Run Race and Ramble Results

My main goal this year is to remain healthy.  This goal is something that I have been carrying with me for every run and every race.

I have had to accept the reality that I am not as fast as I once was a few years ago.  I’m not producing times that I find are acceptable to my standards but one thing is still remaining the same;  I’m staying healthy.

This past weekend I ran a race on a rail trail from Newville PA, to Shippensburg PA.  The race was a 15k (9.3 miles).  It was an unusual time for a race as it started at 1pm.  I ran this course once as practice to get an idea of difficulty.  When you think of a rail trail you think flat, easy, smooth.  Well from where we started it was a gradual incline all the way to the finish.

Personally I thought it was a tough course because of the incline.  The weather was about 60 degrees give or take a degree.  When the race was underway I knew what I was about to go through.  I started slower not worrying about my placement.  The first 3 miles are the easiest because it is mostly flat with a tiny decline after mile 2.  I felt good, comfortable, cool and focused.  I found myself in 8th overall, and I was slowing catching a few runners.  By the first mile I moved into 5th place, I was feeling good and the there was a little breeze to help cool my down.

As I approached the 1st water station I knew I had to take advantage of them I grabbed some water without stopping took a few sips and dumped the rest on my head.  I saw 4th place within catching distance and I tossed the idea I trying to catch him back and forth.  I thought he is too far, then it seemed like I was catching him.

The course was straight and you could see really far ahead.  I was able to constantly see 4th place and I dared not to look back.  Despite being able to see really far ahead, you could also see how the course began to climb.  By the 2nd water station I was about 8 seconds 4th place.  The water station was just after the 4 mile marker and at that point 4th place had stopped to drink his water.  I was feeling hot and at this point the wind had stopped the sun came out and i was beginning to feel the effect of the humidity.  I too stopped at the water station to drink a larger amount of water.

I don’t know if stopping messed up my rhythm but the only reason I stopped was because he stopped.  I started running before him was able to run away from him.  The second half of the course was the harder half.  The course climbed for the next 5 miles.  Every time you looked up ahead the course was climbing higher and higher.

Psychologically it placed with my head.  I knew around 4.5 to 5 miles I was going to eat a GU packet.  around 4.6 miles I heard the sounds of foot steps coming up behind me.  I was a little taking back because I didn’t expect someone to catch up to me.  I thought I was alone.  I  was at peace with the pass and I knew this women had more drive than me.  We ran together for a little, before  I knew I couldn’t and should keep up with her.

The 3rd and final water station came just before the 7 mile marker.  I saw this women stop and drink some water and I decided to do the same.  I poured one on my head and drank most of the other cup.  Honestly, I was tired.  at 7 miles I started to tell myself 2 miles 2 miles 2 miles.  Over and over.  I was really starting to suffer.

Mile 8 I was feeling terrible,  I was hot, my mouth was dry, I was fading fast.  I looked over my shoulder and no one was behind me.  I knew I couldn’t catch the women in front of me, I knew that I had locked 5th place down.

I stopped running.

I had to walk, I finally convinced myself to stop.  My mind had won and I felt like I needed to walk for a minute.  I glance over my shoulder and off in the distance came 6th place.  I started to run again.  I didn’t feel any better and i was running really slow. I knew the finish was a slight decline from about the 8.5 mile mark.  Once I reached that spot  I pushed myself harder.  You could see the finish line around half a mile before you get there.  I started to push myself faster to the line.  My head hurt, my legs were heavy, my mouth was dry.  I give everything I had through the line and nailed 5th place overall.

I was first in my age group respectfully,  My time was not great but it was good enough.  I rang in with 1:06:45.  I know i’m better, I know I was better at one time but today this was my best effort.  I’m upset that I stopped running but I think it was the right thing to do.

Stay healthy!  My number one goal is to Stay healthy.

I know I have a lot of work ahead of me if I want to improve my times and stamina.  I’m humbled by this race, I’m thankful for the results and I’m excited to still be running with out any major issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hershey 10k Recap 42:58

This past weekend I ran in the Hershey 10k.  I have never been a big 10k fan but I have recently changed my feeling about this distance.  I used to sign up for a lot 5ks but with my injuries I have scaled back on them.  I would push myself too much in a 5k and end of hurting myself.  I enjoy the longer races for some reason.

I think my dislike towards 10ks was due to my inexperience of not knowing how to run them.  I have run a few since my stand of dislikes and I’m finding them to not be as terrible.

Saturday was race day.  I had mixed feelings about the race.  I had to recover a little longer from my half marathon which prevented me to properly feel prepared for the the 10k.  In short, I am not properly trained for anyone of these races because I’m coming off an injury and my training has been cut short for this running “season”.  I’m accepting my fitness level and doing the best that I can without pushing myself to the point of injury.

When the race started I felt good,  I felt controlled and at a good pace.  The first mile clicked by and I was moving a little faster than I want but thought if I kept this pace I’d finish pretty good.  I tried to slow a little to remain comfortable but by the 3 mile I was cruising faster than I should have been.  I knew the course from the last time I ran.  I knew the second half was harder.  Even though I knew all of these things the table was already set for my struggles.

After 3 I felt spent.  I started to doubt myself but also tried to convince my self that I was almost finished My fourth mile was more controlled but I was beginning to suffer.  Miles 5 and 6 were going to be miserable.  I wanted to stop but kept pushing.  The last 2 miles where terrible.  They were my worst 2 miles.  I felt gassed, exhausted.  As I neared the stadium for the finish I could hear the announcer calling out times.  I knew I would make it under 44 but by how much I didn’t know for certain.

The last 2 miles I was passed by about 12-15 people.  Every time someone passed me  I felt worse and worse.  I hate being passed but I had nothing left in the tank.  I crossed the finished line with 42:58.  I was surprised by the time but also disappointed because I knew I could have done better.  I was 45th out of 2634.  I was satisfied with that result.

I knew that I probably did better than I should have considering everything that has been going on this year.  I’m not fully trained/in shape.  I’m more reluctant to run if I’m sore.  I’m nursing 2 sore hips and a sore knee.  I don’t want over train and not be able to participate in these races.  I know I can be better, and I know that giving healthy circumstances, I’m better.  I need to be patient, calm and accepting of my limitations and abilities.  There is more to this running adventure than worrying about placement and time.

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Monthly Recap (March)

Recapping March.

I have seen a few people posting about their March Mileage.  Wow! there are so people out there that really got after the miles this month.  I on the other hand did not run a crazy amount of miles.  My goal is 100 miles a month and I haven’t reached that goal yet this year.

One reason for this is that I’m not just running miles, but training and preparing for races.  I enjoy running race, and following a training plain keeps my to a tight schedule.  Also, I’m trying to stay healthy and running more than I should will only tear me down and cause another injury.

I ran less this month than last but only because I took a few days off to properly recover from my weekend races.  My ultimate goal for March was to run a half marathon and an 8k in the same weekend.  I am happy to have succeed i this goal, and I’m still injury free.  Sacrificing a few days to recover is well worth it in the long run.  Well, I don’t see this as sacrificing days or miles but it is what my body needed.  I’m glad that I can run now after those races and not feel like i’m “just getting by”  or surviving a run before an injury gets me again.

March has been good.  I had a good taper week, and awesome weekend of 2 races, a recovery week and then I slowly began getting back to work.

March totals for me was 63.44 miles.  I see this amount and wish it was higher but this doesn’t make me any less of a runner and i’m proud of how March went for me.  My goals for April are 2 more races.  I have one this weekend (a 10K) and one on the 23rd (a 15k).  I’m excitied for the short distances and I hope to get some more miles in April.  My second goal is to remain healthy and injury free.  The 3rd goal would be to get more miles (hopefully 100) but if my body isn’t ready, then i’m not going to push it.

March Totals: 63.44 miles.
1: 8k
1: Half Marathon
No injuries!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recovering from my race weekend

Coming off my double race weekend I wasn’t sure how i would feel.  I knew I wasn’t really eager to get back to running because my past history from half marathons always end up with me getting hurt/injured.  Even this past fall I thought i had a sure fire plan and I still manage to pull an injury.

I am hoping that this time will be different.  I’m trying to stick to my plan and not get hurt this year.  Knock on wood, Things are looking towards the positive.  I took off about 5 day after the race.  I wanted to allow my body to go through the recovery process and not put too much stress on it.  Over these days off I started to get anxious about running.  I became excited to run again and that is when I knew it was time to start back up with training.  I have another race in 2 weeks and I think I’ll be ready.

I already know i’m not going to meet my monthly goal because  I took that many days off but I’ll sacrifice miles for healthy running.  I am hoping to make up some more miles when I’m not training and recovery from races.  This whole process has really been a learning experience and I believe i’m better off having gone through it.

Maybe i’m finally understanding how my body works.  Maybe i’m excepting my current level of fitness.  Maybe when I have a better understanding of where I am, I can than start to build on improving my current levels.

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Shamrock Half Marathon recap!!

So here is what happened during my Shamrock Half marathon.  I was coming off an 8K race the day before and I was feeling pretty good.  I had a good fueling meal the night before and was hopeful for a good effort.  This wasn’t a goal race to run a certain time because i knew the race yesterday took something out of me.

I was coming off a short training plan due to injury in November and December.  This year has been successful with training but I definitely wasn’t in the best shape.  My goals were to complete both races and remain healthy.

One race down, one to go.  I woke up to rain.  It was pouring and cold.  I saw the rain blowing around from the high winds.  Leaving the hotel room I had about a block to the start.  Seeing people crowded under awning I quickly realized how awful this race might be.  The lobby was full of runners and the front desk was handing out clear trash bags.  I quickly grabbed a bag ripped a hole in the top and prepared to endure the suck.

The cold air grabbed my attention as the rain ran down my legs and began to soak my shoes and sock.  I climbed into my corral and began to bounce around trying to stay warm.  I decided to keep my trash bag on for the start of the race.  The wind was blowing right in our faces and the rain wasn’t letting up.  I felt really dumb wearing a bag when the race started but heck, I was partly dry.  The bag was making so much noise in the wind and I saw a few runners looking over at me with a look of confusion and disapproval.

As the wind picked up I felt my trash bag acting like a parachute and by mile 3 I had to ditch it.  I should have pulled the Incredible Hulk and ripped the bag off but I pulled it over my head and almost lost my hat.

The rain continued but slowed when we reached miles 3-5.  The wind was blocked by trees which made the slight incline more manageable.  I was running just a head of the 1:35 pacer.  I never looked back but a few times he was right behind me.

I was trying to be smarter with my races and attempted to take water during the race.  So far I am not very good at this.  I usually skip them, but when I do take water I end up spilling most of it.  The first attempt I missed the water and grabbed Gatorade.  The Gatorade is so concentrated I barely had any.  The second attempt was water but I only manage a tiny sip.  This was around the 5 mile marker.

The turn through Fort Story was windy, and the sand was blowing in our faces.  Keep in mind the winds were 20+mph.  I was pulling away from the 1:35 pacer and was thinking I might make it under 1:30.  Mile 7 the wind was almost pushing my along but around mile 8 I attempted more water and inhaled a huge gulp which sent me coughing and hacking.  I dropped the cup and the wind was so strong the cup passed me and another guy.  I laughed a little while trying to regain my focus.

Around mile 9 I began to feel the effect of the cold, wind and rain.  My quads started to get tight and could feel my body running out of energy.  I was defeated a little every time someone passed me.  I knew i had to back off my pace and try to make it through these last 4 miles.  I accepted that this wasn’t about a certain time. I remembered my goals, Stay healthy, and finish the race.

I counted down the miles, which seemed to take forever.  I said no to the water because of my last attempt.  I was cold, and anxious to finish.  I reached for my second GU packet before mile 11.  I guess  I was hoping for some extra energy.  My 12th mile was my slowest and when I new there was 1 mile to go, I dug deep, hacked, a few times and pushed for the line.  I knew I didn’t have to push myself for time but I wanted to finish strong and not look like I was about the pass out.

My time could have been better, but considering all of the elements a 1:33:21 isn’t too bad.  Cold, wind, rain, a race the day before, and a shorten training time all are excuses but honestly I achieved my goals, and I’m happy to have stuck to my plan and not worry about my time.  Despite the weather, and how awful i felt in the second half of the race, I still had fun, I’m ready for another one and I’m ready to try to build my speed.

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Recapping this weekend in Virginia

This past weekend I ran two races in Virginia Beach.  Saturday I ran a 8K and Sunday I ran a half marathon.  This was a special weekend from me as I was supposed to run this series of races last year but had to differ due to injury.  I will talk about the weekend, the 8K and briefly talk about the half.  I will go into more depth about the half in another post.

I was extremely cautious and nervous about this weekend as my last week of train left me with some sore hip and knee pain.  I was worried I would get halfway through the race and my knee would flare up like it did for the New York Marathon.  I focused on rest and ice for the past few days prior to the race weekend.

My dad and I both planned to run the 8K so we arrived at the Convention Center to pick up our packets.  It was a long drive in the car about 5 1/2 hours of sitting.  My knee felt a little stiff but seemed better as we walked around.  Since I was running both races I signed up for what was called the Dolphin Challenge.  Basically if you run both you get a third medal showing that you completed the the challenge.

The whole weekend looked like crappy weather and I was worried I would have run in the rain both days.  As it turned out, Saturday’s race time was perfect with the weather and we only had some wind and cooler weather.

8K Recap

I knew this weekend wasn’t going to be a PR kind of weekend.  I have only run 2 race in two days once before (10k and 5k).  When I ran both of those races I ran hard both times and paid for it afterwards.  I knew that with my current track record of injuries I had to be smart with this half marathon.

I started the 8K easy.  I was positioned back a little bit from the start and that forced me to run slower.  It was terrible trying to dodge slower runners and establish a steady pace.  My first mile was my slowest mile.  I tried to run calm, controlled and not push myself too hard, knowing I was going to run the next day.

The competitive side of me took over part way through the race as I began to pick people up and pass them.  I was feeling good and thought  I could lift the pace a bit.  My last mile was the fastest mile as I pushed a little for line.  I knew  I could run a little faster for an 8K and still feel good.  Honestly I was monitoring my knee and hip and when things seemed to be feeling good I pushed a little harder.

The trick is to not go to hard that you burn out for tomorrow.  I finished the race with a 34:12 and felt pretty good about that.  After the race I focused on recovery, ice, and preparing for tomorrow’s Half.

My recovery (I thought) was good.  I stretched, rested, hydrated, and mentally prepared for the next race.  I can’t complain about the rest of the day as we both took it easy.  Despite the races, it was a pretty relaxing long weekend.

The half marathon was a whole different kind of a beast this weekend.  Rain! Rain was in the forecast and Rain was only part of excitement.  This half marathon was the worst running conditions I have ever raced in so far.  It rained with 20mph winds, and 35 degrees with the wind chill.  I will go into further detail next time but bottom line, I finished safely with a 1:33:21.

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Last weeks long run, Preparing for race weekend

Last weekend was another shot at my long run.  The previous week I bonked on my run.  It was awful but I learned  a lot from it.  Last week was my final long run before my race weekend.  I fueled properly, took water, stayed focus and although my times weren’t super great I felt accomplished and satisfied with the end result.

I definitely could have used a few more weeks to train, but you take what you can get, and not worry about things you can’t control.  I’m in my taper weeks and so far my runs have been good.  Since i’m running shorter distances i’m trying to increase my speed for these runs.  I think I need my taper weeks for this race weekend.  My ultimate goal this year is to stay healthy.  I’m doing my best to hold myself to that goal.

Staying healthy is a lot of evaluating for day to day.  I’m running on days I should run but I have backed off my gym workouts.  I was having trouble balancing both of them.  I would push too hard at the gym and not be able to run.  I tweaked some muscles at the gym because of fatigue from running.  I’ve scaled back on the gym which has helped but I don’t want to abandon the gym completely.  Sleep is something I’ve been trying to get a lot lately.  Early mornings awake and early nights to get more sleep.  It has been an adjustment and I’m happy for the change.

I’m eager to run, race and put all of this training to use.

7 days till race weekend starts

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