Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Iron Girl 5K Race Report

On Sunday I was up early to head over the Iron Girl 5K in Clearwater. I may have mentioned this a thousand times or two, but I was really looking for redemption at this 5K since I was not in great shape when I ran it last year.
I really like the Iron Girl expo, which we went to on Saturday, and this year I bought my sister a shirt from Run Pretty Far. The S.O. modeled it for me so I could send her a pic. He's kind of a maniac.
The course for the Iron Girl 5K is not an easy one. There's a bridge smack dab in the middle so you get to run up it in the first mile and then almost as soon as you're over it, you turn around and run up the other side to head toward the finish. It's a really fun way to challenge yourself and I for one, appreciate it. I mean, sure I'll complain about it, but at the end of the day, that's why we run right?
5K is blue, map courtesy of Iron Girl.
As the half marathoners got ready to start, I had my pre-race ritual.
The half marathoners took off at 7 AM, and promptly at 7:30, we 5K-ers were let loose. Since I have run this race before and it's very new runner friendly, I lined up right smack in the front row. I stood next to the local runner that I knew would win. I mentioned how I had never stood that close to the start before and as the start noise sounded, she took off like a jet rocket.
I had talked to Coach Dror about this 5K and he advised me to go out slow. He told me the first mile should be the slowest since it's almost immediately up the bridge. I took his advice and controlled myself as much as I could in that first 400. The bridge basically forces you to slow down so I didn't have much trouble there. I knew a few folks stationed at the top and it was nice to see them on the way up and hear them cheering.
I made it to the turn around and headed back up and over the bridge again. My friends Bill and Katie snapped a few pics.
Smiling at the pain.
As soon as I was off the bridge, I knew I was home free. I tried to pick up the pace a bit but was pretty winded by this point. Another friend, Joette snapped a few shots on the way toward the finish line.

I headed into the finish chute and felt like everyone in front of me was in my age group. I figured I could get in the top 20 and possibly get an age group award. The woman in the black pants above did end up blowing by me at the final stretch and I'm guessing she lined up farther back and had to work her way up. She looked very strong. You go girl!

I'm happy to report I finally ran some negative splits in a 5K. I can thank the bridge I suppose, but I really concentrated on doing that. The splits were: 7:29, 7:26, 7:24.

Finish Time: 23:08
Post race with my buddy Keara.
 I saw Meghann, who works for Iron Girl, not too long after and I asked how I'd placed. She had her phone handy with the app and told me I'd placed 4th in my age group. Womp womp. I actually ran a minute faster than I did last year but that's how the cookie crumbles....or so I thought...

Surprise Age Group award!
I was hanging out with friends when another friend came up to me and handed me an age group award. She said she heard my name and grabbed it for me. What? Yeah, I got lucky with this because the overall winner was in my age group. For some reason, I thought the overall woman who won was younger than me (maybe she just aged up?) but in any event, it worked to my advantage. Hooray for another Iron Girl third place age group award! I ran back to the stage to get my picture with Meghann. I was a happy girl! I love the charms that Milestone's makes specifically for Iron Girl.
I've said I'm done with Iron Girl now that I've redeemed myself, but who am I kidding? I want to run it again, and run it faster. I'm looking at you 2nd place age group, see you in 2015.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Last Week's Workouts - 4/7/14-4/13/14

Last week was an odd one. I felt like I was doing much more than I actually was. This can only mean that I was tired and I'm glad I listened to my body and took a full rest day.

Monday - 2,200 meter AM swim that felt a little tough since my shoulders were sore from the hilly ride over the previous weekend. I'm participating in a college student's thesis and it's a study on running with and without music. I'll be running some timed miles for her project and Monday evening I did my 2nd one. I ran a 6:41 and while it was "only" a mile, it hurt quite a bit. *Cue impending fatigue*
Tuesday - Solid hour trainer ride where I tried to throw in some intervals but wasn't real scientific about it. I haven't been on the trainer in a while and it felt pretty good. I also did some sit ups and push ups. I mean, they sorta resembled push ups...
Wednesday - Had a fun swim with my new bestie, Keara. I got in 2,575. I headed to track Wednesday night which is probably where I started my demise. We did four by 1,000 and one 400. I keep having to run with a gaggle of young boys (10 to 12-year-olds, I'd guess). They are quite funny because they either gun it the first lap and slow down or run with me and then smoke me the last interval. Oh well. I felt great for this workout but pooped when it was over.
Thursday - AM attempt at swimming. This has never happened to me before but I got to 1,200 yards and just couldn't swim another stroke. I just couldn't do it. I was too tired. I called a day and figured it was just a weird off morning. I decided I'd still shoot for my PM tempo run with a few friends. Boy was that a disaster. I tried to hang with them and I just kept running slower and slower. I got home and after a shower, immediately went to bed.
Friday - I REALLY wanted to ride in the early AM but my body was just not having it. I woke up, re-set my alarm, and went right back to sleep.
Saturday - Met up with Tori and Meghan for a bike ride. I had planned to go 40 miles but cut it to 30 and was totally cool with that. I knew I had a 5K the next day and I didn't want to ride hard and exhaust myself all over again. I enjoyed riding with the girls and catching up with Tori, who just got back from her honeymoon and running the Paris Marathon.
Sunday - Irongirl 5K. Race report up tomorrow.
How was your week? Have a great Monday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five Things Friday

I'll see your Three Things Thursday, and raise you Five Things Friday. See what I did there? I just have some odds and ends to discuss before the weekend. Hence the post. And also, I haven't mentioned it lately, but, I love a list!
1. Irongirl 5K. I'm racing the Irongirl 5K again this year and hope to at least do better than last year. I raced it when I was just coming off of a six week running hiatus and it was rough. The 5K course is an out and back with a big, nasty bridge slapped right in the middle. Fortunately, this is my bridge and I know it well. I'm coming for redemption Irongirl.
2. R Kelly. You know that R Kelly song where he's all, "My mind is telling me no, but my body, my body's telling me yes!" Well, I was having the exact opposite yesterday. I got to swim, my mind said, "Yes." My body said, "Oh hell no." And this repeated again for my run last night. Sigh. I listened to my body and ignored R Kelly and slept in this morning. I will evaluate this week to see why I'm so pooped. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.
I would die if he was actually in there.
3. New shoes. I finally got a new pair of running shoes and took a departure from the Brooks Ravennas I had been running in for the past year. I decided on the Saucony Guide 7's. So far, so good.
Don't worry, it comes with two.
 4. Race well wishing! There are gobs of races this weekend. There are serveral half ironman races, triathlons, and quite a few 5K's and 10K's. Best of luck to everyone getting out there! Big shout out to my buddy Hope doing her first ever tri!

5. Game of Thrones. Now that True Detective is off for the season, I'm thrilled to have GoT back. I finally caught up on all seasons and can't wait to keep watching this new season. Here are my fave meme's from season's past.

Happy Friday friends!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Are you getting enough?

I've noticed that around my office, the standard cold gets passed around from time to time. It usually strikes during the cold & flu season but sometimes just occurs at random throughout the year. It wasn't until a co-worker and I were chatting that I thought about how I rarely get sick. She actually pointed it out and was wondering why. I told her I think it's because I try very hard to get eight hours of sleep every night. I know this makes me go to bed super early in comparison to the rest of the population, but it really seems to help.*

In a funny coincidence, THIS article popped up in my browser just as we finished discussing sleep and how to get more of it. Low and behold, sleep plays a part of every facet of your well-being. Lack of sleep effects everything from your weight, to your immune system, to your emotional state. And guess what else? It probably effects your training and race performance.

I'm currently reading The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing by Dr. Philip Maffetone and he shares a story about an athlete who, like most of us "weekend warriors," trains a lot and works a full time job AND juggles family commitments. As his time for fitting everything in dwindles, he doesn't cut workouts, he cuts sleep. And guess what? His performance declines. But, as science would have it, as soon as he backs off on some training and gets rest, he starts feeling and performing better. He doesn't go back to his old regimen and continues to improve.

This morning, I had one of the worst swims of my life. I made it to 1,200 yards and just couldn't will myself to swim anymore. This week I've had a few short nights where I didn't hit my eight hour goal and I'm pretty certain that this is why I felt like complete ass this morning.

All of the above should go without saying but it's worth addressing in case any of you are wondering why you may be having more difficulty with your current training. I use the Sleep Cycle app on my iPhone to guage my sleep. I have no idea how accurate it really is but when I look at the nights it says I slept poorly, I tend to agree with it. Placebo? Maybe, but I still like that it add up my sleep hours for me and the choices for the alarm sounds are awesome, like waking up in a spa versus using a quacking duck or a crazy car horn noise.

Are you getting enough sleep? Do you use a sleep app?

*This has nothing to do with sleeping but I was looking for a photo on google images for this post and I typed in "go to bed" and the scariest effing clown I've ever seen appeared. How did I not know about the Go To Bed Clown? Haha.