A couple of running firsts

by Kim on May 6, 2013

I hate to risk boring you to tears by talking about the weather, but when you live in the Midwest, spring is a BIG. DEAL.

It was a beautiful weekend here—low 70’s and partly sunny (aka the best running weather you can ask for).

Every year, I’m startled by how early these things bloom:

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The first time I see them, I always think, “What is that—PINK? In NATURE??”

Saturday morning, I volunteered at a kids’ triathlon that’s run by a friend of mine. Her organization is called Tri 4 Schools, and she reroutes 100% of the race entry fees back into schools to help boost their nutrition and phys ed programs. It’s basically awesome.

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I was a body marker (writing kids’ bib numbers on their arms for the swim), so I was technically done with my job before the race even started. I stuck around for a little bit of the race itself, but I didn’t want to monopolize a spectator spot and get in the parents’ way, so I ended up heading home a little early.

Mason spent the majority of his waking hours over the weekend outside, engaging in his favorite activity of all time: car watching.

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He’s suddenly walking unassisted really well now, which is perfect timing—watching him crawl around in shorts on hard cement or wet grass was making me cringe. Still, I anticipate that laundry is going to be much more of a hassle starting now (and ending about 20 years from now).

Personally, I had two major firsts of my own over the weekend:

–First outdoor run of the year. I could have gotten out sooner, obviously, but I’m a huge baby about running in the cold, and we’ve had a lot of that it-might-downpour-at-any-second kind of weather lately, which I don’t trust.

20130505_140812This is part of my entry to the “Greasest Hair on the Planet” competition.
I think I have an excellent shot.

–First Garmin run. EVER. Ohhh, man. It was awesome. I can’t believe I haven’t owned one of these for all these years.

This was the only ever-so-slightly crappy part:

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No more rocketing out my front door, straight into my run. (Why aren’t all electronics on earth instantaneous and flawless???…I often wonder.)

On a positive note, waiting for the GPS to kick in forced me to do some stretching, which—confession—I otherwise tend to be pretty lazy about.

I was supposed to be doing an easy (slow and steady) long run, but there were two problems:

Problem 1: It was my first outdoor run of the year. In case you aren’t sure why that’s a problem, allow me to explain via an embarrassingly rudimentary Paint illustration:

First Run

Possibly one of the most amateur things you can do in a race or long run is to start out too fast, sacrificing gobs of energy in the first mile. I know that.

But when you’re emerging from months and months of treadmill runs in a windowless basement, the complete, unbridled euphoria and lack of control that come along with being outside again are pretty much inevitable.

Problem 2: The watch kept heckling me. I had my 10K goal pace programmed into it, and had it set to pester me when I was off pace. Well, mission accomplished.

At first, as I was soaring along on the First-Outdoor-Run High, it kept flashing “Above pace,” and I was like, “Huh! This speed isn’t bad at all. That 10K will be a cinch.”

Of course, around mile 2, the high started wearing off, the hills started going up instead of down, the wind picked up, and I kept getting slower and slower and slower. By mile 3, I was squarely in the “Below pace” zone, where I stayed for the rest of the run. Positive splits for the win.

runningConfession: this picture is from last year.
But I happen to be wearing the same shirt, so I thought maybe you’d buy it.

Anyway, it was still a lot of fun. I did 6 miles, set a new record on my Garmin (haha), and put in some solid work on my new Watch Tan. Other highlights included:

Running on a new path. Pre-Garmin, I always had to plan out my running routes in advance (I used mapmyrun.com), and I couldn’t include paths. Also, this one was just far enough away that I’d never venture all the way out there on a non-mapped “for fun” run. Life with a Garmin is already SO much easier.

Not having to use the bathroom in a whole hour of running. I was really worried about this. It’s something I’ve had major problems with since giving birth, to the point where I saw the doctor about it (I’m considering blogging about that—trying to decide whether it’s TMI). The route I ended up taking didn’t go past a SINGLE public bathroom, so I spent a lot of time plotting emergency plans in my head (the trees in the forest were still a little too bare to hide out in, but yes, I considered it). Luckily, I didn’t need them, and the confidence booster was huge.

Rediscovering the MotionTraxx running mix I used for marathon training in 2010. I’d completely forgotten how AWESOME these are. They’re timed to a certain BPM and include little words of encouragement from the DJ. (“Ok. If you’ve stayed on pace, you’re coming up on the 3 mile marker. The next few songs are pretty intense—don’t let them overpower you. Instead, take that energy and make it yours.”) Sounds cheesy, but when you’re in that mindset, it makes perfect sense.

When I got home, I was elated. Being outside again felt so good. I was a solid 10 minutes over my goal time, but I couldn’t have cared less. I wasn’t supposed to be racing, anyway.

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging with my boys outside.

IMG_3310This is the Greasiest Hair Ever PLUS a run (pre-shower).
I can’t believe I’m even showing it to you.

IMG_3293Haha. Looks like it’s hitting him, but it’s not.

We ended the day with Papa Murphy’s pizza (I was STARVING) and a movie. Perfect little Sunday.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Erika May 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I’m so thankful the weather is finally nice enough to run outside without having to bundle up in layers. The fresh air feels so good!

I was just thinking/complaining about the having to go to the bathroom thing this morning while I was working out. I never had to stop during a workout before having a kid and now I seem to go before, during and after!

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Kim May 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Yep. Even if I don’t really have to go “that bad,” the constant urge is annoying. Ughh :)

And yes, thank goodness for spring!!

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Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness May 7, 2013 at 11:14 am

Oh you have a walker now. Good luck, my friend! That’s all I’m gonna say! Well, that and maybe stock up your wine rack. Walking toddler boys are… “exciting!” :) Honestly, they are a ton of fun. They just give you cardiac arrest like 2x a day.

I think you should post about having to pee after having a baby – I deal with it too and it’s one of my anxieties about running my first full in… oh shit less than 2 months (HOW IS IT LESS THAN 2 MONTHS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!). I think a lot of women deal with having to plan routes around bathrooms or pack baby wipes after you learn the hard way in the woods that leaves are scratchy. Hey, *I’d* be excited about a peeing post!
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Kim May 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Ok, that’s one vote for the peeing post. And if I write it, I might just have to call it The Peeing Post. :)

Hope your marathon training’s going well! At least for the race itself, you’ll hopefully have access to some portas.

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Katie @ Daily Cup Of Kate May 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm

I stumbled upon your blog on healthylivingblogs.com and saw you were from Madison also! I just recently started a blog as a creative outlet and would love to chat some time! P.S. I just bought a Garmin 10 as well, and love it!

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Kim May 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Hey Katie! Nice to “meet” you! :) Heading over to your blog now!

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Katie @ running4cupcakes May 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm

I like running with my garmin . . but I always turn it upside down and sound off. And run my run like a normally would. but, if i am ever curious about pace or how far I have run, I can always just turn and look at it, but it doesn’t interfere with my run. . . well other than at the begining – locating satellites is a huge pain!

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Kim May 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Good idea. It’s definitely harder to just run casually when you have this thing egging you on. :)

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Kim May 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm

After reading this I’m convinced I need a Garmin – awhile back I told my husband that maybe I wanted one for Mother’s Day then I changed my mind (a couple of times!).
Sounds like a fun run!
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Kim May 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I’m really loving mine so far, but I know some people find it distracting. At least I finally have one to use in races!

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Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome May 6, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Yay for first out door run and new blooms! I love those flowers! They smell so good :-) I do the same thing all the time as far as starting out too fast and getting off pace. Especially when I’m running in a race!
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Kim May 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

It’s soo hard not to!

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