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Do Race Results Matter? June 5, 2012

Today I saw the official race results for the See Jane Run 5k I did this weekend. They made me happy.  Overall, I came in #681 out of 1,475 runners in the 5k. That was in the top 50%!

I mentioned this to the family and stated that it felt better than my results for Wildflower, where I came in 776 out of 786. That’s right, I was tenth from dead last. While people can say all they want that I was miles or millions ahead of all the people who didn’t do a triathlon at all – still, it feels psychologically different. I know I’ll never WIN a race, and part of me certainly does believe that “finishing is winning” – but damn, I don’t really ever want to come in last. And I don’t like being that close to last, either. I like feeling like I am in the middle of the pack, and if I am just a smidge toward the front, then all the better.

These things are all so silly and arbitrary but at the same time, they DO mean something. Otherwise people wouldn’t be so hot to see their results, and they wouldn’t use computer chips and all kinds of fancy technology to track it all. It does matter to someone. It matters to me.

During (and after) I ran this “little” 5k on Sunday, I felt strong. I felt capable. I felt proud of myself. When I’m struggling with all my might and I’m so close to the end of the pack, it’s just that… a struggle. I have to talk myself into feeling proud. I’m physically beat and NOT feeling strong.

This weekend I vowed to mostly participate in races where I can have that strong feeling. Which means not getting in over my head, or going in undertrained or unprepared. I think it just does more harm than good. I really wish I could do See Jane Tri in September, but darn it, I just found out it’s the same weekend as Fitbloggin, which I can’t miss for anything. So.. maybe another time. And maybe another tri.

What do you think? Does it matter to you what your results are when you run a race, or are you truly just in it for fun? Do you even LOOK at your results?

 

Race Recap: See Jane Run 5k June 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Susan @ 9:43 pm
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ImageThe See Jane Run 5k Race today was great for so many reasons. First, it was the very first race I’ve ever repeated. My first SJR was in 2009, and it was only my 2nd race ever. So it was cool to have a repeat experience.

It was also great because I decided to do it just about a week ago. It feels great to just be able to decide on the spur of the moment to do a 5k race, and to know that I am pretty much “race ready” any time. That. Is. Awesome.

Last weekend I went for a 5k run with the Team, and it just felt wonderful – effortless and pain free and just GOOD. So the next day when I saw that my friend Mary had posted on Facebook that she’d run 5k for the first time and was looking for a race to do, I quickly suggested See Jane Run. It’s so wonderful for a first race: flat, with beautiful views, all women, and ending with champagne and chocolate AND a medal. Can’t beat that, right? So she signed up and I was probably more excited about HER having this experience than myself.

In the back of my head I was thinking I probably would not be as fast as I was in 2009. I was lighter then, and focusing more on running than other stuff, and younger (heh). So I didn’t have huge expectations. I was just happy to be there and to support Mary.

As great as it was for her to be accomplishing this thing she thought she’d never do, it was so meaningful and emotional for me to know that ¬†*I* had been her inspiration to start running in the first place. What! Me! She had come to my Healthaversary party in January, and there were so many people who were runners and triathletes, it got her thinking she wanted to start it up. We told her about the couch to 5k app, and she just went ahead and DID it without me knowing, and voila, last week she completed it! I was so impressed and proud of her.

One of the thing I love about See Jane Run is that it actually openly allows music and MP3 players. I think that makes a huge difference for me. I ran the race with my Runkeeper app, and every 5 minutes it told me my pace, time, distance, etc. I thought I wanted to be close to my last SJR time of 36-37 minutes. (OOPS I thought it was 39 until I just checked!) Anyway, I learned from last time. I didn’t start off with a rush near the front. We started toward the back of the pack and it was just relaxed. There were LOTS of runners! And walkers. And strollers.

The weather was gorgeous and perfect – starting out cool and foggy and then sunning up as time passed. It was just so comfortable. I went out slowly, and then as I warmed up I felt stronger and stronger. We got to the halfway turnaround before I knew it, then it was over. I wasn’t struggling at all. At the end, I sprinted with a burst and that just felt GOOOD. I was so happy!

Image

We celebrated with champagne and chocolate and hugs, then Mr McBody and Mr. Mary took us out for a great brunch. Then home for a nap. It felt so awesome to do this race for FUN. 

And, well, I didn’t beat my record but I matched it, and that was good enough for me. Yippee! More fun to come!

 

Race Recap: Rhodes Race 5k April 15, 2012

TNT race swag!

I almost forgot to write this race recap today – making me realize how “everyday” a 5k has become. Which is incredible, considering my humble beginnings and starting up, when a 5k was the ULTIMATE, the PINNACLE, the longest race I could ever imagine doing. And now I can just decide a day or two before, “Think I’ll do a 5k this weekend!”

Today’s race was very familiar and comforting in many ways – it was the perimeter of Lake Merritt, which I’ve run on dozens, maybe a hundred times. So I know the course like my own hand. And the race itself was organized by Team in Training folks as their way of fundraising for the cause – so it was also like a giant family reunion of hundreds of TNT people. I got to see friends from my prior triathlon team, and my hike team coach, and some of the running coaches that I know by sight. It was cozy and fun.

sporting our nifty team shirt

The race itself? Well it was all informal like, with people saying “line up by that sign over there” and then an airhorn went off, and boom! As ususal, I started out way too fast and pooped out very quickly. All that adrenaline! My Runkeeper told me that I was running about an 11 minute mile after 5 minutes. That is nowhere NEAR what I’ve been averaging lately, so I knew it was a bit much for me. Sure enough my feet started cramping up and my calf was also super tight so after about 10 minutes I was in full hobble mode and had to stop and do a good stretch.

I ended up running with a bunch of my teammates that I usually run with, and it was all friendly like for most of the race. We kept passing each other back and forth and it just felt… comfortable. Some of our teammates totally rocked it – Coach Nick won 2nd place in the 30-39 division and Lily and Holly loved it so much they doubled it up for a 10k!

coming through the finish a 2nd time!

The race was fun because they also had a “Canine Division” (so many happy dogs running!) and a “Stroller Division.” The winning kids and dogs even got prizes.

coach Mark, doggie Molly and Lily

It was all huge fun. Timewise, it turned out to be pretty much the slowest 5k race I’ve ever done. But you know what? I didn’t care. I felt happy to be out there on this beautiful day with a great group of people, and it was all good.

GO Team!!!!!!!

mini donuts at the finish!

so great to see prior tri teammate Katherine & hike coach Carolyn!

... and current teammates Ayala & Tori. Love them!

 

Events WishList for 2011 January 19, 2011

Calendar

Okay, so I must be feeling better. I’m making up my wish list of active events for the coming year. And: I would LOVE COMPANY at any of these!!!!!! Tell me if you want to join in! Remember, the “company” is for before/after shmoozing. I go at my own pace which may be much slower or faster (<<ha ha unlikely!) than another person. But I love sharing events with people and especially reading race or event recaps where I shared the same experience.

  • January 29: Dam Run 5k (I downgraded from a 10k just because of my shaky health and that I still have not run a mile this year!!) — COMPLETED! YAY!

  • January 30: My Healthaversary! TWO YEARS of health and fitness, yahoo! A ritual hike to the labyrinth at Sibley Volcanic Park, followed by awesome lunch at my house. Email me if you want to attend.
  • March 27: Fight For Air Stair Climb – sign up for our team!! East Bay Fit Club! I am about to post about the amazing fundraiser I’m doing to raise some $$ for the American Lung Assocation.
  • March 28: Oakland Running Festival – not sure yet if I’m going to do a Team Relay or go for the Half-Marathon. It all depends on how my running goes in Jan/Feb.
  • May 15: Bay to Breakers! My first! Yahooo!
  • May 20: Fitbloggin! Including the Fitbloggin’ 5k! Yay!
  • September 4: Disneyland Half Marathon
  • December 4: Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon!
 

Look at the Fun We Have February 7, 2010

Filed under: exercise,good things,running,walking — Susan @ 11:57 pm
Tags: , , , ,

My dad used to have a favorite saying regarding his work, which was: “We don’t make any money, but look at the fun we have.” Which was not completely true (the money part). He worked really hard as a traveling salesman. But he did have fun, and he did love his work, and he worked every day until the day he died, from his hospital bed, at the age of 81. It did make me so happy that he said that though, and I knew the fun part was true. I remember being so stunned when I read “Death of a Salesman” because I couldn’t imagine a salesman that wasn’t happy. It took me a while to figure out that this was all about my dad’s way of looking at life.

Anyway, I felt that way today in the 5k race that I did with my friend on her birthday. My phrase of the day would be: “We didn’t break any records, but look at the fun we had.”

I picked her up in the wee dark hours and she was wearing this lovely princess hat, and also had a collection of big red helium balloons, the better to be found in a crowd. She had a bunch of relatives who were joining her and cheering her on.

We drove into San Francisco and as the sky began to lighten up it was just the most beautiful day ever. Yesterday it POURED and tomorrow it is supposed to rain again, so it was like this magical window of loveliness that we were treated to for the race.

There were allegedly over 10,000 people there. I believe that. It was really exciting. People all lined up for the half-marathon and the 5k. I didn’t feel a second of regret over changing my goal to the 5k, although I did make a vow to complete a half-marathon at SOME point this year. I’m kind of eyeing one in October, which is probably a reasonable goal.

I felt so relaxed. People were saying “Happy Birthday!” to my friend and she was just so giddy and happy. We inched up to the starting line and then crossed it and… started walking fast. Then I got into a conversation with one of her family members and I got sorta distracted and before I knew it the race monitors were saying “less than a mile!” and I thought, oops, maybe I better get some running in! So I took off running and finished it up. It was … err.. the longest time I think I’ve ever taken for a 5k. But I didn’t care. It was fun.

Something was sorta off with my ankle brace and my newish running shoes. I’m gonna have to get that fixed before the marathon relay at the end of March. Now I feel like I can really FOCUS on getting trained for that one. It was kinda hard trying to prepare for these two very different events.

Yesterday we had an Open House event at WW, and we had a guest running coach from a local running club. I got to spend some time talking to her. She did say that if I’m training for an event that is longer than what I’m used to/comfortable with, I need to be RUNNING a minimum of 3-4x a week, even if they are short runs (she recommended 3 short, 1 long per week). I think she is probably right. Although I feel generally fit, I am not feeling like a super runner at this moment. So I’m gonna step that up, no pun intended, so that I am all ready for the marathon relay.

I got very excited because the Oakland Marathon had a booth, and they displayed the hefty medals for the relay teams. It was pretty thrilling. One of these big blue babies is going to be OURS! Woot!

 

Re-Adjusting Goals February 1, 2010

Filed under: emotions,exercise,running,walking — Susan @ 4:35 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve pretty much decided that in next week’s 5k/Half Marathon event, I’m going to do the 5k instead of the half-M. A few days ago I was really struggling with this decision. It felt like a downgrade, a defeat, yeah… a failure. But now I’m feeling like it is just the healthy and realistic thing to do. So what, I was able to do 9 miles last week. This week I had a real decrease in my training, due to a spontaneous visit to the Frozen Tundra to visit my girl who was in need of some mama-time.

Also, I had originally signed up for the event to celebrate the birthday of a friend. SHE has decided to do the 5k. I feel like, what’s the point of doing it WITH her if I’m not going to be WITH her at all. I’d rather be with her for a 5k than separated by hours if I do the half.

ALSO, I missed one session of my solo performance class yesterday, due to aforementioned traveling, and if I do the half marathon, it means I’d have to meet next week’s class too. That’s too much.

Do I sound defensive? Or like I’m making excuses?

A few days ago, I did not feel so great about this decision. I feel like it’s fine to adjust one’s goals UPward (ie to do MORE than you planned) but there is something discouraging about adjusting them “downward.” But that’s nonsense. I feel so relieved and glad and feel like this is the right thing to do.

Sure, it would have been a happy moment to say “I finished a half-marathon!” but I can do that another time. If I want to. And I may or not get the urge to do this at some other point.

For me, it was more important to be with my daughter this weekend. It’s going to be more important to hang with my friend, and go to my class, next weekend. I’m glad I’ve come to peace with this and that I’m not beating myself up over it.

Now I feel like I can really focus on my training for the Team Penguin relay for the Oakland Marathon on the 28th. Right now, I feel like I’d like to be able to run my whole leg of the relay (7.5 miles, or 10K). Last week, my 10K training day felt pretty icky. My feet ankle hurt and I was pretty discouraged. However, today I ran (not so far, about 1.2 miles) in 18 degree weather, in UGGS (LOL! I forgot to put on my running shoes and didn’t realize it till I was 10 minutes out) and even though it was a short distance in freeeeeeeeeeeeezing cold, it actually felt great. So who knows. I’m gonna do my best. We’ll see how it goes.

No such thing as failure, right, friends??

 

 
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