Monday, September 28, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Without question, I'm glad I chose to do the Philly Distance Run instead of the LBI sprint tri. I really like this race, and today was a great day. A mental victory, a shiny new PR, beautiful weather, and family and friends involved. Win.
I woke up feeling ready, although with some basic pre-race anticipation adrenaline. I can't even say it was jitters, even with my stomach taking a bit to settle down. By the time I picked up my sister and we headed over the bridge, I was looking forward to the run. We parked easily and took our time getting ready. It was a chilly morning, and I was thrilled, though shivering. We set out for a little warm up and last minute bathroom stop. The art museum area was packed with people. I felt pretty calm. Already a different morning than my last several distance races.
As we made our way to the corral where I would meet up with a friend, we ran right into my parents. They had driven up from the shore to cheer us on! We said our hellos, found my friend, and before we knew it, the race began. My sister started just behind me, and as it turns out, she would finish right behind me as well. Great race for her today, too!
That's my sister on the left, me on the right in our throw-away shirts!
Within the first mile, I was running faster than I was planning, but I felt comfortable. I didn't let too much adrenaline take over, but I did have to keep myself in check. D had told me to run controlled (supposed to be an 8:20 pace), and then after the Falls Bridge (mm 9ish) hammer home. Even though my pace was a bit faster, I did lots of self-checks, and since I was running comfortably, I just went with it. I figured I'd back off a bit before the bridge if I'd need to, but I never really needed to...
We wound our way through the city and headed back up towards the Art Museum where we would pass blocks and blocks of people cheering us on, and I knew I'd see my parents. I waved a hello, and definitely felt a surge of energy running through there. We headed out West River Drive. I was still running faster, and I was still feeling good.
Passing the 10k mark. Not sure what's up with my left arm -- I think I had waved to the camera. That's my friend Greg on my left.
My friend and I didn't talk much, but it was nice to have someone to check in with periodically. He's training for IMLP, and this was just a training run for him. He made me feel good with his encouraging words and comments along the way! He kept telling me I was running a smart race... I kept thinking, this is comfortable. I'm doing well. That was great to feel that way.
I've run around the Loop enough to know what to expect in the crown of the road, the incline up to the bridge, and that it would be about 4.2 miles once we cross. I took some fuel, made sure to grab water at several stops, and before I knew it, there was the lady handing out the baggies of candy on the bridge. But no bagpipe guy this year! Where was he???
No matter, as I turned off the bridge, and rode the decline, I knew I was going to PR today. I knew that even if I kept running this pace and never hammered home, I'd still PR. I felt good. We passed the 9 mile marker in 1:14 and I turned to Greg and said, "That's the fastest I've ever run 9 miles in a race."
I stayed steady through the next 2 miles. By mile 11 I was started to feel fatigue in my legs, but I was fine to hold on. When we reached mile 12, I picked up the pace. There's an incline the length of most of mile 13, and it doesn't crest until just about mile 12.8. I made it up that incline, legs starting to feel heavy, through the huge crowd of people, and then picked it up a bit more. I heard my mom and dad yelling, I made the turn to the finish, and there it was. When I crossed, I stopped my watch and took a look. 1:47:24. It read 13.3 miles. 8:05 pace. Whoa. Awesome! It wouldn't be until I got home and looked up the results that I'd see I was given the official time of 1:47:38. Hmm. Not happy about the discrepancy, but so be it. I was sub- 1:48, and that means I did was I was supposed to do. AND, I felt good about the race. Shortly after crossing the line, I heard my sister call my name. She finished just about a minute behind me, and got herself a new PR in the process, too!
After grabbing some water and gathering our medals, we made our way to the bag check, and somehow our parents found us there. So did my "coach," and I got to hear about his race -- he finished in 1:09:48, good for 33rd place! -- and tell him about mine.
I heard about Ryan Hall's win and said our goodbyes, and then my sister and I made our way to the car. In that moment, I was caught up in the frustration of having to work so hard to get the time I got, while my sister was able to run just a minute slower on less training. I was happy for her, but I was jealous, too. It took until today, with some good reflection, to get past that and be able to appreciate my day, my race, for what it was.
It was a victory. I was not crippled by my anxiety at the start. I was prepared, I was confident. I was able to run a strong race, with solid paces. I ran a PR, by about 5 minutes, and I felt strong doing it.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I hope he wins the race.
I hope, by just having been in his close presence, that I win my race.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I try to keep my arms relaxed -- not up in front of my chest, but loose and keeping my chest area open. I shake out my arms often -- I always have, really, and it's something that reminds me of my friend Joe (Voodoo) every time I do it because we've talked about punching the air in front of us at times.
I think about my legs and their strength as I run, and I lift my knees when I feel myself slowing. As I run up a hill, I engage my hamstrings and power up. When I'm running easy, I don't let myself shuffle -- I keep a solid form and just slow the pace.
As I run, I keep myself in check -- core strong, hands and arms relaxed, sometimes leaning slightly forward, just to allow the natural pull do it's job.
I'm aware that I'm a better runner now -- my heart rate is lower while running than it ever was, I'm lighter, which makes the running easier, and I'm better (really good, even!) with keeping the workout what it's supposed to be.
This weekend it's time to see just how well this can all come together.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I could talk about how good my running's been going, but I feel the need to wait on that until after the half marathon this Sunday.
Instead, I'll list 3 things that were good today:
- I got a lunchtime run in! I had my lunch period and then prep period back to back at the end of the day, so I asked permission to use my lunch for a run. Granted, by my VP who also runs. Sweet. Sunny, warm, clear day.
- A visit with my grandmother, who was actually sitting up when I got there. I brought her a card to sign for my mom for her birthday, and although I had to help her with the writing, she signed the card for her daughter. At the end of my short visit, I kissed her and told her I love her. She kissed me back and said the same. Then, as she always would, she watched out the window and waved as I drove away.
- I spent about a half hour on the beach with my family, and then jumped in the ocean. There were some clear jellies, and it was a bit of a big ocean, but it was warm.
Truthfully, I could list 2 more things that were good today. A conversation with co-workers that caught me by surprise, and an unexpected chance to say a quick hello with my brother's kids.
THINK good things, look for good things, and maybe, just maybe, that PMA my dad keeps talking about will take hold. Positive Mental Attitude. I'm ready for good things.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Turns out, I was right. I ran an easy 2.2 to a park loop that runs around a lake -- I'm noticing I can run a little faster for my easy pace while still keeping my HR low. Cool. Just before I got to the lake, I started the first 2mi repeat. My goal was to never go slower than the 8:20pace. I didn't.
First mile was 8:08, finished the repeat in 16:13. Felt fine. Felt like I had to hold myself back a little since I was faster than I was supposed to be. Jogged through the 5 mins rest, and got ready for the second repeat.
First mile here was about a 8:09, finishing in 16:17. I was, again, feeling fine, but I was thinking I should be slowing it down a bit, so you can see I did -- slightly. Again, jogged through the rest time and noticed just how many older men were walking around this lake this morning. Huh. One guy yelled, as I passed him again, "Are you a twin or just running fast?!" That made me smile and do a double-take. Yes, and I'm trying were the thoughts in my head, but I yelled, "Ha! I'm trying to run fast!" And he cheered, "You're doing a great job!" That was a fun little boost.
As I began repeat #3, my legs were still feeling ok. First mile was 8:06, finishing (up a hill heading for home) a little slower with a 16:25. Done. Did all the repeats faster than prescribed, but I felt D would be ok with it. I think the workout could've probably been more like 3x2mi @8:10 with 5 mins OR 3x2mi @8:15 with 3 mins btwn. Either way, I felt good about how comfortable I was with this as I made my way back home.
I ended up with 11.25 miles altogether, and could've kept going. It was a cooler (low humidity) morning, sunny and clear.
Great way to start the day.
Great way to keep me focused on my goal.