BEFORE I START... LADIES: RUNNINGSKIRTS.COM IS HAVING A HUGE CLEARANCE SALE. All the clearance skirts are on sale for $20.11. I had to buy two: a black cheetah running skirt (with briefs) and the cheetah and haute pink athletic skirt. If you've never run in a running skirt before, this is your chance to grab one for a steal! They're so comfortable to run in and everyone I've ever seen wear one looks absolutely adorable. And I've seen people of all sizes in them.
And now on to the race recap:Kayte at Long Legs on the Loose hosted a Virtual 12K of Christmas this week, and given that she is a wonderful running buddy (who I miss running and laughing with... I can't wait until all our schedules sync up again), I decided to join in the festive fun. I also needed this virtual race to rebuild my confidence after my after Christmas run. I had a HORRIBLE, wake-you-from-a-sound-sleep nightmare of a run.
The first issue was that it was super cold and windy, and it started to snow while I was running. But honestly, I didn't care too much about that. I was so happy to get out and get a run in. I had on my super cute red plaid running skirt over my tights and felt adorably festive. Well, as adorable as I looked, it didn't help me move my stinkin' feet. I couldn't go more than 1/2 a mile without stopping (and at several points, I had to stop about a minute into a run). I have never had my legs feel so heavy; I was so tired my bone marrow hurt. I was beginning to believe someone had to have put lead weights in my shoes as a joke. I cut my 7 mile run to just under 4, and when I got home, I was beyond bummed. I was beginning to freak out and had horrid hallucinations of the sweeper van pulling up along side me at the National Half, two race officials jumping out, throwing a hood over my head and tossing me into the sweeper wagon never to be seen again. I mean that's what happens when runners get swept up, right? No one goes willingly (at least that's what I imagine). In hindsight, it's no wonder my legs felt like lead and my bones hurt; I hadn't run in a week and in the days leading up to Christmas, I was on my feet all day and night, teaching and then baking. And Christmas day, well, let's just say I had a few Irish coffees. None of these things is conducive to a good run.
So, I needed the 12K to get back in the spirit of a positive mindset while running (and to shake the image of being kidnapped by race officials and forced at gun point to pledge to never register as a slow runner again). Originally, I wanted to do all the 12K in one shot, but this was a bit of a crazy week, so I had to split up the miles. I did 7.61 miles total , 4.5 on the treadmill and the rest outside outside. My runs making up the 12k were pretty successful. I had a goal going into each run (no walk break until a certain mileage, time goal, or pace goal) and met each one. I also listened to my body so I don't injure myself. I've had some tightness in my hip and lower back so I didn't want to push too hard. I wanted to have a confidence boosting few runs that allowed me to enter into the next 11 weeks training for my half in a healthy place, mentally for sure, but most importantly physically. My total time running time was 95 minutes which puts me at a 12:29 min/mile pace, which is right about where I was for my half marathon in October.
One of my favorite things about the Virtual 12K is that we had to give to charity. I couldn't make a financial donation because we're pretty strapped after Christmas and replacing the tires in both our cars (both cars had bald tires... yikes!). Instead, I decided to donate some of our clothes to a local single mother and children's shelter. I went through all of Pickle's baby clothes and kept my favorite 5-7 outfits for each size in case we have another boy some day. The rest I gathered for donation. After going through Pickle's room, I had 5 garbage bags full of baby clothes, mostly for winter and two very large bags of toys. We were so blessed to be given so many beautiful clothes for Pickle when he was a baby. I know some mother will get a lot of good use out of the them. I was further inspired to then clean out my closets and drawers and have 2 bags full of nice clothes that I just don't wear, and I'm not even finished cleaning/purging yet.
I can't imagine how difficult it must be as a mother to be homeless and to have difficulty providing for my children. Given this economy, it could be anyone in their position. I am blessed that it is not me; I wish I could be of even more help to these mothers and children.
I called the shelter to tell them I was brining donations tomorrow and they were really excited. I'm really looking forward to running that errand tomorrow.