Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reasons to be Thankful

I could have posted this on Thanksgiving but I was too busy stuffing my face enjoying the company of family and an opportunity to relax and gear up for Black Friday shopping.

Do Intervals Pay Off?
ABSOLUTELY. 4 weeks ago I signed up for the local Turkey Trot that someone in our family has run since it started 3 years ago. Last year I was sidelined with an injury and then added a kidney stone to the mix. This was my year to PR in a 5K. The only way I was going to do that was to get faster. I took to the local rec center for a one to two day a week interval or tempo run. The Saturday leading up to the race, the running store that created the race (and who I run with on a regular basis) held a pre-race run to see the course. A few of us showed up and did an easy run to see the course and then 3 of us took off and did one more lap at as close to a race pace as we dared. I finished pretty close to what my previous PR time was which meant that with a little adrenaline a new PR was in sight.

The Saturday before the race, the weather topped out at 40 degrees for the day. The day of the race, the weather topped out a 19 degrees for the day. At 7:30 am as I headed to the start, the temperature was 8 degrees. By race start we had warmed up to a roasting 10 degrees. Needless to say, it was cold, my fingers couldn't decide whether to stay frozen or thaw which meant they hurt the whole race. I had a hard time breathing in such cold weather. I didn't look at my Garmin until 100 yards before the finish. I finished my race in 21:43 which put me a little more than 20 seconds faster than my previous time. I'll take it. I ended up 4th in my age group, 27th overall (out of 700 registered) and a new PR. A great way to start Thanksgiving. Thank you intervals even though I still don't like you much.

Does Turkey Taste Better After a New PR?
ABSOLUTELY. We chose to avoid the cooking, cleaning and just go to the local Chuck A Rama for dinner. We waited for an hour to get into the buffet, but after getting a new PR, I was in such a great mood that waiting in the cold didn't bother me.

Is Watching a Movie on my New TV More Enjoyable After a New PR?
ABSOLUTELY. Setting a new PR makes the world a much better place. So does a Sony 40" LCD tv.

Thanksgiving was fabulous. It would still have been great even if I hadn't hit a new PR, but it definitely made it that much sweeter. Spending time with family and friends, eating good food and getting a tip on where I can pick up on some high quality bathroom and kitchen fixtures for cheap, is what matters. I am now shifting my focus a little to tone up, do some core strengthening and decide what my goals are for 2011. One idea is to do 3 marathons, at least 3 relays and a variety of 5k-half-marathons with a sprinkle of two races I get to direct.

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