Monday, June 2, 2014

Licking Kiwanis 5k- Improvement

So after my last 5k I had a choice to make- Quit running forever or try harder..I had ran a 25:43 and the only split I knew was a 7:49 mile....... I wasn't sure what I was going to do and for a few weeks I was just going trough the motions of running.  Then on May 17th, I decided to time a 1 miler timed.  I ran a 7:27 (3:43, 3:44) and this was the start to turn everything around for me.  The following day we went to the park and I was running about 2-3 minutes faster per mile for an 8 miler.  Then Monday, May 19th (right before my birthday) I went out and felt 2 things I never feel. I expected to feel worn out from my 3 best days of training... yet all I felt was STRONG and CONFIDENT..... so I went with it and came out with my longest run of 11 miles and I did the first 10 without help, but Dad found me with one mile to go because he was worried since it was a planned approx. 6 miler.  For the most part since then, and up until now training has been pretty good. I even followed that mile time trail a week later with a mile in 6:57.

 So with next week traveling to the DC area to see my doctor and then the following weekend my parents going up to see my brother, his wife and baby Rose.  If I wanted to take this good training streak and test it out I had to race this weekend.  So I found a small race that was an hour away.  Dad and I talked before the race and we set the goal of shooting to be between 24:13-25:13, which would put the slow end only 30 seconds ahead of the 25:43 from April 19th.  Of course you always hope you can pull a rabbit out of a hat and run faster but that was the goal.

Last Race- Sue Apple 5k on April 19th- 25:43 (7:49, ?,?,?)(turn-around-approx 12:45) 2nd Female; 5th Overall

So Saturday, May 31st we went to Newark to run the Licking Kiwanis 5k.  It is an hour away from the house so we had to leave the house around 6:45 am and the race started at 9 am.  I got there and started people watching and flipping myself out.  Then finally I spotted someone that I absolutely had no chance at beating*. So now the goal was all about my time and hopefully finishing in the top 4 because I thought they were doing top 3 overall and then only 1 in age group.... but they did 3... but I wanted to at least get an age group award so I thought to guarantee that I had to be top 4. *( Later I found out I knew the girl that I knew I could not beat.  It was a girl named Diana that I used to race a lot.)

When the race was getting to start I lined up back around the 4th row, because I knew I could not run with the top runners there.  The race went off and using my watch and not their splits (they were way off on my watch) but y first mile was 7:07.  As I was approaching the mile I noticed that there were three guys coming back towards me so I decided to start counting how many guys I could pass to the finish.  I passed one right away and never saw him again.  Then I caught up to two more men and when I caught the one he took off and I never caught back up to him, the other one I stayed in front of until the last mile.  But my 2 mile split was 14:54 for a mile of 7:47....... at this point the only thing I was thinking was 'what do I need to do to get in the 24s'.  Honestly I couldn't come up with it at all so I just ran.  My 3 mile split was 22:13 for a 7:19 mile and then my last .1 took 57 seconds for a total time of 23:10. (officially it was 23:11.267, but the was the difference from where I started)

I was 2nd female and 11th overall.  The course was as flat as can be.  The only negative thing is trying to run a 5k on a community college there are turns every 30 seconds or so.  It was a continuous maze that I couldn't run again after I finished if I had to.  This speaks to the organization of the race and the volunteers that people didn't get lost.  It was a spectacularly ran race, well organized and lots of volunteers on hand to directs us where to go.  The trophies were the biggest of any race I have been to.  They gave awards to the top 3 overall and the top 3 in each age group.  This was one of best small local races I have ever been to.

So I still have a long way to go if I ever want to run near my PR of 18:19 for a 5k (if I ever can get back there.... gotta just take it one training run at a time). But I would say that 2:33 of improvement from April 19th to May 31 is a pretty good start.  An even better thing is that I am still running and haven't quit even though I am running so much slower than before. Just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

5k Comeback Devastation

So I decided I wanted to comeback to racing.  So the date and place were picked.  Saturday, April 19 in Athens, Ohio. A very small race on Easter weekend.

I'll start on the positive note- My mom was the 1st overall walker in the 5k in a time of 43 mins.

Now for the not-so-good news- my race.  I went in with the goal of running in the 24s.  My training was just coming together and I had only done one workout in almost 2 years.  I knew 24 would be hard to run, but honestly thought I could do it up until the night before the race.  (I ran this race in 2011 and was 21:16, 1st female, 3rd overall)

The race went off and I knew when I looked down at my watch 6 mins in and couldn't see the mile mark that I was in trouble.  I hit the first mile in approx 7:49.  Then I hit the turn around in approx 12:45 at this point I was still the leading female and there were 3 males ahead of me.  But soon after this a women passed me, I kept going because the website said 1st and 2nd get awards. I knew I wasn't going to run the time I wanted but since I was in second I kept going. (Had I known that they were only going to give an award to the winner I would have dropped out and helped mom to a faster time.)  I don't even remember the 2 mile split but really at this point who cared. The three mile was marked but I was already looking at the finish line and didn't pay attention to the split.  My finish time was 25:42 and I was the 2nd female and 5th overall.

I had no clue I could race this slow.  If I knew it was going to be this slow I would have never raced in the first place.  I am not sure where to go from here.  Running is fun to me when I can race fast.  Now I question if I will ever be able to go fast again.  And if I can't go fast again then I wonder should I just completely stop running period.  I am devastated and heart broken by this race.  I have no clue what my future holds for me. Saturday-Monday I am dog sitting, alone, and can't get out to run.  So I have some time to think things over.  I feel like this is one of the biggest disappointment of a race I have ever had, along with my first 50 miler attempt.  I feel like a failure after this race.

For people that don't understand depression, a race like this really hurts, because running fast is when I am happy.  On an everyday basis running doesn't make me happy but if I am able to get out of the house and do it, it is the the only time of day the horrible thoughts are not controlling me. And although running doesn't make me happy (unless racing fast), when I miss a day of running the depression is a lot worse.  I still want to continue running if I can run fast again, but that is what I don't know...  I don't know if I will ever run fast again.

Might add more later when feeling up to it.....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Absence and Return to Running

I guess I should explain why I have been missing from the World for a few months.  It all started 4 or 5 months ago.  My depression got out of control and I couldn't get myself out of bed, not even to run.  After awhile of this I made a trip to see my doctor in Virginia and we knew we had to make some kind of change.  So she added a new medication and reduced one I was taking. I hate change but I knew we had to try something.  However, this time change proved to be wrong way to go.  My depression only got worse and everything fell apart.  I stopped running and stopped caring. I wouldn't leave my house expect for therapy appointments. I gained 24 lbs, which made the depression and self-hate that much stronger. Things were beyond a turn around point. I was on the edge of a cliff, teetering with one foot and the wind was blowing and I was waiting for a gust to take me down.  I didn't care how bad things were and to make it worse I didn't care that I didn't care.  My therapist was tracking this spiral out of control and after so long told me she wanted me to contact my doctor about it.  I had no intention of doing so because I didn't care how awful things were. So the next week she got a hold of my doctor and my doctor phoned me about what was going on.  She decided to tapper me off the new medication and up the one we cut back up to the normal amount.  Things didn't turn around right away but eventually and slowly I could feel the horrible burden and darkness sounding me lift up a bit.

 I started running again on May 8th.  And have been running since then on a steady basis.  (Will post a log later down the post.)  I want to get back into racing again but I want to be able to race a 5k in the 22 before I race again and things aren't coming so fast this time.  What used to be an easy 8 min mile pace has now become a hard 10 min mile pace.  Once I get some speed back I want to get back into ultras again, too.  I already know the ultra I am most looking forward to doing but it is held around October and I know I won't be ready for an ultra in October of this year.  I am just taking things on a day by day basis because I never know when the depression will become so bad again that I can't leave the house to run.

Wed 5/8-  2 miles
Thurs 5/9- 2.5 miles
Fri 5/10- 2 miles
Sat 5/11- 3 miles
Sun 5/12- 3 miles

Mon 5/13- 3 miles
Tues 5/14- 3 miles
Wed 5/15- 3 miles
Thurs 5/16- 4 miles
Fri 5/17- 4 miles
Sat 5/18- 4 miles
Sun- 5/19- 4 miles

Mon 5/20- 5 miles
Tues 5/21- 5 miles
Wed 5/22- 5 miles
Thurs 5/23- 5 miles
Fri 5/24- 6 miles
Sat 5/25- 6 miles
Sun- 5/26- 6 miles

Mon 5/27- 6 miles
Tues 5/28- 7 miles
Wed 5/29- 7 miles
Thurs 5/30- 7 miles
Fri 5/31- 7 miles
Sat 6/1- 8 miles
Sun- 6/2- 8 miles

Mon 6/3- 8 miles
Tues 6/4- 8 miles
Wed 6/5- 8 miles(dead legs, kept fighting because I knew 0 was soon)
Thurs 6/6- 8 miles(dead legs kept fighting because I knew 0 was soon)
Fri 6/7- 1 miles (couldn't fight anymore, Dad drove with me to get the 31 straight days of running)
Sat 6/8- 0 miles (had no way to run)
Sun- 6/9- 8 miles

Mon 6/10- 9 miles
Tues 6/11- 9 miles

Hoping to keep this up but I guess that is a day by day thing I will have to fight through.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

First Timed Run in Over 3 Years

Not counting 5k races, I haven't had the confidence to time any run in over 3 years. When I went to the park I was just suppose to get whatever I could in, mileage wise (like everyday).  I am not sure why I choose Saturday's run to decide to time. I didn't tell anyone I was going to do this, heck, I didn't even know I was going to do it until I did. Why Saturday, when I am coming off my best week so far (4 days of 8 miles and 1 of 9 miles). I guess because we were going to the park where I always tend to run faster (It's my 2 favorite types of runs, bike-path and out-and-back). Maybe because the weather was 60 degrees in January. I don't think I will ever know what made me decide to time it. But I did. I was hoping to do 8 miles, so the plan was to hide the watch and just hit the mile splits and look at it when I finished and hope that it was around 8:00 pace overall.  But that planned had failed by the first half mile (which is short, different starting point).(I'll post the splits below) Then when I saw what I had ran for the second half mile and for the next couple of half miles I started to try to convince myself that I could only go 7 miles at this pace.  But then I was able to compromise with myself that when I got slower then 8:20-8:30 pace I would just shut the watch off and be happy with what I did before that point. So my splits were-

1st mile-  3:16 (short) then 3:37 (add say 20 seconds, 7:13)
2nd mile- 7:03
3rd mile- 7:09
4th mile- 7:08
5th mile- 7:14 (messed up watch and stopped running but didn't stop the watch, it was my first time timing with this watch)
6th mile- 7:08 (hit the wall, first mile that I felt was hard)
7th mile- 7:11
8th mile- 7:17
Total time 57:09 (add 20 seconds) 57:29

LOL- I had a biker go by me and said look at that cadence. I kind of laughed because I don't even call it a stride, I call it my shuffle.
-This was the best day I have had in over 3 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Hope

I am struggling
But by looking at me you would never know it
As the hours go by it just gets pushed deeper inside
And I have to hold back the tears and emotions

All the negativity running through me
Will just never let me be free
And live the life that I have dreamed of

But there is one thing each day
That is my saving grace
And I can get in only one way
By simply going outside and running

Running does something to me
That you wouldn't believe
Without seeing it for yourself in person

When I am running it's like new life is breathed in me
And I become a whole new person

The negativity gets pushed away
And this new confidence emerges
This confidence that normally doesn't exist
Gives me the feeling of pure bliss

I can't adequately describe
The way it changes my life
But by saying it gives me this belief in me
That doesn't exist while not running

There is also this inner peace it brings to me
That everyone can see

It is also what gives me hope for the future
That the feeling I get could possibly exist
Outside my world of running

But for now I will just have to hold on to the hope to get me through each day
Because right now every second I breathe without running is a struggle
That most humans can't understand
So that is why I share my struggle with no one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Theta Phi-ve K, 2012

On Saturday (9/15/12) me and my mom decided to make the around 2 hour drive to the University of Dayton to run a 5k race.  The fact that I went is a big thing.  I have been struggling really bad with my depression and my thought were horrible Friday so I didn't know if I was going to even be able to get out of bed Saturday from the depression, not even thinking about a morning anxiety attack that could have happened.  But luckily Saturday when I woke up I was feeling a little better and really wanted to go race.  (Racing gives me this high.  When I run I have a confidence that I don't have in any other part of my life.  It is the only time I can find peace from my horrible thoughts, besides sleeping.)  So racing is something that I absolutely LOVE to do, so I was glad my depression did not stop me this time.

So of course like always the directions get us lost at the finish.  We stopped to ask about it and the gas station on campus didn't know how to get there.  This one lady did but wouldn't help us.  So we were back to driving around lost we asked a guy on campus and that didn't help either.  By luck we found it, but were late.  I always have to get to a race an hour before hand and it was 9:15 and the race was suppose to start at 10.  But I was able to keep calm and not let it get to me and just tell myself "that you have 15 minutes before you start your warm up so you are ok."  (This is something I am working on with myself, trying to calm myself down so I don't go into full panic or get majorly upset that something goes wrong.)

So I was able to stay on schedule after being late and went out to get my 10 minute warm up at 9:30.  I got back and got everything together and ready for the race.  Did my pickups in the park lot (so no one could see, like always)  We went over to where the race was to start with less then 10 minutes for the race to start.  When the guy that was helping with the race called us to the starting line at 10 am, mom left so she could get some pictures.  However, there was still a huge line at the registration table, (remember it was on a college campus).  The race didn't get started until almost 10-15 minutes late.  So the whole time we were by the starting line, I was sizing people up (like always).  I had spotted a few that I thought might give me a good run.  I saw that there were a few guys that definitely had the potential to beat me so I knew I didn't have to worry about leading the race.  However, since I was one of the only girls to line up near the front there were 2 guys in the air force or army that were eyeing me and you could tell were not going to let me beat them at all.

So the race gets started late and as we take off it's me and about 5 guys up front and then the 2 army guys push there way up front too.  So there is about 8 of us up front running.  When the course turns right into the campus... like up on the sidewalk.  So as we are running about it was about 2:11 into the race when I passed one of the army guys and as soon as I passed him, he yelled up to his friend, "You go on I have a cramp."  (Perfect timing)  Then I went passed the other guy too. (Story of them not over yet).  Before I picked the race Dad had told me Dayton doesn't have a hill there.  Well Dad you LIED, like you did in high school for my first meet.  LOL... This was a pretty hilly course.  But more then the hills were the turns about 60 at least and some turn arounds.  As we are going we are approaching were the mile mark was placed on the map. (It was at a turn around in the parking lot so it was easy to remember)  Well the sorority girls were yelling all excited 1st mile in 5:05 and they were going nuts about it.  I knew they were way off and I kinda wanted to say does it look like I am running a 15 min 5k and does it look like those guys ahead of me are running a 13 min 5k, but I held my tongue. Oh and something that I always do I didn't do because of what I was thinking.  At the turnaround I always gauge where my competition is and I forgot to look and I realized it but didn't want to look backwards so just had to keep going not knowing where 2nd place female was. And at one point I just happened to look at the ground right where there was a 1 in chalk and looked at my watch and it was 6:05, (which is a season best since I have been afraid to time a mile).  As the race went on I found myself in a gap not to the surprise of anyone.  So the whole course ends up being on the sidewalk all around the campus.  Mom got to see me once in the middle of the race so that was cool to get to see my mom in the middle and not just the start and finish.  I wasn't able to see anymore mile marks on the course because I was forced to continuously look up to see where the course was going.  (Which was hard to do and I kept losing people around corners because I always stare at the ground ahead of me while running)  The next thing I remember was looking up and seeing a guy in a yellow shirt coming back to me.  I was kinda shocked at this.  We got together and ran for awhile and at one point neither of us were sure which way the course went.  He started pointing and I was like "I am not sure" and he said "I think it's this way.  (He was right).  So we ran together until near the very end.  When we turned into the parking lot I looked ahead and saw where the end of the parking lot was and I looked down at my watch, it said 19:12 and I was like, "I got this."  Then I caught up to the guy in yellow and looked at my watch and said, "19:30, Let's go, we got this".  This was perhaps one of the only time in my life that I have been too positive, because the course continued off the parking lot and onto the wood chip path.  Talk about heartbreak when I got to the end of the parking lot and saw it went off.  I definitely lost some time from the let down. 

OH WAIT I almost forgot about the army guy.  As me and the guy were coming up the parking lot, out of nowhere sprinting as hard as he could comes one of the army guys.  He gets passed me then stops and goes backwards.  Which makes no sense had he finished he would have been 4th and got an award..... I don't get what the whole point of showing me he can beat me in a sprint was??

BUT DO NOT GET ME WRONG.  I am thrilled with my race.  I ran my season best, 20:07.82, so by 11 seconds.  So I am very happy with my race.  Now I am only 1:48 off my personal best.

I won the female race by about 1:30.  The male winner ran a 18:43, which shocked me because I didn't realize he was that close because all the turns and only 4 guys beat me.  The awards went to the top 5 overall.  The awards were crappy. BOO.  I love getting something as simple as a ribbon, since I didn't get a shirt.  And the awards weren't really fair either.  The male winner got $15 to a pizza place and I got the same choice as everyone else:  a free sub at a place I have never heard of, a $5 card for a sushi place which I have never heard of and wouldn't eat anyways, or a $5 card to a movie place down there.  (Remember it took us over 2 hours to get there.)  So I ended up taking the free sub because they said it was some sort of chain... Jimmy John's????  but then as we were leaving mom was like why don't we give it to someone because it will just go to waste at home.  So I decided to give it to the guy that finished with me because he was nice.  I have ran into quite a few people that get mad that I can run with them and are mean and rude and this guys was nice about it.  (sure inside I bet he definitely wanted to beat me being a girl and all, but he didn't take that feeling out on me in his attitude or behavior)  So I felt that he deserved it for being a nice guy.  (He was fourth overall too)

So out of the race I would say it went pretty well.  I got a season best in the mile and in the 5k.  I ended up the winning female and only 4 guys beat me.  I ran 20:07 which is about 6:29 per mile.  This was 11 seconds better then the fastest I have ran this season and I don't know if there is a course in the world flatter then that one.  This one was way harder so definitely a lot better effort.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Read for the Gold 5k and training

So a few weeks ago I decided I wanted to get back into a race.  It has been 2 months since my last race, I had when scheduled in between that time but I had an anxiety attack about it in the morning and chickened out of going.  So since my last race 2 months ago I have had some major struggles and training has not been going great.  I basically was doing no workout and just running whatever I could, when I could.  But since I decided I wanted to race I first made the goal that I had to run a timed mile first.  However I didn't feel ready for a full mile so I compromised last week and ran a half mile time.  I was hoping to break 3:30 possibly run 3:20 and instead I pulled out a 3:04.  This gave me the confidence to come out last week and do a full mile timed.  When I went out I really had no clue what I was capable of so I was hoping for a goal between 6:30-6:50 and shockingly went 6:14 (3:08, 3:06).  So with this run I decided this weekend I would enter a small race.

So for the race, I needed to find one that my mom could drive me to, so it needed to be kinda localish, but I am not ready for local races yet.  So I found one in a town, Waverly, just shy of an hour away from the house.  It also had a walk that my mom could have done if she wanted so I thought it was a good pick.  However, there was not much information on this race at all.  So I had no clue what the range and how many runners would be there.  The race was called Read for the Gold 5k. 

So as usual we get to the race an hour before the race starts.  Then about 10-15 minutes later more people start to arrive.  And of course I was people watching, looking for people that looked like they could run fast, or had the confidence that they thought they were going to win.  I found this one lady that was in her 40's that just looked like she was an unbelievable runner (she parked beside us).  Later she pulled out her iphone or whatever device to listen to music so I then wasn't sure since she had music, so now my thoughts were just so so on her.  There also were some high schoolers there, but none of them really looked like they were amazing runners and from the starting I found out it was one of the girls' first race ever.

SO on the starting line I started to kinda panic, because I realized that I forgot to give my mom my good luck hug, and she was nowhere to be found.  So I had to block out the thought of that but lucky they were blocked because of the high schoolers freaking out over the race.  When the race went off I had about 10 people in front of me around 400 meters into the race, but i knew not to panic because most of them were high schoolers so they were going to go out too hard.  Of those people there were only 2 girls ahead of me.  So by the time we got around the half mile I had passed everyone but one high school boy.  I could tell as we ran we were dropping the field behind us pretty fast  I hit the first mile around 6:20(the watch said 6:18 but I wasn't sure of the exact spot of the mile so I used the far end of the aid station)..... (3rd place in the race was 1:36 behind me.  So it was just me and this high schooler.  The course was a course where we had to run 2 laps of the same thing.  On the first lap I was around 20 seconds behind the guy and as it was going I didn't think I had a chance to beat him but i noticed that towards the end of that loop I had diminished his lead to only about 10 seconds.  So I then thought to myself, if I can get him before the 2 mile mark (about 3/4 a mile away), then I could possibly win the whole race.  But I knew if I didn't catch him before the 2 mile mark I really didn't have a chance with the kick that he had and with my no kicking ability.  A couple times in the second looped I pulled up to within 2-3 seconds of him, one of those times that I had got close to him just happened to be at the 2 mile mark and then possible 20 seconds later I realized I had not looked at my watch so I looked back to see how far away the table seemed to be and I guessed that it would have been close to 13:00.  I stayed focused on him though but I knew that if I couldn't get past him pretty fast I didn't stand a chance against a high school boy at the end of a race ( I've been out kicked by too many people to count in my life).  During this loop I was just paying too much attention to my watch I kept looking and trying to guess what my time would be because I was trying so hard to beat my time that I last raced at over 2 months ago (20:20)... I kinda gave up on chasing him in the last 800 meters and was more focused on beating the watch.  Then with about 400 meters to go his high school coach told him to kick in hard, at this point his lead was about 5 seconds.  Then all of a sudden he just disappeared, I couldn't see him at all.  So I thought for sure he had gotten under 20 mins.  And was shocked to find out he only beat me by 15 seconds in the end for his 20:03 to my 20:18.  My 20:18 was a female course record.  If you look at it the race kinda ended like an elite 1500 meter race.. just run and then sprint the last 400, however, he had about a 5 second head start and gaped it clear up to 15 by the end.

I was so overjoyed with this race.  Yes I know there are those people that will look at my time and say but you can run 2 minutes faster then that, why would you be happy.  Well only I know what I am going through and have to deal with every second of every day.  My life has been a real struggle for the last few years, each day is a struggle to get through and some I don't think I will get through and because they are so bad I am not even able to run on quite a few days.  Only I know what my training, or more like lack of training has been.  So to me this race was a success.  And to stop the rumors going around I NEVER said anything negative about my race.  Heck, I was so thrilled with it I slept the last few nights with the trophy.  It means more then anyone could understand right now.  For to be going what I am going through and to come out of the race being: 2nd Overall, 1st Female, and a course record in 20:18.  Is more then I could have imagined for.

PS Huge shout out to my mom for being there with me and being my biggest supporter... My mom rocks.

I found out after the race that I had ran a female course record.  Since there was not much information about the race I have no clue what the course record previously was.