If you are a school teacher, you pay no attention to the new year, or chronological change of date in terms of Jan.-Dec. We all know that the true "year" is June-May. So, guess what. The title of my post comes from the fact that I wrote "2008-2009" about one bazillion times in the past week when filling out various student records. I could probably write a book about the adversities I faced this school year, mostly resulting from my personal life. But... it's time to let the past be the past. No one is here to keep me from moving on. Our school is going through a renovation this summer, causing us to have to move pretty much EVERYTHING in the whole building. So, all week we've been packing, lifting, moving, etc. (My arms are SOOO sore, btw.) Packing, for me, felt final in a lot of ways. It had been a pretty bad school year, and that's putting it nicely. Like all crappy situations, there is a silver lining, and it is awesome. My coworkers and principal genuinely care about me. It's more than thinking I'm a good teacher and nice person, but they actually care about me. As a coach's wife that had to bust her way into a town the size of my pinkie, the realization of the faculty's feelings for me is better than birthday cake. Thinking about their support over this past school year makes me warm and fuzzy. Okay, enough about my feelings, let's talk about running again!
I did my first race post St. Louis this morning. It wasn't a goal race and I did zero taper. A few weeks ago, I started 10K training (50-60 miles per week), something to help increase my speed a bit. So, my first speed workout was 5X mile w/ 400 recovery. Yeah, it was pretty brutal. The weather was bad that day, so I did it on the TM (incline 1.0). I ran 6:15 for each set, nothing too hard, but not exactly a jog, either. This week (Wednesday), my workout was 12 X 400 w/ 1 min recovery. I didn't time myself, though. It was too dark to deal w/ the Garmin. It felt good and strong, so that's what matters. Today, my goal was to run my time from last year. I know that sounds like a cop out, but I have come to the realization that I have had one big year of plateau. Plus, the past two weeks, I've been plagued by stomach problems. I've also gotten zero sleep recently. I'm not naive enough to think that all these life issues haven't had their toll on me. So... last year's goal it was. On to race morning.
Alecia and I planned to do this race together a few weeks ago, as she had run it with her father years ago. (He passed away earlier this year.) She was at her lake house, so I planned to pick her up a few exits up the interstate from our home exit. At 5:00 she calls and says she forgot her running shoes. Nice. I've been there, so I offered to swing by her house and get her shoes before I left. After the detour, we would barely make it to the race on time. I was finally on my way, and it was POURING. Alright, so another race in the rain.
I pick Alecia up and we get to the race at 7:00, with a 7:30 race start. We still had to register, too. After all that, there was no time for a warm-up. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Starting the race, right off the bat we headed up the huge hill to the capitol. My calves were about to explode. I literally thought they were going to bust out of my skin. The pain persisted for the first two miles, as these were the hilliest. The rain was steady, but not driving down or anything too bad. Enough to get on your nerves, soak your clothes, and make your shoes slosh around. Right from the start, I took third and held it the entire race. I chose not to wear Garmin. I heard they misbehave in bad weather. So, I had NO CLUE as to how fast or slow I was running. I think the last mile marker was off, either that or I ran blazing fast the last mile. I finished 32:50, 3 seconds slower than last year. This sounds like the worst time ever, but I will prove the difficulty of the course. The overall female winner was an Olympic Trials marathon gal. She ran in the high 31s today. So... I'll take my slow time with a grain of salt. I'm just so grateful that I haven't LOST fitness over the past year. I haven't made any improvement, but at least nothing is lost. After I finished, I immediately turned around and ran back for Alecia. She finished in 50 flat. I also met some really great people after the race- 2 fun gals from Prattville and Crazy J from RWOL.
I have a few pictures to post, but we got a new computer and the camera link is apparently not working. I'll figure something out soon, though. Run strong, friends!