Monday, October 27, 2008
Sorry, I haven't posted in so long. I have lost some weight, but my scale died since then. I am under 230 and have pictures which I will post when I get a chance. Since my last post my daughter and I ran in another race. She ran 5k with her best time by far. I ran the 10k with a good time, but I know I could have done better. In addition, my wife did the 5k walk. She has been wearing a pedometer and trying to get active. It took a year and half, but I think my new lifestyle is wearing off.
After that, I ran a 15 mile training run. I did not get dehydrated that time and it was a much better experience except it was the toughest run yet.
Last week, my 7 year old demanded that I start training her to run. so now, I am training myself 3 days a week, my oldest daughter 3 days a week, and my second oldest 3 days a week. IOW, I am out running 9 times a week. I am so geeked that I am having such positive influence on my family.
The big news is that last Saturday, my daughter and I returned to our first race. She ran that 5.7 mile that we both ran last year. It's a very hilly course. She demolished her time from last year by 27 minutes. I am soooo very proud of her.
I am flabbergasted at my own achievement. Last year I ran the 5.7 with an 11:14 pace. This year I entered the half-marathon. I knew I could run much faster than last year. For example, my last race I ran at a 9:10 pace for 10k (6.2 miles). However, 13.1 miles is another beast altogether. My 14 mile horror run was at an 11:48 pace. My good 15 mile run was at 10:47. Even though I tried to incorporate hills into my run, I knew that they were nothing like some of the monsters on this course. So I was hoping to finish with a pace around 11:00 which would bring me in around 2hrs 24 minutes.
The night before the race, we drove to my in-laws to spend the night. They were going to watch the other kids. To my horror on race morning, I discovered that my running shoes weren't in the suitcase. Whenever my wife packs me, she always hounds me to double check what she packed. Sometimes I do, but often I don't. I didn't bother. I should have double checked. Now there was no time to get them. Luckily, I wore an old pair of running shoes up to their house. I quit running in them because they were not well padded and rubbed the top of my toes the wrong way. I had no choice, I had to wear them. I only hoped that my feet would survive them.
It rained all morning. It was chilly out, but thankfully the rain stopped before the race began. There were a lot more people running the half than I expected. I figured the more serious runners would enter the half, so I was banking on finishing last and being alone for most of the race. However, I was never alone. There were always other runners around me. The killer hills I remembered didn't seem so bad. Don't get me wrong they were tough, but my training got me through. Miraculously, the shoes never bothered my feet. Thankfully, a good portion of the run was on a dirt trail.
During the run, I knew I was running faster than I had been in my training runs. I was worried that I would run out of steam before the end. I was trying to pace myself so I could complete the race without dying. My hips started to get sore around mile 9. At mile 10, I started to tell myself that I just had a nice easy 5k run. I tried to push out of my mind the previous 10 miles and talk myself into think I was just running a 5k. My sore hips were telling me other wise. However, the thought of only running 5k prevailed. Instead of running out of steam, I increased my pace during mile 10, then a little faster during mile 11, and even faster during mile 12. I crossed the finish line in 2 hrs. 9 mins. and 34 seconds. That was a pace of 9:53.
All I can say is wow. I am grateful that God has given me strength and the wherewithal to run a half marathon and finish in a pace that was over a minute faster than I hoped for.
Some people have asked if I am going to run a marathon. Let me tell you that the half marathon was tough. There is no way that I could have run a marathon. A year ago, I would never have entertained the idea of running a half-marathon. Six months ago, I would have said that I would never have been in good enough shape to run a half marathon by now. I was sooooo wrong. What completing this race has taught me that I am stronger than I think I am. I encourage my daughter during our runs by having her say that she is stronger than she thinks she is. What irony that I needed to learn that very lesson for myself. So the answer is yes I am going to enter a marathon. I found one at the end of May that is on a flat course and not too far away. In addition, I have made up my mind to enter 2 Triathlons next year. One will be an olympic distance in August. The other will be the same one I did this year, but the half-ironman distance.
If you haven't noticed, I have become more self-confident. I have come a long way since my whiny, self-pitying, depressed filled days when I started this journey. I don't believe the confidence comes from the weight loss in and of itself. Instead, I believe the reason is two-fold. One reason is the increased fitness which led me to be able to train for and complete a triathlon and a half-marathon. Second, my biological changes have affected my emotional/psychological well being. This is partly due to the side-effects of weighing less as well the side-effects of living a fit lifestyle.
Sad to say, this does not mean that it gets easy. For example, I pass by a wonderful bakery on the way to the pool. This morning as I was coming home, I thought to myself that I could stop there. Nobody would know. They have these wonderful long johns filled with peanut butter cream. After all I just ran a half-marathon. I could afford to indulge. How easy it would have been to turn in. Frankly, I am not sure why I didn't stop. I didn't use my usually psychological tricks to get pas the temptation. I simply just passed by. I could have stopped an ordered 2 of those fat and sugar filled delights so easily. Sigh...it never gets easy. But it is possible!
"You are stronger than you think you are!"--HalfMan
Living Fit Is My #1 Job!