March 26, 2013

iRun for Kids race re-cap

My first 'real' race of the year!  Wasn't gonna run as I had not been training due to a heel injury.  On top of that, I arrived at packet pick-up 10 minutes after the race started.  (note to self: double check race start time!) I grabbed my packet, set the stuff in my car, pinned on my race bib, and attached my timing chip.  As I hurried to the starting line I prayed they would let me start. They did!  I took off running, at a VERY slow pace, and thought to myself, "I hope I catch up to the back of the pack." 

I headed over the bridge and had to keep stopping and scooting out of the way of the leaders who were on their way back over the bridge heading to the finish line.  Their encouraging words kept me going.  It was a wonderful little run/walk through downtown Albany.  At about mile 1.5 I caught up with the back of the pack and started passing people I knew.  Their cheers gave me the strength to keep going.  A few more twists and turns and I was heading back over the bridge.  Now I was the one trying to get past people. 

Then to my surprise a bicycle came by on my left, opening the way for the leader of the 10-mile race!  As I approached the finish line, I had an overwhelming sense of relief and accomplishment!  I had finished my first race since October of 2012.  And less that 3 minutes from my PR!

August 29, 2012

Injinji Compression Socks Review and Giveaway!

Here are the specs and details on the construction from Injinji:
  • Coolmax/Nylon/Lycra blend
  • 65% COOLMAX freshFX     15% Nylon      20% Lycra
  • Reduces Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (Doms)
  • Accelerates Recovery Of Muscle Force Capacity
  • Machine wash on warm or hand wash your toesocks after each use, and line dry
 You can find a pair of these at REI, or on Amazon, and the retail for around $38.  Yes... a little pricey for socks, but as a recovery tool (and fashion statement), I think they are a good value.  Granted, I have not tried other brands of compression socks, but I was a really happy with the fit and the results. 
So... would you like a pair?  I have one pair to giveaway to a lucky reader.  Unfortunately I only have one size, so if you wear a Mens size 8-10.5 shoe, or Womens 9-11.5, these are perfect!

July 25, 2012

My friend over at Run with Jess is hosting a VIRTUAL GAMES: Track Star 2012 event that I am extremely excited to compete in. You should head over to her page and join in the fun!

June 21, 2012

Welcome to Summer Virtual 5k

Wasn't sure I would be able to run when I awoke in pain on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.  My back, hips, & feet were still sore from my chiropractor appointments the past week.  I decided to get up off my behind and get out the door.  It was a beautiful morning so I headed down the street to the high school track. My first two laps consisted of two 50 meter 'sprints' with 350 meter walk/run recoveries.  On my next two times around the track I decided to try climbing up and back down the stadium stairs.  That was rough but I made it.  I then proceeded to finish my regular loop and ended up back at the house with a total of 4 miles completed.  So my 5k time ended up being 45:43 with a pace of 14:43/mile.  Not bad for not having run since my last half marathon on May 20th.
My friend over at Running, Loving, Living is sponsoring a Welcome to Summer Virtual 5k/10k race.  I am participating in both races and have already finished my 5k.

June 18, 2012

Options Tri--For-Life/Laps-For-Life

It was a gorgeous day for a Triathlon, forecast was for a high of 80*.  The day started out cool and cloudy and the air was electric.

I took a DNS (did not start) for the race.  My back, from the base of my skull to my buttocks, including my shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and feet, had been bothering me for the past week.  An appt with my chiropractor confirmed my thought that this race wasn't in the cards for me this year.

I showed up to pick up my packet and headed back to my car to go home. The thought occurred to me that I could actually volunteer on the course.  Over to the sign-up table I went and they had one opening left on the bike route.  So I got to encourage all the bikers as they rode by.

After the last bike passed by, I headed to the Laps-For-Life check-in line.  I proceeded to walk around the track for the next hour (very slowly) in support of Options Pregnancy Resource Center.  The atmosphere was great as children along with their parents and grandparents walked.  We cheered in the triathlon finishers (as they finished on the track).  I even won a few raffle prizes.  Overall, it was a pretty good day.

March 22, 2012

First race of the season

It was a beautiful morning for a run.  Cold & rainy.  The excitement was high as I located several of my work buddies getting ready for their very first 5k's.  We met up and chatted nervously as everyone picked up their race packets and secured their timing chips.  People were lining up at the two (2) porta potties provided (for over 400 participants, dozens of volunteers, and numerous supporters).

I awoke that morning ready to tackle the day ahead.  I had my half cup of coffie, ate a cheese stick and a banana, took my pain reliever, and drank a '5 hour energy'.  I had had doubts the night before the race as to whether or not I would be able to run the 10 miles I had signed up for.  I had not run for 10 days due to pain.  My last run (6.5 miles) just happened to be the majority of the course in which we would be racing on.  I had some major encouragement from my Team Tough Chick girls to 'go for it'.  I had messages such as: "you got this" and "you'll regret it if you don't".

I stood around, stretched, drank my nuun, and talked with my husband.  At 8:57am I decided it was time to head to the starting line where I chatted with a few friends who were tackling the 10-mile course also.  The excitement was high as people jockeyed for position at the starting line.  I tried to stay to the back of the pack as I knew I would be in the way of the faster runners.

The cowbell rang and we were off.  I started my RunKeeper app on my phone which promptly said, "Activity started." I struggled to stuff it into my SPIbelt and zip it up.  As I ran down the street towards the first turn I was thinking, "I feel pretty good, I can do this".  We made the turn and ran across the bridge over the Willamette River which was brown, high, and fast moving.  The course took us through downtown and out into the country.  My RunKeeper told me that my first mile was at a 12:19 min/mile pace!  I thought, "This is way too fast for me to sustain, I'd better slow down a bit."  I went into the Galloway method, which I had been training with, so as to not overtire myself too soon.  I continued to run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute for the next 6 miles.  Things were going well; I was feeling good. 

My phone was having issues the entire race!  It kept dialing home on it's own.  I had to keep taking it out and disconnecting the call.  Then my RunKeeper app stopped working!  I really count on knowing my pace and having it tell me when it is time to run and time to walk.  After about a half a mile, I pulled my phone out of my SPIbelt, again, and checked my app, and started a new activity on it.  This really messed me up as now I didn't know my overall pace and the mileage wasn't correct.

I was running in the bike lane, nobody else in sight, until I see my husband biking toward me!  What a wonderful sight that was!  He stopped to take a video of me running past him at about mile 7.5.  I took off my jacket and handed it to him and asked him to bring it to the finish line.  

The course had taken me down the street a block from my house and I was relieved to see the 'Mile 8' marker; only 2 more to go.  Two very long and slow miles.  I couldn't wait for this to be over!  I was now running 1 minute, walking 2.  My legs really didn't want to keep going; my lungs were burning; my head was saying you can do it.  Dig deep!  No problem!  You can do it!  You've come so far, you can't quit now!  I came to a corner with several young volunteers (bundled up in jackets, scarves & gloves).  Was it really that cold out?  The sun had come out; it had stopped raining.  Focus, Melissa!  The volunteers were cheering me on.  Such a great feeling which gave me a burst of energy, albeit small.

I ran down the street, along the river, under the bridges and made the turn which would take me up and over the bridge, again.  I thought I'd better try and run (slowly) up the front side of the bridge as my legs just might stop working if I walked it.  Had to switch to walking until I got up over the top and started running again.  Almost there!  Decided I'd better walk for awhile as my lungs were really protesting the effort.  I came upon a wonderful police officer who was stopping traffic so I could cross the street and head for the finish line.  OK, Melissa, you gotta take a walk break or you'll collapse before you get there.  Short walk break over, I began to run again.  I see a friend drive past me in her bright yellow VW bug and I think, "I bet she finished the race over an hour ago!  She probably went home, took a shower, and is ready to get on with the rest of her day."  Once again, focus on your job, Melissa!  I see my husband come around the backside of the building, where the finish line was, to take pictures.  I run up the sidewalk and around the corner.  I see the finish line; I hear the announcer saying here she comes, let's cheer her in.  Around another corner, past a few cheering spectators, and across the finish line!  I had done it!

A volunteer clipped off my race chip as I clung to fence.  I gave my husband a kiss and he congratulated me on a job well done. I went over to get some refreshment and everything was gone!  All cleaned up.  I did get a bottle of water.  They were tearing down the finish line chute!  There were still 3 runners still out there!  Don't they know we, at the back of the pack, are as important as those at the front?  Don't we deserve to have post-race food, too?  Not to mention there were only about a dozen spectators left.

I stuck around until the last person finished.  As she crossed the finish line they put a medal around her neck for 2nd place in her age group.  She's 80 years old!  What an inspiration!  Those of us hanging around got our pictures taken (need to get a copy of those) together.  We had survived the iRun For Kids 10-mile race!  My first race of the 2012 season.
I'm raising $500 for Options Pregnancy Resource Centers! I still have $450 remaining. I've got 85 days before time runs out. Will you help me?
Will you help me raise $500 for Options Pregnancy Resource Centers? Tri for Life/Laps for Life 2012, June 16, 2012 | FundEasy :: Online Fundraising Pages