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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reflections After the Race

I am truly glad I ran the North Creek Explorer Race on Saturday night.

I am more motivated to do more outside running and to do more challenging runs on the treadmill. I want to be able to keep up or at least see my BFL Tina and my son Jimmy if we run in a race again. :)

I am thrilled to report that I have had no knee pain since race day. Usually I work on legs at the gym on Mondays but I begged off. I wanted to be careful.

When my lungs cleared up a bit during the last mile, I probably should have worked a little harder to make up for the first two poorly run miles. I was so lonely though in the small race with its' small number of participants that I had little encouragement to kick it up a notch.

Bruce and my surrogate son Kianni seem to have the running bug now. They ran on Sunday and Monday and they'd like to sign up for the next race.

I think I will sign up for whatever race Tina does next. She's looking to run in February or March.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

5K North Creek Explorer December 18. 2010

Well, well, well. I've been having so much fun at the gym that I wasn't very interested in racing. I'd promised my friend Tina that I would run with her though and I like to keep promises, as best as I can. It's the biblical thing to do. God lent me His grace and I started to get excited about the race though and I'm glad I showed up and laced up.

There was a deluge of rain in our town today and I was so disappointed. I'd started running more at the gym and my knee pain returned so I went thru all kinds of emotions throughout the day. I was relieved on one hand to have an excuse to not show up but would have been disappointed not to actually run. I'm pretty sure that the knee pain is hardly anything to worry about though. The orthopedist said that didn't concern him at all. He says that it's completely normal for me to have some minor pain. I think the recent cold weather for FL aggravated it also. I don't stretch enough either. I keep forgetting!

So the humidity was terrible today after the rainy day. The humidity was 96% and it felt like 200% to me. I have asthma and it is very difficult for me to run in humidity. I was gasping for air five minutes into the race. It was terrible. It's hard to describe. It's somewhat akin to being in a sauna room in a gym with a bag over your head. Blah.

I waved Tina and Jimmy on and told them to keep running. I was so thrilled that they were running so well. I wanted to see just how well they would do.

It was a very small race though so that meant I got very lonely. 155 folks showed up for race day.

The previous races I have participated in have had an average of 1000 participants. I have always had a lot of company but there were many stretches in this race in which I was all alone. :( I'm a loner by nature and had no idea that I like running with a pack! There was a lady in her late 30s and her young daughter perhaps; they hung out with me here and there. I'd pass them and then they'd pass me. We went on and on like that for about 2 1/2 miles. Alas, I tried to outrun them in the end and failed. :(

IT CERTAINLY DIDN'T HELP FOR FIDO TO SHOW UP NEAR THE END OF THE RACE. I'm afraid of dogs and I had a run-in with a mean Doberman 37 years ago and an ugly dog in 2009. I ended up donning a baseball bat in 2009 and threatened the ugly thing with nasty words and promised him great harm. The ugly cowardly dog finally backed away. Fido was taller than the ugly dog though and I wasn't as confident. It's very daunting to run past a tall fierce looking dog. I yelled out for help from the police manning the race nearby but they couldn't hear me. I stopped running and timidly walked past Fido and all was well. Thank you, God!

Despite the smothering humidity, I was glad I laced up and showed up.

With all my troubles, I ended up running seven seconds slower than my last 5K on March 20, 2010. I finished number 7 of 12 in my age group. I'm disappointed but I shouldn't complain, being an older asthmatic runner of 43 years of age, who has only been running for 10 months. I couldn't run for four months, and had physical therapy. I just started running again four months ago. Fortunately, I've had no knee pain since race day.

I am so proud of our son Jimmy. He ran 38:54 on March 20, 2010 and yesterday he ran 34:25! How cool is that? He probably could have had a much better time but he stopped three times to re-tie his shoes. :)

My BFL, Tina, ran 33:55. This was her first race. I'm so proud of her. What a trooper!

I love God for giving us this fun hobby.

Gym Update

Today was my fourth 5K. In my next entry, I will give the full race report. My previous race was on March 20, 2010. I had six months of running behind me and thought I should work on my speed. My speed work was the beginning of the end of running for a while for me. I started the speed work soon after my third race and the same day I started speed work I started having some nagging pain on the inside of my right knee.

I kept resting my knee, icing it, and compressing it without any success. Ibuprofen didn't give me much relief either.

I finally went to physical therapy after a few months and that helped a lot. I also learned to swim and that was a tremendous aid in my recovery.

My physical therapist Nita explained to me that my hamstrings and thigh muscles were weak and needed to be strengthened. I hated strength training back then and thought it so boring.

Nita and the orthopedist I visited thought that my knee itself was fine and that I'd strained my thigh muscles. After physical therapy and working out on the big machines I started to like the way my knee felt. It felt stronger and I liked that my muscles started to look more toned.

I decided to join a nearby gym to prevent re-injury. I didn't know how to use any of the equipment so I hired a trainer. Her name is Ildi McShae and I love her; she has helped me so much. Unfortunately though, I never have the time to run more than once or twice a week and it's usually on a treadmill.

Nevertheless, I have had great success at the gym. I love strength training. I used to be a hater (of strength training.) :)

I have made some minor changes in my diet upon Ildi's suggestions and my body fat has decreased from 27% to 16 %. I attribute that to aiming for 30 grams of protein per meal. One major factor, too, is that I consume a one egg/four egg white omelet six days a week, at the least. I throw in a little salt, freshly ground coarse pepper, onions, and yellow, green, orange, or red peppers. It is so filling, low in calories, and cheap. The other thing I've done is to decrease my sugar consumption. I don't crave it the way I used to now that I'm consuming more protein.

I also eat roasted chicken breast and a huge salad for dinner every night. I eat my heaviest meal at lunch and not at dinner. Additionally, I consume no carbs after 3 PM in general. Ildi explained to me that carbs are not needed after 3 PM and that "they just stick to your gut."

I've also lost an inch of my waist, dropped two dress sizes. The width of my hips has decrease as well as my brasserie size. TMI? Sorry. I'm a nurse.

Race report to follow.