 10K races called the January Freeze. There’s a race every Saturday. A year ago, when I was just starting to think about running, I remember looking at photos of people running the January Freeze, thinking they must be insane. Well, now there are photos of me running the January Freeze and it is insane. But also fun and exhilarating. A year ago, I had just bought a treadmill and was determined to get back in shape and do some serious running. Getting back in shape took a little longer than expected, but in May, I ran my first 5K race and did good. Good for someone who had never run a 5K race before. This May I will be running a half marathon. That’s 13.1 miles. I am nowhere near ready. The farthest I have ever run is 7.2 miles. I have a lot of training to do.

Tomorrow is the final 10K January Freeze run. It is supposed to be cold. Maybe 10 degrees if I’m lucky. And the park where it’s held is often windy. For last week’s race it was 30 degrees and windy and I thought that was cold. My fastest time so far has been 55:53. I’d really like to beat that, but it’s hard to run when sweating and shivering and fighting the wind. Just finishing will be good.

The nice thing about running is that the only person I’m running against is myself. In a race, I’m running with other people, but I don’t see them as competition. They are just people running, like me, for whatever reason. Lose weight, reduce stress, get healthy, break a personal record. I have run in enough races now that I recognize many of the runners and it feels good to pass them and beat them at the finish line, but that’s not what it’s all about.

It’s just about running.

Freeze 1 (10K (6.2 miles)), time 58:09, pace 9:22
Freeze 2 (10K (6.2 miles)) time 55:53, pace 9:00
Freeze 3 (10K (6.2 miles)) time 56:33, pace 9:07