March 24, 2012

First Run of 2012

I haven't run much this year.  That isn't a surprise to anyone that reads this blog.  I wish it wasn't that way and I am having a hard time "settling" on the fact that my life is too busy to find time to run.  I have been enjoying CrossFit immensely.  There is something addictive and energizing about the camaraderie of the group and the daily torture the WOD (workout of the day) presents.  I don't believe I will be giving it up anytime soon.  I have never felt so strong - even though I'm still the weakest of our morning group.

But, I decided this week I was getting back into running.  If there is a will, there is way...right?  I started the week off by going to the Tuesday night track group.  I didn't  plan on doing their workout....1 mile repeats?  Yeah, I don't think plan was to run 3 miles while pushing Brenna in the stroller and holding a reasonably easy pace.  Oh, and not dying...that was on my agenda as well.  It turned out pretty good.  The only hangup was that Brenna seemed to get restless at about every 3/4 mile.  So, I made a pit stop at every mile to refuel her with water and bunny graham crackers.  I'm pretty sure she liked the arrangement.  And I didn't die.  Score one for Amy.  I did CrossFit the rest of the week, taking Friday as my "day off" or my slacker day...(by the way, taking a day off in exercise is a whole other blog post...would I take a day off of brushing my teeth?  eating lunch?  why do people take a day off of being healthy?) 

I decided to end my week with a race.  My first one of 2012.  I knew I was in no "race shape."  Those days are far behind me....for this race, I just wanted to see what I could do given that I haven't run since mid-January or so.  And I wanted to see if CrossFit had made me any stronger...maybe strong enough to run a half-decent race time with little or no effort (I know...blasphemy...why run if you aren't going to put in any effort).  At any rate, I chose to run the Cherry Blossom Road Race.  It one of the final events of our two week celebration of all things Cherry Blossom.  Pink suit coats, pink hats, pink ice cream, pink trashcans, pink lines painted down the center of the downtown looks like one big vomit of Pepto Bismol for these two weeks.  But, I love every minute of it!  (Our little town has more Cherry Blossom trees than all of DC - think 300,000 trees for Macon versus a little over 4,000 for DC.  Yes, they are everywhere...and yes they are beautiful!)

The Cherry Blossom Road Race, during my short lifespan of running, has gone from a well-directed marathon and half-marathon, to a 5k and 15k, to a race that no one in their right mind would try and run...and now it has found new life by the fine folks at the Wesley Glen Ministries.  This is their second year taking over the race and they have taken it from 200+ participants, to well over 1200 for today's race.  It is phenomenal what happens when some mission-oriented people, with alot of passion and a little organization, get together.  I do believe it is now one of my local favorites!  It's a fairly easy course.  Starts with a climb but then levels out and is completely flat for 90% of the race.  There are a gajillion volunteers, plenty of water and snacks, music at the finish, bouncy places for kids to play, and my personal favorite aspect: all of the families and friends - otherwise non-or new runners - out there enjoying the day and getting healthy.  I was actually surprised at how few people I knew there.  I mean, it's been along time since I've been to a local race, but I was overwhelmed with the spirit of 1200 people trying to get healthy and trying to raise money for such a worthy cause.  It just made the day a little brighter!

I had two goals: finish in less than 30 minutes and don't walk.  I know this sounds trivial and something I shouldn't even be thinking about...two years ago I was inches away from breaking a 23 minute PR.  Let me be the first (or the 12th) to tell you: it's a lot harder to regain what I've lost then it was to get to 23 minutes in the first place.  So, those were my goals.  And I achieved them.  And I actually carried on a conversation with someone for the last 1/2 mile or so, which tells me I should have put alot more effort into the running part.

Oh, and I didn't die.  Score two for Amy.

I want to run again.  Not really to be healthy or active (I get enough of that from CrossFit), but just for the solidarity of it all.  I love a good solo run. I come up with my best blog posts when I'm out on a run.  I am able to clear my head and feel sane when I'm on a run.  I am hoping that today was the beginning of reuniting with my love for running! 

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