Sorry for the delay in my blog updates!!! Life is getting crazy, and is about to get even crazierrrrr, so it will be hard for me to be as up-to-date on my running adventures as I’ve been all summer. Oh, reality, why must you creep on me so fast?? :-)
Okay, so let me get caught up here…
Thursday, I ran a 7 mile pace run mid-afternoon after spending the morning at school. I did a great deal of lifting and unpacking in my classroom prior to my run, which I felt was a good little warm up before I headed over to the Tow Path. I wasn’t feeling particularly well with a scratchy throat, swollen glands, headache, and runny nose. I’m not sure if it was allergies or a little bug, but it wasn’t anything that I felt would hinder my run too much. However, for whatever particular reason, I was just not “on” while doing my pace run. I was able to maintain my pace, but it just didn’t feel as comfortable as it should. Into the first mile, I could taste a little bit of blood which I think came from my irritated throat (gross) but I felt okay overall. As I was getting into mile 3, a biker passed me and told me I looked good and encouraged me to keep up my pace. That was DEFINITELY the piece of motivation that helped me to keep on. Just another perk of running without headphones!! Once I turned around at mile 3.5, I was feeling better but definitely dehydrated. I had water with me fortunately, which helped me to keep up the pace despite feeling YUCKY. The last two miles were the most challenging, mainly because I was fighting negative questions going through my head: “Why the heck is this so hard? Is this a pace I should be setting my 26.2 goals at? Am I sick? Did I do too much lifting today?” Finally, I sucked it up and again thought about that nice biker and his remarks. I just kept pushing, and then finished 51:36, 7:22min/mi. I rewarded myself that night with a Red Robin cheeseburger and fries. I just told myself I could use the calories hahaaaa. :-)
Friday, I was scheduled a 4 mile easy run. I decided to do this run with my sister, who I’m trying VERY hard to get into racing. She runs casually, and has run 2 half marathons, but she’s not interested in taking any further than that. She has a lot of potential, so I’m trying to motivate her! I ran at her pace, and enjoyed chatting and gossiping the entire time, hahaa! We ran 36:23, 9:06min/mi. A bit behind the pace I normally do my easy runs at, but it felt good to take it easy!!!
Saturday, I took the day off and caught up with my dear friend, Jeness, and then spent the afternoon/evening doing wedding venue shopping for my sister with my sisters and Mom! It wasn’t exactly a “rest” day, but those will be pretty much unavailable for the next year, LOL.
So, today was the day of the Perfect 10 miler. This race was set to be my first real test of my current level of fitness. I felt very nervous going into this race for a few reason: (a) I haven’t raced a long distance since Boston, (b) my long runs have been kind of “off,” and (c) my pace run on Thursday was much harder than it should have been. I wanted to run under 1:10, but was just not sure that was going to happen. I woke up this morning at 5:15am, and it was cool, dark, and raining softly. PERFECT sleeping weather, LOL! I didn’t sleep well last night, and was out late Friday night, and contemplated for a second skipping the race and getting in some extra ZZZs. I chuckled at my laziness and then got myself moving!
|Perked up and ready to roll!|
I got to the course around 6:50am, just enough time to finish up my coffee, use the Ladies room, and get a good 1.5 mile warm up and stretching in before the race began at 7:30am. My warm up went well. My legs were feeling refreshed, the weather was cool and breezy, and my anxiety went away. Every once in a while, I have to remind myself why I run: because I love it and it’s FUN! When I run for the love and fun of it, I always do my best. There are plenty of more reasons to be anxious, and running shouldn’t be a contributor!!! SO, I knew I was golden for a good race regardless of the outcome! Plus, I ran into some of my favorite running ladies, including my cousin-in-law, Jess!! She’s always such an awesome, uplifting person to run with. I also ran into Debbie, who is a hard-core long distance running gal always full of spunk and positive energy! I’ve met some truly amazing people throughout my running journey. You guys are awesome!!
|Me and lil Jess!|
Okay, so we lined up at the start line which was a big cluster around a tiny chute that we were directed to run under (…I think? I couldn’t hear the announcer!). There were lots of speedy chicas there, which I was grateful for. It’s such a great a motivator to keep working hard, and a reminder that there is A LOT of room for improvement. I wasn’t looking to win this one, just to meet my sub 1:10 goal for the confidence boost I needed in my NYC training. I saw one chica in particular that always runs a tad bit faster than I do, and she does a really good job of running at an even, consistent pace. I wanted to run behind her and keep an eye on her so I could use her to pace me a bit. Then, the race started and off we all went!! I wanted to stay around a 6:50-7:00ish pace throughout the race, so I started out easy and allowed people fly by me. The first mile went great, and I felt comfortable and was right at 7:00 minutes when I crossed the first mile marker. I picked up the pace at the second mile, and was down to about 6:50ish. The third mile was awesome! I felt comfortable, confident with my pace, and decided to just go with it. I was closer to a 6:40ish pace, but was anticipating losing some time around mile 5 due to a gradual incline in elevation, so I wasn’t sweating it. And, NO, I wasn’t sweating it at all! Not only was it cool and breezy, but it also started to drizzle around mile 3 and rained all the way to the finish line. It was AWESOME! Mile 4 went okay, but I was trying hard to stay focused on my own pace and not the people around me. A lot of people were slowing down and running around a 7:10ish pace, either because they went out too fast or they were anticipating the tough part of the course, but I just kept passing people and focused on my own pace. Once I was into to mile 5 and could feel the gradual incline, a guy pulled up to my side and told me he had been pacing with me the entire time. It honestly made me feel a bit nervous, hahaaa! That’s a lot of pressure!! He said he wanted to pace me to the finish, and encouraged me to pick it up. He was going to break 1:08, which I didn’t feel comfortable going for. I told him “ahhhhhhhhh okay I’ll be behind ya!” And then off he went. I appreciate the kindness though. I always emphasize this, but runners are seriously the nicest people in the world. Just another reason I love this sport so much (and another reason why running with headphones is a mistake!!). Mile 6 and 7 went really well, because you loop around and run a gradual decline. Also, you run past other runners which helps you get an idea of how you’re doing comparatively, and it’s also just fun to see everyone out there! Once I got to mile 8, I knew I was ABSOLUTELY meeting my goal and was SO happy. I was a bit too happy too early, and ended up getting passed by a chica that had a lot of left over spunk to get to the finish line. The original chica I was using to pace myself was still in front of me, and was also passed by this spunky chica. So, I didn’t feel discouraged and kept going! This chica was clearly just having an awesome race. After I got through all of the turns and little hills on mile 8, I crossed through into mile 9. I was breathing somewhat heavy at this point, but was in control. I wished I could push a bit harder than what I had left, but I just gave all I had until the finish. I glanced at my Garmin as I was getting closer to the finish, and saw 1:08. I was so excited, and also exhausted, but wanted a strong finish. I chugged and chugged, around a 6:40ish pace, and then BOOM crossed the finish. I MET MY GOAL!!! I ran 1:09:15 (still waiting for official race results, but that’s what they said at the awards), a 6:55min/mi average, and won first in my age group!!! I was SO happy I was under 1:10, and SOOOO happy my pace average was under a 7:00min/mi!! I ran this course last year at 1:10:34, so this is over a minute P.R.!!! Oh, and this is also my first long distance no-Ipod race…another big accomplishment for me! Hahaaaa!
Overall, I’m very pleased with the race. I’m pleased with my strategy throughout the course in addition to the overall outcome. I took advantage of the “easy” parts when I was feeling good, and didn’t get discouraged by the more challenging parts where my pace slipped a bit. I also realized that maybe I’m not ready to pace a marathon (my goal was to pace the CLE Marathon this spring if I get into Boston again before cap fills), because it definitely made me nervous knowing that someone was counting on me to keep up his pace!! But, we’ll see!
SO, six weeks down, I passed my fitness test, and am READDDDDDDDDY to begin week 7!! This week, I completed 33.72 miles and in total have completed 183.23 miles over the past 6 weeks.
My Week 7 NYC Marathon Training Agenda this week (based of Hal Higdon’s Advanced’2 Marathon Training Plan):
Monday: 40 minute cross-training
Wednesday: 40 tempo
Thursday: 8 mile pace
Saturday: 16 miles
Sunday: 40 minute cross-training
Happy Training Everybody!!!!!!!! :-D