I like surprises!

Yay! for positive thinking! Yay! for gorgeous “winter” days, Yay! for friends who pick you up to accompany you and cheer you on at your race, Yay! for acupuncture, Yay! for beating your best time by 10 minutes! Yay! for me!!!

The race went well. It was very hard, more hilly than I was prepared for but somehow I did it and had a very good race.

It was a gorgeous day and good friends A and N picked me up for the hour long drive. I wasn’t really nervous but was perhaps a bit anxious. I was worried that my knee would not hold out and the trip out there would be for nothing.

I had to focus REALLY hard at the start to hang back and not go too fast. I really felt like I was at the very back of the pack. Everyone seemed to be going out really fast but I just kept checking my pace on my Garmin to make sure I was hanging around the 6:30k mark.

There was a 2:30 pace bunny who started near me and I was keeping my eye on her. My goal was to finish in 2:20 so I felt like I should ultimately be in front of her- but dag-nam -it if she didn’t keep passing me. She was doing 10’s and 1’s and I was not. So I would pass her when she walked and then she would wizz by me when she started to run. She was TICKING me off- but I restrained myself- and tried my best to ignore her.

I felt great after the first hill into the animal sanctuary (I saw zebras, giraffes, emu’s and wildebeest’s!) and was ticking along until I got to 10 k and my knee started to hurt- I kept running but was worried. For the next 3 k I was doing my best to focus on ridding myself of the pain and ever so gradually and miraculously it went away but then at about 16 k I hit a bit of a wall. The longest training run I had done for this race was 15.55 k –  again I started to worry if I had it in me. Couple that with the fact that there is a HUGE hill at this point and I really started doubting myself. I motored up the first part of the hill- and my head began to feel like it would explode (this happens from time to time) I was hot, I was dying, so I stopped to walk and popped the 2 Advil I had with me- I turned the corner and began to run- and now it was all downhill- it was hard not to go “fast” so I went with it- and enjoyed passing a few people on the way. At the bottom for the hill and turning the next corner as the course became flat again my legs felt like lead- I was at 20k… so close… but I wanted to stop, I wanted to walk but I could not let myself do that- There were people walking around me and I shuffled by them. By the time I saw the finish line I was just trying to keep my legs moving- mentally I wanted to do the “sprint” to the finish line but my legs would not go any faster. I checked my watch and realised I was 10 minutes ahead of my goal and previous 1/2 marathon time. I don’t know what happened to that pace bunny- I don’t remember passing her- but I’m so glad  I didn’t let her pace throw me off.

I gotta say even though there were a few “why am I doing this?!” moments I’m pretty darn happy with my results 2:12:54 And of course, I’m already plotting on how to train and better my marathon time- 9 weeks to go!

Everything’s comng up roses…

…and daffodils and cherry blossoms and crocuses and tulips… gotta love the winter Olympics in Vancouver!

Anyhoo- On running… I’ve ran. 3 times this week to be exact. 3K on Monday, 5K on Tuesday and 8K today. And me knee has held out. There were twinges on Monday- but today I felt strong. I am stretching and icing and putting on the heat… ad on a complete whim I got acupuncture on Monday. I actually called Balance to see if I could get in for a massage as it is literally 2 blocks away and since all the kids are off for Olympic break I has an older one to watch the wee ones- the fellow on the phone talked me into accupunture and actually did a combo of the two, and I am really feeling much better. Interesting.

I picked up my race package today- after wandering around with the kids checking out Olympic festivities. So not my thing. I really get no enjoyment from wandering the streets with thousands of people and I refuse to stand in any line for more than 5 minutes which means I’m not getting in to any pavilions… But the girls got to se the mascots skate and shake hands and even hug Crotchy… or whatever his name is, so they were very pleased.

A couple of quiet days before race day perhaps?

All it takes is a little focus… right?!

I am here.

I am running.

Really I am.

I am desperate to get something rolling… as in some serious training, and in the last 2 weeks I feel as if I am on the right track.

I am running the Historic Half in 3 weeks (!)

I can do it.

But I need to focus.

I need a whole lot of focus in every aspect of my life as I have just felt so scattered- so much that I WANT and NEED to do and I am just skimming the surface and not really DOING anything…

Or so it seems.

Focus.

The runs are feeling pretty good this week. Last week was a bit worrisome- both my knees were acting up. So I started stretching (Hello!) Much better Thank you.

My long run this week is 16K.

I can do it.

Come hell or high water…

I’m doing it. I’m gonna run come hell or high water- my post last week where I ran (pardon the pun) down every (quite valid really) reason I can’t be running right now just didn’t sit right. Instead of making me feel “better” or “relieved” or “off the hook”  I was just depressed about it. Running became so important to me- and not just running willy-nilly -half -assed- mamby-pamby  but TRAINING just felt so great, as hard as it was, and I want to be doing it, no, I NEED to be doing it, so I must find a way, and I will.

I ran this morning, despite having piles and piles of work to do, I just went out for a 5K and it was glorious and when I walked in the door I walked straight over to the computer and registered for the Historic Half Marathon in Fort Langley on February 21 2010. (Thanks to njb for the nudge!) Done. I needed that. It’s a tiny step and I need to recognize that this is totally the honeymoon phase, that initial excitement upon registering for the race. Next month when it snows and I’m in the thick of holiday mayhem I just might be whining a tiny bit. But for now I’ll enjoy the “I’m going to run a race” high.