My First 15K, and my ode to BGSD

Last Sunday I did my first 15K. If you’re thinking about doing the jump from 5k to 15k let me give you one piece of advice: train!

I had signed up with the intentions of using it as a goal in the gym and as motivation to train more regularly. Needless to say I did not. I finished the race, and even finished it under my goal, but then I was in such pain I barely moved from a recumbent position for 2 days. It’s 3 days on and I’m still hobbling around like I left my walker at home, but at least I’m vertical now.

The race was the Mini Heart 15K. You may remember I was also signed up to do the 5K directly afterward with Dad. That was my goal: to finish the 15K in the 3 hours so I was in time to start the 5K with Dad. Well he ended up not doing his race due to knee issues. I finished my race at 2 hours and 38 minutes. After getting my medal, my “free” water and banana I had 10 minutes grace before the 5K was due to start. So, in theory, I could have done it with him. Since I was already regretting the horrible life decision of doing a 15K without any training I opted not to compound the issue and didn’t do the 5K either. If Dad had been there I think I could have managed and pushed through it but he wasn’t and I was already fantasizing of my bed and Tylenol so why torture myself?

As you can see from my stats above I didn’t finish last, though I wasn’t far off. Not sure why my tracking app went crazy and thought I did 19 miles, but you can see where I actually started walking and my average of minutes per mile. Also, take note of that little tail of street we went up and back down. That little tail was someone’s idea of a not-so-hilarious joke I think. “Oh? They’ve been running for 7 miles already? Let’s throw in a super steep hill when they’re already exhausted! That’d be super fun!” Oy vey…

Also, not going to lie. As the minutes ticked by I got more and more pissed off at the tall people! One stride equaled 3 of mine! They’re just casually sauntering down the street while I look like Richard Simmons on crack speed walking.

The only reason I attribute finishing before my goal was because of Bright Green Shirt Dude, and so consider this my ode to BGSD.

As I was nearing the 2 mile mark I noticed my speed was not what it should have been. I was already getting lapped by old dudes pushing strollers. Then I noticed BGSD just ahead of me. He was just jogging away, a steady speed, never slowing or speeding up, just slowly plodding along. He jogged straight for the first 4.5 miles without stopping. I was very impressed. Once I noticed him and his steadfastness I decided to use him as my pace person. As long as he was within eyeshot I was okay. I’d jog for a bit to catch up every now and again, but for the most part I was able to keep up with him the entire time. Near the finish line he pushed ahead and full out ran, losing me in the process. You can see his neon loveliness crossing the finish line off in the distance in the photo above. I had intended on hugging him at the finish line and telling him how he got me through the race, kept me moving and honest, kept me from quitting. He was too far in front of me though and I had no energy left to do a huge last push like he did. So shoutout to the glorious BGSD: you rock and thank you!

Compare my face at the start line to the finish line. At the start line I looked hopeful, although resigned to a not-so-fun task. At the finish line I just look pained. You might also notice the lack of headphones at the finish line. That’s because right after I took my “before” photo I realized that my headphones were dead. With only 10 minutes left I didn’t have enough time to run back to the car and get my other pair so I had to do the whole thing in silence, with the occasional spurt of music from the volunteers’ cars and other runners who were listening to music with just their phones/ no headphones. I didn’t want to be that person to force my music on other people. I tend to exercise to old blues mixed with some newer stuff. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

I’m glad I did it, and super glad and proud that I finished it, but I could have made better decisions surrounding my first 15K.

Lessons learned:

-Train beforehand!

-wear gloves when it’s 45 degrees out and you’re running by the river. My hands were freezing!

-make sure your wireless headphones are charged the night before

– and train beforehand!

Now to apply my newly learned common sense lessons towards preparing for the Flying Pig 10K…

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Racing Craziness

So in my last post I mentioned that I’ve registered for a bunch of races already this year. I thought I’d forward the information on them, in case anyone was interested in joining me or cheering me/Dad on, or just donated to the charities the races support.

On March 10th I’ll be “running” in the Mini Heart 15K by myself at 730, and then if I finish in time I’ll be doing the 5K race with my Dad at 1030. If after both of those I’m not completely dead, I might join my coworkers in the 5K walk at 1230. I don’t really see myself finishing the 15K in time to do the 5K with Dad though. 3 hours to do 15k when I haven’t come close to doing that much in one go yet is a hard ask, but we’ll see. I’ve been trying to train to increase my endurance but so far I haven’t really been doing it as fervently as I probably should.

The Mini Heart raises money for heart disease and stroke awareness, education, and research. Due to my Mom’s stroke 6 years ago this race is close to my heart (pun intended!). If you’d like to donate under my team’s name here’s the link: http://www2.heart.org/site/TR?fr_id=4003&pg=personal&px=8898565  When you click on the link it’ll take you to a generic profile page for me/my team. I’ll totally admit I’m too lazy to personalize it with a custom photo and text and such.

On May 4th I’m running the Flying Pig 10k. As of right now Dad isn’t registered for that race yet. He’s debating the 10K with me vs the 5k again. The Flying Pig benefits many charities that you can donate directly to, even if you don’t register to participate or volunteer. Here’s the link for their donation page: https://raceroster.com/events/2019/19341/cincinnati-flying-pig-marathon-weekend-2019/fundraising-organizations   If I had to push you towards any one in particular it would be for Cincinnati Children’s. My girls both were born with congenital hypothyroidism, which basically means they weren’t born with functioning thyroids. Because of this they’ve been frequent flyers at Children’s their entire lives. Plus Phoebe was in their NICU for 10 days after they were born. I can’t say enough nice things about them.

If you’re interested in actually registering or volunteering for the event here’s their main page: http://flyingpigmarathon.com/

Last year Dad and I ran their 5k and even though it was fairly crowded it was very enjoyable, hence why I upped the ante this year. I’m also planning on being a medical volunteer in one of their medical tents, that is once they open the medical volunteer signups.

And last but not least, on June 8th I’m doing the Miles for Migraine 10K. Miles for Migraine is a nonprofit organization with the mission of improving the lives of migraine patients and their families, raising public awareness about headache disorders, and helping find a cure for migraine. As I’ve talked about before, I am a chronic migraine sufferer. It affects my life on a daily basis. I’m usually pretty good at hiding its affects from others, but not always. Not only does this organization work towards research around migraines and potential cures but through raising public awareness they’re working towards decreasing the social stigma that’s often associated with it. Here’s the link if you’d like to donate to their cause: https://raceroster.com/events/2019/21350/miles-for-migraine-cincinnati-2019?aff=TA7EZ

I have few other races I’m thinking about doing later in the year, but I haven’t committed to any as of yet. When and if I do I’ll keep you guys posted!

 

I’m Normal?!? (and the Mini Heart 5K walk)

screenshot_20180320-0932491289093212.pngRecently I had my yearly health screening for my work insurance. They take some blood, your weight, waist circumference, and then give you a basic lecture on being healthier. If you fall out of any of the norms for the categories you have to jump through hoops to “earn” the points back to receive your HSA money. This is the first year ever that not only have I been in the norms for all the categories they award points for but that my waist circumference was within normal range! The lady who was giving me the mini lecture was going on about how they would like my weight to be closer to the normal range for my height, not realizing/ knowing my history. Meanwhile I’m internally jumping for joy!

Above I’ve included a chart of my health screenings from years past and a few extra values from blood draws for the weight loss management office, just to show the trends.

So looking at the numbers my blood pressure has improved, not that it was bad before, as well as my cholesterol, HDL, and LDL. Pretty much everything! The couple that haven’t improved have been consistent, neither going up or down for the most part.

So why do we care about the size of our waists and such? The website that explains the reasoning behind the categories lists them as follows: “Waist circumference helps assess your risk for chronic diseases that are associated with overweight and obesity. An excess of body fat, especially abdominal fat, increases your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.Glucose, or blood sugar, is the body’s primary source of energy. When there’s too much sugar in your diet, or your body isn’t efficient at using it for fuel, blood glucose levels can rise. This can eventually lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood used by the body for energy. While you need some triglycerides, too much can raise your risk of heart disease.HDL Cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps to remove “bad” cholesterol (LDL) from the bloodstream, lowering your risk for heart disease. HDL Cholesterol that is too low may increase your risk for heart disease.”

One way to raise your HDL is through exercise. I like that you can see quantitatively the change in the numbers as I started working out from 1 month post-op.  You can also see my food funerals reflected in my triglycerides and cholesterol values for the pre-diet numbers.

 

This past Sunday my Dad and I joined some of my coworkers and 27,000 of our closest friends at the Mini Heart 5K Walk downtown. Over the course of the day there was a half marathon, 5K race, 5K walk, 1K steps for stroke, and 1K kids run. Last I heard about 3 million dollars was raised for heart disease and stroke research and education.

The walk wasn’t a timed race but of course I couldn’t not figure out our time. We finished it close to 1 hour and 14 minutes. That was walking at a leisurely pace around people that were truthfully walking quite slow. Dad even got frustrated a couple of times at the lack of speed of the people walking in front of us. Still, all things considered we were only 10 minutes slower than our finish time for the Thanksgiving 5K, which is really good! Since it’s gotten cold we haven’t really done any training and this was the first course we’ve done with hills. Not too shabby.

Our next challenge is the Flying Pig 5K in May. Dad now has a fire under his butt to train more for it, not only to improve his speed but to improve his recovery time from it. He was a bit sore after Sunday. I was thinking of trying to completely run, or run as much as I can. I’m curious just how fast my time could be. Though I don’t want to leave Dad to walk on his own. We need to find someone willing to walk with him so I can run off.

The Saturday before the Mini Heart there was a health expo at the convention center downtown that I went to. They had booths from all the specialties within healthcare with free screenings, as well as booths from the different running stores selling their wares and booths from future marathons/runs. There was a couple future events that caught my eye, one in particular. There’s a local canoe rental place that’s putting on a tough mudder of sorts. 40 obstacles with mud over 10K on their property. Crazily I think it sounds super fun! I just need to find someone to do it with me so we can keep each other motivated. Dad is not the least bit interested, which I don’t really blame him. Any takers?? Bueller??