Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Do I Run?

It seems like a simple question. Why do I not have a simple answer? I've seen and heard views from people and they all seem to know exactly why they run. Some say they enjoy the "runners high". Some say to stay in shape and lose weight.

These seem to be perfectly good reasons. I'd even venture to say these answers can apply to me as well, but I don't think they are the definitive reason. Take the "runners high" for example. Before I can say I have experienced this I would have to define it. What is it exactly? Is it a feeling of elation during the run? Is it a sense of accomplishment when finishing a training run or a race? Or maybe it's as simple as the joy one may receive while running. (For sure, that is definitely not me).

For now I'd have to say my "runners high" comes after I have completed a race and I know I gave it my all. Now don't get me wrong. I have had a few of those training runs where everything seemed to go great; it was a beautiful day, lungs and legs felt strong and I was happy just to be able to run. But unfortunately for me, those days don't come along very often.

I don't run to lose weight even though that can be a benefit. One thing I do enjoy about running is I can eat whatever I want. Granted I don't eat everything in sight and I don't overindulge in sweets.That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to.

So, I guess I don't really have a for sure answer as to why I run. Maybe it's a combination of everything I mentioned. Maybe it's because I have always been active and running comes along with that.

One thing is for sure, until I know the answer I will just keep asking myself, "Why not run"?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sun King 5k

Saturday a.m. the alarm clock rings me awake at 5:45. I had been awake off and on for about an hour wondering if I really wanted to leave my nice warm bed to go run in the cold. Bless David's heart he gets up and goes to check the weather for me. I had told him if it was going to be windy I would not go run. Running in wind during the summer is one thing but when it is 49 degrees that's another lion.

He came back with the update telling me the stars were shining and it was 49 degrees. So, I got my self up and began to prepare for what lay ahead. I went back and forth trying to decide what to wear. In the end I decided upon a short sleeve t and a pair of shorts. But I also took a long sleeve t and the much needed cotton balls. Cold air makes my ears ache. So I have to stuff my ears with cotton.For breakfast it was the usual toast with butter but this morning I decided to add a little jelly. And to drink? Just water. Boy, does that sound good or what?!?

The race started at 8:00 so we left the house about 6:50. I would have to register once we got there since I had not done so previously. The race started at an Episcopal church in the Fondren area of Jackson. When we arrived there was lots of activity going on. Of course my nervous stomach was there with me as usual. Would I ever love to start a race without him accompanying me. I wonder what that would feel like?I was surprised to see this pic. That sneaky hubbie took it without me knowing it. No, I wasn't fixing to throw up even tho I might have felt like it. I was stretching. Have I ever learned how important that is. The start. When I am standing there waiting all I can think of is, can you just shoot the gun and lets get going!?!??As you can see, the short sleeved t idea was ditched. The air was really cool. I'm so glad I had taken the long sleeve with me. At this point I had only been running for about a minute and my brain was already revolting. A big war is raging between it and my body. Fortunately the brain didn't win or I wouldn't be typing this.The race was in a really pretty neighborhood. Love this house. Funny thing is I don't even remember seeing it during the run. Don't remember seeing the ghost in the yard either.See the ghost again? I still didn't. But what I did see was those two guys in front of me leaving me behind. Hey, wait for me!! They didn't listen very good.Still not listening. Imagine that! The guy in the white t must of slowed his pace somewhat because we ended running side by side for the last 1/2 mile.Here we are coming toward the finish line. I tried to kick it in and leave him but that wasn't happening.Oh well, I gave it all I could. He only beat me by a second. And after seeing the results I found out he's only 24. I'm old enough to be his mom. Nuff said!In the end I took 1st place female overall. Yippee!! My first win! Instead of the normal trophies this piece of stained glass was my award. Very nice and very different. In addition to the stained glass trophy I won these prizes. See the platter? I won that as a door prize. I also won two gift certificates and that really nice jacket. Wow! What a nice surprise! This is the t-shirt that every runner received. Unfortunately they had run out of my size so this one goes to my number one cheerleader. He's the best!

In the end my final time was 22:25, 35th out of 152 runners.

I think this has been my favorite race so far. The course was in a very picturesque neighborhood. It had a few small hills with lots of turns and I did notice lots of trees.

So until next time, happy running!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Staying Motivated

Staying motivated while in-between races is a hard thing for me. The training I put in during the week can get quite mundane. I would love to have a dirt trail to run on. But unfortunately I don't. So what do I do to stay motivated?
I pick up some good reading material such as books. This book is filled with helpful info such how to train for races, proper eating habits, cross-training and other useful advice.
Another book I just finished reading is this one about a woman's journey to becoming an ultra-marathoner. An ultra-marathoner runs more than the usual 26.2 marathon miles. She won the Badwater Ultramarathon race twice. This race is 135 miles and goes from Death Valley to Mount Whitney. Can you imagine!?!? She also holds the record for the first woman to run 300 miles without any sleep. Amazing!
And then magazines are filled with fun stories and useful info. I like the Womens Running since it is geared toward women but I went ahead and picked up this Runners World and am currently enjoying it.

This morning it is cooler and rainy which makes me wonder if I will be able to go out and run today. Also, this past Friday my right knee came up with a new pain. It's not unusual for me to have achy knees sometimes, but this is a different type of pain.

I have a race coming up this Sat. a.m. and am concerned that I may not be able to compete. I guess I will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Valuable Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Since I ended up unexpectedly not working today due to a.m. rain, I did my run around 1:00 p.m. It was sunny, and hotter than the 80 degrees it was. I'm so use to running either early in the morning or later in the afternoon that to run in the middle of the day throws me into a kink. It never, ever feels right or good.

But the real lesson learned today was not to eat peanut butter and graham crackers 1 hour before running. It sat really heavy in my stomach. A heavy stomach doesn't make a run much fun.

Next time I'll eat lighter or run a lot later after eating.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thoughts of Running This Morning Quickly Ran Away

It's the kind of morning that is perfect for a race; beautiful fall blue skies, warm sunshine, temps in low 50's, what more could you ask for? This morning my body and mind asked for more sleep. So, who was I to argue with it?

Truthfully, I haven't felt good in the last couple of days. I'm not sure if I've had a sinus infection, allergies or a virus trying to take over. I just know if I had ran this a.m. I wouldn't have been able to give it my all, so I decided to skip the race. I'm glad I wasn't pre-registered for it.

So for now I'll run and train for the next race which I hope will be in a couple of weeks.

Til then, happy running!