Saturday, October 18, 2008

Catch a Little Raindrop

Oh, and for those wondering about the name of this blog, it's in honor of my grandfather who passed away almost a year ago. It's the first line of a song that he wrote, that my dad used to sing to my brother and me when we were little. I thought it was fitting since I did all of my marathon training in his honor last year.

My blog has arrived!

Soooo I decided to make a blog! I've done them on and off for about 7 or 8 years, but I never really keep up with them. I have a couple of things worth keeping track of lately, namely running and possibly the progress toward becoming a full-time pro photographer. .. Though I'll probably end up making a separate blog for photo stuff once I get to the point that it would be something clients wanted to look at, as opposed to just something for friends and me to keep track of things. The only photo news I have for now is that I'm about to be BUSY, and I can't even tell you how much I love that! I have 2 weddings in the next three weeks with the fabulous Kylene. While I've been helping with lighting and whatever other odds-n-ends on a couple of shoots, this will be the first time that I'm actually shooting for a full day o' fun, and I am PSYCHED. I also have an engagement pictures shoot on the 9th with a knottie, and I am super SUPER excited about that also. The only other "news" is that I've been thinking about names for the business. I guess it's time I get official-like. I think it would be hilarious to call it "Oh Snap Photography," but I might limit my clientelle to people with really bizarre senses of humor. I don't know that that's the worst thing in the world, but definitely not the smartest idea. haha. Awww poop, someone already called their photo business that. lol.

So let's talk about running!! My running season typically starts about this time each year, with the months from March-October being reserved solely for indoor activities. This year, however, I actually began running in mid-August, mostly just to torture myself. :) I've been an "endurance athlete" for the past 2 years using the "Gallowalk" method of run/walk intervals. On my birthday in January of 2007 I ran the Disney Half Marathon, and then in January of this year I ran the Disney FULL Marathon. At which point I decided I wasn't running another full marathon until I could shave at least an hour off of my time. 6 hours is just too long to do any one thing aside from sleep. And the only way to shave that kind of time is to quit the walk breaks. Some people can still go pretty quickly with the interval walk breaks, but for me, I knew it was time to thank Mr. Galloway's program for its help and move on.

And so for the last few months I have been moving on! It's bizarre and funny and frustrating for me to struggle to run 4 or 5 miles after completing a marathon less than a year ago, but this is truly like starting from scratch. When you don't have that security blanket of a walk break every 6 minutes, you have to completely re-learn your body, how to pace yourself appropriately, how much you can push without getting hurt. I wish I could ay it was a really quick process and it was all going swimmingly, but it's not! I'm definitley improving, and I'm proud of myself for sticking with it (I won't lie; I'm pretty much a quitter. If it doesn't feel good and I'm not good at it, I typically find something else to do.). I still have a long way to go, but I'll get there. My hope is that it will finally cool off and that I'll be able to run a bit better as the humidity tapers off a bit. My challenge has always been breathing. My greek thunder thighs will carry me along fairly steadily as long as I can keep them oxygenated. It's my lungs that cry and gasp and go home. But that's getting a bit better too.

Today was my first race of the season, the Race for the Cure 5K (3.1 miles) in honor of breast cancer awareness month. I made the mistake of looking back at my time from the same race in 2006, when I first started training for the half marathon, and I completed it in 33 minutes even. So that became my first goal: beat that time! I knew I would be disappointed if I didn't, just because I know I didn't do much training before that run. I'm pretty sure it was already cooler out by this time that year, but there's nothing I could do to change that, and I didn't want to cut myself any slack. The 2nd goal was to come in under 31 minutes, a 10 minute mile. This would be a stretch for me, since I know I can run 2 miles at a 10 minute pace, but I always have to cut back after the 2nd mile if I want to go more than another block without kicking the bucket. So it was a long shot, but I just tossed it out there as a brass ring.

We (my coworker/training buddy) kind of crippled ourselves at the start of the race by starting too far back. Seasoned racers know that the slower you are, the further back in the starting chute you should start. These were clearly not seasoned runners. And that's awesome, obviously I'm not a running snob and I think everyone should come out and do a run. But I do wish that the organizers would have told walkers that they should start at the back.... they didn't. As I got to the start line, I was in front of someone wearing jeans, and I wanted to hurt somebody. My biggest struggle, as I mentioned, is my lungs. And when I first started training a few months ago, I always got sort of anxious when I started to run, which doesn't help the breathing so much. I've worked really hard at controlling my breathing, especially at the start of a run so that I can settle into a nice even pattern for as long as possible. Well, seeing as I actually had a goal in mind, and seeing this giant hairball clog of walkers in front of me, I totally panicked. I spent the first several minutes weaving through people, and I was so far from relaxed it's not even funny. It didn't take long to pass the majority of the walkers to the point that the group thinned out, but I was already doomed. I tried to calm my breathing at that point, but it was a battle the whole way. By 1.6 or 1.7 when there was a water station, my mouth was actually painfully dry. I stopped briefly to get some water and dump some on my back/neck, but I was pretty sure it wasn't long enough to put me too far off of a 10 minute pace. Sure enough, we hit mile 2 at about 20:40. I can kick it up pretty seriously (to about a 5:50 pace) for the home strech, so I thought I could make up that time as long as I could stick at a 10 minute pace or a little faster for that last mile. And then I just bit the dust. I don't know if I walked too long with the water or what, but my legs just couldn't find their rhythm and my breathing was off.. I ended up stopping again to try to calm down for a second and start over... I went about .7 miles at that point and I could actually SEE the finish line and I had to walk again. That one really killed me, because I couldn't tell you why I walked or what was wrong, I was just running out of steam... But then I somehow kicked it up at the end and came in at 32:11, which is about a 10:21/mi pace. So, long story short, I got a PR! That's pretty awesome. I'm trying not to be too bummed about not making it in under 10min, especially since it's still a PR, but it's frustrating. I've run 3 and 4 and 5 mile courses twice a week for the last 3 months, and for all but a few of them I haven't been taking ANY walk breaks. But I can't beat myself up. I always tell my husband not to look for things to be upset about on his runs, so I should take my own advice!