I started “training” (i.e. more than just jogging with my dog 3 days a week) after the Rugged Maniac, which I ran with Jesse and a friend in early June. A different friend, V, was supposed to join us and had to drop out, but we found a Groupon for a 10K to do together in August as an alternative. It was then that I realized I needed to start running for real.
The 4.51 mi run on June 26th was a personal record for me at that time. I remember wanting to make 4 miles that day, and somehow pushed through to make 4.51. I was running downtown, in the scorching heat, and I was miserable. I had the app set to notify me at every half mile and I remember thinking it was broken after mile 4 because it seemed to take hours to get to 4.5! Jesse was away for work (it was his birthday week, too!) and I immediately took a screen shot of my stats and texted him, trying to play it cool, even though I felt like the most badass runner in the world.
These are the rest of my training runs (ones tracked via Runkeeper, anyways).
The 10K was on August 11th at Hagg Lake and Jesse had entered the half marathon, which was running simultaneously. It was obvious to spot the regular runners vs. the Groupon bunch (I fell into the latter category!), but it was a good sized group, great weather, and I felt only slightly unprepared *eye roll*. As you can see from the above runs, I’d only hit 6 miles once. And that wasn’t even on trail! Also, the day before Jesse was able to talk me into a 12 mile “mountain” bike ride (i.e. Leif Erickson ride on my friend’s bike). My ass was sore and on race morning I realized…
But, I had been training, damn it! After the half marathoners took off, we lined up in wave 2 and hit the trail! As you can see, though, I was not super stoked!
The first half was going all right. There was one aid station around mile 3 and I had a swig of yellow Gatorade (we all know Gatorade by colors, not flavors, right?) and then it was all downhill from there. By downhill, I mean my motivation, energy, and general well-being. I knew my nutrition was going to be a problem – I still hadn’t worked out how to take Clif Shots, Gu, or otherwise replenish my energy – and this run was no exception.
I lost my stamina. I was walking all the hills, while V waited so supportively at the top. We started talking about sports bras to pass the time, meanwhile I was being passed time and again. Trail running is annoying in that it’s hard to let people pass on single track sometimes. It was mostly awkward clutching of trees while they all jogged on by.
Finally we were getting off the trail and onto the paved sidewalk that took us back to the finish line, aka the car to take me home. One woman had stopped off to the side and V explained “When you pass someone who is stopped, you’re supposed to run past and take their energy to carry you on”. Huffing and puffing I replied “She didn’t have any!” Laughing, she told me “That’s the funniest thing you’ve said all day!”
Although my spirits were temporarily up, I was ready to be done. We mustered up a “sprint” finish (final time: 1:18. Missed my goal by 3 minutes. Figures), did some stretching, and hit the food table for some watermelon and red velvet cookies (is there any other kind!?), then headed back to the finish line to watch for Jesse. Awwwwww yeeeeaaaah!
On the drive home, I was tired and quiet. And then, as I suspected, I got sick. Two miles from home, we had to pull over (sorry residents of NW Cornelius Pass Rd, probably shouldn’t pick the blackberries in that spot). Once home, I showered and slept the rest of the Sunday away. Was definitely sore the next day, although most of that was likely still from the bike ride!
To sum up, I made some obvious rookie mistakes. But with a 10k completed, I started to [masochistically] think “I could probably do a half…”