The Newbie Chronicles

Recently I started reading articles from the “Newbie” in the Runners World magazine. I started with this month’s issue where he wrote an article about the first marathon he ran. It was a rather long article, but I laughed the entire time I was reading it. Everything he said was spot on to how I feel when I’m running.

If you would like to read the article, you can find it here….

My favorite part of this article is the zombie portion. There are times when I am probably moving no faster than an upbeat walk but I feel as though I am breaking the sound barrier. This happens quite a bit on my long runs, about the last quarter mile or so when I crank it up and head to the end. I have run right past many friends and family without even noticing them trying to be whatever time I had in my head.

I am now in the process of reading all of his past articles. Sometimes I feel like I’m by myself with all of my running issues but his articles make me feel like its not just me. Plus you’re guaranteed a good laugh from reading them. Check them out and read them when you’re having a rough run day. They’ve been helping me.

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South Florida Fair 5K

Another last minute sign up. This was the second year this race was put on and I dragged my mom with me to go. I was pumped for my 4th 5K (the first wasn’t timed, the second was the Warrior Dash, the third was the Color Run which isn’t timed and then this one). My goal was to finish in under 35 minutes.

As soon as the race started, I knew I was in for a doozy. We immediately started to go up an incline. On the way down I thought “Ok, that wasn’t so bad”. I was wrong. The rest of the course was a constant up and down with uneven pathways and twists and turns. It was muggy as all get out on that run. I felt like I was sucking in water. But I am happy to say, I finished in under 35 minutes! I am well on my way to a sub-30 minute 5K.

Finish Time: 34:23

Splits: 11:11 per mile

Packet pick-up:  I went to the running store associated with this run to pick up my packet. Packet pick up was slated to run until 9, but when I got there at 8 they said it had already ended. She allowed me to pick up my bib and shirt anyways and informed me that the goodie bag would be distributed upon finishing the run.

The Medal:

The Swag: They didn’t offer an option for extra small so I swim in the unisex shirt, but it is dri-fit. And in addition to the bag of coupons and race fliers, they also gave out a free ticket to the South Florida Fair! I love the fair so this was a huge bonus for me.

The Good: The swag was pretty good. The course was challenging.

The Bad:  The line for food was terribly long. Other than that, nothing too bad.

The Ugly:  Nothing. I will be back next year!

Classics By The Sea 10K

Classics By The Sea 10K

This was my first 10k. It’s an annual 5K and 10K put on by the Palm Beach Roadrunners (one of my two running clubs). I was nervous about signing up for a 10K and ended up signing up last minute. I have decided that even though they are rough, 10Ks are my favorite distance to race. I can’t wait to run another.  I was feeling pretty stiff miles 1 and 2, which is normal for me. I usually hit a stride right around mile 4, which I did this race as well. I chugged along throughout the entire race, finished 17 seconds over my goal time (I told my mom I would cry if I finished in 65 minutes, which I knew would not happen). I was being plagued by the blister that would not leave during this race but I powered through it. Overall my time averaged out to 12:09 minute miles, which is right at my race pace target for my half in February. If I can keep this pace up, I will finish in under 2:45 for sure!

Finish time: 1:15:17.2

Splits: 12:09 per mile

Packet pick-up: I sent my dad up to Jupiter to pick up my packet. He was headed up that way anyways for a party he had to do so I begged and pleaded with him to pick up my swag early so I could get a shirt in my size. Thankfully my dad decided to be nice and went to pick up the packet. The packet pick up was at a local running store and he said it was unorganized. He said the person distributing packets seemed awfully confused as to what to do when he got up there.

The Medal: Pretty sweet medal.

The Swag: Cute shirt. It’s a long sleeve dri-fit which I love! The design is below. The design was placed on a light teal shirt. And I actually got it in my size so double win there.

The Good: Mile markers were easy to see, the course was beautiful. I liked that the start and finish were at the same place making easy for my mother to wait for me to cross the finish line. The race was also an Accuchip event, which is awesome for recording exact time.

The Bad: Where was the water? It may be December but in Florida, it is warm more often than it is cold. This run was late enough in the day that it had warmed up considerably by the time I was at mile 3 (yes, I am a slow runner but I wasn’t the last to finish).

They also started the 5K and 10K at the same time and the 5K turn around was a little hard to notice. I ran the 10K so I didn’t have to worry about it but I heard many other runners complaining about the fact that the turn around was just a small cone in the road. It was a little disheartening running the 10K when after mile one I was already seeing 5K participants on their way back to the finish line

The Ugly: Nothing ugly about this race. I am excited for next year!

Resolutions

I do have a few resolutions this year and not all of the them are fitness related. I have them listed below, with a short description of each. I will keep updating this post and reposting as the year progresses. I really would like to keep up with this and actually complete all of my resolutions.

1. Run a marathon. Currently I am choosing between a race in November or December. I haven’t completely decided which of those two races I want to run, but I will be posting as soon as I register.

2. Finish a half marathon in under 2:30. This may seem like an outrageous time drop from my previous two half marathons. It is, but with how I am currently running, I think it is completely possible. I will be aiming for this time on April 28, 2013 in Washington, DC as I run the inaugural race for the Nike Womens Half Marathon. I am extremely excited for this race. Literally counting down the miles till I get to run it.

3. Run a 5K in under 30 minutes. My most recent 5k time is 34:23 on December 29, 2012. This was a hilly (in Florida, any kind of incline is hilly) course and rough to run. I was feeling extremely accomplished with that time so I can only hope to shave off 4 and a half minutes on a flat course.

4. Learn to swim laps. I can swim enough to keep myself afloat and get from point A to B, but thats about as far as it goes. Anything more than that is a struggle.

5. Pay off my student loan by the end of October. Currently on track for this. Should be no problem.

Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon

 I was sick before this race. I don’t mean “cough cough, I have a cold”, I mean full on flu sick. I was sure I was dying at one point. Then once I got over the initial illness, the cough stayed. I coughed my way through this whole race.

Let’s start from the beginning. We got there and checked our bags and jackets before the race. I was not expected the unexpected drop in temperature and it was quite chilly. I stood in my corral shivering, waiting for the race to start. I had huddled down on the ground since my tank and shorts was not the most appropriate choice for the weather when a Good Samaritan (and a very smart woman) asked me if I would like her sweatshirt. She told me I could keep her sweatshirt since she was not that cold and it was her throwaway sweatshirt. I was so grateful and wore that sweatshirt the entire race. It was freezing!

The first mile in I knew something was wrong. I doubled over completely out of breath. The flu I had  a few weeks earlier had not cleared from my lungs so breathing was a struggle. I dropped from my 12 minute mile pace down to over 15 minute miles. I huffed and puffed my way through all 13.1 miles. There were points that I didn’t think I could finish but I refused to be taken away in a golf cart. So I finished. Then I waddled my way to the finish line party and had one drink and then I was ready for bed. It was a long night to say the least.

Finish time: 3:26:28

Splits: 48:25 at 5k, 1:36:26 at 10k, 2:25:39 at 15k

Packet pick-up: It wasn’t great and it wasn’t terrible. Not much to say on this subject.

The Medal: Not my favorite Disney medal, but it is pretty cool either way (insert medal pic)

The Swag: Pretty sweet long sleeve dri-fit shirt (even though it doesn’t fit). The goodie bag didn’t have anything too exciting in it. There was a 10 dollar gift card to use in the park after the race which was a nice little perk.

The Good: Overall, I really liked the theme of this race. I mean, who wouldn’t want to run a race where booze and food was given freely at the end. Running through the Disney parks at night was also a very interesting way to see the parks. I liked that they had lit up the lights in Hollywood Studios for us to run through. The characters along the race are one of my favorite things as well. I loved taking pictures with them. I do love the expos at Disney. They are always awesome and I seem to go on a spree whenever I’m there. I forgot my compression sleeves for my calves so I had to buy a pair while I was there and I also bought quite a few Sweaty Bands (if you haven’t tried them, you must. They are by far the best headbands I’ve found).

The Bad: They ran out of extra small shirts. This is Disney. This race sold out months before the event, they could have ordered the correct number of shirts. It will take some surgery to fix this shirt so it is wearable.

The Ugly: My running is the only ugly part about this race. I am embarrassed but overall it was a fun experience.

An easy 5 miles

Two years ago that would’ve been a contradiction in itself. When I first started running, I couldn’t even run a mile without feeling exhausted. I slowly began dragging my butt through running workouts to run my first half marathon, the Disney Princess Half Marathon in 2011. After that run I could barely walk and was sore for a week. I took over a year off from running and after a break up, began running again this July. I have seen a steady improvement in my distance and time and this Tuesday was no different.

I ran 5 miles at a leisurely pace of about 12:30. I felt good during the whole run, minus the stiffness I usually feel in the beginning miles of my run and finished out strong. I am not hurting from it and I am still so happy to have completed a run of 5 miles at a relatively easy pace. And the best part is, that easy pace I was running is my goal pace for my half! With my half quickly approaching, I am beginning to have the anxiety I feel when I start thinking that I am not prepared for this run. I start wondering if my mileage is enough and how much the runs I skipped are going to hurt me (incidentally I have to skip my speed work this week to go get my iPhone fixed). A lot of times I feel like I am the only person in the entire world having these issues. Like its just me against the pavement, even though I know so many other running have the same issues.

I’ll be out there running on Saturday morning. I probably won’t be happy about it, but I’ll be out there. At the 4 mile point in my run Tuesday I asked myself, “could you run another four miles?” My answer was hell yes. Hopefully I feel the same way at 6am Saturday morning.

They say the hardest step for a runner is the one out the door

I dragged my sleepy butt out of bed at 5am on a Saturday (yes, torture I know) and made the 35 minute drive up to meet my other running group for a run. Originally my thought had been to run 8 miles. Needless to say, that did not happen. I struggled through the first 2 miles. My knees were aching, my calves were sore and I was just all around having the worst time trying to wake myself up and stretch out for this run.

When mile 3 rolled around it was all I could do to finish it and turn around and head back. My pace felt like I was dragging along. When I finally turned around I got a small second wind. I powered along through miles 4 and 5. I was cruising and I knew I could finish. As soon as I started mile 6 though, it all went back downhill. I was huffing and puffing and hurting but I finished that 6 miles and I felt so accomplished. I do not know why my body hates running in the morning so much, but I cannot seem to wake up enough to run. My heart rate won’t even out my muscles are stiff and sore and no matter what I eat, I am ALWAYS starving.  If anyone has any suggestions as to how to wake my body up for a morning run, please let me know (especially since most races happen early in the AM). I finished the run in 1:14:01, which averages out to about 12:21 minute miles, which is pretty good considering how terrible I felt during the run.

 I will be running this same run, adding 2 miles to make it 8, this Saturday morning. I will finish 8 miles Saturday, no matter how much I want to stop and sit down. Even though I have a date Friday, I will be chugging water and bringing breakfast/running clothes for the morning (hey, you never know).