1. Been home from the beach for a week, and missing it dreadfully... It was a super awesome, relaxing week. Normally we go to Myrtle, but the past couple of years, we've tried different spots (Virginia Beach last year got a bunch of thumbs down); This year we went to the Outer Banks and absolutely loved it. Great beach, great house (with an awesome pool), great weather, just great everything. (plug for Village Realty (www.villagerealtyobx.com)- if you're going to the OBX, use them for your rental - they go above & beyond.)
2. I'm 6 weeks away from my first half marathon. Training is going well. Ran my first double digit run in a long long time yesterday, and it was awesome. Implementing a structured run/walk interval plan really helps out. Totally ready for the next week of training. Right now, my goal is to finish in 2.5 hours. That means I have to run 11.5 minutes per mile. I think it's doable. We shall see as training progresses.
Normally, when I run, my elevation profiles look similar to this: Starting at about 700ft and going up to close to 800ft and up and down in between: Last week, I took my running to a new low: Starting at 9ft going down to 7ft. Can't get much flatter or lower than that. :o)
Back in July, I ran 2 5ks that I never bothered to write up. Don't know why. Perhaps I thought they weren't important enough, or I got too busy, or whatever. Who knows. But today I've got the time, and I feel like writing. Every race (or run in general) is a great accomplishment, no matter how small or how unimportant it seems. So every race I run deserves some kind of record of it's happening. So here goes.
Charleston YMCA Corporate Cup 5k - July 23, 2011 Earlier this summer, before it got so blasted hot, I was going for runs during my lunch hour. It was after one of these runs, while I was still in my running clothes, I got noticed by the office Corporate Cup coordinator. "You run?" he said. "Yep," I replied. "Wanna run the 5k for Corporate Cup?" he asked. "Ummm, I guess," I said. Not sure if that's exactly how the conversation went down, but you get the point = I ended up signed up to represent the company in the run.
To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the run. I knew the track & field events for the Corp. Cup were held at Laidley Field, and for some reason I had it my head that the run was going to be on the track. I was absolutely dreading having to run 12 1/2 times around ; I hate feeling like a hamster in a wheel - running and running and getting nowhere. But on race day, I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was a course set out outside of the field and I didn't have to run in circles all morning after all.
It stormed the night before, so the morning of the race was hot & humid. Didn't think it was too bad weather wise when I first got there, but as the morning went on, and the race start got later and later, it got hotter and hotter. So it was pretty miserable by the time we actually started running. I had already decided that I wasn't "racing" this one, I was just "running" it as a training run. Since it was hot, I took it easy and didn't push myself, walking when I felt I needed to. Finished in 32:20, which was slower than I knew I was capable of. I finished 7th place in my company's division, so it wasn't all bad.
Family Counseling Connection Race Against Rape - July 30, 2011 Decided I would start off an already busy Saturday by running a race up at Kanawha State Forest. My niece's birthday was set for that afternoon up at a stable outside of Canaan Valley (she turned 8 and loves horses). I double checked when the party was going to start, figured out how much driving time we (mom & I) would need, and decided that I could manage to get the race in if I ran it around 30-35 minutes and didn't stick around for the awards (which I figured I wouldn't win anyway).
Mom said she would meet me there so she could watch me race, so I left the house and was at the turn by GW when she called and asked if I could pick her up. So much for my intention to get there early with plenty of time to register and warm up. I turned around, picked her up, and headed back to the forest. (Even with the detour, I still had plenty of time to do all the pre-race stuff that needed done).
It was another sticky humid summer morning - 74 degrees and 92% humidity - so I knew it was going to be a tough run. The KSF 5k course is deceiving - you think it's flat and easy. But it's not. The first half - from the pool lot to the entrance - is a slight downhill; the second half - back to the pool lot - is, obviously, a slight uphill. It's not steep, but it's enough to make that second half a whole lot harder than the first. Especially when it's hot humid & sticky.
As I usually do, I picked a random runner out of the group to follow as a sort of pacer. Ended up running with her for the first half and chatting a bit. Unfortunately, she "fell victim" to the incline, and I left her behind on the second half (i feel a bit guilty about that, but oh well). The incline got to me too - I was hot, I was tired, it was tough. I looked at my garmin and told myself I could walk when I got to 2.5 miles. Reached that point, and kept running, telling myself I could walk at 2.75 miles. When I got there, the finish line was in sight, and I wasn't about walk that close to the end! So I didn't. Crossed the finish in 31:31.
It was a small race, and Mom thinks I could've possibly placed in my age group (based on her observations and assumptions on how young/old other finishers appeared to be), but we didn't have time to hang around for the awards announcements if there were any, and I never saw any official results. Not that it matters, I was happy just to have finished pretty close to my goal time.
Saturday morning September 3 was the day for the Charleston Distance Run. For most of the year it was a day I was looking forward to, because it was going to be my first distance run and my first "long" race. But summer came and life intervened, and I wasn't able to train the way I needed to run the 15 miler. It was a big disappointment for me to have put my goal on hold for another year. Felt like a failure, even though it wasn't.
So when yesterday came around, I was a little sad and disappointed in myself that I was "only" running the 5k. But as somebody said, 15 miles or 5k, you're still out there running. Just what I needed to hear.
I'd had it in my head all summer that I wanted to run a 5k in under 31 minutes, so I set that as my goal. I didn't do much speed work or any real intense training for the race; just my normal running schedule. One rare evening with cool temps and low humidity, I did manage to pull off one training 5k in 30:56 - just barely making the goal time. But even so, I thought I had the race down, since it was early in the morning and in September, when temps "should" be more reasonable.
Ha! Mother Nature decided to laugh in my face. Weather forecast for Saturday said it was to be the hottest day of the year. Temperature at 7:00am, when I was getting out of the car: 71. Humidity level: 93%. Yeah, so much for cool early in the morning. It was brutal; sticky sweaty and steamy. Kept my goal in mind, but told myself I wouldn't be too disappointed if I wasn't able to pull it off because of the ridiculousness of the weather.
The cannon went off and off we went. Started out too far back in a really slow bottleneck, so it took a while to get moving and find an open space that I felt really comfortable in. But I found my spot, and picked out my random runner to keep in sight as a pacer. And promptly passed her. Found another random runner to be my pacer, and promptly passed him. And again, picked one out, and passed. Decided I needed to forget that strategy and just run.
Other than being sweaty and hot, I hit mile 1 feeling good, with an average pace of 10:08. A little slower than I hoped for, but I figured it was due to the slow start, and kept chugging along at a comfortable pace. Mile 2 average was 9:40. Whoa! Didn't know I could go that fast without feeling strained (which I wasn't at all). Awesome! Who knew I had that in me in heat & humidity? Didn't want to over do it and crash and have to walk at the finish, so I tried to keep mile 3 steady and even; which I managed with ease. Mile 3 average was 9:42. Entered Laidley Field with enough left in me to sprint to the finish. Finished in 30:42.
Felt awesome the whole race; yeah, it was hot, yeah, I was soaking wet with sweat, but I felt great. Heart rate felt reasonable; never got out of breath. Finished thinking I could've pushed it harder and run a faster pace. But I'll save that for my next race. :o)