2 under our belt!

Category : Running

Well we did it.  We did our 2nd 5k of the year!  Who knew running could be so addicting?!  So after we ran the 5/3 Riverbank Run in May we were craving to do another run later in the summer/early fall.  Being a novice in the running world, I didn’t really know where to look for a good list of local runs so I suggested we do the Chicago 5k, spend a weekend with the ‘rents and let the girls have some grandparent bonding.  This one felt a little different only because we hadn’t trained long and hard as we did for the Riverbank Run and we all were a little hesistant going to Chicago for a race with 20,000 along with the other millions that live there already.  But…. we’re so glad we did it!

We had been maintaining our training throughout the summer but throw in a vacation/planning and some summer colds in there, we were not as prepared as we hoped to be.  I (Christie) had been picking up the pace on the treadmill in recent weeks and even ran a full 5k on the track the Thursday prior to the race so I was feeling good.  Gary has been battling a pesky sore throat/cold for awhile so couple that with a busy summer work schedule, his training had been less than stellar too.  Either way, we were running it!

Saturday we (Gary, Angela, Alex and I) headed to Navy Pier to pick up our runners packets which contained our official bibs and t-shirts.  The cool thing about this race was that they printed our names out on the bibs…. well all but Alex.  :)   We checked out the expo for a bit, ate some lunch and headed back to SoHo.  We packed in a carb filled dinner of spaghetti and garlic bread and headed to bed early.

The alarm went off at 5am.  Surprisingly, we got up with a bit of ease that morning.  The girls stayed sleeping (but grandpa hit up the couch when we left to keep an ear out for their “I need go potty, mommy” cries), we ate a light breakfast and headed out the door at 5:45am in full running gear with Ryan as our chaperon.   We made into downtown around 6:30am, got shooed out of the parking lot and hit up the meter knowing that when we left, the crazy lady from Walgreens wouldn’t have our car towed.  We headed toward the starting line through neighborhoods and parks, following the loud speakers and music.  As we walked, we gathered more people until we arrived at home base to find around 20,000 runners along with their fans getting ready to put all their training to the test.

While the 18,000+ half marathon runners (13.1 miles, people….) lined up to be herded through the starting line, we hit up the blue boxed bathrooms, checked in our bag of goods and started to get stretched out.  There was such an energy in the air, the temperature was perfect and the sun made it a touch warmer.  We chatted, admired and wondered how we’d do compared to others around us.

We lined up all together as there wasn’t a breakdown of mile times (6 minutes miles, 7 minute miles, etc).  Soon there after, we started moving forward.  Alex jarted around most of the pack, Gary and Angela split and ran closely in their minutes and I found a couple girls to pace myself with.  I had a goal of obviously finishing (as I hadn’t trained as much as I did for the 5/3 run) but an unspoken goal of not stopping.  I was quite confident that I’d beat my 5/3 time by a few minutes and was feeling really good about how well I was running.  It was a nice run through the neighborhoods, along Lake Shore Drive and I was passing people.  In the end, Alex finished in just over 25 minutes and place 90th out of almost 1400, Angela did really well herself and ran it in her record time of 29 minutes, Gary didn’t quite make his goal of under 30 minutes but with being sick, he did it in 31:16 and I finished 3 seconds slower that my first time.  Ugh.  But really, it was awesome that I never stopped and I pushed myself the last 1/4 mile.  We all had a great time, loved the experience and are planning on doing more next year together!

Pics from the official photographers (our own will come this week hopefully):

I’m an addict

Category : Christie, Running

Ok, maybe “addict” is a strong word but I have a new “want” in my life.  I ran the 5/3 Riverbank Run on Saturday in 40:50 and I want to do better!  Did I just say that I wanted to run another 5k?  Sheesh, what has come over me?  Despite the 40 degrees, the misty on and off rain, the 5:15am wake up call on a Saturday morning, the stupid cold that started the day before, an emotion came over me that I’ve really never experienced before.  I was among thousands of others ready to beat their best time or to say they actually did a 5k in their life, it was a goal I never knew I had in me, that I never thought I’d do in my lifetime.  Maybe it was my weight, that I never thought it was obtainable or the way I talk myself out of pushing myself that much farther?  All I know is that is was amazing to be apart of this, to have my husband, my brother and my sister-in-law cheering me on the whole way, not just on Saturday but way before that.  It truly was a life changing experience for me.

Friday, Alex and Gary picked up our runners packets at DeVos which came with official runners bibs.  It was surreal that one of them was mine!  We all spent the night at our house, taking in a rip roaring game of Settlers and prepping our shoes with our electronic timers.  It was really fun to be together the night before, talking about how excited we all were.  We left the house around 5:50am so we could beat all the road closings and to prepare ourselves mentally for the crazy weather Michigan threw at us that morning.  We gathered with the thousands of others downtown GR, checking in our bags, taking in the excitement and anticipation of the hardcore runners in their “outfits” and the hesistant looks of those who may have been talked into this event.

We starting lining up around 7:15am as our race started at 7:30am.  They were broken into paces from 7 minutes to 12 minutes.  Alex split up from us joining the 8 minute mile pacers while Gary, Sheila and I slowly became enclosed by all the 12 minute mile pacers.  Next to us was a line up of Marines that were sure to whiz by us as we began.  They actually kept a good pace that we followed for a bit while we listened to their chants – just being with them for a few minutes you could hear in their voices how they push past whatever is in their head to keep going in training and out keeping our country safe.  A very cool experience.

The whistle blew at 7:30 and just a few minutes later we were jogging down the road.  Gary said we were in this together, so we would start together and end together and that we did.  The first mile I was doing alright, feeling pretty good, sticking with Gary and Sheila no problem.  Then we started to come to some hilly areas and I started to lose momentum and I eventually told myself I needed to walk a couple minutes.  Not for very long, but I wanted to run the whole thing if I could.  So I picked up the pace again shortly there after and ran a little bit more.  I ran up a hill but at the crest walked a bit again.  Finally Gary told me all we had to do was round the buildings and we’ll be at the finish.  I kept telling myself that I need to finish strong.  When I saw the finish, that was all I needed.  Gary asked if I was ready to run and I said yes.  We started passing a bunch of people, he grabbed my hand so we could finish together.  And we did it!  Gary, Sheila and I crossed within seconds of each other.  Alex caught up with us right away and congratulated us, asking if we heard him screaming us on.  I said no!  I was so in the zone I didn’t hear him.  It was truly an experience I’ll never forget.  For the first time I felt like I was in the same ranks of ability of someone half my size.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m about 30-40 pounds away from my weight loss goal and that is another story for another time.  But for once, I did the same thing as my skinny mini, crazy metabolism little brother did and that felt awesome.  This is only the beginning for me to do more than I ever thought I would and could do and that’s motivation enough to move forward in this new life Gary and I decided to take on.  And for that, I’m ecstatic!

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The little engine that could

Category : Christie, Running

Gary declared earlier in the week that would be doing a family (including the girls and my sister-in-law) 5k run Saturday morning.  I’ll be honest, I tried to find ways to get out of it (too wet, too cold, too busy, etc) but when the morning came you couldn’t really pass up a little cloudy, 65 degree, little breezy Saturday morning for a trial 5k run.  We had Sheila stay the night, the night before as she watched the girls for us.  She was going to run with us but wasn’t feel well that week and didn’t want to chance it, so Gary and I were able to run together.  It was great!  He’s a driving force in my motivation to push myself a little farther and I did!  I only walked for maybe 4-5 minutes at about the 1.5 mile mark and did a last minute sprint at the end of our block to our house.  Let me tell you, I was tired as it was and running faster was a complete out of body experience.  It was an amazing accomplishment for me as I usually find a way to justify quitting long before I did.  It really gives me a big motivation for this weekend’s 5/3 Riverbank Run downtown GR, knowing now that I can do it and I’ll have Gary by my side every step of the way.

Not This Time

Category : Gary, Running

So Saturday we woke up to wet weather. Since we had planned on running the Calvin Spring Classic with the girls in tow, we decided to skip it since we did not want them out in the rain. Couple that with the fact that I had just gotten over being sick and it would have been a bad gamble for me as well.

We are though still on come rain or shine for the 5/3 Riverbank Run on May 8th. This has been a goal of ours since we began our healthier way of life this past October. So we will continue to train and work for the next couple weeks to get ready for race day.

My First Outside Run

Category : Gary, Running

Well I (Gary) did it today, my first 5k running outside instead of on a treadmill. I did it in about 32 minutes. I am not sure the exact time as Alex timed it for us and he did not say specifically how long it took. The big point is though that I did it and survived, just barely but I survived.

Saturday is the Calvin Spring Classic which I am running in and we ran that same route today. I know now that I can do it and in a decent time too.