Progress

Boom.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been thinking of running a Half Marathon this October in Kansas City.  “Early bird” registration is due at the end of May, so I have been pushing it to get as much training in before the kids are out on their summer vacation so I know whether I can even meet my goals of a). running for that far without stopping, and b). doing it in under 2 hours.

Well, I did it.

Honestly, I started out the run this morning a little later than normal, on account of the weather being somewhat mild at 76 F this morning.  I grabbed a few cups of coffee, something I haven’t been doing for the last few runs.  I ran 6.25 mi yesterday and didn’t run at all over the weekend, though I put in four days of 6.2 mi runs and a 20 mi bike ride last week.

Not too bad…

I hit 8 mi and still felt pretty good, so I decided to keep on going.  Another change from last time (when I only got 10.5 mi in) was that I took along some “hydration mix” for the run rather than just water.  Did that really make much of a difference?  I dunno.  But Brooke picked up a few packs in her last Sierra Trading Post order so I could check it out and it seemed to do alright.  I’ll probably order more of it, or something similar, for the rest of the summer.

I’m nothing if not consistent…

I’ll be signing up for the Half Marathon soon enough, as I’ve proven to myself I can do it.  I’ll likely keep doing between 6 and 10 miles on runs for the rest of the summer, and hit up 13 mile runs when I get a chance (e.g. when Meg and Calvin are elsewhere).

Oh yeah, and I needed a nap this afternoon.  I had 20,000 steps after I was finished running.  :-/

My Legs Hurt

Ouch…

I went for a “long run” today, as the rest of the family were elsewhere and the weather was passable for part of a weekend (it’s snowing in KC right now…seriously…April in Missouri…).  I was hoping I could make it the full 13.1 mi today, but settled for breaching the “double digit” line for the first time.  I ran around much of Marshall, which is almost required when the town isn’t all that large, but I still only hit the 10 mi mark when I was within a block of our house on the return trip.

I spent much of the rest of the afternoon laying on the couch watching the Cardinals game, and as of now, it sure feels like I pushed those leg muscles to their limits.  I wouldn’t say it “hurts,” per se, but I feel my legs every time I stand up and move from room to room.  I’m interested to see what tomorrow brings…

I suppose I’ll need to step it up more slowly, but the next few weeks will get more convoluted due to various meetings and work.  Once we’re clear of school, I should have more time for these longer runs (and they’ll probably need to be in the mornings…I ordered a hat to keep my bald head from burning if I run in intense sun…).  Based on the time I put in today, I suspect that I’m on track to do a half-marathon in under 2 hours, and honestly, I think I could have finished it off today, but it probably wouldn’t have felt all that great tomorrow (or Monday, for that matter…).  Assuming I can keep on schedule, I’m pretty confident I can achieve a respectable time by October.

“And I ran…I ran so far awaaaayy…”

#supercatspeed

I’ve beefed up my jogging a bit in the past few weeks. Over the Winter, I was able to get in some frequent jogs despite the chilly weather.  Around that time, I started investigating the possibility of trying for a Half Marathon sometime this year.  Based on how long I’ve got available over the Summer, and distance to travel, I decided the Kansas City Half Marathon in October seems like an appropriate option.  As such, I upped my nearly daily jogging time from 20 minutes daily-ish to 25 minutes whenever I could get around to it.  In the last few weeks, I’ve consistently fit in 3.5 mi runs on a semi-regular basis.

Over Spring Break, the weather wasn’t particularly pleasant so I had to go jogging at the Malcolm Center on campus to get some treadmill time in.  Meg was in school, so I had plenty of time available to push it a bit further, hitting 8 miles on one occasion (in ~75 min) and the next day, another 7 miles (in ~60 min).

That second run (literally the day after I ran for the longest I’ve ever run…) got a bit painful, so I’ve tried taking it a little easier since.

Consistency!

This week, put in a few more 60 min runs, hitting 7.21 mi the first time (Sunday) and 7.44 mi today.  The extra rest between days helped my feet (though I threw in a short-ish run yesterday), but I also picked up some new shoes late last week.  I broke them in yesterday, though I wore them around the house this weekend to flex them a bit.

As I alluded to, today’s run went significantly better than Sunday’s did, despite the temperature being a little colder.  The new shoes are certainly “bouncier” than my old pair, though I’m sure I’ve put enough miles into the old ones that they’re past their prime.  This is my third pair of Asics and they’ve been serving me well enough.

New kicks.

I’ve got a few months to keep pushing, and once school’s out in early May, I should have plenty of time available.  I’m hoping to try running for 13 miles sometime next week when the kids are out of town for their Spring Break, just to see how far I can get.  If I can actually maintain my pace, I should be able to do 13 miles in under 2 hours (a valiant goal!)…but as I’ve never actually run for that long, who knows what my legs will feel like when I’m done (my guess: probably bad).

Still, I want to give it a try when I have fewer responsibilities to take care of during that 2 hour period of time.  If I can do 13 miles in a semi-reasonable amount of time next week, a half marathon in October should be a piece of cake!

Or I’ll wreck my legs and quit running for awhile.  Whichever comes first.

Hannibal Cannibal

See? I run!
See? I run!

A few weeks ago, I ran my first 5K! My first “official” one, at least (I ran more than 5 km per day for 5 days in a row before actually running this race…).  Brooke’s family has run in the Hannibal Cannibal for the past few years, a fundraiser for the local hospital that always takes place on the Saturday morning of Tom Sawyer Days, which is held around July 4th.  This particular 5K is notable because of it’s “Lover’s Leap” climb, which is a steep 100 ft elevation that kinda sneaks up on you.  I’d never tried this course before (obviously), so though I knew how difficult the HW-79 portion would be (another hill, but a bit slower in grade), yet I wasn’t sure how Lover’s Leap would go.  I didn’t quite make it up to the top without stopping, but I made it further than I would have had I not been training.  Jogging around our neighborhood here gave me a little practice with hills, but for next year, I’ll have a better idea of what to prep for.

Baumann Brigade!
Baumann Brigade!

Again, the Baumanns (Baumenn?) run this 5K frequently and Mallory and Diana both placed in their divisions (yay!).  We’re all running a 5K in Colorado (Mallory’s doing a half marathon), so in some ways, this was a good trial run for us, or at least for those of us that have never actually run a 5K before…

S Health's display.
S Health’s display.

Also, a brief  aside, but I got a new fitness tracker in late June.  The Samsung Gear Fit 2 has a built-in GPS function and barometer that I find particularly useful, as it’s able to keep track changes in elevation, as well as running times.  For that race, my official time was 26:51 with an average pace of 8:39/mi.  My Gear Fit 2 recorded 8:39/mi as well, though the distance was off because I started it before actually crossing the starting line.  For the most part, I’ve been pleased with the performance of the tracker, though its battery life leaves something to be desired.

Overall, I placed 7th out of 18 in my age group, so I felt pretty good about that.  A 27 min 5K is respectable, though I’d have to work quite a bit to beat the 19:48 winning time in my group…  To get to the top 3 and win a medal, I need to shoot for 23:27, though, I’ll move up in age bracket next year where they actually ran a bit faster than those numbers this time around (ranging from 20:13 to 22:02 for the top 3).  There probably won’t be a medal in my future for awhile, but I suppose that isn’t the point of running a 5K, eh?

Lastly, I should note that Brooke’s also planning on doing the 5K in Colorado, though she thinks she may have hurt her ankle and may not be able to actually run for it.  The ankle’s on the mend, but while it’s been swollen, she hasn’t been able to go jogging all that much.  Perhaps we’ll get her in the Cannibal in time for next year!