My colleague and friend from work, who unfortunately hasn't been doing as much training as she would like, was also slated to run, and so we set out together, nice and gentle-like.
I was determined to run the entire course without walking, and because we went out slow, stayed slow, and finished slow, I was actually able to do it! Other than a couple somewhat protracted water stops, there was no walking during the race.
My wonderful friend, in spite of the lack of training, did great - we finished together and then sort of hobbled off to where the rest of the runners had gathered. Unfortunately, we were the very last two through the gates, and we didn't get our number tabs into the kitty for the prize drawing - oh well.
About 30 feet from the finish line.....
Yep. We were slow, but we finished. Before they took down the gate.
In other news, over the past several weeks my diet has been damned near pristine, I've been running fairly consistently, and the weight is coming off, which makes me seriously happy. It's great to finally be back on track, and hopefully I will soon stop kicking myself for not carrying through in the latter part of 2009 and all of 2010, where my progress completely stalled out because I simply let the diet go to hell in a handbasket once again. I can only imagine where I would be now if I had kept going. In any case, the silver lining (yes, there is one!) is that at least I didn't gain too much of it back - about 20 lbs. or so, and now the interest is gone and I am back to working on the principle, so to speak.
The last couple of runs (even on the treadmill) have been pretty intense. I think I can already notice a difference, just with the 20 lbs. gone. I went for a 5 miler this afternoon after work, and at least according to the Jog Log lady, I hit a couple points doing a sub-12 minute mile...and at one particularly giddy moment, she said I was doing sub-10. To be honest, though, I think Jog Log lady was a tiny bit on crack about that one. I know what sub-10 feels like on the treadmill, and there is just no way in the world I worked that pace today. Just....no. So naturally, I have to take Jog Log lady with a few grains of salt. It's ok...I know I worked hard today, and I can dig the sub-12. ;-)
I'm starting to think about higher and more challenging possibilities when it comes to the running. I suspect that as I get closer to my goal weight, my abilities are going to improve exponentially. Fact is, I haven't been at a "normal" weight since about 1987, and definitely not when I was running - and I am completely unaware of what I would be capable of at optimum weight. I look at it this way - I've been training and training at the weight I'm at, and even higher, which stands to reason that while the extra poundage is definitely not healthy, it has helped build the kind of stamina that should be pretty amazing when the pounds are gone.
So what could I do? Ultras, for sure. I would love to finish a 50K sometime in the next two years. I know for a fact that this is a goal for Jenn, and I am more than happy to join her in this venture. I might even consider the possibility of a 50-miler. I don't, however, think I'm quite crazy enough to do a 100-miler - I'm thinking that kind of punishment just isn't prudent and definitely isn't necessary.
And then there's Boston. They've tightened the standards recently, so now it is extra-challenging. This obviously would require some serious attention to my aforementioned pace. If I could do it just once, though....not as a charity runner, but as an owner of a bona-fide BQ race time. Just once.
Who knows? I can't wait to find out.