Thursday, June 14, 2012

Labor of Love race, ET Midnight Race

OK, so I didn't post directly after my last race (April 2012 Labor of Love Race by Calico Racing), but it is a good story. I did not make my time, as it got very warm and the uphills really kicked my butt. However, I did finish in the middle of the pack for my age group (including both males and females), which is pretty great! So here goes the story:
Like I said, it was pretty hot. We started at 9, but after some retrospect, it would have been better to start at 7. At least for that particular day. Apparently, last year it was snowing for this same race. We have some crazy weather here sometimes. Anyway, started with a downhill, which then became uphill for the next 2.5 miles. Here I am, trucking along, enjoying a leisurely pace given the heat and hills. It takes me 45 minutes to get to the halfway point. Well, as it is rather warm, and I would rather not waste my bottled water by dumping it on my head, I get the free water from the aid stations along the way. Well, I thought it was water. Here I am, dumping small cupfulls of water over my head, which gave me the instant relief I was looking for. The other runners, and the aid station workers, are giving me some strange looks, which I thought was odd, but then continued anyway. I am sure they have seen someone trying to cool down in the heat that personifies Las Vegas. So I finally come to the end of the race, finishing the second half of the 10K in 30 minutes thanks to the hills heading down for 2.5 miles. I take out my headphones and the cord drops, getting caught around my leg. No big, I get my medal, then move on to the fruit stations. I chat with some fellow runners, then get on the bus to be driven back to the parking lot, about 3 miles down the highway. I get in my car after a quick stretch and start home. I notice I am running out of gas, so I stop at the first gas station to fill up and see if I can get some post-run treats. I go in the store to pay, and chat with the lady behind the counter. She looks at me funny and ask what I have been doing. I told her about the race, and she seemed satisfied that this was the reason I looked a bit fatigued. Now, mind you, I have not bothered to check a mirror. I just want to get home and shower. I walk to my car and see my reflection. I go to push my hair behind my ear and find that my hair is quite stiff. That's weird! I didn't use any product. So I scrutinized a little more. All of my hair was stiff as if I just dumped an entire can of Aqua Net on it. What the...? That is when it hits me: that wasn't water at was watered down sports drink. I had sugar throughout my hair! I am so glad the bees have not come out for the spring, yet! I have been chased by bees before, and I probably would have been at the front of the pack if they had discovered I was a running flower. Now the looks totally make sense!

My next race is the beginning of August. It is the ET Full Moon Marathon, 1/2, 10K & 5K, another of the Calico Racing series. This one is at midnight in Rachel, NV near area 51, along Extraterrestrial Highway. I am looking forward to it because it will be so much cooler. The location is a higher elevation, and it is at night, so no sun to beat on me. It should be around 60F. Unfortunately, with the temps hitting 100F in mid June, I am confined to the treadmill for a while. It isn't so bad to stop at the gym on the way home from work. But trying to get to the gym on Sundays is a bit more difficult. I also try to get up early enough to beat the heat, but as the summer continues, this just won't be possible for very long. But, that is ok. I have learned how to use the treadmill to my advantage. I want to be faster, and a treadmill makes this a lot easier. I can increase the speed to see how fast I can keep up and for how long. I also incorporate inclines, which helps me increase my endurance. Although I would rather be in the fresh outdoors, I am ok when I can control the buttons!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Too busy to blog?

Life is crazy busy right now. I am still running, but I am also preparing for a Customs Broker examination, setting up a division of my new company. However, I have had a couple of awesome races:

1. The Color Run in Las Vegas most fun run ever! My oldest and I ran this 5K. Time wasn't kept but if we were to be judged based on how painted we got, we definitely would have won! I really don't think is was a full 5K, either. But, it was a blast and really a great way to just get out there and enjoy the art of running (pun intended!).

2. Run Away with Cirque du Soleil: timed 5K race where I hit a PR: 28:30.34. I am pretty happy with this. I still want to cut down the time by 4 minutes, but it will take a lot of training. The race itself was OK. Pretty crowded at the start and I lost a minute trying to get through the people.

I have a 10K in 3 weeks. My goal is to finish in less than 58 minutes. The course is an uphill start. I am working on my longevity. Time is fleeting, so finding the time to spend on the treadmill is getting a little more difficult. I was able to get a few outdoor runs in over March, but the weather has been rather unpredictable lately. Pretty soon, I will be confined to the treadmill due to the heat of Las Vegas.

I am going to try to blog after each race. I think it is good to keep a running log of races so that I know rather or not to sign up for the same race next year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I know, it has been forever!

So, after a little reprisal from my follower, I realized I have not updated my blog in quite some time. This tends to happen when I start a new job. The job seems to take me over and I have no time for a couple of months. However, now, everything is where it should be and I have a little time at the end of my day!

Running update: it is AWESOME!! I have been getting faster every week. I have also been increasing my endurance. Last week I did a 5-miler in 42 minutes! This past Sunday, 7.61 miles in 1 hour 10 minutes. I am also dropping weight, which is always nice. I was once told that dropping weight makes you run faster, and running faster makes you drop weight. I love this paradox! The only problem is that I have had to buy 5 pairs of new pants because none of my old ones fit any longer. I got rid of them straight away, and have no plans to ever regret that!

I have a planned HM in January and a M in May. I think it will go well. The HM is in my hometown and is going to be rather hilly. The M is in Fort Collins and is primarily downhill. I am certain to get a PR, but I am hoping to get a BQ. I have to shave another minute off each mile of my endurance run, but it is possible.

OK, time to get a little more work done, then I am out of here!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Motivation and podcasts

As a runner, especially a self-professed lazy runner, finding motivation halfway through a running program can be a bit difficult. The music from my iPod gets boring, the treadmill gets annoying, and getting my lazy butt to the gym is a challenge. However, I have found a way to get a second wind and move forward in my program. There are several podcasts that can help a runner get that foot out the door. One of the best ones I have found is MotionTraxx.

MotionTraxx is an interesting conglomeration of tech-style music organized by BPM, allowing the runner to choose the speed of the music for the type of workout expected. Yesterday, I chose a tribal drum beat at 170 BPM and was able to finish a 5 mile run in 45:05. The track continued for over an hour, allowing time for a 10K or better, depending on the runner's stride and speed. There are also interval options where the narrator dictates your workout for you. After some speedwork on Tuesday, I selected this option. The workout was hill intervals, mostly walking. The directions to increase/decrease the incline/speed of the treadmill were preceded by a little bell jingle so that I was sure to pay attention to the new direction. It is a little less than half an hour and provided a good workout for my glutes. I also love that each workout states the halfway point, in case the runner is doing an out and back, or just wants to know where they are. There is only one issue I think could use improvement: the music starts fast on many of the tracks and it would be nice to have a slower warmup and a slower cool down incorporated so that the runner doesn't have to change the track.

Another that I have been listening to for years is the Indie Soup Runner. While there are no directions or specific workouts, there is a good up and down movement of the music to allow for good warmup time, as well as cool down. The music follows a theme rather than BPM and is alternative in nature.

Podcasts are typically free (at least the ones I look for), and provide a great conduit for new music to be heard. When I get to try out a new venue, I look forward to my next run. I can't wait to hear what the podcast has in store for me and I love that there is a new one every month. Now, time to get on the treadmill. Speedwork today, so I am thinking 180 BPM!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Loving good runs!

I made a very important goal today: 5K in 28 minutes! I have a ways to go. According to my race pace calculator, I need to break 23 to get to a pace where I could qualify for Boston. Once I can become this fast, I will start working on increasing my mileage. I am hoping to be able to hit a BQ by my 35th birthday (next September). I am not so concerned with actually going to Boston, as qualifying is my primary goal. I have a couple of scheduled races this year:
Sep 3: A Million to One 5K
Oct 29: Hoover Dam 10K
Jan 7: Running From an Angel 1/2 Marathon

Per the recommendation of a dear friend of mine, I keep from registering until the last minute. This has saved me a lot because something tends to come up. I am also better prepared for the race. I also try to keep the races close to where I live. This helps me to remember to participate because of the advertisements around town. I have also learned not to bite off more than I can chew. There is a cool run in Rachel, NV in 2 weeks, but the shortest they have is a 10K. I know I am not quite prepared to participate in a 10K race, so I will have to wait until next year. If I had registered 2 weeks ago, when I first read about it, I would have wasted $50 or risked an injury. This has happened before, and I have learned not to do that anymore!

The trick is to schedule races far enough apart so that you can train in between the races, but not so far apart that you lose the competitive attitude. I haven't raced in a very long time and I am just now getting back into it. In fact, it has been 4 years since my last race, and I did not do well on it. I have volunteered, but haven't participated. Starting with a short race (5K) is a good way to make a debut after a long hiatus. You can judge where you are at and still have the atmosphere of competition. No need to hurt yourself, after all, it isn't about winning for the first one, it is about seeing how well you finish.

My favorite race is the 1/2 marathon. This race makes me feel like I really did something cool (running 13.1 miles), but my legs don't get that feeling like "Kim, are we seriously still moving?" It also gives me an excuse to be lazy around the house for the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DOMS wanes

Today was a good run! Decided to step it up a bit with some intervals. All went well and didn't feel a twinge until the last quarter mile. I made sure to stretch a lot afterwards. I also walked a quarter mile between each mile. I think rehabbing my hams is going better than expected. Tomorrow, I have a pace run. The goal is 9 minutes per mile or better for 1 hour. This is pretty speedy for me, but I am going to try my best! I will have to keep an eye on my heart rate and watch my leg muscles. I push, but pushing too hard leads to injury. Better to be smart about it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not the DOMS!!!

So, as a consistent runner, many would think that the plague of DOMS would be behind me. Usually, this horrible event occurs if you push it too hard. I haven't pushed it too hard. Instead, I renovated my youngest daughter's room. Sure, this may seem to no way compare to running for an hour, but let me tell you, it was so strenuous. I didn't notice it at the time. After all, it was just laying vinyl, painting the walls and moving furniture. This was Saturday. Sunday: could barely move. Seriously! My hamstrings were in so much pain, there was no way I could run. I finished up the bedroom in about 3 hours, and lazed around the rest of the day. I was expecting to feel a bit better by Monday, but no. Completely relaxed all day!

Tuesday: I made it to the gym! They were playing Red in the Cardio Cinema, so I caught the end of it during a 1 mile walk. They restarted the movie, so after a bit of stretching, I felt fine enough to jog for a bit. I made it 2 miles in 19:35! Yay! Finished with a half mile walk. Tomorrow, I will go a bit longer, but still be careful not to push too hard. Soreness is easier to deal with than injury!