Sunday, May 20, 2012

Race for your Memories. And lots of LUCY!

"Nobody can tell you how to set a personal best. But here’s how NOT to: run with the idea of setting one. You cannot order up a personal best as if it were a turkey on rye. It's not a conscious act. A personal best is a kind of gift bestowed upon you. You’re not sure where it came from or how. It's very hard to achieve a personal best after you've run for a while and brought your times down. It takes training and hard work. But remarkably, those who achieve personal bests all say the same thing: how easy it felt. They weren't straining, they weren't pushing; it just seemed to come to them. If you run with the idea that you're just going to enjoy yourself, that you're going to relax and have a good time, that whatever happens, happens - well, those are the days when personal bests occur." 
--Kevin Nelson

That day was not today!!

First off: huge congratulations to Katie @ who ran her first full marathon today, and Helen from my 501 group who ran her first half marathon!  

I did the best I could at the race today.  I felt like I was actually doing pretty well, just based on my exertion level, and my shadow :P.  It was much hillier than I remember from previous years (even though it was exactly the same!), and it was Hot.  I didn't look at my Garmin at all, and thank goodness I didn't, because the only thing keeping me going at the end was the thought that I could possibly go sub 8:00 min/mile average and PR.  I was actually surprised to see the time on the clock when I finished.  MUCH slower than I predicted, and slower than I felt like I was running.  Just barely squeaked in faster than last year's time.  To refresh your memory: 

In 2010 I ran it in 34:52 (11:14/mi, 11th AG, also the only race that Irina ever beat me in :P  ), 2011 was 26:27 (8:31/mi, 1st AG), so I'm hoping for anything better than last year for tomorrow.

Today was 26:13 (8:27/mi, 1st AG). 

On the one hand, last year was cold and rainy so for me, much better running conditions than today's hot and sunny.  On the other hand, this is two races in row where I've been slower than I'd expected.  Maybe it's time to accept the fact that I've lost some speed?  But those two races were BOTH hot and hilly, so I'm not accepting my slowness until I have a flat and cool 5K to compare to.  That, unfortunately, may not happen again until fall though.  Pace/elevation chart below.

Here's the bad thing about having my Garmin back.  I can review my splits.  And they were UGLY. 

Mile 1- 7:56.87
Mile 2- 8:26
Mile 3- 8:54.17
Mile 0.13 - 0:56.24 

Unfortunately, this race doesn't give AG awards.  I got 1st in my age group this year and last year.  One of these upcoming years at this race I'm going to make it into the top 3 overall females.  They tend to be in the mid to high 7:00s per mile at this race, so it's totally achievable. 

Strangely, I'm still happy with my performance at this race.  I had to fight several urges to stop and walk, so that was a win.  When I got out of my car when we got to the race, my hip was really hurting (forcing a slight limp for a couple minutes).  When I started my warm-up jog hobble I was like "oh shit" when I realized how bad it was.  Thankfully, it loosened up a bit toward the end of my warmup, and the pain was back to "normal" (ignorable discomfort).  And it was hot.  And I ran 12 miles yesterday.  So my expectations weren't very high going into this, obviously.  It was just during the race that I thought I was going faster and was unpleasantly surprised by the clock when I came in to the finish line.  The point of all this racing is not to PR, but to make myself run faster more frequently, so that eventually I will be faster overall and will have lots of PRs to show for it.  So as a tempo run, in the heat, mission accomplished :).  

After the race, instead of our normal brunch, Irina and I went to her house so I could meet her new doggie, Lucy!!  She is so freakin' cute.  

This week at work is another week of orientation classes, so yay for that! I worked Tuesday night shift (5/15 into 5/16) and don't go back for a shift on the unit until 5/30!!  (all training stuff and holiday between).   That means I'll get to sit at a desk all day and get home by 5pm so I'll be able to go to my group runs again this week.
This is a completely unrelated picture from dinner w/ Irina Friday evening.  I like croutons.  She doesn't. 


  1. " so I'm hoping for anything better than last year for tomorrow. "

    You did just that! :)

    Nice work and don't worry too much about doing worse than expected. Today was horribly hot, it comes down to the effort being put in and not your time on days like today.

  2. It was so so hot today!! I wish they gave you a giant trophy for being first! :(

  3. First in AG; take it! I've only had it once since I started running! By the way, I thought you were trying for under 2 hour for the half? Looks like you have a PR under that?

  4. Thanks for the shout out! ;) Congrats on getting first in your age group--too bad they didn't have prizes, though!


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