Sunday, June 20, 2010

Training Update

I have to try and remember to write my updates earlier rather than later. A couple of things have happened since my last post.

First, I went to Waltham and complete in the Team Hoyt 5K race on May 27th. It was on a Thursday afternoon so I drove down after work. The weather was great and I arrived real early so had lots of time to prepare and get ready. I had some time and met up with Kathy, Dick and Rick. They were all quite busy getting ready for the race, so I only had a few minutes to catch up.

I remembered my plan to do some real stretching and running before the race. I got ready and took a run up the road and back and did some dynamic stretching about 20 minutes prior to the start. When the race started I was sure to start near the pack and was able to get a good start at the run. I managed to run for about the first 10-12 minutes before my first walking break.

Two things of note happened during the race. There were two young women racing who were there as part of a group from a law firm. For most of the race I passed them, then they passed me and we played leap frog for most of the race. It seemed obvious to me that every time I got passed them they were determined not to lose to me. I don't know if it was because I was short-statured and they could not lose to someone physically challenged or because I was short-statured and they thought if I could be out there running maybe they could run a little harder. I try not to worry what makes other people tick. It's just satisfying to see what affect I have certain people.

Near the beginning of the race, we ran through a housing development and we went past a group of about 8-10 kids who were about 10 years old or so. Needless to say, as usually happens, there were giggles, laughs and finger-pointing at me. I tried to ignore it. Well I saw them run across the road through some other houses to the next street, where we would be running as we went around the block. I was prepared for more comments and giggles and was totally surprised. As we went around the block those same kids were there with some adults (maybe parents ??) and they all stood on the roadside and clapped and one even ran out to give me a "high-five". What a nice boost of energy the gave me. Whatever the parents said, it's nice to see adults who take interest in what their kids say and do.

When I got to the water stop, I was a little bummed when I looked at my time figuring the stop was the 1 mile mark. After I passed the stop, I asked and was told it was the 1.5 mile mark. When I checked my watch, I realized I was making great time.

As I neared the end, I could hear the P.A. announcer and did my best to run hard the last 3/4 of a mile to the end. When I got to the finish, I crossed and looked at the time and was excited to see a time of 0:42:05. That time was 2:32 faster than the time I got in my best 5K to sate. It was great to PR in my first race of the season.

The post-race festivities were terrific. Door prizes for all racers including a super post race meal. Lots of pizza, pasta and dessert. I will certainly do this race in years to come.

The rest of my training continued with the exception of joining Team Comp on some Sunday morning swims in Stiles Pond. I knew I had to get into some open water prior to the season. Without that, I am sure some of the anxiety would return and I was determined to swim with my age-group and not ask to be put in the last wave.

Well I did two swims and both of them were terrific. The first one was 3 weeks ago on May 30th. The weather had been quite warm up to that point and the water was really nice. Tim Clarke picked me up for our 7:30AM swim up in Boxford. There were about 8 of us all using wet suits. I chose to use my swim snorkel this time and when we started out everything went well. The group swims from one end of the pond and back a total distance of 1.2 miles (half-iron distance). I chose to swim to a dock across the lake and back (a return distance of about 3/4 of a mile). On this swim, Patrick and Stephanie would swim ahead and back, always checking on me. I appreciated their company and encouragement. Would not be wise to leave me alone either, since who knows what could happen in a an open lake with no one life-guarding. All went well and I got back to the beach a little ahead of the group and was so happy to have a swim done prior to my first race which would happen 3 weeks later.

Two-weeks later I joined the group for another swim at Stiles. The weather had been colder and the water was much cooler. I was determined to do this swim without my snorkel. I was quite nervous to start and was feeling the old tense feelings return. Shallow breathing started to take over as I started out. A lot of swimming head's up breaststroke and I even had to flip over on my back once. I was about 1/2 way to the same dock and thought about turning back. I swam a bit more and then turned for the trip back when Patrick appeared. He asked if I was OK and I said I was fine, but had decided to turn around. Patrick was not pushy at all, but said I had swum to the dock 2 weeks ago, so why stop early today. I mentioned I had used the snorkel then, and all he said was, I don't get to use the snorkel in a race, so why stop. He as so right. I kept swimming and Patrick swam ahead. When I was about 30 yards from the dock I turned to head back. Patrick appeared and said, "swim to the dock." He WAS SO RIGHT. I swam to the dock and rested for a second or two. I then headed back.

It took 30 minutes to get there and only 20 to get back. I was cruising back. I was so thankful to Patrick for giving me that little push to do the whole swim. I am sure if I had stopped short and swam back early all the doubt would have crept back into my mind.

This is why it so great to be on a team. Not any team though, TEAM COMP. It is such a great mix of inspirational people. I am so glad I found them, or they found me, or better yet, we found each other.

Taper week to follow and then race day on Saturday June 19th.

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