Monday, September 16, 2013
So this past saturday was the Hot Lips Hustle 5k. It was an odd day as it was absolutely freezing. It had been cool some mornings the past week, but not freezing! Initially I was very happy about this until the race got started. No matter how hard I tried, I could not keep my breathing controlled. The cold air just wasn't something my lungs were use to yet.
That being said, I just wasn't very comfortable this race. I had warmed up pretty well, but the race started 5 minutes later than scheduled and my legs got cold again before the race started. My legs just felt weird and my breathing was out of control.
My first miles was at 7:30 which is right where I wanted it to be, but I was struggling bad! To my surprise, my second mile was at 7:00min. I couldn't believe I had that much of a negative split especially considering how bad I was hurting. I knew I was on pace for a PR, but didn't think I would get it because I really started to die.
I finished my 5k is 23:44 which was 12 seconds faster than my all time PR. I really wanted to be happy about that and I am to an extent, but that meant that my last mile was around 9 minutes. That's not good compared to my other two miles. At the same time though, I know it sets me up to PR again in the future. I have no doubt in my capabilities in being a 21-22min 5k runner. This part excites me. All that being said, I got 1st in my age group and was the 5th overall female finisher.
The next day (yesterday), I had my first 20 mile training run. It went very well! I was both mentally and physically strong and I am no longer afraid of my marathon's time limit. I even found a new fueling strategy that I like!
Today is a much needed rest day! I would normally have my weekly chiropractor appointment, but money is just not good right now for it. I don't even know when I will be able to get another one in which is a shame because I've been going every week since May. But if I don't try and save some money now, I won't even be able to afford to run my marathon and that would just kill my spirits!!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
August 6th 8x400m with recovery being however long it took you to do the 400m in. My splits: 2:05, 2:05, 1:58, 1:56, 1:55, 1:53, 1:50, 1:46
August 13 8x400m with recovery being half the time it took you to do the 400m in. My splits: 2:01, 1:57, 1:55, 1:52, 1:51, 1:53, 1:50, 1:41
Sept 11 (today) 8x400m with 3 min recovery.
My splits: 1:47, 1:45, 1:42, 1:42, 1:41, 1:38, 1:38, 1:37
Granted the recovery times were different with each workout, I honestly don't think I could have ran as fast I did this month last month regardless of recovery time. I was so thrilled at my times today. Apart from just getting faster, some of the key things I've changed or have been working on since saturday are the following:
1) Focusing on breathing through the lower stomach. I've always thought my breathing was good, but I must have been breathing more mid stomach because ever since I've focused on the lower stomach, I have had NO CRAMPS!!
2) Taking an S Cap. I am a very salty sweater and I think this just makes me feel better after a run.
3) Getting a higher heel lift/knee lift. I've always been a shuffle runner. I was starting to work on form before my marathon training started, but once it had started, I reverted back to shuffle running. I practiced a high heel lift for at least 200m out of my 400m splits and I could tell a HUGE difference. This is going to be a key focus.
Yesterday I had a pretty good 6 mile run as well. I felt really strong! Tomorrow I have a cross-fit style hill workout with some of my group runners. Very excited about that!
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
So a quick update of my continued random bad luck. In a month period I've had food poisoning, shingles and a stomach bug at the same time, and now a horse fly bite that has left me with an allergic reaction and a welt the size of softball!
That being said, I had a 5k race this past weekend. The night before was the first night where I felt good from my shingles/stomach bug mess. I made a night of decision to race. Of course I woke up at 4am and I think my body wanted to get rid of the last bit of illness as I spent the next two hours with very very bad stomach issues. But being stubborn as I am, I was still going to race.
As I warmed up, I felt awful. I knew I was dehydrated from my stomach issues so I did the best I could to take in some electrolytes before the race. I was a little nervous as well because I usually take a day off before a race, but I didn't know if I was really going to race and ended up doing a 2 a day the day before. To my advantage, I read an article about focusing on breathing through your lower stomach to avoid cramps. It really worked on my test run the day before and I was excited to try it in race situation.
At the start of the race I remained very calm and made sure I focused on lower stomach breathing. I felt very relaxed though my legs already felt toast and I knew this wasn't going to be the best run ever. When I got to the first mile, the lady read my split at 7:15, but my watch said 7:45 which was a little irritating. I ignore the person reading 2 mile splits because I didn't like the fact that they were off. The amazing thing is, the hills that normally slow me down didn't phase. In addition, on this course I always start cramping about 1 mile to go. I got to that point and realized I didn't have any sign of cramping.
About .6 miles to go, I did start feeling very sick to my stomach. Probably from all the issues before the race. That being said, still no cramps and I found myself sprinting to the finish. My time was 24:48. Normally I would not be happy with that time because I am better than a 24 minute 5ker, but under a lot of circumstances, I just haven't proved it in races yet. But here is why I am happy:
1) NO CRAMPS! Cramps have been the reason on several occasions why I haven't PRed and why I haven't broken out of the 24min range.
2) I was extremely relaxed. I kept my breathing so in control and didn't have any panic moments like I normally do.
3) I didn't collapse after the race. I was able to walk it off. I am usually in such agonizing pain from cramps and so forth.
4) My time put my average mile pace at 7:59. With my first mile being 7:45, this means my splits were VERY consistent which is something I always strive for.
5) This course is always a struggle for me and even though this is not my fastest time for the year by a good bit, this is my fastest time for this course and I did it after being sick all week and that very morning AND after doing a two a day the day before. (TAKE THAT RUN-ON SENTENCE!!)
And 6) I got 2nd in my age group!! The last two races of this series (on the same course) I got 3rd place. So I will take the improvement with 2nd!
This weekend I have a race on a course that I have never raced on before. I am very excited about this because most of my races fall on the same 2 courses. ALSO, this course is flat and fast! All of my other races have had hills. This is a good chance for me to PR.
This week I had 2-3 group runs. I may have one tonight, haven't figured out if I want to go home and get it done early or do the group run. I haven't seen the BF much and he is home early tonight! Then tomorrow morning is speed workout at a track and thursday evening is a crossfit hill repeat challenge!
Monday, August 26, 2013
Over the weekend I ran the DI Dash 5k benefiting Children's Healthcare of America. Despite the very challenging hilly course, I was very excited because I hadn't raced in 3 weeks and I was able to train relatively healthy!
I do say relatively due to the fact that the whole week leading up to the race, I felt like I was slowly catching a cold. My runs were good, but I didn't feel 100%. The night before my race I ended up going to bed at 8:30 because I was so dizzy and light headed. When I arrived to the race the next day, I went to warm up and got very warm in a short amount of time. I knew I wasn't feeling 100%, but my legs felt amazing!
The start of the race was very fast. Many people to my surprise went flying past me, but I remained calm and after the first quarter mile or so, I was already passing people back. My first mile registered at 7:15. Normally that would be way too fast for me to start off at, but to my surprise, I felt really comfortable. At the mile marker I had also passed up to the point where I was in first in the female category. I tried to keep my pace up going up the long steep hills. The idea of winning first overall female plagued my mind as I was starting to feel fatigue on the hills. At the mile 2 marker, my combined time was 15min (making my mile 2 a 7:45...a few sec slower than what I needed to PR) and I was starting to feel myself slow. Not to mention, a female runner passed me at the mile 2 marker. She was looking strong and I stayed with her for a little bit, but was unable to hang. She slowly got away from me. The last mile was the most hilly and I did my best just to keep pace up and not get passed anymore. The finish was all uphill and I crossed the 3 mile marker at 23:35. If I was going to PR, I needed to finished the last .1 miles in 23 seconds. Unfortunately, it took me 35 seconds and I came in at 24:10. It was a personal best for the season even though it wasn't an all time PR. I was little disappointed that I was so close to being the 1st female finisher and PRing, but 2nd female finisher is pretty good too!
The next day I had the most miserable long run. Sometimes it is hard to race as much as I do and train for a marathon. It was only a 12 mile day and yet I cramped the entire time. I believe I really missed something with my nutrition this past week. I worked really really hard and I think I just refueled wrong. I graze throughout the day, but I don't think it is enough some days! I just know that based on how my body felt all week long, that I got to do better!
Today is a rest day/chiropractor visit. And as far as my week goes, it is relatively low miles until my next long run which is 18miles on sunday. This will be my longest run to date and hopefully I will take care of my body better this week and have a more enjoyable long run. I read an article that stated that weak core muscles could be a key reason for stomach cramps so I plan to add 3 small core workouts a week (15 min a piece). My next race is in two weeks so I have a little more time to train again. This next course I struggle with quite a bit even though it is not as hilly as the one I ran this past weekend. I hope to conquer it in a couple weeks!
DI DASH 5k RACE SPLITS:
mile 1: 7:15 min
mile 2: 7:45 min
mile 3: 8:35 min
last .1 miles: :35 sec
Not the kind of splits I like to see, especially mile 3, but I am working so hard and I know it will improve!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
So yesterday evening I got to run with the BPRC Marietta group. I've only ran with them on the morning track workout, but you're not really running together during that workout. I ran with the BPRC Kennesaw group last Tuesday so I thought I'd change it up a bit and see my options. Better yet, last evening was a poker run. You get cards at certain check points and whoever has the best poker hand wins. (My poker hand got me 5th place and a $20 gift card to the running store. SCORE!!)
As for the run, it was just 3.1 miles because they wanted to do a bunch of give aways after. There was about 25 of us and I finished 3rd out of a group. It wasn't a race or anything, but I did run it in 24:54 which has been just around most of my race times this year! This made me exciting because the run started off very slow and then of course I got my side stitch with about a mile to go. This means there are many key points I can improve on and hopefully reach my PR this Saturday of 23:57. Apart from the heat and the side stitch, this run felt very comfortable. With my speed increasing, there is no reason why I shouldn't PR by the end of this year.
This morning I ran the track workout with BPRC Marietta. I did a 2 mile warm-up, 2.5 miles at 10k pace, 6x200m at 5k pace, and a 1 mile cooldown. My splits for the speed portion (6x200m) were 55 sec, 54 sec, 53 sec, 54 sec, 54 sec, 51 sec. I was pleased because these splits are below my 5k pace, but felt relatively comfortable. So comfortable that I wish I would have cut down some of the warmup or cooldown to do 2-4 more. My cooldown mile was still at 8 minutes. But at least I got my 7 miles for the day. The first 4.5 miles was miserable with cramps all in my stomach, but by the time I got to the speed part it was better. My cramping issues have gotten a little better, but I wish they were just non-existent. I had some solid food before I left for my workout so I was asking for it this time. Last night I don't believe I was warmed-up enough for the effort I was putting in. The trial and error continues, but I know ways to help the cramping and though annoying sometimes, I must do what I can!
Next week, I will probably run with the BPRC Kennesaw for my evening run. They have over 5 times LESS people than the Marietta Group, but I believe the Kennesaw group will push me more. They are a very small fast group and I think this will be key! Plus I go to the Marietta group Wednesday morning so it will be good to get some diversity!
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