Saturday, August 20, 2011

Big time PR! Rocked this one! Mendon Hornet Hustle 5K!

I am so psyched! Awesome, awesome race. Best race I've ever run (so far). Anyhoooo, I had been having a tiny bit of anxiety over this race. Coach sent me some tips for running it. One of which was warm up by running the course slow. Warm up?!?!?! You mean real runners are supposed to do this right? I have never, ever really warmed up for a race. I admit it. I'm one of the typical 5K runners that just show up at the starting line with a smile and cross their fingers and hope for the best. This time however was different. I really, really wanted to do better. I have been very determined this whole training cycle to be putting my all into it. Doing the stuff I don't want to do including stretching and warming up, but still as of yet I've never warmed up for a 5K and was very nervous about being the sole runner running the entire route prerace. What if people stared at me? Then I thought about it? So what? I mean I've got 7 freaking kids. Have I ever cared about people staring at me before??? Uh, no.

So to the race I go. Start off by almost heading out the door with my running skirt on inside out. Smooth. Realized I was tired when I put it on when I couldn't find my pocket. Fixed that. Try again. Leave without my Garmin and HRM. Turn around and go get it. Could have ran without it, but didn't want to. Finally get to race. And while I am running the warm up the whole time I'm thinking this is so easy. What was my hang up about this. Nobody is staring at me and it was good for my confidence as well. Since I had to go back to get my Garmin I didn't get there early enough to run the entire course prerun, but I ran 2 miles of it. I was running really slow too and I look at my watch and it says 11 minutes for the first mile. (For some of you that probably means nothing, but 11 minutes isn't really all that slow or easy for me so I got a good feeling about this race when 11 minutes felt super easy.)

Get to starting line. Line up in the front. I've never lined up in the front - ever. I always line up in the back, but this time I wanted to be fast and not slow so did it anyways. Forgot to mention, my cousin drove me to the race. He's older than me and fast to me. He usually runs anywhere from 20ish to at his slowest 24ish 5Ks. My PR for the 5K distance was 28:28. So when the gun goes off my goal was to be able to keep an eye on him. Not to keep up with him, but at least to be able to see the back of his head and his shirt.

As we are running the first 1/4 of mile I was kind of disoriented as to how fast I was going. It didn't feel that fast, but I never start in the front with the fast runners so I wasn't sure. I look at my garmin and see 8 something. WOW! My goal pace was 9-9:10 min/mi. I see my cousin and we are running pretty close to each other. I decide if I am running at his pace I better back off a bit because I knew his pace and I knew that I still had a ways to go and I knew I needed to be able to keep this pace longer than a 1/2 mile. Backed off a little, but still was psyched about how fast I was running. Finished first mile in 8:25! (This may not be a big deal to some, but was HUGE to me. I don't think I've ever ran a full mile in under 9 minutes.)

Second mile I remember the whole time just thinking stay strong. Keep going and being completely amazed that my body was still moving this fast. I was tired, but not I'm going to throw up tired and was pretty confident I could keep my pace for the rest of the race. Finished second mile - time 8:52.

Get to third mile. The whole time I did not have my garmin set to show anything except my pace, my lap pace, and my distance. I didn't want to see my exact time, HR, or anything else. I didn't want to be distracted. I just was trying to focus on keeping my pace around 9 min/mi or better. About 3/4 mile from the finish I see my cousin's shirt. I realize holy cow. I must be doing pretty good if I can see him! He was still way faster than me, but still I could see him. Usually he finishes so far ahead of me he's nowhere to be seen or found. So that helped keep me going. I just kept focusing on being able to see his darn shirt.

1/2 mile from the finish I made an attempt at passing a couple runners. Didn't work so well. I did pass one gal, but then felt like I was going to puke, lol. My bad. Oh well, she wound up passing me at the end, but not by but a few seconds. To be honest at that point I didn't really care because I KNEW I was going to PR this and big time. I was so excited with that if she or a couple runners I couldn't pick off. Oh well. When I turned the corner to the finish I could see the clock. I couldn't believe it. I still had my garmin set to pace so honestly wasn't sure what that equated to in time. The clock said 26:20 something. That was enough to get me really booking it. I just kept turning over my legs and moving. No way in hell I was going to finish in over 27 minutes now. Crossed the line in 26:50. (I read it as 26:47, but it wasn't a chipped race and I'm not going to whine over 3 seconds.) Mile 3 - 8:53, and the last .1 pace was 7:39!

The only sucky thing was I finally run fast enough to win an age group award and those suckers have the age grouping in 10 year groups! Boo! I came in 4th for the 30-39 year old age group. The fastest gal was 30. I was withing 15 seconds of the other 2. Overall though, I am so excited! This was a 1:38 second PR!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2 1/2 weeks to taper

Like the little choo choo, I am plugging along. Just blocking everything out and doing the I think I can, I think I cans. Right now I don't even want to think about goal times. I have all kinds of anxiety bubbling up inside me and pushing that aside as well. I can't believe I'm almost there. I'm excited and ready to be done and do this race, but there's still a little part of me that wishes I had more time to make improvements. For the most part though I want to see what I've got and see where I am at. I honestly feel a little disoriented with my pacing lately. I feel stronger and faster, but not got a real good sense of how much stronger and faster I am. I know I have made good improvements from my race in Charlevoix 2 months ago, but not sure how much. I know what was hard is seeming way easier now, but not sure how much to hope for with this race. I am really glad I am running this 5K this weekend. Nervous about that as well, not a bad kind of nervous. More like anxious than nervous really. I am very curious how I will do. I don't like to put numbers in my head because then I might be disappointed. I'm just going to try and run as hard as I can and see what happens. I figure with this 5K it'll give me some kind of idea how much I've improved and hopefully that will give me a confidence boost going into Sault Ste. Marie. We'll see. I'll be sure to update how the 5K goes.

38 days to marathon, 2 1/2 weeks to taper!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The creepy old guy and my 20 miler

Saturday we headed up north for a fun filled weekend of painting at my mother in law's cabin. I was a little stressed out about squeezing in my 20 mile run without seeming like a nutcase to all of dh's family and more importantly trying to figure out how to get it done in a less familiar area without any disruptions or interuptions. Twenty mile runs are nerve wracking enough on their own without any added obstacles. I worried about everything from getting in and out of the bathroom without having one of my children, nieces, nephews, cousins, or other inlaws being in the bathroom. (Did I mention that oh about 20 people were probably there total?) That and they all like to sleep until 10 or 11 so trying to figure out how to get my morning coffee prerun as well.

Well, everything went off without a hitch. I got out got running and felt good. I got rained on, really rained on about third mile in. Rain was pouring for a good while and then it stopped and I dried up. Came back at mile 6, potty break. Things still going smooth. I'm thinking this isn't going to be so bad after all.

Around the lake is 3.75 miles so I decided the next time around to add in a stretch down this dirt road and back so that I'd be closer to 5 mile loops. I don't know the idea of running around the lake more than 4 times just was not appealing to me. I don't mind loops, but not that many of them 3 or 4 is my usual limit. So about mile 9 I'm honestly feeling a little tired and heading down this dirt road when Mr. Creepy Old guy pulls up alongside me. The guy has oxygen tubes in his nose and he rolls his window down and says something, but I didn't quite hear him. I then acknowledge him and try to figure out what he said and he says "Not wise". It through me off guard and I respond with "I have my cellphone on me" and he then says "Still not wise". At this point the guy is pissing me off and I seriously thought about saying "maybe if you ran a little more when you were younger you wouldn't have oxygen up your nose", but I'm not a mean spirited person so just responded with "Thanks for your opinion." With that he drove off.

I spent the next two miles fuming. I mean I was really pissed. I sat there grumbling with thoughts of "What am I supposed to run with a dog and 2 men by my side?", followed by "what does he expect me to lock myself in my house and run on the treadmill", followed by I could be killed in car accident tomorrow you can't predict life and I refuse to live in fear of it.

After being pissed off for a few miles, then it started to shake me up. It occurred to me that creepy old guy could have been creepy young guy that dragged me into his pick up truck, raped me, and murdered me. I got a big family to think about. I honestly never put much thought into personal safety while running. I assumed if I wasn't running in ghettoville and if I ran during daylight hours and had my cellphone on me I was relatively safe. The truth of the matter is we live in a crappy world. A world where people do bad things and whether I liked what creepy old guy had to say maybe he had a point. I still refuse to live in fear, but I am going to think a little harder about where I run and am considering purchasing a personal alarm to run with.

As for the 20 miles. I finished and that's all that matters! It definitely kicked my butt, but happy to say I've completed one of three of planned 20 mile runs for this training cycle.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tempo runs are scary

Hmm... now that I know what a tempo run is (although from what I gather there are various definitions on this, but they are all kind of the same thing - a faster pace). Today was a schedule tempo run and I won't lie I was nervous. I always get nervous when I pick up the pace for more than a short distance. Two hundred meters, 1/4 mile and of those I like doing because they aren't scary. Running tempo runs though I always worry if I'm going to feel as strong at the end as I did when I started. Today's run went remarkably well. I ran everything faster than I thought I could and was real excited about that. I am getting anxious about this upcoming marathon. Not scared that I can't complete it or anything. I'm sure I'll do fine there. I'm just more nervous about how fast I should try to run. I want to do well, but I always get scared when I pick up the pace that I'm going to regret it at some point further on in the race.

On another note, I ordered a new running skirt. Hubby is going to shoot me if I don't lay off the running gear. I got the shipping notice today. This one is from skirtsports. We'll see how they compare to runningskirts skirts.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bad, bad blogger!

Alright, here I go sucking again at blogging, but on a positive note I am doing good at running. I've been running a ton and therefore blogging has gone out the window. I keep meaning to get on here to blog and then blah, don't feel like it. Let's see... things going on with me.

1. Down to 129! Woohoo! Blew my goal weight out the water. I am happy with this weight, but won't complain if I lose a little more either. I'm short so I can go a little lower, but I don't feel like I have to either.

2. Been running a ton! I ran 18 miles on Saturday for my long run! Go me! Run went awesome. I'm still not fast yet, but dang it I am going to get there. I am a very determined girl! (Notice I said girl. Birthday was yesterday, turned 38 and holding on to my 30s as long as I can.)

3. Heart rate is improving as well. I feel real good about all my paces now. I'm getting them done at lower heart rates now so I know I'm making good progress. Feeling real good about that. Last week was awesome all around for running. A little nervous about this week, but taking things one run at a time.

4. Races - Signed up for the Kalamazoo Marathon next year. It's May 6th. I'm making a tentative goal of doing it under 4 hours which is a really, really, really big reach right now, but it's 9 months away and I totally plan to kick butt and work my a$$ off between now and then so hoping just maybe I can get there.

Goals for Chamber Chase International Marathon(Sept 24th marathon) = aiming for sub 4:40. I just want 4: thirty-anything. I'll be thrilled, jumping up and down if I can do that. Going to keep plugging along until taper. Hopefully will make good progress in the next month.

Finally signed up for a 5K in 2 weeks! Should be fun. There were only 39 people in it last year and NOBODY in my age group! I got a good shot at winning my very first age group award, lol! Going to go for it.

Ah, that's it for now.