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Colon Cancer 5k 2010

Oops, I almost forgot that I ran a little 5k this past weekend!

I am happy to say that I felt a lot better during this race than the last one, probably because I got to run at Iroquois Park this time. Even though the hills at Iroquois are steep, I enjoy them so much more because it’s not long before they come back down 😉

Anyway, I ran most of the race until the middle of mile 2 when I got a cramp in my lower back and had to walk for a couple of minutes. I have definitely been neglecting my core workouts the past couple of months and it came back to bite me!

A strong core is so important for running, so I’m going to have to get back on it!

Here’s how I finished:

  • Distance: Approximately 3.1 miles
  • Time: 36:46
  • Avg. pace: 11:50/mile

I feel pretty good about that considering it was the first time I’d ran since the Fleet Feet Fiesta! I’ve really got to run more than once a week if I want to build up my distance and improve my speed. It’s just hard to get motivated, especially when the weather is so hot.

Bring on the fall!

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I have yet another 5k this coming Saturday. Can you tell that this is how I keep myself accountable?

This run will be through Seneca Park, so I’m excited as I have never ran an actual race there but have ran around the park many times (and on their trails)!

Fleet Feet Fiesta 2010

I can’t believe how long it had been since I had ran in a race! I also haven’t been running a whole lot in general, just 2-3 miles here and there. But now, it’s time to get serious!

The Fleet Feet Fiesta was a hilly 3 mile run through Cherokee Park at 9 p.m. at night. So it was my first night race! I’ve done a charity walk at night before, but never anything this challenging.

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Confession: I loathe Cherokee park. I mean, it’s beautiful, but those hills kick my butt! I’d much rather take Iroquois Park‘s dramatic ups and downs, instead of these slow gradual climbs. But I obviously needed a challenge; and I got it!

  • Distance: About 3 miles
  • Time: 34:30
  • Avg. pace: 11:30/mile

I ended up having to walk for a little bit between miles 2 and 3. I told Farrah it was likely because I’ve just been running 2-2.5 miles at a time lately so my brain decided at that point, I couldn’t do anymore. But I eventually picked it back up and ran across the finish line!

Yes, I have ran faster but I don’t care. For not having run much lately, I’ll take it. Plus, these days I want to just run for fun and do races because they help motivate me to keep up with running, which helps keep me in good shape, physically and mentally. I also want to stay injury free! So I’m not going to dwell on my time so much.

I did have to ice my right knee after the race and it was quite bothersome yesterday but I’m much better now. I’m just dealing with some quads soreness. My legs are like “Where the heck have YOU been?” Ha ha, I’ve been wondering that myself.

I had hoped to meet Rachel and Erica that night as they were both participating, but it ended up being a lot more crowded than I expected and we missed each other. Any other Louisville bloggers out there? We’ll all have to get together soon 🙂

My next race is next Saturday! I’m doing a 5k run for Colon Cancer at (thank the Heavens) Iroquois Park. I know those hills will still be challenging but if I made it through 3 miles at Cherokee, I pretty much feel like I can do anything now. To keep up with me, check out my Races page!

If you’ve been going through a rut, don’t give up! I’ve been struggling to get back into some sort of routine for a while now, but I finally feel like I’m breaking through whatever barriers were holding me back. You just have to be patient, which I know isn’t easy, believe me.

It feels so good to be back! Catch y’all later 🙂

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! 🙂

Waggin' Trail 5k

This past Saturday, I did another 5k! Well, not exactly. While there was a run that morning, I chose to stick with the walkers. A really cute one, in particular.

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Suzie and I participated in the Kentucky Humane Society‘s annual Waggin’ Trail 5k which raises money for the animals they care for at the facilities. It was our second year participating and last year was so much fun, we knew we had to do it again!

It’s a really neat event with lots of different boths where you can get things for your pet, including having them microchipped. One of our local radio stations was also there giving away prizes. Check out the crowd!

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They also had plenty of doggie pools sitting out because it was quite warm and sunny that morning!

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Suzie met up with her friends Bo and Bailey, who all did some sniffing while us humans waited for the walk to start.

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After waiting around in the shade for what seemed like forever, the walk finally started. Let’s go!

Dog walk

The walk/run was held at Iroquois Park here in Louisville, which is known for it’s major hills! You may have seen these a time or two if you’ve ever participated in the Papa John’s 10-miler or the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon. They are quite challenging!

We finished in about an hour (1:02:06), which was pretty good for the course, the dogs and the crowd.

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Suzie walked the whole time! I guess because she sniffed all the way from the car to the park, she got it out of the way because she didn’t stop once. But I think she wore herself out too. It usually takes her an hour to walk 2 miles and she did 3.1!

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It was an awesome day and I can’t wait to do it again next year. The Kentucky Humane Society is where we got Suzie almost 2 years ago, so it holds a special place in our hearts. She is seriously the sweetest, most loving dog and though we still don’t know how anyone could’ve ever given her up, we’re glad they did! 🙂

Official race recap

Hey guys!

Whew, sorry about that. This weekend was complete insanity, thank goodness I at least set up those two blogs to post on Saturday so I didn’t leave you completely hanging!

Anyway, I am absolutely proud to say I have turned in my last paper and this semester has officially ended! We can now (eventually) return to your regularly scheduled blogging for a LONG time now 🙂

Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Festival mini-marathon was amazing!

This was the first time I have ever walked an entire mini-marathon and probably the longest distance I’ve ever really walked at one time.

Here are my stats:

Time: 3:30:51

Distance: 13.1 miles

Calories burned (est.): 1,179

The race was challenging for sure. I was also feeling strange as I crossed the start line walking…I have never done that before! The first three miles are pretty flat and include one water stop along the way. The next three miles go through Iroquois Park, which, for us big city Kentuckians, are some big hills! Once you leave the park, its flat (with the exception of one slightly incline road) until you reach Churchill Downs in mile 8-9, that has you going up and down a couple of ramps pretending you are a horse 😉

Yes, I live in the home of the Kentucky Derby. No, I’m not really excited.

I don’t hate the Derby, I just don’t get the hype. But I’ve lived here since I was 5, so that might be why. The hassles that come along with it, like crowds and traffic, constant news coverage, etc. are annoying, but the concerts are usually pretty good. We’re going to one Friday night 🙂

Did I mention my birthday falls around this time and has fallen on Derby many times in the past. There’s another one. Hehe. Ok, back to the real race!

I was dreading the park but really it was not the most challenging part of the race for me. The most challenging for me were those last 3.1 miles. Just mentally knowing that I hadn’t gone further than 10 since this time last year was really ingrained in my head. But I made it and we even sprinted the last 0.1 which felt so amazing! I’m not nearly as sore as I was last year when I ran the whole thing and I just felt so much more at ease and relaxed. This was the best (fitness) decision I ever made 🙂

Have you guys ever ran and walked a long distance? What was different for you?

I am so glad I chose to walk, for many reasons. First, I was not alone. I walked the entire way with my aunt and a good friend who is a trainer at the gym I go to. Second, it was beyond warm, I even got some sun, so I know if I had been running it could’ve caused me some problems. And last, when you are walking, you definitely have more time to take in the sites and snap some great pictures. Here are just a couple:

BIG HILL!

BIG HILL!

The Running Elvises

The Running Elvises

So true...

So true...

We did it!

We did it!

Another one to add to the collection :)

Another one to add to the collection 🙂

I am so proud of my aunt for finishing her first half-marathon!

At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d want to do this again, but now that I have done it, I hope to do it every year. I had so much fun! So there you have it folks…I am a 5k-10k runner and a 10-mile to half-marathon walker! 🙂

My next 5k is May 23rd, so today I am starting a 5k training program, yay!

Hope you all are doing great, I’m catching up on your blogs little by little. Thanks for sticking around!