Sunday, November 28, 2010

Busy run race week

I had some lofty goals coming into this week, running wise. Considering that I have taken most of the past year off running due to injury, it was moderately lofty. I do, however, have a zero tolerance policy now for aches and pains that don't seem to just go away on their own. So, other than a couple bridge repeats, the run training has been just running, no real structure. Just trying to build back a base that I managed to lose throughout the past year. Feeling healthy enough to toe the starting line now makes me very happy. Knowing that I haven't done any real speed training, well, so what. I usually consider these races my speed work. So, did the Women's Magazine 5K on Sunday, Turkey Trot 10K on Thursday and the Autumn Fest 5K on Saturday evening. Sounded like a lot and ended up being quite fun. I did better than I expected last in last Sunday's 5K but was most proud that I competed well. I did have quite a bit of soreness afterwards so was real careful about running leading up to Turkey Trot. My left (good) hammy soreness lingered the most but it wasn't a factor come Thursday morning. It was quite warm the morning of the 10K, probably the warmest I've done on that day. I like warm! I did suffer a bit and felt the lack of specific training and tempo runs but still finished top 10 for the women and won Masters. Total shock and not expected because I didn't run all that fast (41:50). I ran much faster the last time (2 yrs ago) I won Masters but then again, it was quite warm. All the times were a little slower, I thought. Going into Autumn Fest on Saturday night, I expected to feel horrible. I wasn't sore after the 10K which is surprising so that was a huge positive. Saturday morning, we swam for an hour then biked for nearly two hours which was a bit tiring. Sitting on the couch for most of the day was the key! The weather was perfect for a race, nice and cool but not cold like last year (spectated, sucked). Only goal going into this last race of the week was to finish! The finish line reward was beer, a great reason to do this race! Free mug/beer for the first 50 males/females! It was dark too with a start at 6PM which was weird. I had a great run, had the Dane just ahead of me the entire way which really helped me keep pushing. Couldn't catch him though, he paced it well! I came through in 19:17 and second place female. Take my mug and get some beer, good beer too. Great day. Haven't gone that fast in several years and proof that racing frequently can replace speed work! The best part is that nothing hurts. My hammy has survived this week of racing and I really don't even think about it any longer. We have the Key West Tri next weekend which is really just a fun race and I can't wait. Then two weeks until the next race, will be nice! Many pics and memories to come out of Key West, I'm sure!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Women's Running Mag 5K race report

Decided to give this race a go earlier in the week as a "warm up" for Turkey Trot. We actually worked the Mad Dog Triathlon Club water stop for this race last year and it was a hoot! I was injured then and on a long journey to healthy running that would be a lot longer than I thought! I was inspired none the less. This year, we have had Turkey Trot 10K on the calendar for a while, it's an annual ritual here (unless injured or out of town) but wanted to blow out the pipes ahead of time, if possible. The Women's Running Half Marathon was a bit much for me but the 5K was just the ticket. Decided mid-week to jump in and take the pain that only an open 5K race can give! And, most of all, I feel healthy enough to just let it all hang and run as hard as I can. Granted, there hasn't been any specific training for this, just running. No interval training, a little bridge work and some longer, slower runs but no track work to speak of. I did do a few 800's this week just for a little turnover work but felt it was too soon to do this even. Got down to St Pete early this morning (after Mad Dog party yesterday where I likely consumed too many beers) and it was a beautiful morning. There were a reported 7000 women (mostly) in the half marathon and 1,200 in the 5K, so, a lot of people roaming around. I had no time goals as this was my first 5k in nearly two years. I wanted to give it to myself and just go hard. Spotted a couple ringers and knew my race was for scraps and training. The Dane was out scouting and being support crew and was awesome on his job! We stood around in the corral forever it seemed so we were all faced with starting a 5K from a resting heart rate......not fun! Got out hard and it sorted out a bit before the first mile with Jackie W killing the field and the rest of us racing for second. I felt like a runner again though, not just a triathlete! The rest of the way until less than a mile to go was myself and two other athletes. I pushed really hard and made a move with less than a mile to go and got a gap on the other two ladies and it HURT! I haven't done this for nearly two years and the pain and suffering is immense! It's easy to talk about what you think you can do but to get into the competitive situation and HAVE to go, another subject! I'm happy that I haven't lost my competitive edge. The finish is a long, straight stretch that can be seen for about 200 meters. I was in a death match and was leading (for second) and didn't want to lose. I had a bit of kick at the end and held on for second when I could have easily been fourth! I'm much happier being second! The time was secondary to the effort as far as I'm concerned although I'm not ashamed with a 20:22 with no real training! I am most happy that I'm back, healthy and can give my all in these sort of races. I want to thank Val from Outspokin who is my awesome sponsor!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

IM 70.3 World Championships spectator report

Another beautiful day in paradise!

This cat can run!!

Well......after party with Movember

Last year's winner and great gal, Julie D

(The Dane is in full Movember swing....
I wish we had this race here for the rest of my life! It is so much fun to have the eyes of the triathlon world on Clearwater Beach. We've been blessed with this race here at home for the past five years and the weather has never been an issue. Ok, they moved the swim to the intracoastal last year but it could have been done in the Gulf. The race moves on to a new venue and time of year in '11 and I, for one, am no longer interested. Yeah, I am not a factor in the overall race or AG for that matter (though, I have been top 10), so my opinion is a sampling of one and likely nobody really cares. But, thankfully for us, a new race will blossom here next year on this same sacred weekend, 5i50! Yippee! In '11 the race plan is short and fast anyway so 5i50 will be great way to top off the racing year. (I am not misspelling, this, the "i" is included in the marketing material I've seen). So, if you want to go 70.3 World Championships in the summer, in the desert, miles from any real water, good for you. It's not for me. I know the folks from Ironman have needed to change some things with the 70.3 World Championship race so I understand it all but I don't think that the scenery can get much better than Clearwater Beach. I am speaking from a spectator's standpoint. We, as locals, even booked a room in the hotel by the finish line just to be near the action. We are likely to do the same for the 5i50 next year.
So, onto race weekend. Our great friend, Linda, was defending her title in her AG this year. We did some of her key long run sessions with her and she nailed them just like last year. She didn't have the day she wanted and ended up second this year but I thought she showed a great deal of grit to stick in there when she knew she wasn't going well on the day. We aren't pro's and nobody but us cares if we finish, do well, or quit on the day so sticking in there and making the best of the day is tough. We were a bit sad not to be racing but we didn't qualify and that's life. I was so happy to cheer on folks I know (and some I don't) and not be injured! I missed this race last year due to torn hammy and really felt down about it. I feel good now and am motivated to move on with getting fit for next season. There really is no off-season here, we are just starting running season so I plan to run myself into shape a bit! Turkey Trot, Autumn Fest 5k, Key West Tri, Say No To Drugs 10K is plan for the next 5 weeks. Whew! Tired just typing all of that. We will miss "our" 70.3 race here next year but will start a new tradition in "our" beautiful part of the globe. Come join us!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

No half marathon

Last week was really good training with most run mileage since August of '09 so we felt the half marathon was definitely going to be good. That is, until my right calf decided to be so incredibly sore that I couldn't run all this week. My cut-off for a Sunday race is being able to run by Friday prior and I couldn't, leg still too sore. Not really sure where it came from but the Dane was being very sweet and "massaged" my calves on Tuesday and woke up with super sore leg on Wednesday. Who knows. Sometimes you can go to bed healthy and wake up injured (thanks, Linda). So, no racing this weekend but we did get out for an 8 mile run Sunday morning in the unusually cool weather which was nice. Plan is to get some good runs in this week and be healthy for Turkey Trot 10K then Autumn Fest 5K the Saturday after. Built in speed work! I'm loving being healthy! Was tempted to sign up for IM Florida 2011 today but then I wised up and decided it wouldn't be the smartest decision. Plan for 2011 racing is short, fast and build speed. Long in 2012 is more likely. Staying healthy is the key to it all!