May 03, 2016

Track Tuesday

On my TimeHop today, I was reminded that it was seven years ago since my infamous "before" photo was taken during the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon. I can't believe it's been seven years! I walked that half-marathon with a time of 3:51, which earned 29,458th place out of 30,280 finishers. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good throughout that race--MUCH better than I had the year before, despite being 40 pounds heavier. I had trained for it, which made a big difference.

Anyway, I kept that outfit--the blue shirt and black pants that I'd bought especially for that race, so that I could look good in my photos ;) Hahaha, I was horrified with my photos from the year prior, so I wanted to have photos I was proud of. Instead, when I saw the race pics, I nearly died on the spot. I couldn't BELIEVE that the girl with the blue shirt was me! Was I seriously that big? As a size 24, I didn't see myself as that large--I thought I probably looked like I was a size 16 or 18. But the race pics confirmed what I just wasn't able to see.

Today, I thought it would be fun to take some photos in "the outfit" for comparison's sake:

I wanted to try and post like I was for that photo, but I couldn't let go of my pants, because they would fall right down to my ankles. I had to hold them up. I can easily fit both of my legs into one pant leg, and the shirt is twice my width. I'm so glad that I saved those clothes! They really make me realize how far I've come. They used to FIT me--the shirt is a size 3XL and the pants are a 2XL. It was fun to see the pictures :)

When Jerry came home from work this morning, he was kind of excited and said that he saw a beaver at the end of our street (it had recently been hit by a car, so it was dead). I asked, "You mean a woodchuck?" because I'm 34 years old and I've never seen an actual beaver in my life. Jerry insisted it was a beaver, and even showed me a picture he took of it on his phone.

When he was driving by, he thought, "What in the world is that?" because it was huge--much bigger than the usual raccoons or possums that we see here all the time. He pulled over, and at the same time, another man going the opposite direction pulled over to check it out as well. They were both shocked to discover that it was a beaver! They moved it out of the road (it was about 50-60 pounds--not exactly something you want to leave in the middle of the road).

I started reading online about them, because I was really curious about it being here. Apparently, beavers used to be endangered because they were trapped for their fur; but they've been making a big comeback, and they're all over the place now. I had no idea.
I was really sad that it was dead, but I think it's kind of cool that we have beavers living in front of our house now. Ever since the DNR flooded the land across from our house, we've seen a lot of wildlife showing up--turtles, frogs, geese, ducks, and now beavers. (There is a family of geese living on the dike--there are six goslings, and they're adorable! The mom and dad get very angry whenever I run by them, haha)

After my 10K last month, I cut my speed work back to once a week--just for maintenance. I like doing my speed work on Tuesday, for some reason, and today I decided to do intervals. It was super foggy this morning when I drove Noah to school, so instead of running on the roads (and risk getting hit by a car), I chose to head to the high school's outdoor track. The last time I did speed work on the track was in October 2014!

I ran a mile warm-up, and as I was running, I was wondering if I ran as fast as I could, what my mile time would be. I don't think I've ever run a mile as fast as I can, because it just seems so torturous! I was debating doing that instead of the 5 x 400's I had planned on. As I was rounding the fourth lap of my warm-up, I remembered that I'd already set up my Garmin for the intervals, so I decided just to stick with the original plan. One day, though, I'd like to run a mile at all-out effort just to see what I could do. According to McMillan's calculator, and based on my 10K time, I could run a mile in 6:48. A sub-7 mile?! That just seems crazy. My fastest recorded mile is 7:36, which was part of a 5K run.

I definitely did the first interval too fast today, because I was unsure if I could even continue after that! Haha, I felt spent. For recovery, I walked 300 meters, then jogged 100, and then started the next interval. I was hoping for a pace between 6:40-7:00 for my intervals, but I didn't look at my pace at all during the workout. It was tough, and I was glad I was only doing five intervals!

My splits ended up being 1:36, 1:42, 1:41, 1:39, and 1:42 (which translates to a pace of 6:26, 6:49, 6:47, 6:37, and 6:50). I was thrilled with these!

It's kind of interesting--I went back and read about my last track workout, which was in October 2014. It was the same workout that I did today, but my pace was MUCH slower. My pace back then was 8:20, 7:45, 7:56, 7:53, 7:48, and that was giving it my all out effort. Average pace in October 2014 for these splits on the track was 7:56; today, it was 6:41! I'm kind of stunned at the improvement--and that workout in 2014 was before I got injured, which shows just how out of shape I'd gotten.

Anyway, I'm going to alternate doing an interval workout with a tempo run every week--so next week, I'll do a tempo, and then the following week, I'll do another track workout. That way, I'm not always doing the same thing and I'll hit different paces. Other than those, I'll be doing a lot of low heart rate running. I'm curious to see what happens in the summer! My heart rate is always higher in the heat, so my pace will probably get slower as it gets hotter; but I'm looking forward to running nice and easy throughout the summer, because I'm not training for anything in particular.


  1. I know you don't want to train for anything right now (and probably especially not anything long), but I bet that you could now run a full marathon in the time it took you to run that Indy half :) Just sayin.

  2. If you have trees on your property you might want to cage the bottoms so the beavers don't chew them down.

  3. AnonymousMay 04, 2016

    Wow! What a reminder of how far you've come! I had a pair of pants in my closet that were my goal pants. I wore them yesterday and they were loose! I still have a hard time believing I'm actually fitting into them. Just reached the five Pound below goal weight today, I wanted that buffer. Now for the task of trying to figure out maitainence! Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  4. AnonymousMay 04, 2016

    By us they have a bunch of 1 mile races each year, you should see if they have one by you and do that. We have quite a lot of super fast people around here so many of the times are sub 5 ?!?!?! Crazy right??

  5. Glad you kept the clothes: I love comparison photos! I'm glad you made the comment about your heart rate being higher in the heat. I've been heart rate training since Jan (80/20) and notice that heat affects my heart rate as well as nutrition (mostly if I haven't eaten enough before a run, my body runs out of steam and my heart rate is higher than I'd expect). Good to know I'm not alone!!

  6. Love the picture in the "before" clothes. I too kept my "before" picture outfit. Only my clothes were Size 5X, at 328 lbs. I filled them out nicely, and often worried what I would do when (and it was just a matter of time I knew) I gained weight, because 5X is about as big as clothes come and you have to mail-order those! I never want to forget how I felt when those clothes fit. I laughed when you said you wanted to pose the same way in your "after" picture, but the "before" pants would fall down around your ankles, if you let go of them. That is funny, and also GOOD!

    My husband and I love wildlife too. We are always spotting deer, geese, opossum, etc. near our acreage and in the farmer's field next door. I read the other day that opossums eat ticks. A year or so ago, I walked out of my kitchen door into the garage and spied what I thought was a huge rat. I screamed LOUDLY, and hubs came running and told me is was a baby opossum. If that was a baby I don't want to see a full-grown one out there. It was UGLY. But we've sure been fighting the ticks this spring. I treated the dog and the cat for ticks, so they no longer land on them, but we find them crawling on us all the time. So I wish the opossums would come back and do their job! Ticks are one form of wildlife I do not like to see!

  7. If you want to give a 1 mile race a shot, there is one this summer in Ann Arbor. I ran it two years ago. I had no idea what to expect but was really surprised by how fast I could run when it was just one mile!


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