Saturday, August 30, 2008

John Z MDA 5K Race




I'm back with the details. You lucky people....haha

I got up early, the team was meeting at 6:30 for our warm up run. This race was 3 miles from my house so I was meeting them all there instead of carpooling.

This was Jada's very first 5k!! I was so excited for her because I remember when I ran my first race. I'd been running for about 6 weeks and was nervous to actually race. It was a four miler too...why do a normal 5k when I was planning on a full marathon with 4 months of training, it kinda fit the bill I guess. It was that race that I got hooked. I was wondering how Jada would feel after hers!

We all got in line at the start. It was a little warm and windy. I had an agenda. I wanted a major shave off my time. I tried to stay focused and truly believe I could do it. I was pumped. I was R-E-A-D-Y. That's when I glanced to the right. OMG! My daughter Kirstin was with my husband! I casually mentioned earlier in the week that I had a race, in case anyone wanted to come. She said she would since she'd never been to any of my races. I SOOO wanted her to come but she works so late, I tried not be too hopeful. When I spotted Bob and Kirstin I yelled. I was so happy, I even cried a little. We all hugged and I got back in line.

I had Ed and Josephine in my sights. I didn't expect to keep up with them, but I wanted to go out fast and try to keep the pace for as long as I could. That lasted one mile for me....LOL. Ed told me later we went out at sub 8's, then got into an 8 for the first mile. After that they steadily left me in the dust. I could see them up ahead (little spots in the until about mile marker 3, but I was a GOOD minute behind them already.

The first mistake I made was to run the water table. I know better than that. Between my training and not over hydrating before the races I SHOULD have walked it. Instead I tried to swallow some water while running. I inhaled it instead. Almost drowned myself....LOL. I learned a lesson though, so I won't punish myself too severely.

I, Kim Cusick, do hereby solomnly swear to walk the water tables from now on. PROMISE.

Anyway, by the time I got to the bridge I was tired and feeling like I wouldn't PR. I walked up the small bridge and ran down it to get my legs back into it. About 3 people passed me at this point. Usually I get passed in the beginning of a race, not the end. I try to save some energy for a strong finish, but I was worried I didn't have enough left in me this time. Self doubt is not a good thing to be feeling at this point.

That was when I heard Bob W coming up behind me. We run together occasionally. He's a quiet guy on our training runs but this time he was yelling at me to get going. He yelled for me to go faster, that I was almost there. I felt a surge of energy return to my legs and I did take off. I could see the finish line up ahead, which is my mental cue to go all out. Between that, knowing my husband and daughter were there, and Bob W turning into a Combat Drill Seargent behind me...I did finish stronger than I would have. (I appreciate your extra push Bob W!!!! Thanks again!!!

I finished at 27:25. About 30 seconds off my last PR. I am pleased. It wasn't the time I had in my mind, but that's ok. As long as I can keep shaving 30 seconds off each time I race, I'll be happy.

The race results have not come in yet, I don't have everyone's numbers, but I know Cindy shaved about 2 minutes off!! Jada finished strong but I didn't get a chance to talk with her after the race. I'll email her later. Josephine finished with Grand Master! A bunch of us got a trophy. (my first one)

Guess who wants to run now. Kirstin! She felt the excitement and met a few of my runner friends. She wants to start training for a 5k this week. I'm thrilled and proud. She's 19 yrs old, it's a great time for her to find the solace, peace, and personal triumphs running can bring. I can only hope to help her train like Jim trained me. The freedom and joy is the first step. The rest comes along naturally.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

4 Miles This Morning

This week I really got back into my gym classes. I went up a little bit on the weights and put a bit more into my yoga. So this morning when I got up at 5am to run 4 miles with my good friend, Ed....I was very sore. But I love it!!! John Cougar Mellencamp comes to mind..."Hurt So Good".

I've been playing around with my hydration before a run for a couple weeks now. Trying to find a happy medium between nicely hydrated and not being on the verge of doing the "I gotta pee" dance every time I run. There. I said it. It's been an ongoing issue from the start. I'm only 42 for cryin' out loud! Geesh. So...I have a Slim Fast and a banana about an hour before I run, then a few ounces of water when I head out. If it's over 5 miles I plant a bottle halfway around the route. It's working. No "issues" for almost 2 weeks now. YAY! I have had some chills a couple times, but I stopped when that happened. I expected to have some tweaking to do.

The funny thing about the Slim Fast and the banana is that I found this combo to help with leg cramping. My right calf had been cramping up on me a few times. I don't get any when I do this. Bonus that it works with keeping me energized and hydrated on my regular runs.

Ed met me in the driveway and we walked a short distance to warm up. Oh...I figured out why my Garmin won't work...I didn't get it with the foot pod. DUH! Sending it back for the right one.
Ed always has his so I call out what pace I think we're at and how far I think we've gone. I'm usually pretty close. I know it's from training without a watch.

We did 4 miles at a 10 minute pace, walking 45 seconds about half way (my idea, but Ed finishing at 39:30. That's good and bad news.

GOOD: that means we kept a pretty steady 10 minute pace and finished strong...which is what you want to do. We talked the entire way too. Good indication that we weren't killing ourselves.
BAD: that means we could've gone faster! I suggested we go for a 9:45 pace next time and see what happens. Ed humors me. He can totally go faster. He stays slower for me, just don't tell him I know this. He might take off on me!!

I felt a lot better after the run. I'm not too sore anymore. I also went to yoga 2 hours later and did some great stretches. Feelin' fine now!!!

Off to sew and get some stuff done!
Happy running!!!!

A Word From The Endurance Coaches (Week 7 Update)

Hello NP Endurance Project Teammates!!!

WOW. What a surreal experience for our training run at Oscar Scherer State Park this past Saturday morning. We were able to experience a complete gamut of "conditions." We began in the quiet stillness of the morning, marveling at the beauty of the trails, colors of wildflowers, scent of lemongrass, rich greens of the native fauna, precocious scrub jays and the kind footing of Florida forrest. We finished, soaked in relentless rain, remnants of Fay, lightning flashing, thunder pealing, our feet slogging through ankle-deep puddles, drenched, exhilarated!

SPECIAL THANKS to Joan and Ed Morgan, who prepared a memorable breakfast of iron-skillet on the camp stove pancakes, turkey bacon, sausage, syrup, fruit and a variety of juices and hot coffee.

All right, a great training run completed on our way to preparing for the Oct. 11 Half Marathon. Here’s what’s ahead for the rest of the week. We want to be fresh, NOT over-trained or tired for this Saturday’s event, the John Z MDA Run/Walk for Jerry’s Kids. The race location is Olde World Restaurant. We want to be there at 6:30 a.m. or so -- race starts at 7:30. We advise the front-end time to complete registration, get race packets, get settled, warm-up, and so on. Upon completion of the race, we’ll be planning on doing the course at a slower pace than what we raced at. These post-race miles on the fatigued legs will help build our endurance for the 13.1 miles Half Marathon. (This will count as the "long run" day of the week.) To get from here (Wednesday) to Saturday, you may want to do only one more day of light running (4 miles no later than Thursday.) You’ll run hard this coming Saturday—better to come into Saturday more rested rather than over-trained.

Do some abdominal, lower-back, obliques and arms strength-training and some stretching for your legs. Come into Saturday morning rested up and ready. Remember your individual goals for this project—we still have your goal cards as a reminder. We all want to keep our sights set on accomplishing our goal for the Half-Marathon.

Your coaches, Jim, Bethany and Kim

Monday, August 25, 2008

NP Endurance Project Week 7

This Saturday we had a 10 mile/90 minute run planned. At a state park. On a trail. I was against it the whole time but I'd never undermine my coach. Secretly I was hoping someone else would complain enough to get the run changed to a road run, but no. So I went, quietly but reluctantly. One bright spot was I had the chance to try out my Nike Trails. I hate them. My right toes were tingly and cramped, almost like the right shoe was too small. I was wishing I had my Vibrams with me.

But WAIT!! I digress!! We all met at the state park where Joan and Ed were camping. They very sweetly were holding an "after run" breakfast. Joan had that under control, coffee makers ready to brew and the pancakes, sausage and bacon making all of us wishing we were done so we could just hang out and chow.

Once all of us arrived we did some stretching and got ready to go. We were off! It felt like I expected, having run a few feet here and there on grassy terrain. My legs were tired pretty quickly. Ed kept me going though. I was ready for a water stop but Bethany, Bob, Michelle and Josephine were just going full out. Ed and I were right behind them, which felt pretty good. I knew I needed some water, I've been experimenting with hydrating for a couple weeks. I've had to really cut my pre-hydration intake before a run. I'm trying to take in more AS I run instead of before. It helps alot, but I do need to make sure I drink during the run more often. Too bad I hate to run carrying a bottle. Ed, being my running partner, understands this and is very accommodating. Ed is also a very competitive runner. I tried to kinda duck out for a water stop without interupting his run but that was not to be. He refused to let me go by myself since we were on trails I didn't know. I knew I'd be fine if I stayed on the trail but Ed came with me for the detour. I was glad for that, to be honest. (hugs Ed)

We got back on the trail and decided to just go our own way since we couldn't see our team members. We came up on Jim, Cindy and Jada. They had also taken a different path at some point. They were doing exceptionally well. Nice and easy. Just OOZING of endurance. I found myself thinking back to my earlier training days. When I was learning how to enjoy a long run. Time was not a huge issue yet. I thought it was at the time, but now I feel more pressure to be faster. The 3 of them were smiling and talking, having a great time. I felt happy because I knew they were having a great run.

Ed and I ran on, I needed another water stop. I didn't bother arguing with Ed about him going on this time. I knew he wouldn't leave me. We yelled for Joan to let her know we were stopping for water and to say hello. Joan and Tony (Cindy's husband) were waiting for all of us at their campsite. As we were getting back onto the trail, Josephine came running across the road. She got separated from the original group too. Josephine stayed with Ed and I and we got back into it.

By mile 6 or so, I was telling Ed I wanted to go hang out with Joan and curl up with a cup of coffee. He kinda laughed. Then I said I wished it would rain. It was so hot, some rain would be so cool. Be careful what you wish for. The sky opened up and we got some rain. And some thunder. Oh...and some lightening. All at the same time, may I add. Within 15 minutes we were running in 6 inch deep puddles. I was nervous running in deep puddles with lightening. All we could do was pick up the pace. There was a huge crack of thunder and lightening lit up the whole wide world!!! I was screaming so I never heard Josephine screaming too. (she never heard me either) The 3 of us just took off. We ran the last mile faster than the first! And talk about getting DRENCHED!!

All of us were back at the campsite withing 15 minutes of each other. We had a lovely breakfast together and talked about the run. The "camper" is more like a condo, all of us fit in there! Joan and Ed had towels for everyone too. Bethany found there was a shower right across the road. A few of us had showers and changed into dry clothes, myself included. It was heaven!

So...I got a couple of revelations on this trail run.

1. I don't like my Nike trails
2. I run better when I'm enjoying myself
3. Maybe trail running isn't so bad

#3 is a little shocking. I was SO ready to hate the trails, that I think I convinced myself of that before I actually ran a full trail run. I need to admit that I ran 7 miles and was not sore at all the next day. I was a little tired, but was a beautiful run. There were wildflowers everywhere. The scrubjays were flying beside us. The parks people were mowing the path so the grass smelled wonderful. A few times I wished I could just lay down in the grass. But this is Florida. The red ants are brutal. So I could not lie down. There were butterflies, dragonflies and I think I ate a few bugs. Ed says they were protein but I'd rather have a cheeseburger. Extra cheese too. And a handful o'chips. Throw in a Bud Light and I'll be your best friend....LOL.

So we all had a great run. I love this team and I'm so happy to be a part of this project. The half marathon is 5 weeks away and I know we'll all do so well. All of us want the best for each other. I don't think I could have hand picked a nicer group of people to train with.