It’s a rainy start to my official summer, so I suppose what would be better than some laundry and blogging?!? I’ve fallen behind in my blogging, with very little free time as I’ve been finishing up yet another school year and getting everything ready for my sister’s wedding. In the meantime, I’ve commenced on another 18 weeks to 26.2 and am planning on running the Tow Path Marathon on October 7!
|Saying good-bye to another group of amazing seniors!|
|Jeness and I with some more amazing ones!!|
So, with my focus on all that is good, I decided to run a 4 miler on Memorial Day in University Heights on the campus of my good ol' Alma Mater John Carroll University. This is where my love of running began, as I used to wind through the beautiful neighbors with my Discman (remember those things??? WOW I’m old!) and get myself lost. I was very excited simply to reminisce on the undoubtedly gorgeous course. Although it was another upper 80s day of terrible running weather <but amazing for everything else weather>, I decided I’d at least go out there to be a part of a fun race atmosphere without any unrealistic expectations. I definitely wanted to push myself as always, but had no to desire to run anything under a 6:40min/mi pace with the wicked weather conditions. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of 4 mile races. I feel like I can’t get the same “kick” that I get with 5Ks. So, 6:40 pace was my goal.
When we lined up at the race start, the race director made an announcement encouraging all of the runners to take it easy with the extreme weather conditions. Although my adrenaline is always flowing toeing the line prior to a race, I knew I’d need to back off. I was already sweating from my warm-up, was still in recovery mode from the CLE 1/2, and just wanted to get in a good workout. So, sparkling in my red, white, and blue, the horn went off---and I completely ignored him, haaaa! Unintentionally, at least…
I started out with a pack of boys that I could tell were definitely pushing the pace and were unexperienced—just not your typical male runners. Their huffing and puffing was annoying the crap out of me, so I picked up the pace to get a decent distance from them that I knew they wouldn’t be able to recover from. As a consequence, I crossed the first mile marker at 6:10---OOOOOOPS!! I immediately dropped my pace WAY BACK and maintained about a 6:40 pace throughout mile two. Into mile three, there were some gradual inclines and I started biting my own dust. It was VERY toasty on the course, and I took this mile WAAAAAAAY too easy, probably close to a 7:00 pace---EEEK! I ended up getting passed by a dude with a running stroller, LOL! The universe sure as heck has a hilarious sense of humor. J But, once I got into mile 4, I was hurting but was able to push for a strong finish. I ended up clocking in as first overall female, with a 27:23, 6:51min/mi. I missed my goal, but I got a nice little trophy, and it was a good excuse to eat lots of ribs for dinner that night!! Plus, it was nice to reflect on how much I've accomplished since my JCU days, and how you really never know what God has planned for you. I never anticipated being a teacher, and my love and passion for my job is greater than I ever could have imagined. I NEVER would have thought I would be a "runner" beyond my jogging to pass the time, and running has become such a significant part of my life. In my little reflection time at JCU, I left feeling so happy and hopeful for the great things to come in the future! It is never too late for great things to happen in your life. You just have to be willing to take the steps to MAKE things happen! :-)
|Hot trophy (literally, it was hot out there, bahaaa)!|
Since then, I’ve gotten some new kicks and have completed week 1 of my Tow Path Marathon training! I chose the Tow Path because it’s local and truly low-key, unlike Cleveland which has grown into a mid-sized marathon mania. I won’t need to book any flights, hotels, worry about pre-race food, walking too much, etc. I love big city marathons, but they can be really overwhelming and exhausting. I’m excited to run a marathon where my focus is only on the marathon!
I ran my first long run with my good friend Jen on Saturday. I haven’t run with anyone since the fall, so it’s great to have a training partner back!! I strongly recommend that all runners find a person or group to run with it. Although aspects of running solo I enjoy, I really enjoy Jen’s company and having her there to push me. It’s very easy to get complacent with running, especially in long runs. But, if you want to become a better runner, complacency won’t get you there! We were anything but complacent on our first 10 miler, were chatting a way through each mile catching up on lots, and ended up averaging a 7:40min/mi. A bit fast, but it felt comfortable and easy—so no complaints. I’m thinking a 7:50ish pace for the long runs this summer will be my goal. I want to see how the first few weeks of marathon training go, and then I’ll decide on marathon finish time goals. I would like to break 3:10, but I’m holding off on that commitment—at least for now!
I will have more time to dedicate to my blog this summer---so just a warning!!! Hopefully, I'll be able to do more daily blogging regarding lots of aspects of running like I did last summer. HERE'S TO A GREAT SUMMER!!! :-D