Fifth Line 5k, A Whole Lotta Steps and Other “Stuff”

After last week’s post on soul care, things in my professional and personal life did improve.

Professionally, this past week has been less crazy and easier to handle. The initial transition felt like I was trying to herd my predecessor’s guinea pigs back into their cage. Now I’m only steering my own critters (metaphorically speaking) and developing jocular relationships with my agents, as well as establishing that I’m a competent, responsive helper who gets shit done.

Personally, Boyfriend and I made it Facebook official. We’d been referring to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend for about a month now, but decided to wait before putting it on social media and shouting it from the rooftops. From here out I’m going to make an effort to rein in how much I talk about him and us online, mainly because 1.) this is still a blog about running and marathon training, and I want my content to primarily focus on that and 2.) my relationship is extremely important to me.

Even though we are definitely still in the infancy stage, from day one we were having serious talks about how we want to grow as individuals and within a relationship. Frankly, he’s the only guy I can see myself eventually marrying and building a life with, and I’m a firm believer that one of the best ways to nurture a relationship is to keep it off social media. Don’t put his or our business on blast, don’t spend time or energy trying to curate an image for Instagram, and for the love of God don’t turn Facebook into a teenage girl’s diary of dry heaves and proclamations that OMG we’re meant to be because we sometimes color coordinate outfits.

So until a milestone happens, I am keeping him and us private.

And now that I got the “other stuff” out of the way, time to get on to my two recaps: The Fifth Line 5k and the Fight for Air Climb.

The Fifth Line 5k

Leading up to Fifth Line, my mom was doing her mom-ly duty of giving me weather updates, with the constant reminder that it was going to be cold and I needed to bundle up. Even though my winter leggings are fleece lined, I decided to layer those over my Lululemons. I wear a puffer vest over my long-sleeved fleece whenever it’s cold out, and I debated if I should leave the vest for Old Reliable: my black Columbia puffer coat my mom bought for me at Kohl’s when I was a freshman in high school. I’m making a pitch for Columbia here – if you want quality that lasts for years and years, Columbia is where it’s at.

However, I figured when running my internal temperature would go up 20 degrees and it would be smarter to check my black coat for after the race. A running tip is that while running, your body will heat up to 20 degrees warmer than it currently is outside. So if it was either 26 or 29 degrees that morning, while running I’d feel like it was 46 or 49, and therefore it would be smarter to wear lighter or fewer layers.

However, as soon as the race is over and you start walking again, that internal body temperature will drop back down to normal and for me, when it drops, it drops hard. So I decided to check my black coat so I could immediately have something warmer and dry to change into once I was done.

I also decided – and I’m still out on if this was stupid or not – to bring my sunglasses but not my mouth and nose cover. I discovered on a few training runs that breathing out when your mouth is covered results in foggy sunglasses. So I could either choose to not get cold air in my lungs but have to forgo sunglasses – which would mean dried out contacts on a bright, windy day – or protect my eyes and let the lower half of my face take one for the team.

The race itself was fun and went a lot faster than it felt. According to my Garmin watch, I ran the first mile at 7:55. I’m still skeptical, although I did indeed run faster than usual. The true reason is that I had a cup of coffee a little over an hour before I left my apartment – since coffee usually hits me quick – but lo and behold, the coffee decided it was staying with me …. until I actually started to run.

I decided that if I, ahem, embarrassed myself in the Arena District in front of about 4,000 other people then so be it, but the slight uphill during the first mile stressed me out.

I got a drink at the mile 1 marker and swallowed the saliva that had gathered in my throat. Bad idea. The rest of mile 1 was flat to a slight incline – down Rich Street to the bridge, in front of COSI and up the Broad Street bridge, all of which is a gradual incline to Marconi Blvd. At Mile 1.7 the gunk in the back of my throat felt like it was choking me. If I were smart I would have sloshed my water and spat it out that way. Instead I decided I could just spit like a guy and solve my problem that way.

I nailed my left thigh.

But the last half of the 5k was easier and more fun. I usually hum or sing a song that gets stuck in my head, and that one song will become my “race theme” for the day. Mom and I both love “Fiddler on the Roof,” and Tevye’s Dream is my favorite scene. So I was singing out loud to Grandma Tzeitzel and the chorus placing a blessing on my head. Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov! to see the daughter I don’t have wed. Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov!

Grandma’s head dress is pretty cool though.

The Mazel Tovs worked.

I PR’ed. My previous best 5k time was 29:20. I finished the Fifth Line 5k in 28:12 with a frozen set of lungs and a pretty heavy medal.

If that’s not the soul care I need, I have no idea what would be.

Fight for Air Climb

The climb itself was a lot harder than I remember last year being. I think I had a mild cold the week leading up to the climb, so breathing was strenuous. I told myself that even if I moved slowly I wasn’t going to stop outright, so through burning lungs, sore thighs and dizziness I kept climbing and finished in 10:38.

That’s 40 stories, 880 steps total. The pain was completely worth it.

My coworker Missy and I decided to stay after to watch the first responders climb. The climb is hosted by the American Lung Association to raise awareness and money for people suffering lung disease. Civilians go first starting around 9.

At 11 a.m. the first responders followed with their own ceremony, including an incredible rendition of the national anthem from a ten-year-old girl named Kayla, a moment of silence for the first responders killed in the Mt. Carmel helicopter crash (here’s the story from the Dispatch, if you don’t know what I’m talking about), and a plaque given to the surviving members of the helicopter crew.

Watching the firefighters in all their gear taking off was more emotional than I originally thought it would be. I teared up when I saw one of the men give his children hugs before going up …. And then squish them in another hug as soon as he came back down.

So with that being said, the last two weekends were busy, but they were so fun. Now it’s training time for the first half of the year: Carmel, March 30.

Happy Monday everyone,


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