Sunday, September 09, 2007

10K PR!

Bank to Bay 10k - finish time 1:04:00 by my Garmin. Chip time will show something like 1:04:30 - it took around 30 seconds to cross the start, but there was no start mat to catch the time. I went out way too fast, causing my heart rate monitor to start beeping at me - I was over the 160 limit. But it was hanging right around 161 so I let it beep away. Starting out too fast means my heart will stay high the whole run, and it did. But I felt good!

This is my sixth year in a row of running Bank to Bay. In 2002, I ran the 10K in 1:05:53 - a PR that would stand until today. At the time, I had had one heart episode - one time, one year before. In those days, I didn't take walk breaks. That means my PR today was even better because it included one minute walk breaks every nine minutes (and I didn't skip a single one).

Five months after that PR was the beginning of three years of health difficulties, repeated heart episodes, years of feeling ill most days. During those three years I ran the Bank to Bay 5K - I couldn't push my heart beyond the three miles. That was when I was told to add in walk breaks and to keep my heart below 160. It wasn't until gall bladder surgery in April 2006 that I started feeling good again. Surgery appears to have taken some stress off my heart, and it took away the constant feeling of illness I had. Better yet, my pace has picked up, my endurance has expanded and it takes extremes of heat or stress to trigger a heart episode.

Looking back at that 2002 time today was actually a little scary. Things went downhill so quickly after that and lasted so long...it makes me very thankful for the gift I've been given. I'm running well, I feel good and I really, really appreciate it. Sonya and I talked yesterday, she's been told to hang it up for a while and let her whole body recover. Turns out she has some disk damage in her spine that has been changing her gait and causing aggravation to her IT, knee and Achilles - a cascade of injury. After talking with her, I realized something - if, heaven forbid, things go bad for me again, I'll be fine. I've had a chance to catch my dream and live it. I hope it continues and while it is true that I'll be frustrated and whine and complain if it goes bad, at the same time I will know that I can, and I did, face the challenge and rise to it. I am a happy camper.

36 comments:

Sarah Elaine said...

Congrats on the PR! The fact that you did it and felt great is even better.

I like how your post evolved into a reflection about gratitude, too. Helps keep everything in perspective.

And when I look at your "Upcoming Events" on the side bar, I'd say you're having a *great* year!!

olga said...

Wow, Michelle, that's awesome! I don't see any 10k PR in my future and can live through yours:)

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Woo Hoo! And such a beautiful day! I hope it wasn't too hot. I thought of you and everyone this morning and was wishing I were there. I might get out this evening. I managed 13 miles yesterday, adding 8 in the afternoon. :) Have a great week!
Jenny

scott keeps running said...

Congratulations!!! That is awesome!!

Wow, I didn't know you've been dealing with some heart issues over the last few years. You truly are an inspiration for a lot of us out here in blog land. I'm glad you're running. It sure is fun, isn't it?

Anne said...

I may just have to pitch my next tent in your happy camp. Wonderful to hear the race went so well for you.

Joe said...

Fascinating how events like this allow for perspective on time and health. The PR is nice...the reflection on the gift of a good heart and a nice gall bladder is even better.

Great post, Michelle...happy for you!

Wes said...

Wow! Way to go, Michelle! You have come a long way since that troubled time. It's a blessing to be able to run, thanks for remind us all :-)

Juls said...

Congrats!

Sarah said...

I have that same skirt you're wearing! Luv it, except I don't like the strings. I think I'm cutting 'em short. Anyway, congrats on your pr! Woohoo!

shawn said...

Way to go Michelle! I bet that PR feels good! I'm glad you are enjoying your healthiness - I think it's so easy to take it for granted. So ... if I may ask ... was Mr. Barnes there at the finish line to attend to your every need?

wendy said...

Hey speedy!

Sharon told me you guys did awesome - I'm elated for you, and that's a fabulous photo too. =)

Congrats on a new PR. I forsee another one of those coming your way soon. ;-)

Jack said...

So happy for you, running a race is great, PR'ing is even better! Enjoy the victory, you're awesome.

runliarun said...

You could all learn from you. You live with courage.

Thomas said...

Michelle, as long as you are sensible with your running you will be fine for a long time to come, take my word for it.

E-Speed said...

congrats! What a nice accomplishment for you! And with all those walk breaks, that's impressive!

JustRun said...

Woohoo!! Congratulations! I'd better hurry up and make it to WA to run with you or you'll be too fast for me!

Sunshine said...

Congratulations!!
And that was one super amazing successful gall bladder surgery you had. Nice recovery.
Go, Runner Woman, Go!

susie said...

What an accomplishment, Michelle. Way to go girl!! You did face and meet that challenge.
susie

psbowe said...

Congratulations on the PR! You look really strong in the photo too.

Michelle, I'm going to keep saying this, you are amazing. NOthing stops you, anyone else would use that heart condition as an excuse not to exercise at all. But you, there's no such thing as barriers.

See you this weekend? OR just Eric? Either way, I can't wait! I'll see in Portland anyways.

Meghan said...

Yes! A PR!

I really liked the last paragraph of this blog entry. I read it a couple of times. It made me feel almost sad, though. I hopehopehope things continue to go WONDERFULLY for you so that you can continue to enjoy this amazing sport we do!

King Arthur said...

Congrats on your PR.
Fun thing is that I use 160 as my HR limit also.

Annette said...

Nice job! :) It's got to feel good to be past those scary days and be running well. Keep listening to your body and run safely. We're hoping you can keep running for a long time. But, I'm glad you have a positive perspective of the big picture. :)

Nicole said...

Awesome job!

robtherunner said...

Way to go on the PR! I am sure there will be more to come.

Addy said...

yay!! congratulations for the PR and the health comeback :)

craig said...

Congratulations on the PR Michelle. You give me hope that running may be something I can mature into.

Makita said...

Wow! Congratulations, Michelle, on a great race, PR & health comeback. Thank you, too, for reminding us that we should remember to be thankful for the everyday, for being able to run.

:)

Donald said...

Way to go,Michelle! Congrats on the PR.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

You look FABULOUS in the skirt! How did you like it?
Jenny

Try@thlete said...

PR! Congratulations. If my numbers are right, including the walk breaks, you really improved it by about 8 minutes plus...?

PuddyRat said...

Congrats on the PR, Michelle!

Ah, 2002. I believe that is the year I first began to "know" you, yelling "Go, Michelle." How far we have both come since then; you doing ultras and me doing Ironmans. Back then, who'da thunk it?

Way to rock that course. I hope to see you soon as I'm through with IM training for at least a year. I'm thinking of becoming a maniac now. We shall see...

Jon said...

YAY for PR'ing!!! I have an old Bank to Bay shirt that I bought at the Value Village in Puyallup when I was looking for gently used workout clothes a couple of years ago when I started running and getting my health on track. Maybe it's time for me to actually run that race. :-)

mtnrunR said...

yea, pr's are always cool. the brooks skort must have helped.
tom

scary i know what brand it is

Bob Gentile said...

Yeah !! Congrats Michelle on ur PR...Well done!! Great Pic too!

Dori said...

Wow, that's an incredible 10K finish! I'm happy for you!

Darrell said...

I love your sense of appreciation and survivor spirit. You are an inspiration. Congrats on the awesome PR!