Beyond Race Day

Tomorrow, I have another spring race! It’s a 5K, and I’m hoping to race a personal best. My best recorded time is 27:10 (26:02 if you count the Virtual Blend 5K). I think I can do it! {encouragement would help!}

This marks race #9 for me! I have 5 more races to go this spring, and I’m still debating some July/August/September races. (the Philly 8K is in the realm of possibility, as is a 5K race in Denver!).

With all of this race talk, I realized something:
I’ve become a runner. (<--- something I never thought I’d say!) I love this.

Running does not always equal racing. Running exists beyond the race world. After this season, I think I’ll continue to run, even if it’s not in preparation for a race. Not all runners race, but racing has helped me develop as a runner.

I race partly because of the thrill, partly because it’s fun, partly because of the community, partly because it’s wonderful running motivation, and partly because it’s one of the only sports that allows me to go out there just to challenge myself. (sure, it’s nice to win a race, but then there’s a new record to beat – my own!).

from my very first race – the Chestertown half marathon

With running, there’s always room for improvement. There’s so much to learn! But even as a novice runner, I’m confident in my ability to understand/listen to my body, push myself when necessary, and develop a solid training plan. This plan, which includes more than just running, has been working so well for me. I feel ready for the next 5 races.

hey! that’s me!

Running has opened up a new fitness door for me. There’s such an amazing feeling when you finish a race, a good run (even a not-so-good run), and I’ve been so encouraged by my community of runner friends, both IRL and in the twitter- and blogospheres.

This spring, I’ve gotten better about tracking my results. Stats-wise, I’ve learned that I can push myself to run a 7-minute mile, that a good warm-up pace for me is between 10 and 10:30, that I can sustain 9 minute miles for 10 miles (whoa!), and that I can build up to running long distances, like 10 miles, without trouble. I’m continually amazed at my progress.

I want to keep it up. Running outside in the summer on the Eastern Shore is brutal with the humidity, but I can always run inside, or run in the cool of the early morning or late evening. That’s what I had to do when training for the Chestertown half marathon, which was in September.

But I also want to change it up this summer. My Zumba classes at the College are on hiatus, with the end of the semester. I’m picking up the lunchtime class again on June 4, twice a week, but not having the morning classes  gives me the opportunity change/tweak my workout schedule.

I’m looking for something new to add to the mix, which currently includes PiYo strength, minimal strength training (I really want to kick this back up), Zumba Fitness classes, and distance running 3 times a week.

My thoughts: more structured strength training, interval training, more Yoga/PiYo classes–something other than heavy amounts of cardio. I want a simple plan, something attainable yet challenging to my body. I can handle something hard!

I want a new challenge. I half-jokingly (but kinda seriously) pulled out my jump rope the other day, thinking I could incorporate it into interval training.

Do you have any interval recommendations? I saw the bikini challenge appear on Meals and Miles, and joined the newsletter — maybe I can give this a whirl?

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2 Responses to Beyond Race Day

  1. Alli says:

    I think you’ve been a runner for awhile 😉 but it’s great that you’ve seen measurable improvements in your running. I can relate, having done my first long race (10 miles) this past sunday, and my first 1/2 marathon is coming up May 26th. It amazes me still how I can push my body and continue to improve. I love it!

  2. Thanks, Alli!! I’m so excited for you and your half marathon — you’ll be so great! Your running story is inspiring.

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