Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sharks and Angels

I log my running weeks from Saturday to Friday and started Saturday of the Corporate Cup race with a great 8 mile run. I planned a route that put me on Morehead Street where the half marathon racers would run their last, long leg of the race. I felt pretty good. It was a great route and a beautiful day. I started my run at 7am and didn't get to see many of the race finishers while running. After my run, Adam, Jody, Bryan and I all stood along Morehead cheering runners before going into Dilworth Bar & Grill for brunch to celebrate Adam's birthday. I had missed most of the people I expected to see, but still got to cheer on a few friends. Several people set PRs that day because it was such great running weather.

The next day my body told me that it was time to dial it back. I had run a total of 30+ miles the past two weeks which was more than I'd run in a long time. I didn't run more than 1.6 miles the next 4 days.

That Thursday was St. Patty's Day. There were a couple of themed runs that night, but I decided to go to the reprisal of the old Sharksbite Thursday night run hosted by Eimear and Charlotte Running Company. I'd only run the course a few times and remembered it being pretty tough. I sent information about the run to a couple of my friends who I know from Sharksbite. Karen responded that she was in and forwarded it to some of our other running friends. Karen, Joanna, Collin, Chloe and Gibson all came out to the run the 4.4 mile course. We signed in and included an estimated completion time. I put down 45 minutes because I wasn't expecting to do well after 4 days of only running a mile.

We started the run and I felt great. I was definitely going to beat my estimated time. Then within the first mile I stepped in a dip in the road and nearly went down. In my effort to avoid falling, I probably pulled every muscle from the hips down. Even though I didn't hurt, I did feel my muscles strain. I knew I was going to be sore and that this would probably be my last good run for a while. So I decided to make it a good run and ran it like a race. It's a gorgeous course through the area in Dilworth behind Freedom Park. There's also a number of rolling hills and one pretty big one. When I finished at a time of 41 minutes and some seconds (can't remember), I felt strong and thought that the course was easier than I'd remembered. I've been looking for a new Thursday run since Meetup moved to Philosopher's Stone. I think this run is a much better option and Eimear did a great job making it a special run.

The next day I was pretty sore. I went out for a 3 1/2 mile run after work to try to shake it out. The following day was the Angel's 5K. Adam was helping to organize the race and his brother, his dad and I were signed up to run. I woke up around 7:10 and started getting ready. It was going to be a warm day so I planned to wear shorts and my Sharksbite singlet. Running Thursday night had made me a little nostalgic for the old team uniform. Adam had left earlier to go help set up the race so I was left with his simple directions to North Meck High School and the start of the race.

Adam graduated from North Meck and I graduated from Myers Park. In high school, I didn't play sports and only attended games when we played our big rivals: Providence and South Meck. I had no idea what North Meck looked like and half expected it to be a red, wooden, A-frame building with a wood burning stove in the middle like in Little House on the Prairie. But it wasn't that much different from Myers Park. One large, main building made of brick surrounded by several smaller buildings with a baseball field and football field in the back.

I found the correct parking lot and walked to packet pickup. When I didn't see Adam by registration, I went back to my jeep to put my stuff up and put my bib and timing...well we'll just call it a device. What do you call those strips on the bibs that they use instead of chips now? While in my car I saw Adam's parents pull up and park. Adam's dad was running the race as his first 5K. I finished in the jeep and headed back to the registration/start/finish area where I saw Adam's parents along with his brother Todd and his wife Ellyne. Adam walked up with extra pins for everyone. They'd only given us 2 pins. I don't know why they would skimp on the pins! I was feeling pretty sore, but after saying hello to everyone I decided to run a little to try to get loose. I probably run a half mile. I was less than motivated.

We lined up at the start and Adam got to be the one to start the race using the siren on a bull horn. He kept the start short, explaining that we would hear ready, set, siren and we'd be off. It was actually ready, set, pause, siren, and then we were off and running. The first mile wasn't too bad. I was pretty sore, but mostly I noticed that my stomach felt sick. I used to feel this same feeling because I was nervous about being timed when I first started running races. I don't think I was nervous this race, I just think I'm conditioned to feel this way now for every 5K!

Adam's friend and fellow alum, David, ran up from behind me and said hello just before we finished mile 1. We chatted a bit until he pointed out the first big hill in front of us. It looked awful! But it turned out to be steep but short. David passed me on it. I still can't seem to keep my pace on hills! But I really can't complain since I haven't been doing hill repeats. I missed the first mile marker and I didn't know my pace until the mile 2 marker. At that point I was running about an 8:21 pace. Right into mile 3 I heard a loud breather behind me. I breathe pretty loud, so I really shouldn't complain, but his breathing was in a pattern and contained a chant sounding something like 'oh yeah', 'oh yeah', 'oh yeah.' Finally he passed me and I decided not to try and catch up. Mile 3 was flat with the last 3/10s of a mile of the race on a side walk between the buildings and the fields followed by a sharp left turn into a parking lot to finish under the inflatable arch. Adam's mom saw me just before the left turn and cheered while telling Adam who was closer to the finish that I was coming.

I finished with a time of 26:14, which is about average for me but was good enough for 2nd in my age group. The total turnout for the race was under 200 people. Todd won the race in a time of 18:13. After getting some water, coffee and chatting with Adam's mom, I ran back to find Adam's dad. To my surprise he and Todd were running up the sidewalk only a tenth of a mile from the finish. I cheered for him and he had a big grin on his face. He finished in just over 34 minutes. Ellyne and her sister Emily were behind and I found them and ran along side them towards the finish.

Overall it was a great race and I would recommend it for next year. My next race is the Elizabeth 8K, which I'm really looking forward to. Currently I'm pretty sore, but running through it. I don't think it's anything that a good massage or a lot of yoga wouldn't cure.

Current Stats:
Total Days Run: 81
Longest run: 8 miles
Longest week: 32.6 miles
Shortest run: 1 mile
Shortest week: 20.6 miles
Number of races run: 4
Total Miles Run: 304.99

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Practice? We're talking practice."

My long run on Saturday was supposed to be 8 miles. I quit at 6.78 miles (someone had a Garmin). I met a nice size group of running friends at the Cluck 'n Cup (say that 10 times fast!) at 8:30am to run. The group has been running together for a couple of years now and they have several loops of varying distances from this location that they run. A girl I've been running with on the Wednesday night runs who goes by C.A. joined us.

During the first loop, C.A. and I stayed right behind the three fastest girls. It was a great route through Dilworth that included some of the Greenways in the area. I never run these Greenways because if you're alone, it's pretty scary.

I felt great during the first loop. We stopped at CNC to get water and decide how far we wanted to go next. I wanted to get in at least 8 miles. We started out again with most people deciding to run 8. After a mile and a half, I started feeling weird, like my blood sugar had dropped. I had eaten most of a Pro Max bar, but maybe it wasn't enough. I split from the group and headed back to CNC. Steph and Collin had already grabbed a table for the group so I joined them. Sometimes I think the best part of my Saturday runs is the coffee afterwards!!

My Sunday run was much better. It was a rainy day and Adam wanted to spend some time together, so I skipped my usual Yoga class and instead guided Adam through a typical yoga routine. I say 'guided' he says I told him what to do.

His doctor had told him to start doing yoga so he put up with my instruction. Grunting as he went peppering the poses with an 'oh', 'oh my God' and 'are you serious?' After 35 minutes he wanted to stop. To be fair the first 35 minutes are the hardest. It included the warrior series, chair posture, standing sequences and balance poses. I told him he had to finish, but that it would get easier. We finished a couple more standing poses and then moved to the floor exercises. He made it through the rest of the routine. His favorite pose was Savasana (everyone's favorite!)

But we both felt great afterwards. Yoga is like giving yourself a massage.

When we spotted a break in the rain, we dressed out and started running. He showed me a .8 mile loop in his neighborhood before he took off for a long run. I finished 3.2 miles before it started raining steadily and I decided it wasn't fun anymore.

But if the weekend's runs weren't great, my speed workout on Monday evening more than made up for it. I met Molly at the track and we started our warm up of 1.5 miles. On the way back to the track we saw Jody, who yelled out for us to get started without her. We waited on her anyway, while doing some stretching. My 5K training plan called for 12 x 400m with a 15 second rest in between. This was the third week in a row for 12 x 400m, but previous rest times were longer. Molly was doing a ladder and said she'd run with me as we matched up. My workout was a tough workout, but I really enjoyed it. It went by quickly. My fastest lap was a 1:46, which was my last lap. I ran another 1:47 lap, a couple of 1:49 laps, several 1:50s and the slowest lap was a 1:53 (the first lap). My goal had been 1:50, so I was pretty happy with my results.

My Stats for 2011 so far:

Races run: 3

Miles run: 255.58

Number of days run in a row: 66

Longest Mileage Week: 32.6miles

Shortest Mileage Week: 23.3miles

Next race is in 2 weeks: Angels 5K

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Mundane

So, post-purging my junk, I'm in a much better place emotionally and mentally. I think there is a direct correlation between a cluttered home and a cluttered mind! My running streak is 60 days strong and my 'make the bed everyday' goal is in tack as well. I give myself a 'B' for keeping my place neat. Currently there are dishes in the sink and clean clothes that need to be folded. So yeah, I'm still lazy.

My next race is a 5K in Huntersville on March 19th. It's the Angel's 5K and it's the inaugural running of the race. There's another race the same day that is part of the Run for Your Life series, so it will likely be a small race which is my preference. Adam is involved with the planning of this race as well as the Angels of '97 organization that created the race. The organization was started after the North Mecklenburg High School's graduating class of 1997 lost 5 students due to illness or car accidents. The organization raises money for scholarships for students in the North Mecklenburg County area. They organize an annual golf tournament, spaghetti dinner and now a 5K.

After that I plan on doing the Elizabeth 8K on April 9th. It may be my longest race this year!

I saw this car while eating at Jason's Deli in Pineville with
my mom. Not sure if it's pink for Mary Kay or breast cancer
awareness. I love pink, but no on cars!