Another Milestone: 11.6 Miles (and Reconsiderations)

This milestone happened last Saturday (January 7). On that morning I set out to run 11 miles, the next step in my half marathon training. I met with the 8am group at Berry that runs every Saturday morning, but by now I have eschewed trying to stay with any of the various groups, opting instead to do my own thing, because I run best when I can monitor and adjust my own pace, pushing (and pulling back) when I know I’m ready to. Because I forgot to start my Garmin, and was determined to log an “11” on it, I actually ran 11.6 miles, just to be able to see the 11. I’m not competitive or goal-oriented or anything, am I? 🙂

The Viking Trail itself is just 7 miles (3.5 out and 3.5 back), so I knew I would have to add distances on both ends of it. I started out with a perfect 2:1 run/walk pace, and my runs were pacing around 11:30, which is a full minute faster than what I have ever run. Of course, the walking intervals back me down to 12:30-13, but it’s all easier on my body, and I *do* really enjoy the faster running intervals. I ran a couple of extra miles out at the mountain school: beautiful scenery but hilly. But beautiful. Then when I returned to the main campus, I added a couple more flat miles. At about 9 miles, my left foot started hurting, and my feet just started feeling tired. Energy-wise, I was just a little tired; nowhere near hitting the wall, but my feet became my limiting factor.

Which led me to spend the last three miles pondering whether it would be a good idea to actually do the half marathon on the morning of the Heart of the Community ball. Because I am being honored at that ball, and it is the highest honor granted in my town, based on lifetime achievement, I CERTAINLY want to look and feel my best for the entire evening. There is a reception preceding the event, which will require standing, and then there is the black-tie seated dinner, complete with a hilarious roast of each honoree, and then there is over an hour of excellent live dance music, during which I completely intend to be out there kicking up my heels with my kids and friends. I became concerned that if I were to be fatigued from the half marathon, that I would not fully experience the most important celebration of my life. So I decided that the Heart Ball was a good enough excuse to back down, and that I would just do the 10K with the goal of a 10K PR, and do the very next half I could find.

I contacted the Berry race director, asking to change my registration to the 10K, and she replied that I certainly could do that, but why didn’t I wait until closer to the event just to be sure that would really be my choice. I respect her prudence, so that is what I have done. Today I did 5 at Berry (in 20 degree weather), and had a great conversation with Carlton Ulmer about my decision process. He had great insight, and I will cover that in my next blog.

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HERE is a NINE-MILE Milestone!

Christmas Eve, 2011: What a wonderful way to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of becoming part of the 2011 Six-Pack. It was a long-run day, so I did my NINE MILES on the beautiful Viking Trail and mountain campus at Berry. I am TRULY blessed.

Nine-Mile Route on 12/24/2011
2:1 Run/Walk – successful! Kept pace & no wall!!!

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What a Year!!!

Each year at this time, I pause and reflect on my life: my blessings, my challenges, things I need to change, things I want to do more (or less) of, etc. In December of 2009 I made a simple goal; it was, simply, “simplify”. So I de-cluttered my life, organizing things to become low-maintenance, and lay in wait, prepared for some yet-unknown adventure that I hoped life might bring my way. Never could I ever have imagined what happened next!

Because 2010 was indeed a peaceful simple year, I decided to end it by seeking adventure. So on December 9th, I submitted a 3 minute video as an iReporter on CNN, detailing why I should be among six viewers selected for the 2011 CNN FitNation Challenge, to train and complete the Nautica New York City Triathlon on August 7, 2011. Whether I found the adventure or the adventure found me no longer matters: On December 24 I received a call from the CNN Medical Unit producers (who I am now proud to call my friends), telling me that I had INDEED been selected as one of the 2011 “Six Pack”-novice athletes and regular people who would soon become larger-than-life healthy-living examples to the world, also becoming life-long friends with our relationships sealed with work, anxiety, sweat, travel, laughter, stumbles, victories, and unforgettable adventures.

There were so many thrills along the way: becoming friends and training-partners with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and many members of the CNN production team, and getting to know fabulous experts in fields of triathlon, nutrition, and psychology, all of whom had a single goal: to ensure OUR success in the NYC Triathlon. But one thing I had not anticipated and enjoyed the most was the opportunity to blog and chronicle our training experiences along the way, and have our blogs posted on for the whole world to see! Besides being excited to see my own by-line on the world’s largest news organization’s website, I thrived on the comments that people posted in response to all of our blogs. There was so much encouragement there, and many people said that *we* had inspired *them* to adopt healthier habits, and it was unbelievable to realize that we were truly being watched and having a positive influence in the world.

I started this blog while training, mostly to have one place to collect my various links and articles for my friends to see. Now I will keep it up, just as I am keeping up my training and healthy lifestyle. And yes, there’s a book in here somewhere. 🙂

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About Running (from “What Women Want”)

Just watching “What Women Want”; such a cute movie. And I love this quote from the proposed Nike commercial:

You don’t stand in front
of a mirror before a run…
and wonder what the road
will think of your outfit.

You don’t have to listen to its
jokes and pretend they’re funny.

It would not be easier to run
if you dressed sexier.

The road doesn’t notice
if you’re not wearing lipstick.

It does not care
how old you are.

You do not feel
because you make more money
than the road.

And you can call on the road
whenever you feel like it,
whether it’s been a day…
or a couple of hours
since your last date.

The only thing
the road cares about…
is that you pay it a visit
once in a while.

No games.
Just sports.

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First Half Century Ride! On 07/17/2011

For some reason the graphics will not upload. Possibly b/c the trip was so long. But Beverly, Ron, Hayden, Jennie and I rode from Cedartown to Piedmont, Alabama and back-it was so fun!

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Even More Milestones

Best Tempo Run Yet: 2 miles; avg 11.39! on 07/11/2011:

My First Peachtree! on 07/04/2011:
With me: Jan and Barry Webb, John and Teresa Gentry, Donna Hopper, Joy Mobley, Jan and Joy’s mom Betty

Longest Ride Yet: 38 miles!! on 07/02/2011:
With me: Ron and Beverly Nicklasson, Ava and Hayden, Pennie Schuh
We ran into Ann Lee and Chris McCormick at Th Pocket!

2 miles avg <12! on 06/29/2011:

Pelham to Hoover and Back on 06/25/2011:
I was in Pelham for Adam and Haley Roebuck’s wedding.

I-Finally-Broke-12-Min-Run! (11:48) on 06/23/2011:

Best Tempo Run Yet (12:14) on 06/16/2011:

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More Milestones

First Ride to The Pocket with Chris McCormick on 06/12/2011:

9.1 Mile Run on 06/11/2011:

First Seven Mile Run on 06/05/2011:

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