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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Warrior Dash 2 - short recap

A little bit late on this post, but better late than never, right?  Life has been crazy with kids starting school, a husband overseas with Navy training, and trying to get workouts in.  Doesn't leave much time at all for blogging.

I ran my 2nd Warrior Dash on Saturday, September 8th.  This time was at a horse stable rather than a ski hill. I really enjoyed this one much better!

I was there with 3 other friends.  I carpooled with Bill and it was a good thing at $20 a car to park!! I didn't know how much I wanted to actually run this time around and I kept thinking to myself, "Why did I decide to do this?"  I didn't have much opportunity to get workouts in.  Luckily 2 of my friends, Jesse and Angie, said we'd take it easy.  They had both already done races earlier in the day.  Crazy kids!  And we told Bill to run if he wanted. He'd find us at the finish.

So we were in the 2:00pm wave and started to run just a little bit, more or less to get a feel of what pace we wanted to do.  It wasn't very crowded which was nice.  The first obstacle was mud, of course. Luckily it was only about a waist deep and lots of wading through, jumping up, wading through... you get the idea!  I can't really remember the exact order of the obstacles, but I can tell you that I was quite thrilled that this year I could actually lift myself over all the walls before crawling under barbed wire.  I know last year I didn't have the upper body strength to lift myself over them, and went around most of them.  I was so happy and proud of myself!  This one didn't have the rope wall climb, which I had started to go up, then had to go around last year.  I do wish I could have done that one this year, just to see if I could do it.

The rest of the obstacles were more mud, ropes, jumping over fire, and more mud and barbed wire.  I actually don't mind crawling through mud, but some of the mud pits were very sandy and I ended up with scrapes.  I like to say that I earned them!

My professional pictures are not very good this year, but it was so much more fun than last year at the ski hill!  We had also heard that they turned the course around out there, which would have made it so much easier!  Nevertheless, it's definitely a fun obstacle course.  I'm hoping to get the hubby out there next year, and so far he's agreed!

What I like about obstacle courses is that they break up the run, and you can also see how strong  your entire body is.  I remember my trainer Tanya telling me that she was trying to build up my endurance.  She wasn't just trying to kill me!  And she did a great job!  I truly felt like I could do the obstacles and not feel all tired out.  It was more the running/jogging that did a good job at that!

So why did I decide to do this?  Besides hanging out with great people, it reinforces one of my goals. I want to be able to support my own body weight.  I want to be able to do some crazy athletic moves on a pole, to do pull-ups, to lift myself over obstacles... I don't care about what my jean size is or what number the scale says.  If I'm able to lift myself at 120 pounds or 140 pounds or 160 pounds, I don't really care.  And I don't care what the BMI chart says.  This is MY goal and my own definition of health and fitness.  And I'm going to keep working at it.

Next race, the Twin Cities 10 Miler. I still can't believe that I'm doing it...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Another 10K race recap

Running my 2nd 10K was lots of hard work, but yet a good time. The race was the Women Rock 10K and it was down along the Mississippi River on Shepard Road.  It was a really pretty race and wasn't too hot.

The start time was 7:30am.  I was up before 6am, which doesn't even happen during the week!  It was still dark out!  I had laid out my stuff the night before as I was planning on being down there by 6:30am. I didn't count on my boys waking up at that time with me.  As I headed out the door, I was sure that I had everything. Turns out I didn't have my Polar HRM. This would be a test of me listening to my body and not relying on numbers.  I did end up using the Endomondo app on my phone so that I could time my miles.

I ate most of an energy bar, downed an energy shot and some other drink.  I don't like to feel full at the start of a race, and I also don't want to have to think about using the bathroom either.  I had some energy blocks and gels with me, just in case.  I realized I could probably use a better belt of some sort for the next race for gels and a few other things.

Starting the race, I was towards the back with the walkers or anyone who had a slower than 12 minute mile. It took about three minutes to cross the start line.  I started out with a slow jog, listening to Rhianna's "S& M".  It seemed appropriate as about one quarter of a mile in, my left shin started hurting. I was wearing compression socks and everything.  Stupid shin splint!  I got over, stretched, tried to massage it, but didn't want to spend too much time doing that. Got going again, and had to stop. Again. This happened probably three times during that first mile and I was really hoping I could just work through it.  The road was slightly higher on the left and I think that threw off my gait. Needless to say, the time on my first mile was not glorious, but I was just aiming to beat my 10K time from last year.

Into the 2nd mile I didn't feel any shin pain at all.  Eventually the road started going downhill and I was hoping that would help me pick up some time.  I noticed my phone was ahead of the mile markers and I figured that would happen with the GPS.  Heading to the halfway mark I finally saw one of my best friends pass the other way at a water stop! So happy that she was keeping with her goal!

At the mile 4 water stop, I decided to use some of the energy gel.  I'm wondering if I should have tried it sooner, but  at this point, we'd be going up the hill that we just went down. I really don't like hills.  I'm sure no one does!  I also was hoping to start passing people and pick up my pace more.  Also, this is when the half marathoners started passing me. They were so focused and doing such a great job!

By mile 5, my mp3 player died. It obviously wasn't fully charged. (Note to self: take extra extra steps to charge the night before!)  At that point, I used the music on my phone, which I was hoping to avoid.  I also realized, it was a distraction for me to fiddle with all this crap when I was just trying to finish the race.  I was trying to give myself a pep talk too and kept repeating, "Dig. Finish strong." Call me a dork, but I think it worked.

As I headed to the finish line, lots of people were cheering and encouraging those of us in that zone. One woman even shouted my name, but I had no idea who it was! Sorry and thank you, if you're reading this! :)  I was so glad to be done at that  point and just wanted to sit down. I got my medal from one of the fire fighters, got my food and drink and found a patch of grass.

My official chip finish time was 1:41:49. It was a bit slower than my 10K last year, but I'll take it.  I think it was not bad for just listening to my body and trying not to check my phone at each mile marker.  

Me and one of my besties, toasting our finish
Now I have to get ready to add four more miles to that distance in the next month.  The TC 10 Miler is on Sunday October 7th.  My goal is to just finish, and looking at the times from last year, I'm just hoping that I won't be the last either. I know I have lots of work ahead of me, and one of the biggest things I'm after is losing weight before the race.  Hopefully that will help me move much faster and get a decent time at the end.

Before the 10 Miler, I do have the Warrior Dash this coming weekend! It should be a piece of cake, right?