Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. Zeke's Kindergarten concert was last night. Talk about cute! 

Very proud to wear Dada's tie.

Top row - center

He was standing right next to a little girl in another class who is the daughter of someone I knew when I was little. Her mother, Lauren, was the youngest in her family and her oldest sister was in my younger brothers class. (Did you follow that?) I remember holding Lauren as a baby and now we have kids in the same class. So weird!

2. I started doing P90X2. Yesterday was my first day and it is tough! It is ridiculous how weak my core is, but exciting that I'll be getting stronger every day and I know it will make me a better runner.

Stability balls make good pillows.

I was worried that it would negatively affect my running at first as my body adapts to a strenuous strengthening program, but so far so good...see #3.

3. All week I have had in my head that today's run was six miles. One mile warm up, four miles at 8:10, and one mile cool I headed to the bike path and that's what I did. After looking at my training plan afterward, today was a cut back week and I was only supposed to do four easy miles. Oh well. 

The highlighted day, Carrie. The highlighted day.

Thankfully some of the wind we had yesterday had died down, but certainly not all of it! It was at my back for the warm up and first two tempo miles. I was still a bit slow for those at 8:19 and 8:13 and  was honestly concerned that when I turned around and hit the wind head on, I'd slow down even more. But I had to stay positive or I'd be setting myself up to fail. 

The wind-blown look is nice, no?
Sure enough I turned around to start the third tempo mile and got smacked hard in the face by wind. It was so hard to breathe as the wind seemed to suck the breath right out of my lungs. I just put my head down, pushed forward and planned on reassessing to see if it was worth doing the fourth tempo mile when I got to the end of the third. I was seriously surprised to see an 8:04 on my watch. I was certain I had slowed way down, I thought my lack of breath was completely due to the wind. I walked for approximately ten seconds, told myself to suck it up and finish the workout. I may have said a few swear words. But it worked and I clocked an 8:01 for my fourth and final tempo mile. I have never looked forward to that cool down mile more. Total of six miles in 52:12, overall pace of 8:42. Now I'm just resting and refueling before I tackle day two of P90X2!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Shamrock Sprint 5k {Race Recap}

I ran in the 5th Annual Shamrock Sprint 5K as part of the Blarney Days celebration here in Bath on Saturday. I want to participate in and support my local races and there is something just fun about racing on the streets where you train. This is certainly an advantage when you know how far you have to go and how many hills are left.

I was pretty sure this wasn't going to be a PR attempt given that my current 5K record was set last summer on a flat course. Bath is hilly and I am really still getting back into my rebuilding phase (remember I took 2.5 weeks off just a month ago?) so my only hope going into this race was to have fun. 

It was raining prior to the race, but it had pretty much let up by the start. The temperature was in the high-30s like at the Mid-Winter Classic in February, but it seemed colder because my hands were absolutely freezing. Yup, this genius didn't wear gloves. Otherwise I was pretty comfortable wearing my Irish colors. 

Staying warm and dry in the car before the start.

I had originally purchased shamrock socks to wear, but when I tried them on, I could not get them over my calves. Well I did, but the squeezed my legs all weird. So tight! Apparently they are only for people with stick legs. So I cut off the feet and used them as arm sleeves. They were perfect! Festive and kept me warm!

I also wore my purple visor in memory of Jaime, another young mother who was hit by a car and killed while running in Virginia last week. 

The start was uphill (big surprise) and I knew I was running too fast knowing what was to come, but I felt good and clocked the first mile at 7:33. I let up a bit to ensure I had enough energy to finish. There wasn't a lot of passing going on with a small field of 131 runners, but I did pass a couple of guys and a girl passed me somewhere in mile two. I remember thinking she might be in my age group. Being a small race the age groups are divided by 10-year increments.

I had looked at past results and my PR would have got me second female in last year's race. I had that in the back of my mind, but like I said this was more of a fun run and I didn't think I was in shape to have a super speedy race. Still, her passing me got to me. 

I started making some grounds and really made up time on the long downhill to the finish that I screamed down at just over a 6-minute-mile pace according to my Garmin. 

I waited around for the award ceremony to see if I was one of the top two finishers in my age group. No dice. I still enjoyed the yummy blondies Mae's Cafe had provided for the finishers. 

Blue jacket, orange sleeves waiting for the awards. (Photo courtesy Maine Running Photos-David Colby Young)

Later on while I was at work I saw that the results were posted. That girl was in my age group. And I missed placing by 4 measly seconds. Ahhh! 

But I am overjoyed in the outcome. 

3rd out of 21 in my age group (30-39)
6th out of 79 females
22nd out of 131 overall

And my time? Only 50 seconds slower than my PR on a far more difficult course.  I'm very happy about this and I'm really looking forward to next year and go for the AG win!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I ran a half marathon.

Hi there! I've really got to start scheduling my blogging time, because I seem to be having a tough time getting on here at the moment. Here's a little look at what's currently going on. 

Even though we are currently having a snowstorm, we had some great weather last weekend with temps hitting the 40s and I was so excited to get out to run in it. I had a great tempo run on the bike path last Thursday. {1 mi WU, 3 mi @ 8:09, 1 mi CD = 5 mi @ 8:34 av. pace}

I was hoping to get out again on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning in the sunny weather, but I opted for hanging out with the boys and Ian instead.

I made Monday my long run day (10 miles) and it was so amazing. I didn't run until noon and the weather was great. I ran on some new roads here in town as well as some of my usual routes. Even though it was a good run, I still experienced some doubt in the beginning, specifically if I wanted to run the full 10. During the first couple I though about only doing four. After four miles, I contemplated going to eight. 

Then I made the decision to run along the waterfront and was snapping some pics as I was going along and took this one of the bridges between Bath and Woolwich.

Sagadahoc Bridge (vehicular) and Carlton Bridge (now trains only)

As I ran under the bridge and went to turn toward home, the stairs in front of me were just inviting me up.

So I took them and decided I'd run across the bridge and back...just because I could. 

After attacking all the hills on the run so far, going up the bridge was certainly a challenge for my tired legs, but I was happy that I did it. I've driven over this bridge and the old one next to it (that is now strictly for trains to cross the Kennebec River), literally thousands of times in my life. I had never been across it on foot. Let's just say it's much easier to drive over it, but it's much more exhilarating to run over it!

Carlton Bridge

View from the top

Once coming off the bridge I was at 6.5 miles and I headed toward home, but before I got to my street I had made the decision to continue on for the full 10 miles. Even though my legs were tired and knew I had several more hills to face, I was having such a great time and wasn't ready to be done just yet. There was no valid reason why I shouldn't keep going. 

I ended the 10 in 1:35:37 with an average pace of 9:34. 

I hadn't eaten anything since two slices of toast at breakfast and didn't drink or fuel on the run. I was ravenous. In the first mile I had run past Beale Street Barbeque and smelled all the deliciousness wafting in the air. I craved pulled pork and ribs like crazy the whole run and through the afternoon so that's what we ended up getting for dinner. It was so good!!!

Tuesday is a usual day for me to run and even though I had just done 10 miles the day before and never run two days in a row, the sun was out again and the temperature was even warmer. It was the perfect opportunity to shake out my legs with an easy 3 miles and try out my new Janji running shorts.

I'll have a full review soon, but let's just say even though I never run in shorts, I am pretty happy with these and can see wearing them a lot this summer. I tacked on an extra .1 so I can say I ran a half marathon over the weekend (13.1 miles over two days).