Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Run Report

Faithful running partner, W, is out of town for 10 days. So, today, Bridget joined me on my long run. It was to be 8 miles and I was shooting for an 11 minute pace. Bridget was to run the first 5 and then drop away.

Mile 1: 10:59 - perfect
Mile 2: 10:44
Mile 3: 10:58
Both mile 2 and 3 included a pretty steep hill. In fact, last week, our mile 3 was our slowest at 11:26.
Mile 4: 10:53
Mile 5: 10:47
Mile 6: 10:42
Mile 7: 11:10
Mile 8: 11:02

Bridget ended up doing 7 and keeping it real strong all the way through.

Average pace: 10:55

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Clueless People

Cosmo and I head out on a little 3 mile jaunt this morning. It is nice and cool, sun is shining, very little wind - just a perfect running day. Last Friday, this route took me 29:16 so I think that I will shoot to take a little time off of that - not much, just a few seconds or so. Goal is 29:10 which would give me a 9:43 mile. Blazing fast for me! LOL

Mile 1 - 9:42 Feel good, everything is right in my world.
Mile 2 - 9:56 Huh? Well, no matter. I still feel good and I know with a little focus I can still do this. I need to hit about 9:31 for this last mile - a challenge but I am going for it.
Mile 3 - Oh wait. We are stopped at mile 2.51 by a guy needing directions. Yes, even though the neighborhood is crawling with people and construction workers, he stops Cosmo and I. He stops up ahead of us and waits for for us to approach, window down, arm waving at us. No way I can pretend I don't see him and buzz on by. I give him the directions, he asks a few questions about greyhounds and makes a few inane comments about me running with my dog (all while I stand there, dripping sweat and still huffing and puffing) and then he drives off. Momo and I stand there. You know, we so don't want to move. If I turn around, I can see the back of my house about 250 feet away. Momo refuses to look at me, he is turned around, staring intently at the back of the house.

I hit the start button on the Gar'mean' and I attempt some forward motion. My knees and hips probably made audible creaking noises as if I were the Tinman caught out in a rainstorm without my trusty oil can. Momo registers his discontent with this plan by hanging back at the very end of his leash with absolutely no slack. I push ahead, dragging my protesting dog and we slog on to the end.

Mile 3 - 9:40 3 miles @ 29:20 for a 9:47 pace. I think I could have hit 29:10 if I didn't stop but I am still happy. :-)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Holy Guac-a-Mo-Mo!

From Jen's blog:
Actual post is here.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It is what it is

13.1 miles is a long way. A long way.......

But Lehigh is done and we can check that sucker off and move on.

The weather was perfect - high 40's to start the race, overcast and no wind. If you gave me a check list, I couldn't have ordered better weather. The race was very well organized, we had no trouble getting a shuttle to the start or finding our way around. Our little band of 5 spectators had no trouble either and found us easily even though there were 4500 runners. Only negative was that our hotel wasn't the greatest. We had no hot water before the race or after. We did complain and got comped 50% for the rooms so that was good.

My super hopeful goal was a 2:30 finish. The official results are 2:35 chip (gun time was about 2 minutes more) so I am pretty thrilled with that. I definitely want to do this race one more time because I know I can do it faster. We lined ourselves up with the 11:30 pace group to begin with because we wanted to be sure not to go out too fast. Well, the pacer hit the first 7 miles all under 11:30 by a good margin - I think mile 4 or 5 was 10:58! That kind of played havoc with our plans and we ended up falling back from them about mile 8. We might have to revisit the pace group strategy, we were led to believe the pace groups maintained a steady pace throughout the race, not just shooting for the finish time averaging the pace.

Right now, I have come to the conclusion that 8 miles is currently the perfect race distance for me! :-) I was pretty miserable between mile 8 and mile 10. I think it was somewhere around mile 9 that I decided once I was finished, I was never going to run another step in my life. We hit some rolling hills which weren't bad in and of themselves but just weren't a lot of fun at that point of the race. My right hamstring has been bothering me and it got to the point that at every hill, I had to stop and stretch and walk a little bit. It and my right knee were very, very sore afterwards. At mile 10, we actually started heading back towards the finish and I started feeling a little better, because, after all, there was only a 5k left. And we can go out any day and run a 5k, right? At least, that is what I told myself. The finish line was in a stadium. The entrance to the stadium was up a steep ramp, maybe 30 feet long. B said that a lot of runners were hitting that ramp and immediately walking. We decided we were going to walk up the ramp (because of my hamstring) and then start running again in the stadium. Actually W decided and told me this because my brain was not functioning at this point. But, when we got to the ramp, both sides were lined with people and they were all shouting our names. I decided that no way in hell, with all these people watching and yelling, was I walking that ramp so I continued to run up it. W stopped and immediately people started calling out her name, saying, 'You can do it' and Keep going!'. If I had any breath, I would have laughed out loud and told them she was fine - she was only walking because she thought I was walking! Then we ran 3/4 the way around the track to the finish so that and hearing our names called out was pretty neat.

Our cheering squad found us around the 3 mile mark and then at the 12, which was when I really needed them, so that was awesome. When you approach the finish, at mile 12, you are heading towards the stadium and you can hear the announcer and the crowds. Then you have to head away from the stadium, loop around a park area and then go back to the stadium. If you went straight at mile 12, instead of running the loop, it is probably just a 100 yards or so to the stadium. I offer this up as an example of how your mind can play tricks with you. When I saw our group at mile 12, I actually thought to myself, 'I wonder if anyone would notice if I ran straight through the park to the stadium - it's really short and I could be done with this whole episode of insanity within 2 minutes.' I thought it but I didn't do it and continued on the course. And then I spent the next 10 minutes worrying and fretting that our group wouldn't have enough time to walk to the stadium and they wouldn't be there to see us finish. It was, as if in my mind, that short walk equaled the mile+ distance I still had to run and I couldn't figure out how my husband and the others would be able to see me finish. I actually felt close to tears once, thinking about it. I know. What a froot loop.

Nicely organized race, great volunteer support. There was an awesome vegetarian meal offered at the end (one of the main deciding factors for doing this race, imo) but I was too wonky to eat anything. W, who finished looking like she just took a stroll in the park, actually waved a veggie sausage sandwich under my nose at one point, trying to get me to eat some of it. Gag. Oh, and the food and shuttle busses were all up a little hill from the finish line - cruel, cruel, cruel. LOL

The plan is to do run the Boilermaker in July and we are checking out autumn halfs.