Running 13.1

Ah, the Half Marathon. A challenging yet totally doable distance for most of us. A distance you can run just to complete the distance itself, but also a distance short enough that those non-elite runners (myself included) can set some nice time PR’s as well. The Half Marathon is my second favorite distance to run, succeeded only by the 25k. I really only like the 25k better because it’s usually on trails, and trails are far superior to roads in my running book. 

I was granted the opportunity to actually train a group of people to run a Half this semester. Get paid to run? YES PLEASE. I teach fitness classes at a state college and we’re able to pitch ideas for new classes to our boss each semester. Running 13.1 was my pitch at the end of Spring 2012, and they put it on the calendar for this Fall. We are currently in our second week of training, and I am in love with this class. I’ve got seven runners, 3 of which are running a decent pace of about 9 or 9:30 per mile. One runner is a little slower, maybe a 10:30 mile. The last three are right around 11:30 or 12. So, a little more challenging than I’d first thought…I spend most of my runs sprinting up to the people in the lead, jogging back to the ones behind, run/walking with them for a minute or so, and sprinting back to the ones up ahead. Thus their 3 mile run yesterday was more like 5.5 for me. 

What I love more than anything in this class, though, is these people’s motivation. The ones that always take the lead will definitely complete the half-  3 of them have already signed up. The three that bring up the rear told me up front they don’t plan on completing the half, they just want to learn how to run without walking. I’m hoping to convince them to sign up for the 5k instead of the Half and train to complete it without walking. 

One girl in particular makes me beam with pride. On our first run she told me she had been totally sedentary for 2 years. No workouts. Not a single one. I couldn’t help but thinking she needed to drop my class. She ended up going back to the classroom about a half mile into the run.

After class she said she wanted to stick with it and asked if she could. This immediately changed my mind about thinking she should drop my class. This girl, who hadn’t worked out in two years, who had to basically quit on our first 2 mile run, wanted to stick with it. Now that is determination at it’s finest. Our next run, a 5k, she completed in 51 minutes by run walking. If she can run/walk a 5k in 51 minutes after being sedentary for 2 yeas, surely she can get to a point where she can run a 5k without stopping by April 28! She seems really excited to do it. Her time for that same 5k loop yesterday? 48 minutes. 

This is the whole reason I wanted to teach this class. If just one person in my class becomes inspired to stick with it, to get out there and run even when they are the last person to finish, to push through and run a little farther before a walk break, to add another tenth of a mile, this makes my time and effort more than worth it. 

I am a proud proud running mama!

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(Wo)man’s Best Friend

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My dog is a bastard. Seriously, he is the biggest bastard ever. He has obnoxiously stinky farts. He gets in my bed under the covers when he thinks I’m not paying attention. He constantly steals my son’s snacks directly from his hands. Technically, he’s not even my dog! He came as a part of the package deal when my boyfriend moved to Norman from Texas 4 months ago. Unfortunately for me, my boyfriend is the worst dog walker ever, and since LaMotta (for all you boxing fans out there, this dog only thinks he’s the raging bull- he’s pretty much the tiniest boxer ever) is a hyper hypo, I took it upon myself to start training him to walk properly. At first he was more concerned about eating his leash than anything else. Finally he learned to run with me. Sort of. The first mile is always me jerking the leash to get him to slow down to my pace (this dude’s all about sprints, but me…not so much). Getting to the point, I was completely remiss in walking LaMotta over the holidays. Between my kiddo being at home all day and then going on runcation to Florida, I’m pretty sure he got like, two walks in the last two weeks. So I take him out  to do our usual three miles and he acts like a total BASTARD! Again with the leash eating, this guy. And stopping every five minutes to sniff and pee, sniff and pee. The funny thing about LaMotta is he has most definitely become my dog since the running started. He wants to lay next to me. He wants to sit on my lap on the couch. Ohhhhhh….I love that bastard.

12 Vatos Locos, 2 Vans, 196.9 Miles

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Above are the lovely ladies of Vatos Locos. Some dudes ran with us too, but this was a great pic, so there you have it. Ragnar Florida Keys 2013 was by far the BEST way I could possibly have started my new year. I only knew one person on the team (and hardly knew her at all), this was my first relay race, much less a 200-ish mile relay, plus I’d never been to Florida. Aside from being forced to eat at restaurants a few times (I only caved to non-Paleo food once, and it was beer…give me a break here), I had a fan-flippin’-tastic time. My 3 legs totaled 18 miles. The second leg, a 10 miler, was at 2am. Pretty sweet right? I was glad it wasn’t the 8 mile leg through the Everglades…at night…without van support. A la veeeee! We slept, ate, and bonded in a van for 2 days. I would totally do it again. Oh, wait, I am doing it again! Hood to Coast in August, and this time the boyfriend gets to come. Padrino (Hood to Coast will be his 11th 200 mile relay…what the what?!) gave us the invite to join his team when some other runners bailed. I may even try to cut ten or so seconds off my miles.