Run Local (Radio Run 5k)

I know I’ve probably written about this before, but I really enjoy¬†participating in local races. Living an¬†hour’s drive from Dallas area, there is no shortage of races, but there can be the problem of getting up early to beat traffic and parking issues at race sites. I’m the type who gets there early and has plenty of time to hit the porta potties¬†get ready to race.

So when I saw an advertisement for a 5k¬†in my city,¬†I decided to run it. I don’t usually run 5ks while marathon training (my last one was Labor Day), because I have trouble¬†finding a day¬†for my long run. I decided to test the waters a bit this time. My plan was to race the 5k after some warmup miles and do my long run on Saturday -cutting it short if I noticed any problems from racing – and that’s exactly what I did.

The face of someone who slept in on a Saturday (6 am)

The face of someone who slept in on a Saturday (6 am)

 

Since the race was so close and I missed packet pickup, I ran to the location (3/4 of a mile) to pick up my stuff and then ran it back home. I headed back to the race site with my husband who was on his bike. After a warmup with some other members from my running group I had a little over 3 miles.

I decided not to check my Garmin the entire race after reading this article earlier in the week. Planning to have my heaviest training week of the year so far, I didn’t want to have false expectations. Training for marathons doesn’t usually require short, fast running but mostly higher mileage runs. I had the plan to stay with a few runners from my group that I knew were planning 7:30-7:45 pace. I ran based on my effort with my eyes trained on their backs. My course cheerleader (my husband on his bike) kept alongside me using his own form of encouragement. We need to have an intervention before OKC or he might get a cup of water tossed on him. Ha! Seriously though, it’s nice to have someone call you out when you¬†need it.

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Photo taken by Lisa from the running group

I passed a few people in the last mile, so I may have sped up in the second half. It helps that I knew how close we were to the finish¬†since I wasn’t relying on my Garmin. That’s another advantage of a local race. I was excited¬†to cross the finish and see 23:xx on the clock.

The result: a 14 second PR. My official time was 23:09 with an age group win! I was the 17th finisher out of over 350 runners! If you had told me that I would be faster now at age 39 than I was in high school, I would’ve laughed in your face. I am not saying this to brag. I’m simply saying this because I’m definitive proof that hard work does pay off. I have never been a fast runner.

A medal, Clif Bar and Jimmy John's sandwich? Win, win!

A medal, Clif Bar and Jimmy John’s sandwich? Win, win!

I also like the idea of running without a timepiece and the importance of listening to my body. Oh, and the guys I was trying to gauge my speed off of Рthey ran a 7:14 pace.

Sunday, I did my 16 mile long run after spending the rest of Saturday working in the yard. I tried to use a run/walk method to change things up. 9 minutes of running/1 minute walking. By the third segment I was tired of checking my Garmin, so I tossed that plan and just ran.


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I went back to work today to get some rest.

 

Do you enjoy local races? Do you race without a timepiece?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rock on!

Sunday I ran the Dallas Rock ‘n Roll half marathon. This was my second year to run this race and I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t have experience with any other Competitor races, but for a big local half marathon this is a great one to do.

Dallas skyline at 6 am

Dallas skyline at 6 am

UPS does gear check too?

UPS does gear check too?

The weather was a little cool and windy, but thankfully no rain.

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I was overdressed with a 1/4 zip pullover and capri tights. Usually my legs get warmer faster than my upper body, but this time the pullover had me sweating extra by mile 3. I unzipped and pulled the thumbholes back but it didn’t help much. The course was not as windy in the first half as I thought it would be. Combine that with the hills that dominate the first half, and I was struggling.

Going in to this race, I didn’t feel strong enough to run the time I thought I should be capable of (sub 1:50:00) but I managed to hold a pace around 8:23-24 for about the first 10 miles. I bumped¬†it up for the last 5k telling myself to just hang on – “it’s not a marathon, it will be over soon.” The elevation drops in the second half helped out a lot.

The spectators were great and some signs made me laugh out loud. My favorite was a lady sitting on a couch with cold cream on her face, rollers in her hair, wearing a robe, and a sign that said: “You got me up for this? Go Trudy!”

The finish is in Fair Park, and I’ve done enough races there to recognize when I’m close. I stopped checking my Garmin and tried to focus on finishing strong, but several people ran past me in the last 1/4 mile. I think they had too much gas left in the tank, because surely I wasn’t slowing down. I was surprised my time was so close to hitting my “A” goal. I took almost two minutes off of last year’s time.

PR!

PR!

 

After the race, there was this nice bonus:

American Authors!

That would be American Authors on stage. My 16 year-old daughter is so jealous.

Thanks again for a great race, Dallas. Here’s to another 5 years!

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Last Week’s Training

Some weeks, my training seems to be on autopilot. The alarm goes off, I pop out of bed, get dressed, and get the run done before the kids get up. Then some weeks I struggle because of the time change or spring break or family obligations. Or all of the above.

I thought having spring break directly after time change would be great. The kids would sleep in and I would get my planned mileage. Win-win.

Wrong.

Monday started way too early because of my husband’s schedule and my sleep was disrupted enough that I felt exhausted all day. Plus I worked an 8 hour day instead of my usual 5 and a half. I know, rough right?

Tuesday, I drug myself out of bed and drove to the track I use on occasion Рonly to find it locked. A last minute workout change had me switching from 400m repeats to a tempo run back in my hilly neighborhood.  I then drug my achy legs to work for another 8 hour day. By Tuesday night I was exhausted, but due to my increased caffeine intake, I was wide awake at 10 pm. Again.

Wednesday’s Texas weather brought wind gusts up to 30 mph. Thankfully, cross training was on the schedule. Stationary bike, jump rope, core work, and some arm weights. Then it was off to the oral surgeon for the 16 year old. Wisdom teeth be gone. The rest of the day I alternated roles of mom and nurse. Spring break fun.

I still had trouble getting out of bed Thursday and Friday. My mileage was a little short, but I was holding strong with my nutrition. Temptations were everywhere with ice cream, cookies, and Little Debbie cakes. I hope I’m at the point where my drive for speed outweighs my desire for junk food.

By Saturday morning, I was wide awake by 5:45. Finally. I was the only female there for the group run along with several faster guys. I thanked them for “slowing down” for me. I imagine the paces were in the 8:15-8:30s for the 3.5 miles I ran with them. That was a good push for me to be ready for this Sunday’s half marathon. I ended up with 12 miles total and I kind of tanked toward the end thanks to a lost gel packet that fell out of the elastic on my belt. Probably because I was running so fast for those three plus miles. ūüôā

This week I’m going to taper down a bit. I’d like to see how fast I can run on Sunday. My last good solid half marathon was a year ago at this same race.

If you’d like to follow along with my training progress – you can check it out on my Daily Mile link on this page. How is your training going?

Have a great week!

It’s a Family Thing

After my finish at the Houston Marathon, my husband (who has been at every start and finish of my seven marathons) told me: “I’m getting a bike for the next race. I don’t want to sit at the start and finish anymore. I want to be out on the course.” Or something like that. In my defense, I was in my post-race euphoria.

Last Saturday, we finally had the opportunity to go bike shopping.

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While I’m working on building my mileage back up for Oklahoma City, he’s spending his time getting his legs ready too. I had my first double-digit run since Cowtown on Saturday. I pushed myself more since I was with the running group. I think it was good for me with a half marathon in two weeks.

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Our teenage daughter who wants to go with us to OKC had to have a bike too. The eight year old has outgrown his. The 11 year old’s bike was bent before the move. So yesterday, we shopped to replace bikes. With the nicer weather this week, they are all wanting to ride now.

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Go Big or Go Home

While all won’t be riding around Oklahoma City – thank goodness – I’m pleased that we found something everyone seems to enjoy together.

We were outdoors yesterday so they could break in their new bikes, and my 11 year-old said, “Mom, where’s your bike?”

“She doesn’t have one.” My eight year old replied.

Time to start saving my pennies.

Don’t Miss the Running Moments

Two days after Cowtown, I was ready for a run. Just an easy shakeout run. Good for recovery and working out some soreness.

I also desperately needed some time to think, to process thoughts. A heavy decision was hanging around my head. Running is a way for me to break thoughts free – to make sense of things.

As soon as I got home with the kids after school, I put my running clothes on and caught my 11 year-old as I was heading out the door. “I’ll be back in about 20 minutes.”

“Oh, I want to go! Let me go change.”

Before I could say anything, she was down the hall in her room. I was a little disappointed – there goes my thinking time – but I will never turn my kids down if they want to run with me.

We made it all of four minutes before the first walk break, and turned around at five minutes. We stopped at the park, and she hit the swings while I ran loops around the playground equipment.

As we rounded the corner on our street she grabbed my hand. “I like running with you. When I grow up I want to run a marathon too. I want to be just like you.”

I looked at her flushed face and instantly knew why I needed to run that day. I would’ve missed that moment if I hadn’t.