Friday, February 12, 2010

Anna's Training Update

Yes...just some brief assurance that I am still training! Though I have to admit these past few weeks have been a blur. I started working with a new research lab at school, and I absolutely am loving the experience! It is also really keeping me on my toes- so I'm having to get creative to get runs in some weeks. There is part of me that is tempted to cut out running altogether and just focus on getting off to a flying start on my research. However, I've learned from past experience that commiting a reasonable amount of time to maintain running each week benefits me all the way around-- from reducing stress, increasing health and quality of life, and making me a more effective student...therefore, the running workouts are here to stay in spite of the time crunch I feel most days.
This training season I have the fantastic experience of volunteering as a DRC pace leader for one of the half-marathon training groups. Most of the runners in my group are fairly new to the sport, or are brand new and are training to run their very first half-marathon. There are few things that inspire me more than getting to run with this group each week. To see their excitement and determination to go just a little bit farther each week is incredible. I feed off their enthustiasm and excitement and am making many new friends. The above picture was taken at one of the group runs. (NO idea why we're all leaning the same direction. lol. As far as I remember we were not standing on a hill and it was not windy).

Two weeks ago my group ran a 4 mile warm-up and then ran the DRC Tal Morrison 5k race (pic above- thank you Roxanne). The warmup was great!! For some crazy reason, I decided to see how fast I could run this even though I hadn't run this pace for quite awhile. In other words, I felt lousy most of the race!! It was also FREEZING- and given that I STILL have not worked winter running clothes into my budget, I never was able to warm up. I have one pair of pants that come close to working for runs, although they're not ideal. I spent most of this race worried they would fall off and kept trying to pull them up. LOL. Here's a pic (below- thanks EW) of my group pre-race...
Last weekend's run was really rough. Okay-- it was awful! There were a few things that did make it good, namely my group members (who I always enjoy), and the fact that Dallas got 12 1/2 inches of snow 2 days prior so running around the lake was absolutely beautiful! The bad news, however, is that I'd had a very tough week health-wise. I take a medication every weekend that makes my stomach very unhappy, and the entire week prior to this run I had really been struggling getting my stomach to tolerate getting enough calories in to support running. Many days of that week I was just too lightheaded, and didn't run on those days (In spite of being a marathoner, I do have some common sense after all. :)) By Friday and Saturday I was feeling better, so I didn't think the 8 mile run (a distance I'm very comfortable with usually) would be a problem. Well, it was. I was having a very difficult time keeping pace, and by mile 7 I was starting to get dizzy- so made the tough choice to send my group ahead and walked back to the clubhouse.
It is always disappointing to have a bad run- but it's something that every runner goes through sometimes (chronic health problems or not). So I was trying not to get too discouraged over the experience, but it was tough. I suppose I should have seen it coming, but thanks to several truely wonderful friends, I ended up having 4 Washington marathon miles sponsored that afternoon. Although this is my 4th time running a marathon for Susan's Foundation, I still can't get over how touched I am every time I get the message in my email that someone wants to sponsor a mile. It reminds me of the bigger picture of why I'm running, and keeps me going.
So a very special thank-you to the Washington Marathon mile sponsors!! I'm not sure you'll ever truely comprehend the impact your kindness and generosity continues to have both on me, and the young adults out there fighting cancer and needing our support.

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