Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back at it

Ladies and gentlemen, its that time of year again.

The time of year where I have to put on sunscreen for any run starting later than 8am.

The time of year where I can kiss my insulated tights goodbye until October/Novemberish. And probably my capri tights until at least September. Oh, and my long sleeved tops and the majority of my short sleeved ones too.

The time of year when I take water with me on any run longer than four miles (if after 8am), and grab a pop to put on ice as soon as I get back (my usual post-hot run craving).

The time of year when I don't wear my wedding ring for most of my runs, because my hands usually end up swelling and it takes forever to take off.

And of course, the time of year when I come home from every run soaked in sweat.

Summertime is here, my friends.

As is tradition (heh, South Park reference for those of you who don't know), the weather in Central Ohio has practically gone straight from wet, rainy, crappy weather to 80ish degree heat. This means yard work, dogs who want to stay outside all day long (and eat junebugs all night), and making every effort to run early in the morning or late in the evening because that's the only time of day that makes it even slightly tolerable (and even then, sometimes its not tolerable).

Good thing I got the giant multipack of sunscreen at Costco last month, huh? It takes work to maintain my own personal shade of superpale skin :)

In other news, the summer/fall session of my training group started yesterday with a lovely sliiiightly warm 6 mile run (for me). I'm still leaning towards not full-tilt training for a fall race, though with being a pace coach this summer comes pacing probably a half marathon in September so I need to keep my mileage up. We'll see what happens...I'm starting to get the itch to go for a sub 1:50 half this fall again, and am trying to squelch it. Tryyyyyyying.

The local farmer's markets started up a couple of weeks ago, and I managed to go yesterday after I got done with my run. YAAAAY farmer's markets! Since its a little early in the growing season here, there was plenty of meat and cheeses and other non-produce stuff but other than a variety of veggie seedlings (some of which I'll be picking up next weekend for our garden) there wasn't a TON of produce. I managed to get some good asparagus and lettuce though, which will come in handy here :) I'm looking forward to picking up more fun stuff as more fruits and veggies become available...we're so lucky to have so many options for local produce available to us this time of year.

Enough of my ramblings, though...time to catch up on the DVR!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Race Report-Capital City Half Marathon

Aka "Lessons Learned". But first, lets go back to the beginning...

The Expo-great. Not too big or difficult to navigate, and no crazy lines (though this may have been due to the fact that I went less than an hour after it opened, when lots of people were still at work). Plus, getting my corral assignment changed (insert ominous music here) was no problem. There were some great sales on running gear and I could have blown a ton of money but managed to limit myself to a few headbands (Chica Bands, which are pretty similar to Sweaty Bands) and a shirt (in addition to the below race shirt, which is pretty nice).

The night before the race was uneventful. I picked up some mini chicken gyros from Greek Express (mmm, drool), came home, ate, hung out, and got my stuff laid out for the next morning.

The sticker next to my number refers to my changed corral assignment. I was feeling ambitious and got switched to a faster corral. Cue more ominous music.

I slept pretty well, and was up on time in the morning. Hit a little bit of traffic getting to where I wanted to park, but nothing major. Found my training group's meeting place, got my bag put in the truck to get taken down to the tent set up in the finish area, and headed over with a girl from my training group that I know from our speed workouts. She was in the same corral as me (her goal was a 1:45 finish, mine was sub 1:50) so we walked over to the start, found our corral, and got situated closer to the start than I've ever been. Which was kind of scary, but super exciting at the same time. We started right at 8am, and off we went!

Cue that ominous music again.

The first four miles were fab...I was rocking 8:00/mile pace, which was faster than I'd planned on running but I was feeling good so it would be fine. Right?


At about mile 5, my legs ran out of gas...hardcore. So I slowed my pace, which helped for a little while, but eventually I had to suck it up and do the unthinkable (for me, at least). I slowed to a walk for a bit. Less than 1/10 of a mile, but still. I was hoping that this short walk break would miraculously restore all the juice to my legs, but was not to be. I spent the rest of the break taking a short walk break or two each mile, as the fatigue in my legs (specifically, my quads, got worse and worse). Even at a slower pace, it was like my legs forgot all the training I had done over the last four months. And it sucked.

My chip time, however, was not as bad as I thought it would be. 1:57:22. Which is not my best time (1:52:xx, fall 2010) and not my worst (2:07:xx, spring 2010), and certainly not sub 1:50...but that's okay.

I do have to say, the race itself was awesome. The start and finish areas were extremely well organized, the hydration stations were plentiful and very well staffed, and the crowd support was awesome. My favorite signs were from the staff of the local Lululemon store...the only one I remember off the top of my head was the one that said "Don't poop.....out" but they all gave me a much needed chuckle.

So, lessons I learned? The biggest one, of course, is DON'T GO OUT TOO FAST. A little ambition can be a good thing, but too much ambition is not and will come back to bite you in the ass. This was likely the biggest contributor to my undoing yesterday.

The other thing I learned is that apparently I was not as well hydrated as I thought I was. I stuck to my usual routine of stopping for water at every other water stop (which in this case worked out to every other mile) and taking my Shot Bloks around mile 7, but with the slightly warmer than I would have liked temps yesterday it (and the hydrating I did in the days leading up to the race) apparently wasn't enough. After the race, I didn't feel horrible but I felt very bleh. A couple of bottles of water helped, as did some Gatorade when I got home, but I noticed that even after taking a shower my face felt dry and tight like it does when I'm hung over...and therefore dehydrated. So if I felt like that AFTER bottles of water and Gatorade, I'm thinking that I was more dehydrated during the race than I realized.

Overall, yesterday was a huge reminder that your training can go great, you can think you're doing everything right, and it can still all fall apart come race day. But in the end, you survive, and you learn. And sometimes, you get a big.ass.medal out of the deal. I mean, LOOK at this thing! (and forgive the fact that the picture's upside down, please)

So, what's next? A lot of taking it easy and getting back to running for the hell of it and not because my training program says I'm supposed to run x miles on x day. More biking and swimming, and enjoying my summer :) I'm still planning on sticking to my "not training for a fall race" mantra, but admittedly after the way yesterday's race went I can feel my resolve waning juuuuuuuust a teeny bit. So we'll see what happens...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

La di da

Me=bored. Take one day off work for a funeral and apparently the next day goes to crap. I've seen four patients all day. FOUR. And will probably only see one more. Blech.

Want to know what else is crap?

This weather. April showers, fine. But WTF, nothing but rain so far in the month of May? Though I guess I should count my blessings that so far, the forecast for my race on Saturday is looking to be decent.

Yeah, that's race is SATURDAY. Holy crap.

And I'm ready...I think. At least, I'm as ready as I'll ever be. So bring it onnnnn!