Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Welcome to 2012! PRs and Pride

Welcome to Heartland's Harrier 2012!!

After an ass-kickin' 2011 Twin Cities Marathon, the denouement of late fall slid into the warmest winter on record here in the upper midwest. I  took a long vacation from blogging. As an academic, my writing energy was funneled elsewhere. I'm opening up the racing season of 2012 with a list of personal records and a bit o' philosophy concerning pride.

First, the PRs:
5K: 21:43 7/4/2008 Firecracker race, Williamsburg, IA tied with 2009 Park2Park 5K, Cedar Falls, IA
10K: 47:40 Run For The Schools, 10/15/2006 Iowa City, IA
7 mile: 54:20 Run The Flood, 6/11/2011, Cedar Rapids, IA
10 Mile: 1:19:57 MDRA 10 Mile, 5/29/2011, St. Paul, MN
1/2 Marathon: 1:43:33 Sturgis Falls 6/26/2011, Cedar Falls IA
Marathon:  3:49 Twin Cities, 10/2011, Mpls-St. Paul, MN

Most of these PRs happened for me last year. The training journey continues, and as I grow ever-more comfortable with my body in my 30s, I am racing and running better than ever.

I started keeping a running training log in 2003, when I began graduate school. It was instructive to go back and read how little I ran compared to now--and note the comments I wrote about how stressed out I was! Back then, I also experienced a lot more pain running. In more than a few entries, I comment on knee pain, hip pain, and heel pain throughout the 2003 season and into 2008.

In the past two and half years--since I began training for the 2010 Twin Cities-- I have learned much about my body, strength training, and fueling. It's a wonderful thing to start a training season feeling that 15 miles is kind of hard,  but by the end, feeling that a 24 mile run is the new 15, because 15 is "easy."

I credit a lot of this success to various teachers. I've been running since 1992, but only since 2010 did I really learn how to do specific strength for running, based on the weakness of my body. Butt! Hamstrings! Back! Who knew? I certainly didn't. A friend and Doctor of Physical Therapy (shout out Pura Vida PT!) clued me in to my weaknesses. A few personal training sessions, and supplemental kettlebell and pilates classes at NRG Pilates have made a noticeable--and quantifiable--difference in my running times, and better, how I feel during runs and in races. Even Runner's World is jumping on the kettlebell and pilates bandwagons! RW KettlebellRW Pilates

This past weekend I raced my first 5K of the season (Go The Distance for Crime Victims), with my hubby, who has taken up running in a whole new and serious way! (I am so happy and proud of him!) He ran 21:41--a PR for him--and I ran a respectable 22:20. Saturday he'll race an 8K, and I will race the 1/2 Marathon in Des Moines as part of the Drake Relays events.

Now for the philosophy (briefly). Pride is one of the seven deadlies, and the sin I probably commit most frequently. But as I tell my students, "Own your shit." It's important to be proud of who you are--not to the point of narcissicism--but rather, so that you can hold your ground when necessary, and so that you have the desire, the motivation to push yourself. My numbers, compared to many, are painfully slow. Others may think they're crazy fast. But for me, they're the best they've been--and that's all I'm gauging. That's why I love running and other individual sports--it's about you, the work you've put in, and the comfort of the clock.

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