Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Millennium Trail

I did it! I ran 11 miles on Saturday. It was hard and hot but I did it! And I didn't walk any part of it, which is always my goal. I followed a trail that is 10.6 miles long with mile markers every half mile. This was both a blessing and a curse! It was great to see how far I had gone and what I had left, but a few of the half miles seemed to drag on forever.

I started out at 8:55 a.m. The sky was a bit overcast and there was a nice breeze. The first 3 miles were great, weather wise. When I was down to my last 4 miles I was on an open road with no shade and the sun was blazing. I had a full-sized water bottle filled with water and 2 smaller bottles on my belt each filled with Gatorade. I poured a little bit of water on the back of my neck and the top of my head every now and then to get some relief. At some point in the last 2 miles I ran out of fluids. I even opened my water bottle and tried to get the last drops out. It was tortuous but once the end was in sight, nothing else mattered. I was so relieved to make it! I only stopped at the intersections and I never walked. I did run very slowly up a couple hills, but I never walked. I just kept thinking if I can't finish this, how am I going to finish a half marathon?

I treated myself to a delicious iced decaf caramel macchiato from Starbucks afterwards. It was the best tasting drink I've ever had!! Despite how hard and hot it was and how badly I wanted it to be over during those last couple miles, I felt great afterwards. No pain! I'm feeling ready for the half and I'm really looking forward to it!

My biggest worry is that my training will get pushed to the back burner and I'll lose everything I've worked so hard for. I just can't let that happen. There's a half in August just 5 minutes from me and another in September. I figure if I have those on my calendar it'll help get me out there even in the gross heat. I'm running at least 2 5K's in June and then I'll work on building my mileage back up to be ready for the August half.

My log:
Tuesday May 22:
3.84 miles
44:16 minutes
11:31 pace

May 24, 6:37pm:
3.38 miles
36:17 minutes
10:44 pace (my fastest pace ever while pushing Jack)

May 26, 8:55am:
11.40 miles
12:55 pace

May 28, 9:13am:
3.91 miles
47:37 minutes
12:10 pace

According to the app, I ran 11.40 on Saturday, but the trail is 10.6 miles and I went a little more to make it 11. This makes me wonder if it's wrong every time and maybe I'm not really doing as much as I think I am. I guess it's time for a Garmin! :)

I'm not sure if I'll run tonight or tomorrow night or both. I'm supposed to be taking it easy the week before the race, but that's really hard to do!

2 days from now I'll be checking in to the hotel and picking up my packet. Crazy!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Kids on the Run

I just have to post Jack's first official "race" photo from his Toddler Trot on May 12.

And with his finisher's ribbon:

This was his 3rd run and he did great! It makes me extremely proud to see him running (or trotting!) and I love cheering him on. Soon enough the day will come when he won't need to hold my hand to cross that finish line. But until then, I'm happy to lend a hand. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Germantown 5-Miler

This past Saturday I ran a 5 miler that was less than 2 miles from my house. I was dropped off at the race, ran the 5 miles and enjoyed a snack afterwards, then ran home. Because I was running home and I was using this as a training run, I didn't go all out. I still finished with a decent time and I sprinted hard at the finish. I just don't know any other way! My official race time is 56:29, which is about an 11:26 pace.

I used the MapMyRun app on my phone and when I paused it at the finish, it said I had gone 5.24 miles. So either the race course was a little longer or the app is a little off. Or maybe both. I'm not too worried about it!

Here are a couple pictures from the run, both near the finish:

I felt good during the race and after. The run home was slower and I was sore, but I made it. I had some good runs last week and hope to have a repeat this week. I'm going to run at least 10 miles this weekend and I'm going for 11. It'll be my last long run before the half! It's so hard to believe that it's only 12 days away!

Here's my log for the last week:

May 15, 6:18pm:
3.34 miles
36:37 minutes
10:56 pace

May 16, 6:14pm:
2.41 miles
26:15 minutes
10:49 pace

May 17, 6:37pm:
3.40 miles
37:33 minutes
10:57 pace

May 19, 8:30am:
7.76 miles
11:16 pace

I finally got an updated pic of Jack cruising in the BOB, covered in veggie sticks :)

Happy trails!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Born This Way

I kept meaning to write an update last week and that obviously didn't happen. So I need to backtrack a little. The week after the 10K I was feeling great. On May 5 I ran 8 miles and it wasn't as hard as I expected it to be. My RunKeeper app had been acting up so I downloaded MapMyRun which has been awesome!

I ran 3 nights last week and this past Sunday ran 10.18 miles!!!! I've run 2 ten-milers, the last one in April 2009, but the longest training run I did beforehand was 9. So not only is this my longest ever training run, but the longest run I've ever done period. I am extremely happy with the pace I kept and my overall time as well.

I ran 4.5 miles, stopped at 7-Eleven to use the bathroom and eat some Clif Shot Blocks, then ran the remaining 5.5 miles. I only stopped the one time. The first 6 miles were a breeze. Sometime in mile 7 I was thinking how nice it would be if this run was almost over. But stopping was never an option for me. I really believe that running is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. I also got very hungry towards the end and if you've never experienced a growling stomach while running, let me tell you that it does not feel good! I ended up starting out later than I wanted and too much time had passed since I'd eaten breakfast. Now I know better!!

During mile 8, "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga came on my iPod. It was very motivating and inspiring and both the beat and lyrics helped me finish strong.

"Don't hide yourself in regret, Just love yourself and you're set; I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way. Ooh, there ain't no other way, baby I was born this way; I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way."

That and "Lose Yourself" by Eminem were my 2 favorite running songs of the day. I don't usually run with music, but I knew it would be a lot easier to complete 10 miles if I had music to listen to. I still have an iPod mini and an armband from 8 years ago that I pulled out and, to my amazement, they're still in great condition!

This Saturday I'm running a 5-miler and then running 2 miles home, maybe more. Memorial Day weekend I plan to run 10 again, if not more. Then the next weekend it's the half. I definitely feel good about it and I know that no matter my pace, I'll finish strong. I'm actually getting excited for it, which I never thought would be possible!

Here's my log for the last week or so:

Saturday May 5, 4:06pm
8.03 Miles
1 hour, 42 minutes
12:44 avg. pace

May 7, 6:05pm: (gps was acting up)
3.55 miles
42:25 minutes

May 10,6:30pm
3.35 miles
38:20 minutes
11:16 pace

May 11, 6:40pm
3.55 miles
40:25 minutes
11:21 pace

May 13, 9:25am
10.18 miles
12:21 pace

I hope to get another 3 nights of running in this week and then the long run on Saturday. I've continued going to a Thursday night fun run at my local Fleet Feet store. I met a woman there who runs slower than I do, but it's nice to take it easy. And it's extra nice to have a change of scenery and someone to talk even if it is only once a week.

I'm feeling great and getting stronger and faster. I hope to make both a 5K and 10K PR this year. I don't see anything stopping me from achieving these goals!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pike's Peek 10K

Sunday April 29 I ran the Pike's Peek 10K. This was my 3rd time running the race and my 4th overall 10K. I had planned on meeting an old running buddy of mine who was just getting back into running after an injury. We'd run together in the past and kept the same pace. Becky wasn't sure how she would do and I was feeling confident after my great times at the previous week's 5K and Mile, and we agreed to at least start out together. She surprised herself and we ended up running together almost the whole way. She said I pushed her but she really helped me. We talked a lot of the way and it didn't feel like a "race" at all. It went by so fast!

She had been keeping time on her watch and said we had 3/4 of a mile left to go. I was feeling pretty good and wanted to kick it up a notch. The last quarter mile of this race is all down hill and I was preparing to go crazy at the end. She told me to go for it and that was all I needed to hear! I picked up my pace and finished strong. After catching my breath I even ran back to help bring her home. I found another friend who had been behind us and cheered him on. I realized I must have missed her coming through. It turns out I only finished about 45 seconds before her.

Going into this, my goal was to finish in under an hour and ten minutes. My time? 1:05:12!! A 10:30 pace! It turned out to be my 2nd fastest 10K. I hope to make a PR in November if not before.

Here's Becky and I after the race (if you didn't know, you might think this was before the race with how good we look!):

I love knowing that Jack is waiting for me at the finish line!

Tomorrow I'm planning on running either 7 or 8 miles (will see how I feel) and I'm going to attempt 10 on Mother's Day. I signed up for a 5-miler on May 19 that is only about 2 miles from my house. I'm going to have someone drop me off at the race and I'll run home afterwards. Sounds crazy! I just hate doing these long runs on my own around my neighborhood. I need to change it up some!

Only 4 weeks until the half!