Sunday, March 25, 2012

Race the Bar 5K

I went all week not sure if I wanted to race on Saturday. I didn't even pre-register. Mainly because they were calling for rain (and you know I don't run in the rain) and I wasn't sure if I wanted to give up another Saturday since the race started at 3pm. Actually, I still didn't know until about 1pm on Saturday. I figured we could drive to the race and if it started down pouring we could just turn around and come back home. That's one benefit of not pre-registering. Not a benefit of pre-registering - cost increases. 40 bucks for a 5K?!? Yikes.

Before we left home it started to drizzle a little but fortunately, it didn't last long. We got to the race site around 2:15 and rushed to get registered. That didn't take but about 5 minutes. So I had some time to just relax and make a restroom stop twice before the race started. I made that mistake last week at the Beerun and for the last 2.5 miles I had to pee really bad!!

I wanted to enjoy this race and not put too much pressure on myself for a specific finish time. But of course I had a goal in mind. I really wanted to finish under 30 minutes. I've only done that once last year in the Nightmare on Elm Street 5K. I still wonder though if that course was shorter than 3.12 miles (pre-Garmin race). I have a feeling it probably was short.

Once the race started I felt like there was so many people in front of me. I knew not to go too fast on that first mile or I wouldn't have anything left for the rest of the race. I looked at my Garmin and my pace was 8:28. I better slow down a little bit. It was a good course. A few hills, but nothing like those steep mountains in the Beerun! Yes, I will probably compare all hills to that race now. The rain held off and in fact, the sun came out and it started to get pretty hot (at least while running). My first mile went by and I knew it was in the 9 minutes but couldn't remember what time exactly. At the two mile marker I was still in the 9 minute range. But in that last mile, I started to slow down a bit. I knew to get under 30 I would have to pick it up and I tried. I just felt like I couldn't go any faster. As I approached the 3 mile sign and could see the finish line, I picked it up as fast as I could.

My chip finish time...30:22. Oh so close! My splits were 9:46, 9:38, 10:05 and 8:31 (for the last .12 miles). Average pace was 9:47. I'm happy with my time but I REALLY wanted to be under 30. Even if it was 29:59. Maybe someday my 5K finish times will start with a "2".

After the race was free beer and really loud not so great music from a live band. Don't get me wrong, I love concerts and live music but not when it's so loud you can't carry on a conversation. The race shirt was also a nice tech shirt and we all ended up "winning" (giveaways) a radio station t-shirt. So all in all, a pretty good race day. The next one in this series is in May. You can do a 5K or an 8K. At first I thought I would do all the longer races but now I may just do the 5K to try and improve my time.

Two more weeks until the beach and 10K! I really need to get a long run in. I wanted to do it today, but my legs were kind of sore from the race. I know I can get the distance and I'm not looking for a specific time for this race. I think after this race, I'm going to focus on speedwork instead of distance. I really liked doing intervals on the track and didn't get to do them as much as I had planned on this training.
FINS UP!!

Me and bro-in-law Doug




Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beerun 5 Mile

My first 8K race is done! I'm so glad that race is over and done! I was so nervous about it all week. I don't know why I was stressing so much over this race. Maybe because it was my first 8K race and it's a pretty big race with lots of great runners. It's also a VERY difficult course! And to add to that this year they changed the course a bit so the distance was actually 5.2 miles! Give me a break!

It was a beautiful day sunny and around 80 degrees. There was a chance of rain but thankfully it held off for the race. This was another reason I was worried. I do not like to run in the rain and I usually avoid it if possible. Since the race was on St. Patrick's Day most people were wearing green and some people had more costume stuff on like beads and hats. I bought a new shirt on Friday night after realizing the shirt I bought a couple of weeks ago was too big. Note to self: if it's a unisex shirt I wear a small. I also had to exchange my Beerun shirt because I registered for a medium and it was too big. Luckily, that was not a problem to exchange it before the race. The Beerun shirts are long sleeve and always look awesome!  I would have been very disappointed if I couldn't wear it. My shirt for the race said "I'm not short, I'm Leprechaun sized"!

Anyways, I had a couple of goals in mind for this race. My first was to have a 10 minute mile pace and come in around 50 minutes. Well once I realized this was actually 5.2 miles I knew that wasn't going to happen. On Wednesday night I did a "test run" on a course with a few hills. I finished in 52 minutes. So I thought that could be my goal for the Beerun. My second goal would be under 55 minutes. Then on Friday I read something that helped me stop stressing about the race. On our running group email, one of the girls did a half marathon last weekend. She said she didn't have as much fun as she did in her last half because she was so worried about her pace. Lesson learned (per Liz): "if you worry about your pace you won't have fun; if you don't sweat the pace, you'll have fun and may even surprise yourself with a good finish." That was just what I needed to hear. Of course I still had a finishing time in mind but I didn't need to worry about my pace so much. What I needed to do was make sure I had fun!

So I did have fun and finished pretty good. My official chip time was 54:12. That was an 10:31 average pace. Again, it was a difficult course. Even the elite fast runners said the course was challenging. Michael did awesome even with a slight injury. He finished 33 overall with 758 finishers! That was around a 7 minute average pace when he is usually around 6 1/2 minute pace. Those hills were no joke! It seemed like around every corner there was another hill. And some of them didn't even follow with a downhill! What kind of crap is that?!? I mean I appreciate a flat road but give me a downhill too! But after the race we all got our 2 free beers and just chilled out - that was well deserved!

Front of shirt

Back of shirt

Pre race with Michael

Pre race with bro-in-law Doug

YAY! Finish line!

Next race on the list is actually for this Saturday. I haven't registered yet because I wanted to make sure I would be able to do it. It's another 3pm race with free beer at the end :) And it's a 5K - yes 3.12 miles! I wanted to do this race because it's a new race series called Race the Bar. There are only 4 races so I thought I would be able to do them all and finish a series.

Also, I found a different 10K for April. It's in Wilmington on Easter weekend. We are going to the beach!! I'm excited to be able to get away for a long weekend and I love the beach! Only 3 more weeks of 10K training to go!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shopping and February Goals Update

Losing 40 pounds = replacing your wardrobe. Not just a few items but your ENTIRE wardrobe. Sounds like a great thing to have a bunch of new clothes, but it can get pricey and I don't LOVE shopping. Over the past few weeks I have purchased several items, but they all happen to be running or fitness gear! Not the real items I need to replace like work clothes/everyday clothes/underwear (TMI) etc. I take that back. I did buy two black pants for work (different styles) and a pair of jeans recently. I have managed to replace pants (for this season) and a few tops, but I am still wearing tops/sweaters that are too big and I just making them work for now. Hey, the season's getting ready to change and then I will have to buy new capris, skirts, shorts, tops, bathing suits... anyways back to the fitness gear!

Here is a running skirt and compression socks that I ordered from RunningSkirts.com.

There was a Schwaggle deal which similar to the daily deals like Groupon but for fitness products. You can sign up to receive the deals through Active.com (a great website too). The compression socks only came in purple for the deal, but aren't they so cute with the heart? I really wanted the preppy argyle skirt but they didn't have my size. I got the purple fitness skirt instead. I haven't ran in it yet, but did try it on and it seems really comfortable. I also haven't used the compression socks yet but I will!

More shopping: Camelbak water bottle, Adidas running shorts, Nathan handheld water bottle, New Balance sunglasses, Feetures! socks (lightweight for spin class), NordicTrack 3-n-1 foam roller. Also not pictured: two plain workout shirts (just needed a smaller size).




OK. I may have gone a little overboard. In my defense most items were on sale and I couldn't pass up a good deal, right? I'm not sure how great the sunglasses will be but they were only $10 at Marshall's. They look more like for sports so I think they will work better than my regular fashionable sunglasses. The Feetures! socks were technically free with a coupon. We had to make an emergency trip to Omega for a pair of compression sleeves for Michael. Poor thing is starting to have some leg pain and the BeerRun is quickly approaching!

I had seen the 3-n-1 foam roller in my Self magazine a while back. It has a large foam roller, a smaller ridge foam roller and a muscle stick all for $30! It's sold at Sears. Since Michael was having some leg pain, I thought it would be a good time to make the purchase. It comes with an instructional DVD which I will have to watch again because now I don't remember how to properly do all the stretching exercises!
Other recent activity besides shopping has included: a 6.35 mile run with the girls on Sunday, actually registering for the Beer Run, and continuing with the training plan (well almost) ;-)

February Goals Update

I'm not going to list the goals that have not happened yet because of timing (8K, half-marathon, 500 miles for the year). So here goes!

1. Keep a log of all runs using Garmin website. RESULT: DONE. I LOVE MY GARMIN!
2. Start training for a 10k race in January. RESULT: DONE. CURRENTLY ON WEEK 9.
3. Post to my blog ONCE A WEEK. RESULT: DONE. I WISH I COULD GET BACK TO POSTING ON SUNDAYS.
4. Finish a 5k race in 27 minutes (9 minute pace). RESULT: HAVEN'T DONE AN ACTUAL 5K DISTANCE YET - THE RACE IN FEBRUARY DOESN'T COUNT SINCE THE DISTANCE WASN'T A TRUE 5K. I AM GETTING A LITTLE FASTER. MY RUN YESTERDAY AVERAGED 3 MILES AT EXACTLY 30 MINUTES.
5. Do additional core exercises twice a week. RESULT: DID NOT DO THIS. I WILL SAY I DO CORE EXERCISES IN BODY PUMP AND PILATES. ALSO, I TRY TO ENGAGE MY CORE DURING SPIN CLASS.
6. Increase my weights for body pump classes. RESULT: DID NOT DO THIS. I'M STILL AT THE SAME WEIGHTS FOR UPPER BODY AND I ACTUALLY DON'T WANT TO INCREASE MY LOWER BODY WEIGHTS. I'VE READ THAT DISTANCE RUNNERS NEED TO STRENGTH TRAIN WITH LESS WEIGHT AND MORE REPS FOR LOWER BODY. SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD EXCUSE FOR ME!
7. Make LIFETIME for Weight Watchers. RESULT: I DID IT!!!!!!
8. Take daily multi-vitamin. RESULT: DID PRETTY GOOD AT LEAST DURING THE WORK WEEK. I ALWAYS FORGET ON THE WEEKENDS!
9. Eat more vegetables. RESULT: I DON'T THINK I DID MUCH BETTER THAN LAST MONTH. NEED TO IMPROVE.
10. Read a book once a month. RESULT: NOPE. STILL WORKING ON THE VAMPIRE BOOK FROM JANUARY.

So not too bad. I can see where I need to improve or re-evaluate: core exercises, increase upper body weights, veggies, reading. The biggest goal for February was making Lifetime for WW. I'm not sure my last post reflected how proud I was to accomplish this goal because I don't think it had really set in. When I first started WW in March 2011, I was only focused on losing that first 5%. The program starts you off with small goals so you will see success sooner than later if you only focused on your big or end goal. Then after 5% the next goal was 10%. Lifetime membership wasn't even on my radar until much later in the program when I realzied that I would be able to reach my end goal if I just stayed with the program.

The group run this weekend is Saturday morning and I'm not sure I will be able to meet them. I am thinking about running the Beer Run course that afternoon instead with Michael (if his leg feels better). This may not be the best idea since it's a difficult course but I think I would rather know what to expect. And who knows, I may even do so more shopping this weekend!
Oh yeah, total miles for February: 49.72 miles. Still on track for 500 for the year!