Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another 5k, another 2nd place finish

There's something about the Electric Bolt 5k that I really like. It's a smaller race (138 finishers this year), maybe 20 spectators the entire course, and tons of hills. Maybe I just like the lightning bolt sugar cookies and Zingerman's coffee at the end....?

Much like last year, it was HUMID!!!!! Low 70s and sunny, but about 98% humidity. Yech!!!! There was a starting line for the 5k and another one for the 8k. I was at the right line, sang along with the national anthem, then jumped a little in response to the starting horn, wasting about 3 seconds right from the get-go. I had forgotten that this race doesn't have a starting time pad and everyone has the same start time. I had been waiting for everyone to bunch up and the starter to come over to the line. Instead, it was just "go!" Oops, delayed reaction :P

The course was a little different this year. We started at Riverside Park, but didn't have to run across the grass, so that was good! It was a little on the single lane paved trail, then to the dirt road and the HILLS! ugh! There was an out and back that turned at 1.4 miles, and yes, I was counting all the women heading back toward me before I turned. I counted 5. I'm a terrible judge of ages. The first two looked a lot younger than me, but the rest I couldn't tell if they were in my age group or not.

I still have absolutely no idea how I ran a 26:08 at the Pi run. To beat that, I need every mile at or better than 8:15. For the first half mile, it was no problem, then the hills cropped up and a PR wasn't in the cards, again. Granted, it was my 12th race of the year and I have 8 PRs under my belt for 2015 so I can't complain too much.

Nearing the finish, running another uphill (seriously, 90% of the course was uphill!!!!), the lead runner in the 8k passed me. That was kind of funny and really sad. Great job to him, he's probably on a college track team with coaching every day.

Post race food - sugar cookies, bananas, bagels, popsicles, water, gatorade and hot coffee!!!! Yay!!!! Part of me subconsciously does this race just for the cookies and coffee lol

The times were posted and I just barely eeked out a sub-9:00 average. Ah well, I don't train for short races, and the one speed workout a week the Hansons have me do isn't sufficient to really succeed with a short race.

Comparing my time and numbers to last year made me feel a whole lot better about missing another PR. My placement was the same both years, but overall I was 45th last year and 11th female. This year I was 28th overall and 6th female. My own time was 1:40 on a hillier course this year. I'm happy with it.

Shirt purchase is optional. I opted for one both years. They're super soft and comfortable. The sleeves are long enough, the waist is long enough, and there are NO sponsor logos on the back. Plus I love ringer shirts :) Medal is a ton nicer this year, and my 2nd place finisher glass matches the one from last year.

Good start to a Sunday :D See you next year!!! Altho - can we REVERSE the course, so it's 90% DOWNhill??????? PRs for everyone!!!! :D

Monday, July 20, 2015

Made my day :)

Mondays are awful. I've already run on 5 consecutive days, totaling 29 miles this week, THEN I have to do my speed work, AFTER my legs are already exhausted. Sigh, it takes all day to get started.

The first several weeks I do my speedwork on the TM because it's easier to let the machine push the pace. Today was half mile repeats - I started at 5k pace (8:15) then went 0.1 mph higher every 10th of a mile, then I took a quarter mile break to drink water and wipe away the sweat. Pretty typical speed workout.

As I was leaving, a very heavy man thanked me. He had been walking a few treadmills away from me. He said normally he would have quit, but seeing me do my repeats inspired him, and he went 1.5 miles today, his farthest ever. Awesome! So often runners get so stressed about minutes, heck seconds!!! on our times, and today was a good reminder that there's a bigger purpose than shaving off a few seconds.
High 5!

Monday, July 13, 2015

How fast??!! Yikes!!!!

When I used Hal's training program, I didn't have a specific race pace, just a general idea of going a consistent speed. What speed that should be, I had no idea. Maybe flat 10s? I never trained them though.

When I switched to the Hansons program in August, every Wednesday run was to be done at race pace, so I definitely needed to know my target time. I somewhat arbitrarily picked 10:30. In Chicago, I maintained that for about 17 miles, then started getting slower. I trained 10:30s again for Cincinnati this spring, maintained it for about 18 miles, then slowed down for a few miles, before recovering my pace the last 4 miles.

Looking toward Chicago this fall, I wanted a faster race pace, but how much faster? If I trained 10:15s, would that be taking the easy route and not pushing myself? Would 10:00s be too fast? I had no idea.

I consulted the McMillan pace calculator, where a runner enters a recent finishing time, and it projects finishing times for everything from 1 mile to a full marathon. I entered my time from the Martian half, knowing that the longer my race, the more accurate the prediction.

By this logic, I should be training 9:32s. Yikes, that's fast!!!! Once I wrapped my head around that number, though, it stopped seeming impossible. Plenty of my (shorter) training runs have been at that pace, not even deliberately, but my legs have gotten the message. So the plan is to train 9:30s, and if experience predicts anything, I'll maintain that for 18 miles, then slow down a little. If I show up at race day and maintain 10:00s, I'll be happy with that, too.

What's interesting is that McMillan thinks I should be running faster for the 5k and 10k than I have managed at races. Granted, I could have pushed a little faster on my last 10k (55:28 PR), but I felt like I was dying and needed oxygen when I did the 3.14 Pi run in 26:08 haha

Sunday, July 5, 2015

June numbers

Total miles: 61.85
Number of runs: 16
Average distance per run: 3.86
Shortest run: 2.5 miles
Longest run: 5.05 miles
TM runs: none (haven't used since speed work in April)
Runs skipped: none
Fastest average pace: 9:24
Slowest average pace: 10:35
Races: none
Money found: $1.77

Mileage was way down this month. I missed the first week because I was in Vietnam, then started the Hansons program, which prescribed limited short runs for the first 4 weeks. Every run was completed, more than half of them were a little longer than recommended. July will get me back in 100+ mileage and I'll long for the months of "only" 61 miles.... :)

I haven't done any races since the Flying Pig, and I haven't really wanted to. Grandma always used to tell me to save my money. Besides, even though my mileage is back where the Hansons want it, and I've recovered the lung capacity I lost on my 16-day break, I don't feel ready to race. I can handle 9:30s most days, but I don't want to enter a race unless I feel fairly capable of setting a PR, and I'm nowhere near 8:15s, which I'd need for a 5k PR. Even a 10k would require an 8:45 average. I'm quite content to poke along at 9:30 for awhile longer. And if the long runs are closer to 10:30s, that's ok too.