Tag Archives: training

Blend Practice 5K

preblendThis is how the Blend Practice 5K went for yours truly.  I ran my race on Sunday morning, while the weather was on the rise.  I started out with a long sleeved wicking shirt over a running tank, but ditched the long sleeves not even a mile into the run.  But I’m getting way ahead of myself, here. Let’s rewind a little bit.

I was more nervous for this race than any sort of “official” race I’d run to date. After much hemming and hawing, I decided this had something to do with self-imposed pressure.  My mind was down with playing games all weekend long, especially on Sunday morning as I was preparing for my 3.1 miles. 

I had made a fairly short and sweet playlist for the Blend 5K.  I chose songs that I knew would keep me moving even if I didn’t want to be moving. 

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I tend to hold on to lyrics and use them to fuel me through the rough patches. Young the Giant’s “My Body” was a must on this playlist. I restarted it at least four times during my run.

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I ran a simple out and back course in a neighborhood I was familiar with, having run in it a time or two before. It’s flat, like woah, and near the water, which is often a welcomed running scene.  I walked for about a quarter mile to warm up before starting my playlist and setting off along my route.

I started out WAY too fast here.  I was running sub 9 for the first half mile before I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors. I tried to tell myself that I could run smart from this point forward, but I was having a hard time finding the pace I needed and wanted to run at consistently. 

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Not too long after my first mile, a car and I played chicken trying to get one another to go first, as it was backing out of it’s driveway, and I was waiting to cross.  I stopped jogging in place, eventually, and paused my watch.  It couldn’t have been more than a few seconds, but the uber-quick rest was a taste of something I wanted more of – and eventually I was stopping after every few minutes of running to walk for a bit before starting the cycle again. 

Not a big deal, I know.  I started to get really in my head about the whole thing and was being down on myself about a less than stellar performance when I realized I had the opportunity to turn this poor “race” into a strong speed training run. 

I continued running 3.1 miles, but I stopped my feet, and my watch, to stretch, adjust, and recover after pushing myself for several minutes of hard running.  After changing my mindset and declaring it a speed workout, I kept up with that sub 9 pace, bringing me in under my goal of 30 minutes.  It just wasn’t a true 5K PR because it was 30 minutes of speedy running with recovery seconds in between.

The kicker of course, is that speed workouts like my Blend 5K experience are the exact training methods that are going to help prepare me to run a SMART sub 30 5K this July.  I think that means I won this practice race. But- no!, seriously; all of you who ran it with us won this race, too.  That’s the best thing about this community: once we hit the top, there’s no stopping us…

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Well, onto 15K Training: Let’s discuss!

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I ran a great four mile, slow and steady, run about town on Monday.  I left me feeling really confident about being able to finish my race next weekend.  My current goal for the race is to PR.  My current 15K time is 1:51:37.  I will be ecstatic with any time, of course, but I’d preparing mentally for sub 1:50. [When I started training for this 15K, I was thinking about training for 1:36. That seems RIDICULOUS right now.]

I’ve been toying with the idea of running sans Garmin the past few weeks.  As I told her in the comments, when I saw that Meghann posted about a Garmin-free run last week, I knew I must fit one in my schedule soon.  I’m looking forward to running without being slave to the pace-space on my wrist.  I am anticipating a mind-game free run this week!

I’m also making sure to take one full rest day this weekend before my last pre-race long run on Sunday morning.  I made sure to write “Yoga for at least 20 minutes!” in my day planner for Thursday.  It’s one of my goals for this week to do one of the “Yoga for Runners” podcasts I recently downloaded from ITunes [for FREE!!] to add a little something new to my weekly workouts.

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And oh my word – I have already preplanned and drafted my training plan for post 15K.  I’ve made some decisions I’m very excited about and will most likely be sharing soon.  Don’t want to over kill on the running talk in one night. Hmmmm. Never thought I’d be the kind of girl to say that.

Run with Me

Here’s your reminder and one last plea to get you to run “with me” this weekend:

The short story:  You run a 5K for time this weekend.  3.1 miles, any route you’d like, any time you’d like.  

You don’t have to be a blogger to participate, but if you have a blog, we encourage you to blog about it.  [and by we, I mean me, Kelly, and Laura.]  We’ll be hosting a #Blend5K results and blog post round up over at HLB* next week. 

You don’t have to be on Twitter to participate either, but if you are on twitter, we encourage you to tweet using the #Blend5K hashtag.  I’m loving seeing talk of the event popping up in my streams.  I hope you join the conversation!

The long story: My versionLaura’s version. Kelly’s Version. [I’d love to hear your version, too!]

While we’re at it, let’s talk some more about running, eh?

The 15K I’m running with my favorite running buddies, Jen and Alicia, is only 16 sleeps away!!! I can’t believe how quickly this event seems to be approaching.  Currently, I’m feeling a-whole-lot of excitement and not so much nervousness about the looming 9.3 miles I have ahead of me in two weeks. 

Up until yesterday, I was feeling a lot more nervousness than excitement, however.  The reasoning is all in my 15K History.  In 2010 I registered to run the Stockadeathon 15K.  Then, a month or so before the race, I tripped over a stick [yes a stick. not a log. not a branch. just a stick.]  and sprained my ankle something fierce.  I couldn’t run for several weeks and watched my dream of a 15K in 2010 pass me by.

When 2011 came around, Jen convinced me to run the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY in July.  I was more serious about my training for Boilermaker than I’ve ever been about a race prior.  Somewhere along the way I stopped considering myself “someone who runs” and finally became comfortable describing myself as a RUNNER. We traveled to Utica and on one hot, sunny day, I ran my first 15K.  And I loved it. And I hated it.  And I hated it. And I loved it.

During one of the "I LOVE THIS RACE" moments.

When it was all over, I didn’t want to ever run Boilermaker seriously again.  I went through a jungle cruise** of emotions during that race.  I was so happy when I was starting the race, proving to myself that I was up for the challenge. I was having the time of my life running through the golf course trails with Jen by my side.  Eventually the bliss turned to doubt.  The doubt frustrated me. [WHY am I suddenly wondering if I can do this?]  The frustration confused me. [WHAT am I doing to myself with these mind games?] The confusion made me angry. [GET IT TOGETHER.]  Eventually the last mile happened.  And eventually I crossed the finish line, under my goal time, which left me feeling frustrated and excited and angry and, therefore, confused all over again. 

Jen giving me a pep talk after I told her I hated this race. "Give it a few days. You'll love it eventually."

After Boilermaker I ran one more race in 2011. [The 5K Liz, Emily and I all PRed like rockblogstars, thank you very much.]  I think perhaps  I needed a mental and emotional break from it all.  I barely ran all winter and didn’t start seriously training until March, when I ran a race*** with and agreed to definitely run the Cohoes Founders Day 15K with Jen and Alicia. 

Ever since I said yes to the May 20th race, I’ve felt a bit of stress hanging over my head in the form of old fears, doubts, and memories from 15K’s past.  I don’t want to experience another Boilermaker.  I don’t want to end up thinking I hate running**** at the end of the day.  I don’t want to show up at the start line feeling under prepared next to my two half-marathon conquering friends. 

Two things happened yesterday to put my mind at a bit of ease. 

1) I ran 7 miles on pace after an exhausting day of work.  It wasn’t always easy, but it wasn’t ever as difficult as I expected 7 miles to feel.  At the end of the run I felt tired, like I just had a kick butt workout!  But while I was stretching afterwards, I felt like I could have added another 2.3 miles to my run without too many problems. If I can run 7 miles after working all day, I can run 9.3 miles on race day morning, after a night of smart preparations and relaxation.

2) I’m currently reading Zen and the Art of Running*****, a book that Julie shared with me recently.  Although I’m only a few chapters in, something tells me that this is a book I am going to want to buy a case of to share with all my running friends.  It’s changing the way I think about certain running situations.******  Yesterday during my reading, I came across this Buddha quotation: “Do not dwell in the past and do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

I really focused my mind on the miles I was running  last night, rather than think about how I was preparing for a future race I was concerned about, or fretting over past races I’ve not felt good about.  I dedicated my mind to the present run I was running and I found myself truly enjoying what I was doing so much more than previous training runs.   

The fact that I ran seven miles and felt strong afterwards plus the plan to concentrate on the present moment gives me a boost of excitement for race day.  This morning I awoke with a refreshing “less stressed about the coming race” change in myself.  I feel ready. I feel tough. I feel good about it all.

 *if you want to learn more about HLB, please read this!
**jungle cruise > roller coaster.
***which I still haven’t written a recap of. Note to self: add “recap race” to my to do list!
****A temper tantrum I have after all of the “worst runs of my life.”
*****Affiliate Link: If you purchase the book through this link [and pay the same price as you would normally on Amazon] you support this blog!
******And it’s changing the way I think about certain spirituality, life, relationships, and work situations, too!

About Yesterday

Woke up at 9:12, after getting somewhere around eight and one half hours of slumber, and looked up at the ceiling.

Reheated two pieces of French Toast, topped with a teaspoon or so of all natural chunky peanut butter and a dab of maple syrup.  Enjoyed with two large glasses of water and a side of Jimmy Fallon’s interview on Pierce Morgan.

Got dressed. Hair in bun. Baseball cap snug.  Add the Garmin.  Fill the water bottle. Fill the IPod. Fill the Spibelt. Tweet. Facebook. Text Julie the level of insanity I am facing.

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Head out the door. Walk to J. Watt’s Barista House.  Hang out at an outdoor table for a minute. Pump self up. Belt on. Shoes tied.

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Ready. Set. Go.

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See cheerleaders practicing near the river. Weird.

Run. Run. Run some more.
1 mile. 2 miles. 3 miles. 4.
5 miles.
6 miles.
Feeling strong until about 6.5.
Then I feel like death.
Push through until 7 or so, and have an emergency texting conversation with Jen.
Move forward.  Hit about 8. Run out of water.  Call my friends who live near by.  No dice.
Head to campus.

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Gorgeous day and gorgeous scenery pushing me through.
After my Garmin says 9.75 I change from podcasts of awesome to music of power.
Loop around at the park.
Start running towards home. 
Pass my dear friend Jason, who cheers me on for the last tenth of a mile or so, which causes me to pick up the pace from 11:00 minute mile to 9:13.
Feel epic.
Try to take ten finger pose photo. Realize I don’t have a camera with a self timer any longer. Only my blackberry. Improvise. Blogger win.   

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I conquered 10.74 miles.
I imagine my high school self starting a chant of “Doub-le Dig-its. XX-XXX” 
I guess this means I will survive the Boilermaker 15K on July 10th.
[Generously sponsored by BranAppetit.]