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Tour de Olmstead 2010

It took me a couple of days to write this recap because I chose to spend the rest of the weekend reflecting on what an awesome race this was (you’ll see). Prior to Saturday, I hadn’t run more than 3 miles since the miniMarathon and lately had just been sticking to 2 miles.

So of course I thought going into this race, there was NO way I could run 5 miles. Especially 5 extremely hilly miles through Iroquois Park.

(Image Source – It obviously doesn’t look like this right now, ha ha)

But, putting self-doubt aside, I got out of bed, ate breakfast, got dressed and headed down there to meet Farrah. We are both so glad we have each other and took comfort in knowing that we are both crazy enough to PAY to get up early on a Saturday and run 5 miles in the rain through one of the toughest parks in Louisville.

The Tour de Olmstead is an all day event, starting with a 25-mile bike ride, then the 5 mile run, a family bike ride, a festival and then 6 hours of professional cycling races! The event is held by the Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Inc., which was formed in 1989 with a mission “to enrich the life of everyone in our community by restoring, enhancing and preserving the historic Olmsted-designed parks and parkways, Louisville’s great natural and recreational assets.”

Hopefully they had an awesome turn out!

The run crowd was pretty small. I think my bib number was 20, my lowest number ever! Such a breath of fresh air considering the races I am used to where you are so crowded, especially for that first mile or so.

When the race started, everyone took off pretty fast and I tried to keep up but knew right away that it wouldn’t be a good idea if I wanted to make it through the whole 5 miles. So I slowed down and found my steady pace for a while. We had been told just prior to race start that the path was all the way up to the top of the park (aka the overlook, for those of you familiar), around a 1.2 mile loop and then back down.

Holy crap!

Photo from Wikipedia — That is downtown Louisville in the far off distance! We climbed to the top of this hill!!

Once we turned the corner to start going uphill (about 0.8 miles into the race), the rain began to pour down on us. At first I was frustrated, but then it became refreshing. It was in the 80’s and very humid by the time this race started.

It didn’t rain the whole time. In fact, when it had been stopped for a while, I started to get really hot and wished it would rain again! As we made our way up the windy hills, I hit the first water stop and walked for about 30 seconds to take a few sips.

Then, when I made my way to the very top (which ended with a bigger incline), I walked for a minute to catch my breath and start the loop around the top. The way back down wasn’t as downhill as I’d hoped it would be. But it was definitely better than continuing to climb up!

At this point, I knew I had surpassed 3 miles and to me that was already an accomplishment, since I hadn’t ran this much lately. There were a couple of songs that helped me get through the last two miles, thanks to borrowing my husband’s iPod. This was no coincidence.

After reaching the top of the hill, I was by myself for most of the rest of the race (Farrah had taken off and then took a wrong turn somewhere!) and it was kind of awesome. Iroquois is very wooded and there are trees completely lining the path we were on going up and coming back down the hill. Even though I was pushing myself and sweating profusely, there was something so serene about being in that moment.

Just when I was starting to think I needed to slow down or maybe even walk again, this song came on. Now, I’m not the hugest Kanye fan in the world. But the beat kept me going and these particular lyrics hit me right where I was:

Jesus Walks
God show me the way because the Devil’s trying to break me down
Jesus Walks with me
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now

I know that probably sounds cheesy, but this song came at the perfect time. The devil in this case was doubt. Even after all I have accomplished, I still sometimes doubt my abilities. But I also have this knack for proving myself wrong. 😉

During the song, I raised my hands in the air a few times to thank God for getting me through this run and for giving me the strong body that I have. It was an awesome experience.

Soon after this, I hit mile four (which had an encouraging note spray painted on the road–“You’re almost there!”) and totally rocked out to this song (including some head banging, ha ha) and then hit the final stretch with “Tunnel” by Third Day: There’s a light at the end of this tunnel…ha.

I finished the race strong and even had my name called out as I came across the finish line (gotta love smaller races). Here’s how I did!

  • Time: 53:03
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Avg. Pace: 10:37/mile

WOO HOO!!!

I have ran faster races and I have ran longer distances. But I’m pretty sure that this was the hardest and most rewarding race of my running “career.” I have never been more proud of myself than I was on Saturday.

I am DEFINITELY signing up for this one next year! 🙂

Running from the rain

After taking the last two days off to rest and recover from my trip to North Carolina, I was so glad to take off on a run this afternoon!

Speaking of being out of town, I have to give a huge thanks to the ladies who filled in for me while I was gone. I was so impressed with their guest posts that I want to go out of town again soon, ha ha. Thanks girls!

Back to today…it had been cool and cloudy all day, hovering between 45-50 degrees.

At first, I was not thrilled with this but once we got going, it was perfect. Until it started raining…sprinkling really.

But somehow, we managed to finish and not get too soaked. We must have been outrunning the rain because this was quite speedy for me!

  • Time: 48:17
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Pace: 9:39/mile

Woo hoo! Not bad for a rainy Monday. Tomorrow will much warmer as will the rest of the week. Looking forward to it!

How was your workout today?

Good weather + good company = Great run

We just had the absolutely most beautiful day of my recent memory. It was in the low 60’s, sunny and breezy. I find myself being even more grateful for today because of all the cold temperatures and snow we’ve had recently.

It was especially good running weather, which I had the pleasure of sharing with someone at the same pace as me and we literally talked the whole time. I love Farrah, but she’s speedy and I’m often left to entertain myself 😉 So it was a welcome change.

I definitely felt challenged in the first 2 miles but once I warmed up, I was in the zone. Afterward, I even said to myself: “I could’ve kept going. I feel like I could’ve done another 5 miles!”

Distance: 5 miles

Time: 49:39

Average Pace: 9:55/mile

Perhaps it was a boost of confidence from the 5K on Saturday, the awesomely gorgeous weather or my running companion, but no matter what, this goes down as one of the best 5 mile runs ever.

I am feeling very good about increasing my distance in anticipation of the mini marathon April 24th!

Poll: How many half marathons should you run before you attempt a full marathon?

Cardio Cinema

Have you guys ever heard of a Cardio Cinema?

It’s a room where you get to do your favorite cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc.) and watch a movie at the same time!

Today’s selection: The Holiday!

I love this movie and when I got there, it had just started. It was like it was meant to be 🙂

Here’s a bad picture of what the inside looks like (it’s dark like a movie theatre)!

Distance: 5 miles

Time: 53:09

Pace: 10:38/mile

After this run, I wanted to marry who ever invented the Cardio Cinema (but I’m already taken). Getting a great run, where I sweat more than I had since that time I tried Hot Yoga, and watching a fabulous movie?! Genius.

I didn’t “zone out” during the film either. I warmed up walking for 5 minutes and then challenged myself to start at 5.5 (instead of 5.0) and then increased my speed every mile until I finished strong at 6.0 mph and completing my 5 miles for the day.

Just awesome 🙂

Outrunning the snow

I am so glad that I was able to get a good run in today because we’re expecting quite the snow storm tonight and into tomorrow afternoon.

This pic is from Saturday!

007

We did a similar path as last week, going downtown and back, which is easily becoming one of my favorites!

We were a bit slower today but it was awfully cold, plus I hadn’t run since Friday so I was a bit rusty 😉

Distance: 5.01 miles

Time: 50:03

Pace: 9:59/mile

I’m thinking if we are completely snowed in tomorrow, I will do Jillian’s 30 Day Shred at home if it is still on Exercise TV!

Is it snowing (or has it snowed recently) where you are? What do you do when you’re snowed in?

Synchronicity

Earlier in the day, I started not feeling so good. My throat was a little scratchy and my body ached a little bit. But with the weather being the way it has been lately, I’m sure it’s just a reaction of some sort.

But it almost talked me out of my run today. I say almost because I still got dressed and headed out with Farrah after work. We had five miles on the agenda and while we were both feeling less than 100%, we decided to go for it!

Since we do the same paths a lot of the time, we decided to change it up and try a new route, which takes us part of the way downtown and back. It was so neat to see the parts of our city that I don’t get to often enough 🙂

Distance: 5.25 miles

Time: 49:45

Pace: 9:29/mile

Wowzah, we were fast today! We had to stop at a few stoplights at first (which I stopped my watch at) but then I got synchronized somehow because every time I came up on an intersection, the light changed!

Sometimes you have to talk yourself into exercise or drag yourself out of a funk. And when you do, it is an amazing feeling. What a great run today; imagine if I’d skipped it!

You know what else? The sore throat magically went away.

Magic number 5

Today’s run was supposed to be just 4 miles. But Farrah and I hadn’t ran together in a while so there was a lot of life to catch up on!

We got a little carried away and realized toward the end of our run that we had done 5 miles instead!

Only we could accidentally run 5 miles! Here’s our stats:

  • Distance: 5.05 (same distance I did on Saturday, weird!)
  • Time: 51:00
  • Pace: 10:06/mile

I was really happy with this run, especially since more than halfway through I remarked that “I must be getting good because this isn’t bad at all.” Also, the hills that we hit along our usual course did not bother me this time like they usually do.

I think having yesterday off from everything to rest really helped prepare me for today. Just like an easy workout tomorrow will for Wednesday.

Have you ever accidentally done more in a workout than you intended to?