Monday, April 30, 2007
Woke up early for the Hermes 10 miler race and drove downtown Cleveland. As I drove downtown the temperature fluctuated between 48-50 with periodic rain spells. After picking up my packet I took off my coat and hoped I could stay warm enough. About 35 minutes before the race I headed out for a 20 minute warm up and took in some of the nice scenery of Cleveland such as Jacobs Field and the Q. On my warm-up I managed to work up a decent sweat but I noticed that the wind was a little strong and my arms and hands were sort of cold. Oh well, too late now! I was getting cold quick and right before the race started, the rain drops started to fall. Great timing!
Anyway, with the bell we were off. I fell in behind some of the women who I knew I was not going to try to keep up with and headed in a loop around the town. I felt OK this mile, just getting warmed up, Mile One 6:38. "Hmmm, this may be a little fast for a 10 mile pace, should slow down." Mile two included a long bridge out towards the West Side Market with a slight uphil grade 7:18. Things sort of were progressing along keeping close to a 7 min mile pace for miles 3 & 4. Mile 5 we were coming back into Cleveland and I looked down at my watch to see that instead of my split button I had hit stop and I was bothered by this. I tried to convince myself that I was not going to let it bother me I was just going to not worry about the watch the rest of the race and I did.
We headed out past Cleveland Browns stadium down to Marginal Rd. I was getting passed by runners so I figured I was slowing a bit. Every woman that passed me troubled me a bit but I just let them go as it seemed like there was still a lot of road ahead. My hands and arms kept going numb and I would smack them against my legs to try to keep feeling in them. As I approached the turnaround, it was good to see all the other racers going back. The two leading females were on each others feet and went on to win 9 seconds apart with a 6:28 and 6:29 pace for the 10 miler. WOW!!! As I hit the turnaround the wind really made its presence known and I could feel myself tiring as I tried to save some energy for the hill coming into town. Finally the hill came and I shortened my stride and made my way up. As I climbed, I could tell my heart rate was spiking and my breathing was labored, but after that I knew it would be pretty flat...thank goodness.
I did my best to pick it up the last mile and managed to pass a few people and had some left for a strong finish. I ran across the line, grabbed my medal and then walked for awhile trying to catch my breathe. I finished in 1:13:45 for a 7:23 pace. I was not thrilled with my performance as I was hoping to stay closer to a 7:00 pace, but I was not going to beat myself up over it as it was still a decent improvement over last year when I ran a 1:17 at a 7:44 pace. So I did a short cooldown run to my car and grabbed a change of clothes and warmed up at the House of Blues watching a decent cover band, with a couple of beers, conversation with friends and grabbing my second place age group award.
Hinckley Buzzard Duathlon
Sunday, after packing up a bunch more stuff than I usually have to bring to my running races, I drove out to hilly Hinckley. It was a beautiful morning and it brought out so many participants that even though I was there early, I had to park at the overflow lot. I grabbed my stuff and threw it over my back and hopped on my bike to pedal to the transition site. Luckily I was able to find a spot open on a rack end so I had plenty of room. Bonus!! There were several CTC and Team ER people so it was nice to catch up with them over the course of the morning. I decided to do a short warm-up with a few laps around the parking lot. My legs were not feeling fresh at all, but that was not a surprise.
We lined up for the race start and within minutes we were off straight up the first decent-sized hill. What a tough start!! Another Team ER lady(who took 1st--good for her!!) was taking the lead and I was content to let her go. I was happy to see AW close to me and we exchanged a few comments as we made our way up and down the hills. Dang, I felt tired. I came around to the transition in around 20 minutes and quickly I was off on my bike...second time outside this year!
Oh and there was that darn hill again and my legs were tired. However somewhere shortly into the bike portion started enjoying myself. I was just having so much fun being back outside on the bike. "Wow, I have missed riding outside and this is such a beautiful morning that I think I could just ride all day." Crap, there goes a chick from Second Sole racing, now I am in third. I figured I bettter quit enjoying myself so much, so I tried to pick it up. It was a 5 loop course and it was crazy the different speeds I was seeing ranging from 12 to 36 all due to the hills!! The cheering section was fantastic and I could tell their encouragement was helping. I came into the bike transition in around 49 minutes. With the mounting of the bikes and a smile to our camera man I was off running up the hill.
Wow, now my legs are really tired. Mental note, time to start practicing bricks after the marathon. I also must have drank too much water mounted in my aerobars on the bike as I can hear it swishing around. I am missing my headphones a bit but I must get used to this for the multisport races. One guy passed me about a mile in and about 1.5 in, I passed a guy who looked like his legs were cramping. I was happy to pass the lap counters as I made my way back past the last two of the climbs and was just in finish mode. A guy running by shouted encouragement and "swing those arms" and I did and it helped. I suppose my form had gotten a little rigid at this point. As I descended down hill there was no one close enough that I could catch and with a look back, no one who would catch me, so I took it easy into the finish with a modest push at the end. I crossed the line feeling pretty good surprisingly in around 23ish for the last 3 and transition.
Even though I thought I could have worked a little harder on the bike and could have done better with rested legs, I was pleased with taking 3rd place overall female with a time of 1:33:13. I was even more excited when I looked up my time from last year to see the improvement over my time of 1:42:16. Holy cow, over 9 minutes!! Sweet!
After the race I caught up my some fellow Team ER members and CTC people who had some impressive performances. One thing I talked about was that my schedule has been a little too busy and I was planning to cut back on my races a bit. 4 races the last 2 weekends has been a bit much and it makes it hard to get in some of my long running training and bike rides that I really enjoy. The next thing I know I heard my number called as they were giving out prizes. I trotted up there and looked at the RD (as I had not been paying much attention as I was talking). "What did I win," I asked. He responded with a season pass to their events. AWESOME, a great prize I can use!!! Now I may just have to reshuffle my schedule a bit to fit in some more NCN races...while I attempt to cut back a bit as I said 10 minutes earlier!!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Race One Saturday AM-5K
I met up with my ladies MT & BH and headed over together to the Old Oak 5K Race which was part of our road races series, out on the other side of town. We arrived with plenty of time and it was warming up fast! Woohoo, I was excited about running in shorts and a tank top. I went for about a mile and a half warm up with MT and we discussed race strategies.
With the bell we were off. There were two girls in front of me, one of which I knew I would probably never catch as she always beats me. She passed the other female leader about 0.75 in and I tried to hang. Mile 1 was 6:15 and I already felt like I was fading. We entered into the fairgrounds for a few turns and I kept alternating between times I felt strong and times I was pretty exhausted. I hit mile 2 and glanced down at my watch which had not picked up the split for some reason. Bummer, this bugs me! I keep the leader female in sight as we head back the last 2 roads. The only little uphill comes about 0.5 before the end and although it was not big, I was certainly feeling it. I was pretty tired as I tried to pick up the pace at the end. I have no idea how close anyone is behind me and I managed to pick it up enough to pick off two guys.
As I crossed the finish line with a time of 20:28 (not by much, but a new PR ~6:35 pace) I tried to catch my breath. The coughing started and I was excited to see MT come in right behind me. She has been right there every race and claimed 3rd overall female. I picked up my cool little 1st place age group coffee mug and headed over to Panera with MT and BH to meet ESpeed and TriSaraTops. It was a gorgeous day to sit outside and 5 dedicated chicks who love running definitely makes for some good animated conversation. :-)
The rest of the day consisted of running around on the motorcycles to visit my snowbird grandparents that just came back, order carpet, hit the bank, eat, go to the store...I crashed after having a few beers pretty early that night!
Sunday I awoke for Race Two!
I headed downtown bright and early for my first 10K race of the season. MT and I again regrouped for a scenic warm up run over from the west bank of the Flats over to the East Side to check out all the construction. Maybe the flats will make a resurgence some time again! I could already tell my legs were definitely not feeling very fresh this morning, but without any real goal I was just going to see what I could do.
With the bell I was off. The 5 K and the 10K started together and it was tough to know who was racing what. There was 2 girls in front of me at mile 1 which I crossed at 6:28. Hmmm, well perhaps I want to slow down a bit to make sure I can finish strong. At the 1.5 mile mark, one of the leading female turned back at the 5K turnaround. Sweet, now I am in second. The other female that I had never met before really started turning on the heat and pulling away just totally kicked butt that race comng in 6th overall before a lot of the fast guys.
I was just kind of running a comfortable race and passed mile 2 at 7:09...not so bad. Just before mile the end of mile 3, there was a mean uphill. It was long a few people around me started walking. It was grueling but I shortened my stride and kept a pretty even turnover and hit the turnaround for the downhill. Mile 3, 7:33. I was feeling pretty relaxed at this point and was passed by another female, but I was not worried because I was saving some for the end. Mile 4 7:18. As I plugged along I started wondering where the heck mile 5 was. Also being an out and back course, I was wondering how it was possible that it appears I am coming around to the end of the course already. I was all sorts of confused as I tried to pick it up a bit at the end which had sprung up on me.
I finished in 39:25, 3rd overall female, 1st in my age group. I was definitely perplexed by this time and the non-existant 5th mile marker and with some conversation I learned a big barge had come through and although the RD had called to make sure the bridges were not supposed to go up, they did. So the course was rerouted in the middle of the race and it was short. I give the RD a lot of credit b/c I know they were working hard to try to do what they could here, although it really impacted the 5K race. After some fun conversation and awards, I rushed home to fly out to Chicago for some more running....to be continued!
Friday, April 20, 2007
You see we thought it was this great idea to buy a home, originally built in 1810. And while it may have character, it seems everything just takes longer than it should to fix. I guess at one time the house was a duplex, so we have been slowly trying to open it up. The house had two sets of steps heading downstairs and upstairs, and there were two bedrooms on each side of the upstairs; but you could not walk across to the other side as it was blocked off with a wall. So we closed off one set of steps, framed in some closets, peeled layers and layers of wallpaper off, had to texture one room because the plaster and lathe was crumbling with the wallpaper removal, and all sorts of other fun stuff. Last night we finished the last of the painting on one half of that upstairs. I was rejoicing just before midnight that we were pretty much done with all that crappy work. Now we are just ordering carpet and getting to hang some shelves and decorate---the fun part!!! I will be so excited to see the finished product and finally have a nice bedroom and guest room!
The other half of the upstairs, which will include a bathroom installation will wait until next fall! Thank goodness my husband is pretty handy at this sort of stuff because I just help where I can. I have become a pretty good painter living in this house!This weekend is more racing!! A 5 K Saturday followed with breakfast with the TriSara & ESpeed and then a 10K on Sunday, both races are part of my Hermes Road Race Series. It is set to be a gorgeous weekend (which I am sooo excited about!) and then then best part is after Sunday's race I will rush home to grab a shower and my bag and head to the airport to fly out to Chicago!!!
I have a conference in Chicago Monday but am heading out Sunday afternoon and staying on until Tuesday night to spend some extra time with my cousin, Arlene. We always have too much fun together so I am just stoked. We plan on a nice combination of some running and some cocktails!!!
Look out Chicago as we are just getting geared up for that October Marathon we are signed up for!!!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
OK so I have been searching endlessly for my favorite running coat for a month now. I have tore apart everything this week I realized that it might have took my CTC jersey with it too.
...Maybe I changed after some race or run and forgot my stinky bag.
...Maybe it is hiding in my closet or house.
...Maybe it decided it was so stinky that it was time to disappear.
....Maybe I just have too many clothes. But as soon as I get rid of something I suddenly decide that I need it. I turned a whole bedroom into a closet at my house and come next winter, it will be a bathroom... so it is definitely time to downsize. I think I may need to have a clothing purging party.
My husband complained today that while he was ironing he stepped on something wet on the floor (I knew b/c I stepped on them this morning too...ewww!). I laughed as I said it was just yesterday's running clothes and that I got some more wet ones in my bag to dump out when I get home.
I just need to get a better system someday with my wet, stinky, training clothes! Yet...wet stinky clothes = good, hard workouts!!!!!
Monday, April 16, 2007
Thursday , I emailed Mel to see if she would be up for a Saturday run and then Thursday night at the running club ladies Boston send off party (GO BOSTON PEOPLE!), I talked to Liz about the possiblility of squeezing in a 20 miler Saturday. Well, Liz's family was in town so her only option was super early Saturday morning. I am all for company so I decided I could handle that and told her I would be willing to start as early as she needed. So then Friday, Mel emailed, and I could not believe she too agreed to meet at that early hour for a 20 mile run.
So the three of us planned to meet at 5:20 AM Saturday morning to run a hilly 20 miler. I think my husband thought I had lost my mind when I told that I was meeting at that hour on the weekend for a run. He proceeded to go on that the craziest thing was that I even had two other crazy people meeting me at that hour. Aghhh, these are the runs that you remember and are a little special, in my opinion though!
So hopped out of bed rather easily that morning just after 4 and headed off to Bedford. Actually Mel and I were a little late as I was a bit off on where we were starting, but after some phone calls we found the right place. Thank goodness for cell phones!!!
Liz had a headlamp and I had a little flashlight that lit the way as we took off on a metropark trail. The course started off with a nice long climb. We started out in Bedford and ran out towards the S. Chagrin reservation and then headed back the same way. The funny thing is that when it is dark, you can feel yourself working harder, but you definitely don't realize how rolling a course is until it is light out....and there were a lot more rollers on the way back that I had not noticed on the way out!
The morning was really a perfect one for a run and Liz and I were both stripping our coat off before we got too far along. Before long, the sun had risen and we were done with our run.
This was 20 miler number three in my FIRST training and I am happy to say they are continuing to go well. I attribute so much of this to my company. This run was not one of the faster 20 milers (and my watch kept messing up which may have been a good thing!!!) but it was easily the hilliest. I also will admit that I kind of enjoyed starting the long run earlier as not only was it gorgeous, but I also had a nice long Saturday morning which consisted of other activities besides running.
The duathlon scheduled for Sunday was postponed for two weeks given the weather. I saw the notice on the race website, got an email, saw a post from the NCN Race Director on the Clev Tri Club site and then even got a call from the Race Director who was personally calling everyone. Talk about going above and beyond!!!
Honestly I was thrilled at the news. It snowed over night Saturday and was sleeting, windy, and very cold on Sunday. I would have froze my butt off and there was no way I wanted any part of riding a bike outside in those conditions! So everything worked out perfectly! Now we just need the weather to turn around!!!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
Until I saw the weather forecast for that week...so much for a "spring" classic. Snow, wind advisory, just lovely! I am fine with sucking it up for the winter but it is April and now I am in full complain mode as this weather is just WRONG!
I awoke that morning to lots of snow and a sketchy drive over to the race. I met up with two others half way to ride the rest of the way together. I was so mad five minutes down the road from the meeting place as I realized I left my running glasses in my car. "Oh well, I don't really need them," I mistakenly thought.
We arrived a little later than planned as the drive took awhile and we did not want to be one of the many cars that were in the ditch /median/ etc. that littered the roads that morning.
We parked about a half mile away and I was cold fast. My fingers were painfully numb by the time I went to the bathroom and and grabbed my race packet. I jogged back up to the car and started my short warm up with Elizabeth who had been jogging around since I had arrived.
We lined up at the start together and took off with the whistle. The first mile we joked around a bit and came across mile one at 7:00. Whoops, probably a little fast! My goal in my own little head had been to break 1:36 (7:19 pace). I knew it was ambitious, but I always had my B goal of 1:45 to fall back on. I figure the whole rule of doubling the half and adding 10 minutes would make my B goal the 3:40 marathon I am looking for.
Hit mile 2 with a split of 7:10. I am still ahead of the pace!
Mile 3, 7:45. Crap, there goes all the time I thought I had in the bank. I look to Liz and comment that I hope it was a long mile because the effort felt the same.
Mile 4, 7:24---better
Mile 5, 7:24 ---staying consistent
Mile 6, 7:51---somewhere between 5 and 6, I turned on my Ipod. I had started to feel like I was struggling with the pace, my feet were soaking wet, cold & numb and feeling heavier by the step. I knew I really could not talk anymore and I hoped this would give me the boost I needed to continue. I knew already that I had started too fast. I fell into my own little world of suffering a bit.
We looped around a field on an icy path by the finish and I got a momentary surge of energy with race announcer, Mickey shouting my name and some encouragement!
And then it was back out on the road for another loop.
Ughhh, not feeling this at all. And then it started. My eyes were fogging up as if I had glasses on and my vision was blurring.
What is this? Is this some terrible time of fatigue that I should worry about? Are my eyeballs freezing because I am really cold? Do I blink less than the average person and should I try blkinking more? WHY? What is this???
I guess at this point I will back up. When I was a kid I had 3 surgeries on my eyes for extropia, basically lazy eye as most people know it. I had one in 3rd grade, 5 grade, and one in 7th grade. Normally one surgery corrects it, but I was not so lucky. Basically they go in and cut the muscles along the side of your eyes and re-attach them. You can still see the scarring on the sides of my eyes. After the surgery, my eyes bled for a day, then I could see another day later and then for about a month or so after each morning I would go though the process of releasing my eyes lashes as the eye gunk over night would hold them shut in the morning. Too much info? All that is to say I have crazy sensitive eyes now. They pour water when it is bright and I don't have good glasses on. I remember leaving several functions early as I child because my eyes were a teary mess in some smoke filled reception. At any rate, although it was unpleasant, I am so thankful my parents spent the money to take care of this so I do not have trouble with this anymore.
So with this in mind, I think between the cold and the wind, my sensitive eyes are just responding in their own way.
So everything is foggy and my feet are so cold. I am so much colder today than normal because my feet usually are dry and today they are soaking wet. I am seriously hurting and the worst is I cannot see. Where is the next stupid mile marker???
I look down and see my watch over 10. I must have missed it. Now I am happy that at least I must be past 7, but it is bad mentally as I wanted to see the marker which is always a boost and also to see my pace.
Keep putting one foot in front of the next. Where is mile 8? I missed it too. I am so frustrated. I can't see well and I am missing mile markers. I am too stubburn to consciously slow down.
Finally at mile 9, I see the marker. 23:15 for the last 3. I already know A goal is out the window and I don't even care. I am feeling miserable. Why can't I just see normal???
Mile 10, 7:41. We are on the way back now, just a 5K. That annoying wind keeps randomly hitting me!!! My legs hurt a bit, are they freezing? I kept thinking, "Some "SPRING" classic this is!!! It was 80 Tuesday, come on, this is ridiculous! I HATE OHIO!"
Mile 11, 8:04. I feel like crap. Cold, can't see...I want to stop. Why am I doing this? I refuse to let myself stop, it is just a pride thing.
Mile 12, 7:51..."please just one more mile"
I am so friggin happy to come into the final icy loop around the field. I am hoping I can see good enough to watch my footing and had one short slip which scared me for a split second.
Mile 13, 8:04
.1 Mile, 0:49 --mananged a small kick, nothing impressive. I started breathing heavier and heavier. I managed to say my age as they were giving awards out there but I needed to walk. As I stopped for a second my breaths became deeper. I can't stop for award now, I needed to walk. The nice volunteer found it as quickly as he could and I try to recompose myself. I saw my dad's friend and forced some conversation while walking and all systems came back shortly.
My breathing that spiked after my kick (and stop which I just can't do at the end, sometimes I really need to keep walking) returned to normal and within a minute my vision came back.
I finished in 1:40:21. 4th overall female, 1st in my age group. I had suffered a lot.
I was excited to see that my running ladies, Elizabeth and Melissa took 5 and 6th! Sweet! Between the 3 of us, we claimed the 1st place age group awards for 20-35!!!
#1 Don't start out too fast.
#2 Cold and windy requires glasses.
#3 Even when I feel very miserable, I can keep going for a long time.
Met the B goal with plenty of room to spare which puts me in great shape for my marathon goal. I PR'd the half marathon by over 7 minutes! So feeling OK on the day.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
The 5K this weekend was called Jog into Spring, and the night before the race I sat making up my Itunes playlist for the race. I burned a copy of it out for my car and one for my cousin who will be running Chicago marathon. I called it Sprint into Spring as it was packed with fast, up-tempo tunes which were sure to get your feet moving!
Saturday, I left bright and early to head out for the race after a restless nights sleep. I think I have started to overthink races these days and get excited yet very nervous the night before and then I have trouble sleeping. This makes sense to me as it is really the only time I have ANY trouble sleeping!
I arrived early to pick up my stuff. It was a cloudy cool morning that should be great for a race. After seeing some familiar faces, my ladies, Mel & B and I headed off for a 10 minute warmup before the start. With the gun, I was off to run my own race. Sometimes I think I get caught up in trying to pace with others and I had decided the night before I was not going to get caught up in that. We headed out down the road, hung a right by the the track which had a slight incline and I could already feel my chest and lungs tightening up as I went up. I kept moving my feet to the beat and kept making turns and approached Mile One-6:22. Another turn, another incline and I felt like I was working hard. To my surprise, I was thinking that I had not seen any females in front of me so I kept thinking that I was going to have to keep pushing to stay in front. Mile two 6:38. "Gosh, I am really sucking air it seems. Is it cold, am I sick, or is it just think pace that is hurting me?" A guy passes me, but unfortunately he does not seem to be going any faster than me. I was bothered as he seemed to always run where I wanted to run. Every corner he would cut in where I wanted to go and for some reason it felt like it was messing up my rhythm. I could not get around him so I just fell in behind him because I did not want to burn out before the end. I did not get the Mile 3 time as I had enough of the guy in front and decided it was time to sprint it in. Final time 20:29 (6:35 pace). Another PR!! The best thing about it was this course had 4 small inclines and lots of turns, so it was not even one of the courses that I would call fast....not that it was really hilly or slow, but just not super fast.
I was not sure if I was correct but I was thinking, "Holy cow, was I actually the first female?" The awards confirmed it and I took home my FIRST first place overall female plaque ever. Woohoo, that doesn't happen everyday so I will enjoy it! I finished 1/127 females and 25/287 overall.
On to Sunday...another long run with the running pals. 18 miles came and went. I thought we were in for a really rainy morning but it ended up being a pretty nice morning for running. It was actually fairly warm and at some points the rain even felt refreshing as I had worked up a decent sweat. We were pretty consistently hitting the mile markers at 8:30 - 8:45 pace and I felt good the whole way. Between being in better shape and the tremendous company I have had this year, I have come to really enjoy and look forward to my long runs in a way that I did not know was possible before.
Saturday night, my sweetie of a cousin was in town from Chicago and we had a family get together. My cousin has recently started running on a regular basis and is looking forward to her first marathon in October-Chicago. Guess what cousin can't wait to go out there and run Chicago too??? Needless to say, the icing on the cake of a good running weekend, is getting to talk running to an excited running family member!!!