Tag Archives: 5k

Off the Rails

17 Apr

As you might have guessed, my spring marathon plans have taken quite the detour. Detour is putting it nicely. This train is completely off the rails. 

I wouldn’t say training had been going well but I was remaining positive that I’d be able to string together some solid weeks of training and see where that got me on May 3rd. 

Then winter stepped in. 

For anyone living in the Northeast in particular, you know how brutal this winter was. I’m not really going to complain too much about that because there was never any day where I decided not to run or didn’t complete a planned run due to temperatures. I had no problem using the treadmill if need be. My first 20 miler was scheduled on a day where I knew the temperatures were supposed to drop dramatically; I still decided to head outside for it and prepared by packing extra layers in my car in case I needed them later. 

What I didn’t expect was the precipitation. Which started coming down in the form of ice. Do we all see where this is headed?

  

At first I thought it was just a bad bruise – I actually thought I would be able to salvage my 20 miler the next day. Well, here I am 4 weeks later and I still cannot run completely pain free.  Every time I would try to run, I’d end up with intense aching in my shin which would freak me out and lead me to cross train for a few days. At this point now, that pain has disappeared and I mostly just feel very tight (and very out of shape).

So that’s that. I probably should’ve rested completely and maybe I’d be in better shape today – hindsight is always 20/20. It took me about 10 days to realize that the marathon was probably not going to happen, and a few more to mentally come to terms with it. At the end of the day, there was nothing I could do – sometimes, shit happens. 

I was able to struggle bus it through a 5K last weekend with my girls (<– I really hate that phrase but I can’t think of a single other way to say it, someone get me coffee) and ended up not doing too terribly. 

  

21:50, which is not where I wanted to be right now, but it is a time I would’ve killed for just a few years ago. So the only thing I can do at this point is try to safely build my base back up and start making plans for a fun summer racing and training season. 

My only closing sentiment is to deliver a hearty fuck you! to Winter 2014-2015. You sucked, and nobody liked you. The end. 

Teal There’s A Cure 5K Race Recap (21:12)

29 Jul

As I alluded to in my last post (approximately 138 years ago in blogging time), I ran a race on the 4th of July.  Based on a few recent workouts (most notably, 4×1 mile repeats at 6:50 pace) I thought I was in pretty good shape to run a PR – but I wasn’t sure how fast I might be, and I wasn’t sure if, once faced with the suckitude that is the 5K, I would be able to pull it off.  I hadn’t raced a 5K since November, and I hadn’t PR’d a race at any distance since the BCCR Pink Ribbon 5K with Hollie and Laura last May.  So I would say I was cautiously confident going in.

The race starts and ends in Marcellus Park, which is a fairly decent sized park that made for a nice warm-up spot.  I jogged for about 20 minutes and then did a few strides, got in a bathroom line which took longer than expected and had to run fast-ish to get to the start on time.  I am starting to realize I am not so great at time management.

failure_at_everything

Based on previous years results, I thought I might have a shot at a top 3 overall female finish (ok, so cautiously confident also comes with a side of slight delusion …) so I lined up pretty close to the start line.  After the ‘GO!’ the pack took off quite quickly, and after about a quarter-mile, I took note of a 6:11 pace on ye olde Garmin.  I had recognized at least one female speedster at the start; I now knew that these b*tches meant business and I would need to run my own race – this was now about the PR and not overall placing.  After a half a mile or so, I figured myself to be in 6th place.

Between a fast start and a somewhat steep downhill, the first mile clocked in at 6:39 per my watch.  The pace felt tough but maintainable.  Somewhere around 1.3 miles in, I saw another girl up ahead of me.  She looked like she was struggling, which gave me the oomph that I needed.  I held steady on the pedal and passed her with relative ease.

phoebe_running

And then, out of nowhere, I felt like I was losing my motivation.  Shit hurt, there was no one on my heels, and the pack with the rest of the girls was too far ahead of me to realistically try and hunt down.  Mile two clocked in at 6:48.

By this point, I was running entirely by myself.  It was mildly windy.  I would’ve given anything for someone to draft off of for a bit.  I know the 3rd mile of a 5K is not supposed to feel good but I had just completely fallen off my mental game.  This whole mile was a struggle to just keep the split under 7:00 (this was a secondary goal of mine – split everything under 7min/mi pace).  Just managed to squeak it out with a 6:58.

Then, you are back at the entrance to the park.  Typical 5K scenario – finish line should be so close and yet it seems like a much better plan to just pull off to the side and take a nap.

running_is_evil

I managed to sprint out the last bit at 6:22 pace, for a finish time of 21:12.  So yeah, I clearly had a bit more to give in that 3rd mile.  I really need to work on the mental game.

The only thing that made me feel better was looking at the elevation profile once I uploaded my Garmin data. Don’t get me wrong – this is in no way a “hilly” 5K, but the slow, gradual climb corresponds directly to when I felt myself losing steam.  Even though I know I mentally gave up a bit, this at least gives me a small reason as to why it felt so hard to maintain a consistent pace.

teal theres cure 5k elevation profile marcellus

 

In any case, I was able to hang on for 5th female overall and 1st in my age group.  And ran a 32 second PR.  And actually kind of made myself excited to run another 5K and see if I can break 21 minutes – which is a time I wouldn’t have ever thought I’d be in the vicinity of running.

IMG_3084

 

All in all, it was a really fun race and totally probably worth the sobriety the night before.

Pink Ribbon Run 5k Recap

14 May

A week or two ago, Hollie mentioned a 5k out in Rochester and suggested I come out for it.  Given that Hollie doesn’t have much time left in NY before her move, and it would be a chance to meet Laura for the first time, and what’s better than racing and chatting with new friends, it took me about 18 hours to decide this was a fantastic idea – which was probably about 17 hours and 59 minutes too long.

I didn’t entirely know what I was getting myself into at first, until Hollie mentioned it was a women’s only race, and turnout was usually around 1000 runners.  Um, holy crap.

I set my alarm for 5:30, haphazardly got dressed, threw together a bag, and hopped in the car.  I stopped at a rest station about an hour into my drive, and I realized it was freezing outside.  And windy.  Apparently the wind just like to follow me to races this year.

I got to the park in plenty of time and went to go pick up my bib.  I hightailed it right back to my car and proceeded to have a 20 minute debate over whether I should go with short or long sleeves (this entailed pinning and re-pinning my bib five – five! – different times).  In the end, I decided I’d run in the Oiselle stripey long sleeve I had thrown in my post-race bag and thanked my earlier half-asleep self for having the foresight to pack a long sleeve tee.

I left the comfort of my car to start warming up and along the way ran into Hollie and Laura.  We chatted for a bit and finally proceeded to the start.  They convinced me to line up near the start with them, which was definitely a new and intimidating experience for me.  Girls were doing striders off the line and everyone looked super fast.  I mostly just wanted to pee my pants, but tried to keep my “I’m tough, I’m fast, I can hang with you” poker face on.

The gun sounded and we were off!  Being close to the front definitely pulled me out a little faster then I would’ve liked, but after about a quarter mile, I settled into a pace that felt ok and found a small pack of girls to hang with.  As I mentioned, it was very windy so I put all time goals out of my head – my only goal for this race was to run hard and stay tough – no giving up, pulling back, mentally quitting.  The first mile flew by and I passed the mile marker in around 6:55ish.

Almost immediately after the first mile marker came the first hairpin turn.  This was really tough for me because seeing 6-anything as a mile split tends to give me a bit of a heart attack, and the break in momentum made me kind of check in and realize that I was working, not just cruising.  Mile 2 is always the hardest for me in a 5k anyway, so combining all those things gave me a momentary panic.  I did my best to push those negative thoughts out of my head and focused on the two girls ahead of me.

I eventually picked off the two girls, but was then kind of alone on the course.  I could tell I put some distance between myself and them, but the next girl ahead of me was too far away for me to seriously focus on at that point.  As I approached the second mile marker, I could see the clock reading 13:53.  I tried to start picking it up a bit but the seconds clicked by and the race official said as I approached “…13:56, 13:57, still sub-7 pace here … untiiiiiiil …. NOW.”  I crossed the mile marker at exactly 14:00 on the clock and I wanted to reach out and slap the guy.

BUT I knew I only had one mile-ish to go and that I was on PR pace?!  I just wanted to hang on as best  I could.  The third mile featured another couple of hairpin turns, during one of which I tripped over a curb.  Awesome!  Then a long stretch down a parking lot into the wind.  Awesome!  I tried to stay positive and keep pushing.

After looping around some more, I finally started to see the finish line.  I was literally unable to do math anymore and had no idea if I had totally blown up and ruined my shot at breaking 22 minutes.  The second I saw the clock reading 21:30-something, I kicked it into a ridiculous gear with a huge grin on my face.

Official time: 21:45
A 22-second PR.
18/1049 Overall
4/83 AG

Laura, me, and Hollie.  Rocking the giddy PR grin, all day long.

Laura, me, and Hollie. Rocking the giddy PR grin, all day long.

Hollie and Laura did amazing, placing 5th and 6th respectively in the race and winning Wegman’s gift cards (umm, so awesome).  I missed out on 3rd in my age group and accordingly, my own gift card, by 9 seconds but I really could care less – I was so thrilled with this finishing time on a tough course with not quite ideal weather.  I’ll be back next year to take another shot at that gift card 😀

The first text I sent after the race.  Thrilled probably isn't a strong enough adjective to describe my true feelings.

The first text I sent after the race. Thrilled probably isn’t a strong enough adjective to describe my true feelings.

After the awards, we headed to Starbuck to warm up and chat for a bit.  I had such a great time; Hollie and Laura are absolutely amazing and I was so glad I decided to go out for this race.  Hopefully there will be more running/racing shenanigans in the future!

Super Couch Potato Race Recap

5 Feb

On Sunday, I attempted to follow through on a resolution by running the Super Couch Potato 5k.  As I alluded to previously, the 5k distance is my absolute least favorite thing ever.  I made the man friend promise me that if I started coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t go and looked like I was going to bag on it that he would shove me out the door and lock me out of the house in the cold.

Even so, in the hours before the race, I let my mind wander towards all the reasons this race was going to suck.

  • Temperature at the start would be in the single digits (not fun for the lungs, especially if you’re trying to play in the VO2 max arena)
  • I haven’t done an ounce of speedwork since, oh, September?
  • My bout with bronchitis has left me feeling terribly out of shape
  • I ran a hilly long run the day before

I knew I would never forgive myself if I sat it out, and with the threat of being locked out in the cold looming, I gathered my gear and headed to the race.

I decided that I would wear my Garmin, but I was only allowed to look at it at each mile marker.  My expectations were extremely low for the race.  I hoped I could squeak in under 24 minutes.  I would consider it a good day if I could keep the pace around 7:30, and I would not beat myself up over the fact that’s slower than my half marathon PR pace.  Basically, I wanted to run it as a tempo – comfortably hard – and not Garmin stalk.

Runners at the start

Runners at the start

(source)

I made my way to the start and soon we were off.  There was some ducking and weaving at the beginning, but eventually I clicked into a groove.  Staying true to my promises, I ignored my watch.

At what I guessed to be close to the 1-mile point, I saw a co-worker up ahead.  I was gaining on him, and wasn’t sure what to think.  After a quick gut-check, I decided that the pace was remaining comfortably hard – I wasn’t picking it up just to catch someone – so I kept with it.  As I passed him, we exchanged a few pleasantries and my watch finally beeped.

Mile 1 – 7:15.  Shit.  I might actually have to race this thing now.

I spent the next half mile trying to figure out what to do.  I know, I know – it’s not supposed to be this complicated!  I wasn’t sure if I should push, if I should hang tight, if I should back off … I never expected to see a split that low and while I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to PR, I knew I could spit out a good time.

At about the 1.91 mile point (I cheated and looked at my watch), I heard someone call out to a girl in front of me (it was an out and back, which is always nice for cheering on others).  It was a girl I have run with before, and who I would consider a friendly acquaintance – but ain’t no way I can back off now.  Killer instinct engaged, I’m doin’ this thing.

Mile 2 – 7:11.

I passed my “competition” pretty quick and now it was just about not letting her pass me back.  Which is psychologically the worst place to be in.  Thankfully I fell in step with a guy and we worked together for most of the 3rd mile.  I cheated again and saw my pace was dropping even more.  I knew it was time to push.

Mile 3 – 6:59.

Up ahead I saw the clock.  I knew a PR wasn’t happening but it would be damn close.  Push push push.

Last .13 – 0:48 – 6:23 pace.

Good for a 22:13, only 6 seconds off my PR.  3rd place in AG, 9th female, 53rd overall.  I’ll take that any day of the week.

If the garmin says it, it has to be true

If the garmin says it, it has to be true

So, maybe there’s some insert-foot-in-mouth action that needs to happen here.  I’d have been proud of the result on a perfect day where I feel at the top of my game.  The fact the weather wasn’t conducive and I’m not 100% and I still came out that close to a PR?  I’m optimistic for the rest of 2013.  Although I suppose that means I’ll need to run a few more 5ks and try to get under 22 at some point … dang.

Best part about this race, however?

I am such a turd.

I am such a turd.

Check out that sassy hat swag.  Super couch potato, indeed.