Hooray! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was pretty solid so I’ll get to it.
Saturday was pretty standard. I headed to the gym for Body Pump, CXWorx and Body Attack (yes, all three), which was fun of course. It’s always more fun to go on Saturday morning because everyone has more energy and we tend to goof off a little =) It’s nice to be able to work out in the mornings on the weekend, since I can’t during the week.
Afterwards, I headed out to run some errands (groceries and the like). While I was out, I shopped around at a few sporting goods stores. I’ve been looking for a good running windbreak/rain jackets for a while but I haven’t been able to find *any*. I looked at a few places and I finally stopped at REI on a whim since it was on my way home, and finally found one!
All reflecty =) (and yes, I know the tag is still on. I’ll take it off eventually). It’s the Brooks Nightlife Essential Jacket and it was exactly what I was looking for. I really like that it has an iPod pocket on the inside because I’m always afraid I’m going to get my iPod wet when it’s threatening to rain. I also scored a pair of Brooks shorts that were on the clearance rack (half off!). They’re super comfortable. While I was there, I went ahead and signed up to be a member. I’d kept putting them off, thinking I wouldn’t buy anything there, but I keep going back and it’s a one time fee of $20, so I went ahead and did it.
I got home and it was still pretty early and the weather was good, so I decided to head over to a park I’d been meaning to check out for a while.
Lake Conestee Nature Park is a park in Greenville that is actually a wildlife reserve. It used to be a lake, but it was filled in with sediment during the industrial development of Greenville. There’s been a lot of work recently to clean up what is left and build trails in the former lake bed. This is a really pretty park, and would be a great place to practice trail running! I tromped around on the trails for a while, but next time, I need to check out the end of the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The end of the trail is in the park, but it’s not yet connected to the rest of the trail in downtown Greenville. Hopefully someday it will because it would make getting on the trail much more convenient since I wouldn’t have to drive to a trailhead. Are you listening, Greenville Rec??
Anyways, I also found this new goodie at TJ’s:
I have 5 (count ’em 5) half-eaten jars of nut butter in my pantry! Plus 1 jar at work! And 2 jars of cookie butter! This is ridiculous. Does anyone else have this problem? Seriously, no more PB until I get some of these used up.
Ok, enough random stuff, on to the running. I planned to do an 11 mile long run today, but one of my NewSpring friends’ 40th birthday was this past week, and he wanted to break 30 mins in a 5k as a kind of “birthday present”. He and his wife were doing a 5K today (to benefit Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), so I decided to come run with them and help pace B. to break 30 mins. I did a practice run earlier in the week during a 4 miler just to make sure I actually could (did 3.1 in around 29 mins).
So I decided to do an 8 mile long run in the morning, then run the 5k to make 11 total. So I set off on my long run this morning planning to go easy so I could do well on the 5k later, but I just felt *really* fast. I just kept pushing my pace and I reached the half-way point at about 4o mins. On a whim, I looked at my watch when I reached the 10K point and saw I was at 1:02!! My best 10K (back in March) was a 1:09, so I pretty much blew that away. I still felt pretty good towards the end and finished the 8 miles in about 1:19, which is way faster than I’ve ever run!
So when I headed to the 5K this afternoon, I was riding on a pretty good high from the morning run. I met up with my friends and grabbed my packet (got a long-sleeve shirt, love those). I had to debate my clothes a bit because it was windy and a bit chilly, but then the sun came out right before the race start so I could go jacket-less.
The race was at Furman, so it was pretty easy to get there and find parking. While packet pickup and the race course was pretty well organized, the start line kinda wasn’t. Really, there wasn’t actually a start line at all, we all just stood in a big group somewhere and everyone just took off. The course was just a loop around Furman’s campus, and for those who are familiar with the campus, we did have to run up that big hill on the lake path. =)
We took off at a pretty quick pace (at least in my mind), and my friend was able to keep up with me for the first 2 miles, but fell behind a little during the last mile. I really felt like I was pushing myself, but I was trying not to watch the clock and obsess over the time. When I reached the finish line, my distance was kinda short (3.02), so I kept running past the chute until my watch turned over 3.10.
WOO HOO! I’m so excited by this time! I can’t believe how much I’ve improved in the last year! All 3 of my mile splits were under 9 min/mile, and it’s just kind of a great feeling to actually be passing people in a race instead of getting passed by the walk/runners. It feels so good to improve so much in only a few months! My last PR was set at the Michelin 5K back in August, so I really wasn’t expecting to do this well at all!
My friend came in about a minute behind me, around 27:13, so awesome job to him! His wife also got a PR =) So, I’m very glad I went to this race. Plus, it was for a good cause.
I’ll take it =)
Anyone else have any awesome races this weekend?