Preppin’ for Broad Street

Leave a comment Standard

I have three more days until the Broad Street Run is here!  Even though it is my third time running the race, I feel more excited/nervous about it than before.  This whole week I’ve been terribly unsure what course of action to take to make sure I am fully prepared for the run Sunday morning.  Balancing training for races and playing in sports is crucial, as I learned last week when too much soccer sidelined my hopes of a PR/Age Group win in my 5K.  I know there’s no chance I’ll place Sunday, it’s far too big of a race for an average runner girl like me, but I would love to PR.  So, here are a few things I’m doing over the next couple of days to get ready:

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  The weather is looking pretty damn good for Sunday, but sun and pavement do not mix well and even with a starting temp of mid-50, it can feel hot.  I’m making sure to stay well-hydrated over the next few days.
  • IMAG2624Supplement.  In typical fashion, it seems like I am coming down with a little bit of a head cold.  While I don’t know if taking vitamins is really going to make it go away any faster, I’m going to give it a go anyway.  My diet isn’t always the best, so supplementing with vitamins when I don’t get all my nutrients from food is a must.  And the head cold leads me to my next point.
  • REST.  Lots and lots of rest.  I planned to go to Conshohocken Running Club’s Thirsty Thursday tonight, but I think I’d benefit more from an early night in bed.  The same will go for Friday and Saturday nights.  The race starts 30 min earlier this year, which means we need to haul our butts out of the house even earlier to make it to the start on time.  Last year was a little dicey.  I may go out for an easy 3 mi in my neighborhood after work, but most of the time will be spent snoozin.’

IMAG0710

  • Ice Baths.  I’m years late on this trend, but I finally tried it after a leg day session at the gym left me wobbly for DAYS afterwards.  I actually really enjoy them (wtf?) and my legs feel pretty good after.  You know, minus the lovely soccer bruises.
  • IMG_20150426_213417Finally, some quality time with the foam roller and Tiger Tail.  Massaging out any kinks and tight spots can be painful but so worth it.  Amazon has a ton of options ranging from $5 to $50, depending on what you fancy.  Personally, I have the one from Gaim  at $25 which came with a handy DVD I have yet to watch.  Non-DVD options obviously will be a little on the cheaper side.

I haven’t decided on my ABCD goals and I’m not 100% sure I will set any for this race.  My overall hope is to finish anywhere under 1:20:00, which I think is doable if I play out the next few days right.  I’m extremely excited to hit up the expo tomorrow and pick up my RUN215 tee to sport during the race.  If you see a chick aimlessly wandering around with blue highlights, that’s probably me!  I cannot wait for Sunday morning and sharing the road with 40K other runners in our beautiful city!  And the beer, of course.  Always the post-race beer.  ;)

MC Half Training Week 12

Leave a comment Standard

Oh, I really don’t want to post about the fiasco that was this week, but even the bad training weeks can make for good races in the future.  From a physical activity perspective, this week was stellar.  From a running specific perspective, total failure.  In short, my love of soccer got in the way of my apparently too lofty race goals.  But, I really, REALLY love soccer.  So in terms of overall happiness, I’m still on top.

This is how it all went down.

Last Sunday we had our outdoor game.  Good win, then followed with indoor soccer playoffs.  Four games at 18 min a piece were completed before we got knocked out of both levels.  Still a great run and fun time.

I took off on Monday, needed to rest.  Soreness from weight training the previous week was completely gone.

Tuesday indoor happened.  We had one sub, my foot got crunched a little.  Tough loss handed to us, but again, very physical workout and I felt mostly happy.

Wednesday is where the downfall begins, but I wouldn’t know until later on.  My coworkers reformed our co-ed team and it was our first game of the spring season.  We were going to be short a girl so I emailed a teammate from outdoor to fill in.  Her game before ours was going to be short, so I filled in with her team, then we played together on my team.  80 minutes of play so far.  Following the second game, a bunch of guys approached us asking if we’d play because the girls on their team didn’t show and they didn’t want to forfeit.  It was only 8:20ish, we felt good, so we agreed to play.  I was kicking ass on defense Wednesday night.  Three games, 120 minutes, I was done after that third game.

I took off Thursday from going to run club because I figured after all that soccer a rest was needed.  I relaxed and enjoyed a night off.  Friday I was excited most of the morning.  I found out later in the afternoon an opportunity I got myself too excited about fell through (nothing job related, happy where I am) and it was hard to recover for a bit.  I still wanted to go out hard for the Out & Back Party Run to redeem my mood and bask in the happy feels of a PR.  I got to the race with about an hour to spare.  Charged my phone while trying to picture pacing myself to a fast, happy run.  I met up with a coworker and friend before the race started, talked about goals, and then we were off.

outbackrun2015splitsI never felt good during this run.  I had a pumped up playlist in my ears, and I felt like I was going fast, but my quads just felt off, then heavy and sore, then just dead.  I somehow got the first mile under 7:00 and was hopeful.  I just needed to loosen up and I’d be crushing it.  I remember looking down after that first mile and being completely confused.  I was working hard, but the pace just wasn’t showing what I felt like I was running.  The watch had to be off, I had to be moving faster than that.  But, the soreness in my legs and the heaviness they felt, I wasn’t.  I knew at the turnaround shit just wasn’t happening for me.  I wasn’t going to win my age group, and slowly but surely as I came back towards the start I saw each goal I made for this race disappear.  I felt a bit of a boost when some other friends I missed seeing at the start waved to me as I was heading back (they were on the out part).  But as I grouchily crossed the finish I knew I had blown it.  I am glad there aren’t any finisher photos, because I’m sure I looked like this:

I called Dan and had a little pity party for a bit.  I was so mad at myself and bummed out.  But, there was an after party, with lots of Harpoon beer, and I had friends to hang out with.  So, I sucked it up, put on some warm clothes and rejoined the party.  I’m glad I had friends there, because after a pint and some talk (apparently we all struggled with this race), I was feeling significantly better.  I knew where I went wrong, I played way too much soccer with not enough recovery time.  I hadn’t spent as much time on lower body lifting over the winter to keep my legs strong enough to withstand all that activity the past week.  It happens.  And I acknowledged I probably sounded like an asshole being upset about a 24:40 finish.  It’s a good time and nothing to be ashamed of.  Yeah, I had been ticking off PRs and in comparison to my recent race times it was not my best, but I did PR the race itself by 16 seconds, haha!  And being 7th in my age group is also cool, a top 10 finish is something to be happy about for sure.  I’ll get the next race and have learned balance and rest are crucial.

The weekend was an amazing recovery in my mood though.  I volunteered with Scoring Goals for Autism on Saturday and got to hang out and play soccer with the coolest, sweetest kids.  The event is an incredible and uplifting experience.  The buddy I was paired with was best friends with a buddy a friend of mine was paired with.  Together we formed our own team chant and they got the whole field to join in.  We played fun soccer drills, talked zombie apocalypses, and old school wrestling.  Those kids just warm my heart.  We then played the charity tournament which was a blast and today crushed our outdoor game (I had SO many shots on goal!!).  I’m going to be taking a lot of ice baths this week to make sure my legs are ready for Broad Street, phew!

Going For Glory, Maybe

Comments 2 Standard

Well, sort of.  My next race on the calendar is a 5K this Friday evening.  The weather predictions are quite favorable, I’ve planned my work schedule out to not be delayed in getting to where I need to be on time, and the after party of the race has me legit excited.

Then, I spent part of my lunch break watching this…

Boston2015USAelitesAnd I got all the goosebumps and butterflies of excitement.  It’s funny how people who run paces you have no hope of ever hitting for distances that seem impossible (for me) can inspire you to get off your ass and run.  That’s how I’m feeling right now, inspired.

I did some research and while the 5K spread on Friday isn’t very big (it looks to be approximately 500 entrants, teeny weeny), I think I have shifted my focus from trying to just go sub-22:00 and instead go all out for my age group.  My legs have been feeling extremely strong, the last two weekends of all day soccer have demonstrated that.  I know if I play my cards right with my runs this week, it’s feasible to walk away with the top spot.  It’s a lofty goal, I know.  I think I can do it.  My BOMF 5 Miler 5K split was 21:37 with a significant hill.  This course is fairly flat, as I have stated.  So, in my favorite fashion of setting goals for a race, here are my ABCDs:
A)  Win the 30-39 F age group
B)  Run a sub-21:00 5K
C)  Run under 22:21 (my PR)
D)  Stay under 23 mins

Normally D is to just get a race over with, but I think I am seasoned enough with the 5K to know I’ll definitely finish.  That’s more for 10 milers or half marathons where the distances leave more room for epic mistakes.  Anyway…

Will I make it?  I have no fricken idea.  But as the week moves on I know I am going to get antsier and antsier to be at that starting line.  And it helps there is going to be a plethora of delicious beer to enjoy regardless of the outcome of my race.  ;)

MC Half Training Week 11

Leave a comment Standard

Week 11 sort of got off on a good foot and then derailed quickly, running-wise.  However, I still managed to get some good distance covered AND enjoyed myself.

Wednesday I met up with Dan and his cousin Phil after work to do the 5 mile loop through Valley Forge Park.  I anticipated a nice, easy evening run.  My mistake was inviting the guys, because we paced a lot faster than I was hoping to do.  I did manage to stay with them for 90% of the run.

run15apr15I’ll take an 8:15 pace with decent hills any day.

Thursday is where I made the big mistake of the week.  I’ve been extremely happy having a friend like Samantha to make training plans for weight lifting for me.  I did pretty well this winter with a 12 week circuit plan, but I wanted to get back to the original 4 week plan.  My thoughts were do that plan for a month, then go back to the 12 week one.  Rotation should keep my muscles guessing and I got excited about the idea.  On Tuesday I made it to the gym during lunch to do chest/triceps work, and then Thursday is when I planned to do legs/butt/core.  I have been neglecting my legs a little at the gym and I know that’s the key to keeping my speed.  Unfortunately, spending several weeks off from squats then returning to them even with a much lower weight was not my best idea.  I got to the gym at lunch and did those, some KB swings, and a few other exercises.  I felt good.  Post-work, I felt a little sore but still went to run club for six miles.

run16apr15The run started off great, and then mile by mile my legs got increasingly heavy and unhappy with me.  I finished out the run, enjoyed a small beer with some friends, then went home.  I realized I needed to do some serious recovery or I would be hobbling for-ev-er.  So, I sucked it up and poured myself a cold bath for the first time.  I kept the water a little below 60 and stayed in for 20 min.

IMAG2593The verdict?  It wasn’t so bad after the first few minutes passed!  I am super late to the “ice bath party” but I think this is going to become a part of my routine when I do stupid things like run 11 mi and lift in a 36 hour time frame.  And also for training for the double half marathon weekend I have in July.

Sadly, the soreness was lessened but not enough for me to feel okay to do any long run this weekend.  I have outdoor soccer tomorrow morning and then indoor playoffs later in the day.  I need my legs fully healed.  So, instead of running, I took advantage of the gorgeous day and went to Lowes for a couple items…

IMAG2605It’s never just a few things, is it?  Lowes shopping is the Target shopping of your 30s where you plan to spend $10 and end up spending 10x that.  But, a few hours later the front yard area looked nicer, I threw down some wildflower seeds in a bare spot we cleaned up near the back porch, and have some other ideas brewing for the rest of the outside.  Week 11 didn’t end up quite as I planned, but I have a feeling week 12 will more than make up for it.  ;)

IMAG2608IMAG2609IMAG2610IMAG2611

MC Half Training Week 10

Leave a comment Standard

Last week was a really low mileage week as I only got out for one run.  Tuesday night we had co-ed indoor playoffs which was a valiant but short effort on our team.  I didn’t get out for a run again until Thursday with Conshy Run Club.  A friend came for the first time so I paced with her for an easier run.

run09apr15The following day though I noticed some pain on the inside part of my right shin.  It didn’t feel like shin splints, but I decided to bag my long run on Saturday just in case.

Sunday we had the start of our women’s outdoor soccer season and just had 11 players to field a team.  We put up a great effort and won 1-0.  I ran my ass off as my Fitbit told me I covered a good 5.56 miles during the game.  I’ll take it.  Half of us had to leave immediately after to get to a make-up indoor game from our winter Sunday league.  We were spent and again had just enough for a team.  130 minutes of soccer definitely made up for the long run I missed the day before.  My shin felt great, too!

With today’s lovely weather, I’m planning to head out for a 5-mile loop and if I still feel good do a second to make up for the missed long run.  Gotta get those miles in!  Week 11 should be significantly better than week 10.

MC Half Training Week 9

Leave a comment Standard

Last week I ran three times totaling 19.32 miles.

First Run.  Wednesday after work.  Tempo run of 4 miles.

run01apr15Second Run.  Thirsty Thursday with Conshohocken Running Club.  Out and back 50ish min run.

run02apr15Third Run.  Hot Chocolate 15K.  Arrived later than expected.  VERY crowded.

hotchock15ksplitsI might go into a more detailed post about the Hot Chocolate 15K, but probably not.  It wasn’t a bad race, we didn’t aim for anything other than to stay under 8:30s and we accomplished that.  But, I think it’s safe to say I will never run that race again.  I got the medal, I got the hoodie, I’m fine leaving it at that.  Too much weaving and not enough room to really find a good stride.

Assessing my upcoming races, I’ve got the Out & Back Party Run 5K, and then the next weekend is the Broad Street Run.  I don’t really know what goals to set for these.  During the BOMF 5 Miler I clocked a 21:37 5K with a hill.  The Party Run is much flatter, but it’s on a Friday evening.  Based on my last two 5 milers, sub 8:00s sound somewhat feasible for Broad Street, but I just don’t know.

2015racesathlinksaprI am feeling strong right now with six weeks left until the Historic Half.  I had no soreness or stiffness after Saturday’s 9.3 miles.  I guess I’ll see how this weekend’s 10 mile run goes and have a better idea of what is coming up in the next few weeks.

ETA 4:46PM 08.Apr.15:

For posterity and because I am a sappy sapperson, here are some free race pics from the 15K.  I sure look happier than I felt running that race!

130411-246-031h

130411-565-027h

130411-569-016h

Back On My Feet 5 Miler 2015 Recap

Leave a comment Standard

It’s race recap time!  On Friday last week I went into the city to pick up my packet (and a handy RUN215 wristband) from Philadelphia Runner in Center City.  I scored with a parking spot on 17th street, quickly got my gear, then noticed a Federal Donuts location was right on my walk back to my car.  I just had to grab a chocolate glazed donut for the drive back in lots of rush hour traffic.  Magical.

IMAG2527I spent the evening pretty much relaxing on the couch after setting out my race gear.  I wasn’t in the mood to cook anything for dinner, but needed to get something.  Wawa to the rescue.  I got one of the bowls:  mashed potatoes, mac&cheese, buffalo chicken.  I am disgusting.  It was stupid delicious though, trust me.

IMAG2531Yup.

Bedtime came fast and I was off to dreamland before the early wakeup at 6am.  I made it into the city (downing a bagel with PB and a 5-hour Engery along the way) with ease, parked right off Spring Garden, and then walked to the start to check my gear and shiver with the other runners.

2015bomf1I’m in the RUN ALL DAY tank.  And errrr, ignore the watermark…. yeah.  Anyway.  At 8AM the race was on and I was cruising around a 7:00.  I had my Garmin on, but with the overpasses you run under during the race, it got super wonky at about 2 miles in and I’m just going to go by race splits.  So mile 1-1.5 takes you out along West River Drive.  I skipped the first water stop because I was still trying to feel my hands.

2015bomf22015bomf3I always make weird faces…

The second mile includes a wonderful hill which felt a lot tougher this year than last year.  Sore legs?  I’m not sure.  I crested at the top and tried to just truck it along to the upcoming downhill.  That part of the race felt REALLY good.  I was now pretty warm and wished I had a pocket to stash my gloves.  We hit the bottom of the downhill then you do a small turnaround to head back on West River towards the finish by the Art Museum.  This is about 3.1 miles in and clocks a split for you.  My split time:  21:37.  I ran a sub-22 5K during this race.  WHAT?!  I’m not sure where the hell that came from, but it was pretty much struggle bus to the end (I averaged an 8:04 on the last 1.9 miles).  I was exceptionally happy to hit the finish and ended up with an overall time of 36:55!  A new fricken PR!  2:32 faster than the Frostbite 5 Miler and 3:01 faster than the race last year!  I ended up finishing 1 spot lower in my age group though.  I guess a lot of faster people showed up.

Post race I met up with tons of RUN215ers and we ventured over to Bishop’s Collar for a few post-race beers.  Before 11am.  Because runners.

IMAG2535Victory tasted pretty sweet though.  Or hoppy, I guess.

I finally made my way back home and proceeded to continue to be disgusting with a delicious Five Guys Burger followed up by Aki snuggles.

IMAG2545

IMAG2542Successful Saturday (or Caturday if you will)?  I’d say so.  This race is a complete blast.  Not only are the organizers some of the most genuine, nicest people ever, you get to support such a great organization and that gives you tons of good feels.  At least it did for me.  I’ve now got a new 5K goal for the Out & Back Party Run, sub 22min.  Considering this race is significantly flatter, I honestly think I can do it.  Up next is the Hot Chocolate 15K this Saturday, which if I can hold my pace I had in the BOMF, I may have a shot at an age group placing?  We’ll have to see!  :D