October 26, 2016

Cross country banquet and race pace run

Boy, was I sore this morning!

Yesterday, after I dropped the kids off at school, I went to Jessica's to meet her for a long walk. From her house, a lollipop route around the state park is exactly seven miles, so we chose to do that route. It took us about an hour and forty-five minutes, and my legs felt fatigued but good at the end. Then I woke up this morning, and I was SO sore! 

I never get sore from running (unless I do a crazy tough workout, then I might have a little soreness the next day); but switching things up yesterday by doing a long walk used some different muscles and I definitely feel it. It's a good thing! We already made plans to do it again next week.

The cross country banquet last night went great! It was a potluck, and with 24 kids on the team, let's just say there was a LOT of food. I was only on day two of really getting serious about calorie counting (again), so it was very hard to resist stuffing my face with sheet cake, frosted cookie cake from Mrs. Fields, fried chicken, meatballs, tacos, etc.

Thankfully, I was so busy with a project we had the kids working on, that I didn't really have a chance to eat. I was cleaning up their project while everyone else was eating, and then we jumped into awards. Shockingly, I didn't eat a single thing there! (I ate dinner before I left home, so that I wouldn't be starving at the banquet.)

The project that we had the kids make was a new concept. Last year, Renee and I chose awards for each individual (things like "Fastest boy", "Fastest girl", "Hill Monster", "Most Enthusiastic", "Most Improved Runner", etc.). This year, Renee suggested that instead of us choosing the awards, we have the kids choose awards for each other. 

We put their names in an envelope, and each kid drew someone else's name. Then, they had to come up with a positive award (we had a list of suggestions if they couldn't come up with something) and decorate a paper plate to give to the person whose name they drew. In theory, it sounded like a good idea; however, there were complications we didn't plan for (a couple of kids not showing up, some boys who didn't want anything to do with "decorating" something, etc.). 

But, we got it all figured out, and then we handed out the awards. We also gave the kids medals and printouts of their individual race times. We had one special "Coaches' Award", which we gave to a boy that had been to every single practice, every single meet, improved his running significantly, always ran with a smile on his face, and never complained. 

Then, the team gifted Renee and I school spirit shirts with our names on the back, and a HUGE surprise--a nice banner for our team! When we go to the meets, all the other teams have banners for their tents, but we didn't have one. The families chipped in and got us a banner to use next year!

I had to blur out a lot of this picture for privacy reasons, but you can at least see the size of the banner. The kids were very excited about it:

The season seemed so short! I'm going to miss coaching. I definitely plan on coaching again next year, but Renee isn't able to do it with me, which is a big bummer. We work really well together, and it's gone so smoothly for two seasons.

Like I mentioned, I really needed to get serious about calorie counting again. I'd been counting 4-5 days a week, and then the other 2-3 days I didn't count for whatever reason; and my weight was just stuck. Jeanie, my sister, decided to start using My Fitness Pal again, and she said she was going to pay to have the ads removed (the ads in the middle of my food log was the reason I switched to Fat Secret).

Anyway, I decided to do the same--pay the $50 for the year to have no ads. I think that's a crazy high price for a calorie counting app, but I figure that by paying for it, I will be much more likely to use it. I hate wasting money, so if I don't use it, it would be like throwing away $50, and I don't want that.

So far, so good! On my first day, I went to Ann Arbor and resisted all the baked goods at Whole Foods. Then yesterday, I didn't touch any of the sweets at the potluck. Two very tempting days in a row! But I reminded myself that I'm paying for MFP, so I want to make the most of it. It's funny how something as insignificant as an overpriced app has the power to motivate me so much!

I've been feeling more motivated to run, too. With the nice fall weather, and my realization that my running motivation doesn't kick in until late morning, I no longer feel like I'm dreading my runs. This morning, the weather was great for a race pace run--since I am hoping to pace Stephanie to a sub-60 10K next month, I decided to run three miles at race pace. For a sub-60 finish, that would be 9:39/mile (although I was thinking it was 9:49/mile until I just now double checked).

The run was anything but smooth! Looking at my splits, it looks darn near perfect:

Pretty even splits, right? My pace and heart rate chart show a totally different story, however:

Mile 1: Started out in the low 9:00's, so I slowed down a little until I was at around 9:35. It felt crazy hard! I was doubting whether I could even do one mile at that pace, so I told myself just to get to the end of the first mile, and then I could jog the last two miles. Managed 9:39 on the nose.

Mile 2: Started at a slow jog, because I planned to do the rest of the run slowly. I started spacing out, daydreaming, and realized that I'd picked up speed. That happened a few times over mile two--speed up, slow down, repeat--but I was gradually lowering my mile split. Finally, I decided just to try and hit another mile at race pace. I had to pick up the pace quite a bit to make up for the first half-mile, but I did it. Told myself I could take a walk break if I hit 9:49 or better. Squeaked by with 9:43.

Mile 3: Started out with a walk. Initially, I thought 10 seconds would do, but I kept adding more until it was more like 40 seconds. Then I started jogging slowly. The same thing happened during mile three that happened during mile two--I was gradually picking up the pace without realizing it, until I realized I could probably hit another mile on target. I pushed it the last quarter mile or so, and hit 9:38.

Definitely not the ideal way to hit a target race pace run, but it was better than nothing ;) It felt good to push myself today, even though my heart rate didn't get as high as it probably should have (ideally, it would be over 162). I was also feeling fatigued and sore from my long walk yesterday, which may have contributed to this run feeling harder than I expected.

I've been so busy for the last several weeks, and tonight I don't have anything going on. I plan to just curl up under the electric blanket and watch a movie or something. (Or maybe start to catch up on the last few seasons of The Walking Dead--everyone's been talking about it and I feel left out!) It started raining just after my run, so it's the perfect day for it!



  1. I run a couple days a week, yoga, HITT training, interval and heavy lifting. I am in pretty good shape. I walked all over Boston the weekend and I was sore. I couldn't believe it. I exercise 5-7 days a week and was sore from walking. Congrats on a great cx country season!

  2. Something about walking -- it always surprises me!

  3. I did a 5K walk for Cystic Fibrosis with a bunch of other respiratory therapists a couple years ago. It was only a walk, not a run. Everyone said how easy it was going to be for me since I run so much. Oh my goodness! I wasn't even halfway through and my feet hurt and my back hurt and I was lagging behind all my friends! It was an eye opener!

  4. What a great end to the XC season! Congrats!

  5. Hi my name is Sara, I weight 250lb. I have no energy, no motivation to exercise but I don't want to be like this. Please help me, how can I change my life.

  6. What are your thoughts on the premium version of MFP? I've been toying with the idea of purchasing the yearly premium version but ugh, that just seems like so much for an app. But I would hope if I paid the money I would at least stick with it then. Would love to hear your thoughts on this! Are there a lot of different features that would make it worth it?


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