Monday, March 31, 2014

Monument Ave 10K Wrap Up

I trained, I went, and I conquered! ❤ 58:31 for my first official sub 60 10K. 

Not a dry spot on me after the race

I am relieved. 

The forecast had me wigged out. What do you wear in the rain? Skirt, leggings, bare arms, jacket, what shoes? I opened the door when I woke up and it was humid - so as little as possible...
My sweet hubby rides us so we can just jump out of the car. He cruises by so we can hop in when we are done. It's a treat not riding around looking for parking. I am always anxious when I go to events. The rain factor had me feeling way more nervous than normal. 

We ran straight to the port of potties and waited quite awhile in line. It was raining, but not down-pouring at least. We barely made it to our wave. We qualified for a seeded wave this year, our wave had 700 people. The walker/joggers waves have 1500. Usually there are about 38,000 participants and numerous spectator bands, cheerleaders, cow bell ringers...this year I think it ended up being about 36,000 finishers. I guess the rain kept some away.  
Waiting in line with Kasey 

Waiting in line - we were still a little dry 

Chris and Kasey getting ready to go 

As we were moving forward in our wave I realized I hadn't turned on my headphones and started my play list. As the announcer started pumping us up to leave I realized I hadn't locked satellites on my Garmin....nerves. I don't think or function well when I am feeling that anxious. You would think by now those things would be second nature.  

Kasey and Chris were to my left as we were crossing the start line. I was distracted while waiting to hit start on my Garmin. It seemed like an eternity until the satellites locked, but in reality it was about 25 seconds. I kept looking for Chris and Kasey, but I never saw them. 

I took off slow because I was distracted, but quickly settled into a pace that felt smooth and not overly challenging. I continued to run mostly off feel until I turned the corner at the half way point. 

The course is pretty flat but there is a gradual incline that runs almost a mile before you get to the half way point. The course turns at 3.1 and you run the other side of Monument Ave. I had planned to pick it up after the turn, but the humidity was getting to me and my cheeks felt like they were on fire. The humidity was 94%, the temperature was only about 68 degrees, but it felt icky. I was sort of amazed I could feel that hot. At mile four I took a cup of water. Not long after, I got a cramp on my right side. (I wished I wouldn't have drank now) It was persistent and I tried to focus on deep nose breathing and then tried holding my arms up and it finally started to let up. Mile five it started raining harder and I was feeling disappointed because I saw my slower lap time as it clicked on my Garmin. I did some self coaching and talked myself into pushing on. As I was thinking (worrying about my overall time) and running I saw Chris. I was bummed Kasey wasn't anywhere in sight. I took off for my last fast push at the end and crossed seconds from Chris. We waited and finally Kasey came across. It didn't seem like we waited that long, so I was hopeful she had made the sub 60 also. 
Kasey crossing the line

My race plan was to make sure a 9:20 was on my Garmin each time I glanced so I would have some wiggle room to meet my goal. I also planned to push the second half if I felt confident I had the energy. My plan, based on my training, was to run the first half close to 29 minutes. (29:23 was my official 5K split) Training to me means you learn when and how hard you can push without complete burn out. While training I experienced some burn out and couldn't always meet my planned distance. It's a fine line, training helped me to figure out where that line was/is. I wanted to feel like I gave this my best shot. In my heart I believed I could actually make a sub 59, but I would have been happy with anything sub 60. I do feel like I left a little on the table. Mile 4 and 5 were rough. I wish I would have picked it up about a half mile sooner, but I was worried about the cramp and waited. 

Avg Pace
Summary            58:06.7            6.21 9:21

9:06.4 1.00 9:06

9:17.3 1.00 9:17

9:28.3 1.00 9:28

9:35.0 1.00 9:35

9:41.1 1.00 9:41

8:55.8 1.00 8:56

2:02.7 0.21 9:42 
*the course ran long, I had started 25 seconds after and still recorded this distance. Everyone else I knew was at 6.3 something

It's hard to run a completely perfect race, especially in rain. I have never trained in those conditions. My limited experiences in rain haven't been the most pleasant. 
When the official times were posted Kasey missed it by seconds. Honestly, it takes some of the enjoyment out of it for me. The perfect way to wrap up a rough race would have been accomplishing sub 60 together. 

She still did it an hour!
The finish line is behind us and all I could think about was a hot shower.

I wish it would have looked clear like this! 

2012 was the first time I ever participated in anything like this. I didn't even try to run it that year. I walked most of it and ran a little. This motivated me to go try to run a 5K that I ended up walking a little of (darn hills), which motivated me to start seriously working on running. It took along time for me to gain enough confidence to even try running. I just wish I would have started working at this when I was a lot younger. 
2012 - it was hot and sticky and sprinkled very lightly

2013 - warm and sunny 

This will be a hard time for me to beat next year! Time to retire? 
Do you feel extra nerves at races? 
April 12, 2012  Monument Ave. 10K  - 1:22:41
April 13, 2013  Monument Ave. 10K  - 1:01:40
March 29, 2014 Monument Ave. 10K - 58:31 

There's more to this next post will be about what happened after the race. 

Sorry this was a wordy one! 
Have a fabulous week everyone :) 
Happy Trails to you 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Life Happens

The week leading up to the race that I trained so hard for... got a little crazy. Trust me when I tell you that I wish running was what I was going to spew about.

Monday - We found out the Pastor that baptized my son passed away. His wife was my son's teacher for 3 years. Very dear to us and a sad loss.

Monday - My son had an accident. He's fine but his car wasn't and getting a call like that late at night is always rough. I was up worrying most of the night.

Tuesday - We found out the other driver had presented false insurance information and was not insured, so new problem to deal with and another evening up worrying.

Wednesday - I couldn't attend the funeral for Pastor Pete on Thursday so I decided to make the drive to the viewing Wednesday after work. It was a 300 mile round trip after work on Wednesday. I was glad I got to go and pay my respects to his family. I arrived home about midnight. 
Pastor Pete and my son 

Thursday - After work Kasey and I had planned to go the expo and pick up our bibs which was a good half hour drive down town in crazy traffic.

Thursday night when I came home from my fun expo shopping  it was already 8:00 p.m.and I still had to run to the store for a few necessary  lunch items for Friday so I wouldn't eat anything junky.

Run Buddy got lots of new things

We ended up with matching vests lol 

Sure wish the rain would stay away 
Thursday -At the expo all the talk was rain. I had ignored the call for rain earlier in the week hopeful it would change...
but no.

I checked this morning (Friday) to see this lovely prediction...

8 AM EDT, March 28, 2014

By WeatherBug's Luke Paris

Untamed weather will run rampant as rain and even a few thunderstorms drench the Eastern U.S.

Saturday's forecast is rain to the tune of a half inch.  I just have no idea how to prepare for rain. My one (race) rain experience was a shorter distance and pretty rough. 
I am just not sure how this will all turn out! 

Workouts this past week - one...sadly. I just couldn't get time to squeeze workouts in, Tuesday night was it. 32 minutes on the treadmill (used some incline) and did 35 minutes light strength training and floor exercises. This worries me a little, but I did train hard until last week so all I can do is trust in my training.

Sometimes life just happens.

I for sure had a shortage of sleep this week, but I did eat healthy and hydrate well. 
Quick confession- 
Friday a.m. I did break down and eat the doughnut offered to me - I think the forecast pushed me over the edge.

Anyone else ever have these weeks where life just takes over? 
Do you love when a race has a great expo set up?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Weekends - Never Long Enough

Some weeks feel like they will never end
Most weeks lately feel like they will never end...
Weekends go by so quick! 

Friends I haven't seen in about three years popped into town and I spent a really fun Thursday evening with them.

I really miss John and Margie
I ran a great progression run on the treadmill on Tuesday night and Wednesday after work I ran my last training run at speed. The best part...I did not have to ice. I was a little tight the next day but not nearly as sore as in past weeks...SO I am adjusting! I will keep alternating progression runs and intervals on the treadmill through the summer since my outdoor pace will be tanking when the humidity rises.

4 mile progression run 37:17

10K ( it was an overcast day) I feel so much better when it's not super sunny.
If I can't pull this off for the 10K it's going to make me sad

I had lots of rest days this week so I expected my Saturday work out to kick butt. You know how you have some days that are amazing...
...and some where you need a reset button. 
Saturday treadmill run 

My Saturday treadmill run was a rough four miles. I ran a 9:22 pace for most of it. I did end going up to 8:40 about the last half mile, but I felt like I was hanging on for dear life. 
That's one thing I will never get, sometimes after rest days I feel like a superhero and sometimes I can't hardly sustain my pace. I did get a good 45 minutes of strength training in, which always makes me feel better. 

I hope this means tomorrow I will have a great run. I am only planning about an hour. Run buddy told me I better taper this week and be well rested so we can cruise next Saturday...we'll see! 

Going to try to eat healthy and drink lots of water this week...does my favorite snack count as healthy? 
Dark chocolate on a strawberry...these are a few of my favorite things :) 

What's your favorite snack? 
Do you ever think you feel fine then struggle in your work out? That's the one factor of races that worries me. I trained, I can make good choices in my diet and get enough rest, and still just have an off day  :/  Trying to not think about that! 

Have a great week :) Send speedy vibes my way! If this upcoming week is like last week I may not blog again until after the race. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ice to Ten

Friday night icing....

Saturday morning...
Smiling because it was done 

10 miles down :)  I was really slow again, but I did it. Run buddy isn't as bothered by the sun as I am so we started off chatting, but by mile 5 it was all business. We got spread out by mile 7, she was running a 10:15 pace and I stayed more about 10:30. 

I finished 5 minutes slower than my best 10 mile time. It's funny how 5 minutes can make or break how I feel about a run. The good part was the icing did it's job and I was able to do it. I could feel a twinge of soreness in my knee the first few miles, but it worked itself out, and I actually felt really good Saturday afternoon when the run was done.  

I am heading to the gym to do some strength training and rest my legs until Monday.  I planned to do a training run Monday for time, but they are calling for snow...ugh...snow, after being 70 and sunny yesterday. 

I noticed when I came home from shopping today I have a little obsession about Parsley. I have some kind of weird fear about running out of it. I use Parsley and garlic powder on everything I cook. 

Parsley makes my taters look yummy

This week I am going to open this new torture device I purchased

Have a great week everyone :) 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ouch! Ice Please

Anti inflammatory and ice - currently happening. I've done more of this the past few weeks than I would like to admit. 
The little arrow is to show you where I experience the pain 

Speed work is rough stuff. A lot of folks warned me speed work is how runners get injured. I only half believed it, until now. In the past I've accomplished some decent runs (fast for me lol) and recovered fairly quick, but I've never pushed training this much. 

Overall I have cut my mileage back and I guess I thought it would balance out, but not so much. I am making gains trying to break new thresholds each week, but I am also experiencing a little nauseous wave each time I bend my knee tonight.
I've done physical therapy for several months (in the past) for this band on the inside of my knee and made little progress. I have been fortunate I've been able to adjust to running.

The last time I blogged (last weekend) I had just finished my slow nine mile run. I woke up Sunday surprisingly sore. Over the past five months I have rarely experienced real soreness or pain after a run. I have had bouts of tired legs, lead legs, feeling fatigued, but rarely actual pain. Sunday I had enough to make me wince. I stretched and tried to go run a slow mile. It hurt, so I walked and started to feel loosened up. I tried more mile...right knee hurting all the I bagged it. Home to ice. 

Monday no pain at all, but I still felt a little tired. Run buddy and I are doing the 10K together so we wanted to do a four mile progression run outside after I got off work because it was such a nice day. 
So off we went. I was struggling to keep pace so I stopped at a 5K, 28:26 one of my speediest, but I still felt like a flop because I couldn't make it to 4 miles. I just kind of melted down and stopped. This really messed with my head and I started feeling discouraged, worrying that cutting back my mileage I was losing my endurance, etc...
Avg Pace
I really just started off way to fast because I wasn't glancing at my pace enough. An 8:54 is truly an all out effort for me. Trying to pace outside is a whole different ballgame than a treadmill. I decided for a true progression run I better stick to inside. 

Tuesday I rested...but those little nagging worries about endurance, failure, etc... kept at me.

So Wednesday I ran outside and decided I needed to run my best effort without completely exhausting myself. It worked thankfully :) and it's funny what a difference 20 seconds makes! 
Avg Pace

I walked for a minute and ran two miles home more relaxed.

Avg Pace

My doubt faded after I got this done and Thursday I was back at the gym doing a 5K progression run (maybe I should have skipped this).
9:22 x 2  8:57 bumped to 8:34 for .30 

I felt SO good I did one more mile and knocked out about an hour of strength training. I was all excited Thursday night thinking I am adjusting and getting stronger.

Fast forward to Friday morning, I woke up feeling stiff and shortly after I arrived at work I started aching...bad...on my left knee this time and I couldn't bend it at all. 
So here I sit - icing hoping to be able to long run this weekend. 

I am not a fan of feeling pain, stiffness, or icing. Truthfully after I run this 10K (heaven help me if I don't PR) I will be glad to go back to running a more relaxed pace and feeling great (hopefully :/) after a run. 
I have run a few events where I totally had runner's first 10K 1:22:41 all I could think was, "How did folks get this done in under an hour."

A year later, 1:01:40 but I still want to be in that under an hour group (just once). I do feel really good about hitting some PR's that I believed were unattainable for me a few short months ago, but truthfully after this experience I think I will be okay to just enjoy the run. I am 47 and really need to take care of my joints. My life goal is to be running when I am really old :) 

After this event, I do not plan to set a time goal for any more races this year. I made my 15K goal...just barely...but I did shave 2 minutes off my best recorded time. 

My running schedule: 
Jan. 19th - 15K 1:29:54
March 29th - 10K
April 6th - 5K  Team Soup Run (Campbell's run) 
April 12th - 15K 
May 10th - Glow Run
June 1st - 4 mi Trail Run
Nov. 15th - Richmond Half 

Changing from intervals (once a week) to progression runs took me to a whole new level of fatigued.

How important are PR's to you? Thoughts on speed running causing injury? Am I just adjusting to a new threshold? I keep wondering if I will eventually start to feel more comfortable at this pace or should I bag it (after my race) before I get hurt?
Sorry, I couldn't resist sharing Tweek (orange) and BooBoo 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday Sun Run

Old man winter finally took a leave of absence here and it's 68 and sunny today, which is a reason to celebrate until you have to run in it. 
So here's the short version..
I went to meet run buddy today and she had a new hair do  :) How cute is that?! A little blonde and pink highlights. 

We decided to do a relaxed pace from the get go...
This really worked for me the first five miles or so, it was very nice to run and talk. Talking really does distract you from the time, your feet, etc..
At mile seven I was getting tired of having the sun blare down on me and I had to slow down. Kasey held her pace and was doing fine so off she went. The sun really drains the energy out of me.  I was happy today that I didn't get nauseous or light headed at all, I just wasn't comfortable. 
I was slow and I am trying to feel okay with it. 

I have a secret fear my body will get used to running that speed and I'll never be fast again. I think that's why last summer I would just keep pushing and then I would end up really overheated and nauseous. 

I ended the run smiling today...

Avg Pace

I hold out hope my 10K day will be a cool one...
and that the progression runs are helping my speed. Accomplished two this week: 

Run 1 (5K) - 9:30 9:18 8:57 and about .20 at 8:41
Run 2 (4 mi) - 9:40 9:30 x 2 8:57 & .25 @8:49

I also have a secret fear my age is catching up to me. Although I wasn't a runner until age 46, I was always a hard charger when it came to working out. I know it's not reasonable to think I can push now like I did in my 30's, so I am trying to accept that for the next six months I can only be speedy on the treadmill.

 I have a secret fear my body will get used to running that speed and I'll never be fast again. Anyone ever have that thought or am I just nutty? It's okay to tell the truth. Thoughts on progression runs?