Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bellin 10K Race Report

Before I tell you about the race ... I have to give you some history. On 10-10-10 I ran my first 10K ... I thought I was going to die. I ended up walking most of it ... in fact as I was walking with my friend (who was 100pounds less than I) she says "what a great day for a stroll!" Ha! A stroll... I was near death. I finished dead last at 1h47min....

On 4-2-10 I ran my next 10K ... it rained, snowed, and hailed on us. We got left out out on the course, got lost, and actually had to have a race official come and get us. I busted my butt -- finished in dead last again at 1hr30mins and 30 seconds!

Today 6-11-11 was my third 10K. The ellusive Bellin run. If you dont know what I am talking about - stop now and read my blog from yesterday.
Hubby and I are standing at the start line... and the excitement is building. The gun goes off... and we dont move... and dont move... and dont move. Finally about 20 minutes later we are at the start line (there were 18,000 runners this year)! I take off ... and I settle in quickly. There are a few light uphills and I am just cruising. I pick a runner ahead of me and concentrate on passing her. I even threw in a few sprints just to get past some groups of walkers! At mile 2 ... I try to get the water station ... and get blocked out by not one, not two, not three, but literally four strollers. I decided water is not as important as my PR ... so I refuse to stop or break my stride!

My first mile is under 14min/mile... and my second is pretty close too! I am feeling good - but at mile 2 the stupid foot pain starts. Thankfully... it went away pretty quickly. One downhill I decided that I was going to really "give er" for the downhill...... I ran my fastest mile ever during that stretch... 13:20/mile.

At mile 4 I was starting to tire... I realized that I had taken it out a bit too fast... but onward I pushed. Bands on the side of the roads and people cheering with signs made me laugh. Since the race was through neighborhoods, people had their hoses out and were spraying the runners!
Somewhere around mile 5 I notice Coach Jim standing off to the side of the course. I waved, he waved ... and when I looked down he was right next to me on the left side. I was suprised ... he says "well I came back to find you and run it in with you ... you want a PR right?" Onward we pushed... and pushed .... and pushed...

With about 3/4 of a mile to go, people along the street were holding signs saying "Go runner I dont know" so Coach Jim introduced us. Suddenly crowds of people on the street are screaming my name and cheering for me.... me ... I was in shock! Coach Jim told me to keep running... and he went to the water station and got me some more water.

At the very end, there was a hill..... the old me would have walked that hill. Afterall I cant do hills right... Coach Jim started coaching me before the hill. Little did he know I didnt need it... He said "thats a little hill you can do that" I replied "of course I can ... thats not even a hill we do worse than that."

I not only did not walk up the hill.... I didnt jog up the hill.... I charged up that hill as fast as I could. At the end, I saved enough for a full sprint (apparently a fast one too because Garmin said it was at a 8min/mile pace at the end)!

I finished in 1hr28min57sec .... PR baby! Im not sure which is better -- the PR or that fact that I know that I am one tough cookie!

(PS. I did NOT beat the husband. You know the husband who barely trained, who is 6'3. Apparently although he only runs a 15min/mile on treadmill out of NOWHERE he pulls out a 11:35/mile pace to beat me by 17 minutes. I could be bummed, but I am just proud of him... and maybe I will get there someday... )

Friday, June 10, 2011

One Year Ago

I was sitting on the sidelines watching longingly at all of the fit people.... the fit people who were going to run the Bellin.

You see, the Bellin 10K is a huge run in our area ... actually more people register for the Bellin 10K than for our half and full marathon. This year they are expected about 25,000 people to participate. Ever since I have been an adult, I have heard people causally say "oh Im running the Bellin this weekend." I never felt part of that crowd...

It was one year ago while working with Trainer Tyler that he again casually mentioned that he was going to "Run the Bellin" and I said ... did you train? and he says "nah its only a 10K." ONLY a 10K... I only dreamed of completing that. Trainer Tyler told me I should just walk it .... I sighed "no, I dont even think I could walk that far."

It was shortly after that that I started training for a 5K run. I trained all summer ... from June 21, 2010 to my first race on Sept 19, 2010. I dreamed of someday running the Bellin ... and set that as my goal to accomplish in 2011.

Tomorrow is the Bellin ... and guess what ... its no big deal. Since finishing that 5K I have went on to finish 3 half marathons... so the elusive "Running the Bellin" is actually pretty anti-climactic for me. The distance of the Bellin (10K) I run in my average training run!

And today ... it happened. Someone asked me what I was doing this weekend and I causually replied "Oh I'm Running the Bellin" and that person said ... OMG isnt that like 6 miles, I could never do that... and I just smiled .... and told them that I would be happy to help them learn to run!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Week Two with Coach Jim

Well ... today was the long awaited week 2 hill run with Coach Jim. Based on my previous blog posts this week, I was feeling like less than a rockstar... but of course I wasnt going to give up.
The temp is hot and humid - by 7am it was already almost 80 degrees. This week we were joined by 3 other runners (2 girls with a lightning fast 10min/mile pace and a guy who was always visible to me and ran about a 13min/mile pace I am guessing). We take off ... uhhh at a pace I cant maintain. After a couple of minutes I need to take a walk break ... and I fall behind.

Right away the negative self talk starts -- and I tell it to shut the &*^% up! There will be no negative self talk today. Its hot and I am feeling the heat and struggling a bit to get my heart rate down during the walk intervals. I decide right then and there that I am going to switch to 2:2 intervals but if I allow myself to do this there will be NO extra walk breaks. Myself agrees with this plan ... but my conscious reminds me that the rule remains "If you are running downhill you MUST run another interval.

Ok plan in place I push on ... Coach Jim checks in with me "how is my tough girl doing" I smile... Im a tough girl alright! I push on ... and over the major hills. The last hill on the way out was HUGE and I am pretty sure I am not moving but I keep pushing on and on ... look at the top of the hill... you must keep running... you can do anything for two minutes!!

Soon its time to turn around ... I get some Chomps from coach Jim. Suddenly I am on this amazing downhill.... I feel like I am flying... I run for 8 minutes straight, turn the corner and its back to being uphill.
This moment was crucial because I was struggling... and Coach Jim was up ahead. I seriously thought about taking an extra walk break ... walking up that hill because no one would know, right? But guess what I WOULD KNOW! And thus no extra walk break did happen!

I finished 6.1 mile today ... with major hills... I am a rockstar! Coach Jim kept calling me a warrior and "tough girl". Im so lucky to have found such a great coach who really, truly seems to believe I can do it!

I had to laugh near the end where we had our water - a extremely fit man with a bike was walking up the same hill that we ran up. Coach Jim says to me "wow if I was a mean guy I would tell him that you ran up that hill... but I wont" Haha!

I had another thought about P90X too.... you know what 25% is better than 0% right?
Most of the people of my size and fitness level would ever attempt it. So you know what ... if I can only do 20 or 30 minutes its STILL better than ZERO minutes! I am clearly sore... which clearly means that I pushed myself (for god sakes I am still sore today before the run) ... now if I only did 20 minutes and didnt feel it the morning I would argue I wasnt pushing myself... but I am ... and will continue to do so.

Thank you so much to all my friends for the awesome comments. I still see myself as weak ... and it meant so much to me to know that others see me as strong!

Week One with Coach Jim

Well today was the day I was waiting for (or dreading) - it was time for Day One with Coach Jim. I got up bright and early and headed out to the park. Coach Jim had promised that he loves hills and that this would be a hill run. I waited in the parking lot... and soon up ahead Coach Jim and Mariah come running up. Guess what? I was the ONLY one who showed up... perhaps the rain and wind kept people away ... but gosh I thought the weather was fine (I have run in much much worse).

So its just Coach Jim, Mariah, and myself. I pop my Ipod in ... and he shakes his head. "You can only wear that if you can still hear me." "Yep," I reply, "I have the awesome headphones with a microphone. See, I have never really run with people...

We take off .. a pace a bit faster than I am used to, but I was able to keep it up. The hills on the way out arent too bad, still more than I am used to. At about 1.5 miles there is a ginormous hill up ahead... I immediately think, wow I cant do that. Coach Jim is right there ... telling me I can, we cant walk until the timer goes off, one foot in front of the other, you can do it girl, etc. And you know what ... I made it up that hill (and several others).

In the last 1.5 miles there were two major hills ... I not only ran up them but I charged up them actually increasing my speed over the hills. Twice when my timer went off I said to Coach Jim "I just cant run right now I need an extra walk break" and he said ... "you know what we are going to do ... we are going to run real slowly because Jeff told us to and I know you can do it" and you know what ...
He was right! I didnt need any extra walk breaks... my 5 mile time WITH major hills was better than my best 5 mile time on flat ground...

Oh yeah ... one more thing... in the middle of the run he asks what my running plans are for the rest of the year, so I told him... and he says what about next year ... so I mention the one half I am planning on ... and he looks at me and says "so when you are gonna do a full?" I admitted that I fantasize about Disney 2013... he said that was a great idea. At mile 4 he starts talking to me about how great of a marathon Cellcom is ... and how he recommends your first half marathon be one at home.... and somehow by mile 4.5 he talks me into committing to the Cellcom Marathon May of 2012 .....

Its amazing what you can do if you just put your mind to it! :)