Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Race #15 of the Season: ColderBOLDER 5K

Or the last race in my "Race to Fitness" quest (cue Katie cringing).

I had been able to successfully drop under 10:00/mile (hooray), but I really, really wanted to get back to sub-30:00 in this race. When I ran it back in 2015, it was one of my fastest-ever 5K times. I knew I probably wouldn't get back into the sub-28s, but I knew if I tried, I could probably get sub-30. Hopefully. In keeping with my MAF runs, I also got up to four miles in the week and a half between Thanksgiving and the race to help with the endurance issues I had been having.

Race day comes and we thought it would be kind of warm. Well, it was ... except for the cloud cover and the breeze. Silly Colorado ...

Buff, singlet, arm warmers ... would it be enough???

Since we were in the open wave, we'd be the absolute wave to go off (yes, I actually had Brandon again for this race!). We waited until maybe 10, 15? minutes to race start to venture outside (we got to Boulder SUPER early to be able to get ideal parking as we had to bust ass out of there post-race to get to curling on time).

We realized that if one was in the sun, the temperature was okay.


Personalized bibs are the best.

We had tossed around running this one together, but knew that wasn't the goal for either of us, so we went off separately.

I think Brandon beat me out of the gate, so to speak, but I passed him fairly early on (since I'm worse at pacing better at downhills than he is). I made it to the first mile without walking, but needed a walk break at that point since I knew the pace was waaaaay too fast. Husband passed me at this point and I picked it back up.

I told Brandon that the course was pretty flat and fast ... well, I guess the powers that be changed it up a bit since it was a LOT more undulating. Which meant I was dying. I passed Brandon back once again, but he passed me again ... somewhere around mile two? A bit before? Maybe? ... and I was never able to retake him. He thought I was right on his heels the whole race (which unfortunately wasn't accurate), which helped him actually race this race as the first hard, painful 5K in years

I had to walk way more than I would have liked, but I was keeping a very close eye on the ol' Garmin to see if I could make it sub-30.

Thankfully, I did.

Oh dear sweet jeebus did that hurt. Dead husband is below my hand.

Final Stats:
Time: 29:49
2/27 AG (F34)(all open wave statistics)
227/1088 gender

Fastest 5K in a really long time for me and I was able to make it hurt. The running segments (of the run/walks) in that final half mile or so were in the 7s, which is ridiculous for me. But awesome.

That short, hard shit hurts ... and I'll most likely be doing a lot more of it next year. Hooray?

But first, a lot more slow, MAF slogs to get me through the winter ....

Friday, December 1, 2017

November Round-Up

You're going to read something I don't know if you've ever read before on a monthly recap ...

This month was a successful one.

Whaaaa? I know, right? Read on ...

Swimming: 8500m (5.28 mi)
Cycling: 72.54 mi
Running: 30.06 mi
Lifting: nine sessions (4:13)
Other: two curling sessions (2:15), one elliptical session (:20), one hike (:30), one instance "race volunteering" (3:00), three rowing sessions (:45), one stairmill session (:10), two walks (1:40), four yoga sessions (1:04)

While this month was successful, there were a few (tiny) slips. I missed four total planned workouts and had one off day. I had yoga scheduled for Thanksgiving day that I spaced on (because I left it to before bed and our guests left waaaay later than expected); I missed an elliptical session the next day (felt like poop ... though I did somehow manage the swim and the lift that day); and I took this past Wednesday off - serious lack of sleep made me feel nauseous ALL DAY so I missed my swim and lift that day.

But. I also did get a bit of bonus work in. Neither walks nor curling were built in. The "race volunteering" (really cheering at IMAZ) was technically built in, but not officially. I also got a bonus ride in due to the weather being too gorgeous to waste it.

In short, I set out a (manageable) plan and executed it almost perfectly. This has been one of my best running months of the whole year (surpassed by January and February (the last times I successfully stuck to my plan) and August (camp)). I've started HR training so I have spent a lot of actual time running as well, but I feel as though it's working and I'm actually excited to keep it going through the colder months. All of my rides were around 30 minutes, but they've kept me consistent on the bike. Had we not gone down to Arizona, I probably would have had more bike mileage. "But couldn't you have taken the bikes down?" you might ask. Well, yes, we could have, but let's not kid ourselves, we probably wouldn't really have ridden as much as hoped. Besides, being gone for a week was a great excuse to throw the bikes in the shop for some much needed TLC. Swimming, had I not missed my final swim, would have been over 10k, which would have been AWESOME, but alas, I dislike choking back bile in the pool, and that would have been my life Wednesday had I swum. No thanks.

The bestest most amazing part of this month though? I have actually enjoyed it. 

No, seriously.

It's taken 11 months and a lot of soul searching (and serious reorganization of 2018 plans; more on that in a month), but I'm actually enjoying the day to day of moving my body, and I could not be happier.

I've got my last race of the year coming up tomorrow, and then it's time to hammer out the details of 2018 and settle in to a nice solid offseason training groove.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Race #14 of the Season: Broomfield Turkey Day 5K

Well, my fall of racing into fitness is almost done, and it has been relatively successful. Case in point: yesterday's turkey trot.

The race was less than a week removed from my previous 5K, but I did get in another run in between (on Tuesday, after I got back from Arizona ... even though it was way shorter than I was hoping).

The weather was actually gorgeous yesterday; almost too warm, really. I think temperature at race start was 61 degrees? Definitely would have been too warm had I run the 10K.

Anyway, I woke up fairly easily despite getting to bed way later than I would have liked to Wednesday evening. I ate breakfast and headed up to Broomfield early so as to get a good parking spot (and find out the best area that was not only close to the race but also allowed me to exit easily as I had to go pick up B from the airport immediately after). I did stop at a 7-11 so as to get a pre-race snack of Pop Tarts, since eating breakfast at 6ish and running at 9ish meant that I knew I'd need a tiny bite in between.

I got my packet, chilled out in the car, ate my Pop Tarts.

With about 20 minutes to go until race start, I left the car to head to the start line. And also take a selfie with an inflatable turkey.


There were pace signs in the start corral, but I couldn't really find many of them and I didn't really know how things were going to go, so I just found myself a spot somewhere in the ... upper third of things, maybe?

9am rolled around, and off I went.

In theory my goals for this race (which I forgot about), were to:
- have fun
- sub-:30
- in and out

I ended up hitting two of the three, and had I actually remembered I wanted to hit sub-30 ... well, I might have tried to push a bit harder, though I'm not entirely sure that would have been possible.

First mile was fairly speedy, but it was also pretty much completely downhill. Unlike in AZ, I wasn't able to run all of the first two miles - first walk break was about 1.3 in. I tried to keep the breaks as short as possible, though, and push it a bit more when I was able to run.

I was a little frustrated with how much I wasn't able to go, but I kept a close eye on my watch to keep me averaging sub-10 per mile. Which I managed successfully.

Final Stats:
Time: 30:10.8
52/251 AG (F30-39)
186/956 gender
448/1661 overall

All in all, I'll take a race :30 quicker than the one a few days prior.

Plus, you know, a medal and free pie.

Just one more race remains on the schedule, and that's the Colder Boulder in a week. I've got three runs on tap prior to race day and I'd like two of them to be around three to four miles (at MAF) to attempt to get a bit more endurance under my belt. Biggest goal for that race is to hit sub-30 again, which I think I can do. I've run the race once before, back in 2015, and I did 27:45. I don't think I'll hit close to that, but I'd like to do my best.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Race #13 of the Season: IMAZ Friends and Family 5K

First of all, if this post has glaring issues, I just got a new laptop and HOLY EFF is it finicky. Also Windows 10, which can suck a big one. Because it is TERRIBLE. So there's that.

I probably really shouldn't even count this one, because, much like the Avs 5K, it wasn't officially timed. However, the distance was at least close - 3.08 miles as opposed to the 2.7 or whatever the Avs race was. So I'll count it.

I talked Brandon into doing this one with me, as yay, fun. I also got to run into a SMASH teammate afterward (who KILLED her first Ironman the next day!), so that was nice.

I didn't have my camera on me, but I had my phone, so pictures were taken ... pretty much for the purpose of this blog.

Brandon hanging out pre-"race".


The race itself was a little lollipop loop, running a bit of the actual IMAZ run course, crossing the actual finish line (although it was decorated for the Ironkids race that went off after us). I had flashbacks to that night in 2013, running along Tempe Town Lake and also up the hill, making that final turn. That really was such a special day.

Stolen from Brandon's Insta story. Mid-race selfie over a bridge (that is not part of the IMAZ run course).

As for how the run *actually* went ... pretty well, surprisingly.

- I managed to run the first two miles without walking AND at sub-10 pace.
- Final mile was super rough (not surprising as, except for races, I haven't really been running over two-ish miles).
- It was three seconds faster than the Eerie Erie.

3.08 miles (okay, okay, 3.11) in 30:48, which is actually sub-10, so hooray! Progress! Maybe there is something to this MAF thing ...

Post-race feels, with my "athlete gift" of a water bottle.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Race #12 of the Season: Longmont Turkey Trot 2M

Also known as my first ever two mile race. Automatic PR. Woo!

I spent the night before at Katie's house; partially because she lives less than a mile away and partially because I spent Friday up there hanging out with her post-surgery. It meant I woke up early Friday morning, got in a swim and some time on the erg, drove up to Longmont, and was super lazy the rest of the day, getting covered in puppy fur.

I had (super delicious) Thai food for dinner - no breakfast - and I had eggs without orange juice pre-race. I woke up in time to walk over to pick up my bib as soon as I could, around 7am, got my bib, and walked back to hang out in the comfort of friends pre-race. I headed back out at 8:45, thinking my race started at 9:05, when really it ended up being more like 9:15.

I talked to Brandon. I took a pre-race selfie.


I had a false start at the beginning, crossing over the timing mats, as we got stopped because one of the mats somehow got folded up. I started back up.

My legs felt rough at the outset, not used to moving so quickly. It's been a whole two weeks since my last race and I've been running super slowly using heart rate ever since. My average run pace currently is somewhere in the 13s as I trust this process ... and abandon it for races.

Still, they moved, and although it was painful, I got through the first mile without walking and just under a 9 minute pace.

The second mile was slower, and I'm really thankful this race was ONLY two miles, as it was rough. My Garmin had it a bit long (2.04), but whatever. Short races are AMAZING.

I crossed the finish line, grabbed my bottle of water, and kept on walking, right back to Katie and Thom's. I knew there were a lot of people running and I know I'm not one of the quickest around, so I didn't want to hang out for awards, figuring there would be no point. I hit my one main goal for the race - sub-20:00 - so I was happy.

Later that afternoon, looking up my results (and talking to a friend I saw running the 10K on facebook), I learned that I probably should have stuck around.

From my Insta story.

Final Stats:
Time: 18:31
2/29 AG (F30-34)
84/511 gender
242/965 overall

Apparently I got second. Was not expecting that. And, since the second place awards were perishable, I missed out on that, too. Which, I found out later, was pie. Dangit. I apparently get a certificate, though, and I'll be picking that up tomorrow.

So. To sum up, first two mile race, hit goal, automatic PR, placed in my AG. Not too shabby for a Saturday morning.

Friday, November 3, 2017

October Round-Up

Also known as the continuation of the offseason ...

... kinda.


Swimming: 2500m (1.55 mi)
Cycling: 16.43 mi 
Running: 14.41 mi
Lifting: 12 sessions (3:26)
Other: one yoga session (:16), two walks (1:25), one hike (:35), two curling sessions (3:45)

See? Glorious offseason. 

I think I swam and rode twice each. Obviously I intended on doing more, but clearly, nope. I ran a teensy bit (as given my recent race recaps) more than both of those. Mostly, I lifted. I am determined to make strength a focus again. I've backed off a bit on the TIU dailies ... because the amazing Erin Carson came out with an app over IM Kona and I'd totally rather do her strength work. The free trial period is ending I think by the end of the month, but I probably will pay the money for the programs because they are AWESOME. 

You may have also noticed that the curling numbers popped up ... Yeah, we officially joined the Denver Curling Club so Sundays are now officially curling days in our house. It's not something that will keep us in shape, but it will be a fun extra activity.

That being said, I have deemed October to be the last of the lazy offseason. (I'm still full in offseason mode in terms of distances/effort, mind you). I want to get back into regular swimming and cycling (even if it's just 20-30 minutes at a time). I am also adding in other random cardio, like the elliptical and the erg and possibly even the stepmill.

More importantly ... I'm actually attempting MAF with the run. I've figured out that 140 is where I need to be given the 180-age+other factors formula so, on all of my training runs, that's what I'm gonna do. It will be a lot more walking than usual and a lot slower paces (yay 14 min miles!!!), but I need to get my run back and I'm going to attempt to do it the proper way around this time.

I will still "race" my 5Ks/2miler, though.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Race #11 of the Season: Eerie Erie 5K

... my next race in Project Race Back Into Run Fitness.

I didn't wear a costume for this one, however, even though it was closer to Halloween than the previous race. If it were a lot colder I was considering wearing my wetsuit (that would have been super awkward to run in ...), but it was actually kind of perfect running weather.

Brandon wasn't in town for this one, but Katie's Team Amazing Day peeps were there (as was Katie in a spectator capacity; all photos except the first selfie one are courtesy of her), so I did have a group of people to hang out with which was nice.

Tbh I took this just so I had a photo for this blog post ...

Some of the faster people edged up toward the start line while I hung back with Thom (Katie's husband and birthday boy of the day) as I knew this wasn't going to be anything spectacular.

There's me behind Waldo. SMASH beanie/socks/race belt; Skirt skirt and tank (underneath my BU pullover).

First mile was downhill and fast - I was trying to keep it steady and it was still just over a 9 min mile. Oops. Didn't have to walk until after the first mile marker/aid station but from then on ... it was my usual run/walk slog. Mile two wasn't terrible but I started heating up and took my pullover off early into mile three. I saw Katie taking photos at the top of the hill toward the finish so I kind of tossed her the pullover.

Here I come!


Overall, I did run about a minute faster than the previous week's race ... but how much of that is due to the course I have no idea.

Final Stats:
Time: 30:51
27/90 AG (F30-39)
74/284 gender
146/438 overall

The next race in the project is actually my first 2 miler on November 11th (it's either that or a 10K and I am not ready to run a 10K ...), so automatic PR. Woo!