Thursday, June 9, 2011

Annie: weigh-in week 34 and THE RACE!

I only averaged about a pound over each of the last two weeks, but that wasn't unexpected, since I'd had a big 5-pound loss the week before I went on vacation. I'll take it!

These last two weeks were such a whirlwind - I even got out of the habit of blogging, which I know is bad. But of all my new habits (eating well, exercise, blogging about eating well and exercise), if one had to fall away for a bit, I'm glad it was that one!

Topic 1: The race

Well, I finished - upright, and smiling.  :)

It was an absolutely fantastic experience - so much more so than I had expected. It wasn't just the personal satisfaction of completing the race, it also was the unbelievable feeling of support and love from my family and friends. Mae even texted me good luck with 15 minutes to the starting gun! All of my immediate family and in-laws (even the out-of-town ones) were there to cheer for me, as well as some of their friends - in a word, it was awesome.

You'd never have known it was only 5K I was running to look at how much support I had on the course.
  • My Mum was there with Child, so I'd have the most important person in my world there to celebrate at the finish line. 
  • Mo and her husband saw me to the starting line and helped me find my (new, faster!) corral.
  • Our brother, sister-in-law and their friend (who was there to run the 10K an hour later) were on the sidelines about 500m past the start, cheering me on... and then at about the 1K mark, too! (Might I add that my sister-in-law is 7 months pregnant - no comfortable feat, even with a shortcut!)
  • I saw my Dad on an overpass over the course shortly thereafter, and then
  • At about the 3K mark, there was Mo, on the course to run me in. She stayed with me until my last 750m, and then split off so I could finish on my own.
  • But that wasn't it: my brother (who was at this point less than 30 minutes from the starting gun in his own 10K race) and sister-in-law were there again in the run-up to the finish line!
Shoelace from Mo's
first marathon:
If ever I had any doubt about finishing, this tremendous support group would have seen me across that finish line, no matter what. Even now, almost two weeks later, I choke up just thinking about how lucky I am to have so much love in my life. If you're reading, thank you all - though I've tried and tried to tell you, you will never know what you did for me, or how much it meant.

At this point I also have to mention the contribution my own husband made; while he wasn't with us for the trip (he stayed at home, working), he has been tremendously encouraging the length of this project. From choosing gifts that would help me, to re-arranging the family schedule so I could go running week in and week out, to encouraging me when I was feeling doubtful, his faith was with me as I ran those five kilometres, too.

I ran my personal best at the race, which The Faithful Mo had predicted I would - even despite time lost running around people in the crowd (which in my case included old people and young children!), I ran the 5K almost a minute faster there than I had ever run at home, finishing in 37:06.2. With that said, I was frustrated when I saw my time, because I know I could have broken the 37 minute mark, had I just listened to my coach! Which leads me to...

Topic 2: What I learned about myself and racing

Remember how I said in my very last post how Coach Mo had warned me not to start out too fast? Well, I started out too fast. She had also told me to stick to my 10/1 run/walk plan even if I felt I could go longer, because in the end it would help me conserve energy for a strong finish.

So what did I do? I let the adrenaline from the race atmosphere get the better of me, and I ran faster than usual, and longer than usual, in my first set of run minutes. I think I ran about 13.5 minutes in that first set, about 30 seconds/km faster than normal, and that was enough to leave me running on fumes at the end. Idiot! Why didn't I just do what she told me? She had gotten me from unable to run 30 seconds to completing a 5K in four months... clearly she knew what she was doing. Why didn't I just listen? Aargh.

So I learned to listen to my coach.

The next thing I learned was that I'm too dependent on my Garmin. I don't know what I did to it during the race, but it somehow stopped at the 24:35 mark, showing my having run about 3.5 km. Except that I didn't realize it had stopped - so I looked at my watch a couple of times before noticing it had stopped, then got all disoriented. Mo took me to within 750m of the finish line, but I was still thinking I had 1.5 km to go, and I knew I was running out of gas, so I walked when I should have been running - I would surely have made it in under 37 minutes had I been watching the signs rather than the watch.

Now I understand how people get addicted to this racing business! I wanted a second chance, to just trust my body rather than relying on the watch... but then again, trusting my body had led me to run 3.5 minutes too long at the outset.

Aargh. See? Now I have to run another one! Which leads me to...

Topic 3: Wanting more

Before I had even run the 5K, Mo floated the idea of running a 10K together in October, to celebrate the end of The Thanksgiving Project. As she put it in her email, "How awesome would it be to celebrate that amazing accomplishment with another finish line - one after a 10k race?  (with your very own pace bunny (I won't wear the ears, I promise) and biggest fan!)... To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of such a huge thing with another huge thing... sounds pretty cool to me."

I couldn't have agreed more. She said that going from 0 to 5K is harder than going from 5K to 10K, and I have to believe that. I'm actually believing I can do it, so we're going to try.

Fargo FM Half Marathon, 10K & 5K, here we come! Which leads me to...

Topic 4: The gift that keeps on giving

The training schedule Mo made to get me ready for the 5K is now also being used by two good friends of mine, both of whom are taking up running, too. We three will be running a little 5K together just outside of town at the end of September (by "little" 5K I mean fewer than thousands of entrants, not short distance! 5K is still far in my books!), all having gotten there thanks to Mo's training plan.

So, Miss Faithful Mo: thank you for your inspiration. For gently leading me to try. For believing that I could. For building a plan to help me get there, and for advising and encouraging me along the way. For flying Child and me to the race. For celebrating what must have seemed molehills as though they were mountains. For the card you gave me the night of this race that will always be a treasure to me. For being proud of me. And for helping me be proud of me.


OK, that's about all I've got in me for tonight - apologies to my three readers for having taken so long to post, haha! I promise to get back into blogging shape with an on-time post next Monday.

Loss these last 2 weeks: 2.1
Lost so far: 79.3
Still remaining: 20.7
Activity points earned this week: 23
Weeks to go: 18

1 comment:

  1. Chi Chi crying! We are all so proud of you. And the best payback you can give me is exactly what you're doing - paying it forward. Please let those friends know I will be more than happy to answer any questions they have on the schedule.

    Oh and for the record, Coach Mo didn't listen to her own advice and blew her own race too, it's not just a first-timer mistake! Next time I hope to practice what I preach!