My first race was a really awesome experience. There's nothing like running with a huge group of people, being cheered on along the way and feeling the thrill of crossing the finish line. I'm so happy that after all my injuries and setbacks it finally all came together. If you're an experienced runner you're looking at my stats and thinking they're no great shakes. But if you've never run before (or tried and saw for yourself how hard it is) you're thinking "wow, how did she do that?". How indeed! I did it by joining a running group led by a qualified coach, following the training plan (and NOT trying to rush things), committing to a schedule and giving it my best shot. Was I afraid of another injury? YES! But I knew I was so much better prepared this time. On non-running training days I was sure to engage in activities (with amazing teachers) designed to get me stronger, improve the endurance and mobility of my muscles and correct the misalignments that caused the injuries in the first place.
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With 2 days until the race I'm taking it easy. 5K at a steady slow-ish pace - keeping my heart rate (mostly) out of the danger zone. Feeling good!
With only a few days to go until race day, I decided to look at my stats. For the last few runs I haven't tried to add more distance. In fact, my runs have been shorter so I can work on increasing my running cadence.
What is running cadence and why am I monitoring it?
With one week to race time I realized I have to:
- Get in my practice runs much earlier in the morning. This time of year the late morning sun is strong and it is hot!
- Work on speed. It's fun to see how far I can go but I need to work on improving my 5K time.
- Figure out what the heck is going on with that swollen right eye!
Wish me luck!
Forgot to post about last Friday's run! Although it is hard to see from the photo, I barely missed the torrential rain. It was supposed to be a 55 minute tempo run at an easy fixed pace. Whether it is a tempo run, or a run where the pace is supposed to increase or decrease according to a fixed formula, I'm having trouble regulating it. I need to start slower and have better awareness of how fast I'm running (without looking at my watch). Hopefully that will come. Regardless, I am up to 4.25 miles before my legs turn to jello! So yay!
Another practice run in the books. Not sure if I sustained a moderate/comfortably hard effort for that last 0.75 miles but all my injured areas were behaving themselves nicely, so I'll take it! Now it's a matter of getting my aerobic capacity back up to respectability but I have confidence it will happen. I know how important it is to have patience and follow a progressive training plan designed by an expert. It doesn't hurt to have awesome motivating music too!
Today I went for a practice run. It was raining and freezing (in APRIL!), I was underdressed, without any rain gear AND I forgot to put on my polar watch before leaving the house. What's worse, I paused the the Strava app for 10 minutes before remembering to turn it back on! I complained to one of the running coaches (a marathoner) who was nice enough to slow down and run with me for a mile or so. She knew the game well. In response she said: "don't worry, it still counts as a workout".
I've taken a long break from running due to injuries and Loss Aversion (see my Mindset Monday post for more). Finally decided to get back on the horse, so to speak. Yesterday was the first practice run for a 5K race on Memorial Day. Felling great because I paced myself....... who knew?
There are unique words or phrases that resonate and in turn motivate each individual. It is our job as coaches to find out what works for our clients.
"You got this" or "You go girl" or "You crushed it" don't do it for me, but this did. I'll bet my coach knew that.
As far as I am on my fitness quest, running has been elusive. After sustaining 3 ankle injuries (2 sprains and a stress fracture) over the past 5 years I swore off running forever. For the last 2 years I've identified and diligently worked on all my misalignments and weaknesses. Another challenge is my high resting heart rate. Although it has come down at least 10 beats per minute I still get winded.
Never say never, right?
I just couldn't get the bug out of my head. Call it a midlife crisis. Call it whatever you want but I knew I had to try one more time.
So this time I am training for a trail race in early October. Trail running is easier on the joints and provides a more challenging, interesting and varied workout. I had fun shopping for all the special gear and even treated myself to a Polar watch with heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking and other bells and whistles I'll figure out eventually.....
But GOOD L-RD it is hard! I know that with good form I'll get there eventually. So thank you, Coach!
You don't have to be an Olympic body builder or train like one to get stronger, move better, be healthier, and feel and look great.
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