Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CrossKnox 10 Miler - recap

First of all let me remind you again that I am awful about blogging. I sit down to start writing and stare at a blank screen for the longest time.

Sunday I ran a local 10 mile race.
As you know, I have a running coach now. I got my workouts for the week and Sunday was marked off in red letters with a note saying he would talk to me later in the week about my race plan. I got the email Friday afternoon about what my pacing on Sunday for the race should be like. I studied it all weekend and even went as far as to write it on my arm for the race.

[caption id="attachment_1630" align="aligncenter" width="217"] what was left post race of my "pacing tattoo" (haha)[/caption]

With the threat of rain as a result of Hurricane Sandy moving up the east coast I tried hard to just focus on the fact that it was going to be cool. I did my best to ignore the 30% chance of rain the forecast. I even convinced myself that there was no way we'd be pelted with rain for the race. However, when I woke up and looked out the front door Sunday morning it was damp. In fact, it was so damp that you could basically say that 30% chance of rain turned into something more. But I was hopeful that the rain cloud about my little city wasn't following us to Knoxville.

I was to do a 1/2 - 1 mile warm up before the race but my main concern (since I had been a while and had 2 bottles of water) was finding a bathroom. I wasn't familiar with the race start location so I asked around about a bathroom only to be told that the city hadn't made the porta potty delivery for the race just yet. Yikes! We were only about 20 minutes before starting time. Luckily there were 2 lone porta potties in the park so I walked to them and did my thing. I counted the walk down and back as my warmup because by the time I had gotten back to the tent where my buddies were hanging out waiting on the start it had started pouring rain. Lovely.

Hubby and the kids had come with me so they could be at the finish. Hubby snapped one picture of me pre-race.

I lined up with friends in the middle of the pack. I knew what my pacing plan was like but knew the first little bit of the race was downhill and I was instructed to start slow. It was raining pretty steady at the start, down hill course on a greenway that was covered in leaves... yes, let's go slow.

The goal for miles 1-5 was nothing faster than 9:40 pace. I don't recall a whole lot about the course other than the fact that within the first mile on a narrow greenway (slick and covered in fallen leaves) a lady with a stroller comes up behind us saying, "Watch out, I have a stroller and don't want to catch your heels." I was a wee bit irritated by her. I couldn't go faster to get around her because of the people around me and the course. I also knew that speeding up just to get around her was not part of the plan. I got warm around 1.5 miles and decided to take off my jacket and at mile 3.25 I was instructed to take a Gu (my fuel of choice this race was PowerGels). Things were going well until the rain started getting heavier around mile 5 when it felt like the bottom had dropped from the sky. I was already wet and since I had chucked my jacket to my hubby at mile 4.5 there wasn't a single thing I could do about getting even slightly dry. So I just stuck to my plan and kept running. Miles 1-5 splits:
Mile 1- 9:55
Mile 2- 9:39
Mile 3- 9:45
Mile 4- 9:46
Mile 5- 9:39

The pace was suppose to speed up from mile 6-8. I knew at around mile 6.5 (no later but maybe sooner) I would need to take my 2nd gel. It was at that point I decided to get it out and start taking it. I wasn't sure how taking so many gels would work for me since I don't typically use that method for fuel or even take that much. This is something I am learning to get use to though. I had not used Powerbar Powergels before the race on Sunday which I know is a huge ruler breaker. Most runners will tell you not to try something new (or wear new gear ON race day but I'm not much of a rule follower sometimes, lol. Mile 6-8 were uneventful unless you count me wetting my pants, which seems to happen more on longer runs than it use to. Oops. These miles were suppose to be ran around a 9:30 pace. I guess if you look at my splits and do the math you could say I averaged such a pace. haha So close!
Mile 6- 9:19
Mile 7- 9:43
Mile 8- 9:23

That last 2 miles were suppose to be my fastest but I knew that there was a slight upgrade/hill for most of mile 8-9+ and it was on a part of the greenway that is my least favorite. I think the reason I dislike this stretch so much is because it is always at the end of my run and you never realize going out that it's a slight grade. My goal pace for these 2 miles was 9:10. I was trying really hard but given the fact that I was soaked, cold and had already wet myself not once but 3 times (yes, 3.. each time I slowed to take a Gel!) I was done at mile 8.5. I seriously had to fight myself (my brain) really hard to just keep running. I hadn't walked any of this race unless you count between mile 6-7 where one of my water bottles flew off my belt and I had to back shuffle to pick it up off the ground. So, the goal was just to keep running until I got across the finish line. I really really did make an attempt to push the pace in the last 2 miles to meet the pace goal. Truth is I stink at pacing myself but I have a feeling I will grow to like it or at least make it work. Splits for the end:
Mile 9-9:46 (I admit to having a moment where I wanted to walk so I slowed at mile 9 to take a gel and came to a little shuffle. Had it not been for that I think I'd have been at 9:10 or at least under 9:20 for this mile)
Mile 10- 9:10 ( I HIT IT SPOT ON!!!)

Overall my pacing wasn't totally off. I came really really close to my overall finish goal which was around 1:35.
10.01 miles finished in 1:36:09

This race was a point to point which was nice. There was only one tiny strip on the greenway that we had to go out and turn around to come back on. It was all flat and included a water stop. Not bad at all. I was familiar with most of the course as I had ran on a great deal of it. There wasn't a huge amount of scenery but things were familiar to me. There was no crowd support at all other than the lovely KTC Volunteers. I didnt' necessarily mind that part of it since I had my own thoughts and music going. This was my first 10 mile race (YAY automatic PR) and I really enjoyed it. The distance was enough so that I could push myself when I needed too but not so long that I was completely over it at the end. I'd like to say that the reason I wasn't overly sore is due to how fit I am but I don't want to sound like I'm stuck on myself (proud, maybe!?).

Overall I felt great for having done my first 10 mile race and rainy run all on the same day while finishing within one minute of my goal pace!

[caption id="attachment_1632" align="aligncenter" width="225"] CrossKnox 10 miler (1:36:09)[/caption]

Monday, October 22, 2012

Motivational Monday

I'm gearing up now for another short/easy run this evening. I am super happy to report that my training last week went well. I'm also excited about the next 2 weeks of training. I got my schedule Saturday evening and have been excited ever since I looked at it. I'm pretty sure that means I have gone completely insane. Hope y'all had a great weekend and are off to great things this week!

Monday, October 15, 2012

AllState 13.1 Atlanta - Race Recap Part 2

So where did I leave off??

Ahh yes, the 3:30am alarm clock. My running coach advised me a few days before my race to get up 3 hours before the race, walk for 1/4 mile and then have a big breakfast. I knew I was going to have to be up earlier than normal for a race because we had a bit of a drive to the location. I had not ever gotten up, dressed and then gone out for a walk nor was I a fan of a big pre-race breakfast. However, I wanted to take his advice.

So, I was up at 3:30. My husband and I went out and walked about a half mile before loading in the car and heading to the race. Big breakfast? I had a whole bagel! And about 15 minutes before we arrived at the race site I ate a couple of fig newtons. That counts for big, right? My fear with a "big" breakfast was my stomach issues. I did take my regular dose(s) of Imodium. I found this to be most important especially since I had broken out some new arm warmers for that race.

We got to the race with enough time to spare, however we missed the chance to use the porta potties because the line was entirely too long. I was afraid to not have one last pee but what do ya do?? Anyway, we were able to meet up with the whole group for some great pictures. We weren't all running together so it was nice to snap a few pics pre-run.

[caption id="attachment_1613" align="aligncenter" width="300"] 8x AWESOME! [/caption]

I went into this race with one major goal... finish and of course PR. Last year I ran this same race in 2:23 and change. My half marathon PR was 2:10 and change. Prior to my injury in the spring/summer I had a goal of sub 2, however I knew the closer I got to race morning that goal was not going to be met at this race. NO problem! I was still going to PR. I wanted a 2:05 but told myself so long as I came in under 2:09 I would be happy. So, knowing all that I lined up behind the 2:15 pacer. I didn't want to go out with the 2:00 pacer and be too fast to start. Any runner knows this is the smart way to play at the starting line, right!?

My coach also suggested that I take a GU every 35 minutes of my run. I did some thinking the few days leading up to the race and since I don't GU (I use chews) I would take 2-3 chews every 35 minutes and alternate water and sports drink when they were available so I didn't carry my own water for the race. Everything worked perfectly for me there. I took 2 chews every 35 mins, which was roughly every 3.75 miles. I had no stomach issues at all and I found that the first 35 mins I NEEDED those chews because I had gotten hungry.

Splits for the first few miles--
Mile 1 - 9:54
Mile 2 - 9:33
Mile 3 - 9:32
Mile 4 - 9:16

My goal pace was "easy" which for me is around 9:45 min/mile. I knew after the first two miles I was on target with my pacing to run comfortably as well as for meeting my goal for the finish. It was really dark to start the race so I don't really recall much about the course for the first little bit because I was so concerned with watching my footing and making sure I didn't trip. There was some huge speed bumps on one of the streets but thankfully the race organizers had spotlights on them so that helped! However the road was still a little rough and TIGHT! I brushed one girl on the arm as I ran past her and got a real snotty, "Excuse you, b*&%$!" And seriously, I barely barely brushed her and even said, "excuse me." Runners or walkers even, if you are going to walk or run slower than the pacers you have lined up with the very least you can do is stay to the right of the road. This is not just for the safety of faster runners but YOUR safety. Imagine if someone faster than me had truly hit her!? It could have been a mess.

I don't recall much about the next few miles except that when I hit between miles 6-9 I knew my friends would be cursing me and my, "Oh no, it's not hilly at all," description of the race course. Ha! Hi, friends! Yes, I know.. it was hillier than I led on. I always say, "But I run in Knoxville so hills don't scare me." and really hills don't scare me. Now, I don't like them any better than most people but to me Atlanta is more of a gradual grade than a huge climb like so many of the hills around my neck of the woods. Either way my goal was to just run those hills since last year I really didn't. I succeeded.

Splits again--
Mile 5 - 9:26
Mile 6 - 9:34
Mile 7 - 9:24
Mile 8 - 10:07 (took a little longer hydration break)
Mile 9 - 9:40

I knew the ONE hill I wanted to conquer was the one at mile 9 that so many people I heard complaining about last year. I did just that. And that makes me happy. The next few miles were run between a park (which was sidewalks rather than the paved greenway I am use to) and kind of hilly climbs. I only had one small issue around mile 11 when my bladder decided to let things go right there in my pants. I guess that beats my Imodium failing me and having to use my arm sleeves. Positives people, always the positives! Mile 11 was slow as a result and I knew I was going to have to make up for the lost time. I was still well within PR range though so I was ok mentally at that point.

I took my last 2 chews at mile 11 as my coach advised and just told myself it was 2 miles to the finish so give it all I had. Just before mile 12 I got a horrible side stitch. I don't know how I ran through it but I did. I also had started feeling a hot spot/blister on my right foot around mile 9 but fought hard to ignore it even though it felt as though it was ripping apart in my shoe. I was sure between the side stitch and the spot on the bottom of my foot that I would slow way down the last two miles and miss my PR but somehow I pushed hard and just told myself, "DO it!"

Final splits--
Mile 10 - 10:02
Mile 11 - 10:34
Mile 12 - 9:30
Mile 13 - 9:44
final .19- 1:33 (7:59)

I wasn't sure if anyone else in the group would be done before me so I didn't cross the finish line looking for anyone. In fact the only thing I even looked at crossing the line was my Garmin. 2:07:47. I had PR'd that race by 16 minutes!!! That's huge. It was only a 3+ minute distance PR but a 16 minute course PR. I think the only reason I even shed a tear at the finish this time was because I was in pain, not my hip! but my foot. I couldn't wait to pull off my shoe and sock to inspect the bottom of my foot. Luckily the blister was not as huge as I imagined it would be. I sat for a a few minutes waiting for others in my group to cross. I ate a banana and drank some Powerade as well as chocolate milk. Once I got some food in me I decided to put my shoe back on, have a post race prof pic and wait for the rest of my group. Everyone raced well, sorry I don't remember specific times but everyone finished and collected a medal! Yay!

Here are a few more pics from the day...

[caption id="attachment_1615" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Half marathon #6 [/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1616" align="aligncenter" width="300"] new bling for us both![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1617" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Friends![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1618" align="aligncenter" width="300"] AllState 13.1 Atlanta Marathon - finishers!![/caption]

Thanks so much for reading my recap so far! I will post some final thoughts on a few things at some point. Right now I have to get myself to bed for a very early morning workout!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three Things Thursday

I woke up this morning thankful for another day even if I did oversleep and walk out the door without breakfast, coffee or my gym bag. I'm blessed to have a husband that didn't mind being woken up by my car (I swear) randomly calling his number! He came to my rescue with breakfast, coffee and my gym bag. Now onto my 3 things...

1. Some have asked about my "major award" post from last night. haha Well, y'all who have read me long enough know my need for Imodium pre-race or long run. I've accepted that I am THAT runner who may or may not have to randomly wander into the woods for a place to excuse myself midrun. I am also THAT runner who still to this day, no matter how many times I've been unfortunate enough to have to use the woods, refuses to carry TP with me. You would think I'd learn by now. Anyway, one day last fall my poor husband had to come to my rescue (again!) and surrender an arm sleeve because my Imodium failed me. oops. It's been a big joke with my best group of running friends for quite some time now. Especially since a little road trip and half marathon IN THE WOODS this summer where my Imodium again failed me. Our social run last night was "Homecoming" and included superlatives. And now you know what I won and why. No shame here. I'm considering framing my certificate. SO proud!

2. I love a good giveaway. I've hosted a giveaway or two myself. I try to enter as many as I can and occasionally I win! More than entering a good giveaway I LOVE when I win. I was excited last week when Katie from Mom's Little Running Buddy Tweeted me to check her blog for an update. Super excited! I won my choice of a leather warrior bracelet from Endorphin Warrior. I have had my eyes on these for a while but never got around to ordering one. And then, yay, Katie had a giveaway and I won! Score. Here is my bracelet..
[caption id="attachment_1606" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Relentless. [/caption]

3. I fought really hard all week last week to NOT get sick. I went through 2 boxes of Emergen-C (which is great btw) and a tube of Zicam to avoid catching anything the morning of my half marathon. I wanted to believe all that stuff would work. My kids had been sick with upper respiratory infections early in the week. I threatened their lives if they breathed on me. Fine, I really didn't but I begged them not to share their germs. You'll find out soon how I felt race morning. For now, I must go get some rest. Turns out I have a running coach now and a new training plan!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Race Weekend Recap - Part 1

First of all let me say that this is just going to have to be broken into two post because it is, in fact, two parts. The first part is the social part of my race weekend in Atlanta.

I have been lucky enough to make some great friends on My Fitness Pal. Earlier this year a group of 6 of us decided to have a meet up in Atlanta while running a half marathon. I had already made plans to run this race last year after I finished. Meeting these women and having a weekend in Atl to have fun AND race was just a bonus.

Things started on Friday with dinner...

After dinner we went to find some place for dessert. I decided on no cake but had a drink. I wish I had taken a picture of that thing. It was SO good! I called it a frou frou coffee cocktail and I could definitely go for one now! The night was fun getting to know new friends!

The next morning (Saturday) we met up at a place called The Flying Biscuit. Because my hubby, the kids and I had gotten up early and already had breakfast with my mom I decided to eat on the lighter side at the Flying Biscuit. But look what I had...
[caption id="attachment_1597" align="aligncenter" width="300"] mmm orange french toast![/caption]

After we ate we headed over to pick up our race bibs, bags and shirts. The nice part of this was that it went very quickly (smaller race)! Also we had received a virtual goody bag earlier in the week that contained what would normally be loads of paper advertisements to other races. I'm hoping my local track club utilizes this in the very near future. It was so nice to not have to bring all that garbage home and trash it!

The girls and I all hung out at their hotel room on Saturday until we broke for dinner. I had planned to hang with them and have dinner but had already used some baby sitting services via the grandparents and felt pretty guilty about it so I decided to skip dinner. I have kind of a pre-race dinner ritual anyway. I don't usually do pasta with rich sauces but rather a piece of grilled chicken and a baked potato (IF I can help it). Since I wanted to PR this race I opted to go my way.

After dinner I was exhausted from the day's activities. I just wanted to go home to get my stuff ready and get in bed.

And with that we were off to bed. We had a 3:30 am alarm set!!

Stay tuned for the excitement of race day and to see if I got that PR!

Monday, October 8, 2012

SpiBelt Giveaway winner!

I had a fabulous weekend and a great race experience! I would love to tell you all about that right now but I'm still trying to get it all down so it's taking me just a bit longer than expected.
What I do want to announce is my SpiBelt giveaway winner.
I used with the numbers 1-9 and it selected #3.


I follow you on Twitter. @RealInto

So, Carli, please email me at with your address and I will get the SpiBelt out to you asap!

And for everyone else if you want to check out another great blog please visit Carli @RealInto and say hi! Thanks to everyone for entering! Be sure and stay tuned for my race recap(s) and pictures!