I’ve fallen off the running bandwagon lately. Hell, I’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon lately, too. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ve just been painfully unmotivated over the last few months.
Lately, though, I’ve felt myself turning a corner. My pal Katy had the inspired idea to start squeezing in visits to the gym over lunch. It’s about a 10-minute drive from our office, so I’ve been doing some weights and light cardio for about 35-40 minutes at least two days a week over the past couple weeks. And it’s been the kick I needed to get myself back in gear.
Along with that, I’ve finally been running more, too. Nothing crazy, but at least I’ve been able to drag myself out bed (even on our annoyingly dark mornings) a couple times a week.
I’ve had my eyes out for some races to motivate me to keep running, but for some reason or another, I haven’t been able to schedule one over the past month.
Last week, I realized that not only was there a 5K coming up this weekend, it was even in my neck of the woods! So, before I could talk myself out of it, I signed up.
Man, why haven’t I been racing all the time? They’re fun!
The morning was super easy. Race time was at 7:30 and I live about a 2-minute drive from the start. I actually got up too early, but I was worried about oversleeping. Mornings and I are mortal enemies.
Since it was such a short race distance, I wasn’t worried about eating much. In fact, I find it hard to eat anything before I run, so I stuck with a small bowl of cereal.
The race was hosted by a Catholic high school. Know what that means? Tons of kids in the race. I knew all those young, childless (hopefully!) young whippersnappers were going to be leaving me in their dust. Well, at least I had maturity on my side. OK, fine, I considered tripping them. But I’m sure they had it coming.
The race got started a few minutes late because they had a much higher-than-anticipated turnout. A ton of people showed up to register/pick up packets on race day. I was glad I had picked my stuff up a couple days earlier!
It was fun people watching, though. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day morning, everyone was decked out in their finest green race gear and shamrock couture.
My efforts were pretty lame. For starters, I dug out my Big Lebowski green nail polish.
I realized the night before I didn’t really have any green shirts. But then, I found a true pot of gold — a t-shirt I got at the Guinness factory in Ireland … 14 years ago! See, THIS is exactly why I’m a pack rat. You never know when you’re going to need a gem like this.
After a brief prayer (remember, this was a race at a Catholic school on St. Paddy’s Day) and the national anthem, it was finally time to start racing. The race started and finished on the high school track. We ran about 3/4 of the way around the track before exiting the stadium for the rest of the course.
You would think that I would have learned something by reading so many race recaps by my running inspirations like Michelle, Paula, Caroline and Meghann. But I haven’t. I made that rookie of all rookie mistakes. I came out FLYING, trying to keep with the pack. I’m a 10:350-11:00 mile runner on a good day. When I looked at my Garmin for the first time, I was at 8:30. What the hell?
And I paid the price. By .75, I was huffing!
I was just about to consider my first walking break when two things happened. First, I saw a crushed, dead snake in the middle of the road. Seriously, why am I seeing so many snakes lately? But since it was St. Patrick’s Day, I took it as a sign from St. Patrick himself that he was going to smite all the snakes on the course for me. Thanks, Pat!
Then, about 30 seconds later, I saw this little leprechaun waving frantically at me.
I knew they’d be at the finish, but I didn’t think they’d be out on the course. Those sneaky leprechauns. I think you can see the surprise on my face when I first saw them.
Boo ya! Look at me smokin’ that 7-year-old behind me! Eat my running skort, buddy.
I passed by them, and the course had us swing a right to take the long way around the block. They were able to walk down the street they were standing on to catch us again just a few minutes later.
This time, E. wanted more than a wave from Mommy.
was already ready to stop because I felt like I couldn’t breathe wanted to cherish this special moment, I tried to stop for a moment to talk to her. She was having none of it. After a quick hug, she slapped me on the back and yelled, “Start running, Mommy!” Look, you can see her pushing me away.
When I saw them, it was about the one-mile mark. I knew I needed to slow it down some. The giant side sticker was also a clue to chill out a bit. I took one short walking break as I tried to adjust the shorts under my skirt. I knew the chafing was beginning already. I don’t know how you all run in shorts. If I don’t run in pants, my legs get so chafed every time. Fat thighs will do that, I guess.
It was great running in a part of the neighborhood I’d never been in before. The new scenery plus a new playlist helped keep me distracted. I’m certainly not a natural runner. I feel (and dread) every single step. I know from reading runners’ blogs that this feeling supposedly goes away eventually. I’m not sure I believe that.
To further distract myself, I started crunching some numbers. Math and I are not friends either, so this took much longer than it should have. About 20 minutes in (just before the 2-mile mark), I started thinking that I actually MIGHT be able to finish in under 30 minutes. After my side sticker faded, I started picking up the pace again.
It was about this time that I got passed by a mom pushing her kid in a stroller. Granted, she was a super-fit and fast mom, but it still sucked. So I decided to keep up with her.
Before I knew, I was the one passing people.
We finally hit the track for the final homestretch. I’d already realized I wasn’t going to break 30, but I wasn’t going to miss it by too much. So I did the best I could to finish strong. That’s when I noticed two things: a) there was a race photographer at the finish and b) if I didn’t pick up the speed, I was going to finish behind a guy who I thought at the time seemed much older than me. And there would always be photographic proof of it.
And I did it … barely.
P.S. I checked after the race. He’s only between 45 and 49. Oops! I guess that’s what happens when most of your fellow runners are under 18 … everyone else, yourself included, starts to look older.
Whatever the motivation, I made it and without walking (other than the shorts adjustment break).
Here are the numbers:
Age is a good thing! Since I was one of the old folks, I finished in the top 10 for my age group — lucky number 8! Overall, I was 62nd out of 155 women.
I knew you wanted to see that Guinness shirt.
So my time wasn’t great, but certainly a lot better than I was expecting given how infrequently I’ve been running lately. And we got to take our picture with a bulldog.
My race was just the warm-up act for the real highlight of the morning — the kids Leprechaun Run. E. was giddy with excitement and demanded that I give her my race number. She said otherwise, it wouldn’t count. Good call.
It was kind of a hot mess trying to get all the kids lined up on the track. And E. was determined to start near the front.We finally convinced her to let the big kids go first and then she could catch up.
She took those words to heart. As soon as she heard the word “go” she took off … and never stopped.
That girl is fast! And she apparently has much better endurance than me. The race was the length of the track, a whole 1/4 mile, and she never slowed once. In fact, as she neared the finish, she kicked it into overdrive and started passing kids.
E. is the runner all the way in the back. She would finish in front of all those kids, except for the one tall kid right in front of her. You go, my girl!
As soon as she crossed the finish she had one question, “Where’s my medal?” Sadly, there wasn’t one. But there were rides on Daddy’s shoulders, so that’s almost like a medal, right?
So, just perhaps, I’m not world’s worst runner. I don’t even know what my time was at my first (and only before this weekend’s) 5K, but I know this time crushed it. And I guarantee I haven’t finished in the top 10 for my age group since my glorious Top 10 finish at the Turkey Trot in sixth grade (true story). So I’m going to go ahead and call this race a PR.
And even though I despise running 90 percent of the time, there’s probably one very good reason to keep at it — to keep encouraging my running partner in-training. I saw so many mothers and daughters doing the race together, and I thought, “Hmm, that could be fun someday.”
Who knows, this annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K could be our first one together. That’s a way better tradition than green beer.
What inspires you during races — beating a specific time or beating a specific person near you? And seriously, is there any cure for chafing? Do I just have chafeable legs or will I ever be able to run in running shorts?
Congrats on your race! No info on chafing from me – I usually wear capris when I run for that reason!
I definitely need to pick up a pair of lighter weight capris. Mine are too heavy and Florida’s summer is arriving entirely too fast!
Theresa @ActiveEggplant says
I usually start with a time goal in mind, an then when I realize I’m not going to make it, I pick a person that I “have to” beat. It just feels more satisfying to pass someone sometimes!
For the chafing…I don’t have an answer either. I’m eternally jealous of all the women out there running in cute little shorts while I’m in capris or long shorts. The curse of big legs I guess. I do have a few running skirts with shorter “under shorts” and I can wear them in shorter races as long as I slather up in A&D ointment. 4 miles MAX though or I sweat it all off.
The skirt that I wore for this race had those “under shorts” under it too and I’ve never gotten chafed wearing it before. I guess there’s a first time for everything! Either that or my thighs have grown more than I thought they have. Drats.
I’ve never heard of A&D ointment. Is that like Body Glide? I’m starting to think that BG and I should become BFFs.
And yes, passing someone — anyone! — feels entirely too good. I find the more things I have to distract myself from the actual fact that I’m running, for goodness sake, is mentally important to me. So if I can pick one person and catch up to them and pass them, well, it makes it all worth it. I’m petty like that.
Thanks for the comment!
Theresa @ActiveEggplant says
Well, if it makes you feel any better, the only time my “under shorts” start riding up and causing chafing is if they’re too big! So maybe your legs got smaller? (Seriously, if they’re loose at all they move around until I start sweating so much they stay in place.)
I’m surprised you haven’t heard of A&D – only because you have a child though – it’s usually used for diaper rash! My aunt (a nurse in neonatal intensive care and serial marathoner) is the one that told me it works for chafing too! I started using it 3 or 4 years ago & haven’t gone back. I used to use BG but I sweat like a beast and it never lasts for me for long workouts. Plus, A&D is like $3 for a huge tube…can’t beat that price! (I’ve also heard Aquaphor is a good (and cheap) alternative to BG. )
Oh, of course! I know what it is now. I was picturing some sports product so that wasn’t even on my radar. Good idea! It reminds me of a miracle product that I got my husband obsessed with — Lanisoh nipple cream! When his nipples started bleeding and chafing during marathon training, I suggested he try it and it worked wonders! I figured if it could help me survive breastfeeding, it was no match for a little running injury.
Thanks for the tip! And I’m totally going to tell myself that you’re right — my thighs MUST have shrunk. Good call!
Congrats on your race, that is great you are back to running!! Your chafing problems will all come to an end with this one little word – BodyGlide (yeah, I know that seems like it should be two words, but they eliminated the space so I will just go with it! Perhaps it is to illustrate that it works so well, even the general rules of the English language – like spaces btw words- do not apply here! No chafing, even in their name!). Oh my gosh, changed my world 🙂 I am not a large lady, but I was blessed with thighs that rub together no matter what. I used to battle terrible chafing (holy cow does it hurt when you get in the shower after!!) and even had some scars (I know, right?!) and then BodyGlide walked into my life and all my cares were lubed away. It comes in what looks like a deodorant stick and you just rub it on the areas that are sensitive to chafing (for me, and esp on long runs, this is my thighs and also the back of my arms). It is not sticky, just puts a non-noticeable film on your skin that works great! Google it and pick some up! You can get it at running/bike stores and def online. Oh, and it lasts forever, so don’t worry that it feels like you are spending like $10-15 on what looks like deodorant. You will not regret it!
Why am I such an idiot? We have SO much BodyGlide in our house thanks to my husband’s marathon training over the past couple years. I’ve just come to associate it with his long runs that it never occurred to me to use it for short runs. But, for lack of a better word, DUH!
I’m going to try it and maybe I’ll actually be able to run in shorts this summer. Thanks!
Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run says
Aww, look at you all doing a race! *SO PROUD!* And way to stick it to the old guy…and the 7 year olds. Ready to race with me and Michelle yet? 🙂
I wish! I really wanted to do the Winter Park 10K again this year, especially since you guys are doing it. But my husband is out of town, I hate to take E. to piano, and of course there’s the fact that I haven’t been running much. If you decide to slum it again at a 5K let me know! One of these days I’ll build up some mileage. One of these days.
Congrats, MomJovi! (I just love that that is your blog name, BTW!) You rock. And that picture of you running up to greet E.? Priceless & heartwarming. Keep on running and one of these days I will come to Florida and race with you!
Thanks and congrats to you, too! I read your recap. Girlfriend, you ROCKED it! I can’t believe how quickly you’re back to running. That’s awesome. It took me a loooooong time to get back into the exercise groove post-baby. So, you, Megan. YOU rock!
And yeah, that picture is pretty stinkin’ cute, isn’t it? And YES, YES, YES, come to Florida! I hate how expensive Disney races are but some day you’ll bring Charlotte for her first Disney visit, so try to schedule it during a race weekend!
Carolina @ Peas in a Blog says
Woohoo way to rock the 5K! Proud of you for getting out there & running, so awesome.
Caroline Calcote says
Hey girl…getting all caught up on your blog. I just always have to wear “liner” shorts, like compression shorts or bike shorts, under my running shorts. Even with some of my running skirts with bloomers underneath, I’ll wear longer “liner” shorts under them. I actually just got these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004KPEWHS/ref=oh_o03_s00_i00_details
from Amazon and now they are all I want to run in. Just so comfy. Generally I have never been comfortable in compression shorts without running shorts on top of them, but I am actually not embarrassed to wear these on their own (but not with some shorty shirt…I need my shirts to come down to my hips and I’m long-waisted, but that’s another topic altogether). I also can’t do capris because it is too damn hot. Anyway, congrats on your 5K…I think that’s a great time!