Sunday, November 22, 2009

Running

I haven't mentioned it on this blog, but I've talked about it on my Twitter and in real life. I took up running in January, pretty much as soon as we moved to California. I decided that my goal was to run a 5K on Thanksgiving. I had heard about "Turkey Trot" charity races for years, and decided it was a reasonable goal.

Well, now that "reasonable goal" is in less than a week. And before I beg for tips and advice, I'll start with some background (you should've seen that comin'!)

I ran track & field when I was nine years old. There was a Little League of sorts for track where we lived, and my brother and I were both on teams in the spring of 1993. Neither of us were very good. My main events were the mile run (the "big endurance" race for kids) and the shotput, but I did some long-jumping in a few meets. In fourth and fifth grade (when I moved to FL), running was a big part of PE, and I was among the fastest girls in class. But that was the end of mandatory running for PE. When I was in seventh grade I considered doing cross country at school, but my sister had just started kindergarten so extracurriculars weren't an option at the time. In eighth grade my best friend and I went as far as actually going to the "track & field interest meeting" before opting not to actually join. So unless it was part of a game, I didn't really run between the ages of eleven and twenty-five.

I have had a ton of friends who run for fun, for stress relief, or for exercise. To me, that just sounded incredibly boring. So what made me decide to take it up? Honestly, I was curious. I had no idea how long it would take me to run a mile. I had no idea how hard it would be to run three (point one) miles. I didn't understand the joy people got from running and wanted to see if I could derive the same pleasure.

I cannot. In the ten months that I have been doing the running thing, I can tell you that I enjoyed it approximately three times. Every other time it was incredibly boring, among other things. I tried watching television while I ran (nothing worked except Jeopardy! and that's a very time-sensitive program). I tried music (but I have to have a really good playlist or that's out the window). I tried talking (I kinda knew that one wasn't gonna work... and it didn't). But it doesn't really matter... I just gave up trying to enjoy it and just plain wanted to stick to the Turkey Trot goal.

That brings us to this moment. Thanksgiving is Thursday and I'm not prepared. If you can answer any of the following questions, it's bound to help!

1) I'm concerned about the humidity. I've only run outside once in Florida (last April), and am afraid it'll make it much more difficult than CA or PA. Anyone know what I should expect or how it compares?
2) I'm a big water-drinker. As in, I polish off 25oz easy during a 3-mile run (I already cut down... I used to drink 25 oz during 1 mile of running!). I understand that in real running, people only get a cup of water at a station or two. Anything I can do to cope with this??
3) What's the etiquette in wearing/using an mp3 player in an actual race? do people do it? is it rude?
4) Either way, recommend some of your favorite running songs! :)
4) Where do you put your stuff? At minimum, the key to your car... ?
5) What else should I expect? What tips do you have? Has anyone done the 5k specific to Vero?

Many thanks.

3 comments:

  1. http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-380-381-386-12460-0,00.html

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  2. Ok, so I will try to do my best. Answers are after each question so I could actually remember the question :-)


    1) I'm concerned about the humidity. I've only run outside once in Florida (last April), and am afraid it'll make it much more difficult than CA or PA. Anyone know what I should expect or how it compares?

    I've never run in another state, so I'm not sure how it'll compare. I think most people like running in Florida better because the air is thicker, i.e. it's harder to breath in higher altitudes. So hopefully, this will be a positive change.

    2) I'm a big water-drinker. As in, I polish off 25oz easy during a 3-mile run (I already cut down... I used to drink 25 oz during 1 mile of running!). I understand that in real running, people only get a cup of water at a station or two. Anything I can do to cope with this??

    I know you only have 4 days, but maybe practice only taking small sips as you run. Breathing is the best thing so if you have your breathing down (in through your nose and out through your mouth), you won't feel the need to drink as much water? I would also think water would weigh you down and also lead to more cramps. Try to drink water an hour beforehand and then you won't feel as thirsty throughout the run.

    3) What's the etiquette in wearing/using an mp3 player in an actual race? do people do it? is it rude?

    Heck yeah wear your mp3 player. I know I wouldn't be running without it lol. I've seen people wear them in the Jingle Bell run here in Tally. In a track/cross country competition you can't (at least when I ran), but I think for a 5K charity event, you should definitely be able to do this.

    4) Either way, recommend some of your favorite running songs! :)

    I like songs that I can dance to and get me pumped up. Therefore I like a lot of dance, pop and hip-hop. T Pain's Freeze is one of my favorites, and so is Party Like Rockstar. If you're trying to go with a more steady, slower (i.e. relaxing) pace, I'd try some R&B or slow rock music.

    5) Where do you put your stuff? At minimum, the key to your car... ?

    When I run at the track the only thing I take with me is my Zune and my car key. You can either put your car key in your sports bra...kinda strange to some people. One solution may be to wear two sports bras so you can put the key in between the two bras so it doesn't get sweaty. Otherwise a small key you can just put your finger through a key ring and run with it clinched in your fist.

    5) What else should I expect? What tips do you have? Has anyone done the 5k specific to Vero?

    I've only ran in Sebastian...I don't ever remember running in Vero. Sounds like you've been working up towards this so just take your time, and be sure to breath. Also, you know people are going to try to jump out in front and ran really fast at the beginning. Go according to your speed and not theirs. You'll see that a lot of them will fall back after getting their sprint out of the way at the beginning. Also, no matter what try not to walk. Once you start walking it is so much harder to start running again.

    Ok, I think that's it. I think I was rather wordy as it is lol.

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  3. thanks guys, I really appreciate it. There were some interesting points in that article, BK. Definitely glad I had a chance to read it.

    H- judging from the runs I've been doing over the past few days, humidity=evil. But oh well, as long as I beat one person, I'll be happy, haha. The water thing I'm still torn on, but I think I'm gonna go without... I don't want to be the only person carrying a bottle (cuz I'm a dork, LoL). GreenDay is definitely a good band for me, and the Rent soundtrack, too. If I have a few minutes, I may do up a new playlist tonight.

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