Thursday, October 11, 2012

On The Clock

I figured I would start this post with a picture of my goal for next year. Yes, this mass of humanity is the starting line of the Chicago Marathon. I've been in that mosh pit five times before, and can't wait to do it again! I don't have the words to describe what the energy and feeling is like in the moments leading up to and after the start. As crazy as it sounds, it takes close to 30 minutes for everyone to cross the starting line. Thank goodness for timing chips.

Speaking of timing...as I mentioned in my last post, I hadn't run for time since my 5K on July 12th. Not that I haven't wanted to, in fact I'm normally pretty obsessive about that sort of thing. The problem is I lost my trusty Timex Ironman a while back and had yet to replace it.

So I borrowed my son Matt's watch (which I felt entitled to since I bought it for him!) and went out for a run during lunch yesterday. It was really breezy, windy enough so that I don't know if it helped, hurt or evened things out. Fortunately the last half was with the wind, because I needed it!

I have close to a half-dozen different loops around the campus where I work, which is a collection of 2-3 story office buildings and warehouse facilities. Suburban running at its best. The loops go between 3 miles and 5.2 miles, depending on time and fitness level.

Since I'm a little slower than I used to be, I selected the 3.6-mile loop, hit the watch and was off. I had hoped to run around a 10-minute pace, and hit the first mile in 9:30. Man, I was sucking some serious wind!

At this point, running into the wind was a bit of a help as I used it to settle down and catch my breath. As has been my norm lately it took a while to feel "great" but by the time I got to the last mile I had opened up my stride and was feeling good.

I hit the parking lot and checked my watch. 3.6 miles in 35:49! Sweet! It wasn't by much, but I broke the 10-minute mark, which felt outstanding! There was a time when I would rip through my 5.2-mile loop in about 37 minutes, but it's a step forward, and progress.

I followed that up today with a 3-miler during lunch. I almost didn't go out because I had the worst cramp in my leg overnight and was a bit concerned about running on it. I can't believe how bad that hurt! Now that it is getting colder I sleep while wrapped up in my quilt and it seemed to take forever to get out of bed and walk it off. Man, that's pain.

The spot in the muscle where I had the cramp still hurt today, but I made sure to hydrate and stretch it out a little bit. Thankfully it wasn't even a thing during my run.

Though I would love to run tomorrow, I won't. For now I just don't think it is a good idea to run three days in a row. The plan is to hopefully get out Saturday and Sunday. Hard to believe the Hot Chocolate run is three weeks from Sunday. Getting excited!

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