Sunday, April 25, 2010

Race Recap

Scratch that. Let's call this a general weekend recap.

This weekend was my race-the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon (aka half marathon). The 10 days leading up to the race were filled with much obsessing over weather forecasts on, some good painfree runs (and one crappy but pain free 10 miler), and many efforts (some failed) to eat more good food and less junk. We (J and I) drove down to Louisville on Friday, met our friend Jess for lunch, and hit up the race expo so I could pick up my race packet and see what other free stuff they had (not much). Oh, and plopped our butts at a nearby bar where J could drink some beers and I could drink a couple of beers and a lot of water. My sis and her boyfriend (who were doing the full marathon) met us up there for a little bit after their own expo trip, and Jess met us there after she left work before we all headed back to the house she and her fiance share (aka where we were bunking for the weekend). We took it easy for the rest of the evening-went to one of their favorite restuarants for an appetizer and a glass of wine, and another restaurant for dinner. Mmmm, lasagna. I stuck to my plan to be in bed around 10pm, and all was good.

Despite all my obsessing over the weather and my praying for nice, cool, non humid weather, we woke up Saturday morning to...drizzle. And humidity. Humidity+temps in the 60's=uncomfortable running weather. Thankfully, the drizzle pretty much stopped for the start of the race but picked up again shortly thereafter and got progressively heavier until around mile 6 when it stopped for good (well, for the duration of the race at least). The drizzle didn't bother me as much as the humidity, though. And the hills. Oh, the hills. The first 4 miles of the race wound through a local park that just did not look that hilly on the elevation map...WRONG! We went up, we went down a little, we went up some more, down some more, back up some more...and so on. That, plus the humidity, took a LOT out of me-I ended up sucking it up and taking a fair share of walk breaks throughout the race. Which I HATE, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and I did what I had to for my own sake and so I could finish the race. (But hey, I didn't hear/feel a peep out of my balky quad at ALL, which is a huge relief)

My chip time was 2:07:44-which is 12 minutes off my PR (1:55:42) and almost 7 mins slower than my slowest half thus far (2:01:02). And I'm okay with that. I'm not thrilled with it, but I'm okay with it. Plus, I got a free beer afterwards to keep me company while I waited for Jess and J to come find me after the race :D

After the race, we made our way back to Jess's, got cleaned up, relaxed for a bit, and headed to a great local restaurant for lunch. By then, I had talked to my sister (who had the same difficulties during the race that I did) and she and her BF had decided to take us all up on our offer of dinner so they made their way out to the house and we cooked out, drank beer, and hung out for the evening. Which was exactly what three tired runners needed!

Lessons learned-the Derby Festival Mini Marathon and Marathon course is NOT flat and fast, as my sister's running group friend had told her. Not at all. In fact, the Marathon was even worse than the Mini-they went through another (even more hilly) park in the second half of the race and according to my sis it was miserable. Plus there wasn't as much crowd support in the second half of the race, which made it tough for the marathoners.

-if you're looking for a flat, fast race, do more research on the elevation changes of the course before you sign up. Looking at the elevation map provided on the race's website is not enough.

-most importantly, high five the kids holding their hands out for high fives as much as you can...even if you're having a crappy race. It's amazing how doing so puts a smile on your face, even for a second. Plus, seeing the kids' faces light up is a great little energy rush :)

Next up-who knows? There's a local 5k that I may do this coming Saturday, depending on what the weather ends up doing. Otherwise, I don't have any races planned and am still debating what I want to do for my fall half. In the meantime, I'm going to try to step it up with the strength training and improve my overall fitness in the hopes of losing the rest of this pesky weight I've put on since last fall :P

Now, time to take it legs are a little sore but not horribly so but I took tomorrow off work anyway in case we decided to stay in Louisville through Sunday, so I have another day to relax. Hooray!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

11 days? Oh jeez...

We leave for Louisville a week from Thursday...eeeeee! Now that it looks like my quad pain is under control and I can run at a reasonable pace again, I'm starting to get excited for the race guessed it, 11 days. More importantly though, I actually enjoy running again. I think making an efford to run different routes+new shoes+little to no quad pain=happy legs and a healthy uncranky mind while I'm running, and for that I am grateful. I've never been in a funk like that before and it sucked butt.

So I've got one more long run left before I start tapering-10 miles on Saturday. I'm tossing around the idea of doing what I did a couple of weeks ago, which is run a 10k+3.8 miles, but I'm not sure. Unlike the last 10k I did, the one I'm thinking about is NOT a trail run which would be a huge relief. I am NOT cut out for trail running, that's for sure :)

Other than counting down 'til the race and stalking weather reports for Louisville, not a lot is going on. I'm going to try REALLY hard to eat well over the next couple of weeks-starting tonight, because my whole dinner last night was pretty much deep fried (fried pickles, buffalo chicken sandwich with fries) or dessert (ice cream and cookie combo). It was delicious, but I can't keep eating like that less than two weeks before a race! So I resisted the urge to indulge beyond the food I brought to work with me today and got Chipotle on the way home from work-but put half of my Burrito Bol in the fridge for lunch tomorrow, and did NOT get Chipotle's delicious but oh so bad for you tortilla chips. It's a start...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly

The good? I ran a 10k this morning, as part of my scheduled 9 mile long run (did 2.8 mi before the race, then the 6.2 mile race) and got third in my age group! There were only about 50 runners total, but who cares about that :p Plus, my quad didn't act up at ALL, and my new shoes did great!

The bad? Well, not bad per se, but you'd think so if you knew my 10k PR (which I will divulge momentarily), but my clock time was 57:15. By no means bad, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a teeeeeny part of me that was aggravated at that, given that my PR is 51:20. However, this was my first trail race, the course was really hilly (well, hilly for Central Ohio, and more hilly than I expected it to be), and since I've had to forgo speedwork in favor of babying my sore quad my speed has gone to crap. So of course, my time wasn't as good as it's been in the past...and that's okay.

The ugly? Like I said, it was my first trail race. On gravel, which I thought would be so much better than grass/dirt. I was wrong. Gravel sucks. So did the geeeeenormous hills (like I said, geeeeeeenormous for Columbus. The Eden Park hill that is part of the Flying Pig in Cinci was definitely worse, but still). And the heat. The sun came out about 2 miles into the race, and since it's still fairly early in the spring there's not a lot of shade. Which leads me to my next ugly-the course surroundings. I knew they wouldn't be particularly scintillating, seeing as the metropark the race was held in is called Prairie Oaks...emphasis on prairie. As in, some trees and lakes but overall a lot of grassland. A lot. Which is only nice to look at for, oh, 15 minutes or so.

Another good? Those lovely, wonderful Boy Scouts in their bright orange T-shirts that were handing out Dixie cups of wonderful delicious water at a couple of points along the course. I love you guys...I don't know who you are, or which troop you are, but I love you.

Another good/bad-I made a postrace trip to Old Navy to try to pick up some cheap polos for my pregnant coworker who is in New York for her baby shower this weekend and therefore unable to take advantage of the $5 polo sale. Since men's size polos are the only non-maternity polos that are big enough to accomodate her rapidly expanding belly, I hit the men's section first. And found that of the $5 polos, there was a lot of smalls and mediums, and one large. In red. So I grabbed it. Then found a couple of different polos for J. And a skirt, four tank tops, and a short sleeved shirt for me :D Oh, and an ice pack shaped like a baby chick. $100 later, I left. Hooray for new clothes! And let's ignore the fact that I didn't even go in there for stuff for me-this tank top I'm wearing is comfy, damnit :)

Now, I've had a shower, lunch, a nap, and a healthy dose of HGTV in preparation for dinner with my parents and sister later. And Easter brunch tomorrow...Happy Easter, all!