Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Great Cranberry Island 50k - Round 2

When I started entering races in 2007 I made a promise to myself - I would never shun a race off after just one time. To get the full experience, you have to at least try something twice (still need to keep this promise to myself with Mt. Washington...).

So, on Saturday, I once again found myself at the start line of the GCI 50k. Last year, I was vastly underprepared. I had gotten married 2 weeks before (no long run that weekend) and leading up to the race I had done back to back marathons in May to qualify for Marathon Maniacs and the Mt. Washington Road Race. Between tapering and recovering for those, it didn't leave much time for quality training. Bob wanted me to run/walk the race, which I did, but without practicing that I was left cramped up very early in the race. Let's not forget to mention that I was also fat at the time (an extra 15 lbs last year! and had the worst diet on earth).

This year, I felt very well trained. I am coming off of an awesome marathon cycle for Providence (even the outcome of that sucked since I got the flu 4 days before the race) and the since Providence I have been feeling stronger than ever. My main focus right now is the ING Hartford Marathon in October, so I had to consider that when making my game plan for GCI. In the end I decided to see what I could do at goal marathon heart rate. I figured at best - I could qualify at GCI or get a PR (current PR 3:42) and at worst, I wouldn't qualify, but I would come out with a learning experience that may help me in Hartford.

The race started at 11:30 - a time I had not practiced for, and before hand I took in 1000 food calories plus Gatorade thinking it would be enough (it was not...I was starving at mile 16). So long story short - I held marathon HR (5 below lactate - 162ish) at the goal pace (YAY!) for 16 miles. Looked down at mile 16...162...looked down a tenth of a mile later...191. BOO! So, needless to say, I was not about to keep running pace at that heartrate. I trudged through the last 10 to get to the marathon split in 3:56. After that, Alice and I walked back to camp and she amazingly went to the tent to get my wallet while I laid on the cold grass. We then walked to the store at one end of the course and I bought myself a GIANT sized ice cream sandwich, and we continued on our way. I walked the last 5 miles of the 50k, finishing in 5:37.

I promised myself that whatever happened at this race, I was coming away with only positives, so that I could continue to stay focused on Hartford. With that being said...there were a lot of positives.

1. I had a BLAST and made lots of neat friends on the island. I love runners...we are such a unique and awesome breed!
2. A 3:56 marathon is not what I am training for right's a lot slower...BUT, it is only my 2nd fastest marathon so far...
3. I had an AWESOME debrief session with Coach Bob after the race. He said my HR spiked due to dehydration, which after analyzing some runs, seems to hit me at the 2hr 10 minute mark. This explains why I can run a half marathon at a 7:26 pace at HR, but only 16 miles on HR at an 8:05 in a the half, I'm done long before the dehydration hits. In a typical 16-18 mile run, taking in 48 oz. plus of liquid, I am usually down 3-4lbs. I am also an extremely salty sweater. This is going to be looked into, and a plan will be made BEFORE Hartford. ;-)
4. It was a 45 minute 50k PR, even with walking all of the last 5 miles.
5. When will I ever in my life again be able to say, "I stopped for ice cream in the middle of a race."
6. I am now an ultra marathoner....times 2!
7. Alice and I set up a tent BY OURSELVES! boom!
8. I got to encourage others, and be encouraged, for 31.25 miles. It amazes me that there is so much companionship in a sport that seems so solitary on the surface.

And one last note...a huge thank you to Alice who was the most awesome Sherpa/"Maid of Honor" ever on this adventure! I owe you one big time lady!

Alice and I catching the ferry to GCI

Our digs for the night...we set it up ourselves! 

Post race

Best find in the store!

"I'm not posting how many miles I run to brag, I just don't want you to judge me when I down this bag of chips
...and ice cream...." 

Emily's Run 5k Recap

On July 21st, I ran Emily's Run 5k. This is a favorite local race of mine, known for being a pretty hilly 5k. It is also the 2nd race in the Triple Crown 5k series. Unlike the first race in the series (Y Fit Fest) I had no miles to run before and after the race (I ran 12 total on Y Fit fest day) and only ran 8 the day before instead of 12 due to my taper for GCI.

My big goal for this race was to NOT hurt myself. A few aches and pains had popped up in the last week - typical for that time in a marathon training cycle, but nerve racking none-the-less.

The first mile of this race is almost all uphill..and I started out a conservation 7:03ish pace. The second mile starts on a roller, has a nice long downhill, and then ends on another roller - 6:28. Last mile - mostly a gradual up again, then downhill to the EL track and a 200m run on the track to the finish line - 7:03. Hey - at least I'm consistent with the first and last mile. My final time was 21:13, only my 2nd fastest 5k to date (the fastest being the weekend prior at Moxie).  This time was good enough for 1st in my age group and 6th female overall (same exact standings as Y Fit Fest) and, so far, 1st in my age group for the Triple Crown standings. Alice also rocked it getting 1st place in her age group and running only seconds off her PR...which on this course pretty much guarantees you a PR on any other course!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Training Beyond The Run

After my spring marathon, I spent a lot of time doing core work. I started by working my way up to completing the 300 Abs Workout. This took about 3 weeks to get to do the whole thing (and I added the plank a day to it as well). I really felt the difference during my hard workouts (long runs and track workouts) and saw the benefits in my racing. I've kept it up, but recently it's felt a bit stale.

Today I found this old gem and gave it a try...

While the video is pretty comical, it was a decent change of pace and, in addition to the plank, a pretty good ab workout. 

My plan is to keep switching up the core work a bit so it doesn't get stale again...and also making a huge commitment to FOAM ROLLING and STRETCHING every  day.  I even took out a work out mat and my foam roller and made a space for them in the living room to remind myself to do it each day (let's see how long they last there before my husband says something..hehe) 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Getting Faster and Placing Lower!

Today I ran the Moxie 5k. This was my 3rd time running it.

Here's a recap...
1st year running - 2010 - 23:52 - 2nd in age group
2nd year running - 2012 - 23:41 - 3rd in age group

This year..

20:49!!! A new 5k PR by 28 seconds and...4th in age group! These ladies are keeping me on my toes! I was the 6th female overall too, so that says something for the age group!

After the race, Alice and I went to the first day of Maine Yoga Fest to take a Yoga for Athletes class with Terry of Freeport Yoga Company. It was an awesome class! To end our date, Alice took me on my first visit to Lululemon! I bought a wicked comfy running skirt. I have been on a running skirt kick lately...they are SO comfortable!

Monday, July 8, 2013

2013 so far...

It's been a great year of training so far. I have made lots of life changes this past year, and the results have been staggering. Mainly, I started eating clean(er) August 1st, 2012. Almost a year later, I am down from 145lbs to 130lb and have gained a lot of muscle.

I have PR-ed in every distance I've raced this year as well...except for one. The Marathon. I set out on a mission to qualify for Boston and trained my booty off (literally), but 5 days before my qualifying race (Providence Marathon), I came down with the flu. It was a pretty epic disaster in terms of BQ-ing, but at least I finished in a dismal 4:03 -  21 minutes slower than my previous marathon.

But, with the help of my sole sisters and trackie friends, I got back in the saddle again and am back to training, and somehow, feeling stronger than ever. I have two more chances at that marathon PR this year - July 27th at the GCI Ultra 50k and October 12th at the ING Hartford Marathon. Here's to hoping there is no flu going around right before them!

Some highlights from 2013 so far....

March 2013 - Eastern States 20 Miler - 2:42:06
At goal marathon (BQ) pace

This is the picture I am choosing to share from Providence.
Sole sister love.
NOT the picture of me finishing with green snot hanging from my nose...

June 2013 Pine Grove 5k
2nd female overall

June 2013- Y Fit Fest
21:17 PR
1st in age group
Ryan's Trail Run for Suicide Prevention
So far out of my comfort level, but a blast nonetheless!

June 2013 - Rail Trail Half Marathon
2nd female overall
PR - 1:37:22
The confidence boost I needed after Providence

Rail Trail gang! Big thumbs up!
(Thanks Jim for pacing me!)