Failing to Catch Imaginary Bob

I ran the Snow Joke half marathon yesterday. My intention going into the race was just to run for fun, enjoy the scenery and not worry about time. Those plans sort of worked out, and sort of didn’t.

This was my first time running the Snow Joke, but I doubt very much it will be my last. The course is really lovely, the race itself is the least expensive half marathon I’ve ever heard of ($15 for the entrance fee and an optional $15 for a t-shirt). If you read through all the pages at the website, you’ll find some things that rub me the wrong way, but not enough to cause me to forgo the race.

I caught a ride to Seeley Lake with buddies from my running class and that was lovely. I hadn’t had much of a chance to chat with these ladies before so I was really happy for the opportunity to ride with them. We’d all heard stories about the long lines during registration so we left relatively early and got to town at a decent hour. It turns out that the organizers had made some changes this year so things went a bit more smoothly than we anticipated and the race started pretty much on time.

My buddies and I started off the first little bit of the race just jogging, to let all the faster people pass us, before setting our timers to 30/30 for run/walk/run. The front of the pack zoomed on down the road and the herd thinned out fairly quickly. As usual, once we started our timers, we began to play leap-frog with runners near us. We did gain on and pass a number of other runners, and even gained another running buddy for a while, in a gentleman who was having some trouble with his shins. He hung with us until the pain worked itself out, and then off he went.

On the up-slope of the biggest hill in the race (around mile 3) we leap-frogged for a while with a young man who was both tall and otherwise large. We were quite impressed to see him running and tried to be positive and encouraging as we leap-frogged and then passed him.

A little while after that, we caught up to Bob. For those of you from other places, Bob is an 86 year old local runner and bit of a legend, who runs all the races. Bob is great and many of us often speak about how we’d like to “grow up to be like Bob” meaning we want to keep running into our 80s and 90s and even beyond.

We leap-frogged with Bob for a while and then pulled ahead of him on the hill. But then, Bob overtook us on the downhill slope and pulled away a little. We weren’t too worried about that. I’m not sure what my buddies had in mind, but I figured we’d pass Bob eventually, and if we didn’t, as long as we kept him in our sights, I could take off towards the end and pass him if I wanted.

That plan seemed very do-able until the debacle at the aid station at mile 6. Two of my buddies needed to visit the porta-potty, and I was fine waiting for them. Except, the young man I mentioned previously, jumped in line and got into the potty before the second one of my buddies and he was in there for ages and ages. I’m guessing that he doesn’t know how to eat the day before a race yet, and had some serious digestive issues. While I do feel some sympathy on that count, it really did slow us way, way down and that made us all a bit cranky.

After we were finished at the aid station, I was pretty driven to pass the young man at least. My buddies had the sense not to let me pull them along too much, so I ended up running for a while with one of our other running buddies and then even he dropped back. From around mile 8 I was on my own.

For a while, I just ran a comfortable, but slightly faster than usual pace, and enjoyed passing people as I went. After a while, I began to wonder if there was any chance of catching up to Bob. In all reality, there probably wasn’t ever a chance that I could have pulled that off, but it motivated me to go a bit faster.

As I rounded a corner around mile 9, I was sure I saw Bob up ahead. I picked up the pace a bit and before long I caught up to the person I thought was Bob, but it wasn’t Bob. But then, up ahead, I saw another Bob, and off I went. Once again, when I caught up to that person, she wasn’t Bob and didn’t actually look anything at all like him. She just happened to be wearing something blue.

But wait! There he is!  That must be Bob there! I thought, as I came up a hill and around a corner. Upon catching up to this new Bob I had to have a good laugh at myself. It was a mailbox. A blue mailbox, but still just a mailbox.

For the next couple of miles I continued to catch up to one Bob after another, but none of them were actually Bob. Finally, I tried to catch one last Bob as we came up the hill at the end of Boy Scout Road, before the turn back onto 83. But of course, he wasn’t Bob either.

I followed a small pack of runners across the street and into the home stretch, but as I turned that corner I became a bit disoriented. I hadn’t noticed any markers pointing us that direction, and I felt certain we’d turned the wrong way. I slowed down considerably, waiting for them to discover their error and turn around. But they hadn’t actually gone the wrong way, and I eventually figured that out when I saw them turn the corner to the finish line, and sped back up.

As I approached the finish, I could hear a runner behind me and I was bound and determined not to be passed so close to the end, so I put every bit of energy I could into speeding up and crossed the finish a few seconds before she did. After getting my timing chip clipped off my shoe, I wandered back out to the corner to wait for my running buddies. I drank my water and cheered everybody in, and before too long there they were. As they came around the corner I fell back in and ran those last few steps with them and then met them on the other side of the line.

We all made it in under 3 hours, even after having so much time basically stolen from us by the young man and his digestive issues.

Here are the times my watch shows for each of the 13 full miles, so you can see exactly what happened.
Mile 1 12:34:51
Mile 2 12:40:00
Mile 3 12:46:00
Mile 4 12:59:00
Mile 5 13:06:00
Mile 6 13:17:00
Mile 7 18:07:00 (Look at how much time we lost!)
Mile 8 12:30:00
Mile 9 12:20:00
Mile 10 12:28:00
Mile 11 12:25:00
Mile 12 11:45:00
Mile 13 12:10:00

In the end, I caught up with at least 6 imaginary Bobs, including the mailbox. But I never did catch up with the real Bob. Bob finished in 2:48:47 and I finished in 2:52:43. I had a great run, through beautiful country and except for that delay, I enjoyed it very much.

RealBob

Here is a pic I took of Real Bob that first time we passed him on the hill around mile 3. He really doesn’t look much like a mailbox.

 

In Which the Author is a Bad Example

Before I tell you about today’s class and my extra running, I want to ask you, for the love of Batman, please do not follow my example. Please.

I got a late start out the door this morning, so when I realized halfway down my street that I hadn’t brought my pepper spray, I didn’t have time to turn back for it. I get a bit paranoid when I run alone, and there were just enough other people out between my house and our meeting place to make me more paranoid, rather than less. As a result of that, I ran faster than I should have for the 2.4 miles to get to class. Not such a big deal, except I ended up doing more running after class, too.

Class went well today. We still started out a little fast, which I seem to recall doing last year. But we slowed it down as we went along, and I think we came out with a pace in between that of our two groups, which should be fine for these low mile runs. I tried to chat with more of our pace group members, but being shy and awkward I was not entirely successful at that. All in all, though, it was a good run.

At some point during the morning I found out that one of the other pace group leaders would be doing additional miles afterward, as part of training for the Snow Joke, and I decided to join in on that. I haven’t been getting out on my long runs as much as I planned lately (holidays, life, and so forth), so I’m behind on training up for the Snow Joke. Or, at least I was.

I hadn’t really planned things out in my head very well, though, and I ended up going farther than I probably should have. I ran just over 14 miles all together, in 4 segments, with small breaks in between. Given that I haven’t run farther than 6 miles in… I’m not sure how long, that wasn’t the wisest thing to do. But my last 3.5 miles I took it very slow and very easy, so I hope my body won’t mind too much.

When I got home, I had a chocolate yogurt right away (I’m thinking of adopting the Brown Cow Cream Top Chocolate yogurt as my new recovery snack) and put my compression sleeves on. (I wish I’d worn those on my run today.) I think I may give my feet and ice bath later, but sadly I don’t have a bath tub, so I can’t do a full ice bath. I will also endeavor not to sit down for too long at a stretch. I don’t want to stiffen up.

So between running faster than training pace on my first 2.4 miles, and running farther than I really should have, I broke a couple of the Galloway rules today. I expect to pay for it in some stiffness and soreness, but I don’t feel any other issues at the moment. Hopefully, nothing will crop up.

So the Snow Joke is in 20 days and the Missoula Marathon is in 160 days. I’m still super excited to help my pace group buddies make it to the marathon. Happy running!

Running Slow is Hard! or It’s 5:00 Somewhere.

Is it wine-o’clock yet? No? Darn it!

Before I start in with the whining part of this post, let me tell you that my run this morning was great. It was the first day of this year’s Galloway Marathon Training Class, and you may recall that I signed up to be a Pace Group Leader. I’m really excited to (hopefully) help other people have a great experience with the marathon, like I had last year. It was really wonderful to see some familiar faces, and some new faces today. I’m really, really excited.

I’m also worried. Let me confess something, dear readers. [deep breath] My name is Joni, and I am a worrier. I really am. I don’t worry about myself so much, but I worry like crazy about other people, especially people I care about or am in any way responsible for.

I knew, intellectually, that we would run faster than our training pace today. I remember from last year that it is hard to get folks to slow down and run at the training pace at first. I was prepared for that. What I was not prepared for was my own reaction. I started to worry about my pace group buddies hurting themselves. Not today, since we only ran 3 miles. No, I started worrying today, about how they’ll hurt themselves on the 12 mile run or the 14 mile run if we don’t slow our pace down. (Some of my friends are totally laughing at me right now, because unlike me, they saw this coming.)

Yes, I recognize that this is actually a bit ridiculous. Stop rolling your eyes like that, they’ll get stuck that way. ūüėõ For one thing, this was a short run so training pace isn’t so critical. But it is helpful to learn how to run training pace now, so that it’s easier to do on the long ones. Also, I may be a Pace Group Leader, but I’m not actually the boss of anyone. If they over-do it and hurt themselves, I am not at fault. But I really, really, really want them all to make it through training to the marathon and have a great time doing it. I had so much fun last year, and I didn’t suffer any serious injuries. I want to share that!

So the lesson, for me, from today’s run is to take a deep breath and let the stress and worry go. There is no way I can ensure that every person in my pace group will have a great experience. There is no way I can¬†guarantee¬†that every person in my pace group will make it through training uninjured. I just have to do my best to share what I’ve learned and let everybody find their own way. In the mean time, I’ll have a glass of wine as soon as it’s socially acceptable.

Only 167 days (and 16 hours) until my second Missoula Marathon. This time I know I can do it.

 

New Year, New Goals

Well, I did it. I committed to being a Pace Group Leader for this year’s Galloway Marathon Training Class. Class starts on January 27th and I’m really excited. I had such a great experience last year and I really hope I can help others have a great experience this year. I’m especially excited about any first-time marathoners in my pace group.¬†I’m actually really pleased that I kept this blog during my own first attempt at the marathon. I plan to use it to help remember what it’s like that first time through, so I can be a better PGL.

I’ve been running more regularly than not, since my last post. I’ve missed a few runs here and there, but overall, I’m on track. And I know that being in the class will help as well.

As I’ve mentioned previously, my goal races for this year are the Pengelly Double Dip in June and the Missoula Marathon in July. In the mean time, I’m also planning to run the Snow Joke and any other fun races that don’t conflict with marathon training.

And before I forget, I should tell you that I accomplished something today. I actually ran a whole mile without a walk break! I’ve never done that before ever in my life! Now, to be fair, I haven’t actually tried to run without walk breaks in quite some time. I’ve been very faithful to the run/walk/run method because it really works for me. But this weekend I washed my Gymboss timer and I haven’t replaced it yet.

When I went out on my run today I was a little dismayed to be without my trusty “coach”. But rather than allow the situation to depress me, I decided it would be the perfect time to see if I could run a mile without a break. So after my five minute warm-up walk, I pressed start on my GPS watch and started out running nice and slow. As I kept running, I was really surprised and pleased not to feel tuckered out. When my watch beeped for 1 mile I was shocked! I wasn’t struggling at all. Just then a passing runner commented on my calf-sleeves, so we had a nice little chat until he pulled too far ahead. In all, I ran 1.25 miles before I decided that was enough for the day and went back to run/walk/run. I did my best to approximate a 30/30 split using my watch and counting my breaths. All in all, it was a great run.

Running a mile without a walk break may not seem like much to most runners, but for me it’s an accomplishment, and I’m very satisfied. Over the next several months I will probably continue to add distance on until I can run a few miles without a break. To be honest, though, I love run/walk/run and I don’t really plan to attempt any serious distances without it.

And here’s a bit of news that is specifically for the ladies who read my blog. I’ve decided to take the “Instead Softcup Challenge“. I’ve been looking for a better feminine¬†hygiene¬†solution for long runs and came across a blog post about the challenge at Slow is the New Fast. Friends have recommended similar products in the past, but I’ve never actually tried them, partly due to the expense of some of the options. I thought this challenge would be a great way to try out this type of product. I’ve just gotten my supplies in the mail today, so sometime in the next few months, I’ll be posting my review. In the mean time, if any of you ladies are interested in taking the challenge, check out the link. They’ll even reimburse you for your race entrance fees for one upcoming race, as long as you post your product review before the end of June.

I hope to post more regularly once class begins. I’ll actually have things to post about after all. I hope you’re all still running happy!

I’m Still Here!

I just wanted to take a second to let you know that I’m still here, and hope to get back into regular blogging soon.

Except for a minor hiccup in my training schedule last week, I’ve been back on track for a few weeks now. I ran 12 miles yesterday and I am feeling good about that. And speaking of that, I have to tell you, that I really, really love my Due North traction aids for my shoes! Many of the roads I ran on yesterday were pretty much solid ice, but I didn’t slip or slide at all. I also find this type of traction to be much more comfortable than the sort that have a spiral track on the bottom, when it comes to running.

Also, if any of you are Google Plus users, check out the Running group under the new Communities link. So far, people there are being very supportive and encouraging of each other, and sharing all sorts of information!

I’ll post more soon! I promise.

Happy running!

 

 

Trying to hit the Re-set Button

I haven’t been blogging. I haven’t been logging my activity at Fitocracy. I’ve been neck-deep in a feeling of failure, when it comes to running. It’s not that I’ve stopped running. It’s just that I haven’t been running often enough or far enough. I realize that it’s silly to feel like I failed at running, but I wasn’t coming anywhere near my goals for my weekly mileage¬†totals or my long run distance.

It all started with training for the Sentinel Hill Climb. I didn’t find out about the race far enough in advance to really train well for it, and the race was a bit advanced for me. I only actually managed to run the entire race course once before the race. So while I knew I could do it, I wasn’t really trained up for it. I did run up the M trail (the first part of the race course) quite a few times before the race, and it is really the most difficult part (at least on the route I took), so at least I did that.

The thing is, during the period of training I developed quite a large knot in the front of my right thigh. It took me a while to even realize what was going on, and I didn’t notice it until after it had started to throw off my gait quite a bit. I’ve had some very weird hip soreness, as well as strange soreness in my ankles. Once I realized what was going on, I¬†started using my foam roller once or twice per day. ¬†It took over a week after the race to finally get the knot to release, and now the soreness in my hips and ankles is nearly gone. Things are getting back to normal.

I’m also having an issue with feeling really busy. I’m a hermit-type. I need a lot of down time. I had been thinking that once the summer was over, things would calm down again and I’d have more time, but that hasn’t happened. If anything, I’ve been more busy the last couple of months. So, mentally, that’s been interfering with my motivation to run and to really do much of anything.

I want to hit the running re-set button. ¬†It’s time to start training for the Snow Joke Half Marathon. I’m going to work on getting back into my best habits of running at least three times per week and trying to get in a total of at least 20 miles for the week. That will be easier some weeks than others, of course. But those are my goals.

I also have a short race coming up on Thursday morning. The Turkey Day 8K will be a great way to start celebrating Thanksgiving Day with my running buddies and my running community, for whom I am especially thankful.

I imagine it’s not uncommon for folks to feel like they’re failing at their running, and to need to hit the re-set button. How have you done it? ¬†Sign up for a new race to get motivated? Make up a formal training plan with some new goals? What else?

That’s it for now. I’m still here and I’m still running. I’ve just been going through a rough patch is all.

Happy running!

Some Weeks are Tougher than Others…

And sometimes those weeks drag on. I have been running, but not as often or as far as I would like. And I didn’t realize I hadn’t blogged in so long.

I’ve been training for a short, but challenging race¬†that takes place tomorrow, but I haven’t even done as much of that as I would like. It’s going to be hard. I know I can do it, though. I’ll just be slow.

I’ve done most of my attempts at running up the hill at intervals of 15 seconds run & 30 seconds walk. It’s hard but doable. A couple of weeks ago, I tried 20 seconds run and that turned out to be too much. It strained my knees and I had to take a break. I really wanted to be able to work myself up to even splits but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I like even splits because that way if I need an extra walk break I don’t have to mess with my timer. I suppose I could just program my timer for 15 and 15 and always walk for two. Not sure why I didn’t think of that until just now, but I think it might work out perfectly.

I’ve also had some trouble finding folks who want to run as far as I do on the weekend, at least at something in the neighborhood of my pace. I still prefer running with others, particularly for longer runs. And this week, because of the race tomorrow, my long run will¬†hopefully be Tuesday. ¬†I have the day off to vote so I plan to run to my polling place, vote and then take a nice tour of the neighborhood over by my poling place. It’s a pretty area. The exact distance I choose will depend on how I feel after running up that hill tomorrow, but I hope to do at least 10 miles.

This last weekend we had our first meeting for the upcoming Galloway Marathon Training Class. I am hoping to be a pace group leader, so I went to the meeting and found myself getting very excited about getting back into marathon training mode. I had such a great experience last year and I hope I can help someone else have that same great experience this year.

I still have a few more ideas for Tips for New Runners posts, so I will try to get those up soon and post more regularly again. Happy Running!

 

Tips for New Runners – Chafing and Blisters

Chafing and blisters, the bane of many runners existence. We all have our favorite methods of preventing and treating them. Today I’ll tell you about mine as well as some that I’ve heard about from other runners.

Chafing can happen anywhere that our clothes rub against our skin as well as anywhere our skin rubs against other bits of skin. Moisture, whether from sweat or the environment can make it worse. Dehydration can also be a contributing factor, so there is yet another reason to stay hydrated.

A quick search of a site like Amazon shows a fairly large number of products devoted to preventing chafing. The basic idea is to reduce the friction where skin is rubbing or being rubbed. The only gel/cream type product I’ve used is Body Glide. It works just fine for me, though I’ve heard from some people that it gives up after a while if they get very wet. I did not have any problems on our 26.2 mile training run in the rain, so I can’t speak to that. On long runs I apply it to all the places most people would, like inner thighs and inner arms, as well as underneath my bra straps. I don’t think I experienced bra strap chafing until we got up to 20 or more miles, but it was very uncomfortable when I did.

Little Sister Sole, on the other hand, swears by a product called Slider, and I can tell you that it at least smells better than Body Glide does. Little Sister Sole has very sensitive skin, so if you have used Body Glide and found it irritating, Slider might be a good solution for you. Other folks use plain old Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. I haven’t tried that because I find that overly slick sensation rather repulsive, especially on my feet.

Speaking of which, some folks use Vaseline Petroleum Jelly (or any petroleum jelly, I imagine) on their feet to prevent blisters, especially between the toes. I could not personally tolerate the way that would feel (hey, we all have our issues!), but if it works for you, I say go for it.

My primary defense against blisters on my feet is my socks, which got their very own blog post here. But what about blisters between the toes? Some folks swear by the Injinji toe socks. I have one pair and I find that they fit my toes well, but not the rest of the foot, so I don’t run in them. I use tape on my toes, but please be aware that if you use this method you need to be very careful. The type of tape I use is very stretchy and I do NOT pull it tight on my toes. My toes swell a lot during a long run and I don’t need the circulation getting cut off by my blister prevention method. I apply the tape around both of the toes that rub together, careful to wrap it all the way around so that it doesn’t come loose during my run and end up causing a blister. And I’ve never had any trouble with the tape rubbing against the adjacent toes and causing trouble, in case you’re wondering.

The first time I ever used the Elastikon tape was on the bottom of my foot, before I got the good socks. On our twelve mile run, we weren’t very far along before I started to feel a hot-spot on the bottom of my right foot. Fortunately for me, one of the other runners had brought along Elastikon tape. She helped me stretch the tape out before applying it to cover the hot-spot, and within a mile or two I couldn’t feel it anymore.

I have also used the tape (applied loosely, again) to prevent nipple chafe. A friend of mine, upon hearing that I was training for a marathon, advised me very emphatically, to tape my nipples on long runs and I took that advice very seriously so I’ve never had any trouble. After the Missoula Marathon I got to witness the affects of nipple chafe, because a friend of mine had stripes of blood down the front of his shirt. I am really glad I’ve never experienced that! I bet you want to avoid it, too!

If you decide to carry tape, like I do, you might want to carry a small pair of scissors. I just bring my Leatherman Micra along, since it folds up and won’t poke a hole in the pocket of my nutrition belt. And hey, I can cut tape, measure something small or fix a loose screw. I’m prepared for anything.

Well fitting clothes (not too tight and not too loose) that breathe well and wick moisture are another preventive measure. I have one running shirt that I really like, but I’m afraid to wear it on long runs because the arms are loose and floppy and I worry that it will chafe.

What other chafe and blister prevention tips do you have, dear readers? I’d love to hear them.

Happy running!

 

Blogs I Read

I know there are a ton of running blogs out there, but I thought I’d tell you about a few of those that I read and enjoy.

The Accidental¬†Athlete is a grad student who runs and writes about her training. ¬†She started running for many of the same reasons the rest of us do and found herself going farther than she ever imagined she would. I really relate to that and love reading about the things she’s learning and achieving as she goes.

Running Sunflower is a great writer and inspiring runner. She runs a lot of races, including marathons and always makes it sound like fun.

SisterSoleBlog¬†is unique in two ways. First, it’s about BigSisterSole and LittleSisterSole who live in different states but encourage each other, train together (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively) and have adventures. ¬†Second, LittleSisterSole is one of my pace group buddies from my Galloway marathon class. She’s super fun to run with, especially if you’re feeling low. She can cheer you up and take your mind off whatever is bugging you like nobody’s business.

The T-Rex Runner is a favorite blog of many runners I know. She’s a Marathon Maniac who travels all over, runs marathons and writes some of the BEST race reports I’ve read. She’s snarky and funny, which I really enjoy, but you can always tell she loves running, even when she’s having a tough time. Check out her recent posts about running two marathons in two days.

Slow is the New Fast is a recent addition to my blog reader, but it’s an idea that’s close to my heart. She has a great attitude and clearly loves what she’s doing. Right now she’s training for the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World. She’ll be running a half marathon on Saturday and then a full on Sunday. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Finally, the last blog in my list for today is Ultrun’s Blog. When Ultrun followed me I went to check out his blog and I will admit I felt absolutely unworthy. In the notification I got about being followed, wordpress included the suggestion that I check out his (then) recent post about the Ring of Fire – 3 Day, 131 Mile race. It’s a rather long post but absolutely worth reading. As with some of the others in my list, Ultrun’s love of running comes through in his words even when he’s writing about a race where he had a rough time. To be honest, reading about the Ring of Fire made me realize that if I want to, I can run a heck of a lot farther than a marathon. I just have to find the right races for me, and then train for them and I can do anything.

I hope you’ll find some of these blogs interesting. They’re not the only running blogs I read, but if I tried to include all of them I’d never get this post finished. I’ll have to do another roundup sometime soon.

Happy running!

New Shoes, A New Goal and a Difficult Run

My new Asics!

Good news everyone! ¬†I bought new shoes. You can see them in the header, along with my other two pair, and here is an even better look at them. Aren’t they… um… Well, I’m sure plenty of people think they’re pretty. For my friends who are currently looking at them with confusion, yes I realize they are pink. Pink really isn’t my color, generally. I bristle at the “pink for girls” thing, but this blog isn’t about politics. It’s about running, so I won’t really go into the whole pink issue other than to say that there are more important things to consider when picking out running shoes. Also, some time ago a gentleman on Fitocracy mentioned disliking the color of his new shoes and other Fitocrats advised him that the best thing to do when you think your shoes are ugly is to go out and run in them and get them dirty! So that is what I will do.

These new Asics are my first road shoes. My two previous pair were somewhere between a trail shoe and a road shoe. Hybrid, if you will. I initially made the choice to go with those shoes because I was used to walking in trail shoes and found them comfortable. When I bought the Mizunos, I was looking for a shoe that was as similar to those Asics as possible, because I meant to be switching between them during my marathon training and didn’t want shoes that were too different. Now that I have some time before any big races, I feel that it’s time to try out a road shoe. The other problem I’m having is that the Mizunos aren’t quite right for me. I’m told that on paper they’re a nearly identical shoe to those first Asics, but there is something about them that isn’t working out for me. I can wear them on a short run or two each week, but any more than that and my calves start to get really tight. I honestly don’t understand how or why that is happening, but last weekend I switched back into the old Asics just to see if it would make a difference and it did. So when I saw a post on Facebook that Runner’s Edge was having a “garage sale” I knew I had to go down and try to find a new shoe. I even followed my own advice, and brought both of my other pair with me and asked for help picking out a new pair. Now, to be clear, I am in NO way suggesting that Mizunos aren’t a great shoe. That particular pair just isn’t right for me, at least not for heavy use and longer runs.

That said, I still think that the Mizunos will be the right shoe for my next race. I’ve registered for the Sentinel Hill Climb race on November 4th. It’s a short race, but still very challenging. A friend sent me the information after we chatted about how difficult it can be to get motivated to run hills. Since I plan to do the Pengelly Double Dip next year, I need to start doing a lot of hill work. The Sentinel Hill Climb is going to motivate me to get started. Being someone who accepts her slowness, I seek a different sort of challenge. I don’t need to run fast. I don’t even need to win my age group. I race to challenge myself, to stay motivated and to have fun. So for me, since I don’t really plan to get much faster, my challenges lay in running farther and in running more difficult races with lots of elevation gain.

Finally, I will say that I had a rough run yesterday. I slept in, so I missed the breakfast run and went out on my own later in the morning. I was determined to do a 13 mile run, so I plotted a course, created a playlist that was part music and part podcast and off I went. I started out slow and easy but I just couldn’t find my groove. Being alone, I think I spent a lot more time paying too much attention to myself and over-thinking things. I just was not feeling it and could not seem to pick up the pace. At about 12.3 miles I did get a boost, however, as that was when Eye of the Tiger came on my iPod. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I don’t know too many people who aren’t pumped up by that song. I’m thinking I should download the Rocky Theme and put it toward the beginning of my playlist, with Eye of the Tiger toward the end, so that I can get pumped up by both of them.

There are more “Tips for New Runners” posts coming. I’ve just been very busy this last week or two. There’s also a blog-roundup post coming about other running blogs that I like. So keep checking back or subscribe to my rss feed and I’ll keep telling you about my experiences. Happy running!