what is wrong with me?

Wait, don’t answer that.

Well, not yet.

Last week, I did something incredibly stupid- signed up for my third (full) marathon. I think if there was a race every month of the year in Raleigh, I’d sign up for more races, coasting on the “convenience” factor (and probably skimping on the training more often).

So, here I am.

Signed up for my second marathon (Richmond) in November, and the Rock and Roll Raleigh in April (2014).

On a slightly related note, there has been a lot of controversy about the Rock and Roll coming to Raleigh. Here are my scrambled thoughts.
First, I have done two Rock and Roll half marathons (my first- Vegas), and Nashville last year. I have also done a tiny (300 person) half marathon. I would prefer the middle ground- 1,000-5,000 person race. The 20,000+ person races are intimidating and crowded (regardless of how well they corral people). I will agree with that point. However, they put on a good show (including a good course, tons of food and energy gels/drinks and crowd support); this helps give me energy to last longer.
The main thing people keep saying is “race local”… We have two local full marathons in the Raleigh area (and several half marathons). I did one of these local races (a half), and hated it- I had to bring my own energy gels (which I was not told in advance, I realized at mile 8, when I hadn’t seen anything yet), there were maybe 4 water stations (I drink a lot over the course of 13 miles in MAY in Raleigh), there was next to no crowd support, and by the time I finished, there was no food. Like, no food. Or juice. Just water. Also, i finished in 2:29, not so ridiculously slow that i should miss out on those post-race goodies. Anyway, my point is- sometimes Walmart/Target has more options than the local country store, making it worth it to shop ‘non local’. It also makes me laugh that some of the people who are strongly anti-RnR are the same people who go to starbucks every day. Your coffee choice impacts your local economy much more than which race runners do. A little math lesson– $4/day for a week is $20/week, which is $80/month, or $1000/year. That affects the local economy on a much more significant scale than a few runners paying $60-120 once per year. Just sayin’! If you are going to make that argument, stand behind it with all your spending habits 🙂

The honest truth is I trained for City of Oaks in 2011, and got injured. Last year, I decided to train for Richmond, which is the following weekend. I then signed up for Richmond again this year. Maybe in 2014, I’ll run City of Oaks (which, by the way, is a great local race of about 5,000 runners in the full, I think, with great crowd support most if the way, including me at mile 25). I have wanted to pay tribute to my hometown (and current city) as well, with a good course, and RnR tends to do a good scenic course. And it was only $65, which for a marathon, is super cheap. So, I signed up.

And now I am left thinking When did I become a marathoner? Sure, one marathon is one thing, but THREE? And immediately following that (and a “calm the f*** down” beer), I decided this will be my last marathon… famous last words, right?

So, here goes nothing. Here’s to hoping next winter will be friendlier than this winter. My 15 miler in the snow was horrible, and I can’t imagine a 20-miler in those conditions (Andrea rocked a 27-miler that day, due to bad GPS signaling… go get ’em girl!).

Basically, here’s to early mornings from July to April; drinking water as if I’m storing it like a camel; here’s to foam rolling and yoga (both necessary); here’s to felling tired and hungry all the time. But mainly, to the feeling of accomplishment, to the joyful years at the finish line, the sense of comrade in training and in race day! To all of it! I raise my coffee mug (It’s 8am, I’m not drinking a beer before work silly!)
Raise your glasses (or mugs, or just Nuun pint glasses) with me for whatever goals you have coming. And in advance, for all the hard work you’re going to put in!

Speedy or speedier?

My goal was spring is to run a sub-25:00 5K.
(Blink blink)
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)