Week of 10/20/14 – 10/26/14: #streakfor33, days 6-12

week of 10/20/14 to 10/26/14

Monday: 3.3 miles (11:14 avg pace)
Tuesday: 3.1 miles (11:57 avg pace)
Wednesday: 3.3 miles (11:41 avg pace)
Thursday: 3.3 miles (11:52 avg pace)
Friday: 1.3 miles (11:43 avg pace)
Saturday: Halloween Hunt 5 Miler (10:29 avg pace)
Sunday: 3.3 miles (12:04 avg pace)

I did better with slowing down this week. However, I may be starting to show the beginning signs of overtraining, so I probably need to cut my mileage and slow down further for the next week or so. My legs are super heavy; even climbing stairs is a chore, although I’m not sore at all. I’ve been a little irritable and anxious, which I don’t know is from my training or from not sleeping well (which could also be from overtraining).

It’s also the end of October, which means I’m experiencing the Halloween and birthday stress that always comes with this time of year. (Why did I decide to time this running streak during this period? The same thing happened last year without a streak!)

In short, you probably don’t want to be anywhere near me right now. Ha!

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Race Report: Halloween Hunt – October 25, 2014

This race was basically an excuse to wear an old Halloween costume. It was only $8 to run it, and it was along one of my favorite running paths, so why not?

I debated between two running-friendly costumes. 2013’s Velma (if it was cold out) or 2011’s Black Swan (if it was warm). Honestly, I was really hoping I could do Black Swan, as that one is way more fun. As the time for the race got closer, it appeared that it would be in the 60s-70s. Yay!

Obviously, I didn’t wear pointe shoes to run in (that’s nightmare fuel), but I laced ribbon through my running shoes and tied it around my ankle to mimic them. I bobby-pinned my hair and the tiara to death, but I was still sure it was going to fall off while running. Luckily, the rest of the costume was not an issue. I guess one plus of having a ballerina-sized chest is that a backless leotard works just as well as a sports bra, haha.

I wasn’t planning on really racing this, so I didn’t have any time goals. The costume contest was my real goal.

Race Day

The race wasn’t until 11 am, so I had a leisurely morning in bed before finally pulling myself up around 8:30 to start work on my hair and makeup. I meant to drink some water when I got up, but I forgot, so I went into the race with a completely empty stomach.

I arrived, parked, and got my bib. After pinning it to my leotard, I joined the group of Mt. Juliet Flyers who were running the race for a group photo.

Mt Juliet Flyers before Halloween Hunt

The start line wasn’t marked, so we just headed in the direction of where we thought the start line was supposed to be. There was no timing mat at the start, so the official times must all be from gun time, since my watch (which I started as we passed the orange cone that I figured was the start) was about five seconds less than the official time.

Mile 1: 10:21
This is the only mile I ran straight through without a walk break, so it was my fastest. We started on an out and back section down a park road before ending up on the 2ish mile loop around the lake that we would run twice.

Mile 2: 11:01
I took a walk break about 1.25 miles in. I could definitely feel the fatigue in my legs from my running streak. I was also really wanting some water, but I had passed the water station at about 0.75 miles in and wouldn’t see it again till the end of the third mile.

Halloween Hunt 5 miler

Mile 3: 11:10
At some point on this mile, I realized that my car keys, which I had stuck in the bodice of my leotard, were not where I had put them. It took me some time to figure out that they had fallen all the way down to the bottom of my leotard. Yes, I had keys in my crotch. They weren’t really bothering me, so I just left them there. Right as I was completing the first loop of the lake trail, the winner came zooming past me into the finish. Yes, I was lapped! He was so freaking fast. I finally got some water.

Mile 4: 10:49
Refreshed from my water break, I picked up the pace a little. I don’t have much to say about this mile, other than the fatigue in my legs was getting heavier and I started counting down until the end of the race.

Mile 5: 10:49
My watch actually says that the race was 4.84 miles. Most people I spoke to said theirs came in around 4.95, so I don’t know if the course was short or what. It doesn’t really matter to me, since I wasn’t running this for a PR. I was just happy to finish in under an hour!

Official Time: 52:23

Despite not trying to run fast, I still managed to come in less than a minute from my PR. Again, I don’t know if the course was actually short or not. (The race director for this also measures and certifies a lot of the races around town, so it would shock me if it actually was short. Probably GPS error from running through the woods.)

Black Swan at Halloween Hunt

Everything in the costume held up nicely! Props to the bobby pins and waterproof makeup!

As for the costume contest, I did not win or even place. The judging is done by crowd cheers, so, of course, any cute kids got the top prize. (Although I did kind of agree with the winners. It was a family with the dad dressed as a farmer, the mom as a duck, the kid was a cow, and their stroller was decorated as a barn. It was cute.) Anyone have a child they wish to donate to me for next year’s run? πŸ˜›

Race Report: Go Commando 5k – October 18, 2014

I went back and forth for the longest time on this race. Do I run the 5k so I can directly compare my race to last year’s? Or do I run the new 10k since it’s the first year they are doing it?

I finally made my decision sometime in July. I had started to believe that I wasn’t going to meet my sub-30 goal in August’s race, so I went ahead and signed up for the 5k as a backup race. Of course, then I did get sub-30 in Smyrna, so…

It worked out all for the best. My cousin Gillian emailed me a few weeks later and said she was thinking about training for the 5k, her first ever. Yay, a race buddy!

I had no real goals for this race. I wanted to be faster than last year (35:15), but other than that, I just planned on running by feel. I definitely didn’t plan to do another sub-30, since my ankle was still gimpy, and I was doing a running streak.

Race Day

I had spent the night at my parents’ house in Clarksville, so I got up at 6am to get ready and tape up my ankle. I arrived at the race location a little after 7am and parked. I met up with Gillian and we took the shuttle over to the start line. After checking a bag, I was ready.

before the start of the go commando 5k

Gillian and I before the start.

It was a little chilly before the start, but the sun promised to come out. It turned out to be great running weather: in the low 50s with the sun peeking through. I wore shorts and a tank, but a lot of people were dressed for cold-weather running. I wondered if they got hot.

The race started promptly (my Garmin data says exactly 8am) after the national anthem and a prayer.

Mile 1: 10:17
Gillian and I started together and placed ourselves around the middle of the crowd. It was pretty congested starting out, so there was a bit of weaving around people and not being able to run the pace that you wanted to. Her shoe came untied right before the end of the first mile, and she told me to go on without her.

Mile 2: 9:34
Once most of the congestion cleared out, I settled into a good pace. I still had to weave around some people, as a lot of the race path is very narrow and it’s hard to get around someone slower. Mile two starts you on an out-and-back portion where the lane is split between those headed in and those headed back, so sometimes you have to weave into the other lane and dodge those runners to get around people.

Mile 3: 9:12
Knowing I was on the last mile, I started to push it a bit. However, I knew the only incline of the race was right at the end and that I needed to save something for that. A quick glance at my watch when I was about a half mile away from the finish told me I was going to come in really close to 30 minutes. I had been running by feel and not looking at my watch until then. I started to push a little more.

Final 0.1 (0.13 to my Garmin): 1:04 (8:05 pace)
I pushed with absolutely everything that I had to get across that finish line. It was another I-think-I’m-going-to-throw-up finish. (And the closest I’ve come to actually doing so. There was some dry heaving.)

go commando finish line

This is what an 8 minute pace looks like.

Official Time: 30:05

go commando finish

Stop Garmin. Don’t throw up.
Photo: The Leaf Chronicle

So close to sub-30 again! But I’m happy with this time, especially considering my ankle. And you know I ❀ negative splits.

Gillian did fantastic! She ran her very first 5k in 31:19, 11th in her age group! Much better than my first.

Race Review

Go Commando is always a well put-together race. I like that they provide shorts as an option, instead of a shirt, although this year’s shorts are exactly the same as last year’s, except blue instead of black. If I run it again, I might opt for the shirt.

The post-race food is always amazing. This year we had mini muffins, candy bars, pizza, sandwiches, some delicious cake bars with chocolate chips, bananas (of course), Nesquik (Thin Mint flavored!), and coffee.

thin mint nesquik

Yum!

My only complaint is about the congestion at the beginning. The race is starting to get big (I think they had a record 2000 people this year between all three races), so they might want to think about putting up some pace flags at the start to help people figure out where they need to be. I don’t think it’s big enough to warrant actual corrals with a staggered start, but just some direction would make it better.

Race Analysis

Here you can see my quarter mile splits. Notice the first half mile was much slower than the rest, due to the congestion. After that, I settled into a very consistent pace, until I started to push on the last mile!

go commando pacing

Could I have come in sub-30 again if the beginning of the race had been faster? Maybe. I don’t know. I wasn’t planning on pushing that hard. Overall, I’m very happy with my performance.

Age Group (30-34 F): 8 out of 52
Overall: 120 out of 488

Week of 10/13/14 – 10/19/14: #streakfor33, days 1-5

week of 10/13/14 to 10/19/14

Monday: rest day
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: 3.3 miles (10:39 avg pace)
Thursday: 3.3 miles (10:51 avg pace)
Friday: 1.2 miles – shakeout run (11:34 avg pace)
Saturday: Go Commando 5k (9:38 avg pace)
Sunday: 5 miles (11:54 avg pace)

The first two days this week were rest days in preparation for my 33 day running streak, which started on Wednesday.

Do you see any average paces beginning with a 12 up there? No. I have got to slow down or this running streak is going to end with injury. I even deliberately tried to make my five miler slow by doing 1.5:1 intervals. Even then, I still came under an average 12 minute mile! Help!

My ankle still hurts.

Week of 10/6/14 – 10/12/14: One Lonesome Run

week of 10/6/14 to 10/12/14

After the Warrior Dash, I took an entire week to rest my gimpy ankle. And by rest, I mean I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary except not run. I didn’t ice it. I didn’t elevate it. I didn’t wear compression gear. I walked a lot.

It still felt about the same a week later. I still took it for a run on Sunday.

The 6.2 miles I ran weren’t bad (especially considered the gluttony I had exhibited earlier in the day on some Domino’s stuffed cheese bread and pizza). I did 3:1 intervals, hoping to keep it easy and not put any undue stress on the ankle. Except you know I’m not good at keeping things easy. I managed to negative split every mile: 12:33, 12:05, 11:38, 11:37, 10:46, 10:37, and 10:23 pace for the last 0.25. It’s pretty safe to say that, while I could definitely feel my ankle every time I landed on my right foot, it wasn’t bothering me too much to run on it.

I practiced some bad running form and stared at my feet a lot on the run to make sure I wasn’t landing weird or doing something else to compensate for the ankle. My feet seemed to land just fine.

It definitely felt worse the next morning though. I remember with my last ankle injury, it was always more sore in the mornings, and this one was no exception. It gradually improved as the day went on, so by the end of the day, it was no worse and no better than it had been the previous week. Therefore, I still have no clue if it’s a good idea to run on it.

I decided that I’d start my running streak as planned, but any indication that my ankle was getting worse, and I would immediately pull the plug on it. Starting half marathon training injury-free is more important than a silly running streak!