Looking back at my “season” – it’s been long, fun, successful – and no wonder my body is tired and excited about some down time of just running rather than training.
I have set PRs in every distance I have raced – 5K, 4 mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon and marathon.
I started my training build up for the Pensacola Marathon back in mid July. After the marathon in November, I took a week off and then ran easy for about 3 weeks. I then ramped it back up training for the Seaside Half Marathon. After Seaside in March, I took a week off and the jumped right back in with intervals training for the spring 5Ks and Gate to Gate.
It has been a FUN year! And yes, my body is ready for a break! I know I need a break to become a better runner and lower my PRs even more. At the same time, taking a break is a bit scary. This past year has been the most intense and most successful and it’s hard to not to feel like I’ll loose it all if I back off. I know that’s not true – it’s just hard to trust it some times! I’ve been very blessed in that my only breaks have been during my 3 pregnancies.
I still have not decided what the plan for the Fall is – in part because I do not know where we’ll be living! If we stay put, I have my eye on the Huntsville Marathon on December 8th, with Boston to follow in Spring 2014. If we move to who knows where, I’ll have to wait and see what races are possibilities.
Regardless, June will be a month of lower mileage, focusing on core and strength. July, I’ll start building my mileage back up. August will bring tempo and speed workouts.
Saturday night was the Billy Bowlegs 5K. It starts at 10:30pm. That’s LATE for me! I honestly like to be in bed by 9:30pm! :) Yet this is a big local race and is a lot of fun. Thankfully my training partner, Lisa, ran with me.
I definitely felt pressure going into it being the defending champ. The local running store keeps a HUGE trophy in the store and every year the overall male and female winners’ names are engraved on it. Pretty cool.
Between Lisa and another local girl, Cindy, I knew it’d need to be a good race. Then right as the gun goes off, Lisa points out another girl – “the air force girl” – who beat me Monday at the Gate to Gate race. I have to admit – I cussed loud when I saw her. And also quickly made the decision to go for it and try to go with her.
I hit mile 1 in 5:53. She was about 5 steps ahead of me. I pulled right on her in the 2nd mile, but she surged and opened up her lead a bit. Mile 2 was 6:08. I knew if I ran an awesome last mile I could PR. I can honestly say I fought with everything in me, but I just didn’t have it. Cindy blew by me with about 2/10′s to go in the race. Mile 3 was 6:22 and 18:24. All I could think about at that point was finishing on my own 2 feet. As I neared the finish, it was definitely a let down to see 18:59-19:00. I finished in 19:06.
When I think about 19:06, I know it’s a good time and I should be happy. When I ran my PR in April, the weather was perfect. It was really hot and really humid Saturday night. I guess I just walked away from that race thinking I could have won. Cindy was 18:50 and “the air force girl” was 18:55.
I keep thinking I’ve got to try a 5K where I start out more like 6:10 and then speed up. I just get too dang competitive and go out too hard. EVERY.SINGLE.RACE.
Filed under hard, race, running
Gate to Gate is a big local race – it’s on the air force base and is always on Memorial Day. This is the first year that I’ve been able to run it. I’ve heard lots of horror stories – mostly about the HEAT as you run on the road beside the runway and how it traps heat from the jets and also about the big hill around mile 4.1-4.3 of the race. Needless to say I wasn’t too optimistic! Yet luck was on my side because it was 1 of the coolest races on record (still warm but nothing like it could have been!). My plan was to start out 6:20-6:30 and then hopefully drop down, feeling strong on the hill.
Well, typical me, I hit mile 1 in 6:05. The crazy thing is I felt good and was honestly surprised I was that fast. Probably because I’ve been training for 5Ks. 2 women pulled away from me.
Mile 2 was 6:16. 2 more women caught me and start to pull away.
Mile 3 was 6:25. Are you kidding me?! 10 seconds every mile?!
I tried to throw in some surges to keep it somewhat respectable. Mile 4 was still 6:36. Damn. I do feel I stayed pretty solid up the hill. You then turn a corner and can see the finish. I kicked it with all I had left.
28:01 – 6:23 average pace. 5 woman overall. 1st woman for my team (I ran as part of our local track club – top 4 including at least 1 woman score).
Overall I’d say I could have run harder. I could have fought harder in the middle miles. Not that I’ve raced many 4 mile races but I did hit an unofficial PR for 4 miles (25:23). But I felt way too good later that day and have had 2 solid runs the past 2 days … yep definitely didn’t run hard enough.
Up next is the Billy Bowlegs 5K on Saturday night. This is a tricky one because it’s at 10:30pm. I’m used to running early and going to bed early!! And I have a target on my back as the defending champ. Yep, got some internal pressure!!
Filed under race, running
We’re back home on Lookout Mountain for a quick weekend trip, and who I am to pass up on a race?! The King of the Mountain has always been a favorite. And with the Gate to Gate 4.4 miler coming up on Memorial Day, I knew this would be a good one for me to do.
I hate making excuses and never want to be that one who crosses the finish line with an array of reasons … so the short answer is I just wasn’t feelin it today. The honest/making excuses answer is we travelled up yesterday and I didn’t get much sleep last night, I’ve been fighting a head cold all week, in spite of the head cold I still got in a tough week of training. Ah yes, making excuses.
I felt sluggish/dead legged from the beginning. The 1st mile is gradual up hill. Mile 2 has some rolling hills, and mile 3 and 4 are mostly down hill with 1 hill at the end.
My splits were 6:45 - 6:31 - 6:31 - 6:24. I ended up as the 2nd place woman in 26:12. I had a 3 tiered goal – to run sub 25, sub 26 or PR. I did PR (in 2009 I ran 26:32). SO at least I got 1 :)
It is frustrating when I’ve been training HARD and nailing my speed workouts, for it not to pay off in a race. I have 2 more chances before things shut down for the summer and I take a much needed down time in my training. As I mentioned at the start, the Gate to Gate 4.4 miler and Billy Bowlegs 5K on June 1.
Filed under PR, race, running
Several friends and I ran a small local 5K on Saturday. Several of our kids did the 1 mile run as well. It was fun to share a race with friends!
This was my first 5K since June of last year, and this spring I have been training much more focused on 5Ks, so I knew a PR was possible. My speed workout has been specifically geared towards 5K paces – I’ve been doing it at 6 min pace, which would be 18:38 5K.
Going out, we were running into a nasty wind coming in off the water. My legs were feeling heavy and I was beginning to think it wouldn’t happen. There were 3 guys in front of me. I hit mile 1 in 5:53 – no wonder my legs felt heavy! That was exactly where I wanted to be. Just before the turnaround, I pass a guy and am closing on the next guy. The leader is enough out in front that I know I’ll never see him. I pull even with the guy in 2nd and we run together. Mile 2 is 6:05 – a bit slower than I wanted but still in good shape. I love having someone to work with! I pull ahead probably around 2.75 miles. I was pretty sure he’d have a good kick. Sure enough, when we round the corner for the final stretch, he bolts past me.
I hit the line in 18:39! Exactly the pace I’ve been training for – and a 15 second PR!!
I felt really good, and honestly felt like I had a bit left that I could have used in that last mile. Normally I finish a 5K and think “Ugh I hated that! I hate 5Ks! Never again!” But this time it was “Wow, when’s the next?!” I guess the speed workouts are working!! :)
And I guess I need to start doing speed workouts at a 5:55 pace (18:22 5K).
A week or so after the Seaside half, I read a great article in Runner’s World about several elite runners who ran PRs on the track soon after a great marathon. Granted I just came off a half not a full, but it’s still very applicable. The main point of the article was that you not only need to re-develop your foot speed, but you need to re-train your body and mind to endure the short lived intense pain of a 5K. In a marathon, and in my half marathon, it’s more of a long dull ache with pain coming on towards the end. A 5K often hurts from soon after the gun goes off!
In reality, I HATE 5Ks. I hate that intense pain. It hurts! I’ve had more thoughts of dropping out of a race in 5Ks than in any other distance. It’s so mental.
Thus, the article was great for me to read. It also gave 5 workouts that help you train your body and mind for the transition. I’ve done the first 3 and they’ve been really good. I’ve been doing them on the treadmill at a 6 min pace (10.0 MPH) which would be a 18:38 5K. Aiming high!
Here are the workouts …
5 x (5 x 200m @ 5K pace) with 30-second rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets
5 x (400m, 400m, 200m @ 5K pace) with 45-second rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets
5 x (600m, 400m @ 5K pace) with 1-minute rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets
5 x 800m @ 5K pace with 3-minute rests, then 5 x 200m a little faster than 5K pace with 45-60 seconds rest
2 x (1K, 800m, 600m, 400m @ 5K pace) with 2-minute rests between repeats and 4-5 minutes rest between sets
5–6 x 1K with 3-minute rests; start slower than 5K pace and progress to running goal pace for the last 3 repeats
The Seaside Half Marathon was a serious HIGH for me. I floated on cloud 9 for several days. Actually, until the throw up bug knocked me and the kids out. My body was whipped. Every part of my body was sore – even my arms! And then being sick, I had ZERO energy, and was forced to rest a few more days than I wanted or planned. Which was good!
My loose plan has been to do some local 5Ks (had hoped for a 10K this weekend but based on recent runs and lack there of, it isn’t worth it), ending with the Billy Bowlegs on June 1 where I hope to defend my title from last year!
I’ll then back off for the summer. Fall is undecided. Partly because my body is tired and I don’t know if I’ll be ready to train for a Fall marathon. I wonder if it makes more sense to spend the Fall building, and then train for a Spring marathon (hopefully Boston!!!). Yet also, I’m not even sure where we’ll be living this Fall – could be still here in FL, or could be anywhere. So it’s a bit hard to plan. So back to focusing on the present – hopefully a 5K PR this Spring!!!!
Filed under goals, PR, race, running