Thursday, September 18, 2008

Feeling great!

Physically anyway!

I've lost 11 pounds since I started my most recent eating strategy (CBT/no flour/no sugar) - I've not stuck to it perfectly but something's working! I'm almost to where I was last fall, and then... not sure what my goal should be (since I never reach weight loss goals!) - just keep on with it for a while longer and try to get thinner/fitter! (In case anyone reading this is concerned that I'm taking it too far or something - I still weight 192 pounds and am 5'9"- while I feel fit and strong, I could easily lose another 10 or more. I'd love to be under 180 some day! But whichever French movie start it was who said women of a certain age need to choose between their fanny and their face is right - if I lost too much more weight my normally long thin face might start looking a bit too hollowed-out!)

Much MORE important: my half-marathon training. I haven't done another LONG r4un since the 9-miler in August -the start of school put my schedule in a blender. But I feel back on track now (though my swim yesterday was jettisoned by my 6-year-old's 5th "Mystery Fever" in a year, and I never got off the wait list for spinning today.) I'm planning to do something long this Saturday - not sure if I'm brave enough to go for 10, but at least 8 anyway) longer the following, and a 10k race on October 4. After that, one more LONG-y long long, and then it's time to taper!

All the parts seem to be working OK - knees a tiny bit dodgy (hence the plan to get back to spinning) - back and achilles not complaining, assorted ouchies on my feet under control. The thing is, when I run, I suprise myself at feeling strong and confident. I start out slow to warm up and my brain still expects to run out of breath, steam, confidence after a few minutes - but I don't. Then I start wanting to challenge myself and run a little harder and a little faster and a little longer. It's kinda exciting.

Speaking of brains, I just learned today that an old classmate (who I haven't seen in 25+ years but still have very fond memories of, for all the ways he brought me out of my shy sheltered shell (sniff sniff, what's that interesting scent coming from your back deck, oh 8th grade classmate?)) just had surgery for a glioblastoma (the very bad kind of brain cancer.) If anyone can beat it he can - he's a windsurfer, athlete, free spirit and great guy, from everything I can learn from mutual friends who are in touch with him now. But I'm feeling sad about it - this after another old friend (from college) took his own life last week. Stop getting sick and dying, people! The world needs you here!

Monday, September 01, 2008

PR: 5k....DNS: 10K

I was all about my first 10k of the season. I rode over to the Rhinebeck Mad Dash with a group of my Marathon Project buddies, and didn't realize until 10 minutes before the start of the 5K (and 40 minutes before the 10k) that everyone else I'd come with was doing the earlier, shorter race. If I'd done the 10, they'd have had to wait an extra hour or more for me to return. Everyone seemed unwilling to do that, as it's the day before school starts and they wanted to get back. I was really mad at first - I felt very disappointed and let down. (It would have been perfectly easy to drive myself had I known.)

But as soon as the race went off, I realized I was feeling very strong and energetic, so I decided to make the best of it and run as hard as I could. I reasoned that I'd just done a 9-miler last weekend so I knew I could run 3 easily. It was a cool morning, a lovely course, wide and flat with rolling hills - and when I hit the 1-mile mark before 11 minutes (roaringly fast for me) I thought I might be able to beat my best time. I chugged along, stopping to walk only a few brief times, and was even passing people in the final mile. It wasn't until the last quarter-mile that I started to feel like I was reaching my limit, but I've learned that is probably some kind of anxiety response - I often find myself wanting to walk when I know I have only a minute or two to go. Interestingly someone who was banging a drum called out something funny to me - don't remember what - and when I laughed, all the anxiety disappeared and I felt fine - strong enough to run my hardest for the last little bit.

My time was 36:30 - just about 12-minute miles, and about 2 minutes faster than my previous best this year, on what was almost entirely the same course (but hotter, if I recall correctly.) I felt fantastic after - who would have ever thought that 3 miles would seem easy to me! I still want to do a 10k soon - looking into options now! (PS as it turns out, everyone took so much time warming down, getting snacks, and chit-chatting that we didn't leave until almost when I'd have come back from the 10k anyway! But I have no hard feelings - it was a great morning!)

Edited to add: According to the official race results, my pace was 11:47 - that is way faster than I've ever run before! I was also 31 out of 35 in my age group. Not last or even second to last! How about that!