Friday, January 25, 2008

Preparing for the 2008 Groundhog 10K helpfully reminds me of the upcoming race: Be sure to pack sunglasses, hat and sunscreen. (Um... It's underground people!)

After being out of town on business for the week, returning in the wee hours of this morning I picked up my race packet for the Groundhog 10K to be run this Sunday. I'll be runner #469, and unlike two years ago, I will now be smartly appearing at the starting line in shorts and a tank top. I knew I was in trouble when I was the only runner there in long pants and a long sleeve shirt two years ago.

Maybe only a runner can truly appreciate the uniqueness of this race--the only one of its kind in the country, run totally underground. It's quite warm, sometimes a little dark, and relief from the heat every so often as you pass close to the entrance of the "caves."

I ran it two years ago in 55:41, as my first 10K. I had only run 6 miles or more once or twice, and was actually worried about finishing. I weighed 2-3 pounds less than I do now, but I was a few percentage points in body fat higher then. While heavier is not always more desirable, maybe that's good weight, and I can actually recruit those muscles to do something meaningful!

Although I'm petite, I am worried maybe that I do weigh too much now, and just ordered Eating Clean by Tosca Reno in hopes of improving my eating habits to properly fuel my body, while whittling away any excess fat that is hanging around. I've really been focusing on eating healthy foods for the past several weeks, and I've done reasonably well, but there is always room for improvement. I am hungry all the time. My focus is on being healthy, strong and well-fueled. More on this in the weeks to come.

My goals for the race are pretty simple, I have three levels: First, I hope to at least break 53:00 minutes. Unless something goes terribly wrong, I should easily be able to achieve this. I would be very disappointed in myself if I didn't. Second, I hope to break 52:00--possible, but a bit of pacing and effort. This goal is one I consider personally worthy of celebration, and would illustrate decent pacing and hard work on my part for my fitness level. Finally, my "stretchy" goal would be to break 51:00. If I break this, I get a bottle of champagne out of the deal! Overall, as I go out I will be most concerned about pacing, to go out slow when my inner racer wants to go out too fast. And with no Garmin to slow me down, this is a real danger for me. I'll be posting my elapsed time goals on a band to track my progress. Now, it's just time for those last few race prep rituals!

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