Monday, September 16, 2013

A Day of Firsts

Today was a great running day.  Some days are good, others are bad...but today was great.  I love starting the week off with a good run.  It makes me feel strong, it makes me feel confident, it makes me feel like I can conquer the week ahead...and it makes me feel tired.  Once I finish this post and take a nice power nap...then I'll be ready to conquer the week.

Today I did something I've never done before...I ran my first virtual race.  (Click here to learn more about virtual races)I know I told you before I signed up for a virtual marathon...well that one's coming up in October.  This was another virtual race I found through one of my Facebook running groups...and the race that opened my eyes to the grand, exciting world of virtual running.

I received my medal in the mail on Saturday, and it made my day.  My hubby just laughed at me...but he's been running since he was 18.  Me...I'm a relative newbie and I need motivation.  Oh yeah...and BLING.

I was so excited to get out there and earn it.  Sure, I've run in the past month since I signed up, so I could always use one of those runs to earn the medal.  But...wouldn't it be more fun to be able finish the race and immediately put the medal around my neck?  Of course!!!  That was the plan for today.  Continue my 10k training routine (making sure my total walking and running distance was at least 6.2 miles) and earn my medal.  What a way to start the week.

Since I'm nearing the end of my training the goal today was to have two 30 min runs, with a 1 minute walk break.  Easy enough...right?  After all, a few weeks ago my total run time was 60 minutes...why shouldn't I be able to do it again?

Another first for today...I decided to try carrying a water bottle with me.  Since I'm running longer distances and I don't like looping back by my house (in my mind I think I'm done and I want to stop NOW) I decided this might be the solution.  Over the weekend I bought a fancy water bottle that has a neat little handle to make it easier to hold while you're running.  (Pink, of course, because I'm girly like that.)  It's definitely an adjustment...and I haven't yet decided if I like it of not.  I'll give it a couple more tries.

Water bottle pros:
  • Water ready for me at all times
  • The hand strap keeps me from dropping it...even when it gets sweaty 
  • The pocket is a great place to store my beans.  I hate it when I spill the beans.
Water bottle cons:
  • Ice cold water is COLD to carry
  • It's heavy
  • I had to ration my water or it would all be gone before I finished the first 5 minutes
  • After a while it got sloshy (not sure that's a word...)
  • I tried to carry it switching back and forth between my hands...but my left hand seemed to have some issues.  Darn non-dominant hand.  
Ok...back to my run.  I always think it's funny how I start a run with a plan...and then it goes right out the window.  Today was one of those days.  As I approached my 1 minute walk break I decided I really didn't need that break after all.   Why not try to run the whole time?  These are the crazy decisions I make when running in the sun before my caffeine has fully kicked in.  

So...when the time came for me to walk I just kept on running.  My walk break is when I normally eat my beans.  They give me nutrients and energy...but mostly they make me happy.  I like being a happy runner!  Since I wasn't stopping to walk, that meant I got to eat my beans while running.  I had never tried that was an interesting experience. I've always said I was a know the kind that can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Running, chewing and swallowing is on a whole new level. Somehow I managed to not fall down, not bite my tongue and not choke. Another first!

The moment I swallowed my beans I had a burst of energy. Man those things work fast...or the whole thing is just in my head.  Either way...I was ready to keep going.  

Since my longest non-stop run was 45 minutes I was determined to beat that.   Just a few minutes after skipping my walk I was beginning to question my decision.  These mid-run moments of insanity need to stop.  I hit as many downhills as possible. I started drinking water more often. As soon as I hit 45 minutes I was relieved. Everything else was just bonus.

Having met my first goal I set a new one...50 minutes.  By now it was sunny, and I was at the lowest part of the neighborhood.  There was no place to go but uphill. I ALMOST made it. Total non-stop running time...49 minutes 42 seconds. A NEW RECORD!!!

I walked (uphill) for a little while and decided to finish my run. The plan was 60 minutes of run time...I need to at least get that far. By the time I was done I had run 60 minutes and 20 seconds. Another new record. 

Adding in my walking, my total distance today was 6.63 miles. I reached my goal...and then some. I earned my medal!  I know that in this virtual race there was no set I could have run a 5k and called it good...but I wanted to push myself. I didn't want to just do the minimum...I wanted to push myself so that I truly earned it.

So... Here's a recap of my firsts for today:
  • First virtual race
  • First non-stop run over 49 minutes
  • First total run over 60 minutes (barely...but since this is a sport of nanoseconds my extra 20 seconds is actually like running an extra hour.  Right?)
  • First run with a sloshy water bottle
  • First time to eat while running
This wasn't my perfect run...but it was still a great run.   The start of a great week...once I get that nap of course. 


  1. Krista, I am loving reading your blog. I just started "running" randomly about a month ago. I don't go fast and I don't go far, but I am trying. Great job on meeting and surpassing your goals!!

  2. Thanks Denise. Keep it's not so much about the distance or the pace but getting out and doing it.