5k before 8 a.m.


Setting: Yesterday morning, approximately 7 a.m. Old, sad tennis shoes laced. Oatmeal, multivitamin, Glucosamine (I have old knees, leave me alone), and coffee down the hatch.

Mood: Eager anticipation.

Why: My first outdoor 5k since last winter! I stopped running last year because it was killing my knees and ankles (why did I not realize that my shoes were just way too old?) but I think it’s safe to say that I’m loving it again.

Since I’ve been training on the treadmill for a while, mostly doing short, high-intensity interval training, I decided I needed to get outside.  After all, races are not run on treadmills. Rather than revisiting my old (boring) subdivision route, I decided to take my run to the Katy Trail.

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Not only is does it provide much prettier views, but it’s very close to school, so I was able to go straight to class afterward. 

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If you saw me at all yesterday, you might have noticed that I also did not change after my run.  I did bring clothes to change into, but in the end decided not to put dirty me into a clean outfit.

Also, I’m sorry if I didn’t smell all that great.

The Katy Trail made for a very scenic early morning run. It was so nice to be surrounded by nature and fresh air, until I passed by a factory. I do not want to know what sort of fumes were coming out of that place.  The weather was perfect, too – about 65 degrees and slightly humid.

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I went into the run with a very loose plan.  I wanted to give myself about an hour to run just as much as I felt comfortable and walk whenever needed.  Thanks to sleeping in and needed to finish up my homework before my first class, I only ended up having about 30 minutes.

From my beginning position:

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Star

I took the trail to the left and ran 1 mile. 1.09, actually, because I wanted to go all the way to the break in the break in the trail, where I snapped a pic.

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Then I did a quick quad stretch, and continued on my way.  Once I hit my starting point again, I was a bit past mile 2, so I continued on for another 1/2 mile before turning back and heading for the car.

And voila- a 5k! I think it helped me not to think about it too much.  I didn’t want to psych myself out.  I thought more about how free it felt, instead of “5k, 5k, 5k.” Also I liked the absence of the treadmill monitoring screen. There was less time spent thinking about my speed and more time gazing out at the river. I did use the MapMyRun app on my iPhone, though, which put my run at 25:28 minutes.  Not too shabby!

Honestly, I had no idea whether 25:28 is a decent time, so I did some Google research. Now, in my opinion, running is all about being honest with yourself – going a little farther or feeling a little stronger each time, knowing that you are putting in good effort.  Completing the run equals success, no matter what your time, and that’s much more important than beating someone else’s time.  Besides, some runs will be good, and others will be awful – oftentimes for no apparent reason.

However, since I’m training for a race, I wanted to get an idea of how my pace stacks up. After a lot of hunting around, looking at different race results, I found that “winning times” vary greatly but I’m pretty close to a lot of them!  A lot of women my age seem to win races between 20 and 24 minutes.  Once I get my shoes and push myself a bit more, I think I can shave off a few minutes!

The other awesome (the most awesome, shall I say) part of my day included spending time with Sean.  He ever so kindly filled up my gas tank for me – I mean, really?! He fills it up for me every week. What makes me feel all gooey about this is not that he spends money on me, but rather the fact that he does it because he knows I’m stressed out about money. I’m telling you, Sean does a lot to alleviate the stress in my life! 

For dinner, we went to the Elephant Bar:

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(image from website)

This may give you an idea of how I felt about my soup:

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Devoured, aside from the salmon plank it came with.

Afterward, we walked around the mall and grabbed from coffee.  We are both seriously addicted.

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And yes, we have matching shirts. But my pony is bigger, haha.

We are now those people.

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