Friday, January 01, 2010

Hangover 5k

The Hangover 5k is a virtual race set up by Todd over at 5k101. A virtual race doesn't mean you don't really run. You do. The thing is the people you're running with aren't right there next to you. In this case Todd set up the race to start at 11AM Central Time on New Year's Day so a bunch of us, in whatever time zone we were in, laced up our shoes and hopped on the treadmill or went outside and warmed up so that at race time we clicked the GO button on our stop watches and ran 5k. When we were done running 5k we clicked STOP on our stop watches, recorded the time, and sent it to Todd at 5k101 and he reported all our times. We ran together without actually BEING together. It's a cool way to run a race if you don't know anybody locally that runs, and also cool just as a part of the online running community.

I started running Sept 12th, 2009 and my goal was to train through the fall and winter and be ready in spring to run a 5k in under half an hour. That isn't a terribly ambitious time as I later found out, but I knew nothing about running when I started except that I'd never done it before. I'm 41 and my running consisted of things like running a temperature and running for the bathroom after too much to drink. So to run 3.1 miles in half an hour seemed as likely to me as climbing to the moon.

Today, January 1st, 2010, after a pretty lack-luster running week truth be told, I took yesterday off completely to rest up for today, I ran the 5k virtual race in 29:52. Yep. I made my goal 3 months early by 8 seconds. And I could have run faster had I not been on a treadmill. If you look at my pace chart you see the uptick at the end, that's where I sped up so I could get the race done in under half an hour. That chart is from Nike+ and I really like the iPod and shoe thing. The graphs and the community and challenges on that site are great.

For the race I didn't wear the new shoes I got a few days ago. For one thing I need to modify them to accept the Nike shoe-pod since they're New Balance shoes. The thing that you see advertised to tie to the laces and put the pod in has absolutely never worked for me, not even once. I taped the pod to my shoe and THAT worked, but the bought ones don't work. Very annoying. If you're considering buying one do so with the understanding that, in this blogger's opinion, you'd do better with tape, which is almost free compared to what they charge for these non-functioning things.

I used money I got for Christmas to buy two CD's to listen to while running (They exist as CDs and MP3s which is what I really used). They're cadences from the Marines and the Navy Seals. They both have high reviews on amazon.com and today I listened to the one for the Navy Seals. I gotta say, as a former Navy guy they were cool to run to. The pace was right. They were motivational, and they were funny. If you're a hippy-dippy-peacenik you might not want them. They DO mention guns and killing commies. They were great for running. I'm not sure I'd use them for biking, spinning, or any other cardio really but for running, they were perfect.

Great way to start 2010 though with a race where I set a PR (Personal Record) and felt great afterward. I remember in September when I was going to set the goal of just finishing a 5k by running the whole thing without walking and thinking that was ambitious and how far I've come in that amount of time. I look forward to continuing to run. I look forward to being able to run outside again and I look forward, to starting my cross training. That was supposed to have started already but I never did actually DO it. I just talked about it.

Oh, one thing they warn about when running a race is to not change things. I like water when I run. I know I don't NEED water when I run. I don't run that long. But I get thirsty so I drink water. I went to the convenience store and Propel was on sale cheaper than water and I don't drink the water from my house because it's well water and smells like rotten eggs. So, I bought Propel, not because of advertising, but because it was on sale. Ugh. I know why it was on sale now. I'll never buy it again. The kiwi-strawberry one was sickeningly sweet. I drank two swallows and threw it away. I wasn't that thirsty. So, the advice to not change things up when you're racing... good advice. I should have stuck with water.

Website update: You'll see on the right a new widget where I plan on tracking my Personal Records (PRs). I wont' include training times in there, only race times. It's my blog so I'm including Virtual Races. I hope you can sleep nights with that because I can.
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