16 August 2011

Catching up

Wow, a lot has happened since I posted something on here.  I guess the most pertinent event for the general content of my blog is that I successfully completed the Fargo half marathon in May.  I hoped to finish in around 2 hours.  My official time was 2:11:51.  I went out a little fast (surprise) and basically survived the last 4 or 5 miles.  I thought I knew what sore legs felt like! 

While I was pleased to finish, it wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be.  When I started running barefoot back in 2010, what excited me most was my ability to go out and run without feeling tired or having any pain or discomfort other than muscle soreness.  In running the half marathon, I think I've found that my limit for that is about 8 miles.  I underestimated how tough those last miles would be.  It was frustrating to have to slow my pace that much and to finish quite a bit over my goal time.  I also felt a lot worse afterwards than I thought I would.  I thought my conditioning was where it needed to be to finish strong and recover quickly, but I was pretty miserable for a day or two afterwards.  All of that meant that I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to try to run another half marathon again.  I did it, and I'm proud that I ran 13.1 miles barefoot, but I wasn't sure it was something I ever wanted to do again.

So, after about a week off from running, I started getting ready for my next major running event: the Bonanza Valley Days 2 mile run.  It was fun to get back to running shorter distances, and I worked really hard to get faster.  I have a friendly competition going with a member of the parish.  We're the same age.  He only runs a couple times a year, while I obviously enjoy running more frequently.  He always wins, but it's fun to go out and compete and to push him to run as fast as he can.  He won again this year, but by only about 10 seconds.  I ran the two miles in just over 14 minutes, which put me in third place behind him and a guy who just graduated high school and went to state in cross country (he ran it in about 12 minutes).  Needless to say, I was pleased with how I ran.

Most of the rest of my July was spent on a youth mission trip to Florida, so not a lot of running happened in there.  I got back to running at the end of the month and first part of August, and I ended up running the 5k in a neighboring town this last weekend.  I didn't run it as strongly as I thought I could and finished just under 24 minutes, not bad, but not quite what I hoped to do. 

So, now I've got my eyes set on the Fargo Mini Marathon in October.  I'll be running the 10k again, and I'm really looking forward to it.  I ran it last year in 54:23, and I'm hoping to improve on that.  It'd be great if I could run it in under 50 minutes, but we'll see.  It's time to start working my mileage up again, so hopefully I can do that without any setbacks.  Finishing without pain or injury is always my first priority, so I'll run as fast as I can without damaging my body.  Again, that's what was so frustrating about the half marathon finish.  I like to run in a way that's life-giving to me.  I felt like at the end of the half marathon, I had beat myself up and tortured my body instead of doing something good for it.  It just wasn'

Having said that, when we registered for the 10k, it asked if we planned on running the marathon or half marathon in the spring.  We both said "yes" again to the half marathon, so I think I'll try it one more time.  I'm still refining my training techniques, so hopefully I can finish again, this time without beating my body up too badly.  It has finally settled my mind about one thing, however: I'm NEVER running a marathon.  Running 13.1 miles barefoot is enough...I'll leave anything more than that to the truly crazy...