Pineland Striders 10k (41:21)

I ran this race last year too.  It was the last race before a string of multiple injuries including plantar fasciitis and a stress fracture.  It was also the race I met Liz.  This year I was looking forward to finishing the race injury free.  (Spoiler: I finished slower than last year but injury free)

Since last year I moved across the state.  This year the race was actually further away. I got to the race around 7:45 and to my surprise I saw a lot of my coworkers!  I knew two of them were running but it was an exciting surprise to see more of my friends.  We all warmed up together and made it to the starting line just in time.

Colleen and Julie

Two of my coworkers and I

Liz, Chris and I

Liz, Chris and I

The 5k and 10k started together.  We didn’t know who was running which race but it was nice to have a lot of people together.  I ran side by side with both Liz and Chris for about a mile.  They later turned to run the 5k.

The first mile went by quickly since there were so many people.  I ran a 6:25. I wasn’t overly happy with it but I wasn’t upset either.  I was indifferent.

Pineland Striders 10k 1

The 5kers turned around halfway into the second mile.  I saw my coworker, and founder of Team Tindall, who ended up winning overall female in the 5k.  After the 5kers turned around, I found myself as first woman in the 10k. I stayed there the rest of race.  It became a lonely race and I ran the next 5 miles almost all by myself.  There were several men in front of me and several behind me.  There was no one within 20 seconds of me. The second mile was my fastest and I ran a 6:18.

During the third mile, we turned into a very wooded section. If you have ever taken a race out too quickly and paid the price, then you will be able to relate to how this race went.  I ran my third mile in 6:36 but I knew I was in trouble.

Pineland Striders 10k

I crossed the halfway point in 19:55.  I was happy that I broke 20 minutes but I knew the last three miles were not going to be enjoyable.

The third and fourth miles went by very slowly.  I ran the third mile in 6:56 and the fourth mile in 6:53.  There wasn’t anything too exciting about them.  In fact they were both rather painful and I regretted taking the race out so quickly.

The fifth mile headed back on the main road.  One thing I distinctly remember about this portion of the race last year was the volunteers not being on the same page.  This year they were not on the same page either. Some volunteers yelled at me to be on the sidewalk and others instructed I was to be on the street.  It got really confusing and I was getting opposite directions every volunteer! Ultimately I ran on the sidewalk because I am a safe runner.

The last half-mile headed onto a grassy field and finished on the track. I finished the sixth mile in 6:43 and sprinted as hard as I could around the track.  The last .2 felt like it took forever.  Everyone was congregated around the track as we finished.  It was nice to see Liz and Chris since they had finished their race. Chris got some good shots of me finishing as well.

I finished in 41:21 and first female overall.  I had to work directly after the race so I wasn’t able to stay after finishing.

Pineland Striders finish

Post race thoughts: 

It’s 21 seconds slower than last year but I finished injury free.  Last year my plantar fascia had a big flair up.  I’m happy with the race but it was a painful second half. My speed is coming back slow and steady.  I’m not overly happy with the race but I will take an injury free race over a faster and injured one.

Questions for you: 

Have you ever taken a race out to fast? 

Do you like the 10k distance? 

Pineland Striders 10k (41:00)

It’s pretty easy to find a 5k most weekends but finding a 10k at any time of the year is difficult. A solid 6-7 mile tempo run also happens to be my “workout” distance. After my coworker (easily) convinced me to run the Pineland Striders 10k, I found myself waking up Saturday morning and heading to do a hot, humid and relatively inexpensive 10k.

I got there around 7:15 for an 8:30 start. For some reason I have this notion it takes me 45+ minutes to get anywhere in NJ from my house. Realistically that wasn’t the case and I was early. I payed, grabbed my tshirt and did a 2 mile warmup.

I found myself extremely hot at the starting line and delayering into a sports bra.  I normally don’t race in sports bras but it’s been so hot so that is two in a row. I was already sweating so I knew it would probably be better. I hid my shirt in a bush. Looking back that was dumb considering I would be pissed if someone stole it.

The race started with an air siran and we were off. There was a 5k that was basically doing half the 10k course. I just assumed all of the leaders were doing the 10k. Why I did that I don’t know.

I hit the first mile in 6:21. Not bad and not great but I wasn’t expecting great things either.  You can’t set personal records in an 85 degree+ 10k.

At 1.66, the 5kers turned around and to my shock I found myself 3rd overall (both males and females). The leaders were out of sight so I just preyed I was going the right way. I found some volunteers around mile 2 and I assumed I was.

I hit the second mile at 13 minutes exactly.  I could already feel my pace getting slower and slower.  I made my goal to finish under 42 minutes.

There wasn’t much excitement between mile 2 and 3 because I was running alone.  I have had quite a few races this has happened to me lately.  I just kept running.  I felt indifferent, I didn’t feel good or bad.  I did feel hot.  Races that you run alone, make for really boring race recaps.

We turned around at 3 miles and headed back the way we came.  It was motivating to see all of the racers and it made miles 3 and 4 go by rather quickly despite getting slower  (6:46, 6:48).

Between mile 4 and 5 a man passed me.  He was really cruising and ended up beating me by 20+ seconds.  At mile 5, two deer also crossed the road.  I’ve never done a race that animals have crossed the road.  When people think of NJ, they don’t think that there are a lot of trees and pines and gardens (The Garden State).  There were a lot of deer out during the race.  Anyways, they didn’t interfere with anyone but it was pretty cool.

Mile 5 headed onto a field and cross country type of course.  I had no idea that they were doing that and thought the entire race was on the road…surprise it wasn’t.  Maybe if I checked the course map I would have known the last mile goes onto the field and the last .2 is on a track.

When I hit the track, I sidefived a cheering girl and ran into the finish line. I immediately got water.  For winning overall female, I received the biggest trophy ever.  I am really excited by it!

metrophy

Take aways:

This was a hot, humid 10k.  I did exactly what I wanted to do.  I don’t expect any summertime PRs…although a 5k PR would be nice.  It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I did it.

Questions for you:

Have you ever gotten any trophies?

This is one of my very few.  I’m a little of a sucker for them.

Do you look at race course maps before running?

Not normally.  Actually, not really ever…I think I probably for at maximum 5 races.

WG marathon Week 8: 55 Miles (Boring)

Monday: 11 mile easy Nike Core and Arms
Tuesday: OFF  
Wednesday: 12.5 miles easy Nike Core
Thursday: 10.75 miles easy  
Friday: 11.25 miles easy  
Saturday: Pineland Striders 10k (41:03) total miles 10.2 Nike Core
Sunday: 15 miles easy. EDIT: OFF  

 

Thoughts:

I’m not really sure what I think about this week of training.  I had wanted to get a tempo run in but my legs were not feeling it.  My legs have absorbed all the mileage from the last few weeks and I’ve found myself extremely tired and sore.  I was hoping to make it until the week of the 6th to take a cut back week but I’m going to cut back this week.

None of my runs except for Saturday were anything exciting.  They weren’t good or bad but nothing really sticks out from them.  They were just miles in the bank.  My race on Saturday (recap Tuesday) was about the same.  It is about 3 minutes from my PR but it was hot, my legs are tired and I don’t expect a summer 10k PR.  That being said I’m happy with my effort and I can never be upset with a tempo workout.

Sunday I had planned to run a shorter long run. I woke up not really feeling anything. Running a 15 mile run wasn’t going to do anything for me and resting was just an all around better choice. I built up to a couple of 20 milers lately and that is not something I want to maintain every single week (nor would it be smart).

That’s all I really have about this week.  I don’t have anything exciting and no wild animals attacked me.  It was just another week of hot, muggy summer training.

Training plans next week:

I want to have a cut back week.  To start off, I’m getting a deep tissue massage tonight.  I know my legs desperately need it, I just haven’t wanted to cough up 100 dollars (YAY NJ is expensive in everything) for one.   I plan to rest my legs running wise.  I think I would like to do some cross training (elliptical and weights).  I don’t really have a set mileage goal next week but my goal is to really recover.  I’m hopefully doing a 5k on July 4th.  I’m hoping a few days of TLC will really get me feeling good.

Questions for you:

Do you get deep tissue massages?

What are your best methods of recovery from hard training weeks?

Wicked 10k (39:28)

I have been dying to do the Wicked 10k in Virginia Beach for quite some time.  J&A racing puts on five races a year (all being themed and I love dressing up).  So when the possibility of being able to run this race rose up, I immediately took it.  Then I realized that since it was a week before the marathon it would be a perfect last high effort run (or really only high effort run).  Though it’s a solid minute per mile faster than my marathon goal pace…I think the marathon is a little longer…

A local runner, Kris and I decided to dress up as pumpkins.  It would be a dirty lie if I didn’t tell you that Kris has always been one of my running idols since she moved to VA.

krislandi

We warmed up around the Convention center and it honestly went by really quickly.  As much as I love running with Tim, it’s not the same as running with females and gossiping.  We quickly made it back and put our stuff away in the car.  Since it was a 10,000 person 10k the lines for the bathroom were so long.  We quickly went to the porta potty and hauled butt to the starting line.

When the race went off, I immediately fell into my groove.  I wasn’t sure how my skirt would hold up or if the socks would give me blisters but in proper running technique, I didn’t test any beforehand and just winged it.  If I got massive blisters on my feet before the marathon…that would have been my fault and I probably would have stopped to take the socks off.

The first mile I felt I was in a solid groove.  It was pretty crowded and I got boxed in several times but I managed to pass a few females and settle in by myself.  I was weaving a lot during this first mile and with the turns I managed to take out every turn way to wide.  (5:52)

The second mile went right down where I got hit by the cyclist and onto the boardwalk.  The point of interest was the creepy construction workers who had stopped working and decided to yell at the males running near me, “damn I wish I was chasing that”.  To that I yelled, excuse me sir I’m only 16.  When I stop getting ID for lotto tickets I’ll stop using that phrase.  (6:10)

Mile three was along the boardwalk and I was all alone.  The closest person in front of me was a female (about a quarter of a mile up).  I wanted to catch her so badly, but couldn’t and never did.  (6:14).

 I hit the 5k at exactly 19:30.

Mile four I drew on the crowds from other corrals passing the other way.  It kept my mind off running and I was high fiven’, cheering and looking at other people passing the other way.  I wanted to speed up but my legs would not turn over any faster.  This is just a product of not doing speed workouts and focusing on longer runs as well as high mileage.  (6:14)

Mile five was exactly the same way but there was no one cheering and I was all by myself.  I was passed by some males somewhere along there and I tried to keep up but they powered way by me.  This was the hardest mile mentally but just kept reminding myself…that’s probably how I’ll feel for 10 miles in the marathon.  (6:30)

Mile 6 was motivating because we were heading back to the convention center and it was almost over.  I didn’t feel like I was dying but I certainly wasn’t getting any faster.  I just gave it everything I had and went to the end.  (6:14).

The final .4, you could see the finish line.  I hate those finishes because they never seem like they are getting any closer and there are people at the .4 telling you that you are almost there…when in reality you still have 2-3 more minutes.   In my mind, “almost there” means I have about 5 strides to the finish line…not 2 more minutes going into cardiac arrest.  Then after a few minutes (but not before being outkicked by someone), I crossed the finish line, begged for some water, coffee mug and medal and headed into the post race party with Kris.

Thoughts on the race:

This was a great confidence booster going into the marathon.  I had made the executive decision throughout training to forgo speed workouts and focus on building high mileage instead.  Since it is my first marathon and my goal is to FINISH (with a secondary goal around 3:10), I took away all speed and just focused on high mileage.  It was great to only be 8 seconds off my 10k PR without any speed and not feeling the greatest.  The weather was beautiful and it was a flat, fast course so I cannot complain about that.  Overall it was a great race and I had a lot of fun.  I was 4th female overall and Kris got first!  It’s also a minute faster then last month’s Zero Prostate Cancer Run (and 40 degrees cooler!)

Questions for you:

 Do you like themed races?

What are your plans for Halloween?

Mine are to whine and complain that I have to wait till Sunday to eat all the candy.

Zero Prostate Cancer 10k (40:25)

Tim and I decided to take a minivacation this past weekend.  Since we were getting out of town naturally I decided to google races in San Antonio.  10ks are hard to come by and the moment I saw there was a 10k I decided that was the race I wanted to do.

So with that we got to the race about 45 minutes beforehand.  We seemed to luck out with parking and our parking spot happened to be directly in front of the race start.  We signed up and did about 1 mile warm up.  We both felt like crap and we both sweated through our singlets.

Smile so we don't look like we are miserable.

Smile so we don’t look like we are miserable.

The race was started by a 1 minute countdown on the race clock and once the clock got to zero it started.  It was actually quite frightening to watch as the clock ticked down and that minute felt like one of the longest minutes of my life.

The race course itself was out and back and started on an immediate uphill followed by a very sharp turn and immediate downhill.   I started off in 5th place behind four males.  After half a mile, I secured a spot as second person overall (where I stayed the entire race).  The first mile I clocked at 5:44 and it didn’t feel good but didn’t feel awful either.   (edit: I can’t believe I said a 5:44 mile felt neutral but my breathing and stride did in fact feel good…but only for that mile).

Mile 2 I found myself alone.  I did not see another person (except for one volunteer) the entire mile.  I was starting to zone out and get frustrated with myself and with the lack of people around me.  I tried to push myself but it didn’t seem like it was happening (6:13).

By mile 3 my mood had gone really sour.  I knew if I could just make it halfway through the race, the last half wouldn’t be as bad.  I don’t really have a lot of thoughts about this mile I was just trying to motivate myself to get to the half way point.  Something about getting to the halfway point of any race is so satisfying and the next half of the race goes by mentally quicker (6:39)

The turnaround was a bit confusing.  It was a complete 180 degree turnaround but you had to go over the mat, go around a cone and then go back over the mat.  I was lucky because I was far up and running over the mat twice was not a problem for me but it probably wasn’t the greatest set up.

Mile 3-4 I was on my way back.  Since it was in an open park and there were people running and cycling (not in the race) the path had gotten crowded.  I am all for people exercising except I nearly got hit by a cyclist making a sharp turn.  I wasn’t exactly paying a lot of attention myself since I was in the zone and as he came around a turn, I was rounding the run in the opposite direction.  Oh well, we didn’t collide but it was a close call (mile 4: 6:46).

Mile 5 I was beat.  I was over the race and I could add some more whining but I will save you.  I don’t have a lot to say about this mile but it was spent weaving around other racers.  Since the course was out and back most of the other 10kers were going the other way.  The path was narrow and with about 700 racers it was a bit of a cluster.  I always think to myself, these miles that don’t feel good or are mentally challenging are the miles you will grow as a runner (6:42).

Mile 6 was the best mile because it was the slowest and I got to spend more time running it. I had past the cluster of people so I was alone again.  I couldn’t see anyone in either direction and when we started the final climb to the finish line I was dry heaving.  I had not done a speed workout or race in the last 3 weeks and the time I ran low 6 minute miles was my 8k over a month ago.  Since where I run in Texas is remotely flat and this was not…the elevation was also taking a toll. That being said I was tired and I was dying. (7:01).

Then all of a sudden after thinking I might have seen the light and dry heaving a few times I crossed the finish line and drank 4 waters.

runningoiselle

Take aways from this race:

I can’t wait to race in weather that is not 85 degrees and hot humid.  I also can’t wait to do some faster running.  I never expected to PR and I knew this race would hurt.  I’m glad I did it thought and had a lot of fun (after it was over).  I think my training is getting back on track for the marathon.  If I do end up running the 10k this weekend, I hope to able to improve.  I don’t expect a PR but would like to be closer to 40 minutes, if not under it.

Questions for you:

Does the second half of a race, run or workout feel like it goes by quicker for you?

Do you think race courses should be closed?

I’ve raced on the VA Beach boardwalk and I know that wouldn’t be possible.  They close roads for a lot of races.  I’m honestly not sure of my opinion on this subject.  I think it would be safer to close race courses to racers only but at the same time I know that isn’t always possible.

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