Friday, October 20, 2017

Race Report: Sioux Falls Parks and Rec 5k

October 9th was the last week of the Sioux Falls Parks and Rec 5k series. But if you would've asked me, I was certain it went through October 16th. So much so that I wasn't even planning to go on October 9th, because I felt like my legs should spend more time recovering from the 10 mile. But then I skipped my long run the day before and thought, why not? It was only once I was at the race that I realized that this was the final week. Womp.

I met Toni there early for a little warm up. We had planned to do 2 but she was running a little late so we had time for 1.5. The crowd was teeny tiny because it was cold (aka perfect racing weather). I told Kyle before I left for the race that I was running for 24 minutes tonight. The course is almost always 3 miles, so I really thought I could run right at 8 minute pace in the cool temps.

The race started and Toni took off in the lead, I was trailing her and before I knew it, a guy flew by me. NBD, I'm quite content taking 2nd for females, thank you very much. I didn't look at my watch much to start because sometimes the quicker pace freaks me out and then I slow down too much. About a quarter of a mile in I passed the dude and just tried to stay as close to Toni as I could. About a half mile in I checked my watch and saw that I was running pretty comfortably sub 8, and I was shocked and thrilled and hopeful that I could keep it up for the rest of the race!

I started feeling like I was losing speed toward the end of mile one, but when I looked down at my watch, it told me I was speeding up instead. Ok, I'll take it.

Mile 1 7:52

I always ALWAYS slow down in mile 2 of a 5k. Like disastrously so. Typically 25 seconds slower than the first mile. So goal #1 was to not fade too much. I hit the turn around and realized that the course was going to be short for a 3 mile, so I stopped focusing on my overall time completely and only looked at my average pace. Now that I'm typing this, I wish I would've noted what my time was for the halfway point, because I'd like to know if I negative split.

**Edited to add: Hey guys, just remembered, there's this super cool thing called a GARMIN that I wear on my wrist for 99% of my runs that can actually TELL ME my time at the turn around if I look at the DATA it provides. Derp.

I hit the turnaround in 11:29.

My pace was all over the place after the turn around, because I basically came to a dead stop and then restart in the same direction. It did give me an idea of where the guys behind me were, but I also lost Toni during this portion. COME BACK AND CONTINUE PACING ME PLEASE!! I thought I must've been really fading, but after the race we talked, and her second mile was even speedier than her first! So we do have differences, good to know. I'd catch a flash of her pink/orange top every once in awhile, but really just kept focusing on getting mile 2 as close to 8 pace as possible.

Mile 2 8:02

A 10 second slow down is not bad at all for me. I was pretty pumped. Especially because at points of that mile I was at 8:36. Uff. I knew the final mile wasn't going to be a full mile, but I wanted to give it all I had. I tried to speed up to catch Toni, knowing that would help me finish strong, I tried countdown games in my head, I wished really hard that I had remembered my iPod because I could desperately use some extra motivation and distraction as I was developing that super fun iron/metal back of my throat taste that typically only comes out in really hard effort runs. When I was at my 90 second countdown, I saw Toni cross the finish line, and I tried to pick it up the best I could, but I definitely didn't have my sandbagger sprint for this finish. I had worked hard the rest of the race. For once. :|

Mile 3 7:11 (.91, 7:55 pace)

So I finished the 2.91 race in 23:04 for a pace of 7:57!

I have not run a race at sub 8 pace since a 3k I did in 2014, which was a 7:58 pace, so I ran 2k further at a faster overall pace! AND that was the last time my running times were semi-decent.  Additionally, I didn't run a sub 8 5k since 2011, including my 3 mile PR (short 5k course, grumble grumble) which was a 23:09, 7:43 pace. I just love being able to see progress and having a race where you're on 100% mentally and physically. WAHOO!!

So Toni and I took 1st and 2nd overall and then ran off into the sunset (literally) for our cool down run.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Things I Desperately Want But Don't Need

I love my Garmin watch. I've been a Garmin loyalist since 2009. I told myself if I ran a good 5k race in April 2009, I could splurge on a Garmin 405. I wore that watch for 98% of my runs. I even received a refurbished version at some point when my sweat killed the computer inside the the watch. Ooops.

The watch lasted until April 2014 when the watch broke for good and I got a new one. I love my watch but sometimes it does things that drives me nuts. And then I was looking on Instagram this past summer and I saw the most beautiful running watch my eyes have ever seen.

The Garmin Fenix 5S in rose gold. *drools* I had almost talked myself into buying me when I compared it to the cost of my MacBook and realized it was the same. Woof.

I've ruled out this beauty as my next running watch, but not for lack of attempting to justify it in my head. Kyle even thought I should get it. I know it's only a matter of time before my watch finally dies, so I am doing a lot of research and comparison in the mean time so I can make an informed decision when the time comes.  Until then, I'll be dreaming in rose gold.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ocean View Half Marathon Training Week 2

Week of October 9-15

Monday Planned: 6 miles, 3 @ 5k pace

Monday Actual: 6 miles, 3 @ 5k pace.  This was a somewhat impromptu 5k brought on by skipping my long run over the weekend. It was Jeri's perfect race weather. So cool that I had a jacket on in between the warm up and the race. That's COLD. Love.

Tuesday Planned: General Aerobic 7 Miles
Tuesday Actual: Rest day. I've still been feeling under the weather, so I took another rest day.

Wednesday Planned: General Aerobic + Speed 6 miles, 2 sets 6x100 strides
Wednesday Actual: Another rest day with yoga. I had gotten my hair and make up done and just didn't want to ruin it with a run. Oops. #dedication

Thursday Planned: Rest

Thursday Actual: I finally got out for a 5 mile recovery run through the crunchy leaves.

Friday Planned: Endurance 11 Miles
Friday Actual

Saturday Planned: Rest
Saturday ActualRest

Sunday Planned: Recovery 5 Miles
Sunday Actual
Endurance 11 Miles. I absolutely love running in these cool temps. Love love love.

Total Mileage Planned: 35 Miles
Total Mileage Actual: 22.14 miles. Not nearly as many as planned, but I had to take care of some issues in my body that were cranky.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Weekly Reads: Goodbye Days

Goodbye Days is the newest book by Jeff Zentner. It's a perfect bundle of the heartbreak of losing friends, the grief that you make your way through in a time of loss and so much more. I had to stop reading this on my lunch break at work because I was crying so much. So good.

My rating: 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

Monday, October 16, 2017

High Vibe Festival

A couple of weekends ago, myself and some fellow yogis loaded up and headed down south for a one-day yoga festival. Friday night we headed out for a delicious dinner and drinks with some other Sioux Falls yogis, and then we went to bed pretty early in anticipation for our big day!

Our hotel was right next to an awesome breakfast spot, so I convinced Julie to join me to fuel up for the day. Avo toast and a beet+orange juice was heavenly. Food coma good.

Then it was time to head to the festival. We started off the day with a huge class as a community in the middle of a field. My girl, MC Sweet, lead the class, and it was the most magical way to start the day. She had a singer/guitar player sing us through savasana, and it was Stevie Nick's Landslide, which was a song my mom used to sing all the time. The festival was two days after the anniversary of her passing, so I had all the tears. Savasana tears, so necessary.

Next up was a class led by our yogi friends from Sioux City. Jackie owns the most beautiful studio. It's exactly what I'd dream of having if I owned my own space. Gorgeous. Her and Jianna led us through a really challenging but fun flow as well.

We had a great lunch nearby, and I was ready for a nap. But it was time for more yoga! I took 5 total classes during the day for 7.5 hours of yoga. Woof. I was one sore girl, but how do you say no to classes taught by friends and teachers you only see once in awhile?! You don't.

It was such a lovely way to spend the day with my teacher friends. Can't wait for the next one!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Race Report: Twin Cities 10 Mile

We woke up bright and early Sunday morning, ready to take the shortcut from Minneapolis to St. Paul. I looked out the window to see the rain falling and the busses lined up to take us to the start! We got ready and left our hotel around 5:45am to make our way to the start. Bus selfie was necessary.

When we were dropped off, we weren't really sure where we were heading, so we just kept following random herds of people until volunteers with megaphones directed us where to go. We found our bag drop area, but decided we didn't want to drop our stuff quite yet. We found a little spot under an awning to block us from the rain, and in no time at all, it was time to start!

I had looked at the course profile, elevation map, and previous year's splits, to give myself an idea of what to expect on the course and an idea of where I should be with my paces. I ended up ignoring all of that and just running hard. I thought I could run comfortably hard for 5 miles, and then move to uncomfortably hard for the latter 5 miles. It was going to be warmer than I wanted, so running by effort vs. a specific pace goal made a lot more sense.

The gun sounded, the corral lurched forward, and within a couple of minutes we were on our way. I yelled to Toni to run hard and we were off! There were a ton of downhills in the first couple of miles. None that I remembered or expected. I had thought it was going to be flat. Hmm... I was really nervous about thundering down the downhills and having my quads lock up, so I took it really easy. So much for comfortably hard, I guess! There were some insane downpours in the first three miles, but honestly they were welcomed. It was mid to upper 50s at the start of the race, and it would've gotten hot FAST if it hadn't been for the cooling rain. We ran into a nice breeze which really made a difference! 

1. 9:20
2. 9:23

Mile three had a decent incline followed by a big ol' downhill. I took my only GU at mile 3 because I was feeling a little hungry. Finally I felt like things had leveled out, so I started to work hard. I really loved these few middle miles of the race, because I loved how easy a 9 minute pace felt on the flat portions! Shockingly enough, looking back at the data, mile 4 was actually uphill, it just felt flat compared to the monster up and downs of the first three miles. Ha.

3. 9:37
4. 9:00
5. 9:05

I noted my time at the halfway point (47:01, 9:25 pace), and realized I would REALLY need to speed up the second half to come in under 1:30. I also was already running way over distance-wise on my watch. Mile 6 is the big climb in the race, with another hill in mile 7. I remember these hills being NEVER ENDING when I did it in 2010. Seriously. I thought I was going to die. But this time around, they didn't feel terrible. Interesting. 

6. 9:21
7. 9:01

I was feeling really strong with a 5k to go, and tried to calculate my finishing time based on a sub 9 pace. I thought to myself, self, it'd be really cool if you could run the 5k pace of the bummer-of-a-race a couple of weeks ago at the END of a 10 mile race. Challenge accepted, self. Except I didn't really remember what that pace was... I thought it was 8:40, but it was actually 8:25 hah. Oops.

8. 8:43

Mile 8 I felt like I was taking over the race. Like my legs weren't my own and I was flyyyyyyyying. Until, my watch beeped 8 miles and I was no where near an 8 mile flag. This messed with me mentally more than I'd like to admit. I had been about .05-.07 over at each mile marker, and typically expect to be about .1 over on most 10 mile to half marathon races, especially bigger races like this one. But my watch was at 8.27 when the 8 mile plume finally showed up. UFF DA. I had calculated that I could dig deep for a 5k not 3.37 miles!!! PANIC!

Luckily at this time, I also saw my HS bestie Nikki, and her whole crew cheering loud for me. They gave me such a burst of energy and love that I flew by totally re-energized! And wouldn't you know it, that when I saw the mile 9 flag, it was roughly where it was supposed to be. I suspect that the 8 mile plume either got set up in the wrong spot, or blew away with the crazy winds and that's just where it ended up. I would've bet my life that there was a tiny incline in this mile, but I guess I would've been wrong, because my Garmin says, nope, pancake flat! I guess mile 8 had a nice little downhill so it felt uphill by comparison. That's quite rude.

9. 9:03

We made our way toward the finish line and the crowds of people were already lining the course the final mile. The 10 mile started at 7am and the marathon not until 8am, so we don't get nearly as many spectators, but I was shocked at how many were out there to cheer us in! The final mile has a steep little downhill halfway through the mile, and I normally take downhills easy, but we were so close that I thundered down it. 

As I was approaching it, I saw Nikki and her fam once again, her son Miles sprinting up to me to cheer me on. YES!! I tried to pick it up the best I could that final mile and when I saw the finishing time at 1:27 I thought, hmmm maybe that's right and my watch is wrong. Ha.  

10. 8:18

With about 3 strides to the finish line, I had a huge dry heave, I crossed the finish line and had quite a few more. Some guy came to check on me after I crossed and was leaning over, and I tried to wave him away to save his shoes. Luckily for me, but mostly him, that my stomach was pretty empty and once I focused on my breath I was able to let it pass.

.11 :45 (6:50 pace, 6:23 max pace)

I ran 10.11 miles in 1:31:42 for an average pace of 9:05. First 5 mile pace 9:25, second 5 mile pace 8:57!

It took forever for me to find Toni after the race, but eventually we were reunited. 

And Nikki and her clan stuck around for a bit too!

We hung out for so long that all of my sweat started to freeze, so we opted to skip the beer tent (*gasp*) that at this point had a monstrously long line to get in to, and headed back to our hotel to shower. When we arrived, there was a sign advertising race day specials, so luckily I was able to get my post-race beer anyway!

After some quick warm showers we headed back out in the rain to cheer in all the rest of our SFWR!!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What I'm Loving Right Now: Believe Training Journal

Last fall, I ordered a Believe Training journal prior to starting marathon training (which just didn't ever start). It arrived the week of the Sioux Falls half marathon, and I have absolutely loved journaling in it for the past year. I've always tracked my training online, but that's typically time, distance, pace, what shoes worn. The journal allows me space to include how the run felt and anything else of note.

I also love using it to track my recovery practices. I would never log my core work, or foam rolling, epsom baths, massages, etc. But instead of having a big ol' REST written on a day, I enjoy writing down my recovery practices. It also helps remind me that on days off I can still do a lot to make my running stronger.

Prior to this year's Sioux Falls half, I went through the journal from start to finish (well almost, I made it until June before Kyle got bored and wanted attention) reviewing my goals, both short term and long term, and seeing how much my running has progressed over the last year was really inspiring. I have some BIG goals for running, some may say crazy or impossible, but having a big long-term goal makes it easier to put in the small work day-to-day. I know I'm still a couple of training cycles away from PR shape, and that would be really defeating to deal with if I wasn't working toward longer term goals.

To see my progress from one year of working really hard has been a lot of fun, and I can't wait to look back a year from now to see that continued progress.

I bought a new journal last winter, because I found the Compete one on sale, I picked up a couple of the other ones for gifts for running friends, and I just dug mine out, as I knew mine would be running out because I've been using it for a year. When I flipped to the end of my journal, I discovered that the very last entry day is October 1, the day of the Twin Cities 10 Mile.

That couldn't have worked out any better.