Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reindeer Run 5K and some Muppets...Obviously

What a beautiful day!

I had a hard time going to bed last night and thought it would be difficult to get up early this morning.  My alarm went off though and my body shot out of bed.  I was ready for this 5K.  I braided the hair, put on the antlers and headed out.

Well before I left I did get online just to double check where I was going.  I was able to pull up a route map and saw that it was mostly weaving up and down some roads, then heading around a ball field and back to the YMCA.  I also saw that they asked runners to bring canned food.  Good thing I saw that.  I rummaged the cabinet and found some beans I bought last week.

When I pulled up I had 10 minutes to run and sign in and then stretch.  There were lots of people dressed up for the Reindeer Run.  Some elves, some reindeer, Santa, and even a Grinch.  Te he.  I wish I could have taken a bunch of pictures.  I was trying to focus though. 

When we started everyone took off running down the two blocks before we cut over to a side street.  Yup, I got caught up in the excitement and ran with everyone.  My head was screaming DON'T DO IT! I just didn't listen though.  We rounded the corner and I started to slow down.  I knew it was a bad idea.

Then the sweetest thing happened.  A women came up beside me and put her hand on my elbow.  She said we would do it together.  She told me to concentrate on my breathing and she would pace with me.  I tried to stay with her for another block because it was the nicest thing.  I didn't have the heart to tell her about my knees.  Naturally I started tearing up with her there.  After five blocks my knees started screaming at me so I slowed it down to a walk and let her go.

The damage was done. The emotional flood gates were open.  I would think about the marathon next weekend and I started shaking and trying to keep the crying from happening.  A few tears made their way out, but I held it together for the most part.

You know my body doesn't react well to the running.  Not only are my knees unhappy, but my pace is generally way off.  I put on my watch this morning, but I did not look at it the whole time.  I wanted to focus on finishing.  I'm proud of that.  I was still on the first mile though when the leader passed me on the way back.  He must have been pacing for a 4 minute mile.  That messed with my head.  I suddenly didn't feel good enough.  But wait, this dude is obviously a ringer.  Get him out of your head Jennifer!

So I got back to walking and focusing.  I didn't even notice when I had crossed into mile 2.  A little while later my body finally got back to pace.  It was as if my knees said Alright Let's Do This!  When I hit mile three I was super happy.  There were still a few people behind me.  Not many, but about 97% of the people involved were running.  About 5 of us were walking.

The sucky thing is that as I was walking they were breaking down the barriers.  At least they weren't following me with them.  The other sucky thing is that when I had a half mile to go a bunch of people came walking by on their way home.  Argh.  Rub it in why don't ya.  That made me kick it up though.  And off I went.  I pushed it for the final hill up to the finish line.  When they called out my number I started sprinting.  All I saw was that I was in the 46 minute mark.  Seriously?  I was just one minute off of my pace?  I couldn't believe it.  I was so proud.  I really thought the running ruined me. YEAH!

So here's what I learned today for next week:
*the hair will be in braids (my grandmother loves when I do this.  She says my great-grandmother would be so proud that I show my Swedish heritage :-)
*We are sticking with the RealFlex Reebok sneakers.
*I need a snot rag.  When it's cold my nose runs when I walk.
*I cannot run.  I really need someone walking behind me ready to yank on the leash in case I start that.
*I am not super worried about the cold now.  I was fine...and it was quite brisk this morning.  (I would have worn my earmuffs, but they would have clashed with the reindeer antlers)

To celebrate I went to the movies with some friends this afternoon.  I heart the Muppets (I'm even working on my irrational fear of frogs...thank you Kermie!).  My knee did stiffen up during the movie, but I was able to stretch it out and I was fine. 

Tomorrow I am planning on 10 miles.  However, if it is really cold I may only get in 5-8.  I am worried about getting sick so close to the race.  I trust my body to finish next weekend, but I want to make sure I get as much training in as possible.  I so got this!

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

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