Showing posts with label XCK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label XCK. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Inspiration from the Cross Country Kid

Today's run (treadmill): 2.3 miles at 9:15

I had every excuse not to run this morning but somehow I managed to get it done. I'd gone to bed late, didn't sleep well and had trouble getting moving when I woke up. I really considered resting, knowing that taking two days off in a row would yield some benefits. I'd covered about 13 trail miles over the weekend and didn't feel compelled to run just for the mileage. I then thought about my daughter who on Monday, despite the cold and rainy weather, ran in her first cross country meet. She did great and covered that 1.5 mile course faster than her usual pace. Her team has another meet on Thursday and on top of the rigorous schedule of classes, assignments and tests that make up a middle-schooler's daily activities, I thought "If she can do that, I can do this."

I quickly dressed and headed outside, only to see the rain coming down, lightly but steadily. I returned to the guest room and fired up the treadmill. It's been months since I've used this machine (May 19, actually), though my wife runs on it daily. I had a problem with a slipping belt the last time I used the treadmill and I was a little gun-shy about getting on it today. The Sole technician has serviced the machine since then and after a few minutes running at speed I was happy to pronounce it stable. I've often complained about the tedium of treadmill running and nothing has changed to make me feel differently. I got started with a moderate pace and steadily increased my speed until I was running a little under 9 minutes per mile near the end. There's something about the moving tread that semi-terrifies me and a 9 minute treadmill pace sometimes feels closer to an 8 minute street pace. I know people who say they can run faster on the treadmill. Not me, give me the road or the trail for that.

Tomorrow JQ and I will return to the park for our weekly lunchtime excursion. I'm looking forward to that and I hope that the weather will have cleared by then. I'm taking a stress test on Friday because it's been a few years since I'd done that. Although part of the testing involves a treadmill, I'll be pleased to do it this time. Things have changed a lot since the last time.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reflections on my first race

My daughter has her first cross country meet today. She's a bit apprehensive about it. I understand that completely, recalling how I was both excited and nervous about my first race. It was the Marcie Mazzola Memorial, a 4 miler held on April 19, 2009. Although I had read a lot about racing prior to the event I didn't know how things would look or feel when I was a participant. How soon before the start does one line up? Is the front of the line reserved for the fastest runners? Do you talk to other racers while waiting for the gun? What if I finish last?

I remember being confounded by the water station. How do you drink water while you're running? Should I even take water for a short race that's happening on a cool spring morning? I was confused by the others on the road with me, some flying by and others well off to the side, practically walking. I do remember thinking, "Should I be passing people so early in the race?"

By the time I'd reached the other side of Main Street I had figured out most of my questions. The large hill that one encounters soon after the start of this race had taken a lot out of me and I was concerned that I'd have enough energy for a big finish. Even though I came upon another hill at the end I managed to push hard enough to finish with a decent time. I had my first experience crossing the line and seeing my family cheering at the side. I must have liked that because I've run ten more races since then. My daughter will experience the same anxiety that I did, followed by the exhilaration that comes from finishing a race. I said to her the same thing I've said to many others, "You only have one first race. Pay attention to every detail."

blogger templates | Webtalks