Your First 5k

With so many local fundraisers choosing to have a 5k (3.1 miles), it is easy to wonder if it is a distance that even a non-runner could do. Indeed, many walkathons are about that length and can be covered in about an hour if walking a 20MM pace.

FIRST
If covering the distance of an organized 5k is your goal, it is good to do some prep-work before the day of the event.

Clearance
Get clearance from a physician before undertaking any strenuous physical activity. Even if you ran a marathon 5 years ago, your body has changed and it is time for a physical again anyway.

Gear
Get some workout clothes and, most important, running shoes. Choose clothes that won’t chafe, wick away sweat, and allow freedom of movement. Synthetic material are much better for running than cotton.

It is best you can get fitted for running shoes at a running store. Go in the afternoon or evening when your feet tend to be larger than in the morning. A running shoe is typically fitted at least a size larger than street shoe size.

Train
Even people who consider themselves to be “in pretty good shape” will want to go out and put in some miles. If you are sedentary, it is even more important and will want to have a graduated training plan like Couch to 5k.

Many training plans take 3 months to allow time for tendons, joints, cardio-vascular and other physical systems of the body to get in shape for covering the distance without doing harm to yourself.

Sign Up
Choose a race that you have enough time to train for. Make certain it is one you will be comfortable participating in. Some 5ks are small local races that allow people to run with their dogs or push their babies in strollers. Some races are very large and will require that you know your projected finish time so you will enter the correct corral at the start of the race. Some races are only for women and some races have age restrictions or require parental permission. Some are very walker friendly while others have time limits and close down the course after a certain amount of time. Some have aid stations and plenty of access to toilets, others do not.

Some races allow you to sign up online and the earlier you commit, the lower the fee. Most online sign-ups close before race day but many races will still have registration open at packet pick-up (see below in BEFORE THE RACE) or even the day of the race.

Practice
Know the course before you go so you can train for it.

Have a plan for keeping hydrated, proper fuel and running on the terrain and elevation changes that your chosen 5k course will have.

Running on a treadmill is nothing like running outside. Running laps on a track is nothing like a hilly trail race.

If you are training with Gatorade, find out if the race only offers water (or nothing at all).

BEFORE THE RACE
Along with knowing the course and preparing your body, there are a few things that will make your first 5k much less stressful. When you have a question that you can’t find the answer for, email the race director well before race day.

Packet Pick-Up
Many races have a time the day before and/or the day of for picking up race bibs, timing chips and other promotional swag. Stay aware of the time(s) and location(s) of packet pick up. Some are in conjunction with health and fitness expos where you can look at/shop for cool running stuff.Standard_Bib

Don’t plan on wearing or using anything new you pick up at the expo or in your packet. If you have trained in a tech fabric shirt and the race is giving out cotton t-shirts, you could have a very unpleasant race if you choose to wear/use anything new. Save the new hydration pack, Gu fuel or racing flats for sometime after you have tried them out in training. Best rule of thumb – “Nothing New on Race Day.”

If you are running with a group or friends, not all races allow you to pick up other runners’ packets. Some allow it but require a photocopy of their ID.

Packet pick up is a great time to ask any last minute questions you have come up with:
Where is the best place for spectators to safely watch the race?
Where along the course are the aid stations?
Where will there be access to restrooms/port-a-pots?
What signage will there be along the course?
Is the course closed to traffic?
Will there be volunteers directing runners at turns or police stpping traffic at intersections?
Will there be pace corrals?
Any questions you have about…

Directions
Hopefully when you signed up you were put on an email list that sends out race updates. If not, or if you are signing up at the last minute, know where you are going and what time the race starts.

The bigger the race, the more difficult the parking. Allow plenty of time to find the parking and get from there to the start line. Some races have very specific places the ask runners to park (or NOT to park). Some end to end races have a shuttle that will either take you from parking near the finish to the start line or back to the parking at the start line after the finish. Some races require parking passes that are either printed online or given out at packet pick up.

The farther away parking is, the more careful you will have to plan what you are taking with you and what you are leaving in the car.

Night Before
You will know the weather by this point and can choose what running clothes will best suit you in the race. Lay out your entire running outfit, including race bib and something to carry car keys/phone if you will have them so that nothing is missing when you put it on the next day or pack it to change fore the race. #flatrunnerC_LdfAAXcAELEnt.jpg

If it is going to rain, include a large garbage bag to wear over your clothes as you stand in the corral and wait for the start. You can take it off and toss it off of the race course just as you start.

Try to get a good night’s sleep the couple of nights before the race. If you are nervous and can’t rest the night before, at least you will have gotten a good rest the night before that.

Eat healthfully and choose things that you know have not given you Gastro/Intestinal issues in the past. Don’t eat/drink anything new unless you have a system that never has any GI issues. Nerves can also play a factor so choose wisely.

RACE DAY
Nothing New on Race Day Nothing New on Race Day Nothing New on Race Day Nothing New on Race Day

Get Moving
Get up in time to allow your bodily functions to get moving. Have coffee unless you haven’t trained with it or find that it makes you have to pee a lot. Have a good poop before getting to the race if you can. Calf stretches can help for some of those who have a hard time getting their bowels in gear.

If it is a later race or you need to have a breakfast, only eat what has settled well for you in past training.

Allow Plenty of Time
Head out allowing time to get yourself near the start line in time to warm up. Most training programs start each run with a warm-up and some even stretching, make sure you allow time for this on race day.

Plan to Meet Up
Before you split up with friends or family, especially if it is a big race, have a predetermined place to meet after the race. Even if you plan to run together, the crush of the crowd can make it hard to just wait by the finish line and find each other after the race. Some races only allow runners in certain areas after the finish line so choose a spot that it clear enough to find and accessible to everyone who is planning on meeting up afterward.

THE RACE
Before the Gun
Take time to warm up for 10-20 minutes, jog around to see where the port-o-pots are, do the approach to the finish line if it is a loop course, shake out the jitters.

Make sure your bib is visible and on the layer you intend to race in (don’t pin it to a warm up jacket that you intend to toss to a friend in a half of a mile). If there is a section of your bib that will need to be torn off at the finish line, do not pin that section down. If the race is bib chip timed, don’t fold your bib. If race is timed with a shoe chip, have it securely attached or laced onto your shoe.

When they call you to the start line (the larger the race, the earlier the call) find your pace corral (larger races) or get yourself at least halfway back of the pack (smaller races). Don’t be intimidated nor over confidant by who is around you. You are all going to make it to the same finish line and you have to focus on your own race. DO NOT STAND AT THE START LINE.

It is hard to hear announcements when you are lined up to race, even if they are using loud speakers. Middle/back of the pack runners have a lot of runners in front of them to follow and, if you did your homework, you know about the course and the signage and aid stations and road crossings. You are ready even if you can’t hear the race director thanking all of the sponsors so don’t fret.

Go!
In a large race, you might hear the gun or air horn go of and not move at all. The race has started but you are so far back in the pack, elbow to elbow with other runners, you don’t even budge for a few seconds. Then when you do start moving, it is barley a shuffling walk. It can take you a full minute or more to even get to the start line where you cross a sensor and/or start your watch.

Even in smaller races it will take you a few seconds to get into a jog or running stride. Be patient and don’t be stressed about passing people, things will open up soon enough. Look at it as blessing that the other runners are keeping you from letting the excitement of the race let you go off too fast at first.

While in the crush, try to stay aware of the small section of road coming up in front of you. If there is a runner with a dog on a leash or stroller that might trip you up, look for a way to navigate around them without cutting others off. Unlike when training on a lonely bike path, no need to call out “on your left” to everyone you pass. You may even find it necessary to cut a bit off course on a grassy shoulder early in the race. Try to watch the footing and listen if runners are calling out about hazards ahead.

Hitting Your Stride
As the pack starts to loosen up and you find your regular running stride it will be easier to relax a little and remember all of the things that worked for you in training. If you find you are going to fast, back off the pace and drop your hands to loosen up a little. If you are back of the pack and see everyone out distancing you, know that it is a long race and you will pass some of them later when they burn out, trust me, you will. You do you, your race, your pace.

If you run with music know that some races don’t allow earbuds. If they do, it is still a good idea to consider wearing only one so that you can hear any race directions, if other runners are warning of an oncoming car on a course that isn’t closed to traffic, or the cheers of the good folks who have come out to lend support.

Try to thank course volunteers or even folks cheering. It make you feel good and they feel good too.

Navigating Aid Stations
It helps to know when to expect aid stations so you can anticipate them. Many people running a 5k don’t need any hydration nor fuel but it helps to know where they are so you can avoid getting slowed by them if you don’t require hydration. If you aren’t going to get a cup of water to drink or pour on your head, stay clear of the tables and volunteers and allow anyone who needs clear access to the water. This will keep you from having to come up short because the person whose heels you were on needs a cup of water and is slowing to get some.

If you do need water or gatorade, remember to “drink to thirst.” Listen carefully as you approach the aid station to hear if they are calling out “water” or “gatorade.” Also, slow a bit but don’t stop as you approach as to not put on the brakes right in front of someone running in right behind you.

The best idea is not to go to the very first volunteer/table but shoot a bit ahead if there are multiple volunteers/tables. It becomes less congested toward the farther end of the aid station. Just be careful you are getting what you want in a cup. Pouring gatorade over your head is not going to be pleasant if you were expecting water.

cups-of-gatoraideYou have listened, heard the call of “water” and have your sights set on a volunteer somewhat down the table. They are holding out a little cup and you want to try to make eye contact as you keep moving toward them. Even if you plan on slowing to walk when you drink, you want to clear out of this area as quickly and carefully as possible. Hold you hand out toward them as you approach (like loosely pointing), stick your index finger INTO the cup as you take it and the rest of your hand will follow through and take the outside of the cup. Keep moving without tipping the cup. This also works if it is just a table of cups but no volunteer handing it off.

If you want to slow and drink after the aid station, move to the side (many runners hold up their free hand to show runners behind them that they are slowing) and drink your hydration. There are typically garbage cans for cups just after a station. You don’t have to put the cup in the can but do crumple it and get it well off the course by tossing it.

If you want to keep running or jogging with your cup after you clear the aid station, pinch the cup so you can control how much liquid is coming out and you will be less likely to spill it or breathe it in as you run. Again, crumple the cup and toss it well off the race course so that no one trips on it after you. Leaving it as close to the aid station is advisable to ease clean up.

Finally, not everyone cares to keep the course clean of cups so be very careful not to trip on cups after aid stations.

Racing Etiquette
Number one has to be to follow the rules of the race event. Even if you are used to running with your dear dog, if the race says no dogs/strollers/headphones, don’t do it.

Register for the race rather than just hopping in and “banditing the race.” It took a lot to organize and your entry fee covers the fact that the roads are closed to runners even if you don’t take anything from an aid station. Same goes for friends who want to run a section with you. The course support is there for registered runners and it gets confusing and dangerous when kids join in and they aren’t registered.

Try not to pee or poop anywhere other than the designated restrooms and port-o-pots. It is super unsanitary.

Walkers should start back of the pack.

When you train on your own, it is less of a big deal if you sniff and spit snot on the road but will matter a great deal with a lot of other runners just off your elbow. Noses run when most of us exercise outdoors and a farmer blow or snot rocket is a hard thing to pull off in a race. Using a kleenex is pretty problematic, especially in the rain, so it is best to just try to be aware of who is around you and where they are when you have to “hawk and spit.”

Listen to officials and police. Stay aware of course direction.

If it is a multi-loop race, stay to the side as faster and lead runners pass you on their advanced laps.

As mentioned in navigating an aid station, if you have to slow or stop, raise your hand to alert runners behind you and move to the side of the course. Step off the course if you have to stop for any reason (like tying your shoe).

The Finish
You have been making your way through the race, following the course markers, Seen the mile and kilometer markers and you know you are going to make it to the end.

Maybe there have been photographers along the race course, some will have them only at the finish line. Frequently, the photographer will make race photos available online for viewing (lo resolutions) or purchasing (high resolution). The only easy way to find any photos taken of yourself is to make sure your bib number is clearly visible. It is by bib number that race photos are sorted.

Having you bib number visible is also important near the finish for very large races so that they know you are a registered runner and not banditing the race. Some races they might try to pull you off the course before the finish line if your number isn’t showing. Don’t look down at your watch at the finish line unless you want your race photo to look that way.

Well before the finish line, sometimes before even half way, many folks will shout out, “Almost there!” Don’t believe them until you can see the finish line ahead of you.

Some larger races, you can hear the cheers of the crown a mile or so even before the finish line depending on how the course loops around. Just keep running you race the way you trained to make the whole distance.finish

Even if there isn’t a course photographer, have a great time crossing that finish line. You worked hard for it. Even if you are the very last runner (who gets the heartfelt cheers of the spectators AND all the other runners) you have all run the same distance and this is your moment. Run, walk, wheeling a chair or hobble on crutches, you did it!

YOU did it, not your kids, not your sweety or besty. Make sure they know it is not ok to cross the finish line with you.

Soak up the moment but when crossing the finish line, keep moving as to not clog the chute. Cross all the sensors and keep moving. If your bib has a tear off section that race volunteers are taking, allow them access to it and then keep moving.

AFTER THE RACE
Recovering from the big event can help determine how fondly you remember the accomplishment of a lifetime.

Refueling and Rehydrating
You’ve crossed that finish line and there are tables of fruit and granola bars and water bottles and chocolate milk. Even if you aren’t hungry right after you finish, grab a nibble or 2 for when you start feeling better and definitely a bottle of water.

What you DON’T want to do is also grab something for your kids or spouse. They may have been real troupers coming out to cheer you at your race but this food is for the runners who have yet to come in. If they need a special treat, give them one later. Tell them they have to run the race to get race food.

Sadly, because not everyone thinks of the runners yet to come or the race just didn’t get enough food, occasionally post race food (and sometime water from aid stations!!) is gone for the back of the pack runners. If you know that you might be in the position or cannot eat any of the typical post race food, have something for yourself in the car.

Try to eat something with carbohydrates and protein within a half of an hour after the race. Also be hydrating so that your urine is flowing in a lemonade color when you urinate.

Post Race Maintenance
Walk around for 10-20 minutes after your race to cool down and allow your heart rate to return to normal. If you require medical attention for any reason, seek out someone who is working with the race and ask if there is a med tent.

If you have far to drive afterward, take a moment to stretch out before you hop into the car. Also take breaks on your drive to walk and stretch and your recover will be much faster.

A shower and a good meal is essential after a 5k. Take care of anything that might have gone awry, hot pavement can cause a blister even in a 5k. Take it easy on yourself, this was a first for you.

FUTURE RACES
Your first 5k was everything and more than you had ever hoped or maybe you didn’t run the whole way as you hoped.

Next Time
Take what you experienced and think on it a bit. The thrill of the finish line can cloud the miles of discomfort so signing up for a full marathon that night is not a good idea. Give the whole experience some perspective.

If you didn’t complete the race as quickly as you felt you should have, it is easy to call it “sour grapes” and write off running all together. If you have people in your life that put you down for not even being able to: run the whole way, at least run a 10 minute mile, finish a 5k – forget what they say. Running is for you and just by trying you have completed more than many. Congratulate yourself for all you DID do.

After some time you may want to try another race. Maybe an easier course. Perhaps it went so well you want to check out a 10k training plan. There is always a chance that it was hard work and you need to think a while before you undertake something like a 5k again. Hopefully you can take away the best parts of the experience and empower yourself to keep trying and doing amazing and healthful things for yourself.

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Turning Point

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 17/52 Recap

5.6 – 10.56 LSR

~warning, photo of a very beautiful but dead pheasant at the end of this post~

indigo_martini
Happy 52nd Birthday to me! A perfect indigo martini and my dearest man by my side helped celebrate the day and kick off the next stage of my training for the NYC Marathon. I knew I would be 52 when I ran in November 2014 thus I made my theme and hashtag 52 to NYC Marathon. It has kept me accountable for documenting each of the weeks, all 52 of them, that are leading to the big race.

Can't wait for winter to turn around.

Can’t wait for winter to turn around.

I turned 52 just as I start the second third of this 52 week journey to NYC and am noting some changes. I wish one change was in the wintery weather but no such luck yet. I haven’t graduated from PT, I have another 4 PT sessions, but one change with that is I really am getting strong. What I am changing for the final 36 weeks of training is no alcohol, as in beverages.

My training is ramping up very slowly as I am able to tackle longer distances. Jim and I ran over 10 miles this past weekend. The final mile wasn’t pretty and I was terribly beat for the rest of the day. The change of no beer, martinis, nor my favorite gin & tonics until after the race can only help this aging body pull off another marathon.

At the time I write this it has been a week since that turning point. I shocked a good handful of friends, some that don’t know me well, some that don’t realize the resolve it takes to run a marathon. Giving up 8 months of drinks will be nothing compared to the final 4 miles of rolling hills in Manhattan. When I am grinding down 5th Ave and turning onto Central Park South I want as many solid reminders that I CAN DO IT to draw on as possible. Flashing back on this little turning point in my training will be in my arsenal of empowering decisions and victories.

What I may feel like at the end of the marathon. I hope I look this good.

What I may feel like at the end of the marathon. I hope I look this good.

First 10 miler!

Jim ran his very first 10 mile training run this past weekend. He is training for the Nittany Valley Half Marathon, a local race here is Centre County. Because it was not a weekend that clogged campus with heavy Penn State football traffic, Jim decided to run the last 10 miles of the actual course.

Speaking of the course, it was the very first half marathon I ever took notice too. I read mini reviews of it on their web page stating:

“I thought the course was good and challenging. I wouldn’t change a thing.” —Rob Guissanie

“You have redefined the meaning of ‘somewhat challenging’.” —Jerry Heinz

“It’s a very tough course, especially after about mile 7. The last mile is designed to make you see God.” —Marty Mazur

“I was looking for God during the last mile, but I didn’t see him. I guess he finished ahead of me too.”— Albert Mabus, last male finisher at the 2001 NVHM

All I could think as a beginning runner was that the 3 hour course limit would never allow me enough time to make it that far. By the end of the year, I ran it and finished in about 2 hours 15 minutes. I was so proud.

2010 Nittany Valley Half Marathon, Mount Nittany in the background.

Now Jim is making it his very first and I am so proud to support him in his training. I wrote some fun chalk messages for him over the last couple of miles in the course where it gets really rough and went to wait for him at the car. I mixed up a Hammer Nutrition Soy Protein drink for him to have then realized I might be able to see him coming up the last hill. The last mile of the course is visible from the finish line because the surrounding hills spiral up for the final mile and a half. Locals have come to know it as “The Spiral of Death.”

I looked at might watch and walked to where I could see almost to the base of the hill in the breezy grey morning. It was just spitting a little drizzle and was not a good temperature for just standing around but I knew the exertion of coming up the hill would keep him warm. I could see something moving at the bottom and it wasn’t a car. I determined it to be a bicycle because it was moving in a very steady and brisk way as it started the more level section. Wait! It was a yellow vest and it really WAS Jim! Awesome pace and right on time!

He climbed the first and steepest section, finally cresting Orchard Road. He then turned into the wind on Park Ave. Even though the climb moderates for a bit, I knew he had a head wind and really felt for him. His pace was steady and he just kept coming. It was really impressive to watch him running well for the longest distance he had ever done to date. I was so proud of him and cheered as he approached.

I did notice he was a bit fatigued on the last few yard of Park Ave. and determined to let him know that his right arm gets a little stiff when he gets tired. He was moving well but he was just a little off balance in his stride; knowing that can always help for future runs.

As he turned onto Porter Road the course gets a little steeper again and I heard him groan out loud. I knew JUST what he was feeling, having trained on the stretch and run the race twice myself. He was thinking, “More uphill! When will it quit!?” I think his groan even made me smile becuase training on this stretch makes you wise for what to expect race day. Jim was going to be ready; he looked like he could run another 3 miles as well as he was doing.

I crossed the parking lot as he ran uphill to the final few turns to run the official course. I cheered loudly for him and stopped my watch. He was under a 10MM, much better than I did on my first time to train that route. As we started to walk together and I praised him and handed him some sports drink, the reason for his lopsided gait because apparent when he produced something he had been carrying for the last 5 miles of the course. It was a huge…

Well, I can’t quite share with you what it is. Not because it is pornographic or distasteful but because we have some serious plans for it and want to keep it a surprise. What I can say is that I about fell over with surprise when he showed it to me. It is fodder for some serious future tom-foolery. When I asked where he got it and I exclaimed my surprise at how far he carried it, all he could say was, “I couldn’t risk anyone else picking it up.” This is why I love this man with my whole heart. He keep our lives FUN!

Jim holding the crazy thing he found and carried along on his first 10 mile training run. It is disguised until we can unveil it in the future.

Long & Winding Road

From January, the road I have traveled has taken me to a bit of a graduation. This is the weekend I participate in an 8k run. A personal journal I have kept has shown my progress in endurance, overall fitness and 5″ smaller waistline.

Excerpts:
January 3 – Today I have a lot of unrealized hopes. I am striving to bring back a more healthy way of life and adding more exercise has always been helpful.

January 4 – I found a guideline that might suit my needs, Couch to 5K. It is in line with a goal that I have never dared set for myself but always though it might feel very satisfying to achieve, to run in a 5k race maybe even in Puxsutawney. I will at least be moving toward running 5k and I hope I can keep in mind that even if I fail I am still getting some exercise.

January 5 – Man, I have looked at all of the 5k races and I am so not any of those people. I can’t go that fast even though I know I have just started. All I can hope is that general fitness will be a strong enough goal for me, it’s so nebulous.

January 7 – Nothing feels too good on a morning where the cats force you to get up hours before you are ready. I am a little stiff and sore.

January 8 – My run in the snow was a slow and tricky, terrible unsatisfying. I may have kept up a better pace for parts of the run but it was snowing and footing was slick almost everywhere. About halfway, my right groin muscle started to hurt. That slowed me down for the rest of the trip.

January 15 – I am totally chuffed to have done so much better on my run today. I was a little exerted but didn’t have the same feeling of having pushed way too hard.

January 17 – I suppose I did my best yesterday going out to a restaurant for the first in a while. We had a lovely sit down Indian meal with Tim & JJ. The best part was reconnecting with two very good souls who nourished me in ways that not many friends can do. Tim and JJ are good people with positive attitudes who keep things in perspective.

January 20 – My right ankle had been feeling just a little sore so I tried to keep aware of it. It was when I was trying to make certain that I was running on my toes instead of flat footed that I rolled over on it a bit and fell.

January 21 – Thinking back on yesterday, I am really pleased with the groove I got into for my last mile or so. It’s pretty cool to know I can be moving at a slow jog for a couple 5 minute stretches. This program may be building endurance and I like that.

January 29 – This winter has just been brutally cold. How do people with no resources for gym memberships or workout equipment stay in shape in such cold and long winters? I know that isn’t why old folks move to Florida or they would all be fit. This apartment is just too small to run around in (no internal steps) and I can never see spending money on a huge treadmill.

February 5 – My breathing was good and I joked with a woman taking a smoke break about the impending snow. That took me to 23:00 before I started away from Walmart and across the lots. The program was complete after the 20 minutes but I had gotten into my head that I think 10 minute intervals if paced properly might be the best for me. I kept the pace really controlled and 30 minutes found me at College Gardens, proof that I was going much slower.

February 12 – The roads are icy and it’s bitter cold so I decided to check out the Rec Hall indoor track. All went pretty well and I got my 30 minutes in a day early. I also got a blister on my small toe but it will heal.

February 18 – I tried on some running shoes at Dick’s and have a better idea of what type of shoe suits my running style. I supinate (or underpronate) by running on the outside of my foot. I have always had a certain amount of natural turnout which was encouraged by dancing. Because of this I tend to run on the outside of my foot and do not roll into it’s center.

February 19 – I decided to run 5k to try out some shoes I have been breaking in around the house. I even peeped in at the guys doing construction on the new location of Nature’s Pantry to finish off the 5k with a little hill out of their lot. Who would have EVER thought I would just run 5k to try out some shoes. I am shocked, thrilled and in slight awe of myself. What I have accomplished and at the ease is nothing short of amazing to me.

February 25 – January 4th I started the C25K 9 week program and today I ran 8k (over an hour) nonstop. My pace wasn’t fast nor was my 5k split time but I am proud of how far I have come.

March 5 – Not a good morning. Cats were as terrible as always all night and I never got back to sleep. I only made it 5k before deciding that my hurt foot/ankle/calf was only going to get worse. I hope a weekend of rest will allow it to get back to longer distances on Monday.

March 10 – I think I am going to try the 3.3 mile loop of Big Hollow Rd near Services Rd today just before meeting Jim for lunch. The small band of rain will have cleared by then and it should be a little warmer. I will be warmed from biking in so hopefully that will build up my stamina too. I am not certain if I should try to go any farther than that or not. I have to bike home too and don’t want to hurt my ankle.

March 12 – It was breezy and drizzly but the temperature was above 45° so it wasn’t too bad. My pace was really slow but I still made 8k in about an hour. I made it home (almost 10k) in an hour and 23 minutes.

March 19 – Last day of winter and I mixed it up a little. I had Jim leave my bike at my 8k mark to transition to about 3 miles of biking afterward. It would push the cardio but not the muscular skeletal as much.
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I let out a little whoop and drew the attention of big ol’ goofy Curt who came over to talk while I got ready to bike. I took some water and Vitamin Drink and stretched a bit before heading to Trout Road and home via Gerald St. I was more fatigued on the hills than I would have expected so it’s a good thing to practice now and then.

March 25 – Did a late morning final 8k before I start backing off my distance this coming week. It was my personal best. It got warm when the sun came out. I can’t imagine running when it’s 70° – ugh!

March 27 – I geared back my run this morning to roughly 5k – 36-ish minutes. I ran the gravel road at Fisherman’s Paradise out and back with Jim doing his W6D1 program.

Cold morning but beautiful. No loose dogs. I started with my left shoe too tightly tied and stopped about 2:30 minutes into my run to retie it. I stopped and restarted my watch. That foot was crampy again for the whole first mile and the ankle hurt after the 5k. I am icing it now.

April 1 – My final 5k and workout before race day on Saturday landed me a good personal best.

Unfortunately I started off way too fast and had to back off the whole run. I need to remember to calm down and pace myself better if I want to make it 8k.

April 2 – I am up early and have a headache from being excited about the coming weekend. I chose the all women’s run for it’s dynamic and the fact it is a walk/run. No shame if I have to walk any part of the way although I haven’t walked any 8k I have done in quite a while.

I am a little worried about not having a goal to work toward after this weekend. I will do my best to try to look back and see what I have accomplished, enjoy continued better health and hope to maintain a good balance.