Sunday, March 28, 2010

OOPS! I did it again.

I PRed in the Colon Cancer 15k. I must say, I was very disappointed (as were many others) that NYRRs didn't have the giant colon you could walk through like they did last year. Apparently Central Park charged them too much to have it there because it was too big.
On to the race: I claimed I was going to run this with a number, not really race it. I warmed up 3 miles. Actually, I just ran to the start from home. And ya know, I don't feel like I raced it. No, I didn't hang back and just run it easy, but until the last maybe .1 of the race, I didn't run all out either.
Let me tell you, there was this guy, man, I really wanted to kick him in the pants. 4 times he stepped in front of me and slowed down. Once because I think he didn't want to be passed by a woman, the 2nd time at a water table, and the last 2, oh get this, WAS TO POSE FOR THE FRIGGIN PHOTOGRAPHERS. The 2nd time he did that I said dude, come on and I passed him. For good. Jack ass.
Anyway, I didn't even know what my PR was for the 15k until I got home and saw I PRed by 5 seconds.
The wrap up:
over all: 422/2407
AG 6/319 (what?!?!)
Women 71/1267

Friday, March 26, 2010

So these are my scheme and these are my plans.

I'm at that point in the marathon training cycle where I'm ready to be done. A hair over 3 weeks to go, I'm ready to be done! All the excitement is starting to brew. After Sunday's awesome race I came into this week with a ton of confidence, though not a ton of desire for what the week had in store.
Monday I took off except to go to PT to get stretched out. PT Pete says I'm looking really good and it turns out, he and his partner John have a bet about me and Hilary and Boston, though neither would disclose the details. Silly boys. Hilary and I dont even get competitive with each other.
Tues: 9 miles with 4x1200. I did these around the Res. in Central Park. It was windy. I was tired. I averaged about 7:20 pace for the repeats. I know I can run them faster, but coming off the race and all...that'll do.
Thurs: off
Today: Last 20 miler!
Before I go into details about that, let's back up to yesterday:
Yesterday was International Waffle Day. To celebrate, I went out with Liz, Mariela, and Sharon. While these girls claim to be my friends, they let me eat a nutella waffle sundae for dinner. It was gross. I ate the whole thing.
I had a totally awesome 20 miler today! Ishii and Sharon joined me for parts of it. While the forecast was calling for rain and even snow, we had none of it. Wind, however, we had. The temp. just below 50 and by the end, mostly blue skies.
I averaged 9:05 pace, running the last 6 miles under 9 minute pace. Man, I felt SO GOOD. All this on lower milage than last cycle.

So I've been toying with Boston goals. So hard to say up until now with my lower milage and the mental and physical aspects of coming back from an injury. All that said, I think I'm going to go for something in the high 3:30s. All signs point to me being able to do that, but as we all know, I still gonna run the thing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Come sail away

Why did I go to VA Beach to run a half marathon? Why that is a very good question. VA Beach is near nothing. Ok, it's not anywhere near me that's for sure. Well, one of my BQ Babes came up with this crazy idea of going down there and running it. Then the crazy idea turned into let's do it as a team. The time worked perfectly as a Boston tune up and these girls are a good time, so I was in. I talked Loren into it too.
To break up the trip, Loren and I headed to my mom's on Friday night. Flo met us there Sat. morning and we headed off to meet our team captain, Kat, down in VA.
A word about google map directions: ok, really, who reads completely through them before heading out on a trip? I never do. I will from now on! Believe me, if it says "ferry" any where on the directions, you're getting on a boat. With your car. We ended up on the Cape May Ferry. And boy were we lucky. We got there about 15 before the boat was leaving and they only run 4x a day. If we had missed that one, we would have been screwed. That little adventure started us off.
We got to the hotel and met Kat and got to the expo will little time to spare. Big shout out to Kaptain Kat for finding us a hotel 4 blocks from the start and about 6 blocks from the finish. It was perfect. We ran to the start and didn't need to check a bag!
The morning of the race, the alarm went off at 5:30. Got up, did all my PT, shoved food down my throat. Loren was not feeling well, she had been having stomach issues. I wasn't sure she was even going to start.
At 6:30, we collected the other girls and jogged over to the start. We were all in the first corral. The sun was barely up, it was just under 50 degrees, a perfect start.
At the gun, we were all off. At mile 1, I was concerned I had gone out a little fast but I felt good. That's a trap. You always feel good at mile 1. Unless you're Loren, then in this race, you feel like you're going to puke. She tucked in behind me and said she was going to hang with me. This was an odd feeling for me. When and if we ever race together, she's either pacing me so she's in front or she's just no where to be seen because she is a lot faster than I am. It was a little strange having her just hang on my shoulder and I couldn't help but worry about how she was feeling.
I didn't have to worry for long. By mile 4 she was ahead of me. By mile 5, I couldn't see her anymore.
Around mile 4, I caught Kat and I was feeling good. I noticed I had fallen in step with a guy about my age. He and I ran a few miles together silently. It's amazing these unspoken relationships you have out there running. We knew we were running together, but not a word was said and I was glad to have him. Then, as can happen in relationships, I left him.
Even though I was concerned I may have gone out too fast, I was feeling good and showing no signs of fading. I took a gel at 5.5 miles and decided if I still felt good at mile 7, I was going to pick up the pace and run the last 10k like a 10k.
And that's exactly what I did. I was passing people left and right and my pace was dropping.
The course is and out and backish course with a loop. It's known to have some strong winds. For most of the race, it was not a problem. As we made the turn, I could feel it sideways but it didn't impact my pace.
Let me just say, this is a beautiful flat course with tons of support. And beer at mile 3 and 9.5, which yes, I saw people taking both times.
Mile 9.5 I took my 2nd gel. I use to be a 1 gel gal for halfs, but I've found a 2nd one late in the race just tops off the tank enough to give me a nice push.
Here we were back on the out and back and I could feel the head wind. I was trying to tuck in behind people but I was a bit in no mans land. I would come up on someone and end up just passing them.
Just before mile 11, I was in a pack of 4 women and we were all working together. I dropped 2 of them. Me and 1 woman were really pushing each other, back and forth. I thought good, she's gonna get me to the end strong. The wind was slowing me ever so slightly but I was using her to get me going. Then and mile 12, she just stopped and stepped off the course. I had a second of looking back to see if she was ok and thought about calling to her to get her going, but ya know, no time for that now. I pushed on.
With about a half mile to go, we heading on to the boardwalk. From here, you can see this huge statue of Neptune and the finish line. It seems ENDLESS. There's something tough about seeing the finish line and it just not getting any closer.
Push push push....huge crowds. I hear the announcer call my name and I stop my watch.
I'm thrilled, beating my old PR of 1:42:02. Slowing chipping away, soon I WILL get under 1:40.
Flo and Loren were waiting for me just after the finish line. Flo finished in 1:35:02 and WON HER AGE GROUP. Loren finished in 1:38:25. Kat wasn't far behind me with a 1:44:01, a PR for her as well.
Once we all finished, it was off to the ocean for nature's ice bath. Man the water was cold but felt so good on the legs and we were all giddy as little kids.
As far as the team race, we won the women's open division. We were also 3rd team over all, out of 32 teams. The only teams in front of us were a men's masters team (1st over all) and a men's open team.
That's right, the women bring home the hardware. Except there was no awards ceremony of even results posted anywhere.
While we had great conditions for our race, the marathoners didn't fare so well. They started an hour after us and things heated up quickly with long stretches of the course having no shade. We hung out at the finish and watched pace group leaders come to the line alone. Sad sad sad. So sorry for everyone who was out there doing the marathon death march.
While our drive home was very long, we did manage to avoid any and all ferry rides.
Here are the splits/stats for the race:
.1 .44=6:53 pace

over all 379/6546
women 96/4030
AG 12/683

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Make these old bones shiver

Ok, some of you may have noticed my blog post titles are song lyrics. I come by them in different ways. Today, this song was playing when I got home from my run. I think only once before have I actually included the song in my post. This song gets special treatment because I LOVE THROWING MUSES and it reminds me of 2 old and dear friends, Tracy and Beau. So this is for you guys.

Now on to my week in running!!!! THis is the big week, the bulk week. The week that may kill me. Ok, that's a bit much. It is, or was, however, my highest milage week of the cycle. 48.2 Yes, I know, not breaking any milage records here. Not even close to the 60 mile week I peaked with getting ready for NJ. Not even the 55 miles that Pfitz calls for for this week. But like I've been doing all along this time around, I'm modifying. And I'm running really well so I'm not worried about it. I do think it is enough.

And this is how it went:
Tues: 6 easy with Ishii
Wed 12.2 7 @ half to 15k pace. This is tricky since I haven't raced full out these distances in a while. I PRed in the half in Sept. with a pace of 7:48. I was a bit hurt then too. 2 weeks later I pretty much hung it up for the fall. I thought that might be a bit aggressive right now. So my fast miles were:
8:01, 8:04,7:48, 8:07, 7:58, 7:50,7:57
I averaged 7:56 and felt really good doing it, so I think that's a good sign.
Oh yes, Ishii ran this with me too.
Thurs: no running, but I went to PT. I'm feeling a little ITB and just want to stay on top of it. Pete is going to work with me once a week to make sure I get to Boston as healthy as I can be.
Fri. I moved my 20 to Thurs even though it was a little close to that hard 12 mile work out. NYC was expecting an Ark needing like storm over the weekend. And we sure got it! I did not want to run 20 in that. Oh yea, Ishii ran 14 with me.
Sat: off. Could have gone swimming down my street. There's also a big early season local bike race every spring down the block from me that circles Grant's Tomb Loren and I usually go watch our cycling friends race since it's just down the street and it's a lot of fun. I thought for sure it would be cancelled due to the weather, but while going to walk Bea, I decided to check it out.
Nope. It was happening.
I stayed long enough to see my pal Mattio take a few laps but then Bea was shivering and had to get home.
Now, a lot of us have run long races in the pouring rain. Hell, I BQed and PRed in NJ in horrible rainy weather. But let me tell you, running in the rain is an absolute cake walk compared to racing a bike in it. So Mattio, you get the Brass Ovaries award for the week. Great job pulling for your team and way to get out again the next day and race AGAIN in Central Park.
Ok, back to ME.
Sun: I ran 10 with Loren. Even though I'm a bit creaky and tired, this was an awesome run. A bit of rain, some clouds, and a touch of haul ass. Averaged 8:41 pace and my HR averaged 164 which is awesome since I try and stay below 165 on my run of the mill runs.
Really really good week.
5 weeks to go!
And thanks for running so much with me this week Ishii. The favor will be returned and we will get you to Boston!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sandwiches time Sandwiches time Sandwiches on my mind

This morning, the sandwich run.
The plan: run 3 miles up town. Really, up. If I walk out my door, I go down hill about 3 blocks. Then up hill for about a mile an a half so that's a nice warm up. Then do Coogan's 5k. Also, not flat. There's a lot of ups and downs on this courses. And let's face it, I dont like 5ks. I just dont. Unless they're cross country races, those I love. Dont ask me why. Then I ran 3 miles home to cool down. The run home is nice since I get to go down those hills I ran up. Ishii and Loren ran up there with me, and Loren ran home with me. During the race, she was cheerleader extraordinaire.
Anyway, the 5k. I decided to use this as my speed/tempo work out this week. Pfitz called for 10 miles with 5x1000 at 5k pace. I did this instead. Now I know they're not the same work out and I would fun 1000s fasters, but oh well. I like doing this race, so that's what I did.
No real expectations. That seems to be a theme for me lately. I never know how to gauge 5ks since I dont run them often and when I do they're usually XC.
I finished in 23:04, then of course I was annoyed that I was so close to breaking 23 minutes. Over all, pretty good given that I did my MP run 2 days ago and this was part of a 9 mile run.
7:26 pace
1099 out of 5629
women: 174 out of 2612
age group 16 out of 382 (this really suprised me).

I'm going to end my entry today by bragging about my pal Megan Jenkins. Megan and I often trade off in races depending on the day, distance, position of the moon, whatever. She usually beats me however. This week, she was telling me of her frustration of working specifically on shorter distances and feeling like she's not getting any faster. I said, well, maybe you've hit a plateau and you'll push over it soon enough. At the start of the race today I asked her what she hoped to run. She wanted to PR (her PR 7:01 pace) but had doubts.
We started together but I only saw her for about the first mile. Then she took off, never to be seen by me again.
She finished in 21:10. 6:49 pace. 70% age grade.
Megan, I think you're over your plateau.
Way to seriously kick some ass out there today on a very tough course.

Friday, March 5, 2010

And the soles of your shoes are all worn down

Here's an update on my week:
Sunday I did my long run, 18 miles. I had company for most of it, buncha girls running a buncha different distances. That's sorta the nice thing about running in Central Park. People just sorta jump in and out at different points. So for my whole 18 miles, I think I ran 5 of it alone. And the conversations are certainly are never boring. We either have people running to get away from us or hanging on a little to close to see what we're talking about (perhaps sorry they did).
While I certainly wasn't breaking any speed records on this run, it made me tired. It also made me a little sore. Then it dawned on me, I might just be a little tired. Over the last few weeks, I've had a chest cold, a kidney stone, flew cross country, then got my period.
Yea. That might take a bit outa a person.
Monday easy recovery.
Tues. Off
Wed. run o the mill 12
Thus off
Fri the dreaded Pfitz 15 with 12 at marathon pace.
Now, anyone who's been reading here knows I'm coming off an injury. I have no friggin idea what marathon pace is right now. My last half was in Jan and I ran 8:40 pace without too much trouble. That was my longest run in months and really I just wanted to cover the distance. I ran that 10k in SF at about 7:42 pace and felt good. I gave myself a range of 8:20-8:40. Yea, casting a big net but all still under 3:50 which would qualify me again, which I'd like to do. That's as close to stating a goal I'm going to get right now.
I warmed up for 2 miles, met Ishii (who is becoming as common as my running shoes on my runs) and off we went. She did a lap of the park with me (which is 6 miles) then it was me and Dan Savage for the rest of the run (and running into RayK again...I'm sensing a pattern here).
I wont bore you with splits, but I averaged 8:28s for my MP miles. Fastest was 8:19 I think, slowest, up Harlem hill 8:41. Average for the whole run: 8:48.
I'm rather happy with that. And my heart rate was rather low, I averaged 162 (my max is 200 if you feel like doing math). So I wasn't even working that hard.
This is a nice little shot of confidence. In a couple of weeks, me, Loren Flo, and Kat are heading down to Virginia Beach to the run the Shamrock Half as a team (team BQ Babes!). That will give me a really good idea of what I can aim for in Boston.
This weekend, I'm running Coogan's 5k. I'm not really racing it, more like a tempo run. I'll run up there (it's a lovely 3 hilly miles from my house) do the race, run home. I really like this race. It's fun to race in NYC and NOT in CP. Washington Heights is a funky hood and tons of people come out to cheer. And it's a tough 5k, a distance I dont really like to begin with. I tend to like them more when they're hilly, I think it reminds me of cross country.

So people, we are just about 6 weeks out from Boston.
Excited yet?