I don’t have a picture of myself crossing the finish line in this morning’s 500 Festival Training Series 5K because although my friends and family love me, none of them love me enough to wake up at 6:30 in the morning on a Saturday and stand in 40 degree weather at the finish line waiting for me to run 3.1 miles. Instead, here is a photo my mother brought me just last night, a photo I didn’t think existed, a photo of me crossing the finish line at my very first 5K last September.
I love how the girl next to me is casually checking her watch as I plow across the finish line with a grimace on my face in the hopes of shaving half a second off my time. This morning’s 5K is part of a series leading up the Indy 500 Mini-Marathon in May. Next month I run a 10K and the month after that a 15K. I ran this morning’s 5K in 31:17, a new personal record which beats my Irish Fest 5K time of 32:35 by 1:18. Go, me! The race results say that the average time was 32:55, so I’m better than average. (ETA: Hey! I just checked the link and the average time went down to 31:43. Bizarre. But I’m still better than average.) That seems a little odd since I placed in the bottom 50% of finishers, but maybe there was a pack of really slow people who raised the average time for everyone? If so, thank you, slow people!
The course for this race was essentially identical to the course for my last race. My bib number was practically the same too: last time 51 and this time 518. I had to run the same
hills slight inclines and declines that I did last time, meaning my improvement can all be marked up to me and not an easier course. I was relieved that the chance of rain and snow predicted turned out to be as great as my chance of winning a foosball tournament. After running in 6 degree weather, 40 degrees seemed rather temperate and lovely. I am most surprised that my left foot seems to have healed *knock on wood*. In the past, I’ve rested and iced injuries and it’s done jack shit. I’m incredulous that the ibuprofen and rest actually did what it was supposed to do this time. I’ve been particularly careful about injury prevention, stretching before and after workouts even though it’s boring. I even walked around the parking garage for 5 minutes before the race, risking looking like a stalker/mugger, just so I could warm up my muscles. It’s my responsibility to take care of my body. No one else is going to do it for me.
The last mile was a complete bitch – a slobbering, rabid, bitch that you feel is chasing you down the last mile and is all that keeps you going. At my last 5K, I picked up the pace for the last mile, but this time I was concentrating on keeping an even pace since that’s what I’ll have to do at the Mini-Marathon. I was hoping to maintain a 10 minute per mile pace, and I came damn close with my 10:05 pace. They were distributing free apples, bananas, cookies, chips, and Panera bagels at the finish area. I seriously considered taking a cookie. And just hearing the words “Cinnamon Crunch Bagel” made me stutter in my stride, but I went for the apple and banana instead. I don’t have anything against eating cookies, and chomping on them after a race is probably the best time to do so, but I ate way too many processed, crappy foods in December and January. It made it much harder to stay on track and contributed to me losing my groove. It’s time to get off the crack. There’s no doubt that stuff does psycho shit to my blood sugar. I handle it better when I’m only aiming for maintenance. If I want to lose weight it’s easier to take a zero-tolerance approach. I certainly intend to eat cookies again in my life, but I’m going to lay off them for now. The Cinnamon Crunch Bagel will still be available next year. And really, is it that frickin’ big of a deal to turn down bagels and cookies?
Whenever I start eating lots of processed carbs, I feel like a mentally ill person who’s decided to go off her meds. “I feel so good! I’m fine! I can (eat donuts again/stop taking my pills)!” Only I can’t. Some people need to take their pills and I definitely need to stay off the bagels. Missing one pill from time to time won’t make you crazy, and eating one donut occasionally won’t make my blood sugar crash like the American economy, but if either event becomes a habit you’re in trouble.
And they gave me a free hat, so who am I to complain?
In continuing Mini-Marathon training coverage, I made a Google calendar of my training schedule, if anyone wants to see what I’m doing. I know I sure was surprised! I hadn’t looked past the first page, but once I got to the end of March I started typing things like “Run 1 hour 45 minutes” and preceded to freak out a little. After doing that, I just might eat a bagel.
I’ve also added a countdown widget in my blog’s sidebar on the right, just below my stats. When I first posted it, I had 92 days left, but I did not consider that time would continue flowing onward in a linear fashion. Over a week later I only have 83 days left. I’m assuming that if there are no bubbles in the space-time continuum, a week from now I’ll only have 76 days left. This continued lessoning of numbers also freaks me out a little, reminding me that, “Oh yeah, you really are going to run 13.1 miles in May.” I got on Google maps and determined that this will be like running to work from my apartment and then running halfway back. After which I will definitely eat a bagel, and probably half a pizza too.