Unlike Jessica, I am not a runner. I am the type that only signs up for 5k’s if I am guilted into it. I only have good running shoes because my sister convinced me that the pair I purchased at Costco were probably doing me more harm than good. In fact, last December, she marched me into the local running store for a fitting and bought them for me too. Most long runs (defined by me as more than 400 m) bring out my inner-honey badger, which can only be suppressed by listening to booty shaking music during the run. However, like Jessica I am stubborn, competitive, and I’ll do something I don’t want to do (like running a 5k) if it is for a good cause or if it will mean something to someone else, like my sister.
So I am sure you are wondering how a non-runner placed 3rd in her age group and came in 19th out of 249 females at the Second Annual South Florida Fair 5k. My sister signed me up, knew my goal was a sub 25 min, paced me, and yelled at me to hurry it up when the finish line was in sight because she believed in me.
|I WON A TROPHY!|
Not just ANYONE gets to get a picture with the President of the South Florida Fair!
I averaged a 7:55/mile pace and shaved 1:37 off my former PR. It felt great to start and even better to finish, but everything else between mile 0.5 and 3.1 pretty much sucked. Because my sister is a runner, I know it is not cool to wear headphones during a 5k, but I did anyway (to keep you-know-who in check). My running coach (Jess) told me to run the 5k hard, and she specified that I want to feel like I have to puke at the end. (Kitty say what?!?) So that is what I did. My only regret was that Jess stopped to wait for me about 0.1 mile from the finish line (yes, she was that far ahead of me). She would have won our age group, but sacrificed the glory so that she could pace me to the end and make sure I accomplished my goal.
I know I had something to do with it too. I’ve dedicated a lot of time over the last year to getting my biscuit in shape. When I did my first cross-fit class at BGI Fitness about 14 months ago, the 400 m warm-up lap nearly killed me. I had not run that far in probably a decade and I was sure my lungs were about to explode. And then there was the actual workout… but I love it and I balance out the tire flips and wall ball shots with heated vinyasa yoga at Yoga Palm Beach a few days a week. About 6 months ago I also added a 3 mile run in the workout schedule for the week. Don’t get me wrong, burpees and Utkatasana can ignite my inner-honey badger as well, but not like racing a 5k.
What motivated me to get into better shape? In November of last year (2011) I was fed up with chronic back pain. I have a herniated disc between L3 and L4. Our family was going through challenges as well. I became inspired with my sister’s quest to train and complete the JFK 50-mile ultra-marathon. What was she thinking to get herself in the best shape of her life at age 36? Well, if she could do it, then I could do it too (just to be clear – no – I’m not talking about training for an ultra). I learned a lot about training from her blogs and found myself finishing the run for those who can’t. I have also integrated concepts from my yoga practice into runs and cross-fit workouts. Everything is a breathing practice and I try not to let the exercises or distance distract from that. Rowing for 20 breaths is easier to me that rowing a 250 meter sprint. I set an intention for each workout and stick to it. Finally, when things get tough I dedicate my practice, run, workout, or even those last few reps to someone meaningful to me... past or present. This got me through this 5k. Trying to keep up with her was a constant reminder of how blessed I am to have her in my life.
|Celebrating the night after the race|