I Run Around

Running is the most natural form of exercise

Shamrock Run 8k 2013

This past March my running partner and I completed the Shamrock run. It was an 8k around the older parts of the city. The weather wasn’t too bad. I think it was in the high 20’s or low 30’s. It felt colder than the past couple of runs I had done. We were located close to the water so that might have been why. A lot of wind comes through that area of town. That’s why it’s a good place for windmills!

There were a ton of people at this race, the facility was very congested. I left early but got caught up in traffic and ended up getting there with 30 minutes to spare. Just enough time to park, run to the hall, check in, try to find my friend, use the bath room, run to the car and back and say hi to a few people. I was having trouble finding my friend and was worried I’d be running without her. But at the last minute I looked behind me and there she was!

We got into place at the back of the pack, tied our timing chips on and did a few stretches. Then it was time to start running! We ran past the start line and were on our way. A few of our friends from work ran by us, that was the last we saw of them during the race. It was down a street, around a corner and then up and down a big hill. I tend to speed up on the hills. I like the challenge and feeling my legs working. Down the hill and around the corner heading to the first water stop. It wasn’t just a water stop – there was beer there too!! The race was already hard, I didn’t want to make it harder on myself so I skipped the beer and grabbed a water. Boy was it cold and splashing on my cold hands! Yikes. Took a few sips then left the bottle on a curb. Too cold to carry.

We stayed mostly with one group of people, passing a few here and there as the race went on. Around a few more corners up another couple of hills then down to the last 2 miles. I was pretty warm up until the last 1.5 miles then I started to go numb. The last section of the course took us closer to the water and down a scenic path, past the grain silos and conservation club and down the last road. We hit the last mile and started running faster trying to come in with a good time. All in all we ran for about an hour to finish the mileage. It was a good race. Right before the finish line I started to cramp up and couldn’t take real deep breaths. After I crossed the finish line I kept walking for a while afraid I would cramp up even more if I stopped moving. By this time most of my warmth was gone. My friend had brought an extra jacket, which was good for her, but I was getting minimal and only brought what I had on.

There was a huge after party. We stayed for a while then headed home. The 8k was the longest I had run ever! We ran the whole time and I felt strong. It was great!

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Canisius High School Chilly Challenge 5K

I ran my first full 5 k today! All the way through! The last mile or so of it was up hill – that definitely wore on me towards the end but I kicked it into high gear towards the finish line and finished strong.

It was about 35 degrees out today with big snow flakes falling. About 500 people were there – all in various outfits. A few were wearing shorts, most running pants or sweat pants and I saw one lady with a winter parka on! I don’t know about you but being warm, too warm, slows me down. I overheat quickly.

My friend and I took a mile warm up run before the race started. It was good we did that. My legs were a little cold and stiff. It was my first time running with  my friend so it was also good to see what kind of pace she could run, we were hoping to stay together the whole race.

She has cross country experience while I don’t….I just kind of assumed I would be the slower one. I don’t know if its true that there is a “running body” or people who are better made to run….but if there is I don’t think I’m one of them! I short and curvy. Probably not sprinting material.

I saw one person wearing vibrams and no one wearing skechers (except me). Lots of nikes. I always observe my surroundings to see what people are wearing. It’s like an informal review of equipment.

As we started out I tried setting my GPS tracker but found out at the end of the race I didn’t press the record button! So my pace, splits and exact mileage weren’t recorded. What are ya gonna do? We took off with some excitement and speed but I quickly reminded myself to slow down and take a doable pace. I don’t like burning out early.

I knew the route so that made it easier. I wasn’t wondering how much farther I had to go. I could mark off distance by landmarks, running through a neighborhood I once lived in. It brought back nice memories and nostalgia.

We had light conversation while running. I enjoy “cleaning out my brain” when I run. The movement, rush of air through my body and over my body act like a shower almost, filtering and washing away debris from my mind. Putting air in so I can think more clearly. It definitely helps over the long term because I was feeling pretty blue today before the run but felt more lighthearted after and for the rest of the day. My anxiety died down too.

Well, this weekend we’re doing the Shamrock Run. About 5 miles. I’m going to either do 3 or 5 miles tomorrow, depending on how my legs feel, peak with mileage towards the middle of the weak then taper down.

Wish me luck!

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