Saturday, May 29, 2010

10K Race

Today, I am thrilled to report I have achieved my goals for my first 10K race!
 - to finish:
 - in the upright position,
 - with a smile on my face,
 - wanting to do it again.
I even attained a new Personal Best - 1:09:53. (earlier record was 1:14:05) Woo-hoo! I haven't set or achieved many physical goals in my life, so this was fun. What made it special, though, was the opportunity to share the experience with old and new friends.

It was thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. I never thought I would say that about running 6.2 miles, but it was true. Sarah, Jessica and I ran at a "conversational" pace and enjoyed each other's funny stories while doing the Galloway thing (running 5 minutes, walking 1) until mile 5, and then we ran the last mile (plus point two) to the finish. Tammy (who had outraced us easily) was waiting for us at the finish; it was wonderful to have people cheering for me as I crossed the line. :-)

The morning was beautiful, with blue skies and gorgeous views of Mt. Timpanogos. Afterwards we were treated to free sports drinks and french toast. Overall, it was a very satisfying day! I am looking forward to my next race. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

5 years

5 years ago on May 25...

We welcomed the girl of our dreams into our arms and hearts.

Happy Arrival Day, Alex! We love you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hand Shaped Soup Recipe

Alex has been talking about making "hand shaped soup" for a few days. It is an Alex original. Here is the recipe, exactly as dictated:

1 egg
2 cups baking powder
1 cup vanilla extract
4 cups milk
1 cup flour
3 cups sugar

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl and bake for 5 minutes.

Doesn't it sound delicious? I am almost ready to let her make it, just to see her face when she tastes it.

Reminds me of the time my sister's 1st grade teacher had each child write the instructions for "How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich" and then the teacher read them to the class and made the sandwiches exactly as the recipes directed. I'll have to remember that one for the next rainy afternoon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

running update

I am slowly but successfully working my way through a nice gentle training program (courtesy of Jeff Galloway) to complete my first 10K race, which is happening on Saturday, May 29.

Overall, I am actually enjoying the act of running (or run-walk-running, in my case). This enjoyment is a true surprise to me. In an earlier blog post I wrote about how running beyond a moderate exertion threshold actually used to cause me to break out in freakish red welts - exercise-induced urticaria, according to my doctor. This was very convenient for me as it got me a bona fide excuse from running in high school PE class. There was only happiness, no sadness, in this for me. Running in general did not make me feel good - quite the opposite. In retrospect, I think I was just trying to go too far or too fast.

In college, I picked up jogging again after reading my dad's book about aerobic exercise by Kenneth Cooper. (Dad ran a few marathons, but he was also crazy in other ways and I didn't really feel inspired to imitate him at that point. He did advise me to take walk breaks, but like a true know-it-all teenager, I blew him off. Now of course I realize he was right!) Although I jogged on and off for several years in my 20s, my main motivation was to be reasonably healthy and burn off calories so I could eat desserts. Running was just a convenient and cheap means to that end. I didn't ever think much about the actual physical experience, except when it became painful. Which didn't take long, because I had no idea what I was doing. I knew zero about training or form. I just thought some people were made to run, and some weren't, and I was not. It was OK with me. As long as I put in the then-recommended 30 minutes three times a week, I was fulfilling my duty to my puny body with its puny little cardiovascular system, and that was good enough. It was like brushing my teeth to prevent cavities - necessary, but not particularly enjoyable or fulfilling. Just a chore.

Somewhere in my mid-30s my knee starting hurting slightly when I ran. Around that same time, I got the impression (in med school/residency) that runners wear down their cartilage and hasten the onset of osteoarthritis, requiring joint replacements as they got older. I decided running was best left to those under 35 and quit. (I have recently seen research that suggests the above is false - that is, runners are no more likely than non-runners to develop osteoarthritis.) I found other ways to stay fit. Then, this year around my birthday, some weird inexplicable urge to run seized hold of me and I have been in its grip ever since. For some reason I wondered how far I could run and how fast, and now I have to find out.

So I gradually eased into it, and a couple weeks ago I ran my farthest distance ever - 7 miles - without pain and actually felt good at the end. Good enough to eat a whole berry sundae from Costco, in fact. But even without the sundae, it would have been worth it. Last weekend, I left my GPS and heart monitor at home and just ran for 50 minutes (still pausing for walk breaks every 4-5 min) and it was one of the most joyful runs I have ever had. I felt awesome. I didn't need to know how far or how fast I was going. I was just loving it.

Then I changed my routine from afternoon to morning. I went running this morning - at 6 a.m. - and oof! my body did not run the same at 6 am as it does at 4 pm. I felt sluggish the whole time, and hungry, and kept wondering when I could stop and go eat breakfast. I am wondering if I will get used to early morning running. Hope I won't feel like I did today on the morning of the race, because I was struggling to do 3 miles, let alone 6.

Oh well. The nice thing about running your first race of any new distance is that, whatever your time, you get an automatic PR (personal record). I am actually not too concerned about time - I like what a friend told me about meditation. She said, "If you feel good while you're doing it, you're doing it right." My goal for this race is to feel good and - as Galloway says - to finish 1) in the upright position, 2) with a smile on my face, 3) wanting to do it again.