Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lazy Summer

I have found myself getting into a funk of not running or doing any extra exercise this summer. I don't know what's going on. I'm not saying that I'm just sitting on the couch all day, but I'm not getting out and doing anything toward my goal of the 20 minute 5K.
Today I did have the opportunity to be part of something great for Aurora. Our church had it's 3rd annual Operation Helping Hands project. The project is to go out into the community to make a difference for those around us by showing our actions as an act of love. I was the leader at the Salvation Army. I got to work with 30 other people on two projects. One of the projects was to put some new shelving in two of their pantry rooms. This was not so much of a physical job but more of an organizational job to help them be more organized with what they have. The second job was to make the outside look better. We had about 15 yards of mulch to work with and plenty of weeds to be picked. My friend Ryan took charge of what we would do outside and did a great job. I really am looking forward to driving by there soon and seeing how much of a difference we have made to that place.
As we were working I kept thinking about what was going on all around Aurora today. We had people working at 12 different sites all around Aurora. I thought about the thousands of people that drove by seeing people out beautifying things. I thought about how what we were doing for the Salvation Army would help them to serve the community better. I was just proud to have had the chance to be part of this project.
When we were finished, the guy in charge of the Salvation Army could not have been more happy with what we had done to help his facility. He asked us all if we would consider switching churches and going to his to be an example for them. I didn't know how to take this, but knew that we had showed God's love through service in our actions that day. It made me realize that the job I was doing made a difference in his life, and that he could see God working through us.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Melissa's running now too

Yesterday I went out running with Melissa and pushed the girls in the jogger. We ran about a mile and a half. Melissa did great. We did walk a few times, but overall, Melissa did well. She even at points of walking started herself running again. It took me quite awhile to get to that point. I was really proud of her. She's still sore a day later, but she got started on her training. We've got a month and a half left until the race and it should be great. I haven't been on the schedule as strong as I want to, but I will get back on it. I do want to get under 20 minutes, and I still hope for that time, but it might be tough. I am appreciating more and more the fact that I ran my marathon in the spring. Summer running is really tough. I didn't like putting a hat, gloves, and scarf on to run way back in January, but I am seeing that it is way better than being overly sweaty in the summer.
I'm excited about the idea that Melissa is getting into running. It gives someone else to talk running about at home with. After her first run yesterday I didn't know if she would do it again, but I think she's going to be able to do it and to finish strong.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

First run of the training

I got out yesterday for my first run after the marathon. I took a week off to sleep in and just not have to run for awhile. It felt alright to get out and run again. As I have said earlier, I want to improve my speed. For my run, it was a lot hotter than I am used to. Training for the marathon always had cool mornings for runs which meant I didn't sweat a lot or have too much difficulty worrying about heat. For my run yesterday, I left and it was 72 degrees. It was pretty tough just due to the heat. I got out and went at a pace that was quite quick for what I am used to. I ran my first mile in 7:10. I wasn't sprinting, but I really was working at quickening my pace. After that mile I didn't feel so hot. I ran for about another half mile then walked for a bit. My breathing was pretty hard and I needed to drink pretty bad. For the entire 3 mile run, I finished in 24 minutes. I thought that was ok because I walked for quite a bit. I felt down a bit, but I know that this is an 8 week training schedule. I shouldn't expect to do the best time right away. My only hope is that my time will improve over this training. If not, I will just have exercised that much more. That isn't a bad thing. We'll see how this goes.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Excited about the end of the school year.

I'm excited about school coming to a close this year. Tomorrow is the last day. After that, summer vacation is on. I'm feeling good about this summer. I will be teaching summer school and tutoring a few kids. It should be good. While I am not so excited about waking up for summer school, I think it will help out with a schedule for me. I struggle in the summers with scheduling for eating and sleeping. This summer I will be required to be more on a schedule because I will be working. This will help out with training for the 5K. I will be able to have more of a schedule and have a real time for training. I struggled last summer training for the half-marathon without a schedule. I found myself running in the middle of the afternoon because I would stay in bed too long or I would have found something else to do before running. I'm excited about not having to do that too much this summer.
For my running, I took this week off. I'm going to get into it next week. I might get out for a few mile run this weekend. We'll see. I really am looking forward to try to beat the 20 minute mark for the 5K. I'm excited!

Monday, June 2, 2008

What's next?

I began this blog as a way to keep myself accountable during my training for the marathon. Now that I have done that, what's next? As of right now I only have one race on my schedule. It is on Wednesday July 30th in the evening. It is a 5K. I am going to spend my time doing some speed training to try to get my best time possible. I am thinking that I could possibly get my time under 20 minutes. Possible? I don't know. I do know that without speed training I got it into the 22 minute range. I am sure that if I focus my energy in the next two months toward speed that there is a chance that I can cut a minute off each mile. Especially since I will not have to worry about messing up my marathon training at a 10 minute mile. This is a lofty goal, but I figure I need a goal to be able to shoot for. I will keep this blog going during that time.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I Did It!

I started and finished my marathon. I came in with a finishing time of 4:29.42. I was pretty excited about that time. I wanted it to be around the 10 minute mile and I did it.
The race started at 6:00 Eastern time which meant that it was 5:00 my time. I have to say, I think I was pretty pumped up because I didn't notice the sleep that I missed. I slept terrible though. Melissa and I got to South Bend at around 7:30. We got the essentials out of the car and checked into our hotel room. After checking in, I ran down to the race registration and got there just in time, they closed down at 8:00 and got my running packet with all of my stuff. Melissa's mom and dad came down as well and helped out with the girls, they came to the room and helped to feed them when I went to registration.
When we were settled, we went out to Fazzoli's for dinner. I had a plate of spaghetti and some breadsticks. It was tough to turn down some of them at the end, they tasted so good, but I knew I would regret eating too many the next morning.
We got back to the room at around 10:00. I laid out all of the stuff I would need for the next day and helped Melissa get the girls to bed. They took a little while to get to sleep due to the new environment that they were in. I got to sleep at around 11:15, Melissa told me that they woke up a few times after I fell asleep but Melissa quickly and quietly took care of them for me. I am thankful for that. I didn't sleep that well. I think I woke up 4 or 5 times before the alarm went off and our wake-up call came. After that call I got myself ready and helped get the girls ready and we were on our way.
As we were waiting for the starting gun to begin, the national anthem was played and they gave some announcements about some of the things to expect during the race. The big shocker during the announcements was that it was 70 degrees at the start. That was not good to hear. It was still dark out and we all knew that it was only going to get hotter. (it did)
The first half-mile was a little bit congested with runners, but I would say that it became a pretty open course after that. I liked that. I have trained by myself and haven't really had the chance to run around other people. The race only had about 500-550 people start.
Within the first mile I got my pace down and found myself running with a bunch of other people that all had planned on keeping the 10 mile pace. I got to talking to a girl that was from Woodridge named Jen who wanted to keep that pace for at least the first half of the race. We ran together for the first 13 miles and then she stopped to say hello to her family and I didn't see her again until close to the end when I passed her on an out and back section of the race. It was fun to pick her brain because she had run multiple marathons and triathlons. She even completed an Ironman race. I found out that there were a lot of people in the group that we were running with that had also done an Ironman. It was pretty impressive.
I ran without stopping for the first 21 miles. It became really hot. I was still right on my 10 minute mile pace, but knew that the last 5 miles would be tough. Mentally to get me to the end without breaking down I made myself run to each water station. They were all spaced around a mile apart. After drinking I would walk for about 100-200 yards then need to keep running until the next water station. In those last miles I passed a lot of people. It felt great. I was happy that I had kept my energy to the end. It made for a dramatic finish.
As I approached the stadium, I got pretty excited. There was the problem though that the side I was approaching was the opposite side that I would need to enter. As I came up to the place where we could go in, it was the tunnel down to the field. I looked at the guy who was at the door and said, "are you ready for this?" (it's a quote from Rudy) I ran down the tunnel with the following quote that Rudy give. "I've been ready for this my whole life." Now I'm pretty sure I haven't thought about that moment my whole life, but I was about to become Rudy out on that field and I needed to get into character. I made the final sprint to the finish line with my arm in the air and a big smile on my face. It felt wonderful.
When the race was finished I grabbed some fruit and a big glass of Gatorade. I waited for some of the people that I ran with to chat with them and to congratulate them. It felt great. I just laid on the grass in the place where the goal line would be. I was amazed at how thick and well groomed the grass was.
When we decided to leave the stadium we went to the car. At that point I started feeling not so well. I walked over to a grassy area because I thought I was going to throw up. It was a false alarm. We headed over to Melissa's parent's hotel room so I could shower and I figured out then that I was going to have to throw up. I rolled down the window quickly and proceeded to throw up out the window as Melissa was driving. She was following her dad so I just told her to keep up. In trying to keep up, I threw up three more times. Melissa finally pulled over, but by that time I was done.
We got to the hotel and I felt terrible. I took a shower, some tylenol, and a thirty minute nap and felt a ton better.
Overall, the experience of running the marathon was good. The training got long after awhile. I would think if I ever did this again, I would make sure to find a race that has a small amount of people that run in it. I am sure some day I will get the urge again to run a marathon, but I don't see doing one again super soon. We'll see.