Sunday, April 28, 2013

One week and counting

About this time next week, I should be enjoying the company of my running buddies as we celebrate finishing the Long Branch Half. It's been 3 years since I first ran that race and had a pretty painful experience. I think I've avoided injury this time around, and the weather report is looking promising, so here's looking at a much better experience this time around. I'll be going out for my last long run this morning. The plan for today is to get one more long run in so my legs remember what it feels like (since my last long run was a couple of weeks ago).  10 miles flat and easy on a lovely day in preparation for next week!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Foxtrot 5k Race Report

Records fell at the Foxtrot 5k yesterday!

I convinced my running buddy to join me at this small race to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and we rocked it! We both wore our sparkle skirts (because everyone feels faster in a sparkle skirt!) and had a great time. 
Before the race started, she talked to a lot of people at the front of the starting line to see if she could use anyone as a pacer. I had in mind that I wanted to PR (which would mean coming in before 24:26), and I was really hoping to coming under 24 minutes. I didn't have much of a plan though. I forgot my ifitness belt, so I held my phone while tracking the race with RunKeeper. I had set the app to tell my my time, distance, overall pace, and current pace every quarter mile, so it helped to keep me on track when I started to slow a little. 
I felt really good for the first half of the race. I was breathing easy and felt like I was hardly exerting myself. Once we hit the turnaround point, though, it hit me, and I really had to push to keep at my goal pace. I closed my eyes and breathed as deeply as I could, I took shorter, faster steps, and I tried to create more momentum with my arms. In the end, I stayed behind a group of 4 or 5 runners that had formed a bit of a pack. As we neared the finish, one of them made a move to pass, but overall it wasn't much of a race. I knew from  my phone that I was definitely going to set a new PR. As I got closer to the clock, though, I saw that the last seconds of the 23rd minute were winding down. Seeing that gave me an extra burst, and I crossed the finish in 23:55, a personal record by 31 seconds!

My buddy, her husband, and some other spectators were cheering me on, and after I came through the chute she came over to tell me that she was the 1st female and came in under 21 minutes! Her final time was 20:51, and she was the 1st female and 3rd finisher overall. Congrats!!! 

She got a gold medal that said 1st and even won a free massage door prize. And I came home with a 1st place age group medal! Yay!
Yep, those are gold!

As the awards were handed out, I snuck away to my car to get some soft-baked chocolate chunk cookies to celebrate her birthday this weekend. We toasted our cookies, and there was much feasting.

In retrospect, it was a fun race for a good cause, and I am so excited to have set a new personal record. I don't think that I gave it everything, though. I had an extra burst when I saw the clock, and I think that if I had been motivated enough, I could have kicked more at the end and maybe even passed some of the people right ahead of me. In the long run, it doesn't really matter that much, but it really is interesting how much your mental state of mind can affect your physical performance. That will be something to keep in mind for the half marathon coming up on May 5th.  Only 3 weeks to go!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Trying to make it count

So all winter I've been training for a half marathon. It's the same race I did in 2010, and I'm counting on not being injured this time around for a sweet redemption race. Right now I'm less than 5 weeks out and have been having a lot of joint twinges and muscle soreness and am afraid of doing long runs. That means that every short workout and rest day I do really has to count. That means fueling properly and being ready to put a lot of effort into the workout while fully resting afterwards and stretching and rolling, and getting enough sleep.

There is no doubt that I'll be able to finish the race, but I've set my heart on finishing sub-2 hours. There are so many factors that can influence whether that is possible, but the key thing now is to keep myself healthy so I have a shot at it!