Sunday, June 10, 2012

Big Weekend

It was a big weekend for me.

Seth and I started it off on Friday night with a lovely dinner out with Maddy and Dave at the Lumber Yard in Amherst. The restaurant is closing for the season at the end of next week, and we wanted to enjoy one last meal. It was a lovely time with friends!

On Saturday, we were up and out early for a trip to Northampton. Seth had a10:30 haircut with our stylist, Marisol, at Salon Herdis.While Seth was getting getting his haircut, I want looking around at sneakers.

My new Nike Free 3.0s are not quite as large in the toe box as my original Nike Free Runs. Unfortunately, they have been giving me quite a lot of blisters. I has assumed they would be a good fit because of my success with my Nike Free Runs, and bought them online without trying them on. (I couldn't find them anywhere locally.) Clearly a bad move to not try on the shoes first.

I ended up at Western Village Ski and Sports. There I was able to find New Balance Minimus Road running shoes. I loved that they were minimalist, just like my Nikes. They are not as flexible on the bottom, but the space in the front is ideal. I am excited to try them at the gym.

I'll continue to use my Nike Free Runs for running outside. But our gym does not like us to use our outside shoes on the machines, so it will be good to have a second pair. I will use my Nike Free 3.0s for walking and just general use.

After the shoe purchase, Seth and I met up with Sarah and her fiance who were in town picking up her wedding ring. We had a quick bubble tea at, my favorite place, LimeRed Tea House. Delicious!

Seth and I then headed up to Bernardston to see his brother, Scott. Scott owns a professional recording studio, Rainbow Sounds. For a project, he was looking for some children to sing some songs. I have a youthful though terrible singing voice. Scott told me my lack of talent would not be a problem. (I know that this is the case only because Scott is so talented.)

Here I am in the recording booth!

Today, there was even more excitement. I decided to compete in my first ever road race. Dave was doing the 4.8 mile, Lake Wyola Road Race. I decided to try and have this be my first race. The mileage was perfect -- right around what I had been running for the past few weeks at the gym

I started the day with a ultra-healthy nutrition shake to power me up for the day.

Seth and I then drove around thirty minutes to Lake Wyola in rural Shutesbury. The race start time was 10:30 a.m. for runners, but I wanted to get there early because I didn't pre-register. We got there around 9:30, and registration was a snap. It took just a minute. I got my number pinned to my shirt, and was ready to go.

We hung out for a while. At 10:00 a.m. the walkers started. Shortly there after, we lined up -- I was a bit nervous. I decided to put myself at the very back of the group. I am a novice. I usually run a 10:30 - 11:00 minute mile. Perfectly serviceable, but I knew that some people ran this course in under 30 minutes.

The race is a loop course. The website for the race had mentioned that the race began with a a challenging hill. I was a little worried, but not overly concerned. After all, I reasoned, I live in Echo Hill. I run on hills every day.

Announcements were made and we were off. Maddy and Seth cheered us on from the start line with signs Maddy had made. 

The first mile went well. It was a little hilly, but I felt like I was ready for it. Because I started in the back, I was passing people. It was great for my esteem. Also, the hills were quite manageable. I thought, "If the hills keep like this, I am good to go." 

Right after mile one things started to get a bit dicey. We were jogging up a steep incline. People began to slow to a walk. I kept on running but at a much slower place. I was running a 11:30 minute mile and seriously huffing. I am in very good cardiovascular health, and this was one of the hardest things I had ever done. 

We'd been running up hill for almost a mile. I took a brief one minute walk to collect myself, and then powered back up. I kept running, albeit at a reduced pace. Around half a mile later, the hill was even steeper. "I am not going to make this," I thought. I started walking again, this time for only thirty seconds. I couldn't imagine there was much hill to go. 

Fortunately around mile 2.5 (maybe a little before) we turned off the pavement onto a dirt road. "It's all down hill from here!" said a helpful race coordinator.

I kept running, at my normal 10:45 minute mile pace. I was going down hill and catching my breath. I felt better soon -- I can recover pretty quickly (probably because of all the HIIT I do). I increased my pace to around a 10:00 - 10:30 minute mile. 

The down hill part was quite steep, almost as much as up hill. Now, people were passing me, but I kept my pace even. I didn't want to go too fast and be unsafe. I like to be in very good control (and easy on the knees) when I run down hill. I kept my core tight and my pace even. 

The course evened out briefly, and I took the opportunity to do a brief one minute walk, just to give my legs a slight break. I usually run with a walking interval of a minute every twenty minutes or so, so this was part of my race plan. I kept going feeling pretty good. 

At mile four, I knew I had only a little ways to go, but I was tired. I wanted to to walk -- I took a brief thirty second rest before my mind said, "Come on! You can do this!" I kept thinking positive and kept going.

Around half a mile away from the finish line I was going pretty well. Dave came up to join me for the last bit and made me feel very motivated. I increased my speed. 

I could hear the people cheering at the end of the race. I rounded the last bend and ran as fast as I could the last quarter mile to the finish line! Seth and Maddy had made me signs of congratulations -- how exciting.

I checked my Nike+, which I used to track my run on my iPhone, and found I had completed the race in 50 minutes! I had thought, originally I'd take 55 minutes if the hill wasn't bad and a hour if it was. The hill was horrible, and I had still finished five minutes better than I thought. I was so happy!

After the race there was lots of great fruit, pastries, and water / Gatorade. I had a lovely cider doughnut and three glasses of water. I hadn't drank during the race because that upset my stomach. 

While we wanted to see the results, things were taking quite a while, and I knew my time and that I didn't place. Seth and I had a ton to do at the house, so we headed out. 

I can't wait until they post the ranking on the website to see how I rank in the over 120 people who ran. I'm wondering if I'll be in the double or triple digits. Either way, I am happy with my time, and had a lot of fun. I definitely want to check out another (maybe flatter) race soon!


Laura said...

Congrats Nicole! What an accomplishment!

mel said...

Great job! I'm proud