Starting From Scratch, Again

It’s been a while.

Let’s just say 2015 hasn’t been the greatest year for running.

I missed most of the winter running due to family issues. My dad got sick and life got busy.  And I got lazy, let’s be perfectly honest. After the 1/2 marathon, one year ago today actually, I felt like I was in the best shape of my life. But that race really tired me out and physically my body needed a break even if my mind wouldn’t listen.  I got shin splints again and benched myself over Christmas. With my dad’s illness, it was hard to get motivated to run and when you don’t run regularly, the -17C temperatures certainly don’t invite you out.  So, I sat on my couch. I cross-stitched and ate what I wanted and gained back a few pounds.

Finally, I got some motivation and started running again in February or March, at this point it’s all a blur.  It was literally like starting from scratch.  Suddenly I was slow again and dealing with stupid aches and pains.  I had stopped the weight training as well and everything seemed harder.

Race-wise, I made the decision earlier in the year not to repeat any race I had done in 2015.  I planned all new races.  I did the Ride for Heart 5K, the Waterfront 10K, the  Womens’ 10K, the Beaches Jazz Run 5k and the Toronto 10-miler (16K).  None of these races were personal bests, or personal records for that matter.  I just went out and had fun. My training has sucked on and off all year.  Shin splints, groin aches, work-life, you name it there was a reason why I didn’t run regularly.

My weight has creeped up a bit this last month or so as I had to bench myself, yet again, due to wickedly painful posterior shin splints. It’s such a constant battle.  I took two weeks off before my last race, the Scotiabank 5k.  My shins felt okay and since I had started cross training on the stationary bike, I hadn’t lost any ground on my fitness.  Looking at the race photos, the weight gain is super obvious to me and it really bugs me. No one else would probably notice it but we are our own worst critics.

I decided today, on this 1 year anniversary of my first 1/2 marathon, that I will run that race again next year.  Come hell or high water.  I am going to do my utmost to keep up with cross-training and weights. Wish me luck!

 

Everything Hurts.

In that good way though.

I ran my first 10K race yesterday.  I loved every minute of it.  More than the 5K, I have to admit.  Much, much more.  This race was in my city and the weather was perfect, albeit a bit on the humid side, but after the winter we had I am NOT going to complain.

My neighbor offered me a ride early so I took it and spent two hours alone, watching the crowds build and taking in all the sights. It was glorious, really, to be alone with my thoughts as I watched other runners preparing for their race.  At atmosphere was friendly and cordial. Everyone had smiles on their faces.

As my start time loomed, I felt the familiar grumblings of nerves in my stomach but I was also just happy to be running again.  I had taken the previous three days off to rest my legs and it was the smartest move I made.  As I crossed the start line and started running, I could tell within a few minutes that my legs were happy and this was going to be a great run.  I kept to a comfortable pace and at the first kilometer marker I decided to keep running and made a split-second decision to alter my plain.  Normally I would have run intervals of 1 km running to 100 m walking but my legs felt strong, so I pushed myself and took walk breaks every 2 km.

1-3km.  There was a beautiful cool breeze and as I found my pace, I just took everything in and watched others ahead of me.  I had to weave a bit as I passed slower runners and a few walkers.

3-7km.  I was starting to get hot.  The breeze died and the air was thick.  At the 4 km water station I saw a fire hydrant had been turned on and other runners were going through it.  YES!  I ran over to it and cooled down instantly. It was a glorious feeling.  I got some water, drank some of my own Gatorade from my belt and kept going.

7-10km.  Starting to get a bit tired.  I kept my walk intervals consistent every 2 km and knew that if I kept it up I would finish strong.  As I approached the 9km marker I honestly started looking for the finish shoot but it was out of my line of sight.  My legs were tired but I knew I had a little more in them to push on and I went through the finish line with my arms up high and felt stronger than ever.  What a great feeling!!!

I found my family and got big hugs and kisses and we walked over to the medal area.  I frantically searched for my chip time and was thrilled.  I really couldn’t have asked for a better day.

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I woke up today with very sore quads and calves.  Sore in that way you know you went out and gave it your all.  I will take a few days off to rest and consider what’s next.  15k? 21.1?  It all seems more possible now.