Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Frostbite 15K

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I ran the Frostbite 15K Sunday January 22nd, which was also my son's birthday!!  It wasn't a frost fest this year. Quite the opposite. Humid, drizzling, and gray skies as far as the eye could see, but great running weather minus a few wind gusts.

The Frostbite is put on by the Richmond Road Runners: the course is spot on, chip timed, no medals, finishers shirt, pizza after the race, $$ cheap entry, starts at 9 a.m. sharp.
428 finishers this year.
They usually post finisher's video with the results, but so far my video window remains blank :(  Update! It is not blank anymore...type 35 (bib #) if you want to see me cross the line.


 good shirt this year - it is not a tech shirt, but it is a lightweight cotton. 

I woke up race morning and hit the snooze button a few times. I finally dragged myself downstairs about 6:45 a.m., drank a cup of coffee, took care of cat duties, ate a few bites of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and about 8 pistachios, then got dressed and drove a half hour to the start line.
I had 10 minutes when I arrived, did the standard porta potty stop and boooom! Off and running...

I made 10 min. miles my goal.
I have been having a hard time sustaining this pace for any length of time, so it seemed like the right goal so I could challenge myself and feel accomplished.

Rain prep:
(and it never rained LOL)
  • Wear my brooks vest, it keeps me feeling dry, but air can circulate
  • phone in ziploc in my running belt
  • visor keeps rain out of my eyes
  • feetures socks - mid weight (because they don't slide one me when wet)
  • Leave the orthotics at home (they feel awful when wet) I have never run more than a few miles w/o them! 




I took off and felt exuberant and thankful it was not raining hard (as predicted), so I wore my headphones, enjoyed my music and had one Nuun tablet in my handheld.

Word of  the day...consistent. I am not good at running a steady pace, so I tried to find that goal pace and just stay at it.

I wondered when my lack of training would show itself.  I have struggled the past two months not feeling well, the Panama City Beach half marathon Dec. 3rd, was the last time I actually covered 9 miles.

I probably should have used intervals due to my lack of running the last few months, but the reason I signed up for this is because I wanted to run every step of a race. My feet can not handle the half marathon distance anymore with out intervals, and while I appreciate I can run a half that way, I miss being able to take off and run without pausing.

The first few miles I settled into my pace, enjoyed the fact it wasn't raining, hummed along to my playlist, enjoyed running in a "new" area, thought about trying to pick up the pace about midway, and appreciated how the racing atmosphere helped me to dig a little deeper.

I told myself if I was feeling okay after four miles I would try to pick up the pace, and I did!

BUT, I realized I was going to burn out, my energy was tanking fast! Around mile five I reached for my pack of honey stingers chews in my vest and realized I forgot them! My Nuun was gone too.  I asked for Gatorade at two water stops to fill up my handheld but they only had water...booooo! I could have used a little energy boost.

I had been around the same three ladies almost the whole race. My race plan became hang with the group; and up and down the hills we went. Nothing crazy huge, but it sure isn't a flat course!

I felt a few twinges of pain in the ball of my feet but nothing awful, and then right at mile eight, the pressure started. It kind of feels like someone is standing on my foot pressing down, like I am being squished and I am going to blow toes two and three right off. It was all in my right foot, which has become my nemesis foot. Thankfully, my left foot was behaving so I was trying to wiggle my toes back and forth, and land a little different to see if I could relieve the pressure.

SO...here I am in the last freaking mile feeling wonky from the pain, and I had to give in and walk. Stupid foot felt like fire...I walked 90 seconds. It felt like an eternity! I tried to run as hard as I could to make up the time, but my last mile would end being my slowest :(
I was so close to running every step of the race!

At mile marker nine I started pushing hard, I finished as strong as I could.  My right foot was throbbing, but the walking calmed it enough so I could rally a little at the end.


My official time 1:33:03 It is my slowest 15K to date, but I am proud of my time.  I am really coming to the terms with the impact this foot condition has on my running, and by the time I drove home I was completely over fact I had to take the walk break. Who knows??! I could be slower every year from here on out! What matters to me most, is that I remain in some kind of shape that allows me to cover the miles.

I was tickled I was actually consistent! Okay, truth be told, I got SUPER lucky I had some ladies around me who are better at pacing than I!!

A few more insights from this race I will carry with me:
  • I need to remember my fuel when trying to run a challenging pace LOL Duh!! I can't believe I left my honey stingers on the table. 
  • Set expectations for where you are currently at.
  • Based on my runs the past two months, this is a strong run. 
  • I still get discouraged at times over the damage in my feet but I will not give up. 
  • Took another huge step in the letting go process...I will not beat myself up over, or wish for, what I "used" to be able to do! 
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. It is just running. 
  • My feet seem to have about an eight mile limit for steady runs. I made this discovery during marathon training and even with my lower mileage the past few months, my feet gave up and the pain kicked in at about the same point. I should use intervals for anything longer than 8 miles, but I just got stubborn and wanted to test those limits again. 
  • I felt very accomplished with my effort and there is no way I would have pushed myself this hard on a training run.
Monday, my legs had that appropriate soreness that reminds me I gave it a good effort, and my tootsies were feeling better as the day wore on, so overall it was a very gratifying race.

My next racing adventure is a half marathon towards the end of February. My main mission right now is to get some kind of routine going and rebuild my endurance!

Thanks for reading my recap and sharing my journey with me  :)

Have you raced the 15K distance recently? 
Are you good at keeping the pace consistent? 
Any February plans? 

42 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you pushed through that last mile. Damn feet...

    You could just tuck a packet of Tailwind in your waist pack for emergencies...just sayin'.... (let me know if you want me to send you some)

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    1. I have been saving the Tailwind you gave for my long training runs I have planned. I am going to use it this weekend because i finally feel ready for a long one. You are so right, I could have carried a pack with me, i will next time! I will let you how i like it :)

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  2. I have a 15k this Sunday.

    I feel the same. Just get me through this. I am grateful that I can...at any speed.

    With that attitude, I definitely feel better about each race.

    Sure I wish I were faster but I never know what will happen during a race so I hesitate to set high expectations.

    They breed disappointment.

    I think your time was super. That's one of my faster 15k times.

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    1. More and more I don't even think about PR when I am thinking about my expectations for a a race...and that is a good thing for me :)
      Thanks, we still get it done, fast ror not!! Enjoy your race.

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  3. Biggest point is not to best yourself up for what you "use" to do. This goes for all of us. The ability to run, to complete a 15k, to hold strong through 8 miles...it's so easy to take that for granted. We have to remind ourselves about the blessing. You continue to be an inspiration, keep working hard :)

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    1. Thanks Richard, we get skewed to distance when we have been running awhile. We forget how far 8 - 9 miles really is lol
      being able to run is a huge blessing!

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  4. I know it's got to be really hard to be slower, but damn -- I wish I could run as fast as you! So there you go.

    I have the same 15k as Darlene Sunday. Supported long run, not really a race, but I've never done this distance before because usually I'm not training at this time of year. I bit afraid they'll pack up the course before I'm done & I'll get lost!

    And you know me, there's always walking. Just walking for 90 seconds in a 15k? I can't even imagine. You don't give yourself enough credit!

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    1. I hope you have a fun race!
      I get stubborn in races and don't want to walk even a little, but as you I have to now. I guess I need to learn to like 10K's lol but i am not really a fan of running shorter races. Maybe that will change.
      Thanks Judy, I try to keep a strong base of cardio - trust me, I still have days I need intervals for 3 miles :)

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  5. Great job with the consistency! I'm sorry to hear about your foot but it sounds like you finished strong in spite of it.

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  6. I am so sorry your tootsies hurt at the end. I have to say though, I am amazed that they start to feel better so soon after, because it sounds like the pain is pretty bad. How soon do they start to feel better? Like as soon as you walk, later that night, the next morning? Nice consistent splits, girl! And this is completely random, but you have great hair.

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    1. Thank you. I am never consistent and it was hilly :) I really was lucky some people around me who were right at the pace I wanted to be.
      The pain can get quite bad, when I walk the sharpness will subside pretty quickly, but the ball of my foot stays pretty tender. I was limping to the car and it hurt all day. Sometimes I worry I have pushed too much, but I did feel a lot better the next day and I ran Tuesday. It is weird how it goes from burning to sharp pains so fast. I have learned my limits though this year and I think if I don't abuse them too much I'll be running for a few more years :)
      Thank you on the hair. Winter it lays better because it isn't as humid lol

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  7. That vest is super cute!!!
    Hey you had a lot of obstacles and things not going the ideal way and you did it and finished anyway, you are amazing! Great job Karen!!!

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    1. Thank you! The vest is Brooks from a few years ago.
      Thanks, I am learning to be happy with finishing!

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  8. I LOVE that shirt. It looks really comfy and the blue is a perfect color for you!

    I'm sorry you had to walk, but I love that you are coming to terms with your "foot condition", whatever it may be. Our running has to change as we change, and I think you kept a REALLY solid pace and had a great race.

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    1. Thaaaank you :) The blue is really a nice shade.
      I have been though a long process this year of just having to let go "of when I get better" and be content with I have to work with. You are so right, I am changing and it is part of aging. It would be wonderful if these bodies did't wear down, but it is realistic they will. I keep trying to defy it as much as I can though lol

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  9. Great job!! SO awful when you get mid race and realize you forgot your fuel! Your paces were very consistent and I love your attitude about the foot thing. Sounds like your foot held up pretty well overall until the end. Great recap!

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    1. Thanks Christy!! It was such a bummer, I was wearing a vest with a zip pocket and I forgot fuel LOL UGH!
      My foot is happy with 8 miles, it is crazy how fast it flips.

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  10. Mad props to you for even attempting a 15k at this point. I feel you on the injury issues. My hamstring continues to slow me down, as does this weight gain I am struggling with. It is wise to let go of past abilities/expectations etc. although so not easy. Way to get it done!

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    1. It is not an easy process, some days are better than others.
      I got a 7 mile long run done so I figured that was enough training LOL
      You look great Marcia :)

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  11. You had great times, and your overall pace was under 10 minute miles. Congrats!! Now tend to that foot, so you can rock your half next month. :)

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  12. Awesome job Karen!!! I loooove all of your takeaways and that you ended up feeling really positive about this race. Despite your foot pain you still ran 99% of this race, which means you totally did it your way! I'm glad you have run/walk to help ease the pain too when you need it.

    "Set expectations for where you are currently at" has been my motto the last few months. It was hard for me to admit to myself that I had lost fitness since 2014, but by trying to run the same paces I was running then and finding it so hard was really making each run feel miserable. Once I accepted that things weren't the same i started enjoying running again because I could set realistic expectations for myself each day.

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    1. I am so glad to hear that! It is so hard trying to figure out where you are fitness wise and working with it. It is good you are enjoying running now. I've lost quite a bit of fitness too so I am going to try to do my best not to put pressure on myself to hit certain paces for now.
      You are right I did make 99% of it and I really shouldn't fuss about anything, I have not been able run consistently since November.

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  13. great pace Karen! My son has a birthday this month too- actually today :) I am thankful too that I am in some kind of shape to be able to get out there and do it! But dang, I suck at that pacing! I need Tricia back!!! Stay warm, it was crappy here today!

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    1. Thank you MB :) Hope your son had a great birthday! It is my Mom's BD today as well.
      Tricia is pretty good at keeping it steady too! I really don't do well on my own, I got lucky to have some steady pacers around me lol

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  14. I am happy it didn't rain! And that you are okay with that walk break. Sounds like your feet are trying to tell you you need them. I get not wanting to take them though!

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    1. Yep my testy feet will make it almost impossible for me to ignore them.
      I am getting use to the fact I have to interval and take breaks if needed, the only big suck factor with intervals is I can't run with anyone.

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  15. Sorry to read about your foot but good for you for running in those conditions.... when you thought it would rain. I HATE that. I have only been running once to twice a week in January. I have been doing more lifting and added in swimming every week. I do have 2 races in February, just in time for warmer and brighter days. I have been so glad I have not had to get up and run in the dark. It has been so COLD here !

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    1. Rain is always hard to get motivated for! I could face a 15K easier than a half, but rain running isn't fun.
      I will have to deal with my foot issue for forever, but it is okay I just need to figure out the limitations and move on :)
      All that cross training will pay off I am sure you will have good races :)

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  16. Despite a few hiccups you still did great. And so what if you had to walk a little.The title of the race would not entice me to run it...haha. At least it wasn't as cold as it has been in years past for you. I have never ran a 15k but have done a 14k over Valentine's day wkend

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    1. Thank you :) The Frostbite has felt that some years lol
      A 14K is perfect for valentine's day! I like a theme run like that.

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  17. I think you did a fantastic job! I'm still jealous you can run in shorts! And, you met your goal of 10:00/mile. Great job!

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    1. Thank you :) I do fortunately we still some short days in winter!! That is one reason I love winter, it is not humid feeling at all, summer is tough here.

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  18. Great job out there! Sorry your foot acted up but I'm glad you got a time you're happy with and that you achieved your goal of consistent splits. Sometimes we just gotta take the positives where we can get them!

    I'm in the same boat as you (struggling to regain fitness), so this post actually gives me hope that maybe my half marathon next month will go better than I'm expecting!

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    1. Hey Hanna :) I miss reading right now, I am trying to get back to make some blog rounds soon. Thank you so much, I did feel really good about how the race turned out and for me it was key to keep my expectations reasonable.
      Trying to rebuild is a bear of a process and hopefully you will feel things click for you soon! I am still working at it, and I have flashes of hope one run and struggle the next...I hope your half goes well! I have one at the end of this month...fingers crossed. Miss you, be by soon!

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  19. Awesome job on your run!!!!! 15k is a strange distance to pace. I have done a few 16k races and I always start out way to fast. At the same time I like those races because they are shorter than a 1/2 marathon. ;)

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    1. Thank you Heather :) I do love a 15K for working on speed! I hope I can get back to PR shape one day :)

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  20. Hi Karen! After finding your previous posts about your partial plantar plate tear via Google today, I'm so happy to see you were able to get back to running! I've dealing with the same injury since September. It wasn't bad enough to require surgery, (no toe shift and minimum pain,) and I *might* be starting to see daylight, but no running yet.

    I'm curious about when and how you knew you were able to resume running. Was the pain totally gone or do you still have any? Can you wear normal shoes now or *gasp* high heels? And what kind of toe yoga did your doctor recommend? (My first doctor sucked and my second told me there's nothing left to do.) Sorry for all these questions. It's just such a frustrating injury, as you're well aware, and I'm tired of being sidelined. Any suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Laura

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    1. Laura I am sorry I didn't catch this sooner!!
      It is a very frustrating injury! Coming back to running had some very tough moments and it took me a long time to feel better and feel string while running, but it did happen. I ended up with custom orthotics which have helped me a great deal. The balls of my feet sit very low and the inserts really helped redistribute my weight. I wear Dansko and sneakers most days now, because other shoes do cause me pain and I'd rather be comfortable and be able to run.
      When I first started running again I always used intervals, and worked my way back to steady running, however my feet kind of have a limit of about 9 miles. Anything over 9 and I am still using intervals but I really enjoy myself and that is what really matters. I hope you are making progress and out running some again.

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