My Cap10K

This morning, I saw a guy three times with a sign that read “Running Sucks.”  There was a time when I would have agreed, but today I had so much fun running the Cap10K!

The Cap10K was — by far — one of the best organized races I’ve run so far, and the course was great.  There were some significant hills, but each one was followed by a decent decline, which made recovery easy.  I kept thinking — “I’m having a great time!  Should I be having a good time?  This is the farthest I’ve ever run.”

Cindy and Jenny after the Cap 10KMy chip time came in at 1:00:37 — not quite under an hour as I hoped, but I did walk for a couple of minutes with Jenny when she started feeling sick.  I wasn’t going to leave my running buddy.  It’s only a run.

I will definitely do this run again next year, and my goal is to run it in under 50 minutes.  Think I can do it?

I had a total playlist win during the race, thanks to some suggestions from my friend Richard and some fresh downloads from Amazon.  But that’s not all.  Here are my top loves from the race:

5. Being timed.
This cut down on having to dodge runners and stroller for the first mile.
Totally worth the extra money.

4. Extra water stations
I didn’t use every single one, but it was nice that the race planners put them at more frequent intervals later in the course.

3. Connelly HS Band — playing under the overpass after mile marker 3.
I started clapping for them, and they got excited and started playing again.  Awesome.

2. Neighborhood residents stationed along the frontage road between Enfield and Lake Austin Boulevard.
These folks came out in force and even provided what I assume was unofficial entertainment.  They rocked.

1. The eldery woman in the wheelchair dressed in the cow costume under the MoPac bridge who was cheering us on.
Need I say more?  I love Austin.

Luke’s first race

I think I’ve inspired my son to run.

First there was the Turkey Trot.  Then the Zilker Tree run.  He really wanted to accompany me on the Paramount 5K.  And he’s been talking about signing up for Marathon Kids since the beginning of the school year (you have to be 5 — he’ll be eligible in the fall).

On Saturday morning, Luke got to compete in a race that was all his — the Statesman Junior Dillo.  He was so excited.

Andy ran the mile-long race with him, because I wanted to rest and hang out with Madeline during the race.  It was so awesome to see him run all the way in and cross the finish line.  He crossed it after about 14 minutes — not too shabby for being 4!  Luke told me he even fell and scraped up his knees and elbows, but he jumped back up and kept running!

We celebrated with a trip to his favorite burger joint — Hut’s, of course! — and ice cream parlor — Amy’s, where we all indulged in a delicious and rare treat!

It will be my turn to run tomorrow, and I hope the burger and ice cream don’t hurt me too badly, but it was so worth it to celebrate with my little runner, who has informed me that he wants to do more.

I took a bunch of pictures — check ’em out:

Playlist #fail

There was a running dialogue in my head this morning as Jenny and I ran one final easy run before the Cap10K.  It went something like this:

Why the hell is my stupid iPod repeating this song?  I skipped this song earlier.  I don’t WANT to listen to Thriller!  Who’s idea was it to put it on my “Run!” playlist?  Oh yeah, mine.  That was stupid.  I hate running to this song.  What was I thinking?  I could skip it, but then I would have to slow down or stop.  I feel sore.  If I stop it will be hard to get going again.  Gees I hate running to this song.  And I hated running to the last song, too.  Why the hell did it play two Michael Jackson songs in a row?  Why the hell did I put Michael Jackson on this playlist?  This entire playlist should be peppy and fun.  I’m going to have to make some changes before Sunday.  Man…. I hate running to this song….

So I’m changing my playlist right now.  I’m going to take off the songs that make me groan when I run and add more pep.  And if I have to buy new music, dammit, I will.

Um… running with a stroller is hard

Madeline and Cindy after the 1st run in the jogging strollerI very nearly flaked out — for the second day in a row — on taking Mads out for a spin in the jogging stroller.

Well, maybe “flake” is a bit harsh.  It’s all about timing really.  How long ago did she eat?  Is she is need of a nap?  Is she busy playing and I shouldn’t interrupt her?

I finally found my moment around 11am this morning — she was fed, dry, had reached a natural stopping point while playing and was starting to fuss.  I snatched her up, packed up the car and took off for the trail.

OK — first of all — where did spring go?  80 degrees?  Really?

But I digress.  I was feeling PRETTY sore from Tuesday’s WOD, so I stuck to the 3.1 mile loop at Lady Bird Lake.  Pushing a stroller while running is hard!  I took it slow, and my arms were SOOOOO tired.  It didn’t help that my earbuds kept coming out or I would get tangled in the cord.  That resulted in several stops to “fix” the problem.  Grrrr!

Time: 37:30 — super slow!  And I’ll admit it, I walked down the spiral ramp on the north side of the Pfluger pedestrian bridge.  I was resting in the guise of being safe.

This evening, Andy encouraged me to join him in a WOD, and since it’s Wednesday and one of my goals is to work out on Wednesdays, I agreed.

5 rounds
12 Deadlift
9 Hang Power Clean
6 Push Jerk

Time: 10:06 @ 65#

I smoked this WOD, compared to the last time I did it, which was back in December.  Maybe I’m not as tired this time?  Or maybe I’m also stronger.  I certainly felt stronger, and I blew through those hang cleans like the bar was a toothpick.

Now, time to rest up before tomorrow morning’s Crossfit workout.  It’s gonna be a doozy.

I love my new shoes

I’ve been eyeing these shoes since last fall when I found out they would be coming out:

the new Merrell Pace Gloves on my feetPretty sweet.  They’re the new Pace Gloves from Merrell.  A Merrell shoe with a Vibrum sole.  I LOVE them.

Now that trail running season is here — and I’m practically running barefoot — I wanted a shoe that would be thin but not make me squeal in pain if I hit a sharp rock on the trails.

I took them for a spin this morning at Emma Long Park over on the west side of Austin on the Turkey Creek trail.  The 2.5 mile trail has elevation changes, some flats, some technical turns, lots of creek crossings, and a fair size hill with some switchbacks and steps.  It took me 28:30 to run the loop, including stopping to gasp for breathe near the top and slowing down to navigate the stones through some of the creek crossings.

The shoes were awesome.  They don’t fit like a glove like my 5-fingers, but they weren’t padded, the toe box was wide so I could wiggle my toes, and I felt like I was gripping the terrain with the thin and treaded sole.

I also didn’t wear socks, so when the creek fills up (it was dry), I won’t mind getting my toes wet.

Love it.

Adding miles

Red, red wine… you gave me a headache.

Yes — I indulged Saturday evening in wine and chocolate, and apparently I’m not used to either.  The result was a bit of a headache Sunday morning, despite drinking LOTS and LOTS of water.

No matter.  I couple of Advil later, I was feeling fine and off to Lady Bird Lake for a run.

It’s true that I planned to back off quite a bit this week and next so I can rest, but the Cap10K is coming up, and I still need to run a little.

Jenny and I added another mile to our run — this time running the loop between the MoPac bridge and the Congress Avenue bridge.  That’s nearly 5 miles.

I felt really good.  My breathing was steady, my legs felt strong, and for a good bit of the way I was able to concentrate on form — making sure my feet were hitting the ground mid-foot, bringing my legs into a figure-4 and hinging forward at my ankles so my bodyweight would propel me forward.

We paced ourselves — and we finished in 50:27.  That does NOT include our water stops, which were brief.

I would really like to finish the Cap10K in under an hour.  I wonder — can I do it?

Run, then run more

I’ve never run 6 miles before.

I’m going to do it in just a few weeks.  For time.

This year I signed up to run the Capitol 10,000 — commonly known as the Cap10K.  I had been planning to do it it last year, but pregnancy, and the torture of running kinda put a stop to it.

But now that running is no longer torturous, Jenny and I are going to run — and get a qualifying time.

I’ve only been running 5K distances, so Jenny and I decided we better start adding miles.  I met her at our usual spot on the hike and bike trail very early Sunday morning for a run.  This week we ran the loop between the South First Street bridge and the MoPac bridge — a total of 4.2 miles.

We stopped at both water stations, and I wish I had been timing us, because I don’t know how much time it took us to run that distance.  I’m guessing 45 minutes.  Next week I’ll use my stop watch.

But the big news of the day was the OTHER run I did — about 8 hours later.  I wanted to rest Monday, so I knocked off my LAST endurance workout of the challenge Sunday evening.

Run 2 miles for time

OK — this was it!  A test to see how far I’ve come in 8 weeks!  I did this same WOD the first week of the challenge.  And I ran 2 miles for time again in the Army PT WOD in week 3.  Could I beat my time?

I ran the same route through the neighborhood, and — drumroll, please! — a PR!

Time: 17:43
Average pace: 8:48 min/mil

There is no doubt that I have gotten faster over the course of this challenge.  As I was celebrating, Andy said, “Now you just need to shoot for 400m in 90sec.”

Yes, Andy, but I’m going to enjoy my success for a few days before pushing toward the next goal.

Paramount Break-A-Leg 5K 2011

My friend and running buddy Jenny puts the Paramount 5K like this — it’s the race for lazy people.

It’s held in conjunction with the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon.  It’s 3 miles versus 13 or 26.  It sure seems lazy on the surface.

But in reality, 5K isn’t anything to turn your nose up at.  It’s a great distance for people who want to be fit overall — not just have great endurance.  Plus it seems like EVERYONE is doing a marathon these days, and I hate following the crowd.  I’m OK with the 5K and 10K for now.

I like running the Paramount.  The course is good and it’s kind of cool to be there with all of those runners, feeding off of the excitement about the marathon.

Last year really sucked.  All I wanted to do was finish.  This year was different.  My running has improved, but I just wanted to have fun.  And it was.

Here are my stats.

My time was 29:46.  I was 286 overall.  Could I have run faster?  Yeah — I think so.  I wasn’t pushing myself like I could have.

But this run was a reminder that the 10K is only a month away.  I went home and signed up.  And Jenny and I are going to start increasing the miles.  I’ve never run 6 miles before.  This should be fun.

I snapped off a few photos after the race, once I met up with the family at the finish line.  see the guy in the Livestrong outfit?  Is that Lance Armstrong finishing the Half?

Running from lunges

I dreaded Sunday’s endurance workout.

I remembered it well from last year.  Pam and I had met at Lamar MS.  It was chilly and spitting.  And I remember feeling like I was going to keel over.

So heading out to Murchison to meet Beth and Stephanie was a little nerve-racking.  I was dying to get out — away from the baby who needed to sleep yet refused to allow herself to fall asleep and so she was crying.  A LOT.

An hour to go and torture myself?  OK. I’ll take it.

4 rounds
Tabata walking lunges (4 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest)
400m run
Rest (1/2 time it takes to run the previous 400m)

It turns out my dread was unnecessary.  While this WOD was certainly no cake-walk (mmmmmm… cake), it wasn’t as dreadful as last year.  Pregnant Cindy and running did not get along.

The really awesome news?  I ran all of the 400’s in under 2 minutes.

Round 1 — 1:52
Round 2 — 1:48
Round 3 — 1:53
Round 4 — 1:52

Total WOD time — about 19:35

I’m sooooo happy with those times.  I stayed consistent.  That’s what I’m going for.

Now to just knock a few more seconds off my time.

Up for an obstacle course, anyone?

I think I might try this, even though I’m no fan of SHAPE magazine: The Diva Dash.

It’s no Tough Mudder, and I’m usually not into Girls’ Only races, because they tend to feel kind of forced and I like trying to keep up with the guys — but it might be kind of cool.

Hmmmm… who’s with me?