Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Synchronicity abounds!

We're 8 weeks into our training and we've decided to kick our training up a notch.  We've been sticking to our program  and having the support of our fellow princesses has been invaluable to our success so far, but we registered for one of the Running Rooms clinics that ends just 2 weeks before our Princess run.  Haha, we thought, this clinic is to prepare for the Hypothermic Half, but Orlando is gonna be SO much better!  Plus, now we'll have more motivation for those darn long runs.The nerves started as soon as we registered...I'm gonna suck, everyone's going to be RUNNERS there and I won't be able to keep  up...but right in the registration package it said not to worry about those butterflies in our stomach, it was going to be fun!  So, we show up at 630 tonight at the location nearest to all our houses and meet the other 12 or so people who will be running with us for the next 17 weeks.  There, we learn we have a fellow princess training for the same run, and she even works at the same place as us! And hey, so does the instructor!  And...we found out as we were leaving that one of the two gentleman in our clinic works there too!  I mean, what are the odds that HALF THE PEOPLE IN THIS CLINIC work at the same place which is possibly the furthest point from work while still being in the same city? Seriously, I just checked it on Mapquest and the airport is 30km away from our clinic, Vegas probably wouldn't even take those odds.

Anyway, we get our welcome packs and a brief overview of how the weekly schedule is going to go, and then head out for our first group run!  We run just under 4k as a group and it felt just fine!  It was a new route, it was COLD out and I think the group stayed reasonably close together during the run, so I think our running levels are pretty comparable.  Oh, and I found out during the run that one of the other girls is not only in the same soccer division as me, but that our teams play each other THIS SUNDAY?!?!?!  Seriously, it was a weird night for me, I should pick up a lottery ticket on my way to work tomorrow.

If we had really been thinking, we would have taken a picture to commemorate the occasion, but no luck. Just imagine the "Hurray for Disney" photo to the right has no sun, long pants, wind breakers over jackets, mittens and headbands, and red noses with sweaty foreheads. Oh, and matching shirts, as soon as they come in, they didn't have any left since we registered mere hours before the clinic started.  I think we're going to have fun at this and learn a few new things along the way. Plus, a lot of the people seemed like fun, so we might even find some new running buddies.  Now all we need is to psyche ourselves up to make it for the 830am Sunday runs.  Our instructor did suggest we all go for breakfast after these long runs at such an ungodly hour, so she knows how to motivate me for sure!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Keeping the streak alive!

For this week's long run, I joined the First Annual Brent's Run.  A friend of a friend's fiance died of a heart attack last year a month before their wedding so in his memory, she had organized a family fun run where you made a small donation to the Heart and Stroke foundation.  The run was supposed to be from Eau Claire, but had a last minute move to North Glenmore Park (that's right, my long run streak at the reservoir is unbroken!)  For this run, you could do the 5K loop once or twice if you wanted to do the 10K.  I met up with several friends just before 10 on a glorious sunny (but pretty chilly) Saturday to join what was probably about 50 people with kids on bikes, strollers, dogs and Starbucks and we were off!  I felt pretty good, the chill wore off pretty quickly and once again, I got to enjoy the lovely views of the reservoir on a cloudless day.

This wasn't a very competitive run, most people were out to support this woman, celebrate the memory of her fiance and get a little exercise doing it. I had never met either of these people before, but I've lost a few family members to sudden heart attacks in the past few years myself. I can't relate to losing a spouse like that, but I can sure relate to how horrible it is to get that phone call. Plus, it was a great cause, and the date happened to fit into my training schedule perfectly. I do like when there's synchronicity in my life! I found myself thinking of my mum a lot during the run, pleasant memories that propelled me down the path. She wasn't the running type, but I bet she would have totally appreciated how nicely my snappy running shirt matched my shoes and how my running belt could hold so much stuff!

At the end of the first loop, I headed back out for the second loop and noticed all the people who had been in front of me for the first half were now stretching at the finish line with bottles of water.  Um...what?? One of the organizers high fived me as I passed and said I was the first person starting the 10K.  Wait, all those fit people who left me in their dust at the starting line weren't doing the second loop?  Off I went, actually hoping to be passed by someone on the second loop.  As I headed out, the people finishing their 5Ks were coming back in,  a number of them waved at me as I went by.  I started to worry that maybe I was the only person doing the 10K and everyone would have gone home by the time I got back to the finish line and picked up the pace as much as someone on the back half of a 10K could.

I also realized early in the second loop the route markers had been set up incorrectly and it wasn't actually going to be a 10K.  I had my Nike + plugged into the iPod and the cheery woman announced 8K just when I noticed I could see the finish line again.  I did the math and realized the finish line was actually going to be at 9K and decided to go past the finish line for half a kilometer and then coming back to get the even 10K in.  As I got to the finish line, I realized everyone was sitting around eating sandwiches and cookies and were waiting..ummm...for me?!?!?  I actually WAS the only person who did the 10K, so I WON!  Everyone cheered as I came in, and it was sort of awesome. Plus, no way I could keep running after that reception, I'd look like a jerk!  So, I didn't actually run 10K, which is fine. The Nike + told me my pace really WAS fast, nearly 30 seconds faster per km than last week's run, and I felt really good! I wasn't tired, my legs weren't sore and I could have kept on going no problem. Maybe all this training really IS paying off!! Plus, the 8 cookies and 3 beers I had after the race tasted like food of the gods.  No wonder I like this running thing so much.  Acessories and endless appetite with guilt free snacking = the sport for me!