Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 3 and a Race Recap

3 weeks in already! This is going by really quickly. I feel so busy since I leave work early Monday through Wednesday, run and then start the usual nightly routines as soon as I’m done running. Life is a blur right now but it is a good blur. The mileage went up into the 60s this week so I feel like the buildup is over and now I’m in the thick of it all. With a race on Saturday, I decided that I would do whatever I could to keep the first of the week runs in check as they have really been a little fast. I did a hilly route on Monday. It was a 12 miler and it felt pretty good and still came in at 8:10. Tuesday was strides. I decided to do them on the river trail on an old route I used for tempo runs when I was training for Chicago. I loved that route because those tempo runs were the big breakthrough in that training cycle. The training was in the dead of the summer and that particular route offered a lot of shade. The tree cover also makes for inaccurate Garmin readings. In the summer that is a fair trade off but not in winter. Seriously, I’m never running that route again unless I actually NEED the shade. The 9 miles with strides was fine. I did it in 7:57 pace but mentally, it just dragged and dragged and the Garmin jumping from sub 8 minute miles to 10 plus minute miles only added to the annoyance. The Wednesday 14 miler was tough but I managed it in 8:09 pace. I was getting a little loopy at the end and may need to start taking a Gu with me on those mid week long runs. The Thursday morning run is getting better! Even after the exhausting 14 miler less than 12 hours earlier, I managed 8:16 pace for the 5 mile recovery run at 5 in the morning. This is a good sign. It shows I’m adapting to the mileage and I’m recovering faster now. I took it easy the rest of Thursday and all day Friday and got ready for the Valentine’s Day 5k.

This race is a favorite of mine. It has been around for a long time and is run on a system of trails. It is flat and the temps are usually cold so it is a good chance to PR or at least run a good time. My 5k PR is from 2008 and is 19:42. I thought I might have a chance to take it down but only if I had a GREAT day. I really wanted to break 20 minutes which seemed doable. I only needed to run a total of 5 miles so I did a one mile warm up. My legs felt good but my feet were like blocks of ice. Oh well, they’d thaw out in the race. Like my river trail route, the Garmin has trouble keeping up on this course because the trail is winding and tree covered. I know this so I kept telling myself that whatever the Garmin said, I needed to remember I was actually going faster. When the race started, everyone went out too fast. The girl that eventually won the race is horrible at this and lots of people went with her. I had a hard time pulling myself back but managed to get down to 6:20 pace about a quarter mile in (according to the Garmin anyway). It took me more than half a mile to pass all the kids that went out too fast and finally, I was on my own with two Arkansas Tech Cross Country girls about 10 seconds in front of me and the leader completely out of sight. I passed the one mile marker and my Garmin didn’t go off for at least 5 seconds and it said 6:20. I wanted to run 6:20-6:25 pace so that seemed ok but since my Garmin was behind, I probably ran more like 6:10-6:15 pace which was too fast. As I started the 2nd mile, the Garmin was saying I was running 6:35-6:40 pace which I knew was wrong but it was so discouraging. I pushed on and closed the gap on the college girls. I passed them a little before the 2nd mile marker. When I went through it, I checked my actual time so I would have a better idea of what pace I was really running. It said 12:49. This should have calmed me down because that is 6:25 pace, exactly what I wanted to run. After 2 miles in a 5k though, I’m not exactly rational. I did the math and knew what it meant but then looked at my Garmin and saw 6:47 pace and got discouraged again. For the entire 3rd mile, I went back and forth between getting excited and thinking I was going to do it and then complete discouragement and giving up. At one point, I caught a glimpse of the leader. She was too far ahead to catch but I saw her. She usually runs a low 18 something and ran a 17 something this summer so I shouldn’t be able to see her at all when I’m 2.5 miles into a 5k. This gave me a little jolt for a while and I picked up the pace. As I came closer to the finish, I tried to pick it up but I was spent. I came out of the woods and realized the finish line was right there. My Garmin didn’t even have me at 3 miles yet. I tried to kick as hard as I could and was watching the clock tick down. It was probably around 19:45 when I first could read it. I pushed so hard but it clicked over 20 minutes as I crossed the finish mat. My official time was 20:00. Seriously, exactly 20 minutes. I was disappointed at first but the more I thought about it, I’m pretty happy. It is my fastest 5k since having kids and I’m not even training for that distance. Considering that I went out too fast and let the Garmin get the best of me, even when I knew better, I’m pretty lucky that I did as well as I did. I was 2nd in my heat and 3rd overall (one of the masters women ran a faster time than I did in an earlier heat). Brian did great. He ran 16:37 which was only about 6 seconds slower than his PR. He was 2nd overall and two of us won the married “Sweetheart” division.

I was a little worried about my long run. I had to do 18 and I was scared my legs wouldn't hold up since I did a race the day before. I met up with a running buddy and did 9 miles of it with her and that really helped mentally. I ended up running it at 8:07 pace. I would have been happy with that any day but it was even better because the route was hilly and I wasn’t expecting much on my tired race legs.

Next week’s plan:
M-Med Long Run 13mi
T-Lactate Threshold 10mi w/5@ 15k to half marathon race pace
W-Med Long Run 15mi
R-Recovery 5mi
S-Long Run 17mi
S-Recovery 5mi

My only real worry is weather. I'm off work for the holiday on Monday but we are supposed to get freezing rain so I'm worried about daycare closing. I can always run on our treadmill but not if I'm home alone with the boys. Brian is an inpatient physical therapist so he can't miss work for weather. I'm pretty tired after today's long run so I think I'll probably break the Monday run up into 2 runs and do one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Hopefully, it will work out. Another snag may come next weekend as the weather may be bad again and Brian has to work the weekend.

I'm feeling pretty good. My left hamstring is feeling pretty tight after the race but it isn't anything I haven't dealt with before. I really am shocked at how well my body is responding to the training and how much easier it has been this time around with a different schedule. Books wise, I finished Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and then listened to The Diviners by Libba Bray and have started Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. Loved Attachments. It was light and fun and easy to listen to. The Diviners is a series and it was fun too. It deals with paranormal stuff and is set in the 1920s. It is YA so nothing too serious but certainly a fun read and I'd like to read the other books in the series (which I don't think are out yet). I'm probably about half way through Eleanor and Park (hard to tell since I'm listening and not actually reading) and I like it so far. I can't believe how much reading I'm able to get in with all this running!

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