Race Recap: DINO Series 5k, Mounds State Park

I mentioned months ago that I signed up for the entire DINO (Do INdiana Outdoors) 15K trail series. Due to the severe norovirus I got 3 weeks ago, I made the wise decision to drop down to the 5K. I am STILL not completely over this bug; major symptoms yes, but my digestive system is totally out of whack. So bad that I haven’t been able to run really at all. I can barely go grocery shopping with out needing to run to the bathroom so running was pretty much out of the question. But thankfully I am recovered enough now to run, but I was so glad I dropped down to the 5K.

DINO series, Mounds State Park
Recent snow melt and rain meant for an extremely muddy course for the day, but it’s trail running. That’s part of the package. My goals for this race were to complete it with out needing to stop for a bathroom break. Nothing more. I know that my body is kind of weak right now, my weight is probably down (but I don’t know because I threw away my scale, hurrah!) and my endurance is crap.

Report wise, I don’t really have much. It was muddy, and slow and full of stairs. I definitely need to work on strength/hills to really improve my trail run times. But overall it was a fun race, I finished in a not too embarrassing position (2nd in my age group FTW) and had fun spectating Scott in the 15K.

DINO series, Mounds State Park
Scott finished 4th in the 15K! And we both got age group awards annnnnd discounts to Runner’s Forum. Mostly I am just happy to be able to run again!
DINO series, Mounds State Park
Will update later with my time, but from my watch it looked to be around 32:xx. Meh.

Update: 32:02.6 final. Still Meh! But technically a new trail 5K PR. 

Race Recap: Indianapolis Women’s 5K

I signed up for this event maybe 3 weeks in advance after not finding any road 10Ks I wanted to try. I wanted to race SOMETHING this summer. So if it is 5Ks, so be it! I knew I could probably churn out a new PR from February and possibly break my 2011 standing PR of 26:01.

Scott and I headed downtown around 6:30. He ran, I drove and parked about half a mile away. When we met up again, we jogged to the start which provided a nice warm up. The half-marathon (a larger event) started 15 minutes before the 5K, so I had some time to kill and did some people watching. I’ve not ever done a women’s only race before and some of the aspects were nice; the camaraderie, the diversity of types of participants. But other aspects were frustrating; the prevalence of ‘feminine’ imagery, butterflies on the shirt and medal, the choice of pop songs played before hand. But of course, not everyone is into running for the same reasons that I am, and an environment like this is comfortable for them to run in. Scott wrote an excellent summary of some of the issues with this event here if you want to consider the subject further. Honestly, I was there to race, to challenge myself and if there was cheesy music playing – so be it.

I jogged around a little bit right before the 5K start, but I was feeling super nervous waiting for the countdown. We’d discussed a general race strategy before (mostly – don’t think you’re going too fast and hold back) but I was still nervous I’d go out too fast and blow up. The countdown started and we were off.

Mile 1: 7:47 – I started maybe two or so rows back, this race wasn’t huge (maybe about 500 participants) and I felt more middle-of-the-packer than other times. We looped around the downtown circle then immediately met up with the slower starters of the half-marathon, some of whom were already run/walking. I might have started out at 6:30 pace just to pass this crowd, but eventually settled to just under a 8:00 pace. Scott showed up in two spots here to give encouragement and snap some pictures. The first mile went by quick, and almost all of it ran with the half. When my Garmin chimed I was happy and a little surprised to see 7:47. The fastest timed mile I’ve ever done before was 8:00 flat. I still felt a little nervous about going to hard, but my breathing felt comfortable so I maintained the pressure.

Mile 2: 8:03 – The second mile started to wear on me. The crowd thinned to only a few people, I was passing less people and had settled behind a group of three, then four when I was passed. I kept this woman that passed me in sight and very close and glanced to see that my watch was reading above 8:00 pace. I wasn’t feeling too fatigued, so I made sure I kept it as close to 8:00 as I could and kept my breathing in check. I eventually re-passed the woman, but we stayed close until about the end.

Mile 3: 7:49 – There was a portion where we were running east, into direct rising sunlight and up a small hill. This really wore on me. But gratefully, the course turned south right after the hill and I followed Scott’s instructions to no longer look at my watch. I was getting close to the group of 3 in front of me, had left that other woman far behind and could see the finish way down the road. I pulled out as much as I could and really kicked it after the 3 mile marker.

Mile 0.1: 0:43 – I saw Scott again near the last mile marker and I threw everything out I had. I managed to pass two of the three women a head of me and came in at 24:22.

I felt seriously trashed after finishing. I let a man in Army fatigues put a butterfly medal around my neck and give me a rose (WTF) then met up with Scott and some PBT teammates. I learned that the leaders of the race were drawn off course towards the end by the course biker who didn’t fully know the course. They didn’t seem too upset by it…. I think their finishes were honored accordingly with prize money. So there is definitely some reward to NOT coming in first. Ha. Get those kinks smoothed out.

I ended up 17th overall, and 3rd in my age group. I am really happy! I met my goal of sub 25, I really felt like I raced smart and the t-shirt fits. I have no complaints. Well, ok I do have some complaints on the treatment of women in sports and women-only events.

We hung around to watch a PBT teammate come in 4th in the half-marathon. (Winner ran a 1:17:11, 4th was 1:19:59). And of course I got all excited and started the whole “I’m totally gonna sign up with PBT!” “I want to race half-marathons” blah blah blah that I do after every race. But still, watching those women finish with serious pain and tenacity on their face is SO MOTIVATING.

Note to self: they run more than 20-25 miles a week.

Today, something slow and easy to keep everything loose. And now a picture for your viewing pleasure…. I realized profile running pictures is where it’s at.

24:22, 7:51 pace. New 5K PR!

 

Pre-5K musings

Tomorrow I have a 5K. I kept kind of forgetting I signed up for it this week, but I’m aiming to have a new PR. I still feel like I am making tiny progress steps. I ran that 5K on a treadmill last week almost under 25:00, ran 6+ miles of hilly trails Saturday, 6 more hot miles on Tuesday and almost 7 Wednesday on new trails. I planned to run yesterday, and take today off prior to my race, but after I got home yesterday I was too tired to get up again.

Running two days of 6 miles back to back, I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Running 6 miles 3 times within a week? I’ve definitely never done that! But I still am not really happy with taking two days off in a row. My own fault. Finding motivation when you’re tired, and sore, and want a break from work…. I think that’s my next hurdle to overcome.

Scott recently started taking on individuals as private coaching clients and has been really excited writing out training plans geared towards their goals. Having something solid like that is really motivating, the way a having a race in the future puts extra pressure on you to not skip runs. I’ve considered working with Scott’s team (the same group we meet with on Tuesdays) but I am not sure I’m ready. How much of a base do I need before I can do strenuous workouts and multiple long runs a week?! I feel intimidated. Obviously.

But, I want to keep moving towards this goal. The overall goal of being a runner (a term I still don’t feel totally comfortable labeling myself with) and the specific goal of a fall half-marathon.

Oh – and we also might be doing a beer mile (or root beer mile for Scott) soon. So that’ll definitely be a new PR for the books.
 

Uggggh. EDITED

I don’t feel very motivated right now. Do I even like running? I feel like I don’t have any goals. I don’t feel like I’m making any progress (obviously I am not really trying) and I cannot pinpoint what I want to get out of this.

Running on Tuesday I ran 5 miles at 9:20 pace or something terrible like that. I’m really mad at my body and that it isn’t doing anything. It only seems to be really good at being stagnant.

I just wrote my ‘about me’ on this blog and I couldn’t come up with anything interesting about my running or my interests. And I just ate peanut butter and it is stressing me out. I quit.

EDIT

I just went to the gym and ran a 25:05 5k.

Foot. In mouth. I guess that’s why I like running.

Race Recap: Sweetheart 5K

First race of the year on the books – I would say a success! I signed up for the Sweetheart 5K back in January as it was a few weeks out and gave me a bit to build back up, and also the t-shirts didn’t look too hideous. It was in Overland Park, about 45 minutes away – so my parents and I left shortly after 7 to get there and do packet pick up. I had a cup of coffee, a piece of toast with half a banana and some water before we left. It wasn’t too cold, 28 °F, and there was no wind so I’d say it was pretty much as good as it could get for February.

The only goals I had in mind were; 1 – don’t go out too fast and crash before it was done and 2 – run this in less than 28 minutes. Having a race strategy is a completely new thing for me since usually all I care about is completing the distance, but I learned really fast in my half-marathon that I went out way too fast for the first 4 miles, just about collapsed running huge hills in miles 8-10 and then shuffled to the finish with no remaining dignity. So, I wanted to keep about a 9:00 pace for the first mile, then see how I was feeling and go from there.

Mile 1 – 8:50

The start of a race is always full of excitement so I probably ran the first .2 of the mile at like, an 8:00 pace before I told myself to calm down and let people distribute themselves. I found myself near a group of 4 moving at about that pace so I kept up with them and only glanced at my Garmin a few times. There were some hills that slowed me down a little bit, but really nothing much.

Mile 2 – 8:44

After I passed the first mile marker and felt fine going at a sub 9:00 pace, I continued with a comfortably challenging pace. A few more hills in this section, but again – nothing that steep.

Mile 3 – 8:21

This mile started off with a slight downhill, and I was still feeling totally fine at this pace so I tried to push it a little more. At 0.5 miles to go I really tried to lay out anything I had left. I have this mental mantra to ’empty the tank’. I read this line (I want to say it was in Once a Runner) that a runner aims to run out of gas at precisely the right moment; not too soon, but also not have anything left when crossing the finish. So if I am feeling that there is plenty left in the tank, I better start burning.

Mile .1 – :50

Kick to the finish. I kept in mind to ‘make it hurt’ (thanks Scott) and passed some dude in the chute. Don’t quit ’til its over man!

My official time was 26:45, so well under my goal of 28:00! This tells me that I can run faster than I think and I need to start kicking my ass in workouts. Next goal will be under 26:00, which I think will be a good challenge.

Afterwards I went to Mudpie bakery in Kansas City with my parents, and we enjoyed some scones, muffins and one very large oatmeal cookie. Suffice to say I’ve had my sugar fill for the week. This race also came with a nice long-sleeve shirt and a medal (for a 5k?!). I came in 15th in my age group out of 104.

Overall I feel pretty satisfied, but also am really looking forward to pushing myself more and getting a new PR. I also am interested in the 10K distance so I need to do some planning for the future. I would love to get a sub-60 minute 10K one day.

Personal Logs

I’ve kept a diary, journal, or blog of some sort for the majority of my life. And every single one of those has never reached the end of notebook or been a blog that hasn’t ended up deleted. I think my fascination with cataloging my thoughts started from books I read as a child. I remember becoming obsessed with the Amelia’s Notebooks and Harriet the Spy when I was in elementary school and carrying around my own composition notebook to make observations of neighbors and paste magazine pictures into. Then I was introduced to Anne Frank in middle school, Sylvia Plath in high school and saw the caliber of writing that was possible for a girl my age.

I remember keeping a journal of sorts in a word document for a while in high school, then having a live journal (which I sometime regret deleting – I would love to revisit my super angsty writings I posted under the user name the_upbeat, as both a reference to my attempt at being a drummer and to be ironic about the content, perhaps the_downbeat was already taken). I kept many physical journals through college which most sadly contain either the chronicles my daily food intake, weight and subsequent self-hatred, or garbage about boys I was dating. Again, all of these end abruptly when I no longer felt that journal was exactly what I wanted it to be. I started a wordpress a few years ago in graduate school that I tried to keep about running and nutrition, but I never was particularly dedicated to training so that fizzled out as well. And now there’s this, which could very possibly suffer the same fate.

This topic came into my head as this weekend I retrieved the last of my things from my ex’s place, the box of journals being one of them. I don’t have any desire to open them and read them – I shudder at the atrocious writing and content I’ll be sure to find, but I find it hard to get rid of them. So I carry this box around from apartment to apartment, shoving it in a back corner of a closet to remind me that I lived and have felt the need to write about it since I was about 8 or 9 years old. I wonder why that is? That so many humans are compelled to put down on paper (or html) these thoughts that fire around in our brain? I am sure much of it has to do with self-preservation, but also as a way to fully articulate and expel those thoughts. Reading well written personal blogs, any kind of daily log, or published journals has always been a great interest of mine. I love to hear about the mundane going ons of ones life and have regularly fallen down the rabbit hole of reading a significant portion of a blog in a few hours.

So as far as my daily happenings of late – my 5K is approaching in 2 weeks and I should probably set a goal. I have run a 28:49 5K on the treadmill lately, and my ‘standing PR’ from 2011 is 26:01. I think I could definitely shoot for 28:00 on this course. It looks to be a completely flat and rectangular course around a parking lot (thrilling, I know) and I definitely can put a bit of competitive pressure on myself during a race. I’ve put it out there now. Can’t make a fool of myself! I haven’t done any running since Thursday when a sinus infection struck me face first. I am planning to get some miles in today, hopefully outdoors and not on the treadmill, but with the recent snow I might chicken out. I need to just find something to cover my nose, I hate that tingly-about-to-sneeze feeling one gets from cold air.

Another thing I’d like to do (Duran you’ve inspired me) is include current music that gets me through the days. There is something about music that can easily transport you to a certain time in your life. I can’t listen to Rilo Kiley’s Under the Blacklight without thinking of junior year of college, or Florence and the Machine’s Lungs without imagining setting up reactions in my fume hood in grad school. And with that…..

On Repeat:
Anything Death Cab for Cutie
Beyoncé – Drunk in Love
Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros – Home