Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A 5K 17 days post marathon...that's silly

I ran a 5K 17 days after running a marathon. I really didn't want to. I knew there was no way I'd be breaking 19 minutes, but it's a "fun run" that my workplace plans every year, and I can't just skip it. About 50 people participate, and it is fun to get out there and run with fellow co-workers. I was the first female finisher, and 4th overall. One interesting side note: the top three ladies all ran the Providence Marathon, so we three were all hurting equally. The course is reasonably accurate. It's just over a 5K, and measured out with a wheel, so I can't really complain about it being long. It is sort of a ridiculous course though. It's a loop done three times, and the loop has 4 really sharp turns in it, which end up being 12 really sharp turns. There's a lot of energy spent slowing down for the turn and speeding up after the turn.

My time was 20:35. I would love to complain about how hot it was and how the course is long, but to be fair it was only high 70's and the course is within 0.1 accuracy, so I can't really complain. (Though the turns really do make it a slow course.) Truth is, I just wasn't fully recovered from the marathon. It hurts a bit to see a 20, when a few short months ago I was seeing 18, but I'll get back there. (I hope!)

On the plus side, they took some pictures, and I look like the happiest runner on the planet. I also look much more like a sprinter than a long distance runner...

I have no idea what I'm smiling about

Really? Still smiling?

Oh, yes, I forgot. We also had to run around a tiny circle for each loop.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Random Recovery

New Sneaks...
 I'm looking for some new sneaks. I'll be buying another pair of Kinvaras for sure, but I'd like to buy a second pair of something else too. I'm thinking something with slightly more support for recovery runs, but nothing with a huge heel. (I'd like to try to keep my mid to front foot strike. Any ideas? I've run in Mizuno Waveriders in the past, but the last few times I've tried them on in the store they felt like bricks. Of course, after running in Frees and Kinvaras, maybe most sneakers will feel like bricks..

My Coach
Here's my coach. She's young, but tough. She's trained me through sleep deprivation and forcing me to push her up really big hills in a running stroller. Her training is unconventional, but always interesting. She brought me down to Earth last week when she told me that it didn't matter how good I felt on marathon day. I should not have started at 7:20 pace. Also, clearly, my interval workout the week prior to the marathon should not have wound up being 8 miles at 6:42 pace. It should have been a marathon pace run (7:30 pace). Obviously 7:20 pace is going to feel good after a run at 6:42 pace. Okay, she's not that verbal yet, but I could see it in her eyes. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably went out too fast on race day, but that's okay, I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't done it. And there's always BayState...

Recovery so far has been typical. I was sore most of last week, and only ran 10 miles. Yesterday, I did my first interval workout. It was only 2.5 miles total of hard running, but my legs felt like jelly afterward and the sweat, there was so much of it! Ahhh, It was nice. I would love to run some 5Ks soon! Actually, I would love to run a track meet, but there don't seem to be adult track meets. I would love to run an all out mile and two mile on the track, but with other people around (not just by myself), but alas I have found nothing of the sort! Don't other people out there want to rip up some rubber on the track? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Happy Anniversary!
Nick and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary last week! We've been together for over a decade! Crazy, crazy, crazy! Honestly, I don't know where the time has gone. It seems like time speeds up the older I get. I wish I could slow it down a bit. I mean not only have we been married for 9 years, but we have 2 kids! When did all that happen! Seriously though, life is good. I'm married to my best friend and have two happy kids. Couldn't ask for much more. (Other than to run faster, maybe...just joking)  ;)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Providence Marathon Race Report

The short report: The official time was 3:22:38. On the up side, that's a 4 minute PR. On the downside, I think I'm in better shape.

Now, the slightly longer version...

Pre-race week:
My right arch was killing me. From the symptoms, it seemed like plantar fasciitis, but I'm positive running isn't what started the issue. It must have been a bad pair of shoes I wore to work. While running didn't cause the issue, it definitely exacerbated it. I ran an 8 mile tempo at half marathon pace about a week out. Before the tempo there was a twinge, but it wasn't much worse when I finished. The next day I ran easy, and after that it was full blown pain. It hurt to walk even. I took the four days leading up to the race off and actively did the whole RICE thing. Friday before the race my arch finally stopped hurting while walking. I stepped up to the line pain free and well rested...though I was wondering at what point (during the race) my arch would start to hurt.

The race start:
My race plan was loose. Based on my training, I figured somewhere  between 7:20 and 7:40 pace was reasonable, but I didn't want to force any particular pace, so the plan was to go out and see how I felt. My first mile was 7:20, and it felt right, so I went with that. The first 16 miles were 7:21 pace, but...then things got complicated.

The first 16 miles were good to me. There were more hills than I remember, but I was handling them. I was drinking and taking gels at my normal rate, but at around 15 miles I stopped sweating, and though I was still drinking I just stopped sweating. It's probably worth mentioning that the temperature was comfortable in the fifties, but it was 90% humidity. Maybe that's why I had an issue? I don't know, but by 16 miles my legs really started burning. It was strange because it felt like the last mile of a 5k when I'm having asthma issues, BUT my breathing was great. My breathing and heart rate were both great. But my legs were burning. At that point, I just had to hang on. Over the next four miles, my pace slowed, but I was still hanging on.

The race finish:
The last 10k was a struggle, which is pretty typical for a marathon. My breathing and heart rate were still great, but the burning in my legs was bad enough that running down hills hurt (like walking down the stairs the day after a marathon hurt).  I just kept moving forward, and slowing down. The last 10k was over 8:00 pace per mile. My official time was 3:22:38, which is 7:44 pace.

I guess maybe I went out too fast, but the pace felt right at the time, and I don't regret my calculated risk. Would I have run faster overall if I had gone out at 7:30 pace? Maybe. Maybe not. I do know I'm much faster over shorter distances right now. Perhaps I simply didn't have the endurance necessary to cover the distance at my initial pace. That happens to runners all the time...

The awesomeness of the race:
I felt great! (Well minus that whole leg rebellion thing during the last 10 miles.) No nausea! I wasn't crazy tired after either, but my legs hurt enough that I knew I gave all I had for the day. (I actually had trouble sleeping last night my legs are so sore.) No arch pain at all! No other pains! I remain injury free, and ready for a speedy recovery! And it was just a great day. The kids had a great morning with Nick, my parents were biking all over the course offering me water and Gatorade, and we all had an awesome lunch together afterwards! Just an overall great day for me.  (Huge thanks to Nick and my parents!)

One last item:
I ran this one for you, Connor! You are one tough little man fighting DMD!

My mom insisted we get my number in the pic...

My littlest lady has the bluest eyes ever! (Actually so does my other little lady...)

Me at the end of the day. My t-shirt says Sunnydale High School. Anyone know what that's from?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

With less than 24 hours to go...

I'm pondering this...

And this...

Catch you on the other side. ;)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Countdown: Day 6, My Inner Amazon

 Being a part of the runners blogging club, I often read posts entitled "why I run" (or something like that). A few of the posts are quite elegant, and do make me feel something. I don't know what exactly, but something. Some of the posts read more like a list of pros. Yes, it's true that there are a number of pros that come along with running. My favorites are being fit and being able to eat dessert, but that's not why I run. When I read the really great posts about running and why people do, it makes think about why I run. Then, of course, it makes me wonder if I could write a post about "why I run," that doesn't end up sounding flat or over the top...Usually I'm faced with the reality that although technically I can write, conveying strong emotions through writing is not a strong point I possess. (Actually, talking about strong feelings isn't exactly a strong point of mine either.) Generally, I'm blunt. I state, whatever it is I have to state, short and to the point. I do think about it though, why I run...

Have you ever heard of Amazons? According to Greek mythology they're a warrior tribe of women. They're fierce, strong, and beautiful. Of course, they're also vicious. You might want to run the other way if you saw one (just some friendly advice). There aren't very many opportunities in a civilized society to let out some fierceness, and most of the time that's fine. But sometimes I just want to let the fierce out, you know?

Running gives me the opportunity to let out my inner Amazon. And that, my friends, is why I run.