10K+… the plus adds a lot

Sunday, Dan was planning a 5K track run, as a baseline; to figure out how much training he’ has to do to get a PR. I needed to get in 5-8 miles, but wanted some speedwork too. So, I decided in a fit of genius to run to the track, meet up with him, do some sprints, then get a ride back from him.

I headed away from the track for a quick lap around the area before heading toward the track (straight shot ~4 miles on a greenway). My first mile was 9:00, and I thought “Well that’s okay. I can slow down and settle in. I have another 4 miles, plus speedwork.” And I thought I settled in some during the second mile, but it was a 9:01. I then hit a half mile uphill jaunt, which slowed me to a 9:18. And then began pulling back a bit- a 10:33, with another uphill struggle for a good bit (and confusion of which way to fork on the greenway). My next mile I felt comfortable, and the 65-degree sun was warmly hitting my back. With the wind blowing, I felt great! And then Dan drove past, and honked with encouragement. 8:59.

I then hit my final hill (close to a mile uphill) to the track. I just tried to let my legs loosen up some. I noticed I was hitting 6.0 miles. I kept looking for the turn-off for the middle school, and was thinking I maybe missed it. Especially when the sidewalk ended. But the next turn off was the school. I slowly jogged to the stairs, hit them quickly. Then, hit the track with a decent stride for a 400m sprint. 1:21! Nice (Okay, I started a little after the official start line, so it was about a 335m, but still…) I dropped off to grab some Nuun (Thanks Dan for bringing that to the track for me). Walked around once, then ran a 100m sprint. Then walked 200m, and ran 200m. Walked 200m, and ran another 200m. My final “200m” was actually 225m, and I clocked it in 0:49. I don’t generally time these things. But felt like I finished strong. Well, hard. My legs almost gave out as I finished the last sprint. Which, isn’t that really the point of sprints? To push you to your limits? I stretched a good bit, and walked a few times around with Dan, who was finished and cooling down.

[Dan’s 5K was off. His goal was 6:30s for the first mile, and sub-6 by the last mile. Instead, he was keeping a strong 6:15, which he said felt way too hard. He was tight, and couldn’t loosen up, so scrapped it at about 9 laps, after a decent warm-up. I felt bad, as he was hoping for better. But I am guessing he has learned something from the workout and will hit his goal in the next one]

So my total mileage ended up at 7.05, average pace was 9:33; though average pre-track was 9:18. Mostly 9’s excluding the excruciating uphills of the course (which have made me stop to walk in the past)

All in all, I felt like I pushed myself well. I maintained a 10K pace for the first 10K, then got in some good strong sprints at the end. I ran a social run to kick off the Rock n Roll series coming to Raleigh in 2014. Three miles with Dan (and ~100 of my “closest” running buddies haha). All the major muscles in my body are pretty sore, but I definitely feeling like I am becoming a stronger runner. All thanks to compression socks. Or myself. But probably the socks.

I always think as I become a stronger runner, I become a stronger person. So, stronger is better.

Advertisements

typical weekend rant

It didn’t hit me until Megs said it out loud “look at you two (Dan and I)… In a totally normal, healthy relationship; it’s almost inspiring”

Friday night, we ordered a pizza, grabbed some beer from the new brewing company basically in Dan’s back yard (Trophy), and watched an epically horrible movie Abraham Lincoln: the Vampire Hunter.

In all seriousness, it was a good Friday night, but I kind of felt like the boring old couple. We’re checking out some new restaurant tonight since “something came up” with my brother/sis-in-law/new nephew. (Hey guys, when you have a new baby, just be upfront. “I am exhausted and am tired of everyone coming into town” or “I’d rather sleep” or a million other things, but giving a vague apology leads me to believe I’m not getting the whole story and leads to feeling of exclusion…)

Oh well.

I had thought about running to our meet-up (2.5 miles), running the easy 7 with the group, and then the 2.5 miles back for an even 12 miles. And thought it sounded great; some free alone time, but some group time too. Except it as pouring and 37 degrees out. And had been raining all night, so puddles all over the place. So I drove to the group meet-up, where 2 of our group participants showed up (we have three mentors), and I ran an even easy 10:30 pace with one participant and one mentor. So I guess I’ll do a long run tomorrow…

And I came home, got on facebook (after a hot shower), like every other American, and saw this- as if mocking me.

Run to start the weekend

Or to end the weekend

Praying for winter to be over soon. Also, summer running clothes are so much cuter, and take up less roomy when dirty 🙂

Don’t worry. I let the picture mock me without feeling guilty about crawling back into my warm comfy bed… 🙂

Alone time is necessary

Introverts unite!!

I am an introvert by nature, which always surprises people because I’m talkative and outgoing. But, if I don’t get my me time, I start to get pissy or selfish. Or whatever.

I had kind of forgotten that I need this for running too. Lately, I’ve been running in a group, or with Dan, or someone else will want to meet up. And my only alone runs have been my hard 5K Monday nights or similarly hard treadmill runs.

Tuesday night I just didn’t have it in me to be a good mentor. I went my own pace and kind of had the ‘what I’m going a 10:00, keep up’ mentality. I even finished before the group. I later felt like that was probably a bad move, and didn’t know why I did that.

Truthfully, I love mentoring. It’s great. And I love working with the people a little bit slower than me.

Wednesday it hit me: I haven’t done a solo easy run in weeks!

So, Wednesday night, I laced up with my garmin, and just went out. I pulled my sleeves down so I had no idea how fast I was going or how far. I just needed a quality ‘me’ run.

Of course, I glanced done when I heard it beep or felt it vibrate, but that wasn’t often.

My splits were actually good 8:50 to 9:14. A good range and all. But what’s better is it felt good.

I had time to think- to clear my head. Time to breathe. To notice the 10 or so other runners in the Hayes Barton neighborhood, and to notice the intricate web our routes were weaving. I passed by a few runners multiple times. I had time to appreciate each of them, and the story their lives had taken that day. We all were out there for different reasons, but we somehow united without knowing one another or saying a single word. (Okay, I might have said hi)

Gushy, I know. But sometimes you have to appreciate those around you and yourself. Schedule your time, and stick to it.

Alright, on a funnier note:
As I was headed back home, I go through a slightly more ‘downtown’ neighborhood. I came up behind two rough looking girls (women really). I called out ‘On your right! Watch out!’
One girl jumped out of her skin, and said Oooo. Damn! That crazy white girl done scared me. Mmmm. I idn’t even see her! I loved it. Made me laugh so hard as soon I was out of their sight. I scared them. (Proof that the saying ‘they’re more scared of you than you are of them’ is true of people too, right?

Speedy or speedier?

My goal was spring is to run a sub-25:00 5K.
(Blink blink)
Check.
So wait… What?
I am keeping up a good base of long distance with one long run, one mid-distance, one short & easy run, and one speedy night. With a mix of strength training and yoga.
I ran my first (& only) 5K in 2008 (30:30); for distance. I thought this spring I’d run it for speed.
My plan was to run a 5K every Monday to practice my pacing (in between an all-out sprint and a half marathon pace I’m thinking, but that leaves a lot of room). So last Monday I went out really strong with Dan and got a 26:59 5K. I was honestly a little miffed, and a little worried my goal was too lofty
Then today happened.
Not too special of a day at the gym. But I decided I should start with a ~9:00 pace, then fall into lower 8’s. First mile was 8:33 (which is my comfortable fast pacing). I pumped it up a little for the second mile- 7:47. Okay, that was probably too fast. I’m going to lose steam on the last 1+ mile. I stayed steady for 0.4 miles, then slowly negotiated back and forth- between OMFG This is way too fast and okay I am breathing way too easily. Last mile- 7:28. Which is awesome, but hurt. I knew I’d have to do an all-out sprint the last 0.12, and did that in 0:48
Grand total for my treadmill 5K– 24:47
(Oh yeah and Raleigh is hilly so I threw in hills at mile markers 0.7, 1.5, 2.4 for about 10 secs and a 5-7% grade)
So, Question— Should I try for an even faster 5K time? Or continue working for a sub-25, chalking today’s run up to flukey treadmill miles?
(Fastest I’ve ever ran in training is a 21:something 3-miler but that was before injuries, and without GPS, about 3 years ago)

BAMF long run

If I haven’t mentioned this before- I live in North Carolina. We get drastic weather changes this time of year. Friday night it was 65 degrees. We were all wearing dresses and eating outside and driving with our windows down…

So hearing there was a “winter advisory” for Saturday afternoon made me laugh. I was skeptical we’d get any wintry mix.

I had a morning training run, which I mentor the 10-11:00 pace people for 6 miles. I then mapped out a run through Umstead, into the neighborhood I grew up in- 8 or 9 miles more. It rained during all of the first lap,but was in the lower 40’s. It was cold and miserable, but bearable.

I finished up with my group, and saw Dan pull into the parking lot. I said goodbye and we took off for another ~8 miles. We went about three miles through Umstead, which was starting to get slushy. (Umstead is a 5000+ acre park in Raleigh that is perfect for cycling, running, hiking, or riding horses. There are legit trails, but we didn’t run these. To give you an idea of its size- they run a 100-mile race here in a few laps through the park every spring).

We got out of Umstead and onto the country roads near NCSU’s vet school (it’s so country but about 10 minutes from downtown). There was no sidewalk, so we were just running through the rainy puddly street. When Dan says “Hey, look it’s freezing rain” Then a couple minutes later “Oh, that’s snow”. Within a mile, it was coming down like a blizzard. Not in Raleigh-terms blizzard, but legit blizzard. We turned into my old childhood neighborhood, and the flakes just kept getting bigger and bigger. They were coming down in 1-in diameter snowflakes. We had about 4 miles left.

I began to realize how bad ass we were, so begged Dan to take some pictures. We sacrificed our warm hands for these pictures–

me.running.in.snow

That’s me… The ground was still warm from Friday, so it didn’t stick too much. But this is after it had started. It may look like rain, but that’s just because Dan sucks at taking pictures on my iPhone (he also was too far away, and managed to get his thumb and sweatshirt in the frame as well… Amateur!)

Dan_snowrun

It felt like I was crying, because I had to keep brushing the snow out of my eyes. I wanted to give up so many times. But I kept pushing. When we saw this sign, we started walking. 14.21 miles total (overall time 2:30). Last 0.21 miles at a sprint pace; in 1:41. The time difference between the first picture and the second is about 30 minutes.

Final picture, before I jumped into my car, and blasted the heat:

Umsteadinsnow

It was a little nostalgic for me as well; to see my childhood neighborhood in the snow. And I was much happier after I had a long hot shower and got back in my warm bed with Dan and my fat cat (He wanted body heat as well).

meet baby Mason…

As of 11:29pm, 2/12/2013, I have a nephew… Auntie Chandi.

Meet my nephew- baby mason:

so precious!

so precious!

Unfortunately, he had a little jaundice and was under the UV lights, so we weren’t able to hold him, but he had been passed around from family member to family member throughout the day, so was probably ready for a break. Honestly, I think he just wanted to kick back and tan.

When we got there, he was chillin’ with his shades on, sprawled out under the lights. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought he was Snooki’s baby 🙂 My sister-in-law was exhausted. Apparently her entire family and all her friends had been coming and going all day, and she barely had time alone with the little guy (almost 24 hours late).

I got to hold hands with him and rub his chest, but that was pretty much it. He is a sweet little man though. He’s way cuter than all the other ugly babies out there! (I love babies, but they are always red, with gross hair, and weird alien-like heads…. Mason looked like he was already a month old!)

Brown hair, blue eyes. 8 lbs, 7 oz. 21 inches. Or, as my Dad said “He’s got a big wing span” …hehe Yes, he does!

Dan and I are going to go watch him, or help my brother and sister-in-law next weekend. I have a little gift for him… So glad I didn’t get newborn, since he’s already in 3MO clothing 🙂 He sure is cute though!

#cutestnewbornever

#proudaunt

Mentoring rocks

So in January, I decided to mentor a half-marathon training group. At first, I was thinking it may have been a bad idea to do such a “slow” group, as it wouldn’t be much of a workout for me… Well, it’s been great! The first run, I saw one of our old training buddies (who has always been a little slower), and we chatted a good bit, and the whole group ran with excitement- clocking the first two miles at 9:33, 9:35. Then they really hit a wall on the last mile back, and we slowed to a 10:24 pace. Still, I was proud; and I told them we’d watch the clock more on the way out.

The following Saturday “long run” (started at 4 miles, which isn’t even really mid-distance for me, but is a good starting place for training) was cancelled due to icy weather conditions. Which, it’s good they scrapped it. Sarah and I went 7 miles on Sunday and were slipping and sliding at a 10:30 pace…

The next Tuesday night run was a little hilly at parts. And Andrea (Tuna and Palmetto and prior training buddy of mine) joined us. We did ~3 miles with the group, maintaining a 10-10:30 pace, with a strong finish at the end. Then Andrea and I went out for another 3 miles on our own at 9:30s (final mile 9:05- woo!).

This past Tuesday night, we went out for a hilly 3 miles. I didn’t have my garmin because I was running late, and knew it would take ~10 mins to find satellites… But it basically looked like this:

Untitled

(no really here is the map with elevation– notice it’s graded the whole time; no “flat” http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/172040644)

Anyway, we all started bonding then. Some of my people had to walk, but they all finished strong on the last uphill (Of course I looped back, so I was pushing them too)

Today’s run was 5 miles, and was really cold. I loved it though! I ran a 10:30 to 11:00 pace with my people. These were the people who had to walk on Tuesday’s hilly run, so I thought I’d maintain a slower pace for them. My goal was to not let them walk at all. If they had to walk, I would have done an easy jog next to them 🙂 Nothing makes you want to punch your coach like them jogging next you as you’re struggling- hehe.

They did great though. They even responded when (with 0.3 miles left to go), I said I was gonna try and get them to go a little faster, time to push it a little at the end. We dropped down to as fast as a 8:55. For them, that is an awesome sprint. Our total 5-mile pace was 52:00. And I think they were all sore, but satisfied afterward.

And we’re all started to become a little bonded, which is nice.

I, of course, grabbed some Nuun and GU, and met up with the other mentors who were finishing up with their groups, and took off for another 8 miles, 3.67 with the mentors, 4.33 on my own. One of the mentors was going 20 miles for the first time, and is a little slower as is, so we tried to keep it at a 11:00 pace for her. I pushed my last three miles as much as possible (but had to pee so bad! And that always slows me down).

Helping people reach milestones is great. It reminds you why you run. Although, for me, I run because I can. And I will continue to run to celebrate life.

And now, taxes. And then finding a costume kilt for a st pattys race (8K) in March. We are trying to beat a record for the most people to run in a kilt… 1,089 is the record to beat. I think 780 were signed up as of a few weeks ago, and I am trying to get others to get in on it (200m in a kilt to count). And tons of great beer and Irish music in Moore Square after it. It’s a great race to be a part- participant or by-stander 🙂

Push it (Salt N Peppa flashback)

This week ended up being more about speed for me. Dan and I went snowboarding last weekend, and it was great! Beautiful, fun, etc. etc. But, it left me missing running a little; and feeling like I didn’t do enough (The slopes were super busy, so we only went a few runs).

So… Monday, I decided to run intervals again. Of course, I got off work a little late, and it was raining and dark, so I decided *treadmill style*! No one was in my little apartment gym, so it was perfect. 400m is about 0.25 miles. I know my 400m interval is generally 1:40-2:10; so I was aiming for sub-2:00s. And I wanted to do at least 4 repeats. And somehow I knocked that our of the park with:

1:54/ 1:55/ 1:44/ 1:27/ 1:32

I don’t track my intervals too much, but I don’t remember ever hitting a sub-1:45 on a 400m interval. So I was so ecstatic with my 1:27, I wanted to see if I could do it again- almost!

I then had a mentoring (easy) training run Tuesday with my 10-11’s group at Fleet Feet. We ran the hilly Wade Ave. On this run, you are literally going uphill or downhill, no real recovery/rest of a flat stretch. I pushed my ladies up the last few hills at respectable 10:10 pace. I could tell they were really pushing as hard as they could. And then, I turned around to catch the stragglers at the bottom of the last hill, and push them up it as much as possible. It was a good run, and afterward, I was nice and loose and just wanted to run another 3-4 miles. But, I had to get to Dan’s for dinner…

So then, Wednesday, I wanted to run a easy mid-distance, but was exhausted and it was dark, so I cut it shorter- 5.5 miles. I sprinted it in as I was finishing up. I kept glancing down to see how fast I was going- 9:15… okay. 8:36, that’s better. 7:25 (for a good 2-3 minutes)- Woo! I glanced down as I was losing steam and at the end- 6:45. Hell yeah! I was super excited. And soon after dropped to a 11:00 pace to cool-down.

So, yeah. Speed. it’s good. Also, I always envision Salt N Pepa at the end of speedy workout, telling me to Push It…

Oh, and beer review- Because it’s been a while.

I grabbed a Southern Belle (from Olde Hickory). The guy at Triangle Wine even said it was one of his favorites. So last night, Dan and I popped it open (and watched Macklemore’s Thrift Shop waaaay too many times).

I poured the 22 oz. into two separate pint glasses. And smelled it. It smelled fruity and floral. I couldn’t really decipher much more than that from smelling it. Upon tasting it, I didn’t know what to think. There were a lot of flavors. Honestly, too many. It was confusing. Hoppy, grapefruit, honey, malts; it was all too much to concentrate on one flavor. However, the more I drank it, the more I liked it. And I was intrigued by trying to figure it out.

It was like a ADHD bisexual with magnetic powers. Something that made me keep drinking, and the dysfunction even made me want another sip as soon as it was gone. Dan, however, said he wouldn’t kick it out of bed; but wouldn’t be able to drink more than one in a row. Go local NC beers!

Meet Agony of de Feet

In April, I have my second relay race. From Columbia, SC to Charleston, SC. it will be lots of fun. And our team rocks. And I’m really looking forward to it. And trying to pick up speed along the way.

Speaking of the Palmetto Relay, you all were dying for an update right?! Well the recruitment for Van #1 has been pretty great. As in, if we all ran like the last two runners we recruited, we’d probably win the whole race. Yep, they’re that good.

My Palmetto team is very similar to our Tuna team, except a few replacements. Olga started her own team, taking Dave and Allison with her (who honestly are two of our stronger runners, but I hope to see them out there). One of our replacements runs Ultras regularly (including a 50K the week prior to Palmetto) and also sports metallic gold shorts while running a 1:30-something half marathon in November. There is nothing not awesome about that sentence…

Our second replacement- Chris- I know the least, but he is really excited about it. And we didn’t even have to really sell the relay thing on him. We explained it, tried to talk him out of it, and he was still super enthusiastic, and is a pretty stronger runner too.

Our third replacement is one of Dan’s best friends, and is just getting back into a regular running routine. He’ll probably pick up speed over the next few months.
Plus Sarah (Tuna Captain), Dan (rock star boyfriend of mine who loooves mornings), and me (Palmetto Captain). I think Van 1 will be great and we will do well time wise.

Van #2 is basically the same, but swapped Jason for Renee, and Beth for Sheryl. Sheryl is hilarious, and the only sad thing about having her on our team is that she isn’t in MY van, so I will hardly see her… 🙂 And, personally, I think everyone in that van is sandbagging their times, and they will be surprised when they see they have mostly short legs.

Somehow, Van #1 ended up with only a handful of less-than-5-mile runs. So, no one will have it “easy” per se.