Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weekly Thoughts

Life has been busy and full lately, but I've had little time to sit down and put a cohesive post together. So, today, I'll share with you some of my many random thoughts.

1. It is cold. Like I feel like we're in the Antarctic cold (Yes, I know that's an exaggeration.) I did a segment on a local radio show this morning and left my house earlier than usual, and when I pulled out of the garage, my car said "Ice 19 degrees." That is cold.

2. I ordered our Christmas cards this week. And I'm super excited about them. I've used the past few years and love the quality, so I went with them again this year.

3. Kaden cracks me up. Kevin said they were talking about how even when they grow up, they'll do fun things together like go hunting and fishing and watch football and Kaden said just as serious as anything, "and our wives will run with Anna." I love it!

4. I've done more Christmas shopping this past week than I ever have before Thanksgiving. It's been good, too. We just need to start wrapping as we buy instead of spending hours at a time frantically wrapping closer to Christmas.

5. I've really been enjoying reading lately. I used to read books a lot, but then life happened and there are only so many free minutes in a day and so books didn't happen, but lately, I've been finding (or making) some time to read and I've been enjoying it. I'll share my latest books in a separate post.

What random things are you thinking on this cold Wednesday morning?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A 10K course record and how I deal with cold-weather running

It was freezing this weekend and I had a race. By freezing I mean it was about 34 degrees at the start of the race. That's cold, especially when it was in the high 60's and 70's only two days before!

I ran the Honda Turkey Trot this weekend. It's always a fun race and it benefits our local food bank. There is a 10K at this race, so I signed up for that. I don't have many opportunities to run 10K's locally, so I jump at the chance to run them when I can.

I really should get another pullover to wear for racing in the winter. I feel like I wear this one (or a similar one that's practically the same color) for every winter race. We just really don't have that many races in the frigid temperatures.

I'm certainly not an expert on running in the cold, but I've found that I need to keep my chest bundled up, my ears covered, and gloves on to perform my best.  For this race, I wore my Reebok pants (I love them - they are so comfortable and warm), a Nike Dri-Fit long sleeve tee, and my Nike Dri-Fit jacket. This jacket is really warm and it has a hood if I need it. I usually unzip it during the race, but not on Saturday. I also wore my Nike ear band. I love this. If my ears are cold, it's just not happening. I can't stand for my head, but especially my ears, to be cold when I run. I also wore a pair of gloves. Though I have running gloves, I really like my $3 gloves from Old Navy, so I usually wear those.

About 10 seconds after we got started and the wind was blowing crazy, I pulled on my hood and wore it to the halfway point.

The race started out really well. Lately, I've been focusing on not starting too fast on the 10K. I have a tendency to start it just as fast as a 5K which doesn't always bode well at the end. I like to start out around a 6:50 pace and then build. During this race, I just ran how I felt. I wasn't in the front of the pack like normal at the start of the race, but by mile 1, I was only a few runners back from the top male.

My friend Jimmy was running the 10K as well, and by mile 1, I was with him. He's really fast, so I decided I'd stay with him through the race and didn't bother looking at my watch until mile 4.

The first half of the race was great, even though it was freezing. I seriously felt like my face was gotten to be frost bitten. The second half of the race was good, but it was more challenging as we ran the last 3.1 miles facing the wind. Even still, at the 4 mile mark I was just at 27 minutes, so I knew I had the chance to break my record on this course (43:01 from last year) which was my goal.

During the last half mile or so, I pulled off my ear band and took off my gloves. I looked at my watch and knew that I was going to break my record (which turned out to be the course record). Jimmy and I ran across the finish line together at 42:10. Not bad with all the wind! I was really happy with my time. I think I could've broken 41 minutes had the wind not been so bad (the course also measured nearly .10 long).

I finished as the top female and fourth overall. I won an awesome (even though it's not exactly beautiful) trophy of stacked canned goods with a turkey on top, a "Run Like a Turkey" medal hanger, and $100 for breaking the course record I set last year. I was really happy with my time and the way I ran. And it was a great way to end my last 10K race of the year!

All of the runners above go to my church. We all won some kind of award which was cool!