Friday, August 23, 2013

Running with the wolves


Did you see that full moon this week?  Absolutely stunning.  A blue moon in fact.  Not in color, but in astrological/meteorological terms.  It is the 4th full moon in a season, thus, termed a 'blue moon'.  That, my friends, ends my trivia update.

In other news, let's talk running with the wolves.  Here is an update in the Run, Kimmy, Run! thread.

Well, I did it.  I ran my first official 10K race AND I lived to tell about it!  I signed up at the urging of a friend and fellow aspiring Disney half marathoner.  We wanted to run a 10K to qualify for corral placement at the WDW half.  There are not many options that worked with our busy schedules, so we decided on a whim to sign up for this one.

Two problems.  First, it was a 6:30 pm race in August, on a Wednesday!  I don't run at night.  I am an early bird.  I run very early in the morning.  I have no idea how to prepare nutritionally for an evening 6 mile run.  I am tired by dinner time.  I had a crazy long day at work and had work to complete upon returning home. The last thing I wanted to do is run a 10K!

Second problem, the heat.  Although the temperatures have been blissfully cool for August most of the month, this week, it was hotter than usual.  It was 86 degrees and moderately humid at the 6:30 pm start time.  My body and the heat/humidity do not get along.  The saving grace was it was a beautiful out and back run along the Assabet River Rail Trail that was blissfully shaded.  Adorned in a running tank and skirt, sweaty band head band, sunglasses, water belt and running music, I was as ready as I'd ever be.

The end result?  It was fun!  The race was limited to 300 runners and was sold out.  It was called Running with the Wolves because it is on the eve of the full moon.  Some were in wolf costumes.  There was even a little Red Riding Hood.  There was a great DJ.  The race began with a beautifully sung National Anthem, followed by a group howl.  Then, we were off.  It was chip timed and the course was great.  The race was well organized and the volunteers were numerous, friendly and immensely helpful and supportive of all the runners.  The other runners were also quite possibly, the happiest group of runners I've seen at a race. Especially nice, the water stops had COLD water!  I admit, I drank some and wore some!  Hats off to the Highland City Striders for organizing such a fun race.

I ran with a friend.  We opted to follow Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run strategy with 90 sec run and 30 sec walk.  We skipped a few walk breaks on the down hills since it was downhill out and up hill on the return loop.  We slowed down the last 2 miles, but overall, given the heat, I think we did quite well.  We conversed most of the run.  It was nice to run with a 'buddy'.  Thanks, Mel!  She could have run the entire race, and probably a few minutes faster, but it was nice to run together. It was the only race I've ever run where my name was announced when I crossed the finish line (that tells you I finished behind the 'pack'), which was pretty cool.  I was also handed a pretty cool finishers medal, a cold bottle of water and a gingerbread cookie in the shape of a dog bone that was delicious!  Might be the best post race snack ever!  The technical T-shirt is pretty cool, too!

I ran my first official 10K in 1 hour, 9 minutes and 54 seconds.  It was about what I expected to run given the heat. It was an average pace of 11:17/mile.  That should translate into a sub 2:30 half marathon, and for this girl, who couldn't run 90 seconds ONCE when I began this journey a few years ago, that's damn impressive if I do say so myself!  ;-)  Go me!

When I returned home, I found this on my computer monitor.  My husband rocks!  He sent supportive text messages prior to the race.   He bought me a T-shirt that says, "13.1 Only half nuts".  He has been so wonderfully supportive of my running, it has helped spur me on when I wonder what the hell is wrong with me that I want to run this far and often!  He massaged my weary muscles when I got home.  He and my boys often run 5K's with me and I love that we do it as a family. They did not run this one because of the distance and because of conflicts with soccer.

Interestingly enough, from a spiritual perspective, wolves are about new journeys.  Discovering our strength and perseverance. Wolves teach us about balance, spirituality and health/healing.  As the fairy tale tells us, wolves often come to us in disguise, teaching us much about ourselves and the world around us.  Huh. Appropriate race for my first 10K, don't you think?  

Then there is the full moon.  Full of feminine energy.  She shines brightly, reflecting the sun's rays, illuminating the night.  Pure beauty and serenity.  Showing the way to honor our inner self.

It's a good thing that full moon is a calm yet energizing force of nature.  I have less than 5 months to be able to run that distance twice in a row!  I wonder if I can catch that mouse...

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