Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wonderful Winter Weekend!

I started off this year reinspired to focus on improving my health. Hence restarting my running program. Blech. :)

I have figured out that if I want to run, I can find some extra motivation by training for races. Nope, not the Indy Mini--I still have NO desire to run 13 miles. But I have registered for a few 5Ks and 5 mile trail runs. In the past few years I've walk/run a few 5Ks (for a good giggle, read about how I started running at my first 5k) and one 5 mile trail run, but I haven't ever managed to keep a running pace through the whole of any of them. So I set myself a new goal for this first 5k of the year--I wanted to actually run the whole thing. In training on the treadmill or on the nice flat crushed limestone Indy Towpath, I have done okay running a full 3.1 or 5 miles. But during the races, I haven't been able to continue running where there's been significant uphills. So, the first 2 races of this year are in Indianapolis, a great wonderfully flat place where I can finally finish running a race. And Doug is being a wonderful guy in joining me for these races!

So, we started the weekend by running our first race of the year, the PolarBear 5k through downtown Indianapolis, starting at the Indiana World War Memorial. I was a bit worried about this race, since I had been having some trouble in my training running a full 5k at a pace to match or beat my previous 5k best, 37.56. But despite my worries, we started the race on Saturday morning, at the balmy temperature of 37 degrees, with the forecasted snow/rain mix still holding off. Depite stopping (TWICE!) to retie my shoelaces, we passed the first mile marker at 11:40ish. Woohoo! More or less keeping the same pace for the rest of the race, with a little bit of a sprint at very end of the race, I finished my first all-running 5k race!
"Your overall finish place was 216 and your age group finish place was 12. Your time of 36:26.0 gave you a 11:43 pace per mile."

Immediately after the race, we celebrated by picking up coffee and a tasty chocolate croissant from the Indy Winter Farmer's Market. Yum.

Then we started a three hour drive up to Pokagon State Park to meet our friends, Juliet and Frank, for some toboganning! Yep, there's a toboggan run up in northeast Indiana, about an hour north of Fort Wayne. And we had a fabulous time. It was just about perfect winter weather, a few inches of snow. We ran the toboggan runs a half dozen times, and the winners of the top speed of the day (for us) were Juliet, Frank and Doug at 37 mph. Woohoo!

We finished off Saturday evening by heading back towards Fort Wayne, to a little town called Roanoke, to have dinner a wonderful restaurant called Joseph Decuis. Doug & I had gotten some gift certificates for this place when we bought some amazing soup at the Farmers Market. And the soup from the Market was a great indicator of the fabulous meal that we had. Yum, again!

This morning, we rounded off our wonderful winter weekend by cross country skiing before we left the state park. It's the first time I've skied since high school, and I was pleasantly surprised by finding it way easier than I remembered. Not that there wasn't shrieking and falling, but it was way fun.

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