It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

July 31, 2013

Rock the Crossroads 5K (My Triathlon Cool Down?)

I'm sure you've all seen the bumper stickers or t-shirts that say "26.2 is my cool down" (referring to the marathon at the end of the Ironman race of course).

Well on Saturday, 26.2 miles certainly wasn't my cool down, but I guess maybe I could say 3.1 was.

Saturday, I not only did my first triathlon of the season, setting a new overall PR, bike PR, and run PR (if you missed that report click here), but, I thought I'd add an evening 5K to my day too.  I woke up at 3 am, raced my triathlon, and then headed home.  I got home just in time for a shower and lunch.  Afterwards I took a quick nap, and before I knew it, it was time to get up and around for the 5K.  I was exhausted.  I wouldn't end up getting home til about 11pm.  It was a really long day.

The Rock the Crossroads 5K is held in the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City.  It's an eclectic part of town full of graffiti, odd pieces of art, art galleries and restaurants.  It's a pretty hilly course for a 5K, but the swag was great.  You got an awesome t-shirt, huge medal (bigger than many of my half marathon medals), and a post race concert from the local KC band Switch.  You also got free race photos - bonus!

Cool graffiti in the background.  That's my friend Cindy in black and white too
I knew going into the race I shouldn't run it fast (and probably wouldn't be able to if I wanted).  So I decided up front, I would take it slow, because I still had a long marathon training run the next morning.  Luckily this was a recovery week for me, so my long run was only 8 miles.  Although a triathlon and a 5K in the same day is probably not the most ideal situation for a recovery week.  I managed my 8 miles ok the next morning, but it was hard.  My legs were dead those first 4 miles, but I was actually faster the last 4.

Shirt & Medal
Anyway, we were meeting friends for this race, so I decided to run with my friend Cindy who I knew would be taking it slower.  I knew if I ran by myself I'd push too hard.  So really there's not much to report.  I ran a 5K at a pretty slow pace.  We finished with an 11:54 pace (Garmin), but an official pace of 12:18 because the course was pretty long - 3.23.  My legs felt pretty good though, and I felt like I could have gone much faster - which felt great, it made me feel strong.  But I'm glad I took it slow and didn't kill myself.  I knew better.

After I got done I found out Jim had WON the Masters Division!  It was his first Masters win and he was really excited.  He's an amazing runner!  I was so proud of him!

Lastly, I'll leave you with this nugget stolen from my husband's blog.  I thought it was pretty funny.  You know Jim and I love to take funny pictures, and this seemed like it could have been a real story....LOL......

From Jim's Blog:

After we parked and chatted with our friends for a bit, Michael and I stopped to ask this friendly Robot where the starting line was.  He must not have heard me or didn't understand, because he didn't respond and actually had kind of a confused look on his face.  To which Michael immediately started making fun of the guy and was like, "Duh geeee ... duh I dunnno ... I'm just a stupid piece of metal ... beep-boop-beep ... I don't compute human talking ... duhhhhheee!!!"  I felt like she was a little over the top and I actually felt bad for the poor guy.  He seemed like a nice Robot that didn't deserve that.  But if he'd been a Zombie I would've probably done exactly the same thing.  Michael really hates Robots.

July 29, 2013

New Triathlon PR - WIN for KC Tri!

On Saturday, I took on the WIN for KC Triathlon.  This was my very first triathlon (and would be my 3rd time doing the event).  It's an all women's sprint tri and is very beginner friendly.  In fact, about 50% of the participants are first timers, which I think is awesome!  The race consists of a 500 meter lake swim, a 10 mile bike, and a 5K run.  It's truly a great race.  Well organized and well supported.

I love all the balloons to help people mark their'll only see this at all women's races

As most of you know, I've been running a lot this year...but biking and swimming....well not so much.  On Wed (just 3 days before the race) my Dr. cleared me to race.  My wrist bone that I broke in May was 80% healed, but she thought that was good enough.  So, I could race, the only problem was that I had basically done no biking or swimming for the majority of the year.  Yes, I had been riding on my trainer at least one day per week for about 30 minutes, and in the last month I had started swimming laps in my neighborhood pool for about 15 minutes once a week.  Not much for training, but better than nothing I guess.  I knew based on the distance my overall running fitness would get me through.  I might not have a great race, but I could finish.  My nerves were my biggest factor since I hadn't been outside on my bike since my wreck.

You might recall that I purchased a new tri bike in April....I did not ride my new bike.  I have literally only ridden this bike once (and that was the day I wrecked), so I knew I didn't feel comfortable enough to try to use it for a race.  So I loaded my old, heavy road bike instead.

I had few expectations for the race since I really hadn't trained for it.  I was hoping my run would be faster since I had been running so much, but I wasn't even sure about that since I hadn't done many runs off the bike either.  I had been doing a short 10 minute or 1 mile run off my trainer on Sundays, but that doesn't quite replicate conditions.  Anyway, my main goal for this race was truly just to have fun.  I needed a good experience to remind me of my love for triathlon to help get myself over the nerves of getting on the bike again.

Race day came and I woke up at a glorious 3 am.  I left my home at 4 am and meet 3 of my girlfriends (who were volunteering) to ride up together.  We took a few wrong turns, but finally made it to the race at 5:15 am (a few minutes late for their 5 am volunteer check-in).  Luckily, I was there early enough that I got the first spot on my bike rack - score!  I got my transition area all set up in a few minutes and was ready to go by about 5:30...but the race didn't start until 7:30.  I talked with my friends awhile and also found several people I knew who were racing.  The time went very fast, and before I knew it, it was 7 and they were kicking us out of transition.

It was actually kind of cold for race morning (which is crazy).  It was only about 58 degrees!  It wouldn't be out of the norm at all for it to be 80+ at the end of July in KC.  Everyone standing around waiting for the race to start in their bathing suits and tri suits were freezing.  We were all kind of in shock, but knew the water would feel great because it would be warmer than the outside temperature.

The calm before the storm.  I love seeing all the kayakers in divers in the lake
For this race they do a time trial start where you line up according to your approximate swim time and then one person starts every 3 seconds.  It takes a lot longer to start this way (in fact there were still people waiting to start the race when the winner of the event crossed the finish line), but it definitely make the swim less chaotic.  I lined up with the 10 minute swim group, even though I knew I couldn't swim this fast.  I just wanted to start a little earlier and knew other people would do the same so I wouldn't be totally out of my league.  As I was waiting in line to start I was surprised that I didn't feel nervous at all....but then all of a sudden there were only about 10 people in front of me and suddenly I thought, oh crap, I guess I'm gonna do this and started to get nervous, but luckily I only had about 30 seconds to worry about it and then it was my turn to get in the water.

I jumped in and started swimming.  I felt pretty good throughout the swim.  I didn't want to push it too much so I tried to swim a good steady pace.  I was happy with how I felt because I never had to stop and rest and made it through the swim pretty easily.  A few minutes in to the swim though my garmin buzzed....crap I thought.  I thought I had it set for auto multisport, but I knew when that happened I had it set on run and it was giving me my run/walk alert for my long runs.  Oh well.

I came out of the swim, and hit the lap timer on my Garmin for a 12:37 swim.  It wasn't a bad swim time, but it was slower than the last time I had done this event by about a 50 seconds.  Of course later I did hear several people (much faster swimmers) complain that the course was long.  I might have been able to confirm this if my Garmin was working.

I headed in to transition and put on my helmet, sunglasses, shoes, and wrist splint!  I figured I could at least track my overall time on the Garmin even if I wouldn't know my mph on the bike.  I hit the lap timer again as I pulled out of transition (or did I?).  I was very careful to get on the bike (not to fall), but did great.  I quickly found myself passing people on the bike...wahoo...look at me go.  Then, I thought, wait - did I hit the lap timer?  So I hit it again (or so I thought)....a few miles into the ride I look down just to gauge my overall time and it was 15:05 and I thought - no way, I've been going longer than that....ooops I had hit pause.  So anyway, I had no data on the bike whatsoever, and no idea of my overall time....oh well.  I felt like I was riding pretty well and then my hamstring started to cramp up a bit, so I thought maybe I was pushing a bit too hard.  Even though it was only 10 miles, it was still basically my first outdoor ride of the year.  So I slowed it down just a bit, so my legs wouldn't be totally useless off the run.  The only minor thing on the bike at all was the turnaround.  The bike is on a very narrow 2 lane country road.  It's 5 miles out and back and you have to do a turnaround in the middle of the road.  I slowed down as I approached the turn, but the girl ahead of me took it too wide and ran off the I had to ride a little farther up and come back in to make the turn to make sure I avoided her.  When I did this, someone behind me took the opportunity to get in front of me.  I caught her later, but she ended up passing me again.  Boo.

Although I didn't know it at the time, my bike time was 35:17 (17 mph rate) and a minute and a half improvement from the last time I did WIN.  I was pretty thrilled with that since I've done no biking! I'm pretty sure that's my fastest pace ever in a race!  I wonder what I might have done on my tri bike???   I made my way into transition and probably dismounted a little too early because I was just nervous about getting off the bike without falling...I did fine.

I got through transition pretty quickly and reset my Garmin.  I figured at least I could have the run data.  My legs felt pretty wobbly as I anticipated but I felt ok.  I did the first mile in about 10:30 and was super happy with that.  I told myself no matter how much it hurt, I needed to try to hold that pace.  Around the one mile marker I passed a girl who said "only one mile...I thought we were at least half way through by now".  I told her she was doing great, and moved on.  About a quarter mile later she passed me, then I passed her again.  This went on until about mile 2 when I passed her again and I told myself "you are not letting her pass you again!"  This had happened on the bike and I wasn't going to let it happen on the run too.  I could hear her foot falls directly behind me, but I pressed on trying to run faster to stay ahead of her.  Finally about mile 2 1/2 I looked back at her and said we only have about a half mile to go.  She said "ok, I'm just following you".  I said, "ok, well you are pushing me, so we're good".  I continued to hear her behind me but before we finished she fell a little bit further behind.  But knowing she was there really helped push me through the run.  I finished in 31:50 (10:16 pace).  I was thrilled!  Not only was this over a 4 minute improvement from my previous run split at WIN, but it was the fastest run pace I have ever done in a triathlon!  And to top it all off, my last mile was at a 9:53 pace (my 5K PR pace).  I surprised myself by how strong I was at the end of the race.

I finished the race in 1:23:49, a new WIN for KC PR by 5 minutes!  I was 300th overall out of 838 and 81 out of 181 in my age group (I think this is the highest ranking I've ever had in large race - I was actually above the 50% group).  I couldn't have been happier with how my race went.  But the day wasn't over yet.  I packed up my stuff to head home and get ready for race #2 - the Rock the Crossroads 5K at 7:30 pm.  It was going to be a long, hard day.....but more about that race later.  This post is too long already.

Me at the finish with my trusty road bike

July 25, 2013

So I Guess I'm Gonna Tri on Saturday

Well, after what seems like an epically long ordeal with my wrist, I have finally be "cleared" by the Dr. to resume normal activities.  I had a follow-up CT Scan on Monday and Dr. visit on Wednesday.  She told me my wrist bone is 80% healed.  While still not 100%, she said it's healed enough at this point that normal activities will not impact the healing process.  She sees no reason why it won't heal 100%, nor any reason I can't bike again and do a triathlon on Saturday.

I registered for this race in February because it usually sells out the day it opens.  It was my very first triathlon.  It's an all women's short sprint race.  It's only a 500 meter swim, 10 mile bike and 5K run, so I'm not concerned with the distance at all.  It won't be a great race for me, but I know I can get through it with no problem.  My main concern is that I have ridden my bike outside 3 times since last fall, and one of those times was my wreck.  So, I'm really nervous about just getting out there again.  While it's a great basic event, it's also considered a beginner's event and usually for over 50% of women's it's their first triathlon.  Inexperienced bikers are a little scary.  I shouldn't be nervous at all...I've done a freaking 70.3, but just with this wreck in my head I know I'm just worried about wrecking again.  But I keep telling myself - it's a closed course, it's a short event, it's beginner friendly.  And I know that more than anything I just need to get out there again and remember why I started doing triathlon in the first place - to have fun!  I need a good positive experience on the bike to rebuild my confidence.

So, on Saturday I'll be doing my first triathlon of 2013 (should have been at least my 3rd).  And just for fun, later that night I'll also be doing another 5K.  That should be interesting.

So wish me luck!  I'm gonna need lots of good vibes to get over those nerves!

Me finishing my first triathlon....looking exhausted, but smiling :)

July 24, 2013

Duped….Hoodwinked…Bamboozled Again!

In the 90s most of us were duped into believing fat free was the way to go.   I know I was.  Then there has been low carb, no carb, sugar free and on and on.  Lately we hear more about gluten free, wheat free, soy free and so on.  And then of course there is all natural, organic and recently non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms).
As I’ve began running more over the last several years I’ve become far more health conscious.  I’m not perfect by any stretch, but I really do try to watch what I put into my body.  For the most part I avoid artificial sweeteners (except Stevia).  I try to limit my gluten and wheat intake.  And when I’m not buying whole foods, I mainly buy organic and all natural products from the health foods section of the store.  I also buy organic or locally grown produce when it’s available (and not 3 times the price).
I love fresh fruit smoothies, but let’s face it they take some time to make.  So in a pinch, Jim and I have on several occasions purchased the Naked ALL NATURAL 100% JUICE with no sugar added.  How can you go wrong with this right?  They are 100% juice….sure they contain a little something to maintain freshness, but all products do right?
Well imagine my surprise when I turned on my PC this morning and read about the class action lawsuit against them.  Yesterday, PepsiCo (who owns the Naked brand) agreed to pay $9 Million for claiming there juice is “all natural”.  There juice actually contains “added synthetic compounds such as calcium pantothenate (synthetically produced from formaldehyde)” and “Fibersol-2 (a proprietary synthetic digestion-resistant fiber produced by Archer Daniels Midland and developed by a Japanese chemical company), fructooligosaccharides (a synthetic fiber and sweetener), and inulin (an artificial and invisible fiber added to foods to … increase fiber content without the typical fiber mouth-feel) (Source:  Nation of Change, July 24, 2013)”.  PepsiCo also “donated” $2.5 Million dollars to help defeat Prop 37 in California that would have required companies to label their products as containing GMO ingredients.
Was I seriously trusting my health to Pepsi?  I'm pretty sure they aren't too concerned with health.  Although I didn't know until this morning that Naked was owned by Pepsi.
This is just another reminder to read labels closely.  It’s not the first time I’ve been fooled, and probably won’t be the last.  It's also another reason to eat more whole foods.  Who needs this processed crap anyway?  I know I won't be buying these again.

July 19, 2013

Gee.....I'm So Lucky I Live with a Legend

In the Weatherly household there are a lot of one-sided conversations between Jim and I that go a little something like this (comments from Jim): 

  • Wow babe, look at my Garmin splits for that track workout - can you run that fast?  I'm not sure anyone can.

  • Oops, looks like I won my AG in that race again.  I just don't know how I keep doing it over and over again.

  • Man, I think the Olympics  might be calling me for tryouts any day now.

  • I'm kind of a Big Deal (wait that was Ron Burgundy, but it's still something Jim would say).

The majority of these comments get the same response from me, eye roll or a casual "uh-huh, sure babe".  I mean I have to do something to keep this man of mine humble.

But yesterday, super Jim took this picture of himself running and posted it to his blog and of course a new conversation ensued between us.

Jim:  Hey Babe can you come downstairs so I can show you something spectacular?

Me:  No, I'm working and I'm pretty busy.

Jim:  I know you are working, but stop everything and come look at this picture I took today!!  It's incredible!!  You just won't believe it!

Me:  Seriously?  You called me downstairs for this?  Did you seriously spend time taking pictures of yourself at the track?  Don't you have better stuff to do?

Jim:  Seriously, Babe, I don't think you understand what you are seeing.  It's the most awesome thing I've ever seen or done.  Look at my massive muscles glistening in the sun.  Look at how impressive my form is.  Look at that studly man in the picture.  Do you know how lucky you are to be married to a man of my caliber?

Me:  Yea, it's great.  Thanks for sharing.  I gotta get back to work now.

Jim:  Wait, I can see you are not fully comprehending the situation here.  This is the best picture ever.  I'm pretty sure ESPN or Sports Illustrated are going to see it and call me any day now for a photo shoot or something.  And just think, people on my blog only get to see this one picture, but you baby, you get to see this every day!  You are so lucky.

Me:  Eye roll and return upstairs to my office.

Yes, ladies.  I am a lucky woman so, so lucky.

LOL, I have to admit it is a pretty cool picture, but I can't tell Jim that or it might go to his head.  So don't tell him I said so....OK.

July 16, 2013

Marathon Training – So Far So Good

I’m well into my training for the Chicago Marathon.  It’s hard to believe it’s just 12 weeks away!  I’m still not officially registered for the race which is a little concerning, but we have been assured by Marathon Tours and Travel that the registration process is just delayed this year due to changes in the organization (i.e. several people were probably fired after that giant fiasco that was the original registration process) and that our registrations are in no way in jeopardy.  Still I would like to be officially registered.

Can't wait to run here!
This will only be my 2nd marathon, so I still very much consider myself a novice marathoner.  I chose an 18 week plan, and I’m just starting my 6th week.  Honestly the first four weeks were pretty easy – I was basically doing the same thing I was already doing.  Last week it got a little more “real” with a 14 mile run on Saturday.  This is the longest run I’ve had since I was training for Disney a year and a half ago.  Granted, I’ve ran probably 12 or more half marathons since then, so 14 miles isn’t a huge stretch, but it is the longest I’ve ran in a really, really long time.

I’m doing several things the same as I did for my Disney training.  As a novice marathoner – my main goal is to finish the marathon with a smile and hopefully injury free.  I do have some time goals, but those are secondary to just finishing happy and being able to move afterward.  For that reason I’ve chosen a running plan that runs 4 days a week.  I run Tues, Wed, Thurs, and have a long run on Saturday usually, but occasionally on Sunday.  My Tues/Thursday runs are shorter in distance averaging from 3 to 5 miles.  My Wednesday run is between 3 and 8 miles – gradually building as my overall distance builds.  I’ve incorporated two 20 mile runs and one 22 mile run before race day.  Thanks to everyone who gave me advice about whether or not I should run a marathon as a training run.  I decided against it, but Jim and I did find a great 20 mile race 3 weeks before Chicago instead.  This should be perfect and at least one of these super long runs will be supported.  I’m also incorporating speed, tempo and/or hills into my shorter runs once a week.  I take Fridays off completely and, cross train on Sunday and rest or cross train on Monday.  Lately Sundays have been mini triathlon days.  I ride about 10 to 12 miles on my trainer, run for 15 to 30 minutes and then swim for about 15 to 20 minutes.  It seems to work well for recovery.  Mondays I take it pretty easy and usually only end up doing core work and walking that day.  I feel like my plan is pretty solid, and will have me adequately prepared for race day.

Other things I’m doing again are incorporating the run/walk technique and eating real food on my long runs.  I’m doing a 4 minute run interval followed by a 1 minute walk break.  This seems to be working really well.  I know many of you competitive runners would laugh at this and not call it running, but it works for me.  Like I said – main goal here is to finish injury free.  When you first start running it’s hard to stop and walk after just 4 minutes, but that’s the whole point – reserve the energy while you have it.  If you end up walking after you are tired, you walk much more than you want and slow down even more.  Run/walk also works different muscles and therefore helps avoid injury. 

I have learned that my body just doesn’t do well with gels, etc. so I’m eating food during my run.  If all goes well, I’ll finish this marathon somewhere around 5:30 – 5:45, so I know my body will need fuel.  For Disney I tried several things, but landed with mini fig newtons and Mojo Bars.  I decided I’d try this same thing.  I couldn’t find the mini fig newtons, but did find an all-natural whole wheat Fig Bar instead, which is probably a much better choice anyway than the crap that’s in the fig newtons.  I just cut them up into bite sized pieces and took them with me.  They were a little sweet and I found myself reaching for the Mojo Bar bites more often, but I think they’ll work.  This along with some Gatorade and water should hopefully keep me going.  I’ll continue to try out different things over the next few weeks to see what works best for me.

The hardest part of my training is going to be doing long runs in the heat.  The Disney marathon was in January, so my training was in the fall.  The long runs were tough, but the weather was cool.  I’ve never really done many long runs in extreme heat.  So far, we’ve actually had decent weather in Kansas City (which is very unusual), but the hot weather is back and probably here to stay for the next 6 to 8 weeks.  You can beat the extreme heat of the day by running early, but when you have a 4+ hour run it’s impossible to beat it completely and you can’t avoid the humidity, which is always far worse in the morning.  I imagine I will be doing several long runs when the temperatures are in the 80s with humidity off 80% or better.  It will be challenging, but I won’t let it stop me.  I just need to remember to slow down and hydrate!

In other news - I go back for yet another follow-up CT scan on my wrist next week.  I’m hopeful to hear that it’s 100% healed….or at least progressing.  I just want to move past this stupid injury.  It has plagued my summer training.  I am thankful though that I have still been able to run.  I know many injured bloggers out there who haven’t been as fortunate.
Chicago will also be my 4th race and 1st marathon with this crazy girl!  Can't wait :)

Hope everyone’s training is going well!!

July 11, 2013

The Top Ten Reasons I Run

People ask me all the time - why do you run - why would anyone do that?  These are my top 10 reasons!

#10......I love knowing that, not only did I get up before most people I know, but I did more before 6 am than most people will do all day.  There's a great sense of accomplishment in that!

#9......I get to dance!  You know the pre-race dance and running totally go together.

#8......Most days, at some point on my run, I get to enjoy the sunrise.  That's always amazing!

#7.....Race Day (especially the ones we get to travel to)!  Race day is the reward for the many miles you put in through the week, but it couldn't happen without those runs in between.  Of course I enjoy the medals too!

#6......Because on occasion, this woman, but child at  heart gets to dress up!  Love it!

#5......Because I enjoy pain.  Who doesn't want to wake up every morning to a new pain.  If it hasn't hurt on me at some point, I'm sure today will be the day.

#4......Because I always wanted to suck really bad at something.  All my life I've been pretty awesome and everything I have touched has turned to gold (lol - totally kidding), but I can't seem to figure running out...I try and try, but I'm still slow...that's ok.  I still love it!
#3......Sharing good times with family and friends!  I love sharing this hobby with my husband Jim, but I have also met some wonderful people through running (and triathlon).  

#2......It's good for the mind, body, and soul.  Truly!  I love watching my body and heart getting stronger - that's awesome!  But so many days it truly helps clear the mind and take away the stress.  

And # 1 is................To survive the Zombie Apocalypse!  Come on, you know it's coming eventually...and when it does I'll be able to outrun those slow suckers (unless they are World War Z fast - then I'm in trouble)!

So what about YOU?  Why do YOU Run???

July 08, 2013

Stars & Stripes 5K - FASTEST RUN EVER!!!

OK, so there's a spoiler alert in the title....but that's ok....I'm SUPER excited to share the news!

On Thursday, Jim and I did our 2nd annual Stars & Stripes 5K in our beautiful hometown of Lee's Summit, MO.  It's awesome having a race so close to home.  Just a short 10 minute drive and we were parked and ready to go.  This is a fairly small race (about 700) but well organized by one of the local Running Companies (Kansas City Running Company).  All of their races are always great and they sponsor several group runs and other activities in the community.

I had no plans to PR this race....absolutely none.  I had several things going against me.  First, it had only been 4 days since the Double Road Race where I had set a new 10K PR (and 15K PR) and I probably wasn't fully recovered.  Second, and probably the biggest issue, was we had been to our friends annual BBQ and 4th of July party the night before.  I might have enjoyed some brisket, nachos and cheese, a glass of wine, and a cupcake among other things the night before.  I might have had seconds on the nachos and cheese....hmmmm.....this might not be a good idea.  On the way over to the party I told Jim, I'm just gonna enjoy the food "it's just a 5K and I'm not gonna let it it ruin my night".  So I guess technically, I stuck with my plan.

So, when I woke up Thursday morning, my stomach was a little cranky to say the least.  I felt bloated and a little sick from all the salt and crap food the night before, plus with the booming fireworks all night I hadn't slept great. 

But once I got there, well it was just such a beautiful morning that I just started to feel kind of excited.  We lucked in to our 2nd unseasonal race day temperatures and as we lined up for the race at 7am it was only in the low 60s.  The sun was shining.  It was truly a gorgeous day!  Jim and I had done this race the year before and the starting temp was 85!!  It was still humid, which you just can't avoid in KC in the summer, but it was about the nicest day you could have in July.

Although I had a few things going against me I knew I also had a few things going for me.  I have lost several pounds over the last few months, I have been doing core work pretty religiously 4 to 5 times a week, and I had recently been doing some speed work.  Honestly, I was feeling pretty strong and the weather was just about perfect. 

As race time approached I put my cranky stomach out of my mind and decided to go for it.  I wasn't sure if I had a PR in me or not, but I decided I was at least going to run this race hard. 

The race starts off pretty flat and I found myself running a 9:45 first mile! I just needed to hold on - if possible.  The second mile is a little "hillier" - there are really no hills, in this race, but when you are running at top speed any incline can seem huge.  My pace this 2nd mile was 10:05.  I was disappointed because I felt like my effort was the same, but my pace was slowing.  But, after 2 miles, my average pace was still around 9:55 and I had never ran a race with a pace in the 9s - EVER!  I was feeling pretty tired, but I now realized that if I could just push it, really push it, I would not only set a new PR, but I could meet one of my 2013 goals and run a 5K with a pace in the 9s.  So I sucked it up, and I pushed as hard as I could and finished mile 3 in 9:53.  Then pushed just a little bit harder to the end for a 8:56 for that last .11 miles.

As I crossed the finish line I had a huge smile on my face as I knew I'd set a huge new PR!  I crossed the finish line in 30:44 - officially a 9:55 pace (although the Garmin pace was 9:52 - I like that better as it shows my real effort).  This was the fastest race I had ever run and I couldn't have been more excited!  I took almost a full minute off my previous 5K PR of 31:35.

Crossing the finish line with a big smile and a thumbs up!
It took me a few minutes to find Jim, but when I did I found out he'd won his Age Group and had a great race too.  I told him about my race and he was super excited for me.

Celebrating after the race by dancing with a horse...why of course!
Since it was early, and we had both had such a great race we decided to celebrate with BREAKFAST!  It was awesome.  I had pancakes.  Delicious, yummy pancakes!  This was a rare but wonderful treat.  So, as you can see, there were a few indulgences over the week/weekend.  If I want to keep those pounds off I'm gonna have to get back on the wagon ASAP....and I am.  But it was nice to have some delicious self indulgent food - I won't lie.  Jim and I had another great day together!  We are so fortunate to share our love of running.

This was a great race - a new PR, and I met one of my goals...but now, it just fuels that fire to see if I can get below 30 minutes.  I used to think that was an impossible goal, but now I can at least see it as a possibility.  It may not be this year, but maybe - who knows!!

Jim & I post race

July 03, 2013

Do the Double - New Double PR!

On Sunday, Jim and I did the Double Road Race in Overland Park, KS.  The race consisted of a 10K, followed by a 5K, with a short break in between races.  It's considered one race, with two legs vs. two separate races.  The winner is based on the overall time for both races....there was no 10K or 5K winner and you had to complete both races to get a finishers medal.  "The Double" as it is known, was created by Runners World founder Bob Anderson.  This was only the 2nd US race and the first of 2013, but the series is coming to several more cities this year.

The concept sounded like a fun challenge, so of course Jim and I signed up as soon as we heard about it.  Race morning came and we were up early to prepare for the race.  We skipped the pre-race dance at our last race in June, and my performance suffered I told him we HAD to do it this time.  Every time we skip it one or both of us has a bad race.  So we got our pre-race dance party on and then headed out the door to the Corporate Woods business park where the race would be held.

One of the free race photos..another perk of the race
Normally this time of year in Kansas City the weather is miserable.  It would be very conceivable that this race would have been 80-85 degrees at the start with 90%+ humidity.  But, as luck would have it a mild cold front settled over the Kansas City area.  Race morning was comfortable....awesome really.  It was about 67 for the start of the first race.  The humidity was still a little high, but honestly you couldn't complain.

I had originally planned on doing a triathlon the day before this race, but that didn't work out in the end.  So, I had no real goals for this race, since the original plan was just to finish.  I was just planning to count it as my long run for the week and take it at a little faster pace than a long run.

When I lined up at the race start I tried to turn on my ipod and it was dead!  I had charged it the night before (or so I thought) but apparently the plug in wasn't working and it was totally dead.  Luckily I rarely run with music, so it wasn't a big deal, but I still wished I had music as it's a nice distraction in a race. 

Anyway, I started running and felt good.  I had planned to walk a minute after each mile, but after mile 1 I was still feeling good, so I just kept going.  I was happy to see the miles tick away quickly while I was maintaining a pace in the 10s the entire time.  By mile 5 I was still feeling great and had a little left in the tank so I picked up the pace a bit and ran my fastest mile of the 10K!  When I was done, I was shocked to realize I had just taken 6 minutes off of my previous 10K PR!!!!  I will admit, I've only done 3 other 10Ks and my PR was a pretty sad 1:13 (11:36 pace), but I was super happy with my new 1:07 - a 10:42 pace - official pace was 10:51.

After I crossed the finish line it was time for the "recovery" between races.  There were people there to help you stretch, give massages, etc.  I headed for the bathroom and just wanted to keep moving.  I caught up with Jim who had also set a new 10K PR!  Because I am a slower runner, my recovery time was shorter than many people.  Honestly I didn't like having the break.  It wasn't long enough to fully recover and it was just long enough to make me feel tired (I had about 25 minutes between races).

The 5K leg started and my legs felt like two lead pipes.  I kept thinking that as I started to run I would start to feel better, but I didn't.  I had given it all I had and I had little left for the 5K.  My pace slowed from the start and I never could make a push.  In the end I finished the 5K in 35:09 an 11:18 pace.  But I was still happy with my performance overall.  I've only done one 15K, and this race was basically a spilt up 15K.  My combined time was 1:42, a 5 minute PR from my previous 15K.  So, two PRs in one day was pretty sweet!  I think I could have actually ran the race faster if I could have just kept going without the break, but oh well.

When I crossed the finish line Billy Mills was there to shake my hand and congratulate me!  This was pretty cool.  Billy won the Gold Medal in the 1964 Olympics for the 10K distance.  Still to this day, he is the only American to win gold in this distance!  He was really awesome and encouraging.

Jim and I will Billy Mills

Overall, this race was a fun challenge and something a little different.  It was another great day of racing and hanging out with Jim!  Jim was 2nd in his AG in this race!!  So we had something to celebrate, PRs and AG awards!!  And to make it even better we got to meet an Olympic Gold medalist!  Pretty good day any way you slice it!!

Jim and I post race with our double sided medals!

Getting a calf massage after the race.  I needed it!



July 02, 2013

On The Schedule Today......

1.  Sleep In (til 6:30 am)
2.  Ab Workout
3.  3 Mile Run with Hill Repeats
4.  Cool Down Walk with Jack!
5.  20 Minute Swim
6.  A few minutes of poolside relaxation
7.  Massage!!!........yep, massage!!!

That's all I have "planned".....what else to do....more pool, a movie, a nap, shopping, manicure????

I just don't know. vacation!