Earth Day 12K, Clermont Florida
What a beautiful day in Florida for a 12K. Well, at least I said that for the first 6 miles. Then it got hot. Then I stopped noticing the beautiful scenery and looked for the nearest water station.
I found this race near Lake Louisa State Park where we decided to do some camping. The race circumnavigated Lake Minneola in downtown Clermont. Clermont is known for races, especially triathlons. In fact during this weekend of the 12k they had a 5K, a triathlon and a half marathon. Fit folks in Clermont.
The race was relatively small but well-supported. Great shirts and medals along with plants awarded to first, second and third place in every age division. Earth Day afterall.
After the HOT race we drove to Alexander Springs. Central Florida is filled with natural springs and this one did not disappoint. Some cool swimming and then back to our campground.
It was a nice weekend. A great race. Quiet time with the family. All boxes were checked this weekend on things I’d like to accomplish.
Been a busy week around our household. The main event is that our middle child is turning 16. Life is moving at warp speed. Barely slowed down enough for me to write the enormous check to our auto insurance agent to add her to our cars. I’m paying a lot of money to be scared.
The weather in South Florida has been beautiful. The scorching sun has stayed at bay with a 70-degree reprieve. Made my Wednesday night track workout so much more bearable. I’m in a track group that is so far advanced. When I say I’ve never qualified for Boston, I know they gasp inside but put on a brave face and ask what other races I’ll do. Have a two weekends of 5K’s we’re doing with the kids but have my eye on a fall trail marathon. Starting to really love trail races. Need a goal on the calendar. These are the hot months when my mojo for running melts. Will cling the best I can.
Been vacillating a lot around different running apps the past couple of years. Loved Nike when it first came out, then found their watches glitchy and would often not upload workouts. Also, Nike watches (expensive ones) seemed to only have a lifespan of about a year before I’d have to replace it. They were under warranty but it gets old going through that claim process to replace a watch before it’s 1-year birthday. I moved on to the app Strava which my husband loves but found I didn’t always like running with my phone. As much as I love a good podcast, sometimes I just want to run with my thoughts. Additionally, if you are listening to music with Strava, it would sometimes seem to mess up. Auto pausing in the wrong place or stop talking to you.
One of my goals this year had been to run more intentionally. Not just eek out miles but to put on some intensity with them. All research points to the fact that intensity is going to trump duration. With that said, I bought a $200 watch. Gulp. The Garmin Forerunner 220. That was a serious chunk of change for a running watch. That’s a plane ticket to a lot of places. Anyway, having had the watch for a month now I have no buyers remorse. It’s been wonderful. I love just looking down at any moment and seeing my pace. I’ve started picking up that pace. When I realize I’m lost in thought I look down and realize I’m now cruising at an 11:00 mile. Time to get going.
It also lets me program in intervals such at run 1200m then rest 400m or it can do it by time such as run hard for 3 minutes and rest 30 seconds. It takes any distance and time variation with ease.
Another huge advantage is no uploading. My watch pairs with my iPhone when they are near each other without me a doing a thing and all of my stats are up on Garmin Connect for further analysis or bragging on Facebook/Twitter.
$200 is a lot of money. So are buying organic apples, my thyroid supplement, healthy lunches for my kids, etc. These are things where your money should go. Running and eating better will hopefully see me through a happy and healthy life. In my opinion, the Garmin 220 has been money well spent.
I’m always focusing on running longer. How far can I slog it out? If I’m getting tired, I slow it down and set the cruise control on lollygagging speed. I’ve always measured my success on reaching distance miles. Run a 5K, try for a half, then attempt a full. My biggest benchmark was to finish without walking.
Lately, I’ve been focusing on getter faster rather than farther. To do this, I joined a track club. Something so totally out of this solitary runner’s comfort zone. Let’s just say that the warm-up is hard on me. It’s intimidating how fast everyone is. Many runners there are looking to get down to a sub 6-minute mile while I’m looking for a 9-minuter.
However, what I have learned over the years is that runners are very inclusive and accepting people. If you ever feel like there’s too much negativity in your life first turn off the news and then go join a running club. Runners are so positive. My coach recently came in 3rd place overall in a competitive triathlon yet he never fails to offer personal advice to my turtle speed. He treats me as though I’m an elite athlete attempting to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials.
It’s paying off too. I’m seeing my times start to dip lower. I’ve decided to give my speed more attention than my distance. To stop getting lost in my latest Audible.com selfhelp book and focus on the expensive Garmin220 on my wrist and get that mileage time down. Time for some mindful running.
As a perpetual goal-oriented planner, I put a race on the calendar. River, Roots & Ruts Trail Marathon. I’m not planning on doing the half but a half-marathon relay. Each person takes half of the half. I’ve enlisted my husband on this one and that can be a scary thing for me as he is not only a 7-minute mile runner but extremely competitive. I intend to give this one my all so that Team Lutz does not disappoint.
How can you not want to enter a race that has this shirt and award?:
If you’re running is getting stale, don’t just think about a different route or distance, think about time and intensity. Studies have shown you don’t have to run for hours for the major health benefits. The intensity matters more than the miles.
Running is about testing your limits, so go find them.
The pleasure of jogging and running is rather like that of wearing a fur coat in Texas in August: the true joy comes in being able to take the damn thing off.