Thursday, November 21, 2013

What's up, JayDoc?

Another weekend, another 5K. What can I say? We're in love.

This time, it was the JayDoc 5K in support of the JayDoc Free Clinic. JayDoc is a student-run dental care clinic that provides non-emergency urgent and preventative care to uninsured and under-insured people in Kansas City. A great cause, right?! Since the cause benefited a student-run clinic, most of the participants were students who were almost all younger than us. We weren't too intimidated, though: these races, at this point, aren't about competing against other people. They are about competing with ourselves to do better than we did last time.

The race began at the Kauffman Memorial Garden and headed west along Brush Creek, turned around on the west end of the Plaza, headed back towards the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, and finished at the starting location. It was a fun course - I'd never been on the portion of the Brush Creek trail west of Kaufffman, and the Discovery Center is where I walk almost every day during work. The weather was perfect - about 50 degrees and sunny - if not a bit windy.

Besides the great cause, fun route and good weather, Mr. Awesome and I ran our best races to date!

Mr. Awesome finished 40th out of 76 participants, with a time of 25:25 - that's 1:25 better than his previous best time! He told me that he didn't think he was going to finish in as good a time as he did, because the running was a bit hard at first. But he was able to keep a good pace and it paid off in the end.

I finished 69th out of 76 participants, with a time of 36:40 - that's 1:16 better than my previous best time! I focused on a couple of things. First, I really tried to stay positive and have fun. I smiled at people, said (breathlessly) hello to people as I encountered them, and kept a good attitude. I must say that improved the experience tremendously. Second, I tried to keep a good pace. When I knew I was slowing down, but was comfortable, I tried to speed up again. I kept constant assessment of my breathing and speed, adjusting to the needs of each. The end result was that I tried to push myself just a little more, and it shaved time off my PR.

YAY US!

No pictures from this one. Maybe next time...

... which will be the Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim Run in Hyde Park. Can't wait!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hangin' around this town on the corner.

This past Sunday Mr. Awesome and I participated in the Cliff Hanger 5K in the Northeast neighborhood of Kansas City, along historic Cliff Drive.

But before that...

Friday night we headed to Alamo Drafthouse (best theater in the universe) to see Ender's Game. It was really good. So were the pickle fries and chocolate chip cookies. :)

Saturday we went to Garry Gribble's Running Sports to pick up our race packets for Sunday's Cliff Hanger run. What a great store. I took the opportunity to talk to a running shoe expert about a problem I've been having: after about 2.5 miles of running, my left foot goes numb, like it's asleep. I read it could be caused by my shoes being too tight, as after a bit of running one's feet can swell. My current shoes are Brooks PureConnect2 - they have a high arch, which I love, but are also pretty narrow, which could be causing the numbness. The expert talked to me about my options, and had me try on several pairs of shoes with each other - kind of a "better one, better two" scenario, but with left and right feet. I have to sleep on it before making a decision, though.

After picking up our packets, we hit some stores in Overland Park - Penzey's, the yarn shop - before heading to RA Sushi for happy hour, Ben and Jerry's for dessert, and REI for some wishful imagining.

Sunday morning, we got up bright and early for the run. Dressing in layers was essential, as it was pretty chilly outside. There was an 8K race before the 5K, so lots of people were already around.

We started the race at about 9:20am. The course took us along Cliff Drive, which is closed to cars on weekends. It was an out-and-back course, meaning that you run halfway out, turn around and run back the way you came.

There were a few hundred participants in this race, and Frank lead most of them!

But I held my own.

The course was way hillier than it looked. The first half was downhill halfway, then uphill to the turnaround... so the second half was downhill halfway and uphill to the finish. I really tried to push myself, but it was hard!

Truth time: I got a little crabby on the course. I snapped a sarcastic, "good for you!" at a woman who ran past me with a friendly, "pulling ahead!" I'm not proud of that. Running is hard, but it's also supposed to be fun. I'm going to work on my attitude as well as my time in future races.

I digress.

Frank ran an excellent race. He finished in his best time ever - 26:40! This is over 1:30 faster than his last race! Here are his other stats:
  • 54th out of 316 finishers

  • 37th out of 126 male runners
And... he finished 3rd in his age group, so he gets a prize! We didn't stay for the awards ceremony, so we're going to pick it up at Garry Gribbles this weekend (I think it's a shirt). I'll also probably get my shoes - yay!

As for me, I maintained a steady pace, in spite of the hills.

A race walker passed me at about the halfway point, and remained ahead for the remainder of the race. She crossed the finish line a few seconds before me, prompting the announcer to say, as I crossed the finish line, "that race walker walks faster than some of these runners, folks." That sort of pissed me off. But looking back, it really is pretty cool that a race walker in her late 60s/early 70s can out-walk runners.

My goal for upcoming races: beat the race walkers.

In the end, I finished in 37:54 - one second slower than my last run. Damn those hills!

My other stats:
  • 196th out of 316 finishers

  • 101 out of 190 female runners
Not bad, really. I would have liked to improved my time, but the fact that I did as well as my last race with added hills is pretty good.

We've got two more runs on the books - the Pilgrim Run on Thanksgiving Day, through Hyde Park, and the Christmas Light 5K in North Kansas City on December 14th.

Exciting!