it’s the shoes…. (how I became a runner part 3)

In January of 2010, I faced a pretty major challenge.  My business partnership, which had been struggling for a couple of months, finally came to an end, and I found myself alone in managing the Mac store.  I was fortunate to have a really good, well-trained staff, AND a husband who was more than happy to step in and help out anywhere I needed him.  BUT, it took its toll on my time, and running just didn’t make the cut.  At that time I had also been nominated for a position on the board of NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts).   I was very concerned about whether I would have time for this, now that I had no business partner.  But as I said, I was extremely blessed to have so many supportive people in my life, and they all encouraged me to pursue the opportunity.  As it turned out, that decision became very important.  Not just because I was, in fact, elected, but because it was at that conference that I met a very special person who would become my next major source of inspiration in my running.

Having worked in the same industry for years, I actually had met Michael before…several times in fact, but at this conference, I actually got to know him.  We started talking about our kids and suddenly, i had a familiar feeling….it was just like when I opened the door and saw Diana standing on my doorstep.  I knew that this friendship was going to be one of the major ones in my life.  We continued to communicate after the conference, mostly by email, eventually we added skype chats, texting, occasional phone calls (Michael is Canadian, and although down here, we all think of Canada as the 51st state, it is, in fact, it’s own country, and Michael and I are both cheap, so we mostly stick to FREE methods of chat), we also found scrabble games and their included message centers to be reliable forms of communication.  Not so reliable were the messages sent by my daughters to his daughters via the Canada Geese….

But more about Michael later, back to Diana for now, because although she had moved to New York, and despite beating her in the 2009 Turkey Trot, she was still my top competitor and we had a race coming up.  One of our girl scouts had been working on organizing a 5K to benefit Prairie Park Nature Center, and Diana was going to fly back to run it with me.  By this time, things were settling down at the Mac Store and feeling comfortable, so I started running again in June.  I ran 3.22 miles in 39 minutes, an average pace of 12:04.  The majority of that month, my pace was around 12 min miles.  Then, suddenly, at the end of that month, I broke under 12.  I did a 2 mile run (and as I recall, i ran the whole thing…no stopping to walk) in 23:22, a pace of 11:40.  Two days later, I shaved nearly a minute off and finished in 22:15, a pace of 11:07.  My strategy for most of July was to focus on that distance, with an occasionally longer run thrown in.  I also made another trip to Garry Gribble’s. My running shoes were pretty worn out, and it was time for new ones.  I’d gotten serious enough that I decided to spend a little more on shoes.  (It also helped that I had gotten birthday money from my mom for shoes)  I bought a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes…and OH HOW I LOVED THEM!  On July 29, I went out and ran a 5K in 32:36, a 10:31 pace.  I felt like I could really reach my dual goal of a running the full 5K without stopping to walk AND finishing in under 30 minutes.  However, August proved to be a lot of up and downs…inconsistency seemed to be my game.  My pace varied that month from 10:30 miles all the way back up to 12 minute miles.  I was feeling a bit discouraged as the 5K was scheduled for the end of September.  As it turned out, the plans for the run fell through, but Diana came anyway.  It was really good to see her, and just the kick in the pants I needed. I got back into my training in October and managed to end the month with a 3.15mile run in 31:22, a 9:58 mile.  I was thrilled to have tackled a sub-10 minute mile.

So NOW did I consider myself a runner?  No, because I still didn’t enjoy RUNNING.  I liked how I felt after, and I enjoyed having time to myself….no kids calling “mom”, no husband pestering me, no employees needing something from me, and most importantly, I could listen to whatever music *I* wanted to listen to.  That was cool.  I liked that, but I did not really *like* running.  Unfortunately, that would be my last run of the year.  It seems Mac Stores are quite popular in Lawrence around the holidays, and once again, with my time stretched, (and with no real love for the sport), running just didn’t make the cut.

Once again, for those keeping score at home:

  •  November 2008 Thanksgiving Day 5K time – 57:24 (Pace: 18:28.52 min/mile)
  • Feb. 2009 Psycho-Wyco Psychedelic 5K Ice Version – 56:36.7 (Pace: 18:13.07 min/mile)
  • March 2009 Shamrock Shuffle 5K – 39:50 (Pace: 12:49.27 min/mile)
  • November 2009 Thanksgiving Day 5K – 36:44.7 (Pace: 11:49.4 min/mile)
  • October 2010 Unofficial (training run) 5K time – 31:22 (Pace: 9:58 min/mile)