Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Another Indianapolis Mini Marathon is now complete. I had a good time; I beat my time from last year. The weather was nice, but there was a strong headwind for the second half of the race. The most excitement actually came before the race.

My husband, Terry, and I left with time to go to our favorite parking spot. The lot is usually half empty. This year, unfortunately, half of the lot is now restricted parking, and they moved the full lot sign across the entrance just as we got there.

Terry said, “Now what?”

“Uh…uh…,” I replied, as I tried to get my bearings.

“Tell me something!” He isn’t native to Indy.

“Uh, turn right, I guess.”

So he turned right.  No parking places were in sight. I told him to circle back around and park on the street curb. He wondered if we could get closer. I understood his concern. We were so far down the street that there were no longer any parking meters, the race started in 20 minutes, and we were still a mile from the start. At this point, we were in danger of not getting to the start line in time to get into our corrals. What is the point in getting seeded if you can not get in your corral?

I looked around for my race bib; I did not see it.

“I can’t race today,” I said, dejected.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t have my race bib,” I said, my head down.

“You didn’t notice it sliding across the dash with all the turns we made?”

I looked up, and there it was! Relief!

We got out and started down the street. The man who parked in front of our car joined us. He was Michael from Illinois, middle-aged, and he was very excited to be at the Mini. He talked a blue streak and was literally hopping around us. A woman, mid twenties, joined us a few feet later. At the cross street we had to walk in the bicycle lane due to construction that closed the sidewalk. A car passed us, stopped at the next intersection 20 yards ahead of us, and the car door opened. A woman leaned out and lost her breakfast, or at least the energy drink she had for breakfast.

“Did she just throw up?” asked our young companion, with a look of shock on her face. We all confirmed that she had indeed tossed her cookies. “Don’t look at it!” she commanded, as she turned her head. We gingerly stepped around the wet spot as we passed.

We were getting a little nervous about making it to the start, so Michael, Terry, and I started to jog as a warm-up. I started to walk, again. I mean, I was already running 13.1; I didn’t want to overdo it. Michael started jumping around.

“Come on, Dawn. Keep going. We want to make it the start. You can do it. It’s just a warm-up,” he encouraged.

“You have a lot of energy,” I calmly grinned. So, I started jogging, again. The National Anthem started to play; we jogged a little faster. At the corral, they dropped the flags separating the corrals, and the bodies started pressing together. I quickly hopped the corral gate. Well, maybe not quickly, but I did climb over it in time to get a spot. Later, my husband would tell me how Michael was high-fiving and talking to everyone in their corral. That image still brings a smile to face.

So, we just made it to our corrals. At about mile 9, I was wishing I could have that warm-up mile back, but it was worth it for the memories it created. Now, every time I hear the name Michael, I will think of the that energetic runner who took the tension off of a frustrating start to the Mini.

Read Full Post »

For some, 4-20 is celebrated as national pot smoking day. I do not put mind altering substances into my body, and I do not knowingly break the law, unless you count slightly speeding once in a while. So, in the spirit of the day, I ran 9.5 miles (best training pace this season) and got a runner’s high. Why 9.5 miles? I figured I would end my last mile half baked. Peace out.

Read Full Post »

Running in a Blizzard

I got up early this morning to get in a run before the blizzard started. There was no snow at 4:35 a.m., but I also did not feel like running. I changed the alarm and crawled back under the covers. At 5:45 a.m., there was a dusting of snow on the ground. I decided that there might be some slick spots at this point, and it was still dark outside, so back to bed. At 7:45 a.m., there was a little more snow cover. I thought maybe I would wave the white flag and run on the eighth-mile indoor track at the fitness center, but it was on the closed business list.

Hmmm… Today is a run day. Fitness center is closed. There are a couple of inches of snow on the ground, heavy snow coming down, and a strong N/NE wind. What is a girl to do? Pull on the trail running shoes, face mask, gloves, and head out for a run, of course! Running on a couple of inches of fresh snow is a great workout; just don’t expect to keep a normal pace. Stay on the fresh powder and out of tire tracks, though; they are slippery.

I am glad I didn’t wimp out, because the snowy scenery made for a beautiful run, when the snowflakes were not poking me in the eyeballs, that is. And I was not the only crazy runner out there; there was a guy running in long sleeves and shorts! By the time I neared home, my outgoing footprints were almost filled up. It was getting a little more difficult to run with good form, at that point.

I got home, blew out the driveway, went inside, and took off my shoes. My feet were warm and dry, thanks to my Brooks trail running shoes! They were dry until I stepped in a lump of slush with my socks, that is. One cup of hot chocolate (made with vanilla almond milk) later, and I was a happy runner.

So far, I have run in freezing rain, the leading edge of a severe thunderstorm, extreme heat, and now a blizzard. I don’t plan on running in a tornado or flood, so I think I have met all the severe weather running challenges for my lifetime.

Read Full Post »

After a hot and humid Mini-Marathon half marathon two weeks ago and two weeks of tight calves, I was not feeling motivated to run the Geist Half Marathon this weekend. Besides that, wrapping up things for the year at school had taken my energy and focus (graduation ceremony, preparing for field day, packing, grades, etc.). Just getting to the start line proved a frustrating venture.

When we got our race packets Friday evening, I found that my start corral was ‘F.’ What? F? My start was in corral ‘D’ two weeks ago. There was no seeding for the Geist Half at registration, placement was based on the pace time you entered. Obviously there were a lot of people with high aspirations.

That morning, I got up late. I just wasn’t feeling it, but I had to get going. That put us (my husband and me) behind schedule. We hit almost every red light. We parked, and as we got out of the car I realized that I had forgotten my watch. My husband went on to the start as I slapped on some expired sunscreen, but he could not get into corral ‘B’ due to overcrowding, which of course was my fault. I got to my corral just as the race was starting and had to dodge and pass those high aspiration runners for a little over a mile.

Then, something wonderful happened. The one mile marker showed my pace at around a 9:20 mile, the same as the Mini two weeks ago. I figured that was a good sign. As I passed each mile marker, my time was under a 10 minute pace. It felt good to run hard and release the stress of my earlier frustrations.

Around mile five, I needed to release something else. I moved to the side and started to walk, thinking I could discreetly release some pressure. A bicycle police officer shouted across the throng of racers, “Runner, are you okay?” No, no, no! You are not supposed to draw attention to me! I wondered if he could read that in my eyes. I took a quick glance around for a possible alternate, but oh yeah, he was talking to me. I waved a hand and shouted, “I’m good,” as I let ‘er rip. I didn’t see a reaction from any runners, thank goodness.

Around mile 10, I got a pebble in my shoe, but I was too excited about my time to stop and take it out. The last three miles were slower, and not just because of the pebble, but I still finished strong. At the end, I had a personal best half marathon time (2:11:22)! 

Lesson learned:  Even when you feel like you don’t have it in you, push on, do your best with what you have, keep your focus, and you might be surprised. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to say a little prayer to the One looking out for you.

Read Full Post »

Today was the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon (half marathon). It really has OneAmerica in the title, but I prefer tradition over corporate naming rights. It is the third 500 Mini that I have run; I have walked 10 or so. This year was one of the hardest half marathons I have ever raced for two reasons. 

One, I prefer cooler weather for running (somewhere in the 40s – 50s), and although the starting temperature was in the upper 60s, the humidity was above 90%. Three-fourths of the way through, the temperature was in the lower 70s, but still high 80s for humidity, with bright sunshine. Oh, and I lost my favorite sunglasses while I was stretching pre-race; so Dawn of me. I did take off my tank top and wore my stylish sports bra proudly. Maybe not cool, but cooler. 

 Two, the heat and humidity caused my digestive system to give me problems. Well, I can’t blame it all on the weather. I figured I would have some issues when I didn’t, um, have a BM on Friday…very unpleasant side of running. I had cramping and gas, so almost half way through I thought I might make a pit stop (literally a pit). I didn’t want to have to wrestle my damp compression shorts back on in a hot box port-o-toilet, so I figured I would just suffer through. At mile 10, I decided I would have much more fun if I just went to the bathroom, only at this point I couldn’t find one. I was afraid to pass any more gas, thinking I might have a total blowout. So, I put up with my bowel distress until after the race. I emptied four times in four hours. This would be a blessing if I were having a colonoscopy tomorrow.

Even with these un-pleasantries, I finished with my second best half marathon time at 2:18:25! I will take it, with the goal of better planning in the digestion department for the next race (in two weeks).

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »