Monday, March 9, 2009

Race training...what is that?

Ok, so here's the senario....
The last few months I have been traveling alot, the weather has been RAINY, my knee has been bothering me, and I've been stuck on the spin bike for my cardio training. On top of that inconsistency I have also started a new way of eating - the Paleo Diet. I will talk more about this later, but basically I am eating like the "cavemen" did. No grains, no dairy, no processed foods...but I cook my meat! So needeless to say, I am out of my routine a bit.
However, last Monday (1 week ago today) I made a 5-day-prior decision to run a 1/2 Marathon. It sounded like fun! Up to this point I had only been running max of 6 miles at a time all winter with some intermittent long road bike rides. This same day I thought I better see if I have it in me, so I took off on a 10-miler with my yellow lab, Ziggy. On yet another rainy day, I managed to pull the 10-miles out and actually felt pretty good afterwards. I took it fairly easy on the legs the rest of the week so they would be recovered for Saturday's race.
I woke up Saturday morning about 7am, ate two boiled eggs and a banana and rolled my muscles out a bit. At 8:30 I took off for a warm up jog to the starting line (about 1 mile from my front doorstep). As I was doing my pre-run warmup, it hit me that it had been 2 years since my last 1/2 marathon...uh oh!
At 9am on Satuday March 7th, 2009, the start gun when off and the 500+ Bidwell Classic Half Marathoners took off for 13.1 miles in what was finally a beautiful sunny day in Chico, CA. The route is 2 times around beautiful Bidwell Park. My legs felt pretty good, but I could definitely tell my body is still adjusting to my new way of eating. The first lap of the race I kept my own pace and my legs were in their rhythm. The second lap I knew I could pick it up a bit. Not exactly sure of my placement, I knew that I had to start chipping people away. So, I would pick the girl with the "bouncy pony tail"...gone, the guy in the blue shirt...gone, the girl with the hydration pack...gone. Then, finally rounding the last corner I knew I was on the homestretch and just went for it. I saw the "mile 13" marker and full out sprinted in. My knee hurt, my IT bands were on fire, and I knew my feet had big was time to be done! Crossing the finish line at 1:29:05 I was astonished - I PR'd (personal record)!!! I also finished first in my age group and 4th overall.
Now, I don't recommend running a race in the state I was in...especially not having trained for it!!! But, I defnitely encourage you all to find something you're passionate about fitness wise and make it a competition for yourself. It makes it more fun and gives you more of a reason to be disciplined in the gym, on the trail, and in the kitchen. This race showed me that our bodies can do more than we think they can. It's a mental battle - you can do it if you put your mind to it!

-The start of the Bidwell Classic Half Marathon: Jenny trying to weave in and out of the crowd to get her spot.

- Jenny crossing the finish line at 13.1 miles 1:29:05 official time.

-Jenny post race with boyfriend, Marcus, and running partner, Ziggy

-Jenny up on podium accepting award for 1st in age group.