Thursday, October 22, 2009


Running has been a mini-obsession of mine since I first laced up my shoes and hit one of the farm paths here at home on July 31, 2008. I've had my ups and downs with it, taking some breaks along the way when the laziness took over. But, for the most part, it's been something that I've thought about every day even if I didn't actually get up and run.

Reading many of the running blogs that are available on the 'net has been a wonderfully absorbing time-killer for me. Just ask my husband; he can't believe the amount of time I can spend on the laptop reading complete strangers' thoughts. It's helped me learn a lot about running. It's also helped by seeing that there are a lot of other people like me out there ... those of us living normal lives sharing the same hobby/lifestyle. I especially enjoy the blogs of other working moms. If you are a runner who happens to be reading these rambling thoughts of mine, be sure to check out some of the links on my blogroll and you may just find one that appeals to you as well.

I also discovered the joy of running podcasts shortly after I started running. When I first bought my iPod, I just assumed that I'd only load music on it to help distract my mind while running. But then, I discovered "Phedippidations" through iTunes and realized I could listen to someone else sharing their knowledge about running while I'm trying not to think about my tired legs. After following the various links to other podcasts on iTunes and on the web, I have several that I've subscribed to and listen to regularly.

One of my favorites is Ashland Dave's "Running in the Center of the Universe." Dave just seems like a down-to-earth guy and Ashland, VA is only about 90 minutes from my part of NC. He mentions the Outer Banks quite a bit and has run that marathon as well as Richmond. I just really like hearing about a runner talking about areas that I know. If I do decide to run a marathon or another half in the future, either OBX (my first choice) or Richmond are good options. I wrote him an email last week complimenting him on the podcast and he mentioned it on #79 which is pretty cool. He's also hopefully going to put up a link to the Roanoke Canal Half Marathon. I'm so excited about having a local half, that I thought I'd do what I could to help spread the word. Hopefully his mentioning it on the podcast will bring in a few runners from that part of VA. So, thanks, Dave and keep up the good work on the podcast!

(And, yes, I know that the joy of running blogs and podcasts isn't news for any other runners that may have stumbled across my blog ... but the one reader I know I have is my husband ... maybe this will help him understand why I enjoy blogs and podcasts so much!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Medoc Ten Miler

Today has been a great day! I accomplished my goals at the Medoc Ten Miler this morning. Now, I'm on the sofa and will be napping as soon as I type this. Score!

This was a race of many firsts for me: first trail race, first time going 10 miles, first time at a race less than ten miles from my house (that was incredible), first race medal and first time at a race with a marathon (so inspiring, don't know that I'll ever be at a point where I can do that, but I loved seeing those guys/gals today).

Honestly, for the first time I felt like a REAL runner while out on the trails today. Not because I ran the entire way or because I was blazing fast: big NOT to both of those. But I really felt like I was the exact place I wanted to be and I just felt "right."

It was tough but I had a plan/goal in mind and I stuck to it. Since this was my first trail race and I knew the rocks, roots & hills would be much tougher than the paths here on the farm, my very conservative plan was to run 4 minutes/walk 1 minute. My time goal was 2:30 or 15 minute miles ... yep, I'm still very, very slow but I'm getting better.

When I came home, Will asked me "did you win, Mama?" My answer: "yeah, I did sweetie" because I did exactly what I set out to do. I finished in 2:28 something (forgot to stop my watch when I crossed the mat). I lost a couple of minutes sometime during mile 5 because I backtracked and was convinced I'd gone on the wrong trail because the flags were placed a farther apart than they had been everywhere else. There weren't too many people behind me and I was by myself most of the time except when some of the fastest marathoners passed me on their next loop.

I had a great, great time! It was so much fun and I loved every minute of it (yes, even while struggling on those steep stairs at mile 8 and during mile 9)! I'm absolutely convinced now that if I can finish 10 miles at Medoc, I can definitely do 13.1 at the
Roanoke Canal Trail Half Marathon in March. I'll hopefully be running at a faster pace by then, too.

I've been looking at some online HM training plans and I've found a novice plan that I think will work for me. It's scheduled to begin the week of Thanksgiving. I'm ready to start now! But that's just the "high" from today. I'll just stick to doing easy runs 3 times a week between now and then. I'm also going to focus on losing about 10 pounds in the next 5 weeks. That will definitely help, too. I know my weight works against me and makes running harder than it needs to be. Sigh ... it's a lifelong battle that's just really, really hard.

The Canal Trail HM should be easier than today's ten miler. The Canal Trail is mostly flat and isn't rooty and rocky like Medoc's trails. Medoc has some steep ups and downs in sections, too (well, steep for northeastern NC). The good news is that, like today, I'll be guaranteed a PR since it'll be a new distance for me!

I guess that's it for now. This sofa is very comfy and I've earned this nap!

Mile 1: 12:06
Mile 2: 15:59 (includes a stop by my car to drop off my sweatshirt)
Mile 3: 15:48
Mile 4: 15:12
Mile 5: 16:32 (includes the backtrack to confirm I wasn't off the trail)
Mile 6: 13:52
Mile 7: 15:04 (ate 1/2 granola bar, steep stairs at the very end)
Mile 8: 13:56
Mile 9: 15:29 (more steep stairs)
Mile 10: 14:11

Chip time: 2:28:13.9 / 14:50 pace