Thursday, October 30, 2008

Recovery Week

I have recovered much easier this week than I initially thought I would. The few hours right after the race my legs were so sore I thought I would be sore for at least a solid week. But I ran an easy 1 mile run/walk on Monday which really loosened up my muscles. I increased to an easy 30 minute run on Tuesday and took Wednesday off to rest. This morning I managed about 4.3 miles (50 minutes) and my legs aren't really sore anymore, so I guess the recovery is going well. I can tell my legs are still not full strength again though because my easy pace today felt much faster than it was. I guess I need to be careful pushing the pace too early. I am hoping to get outside for my long run this weekend - somewhere around 6-8 miles...I am even considering meeting up with the run club at the gym to see what that is like (I have never run with anyone before, except during a race).

I think my next race is going to be a local Turkey Run 5K the weekend before is cheap and not on the actual holiday. Besides that I don't think I will be doing much racing for the rest of the year. A few guys on the RWOL forums are encouraging me to run the Winter Carnival Half Marathon in January, but I don't know that I could commit to something that long in that cold of weather. For those not from the Twin Cities, the Winter Carnival is always scheduled for the "climatologically coldest" week of the year in MINNESOTA! BRRRRR!!! So, I think I will probably wait until spring before I start thinking about another half marathon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monster Half Marathon Race Report

I have officially finished my first half marathon!!

I made my goal of finishing in under official time was 2:27:40. I went out too fast. I knew it, but couldn't seem to slow myself down! I was aiming for 11:00 mpm to start and then reassess around mile 5...well, my splits were:

1 - 10:25 - Not too bad of a start, I think I placed myself well enough in the crowd.
2 - 9:59 - Obviously letting the excitement get to me a little. Must slow down!
3 - 10:26 - Slowed down as much as I felt I could...I could not get my legs to go any slower. I figured at least I could bank some time for a walk break later in the race.
4 - 10:18 - Speeding up again...I can't seem to control my legs!
5 - 10:56 - This mile included a little walking to take a gel...then right back into the flow.
6 - 10:35 - Alot of people were passing me at this point. The 10 mile race followed the route for the first 10 miles and started about 10 minutes after the half marathon. I had to keep reminding myself that these were the really fast 10 milers that were passing me, not the halfers.
7 - 11:03 - Feeling in the groove, although the hills were getting to me at this point.
8 - 10:48 - Feeling good...only 5 miles left.
9 - 11:23 - We merged with the 5K and 5K9 (with dogs) races for a while...this was really a mess!
10 - 12:02 - We split from the rest of the groups and it was just the halfers for the rest of the race.
11 - 11:22 - Wow, cold wind blowing over Lake Calhoun surprised me. I really tried to push myself to go faster...once again the legs were cooperating.
12 - 12:05 - This is were I really started to struggle...forced to switch to a run/walk.
13 - 12:29 - Continuing to struggle, but determined. I really missed the crowd support here...there wasn't much at all around Lake Calhoun (last 3.1 miles).

As you can see, I didn't follow my own plan very well and crashed by the end. When I got to the end, I had to fight for a glass of water. There only seemed to be one jug left and a big crowd around it. A little boy tried to cut in front of me when I was close to getting my glass and I am pretty sure I gave him a pretty severe evil stare. I felt a little bad about that, but I needed the water more than him! Once I got the water, I went and sat down near the finish line to rest, stretch, and eat/drink.

The most painful part of the whole day was walking back to my car! I had to park about a mile away and my legs and the tops of my feet were killing me (I think my laces were too loose). I ended up taking my shoes off about halfway to the car and that helped the feet.

My legs are still sore today (2 days later) but it is just muscle soreness, no joint issues. (My knee did not hurt at all before, during, or after the race!! YAY!) I did a very easy run/walk on the treadmill this morning and I was surprised that it actually felt good. I only went a mile, and don't think I could have gone further, but it really loosened up the muscles.

I definitely plan on running another half...hopefully I will learn how to control my legs before the next one.

Race: Monster Half Marathon (Team Ortho Event)
Date: October 25, 2008
Distance: Half Marathon (13.1 miles)
Official Time: 2:27:40
Average Pace: 11:17
Overall Place: 908/1018
Place in Age Group: 392/443

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've been tagged...

By Jen

10 Years Ago (1998):
1. In college
2. Still a chemistry major? I think I switched to Accounting this year.
3. Celebrated 3 years together with my DP
4. Waiting tables
5. Having fun (it was college after all)

5 Things on Today's "To Do" List:
1. Go to the gym (done)
2. Work (won't bore you with the work to-do list)
3. Finish cleaning house (visitor coming tomorrow)
4. Laundry
5. Class (children related)

5 Things that I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Pay off debt (including house, student loans, everything)
2. Go on a shopping spree (new clothes, electronics, bike, etc)
3. Invest for retirement
4. Invest for kid's college
5. Buy investment real estate
(Can you tell I'm an accountant?)

5 Places I have lived:
1. Northwest IN
2. Gainesville, FL
3. Jacksonville, FL
4. Twin Cities, MN

5 Jobs I have had:
1. Waiting tables
2. Various office temp jobs
3. Internal Auditor (internship)
4. External Auditor
5. Accountant

Now, I'm tagging....
No one! I am letting you off the hook on this one...gotta get back to work. If you would like to participate, consider yourself tagged!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Less than a week left...

Sorry I have been a blog slacker lately. I have been reading everyones' just haven't gotten around to posting anything on mine.

Reality is starting to set first half marathon is next weekend. I will be running a half marathon in less than a week. What have I done?!?

I keep telling myself I will be fine. I have run 12 miles before...but that was a month ago! The longest I have run since then was 7 miles...and that run was really bad - my knee hurt and I just had no energy/motivation. I have had mostly good run since then, but no long runs (too close to the big day to try).

Here are my goals for the half:
1 - Finish. Without too much walking required.
2 - 2:30 (11:30 pace). This should be doable, and leaves a little extra time for walking/potty break.
3 - 2:20 (10:42 pace). This is somewhere between McMillian estimates based on my 5K and 10K PRs.

My plan is to go out at an 11:00 pace and reevaluate along the way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Twin Cities Marathon - Volunteer Report

A little history for those that don't already know…I REALLY wanted to run the TC 10 miler this year (the 'shortcut to the capital' run along with the Twin Cities Marathon). Last year I saw some footage of the finishers on the local news station and was totally inspired. I had not run anything longer than a 5K at the time, so I didn't think I would be ready for the marathon this year, but was hoping to do the 10 mile in 2008 and the TCM in 2009. Well, I didn't get selected in the lottery, so my plans got changed a little. Anyway, I really still wanted to be a part of the marathon weekend events, so I signed up for the 5K and also signed up to be a volunteer. This was my first volunteer experience.

I showed up a little after 7 AM and started mixing Powerade and setting up the glasses. I met a few nice people who were also volunteering. A little after 8 the first rush started from the 10 miler. Everyone looked so happy and I was a bit jealous. During the rush of 10 mile finishers it started raining. This was a steady COLD rain. We kept working until the rush ended about 30 minutes later. Then, once we had replenished our supplies we went to find a tent and some coffee to warm up.

By the time the marathoners started coming through it had stopped raining (and my shivers were settling down). It was amazing seeing the different conditions that the runners were in. Some of them looked like they had just jogged a 5K and others could barely walk (ok, most were in the barely walking category). There were some really inspiring sights though. I saw one older gentleman that had a sign on his back declaring this Marathon #300! I saw Kara Goucher (10 miler Women's National Championship winner) and Alberto Salazar on their way to the VIP tent. I couldn't help asking questions of those that looked interested to talk…one woman told me she just got a 20-some minute PR and everyone raved about the beautiful course and all the spectators out in the poor weather.

The most inspiring person that I met was an older lady (she had a F80+ sign on her back) that was one of the last to finish. She was in the best spirits. I helped her open her water bottle and wrap the mylar blanket around her waist. She said that she beat the course closing by 2 minutes! She was feeling good, her core was doing good, her heart and lungs were still ready to go. But her legs had just gotten too cold and wouldn't run anymore so she had to walk the last 2 miles…but she still made it! Wow, what an amazing woman.

I couldn't believe how many of the runners made it a point to thank us too. I just kept telling them that they deserved it. In the shape that many of them were in, it is amazing that they were thinking about us. It was appreciated though.

I was also thoroughly impressed with the organization of the race (from the finish-line perspective that I had at least). There were plenty of EMS around and they were checking up on anyone that looked like they may need some help. One woman sat down on the curb near us and there was a triage EMS with her within about 30 seconds talking to her and asking her questions. They even had a couple people with radios up in the air picking people out of the crowd that looked like they needed assistance.

In conclusion - Although we had crappy weather and I was wet and cold for most of the morning…I absolutely loved volunteering. The experience has only strengthened my desire to actually run this marathon next year.

Twin Cities TC 5K - Race Report

Beautiful running weather! 45* with only a bit of a breeze (that is during the actual race that is). I woke up to quite chilly weather. When I got to the capital grounds, my car said it was 38* and everyone was walking around with winter coats and blankets - that is except for all the bare runner's legs in just shorts. I had a long sleeve tech shirt on with a sweatshirt to keep me cozy pre-race. Once the sun came up it started warming everything up and it was just beautiful.

The course was also really nice. As the race starts, we ran with the cathedral on the hill in front of us…I have never seen that view of the cathedral, but it was amazing. Then we continued up and down (the course was a tad hilly) turned around and headed back. On the return trip we were heading right for the state capital building - wow, two great views in one 5K. The coolest part was knowing that the return trip was the last 1.5 miles of the 10 mile/marathon course, and actually getting to run through the same chute! How inspiring is that?!?

Now about my time…
This is what I was thinking before the race:
Under 30:00 - Would be absolutely fabulous, but not really expecting it.
Under 31:00 - I should be able to do this. Assuming the knee holds up, I will pacing the first 2 miles at 10:00 and hopefully will be able to push a little faster for the last 1.1 miles.
Under 33:33 - My long standing PR from 2006...needs to go down!

Well, I paced the first mile at just under 10:00 (9:51) - it helps that I actually started myself at the right place in the crowd for the first time…not too many people passing me, and I didn't have to pass too many. I was feeling pretty good, so I increased to what felt natural to me at the moment which ended being 9:21 for mile 2! I still had some juice left, so I pushed it as much as I could through the last 1.1 mile and finished mile 3 at a 9:05 pace!! Another minute or so to finish it off, and I ended up with a chip time of 29:24!!! That is much better than I had imagined! And I beat my previous PR from 2006 by over 4 minutes!!

I guess that proves that more miles can lead to faster times. I haven't been training for the 5K distance at all this year, I have been focused on increasing my mileage and long run.

Race: Twin Cities TC 5K
Date: October 4, 2008
Distance: 5K
Official Time: 29:24
Average Pace: 9:28
Overall Place: 747/2075
Place in Age Group: 37/188

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ready to smash that 5K PR...I think...

This may be my last chance of 2008 to beat that old 5K PR of mine. I just don't know that I will be eager to get out and run another 5K after my half the frigid Nov/Dec Minnesota weather. I know that I can do it. Both my 8K and 10K that I ran this summer were at a better pace than my 5K PR. But I just haven't managed to do it yet. I haven't run many 5Ks this year since I was focusing on increasing my mileage and working up the 10 mile/13.1 mile range. Plus, most of the ones that I did run were with the stroller. There shouldn't be anything to hold me back this time...except maybe...

My knee has been feeling completely fine the last couple days. Of course, I haven't run on it since Monday. I got a little biking (my first spin class) in on Tuesday and did some light weights and swimming on Wednesday. Today and tomorrow will be rest days. Then hopefully I will be able to push the pace on Saturday with absolutely no knee pain.

My goal times:
Under 30:00 - Would be absolutely fabulous, but not really expecting it.
Under 31:00 - I should be able to do this. Assuming the knee holds up, I will pacing the first 2 miles at 10:00 and hopefully will be able to push a little faster for the last 1.1 miles.
Under 33:33 - My long standing PR from 2006...needs to go down!