Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trials, tribulations and taper

Pre-workout fuel: Slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter
Workout: Ran 6.26 miles in 53 minutes, 30 seconds; average pace, 8:32.

Let's just get this out of the way: I almost got hit by a car today. Seriously came thisclose. I reached out and touched the hood of the woman's car.

I was running north on the boulevard when I noticed a car approaching the stop sign at a cross street. I made sure to check that she stopped and, when she did, I continued running. I was half-way across the street when I saw her car began to inch forward. Rolling. Rolling. Rolling. I finally screamed a not nice word, causing her to look up from her CELL PHONE and see Denali and me right in front of her, with Mark not too far behind. There was no way I could move out of striking distance by the time I realized she wasn't paying attention.

While it's a scenario that's played out in my head a million times, it's the closest I have ever come. I am still a little shaken up. I have no idea what I would have done had she actually not stopped. Denali could have been seriously hurt or killed. I could have been injured. Bones could have broken.

The only thing I can say is thank goodness I was approaching the end of a 6-miler wasn't at the end of a LONG run.

Bring on the taper!

Just two runs separate me and the starting line of Fort-4-Fitness. Rather than get caught up in the anxiety that comes with taper (ugh), I thought I'd offer a bit of reflection this Sunday.

One year ago: I was just a few weeks into the Couch to 5K program. It was a struggle but I kept going, motivated by the goal of being able to take Denali for his daily 3 miles and be able to run them. Especially in the winter.

11 months ago: While watching "The Biggest Loser," Mark pitched the idea of running a half-marathon. I thought he was crazy. I couldn't even run a 5K and he wanted me to do a half.

10 months ago: I ran 4 miles the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day -- the farthest I had ever run. I literally thought that I was going to puke by the run's end and it took me about 53 minutes (if memory serves me correctly).

9 months ago: After giving into Mark's half-marathon idea, I sign up for the Flying Pig and draft an extended training plan so that I could build a base and be able to run all 13.1 miles.

8 months ago: I got fitted for my first real pair of running shoes and ran 5 miles for the first time.

7 months ago: My first run with an average pace under 11 minutes. Up until this point, most of my runs were in the 11:30-13:00 min/mile range.

6 months ago: I signed up for a 5K with the goal of finishing in under 30 minutes. I was NERVOUS. I had no idea if I could do it but I had been running consistently for four or five months and had put in the time. Too bad the leaders took us off course and we only ran 2.75 miles. I did, however, run it at a sub-30:00 pace.

5 months ago: I ran 11 miles on Easter morning because I was feeling good and why run 10 miles when you can run 11? It was a challenge, and Mark and I were both struggling come that extra mile but we did it.

4 months ago: Flying Pig half-marathon. It was by far the most challenging thing I had ever done. 13.1 miles, the first four or so in the pouring rain. I lost Mark, did a 2.5-mile climb by myself and stopped at mile 10 to eat some sport beans. I didn't think I could finish but we kept moving and eventually found myself at the finishing line. Words as I crossed: Ain't no way I'm running a full.

3 months ago: Training for the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago ... by myself. All runs now at an average pace under 10:00 min/mile.

2 months ago: I smash my goal (sub-27:00) at the Runners on Parade 5K. I finished in 25:36. Most amazing feeling I have ever had running.

1 month ago: Run RnR Chicago. I improved by 16 minutes from the Flying Pig but could have ran smarter. With the sub-2:00 half-marathon seemingly within reach, I sign up for the Fort-4-Fitness half-marathon and begin training to go 1:59:59.

This month
: I'll let you know in 6 days :)

If the finish line ever seems out of reach, just remember that slow and steady wins the race. It took me time, dedication and consistent training to get here. Who knows where I'll go next ...


  1. You are so inspiring! I am cheering for you! You will do great!

  2. Fantastic post! I read your blog faithfully and didn't know much of the stuff that has happened in the last 6 months - you're amazing!!!!!!! I can't wait to look at my watch during the F4F around the 1:45 mark and send all my positive vibes your way. You'll do great!!! Can't wait to hear all the good and the bad during the race. I'm sorry to hear you almost got smashed by a distracted driver!!

  3. Mr. Guru says...I also find you inspiring. I love you theese much:)

  4. Oh, how I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. You inspire me and give me hope that my running will improve over time. Thank you!

  5. Awesome post! I totally remember now when you were doing C25K. I recall seeing each other at the Y and we both looked miserable on the treadmills. LOL!!

    Wow! How awesome you have progressed!

  6. Wow! You got fast fast! Great job and thanks for the inspiration!