Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm Still Alive, I Promise!

Sorry I've been gone for so long!  I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how crazy life has been.  Some of it has been good, some of it has been bad, but all of it has been keeping us busy.  Let's see, where should I begin?  Well, since my last post I:

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?


After the competition we also ventured into the city where I proceeded to get us thoroughly (and embarrassingly) lost on the subway system.  Oops!  I was, however, able to get us some delicious bagels from my FAVORITE bagel shop.  Oh, and when we finally left, we decided to stop at a random outlet mall for some shopping.  That was a blast!  I have the feeling I'll make that trip again some time.

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.

Finally life started to settle down a little bit, but I have also had some extremely stressful things happening (I'll talk about them later).  So, there were a lot of tears, a bit of yelling, and a general feeling of just wanting to crawl under the covers and go to sleep...which I did a little...only on the dog bed on the floor of the kennel (I'm tellin' ya, I'm here all the time!).  Hans has been a great support through everything, and is a good man for taking all my yelling like he has.  I hope I can some day repay him.

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!!!!!!!!
Apparently, I was only about a minute behind my running buddy, and a minute off from my goal of an hour.  I'm so close!  This is a very, very big deal, and it was just the victory I needed to start my week off right.

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!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear everything is going well for you esp in the running arena. I know how much it means to you. I choose the Airedale look for Cody. Even though I like his curly locks, he looks more distinguished with his hair cut. Like he's from a distinct breed. The Groomer did an excellent job by the way.