Thursday, January 29, 2015

What's Scarier? Creepy Clowns or 18 Miles?

What's scarier? Creepy Clowns or 18 miles?

You might be surprised by my answer...18 miles! Well, that was true until this weekend anyway.

I've done many, many, many 18 milers. I've done 20, 22, & 24 milers. I've done 21 races of marathon distance or longer. Why would I be afraid of an 18 miler? Well, you see, I haven't done one (that wasn't a marathon) in 2 years! I wasn't sure how it would go. Would I be ready. How would I feel after?

Sure I've done them before but this feels almost like I'm training for my first marathon again. In a way, it's kind of nice. It's like I get to experience the joy/fear of the unknown and what I'm capable of all over again. The Lisa Before Cancer did it. Will the Lisa After Cancer be able to do it too? I can honestly say that I know I WILL do it. That I know. But how well will I do it? That's the question. And a little bit of where the fear comes in.

Coming back from cancer has been stress free and a lot of fun. I didn't really put any pressure on myself last year and mostly just tried to build a good base. I ran some fun races and ran in costume and traveled a few places. It was a good way to come back.

But now, I'm really focusing on training so I have a vested interesting on how my runs go. They are the foundation for a good marathon. I know if I feel confident about my training I will do much better while I'm running LA which will then help me run that much better.

So I was nervous about the 18 miler on Sunday because I wanted it to go really well. I can say that it went pretty well. Actually I think it went very well considering a few things:
  1. I ran on Saturday and then did a short hike on Saturday afternoon so my legs weren't exactly rested.
  2. I only slept a couple of hours on Saturday night.
  3. I had a little bit of an upset stomach the last 4 miles.
  4. It was a little smoky and warm (71 degrees when I finished).
The great news is that I wasn't very stiff after and I was sleepy but not tired. I feel pretty confident that my training is going in the right direction now thanks, of course, to Justin. Rather, I should say that I feel like I am running up to the level that Justin believes I am at. You know?

So, the 18 miler wasn't scary. I look pretty happy, right?

But I sure did get freaked out by this clown at Griffith Park on Saturday! It still gives me the heebie jeebies!

Yeah, clowns are way scarier than 18 milers! ;)

In other news, I signed up for the Surf City Half Marathon on Sunday! Woo! It is part of the Beach Cities Challenge. I was in the process of doing it in 2013 when I found out I had cancer and would have to have surgery, I'd run Surf City and the OC Half and only had Long Beach to do but I had surgery 2 weeks before. :( But now I'm going for it this year! I think this time it will be much, much more fun. 2:39 was my time for Surf City in 2013 and 2:29 was my time for the OC Half. I think 2015 will be faster! Cross your fingers!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Star Wars Half Marathon Recap

On Sunday, I ran the Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Recap. What a blast!

I love runDisney races. I know they are expensive but I think they are fun and completely worth it. I have run races with terrible support and terrible logistics and race directors that just don't seem to give a damn about the runners in their races. Say what you will about runDisney but they know how to treat runners right.

I had a goal going into the race. One goal actually. And it made me nervous! Which is a good sign that I'd picked a challenging goal. Now all I had to do was use the force to execute it! Yes, I had to go there. Come on! I HAD to! :)

On Saturday morning, I did a 5K shakeout run then headed down to Downtown Disney and the race expo. I was hoping to get there by 9 to see some of the kids races and I made it just in time. The kids races were a riot. The kids were so cute in their costumes. I loved it.

Then it was time for the expo. Bib pick up was fast and so was shirt pickup. Then it was time to do some shopping and some having fun. I listened to a couple of speakers (Sean Astin & astronaut Steve Lindsey) and bought some stuff. Took a few pics. A fun time was had by all. Well, by me at least.

I ate lunch in Downtown Disney at the ESPN zone. Maybe, sort of, because I heard a rumor they had Storm Trooper mugs...and they did! Yes, I am a total geek. Here are some of the things I picked up at the expo & Downtown Disney (clockwise from upper left hand corner: car magnet, I Did It! Wookie shirt, another Raw Threads tank top (OMG the back! I guess it's supposed to be a wolf but I am calling it a coyote!), vinylmation Mickey (a gift from another runner!), postcards from WonderGround, some BeeCause shoe charms, and that Storm Trooper Mug (being inspected by Jenks)

After I left the expo, I went home to finish my costume. I had decided to run as Chewbacca and last week I decided I wanted to run with ears. But did you know that they DO NOT have Chewbacca ears? How is that not a thing? Hello? So I decided to make some! I think they turned out pretty good.

I spend the rest of the afternoon finishing Gone Girl (wow, wild!) and resting up. I set my alarm for 2:30 and then went to sleep. Or tried to. I tossed and turned most of the night. I may have been a little more nervous about my goal than I thought! I got up with my alarm, ate breakfast, and got ready. I was out the door by 3:30 and drove down to Disneyland. Parking was a breeze and I paid for the parking of the car behind me (I promised the runner who gave me the Mickey vinylmation that I would pay it forward - done!).

It was race time! Let's do this!

The thing about Disney races is that it's a complete show. They keep the theme of the race from beginning to end. Pre race had CP30 and R2D2 and Jedi knights. Their were short clips from Star Wars movies playing too. And it was fun to check out the costumes of everyone around me.

The race started right on time at 5:30 am. First the wheelchairs, then corral A, and finally Corral B, my corral. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1... We were off!

AND I was so excited I didn't start my Garmin! LOL. Oops! I started it late and settled in. The course was different from the other Disney races I'd run before but we still got to run through the parks, different routes too that went through Tomorrowland and Cars Land. The most beautiful, jaw dropping moment was running into Radiator Springs as the sun rose. The sky was on fire with a spectacular sunrise and it was perfect for Radiator Springs. Seriously cool! I wish I had a go pro so I could share it with you. :( But I was there to race! Speaking of...

So, since I forgot to start my watch right at the start, I was off on each mile marker at the beginning. It wasn’t until about mile 4, I think, that I started a new lap when I passed that Mile Marker clock and got back on track. I hadn’t looked at the time either when we started so I didn’t know how much time had passed before our corral started. I would see the time on the clock but didn’t have a clue how close that was to my time. Oops!

My ONLY goal for this race was to finish between 2:05 and 2:10. I had intended to run the first part at 9:55 pace (2:10) and then pick it up the 2nd half. But that didn’t happen. Ha! I have zero discipline at the start! The gun goes off and I take off! I actually did force myself to slow down a little at times in the first 5K and I actually did look around when we were running through Disneyland and California Adventure. And I also checked out the behind the scenes stuff too. I think that kept me from getting too crazy at the start. So I was only a little nuts.

Once we left the parks and got on to the street, I was more focused and conscious of my time. I know some people think the street parts are boring but I like them with all the bands and the cheerleaders. I get pumped but I’m not distracted. Well, maybe a little by the costumes. There were some very, very cool ones! I was just cruising along and I felt good until 10K when my energy started to lag. I had a gel at about 6.5 miles. With the energy drop and me not being too coordinated when it comes to eating gels, I slowed a little then. I also slowed some when we went by the Star Wars cosplayers group which TOTALLY ROCKED! So much fun and you have to high five them! The 5K between 10K and 15K miles was my slowest but not too bad.

When we hit 10 miles, I looked at the clock and saw the time and I was pretty sure if I kept my pace below 10 min miles that I would hit 2:10. I think I pretty much left it all out on the course because I didn't have an extra gear at the end liked I'd hoped. I'd wanted to run the last few miles at about 9:20 or faster pace. That didn't happen. But when I saw the 13 mile marker, I gave one last kick and then I was high fiving Minnie and crossing the finish line! Then I got my medal! Woo!
It's so shiny and pretty! I saw my mom waving at me and said hi then walked through the finisher's chute to the after party to meet up with her. We hung out for a little bit and I found my friend Richard from Instagram (who was Darth Tink!) and watched the awards ceremony for the speedy people. Then I went on-line to find my finish time and surprise! 2:07:31! Woo!!!
As you can see, I did slow down for each 5K. But I think I did really well. :) I think I could have done better if I'd had 2 gels instead of 1. I'd planned on 2 gels but my pre-race energy bar I was going to eat was as hard as a rock so I had one of my gels instead. It might not have made much difference but I think it would have helped. I think.
So yeah, I was pretty happy about hitting my target time and being under 2:10. I wasn't sure until I looked it up which felt kind of weird. :) I really need to not be so excited to race! No, scratch that. Hopefully that never happens. Racing is fun! Especially runDisney races!
So, like I said, runDisney races are expensive but I love them. Here's my top 10 reasons why:
  1. They are really well organized and pre & post race and especially the race go off very smoothly.
  2. The aid stations are plentiful and also really well organized. They tell you as you get to them whether water is first, etc. They volunteers were really encouraging and funny too.
  3. There are a LOT of people running these races but I have never had a problem running the pace I want because they are very good about corral placement AND then making sure people get in the right corral. So I have never had to dodge around slower runners/walkers at runDisney races.
  4. Hello? Running through the parks! And behind the scenes! This is a nosey, people watchers dream!
  5. Seeing all the characters along the course is a blast. One of these days, I'll relax and stop and take pics during the run!
  6. The Disney park employees totally ROCK! They are awesome cheerleaders and I love high fiving them with their Mickey hands!
  7. The cheer squads and spectators also rock and make it so much fun.
  8. Running races is a celebration with other runners. You feel like you belong. These are your people. But a Disney get to be your geekiest, nerdiest, craziest self and be completely normal! These are my people!
  9. You get high fives from Disney characters when you finish!
  10. And last, but not least...the bling rocks! Cool race shirts and awesome medals! Notice anything familiar in this pic?
Thanks for reading! My next runDisney race is the Pixie Dust Challenge! I'm already working on my outfits for the 10K and Half! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Year In The Balance

So, we're 9 days into 2015. It's been a pretty good year so far. I mean, what can go wrong in 9 days, right?

I started off 2015 with a 15 mile run and I think that was a good way to set the tone for the year.

I am focusing on running in 2015 but still have others goals to achieve throughout the year (like rock climbing and traveling). My coach, Justin, thought it would be fun to end 2014 with 14 miles on Wednesday and then start 2015 with 15 miles on Thursday. I was a little nervous about it but it went really well. I'd split Wednesday's run into 2 runs and ran to/from work. I hadn't done that in a while and it was good to get back to run commuting. Of driving, riding, and running to work...running to work is the least stressful and most fun. Especially if it's raining.

So with those 2 runs plus the 14er I did on Sunday and the other runs for the week, I finished/started the year with a 60 mile week! I remember back this summer when I was running 20 miles per week and so tired and thinking how am I ever going to run 50-60 miles per week without being exhausted? But I felt pretty good at the end of the week! Yay for progress! I feel like I am ready to up the mileage and put in the hard work as I get ready for the LA Marathon in March.

Which leads me to my goal for 2015 - PR the 5K, 10K, Half, and Marathon!
BUT...not kill myself trying to do it AND make sure I never lose the fun factor!

I had a conversation with one of my Twitter friends this week where we talked about fears and being hard on ourselves. I told her that after my cancer scare, I found that I am more determined to do the things I want but also more relaxed about things. If I miss a run because I'm sick, it's not the end of the world. If I have a cupcake or have a couple of splurge days, I'm not going to balloon back up to 200+ lbs. I know that I need to stay focused and work towards my goals but I also need to live and work and have fun.

The way that I have taken a little bit of the pressure off myself is by hiring Justin to help me with my running. This way, he has to do all the hard work of designing my training schedule and I just get to have the fun of running it. I trust him and his methods to know that if I put in the work, I will get faster and will be able to PR. It might not happen right away, but it WILL happen.

I saw this really great quote a couple of weeks ago and I think it's kind of key to how I am approaching my PR goal...

So, I don't know exactly what it will take to get to my goals (and I sort of don't want to know) or how difficult it will be (also don't want to know this either) but I for sure am cocky enough to believe I can do it!

And what I mean about not wanting to know what it will take or how difficult it will be is this:
  • I don't know what speed work, tempo runs, etc will help me get there. I don't know what pace each of the workouts should be. I don't know when to do this and then do that, etc. But Justin does. So, like I said, I'm letting him do that for me.
  • I also don't want to know that at some point I'll have to run mile repeats at an 8 min pace or whatever those workouts will be because I'm not ready for them yet. Thinking about what I will have to do is scary and the fear might make me reluctant to try. But if I don't KNOW what's coming, I can just focus on what I can do NOW. I'll get stronger as I do what I'm supposed to and then I won't be scared later when I get the crazy workouts (which hopefully won't seem crazy by then).
Does that make sense?

BUT as I said above...I absolutely BELIEVE I can pull this off. I WILL see my PRs drop in 2015.

I know it.

I hope you'll follow along for the ride. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

30th Half Marathon Race Recap!

On Sunday, I ran my 30th Half Marathon!

I was looking for somewhere to celebrate the 30 milestone and I decided on the Dallas MetroPCS Half Marathon. I had a LOT of Texas friends and I had never been to Texas (well, except for the airports in Dallas & Houston). It would be the perfect place to celebrate.

I flew out to Dallas on Friday after I dropped Jenks off at the Kitty Hotel. Sadly, the plane left an hour late but it was a direct flight so I didn't have to worry about missing my connection. We landed in Dallas about 6 and then I made my way over to the DART station. I hadn't rented a car but my research said I could take the DART downtown and use it to get around if I needed to. I got there just as it seemed the train was going to take off so I got a ticket and ran for the train, along with another guy. We made it! After the doors closed and we were moving I asked him if I was on the right train! Doh! Luckily, there is only one train line that leaves DFW so I was okay. :) I got off the train at my station and then walked the couple blocks to the hotel and checked in. I'd made it! Woo!

On Saturday morning, I woke up and decided to go for a run. If you read my last post then you know I'd twisted my ankle at the Christmas Run. I hadn't run on it since but it was feeling pretty good even with all the airport running around. I also knew from looking at maps that Dealey Plaza was really close to my hotel. So I laced up my Clifton's and headed out. It was a cloudy morning and a little windy but pretty nice.

I found Dealey Plaza and explored it for a bit. There was another runner from Canada there who'd had the same idea and we introduced ourselves and then talked about JFK and all that had occurred. Since we were the only ones there, it gave us a chance to quietly reflect on the what had happened there. Having seen all the movies and documentaries and listening to my mom talk about that day, it felt like I could hear the echoes of that day as I stood there.

Then, I continued on my run to do a little more exploring.

My ankle did pretty well on the run so I decided the race was a go! I would have been okay with not racing and just cheering on my friends...but I really wanted to race so I was pretty happy. After eating breakfast and relaxing for a bit, I headed over to the expo. I didn't buy much (just some compression socks and a shirt) but I did listen to one of the speakers and got my ankle taped. Here's my shirt and bib:
Then I looked for a message that Alex B (@alexb214) had left for me on the Dallas Marathon sign...and added a note of my own - Coyotes fun Dallas! It took me a while to find the message from Alex but since I am stubborn and couldn't let Alex "win", I finally found it.
Whew. Then I could leave. :) I went to eat and then walked back over to Dealey Plaza to go to the 6th Floor Museum. The tour took about 90 minutes and was interesting and helped bring that day to life, even more so than the documentaries did. I was really glad I was able to visit it.

After that, I went back to the hotel and rested, then got some Jimmy Johns for dinner, and rested some more. Then it was time to sleep. I actually slept pretty well.

I hadn't been able to meet up with any of my friends at the expo so I was supposed to meet Alex and Christy B (both Run It Fasters) at the Longhorns. Which it turns out is a lot of Longhorn and Cowboy statues in Pioneer Square. A lot. You can't miss it.
 But apparently, I can miss people! I was there for about 15 minutes and didn't see either one so I sent Alex a text and then he called me back and we were trying to figure out where each other of us was when I turned around and he was right behind me! Ha!
I got to meet his wife and couple others from his running group. I never did find Christy before. :( Then I went to find my corral and get situated. I was in the B corral for a few minutes when I looked up and saw my friends Teal & Beth (@LifeisaRun) walking toward me! I was so shocked. I hadn't realized how many people were running and I thought I wasn't going to find them til afer. It was so fun to hang out with them before the race.
 The last time we had raced together was the Disneyland Half in 2012. And now they are moms! :)

Then it was race time!

THE RACE ankle was good but it wasn't 100%. I had talked to my coach Justin about racing vs. not racing and he reminded me that I had bigger goals than this race we were working toward and that it would be better to not jeopardize additional weeks of training. I had decided to run it but not race it. I would just enjoy the run and see the sights along the course. And that's what I did. Although I spent a lot of time looking down to make sure I didn't step on any bumps, land reflectors, in pot holes, etc!

I did see a lot though and we ran through some interesting stuff. Especially the HUGE, gorgeous mansions. Decorated for Christmas. Wow. And then I saw Heidi (@HeidiRuns) and Brian (@BLuebTris)! I heard Brian yell my name so I turned back and so I could say Hi and give them hugs (sorry for the sweaty hugs!). Yay! I was so happy to see them. So bummed I didn't take a picture though. :(

Then at mile 9, I zigzagged back to make sure I gave a high 5 to a little boy who was trying to go for the world record. Then at mile 11 I saw Heidi and Brian again! Another great pick me up! Then Alex's wife ran by (rocking her first half) and we talked for a little bit.

Then I was done! My 30th Half was in the books. Here's my medal:
Then I wound my way through the finisher's chute for food, water, and our bag. I stopped at one point to reorganize the stuff I was carrying and when I looked up, I saw Christy (@Run2Bake)! Woo!
Then I found Teal & Beth again! Seriously, I don't know how I found any of them! LOL. Sadly, there were a couple of TX peeps and others from Instagram that I knew were there but did not find.

I made plans with Teal & Beth to go to lunch with them so I went back to the hotel and changed and got my stuff and they picked me up. We went to a great little Mexican place for lunch and I got to meet their husbands and their very cute sons. Then sadly, it was over and Beth and her family took me to the airport so I didn't have to take the DART back.

I am pretty lucky that things worked out so I could run on Sunday. And extremely lucky to have met so many fun and amazing people who helped make it a fun race/trip.

THIS is why I love running. Not just because it keeps me healthy. Not just because racing fast is fun. But because it feeds my soul with friends and adventures. :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Christmas PR - Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run Recap

On Saturday, I ran the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run Double 10K & 5K. I've done the double before and it's a lot of fun. A lot of people dress up in costumes, even the dogs. The last time I ran it, I was passed by a woman dressed as a corn on the cob. I didn't really get that costume. Mostly though, you see a lot of Santas, elves, reindeer, and people dressed as presents.

Anyway, I was going into the Double feeling really, really strong. My coach, Justin (@gilletterunning), had planned for me to run the 5K hard and try and hit an 8:40 pace. But since I did that at the Claremont Turkey Trot (actually better! 8:34! Score!), I was thinking of racing the 10K hard instead. Or maybe both. Actually, I was kind of leaning toward both. :)

Race dawned and I got up, ate, and drove over to Santa Monica. The weather guy had talked about the possibility of rain and I'd dressed for that. Except that it was clear when I got down there. I got my bib and went to use the restroom and then hung out. The views did not suck.

That's the moon setting on the left and the Santa Monica Pier on the right. It was a beautiful morning for a race!

Then it was go time! I got into a good position in the starting corral and decided I would run the 10K as hard as I could. I had run 59:20 at the San Dimas Turkey Trot and I was hoping to maybe shave a minute or so off that. I also decided not to look at my watch during the run.

They sounded the horn and I took off! Miles 1 and 2 flew by and I was feeling good. Miles 3 and 4 included some out and back sections and I feel like I ran them well too. After mile 4, I think I may have slowed down a little but I was still running hard. Miles 5 and 6 were along the beach and I tried not to do any sightseeing and stay focused. I think I did pretty well with that. Then at the end of mile 6 we had one small hill and then it was a downhill to the finish. We came around the curve and I saw the finish and turned on the after burners. Then I saw the clock and saw it was about to turn over to the next minute and I pushed even harder to try and get there before that happened. But I didn't. I saw the clock say :01. And then I was like wait a minute. That said 55:01! WHAT?!?! Was that right? I looked at my garmin and it said 54:55. Woo! But what would my official time be? And wait a minute...that's my 10K PR time. WHAT?!?!

So I waited around (not so patiently) for the times to be posted and then there it was: 54:54 official! Woo! I could not freaking believe it! I did not expect to be close to my PR range until the spring.
Can you tell I was happy? A PR! Okay, only a 1 second PR but it felt great! I did not know I had that time in me right now. It felt so good to know I am really, really back.

But there was still more racing to do so I couldn't party too much. I had a gel and then started heading back over the Start/Finish line to get ready for the 5K. I was feeling pretty good and thought I might be able to pull a good time out for the 5K too.

And then the horn sounded and we were off for the 5K! And I took off! And then just a couple of minutes into it, I almost ran into someone and the curb was right there and there must have been an uneven part (or just my natural klutziness) and disaster struck. I twisted my ankle. :( Argh! I kept running but slowed down. It was sore but there wasn't any sharp pains so I kept going but decided to take it easy the rest of the way. I was worried about it but it didn't seem to get any worse. I finished the 5K in 31:24. And got my medal. Not how I had wanted to run the 5K but I was satisfied enough with the 10K that I wasn't too heartbroken. And the worry about my ankle with the Dallas Half in 1 week was more of a focus.

So after I got my medal, I headed home. When I got out of the car after the drive, that's when I knew my ankle was worse than I thought. It was really stiff and very sore and swollen. :( I iced it that night and did a lot of praying but when I woke up on Sunday, it was still swollen and sore so I skipped my planned 12 Miler. Sigh.

I am actually pretty proud of myself for 2 things this weekend. 1 - that I ran hard and didn't hold back or think about limitations. And 2 - that I didn't try and run on Sunday and let my ankle start healing instead.

I got one Christmas miracle for the 10K and now I need another for the Dallas Half! Cross your fingers for me!

Hey, did I mentioned I PRd on Saturday. Yeah, baby! Woo! :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Five For Friday - 11/28/14

I hope you all had a fun Thanksgiving! Mine was quiet but nice. It's just me, my mom, and grandpa here is So Cal so we usually go out to lunch instead of cooking. I like it because my grandpa doesn't like turkey so he usually gets fish and I don't have to worry about leftovers tempting me for days on end. I LOVE turkey, dressing, and mashed potato sandwiches so it's best if I don't have that stuff around to tempt me.

I did enjoy my lunch yesterday, for sure. I ran 8.1 miles yesterday (2.2 mile warm up, the Claremont Turkey Trot 5K, and then a 2.8 mile cool down) so I didn't feel too guilty about enjoying the dressing and mashed potatoes. Actually, I didn't feel guilty at all!

My mom said grace for us and she talked about how thankful she was that I was healthy. It reminded me that last year, I didn't get to enjoy Thanksgiving so much because I'd just had my 1st round of chemo and food was issuey. It also reminded me how much I have to be thankful for right now.

So here's this week of 5 things I'm thankful for:

1. I'm thankful I got to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and grandpa. We had a nice lunch and then watched Million Dollar Arm after. It was a good day. :) I missed my AZ family but at least got to talk to them.

2. I'm thankful that I am strong and healthy and almost back to my normal weight. I weighed myself on Tuesday and was down to 166.4 pounds. I actually thought I might have gained because didn't really focus on food the past 2 weeks so I was a little nervous. I was so happy to see it had gone down. I'd hoped to lose 50 lbs by the Dallas Half and I'm at 48 lbs lost right now!

3. I'm thankful I was strong enough to rock the Turkey Trot yesterday! 26:37! I didn't have a set goal going into it other than I wanted to run it hard and beat my last 5K time of 27:57. The race is a big square with the 1st mile being uphill and then flatish and then the last mile downhill. I gave everything in that last mile though I really wanted to slow down! So I have 2 shiny new post cancer PRs for the Mile and the 5K!

I didn't realize this race would be so big and I was pretty happy to see I was 8th in my age group. So fun to see my pace too. I have a 5K next Saturday and Justin, my coach @gilletterunning,  wanted me to go 8:40 pace for it. Now, I'm a little scared to see what he's going to ask me to go now! But also excited!

4. I'm thankful my company gives us Thursday and Friday off so I could spend a little time on the trails today. It was a beautiful, warm day here in So Cal.

5. I'm thankful one of my staff is a baker and brings us cupcakes & cake pops to test!

Not all the time (for which I'm also thankful) but it's fun to get a treat every now and then and Renee is very talented. It also reminds me that I need to be diligent about my nutrition and weight loss most of the time but it's okay to relax once in a while to just enjoy what life brings you. I have, in the past, been obsessive about food going from extremes - being obese and binge eating to borderline anorexic. I have had to work really hard to get to a place where I realize that food is not the enemy but something to help fuel my running & riding. You can get away with eating crap on the bike but not on the run so I credit running with helping eat well! Running has given me a better life in many, many ways.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, November 24, 2014

San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K Race Recap

On Saturday, I ran my 5th San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K. It's usually held the Saturday after Thanksgiving but this year was the weekend before. I love this race because it's in one of my favorite places to run - Bonelli and I've run the course many times on my own. I know what to expect and it's a pretty place to run.

The race isn't a very big one...there were only 238 people in the 10K and 237 in the it isn't crowded. My 10K PR was set there in 2011 - 54:55. I am not even close to that shape right now but I really wanted to go sub 1 hour there. I THOUGHT I could. I was pretty sure. Mostly.

On race morning, I woke up and got ready and drove over to Bonelli. I got there about 6:45 and got my shirt and bib and went back to the car to relax a little. About 7:20, I started my warm up and ran backwards along the route. About half way, I stopped and used the restroom and then ran back for a 2 mile warmup. I finished about 7:45 and had a gel and then did some leg swings until it was time to get in the corral.

The race started a few minutes past 8 and I was ready! Let's do this!

The RD sent us out and I took off. The 5K & 10K started together but the 5Kers split off almost immediately so it thinned out right away. The race starts out uphill and I looked down at my garmin and I was going like 8:20 so I forced myself to slow down! I knew that there would be more hills, dirt, and a stream crossing ahead so didn't want to blow up too early. This is what the course and my paces looked like:

These are my splits for each mile
1 - 9:16
2 - 9:28
3 - 10:03
4 - 9:36
5 - 9:30
6 - 9:27
.2 - 1:59 (8:40 pace)
I didn't know exactly what pace I could hold but I knew it had to be 9:39 per mile to beat 60 minutes. I think I did pretty well in holding back my pace for that first mile. There was a short, steep hill and a little bit of dirt in mile 2 but managed not to lose too much time there. I think around 9:30s was where I was most "comfortable" in that I was working hard but not gasping for air.
The only mile I messed up was mile 3. When we got to the stream, it was muddy going down into it and then up out of it. I slipped a little as we ran down but didn't lose it. There was a slight bottleneck there as we crossed and you can see my pace really dropped (about half way between 2&3). We were on dirt for the next 1/3 mile or so and I never made up that time I lost. Darn it! Mile 4 had a little bit of an out and back and the out is a slight uphill. Once we hit the turnaround, I always feel like that's the half way point because I can smell the barn. Ha! But 5 and 6 had some hills so I knew I had to pace myself. I pushed on the hills so I wouldn't lose too much time and then flew down the other side. Then I ran as hard as I could at the end.

I actually thought I might not be under an hour because I didn't keep track of all my splits as I ran and when I looked at a mile to go, I thought it said I needed a 8:30 ish mile to be under an hour. I was like, "oh no!" but then told myself "I'm gong to make it!" but I thought it would be really close. I must have been mistaken/miscalculated though because when I ran into the finish chute and saw the clock, I was so happy! 59:20 official! I'd beat my goal! With time to spare! Woo!

We even got medals for this 10K! Can you tell I was happy?

Yep, I was. I felt like I gave this everything I had. I maybe could have run the stream section a little better but I am ecstatic that I didn't lose time on the hills at the end. I think I did pretty darn well. I was really nervous before the race. More so than for the last couple of Halfs I've done. I'm not sure why. I knew that I would have to run hard and stay focused and I think that scared me a little because I haven't run like that in a long time. I am proud of this race and myself for getting it done and not giving up when I got tired.

If I could change anything it would be nutrition. I didn't have anything for breakfast and just had the gel. I might have had a little more energy if I'd eaten. But it is what it is. And like I said, I'm happy with it!

My next race is another Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I'll be running the Claremont Turkey Trot 5K for the first time and I'm hoping to make this race a new Thanksgiving Tradition. A lot of runners from Fleet Feet Rancho will be there so it should be a lot of fun.

Happy Thanksgiving! And good luck if you are running a Turkey Trot!