Yesterday, I discovered a free prediction race on the Plano Pacers site. A prediction race is a race where you predict your finish time. The person who comes close to their predicted times wins. Oh, and no watches are allowed. It was a 5K (3.1 miles for those of you who don't know km to mile conversion) and you predicted your finish time. My friend CK came over and we carpooled to the Schimelpfenig library in Plano. We were actually running on the Chisholm Trail that had been pre-marked for our race. Chae is the pace setter in her running group (she actually trains runners and prepares them for races). I like to set my pace to be about 10 minutes per mile. It makes it for an easy jog. I know I could probably break the 9 minute mile speed, but I'm not trying to win any races, I'm just prepping to finish my big run. Anyway, I predicted 31:43. That's a 10 minute mile pace with a few seconds tacked on the end for stopping to drink water (Lord knows I can't run and drink). Don was pushing Mari in the stroller, and Chae would be ahead of me, setting the pace. I was exhilarated looking around at all the different people who'd shown up for the free event. How great is this?? I think I've found some running buddies! Anyway, we're all joking and laughing, and I'm totally mesmerized by the few little boys (we're talking less than 10 years old!) who are also lined up. They say go, and off we go.
I tried to linger in the back because I was certain there were going to be some people really pushing themselves. I know there are quite a few of them who seriously compete in these 5Ks. Anyway, I set off, fiddling with my mp3 player b/c I'm not getting adequate reception for NPR. OH well, I switch on over to my music. I know that I can listen to 3 songs in particular and at the end of the 3rd song, I should finish my run. I kept trotting off, and man were those mini hills brutal. Bleh! Last night was humid as all get out and I got about 6 mosquito bites. I was upset with myself with forgetting the bug spray. Anyway, I'm sweating like all get out, when I near the turnaround point. It was actually quite a beautiful scenic run. Especially with everyone else around me, I felt energy and I kept giving people the thumbs up for their effort. Many times, if you are running and you see that extra boost from someone else, you get a tiny burst of energy to fuel you to the top of the next hill. I enjoyed looking at the ducks and crossing over the bridges. I especially liked seeing Don across the pond, trucking along and pushing the baby. I hollered out to him, "Way to go Don!" He yelled something back, but I don't remember. Just hearing his voice gave me the tinglies. By this point, Chae was about a minute ahead of me. I thought I should probably attempt to catch up, but this race is about accuracy of your prediction and not a fast run. However, she's the pace coach, so maybe she's running the 10 minute mile and I'm off. I'd since taken off my mp3 player and just concentrated on getting in my head. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep running, just keep running....Over and over I hear Dori's voice and I switch from swimming to running here and there. I was feeling slightly winded, so I knew I was probably going faster than I thought, but maybe not because I'd not run on this many small hills before. All of my hills are big monster hills that last up to a mile.
I kick it in gear anyway, thinking I should put my best effort forward, regardless. I cross the line and he says, "29:27." WHAT????? Seriously, I was more than 2 minutes off. I know I sprinted a bit at the end, but no way. I was so mad at myself for thinking that Chae was really slowing her pace to 10 minutes. She comfortably runs at an 8:5 minute mile pace. Slowing to 9 minutes would be quite a feat as it is, but slowing to 10 would be like walking to her. The man who finished just before me proudly exclaimed, I was only off by 1 second. Jerk...I thought to myself. But really I was mad at my poor prediction skills. To cool down, I jogged to meet up with Don to help him finish strongly. He powered through to the end. I was so proud of him for not only finishing, but pushing Mari. That was the first time he'd gone that long while running and pushing her, I think. He was even further off of his prediction time than I was. He finished much, much faster than expected and I think he was quite pleased with the result. He has the Muddy Buddy at the end of October with our friend Will. Don proclaims that he is no runner, but I beg to differ. He's pretty good at runs less than 5 miles.
Anyway, I perched myself on the curb and did some stretches while we waited for all of the runners came through. The three of us were totally saturated, but it felt good. I reconsidered our run back to the house, only because it was too late to run 3 miles on the trail back home. Just not a good idea with such poor lighting. I promised Chae that we'd to the 2 mile loop around the neighborhood when we got home. Turns out, they gave out ribbons for the top 20 people who predicted their times. MAN!! I continued to beat myself up. I even teased Chae for being the worst ever pace setter. Not her fault. At least now I know. We were all feeling a little jealous because we didn't get a ribbon. They have another prediction run next month, so I'm definitely going to try that one again and get closer to my time.
When we got home, Don said that he'd prep the bottles and diapers and start on dinner and for me to go for the rest of my run. Chae and I did the 2 mile loop after all and were home in time to scarf some food down and she could play with Mari. I was feeling tired, but mostly sleepy tired. My body was wanting to exercise more. After Chae left, I did some more stretching while watching Fashion Rocks. Mari kept staring at the television, while balancing on her gym and would hop up and down to the music. She likes dancing and she likes music. Oh and for the first time yesterday, she ventured away from the living room and into the bedroom AND the den! Yes, I need to buy some more baby gates!
And as far as the running buddies, well, I'm totally committed. So starting tomorrow I'll be waking up at 4:45AM (yes, I know that used to be my bedtime!) and meeting up with them to run 6 miles. It's just under a mile for me to run to get there, so I'll run to meet up with them, run my 6 miles, and run another mile home. 8 miles in on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings and on Saturdays, they meet up at 7 and do 10 and/or 20 miles, depending on the group that you run with. This will be guaranteed 16 - 8-milers and 5 10 - 20-milers before my race. (a few of those Saturdays I have other runs scheduled and I'll be out of town, so no running with that crew). If you would've told me 5 years ago that I would be running this much I would've laughed silly! There's a part of me that still laughs silly while I'm running, thinking, what in the world am I doing????
But then this morning when I got dressed, I put on my white linen skirt. I bought this skirt in England 5 years ago. It was a bit snug, but I wore it. Then I got to be too heavy and nearly gave it away. Well, I was able to fit in it a couple of months ago, but it was still slightly snug. Well, today, I slipped it on and it is actually a tad loose. WOW! Running has really had an impact on me and I know I'll keep up with it for at least a couple of miles a week once I'm done training for the marathon.
oh, and sidenote: I attempted to blow dry my hair. I've not actually done that in ages. I saw youtube video on how to properly blow dry my hair. Yes, yes, I know how old I am. I know this is something I should probably be more than skilled at, but I'm not. I have crazy thick hair and it takes an hour to dry!! I'd bought my fancy schmancy blowdryer months and months ago. Everyone who has stayed the night has used it and said how great it was, and why hadn't I used it yet. Simple: I didn't know how to really dry my hair. According to the video, I had all of the necessary tools. Round brush, heat serum, blow dryer sans accessories. I did what it said, and 15 minutes later my hair was dry. AMAZING. Now it still looked like an over puffed mess, but not like it used to once upon a time. I just wrapped it up in a long scarf for it to set over night. This morning, when I took the scarf away, I had va-va-voom hair. (my hair is never one to not have volume, except for those few months when I lost a lot of it post-partum, but it's back now) If I had the time to put curlers in it, I would have some sassy fabulous hair! Whoooo...eat your heart out professional hair stylist. But seriously, I think I'm going to grow it a little bit longer. I'm itching ot make a cut, but instead, I'm goingt opt for a trim and add some color. Eva Mendes is my hair hero. Love her, love her hair! This is my inspiration. I have about 4 more inches of growing to do and then I'll be there.