Off and Running?

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

It started innocently enough at the gym this morning. Jenny and I were chatting on the elliptical, and she was talking about her latest run. “If there is one thing I don’t feel motivated to do, it’s running,” I said. Then Lila Anna chimed in that St. Lawrence Place had a 5K in February, and that a lot of people walk it. Before I was off the elliptical, I had committed to walk her 5K. But sometime between hopping off the elliptical and finishing my strength training, I decided that I wanted to run that 5K.

Huh? How did that happen?

I love my friends who run. Two of them, Wayne and Vicki, have even inspired me as I’ve watched them move from walkers to runners. However, I also find some runners annoying. To them, everything is about running; it consumes them. They run injured. They run in extreme temperatures. It’s all they talk about. This is not who I want to be.

Here are my reasons for wanting to run a 5K, The Race for The Place in particular:

  • I need a non-weight related goal to work toward. I’m getting a little obsessed with the scales, and that’s not good. Working toward a 5K would help me focus more on fitness and overall health vs. watching the scales.
  • I want to see if I can do it. You know, the “you must do the thing you think you can’t” thing.
  • I am really competitive, and sometimes when I see someone on Facebook or Twitter who has run a race, I always think, “They’re a runner? They don’t look like a runner. If they can run a race, I could certainly do it.” Sad, but true.

So, now what?

I texted Traci, who said that I could definitely be ready by February, especially with my trainer’s help. I downloaded a “Couch to 5K” app called 5K Runner. It coaches you to prepare for a 5K in eight weeks through a three-day-a-week regimen. I’m also going to email Daniel, my trainer, to see how he can help me prepare between now and February. And I told someone. I told Lila Anna, and I’m also telling you via the blog.

Stay tuned…

Running for the Colon Cancer Challenge …

By: Summer Brons

On Saturday, March 24 I participated in Lexington Medical Center’s Colon Cancer Challenge.  Held at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, the event offered 65-mile and 25-mile cycling races, as well as an 8k run and a one-mile fun run/walk. With the race practically in my backyard (and with a modest registration fee!), I signed up for the 8k, happy for an opportunity to run my favorite distance for a great cause.

The 8k didn’t start until 8:45am and it was probably after 8:15 by the time I arrived. I’d intended to show up earlier, but I found myself in a bit of a battle with my iPod Shuffle, having determined that the morning of a race was the perfect time to completely erase everything on the device and begin anew. Multiple syncing issues later, I gave up the fight and decided to run with my iPhone since it was already in my hand and I knew it had music. I can’t run without my tunes, I just can’t. Kudos to other runners who can pound out the mileage without a soundtrack…I am simply not one of them.

I’ve digressed.

I made my way over to Dutch Fork High and was pleased to find that the event was extremely well-organized.  I was parked within seconds and able to walk straight up to the registration tables and pick up my race packet with no wait, no hassle. All that was left to do was sit in my car and compile a suitable playlist. (Shameless plug time: A premium membership with Spotify is totally worth it.)

As the clock ticked closer to 8:45 am, I made my way to the starting line with the other runners. It was a small field and everyone seemed to be in good spirits as we listened to the speakers touting the importance of colon cancer awareness prior to the start of each race.  As the horn blew and we set off, I went out entirely too fast and found myself tired within the first half of a mile…oops. I don’t run with other people very often, so when I’m in a situation with other runners around me, the excitement tends to push me beyond my typically manageable pace and I’ll burn out quickly.

Luckily, I was able to settle into a reasonable clip and particularly enjoyed the downhill stretches throughout the five-mile route. The course was great; a nice mix of flat, downhill and uphill terrain as we looped back to Dutch Fork High.  My Garmin clocked me at just under 48 minutes for 5.03 miles. Solid! As long as I’m under a 10:00 min/mile pace, I’m happy.  9:40 or under is grounds for excitement in my book.  According to the results posted by Strictly Running, I came in at 47:52 for an average pace of 9:38 and finished 10th out of 24.

The race was a great way to kick off my weekend and I’d like to give a huge thanks to Lexington Medical Center, Strictly Running and all involved sponsors for pulling the event together!  Cancer awareness is so important; it’s great to see folks getting involved with the community to help spread the word and raise funds for continued research and treatment.

My Secret to Running …

By: Brady Evans

I’m sitting here on my couch giving myself permission to be lazy.  I generally only give myself such allowances after one thing and one thing only: long runs.

This morning I spent three hours pounding the pavement around Lexington while completing an 18 mile run.

I know.  I KNOW.  I know.

“Why?”

I still can’t answer that question.  I’m training for my third marathon and the reasons for which I keep embarking on this sickly sweet pain and pleasure experience are still nebulous.

I think runners keep a secret from non-runners.  Okay.  I keep a secret from non-runners.  It’s weird.  My non-running friends and family talk more about my running than I do.  “This is Brady.  She’s a runner.”  “This is Brady.  She runs marathons.”  “My wife is amazing, she wakes up at 5 am and goes running in 30 degree weather, with a headlamp and a reflective vest, of course.”  It is nice to hear people say these things, but I don’t speak up about the truth.

I don’t crave running.  I don’t feel like my day is incomplete without my run.  Running hurts me.  After I drove home to my little farm out in Gilbert after my run this morning, I had to pick up my legs to get them out of the car.  I am not super human.  Running for three hours straight hurts.  Bottom line.

I hate the first three miles.  I will come up with nearly every excuse in the book to get myself to turn around during the first 30 minutes of my run.  I make believe in my head that the twinge in my knee cap is really my IT band severing and the pinch in my lower back is the beginnings of a bulging disk.

Why do we runners keep these facts a secret?  Maybe if we didn’t, more people would jump on the running bandwagon.  They’d realize that their feeling that their body isn’t made for running is just a myth.  Of course our bodies are made for running!  It just hurts getting started.

I run because it gives me such a feeling of accomplishment.  I run long because it is a rare feat.  I run longer because one day, I might not be able to.

I’m not asking you to take up my sport.  My very own husband, although he is proud of me, thinks to himself “what a waste of energy.  Imagine putting that energy into yard work.”

What I’m asking you to do is take up the task that is difficult.  Do the thing that you are not supposed to be able to do.

To me, there’s only one way to run 18 miles.  That way is to run 9 miles away from your car.  There’s only one way back.

It is about setting yourself up for success.  Do it!