Today is a red letter day!!!!!! (Warning: extreme use of exclamation points ahead. Number of exclamation points used in this post: 51. Can you tell I’m psyched?!)
I woke up, hit the bathroom, and immediately went to the scales for the final weigh in of the Worth Your Weight Challenge. 126.6 baby!!!!! This is the lowest weight I’ve been since January, when I started traveling, and it’s hard to believe that I got here in just over a month from a high of 132.4. I am SO proud of myself, and this just put me in a great mood for the rest of the morning.
Next thing on my agenda was to head for the Bruegger’s Bagel Run downtown – my first time running since my knee injury. It was just a 5K, so I figured I’d be fine, but I wanted to push the pace to see if I could PR and Shave My 5K. After signing up for the race (yup, race day sign up – I’m spontaneous like that, in case I decided to sleep late instead), I met up with some of the Albany Yoga Mamas that I met at running camp. Among them were two women who read my blog, which made me feel kind of famous :) Nothing like celebrity to get me psyched!
I tried to start near the front, because it seemed like there were a lot of amateur runners who were probably going to be slow, and I didn’t want them in my way so I’d have to bob and weave. When the gun went off, I only had about 10 feet to go before crossing the start, which was good – without chip timing, I wouldn’t want it to be more than that. I felt really tired within the first few minutes, and figured I was really out of shape – how on earth was I going to do a half-marathon next weekend? Then I looked down at my Garmin and realized I was running at a 7:16 pace – that explains it! It seems to be a common theme for me – I go out fast and feel exhausted and out of shape, but then I realize it’s because I was going so quickly, and I settle into an easier pace. I hoped I would be able to keep up the fast pace throughout the race, but had the feeling I wouldn’t be able to.
When we doubled back to the start to begin the second out-and-back loop, I saw my mom yelling “go Laura!” and trying to take a picture. However, the funny part is she actually saw someone else wearing my same color top, and didn’t see me at all! The other person just happened to be running near me, so I got the “go Laura” that she aimed at someone else. Hilarious!
I crossed the one mile mark at 7:33, and was feeling a bit tired, but that’s the nice thing about 5Ks – only 2 miles to go! The second mile was easier than the first because it went with the wind, but by mile 3 after we hit the turnaround, I was struggling. I was a bit tired, but the wind was also blowing right into me. It wasn’t a horrendous wind, but it was enough to make me feel sluggish.
I had bought a new running outfit online. The top is the same style Nike tank that I love (and I know fits me perfectly – style 214734), and the skirt was a random Nike running skirt that happened to be the same mint green color. In the past, medium has always fit me well with the skirts, so I was surprised to find that it was big on me. I didn’t know if it was me losing weight (probably wishful thinking) or if this particular skirt ran a bit large (more likely). Unfortunately, the first two miles of the race were spent hiking the skirt up because it felt like it was going to fall down and give me a lovely case of plumber’s butt. By mile 3, I had a little bit of sweat going, and then the skirt stuck to me a bit and was perfectly comfy. I hope I can shrink it a bit in the dryer; otherwise, the plan is to use it just for long runs where the first few miles are easy anyway, because it will be fine for the rest.
I thought my PR was something like 23:47, and I knew that my chances at a PR were slipping away by the second. I kept trying to muster up the energy to push the pace, but just couldn’t seem to go much faster. I had opted to forego my iPod, which wasn’t terrible in such a short race, but it would have been nice to have some power songs at that point. I tried to sing them in my head, but I had Rascal Flatts’ “Everyday” already stuck in my head. “Everyday” is a great song, but it’s pretty slow, and it’s not really great as a power song – I usually like it for the middle miles when I just want to relax and sink into the running.
Right before I hit the 3 mile mark, I saw my dad to the side cheering for me. I hadn’t been expecting him to make it – so cool that he was there! He then tried to run alongside the course still cheering for me, but I was outrunning him by a lot, which surprised me since he’s pretty athletic. When I was little, he was always trying to get me into sports, and I wasn’t having any of it. Kind of a great little victory to be outrunning him now! As I saw the finish clock ahead, I was sad – it was already over 24:00, and there went my chance at a PR. I still tried to pour on the sprint at the end, but it was kind of pathetic, since I didn’t have a lot of energy left. I think I finished at 24:18 (they were announcing the times as we crossed), but we’ll see when the official results come out. My mom snapped a pic of me coming toward the finish and looking a bit like I’m dying. I didn’t feel that bad; I just didn’t really have the energy to kick it into a full-on sprint, and was trying to do so anyway.
I have to say, I’m a little nervous about the accuracy of the results! It’s been a while since I’ve done a race that wasn’t chip-timed, and I’m used to getting the bibs that ask you to write your info down on the tear-off portion, but not used to filling in the info, because most races tell you to ignore it. However, as we went through the chute, they started collecting them and I realized I was in trouble – they needed it filled out! My mom was nearby, and I got a pen from her, but it didn’t work, and I was panicking. They tried to convince me to just turn in my tag without the info filled in (they said there was someone checking people’s bib numbers as they came in), but I didn’t want to do that because what if that bib check failed? Holding up the line for a minute or two (and apologizing profusely to the other runners! Fortunately they were all really nice about it), I finally located a pencil and filled in my info, then gave them my tag – hopefully I didn’t mess things up by making others wait.
After the race, I passed on the proffered bananas, because I wanted to make a yummy kale-banana-sunflower seed butter shake when I got home. However, it’s not called a bagel run for nothing! I got in the bagel line and grabbed the smallest cinnamon raisin bagel I could find. Bruegger’s cinnamon raisin bagels used to be my absolute favorite growing up, and I was excited to get to splurge on half of one (though I skipped the cream cheese). However, I had one bite and realized it wasn’t that tasty to me anymore, and totally not worth the splurge! Instead, I grabbed a pear and an apple, and was much happier with those options for post-race food. I absolutely love pears now, and even though this one wasn’t quite ripe enough, I found the flavor fantastic. How cool is it that fruit is now my treat of choice?!
When I got home, the process of getting my data off my Garmin was a bit of a pain – I got a new computer, so I first had to reinstall the Garmin Connect software. This wouldn’t have been a problem except that my Garmin was inexplicably set to not connect automatically to the computer. Of course, since I now have Vista and like to blame things on it, I thought it was a problem with the software not being Vista-compatible, and spent half an hour messing around with the Device Manager and the registry, trying to get it to work. Duh! Anyway, my splits turned out to be pretty great:
Mile 1 – 7:33 – 233 BPM
Mile 2 – 7:34 – 244 BPM
Mile 3 – 8:11 – 229 BPM
Mile 3.14 – 1:09 (8:00 pace) – 241 BPM
Final time: 24:27 (7:52 pace)
(Is it just me or do those heart rates seem WAY high and totally wrong? My clothes didn’t even get sweaty so there’s no way I was working that hard)
I stopped my Garmin a few seconds late, so that last bit is actually a bit faster (it should be 0:59, or a 7:01 pace for that mile; 7:49 pace overall). So basically, I started out ridiculously awesome, and only slowed in the third mile. But even though I felt like I was going slow as anything, an 8:11 pace is still pretty fast for me! And, as I discovered when I actually checked my old PR, IT’S A NEW PR!!!!
I can’t believe I Shaved My 5K. My stubble time was already a PR by 2:44, and I just knocked another 10 seconds off that!!!! AND I did this coming off a knee injury that has had me not running for several weeks!!!! Oh my gosh, I am so excited :)
In other totally wonderful news, I just found out that my brother proposed to his girlfriend yesterday!!!! They’ve been dating for a while and they went on Friday to pick out a ring, but he told her that he wanted to wait a few weeks and that he’d propose when he was ready. So yesterday, when she wasn’t expecting anything, they went to a park in Saratoga where they first met, and Erik took her to a fountain and they each threw a penny in and made a wish. He knew that her wish would be for him to propose, so he then got down on one knee and proposed so that her wish would come true!!!! SO CUTE and I am so excited for them.
Hope everyone else has a fantastic day too!!!
Distance: 5k (3.1 miles)
Overall place: 147/471
Age group place: 11/31