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Race Recap – Shock Absorber WomenOnly Run

I ran a 5K today.

Big deal, I hear you sayโ€ฆ Yes, it was a big deal! Somehow last night, I opened a bottle of wine and decided to skip the race. I had a weird day, a busy week and I just felt exhausted.

This morning, however, I woke up early and as I was assessing if I wanted to get up after all and run the race, I had this thought:

How will you feel after the race? Will you feel happy that you stayed home? Or will you feel happy that you went out, ran a race and spent time outside in the park?

I knew the answer. So, off I hurried out of bed, packed my bag, ran out of the house, caught a bus, walked 1.5 miles to the start line, made it to the start line with 5 minutes to spare, ran a 5K, walked back 2.5 miles and smiled.

Of course, I am happy I went. Here is what I would have missed:

  • a gorgeous morning out in Richmond Park
  • a great conversation with a fellow runner
  • a second-fastest 5K ever run (I am on a roll…)
  • a happy smile

 

I would have missed this view of Richmond Park:

I would have missed the medal (top left corner – after all, that’s what I run for) and this awesome goodie collection:

So, if you find yourself in bed in the morning wondering if you should get up for a race, just consider all that you could miss out on.

And, today, I would have missed out on a lot. I am glad I got up!

And if you are thinking, so, where is the race recap, here it is:

Great 5K course in Richmond Park, downhill, uphill, deer on the side of the trail (not quite as aggressive as last time though, but still mooing). A well set up race by the HumanRace Team. Run it!!


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Tagged! Why I run!

Argh I have been tagged! Only in the blogging sense though, so I (and you)ย  shouldn’t freak out! No house arrest or anything.

The awesome blogging ladies Lill and Jill – who make me spill coffee all over my keyboard at least once a day – want to know more about me. The idea of blog tagging is 1) to ask a question to a blogger about something relevant to their blog and 2) the fun part: tag other bloggers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lill and Jill asked me 2 questions (is that allowed?), why I started running and what my favorite run in London is.

Why do I run?

I ran track and field while I was in high school. Every run over 400 meters (that’s a lap in the stadium!) I considered an endurance run! I stopped doing track and field when I started college and didn’t take up running again for something like 7/8 years maybe.

About 10 years or so ago (time is blurry…), I had a virus infection that left me exhausted for 6 months. After consulting several doctors, the last one recommended to take up walking outside as part of the healing process. So, I started walking. After the virus passed, I changed the walking to running and then had the CRAZY idea of running a 5k. Can you imagine, running 5km, 5000 meters!! That was a CRAZY distance then. I trained for it, ran it and had the biggest smile on my face for 2 weeks after the race. (The next time I had such a big smile was when I finished a marathon! Talk about CRAZY!!).

After that race I kept running and noticed how it calmed me down, de-stressed me and just made me feel better. So, I figured RUNNING IS CHEAPER THAN THERAPY, so I kept running. Since my first 5k, I run every year for a charity. And there is no better way of combining something you love doing that’s good for you and helps others, too. This year I am running with Team in Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in San Diego. If you can, please support my fundraising for LLS.

My favorite run in London?

I love the parks in London. All of them are great for running. My favorite though is Richmond Park. I can see the river Thames from there, see all the way across to St Paul’s Cathedral (there is a protected vista that preserves the view all the way to St Paul’s – it’s 10 miles and created in 1710), see deer and feel like I am in the middle of the countryside.

So, now to my favorite part, tagging others. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cat just finished the London Marathon, Congratulations, Cat! My question to you: How long did it take you after the race from “I never ever run a marathon again” until you started planning your next race? (It took me about 7 days after my first marathon…)

Riveroflife just started blogging about life, love, dreams. My question to you: If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?

Amy (a dose of good) has a very positive outlook on life. But seriously, Amy, “a wonderful rainy day”? How do I keep a positive outlook after more than 2 weeks of rain?

Fla midwyfe is a midwife currently living and working in Asia. My question to you: What has been your most touching moment in Asia so far?

Jog on Jules finished her first ever race a few weeks ago and quit smoking! Awesome accomplishments! My question to you: How healthy do you feel? And what do you do with all this new energy?

! Happy weekend!

I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.
~ Jesse Owens


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Winter and spring challenges…

It has been an amazing start of the year (for running at least…).I am on track with my 2 annual challenges and way over my winter challenge.

Winter challenge: Run 200 miles between January and March

Actual miles run: 321 miles. MedalSlut challenged me to run 300 miles earlier this year, which I rejected at the time. Now, of course, my rejection looks silly. I should really listen to her next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Annual miles challenge: Run 1000 miles in 2012

Well on track with 321 miles done already in the first 3 months. Now, I just need to make sure I keep up the running.

Annual race challenge: Run a race each month (challenger: my running buddy S)

I am rephrasing it as “Run 12 races in 2012”. Some months are just challenging to find an adequate race (like February). So far I have run 4 races with my running buddy S: a half marathon, a 5k, a 10k and an 8-mile race. Well on track!

Now I need a Spring challenge. And I know just the right one. Now that I know I belong…. For the next 3 months (April to June) I will be focusing on improving my pace. My races are actually not about running a PR, but about enjoying the scenery. I tend to pick different races mostly. But I really want to run a PR in an upcoming 10k or half marathon. I am eying the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon for a PR. Spring challenge accepted: run fewer miles, but up the tempo! ๐Ÿ™‚

What are your spring challenges?


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Fun back-down week…

Great 5k-run today.

I was running a 5k race with my running buddies Y and S (well, S ran the 10k). My goal was to make this a tempo run and see how fast I can run a 5k. Though I was a tiny bit slower than I hoped for, I really enjoyed the shorter distance.

I haven’t run a 5k since 2008 and usually don’t feel like getting out of the house for it. Travel takes like 4x the race time… Therefore, only runs of 10k and longer usually get my attention.

I had to get out of my comfort zone at least some today. You see, with the long runs it usually takes me 3-4 miles to get into a rhythm. With a 5k of course you don’t have the luxury of waiting to get into a rhythm, so it’s GO right from the start! ๐Ÿ™‚

My first mile was at my goal pace, the next 2 miles just a little bit slower. So, next run I’ll need to work on keeping up with goal pace. The next race will be a 10k. This will give me another great opportunity to test my speed.

British Heart Foundation jog

British Heart Foundation jog with my running buddies Y and S


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About long runs, interval runs, hill training…

I have been living off my runner’s high from Saturday’s 14.5-miler for the last couple of days. The days were filled with CRAZY thoughts:

  • I want to run another 14-miler next weekend. CRAZY!
  • I want to run the full marathon in San Diego. CRAZY!
  • I want to sign up for another full marathon this year. CRAZY

I am not saying any of this is impossible. In fact, it’s perfectly possible. But when I signed up for a full marathon in 2010, I freaked out about training, got completely stressed out about long runs and eventually ran the half distance on race day. So I vowed to only sign up for a full marathon once again when I have a running team around me that trains for the same event.

Anyway, I could possibly always change my half distance to a full when I get to San Diego and the running continues to be grand…

Yesterday, I did interval runs and I am getting faster. At least for those training runs. I signed up for a 5k this coming weekend and my goal is to make it a really fast tempo run.

I have also been training hills on the treadmill. I am not sure yet exactly on how this translates to a real hilly environment. I fear the Edinburgh Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon will be hilly..

I have been loosely following the Rolling Hills Plan from Rick Morris’ Treadmill Hill Workouts. I think I am going to do the Hill Blasters Plan this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

You know you are a runner when… you know the location of every 7-11, public restroom, and water fountain in running distance from your home.


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It's not about time…

I read a lot of blogs where runners post their pace, their race results. That’s ok. But for me it never has been about time.

It is about memories.

I used to run track as a teenager and what I mostly remember from that time is the camaraderie and the fun times we had traveling to competitions each weekend, encouraging each other.

My first 5k was a huge achievement for me. Until then I considered every run longer than 400m (meters!) to be an endurance race. I had a grin on my face for a week after my first 5k.

I shared my second 5k with Paula Radcliffe (and another 10,000 runners). Of course Paula finished while I was still hovering around the 3k mark and she didn’t know me, but it was cool nonetheless. The spirit of this particular race most likely is one of the reasons why I continued running.

I remember thinking after I completed my first 10k that I could run a half marathon easily. Well, it took me another 6 years to finally run a half marathon and it wasn’t quite that easy.

My first half marathon I remember for the friendships I made that are still strong.

For my first full marathon I remember that I didn’t remember the main event. Now, you need to know that my first full marathon has been the NIKE Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. The “medal” is a Tiffany’s necklace given to each runner by a firefighter dressed in a tuxedo, kind of most girl’s dream. Some runners are known to take lipstick on the course and do a quick make-up check at mile 26.1. Anyway, I received my necklace, but was so exhausted that I don’t remember at all seeing any firefighter. I have run this race two more times just to make up for that and am planning on running again this year! ๐Ÿ™‚ What I do remember from this race was my team. This was my first season with Team in Training and I was fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This was the beginning of new friendships and a new motivation for me to keep running until a cure for cancer is found. (I am running again with Team in Training – my fifth season with the team – this spring: the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.)

My first half marathon in London I remember for a girl tapping on my shoulder right after I slowed down to a walk at mile 12, telling me to run with her. She paced me to the finish line and told me that I had been pacing her for the past 5-6 miles and she wanted me to finish strong.

So, yes, memories are what counts for me. The encouraging smiles from fellow runners. Making new friends. And doing a little bit to make our world a better place.

Happy Running!