Took a trip to NJ / NY
Geneva (the groomer) and I took Cody up to NJ for a grooming competition. We turned my fluffernutter Labradoodle into a shaved Airedale. Talk about a transformation. It's the first time he's ever had a shaved head or tail, and it's throwing me for a loop. My biggest issue right now, though, is that I can't decide which version I like best. Thoughts?
On Monday, it was back to work, but I was still recuperating from the trip, so getting back into the swing of things took some hard work. I was exhausted, and I found that I would randomly fall asleep given the slightest opportunity (e.g On a dog bed on the floor of the kennel).
Ran a social race.
Luckily, by Thursday of that week I was feeling a bit better, because I had signed up for a 4-mile run hosted by a local brewery. I'm not a huge fan of beer, and I prefer smaller, more intimate events to the big, crowded, beer-centric events, so I was supremely nervous about this one, but I have to say it was a lot of fun. I met up with a running buddy there, and we just took it at a nice, easy jog. Afterwards we chatted, had a beer, and ate tacos. I would happily do it again!
Ran a trail run.
Well, the same running buddy from the 4-miler also asked if I'd like to participate in a relay marathon for Project Athena. Apparently, someone from their team had backed out and they needed a 4th. Sure! Why not?! Well, I'll tell you why not. That was one of the HARDEST 6.5 miles I have EVER run. I was expecting a road run with possibly some mild trails. What I got was 1.5 miles along a hot road followed by rock climbing, steep hills, and lots of inch worms. Add to it that I ran the last leg, so I wasn't out until 11:00 a.m. and it was a very sunny day, and you'll get a very tired Valerie. Oh well, I still had a blast, and I got to meet some pretty great people too!
|All smiles after the race.|
Well, there's one last thing I've done since my last post and that was yesterday. Yesterday I...
Set a PR on a 10k!
One of the things I've lamented most about my injury was how much it set me back in training. I was just gaining speed, and I was starting to see some significant weight loss, but that injury set me back to 12 minute miles and made me gain about 10 pounds. This is not a good thing, so I've been working hard at getting back to my old pace.
I wasn't too far off my previous PR of 10:24 min/mile, set during my first 10k, when I ran the Monument Avenue with a pace of 10:30 min/mile. However, I really wasn't seeing much improvement. I could push really hard some mornings and turn out almost 10:00 min miles with a friend, but other mornings I struggled just to keep an 11:00 min mile. I knew a lot of it was dependent on sleep and the previous day's labors, but it was frustrating to say the least.
Anyway, I wasn't sure what to expect with yesterday's 10k, the Carytown 10k. I was going to try to run with a buddy, but she was hoping to set her own PR of 9:45 and I had not run that at all yet, so I figured I'd just see what I could do. I knew that if I started with her, there was the possibility that I'd peter out too early, but I also knew that if I didn't start with her there would be no way I would keep a decent pace. So, I started with her.
Unfortunately, I had to let her break away before mile 2. I knew I couldn't hold her pace, and it was foolish to try. We had started out too fast (often below 9:45), and I couldn't run fast and talk with her anyway. So, I had to let her go. It wasn't too long, however, before I realized that I did stand a chance at setting my own PR, but more than that. I stood a chance of finishing with a pace under 10 minutes.
I pushed hard, and there were times I wanted to quit, but I persevered. At one point, I felt like I was going to vomit. I could feel it at the back of my throat, but I continued on. In fact, this race also helped me to make a huge decision about something, but that's another story. When I crossed the finish line, tired and sweaty, feeling like I could collapse, I stopped my watch and looked at my time. I saw this:
|I held a 9:46 pace!!!!!!!!|
Now, I'm preparing for a lesson, and I'm gearing myself up for some pretty big stuff, but I've had a huge confidence boost. If I can do that, I can do anything.
|Me, post 10k. Sweaty, way past red in the face, but happy. Yay!|