Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Trot 5k 2012

Since we were headed to my hometown for Thanksgiving, I wanted to find a race for the weekend. The Turkey Strut was the perfect option. It was managed by Setup Events, and was well run.

The packet pickup was a breeze Wednesday night. A shirt, a bib, some pins, and a disposable timing chip. Simple and to the point.

Hubby brought me over to the race for the 9 am turkey day start. Parking was easy and we walked across a parking lot to the start. There were two negatives to the overall experience. I lost hubby when I went to the bathroom, and couldn't find him when I wanted to hand him my pullover. Since parking was close, I jogged over to drop my pullover at the car. I didn't see him until the end of the race. He kept looking for teal and I was now in yellow.

Since I didn't know anyone racing, my plan was to run it fast, have a little fun, and get back home to start cooking. I started closer to the front of the pack than I normally do, but was mindful of those around me. There ended up being almost 1200 people running, so a nice size crowd.

The first mile went fast and downhill, 7:56, and I started wondering how long I could keep that pace up. And my heart was also slamming. I must have beginning race jitters. I finally got my HR under control about the time we started uphill. My Garmin says it was only a 211 foot climb, but it felt a whole lot worse than that. Hence the slow down for miles 2 and 3. I even walked a few steps during the third mile because I knew the finish was up hill and my hands were tingling from poor breathing.

I was able to kick it a little at the end and finish strong ... uphill. Who thought that was a good idea? Definite negative for me.

Hubby was waiting for me at the finish (looking for teal) but did manage to snap a photo. My race photo stunk because there was someone in front of me.

Yes, I think that is a heel strike I see. Ughhh!
Overall, I was happy with anew 5k PR by 3 minutes. 25:41 official time. Good for 12th in my age group and 75th woman. Why does the 35-39 age group have to be so competitive? I would have been in the top ten in the AG either direction. I guess us 35-39ers realize we need to get our act together.

After some water and a banana, we roamed around Fleet Feet so I could ogle expensive running clothes. I did buy a tube of Citrus Fruit Nuun to try (okay, but wouldn't buy again). I'm a grape, strawberry lemonade and fruit punch fan.

I did see this awesome sign in the store.

Mission accomplished on a tough course. Now wish I didn't spend the next 5 hours standing in the kitchen cooking and washing. Oh well. Another successful Turkey Day completed.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekly Recap

I have to admit that I was still on a bit of a runner's high after last week's great race. This week was crazy busy with work and fundraising commitments so I only got in one run, and of course it had to be on the treadmill. But one run is better than no run.

Courtesy of One More Mile.
The longer the week went, the more I felt those around me were insane. It was one crazy thing to work through after another. It does give me one more reason to enjoy running.

This also made me smile, but now I can't find where I got it from. Facebook I think.

To shake things up a bit, and because I still wasn't sure race was next on the plan, I did a speed interval run on the treadmill. 3 miles in 30' with 6 30 second sprints midway through. I felt good during and after, until the next day. My quads were sore for two days, which made me very happy.

On Saturday, I stalked another training team (found them on FB) and ran 5ish chilly miles with a half training team. There were about 35 people there and most had just finished training for the Richmond Half. I fell right in with a girl running 9:40 and it felt comfortable. We came across a gorgeous landmark I had never seen, the Virginia House.

The crazy thing was the first 3 miles were all 9:38. I am never that consistent, and I was explaining this to a friend exactly at 9:38 am. Should have bought a lottery ticket. Ended up with 4.72 miles in 45 minutes. I will definitely be joining this group again.

I did finally jump in and sign up for my first half, the Anthem Half at Virginia Beach over St. Patrick's weekend. It's a flat course, I have access to an easy training group, and it just felt like the right one to pick for my first.

I spent a little time with my girlfriends and James Bond on Saturday night. I highly recommend Skyfall for the suspense and drool factor. Watching Daniel Craig for 2+ hours doesn't really have a downside (glad hubby doesn't read the blog ;)).

Because of early darkness, a commuting hubby, and signing up for the half, it looks like I will be running a long run on Saturday and a shorter one on Sunday. This will make the week more doable. Still ironing out the training plan, so feedback is always welcome.

I did run a speedy 3.1 tonight (28:42). My fastest 5k time yet, but I'm going to attribute part of it due to the need to pee. But it did feel easy. Still can't believe I have a little speed in my legs.

Well this got longer than I wanted. As I have been in pjs since my shower at 6, it's off to bed. Nighty nite.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

HCA 8K Race Report

I could sum this race up with one word for me = AWESOME!

I was ready and excited after last week's great run where I knew I had a little speed in my legs.

The weatherman was calling for 32 at the start on Thursday, but thankfully changed to 40 by Friday night. I hate the cold, and it takes me forever to warm up.

Of course, I tossed and turned trying to sleep. We had guests coming in for the weekend and they wouldn't be getting to our house until close to midnight. Thanks to hubby for staying up to greet them. Then I was afraid I would oversleep, so I woke up early.

So once I was up, temps looked promising. I quickly dressed and downed a slice of PB bread and some coffee before heading out. The race starts three blocks from my office, so I had a plan for parking which can be a little crazy for the race. As I headed outside, I saw a person walking down the street in a short dress and flip flops. I kept looking and realized it was my best friend (who lives across the street) to come wish me luck. She is AWESOME, and she snapped this picture for me.

I am crazy conservative and wore this wild outfit. I love how running has done that to me.

I met up with the Mother Runners for a group photo.

K and I are standing in the back. K is so cute and she was nervous about the race, but I knew she would do great. The plan was for me to stay with her as long as I could, but not hold her back because she is speedy for a new runner.

We jumped into the back of the first corral (never thought that would be the right place for me, but it was perfect). And we were off. The course takes you right down Broad Street through the VCU campus (go Rams). I was hanging with K as we zig-zagged through slower runners. And my Garmin started yelling at me for a heart rate alert ... way too high. I think I was super amped trying to figure out if I could stay with K (we were running 8:40) and I was panicking if I could run 5 miles at that crazy pace. It felt tough but good, but I had never done that for more than a mile.

So, I let K go and my HR dropped. Good decision because then it was just me doing what felt right for me and not worrying about holding her back.

Now my secret goal time was 44 but I told everyone I was hoping for 45. The course is an out and almost back with a strong downhill finish, and I am always slower on the downhill due to my ITB. So I started planning that if I could keep up with mid 8s, I could bank time to slow at the end (I know, most people speed up but I'm weird).

I turned on my iPod at about 1.5 miles to go and it was the perfect mix of songs to pep me up. I kept checking my cadence and I was hitting 90 or above, AWESOME. And then we hit the downhill. I checked my time, and wondered what in the heck was going on because I was way faster than I planned. Note to self: train on more downhills. This course led you right down to the river, and I was afraid I would fall (and tear the knees on my wild pants).

I actually got faster with my pace and turnover on the downhill.

What the heck, I couldn't believe this time as I was crossing the finish line. And I could see K just ahead of me. My official time was 42:34 (26th in my age group), and I couldn't have been happier.

And I can't believe I didn't take a single picture at the end. I think I was too surprised to think clearly. And I had NO knee pain = AWESOME.

I cheered on some other runners from my group and wondered around a bit with some friends before finally heading to the car and in search of a Starbucks. I was ready for coffee and my spinach wrap.

And what does any obsessed runner do when they get home? Upload the Garmin to over analyze my running and start planning for the next race. An almost 15 minute improvement from last year. I am so ready to tackle that half marathon. Now, which one do I pick?

And just because (one more time) AWESOME.

Why do I run?

Zooma Run challenged Mother Runners to explain why they run

I run because it gives me something that is just for me.  Time on the road or time on the treadmill, hopefully with friends close by to make the miles go fast.  When I tackle a long or hard run, I love how strong it makes me feel at the end.  I'm ready to tackle anything.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

HCA Richmond 8K Training Thanks and Expo

I have to first thank my running coaches and team for providing a great supportive network for moms to run. Mother Runner Training is what got me started running three years ago. And this is the first time I have been able to run with an intermediate group due to a finally healthy ITB. So thanks to Rachel, Grace, Cathleen, Stephanie and Jessica for coaching our groups.

So onto the review. The 8k is done in conjunction with the Richmond Marathon and Half-Marathon. Due to the cancellation of the New York Marathon the week before, we had a larger than expected marathon field. I was happy that this was a good option for those unable to run from Sandy's aftermath.

I normally head to the expo on Thursday night for Richmond races because they are so big and many people come Friday from out of town. Due to Little Dude's birthday on Thursday, that wasn't an option this year. I was able to get there before 5 on Friday with two friends. This expo always seems smaller to me with less vendors than the Monument 10k, but still so crowded. Packet and shirt pickup are always easy and fast for both races. The only downside was that they were out of all the smaller sizes in shirts that I liked, and iFitness was out of hydration add-on bottles that my friend wanted. Note to self, find a way to go the first day. I did get a cool shirt for my cycling hubby. We had a great dinner at Kitchen 64. Spinach, jalapeno, cilantro hummus is amazing.

I was so excited to get this race under my belt. I felt strong, ready, and injury-free to tackle those 5 miles. Stay tuned.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

I can do this

When: Saturday morning

Distance: 5 mile out and back course through downtown

Temperature: 36 degrees at 7:30

Clothes: I wore an awesome new cold weather shirt from Reebok (but forgot to take a picture), Asics tights, New Balance shoes, new Brooks gloves in pink of course

Goal: Run it fast to see what I can do it next week's 8k. I know it's not the smartest move the week before a race, but I wanted to give it a shot.

I had to stop at a few intersections on the last part, hopefully that explains some of the 6-7 minute pace spurts. But I did it, and felt great.

An 8:33 mile. (Insert super big smile here 😃) After being injured for so long with that crazy ITB, I didn't think I would see a mile that fast.

I am so ready for this race next week.

Run Jilly Bean 👍