Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Righetous Runner's Recent Righteous Running Ruminations

I will write a race recap in a timely manner someday. Although, I don't run most races in a timely manner so my lapse in posting time is reflective of the experience itself. 

From 5Ks to marathon training runs, this season has been filled with running events. It's awesome. And tiring. And thrilling. And painful. And surprising. And surprisingly painful. 

Below is a quick breakdown of the running events I've done this season. 
Delran Smokin' Hot 5k  27:25:00 
Garden of Reflection 5k  28:00:00 
Philadelphia Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon  2:26:00 
Steeplechase 25K Distance Run 2:45:00
Philadelphia Marathon Training Runs: 14 miler/15 miler/17 miler
I've found a new friend in the 5K. I've run the distance several times before but generally find the amount of effort put forth for any running event not really worth the distance. By that, I mean, I wasn't a fan of paying $25 to run 3.1 miles unless it's for a charity. Or, as was the case with the Delran Fireman's Smokin' Hot 5K, was being put on by my new boss at work. I felt a lot of pressure to do well at this race because my bossy-boss was the race director and I wouldn't have put it past her to bring it back to the office in some form. 

If that race was included in my annual performance review--I would definitely get a raise! I would even be ranked second fastest female between ages 20-35 in the office. And by that, I mean I placed 2nd in my age group. I shattered my previous 5K PR almost two minutes. 

I was so pumped from my performance, I signed up for the Garden of Reflection 5K the following weekend. While I felt like I ran a lot harder and faster at this event, my time was 35 seconds slower. Both events were great and we went out for a really good breakfast afterward. 

When you're used to pushing your body and slogging on for more than 13 miles at a time, a finish line at mile 3.1 is amazing. There is no reason to conserve energy or hold back. No! You go balls-to-the-wall, full speed for a relatively short time.You will not pay for it later by running out of water or energy with seven miles left to run. With 5Ks, by the time the legs even realize what is happening, you're done! It's beautiful. And you get a t-shirt! You can go on with your day without having to stretch and recover for hours. Bam. 

Short, sprinting 5Ks are good for Saturdays. Soul-crushing distance runs are for Sundays. The defining principle of marathon training is essentially to run a little more each week. By doing so, a runner builds strength, endurance, and stamina. I guess that's true. But, mostly, the runner learns exactly how many muscles they have and for how much time those muscles can hurt. I've learned that I can run 17 miles in about 3.5 hours and then waddle around for about 24 hours afterward. 

I smile as I waddle and limp after those runs--and not just because those 16 muscles it apparently takes to smile are the only 16 muscles NOT used in running. This is surprisingly fun. Each week, I get to learn how far I can go. I'm surprised, proud, stinky, excited, and scared at the end of each training run. I usually don't feel any of those things throughout the week while I'm chained to a desk. I look forward to it! Even more surprising, they do get easier. I ran a 25K (15.5 miles) on Sunday and was so happy at the 13.1 mile mark because it meant I only had a 5K left. I'm used to being happy at mile 10 in a half. I was sad again when I realized that I would still have 10 miles to run during the marathon. Oy. 

Finish line at Garden of Reflection 5K. "We're done! Already?"

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