Racing and Pacing
|At the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Marathon|
My athletic background is mostly in swimming. At age six, I started swimming competitively with a community league. I liked it so much that, as soon as I was old enough, I joined the invitational USS team South Mississippi SURF. Eventually, I met the qualifying time standards for the 2000 Olympic Trials. I was serious about swimming. That whole time, I used running to cross train once a week. I would do a three-mile loop around my neighborhood each Sunday afternoon, show up for Turkey Trots, and race my friends up and down the driveway.
Then, as a young adult, running was a way for me to stay in shape for other sports like skiing and rock climbing. It was cheap, didn't require special equipment, and could be done almost anywhere. A few times a week, I would lace up my shoes and run 5-10 miles. If there were local races, especially scenic trail races, I would sign up, run nine-minute miles, and then wear the race t-shirt to the gym.
In law school, I ran laps in New York City parks to burn off extra energy and get away from the books. When I was pregnant, I got myself some elastic-waist gym shorts and waddled around as fast as I could. It wasn't until October 2014 that I thought about trying to get faster, when my brother-in-law (a serious masters-level runner) suggested running with more of a purpose. "You might surprise yourself!" he said.
Make no mistake, running is a hobby for me. As much as I enjoy competing, I enjoy the sensation of running down the road even more. I will probably always run, for health and for pleasure and to push my personal limits. If I pick up some age/gender wins along the way, that's nice too.
I also think running is for everybody who is able. If you are curious whether running has something to offer you, why not head out for a quick spin to make sure? Or, check out a local running club. Right now, I work as a training pacer for the Birmingham Track Club. Pacing is the fit modeling of the running world, in that you don't have to be the best in the game, you just have to be consistent. Bad analogy? Probably.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz Marathon
26.2 Miles in Bullet Points
Birmingham Mercedes-Benz Marathon February 22, 2015 (4:00:45)
Vulcan Run 10k November 8, 2014 (48:24)
Adam's Heart 10-miler February 8, 2015 (1:22:05, PR)
Asheville Half Marathon March 15, 2015 (1:54:34, blow to the ego)
Peavine Falls 8.2-Mile Trail Combo July 4, 2015 (1:15:16)
BAO Magic City AIDS 5k September 27, 2015 (22:47, PR)
Part I and Part II of 4 Bridges Half Marathon October 18, 2015 (1:41:42, PR*)
* this course was .55 short, probably closer to ~1:45:40
Vulcan Run 10k November 7, 2015 (47:46, PR)
Magnolia Half Marathon November 21, 2015 (1:52:45)
Bearly Ultra Relay, Leg #2, December 12, 2015 (6.8 miles in 59:50)
Resolution Run Trail 13.1 January 2, 2015 (2:14:52)
I have four races planned for the remainder of 2015. If you are curious about my training, you can check out the Fitness Page, or just view the Front Page tag cloud items for Fitness or Workouts. I'm not wild about modern running culture, though, just to warn you.
P.S. Back in 2005-2009, I was on a kick of running trail races. I ran 56:02 at the Gateway Canyons Trail 10k in Gateway, Colorado. I also ran the Bryce Canyon Trail Series Half Marathon in 2007, but I can't remember my time. I placed in my age group and the prize was a beer opener, haha. I ran a weird marathon in Birch Bay, Washington when I was in my twenties, and did fairly well as I was in excellent shape from other sports. I think I also did a few other 5k and 10k races, but the details and results are an elusive mystery.
P.P.S. Just for kicks, my only chip-timed 5k PR is 23:43, run at the Birmingham AIDS Outreach 5k late in the summer of 2014. Sorry no recap, I just ran the thing as fast as possible after only a few months of consistent running, and it was a fun race. I recall that in 2006 I ran a 5k in 21:xx, so I guess I'm chasing something below that. Maybe.