Thursday, September 20, 2012

10 miles

Hello ARG readers! I’m still trying to catch up on blogging to current dates (my last post I just posted happened 3 weeks ago). So I’m going to make this post a recap of the past few weeks and it will help me not feel so far behind!

WRS coaching update: The Royal Blue group (or Royal Pains as we named it) is still doing fantastic! Only 3 more official class group runs and then it’s time for the big dance…Women’s Only 5k on October 6. For the next 2 runs, their run intervals increase to 10 minutes with 2 minutes of walking times 3 sets. This will be their biggest yet but I know they can do it! We’ve been running in some challenging hilly areas since the race has a few hills in it (like every race around here). They are learning to embrace the hills (me too) since we know they make us stronger runners!

Half-marathon training update: I have a new personal distance…10 miles!!! Yay, finally double digits! I met some of the girls to run on a different greenway a couple of Sunday’s ago. This greenway is actually on my side of town so I was excited to try it out. I’ve been there before and walked it with the boys but I haven’t run on it. We met in the morning around 8:30 and I was hoping my tummy would cooperate better with me this time. From our starting point, I did 3 miles out and back. The beginning of the greenway out of the park was kind of slanted. This was the only part I didn’t like. But once you got a little ways out, the path leveled out. It was nice and shady and had a couple of water streams. It’s good to have different scenery to look at.

It happened to be a weekend Michael was working a triathlon out of town, so Ryan went with me and rode his bike. After I ran 6 miles and he biked 6 miles, he was ready to go. Seasonal allergies started back up for him that week and he wasn’t feeling great. I really wanted to stay and finish out 4 more miles, but sometimes you gotta what you gotta do. I figured I could just run 4 miles around my neighborhood when we got back home. So my question is does it still count as a 10 mile run even though I got a 45 minute break after mile 6? Well I kept my Garmin going as if it was one continuous run just to see those double digits! I will say it was nice to have a bathroom break and chance to refuel and hydrate. If only I could get that kind of break during the half, but of course, it doesn’t count against my time…I could deal with that!

I also got in some speed work doing mile repeats. Coach Jen set my pace time for 9:45 and I thought there is no way I can do that. But I was very excited with my splits: 9:33, 9:50, 9:40. Yeah I rocked those mile repeats! The weather here has been perfect for running. It’s been much cooler and dry, love less humidity! You can really tell fall is just around the corner.

This Saturday I’ve got the third race in the Race the Bar series. Here are my posts from the first and second race. I’m doing the 5k again and I think I’m supposed to somehow run like 12 miles that day too (ugh). We checked the course out the other day at lunch and of course, hilly! Some of the course is the same as the Beer Run which had some major hills. I’m calling it, the Mini Beer Run since its 3.1 miles instead of 5.2 miles. I don’t have hopes of finishing sub 30 minutes on this course. My goal is to finish with a decent time and hopefully continue to secure my spot in third place overall until the next race (yes third place, I don’t aim high). It’s only by default of actually doing all four races since I’m obviously not fast. If I fall out of placing, I probably won’t do the next one. There is actually another race that day that sounds much more fun…Greensboro Zombie Run!

Monday, September 17, 2012

9 miles

So much for blogging every week…

I finally posted the race recap from the Kirkwood 5k that was 3 weeks ago. Since I forgot to take pictures I was waiting to see if the professional photographer would have some up on their website, but I haven’t seen them yet. The camera I have is a Kodak that’s an older model but it takes good pictures. It’s kind of cumbersome to load them up to the PC and all. My cell phone has a camera that’s decent but I’m sure it’s not the greatest. I would love an iPhone (since it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world) but I also like my smart phone that only costs $26 bucks a month (thanks Virgin Mobile!). Maybe Santa will bring me an iPhone for Christmas. Not the fake Santa at the mall, but the real one that lives in the North Pole. ;)

WRS coaching update: We are halfway through the school! My group is pretty amazing and all of them are doing a fantastic job! Each week their run interval increases and even though they dread it, they go out there and just do it! As I said before, it’s so exciting to see how quickly their running has progressed. Only 3 weeks now until the Women’s Only 5k and for some of them their first 5k. I have no doubt they will all be ready. I have really enjoyed coaching (or just being a cheerleader!) and I already hope I can do it again next year!

Half-marathon training update: I am also over halfway through this half training. I can’t believe the race is only 5 weeks away!! The week after the Kirkwood 5k, my runs were not so great. I think it was because of running hard for the race. And it didn’t help that it became hot and humid here in NC again. The first crappy run was a 6 mile trail run. I’m not a big fan of trails. This one actually wasn’t so bad as far as roots go. I just didn’t feel like running 6 miles that day and that was already in my head before I started. But I did it and hated almost every minute of it. My legs were sore and felt heavy; I was slow, hot, and getting bit by mosquitoes. There were several times I thought about just quitting and walking back to my car. But I stuck it out and finished the run.

The next crappy run was a tempo run. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the previous trail run. I say it was crappy because my coach set my tempo pace at 10:30 and I just couldn’t get to that pace (much less maintain it for 4 miles). Instead I averaged 10:45 pace. Again I still had the same excuses as the trail run (hot, humid, tired, sore, blah, blah, blah). My coach Jen was very encouraging that I did great job. The 10:30 pace was meant to push me. And all my excuses were valid, lol!

My long run two weekends ago was scheduled for 10 miles. I was so nervous about this run. My longest run before this was 7 miles. I was supposed to get 8 miles in on the Kirkwood 5k, but only got 7.5 miles and had a break in between them (before & after race). Several of us girls met on Sunday at 7:15am (crazy, I know!). Since my half is before most others, I was the only one with 10 miles on their schedule. The other girl’s distances varied from 4-8 miles. I figured I would run 8 miles with whoever was left and then finish out 2 on my own. And I planned to run slow (yes even slower than normal for all you speedsters). The first few miles were fine. I enjoyed chatting with some of the girls. The route was through a neighborhood that was kind of hilly (like most places around here). At mile 5 I decided to stop for a minute to use my Apple Cinnamon Hammer Gel. I have never been able to eat an entire packet of gel like you are supposed to. I only use about a quarter of it. I keep experimenting with different flavors but I just don’t really like them. I’m sure the quarter packet of gel is not doing much of anything for me but it's a mental thing I guess.

Anyways, after that I started back running and after another hill, I decided to ditch the neighborhood route and just finish my run out on the greenway where it’s mostly flat. During this whole time my stomach had been bothering me. I thought maybe a restroom break would help so I headed into the Harris Teeter. Feeling better I started my run on the greenway. The portion I was running was about 3 miles out and back so I knew I would have to get an extra mile going out and back again. But around 8.5 miles, my stomach really starting hurting. To the point that I had to walk a bit. I decided to get to 9 miles and call it a day. So 9 miles ended right at Harris Teeter and another pit stop at their restroom. I’m sure I looked crazy to keep going into the grocery store to use the restroom! Hey, I love me some HT and I spend tons of money there every week, so yeah that’s partially my bathroom anyways. Well, not this specific store as I was on the other side of town.

9 miles!!! Officially my longest run to date. If my stomach would not have been bothering me, I feel like I could have gone one more mile. I really wanted to see double digits, but it just wasn’t going to happen. I don’t think my tummy likes running that early. The bad thing is, I probably need to keep these long runs early to get ready for the 7:30am half start time. And this just adds to my list of "why I’m not a morning runner".

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kirkwood 5k 2012

This was my third year running in the Kirkwood 5k. It’s a nice race that benefits a local charity called BackPack Beginnings. Their mission is to provide food and comfort to underprivileged children in Guilford County. They have two programs: one provides a backpack of food on weekends and the other provides a backpack of comfort items. Races are fun but it’s cool when you are supporting a good cause too.

This race is kind of special to me since it was my very first 5k in 2010 and actually it was also my second 5k ever in 2011. I’ve come a long way in terms of my running and overall fitness level since 2010. Even though I’m not some awesome athlete by any means, sometimes I can’t believe I am actually out there running and doing races. I NEVER would have imagined that a couple of years ago. Just goes to show that goals can be accomplished even with baby steps.

So my half training plan for race day had me doing a 2 mile warm up, 5k race, 3 mile cool down. I thought there is no way I could do that. I have never tried to run before a race (worried what little I had would be gone by race start) and certainly have never wanted to run after a race. But the training is all about getting the miles in. I was thinking about doing the race on Saturday and then running my 8 miles really slow on Sunday. I asked coach Jen her opinion and she preferred I didn’t run on both days. And since she’s the coach and knows what she is doing, I figured it was best to stick with the plan.

A few other Streakers were doing the race so we decided to meet up for the warm up run. None of us had done this before and we were all a little worried that it might hinder our race performance. We decided to go slow and ended up getting about 1.5 miles in. We were shooting for 2 miles but it was getting closer to race start and we also needed to make our way to the porta potty line. After the warm up run, I felt pretty good. My muscles felt loose and my heart rate was up a little. Maybe this warm up running isn’t such a bad idea!

Going into the race I didn’t have expectations of a PR but I did hope to improve my time from last year. I also wanted to see if I could run the race at a negative split since I still haven’t learned how to pace myself yet. I usually start out too fast and by the end of the race I don’t have much left (or anything left). There was a small gleam of hope that I could finish sub-30, but it wasn’t my focus since I know I’ve been slower with the half training. Well I did meet both my goals of a course PR and running a negative split. My official gun time was 30:31. Still not sub-30 but that’s okay. I did set a course PR. My previous times were: 41:21 and 33:54, 2010 and 2011. So I’m happy with that. My splits were: 10:02, 9:55, 9:41, 8:09.

Let me tell you, I was sprinting at the end! I knew it would be close so I just had to give it all I had. My friend Janet was ahead of me the whole race and once I heard them call her name with a finish time of 29:50, I knew it wasn’t going to happen but I still kept running as fast as I could! Even though I was able to run a negative split, I’m not going to get to my sub-30 goal by running 10 minute miles. Somehow I’ve got to get faster. I just don’t know how these fast runners do it. My legs just won’t move that fast! Maybe after the half training I can try some more speed work (hopefully no injuries this time).

Everybody I knew in the race did great! My hubby finished fifth overall with a sub-20 but not the time he was shooting for. He was surprised to receive an age group award since we thought it was only overall awards. First place male 30-39 and it was a medal! My son ran the race with only 1 1/2 weeks of training. Not his best time but I’m proud that he did it. He’s not really a fan of running for some reason. My BIL set a PR. Scott, Janet, Melissa and Mollie all did great too. They also had a nice goodie bag (t-shirt, reusable bag, pen, koozie, coupons, sunglasses wipe cleaner). First race in a while that actually gave out goodie bags.

I almost forgot…after the race we still had to run 3 miles!! That was the hardest part of the day. We decided to run to the greenway which was close by since it was flat, 1.5 miles out and back. I started running (very slow) and it felt like my legs were made of lead! They just did not want to go. Janet said she was feeling the same. But we kept going. It was slow, but I got 3 more miles in while my family was eating all the cupcakes and getting awards! Oh yeah, they also had a nice spread of food even though all I got was an orange. I got to hear how great the strawberry cupcakes were – next time, can’t you save a girl one?!?

I was a bad blogger and didn’t take ANY pictures!! I was so worried about running before and after the race, I just didn’t even think about it. It didn’t help that my whole family was running in the race too. There was a professional photographer there so maybe there’s picture somewhere of at least one of us! is one of Michael and his medal! Typical being silly, HA!