Friday Randomness!

I’m still alive and still running, though I’ve been trying to do more strength training this week. Just wanted to pop in and say some random things that are on my mind and have nothing to do with running.

annie's bunny grahams

#1: I am addicted to Bunny Grahams.

Bunny Grahams are an organic version of Teddy Grahams. I love Teddy Grahams. I love Bunny Grahams more. I saw these at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago and then found them at Publix (a lot closer to my house), which is really bad since I am now addicted to them (the chocolate ones, obviously) and like to eat an entire box in one sitting. I’m afraid I’m going to have to ban them from my grocery cart, just like Oreos.

#2: Steven Spielberg better not ruin “Ready Player One”.

Because I love that book. It was announced this week that he would be directing it, and while I’m not sure Spielberg has ever “ruined” anything (although I didn’t ever see that last Indiana Jones movie…), I will remain wary about any book-turned-movie that happens to be a book I adore.

#3: I’m trying to declutter my house using the KonMari Method.

Last weekend I read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo and now I have an entire upstairs bedroom covered in every article of clothing I own. I started this on Monday but then Tuesday through Thursday I was too sore to climb the stairs (thanks, Lower Fix) so I haven’t gotten very far yet, but I’m hopeful.

Race Report: St. Patty’s Day Kegs & Eggs 10k – March 14, 2015

My cousin Gillian decided to run this as her first 10k. I signed up to join her and cheer her on, though I initially signed up for the 5k. I did this because the Tom King Half was the weekend before and I wanted a bit of a break. But then, of course, the half got cancelled, so I went ahead and upgraded to the 10k, since the cost was the same.

I wasn’t really planning on racing this, although it would be cool to PR, of course. I knew I was capable of PRing anyway, since I had beat my current 10k PR in the 15k I ran a month earlier. Gillian was aiming to go under an hour.

I don’t have any pics that I took since I didn’t carry my phone with me because (a) it was raining and (b) I didn’t have any pockets. And I somehow didn’t end up in any of the official photos. So all I have is this photo of my outfit post-race. Sorry I’m not in it.
kegs & eggs outfit

Race Day

I did not have a good morning. I had laid out my outfit the night before, but I still was rushing to get ready, despite the race being at a comfy 11am. I left and then realized halfway there that I didn’t have my Garmin. I also realized that my stomach wasn’t happy. I turned around, retrieved my watch and some Pepto Bismol and then headed to the race.

Once I got to the start line area, I found Gillian in line for packet pickup. It was long, so thankfully she was already halfway there when I found her. We got our numbers, pinned everything on, then dropped off our t-shirts at her car. It was time for the race to start and we hadn’t hit up the port-a-potties yet, so we ran to find them.

I think they realized that their packet pickup line was still crazy long because the race didn’t start until 11:10.

Mile 1: 11:19
The first mile is basically all uphill. It took about half a mile of sticking with Gillian for me to figure out that I was not going to PR and that this race was going to be miserable. I steered off to the side to take a walk break. I ran a little, then took another walk break. I just couldn’t catch my breath on the hills. Finally, after we hit up a water station close to the end of the first mile, the uphills stopped and I was able to maintain a pace for awhile.

Mile 2: 10:37
This mile felt decent, except for the horrible side stitches I was experiencing. I just tried to keep breathing. I only walked briefly through the water stop.

Mile 3: 10:25
Another okay mile. The 10k was two loops of the 5k course. I forgot that I hate this. This one added insult to injury by actually having us run through the finish line and then turn around and repeat the course. Demoralizing. Only a brief water station stop on this one as well.

I saw Gillian go by before the turn around and called out, “Looking good!” Actually, she looked like she wanted to die. I wasn’t about to yell that. She was probably three minutes ahead of me at that point.

Mile 4: 11:50
A repeat of the first mile except with longer walk breaks because the hills wore me out even more. My slowest of the race.

Mile 5: 10:23
I was pretty exhausted by this point. I just told myself to keep going until the water station.

Mile 6: 10:13
My walk through the water station at the end of mile 5 didn’t do much, so I took another one shortly thereafter. Then I took off, ready to finish. On the home stretch, with about a tenth of a mile to go, I heard someone pick up the pace behind me, so I picked up my pace too (about 7:30-7:40, it seems).

And then a car drove out in front of me.

I had to slow down to avoid dying, and then I lost concentration and the girl passed me one second before the finish line. Ugh!

Official Time: 1:04:25

So, my watch said this was 5.98 miles. I have no idea if the course was actually short, but it doesn’t appear to be USATF certified so it wouldn’t surprise me.

I met up with Gillian and she had finished in 58:45! She’s officially faster than me now. 🙂

Race Review

I’ll start with the things I liked. It started at 11am. They had tasty post-race food (hot chicken and a beignet from Party Fowl). The course went down roads I hadn’t ever ran on. There was free beer, if you drink beer (I don’t). The volunteers were great. I dropped my St. Patrick’s day sunglasses in the first mile and they were waiting for me at the finish line.

And now for the things I didn’t particularly like.

They didn’t have a lot of people working packet pickup. I don’t know if there was a shortage of volunteers or if it was just how it was organized, but there was only one person per race (5k and 10k) digging through a box of bibs looking for your number. It was inefficient.

For a not very cheap race, it was disappointing to get a t-shirt instead of a tech shirt.

I don’t like 10k races that are two loops of 5ks (may be a personal preference) but running through the finish line and then having to turn around was not cool.

The course was short (probably).

They misspell St. Paddy’s Day in the name of the race. (Okay, I’m just nit-picking.)

Besides the hot chicken and beignets, there was no other food, and you only got one tiny piece of each of those. No bananas. I don’t know what vegetarians were expected to eat. Also, the post-race party had alcohol but not water. So we were handed a piece of hot chicken and then nothing to wash it down with (if you don’t drink beer).

I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining about everything (and truthfully, my bad performance is kind of playing into how I felt about the race as a whole), I just expect more when I pay $40 for a race.

The up side is that I didn’t have as bad of a 10k as the Franklin Classic last year, which was also during a slump. 😉

I’m in a slump.


That word can sum up the last few weeks of running.

I’ve had one good run in the past three weeks since my wisdom teeth extractions, which was oddly the longest run I’ve been able to manage in the past month (8 miles). Basically, ever since my the surgery, I haven’t been able to get into a good running rhythm.

Here’s my notes from every run I’ve done since then:

running notes

The last slump I remember of this caliber was right after I came off of LHR training last fall. That slump lasted about 2-3 weeks but I’m not sure of how much of it was caused by the August humidity. I certainly can’t blame this one on that, even though it has been warming up.

You’ll notice that on my 3/3 run I noted that I was having some calf issues. That hasn’t gone away and may be contributing to the slump. I can’t tell. It mostly feels better when I’m running, although my leg feels a little heavy. I can’t imagine it being an overuse injury since my February mileage was so low.

Either way, I’ve decided for this week, at least, I’m going to cut down to three runs: Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. I’m also trying to walk more on non-running days, since it helps my calf feel better. I’ll reevaluate on Sunday morning if I want to try for a fourth. And then I’ll evaluate what I want to do next week. I just want to get out of this slump so I can continue with my half training!

Race Report: Tom King Classic 5k – March 7, 2015

Originally, this was supposed to be my first goal half of the year. This was the race where I was going to try for that 2:15 goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the year.

But then I ran 2:13 at Cedars Frostbite, so that goal was done.

I wondered what I should do about Tom King. Should I try to PR again? Just run it for fun? I couldn’t decide.

So the weather decided for me.

Nashville got its first snowdome-busting (over 1″) snowfall in over four years on the Wednesday night/Thursday morning before the race. The Shelby greenway, which the Tom King half runs down, would not be in any shape to run on by Saturday morning. So the race officials made the hard decision and cancelled the half.

They reconfigured the 5k (no more running through the stadium and finishing on the Jumbotron) and invited everyone to run that instead. So that’s what I decided to do, despite that I’m not really in 5k shape and I knew this would probably hurt.

Race Day

The time had also gotten pushed back to 9am, so there was not a super-early wake-up, which was nice. I even managed to convince Jonathan to get up and come spectate, with the promises of a yummy post-race breakfast.

We arrived a little before 8:30. I grabbed my bib and shirt and then met up with some of the Flyers that were running the race for a quick photo.

mt juliet flyers

I probably should have warmed up in the remaining time, but I didn’t.

We got lined up at the start and I turned my watch on. Except it had some major problems finding a signal and didn’t finally start reporting distance and pace until over half a mile in. I have no idea how fast my first mile actually was, other than it was probably too fast and may have been the fastest mile I’ve ever run. All I know is after we completed a loop around the stadium (which Strava tells me is 0.9 miles), the clock at the start said 7-something, and the time difference between my finish time and the time my watch said I was moving is 3:51 (for approximately half a mile – my fastest half mile before this was 4:12). Thus I figure I was running at a sub-8 pace for the first half mile and probably averaged 8-something overall for the first mile.

It should come as no surprise to you then that I ended up taking some walk breaks. I just absolutely wore myself out at the start. I ended up taking three. There were no water stations, so these were just I-need-air breaks.

I started really trying to push when I knew there was only a quarter mile or so left. Ugh, it was rough. I was pushing as hard as I absolutely could but felt like I was crawling. In reality, I was pushing an 8:30-8:40 pace, although I seemingly slowed down right before the finish.

I know I say this every race, but I have never been so happy to finish a race before. I got my medal (that says half marathon on it) and then found Jonathan. I didn’t know my official time, but I knew it was a PR. A very rough-won PR.

We went up to the breakfast buffet and loaded up our plates with eggs (which I didn’t think were very good but I’m not a big egg fan), muffins (which were absolutely delicious), and biscuits. After eating, I went and found the printout with the results.

Official Time: 28:43

A 31 second PR. I was happy with this, but I was not entirely happy with my performance. I do not like going out too fast. I like finishing fast and feeling strong. With an average pace of 9:16 overall, I think I could have done this race with no walk breaks if I had just managed to hold that pace from the beginning instead of flying out of the gate. But with my watch not responding at first, there was no way I knew that I was going that fast. I need to work on pacing some more, I guess.

Race Review

While I was disappointed they had to cancel the half, so far I have been pleased with how they handled the situation. We will be receiving a discount to next year’s race, but right now the details of that are still being worked out, so I’m not sure how much of a discount.

I have a couple of complaints, but I’m sure they were related to having to change everything around last minute.

The first is that I did not see any mile markers on the course. This would have been super helpful when my watch wasn’t working (as I could have hit the lap button at the end of the first mile and then been able to keep up with how much was left after that). If they were there, they were not obvious.

The second is that the race photographer cancelled, so there’s no official photos. Boo.

Also, some suggestions for the breakfast buffet. Meat! Some bacon or sausage would have been nice. I love carbs (and I had two of those delicious muffins), but I want a little bit of protein after I race. There was also no chocolate milk, which was disappointing.

That’s really it. Everything else was well put together. As a spectator, Jonathan liked that we looped the start once so that he was able to see me a few times without having to move locations. I always like having him spectate because he takes videos so I can take notes on my form!

Weeks of 2/9/15 – 3/8/15: A Month of Excuses

weeks of 2/9/15 to 3/8/15

Here’s a nice diagram explaining all my excuses for why my running has been abysmal for the past month.

That’s not to say the runs themselves have been awful, just the amount of mileage I’ve been doing. I actually had a decent speed work day last week. And I got a PR at Saturday’s race (Strava only shows 2.6 miles instead of 3.1 because my watch didn’t work for the first half mile).

But this week is different. It’s time to ramp back up to 20-30 miles per week again to get ready for my next goal half. No more excuses!