May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Run Happy 8k--2011

While I was in Indy earlier this month running my first half-marathon, my friend Jessica suggested that we run an 8k race on Memorial Day. When I got home, I registered for it.

Since running the half, the furthest I've run has been 3 miles. Today's run was 4.97 miles (8 kilometers). I was nervous, because I didn't really feel "ready" for it. Which sounds dumb, because I JUST ran a half marathon 3 weeks ago, but I haven't done much as far as training since then.

Last night, I was really regretting signing up for this race, but I already paid for it and I already got my race shirt--which I wouldn't feel entitled to wear if I didn't actually run the race! They gave us sweatshirts, which I think is awesome! I won't be wearing it any time soon though--it was 80 degrees and super muggy today.

Like the night before ANY race, I slept like shit. I was tossing and turning and when I did get some sleep, I was dreaming about all the things that could go wrong during the race. I don't know why I get so nervous... it's just running!

I finally got out of bed at 5:30, although I didn't have to leave until at least 7:30. I had all of my race stuff ready to go...

Running gear, ready to go
I stepped waaaay out of my comfort zone and decided to wear a tank top. I have NEVER in my life worn a tank top--seriously! I was super self-conscious of my arms when I was fat, and I'm super self-conscious of my arms now that they are very saggy from the weight loss (more on this later...) 

Jerry and my kids decided to actually go along with me and cheer me on at this race! A couple of my friends were going as well, so I just told them I'd meet them there and I rode with my family. When we got there, Jessica (my friend) was pulling in right behind us. We were a little early, so we watched the kids do the "fun run" which was 1-mile. I really tried to get my kids to do it, but they didn't want to (too shy).

We took a pre-race photo:

Me, Jessica, Tammy, and (I think) Trena (I just met Trena at the race)
Notice my lovely farmer's tan?  That's pretty much permanent. I've been wearing t-shirts for so long that I have a permanent tan line from them. We waited around until it was time to start the race. Tammy and Trena did the 5k at 9:00 and Jessica and I did the 8k, which started at 9:10.

Jessica and I stood at the start line together, but didn't plan on running together.  My only real expectation of this race was that I would finish. Lately, my pace has been terrible and I didn't feel ready for this, so I just wanted to finish.

Finally, the horn sounded, and we were off. The beginning annoyed me because everyone seemed like they were going so SLOW and I wanted to get around them... but there were a lot of people in groups and pairs, and the course wasn't very wide.

It wasn't feeling "easy" by any means--my lungs definitely were working hard--but I wanted to get comfortable with some space around me. The first mile was nice because it was right along Lake Erie. I saw a bunch of boats in the water and the marina. After about a mile, I was SO HOT. I hate running in the heat, and it was 80 and really humid today.

Normally, I don't need water during a run unless I'm going more than 10 miles or so. Well, at about mile 1.5, there was a water station, and I definitely needed it. I choked on the water because I was breathing so hard. I realized I had been running at an 8:30/mi pace, which I haven't done in a long time.

I decided to try and keep my pace under 9:00/mi for the whole race.  I was SO HOT though, and I was seriously looking for any of the 5k signs so that I could take a short cut and finish the 5k instead of the 8k--but they were two totally separate routes, so that wasn't an option ;)

We ran through a nice neighborhood, and I don't remember much about miles 2 and 3. During mile 4, we had to go on a trail through the woods. Well, the trail was ALL MUD due to all the rain we've had this Spring. I had horrible flashbacks of The Warrior Dash I did last year.  I couldn't run in it because I was sliding all over the place, so I basically had to tip-toe/hop my way through 1/3 of a mile of mud--which completely screwed any chance I had of keeping pace. My pace had shot down to 9:22/mile after that, so I decided just to run "comfortably".

Well, it is NOT comfortable to run in 80-degree weather with the sun beating down on you! The last mile was like torture. I was pouring sweat and I just wanted it to be over. The last stretch was on a high school track. When I got on the track, I saw Jerry and my kids waving to me. I waved to them as I ran by, and I finished in 47:23. (Average of 9:33/mi).

Just yards from the finish line

Jerry took this photo as I ran by him
Afterward, I was soooo thirsty. I gulped down some water and ate a banana. The kids wanted to leave right away, so that's what we did. All-in-all, I'm glad I did the race. I read on someone's blog recently (I can't remember who--tell me if it sounds familiar!) that she "has never regretted a run". That's awesome! I've certainly never regretted a run (well, except maybe The Warrior Dash, lol).
Me with my kiddos--Noah and Eli

I always take a pic of my Garmin after a race... dunno why!
***Now, I mentioned way up above that I'm super self-conscious of my upper arm flab. You can't really see how bad it is in any of these pictures--and I always cover my arms with shirts or shrugs or whatever. It's no secret that I have saggy skin after losing 125 pounds--I've mentioned it numerous times.

But a lot of people write me and say that I don't look like I have any saggy skin, that I look thin and that I look like I never used to be fat. I've always been too embarrassed to post a picture of my saggy skin (because who wants to look at THAT?!) but to keep my blog honest, I think I may post a picture.

But I don't want to taint this race report with a picture like that--because I want this post to be HAPPY in honor of the Run Happy race I just did :)  But I may make a post about it tomorrow, and show you that my skin is NOT in good shape.  Maybe I'll get REALLY daring and show you my thighs, too!  lol***

Our sweatshirts. And me, sans make-up, with pajama bottoms on:


  1. Congrats on the race! I think anytime you finish a race, regardless of time, it has to be a good race :) I've read most of your blogs here and on SP, I have to say, I'm one of the many who wonder where that saggy skin is that's supposed to be on your arms. Before I started my journey, my arms were huge, and now they're less huge, but already totally saggy and gross. I think you look great!

  2. Great job finishing....Jerry's pic of you is great.....and about the arm thing, it's ok for you to be self conscience.....we all are about something....if you wanna wear t-shirts go ahead....kudos to you for wearing a tank though!!!

  3. Oh Katie--If you wanta see saggy skin (which nobody does) you oughta take a gander at this 60-year old woman after a 172-lb. weight loss. It is horrendous! My hubby says I have at least 10-20 lbs. of excess skin. And it ain't pretty. Upper legs, upper arms, stomach, abdomen, chin/neck area (I really hate that last one, cause I can't hide it with clothes). I should take a picture of my flabby skin, but I could only send it to you privately--just to make you feel better about yours--I would never share that hideousness in public--it would gross everyone out!

  4. Congrats on the race & you ROCKED that tank!! :)

  5. aww katie you are too hard on yourself, you look adorable and the poses that you are in in the pics dont show any saggy skin.

  6. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    Wow - you have been such an inspiration to me!! I am also a runner but have a few questions for you. When you first started doing long distances did you ever have problems with your excess skin rubbing against each other and giving you a rash. I have been experiencing this lately especially when it is warm outside. Just wanted to know if you had any suggestions. Also do you take any boost drinks or shots when running long distances. Thanks so much for sharing your life with all of us.

  7. Great job you really motivate me!!!

  8. AnonymousJune 03, 2011

    I think your arms look great, but I totally get it. I have flabby arms... think popeye before the spinach, when the upper arm droops down. I can only imagine what will be left of them when I lose weight. I hope I will be able to finally bare them, but its hard to let go of a lifetime of insecurities. I hope you post the picture that you think shows everything, because I am certain you will find that your readers will not see all of the flaws that you see. I think it's human, or maybe American, for our eye to be drawn directly to our own flaws. Others don't see us as critically as we see ourselves. Maybe it would help to get some honest and positive feedback from an audience of upper arm sympathizers.
    flygirl557 on spark


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