Sunday, May 29, 2011

Finally a Break...through

"In running it is man against himself, the cruelest of opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability with brain and heart to master himself and his emotions."

I have been thinking about this quote a lot recently and today was the day to prove it.

I participated in a 10k called Run for the House for the Ronald McDonald charity.  My friend Tracy told me to run it and I was excited because I signed up 6 weeks ago even before the Forest City Races.  I knew that in order to start running faster, I needed to train faster and compete in short races to practice my pacing.  So, do you remember back on May 1st when I ran a 1:17 but only after 2 weeks of training and 4 weeks post op?  Well, today is 8 weeks post op and I have been training well including a lot of cross training with the On Your Left cycling team.

I must admit that prepping for today was not perfect.  The training went well but the last couple of nights have been busy.  Went out Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday and had a couple of cocktails ta boot.  I did eat some pasta last night and watched my water yesterday and made sure I ate something this morning when I got up. 

I had Lennie drop me off so I didn't need to carry keys.  As soon as I got there I saw my buds Sheila, Lisa, Andrea, Leanne, Rene and of course my running motivator Glen.  Glen and I have been chatting about races for many months and I was excited for him to run too with his son Tyler.  Glen is really fast and I have been following him on Daily Mile so it is great to remain motivated when the site holds you accountable to all those that follow you.  Check it out at

They called the racers to the start line and we were off very quickly.  There were only about 60 runners so I knew that I would be in last place for most of the race and that I had to remain focused and not discouraged.  (the 5k started after us so I had to be prepared to be passed by them too :( Wasn't sure of the route as there was no map - I hate that because I am such a visual person but I just trusted the race. 

I have run in the park system a million times so I knew the path and they had big kilometers signs up.  I made sure that I clicked my watch at every kilo marker so that I could only watch my pace.  It was all about 7:30 today because my goal was 1:15.  I needed to remain under or near 7:30/kilometer in order to hit my goal. 

The first km sucked and I was not breathing well and already had my stupid heart rate and temperature go way up (something I will be discussing tomorrow with my endocrinologist.).  Once I hit the first kilo marker I looked down to see 6:33, holy smokes, I am OK and doing well.  The rest of the kilometers flew by 7:00, 7:09, 7:24, 7:23 holy @#$% I was at 5k and still way ahead of plan.  

7:32, 7:44 and then I saw my friend Rene's husband and kids who cheered for me so I told the kids to pull me along (Rene's 7 year old son said no because I would be too heavy) it was so cute.  They kept running and cheering all the way to the 8k marker 7:48.  I passed the start/finish line and started to see people heading back - nice change as I was not alone anymore.  I hit Saturn park and all of a sudden a teaching friend Alicia came out of no where from another charity event.  She said hey and ran with me all the way to the 9k marker chatting and encouraging me, 7:46.  I was now 1k from the finish, and feeling amazing.  I rounded the final corner and could hear Rene and Glen yelling "go Zed go"  Glen ran beside me saying, "look at the clock it is only 1:13 and you are killing your goal".  I crossed the line and hit my watch - it said 1:13:41.  SWEET!!! (official clock race time says 1:13:46)
I did it.  I finally set a running goal, stuck to a plan and did a PB.  I realize this is no big deal to anyone else and real runners are thinking "what a slow poke" but really I do not care as it was about sticking to a plan and executing it.  December 2009 I ran a 1:21, May 2011 1:17 and today 1:13 - progress!

I also practiced several skills that I have read about and been working on.  One was pacing up a hill and then really "giving it" for the top 1/3 and the other was every once in a while sprinting in order to engage your fast twitch muscles. 

I could not be happier or prouder of finally having a break through with my running. 

Chicago training starts next Sunday and I bought myself a brand new Garmin in order to pace and distance really well.  5:45 on Sunday, October 9 2011 is totally possible now!