About Today…..

I ran the Race against Domestic Violence 5k today in Wilmington on the Riverfront.

I have run the course a handful of times and it is considered to be “flat and fast.” Guess this depends on the runner :0).

After coming off an incredibly difficult 5k (Mt. Harmon-see previous post) last weekend, I thought I had a shot at a decent time today.

Ummm, Nope.

I ran it in 25:09 and all I can say is UGGHH!  I am almost a minute and a half off of my PR.  I told myself that this race was just a gauge of my current fitness level, nothing more.  BUT I was secretly hoping that I might be able to run it in 24 minutes flat.  Ha!!

I was 2nd in my AG but didn’t even stay for awards because I was being such a baby so upset about my time.  Plus, I have a few thoughts on age group awards which I will talk about in my next post.

No excuses for this one other than the fact that I am just not at my previous fitness level.  I think a combo of a 15 lb weight gain and not running “uncomfortable “(ie. slacking) are the two culprits here.

It was a big reality check and my plan is to keep trying!

My splits were 8:29, 8:04, and 8:01 which tells me that mile 1 is the issue.  The first mile of every 5k, I always start out feeling so out of breath.  This happens almost immediately and am not sure if it is just nerves and adrenaline or what.

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Here I am all set to go….. get all out of breath within the 1st 30 seconds of the race.

Bill (the fiancé) and I talked about the race and my splits and he was so surprised that I was able to pick it up so much for miles 2 and 3.  I, too, find it odd especially considering how fatigued I always feel the 1st mile.  He thinks this means I can easily improve by working on mile 1.  Man, I hope he is right.

Biggest takeaway from today: I didn’t give up.    This is huge for me.  I lack confidence in my running ability and it can really hurt me. At the 2 mile mark I glanced at the time on my garmin (I only use it to see distance and try my best not to look at the time) and was so discouraged after doing some quick math.  I wanted so badly to give up and slow down (I had such a why bother attitude for a second) BUT I didn’t. I pushed all the way through the finish.

I am glad I have started my 5k “season” early and that I have all summer to improve.  I am so hopeful that I can just keep my knee healthy.

Talk to you next week.

 

 

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Mount Harmon 5k

I ran the Mount Harmon Earth Day 5k yesterday and in an attempt to be succinct I thought I would tell you about it in list form.

Oh, and here is a picture. You know, for proof.

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                                  Bill and I after the race.
  1. This is the 1st 5k I have ever run on grass. It was hard.
  2. I was the 17th overall finisher out of 114 peeps.  I was the 4th female (this put me on the leaderboard) and 2nd in my AG.
  3. My time was 27:14.  I know that time seems horrible (for me) but like I said the race was hard. Really hard.
  4. I haven’t run a 5k in that slow of a time (for me) since I had to take a year hiatus from running because of my jaw issues.
  5. There were a lot of hills.  I think there were also a lot of switchbacks.  I think that is what they are called.  In any case, the course went up and down- a lot.
  6. It was raining and I didn’t hate it.  In fact, it really didn’t bother me at all. Can’t blame my time on that.
  7. Bill was 3rd overall!!! His time was in the 23s.  This is what I used for frame of reference to feel better about my time.  His is usually much faster.
  8. I am determined to return next year and have a better time.
  9. This race made me question wearing a garmin.  At 1.60 miles I looked at my watch and knew my time would be not anywhere near where I wanted.  I felt deflated and might have pushed harder not having this information.

In summary, this 5k was a hard one.  The hardest 5k I have ever run happens to also be my 1st 5k. It was at Brandywine State Creek Park and had two very large hills.  Mount Harmon is a very close 2nd.

A big part of starting  this blog is to help me get some perspective on running and life in general, to see where I can improve.  This requires me to be honest with myself.

So, what has been going on with my running?

Well, I haven’t really been doing any speedwork and it shows.  In addition, my regular treadmill pace has fallen way off.  Not sure how I let this happen but it did. Turns out I kinda like to not feel like I am dying when I run.

I have recently started running outside more and  I plan to continue to do so.  I am running outside at a conservative pace to allow my body to become accustomed to using different muscles and a harder surface, or so I am telling myself.

I also plan to start my “season” of 5ks.  I have a goal time I want to at least get close to, if not beat.  I am hoping simply running a lot of 5ks will help me get faster.

Bill-please comment below and speak to how hard this 5k was so I feel better about myself.  Thanks 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soul Cycle

How do I begin? As my trip to San Francisco drew closer, I knew there was something I had to try- Soul Cycle.

I know you may find my desire to attend a Soul Cycle class a little weird being that I was in SF  where the weather is ideal for outdoor exercise.  And, yes, I did do quite a bit of biking and running outdoors.

However, I don’t live in an area that offers Soul Cycle so I knew I had to put it on my must do list.

I booked a class for Wednesday.  Little did I know that we would be biking 16 miles up and down hills to the Golden Gate Bridge later that day.  Should’ve planned better.

So, onto the actual class.  I had a preconceived notion that it would just be a regular spinning class with some really great music. Little did I know that you have to spin while dancing to the beat. Ummm, what?!

I am all about dancing but on an actual dance floor, not on a spin bike. I can barely concentrate on pedaling fast (I always think I am so much slower than the people around me).  So, here I am trying to spin and, somewhat, bob to the music.

How did I do?

I looked and felt like a fool while the instructor looked amazing.  She was actually full on dancing on her bike. It was cool to see!

Now for the Pros and Cons

The Pros:  

The employees are wonderful.  Someone came right over to help me clip in as they give you spinning shoes to wear.  I have never clipped in but  I really liked it! I feel like I am able to pedal harder….or something.

The instructor was so motivating.  She was all, “YES, YOU CAN!!” which made me feel like, “Well, I guess I can!”

The music! It was so great and it got me spinning my heart out-even if it wasn’t to the beat!

 

The Cons:

$$$$- The class was $30 for the 1st class and $32 thereafter.  That is 1/2 of my monthly YMCA membership bill.  A membership that allows for unlimited spinning classes.

Trying to dance, lift weights (they have hand weights on the back of every bike) and do abs all while spinning was difficult.

 

However, I am happy that I did it! Especially walking in and seeing so many intimidating, beautiful people.  I’m not talking just some run of the mill pretty girls, I’m talking  girls rocking just sports bras and leggings and killing it! Come on! Really?!! And that can be a hard look to pull off.

I’m even looking into spinning shoes (loved that whole clipping in thing) but they are pricy for something I do once in a while.

Day In The Life Of A Running Couple

I just returned from a trip to San Francisco and it was amazing.  I may do a post on my trip just so I can look back on all of the things we did.

In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to do a blog post on a typical race day for Bill and I, being that we just ran one together.

Here we go-

6:30  Me-Alarms goes off. I get up, shower, tape knee, and head downstairs to have coffee and cereal.  Discover milk is bad so decide we will have to pick up bagels.

Bill-Asleep.

07:30 am-Bill– Wakes up, showers, and calmly prepares to leave.

Me- Runs around house like a spinning top gathering the 50 items that I require in order to run. #lowmaintenancegirl

0810- We leave the house, pick up bagels, and drive to race.

09:00-Me- Arrive at parking lot.  I change from shorts (I prefer to wear shorts) to capri pants due to wind and cold while continuing  to stress.

Bill- Calmly plays on phone and ignores me and my stressing.

09:15- We have about 15 minutes to start time and are parked right next to the YMCA.  Plan is to use the bathroom in the Y and get to start line a few blocks away.

09:18- Bill- Decides to return to car to get a sweatshirt while I give him the stink eye from the sidewalk as we are now cutting it extremely close to start time.

09:20-Me-Nag Bill the entire walk about how he needs to be more organized in planning his outfit choices.  He is too much of a gentleman to mention the fact that I completed my own outfit change in the car a mere 10 minutes ago.

09:26-Arrive at start line as National Anthem is being played. Quick port a potty stop for me. Briefly contemplate returning to the car and forgoing said race as the wind is ridiculous!

09:30- A quick kiss we are off!!

10:45- Bill finishes race waaaay before me and waits at the finish line for me in the freezing cold.

11:32-I finish the race.  We get some apples, clif bars, and juice, none of which I have the stomach to eat or drink at the moment.  Run into a couple of friends and then walk slowly back to the car and head home.

I love that we run together.  I love the shared camaraderie and that we can discuss every aspect of the race.  We do a mile by mile recap the entire way home. How we felt at each mile , which mile was the most challenging et cetera.  Plus, I sort of love having him at the finish line waiting for me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run Your Own Race

I ran the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon on Sunday in 2:02:02.   It was a tough course-hilly and terribly windy as in 30 mph gusts of wind. It was no joke.

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See?!!

Back in December I ran the Rehoboth Beach Half in 1:58:40 on what I would consider to be a pretty easy course.  It’s flat with a nice mix of terrain 1/2 road, half trail (but easy trail). The weather was perfect which to me means no wind.

Wind is my least favorite running condition.  I absolutely cannot stand it!

So, why I was able to run a much tougher race in almost the same time as a much easier one?

First let me say that I was untrained for both races.  For CR, my longest run was 7 miles. I  continued to do my weekly mileage of about 20 miles or so.  As for Rehoboth, I was coming off an injury and only ran regularly for about 4 weeks prior to the race with 3 long runs thrown in ranging from 9- 12 miles each.

  1. I ate! I ate a bagel and had my morning coffee.  For Rehoboth I didn’t eat a single thing, which was just dumb.  I get SO nervous before races and it’s tough for me to eat. I also can’t drink Gatorade at water stops; it makes me thirstier.
  2. I got up early.  I have to have my morning coffee but TMI it makes me have to pee.  So, for races I usually avoid it before I run.  Sunday, I got up at 630 am so I could take my time, drink my coffee and eat.
  3. I was just coming off an injury for Rehoboth and for CR I was able to run more regularly.
  4. I started out too fast at Rehoboth.  My line of thinking was-bank some faster miles early before you suffer.  Big mistake!  I blew up at the end of this race.
  5. I changed my thinking. I could devote a whole post to the fact that  I am a terrible racer.  Nerves and fear of failure are the two big reasons.  I envision myself walking over the finish line every single race.  This would kill me btw!
  6. Yesterday, I used a mantra for the first time ever! My mantra was-“Run your own race.” Simple yet effective.  Normally, I feel pressured to “keep up” when people around me start to speed up. Around mile 7,  I knew a big hill was coming and I was running with a girl for quite some time.  She picked it up and I started to go with her but changed my mind.  I wanted to conserve some energy for the hilly section and I just let her go and repeated over and over, “Run your own race.”

Moving forward, I need to actually train for these races.  Sounds easy, right?! Not so for an injury prone runner like myself.

Part of the battle of racing is to get to the start line healthy.  This knee of mine has been plaguing me for over a year.  Yes, I am able to run consistently (as my very sweet fiance points out to me) but I struggle with adding distance or speed for fear of re-injury.

I want to really push it but just not sure it’s smart.  In fact, at the end of the race my IT band was very tight and angry but my knee didn’t hurt at all.  Weird, right?! I thought so until I met a Dr. who immediately pinpointed my sorest area and feels that my IT is the cause of my knee pain.

Makes sense to me which means hi ho, hi ho it’s off to more PT I go.