I Run Around

Running is the most natural form of exercise

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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Race this weekend

Race this weekend!!

I will be running in a cold, February 5 k this weekend with one of my friends. Let me clarify, one of my crazy friends who runs and is willing to do this with me!

About a month ago I was looking at the local race schedule. I was getting the itch to race and was looking for my next 5k – something early in the year so I didn’t have to wait long but not in a rough month. The winters tend to be rough around here, but with the way the climate is changing they have been milder although you can never really count on the weather forecast because of the lake.

My eyes crossed over the chilly challenge and thought it might be too early. My friend and I picked a half marathon to tackle in June and I thought we should at least do one 5 k race before that, in addition to all the half training.

So I starred this upcoming weekend’s race in my calendar and went back to my everyday life. Going about my business, fitting in running when I can. I kept sneaking a peak back at that race schedule and considering the upcoming races. I would imagine myself doing this one or that one…what it would be like, what I would have to wear, how cold it might be. Could I race in the cold or would the weather hinder me? I had heard, mostly from my friend, that running in cold weather can be rough on your throat and lungs. I didn’t think that would bother me because I had switched over to forefoot running and my breathing had changed. No longer did I gulp air in, it flowed in and out smoothly through each step. One of the many benefits of forefoot running.

A quick 2 mile race in January caught me eye. Two miles was just enough to get out there and see what it was like racing in the cold without risking whatever side effects I was worried about. Stiff joints and muscles, slipping on ice, slushing through snow, not being able to keep warm. I signed up and dragged my boyfriend with me!

Dressed in his overalls and winter jacket and me in my running leggings, bright colored sneakers, lime green leg warmers, hot pink dry fit and black fleece, we made a fine pair!

My tush and legs were icey. Hands in my pockets, ear warmer on, i waited at the start line for time to be called. Rockin’ out with my gangster rap flowing through  my ear buds, jumping up and down, doing deep knee bends, trying to stay warm….finally time was called and we got going!

I was surprised, the wind wasn’t blowing to hard, the air wasn’t too dry, my legs and butt weren’t cold anymore and I could run easily. In fact a lot more easier than my last 5 k over last summer. It was a beautiful January morning in the park out with the other crazy winter runners. I made my way around the course easily, staying warm, trying to take my fleece off because I was too warm! I made it to the end sweating and immediately headed into the tent.

It was a great race! I was warm but not over heating. No ice to slip on, no dry throat or lungs. No slushy, wet feet. That race sold me on winter running. Once you get out there and past the initial cold, you are ready to rock!

I’m looking forward to the race coming up. This time I get to run with a friend. It’s a bit of a longer race and I haven’t been able to fit in a ton of training but my goal, as always, is to finish.

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