Sunday, March 16, 2008

Check it!

So we did it. Our first run, 3 kilometres around Raánana park with the entire population of the city and neighbouring towns as our running buddies and at time hindrances. There is something about running in a Fun Run that is just not fun. I am not sure whether it was the children that I kept tripping over or their parents who insisted on walking in the middle of the track that annoyed me more… “Walkers stick to the left!! Let me run in the fast lane!”

Seriously though it was an experience, especially for someone whose past experiences of Fun Runs had been walking at the back of the pack and whose current experience of running had been more of the one on one variety. So after a while I got used to swatting children out of my way and began to see the fun in the run.

The t-shirts were a big hit. On the way to the run I suddenly realised that the run was in Israel and that perhaps an English t-shirt might not get the reaction that we were hoping for, but then we realised that being in Raánana there were no shortage of Anglos to find the humour in our dress. And sure enough before we reached the crowd heading to the finish line we had people walking by, turning their heads to find out why they should quit checking out our asses. High five! It worked.

Even two days later, Dalya and I began our run with meeting a lady running while pushing her baby in a sporty push chair who saw us coming towards her in the distance and said, “I have a picture taken of me at the run with you girls… Great T-shirts!” Hopefully the message got across.

Anyway, back to the 3k run, we did it! We crossed the finish line together, grinning from ear to ear and ready to do our ready prepared victory dance for our supporters, but in the craziness we lost our fan club and instead we queued up to get water… Yes Israel is slightly less organised on the re-hydration front that I had expected from watching the end of the London Marathon, but on the up side it was only a five minute walk home so we could afford to wait a little for aqua.

So for all those out there who did not think we would get this far. Yes we did. For those of you who doubt if we will go any further, we are running 5k in Bet Shemesh on April 4th. And if you still don’t believe it, well get off your asses and come see for yourself! Seriously… quit checking mine out and check out YOURS! Run people run!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Going for Gold

The heat is on… Friday is race day. Now I know that I had previously said that we were going to ignore the fact that we were no-where-near ready and embark on a kamikaze mission to complete the 10km run, but after much thought and the realisation that there was a 3km run going on at the same time, we decided to lower our expectations and stick to what we could achieve.

So this Friday morning we are running the 3km run in Ra’anana. I still have no idea what time it is at, nor have we signed up for it yet, but we shall be running it even if I have to pull one of my Miss Personality acts, just turning up on the day and winning them over with my smile. The T-shirts have also yet to be made, however today is the day that we are finalizing the front logo. So if you have any more great ideas let me know NOW!

In the meantime we have finished the beginners 2 mile run and we have begun the 5km Training Schedule. It is the shortest program, as there really is little difference between 2 miles and 5km, and they expect that 5km will be the standard run that we do for the future. All this seems perfectly logical and nothing I can really argue with, that is until I get out on the road and then I have my doubts.

As we measured out the run in my car, we soon realised that the extra kilometres to our run were not simply an additional short stretch of road. No, the extra kilometres amounted to, after running the whole way around the park, completing another half of the route. One and a half times around Ra’anana Park is approximately 3 miles (4.8km). Including the walk back to the beginning of the park and the walk from my parents’ house to the park and back again the total distance is 5.2 miles (8.5km).

To be honest, none of the walking distance was in my mind when we began the run. All that was in my mind was getting to the half way point of the bridge which would make the end of the run. And yet by the time we reached the bridge the first time around my legs felt numb, my calves were stiff and my breathing was heavy. Time to push through the pain barrier; block out the voice saying, “How the hell am I going to do a full lap of the park now!” and just chant the words, “I can, I will.” I can, I will… it is also very good for steadying my breathing.

The shocking thing is we did! We even managed to pick up the pace somewhat towards the end (Dalya outdid me by sprinting to her finish… I just about ran). We had decided to time the run, as it was the hardest run we did so far and would ultimately become our standard run, so we wanted to know our time so we can improve on it. Now understanding that this was our first time… 40 minutes. 3 miles (4.8km) in 40 minutes! Now ok I know professionals get through 3 miles in around 15 minutes, but I thought for a first attempt this was a pretty solid time. I remembered my mentor once saying to me that 5k is approximately 30 minutes of running at an average pace. So we are not that far away from the average. Yes I am pretty proud of that right now.

The funny thing that has happened is that I am really looking forward to my runs. I never thought I would reach the point where I enjoyed running, and yet here I am looking forward to my next run and wondering if I can better time. I am no longer nervous about running in public. I am no longer concerned about completing the 3km race. I am more focussed on the next race… the 5km race we will be running at the beginning of next month.