a not-so-brief running recap

March 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

after disney my writing sort of dissipated. as did my regular training. both were to be expected as i simply scaled back my running to simply be for me. and since i wasn’t writing regimented weekly updates, i went back to using words simply to heal or question. but now that i’ve committed to the marine corp marathon in october, and to (god help me) attempting to qualify for boston, i need to get back into a rhythm of both. my actual training schedule for mcm won’t officially start until july but the months between now and then are going to be just as imperative to my training as the ultimate 16-weeks. so i am going to try and get back to writing a weekly running update. i’ve proven that the distance is not going to be an issue but time is going to be of the essence and i need to start monitoring things closely.

but before i start anew with my running highs and lows, i’ve got a couple stories to tell of recent races not yet written of.

the gasparilla distance classic has always been “my race”. for years my job put me in a working role with the race director. she always encouraged me to run. i always told her it would never happen. ha. look at me now. though i ran a couple 5ks prior, what i deemed to be my first “real race” was the gdc 15k two years ago. and then the half last year, my first half, became a milestone in my running that put me at a crossroads of whether to continue running or simply quit. and, tempted as i was to quit, i perservered. this year, the only reason why i ran disney and didn’t hold out for the gdc to be my first full marathon was because of the time frame. the races were pushed back a few weeks due to the super bowl being in tampa and i wasn’t willing to risk the florida weather. up until a few weeks prior i was almost convinced to tackle another full, but i opted to stick with my plan and register for the half. that, it turned out, was a good decision.

saturday was beautiful. cool temps. sunny skies. ideal florida late winter weather. i spent the morning downtown supporting those in my group who were running either the 5k or 15k and posing as the group photographer for the day. ryan hall was running the 15k which added a level of excitement to the race and the energy of the packed course, and a shopping excursion at the expo had me fired up and eager to run the next day. but by mid-morning all ears were on the weather report for sunday. bad storms were moving in and a stalling front kept bringing them in earlier and earlier with each passing hour. rumors were circulating about the potential of the sunday races ~ the half and full marathon ~ being called on account of severe lightning. when my alarm went off early the next morning i had to flip on the news and check the gdc web site to be certain the races were still a go.

reports at the starting line were that the weather should hold off. there was one band of storms anticipated that would hit that weren’t expected to last more than 15 minutes. why are weather men always wrong? the humidity was brutal but the rain was holding off and i found a good pace early on. i felt comfortable i could pr if the weather would cooperate and for the first seven miles all seemed good. but as we turned onto bayshore, a long stretch of road that runs along tampa bay, the intensity of the wind that smacked me in the face was like none i’d ever experienced in my short few years of running. instantly my pace dropped by 45 seconds. every step felt like i was pushing against a wall. with very few people around me, i couldn’t even find someone to draft. it was three miles of sustained wind with gusts up to (i think i heard) 30 mph.

when we turned to come back up bayshore my pace dropped back to where i wanted to be and i tried my best to make up the time lost. but when the rain started coming down hard at mile 12 i succumbed to the unlikeliness of a pr. i finished with a 1:57:58. a missed pr by merely 59 seconds. given the weather i can’t complain but i always kick myself in the butt when that close. could i have pushed a few extra seconds in the beginning? fought the wind a little harder? kicked it in at the end a little sooner? but another half sub-two-hours. all in all, i’m good with that.

i spent the next few hours huddled in our tent with others from my group. in spite of the weather, i wanted to see everyone of my “team” still on course finish. the anticipated 15 minutes of rain stretched into hours and the temperature dropped by bounds. one by one we brought people in. JJ, his maiden marathon voyage, ended potentially close to mild hypothermia, his lips blue and his body in bad shape. everyone doing the full missing anticipated goals by an average of 20 minutes. we brought the last one in at 5:15:17 just as the sun decided to poke it’s way through the clouds.

it was rough but it was worth it. somehow a race that tough makes the success even more satisfying.

a few weeks later came the

shamrock 10k and 5k ~ a small local race that my running group puts on. many in my group opt not to run it since we need to staff it, but i’ve been little by little trying to get sab interested in running and she had the goal of running a 5k with me. we picked shamrock since it’s small and with it being staged by my group, she would have an excess of support.  since she’s only eight, and i had no intention of letting her run alone, my initial plan was to simply do the 5k with her but after realizing the 10k started an hour beforehand, it seemed ideal for me to race then pace. if i did it right, i’d have plenty of time to recover between the two.

i started out the 10k feeling like garbage. i’m not sure if it was lingering hangover from girls night out on friday or “feminine issues” ~ there really is nothing worse than having your damn period for a race! from the first step i felt tired and weak but i was determined to PR. though i never gu or anything on distances under nine or ten miles, i was thrilled to find a lingering bag of sport beans in my spibeltand i popped a few at about mile four. that helped ~ a little. at mile five i decided it was time to catch up to three women i’d been following closely behind. a couple of them appeared to potentially be in my age group and knowing this was a small race, i hoped to place. but try as i may, i simply could not close the gap. we passed mile six and i searched for the push i can almost always muster. with about a tenth of a mile left i found it and i broke into a full on sprint and passed all three to cross the line with a 17 second PR of 52:50 and a third place finish for my age group. i did come to find out later that one of the three women i passed was in my age group and had i not found that sprint, i wouldn’t have my first running trophy.

after a few minutes to catch my breath and rehydrate, i got back on the starting line with sab. our plan was to run the first mile then walk/run the rest. given the minimal “training” she had done, i anticipated our finish time to be somewhere in the 50 minute range, maybe a little faster. the most sab had run straight prior to the day was a mile and after hitting that point she never wanted to continue walking or trying to increase the distance. i refuse to push running on her. if she takes to it, i’ll be thrilled but i refuse to be the kind of mom that tries to force a child into certain extra-curriculars. but as recent as  a few days before the race i’d given her the opportunity to switch down to the kids’ 1-mile fun-run but she insisted on the 5k.

we hit the first mile right where i expected ~ about a 12:30 and as planned slowed to a walk right after. i began giving sab little goals. we’ll walk for 3 minutes … then run for 3. or we’ll walk to that tree up ahead then run until we reach the next water table. though i certainly would have walked at any given point she needed, i was quite surprised that she adhered to almost every goal i gave her. and if she did slow, a simple positive “you can do it” was enough to get her going again. with about a half mile left, we saw eko heading toward us. it’s pretty standard in my group that someone always brings you in if possible and certainly the last runner on course never finishes alone. sab thought it was the coolest thing that he came back to run her in.

as we headed into the final stretch i asked sab if she wanted me with her or if she wanted to go it alone. she told me she could do it alone so eko and i pulled off to the side and watched her go. not only did she finish running, she showed herself to truly be my daughter and sprinted across the finish line for a finish time of 40:41.

so there’s the recap. outside of racing my running has been pretty solid. i’m out with the group more often these days and truly enjoy the camaraderie i’ve come to find with them. i know their support will be crucial at mcm and the training prior.

now, since the weather has changed and we seemed to have skipped right over spring and into summer, my focus will be more on training and my race participation will scale down to a few scattered 5ks. well … with the exception of tomorrow. i still want that half marathon pr so i figured i’d take one more stab at it before it gets too hot. i’ll let you know how that goes in sunday’s weekly update.

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Entry filed under: fear, life, running. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

36 minutes weeks of march 23 and 30

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39

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