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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, toddlers, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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10k

Training for Life, Motherf*cker (4/24-5/7)

April 24-April 30

Monday – treadmill tempo/yoga. 1 WU/3@7:23/1CD. Bryan had to leave for work earlier than usual so I drug the twins upstairs with the promise of some IPAD time to get my tempo run in. Miles walked on the treadmill after, and then we all hung out while I stretched 🙂

Tuesday – swim/ride. 2525m swim/9.6 mile ride. Starting to finally get used to getting up at 4:30am….kinda. My last kiddo of the day canceled so I hopped on my bike for 30 min after work and tried not to get hit by any cars. I’m kidding. I wasn’t close to getting hit. 

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Wednesday speedwork. 3x 1 mile repeats with WU and CD – 6 miles total. My computer still wants to autocorrect this to spadework. One day I might just leave the correction. It was a very warm evening and we got kicked off the track because of a soccer game, so I ran on the trail. I made the mistake of trying to run at 50-60 degree pace in 80+ degrees and completely bombed the last repeat (7:01, 6:57 7:31), which just goes to show you that if someone sends you  an email with suggested pace changes due to temperature, you should probably actually follow it. 

Thursday swim – 2500 meters. Still really early in the morning. Still torturous. 

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Friday long run. 9 miles@ 8:49/mile. It was already 75 degrees when I started. Ugh I am so not ready for summer. 

Saturday long ride/run. 25.36 miles @ 19.9mph/3 miles (2@ 8:20, 1@9:06). My legs could still feel the effects from the previous days long run. Even though the pace wasn’t fast the heat makes the long runs feel that much more tiring. So, it took me a bit to warm up and get them going, but I stayed with a smaller group even pulling a couple times without hearing too many sighs (not that I could have heard them anyway). Afterwards, I ran an “easy” 2 miles with John which turned out to be more like tempo pace for me given the temps, and then one actual easy mile, so I could round out April with an even 100 miles. 

Sunday rest day

May 1 – May 7

So I’ve decided that to avoid burnout (and injury) over the summer I’m going to train 3 weeks with a focus on speed at 7-8 hours per week followed by one cut back week doing whatever the hell I want. So welcome to week “whatever the hell I want”

Monday easy stroller run 5 miles @ 9:25/mile. Apparently so many runs I’ve had to stop and pee with the kids that Miles frequently asks me if I need to go. Today he didn’t, but I did need to stop….and then miraculously Abby did and so did he. Go figure. 

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Tuesday – swim/trainer ride. 2625 meters/30 minutes trainer. I actually got to swim on time this morning, but still didn’t come close to finishing the work out in its entirety. In fact, I picked the WRONG lane, and was lapped frequently. #guppy.  On the plus side, this was the first post swim work day that didn’t feel 80 thousand hours long. The bike was nothing to write home about, just trying to get some time in because I knew I wouldn’t be riding much more (ahem – at all) this week. Afterwards, the twins and I went for a walk, where Abby insisted her skirt wasn’t too big.

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It’s not too big-uh!

Wednesday speed. 6 x 400m with WU/CD. 5.25 miles total. I drug my poor unsuspecting neighbor out with me and now she won’t talk to me anymore. Kidding. But she may never run with me again. My splits were faster than they should have been because my quads were sore for 3 days, but I hit one split at a sub 6 (5:57)!

Thursday row. 4100 ish meters/25 minutes. Yeah, you read that right. I used a rowing machine. So I drove from Charleston to Virginia with a friend and flew home Thursday morning. They happened to have a rowing machine in their spare room so I jumped on at 4:30 am (which, insanely, doesn’t seem all that bad anymore) to get a quick easy workout in. 

Friday – rest day

Saturday 10k race plus short cool down. Definitely not my best thanks to some asthma and side cramp issues but it was still a fun race and I had a blast (recap to come).

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Sunday easy stroller run. 3 miles @ 9:25/mile. This run included bribery because my kids are now old enough that they want to run and walk themselves more than they want to be pushed. I’m wondering if my stroller days are numbered. 

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Cooper River Bridge Run Recap

I’m allowed to use the life has been crazy busy excuse, right? Because it has. And I’ve either not had enough time or just not felt like writing much, so this recap comes a solid two weeks after the fact.

Better late than never?

I’ve run/raced the Bridge Run two times before. It was the final run on the old bridge and the first run on the new, so 2005 ( I ran a 50:44 and there were 18k runners) and 2006 (I ran a 52:52 and there were 33k runners) It was a long time ago and I was much younger then. Actually, that first bridge run was my first official race, even though I had been running recreationally since 2001.

The logistics of this run have always been a nightmare for me. The last time I ran it I got up at the crack of dawn to drive to Mt Pleasant, waited in line to get on a shuttle, ran it, couldn’t find my friends, sat in a shuttle again to get back to Mt Pleasant and then had to walk my to my friends apartment solo. Not that much fun. Nearly every year people ask me if I’m running the bridge, and until this year I’ve said no. There are simply too. many. people.

So fast forward to 2017. It is the 40th anniversary of the event, so guess what? There is a finishers medal. Did you say medal? Sign me up!

Yes, I signed up because there was a medal.

Don’t judge.

This year, I also happen to have friends that have the logistics of the race down to a T. It still involved getting up at the crack of dawn. I honestly think I wasn’t up much earlier than this for the Ironman, if that tells you anything. I rolled out of bed, made some coffee, and hopped into Tammie’s car when they pulled up at 5:02 (3 minutes early). From there we drove to Kelly’s house, where we hopped into her car and drove to West Ashley to her parents. There, we crammed into their car and they drove us about a half mile from the start. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited. The sun came up. We still waited. We peed. We waited. We peed again. And THEN, we waited some more.

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The last 10k I ran was in early 2012, before we started doing fertility treatments. The 10k used to be my favorite race distance but I’d gotten away from them and started running more half and full marathons. Considering I’d made great strides in my half marathon time, I’d hoped I’d PR, but with minimal hill training, who knew. My pace for my fastest 10k (in 2011) was a 7:37, so I just hoped to run faster than that.

My race strategy was based on a lot of estimation and hope. I planned to run the first 1.5 miles 10-15 seconds faster than my average goal pace (maybe 7:30?), because I knew I’d lose speed going up the bridge. I’d hoped I’d gain some on the way down and then try to stay steady towards the end.

It turns out this was a good, solid plan. Even starting pretty close to the front I did some people dodging the first half mile or so, but hit mile 1 in 7:18. I tried to keep that pace until we hit the bottom of the bridge. Half of mile 2 was flat and half uphill, so I averaged 7:35.  Almost all of mile 3 was an incline. A steep and torturous incline.  Like I why in the world did I sign up for this type incline. At one point I was only averaging an 8:45, but gained some speed back on the way down and hit mile 3 at 8:00.  Mile 4 felt surprisingly easy and steady (though it was totally downhill) and I hit that one at 7:00. The rest of the race was flat, and it was starting to get warm, so the last two miles were a bit of a suffer fest, but I was happy with the averages at 7:21 and 7:28. I had very little left for the last .2 but got a little faster (7:13).

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 46:33, about a 45 second PR, and celebrated with the yummiest muffin (cinnamon bun flavored) that I think I’ve ever eaten while chatting with friends and stalking official results.

I just wish I had gotten more than one picture. And maybe a picture of that muffin. *drools*

Finish Time: 46:33

Overall:  990/32,532

Gender: 159/19,381

Age: 27/2,406 (they put me in the 35-39 age group)

This run makes my 3rd PR in a MONTH! Now, time to rest a bit!

 

On Heeling

Yes, I spelled that right.

I apparently tend to use “a lot” incorrectly, but that is the correct version of heeling/healing I was going for.

Just for all you grammar crazies out there.

Anyway, Yesterday was the Flowertown Festival 5k/10k race. I’ve run this one 4 or 5 times, and sadly still have no idea what the money goes for (good going, me). The name comes from the fact that the city I live in is nicknamed “The Flowertown in the Pines” – particularly ( I think ) because of all the pretty azaelas that bloom in the springtime. Man I really need to read up on my info before I blog about it.

Thanks to early Springtime allergies,I woke up a kazillion (may or may not be an exaggeration) times the night before because my nose was either stuffed up or turned into Faucet Nose, so I went to bed contemplating skipping it altogether. But, because I had already paid for it and was hoping the exercise would clear my sinuses a bit, I went anyway. (Who am I kidding? The only time I missed a race or a run, sick or not, was when I was coughing so much it made my abs hurt)

I was alone for this one and so didn’t really get to take many pictures. I didn’t feel like carrying the phone for 6 miles. In the end, I’m really glad I went, because I’m gonna have to hang my racing shoes up for a bit after this. With an IVF in the near future, its getting too expensive. And my more nonchalant, not-so-competitive attitude helped too, because I was able to enjoy the race more vs. worrying about how fast I was going.

Plus, after the race I got a ticket for free chick-fil a. And a free doughnut. And coffee.

Free doughnut? yes please!

I meant to look happier in that picture, but the sun was in my eyes…..and I kinda stink at taking pictures of myself. Plus I felt odd asking a complete stranger to take a picture of me holding a doughnut in one hand while giving a thumps up with the other. I don’t mind humiliating myself in front of my friends, but I do have SOME dignity. But I digress.

Running has been a big healing thing for me through infertillity. And I’ve found over the last few weeks that racing does, too. It’s nice to feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re facing something stressful. At least it makes me feel like I have something to look forward to while I’m waiting. My brain is clearest when running. I can think things through. And pushing my body in races makes it impossible to worry about babies, at least for the duration of the race. I was sad while picking up my packet and leafing through upcoming races that I was going to have to forego registering for one in a couple weeks, wondering if I should pick up another hobby, like knitting. (not sarcastic….people knit some cool stuff)

I actually ended up finishing faster than I had expected at 47 minutes 41 seconds, and excitedly posted about my new personal record, until I went to add the time to my race page here and realized I had forgotten I ran it faster in 2009. Oh well, I still got a medal. 🙂

After the race I stood and talked one of the guys at the booths selling shoes, who informed me that I am apparently running incorrectly. As someone who didn’t really know you could run incorrectly, this came as kind of a shock to me. I knew I probably needed a new brand of shoe as the outsides are completely worn down, but apparently the heel toe running method is no longer considered the way to go. You’re actually supposed to hit the front of your foot first, and then the heal. This new method will supposedly be easier on my joints….and make me faster. hmmm

Now, I’m a little more excited. Although I’m still a bit sad to not race and cut down on the distance, I have a new goal – learn to run the better way. I’m told it takes a lot of conscious effort, which could be better for both my healing and my heels. Meaning I can take the lower milage and concentrate on how to do it right, so that when I DO race again, I’ll be even faster. And maybe I can come close to the female winner of the race, who at 37 finished in an astounding 39 minutes and some change.

Dang.

And I leave you with one of the more attractive moments of my life, a finish line picture:

Isn’t it beautiful?

Week 8 – The best laid plans

Week 8 –15 miles 6.2 miles plus softball (will explain below) And I obviously still think I’m a week ahead of where I actually am.

A friend of mine moved to Antigua recently (rough life,right?) and was going to be back in town this weekend. So I signed up for the James Island Connector run so I’d have a chance to hang out for a bit and maybe even get a new 10k PR. So the plan was run the race yesterday, run 9 miles today for the total of 15. Cheating a bit but not a big deal.

                                                          Prior to the evil

So let me just start by saying that the JI Connector Run is completely evil.

Anyone living in Charleston knows its flat as a pancake here, so hill training? Doesn’t exist. I went into this thinking I could totally kick some butt until I realized connector = bridge = hills. DUH.

And let’s not forget the wind! The course starts downtown, goes over the connector, and back.

The run didn’t start out bad, actually. The hills kinda sucked but weren’t anything I couldn’t deal with. And the wind wasn’t so bad either. I actually finished the first 5k in 22 min and some change.At one point there was a break in my music and I could hear a couple guys behind me talking about needing energy for the 2nd half. And I remember thinking that it couldn’t be that bad – its just the same thing going back.

Then we turned around.

It was then that I determined that whoever was responsible for the course must have had some revenge to be had on someone. Because the wind (head wind, mind you) coupled with the hills on the way back were INSANE. I actually ran so hard against the wind going up the hill once, that when it stopped abruptly for a few seconds, I lost my footing.

Then there was the time I got a little too close to the side barrier. (Hi fishies!)

I stopped running and walked up the hill for about 20 seconds also. I passed a girl walking once and almost gave her some words of encouragement to keep going, but I was so out of breath it wasn’t happening. I was especially glad for this when she passed me 20 seconds later, but fortunately still didn’t have the breath to mutter anything mean (in good humor, of course), either.  So no PR for me. Also? I was THREE SECONDS behind the girl who won 3rd place in my age group. I totally would have vomited across the finish line to beat her if I had known the girl in front of me was between me and winning a ridiculous useless trophy.

Oh well.

The plan afterwards was to take pictures with funny orange slice smiles, but since they only had whole oranges, we had to improvise a little.

But Kim won an award, so go Kim!!

I get home from the race and I’m tired, but expected that. Around 4pm though I started getting what I can only guess was sinus pressure. Great.

Bryan and I went out to the store, and on the way home he decided it would be funny to drive the long way around the neighborhood and see if our garage door opener opened up anyone else’s garage.

It didn’t.

Last night we went out to dinner with our neighbors thanks to a Groupon we both purchased. We spent the evening being generally ridiculous, topped with Bryan signing up for email updates under the following name:

Thanks to generally feeling kinda cruddy I went to bed at 9pm. When I woke up this morning I felt better, but worn down, had swollen glands, a sore throat and while I didn’t have a fever, had a temp that was slightly higher than usual.

While hemming and hawing about running vs not running, I came across a paper Bryan got in the mail encouraging him to sign up for additional accident insurance.

I guess they can’t write “in case an accident causes you to suddenly DIE”, but still, the wording was quite funny.

In the end, I’m here blogging now instead of running. My buddy didn’t sleep well last night and I have two softball games this afternoon. I know I don’t have enough energy for both. So, no long run for me this weekend.

Maybe a nap, though.

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