I officially ran my fastest race ever! Official times from Thursday night’s 5K were posted over the weekend, and it turns out my time was 28:28 – an average 9:10 pace. Prior to that, the Firecracker 4 on July 4th was my fastest race (4 miles @ 37:20 / 9:20 pace). And before that, I hadn’t race-PR’d since the February 2016 Super Sunday 5K (3.1 miles @ 29:25 / 9:29 pace) – and that was some sort of anomaly given that I was running a LOT less back then, it was freezing cold, and the road was icy from recent snow. That was so long ago that when I finished the Harpoon 5-miler in May in 47:44 (9:33 pace), I thought that was my fastest race ever…but obviously it was not.
I have to credit my teammate Greg for getting me over the finish line so fast. I was pushing hard the entire time, but I never felt “bad” (except for that insane tightness in my calves) so I know I can sustain that pace for longer runs or dig even deeper in upcoming races. Continue reading
After the Boilermaker 15K, I didn’t have any upcoming races. Obviously I have the BAA Half Marathon on October 8. And I’m planning to run the inaugural Salem Road Race (a 10K). Last night I decided run a 5K along the Charles with a few DFMC teammates and next week there’s another small 5K around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, but otherwise no big races planned for a bit. So that means rest? Nope, it means training!
Last year, the first half of my 12-week half marathon training program went great, but then I had one bad run and a couple of insane weeks at work (I’m talking 80-hour weeks, with two 16-hour days) and then it got SO HOT and would not let up, and I didn’t train as well as I would have liked. I also had a pretty bad hamstring injury about 4 weeks before the race, and refused to acknowledge it until afterward. So I wasn’t at my best for the half (nor was I at my best for the marathon – thanks to my arch issues and bronchitis), but I really want to do better this year.
So I’m training.
This is a long overdue recap of the Boilermaker 15K – my first race of this distance and apparently one of only a few that exist. For those who aren’t good at math, a 15K is 9.3 miles. It’s less than a 5K short of a half marathon. You should really train for a race of this distance, but alas, my summer training has been virtually non-existent (until now, but more on that later).
For better or worse, it rained all day on Saturday, forcing us to stay indoors. I joined my dad for breakfast at the diner – coffee, French toast, bacon, and several glasses of water. When we got home, I got back into comfy, warm clothes and proceeded to chug water throughout the day. Had it not rained, we probably would’ve gone kayaking, which would’ve meant I wouldn’t be drinking as much water and might even get too much sun. So I guess it worked out. It feels like forever ago now, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t nap because I knew I wanted to go to bed early. Around noon, I made myself a burger on the grill and prepped the chicken for dinner. Basically, I put three chicken breasts into a Ziploc bag with Italian salad dressing and a full lemon’s worth of juice, and threw them in the fridge to marinate for the rest of the day. That was a good dinner – combined with my roasted potatoes and onions. I had one beer with lunch and one beer with dinner (this was vacation, after all), but otherwise stuck to LOTS of water and even a few glasses of lemonade. I knew the weather was calling for high temps the following morning, and a fellow DFMC runner warned me that there wouldn’t be much shade.
I ended up getting into bed around 9, but it took me a few hours to fall asleep, so I watched Netflix until I passed out. My alarm went off at FOUR IN THE MORNING, and only allowed myself to snooze for 15 extra minutes. I got up, washed my face, ate my standard English muffin with peanut butter and drank a cup of iced coffee, tried to go to the bathroom but could not (TMI, I know – but I never have trouble going before races). At 5am on the dot, we were out the door and on our way to Utica. Continue reading
My most recent race was the Firecracker 4 in Saratoga Springs on July 4. I ran this race last year with nearly a second-degree sunburn, and have never felt worse running in my whole life. This year, I was in the car heading up to the Adirondacks for much of the day before, so no chance of a sunburn!
My new shoes arrived last Monday – the same brand/model I’ve been wearing since October, but my third pair because of how many miles I put on the first two pair during marathon training. I was excited to swap out my ratty white ones that got me through the marathon but lost a shoelace tip (had to Google this in order to learn the actual name of this plastic tip is “aglet”) and just looked awful and grey and worn.
I set my alarm for Tuesday – my last day going into my client’s office downtown – for 5am and 5:30am, but couldn’t get out of bed either time. Instead, I got up at my normal time of 6am, walked Chip, and decided “what the heck?” and went running. I used my new Mueller Tuffner Pre-Tape Spray, which my PT described as basically skin-safe rubber cement. I actually taped myself the night before and wore a tall sock to bed, but when I got up, I had to kinda peel the sock off my skin. The spray was holding! Continue reading
About to cross the finish line, and about to smile!
It’s been 2 weeks since the B.A.A. 10K and a rainy morning in the Adirondacks is finally forcing me to sit down and write a race recap, with a Firecracker 4 race recap also forthcoming.
So, I haven’t been running much at all. I’ve been running once or twice between races (if at all), and I’m actually OK with that. Right now, running for me is about showing up to races I’ve committed to. I’ve been in a total rut (not just a running rut) because of stress at work and just generally being miserable. However, I accepted a new position and giving my two-week notice at my previous job gave me a huge sense of relief. I’ll miss the people and the work itself, but not the drama or the culture. My last day was Friday, June 30 and I am already starting to crave getting back into the swing of things, but I promised to give myself a total break while on vacation July 1-11 – no “real” workouts, no calorie-counting, all the beer and junk food I want, etc. But I can’t wait to start my new job on July 12 and get back into a healthy, happy routine.
So, back on Sunday, June 25 was my second B.A.A. 10K. It’s also the second race of the B.A.A. Distance Medley. I knew it would be hot, but fortunately it wasn’t humid like it was last year. I met my DFMC running buddy Jess and a few of her friends at the start. After two trips to the portapotties and retaping my arch for a second time that morning, we seeded ourselves in the 9:00-9:59 pace and waited for the gun to go off…and then waited some more. Anyone who has run any of the B.A.A. races knows that the elites are halfway done before you even cross the start line because there are just so. many. dang. runners. And I use the term “runners” lightly. Look, I’m all for health and fitness, but so many walkers and 13:00/mile runners seed themselves between 8:00 and 10:00/miles, and it forces me and many others to basically run-walk for the first half-mile or so. Continue reading