Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am a Runner

Up until this year I loathed running, so it may come as a shock to some of you (my runner friends whom I would ask disdainfully how they could enjoy it so much and my parents whom thought I was attending track practice in middle school, but I was actually working on homework until track ended before I could return home) that I now consider myself a runner.

These same people also know that Justin and I ran the Ottawa Moose Miles 5K this past April. Up until that point I had, on the occasion, gone running for exercise, but nothing to the extent of 3.2 miles. I think I can confidently say that the most I had run prior to that experience was at most 1.5 miles. Was I out of my mind to sign up for the race? Maybe, but I went full steam ahead anyways. Leading up to the R date, Justin and I trained like madmen, and it wasn't surprising to find us legging it around our neighborhood on a Friday night. But after some sore legs and a new pair of shoes, we were ready.

I would love to give a play-by-play as if we participated in a high intensity football game, but there really isn't much to say about running a race. There was a fall down and a puking incident, but neither were one of us. We both had on our music and I told Justin he didn't have to stay with me, at 6'2" he is a foot taller than me and my short legs just can not keep up with him. I set him free to run at his own speed, which could have been the death of him because he said when he saw that he had run the first mile in under seven minutes, he knew it was going to be a rough finish. I guess I'm the steady one in the family. Before the race even started, we were surprised when we checked in and saw that Justin's dad, Jack, and younger brother, Jason, were also going to run. Justin's mom tagged along as well and was our lone cheerleader. In the end, we both finished within our goal times: Justin at 24:03 (3rd in his gender age group) and me at 27:22 (3rd in my gender age group). Jack finished at 24:27 (2nd in his gender age group) and Jason finished at 20:13 (1st in his gender age group and 6th overall). So, we all left with our shiny medals and that's the story of my first race.

However, our running didn't stop. Justin and I continued to go about three times every week all throughout the summer and continuing into the fall (though now we are on the treadmill). And we are planning to run the Fox and Turkey in Batavia on Thanksgiving, which is four miles along the Fox River. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm nervous, because I am. Though, I am going to do my best and my goal is to run the whole time, no walking for these puppies!

Enough of that though, what I want to share with you today is an awesome map tool that my runner-neighbor told me about. It is and what makes this a nifty site is that you can plot your path on their interactive map and it will tell you how far you went. No more guessing your distance when you are on the bike path or estimating how wide your neighbor's yard is, this baby tells you the exact distance.

And, you can use this for more than running. I have used it to measure how many miles our bike trip was and how far I walk from the train station to my office in the morning (depending on which route I take).

By creating a login you can save your routes and share them with other people. You can also search through other users maps. We have used this a lot to track how far we have gone and many times to settle a distance debate as well.

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