Monday, August 15, 2011

...and i didn't finish last - Our first race Clifton Heights neighborhood

This year I have decided that it is time to lose the baby weight and get back in better shape to keep up with my darling little Kaylee. I started running and biking when we returned from our trip to Destin, FL because we stopped nursing while on vacation. My first run outside on June 8 was .58 mile. It was tough but I am a very determined person when I have my mind made up to do something. The only problem was every time I would run my knees started hurting and not in a good burning sort of way like muscles should feel. I visited the Big River Running Company here in town on several friends' recommendations to see if they could help correct the problem. My husband bought my first pair of official running shoes for me at 38 years old.

They have changed my life. I can now run further than a mile because my knees don't hurt and I am not running on the sides of my feet. Running on the sides of my feet was causing all the knee pain. Who knew? The New Asics support my feet and make me run straight. They are awesome. Thanks to all who have answered my questions and helped me get started in this sport since I have never ever been a runner.

I have ridden bicycles my whole life and about 13 years ago got really serious riding my bike and dumped my rusty old 10 speed that I had since I was a teenager. At the time, I started with having a bike shop fit me for a Schwinn mountain bike which I rode everywhere. I rode the Grant Trail before it was what it is now. I rode every day on one trail or another in the city where I lived. I zoomed down the massive hills and crawled up the mountainous hills of Forest Park on that beloved Schwinn Mountain bike I affectionately named "Blue!". I took spills while racing the old Katy Trail and even ate gravel. Yes, I ate dirt a few times. Let me tell you, I don't recommend it. Gravel tastes nasty. I have some lovely badges of honor that are gentle reminders to not bike and drink bottles of wine. My warrior wounds are not completely gone as there are scars to tell the stories but I assure you I will try to be a little more careful as I speed down hills, jump over curbs and often become air born over gullies. I love that feeling of flying on my bike but can't do that while hauling my trailer full of kids. Yes, that mountain bike "Blue" took me over varied terrain and even sported a few disguises as I tried to sneak a few extra sample free beers at Grant's Farm at the end of one particularly adventurous ride down Grant Trail.

Old "Blue" took me to a park along the Katy Trail in which I broke, yes broke my bike in Klondike Park on the side of a very steep hill. I had only had it about three years. Poor old "Blue". I took it to the hospital bike shop to get her repaired where I found my new "hybrid" bike at the time. It was love at first sight and I brought my new "Trek" baby, "Silver Bullet" home. I called her "Silver Bullet" because she was way faster and lighter than my beloved mountain bike, "Blue." Now, I will never give up cycling as long as I can push those magical little pedals that make those spinning wheels churn and pull me forward rushing toward the street, trail or pavement ahead. Wind whipping past me cooling me as I ride like an instant fan created by the forces of nature, wind and the propelling forward motion of the wheels spinning below me. Biking gives me a sense of being a young kid and having the freedom to explore my world, but I decided it was time to add a fun new challenge to my life with the intent of someday competing in a triathlon, hopefully before I hit 40. Yikes! I better hurry. In order to compete in that I need to be able to "run" so here we go. I ran my first run which pressured me into training. I ran and ran and rode my bike when I wasn't running. Following are some photos of my daughter Sophia and my first run.

Sophia ran in the kids .5 mile run.

Sophia Crossing the finish line after her first .5 mile run

"Yeah! Mommy, look I won!"

"Daddy, look at my ribbon! I won!"

See here it is!

Proud girl.

I am running as hard as possible just 100 ft from the finish line downhill. I am thinking,"Don't let those two girls behind you run ahead of you. Don't be last! I am speed" from the Cars movie.

Almost at the finish I was wishing I didn't have this huge bulky race T-shirt on. I didn't have anywhere to put it so I had to wear it or carry it. Next time, I will hand my T-shirt off to my family. Scott took a work call in our car right before the race so I checked in alone and he just took the car with my kids to the finish line to see me finish.

Finished! I am on the left in the burgundy shirt in front of the blue finish arch.

To the right in front of the blue leg of the arch is my running time 24:18 not great but better than sitting on the couch. I am just glad I finished and I wasn't last. I did hit a new personal best and my hero, Lance Armstrong bellowed out on my Nike + GPS program as I crossed the finish line you reached a new personal record at 13'33" per mile. I was ecstatic and out of mind delirious from running. I had to listen to that again later because I was sure I imagined it. It was true. At least fifteen or more people came in after me. I figure you have to start somewhere.

Here is how Kaylee darling watched the races feet up relaxing. I am sure she is thinking you guys are total suckers out there running like that while I sit here relaxing in my stroller.

Sophia and kaylee waiting for mommy to recover from her run.

The happy runners.

Mommy and daughter racers ran their first race.

Race information.

My first race number.

The race route. Clifton Heights is a very hilly neighborhood near "The Hill". It is just down the street and across Hampton from Columbia where my grandmother used to live.

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