from Shredhead to Pumpkinhead

Being the devoted Shredhead that I am I have wholeheartedly embraced and accepted this month’s challenge. I’m still running, sort of so I have signed on to the running challenge this month to keep me motivated and attempt to ramp up my training for the Tiarathon that we running Shredheads are looking forward to.

I won’t lie to you, my running has been sluggish lately. Oh, who am I kidding? I have been walking more than running the last couple of weeks. I have tried to push myself only to find that I just would not go and my running has become more walking. I was seriously considering starting the Couch to 5K training program all over again.

But being the finish what you start kind of girl that I am, I showed up early this morning at the Manteca Unified Student Trust‘s 5K Pumpkin Run. I had to. I had already paid the fees. I wanted the t-shirt and my fellow future Tiara-wearing Shredhead Karianna sent me some awesome motivation. With her cheering me on and motivating me, how could I not at least show up and try? I had to. Plus I wanted that t-shirt.

So I prepped myself yesterday, getting well-hydrated and stretched. I laid out my running clothes for the morning. And I picked up a little personal motivator.

2GB of motivating goodness that clipped to my jogging bra with an awesome running kind of playlist to keep me moving. As much as I love my iTouch, I found it hard to run with it and I just can’t seem to run at a steady pace without a hard-driving soundtrack to keep me moving along. I doubted that this would make me run faster and longer but anything to motivate me more.

So I showed up at the Tidewater Bikeway and signed in, picked up my running bib and began to stretch out, warm up and get myself ready. The weather seemed just right for a run. The other runners were friendly and encouraging as we all lined up. Listening to the race instructions I am encouraged to hear that along the way are race volunteers to cheer us on and, if needed, come to our aid as well as water stations. Water stations, I believe are my friend when running. Have you ever tried running while you are having hot flashes? Try it sometime. You will see what I mean when I say water stations are my friend when I am running.

As promised, the course was flat and fast as we got off to a pretty fast start. After the first quarter mile, I settled into a nice easy pace letting it seemed everyone pass me by. Well, not everyone but it sure seemed that way. It was all good because I was determined to run this race rather than run and walk. Jai Ho was playing in my ears and I found it so easy to keep going at the pace I set for myself.

As I approached the halfway point and turn-around, I could feel my body begin to thirst. Where the heck is the water stations?! I saw no water stations. I saw a lot of football players from the high school team my kids’ high school football team beat last night sucking down Gatorade while they watched us run by but I did not see any water stations.

As I began to worry how much farther I could run without a sip or two, the wind kicked up gusting hard in my face. There is nothing like the feeling of running against the wind. I was definitely feeling like I was going nowhere fast and at the 2 mile mark I indeed was going nowhere fast. My whole right side just cramped up and I could not go.

I. Just. Could. Not. Go.

But just as I could feel myself not move a lady I met at the start line came up behind me and cheered me on to keep on moving. She talked and cheered me through the next half mile as I started running again. We bitched together about the wind, the Gatorade-drinking high school football players and how much we wanted to take their sports drinks away from them and the apparently invisible water stations.

The mile 3 marker loomed ahead and cheered on by my favorite Manteca P.D. officer, Bill-the-cop, I felt a surge of adrenaline. Yes, I was dying of thirst. Yes, my right side was screaming in it’s knotted cramp for water. Yes, I was a red-faced, hot flashing, sweaty mess but I kicked up the pace. I crossed the finish line at the unofficial time of 33:05, three seconds slower than my first 5K time but I did it! I ran. I ran into the wind. I ran and pushed through my thirst and cramping. I did it!

Official Race Times were posted in this morning’s paper and my time is 32:26!!!

The takeaway from this race? I am bringing my own water. I going to keep on training and running for sure focusing on an easy pace and going for the distance. I am not going tto let any setback in training psych myself out for the next race next month that I will be running with my local Shredhead bud and friend, Jenn and her folks. Oh my gawd, you should see what shredding is doing for Jenn. She is absolutely freakin’ hot!

So today I was a running Pumpkinhead. Does that mean that next month Jenn and I will be running Salmonheads at the Salmon Run? We shall see. But it is certain that we will be running!


3 thoughts on “from Shredhead to Pumpkinhead

  1. Boy, nothing helps being thirsty like running into the wind, right? UGH! But YOU DID IT! Hooray!

    Have you thought about running with water? I’m considering getting a camelbak or something just so I don’t have to monkey with holding a bottle (right now I don’t drink while running, but with longer runs I really need to start).

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