Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March numbers

Total distance: 115.3 miles
Number of runs: 16
Average distance per run: 7.2
TM runs: only speed workouts
Runs skipped: several, all due to massive time conflicts or days before races.
Races: Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5k PR
            Pi Run 5k PR
            Rock CF half marathon PR

Mileage and number of runs were down, but I ran three races and three PRs. That's the most important thing.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rock CF half

The good: The Rock CF half was my 4th race of 2015 and my 4th PR.

The bad: I didn't hit my goal time of anything sub-2:00.

It was COLD! The temperature was in the low 20s and it was crazy windy. It was nice and sunny, but that wasn't enough to off-set the cold. It was also a ton hillier than I remembered from last year. Last year when I kept staying under 10:00 miles, I was thrilled. This year, it was a whole lot more work to chase 9:09s, and it wasn't a pleasant run. It was HARD!

At the half-way point, I was at 59:56, so I was right on pace, but with zero room to spare. At that point I knew it would be pretty difficult, if not near-impossible to break 2 :(

Something nice was passing a guy with two kids at least three times on the course. Every time, he addressed runners by their numbers. "Great job 1045!" "Stay strong 1045!"

Another nice thing was seeing Nita at the start and chatting for a few minutes. Silly girl forgot her shoes and borrowed her friend's extra pair. Even in borrowed shoes, she killed it!

It was cold and windy and I just didn't have it today. 2:02:10. It's a 2:52 improvement over my previous PR set in Myrtle Beach on a super flat course when I was sick. Any PR is good, but I'm disappointed with this one and not hitting my goal time. At least my PR streak continues. That's more exciting than an arbitrary time at one race.
Compared to all finisher, I was about half, which is where I typically finish. Compared to women, and women my age group, I was better than top 40%, which is good and an improvement.
Back added the lightning bolt this year
Last year I got a large shirt and it was too big, so this year I ordered a medium, and while it fit, it was a little tight and not super flattering. So for the first time ever, I used gear check, and left my race shirt, to be swapped after the race, all of which was easy enough. Post-race snacks were great - Panera bagels (they brought the good flavors!!!) and homemade cookies. I didn't feel super great though - stomach was a little upset, so I grabbed my goodies, swapped my shirt, and came on home. Medal is a lot bigger than last year, and it's nice. I likey :)
The final good thing is that finishing a half doesn't destroy my body like a full does, and there are always a ton more to try again. Myrtle Beach was almost a 4 minute improvement, today was almost 3 minutes. I'll get below 2 hours eventually. Maybe change my garbage Thursday miles to a second speed workout in anticipation of my next half. Breaking 2 hours is my new obsession, much like breaking 5 hours in a full consumed me in 2012. I managed that, so I have no doubt about managing sub 2 hours, I just really wanted it to be today!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Not this year

Ah well. At least they told me nice and early so I didn't spend all day wondering. I never had my heart set on this one, not like Chicago. Will be devastated if Chicago doesn't pick me. I'm counting on you Lottery Fairy!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi race PR

It was 3/14/15, moments before 9:26:53, the start of the Pi race and my watch wouldn't find satellites!!! I had turned her on 10 minutes earlier and she just kept searching and searching. The pie eaters had finished their pre-race snack, the faster wave was lining up and I was in a mini-panic! I can't run without my watch!!!!! After the first 0.3ish my watch finally found where we were, so I could self-pace a little more, but I was never entirely sure of the distance I had done, or had to go, so that was annoying, to say the least. Thankfully they had pacers for 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00.

Cotton ladies t-shirt, very flattering fit :)
The 8:00 pacer was a foot shorter than me, had black hair pulled into a ponytail and was wearing a skirt. I called her "Fake Nita." haha I started with her and stayed on her right shoulder for the first half and it was soooooo hard! Well, in the moment I was keeping up with her, but thinking I was only half done was overwhelming and on an uphill I trailed off a little, to never see her again.

5Ks are miserable, yes? They're too long to run at max speed the whole way, but too short to settle into a comfortable "easy" pace. At least they're over quickly and I keep telling myself to suffer through the pain and it'll be over soon!

We were at Hudson-Mills MetroPark. The first 3.05 miles were on a paved trail, then the last 0.9 (3.14 miles....) was on what used to be grass. We've had great weather all week and the mountains of snow melted and quickly formed wet, sloppy mud. Ewwwww!!!! Had I known that, I would have dug out a pair of old retired shoes from the basement. Unfortunately I had worn my pretty turquoise Mizuno 18s and need to clean them after they dry out :(

Anyway, I splashed through the mud. The two timing mats at the end were farther apart than normal, and made me wonder if the first was at 3.1 miles, and the other at 3.14 miles. I stopped my watch at the first, which had me at 26:00. Had we finished on paved road, had my watch been working right the whole time, I could have broken into the 25s. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.
My official time was 26:08. In the results that were printed at the finish, I finished 7th in my age group. Once they were online, I was 8th (out of 49). Even though it was a tad longer than a 5k, I'm counting it that way, and was a PR. So far I've done three races this year and set three PRs. The pattern can't last forever, but it sure is fun while it does!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Running Shamrocks - 5k PR

Goals are important. Every time I race, I have a list of 2-3 goals to focus on, which should be feasible with a little effort. When Bill and I registered for Shamrocks and Shenanigans, my goals were:
1. Beat Bill
2. Run a PR (currently 28:23 at the Twinkie Run)
3. Finish top 30 in my age group. I had looked up the 2014 results and thought I could manage it, if the participants were similar to last year.

It was a great day for running - full sun, and just cold enough to make me run fast. I loathe being cold, so I run faster, if only to get it over with! It's no coincidence that the majority of my PRs are in colder weather. We drove downtown and I did a warm-up jog of +/- a mile. I often hit my stride around mile 3 or 4 of my runs, but I wasn't sure logging that many miles right before a race made sense.

I started pretty close to the start because I didn't want to dodge kids or walkers, or swerve around strollers, etc. It was cold, my legs were warmed up, and the first mile was an 8:20. My previous PR was a 9:09 average, so I felt pretty good after the first mile. The second was a lot more uphill, and the 9:02 reflected that. Mile 3 was an 8:36. The last 1/10th was a super steep uphill, then 20 steps to the finish, and I couldn't get my legs to turn over fast enough off the hill to finish fast. The last bit was 9:33 oops. Final average of 8:39.

My watch had me finish in 26:49, and I had studied the course ahead of time so I hit all the turns and tangents exactly right. Final distance according to my watch: 3.09. Oh yeah!!! I grabbed a half bagel and a cup of ice cream :D Then just for kicks looked at the posted results to see how I fared. My official time was likewise 26:49 and my placement wasn't 30th or 29th or 28th, but 11th!!!!! Wow!!!!! I'm not used to seeing placements that high (there were 115 finishers in my age group). Makes me curious what my legs can do on a flat course!

So far 2015 is an epic year - two races, two big PRs. Happy!!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Looks like I'm not running today

It's cold. In a relative sense, it's been much worse, but 17 degrees with a strong wind doesn't really inspire me to run outside. My leg and foot are improving, but neither is 100% and the TM seems to make everything feel worse, so I guess it's a 0 mile day.

Could I force myself to run? Sure, but what's more important - training or a good race? Bill and I are racing this weekend, and doing well at that is a whole lot more important than logging a few more garbage miles.

I had a solid run yesterday and the forecast is allegedly mid-40s starting on Saturday, so I'll get back to it. Having a hard time training this go-round. Winter blows.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February numbers

February was so-so weather wise. It was really cold, and there is STILL snow and ice everywhere, but a few days "warmed up" to almost 30 so I ran outside more than I did in January.

The numbers, though, are not great:

Number of runs: 16
Number of runs I downgraded or skipped: I don't want to talk about it
Number of runs outside: 6
Number of treadmill runs: 10
Total miles: 105.05 - personal best for the month
Shortest run: 2.32
Longest run: 13.1
Average distance per run: 6.56
Money found: $0.22
Races: Myrtle Beach half - PR
Highlight of the month: PR at the half, even with a cold and a gimpy leg (I've isolated three separate knots in the quad. Trying to roll them out, which is a slow painful process)