Sunday, July 8, 2012

Race Report: Running to my fitness

Long story short, I finally ran to my level of fitness or at least my fabulous Lulu Lemon shorts did and carried me along for the ride. The shorts and I crossed the line in 18:27 after running: 3:38, 3:43, 3:43, 3:47, 3:36. It hurt. It was hard. But it felt so, so good.

I'll save you the excruciatingly boring details of complicated race day logistics because everyone, parents and otherwise, have complicated stuff going on. But I will say, getting to the start line this morning was especially challenging and, indeed, very much in doubt until about 5 minutes before the race. My warm-up was far from ideal and happened long before the race to accommodate La Cocotte's 1 km race (8:55 !!). Then there was last minute nursing and escaping toddlers and, oh yes, I said I'd spare you. I was standing near the start line trying to decide whether to race (because it seemed like it was not going to be an easy 19 minutes for hubby) when the organizers started announcing the elites. They brought them out one by one. Clearly they had warmed up properly and were focused. They got to start at the front of the pack. They were mostly women with whom I race all the time, sometimes I beat them, sometimes they beat me. But today the focus was on them. I was just the random mom seemingly on the sidelines who was still nursing seconds before the start, had carried her toddler during the 1 km, and who appeared frazzled.

It hit me. I run better this way. I run better unnoticed. As soon as I have any sort of attention or pressure, sadly, I choke. I was never a championship runner in university. I was a great time trial runner. I have been one of those elite, invited athletes with the free entry and introduction and inevitably I run far slower than the times I ran previously which garnered me the invitation in the first place. I don't run well when things are perfect. When I have the perfect sleep, the perfect warm-up, the perfect conditions... choke. Give me complicated logistics and obscurity and I will shine. Today I beat all of the elites except one. I am sure I would have had a very different outcome had a been one of them. So I`ll pay the expensive entry fee (it`s peanuts compared to what I paid for the Lulu Lemon shorts anyway). It`s well worth it to finally break 18:30 again.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why I can break 19:00 this week-end revisited

I do have other things going on in my life besides running but their either fall into the category of things-that-shall-not-be-blogged-about or I lack the eloquence to do justice to the topic so here we go... another self indulgent post on running.

Why I can break 19:00:

-I am running 3:45/km repeats effortlessly. Seriously, EFFORTLESSLY and while this could be that the treadmill I am running on at the YMCA is mis-calibrated, I do have the incline at 2% to compensate. Hmmm 3:45/km at 2%, yup, definitely mis-calibrated. Whatever. I am definitely fitter than before.

-I FINALLY broke 60! 60 kilos that is... wow, took me so much longer to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight this time. In fact, I am not there yet but I am finally under 60 Kg, 59.6 kg to be exact and, in the strangest mixing of imperial and metric ever, 2 pounds to go to my pre-pregnancy weight. (Aside: there was one day a few weeks ago when I weighed in at 60.0 kg, La cocotte weighed in at 12.0 kg and Squeaker weighed in at 6.0 kg. Being the numbers geek that i am, I found it intrinsically pleasing that I was 5X the weight of the big one, 10X the weight of the small one and the big one was double the small one.

-I have actually been doing a small amount of core strengthening.

-I am going to be smart this time. I will NOT, NOT, NOT go through 2 km faster than 7:36. If I feel good at that point I will GRADUALLY pick it up. 16:30 into the race I will put the hammer down and give it everything I've got. Maybe not the best strategy for running the fastest possible race but hopefully a guaranteed sub-19.

-It's 84 seconds slower than my lifetime best. Come on! Surely I am fit to within 84 seconds of my personal best??

-Secret weapon. Ok, this is going to sound really superficial, but that's only because it IS really superficial. I went into Lulu Lemon this week. This is significant because I have long harbored a ridiculous snobbishness towards the Lemon. Their clothing, I decided, was not worn by serious athletes. Everyone knows that serious athletes don't wear trendy clothes. Serious athletes wear super ugly, beat up running shorts that have seen thousands of miles and clash with their shorts and shoes. I have since read the blogs of two women (here and here), both of whom faster than me, who are Lemon wearers which was the end of that snobbish notion of mine. So, with the phrase "Lulu Lemon craps suburban mom money" (credit Angela) echoing in my ears, I went in and tried on a pair of shorts. It was trans-formative. In an instant I went from feeling chubby and post-partumy to feeling thin, fit and, I'll say it, sexy. Clothing, athletic and otherwise, is usually off my radar as a source of hedonistic pleasure. I have never EVER had my self image transformed in a second by putting on a garment. These shorts are magic I tell you and I have a feeling that they will simply refuse to run slower than 19:00 for 5 km. They will fall off my body in protest before crossing the line slower than 19:00.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Does anyone else ever feel

like a smoker sneaking around trying to get their fix when they leave for their run?