Saturday, April 10, 2010

Purity Dairy Dash 10k Race Report!

Just to not keep you in suspense, today's 10k was awesome and I finished and had no knee pain! AH! I'm so excited and thrilled.

Back it up to this morning. I really couldn't sleep last night and woke up every few hours to look at the clock and flip over. I ended up getting up at 6:45 to get ready and head downtown. The race didn't start until 8:15 but I took a nap yesterday and forgot to pick up my race packet... oops. I just had a piece of toast with almond butter and a small banana to hold me over. I'm still a little iffy on pre and post race fueling as my stomach doesn't like most things when I run but this seemed to work out alright.

The 5 and 10k started right on time, surprisingly. Since everyone started together, it was a bit slow getting out, but they had the 4 lane road closed so it started to thin out after about a half mile. However, once we got to about mile 2, that course changed to a narrow paved trail that could only fit about 3 people wide, so it was a pretty close pack for that portion. As usual, I hated the first 2 miles and wondered why I was doing this, but once I warmed up, everything felt great. My main goals for the event were to finish (see: Clarksville 2009) and to have a negative split. At the 5k mark, I was at about 32:30. Unfortunately, I forgot to set the auto lap on my Garmin so I don't have actual splits, but I remember checking this one. Since everything felt great at that point, I started to pick it up a bit, especially since I wanted to make my negative split!

Once we passed mile 4, it turned into a regular 4 lane road again, so the pack opened up a bit. For the last mile, I was running at about a 9:20-25 pace, and then for the last quarter mile, I picked it up to about a 7:45 (you can do anything for 2 minutes, right?), pulling in to finish at about 1:02!! The second 5k ended up being about 29:30 minutes, so I met both my goals! I was trying to not puke (so elegant, I am) and forgot to stop my watch, so I'm curious to see what the chip time was. I also hope that I got a good race photo! It was about at mile 5 and I tried not to look like I was suffering. :)

Anyway, all in all, it was a great race. My legs felt good, the course was nice and flat, and the weather was perfect. It was actually in the 30's this morning so I wore a long sleeve shirt and tights, but I ended up being a bit hot. had said it wouldn't pass 40 degrees by 10am, but it was about 55 when I finished. Shorts definitely would have been more comfortable. I also brought my fuel belt because I wasn't sure what the water stops would be like, but they ended up working out fine and I barely used the water in my belt. Nice to know for next 10k because its kinda heavy and bulky if I can get away with not having one.

Lastly, my only main complaint was the post race celebration. It seemed like most people really enjoyed it, but they were serving bbq and mac&cheese and ice cream sandwiches. Just the smell of it made my stomach turn, so I grabbed a water, banana and a luna bar, and left. Yick. I don't know how people can eat such heavy food right after running hard. It took about 2 hours for my stomach to willingly accept solid food. All together, amazing experience and I'm so happy that both IT bands feel good. I plan doing some more ice and foam rolling later, but right now, all is great!

In closing, I also ran with EN on Wednesday (5.6 miles) and then did a short run (2.9) on Thursday. Nothing terribly exciting with either, but the EN hills were nasty, which I guess is appropriate. :) Off to eat again!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm insane

I just registered for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The long winding hill

Hello! I'm back from NY for a wonderful (short) Easter break. I was only able to steal home for a long weekend, but it was just long enough to get a little bit of a rest. There are only 3 weeks of class left so life is about to get chaotic. Eek

On Friday I was able to steal away for a long run. I always get nervous before I head out on a run past 5 miles or so. Anyway, I was planning on doing about 8 or so, and my mom drove us out about 2 miles away from the house and ran the first couple with me (she's coming just off injury too!). The route was basically running up this long mile long hill and back three times and then the two miles home. It was excruciating, to say the least! The grade on the hill wasn't terribly steep but it was for the whole mile up. By the 5th mile, I really just wanted to keep going and head home, but I turned around for the final time up and down that blasted hill.

Finally I got to start the trip home, with one fourth and final time up the mile stretch. However, the last mile of the trek home though was an enormous hill. Gigantic. Huge. Monstrous. My mom had suggested that I just walk it since it was so steep, particularly since it was pretty gravely. Both wanting to get home and being an idiot, I tried to run it. I made it up! And then spent the next 3 minutes trying to catch my breath and not puke. I was successful though and made it home for a grand total of 8.6 miles of pure hilly torture. Well, the whole thing wasnt torture but parts were certainly pretty bad!

I followed up with ice and some rolling, and it seems like my ITBs did pretty well! My lower back was a little sore the day after, but I think it's from a combination of running on the pavement, lack of sleep, and the fuel belt I was using. It was slightly too big so I think I was arching my back a tad to keep it in place. My calves were also screaming the next day but that's to be expected. All in all, I made it past the distance where my ITBs gave out on me back in October and I'm pretty grateful to have made it past that point.

For next weekend, I decided to register for the 10k. I'm still a little scared of it so that's a good reason to do it. :) I think it's a pretty flat course too. Plus, free ice cream! If only they could put it on a stick and dangle it in front of me as I trot.

So my question for the day: The Country Music Half is in 3 weeks. Hypothetically, I do 9.5 next weekend, then 11 the following, should I got for it? I want to!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hooked on East Nasty

I'm hooked. I'd been hearing about East Nasty, a running group in Nashville, for quite some time now but didn't really have the nerve to go. I kept nursing fears about injury and pace, and didn't want to be the girl bringing up the rear of the pack. Yes, I do realize there has to be someone who does it, but still, I didn't want it to be me. So today, I finally was brave enough to try it out and I loved it. Love love love. I don't know why I waited so long to check it out. It felt like running in a race without numbers, and everyone was so supportive of the other runners.

EN does a rotating set of 12 runs and today was back at #1, a 3.1 mile figure eight. I figured it was a good distance to start me at, plus it was all of a gorgeous 78 degrees today. When I arrived, there was a giant pack of spandex clad runners, some with pups, all set to go. I think that maybe there were 100 in all? (I don't have a method for estimating that, but there were a lot) I started out pretty fast (probably too fast) at about a 9:10 mile, but settled in at around around 10ish. There were more hills than I was expecting, long ones too, but I think I did a pretty solid job of powering up those, even if my pace dropped a little. Since I run mostly flat courses, the hills were pretty challenging, but I looove the relaxing momentum of running downhill. Anyway, I ran pretty well I think, and at the 5k mark, my watch said 30:23.

REALLY!?!?!? On a super hilly course, less than two months post recovery, I shaved 3 minutes off my 5k time. Ecstatic. Now I'm dying to see what I can do on a flat course. I've been planning on running the Purity Dairy Dash 10k for the mid-distance, but now I'm considering shifting down to the 5k for the fun of it. A sub 30 minute 5k would be awesome. Things to think about... :) Although my IT bands feel pretty awesome, I bought a tennis ball a few days ago so that I can work on my peroneal muscle (peroneus longus) in my calves. They are both awfully tight and are a bit sore. Hopefully some self-therapy can take the edge off. It's amazing how much lower body anatomy I've learned with this injury!

Anyway, I had an awesome salad-esque dinner when I got home. I tried to make the Mediterranean Chickpea Patties from Carrots 'N Cake, but since my food processor is hand operated, the puree never got quite smooth enough so they kind fell apart. They were still pretty tasty, but i couldn't coat them in flour without them breaking into pieces so I just went without. Also, tonight I was out of lemon, so instead I mixed some olive oil with Greek yogurt (plus salt and pepper) and that was an amazing dressing.

All served on top of a salad w/ peppers, tomatoes, and onions, plus an Ezekiel English muffin on the side. Yum. (Check out the original recipe; they photos are much nicer!!)

Anyway, I need a good night sleep, but as a farewell, here's the little one. Martha was being a doll tonight and was begging to have her picture taken. :) I have the sweetest pup in the world.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Improving, finally

Today I finally took some time to notice how much my running has really improved. I still describe myself as a slow runner, which is true, but it's almost like a defense mechanism to protect against criticism from "real runners". In addition, I think I tend to focus on my speed compared to other runners instead of compared to how far I've come, particularly since I'm just barely post-injury. In late October, my 5k time was 33:19, with two bad IT bands and a ton of pain. Today, I did about 3 miles of speed work (warm up + 400+600+800+600+400, with a one minute walk in between sets) and that took about 29 minutes. How can I be disappointed with that?! I walked about 5 minutes recovery in this workout and still am killing my last 5k. Maybe I can't run a 7 minute mile, but I can run a 9:30 now, and I did all of my intervals at about an 8:30 pace. Considering that until mid-February, I couldn't run a quarter mile without pain shooting up my thigh, I should be thrilled. So here's to focusing on my own improvements and not about the 6 and a half foot tall guy at Centennial who was lapping me, and to keep my eyes on my own mat (to use a yoga-ism :) ).

Besides, his legs are twice as long as mine anyway. :)

Oh, last thing. Have you seen the new lululemon ad? It's in April's Runners' World (p. 39) and is currently hanging on my fridge. Scorpion handstand with one leg in lotus? Killer.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Running again!

Blog resuscitation, part III? A good friend and I made a pact to blog two times a week and she's been keeping up her end of the bargain. I certainly haven't though! Trying again! :)

I went for an amazing run yesterday. As I've clearly complained about, pretty consistantly, I hurt my IT bands pretty bad back in October. However, after months of physical therapy with some amazing people and a couple cortisone shots, it looks like I may be in the clear! In fact, I feel like a stronger runner than ever, probably because of all the PT work.

So yesterday, my run was 7 miles and it felt incredible. I kept the pace pretty slow since it was the longest I've gone since injury and since I basically climbed a friggen mountain during it. I had decided to try out Edwin Warner Park, which was really pretty with tons of trails, but also mighty hilly at parts. However, no pain! I walked about a quarter mile in the middle just to give my legs a break before they needed it, but other than that, ran through the whole thing without a problem, even going up hill. A-mazing. Plus, it was 70 and sunny. Spring may finally be here!

In other news, I finally saw Coco Avant Chanel last night. It was not was I was expecting but I certainly liked it. The plot centered much more around her personal life instead of her design career but it was pretty beautifully filmed. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much French I still understand. It was still nice to have subtitles as a reminder, otherwise I probably only would have gotten a very general idea of the story. :) Hélas, j'ai besoin de plus étudier.

I have piles of work to do and would love to fit in a trip to the gym today. I had planned on taking the day off for recovery but I feel fine. Also, I'm heading to NY for Easter next weekend so things will be a tad thrown off there. Off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful weekend!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pancake Heaven

I just had the world's most delicious, shockingly healthy pancake. (~400 calories with toppings)

Into the mix went
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk pancake mix
  • small handful of rolled oats
  • large splash of skim milk
  • egg white
  • cinnamon and vanilla
  • one small mashed banana

It made one giant pancake which I topped with blackberry jam and a tbsp of almond butter. SO good! I actually don't really like real maple syrup and how it saturates the pancake (ew) so I used to only eat fake syrup. However, after looking at the ingredients a while back and realizing how artificial it is, I've switched to warmed up jam. Works for me!

Anyway, last night I really didn't want to go to the gym. (I have a lot of trouble convincing myself to go on Fridays so I may need to reorganize my workout schedule to accommodate that!) I had joined the YMCA here in Nashville a few weeks ago and it's so wonderful. It's way affordable and I actually like it more than NYSC in NY and I was paying three times as much there! Anyway, I didn't feel like driving out there so I convinced myself to squeeze in a short 40 minute work out at the crappy gym at my apartment complex. So I ran 1.5 miles (no pain!) and I hit all the major muscle groups with weights. I'm proud that I was able to make myself go, even for a half workout. :)

It's miserable and rainy here in Nash, but I'm at least thankful that I'm not stuck in the DC snowstorm! Stay safe and warm!