• sisters on a mission.

  • Three sisters. One in Virginia. One in London. One in New York. None of whom wear shorts. Ever.

  • the mission?

    Running.
    Taking delight.
    Learning Italian.
    Getting to Italy.
    Wearing shorts.
    In Italy.
    June 2011.

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racing for life

Cathlin and Heather, medalists

Yes, I can now officially say that I have raced internationally.  Woot!

Cathlin and I ran a 5K women-only Race for Life at Finsbury Park in London on Sunday, my last day in the UK.   The course meandered through the beautiful park – some on-road, some off-road (i.e. grass), and several long upward inclines including a so-not-fair  hill at the finish  (rude).

I developed a wicked stitch in my side about 5 minutes into the race that lasted until the very end.  I blame it on the milk I had with my cereal for breakfast.  Still trying to work out what I can and cannot eat before a run.   It was distracting and definitely took a toll on my energy.  I confess that I walked a bit on a couple of the hills – less than a minute total though so not too bad.    Cathlin was a rock star and kept jogging but stayed beside me.

We finished together in 34 minutes and 40-something seconds – about 8 minutes faster than my first race in the spring!  Feeling good.

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Dog tired

This morning I passed another milestone in my quest to become a running goddess.  Or at least to not be a pathetic, wheezing, flailing disaster running in pants.

Today marked the start of week 9 for Daisy and me in the C25K program.  Thirty minutes straight.  Woah.   We’ve both come a long way.

Aside from a short poop break (Daisy – not me), we ran all the way!  I did try to jog in place while doing the clean up which I’m sure looked ridiculous but gave me a bonus quad/bum workout.

Now I need to work on picking up the pace.  I mapped a couple of 5K routes in the neighborhood via the US Track and Field website the other day and figured out that I’ve been doing around 12.5 minute miles.   Which translates to a 38.75 minutes to do a 5K.  Which is only a few minutes faster than the Komen 5K I did two months ago at week THREE in the program (and included eight minutes of walking).  That’s discouraging.  I want to be able to do a 5K in 30 minutes.

So, I’m going to start throwing in some faster sections during my runs.  Just to prove to myself that I can.  I started today with the last two minutes and I didn’t keel over.  Woo hoo!  Oh sure my breathing was so loud you’d think I had just completed a marathon but I’m going to celebrate the small steps.

And, while Daisy has decided napping is in order after our run, I actually feel great and have more energy than when I started out this morning.  That’s a very good sign.  Woot! Another small victory.

wearing the pink for 5k

doing my part to kick cancer's ass

When I signed up for the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure last week, I fully intended to just continue my C25K Week Three workout with additional iterations as needed.  No biggie.  But then David persuaded me to try to run the whole thing.    I had my doubts – I really did.  How was I going to manage 5k when I was just now running three minutes continuously?

I spent a lot of time in denial for the last three days.  The “slow and steady” advice from friends and coworkers was not convincing.  What if I run out of air?  What if my legs give out?  What if it’s really humid and the sun’s in my eyes and my shoelaces come untied and I trip and fall in the middle of the bridge and have to be carried out on a stretcher in front of thousands of Richmonders?  All valid concerns in my mind.

Then I read the quality of the try by MrsFatass and How to Meditate While Running from Runner’s World, both of which gave me some strategies for dealing with the mental aspect of the challenge.   And focusing on the meaning behind the race helped me look beyond myself  to the bigger picture.

I wish I could say I ran all the way.  I didn’t.   Did I mention the hills?   And the wicked headwind?  And my exceptionally poor running form (which I seriously need to work on now that I’ve seen the photographic evidence*)?   Anyway, despite my excuses, I did run jog 34 out of the 42 minutes it took me to finish.   Woo hoo!  My longest stretch of running was 21 minutes – that’s seven times longer than my three minutes earlier this week.  And I met my goal of finishing in 45 minutes.  Not a lofty goal but a goal met all the same.

Next year I’m running the whole way.  In 30 minutes.  In shorts.

* Many thanks to David who slowed to a snail’s pace to keep me moving and take action shots of me that will never ever be posted on the interwebs.