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KC Zoo Run

As you know, I’ve been training for a race. Training makes it sound like weeks or months have gone by and I’m running a marathon or something. It wasn’t a marathon and I only “trained” for 5 days. But still running in a race is not something I do on a weekly basis and when you make a plan on how to prepare yourself for when you do, well that’s training.

In this instance my training paid off! I set a goal to finish this 4-mile race in less than 55 minutes and that is exactly what I did. Woohoo!

The race was the KC Zoo Run. I’ve ran this race twice before. The first time was several years ago and was also a successful race for me. The second time was not so much. I had feared that my last minute attempt at training would not be enough for to accomplish my goal. But I was wrong.

 

The first mile was mostly down hill. This helped tremendously. It’s hard to stop and rest when you’re going down hill. Why not use the momentum to keep going? You can rest when you get to the bottom.

The second mile was the easiest mile for me. Yes, in a way, even easier than the 1st mile. I started counting. Well technically I started counting toward the end of the first mile. At the gym, I run .25 – .3 miles then I walk .1 mile. I keep this pace pretty much the entire time. When I’m running outside though, I don’t have a screen in front of me telling me how far I’ve gone. This morning I decided, during the race, that I would count for a period of time in place of having the screen. I decided I would count to 200 when running, count to 60 when walking and repeat as many times as necessary until I crossed the finish line.

This sort of worked.

The first time I counted for the running part, I hit another down hill portion (the portion heading across the bridge in to Africa) and wasn’t about to stop running when going down hill just because I hit 200. So I added on another 100. Then another 50. I really pushed myself. I continued this pattern throughout Africa until I encountered the hill leaving. This I walked. But I tried my best to power walk.

This was also the third mile. Unfortunately, there was a lot of up hill during the 3rd mile. Therefore, there was a lot of walking. I’m not going to lie, I usually always walk when there is a hill. I do. I tried to tell myself that walking, up hill was going to hurt my time. But the motivation was not strong enough. I walked as fast as I could but I walked.

Once I got to the 4th mile, you were in the section of the race where it’s tight quarters. The trails aren’t very wide and it gets congested. It’s hard to run when others are walking and you can’t get around them. As I was getting closer to the end of the race, I heard someone say there was only half a mile left. I thought to myself I could run the rest of the way. And I could have. But I didn’t.

I was starting to get tired. I didn’t have the drive in me to push myself. I walked twice (or was it three times?) in that last half mile. Nonetheless, I did cross the finish line and I did make my goal. My official time was 52:50! My pace was 13:13 per mile. One of these days I’ll increase my time so that it is less than 13 minutes. For now, I’m glad that I’ve increased it to close to 13. I used to run closer to 14 minutes. True.

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All of my hard work this last week has paid off. My next race isn’t until the end of October. I don’t want to lose all that I’ve worked hard for though. I think I might continue running at the gym. Maybe stick to 3 miles, since the remaining races this year are all 5K’s, and work on increasing my time. Yes, that’s my plan.

Some pictures from the race and our visit with the penguins after.

 

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Training

This week I have been training. Hard. Last month I ran my first real race of the year. I did good but not as good as I had hoped. Barely. I mean I was so close.

I also signed up for 4 other races. Well, technically 3 others, I still need to sign up for the 5th. But that will be happening any day now. The goal is to run a race every month for the rest of the year.

  • August – Run Like a Girl     3.19 miles in 41:12
  • September – KC Zoo Run    Tomorrow, goal is to run it in less than 55 minutes, we’ll see.
  • October – Screaming Banshee
  • November – Turkey Trot
  • December – Christmas Light Run

Part of the reason behind choosing a race every month is to help keep me active. Help me stay in shape. However, after the race in August, I stopped running. I ran once on Labor Day. But then nothing for 2 weeks.

Last week I told myself that I needed to start running. The KC Zoo Run was coming up and fast. Did I? No. =( I kept giving myself excuses. I am buying a house after all. It takes time. My nephew has soccer games every Thursday. I can make excuses for days.

Finally Sunday I said enough was enough. The race was officially less than a week away. If I didn’t start training I was going to have a terrible time. So Sunday I went to the gym. I had planned on running 2 miles but didn’t get around as early as I had hoped and my brother-in-law was on his way to my place. I was dog sitting for a couple days.  I still went to the gym but I cut my 2 miles down to 1 mile.

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I then made a plan to increase my distance each day working up to the 4 miles. Making a plan can be very successful and proved so this week. Dedication is also needed. Dedication keeps those pesky excuses away.

 

The plan was as follows:

  • Monday – 2 miles
  • Tuesday – 2.5 miles
  • Wednesday – 3 miles
  • Thursday – 3.5 miles
  • Friday – rest day
  • Saturday – RACE DAY

Today is Friday and the training part of my plan is done. There’s not much more I could have done in the short period I left for myself. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished though. Last night I ran 3.5 miles in 45:24. Just shy of 13 minutes a mile! That last day I increased my speed just a little bit and it paid off.

I’ve been doing 5 minutes on an elliptical machine as a warm up before running. When I get home, after running, I’ve been doing the 14 Day Ab Challenge. Remember that?

Take the 14-Day Abs Challenge

I’ve completed the first 5 days. So far I’m on track. =) Those Jackknife Crunches are killer. The Russian Twists are getting easier and easier. I have a 6 lb weight ball. I’ve been thinking of using it when doing these. In fact, I might just do that tonight. The Plank is not easy but I haven’t gotten to the really hard part yet. 90 seconds? Eek!

Today, today is rest day. Much needed after this week of training. I am going to enjoy it. Yes, I am!

14 Day Ab Challenge

Have you seen those 30 day challenges on Pinterest? Oh I’m sure you have. They pop up all the time. At least on my home page they do.

I keep meaning to do one. In fact one of the things I wanted to do this year was a different fitness challenge each month. How many do you think I have done? Zero? Right!

So when I came across this 14 day challenge I was like “that might just be something I can handle”. Still I haven’t done it. I’m sure I pinned it a couple months ago. Maybe even a little longer.

Take the 14-Day Abs Challenge

Who wants to do this with me? Please oh please don’t make me do it alone. Someone tell me that they’ll join in.

It’s perfect timing too because there are exactly 14 days left of the month. That is if you start today. Yes, you can start whenever. But I’m one of those people that starts things at the beginning of the year, month, week, etc. In this case, even though it’s the middle of the month, it fits in just right to end right on the last day of the month. So I’m ok with it. Silly I know.

I completed Day 1 today. Yay! Now to follow through on the remaining 13 days. I’ll keep ya posted!

WW Week 18 Recap

I wasn’t able to make it to this week’s meeting. I had a good excuse though. I promise! Remember that race that I was training for? Well it took place at 8am this morning and my meetings are at 9am. Yeah, there was no way I was going to make it in time. I just don’t run that fast. lol

One of my old college friends, Heather, and I met up for dinner last month. The first time we had seen each other in more than 10 years. It was a really good time. While we were there she was telling me about a race that her and one of her friends was thinking of doing. They needed a team of 4 people so my friend, Becky, and I joined her. 4-Nados!

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I’ve been in the gym for the last 2-3 training for this race. You see my friend is a runner. Oh yes she is. She did 2 races this weekend, including the race we both ran this morning. Well technically all of my teammates ran 2 races this weekend. They crazy! Just kidding. lol

Heather ran yesterday’s race in 28 minutes. 28 minutes! I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with her. I’m not kidding myself. But I didn’t want her to have to wait for me long. So I trained.

It wasn’t all for her though. I wanted to do well. This was MY first race of the year and I wanted to do be proud of my time. So I trained for me too.

At the gym I had been running a mile in 13 minutes 20 seconds. I figured 3 miles I could finish in 40 minutes. So that was my goal. I wanted to finish this mornings race in 40 minutes.

I was close. So close! I started off strong with my first mile only taking me 11:37. It may have been a little too strong though because I got progressively slower as the race went on. My second mile was 12:40 seconds and my third mile was 13:15 seconds. Not bad though. Technically I ran 3 miles in 37 minutes and 32 seconds. Awesome, right?!

Except a 5K is not just 3 miles. It’s 3.1 miles and today’s was closer to 3.19 miles. That extra little bit killed me and my total time was 41:12. I’m happy though!

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BTW the distance and time on MapMyRun was inaccurate because I didn’t hit STOP right when I finished. Oops!

We all had a really good time and that’s all you can ask. =)

So no weigh in today but I feel good. Really good! I even got 10 Fitness Points in today due to the race. Woohoo!

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I’ll go next Saturday. It’s the next morning class. Then I’ll get back to my normal meeting time the very next day. =)

Last week I was down a total of 28 lbs. Surely in 2 weeks time…err, 1 week 6 days…I can lose 2 lbs and get past that 30 lb mark. Fingers crossed!

Motivation Day 6

3 more days.

3 days until the Run Like A Girl Race this Sunday morning.

My hope was to work out all of the 8 days prior to the race. This did not happen unfortunately because I did not make it to the gym last night. Yep. My last minute attempt at motivating myself last night did not work.

I will go today though. That is guaranteed. Ok, it’s not. But I’m very confident that I will make it there tonight.

7 out of 8 days is quite good I feel.

It's a work in progress. You just keep going. Don't quit. Even on your toughest days. Even when you feel tired. Even when you didn't give it your all. Giving it something is getting you to your goal. One step at a time.