Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Race Season

Race season is upon us, runner friends!

I kicked off my race season with a 5 mile Shamrock Shuffle in Glens Falls, NY. I wasn't looking to "race race" this one, but use it as a nice last weekend-workout while tapering. However, I ran this race last year and it was bitter cold and I wasn't feeling well. So, I did want to better my time.

And better it I did! The official race time ended up being 51:54. That puts me at a 10:23 average mile, with over a minute off my time from last year. And... I was reigning it in. I was constantly reminding myself (as i continuted to buzz by people) to SLOW DOWN. I even resisted the urge to chick a couple of old guys in the final stretch. I did not want to over push it and wear myself out. This was a TAPER run. But, this time puts me at the FASTEST per mile average of any road race I've run yet! This is super confidence building to me because I was running at a comfortable pace the whole time, I really felt like the miles were clicking by. This felt so much better than last year! I LOVE seeing improvements in my running. It's really starting to feel more natural (well, the shorter distances at least).

I did have some ankle pain after the race, which concerns me a bit. But I'm feeling okay now, I'm paying close attention to it, and I am going to keep up my regimen of lower leg and foot stretching and rolling out that arch with a tennis and/or golf ball (really helps!).

This Sunday brings me to my first big race of the season! The Oleksak Half Marathon in Westfield, MA. I am so ready! I don't feel nervous or burnt out like I have in previous training cycles! I'm just excited!!!

I don't really have any time goals for this race. I've stated before that this year is about building endurance as opposed to speed. I'm using this race as a building block for the main event (MARATHON!)

I would like to finish around 2:30. I'm a bit worried about the hills as I haven't done much hill training this cycle. But, and i'll credit weight lifting with this, I have found that I feel much stronger running hills now than I have in the past. Overall, I just hoping for a solid race!

Good luck to all of you racing this weekend as well!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Registration Mania

Well folks, I went on a bit of a race registration binge the other morning!

The good news is, I didn't break the bank! haha.

More good news - I will be racing each of the first three weekends of spring! I'm so excited.

I'll start off on the 25th with a 5-mile Shamrock Shuffle about an hour north of here. One of my best friends is running it as well, it will be her last race in her 20s! (can't believe we're at that age) but it will also be a first for us. First race together as bride-to-be and MOH (I'm the MOH, calm your hormones). yayayay!

On April 1- half number one of the year in Westfield, MA. I'm not sure about my goals for this race yet - to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what kind of shape I'm in? This training cycle has gone well, a bit too well. I'll discuss plans for this race more fully in another post. However, it is half 1 of 3 for the year.

On April 7 I'll be doing my first 4 mile race, and my first HMRRC race as a member! wooo! I'm pretty excited!

I also registered for one other race......

The Mohawk Hudson River Marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right folks. These aren't just champagne dreams any more. I'm really going to do this. I've spent my money, and posted it on facebook. So now I've got to! Too many haters on facebook to not follow through now! hehe just kidding....

Cheers to kicking off spring race season!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Running is my religion

And apparently, our number 1 hymn is the theme song from reading rainbow – as that was on repeat in my head for two hours.

This run was some sort of magical, and boy did I need it. This is the second time I’ve run this particular 11 mile loop, and both times have been amazing runs. Aside from being quite hungry at the moment, I do not feel like I just ran for 2 hours. I’m not tired, but cleansed. I’m not sore, but strong. When I checked my watch an noticed I had only 3.5 miles left to go on this run, I was sad. I am still kind of sad it’s over. All of life is so much simpler when it’s just you and the road (and the occasional jack ass rolling through stop signs.)

My life outside of running (yes, there is one, unfortunately) has been… interesting this weekend. I like running because it’s simple. You either ran or you didn’t. Black and white. There’s no “grey area” in running. You can’t “sorta” run. I am a black and white person. I don’t enjoy the grey. I like things simple, straight forward, drama-free. But alas, life is messy and we can’t always have what we want.

11 miles with no music (except the aforementioned reading rainbow theme song) gives you a lot of time to sort through the mess. And it doesn’t take long. By mile two, things were looking up. By mile 3 I knew everything would be all right. In the words of a wise friend “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” The hardest part of accepting that statement, of course, is that you don’t have control over where the end is all the time. But you know what, that’s okay too.

On my run today I reminded myself of how far I’ve come in the last 18 months. Of how settled in to myself, grew with confidence – mentally and physically. No one can take that away from me. I have stopped trying to dispel people’s misconceptions of me, and instead just stopped caring. The most important thing is to do right by yourself. YOU are the one you have to live with day in and day out. YOU are the one you have to sleep next to every night. YOU are the one you have to trust with your own emotions. YOU are the one inside your head when you’re running. And as long as YOU are okay with who YOU are, then nothing else really matters.

None of these revelations would’ve happened without the run. The perfectly wonderful super strong amazing run that I just had. These were the fastest, and perhaps best 2 hours of the weekend. And they are mine, all mine.

Friday, March 9, 2012

When it hits.

I’d like to start by saying, That overall, this has been a pretty decent training cycle. I’ve hit most of my runs, I’ve yet to feel any significant ITB pain (knock on wood) and overall I’ve been feeling good. (I haven’t blogged as consistently as possible – but that has less to do with my desire to talk about and reflect on my training than it does with this damn masters thesis I’ve been writing.)

As with any training cycle, as you start to hit those higher mileage weeks, you definitely begin to notice. And for me, that happened last week,

It was a cutback week anyway but I added in an extra day of xtraining, instead of taking it easier like I should. I also made my weightlifting day, uh, pretty hard. And put it off a day, making it that much closer to my weekend running. poor choices.

I only had 15k on the schedule for a long run. we have a good 5k route around the state college campus here, that makes for safe running. It also is NOT flat, so it helps with some of that hill training I’ve been very obviously neglecting this cycle. It was kinda cold, but not terrible on Sunday, but man, that wind was a beast. I started out, ok, then… well then it was like I wasn’t even moving forward.

I thought I was running a decent and comfortable 10:40 pace, based on my effort. When I snuck a peek at my Garmin, it turned out I was running closer to a 12:00 mile. WHAT?!? I can’t remember the last time I worked SO hard to run SO slow. It was miserable. I really really felt like I was running much faster than that.

It was a huge disappointment. Between the general struggle to connect my mind and my legs, continue moving forward, and the huffing and puffing, I called it after the second loop and stopped for the day at 10k.

I gave up.

It sucks. I was super bummed and annoyed with myself. Cutting a run short because you’re seeing stars is one thing. But this felt different. I felt like a quitter. and maybe I was.

You read a lot of blogs entries from runners about powering through. And that’s what you do in training – most of the time. But every runner, even those 3:20 marathoners have bad days/weeks. Everyone has runs that just get the best of them once in a while.

I resolved to brush of that run, and make this week the best I could in terms of training. And so far I have – going into the weekend mileage I’m feeling much more confident than last week. I’ve been trying to frame what happened last week as a mid-cycle taper, which should just help to make my next two long runs stronger, right?

Don’t believe the hype folks, even the super happy, super peppy, super dedicated runners have bad days. Not blogging about running that’s not going well, doesn’t help anybody. Least of all, the blogger.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Horrible Blogger

ugh, I’ve def sucked lately. I forgot last week’s wrap up, then figured I’d just do it with the February wrap up, and now it’s march 3 and I’ve done neither! sorry folks!

The big news right now is – less than a month until the first half of the year! woo! Where DOES the time go?!

February was a pretty good month for training. I had a mini head cold for a few days, and then a blood donation proved a bit harder to bounce back from than anticipated. I don’t know why I was surprised, but I should’ve done more reading on training and donating blood… and eaten breakfast before attempting a 5 mile run two days later. whoops.

wrapping up February:

Monday Feb 20: stretch and strength/ rest

Tuesday Feb 21: 4.5 Miles/ Chest, shoulders abs (35 mins); 4.5 @ 10:27; Plank 1:15

Wednesday Feb 22: 40 min tempo/ 4.08 @ 9:48 – 25 mins at 9:26; plank 1:25

Thursday Feb 23: 3 miles + strength / legs 25 mins; 3 @10:12

Friday Feb 24: rest/ elliptical 35 mins; Plank 1:10

Saturday Feb 25: 5 miles / 5 @ 10:30

Sunday Feb 26: 10 miles / 10 @ 11:06

Weekly Mileage: 26.58

Monday Feb 27: stretch and strength/ walk 2.1 miles (SUPER TIRED)

Tuesday Feb 28: 5 miles / rest (post blood donation)

Wednesday Feb 29: Moved the 5 miler to this day – stopped after 3 – seeing stars. yikes!

Total Monthly Mileage: 85.89 HOLLA!

February was a great training month! I only missed 2 workouts, so not too shabby.

March is off to a good start, though I’m feeling a bit tired these days. sleep helps 'Winking smile 


One march goal – more core. I really, really need to up the ante there.

Once again, sorry for being a sucky blogger! I’ll be better, promise!

Train hard, run long!