Winter Series: Satisfied with my first 5K of the year

A pretty nice shirt
A pretty nice shirt

Well, this morning, I drove from Alpine to Provo, in a frenzy, to retrieve my Garmin watch, so that I could track my run.  I found it, fed Buddy (The Cat), and took off.  I made my way into Tooele and realized that I’d gone too far.  For miles in front of me, I could see no way to turn around on I-80, so I cut across an emergency section (I know, I know) and drove back as fast as I could.

I worked my truck with my left hand and my iPhone’s GPS with my right, in an attempt to locate Saltair Palace (never had been there).  Finally, I saw it, along with a crowd of runners.  I was directed by an officer of the law, into a parking spot.  I asked a fellow runner where I could get my racing bib and he pointed to the Saltair Palace, so I ran the 1/6 of a mile over to it, called my name out to the gentleman who was working the counter, got my packet and ran back to my truck.

I only had time to secure my crooked bib on by two pins (I’m usually very meticulous about how I pin my numbers on) and saw the crowd take off.  I was the last one to cross the starting line.  So I started counting, every time I passed someone (it’s not as hard to pass people if you arrive late).  When I got to 50, I stopped counting.  It was time to concentrate on my breathing.  I hit the first mile at about 10 minutes or so (rough start).  At 1.5 miles, they had us turning around on the paved road to come back the way we came.  When we rounded the corner, an older gentleman didn’t cut the corner like I expected him to, so I bumped into him.  I said “sorry, sorry” and he replied; “I can’t cut those corners like I used to”.  Nice guy (really).

When I hit mile marker #2, I wondered if I was going to be able to keep my 7:45 pace.  I slowed down, considered walking, didn’t, picked up my pace again, and got going.  I was only passed by about 2-3 people during the whole race (again:  Not too hard to do when you start last).

My friend Kaye found me at the end of the race (she had a good race) and that was fun, because I didn’t run this race with anyone, really.

Anyway, when I crossed the finish line, I was disappointed to see my time of 24:50, because it felt like I ran faster than that.  But take into consideration:  I arrived late, didn’t stretch, wasn’t wearing my new shoes (only had time to leave my old Asics on), hadn’t rolled, my watch wasn’t hardly charged, and no warm up run (something I’ve decided to try).  So all in all, not too bad for my first 5K of the year.

Time:  25:24 (8 minute miles)

Next race:  Winter Series 10K on Feb 14th.

2009winterseries5kresults2

I love my sister (and the new running gloves she sent me)

My sister, Lindsay, sent me a pair of running gloves for my birthday.  They are VERY comfortable and I’m sort of excited to try them out.  The unfortunate thing about trying running gloves, is that, usually, when you do, it means it’s FREEZING cold outside!  And it is.  Cold.  Outside.My Saucony Gloves

So since I have a 5K tomorrow, I might just have to try them out.  Unfortunately (and this is a new subject), my shin is still bothering me, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen (or even if I’ll show up to run) in Salt Lake, tomorrow.

But either way, I’m happy to have these gloves.  Thanks, Linds.  Love ya.

Running the Sahara

Wendy and I just watched Running the Sahara, a documentary that follows the expedition of three men who log 4300 miles running across the countries of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Egypt.

Watching this movie made me feel like a wuss.  At one point, when one of the team wants to quit, the outspoken Charlie Engle quips that if he wants to quit, he should just go and run a marathon where there are water stations at every mile.  Maybe 26.2 miles isn’t such a big deal, after all.

Between this and Spirit of the Marathon, I should be pumped to go for a run…any day now…

Shin Splints, or, "One dang thing after another"

I’ve been running, now, for about 7 years (off and on).  The first run I logged was when I lived in Springville, Utah.  I ran one mile in June of 2002.  I remember that it killed me.  In my relatively short running career, I’ve had to overcome such things as asthma, IT Band Syndrome, and (now) shin splints.

So shin splints are a new one for me.  Once upon a time, I thought that shin splints were the pain you’d get in the front outside of your shin.  Apparently, it’s the inside of your shin that justifies complaining about shin splints.  So now I’m in the process of trying to overcome this new affliction.  I am icing, taking ibuprofen, and trying to be patient.  I have run through this winter, so far, so I’ve bought a little time, which I’ll probably need, because I’m reading that I need to take time off from running to make sure that I don’t cause some real damage to my left shin.

So I’ve decided that this is the life of a runner.  As runners, we deal with pain.  We deal with disappointment.  We won’t always be prepared for our races.  Sometimes, the comets will align and everything will work out perfectly.  But, after talking to other experienced runners, such as my father, I’ve determined that all we can do is our best and hope that we’re ready for the events that we sign up (like lambs to the slaughter) for.

But I’ve also learned that the truth of if is that, a runner often lives somewhere between “No pain, no gain” and “Slow and steady wins the race”.  There are times when we should push ourselves through pain and stress.  There are times when we should completely back off and take time off to care for our bodies.

I think that I’m at a point with my shin where I need to take a little time off from running and nurture it until it’s ready for me to run, again.

I tried 1/2 mile on my treadmill, tonight.  It hurt.  So I’m gonna work on strengthening exercises and stretching, until I’m ready to start my miles up, again.

It’s no fun.  I’d really like to go for a 7 mile run and just take in the winter.  But that will come.  For now, I’m going to sit back, watch some TV, and use my shin as an excuse to be a little lazy.