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Posts Tagged ‘Wogging My World’

bilbl_super This morning FaveCousin, KE, and I woke up before dawn in order to participate in the SF Hot Chocolate 5K, benefiting Ronald McDonald House.  I’d first heard about the Hot Chocolate 5K back when I went to the SJ RocknRoll expo. The name sounded so fun, and I knew it would be a great way to start off the new year.  I was so happy that FaveCousin wanted to do it with me and said I could stay overnight with her.  She and I had a good time at the Mermaid, and this time KE (FaveCousin’s cousin’s wife (in Italian families things can get complicated)) was going to do it with us, adding to the fun.

This race was early – a 6:15am call time for a 7:30 start time.  Luckily, FaveCousin suggested we get there a bit later so that we had more time to sleep in and less time just waiting around.  Still, we had plenty of time for a few photos:

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It was freezing this morning in Golden Gate Park, but after yesterday’s drizzly weather, we were glad that it was clear.  I am so glad that I had the wherewithal to bring my earmuff headband (is that what you call it?), because it helped keep me a bit warmer.

Check out the cool technical hoodie they gave us as a race shirt.  I'm so proud that I fit into a Women's XL.

Check out the cool technical hoodie they gave us as a race shirt. I’m so proud that I fit into a Women’s XL.

For me, the worst part of any 5K is waiting for the race to start.  To get myself in the right frame of mind and get past my nervousness about running more of the 5K than I ever have before, I got my playlist going.  Music is phenomenal for calming nerves isn’t it?

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The line of people waiting behind me to get this 5K started!

Soon enough, we were at the starting line.  The pic on the left is the one I took, the one on the right is the one from the 5K’s FB page.  For a small race that few people had heard of, there sure were a lot of us out there.

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The thing I didn’t really think about when planning my 5min run/3min walk intervals was the fact that this is SF, and even in Golden Gate Park, which is relatively flat compared to some streets in the city, it still has some steep inclines.  It became pretty clear to me that I was going to have to wing it – I ran as long as I could and walked when I needed to. I made sure that I was running at every down hill slope and I pushed myself to walk as fast and hard as I could during the inclines. In fact, I was walking fast enough that I was passing some of the slower joggers.  I know I’m going to feel some of that tomorrow.  So while I didn’t keep my intervals perfectly timed or regulated, I am proud of what I did out there today.

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Look at these beautiful views that I got to enjoy while I was out there today. San Francisco is such a gorgeous city!

I passed mile 1 pretty quickly and easily, and then it was a long haul.  Since the three of us had decided to each take the race at our own pace, I had my music to keep me going.  Well, that and a few other racers who I was pacing myself against.  At one point I was getting tired, but knew I needed to push on and Gotta Get Through This by Daniel Beddington came on my headphones.  Perfect timing! And then I almost started crying as I ran along when Ali in the Jungle by The Hours came on…listen to these lyrics:

I mean, c’mon: “It’s not where you are, but where you’re going.  It’s not about the things you’ve done, it’s what you’re doing now.”  These were the absolute perfect lyrics to keep my feet running even after my body told me I was getting tired.  I was completely inspired.  (Both songs are on the Wogging My World mix from RockMyRun, if you’re interested).

And just was the song was finishing, I saw the mile 3 marker and the Finish line in the distance.  I took knew I was going to run myself through that line no matter what.  Talk about a moment of pride!
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In fact, I was so overcome at the end of this race for all that I’d just done, that I got really emotional again.  Tears in the eyes and everything. I almost went into the ugly cry, but stopped myself.  It just hits me every time I run a new race about how far I’ve come, all that I’ve accomplished, and how grateful I am for this new life I’ve created for myself.

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I think you can see the tears in my eyes in this shot.

Soon after, I met up with FaveCousin and KE, and we all enjoyed our Finisher’s Mug of chocolate fondue, complete with the fixings – a mini rice krispie treat, a petite banana, some mini pretzels, and a marshmallow, along with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.  I allowed myself a bit of the fondue with the banana, rice krispy, and marshmallow, but skipped the hot chocolate and the pretzels.  So delicious!

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The entire race was so well run and organized that I’ll definitely do it again next year.  If it comes to a city near you, I highly recommend that you join in on all the fun.

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Oh, and the sweetest part?  I shaved 2 minutes and 50 seconds off of my Santa Run time, even with all the inclines in this race!!! I completed this one in 46 minutes, 8 seconds – a new PR!!

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bilbl_super This morning it was time for me to start C25K Week 2, Day 1.  Since it has been cold outside (in the 40s, which is FREEZING in the SF Bay Area), I knew I was taking this walk/run to the gym.  I was sort of anxious about two things:

  1. I had skipped Week 1, Day 3 and wasn’t sure if I was ready to move up to today’s longer intervals.
  2. I hadn’t done C25K on the treadmill and wasn’t sure how it would go.

I started off the walk at a good clip – 3.5mph.  In the past, I have never been able to go faster than 3.3mph without really feeling it in my shins/calves, but today I had no problem keeping up this brisk pace.  The entire 5 minutes of the warm up, I was nervous about how the running portion would go.

  • Would I be able to keep up the running for 90 seconds?
  • How fast should I pace myself for the runs?

One thing I wasn’t worried about was how I was going to look while I was running.  I’d recently bought some Old Navy Max Compression capris that fit me really well, and didn’t show much jiggle in my at-home-full-length-mirror-bounce-up-and-down test. Plus, I’d found a treadmill in the back, so the only people behind me were the ones in the Group X room.

I had a great RockMyRun playlist on (today’s was Wogging My World, which is funky and upbeat), and was as ready as I could be to start the running portion.  I bumped my pace up to 4.2mph, which I was able to maintain for the entire 90 seconds.  It wasn’t easy, but it was smooth.  I noticed that a lady on a treadmill in front of me was walking at a 4.0 pace, but I didn’t let that get in my head.  I’m starting out, I’m short, and I wanted to give myself a pace I could maintain the entire time.  Which I did.

I finished the walk/run intervals and felt strong.  I was definitely ready for the running portions to end when the 90 seconds elapsed, but I was able to complete each of them in a really solid way.

Running on the treadmill was so much easier than running outside on the track!  First, my lungs weren’t affected by cold air, as they would’ve been outside. And I really liked the way I could set the pace and know exactly how fast/how far I was going.  I’m planning to push myself a bit more on Day 2 and see how 4.5mph goes.  Based on today’s workout, I think I’ll be just fine at that pace.  I know most runners prefer to be outside, and maybe when I get to be a better runner, and the weather warms up, I’ll feel the same way.  But for now, I am so glad that the treadmill went so well.  (I do plan to do at least one C25K session out on the track, just to keep in practice because my 5Ks will all be outside).

The entire time I was on the treadmill, I felt so proud of myself.  I wasn’t thinking about how I looked on the treadmill.  Or, I should say, I wasn’t thinking anything negative or self-conscious.  In fact, I felt like I fit right in, which is a first.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never really felt too far out of place at the gym, because I’ve always given it my all (insofar as whatever that meant for my fitness level at the time). But today I almost wanted other people to notice me and to see how great I was doing.  THAT is a first!

That smile really says it all (I snapped this at the end of my workout).

That smile really says it all (I snapped this at the end of my workout).

What do you prefer – treadmill or outdoor?  Any advice for this newbie runner?

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