For as long as I can remember, I told people "I can't run." But in March of 2009, I decided that this was no longer an option. From my first 5K to my second half marathon, I've endured my highest highs and lowest lows as an official Runner. This year I want to embrace running for something beyond times and distances.

Running is so much more than merely getting out there. I want to get out there and love it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

8K Race and Half Training - Week Four

Alright alright! I'm sitting in a Starbucks, using some free WiFi, sippin' on an upside-down Caramel Macchiato! I just finished building my boyfriend a light box for his photography stuff. He's been talking and talking about making one, and while he was at work, I just went ahead and did it for him ;) Post-Valentine's Day gift?? We had a blast this V'day weekend...pulled a 500 Days of Summer and tooled around Ikea for more hours than most people probably do.

"Doesn't my new living room look lovely?"

"But our sink doesn't work!"

"Hey I ran a 5mi race today."

It was funny because we stopped at a 'Bucks afterward and the barista was like "What are you guys doing for Valentine's Day?" "Uhh, we went to Ikea?" Haha!

ANYWAY...I bring up the light box because I had off of work today for Prez Day, and it appeared as though I had plenty of time to take my 4mi run...but the day just gets away with you, especially when you sleep til 10am WHOOPS! So instead of running, I built the light box, and I'm at Starbucks WRITING about running. Ah whatevs, the weather absolutely sucks right now, so I'll just do it tomorrow.

Week Four of training, as I've already written about, has gone very very well! I'm feeling back to my old running self and have good vibes about how the rest of the training will go. My knee seems to be getting better too...which I'm hoping is due to the cross-training I've been doing. The fun kickboxing and dance dvds I work out to are murder on my quads and those are precisely the muscles I need to build up to balance out my muscular hamstrings, so my femur isn't rubbing against the back of my patella OUCH! I wanna vom just thinking about that! So anyway, Week 5 will entail two 4mi runs during the week and an 8mi this weekend. Now 8 will officially be my longest run to date (I ran a 7.5mi this past fall). I'm very excited to cross that line! And SPEAKING of crossing lines.......

My 8K!! I did a lot better than I thought I would! Let me set this race up for you in a three-pronged discussion:

1. According to this article in our city paper, the Journal Sentinel: "'This is a who’s who in the local running community.' In recent years, the Cullen [8K] has developed into competitive early-season test for the top runners in the area." So basically, it's not really a race for your casual runner. Al's Run is packed every year because it's a huge cause, very much in the spotlight. This Steve Cullen race is not only in the middle of winter, but it's longer. For example, despite it also being in the winter, the Sampson Stomp at the Mke Zoo being a shorter distance makes it more popular for casual runners. ANYWAY, omg Katie move there were only 500 runners in this badboy and many of them were elite.

2. In addition to this fact, the course is difficult!! Al's has a mild incline for the first 2-2.5 miles, but nothing too distracting. This one kicked into a steep hill right after the first half mile and it felt like it went on forever. You could hear people huffing and puffing already! It was pretty brutal! After that there were a bunch of significantly shorter hills scattered throughout. And then at the very end, the Big Monster. I swear this thing is at a 45 degree angle. And the Finish is at the top of it, so you see it looming, and you're just dying running up this monstrosity to get there!

3. And finally, most of the race was a park path, so say 4-5 ft wide? And said park path was, of course, covered in snow and ice. Some parts were traveled enough to allow the grippy asphalt beneath to come through. But sometimes it was on the left side, and this race was one of those "double back" types, so the fancy elite athletes were running toward you and you had to move back over to the right.

Alright, so Al's I ran in 42:41. Crazy impressive for me. This one I ran in, according to MY watch, 46:29. And I think that's awesome considering the addition of all the crazy hills AND non grippy snow/ice surface!! Ok enough blabbering, I will provide my stats here to let you see what I mean:

bib number: 356
age: 30
overall place: 307 out of 518
division place: 11 out of 32
gender place: 97 out of 226
time: 46:50 (This makes sense because I took note that I crossed the start 15-20 seconds after the gun. I'M saying 46:29!)
pace: 9:26 (Again, I'M saying 9:16!)

~link to my stats

So basically this is nowhere near my usual percentile (my typical age div/gender is in the top 20% and then like 30-35% overall).

I get really crazy about stats...I should probably stop :)

After the race, and after the barf-up-my-Huevos-Rancheros feeling wore off, I shuffled into the warming tent for my bowl of chili and two beers :) I also grabbed a cup full of candy hearts for my boyfriend who had so lovingly gone through the ridiculous horror that was trying to drop me off, and then pick me up. The race Start/Finish was nestled into this park, so there really was no access by anything other than foot. SO I had to run a half mile to get to the race (we got there late-ish), this INCLUDED the aforementioned Big Monster by the by! And then I ran another half mile AFTER the race to get to my boyfriend's car. Interestingly enough, when I slumped into the passenger seat, I looked down at the cup o' candy hearts I had been juggling and at the top was a larger heart face up which said "You Rock"...awesome :)


  1. Dude!! I've been waiting for this post!!! I know a 'who's who'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Awesome race, awesome pace...Good Job girl!!!!

    8 miles this weekend or bust!!!!!!!!!

  2. HAHA!!! Oh I am HARDLY a who's who!! But thanks for the Ups ;) I'm actually really stoked about the distance! I like days when I'm excited about running?? Hahaha!