Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Flash Back!

Wow. Another year gone by. This year was not like the others. Let's go back in time (...time, time, time.....) New Year's Eve 2010 when someone (not mentioning any names or pointing any fingers or taking any responsibility) decided we should take on the ultimate (for us) challegne. White Lake 70.3.

And that is how 2011 got started.

There was no time to waste. We hit the ground running, biking and swimming. I was working part time so I had all the time in the world to train. I would do about 3 hours 6 days a week, sometimes 7 days a week. Eventually I came to realize and accept that I was training too much, swimming was not a rest day, even though I enjoyed it. I came to love my swims. It was my favorite workout. I went from swimming 500m to 3500m and loving it over the course of 6 months. I joined Master's swim and found myself improving and even realizing I was a natural swimmer....I have always felt like a fish out of water.

Anyway, from Jan to May my life was consumed by 70.3 training. I learned that spin class 3 or 4 times a week does not translate to road biking. Excellent workout, but it's just not the same. I showed up for my Half Ironman feeling confident I would survive but there were many unknowns. What would it feel like to swim 1.2 miles in open water? How about 56 miles on a bike? I can do 13.1....right? Wrong!!!! The lessons I learned in stumbling through my first half iron were priceless. I learned that rest days are necessary, absolutely no excuses. Road biking is a must and fast at that, not piddling around just hanging out like we did for most of our long rides. And lastly, respect the 13.1. Yes, I had run 12 half marathons before but nothing could have prepared me for the way my bootie was handed to me by that last 13.1 of a 70.3. To successfully train for a half iron one must do bricks (i.e. bike to run transitions). That was the longest 13.1 of. my. life. But I crossed the finish line and completed one of the hardest physically challenging events of my life. Behind Portland Marathon, 2010.

Being in North Carolina during the full 2011 year I came to realize that this is a triathlon-happy state. I feel like Washington is a run-happy state (among other things). But in NC the triathlon scene is fun and just different than the running scene here. So after completing the 70.3 I was hooked and could not wait to get another tri under my belt. As a matter of fact as I type this I am already thinking ahead to the 2012 tri season....

I did a few road races here to include my first NC half marathon on my birthday weekend in March. I have signed up to do this one again in 2012. That race was followed by a trip to Oklahoma in April for the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon where I was searching and hoping for the running high I had during the 2010 full marathon. Boy did I NOT find it this year. Instead I found freezing rain, wind and a bitter cold I was not prepared to deal with. I came home and in June showed up for the Army 10 miler in 98% humidity and 90 degrees outside. I felt really good about that race and my performance. I found that I really enjoy the 10 mile race distance but there just aren't many of them around.

In the end of June I headed to Seattle for the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon. I had signed up for DetermiNation to fund raise and ended up raising over $1500! I was so proud of my efforts. On race day I was not prepared for the emotion I felt while meeting with others who were a part of the DetermiNation team. So many people willing to raise money to support the fight against cancer, so many people affected by this horrible, disgusting disease. I did this in honor of my Dad. I wanted to go out and run the Seattle RnR 1/2 marathon (which it holds my current 13.1 PR from 2010) and smash it, kill it, annihilate it, own it! I wanted to do it for my dad, in his honor. I don't know what happened during this race, it could have been a combination of many factors (fatigue from being on a 10 vacation, diet, lack of sleep, emotionally drained, too much pressure on myself, HILLS) but I feel like I went out and choked. My time was still a respectable 2:03 but not the PR I had dreamed of accomplishing for my dad. I had a great time running with Mel-Tall Mom and Jess Blonde PonyTail. They stuck with me even though I was running a good min/mile (or more) slower than they could have gone. They stayed by my side and shared this race with me, with my dad. For that I was thankful but I cannot deny the disappointment in myself.

From there I came home from Seattle and started my full-time job. This was another turning point for me. I knew I had it good, no GREAT and AWESOME, with my part-time gig but it couldn't last. Once I started work life/training changed. I continued to do what I could to train but my trips to the pool stopped, my spin class hasn't seen me since June, my bike was pulled out for races only. I'm still trying to figure out how to juggle it all. With a one hour commute one way to work there just isn't time like there used to be. I know people make it work and I am confident with the will to do so, I can find a way to train for multi sport while working full-time. During the summer months I continued to race triathlon, competing in three more races through July and August.

In July I also began following the 4 Hour Body diet. It was rough but I managed to stick to it and watched my weight drop from 163 to155 and then by September to 149. Cutting sugar, breads, pasta seemed to be working. I got my carbs from beans, ate truck loads of veggies and meat. I am currently on a modified version of the diet and am happy with the way I feel and pleased overall.

Mid July I amped up my marathon training with my eye set on OBX in November. I was hanging on but getting my runs in was a challegne. I attempted different plans like Run Less, Run Faster. It worked for a few weeks but getting the key workouts in was stressful and I missed the simplicity of just running. I settled in with trusty Hal Higdon for the remainder of my training. I got my 18 miler in with Natalie, who was in town visiting from WA. She and I shared over 45 miles together in three short weeks and she even did a 14 miler with me a few days after finding out she was prego! What what!!? Hard core! I was hitting my long runs, yet struggling with my shorter weekly runs. The marathon was hanging in the balance. September rolled around and near the end of September I was summoned home to OK. My dad wasn't doing well. My already weakened spirit was about to take the ultimate blow.

I traveled home in September to see my dad. That was hard. Harder than Portland Marathon 2010, harder than OKC half 2011, harder than my 70.3. All those were physically hard. They may have helped me with some mental strength somewhere along the lines but they did not prepare me for my dad's race of life to end. I was not ready for that. Saying goodbye to someone is hard. It is harder when you know it is a true, honest to goodness goodbye from this earth. My father passed away in the night of Oct. 5. I have been struggling to find my motivation since. I pretty much tossed my running shoes in the closet and shut the door. OBX 26.2 was struck from the calendar. I contemplated attempting it but I knew better. I gave up on the hope of making it to the starting line and knew that even if I did start chances were high that I would not see the finish line. I felt defeated, discouraged, angry at myself, and disappointed....

All of October and November seem to be a haze. If you asked me to recall any specific details I would have a hard time doing so. I was functioning on auto pilot and just going through the motions. Finally, in December I saw a race advertised. A 10k. I wanted to do it. The desire to run the race caught me by surprise. It had been so long since I felt an urge to run, to race, to get out there and enjoy life. So I registered. I went solo to race. One of my friends texted me about 30 min before the race start and said he was on his way, he was coming to run with me. We toed the line, I put my iPod on and told him I was just going to turn it up. They said GO and I ran the fastest race/pace I have run in my adult running career and an obvious 10k PR.

Two weeks following that 10k was a 5k I had done in 2010. I again registered and showed up, this time with a bit more of a crew, but I raced solo. I was unsure if I could push myself alone, if I had the guts, backbone, or motivation to go hard or fast without someone pushing me. But I proved myself strong and ran my way to another race PR.

During 2011 I have faced many challenges, many of which never found their way to pages of my blog. Not that I don't want to share them with you all, but it is actually quite the contrary, it was more that I didn't even have the words to express what I wanted to say. I have found myself, in the past month, slowly coming out of my dark place and finding joy in the simple things in life again. My desire to run is returning, my pleasure in racing has shown up again, and I am looking for an opportunity to excel, to push myself, and to make my dad proud(er. He always was so proud of me and my running. He always asked how it was going, what I "was up to now").

It is clear to me that the things I endured in 2011 were softened, if even the slightest bit, by the lessons learned in 2010 and the confidence and strength I gained previously. The things we learn out there on the road do cross over into our every day lives. They make us strong, resilient, confident, and capable. Without a doubt running has given me the strength, so many times, to push on and put one foot in front of the other....whether it be the last few miles of a race, or in the face of tragedy and heart ache, I know I can put one foot in front of the other......

Because I run.







Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Year in Review Part I

I've seen a few people posting this lately so I headed over to MissZippy to get the low-down-skinny....She asked her readers to post a 2011 Reveiw. I figured this would be a nice leeway into my in depth review of 2011. So here you have it:

Best race experience?
Hands down I'd have to say my White Lake 70.3. What an accomplishment! And when I finished, after going hard for SEVEN hours I was thrilled, elated, amazed, tired and HAPPY TO BE ALIVE.


Best run?   I'd have to say my recent 10k PR. I ran faster than than I thought possible. I was tired but fought hard against my mind and my doubts. The result is a new found competitive spirit and confidence that I can do this, and I can do it faster!

    Best new piece of gear?  My beloved Felt, Nelly CIRN.

  • 225524_209770989054180_195618007136145_632185_6074931_n.jpg

  • Best piece of running advice you received?    Just run, put the Garmin down and run.

    Most Inspirational Runner?  
    I'm kinda crushin' on inspired by Scott Jurek right now. He's the one holding the microphone.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? 
Challenging but rewarding.

So there you about you? Did you answer these questions? Let me know and I'll come check out your answers! Or you can answer them in a comment!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tis the Season....

It's hard to believe Christmas is now behind us. Just like every year past, the day after Christmas leaves me in a sort of Holiday Hangover of fun and memories. When I was a kid I was in this Hangover for a good week following Christmas. Now the Hangover includes stepping on toy pieces, boxes, scattered bows, and witnessing LB in chaos and a sort of desperation to get from toy to toy...I love it.

I have also found myself in the crossfire of a Nerf War....


I don't really think it's necessary to recap every single gift I received this year, but I am just dying to share one in particular. Of everything I received this one gift was perfect. If it was my only gift I would have been happy. My mom sent it to me, actually my mom made it....

...using my dad's shirts she cut out the quilt squares and made me a quilt! The perfect Christmas gift!


I love it! I recognize each shirt and it brings so many memories to my mind.

How has your Christmas holiday? Dodging any Nerf bullets? Testing out new gear? Or heading out to spend those gift cards?

Are you working on your 2012 Race Schedules and Goals? I am excited to get mine finished up and posted! I'm also excited to see if any of you all will be doing some of the same races! 

Will any of you be in the area for New Year's? We are planning a Football game, cookout and New Year's celebration! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What's the deal....

Recently I was asked about my blog's title: "What's the deal with your blog title? How'd you come up with that?"

Well, here is the story about 5 Miles Past Empty.

Long, long ago my blog was actually titled 5 Miles 2 Empty. As my training became more consistent and my mileage increased I felt 5 Miles 2 Empty was a little bit negative, restrictive if you will. It sent the message that 5 miles and I was done. Empty.

This was not the case, no sir-eee my amigos.

You see, I hate buying gas. Always have, always will. When my gas light would come on while driving my beloved Jeep I would look at the warning: 23 miles to empty. I would push the limit, I can make it. I would watch the warning, the mileage decrease, 20 miles to empty, 15 miles to empty, 10 miles to empty, 5 miles to empty.....0 miles to empty. Yes, I would push on, rolling into a gas station miles after the warning would read 0 Miles to Empty.

One day as I was driving across the Narrows Bridge, my gas light was on and the warning read 0 Miles to Empty, it donned on me, this parallels my running. Let me take you back to August 2, 2008, my first half marathon. I started this half marathon with confidence. My longest run had been 10 miles. I was ready for what was ahead of me, or so I thought. At mile 7 I began to doubt myself. My calves were tightening up, my shoulders screaming. It was hot and I was tired. I couldn't will my legs to move, it was like I was running through mud with cinder block shoes. At mile 8 I was thirsty, cursing myself for ever getting into this stupid sport. I was running on empty. By mile 9 my tongue was dragging, hanging out so far I was tasting the pavement. I couldn't possibly go another step, another mile, much less 4 more miles. By mile 10 I hit the proverbial wall head on....that's it. I had never gone further than 10. How the heck would I make it to 11? If it weren't for AN the RB I never would have made it. This was her second half marathon and she was by my side, pulling me along. Somehow I managed to make it to mile 11. I felt like I was well past empty, beyond empty. I needed a tow truck, or a medic. I had no energy, I had goose bumps even though I was hot. I was dying of thirst. I couldn't feel my toes, or my nose. Why was I doing this to myself? What is the payoff? Death? Will this be the end of me? Will my tombstone read: Here lies Amanda. She tried to go 5 Miles Past Empty. No, not this time. Before I knew it I was at mile 12. Wow, a distance PR! By the time my brain was able to do the math to calculate that I only had 1.1 miles left I actually only had .6 of a mile left. Me, running, and math-it's a train wreck (your brain need carbs to think, so when you are carb/energy depleted it is hard to think, hence difficulty calculating mileage and paces). I was moving slow, but I was moving. I saw the 13 mile marker and said a prayer of thanks...but that last .1 of a mile was seriously at least a half a mile long. I had no kick at the end. I stumbled across the finish line.

When I crossed the finish line they handed me my Finishers Glass. Smart. I was shaking so bad I almost dropped the stupid glass (that is now a prized possession). I had goose bumps but I was hot. I finished. I said, "Never again. Never doing that again...." That was my first of 14 half marathons and counting.

Back to my Jeep. I coasted into the gas station, miles after my warning flashed 0 Miles to Empty. I realized that often in my running, like in that half marathon, I feel like I'm empty, done, down and out but the truth is I have a reserve. I have something in the tank, enough to get me to the finish line. I felt like I was empty at mile 8 and managed to make it 5 more miles to finish 13.1 miles. Could I have gone 6 miles? 7? I don't know. Maybe. But probably not. The point is when you feel like you've given it your all there is usually still a little bit more to give. Our minds play terrible tricks on us, telling us we can't, we are tired, we need to stop, to give up. But deep inside there is a reserve, a little bit left that says "No! You can do this!" In that compartment is where we store our thoughts about our training, our experiences, our why. When we learn to tap into that compartment we then realize that we can push through, push farther than we have before. We can and we will....go 5 Miles Past Empty....or more.

So there you have it. That is what 5 Miles Past Empty means to me. It symbolizes my ability to go further, faster, harder than I thought possible. When I feel like I'm on empty, I just remind myself I can go a little bit further. Have you ever gone 5 Miles Past Empty?

Oh yeah, and Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve....

....and the stockings are hung by the fire(place) with care. The tree is twinkling in the corner. LB is snoozing soundly with dreams of Santa coming down the chimney... Speaking of LB and Santa, for weeks now LB has been begging for an Easy Bake Oven. I thought, I hoped it was a phase. I tried to hold off, hoping it was a bandwagon he jumped on at school while chasing the first grade girls around the play ground. But he kept at it...I opted to not get the oven and hope he would love the new mountain bike Santa is going to deliver. I have a hard enough time staying away from sugary, delicious sweets as it is. Give LB and Easy Bake Oven and I'm done for. Tonight at dinner I asked him, "So what do you think Santa is going to bring you?" I held my breath and hoped he wouldn't say Easy Bake Oven. I really don't want to disappoint him, I want to see him thrilled on Christmas morning. Much to my relief he stalled then said, "A gun that shoots out fire!" Ah, yes. We are over the Easy Bake what to do about the flame-shooting weapon?

I have found myself reflecting on 2011 a lot the past few days. My road has had some rough patches. I have faced many challenges, haven't we all? Over the past year I have learned it's not the fact we have challenges, rather how we manage those challenges. I was thinking this morning, randomly, about my dad. I wondered if was watching me this month as I ran my 10k and my 5k. Mel told me if I watched out, paid close enough attention, I would see him, sense him with me on the road, like she did with her dad at Boston. I haven't yet.....But I can't wait for that day to come.

Through the rough spots in 2011 I have had some outstanding, shining moments: Race PR's in the 10 mile, 5k, 10k, sprint triathlon, and 70.3. It was Sarah reminded me of this in a text:  


Sometimes things just need to be put in perspective.

I have done some amazing things this year. I'll admit it....Maybe it is for this reason that I am allowing myself some time off from true, rigid training. I do miss training though. I have been looking forward to the new year when I will ramp up my training for a 5k PR and a full marathon in April. That's not all I have on my 2012 To Do List but I will do a detailed post on that later.

Have you been mulling over your 2012 Goals, or as I prefer to call it the 2012 To Do List? I can't wait to share mine and hear yours!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Glory Days.....

.....are they truly over? Or just beginning?

I love this time of year. This has been a really great week, even though I've been working all week and still have to work tomorrow.

Last night I had dinner with the girls. Girls night is awesome! I needed it so bad! I am feeling a little bit more plugged in here lately. I am feeling less and less alone in this town. Wow, a year and a month and a half later...sheesh. It takes times to get settled and connected and to get life in a routine. That is why I was SO excited when the newest fellow PNW transplant joined us for dinner. She blogs at Navy Wife on a Diet but has just recently switched over to wordpress and is now CackalackyTransplant. Man can I relate to her misery and lament. North Carolina is not horrible, don't get me wrong. It's just not Washington. Coming to NC from WA is a serious culture shock. I might compare it to going from small town North Carolina to New York's just different. It takes some adjustment and getting used to. But the good news is that she, I am not alone! We will all get along just fine! Dinner was a blast and the conversation hovered around running, our recent 5k, upcoming races, training, shoes or lack there of, high heels, and of course diet. I can't wait for our next girls night! I can't come soon enough!

I know I told you all I am reading Born to Run. Right? Well, I am. You should too. Seriously, it's a good book. Anyway, I have been thinking back to my glory days, high school cross country. I was slim, fast, in shape, and naive and lazy. I had no clue what my potential was. I turned down running cross country in college because the race distance was 10k, twice the HS race distance of 5k. I thought a 10k was impossible. Too far. I would die! Right? No way could I do that.....

If I could go back to talk to my 18 year old self there is a lot I would say. Not all of it about running but that would be a nice talk we would have. I wonder what kind of look would be on my face when I told my 18 year old self to buck up, lace up, and get out there and run because someday your gonna run a marathon! You're even gonna do a half iron man! I didn't even know what a marathon or half iron was back then. I was that person who said, "Oh you did a marathon? How far is that?" There is a part of the book in Chapter 28 that has been on my mind. In short there is a discussion where they are talking about the evolution of humans and how we are literally born to run....I'll attempt to summarize. The results of the 2004 New York City marathon were monitored and all the finishing times where compared by age. What they found is that starting at age 19, runners get faster every year until they hit their peak at 27. Does this mean I missed my peak? I was pregnant at 26, nursing, fat and out of shape at 27! No!!!! I don' think so! I still have plenty of time to improve!! And here is why. The question is presented: At age 27 we begin to decline. So how old are you when you are back to running the same speed you did at 19? Wow! You mean I can actually get back to running the way I did at 19? Wait a minute, what you are actually saying is that I could have run BETTER than I did at 19? When I was running sub 7 minute miles, or 7 min miles for 13 one mile repeats? What? Yes! My glory days have just begun? Yes! I think so....Back to the question, we start declining at age 27 but our decline is much slower than our climb to the peak. I'm not sure I want to give you the answer, since this was a cliffhanger for me but if you want to know then just let me know in a comment, or read the book. Essentially we have the ability to improve and if we started out late it's ok, keep running!

So I'm looking at some 5k training. There is another 5k in Feb and I think I'd like another PR. I'll be working on a 2012 goals post but I think from the 5k in Feb I'll move on to training for a 10k, 12k, 13.1, then 26.2. I rarely have ever trained for anything other than a 13.1 or 26.2. I think training, actually training for shorter distance races could be fun. As it is now, both my 5k and 10k finish times predict a sub 4 hour 26.2. Boom!  Oh the places you'll go!! 

I sense a 2012 goal about to go in the books!

The only problem is this Big Sur Marathon I have the end of April. It's not really a problem per say, I am looking forward to it like no other it's just NOT a PR's a Sunday Drive of marathons for me. So I will be looking at the calendar and planning out my races and I can't forget the killer tri season! from about May to August I'll be tri-ing it up......

So are you all ready for Christmas? I am!!!! I am ready to watch LB's face light up as he checks out what Santa Brings him! This year, for some reason, it seems extra exciting. LB gets it and really believes in Santa! I remember believing in Santa and being so excited I couldn't fall asleep. Oh to be six years old again......

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My 5k Race Recap

So much is going on this week but I wanted to give a race recap! Let me start by saying:


My calves were so sore. I mean sorer than they have ever been ever in my whole entire life. So sore I felt like maybe I had torn the calf muscles on both legs. What happened? What went wrong? Or right?

I decided to wear my New Balance Minimus shoes. No biggie, or at least I thought. I have been wearing these quite a bit during my shorter runs and a 5k is short, right? Right. It is short but this particular 5k was short and FAST! At least faster than I ever run in training, which is the way it is supposed to be. But it made for some sore calves. I could hardly walk on Sunday and Monday. Just today I am at a point where I am only a little bit still sore. On Monday I frantically dug through my Workout Basket, a basket where I keep samples that are mailed to me to sample or given to me in race goodie bags. I knew I had to have something to relieve my sore, aching, dying calves. Sure enough, at the very bottom buried under GU, Chomps, and some random Butt Cream was the glorious samples packs of Biofreeze ! Hallelujah!


Holy Moley! Can you say Miracle Worker? This stuff is the bomb dot com! No kidding and no exaggeration! I am going to replace my 15 samples with a huge, industrial size. No kidding. After applying it this morning I was like a new woman with new legs......

Anyway, back to the race day. Not only did I wear my minimus shoes I wore my CEP socks. I don't usually run in these. For me it is often annoying and given the pain I had in my calves after the race I am not convinced the CEP Compression socks did much good? Weird. I also wore my 2XU Compression shorts under my running skirt. Strangely enough I had no pain in my quads, glutes or hamstrings. So verdict is: continue to run in my minimus shoes, love the compression shorts, take or leave the CEP Socks.

The race started rather abruptly. We were all gathered and they sang the National Anthem and then GO! Wow. It was really sudden and no one was really ready. Everyone was still hand over heart and facing the flag. It was chaos for a second until everyone figured out what was going on. I fumbled with my headphones, hit start on iMapMyRun app, and hit start on Garmin. That's right, I ran with both my Garmin and iMApMyRun iPhone app. Overkill? Ya think? Yeah, me too. I decided to go ahead with the Garmin and vowed to myself that I would not not look at excessively. I surprised myself and actually only looked when I heard the mile beeps.

My first mile was decent, considering the first mile had two significant hill climbs. I logged mile one at 7:53.79. The first 1/4 miles was killer. Who starts a race uphill like that? Check out the course elevation below....


The second mile had a nice up, some down but this mile ended up being my slowest mile at 8:02.24....What? That is nuts, my slowest mile was 8:02.24? Who am I?

My third mile was my fastest, but no wonder, check out the nice, long downhill. I finished the third mile at 7:46.45. My Garmin logged the race as 3.46 miles and my final .46 average pace was a 5:35 min/mile pace. I WAS DYING AND FLYING....but it was a significant down hill and I used it to my full advantage. There was a glob of women in front of me and one had her hair down and flopping all over the place. Seriously, she might as well have put a target on her back saying Pass Me. There is no way I was going to let her beat me. Nope, no beauty runner with beautiful, flowing, unkempt and untamed hair was going to beat me. Not. Over. My. Dead. Panting, Breathless. Body.

I ran. I ran faster. I knew the final 300 yards can be detrimental to some. From experience I knew that if you get passed by someone who looks weak or like they are struggling you can muster the mental power to overcome, to come back and beat them. BUT if you get passed by someone who's poise and body language says "I eat runners like you in the last 300 yards for post race protein replacement." It defeats them. It sucks their mental ability to fight. They give up. You win.

I passed the glob of women and it was a brutal fight. They were not going down easy. I had to dominate.

Here is a snap of the result times for the glob: I was 24:33, then there was 24:34, 24:35 and was close!


I knew it wasn't good enough for an AG placement (since the age group was 30-39. I HATE that, it makes the groups too big) but it was a nice PR for me. My previous 5k PR is 25:46 which means my new PR of 24:33 was more than a minute faster! What's next? I'm thinking I may train for another 5k PR. That sounds fun. Kind of..... I

was 8th in my age group and the 21st female out of 347. The first female came in at 20:23....that is pretty darn fast. That is like High School X-Country days fast...I got 90th overall out of 589 total male and female. That is crazy!

Here I am, coming to the finnish....


The cheering squad:


There you have race recap!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New 5k PR...

Yes, you read that right! I have a new 5k PR!! 

My unofficial time is 24:28 or a 7:48 min/mile pace. What? Weird.

I will have a complete race recap to come but for now I am going to drink my coffee, catch up on blogs, read some of my book, Born to Run (BTW I have a total celebrity crsh on Scott Scott, if you read my blog....) and whine about my calves hurting...and get my shoulders rubbed.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Ryan's Reindeer 5k

No pressure...

Tomorrow is the 5k that I did last year and it holds my current 5k PR. Am I expecting a PR tomorrow? Eeeeesh....To be honest I'm not feeling it. It is 12:05  AM and I am blogging, not sleeping. Not exactly my idea of a decent pre-race nightly routine. In fact, check out my "Race Pile":

It's a mess, even by my standards. This is a true pile....


If you have been following me for a while then you know my piles are usually at least a little bit of a controlled chaos. Here are a few of my previous piles for comparison:

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But not tonight, my pile is a mess. It may reflect my inner feelings surrounding this race tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, I am excited and I think it will be fun but I am not putting any pressure on myself to perform, to get another PR. I plan to show up and run. Have a good time. My pacer, Heezie, wont be there tomorrow so I'm completely on my own. Truth be told I'm not sure if I can push myself to another PR. Not to mention this course is kind of tough. It has a good, or bad, uphill that has the potential to kill you off in the first half mile. If I can just make it up that hill......

I am debating on whether or not to ditch my Garmin for tomorrow. I am certain that had I been wearing my Garmin during my 10k I would have psyched myself out when I saw my sub 8 min/mile pace and slowed myself down. It felt good to run by feeling and to feel my body pushing the limit. It felt good to teeter on the edge of run-till-I-puke. I am still a stats freak and need the stats, but I can get them without wearing my Garmin by using my iPhone in my arm band and the iMapMyRun app. It worked well for me last time.

Another random thing about tomorrow's run is that I am on call for work. This is weird and new to me. I have to have the crisis on-call phone with me and I cannot miss a call. So I will be running with an old school cell phone. Great. And what if it rings? Yeah, hi, what's your crisis? Oh ok, let me finish this last mile and I'll get right back to you.....What do people do when they are on call? Not race? I mean obviously I wouldn't be on call during a marathon or a triathlon but I figured a 5k was safe. Right?  Let's hope.....

And finally, I went and picked up my medal for my Third Place Age Group finish!!! Check out the newest addition to my bling!! My first 10k Medal!!! And it says Winner!? Maybe they gave me the wrong medal, it should say third place winner but whatever, I'll take it.


How about you? What have I missed the past 10 days? I can't wait to catch up tomorrow afternoon!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Green Baret 10k- PR! A Recap~

I decided to do a local 10k about a week ago. I needed a race. I hadn't raced since my last tri in Aug. A 10k seemed like an ok distance, not too long and certainly not short....and I hadn't done one since 2008!

Race day came and I didn't have a race crew. J-Ninja had done a 10k on Saturday and wasn't up for a second one. I checked the race website and saw that I had to be there before 7:45 AM for a 9 AM race start to get my race packet. I got there at 7:40 and easily got my bib. They didn't have the race shirts, for whatever reason, so I have to get it later, somehow. There I was, an hour and twenty minutes early. I don't do early.

I was sitting in my car prepping for the race and grabbed G. Money (my Garmin). It was OFF. It would't come on. FAIL. I sat and thought about how much it was going to stink to not have stats for my first 10k since 2008, how much it was going to suck to not have stats from a PR race. Then I grabbed my iPhone and searched the apps for iMapMyRun. SCORE! I downloaded the app and instantly felt better. At about 8:30 I got a call from my buddy Heezie-he was on his way! YAY!!! I would have a running buddy! Heezie made his 5 Mile debut when ran me to a 5k PR last December at Ryan's Reindeer 5k!

I met Heezie and we headed to the start. I had no idea where the route would go but was relieved to know there would be a pickup to follow, you know, in case I was first. We inched up a bit closer to the start, it wasn't a big race, only 221 total runners. The race started with a bang. Literally. They set of a cannon or huge fireworks or something. I hit start on my iPhone iMapMyRun app and shoved it in my arm band, where it would stay for the remainder of the race, and turned on my iPod. We took off running. I had no way of knowing how fast I was going but I felt ok, and I felt fast. Heezie stayed beside me and up a little bit. He would surge and hold, forcing me to keep up.

My breath came easy and my legs felt good. I kept waiting for a side stitch. And that was in the first mile. A mile in and I was still fighting my britches. It took a mile and a half before my skin was sweaty enough to cling to my waistband and stop the inching down. Around mile two I ditched the hand warmer that Heezie had given me. My hands were beyond warm. About two blocks after I chucked the hand warmers I felt nauseous. A wave of puke-ness came over me. This was it, I thought. I'm gonna puke. I knew I was running faster than normal. Faster than I normally do. Heezie was not slowing and I swallowed my stomach and told myself there was no time to puke. I kept going. By mile three the urge to throw my breakfast on the curb had subsided. a block later Heezie asked how we were doing on time. I had no idea and told him so. A dude just up from us shouted out, "24:12!" Ugh......I don't do 24:12 for 3 miles. A 5k PR perhaps? In a 10k? Dang!!!

Around the 4 mile mark I could feel my breathing getting heavier and my mind getting heavier too. I knew I was going faster than normal and it was getting hard. Hard is ok, though, right? Heezie kept going and I had to keep up. We got passed by a dude, then eventually two more dudes. No females passed us. I couldn't see who was ahead, I had no idea how many girls were ahead of me. We passed one girl and kept going. The route had us twisting and turning around downtown. I was ready to head to the finish. Where was the finish? Are we there yet?

With a bit over a half of a mile left we passed one more girl, on an uphill. The sun was to our backs and I realized I liked this, it made for big shadows. I could see if a shadow was coming to pass us at least a good 5 feet before it was actually going to make the pass. I only saw one, it was a dude.

The finish line came into view and I went as fast as I could.....the finish clock said 50 something....a certain PR! I couldn't believe it. Actually I could, it felt like I was going that fast, I was uncomfortable and tired. What I couldn't believe is that I had actually done that, without whining or dying or puking.

We wandered around for a bit and attempted to find out the results with no luck. Heezie decided to head home and I headed to my car. I put my stuff down and decided to go back one more time to check for the results. This time the guy put my name in, gave me my time of 50:33 and said I was 4th in my Age Group. Dang. Missed the podium by one place. I decided to head home.

I was proud of my race! With a 50:33 time that gave me an 8:10 min/mile pace. But with the distance on the iMapMyRun of 6.48 miles it gave me a 7:46 min/mile pace. I'm not sure how accurate that app is, I'll be curious to test it and compare it, running it at the same time as my Garmin. But either way, a PR is a PR and I was pumped!!

Today when I checked the results page I saw that I actually got THIRD in my Age Group! What was that guy smoking? Why would he tell me 4th? So who knows, maybe I missed a cool prize. Oh well......

So there you have it, my 10k PR and THIRD in my Age Group!!! And 76 out of 221 total runners. Next up, Ryan's Reindeer 5k! I smell another PR!

And check out the course map, Tall Mom pointed out it looks like a gun, a pistol to be exact. So what do you think, did they do that on purpose?? It was, after all the Green Baret 10k...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Weekend in Pics....

Friday night we had a gathering/party and things got WAY too crazy....

4-up on 2011-12-03 at 09.02.jpg 4-up on 2011-12-02 at 20.04 #13.jpg

Then Saturday LB and I went to pick out our Christmas tree! LB found the perfect one!


Then we threw in the Jeep.....oh wait, I don't have a Jeep any more. No biggie, we threw it on top of the car!


Then Saturday night we headed out for a train ride through some Christmas lights, with a small carousel detour!


This morning I headed out for the Green Baret 10k and blazed my way to a sick PR! This is the only picture I was able to get.   How's that for a teaser???


Then this afternoon we headed to Raleigh to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra!


It was awesome!!


There you have it...our crazy weekend! And I'm spent!

I'll get my race recap up tomorrow night, hopefully! I'll just tell you this much, I was shocked by my time! Most of you probably already know if you follow my Facebook page, if not and you can't wait then head over to check it out!

Good luck to all the Las Vegas Rockers and Rollers!!!!


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