It's been a nice summer of recovery from my first 50K. I took a couple of weeks off and have gently increased my mileage again. I just recently started speedwork again.
RACE ONE: On August 22 (I think), I did the Wild Thang 9-mile trail race. It was one of my favorite races from 2011. Unfortunately, I did a lot of things wrong.
How not to run a 9-mile trail race:
1. Have an extra cup of coffee on the way to the race.2. Go out in the first half mile at 5K race pace on a hot, humid day.
3. Due to being over-caffeinated and going out too fast, be unable to get your heart rate or your breathing under control in the first 4 miles.
4. When all this catches up to you, walk. A lot.
That pretty much sums up my 2012 Wild Thang 9-mile trail race. I’d run it last year in late October at a 10:15 per mile pace. I won 3rd in my age group, and I hoped to run it faster this year. I ran it about 6 minutes slower, walked a ton, and didn't have any fun. I did meet some cool people though and hung out with some of my CRC buds, so there was that. :-)
A couple of days after the Wild Thang, I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and an ear infection. My body might have been fighting that during the race. I went on steroids and antibiotics and Allegra D. I had SO. MUCH. ENERGY. I had two awesome 6-mile runs, both faster than my race the weekend before. I did a combination of speed work and hill work in one of them and a great fast-finish run in the other. I got a lot done around the house, too. But, I couldn't sleep. Either the Allegra D or the steroids made me too hyped up to sleep. For three nights, I didn't sleep. Then a dear friend came to stay with me for four nights. We stayed up late talking. We might have had an adult beverage or two a couple of different nights. We ate lots of yummy bad-for-us food. We had a hard workout on Thursday, I ran 13 on Saturday then went out dancing, and it was time for the Labor Day 10K on Monday.
RACE TWO: On Sunday night, my daughter Annabeth and I took my friend to the airport and then headed to Franklin, TN for the Franklin Classic 10K race. I spent the night with my BFF since the first day of 9th grade. My daughter and I went out to eat with her and her husband and children, went for ice cream, and stayed up until 10:30 p.m. talking. 5:00 a.m. came very early.
We stepped out into the darkness around 5:45 and it was the most humid day I have ever attempted to run in. The air was thick. I had forgotten to pack my steroids (and that would almost be cheating, wouldn't it?) and Allegra D. In mile one, I wanted to make sure to not go out too fast. I, in fact, went out too slow. I was aiming for 9:30, but only managed 9:50. The legs had no energy. Right then, I knew I'd already run too many fast miles last week, eaten too much junk, slept too little, and it was a good day for a tempo run, not a race. So that's what I did. I ran it as a pressure-free tempo run. I didn't walk even though I wanted to. I smiled at volunteers. I just ran relaxed and concentrated on staying under 10-minute miles.
RACE THREE: Today!
I literally decided to do the Bear Crawl 5K race at 6:00 this morning. I had planned to run 8 miles at Rails to Trails for my drop back week. But the weather was cool and I'm FB friends with the race director for this race, so at the very last second, I decided to drive to Mount Juliet instead of the trail. I made it plenty of time. I knew I could do the race, maybe stay for door prizes/awards, and book it back for Annabeth's soccer game at 11:20. I didn't know what to expect--no rest days since Tuesday. Ran hard on Wednesday for my b-day mile (7:54 SAME as last year!), did a four miler on Thursday with a couple of miles at tempo as well as strength training, and mountain biked 10 miles on Friday.
Normally, I'd rest at least a day.
But I was coming off two bad races and I needed this. I ran 3.17 in 27:10 at an 8:34 average pace. I'm happy with the overall pace--it's a PR pace, but not a PR time. My fastest 5K was 27:00 at Re-Love Haiti two Februarys ago, but the course was short--3.07 miles @8:47 average pace. (And I'm the one who marked the course---oops!) This was 3.17 according to my Garmin, so 13 seconds faster average pace, though 10 seconds slower overall.
I wore my heart rate monitor and averaged 176, with a max of 182. (On my bday mile, I hit 189, which is about 105% of my max heart rate using 220-age. Glad I didn't die. Especially on the day before my bday.) I went out about the right pace today 8:36--not too fast. I think it was the same pace I went out in my last 5K in May. Sped up a little in mile 2 to about an 8:24. Then slowed slightly in mile 3 on a long, gradual incline to an average of 8:44. I've been doing lots of hillwork, but I was messing with my MP3 looking for a good song to finish on and just lost focus. Finished at a 7:28 pace for the last .17. My legs weren't tired at all, it was my BREATHING that held me back. I think I just need to learn to push through that discomfort. I was on track for a *definite* PR after miles one and two, but sort of lost it in mile 3 with my ragged breathing. My brain was telling me SLOW DOWN!!!
I look forward to running another 5K in the fall when it's cooler and less humid (64 and 80% humidity today). I know I will eventually break 27:00. Officially. Anyway, I got 2nd in my age group, so that was pretty sweet. Nice medal. Met some Run it Fast Club members who were really nice. Had no negative self-talk during this race, which is always good. Smiled a few times at all the cute kiddos running FAST during this race. A tiny 7 or 8 year old ran with me for the 3rd mile--he came up to about my elbow. Then he smoked me. Found myself doing Tom Cruise arms at one point and had to smile. I love it when races are FUN.
Ok, I think we are caught up. Have a great day!