Saturday, September 28, 2013

They call it pacing for a reason. (ALS HOPE Race Recap)

You know how your gym teacher always told you not to sprint the first lap, to save some for the end? Well, as a distance runner, you would think I would listen to this theory.  I listen to this theory (law) during longer races, but on Saturday I decided on the following plan: hold onto the fastest pace I can possibly go from the start.  That didn't work.  It resulted in the opposite of negative splits.  Granted, this was not a goal race by any stretch of the imagination.  It was a race for a cause I support, but it was still disappointing because you would think I would know better.

7:30 am: I woke up on my own (no alarm clock).
8:00 am: Breakfast: Banana Muffins (and not the healthy kind)- Breakfast of Champions, I know.
9:00 am: I attempted to study, but I fell asleep instead.
1:00 pm: I woke up and I was very hungry.  I was also surprised that I slept for 4 hours.  I ate the lunch of apples and Macaroni and Cheese.  The Kraft kind.  I know, my nutrition choices were not great.
2:00 pm: I sat around and took another nap.  Man I was tired!!!! That is what no sleep during the week will do to you.  I need to work on that.
4:00 pm: I woke up for the third time in one day and got dressed for the race.
5:00 pm: Left for the race.
6:00 pm: "Gun goes off." Really: a guy in a lawn chair says "Ready, Set, Go!"
6:01 pm: I have the genius idea of sprinting.
6:07 pm: My idea fails.  I am getting tired, but I am still below an 8' mile pace.
6:15 pm: Oh no.  Worst 5K ever.  My stomach is upset.  My legs are burning from the sand.
6:15-6:31 pm: Run/ Walking/ Hobbling to the finish.  No good.

I finally finished in 31:00ish.  I was super disappointed with my time, but not every race can be a good one and I did absolutely nothing to prepare for this race specifically and it was just an off day.  I am still super proud that I went and supported a great cause (ALS support) and I had a blast doing it (except for during the actual race).

On the bright side, I still got first place in my age group (this was a super tiny race)!  I now have a brand new shiny medal (on sparkly ribbon) to add to my collection!

Race Recap Roundup on Runners Luck

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Race Time

I am doing a night race this evening.  It is a 5K on the beach to support research and care of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's).

From the ALS Association Webpage:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment–"No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region.
As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.
My aunt passed away from ALS so I am running for her.  It is a really small race in Charleston, but it is for a really good cause! I encourage you to search for ALS races in your area because it really is a great cause.  Money is used for care (medical care, equipment, support services) and research- both of which are desperately needed.

Race Goals:
I have been training for a half-marathon, and I am in the middle of training for that so I am not expecting a PR out of this race, but who knows?

A Goal: Sub-25:00- It has been done before, but not recently.
B Goal: Age Group Place- Like I said, this is a really small race so it isn't super competitive, but it is always a goal to shoot for.
C Goal: Sub-27:00- So goal pace for my half-marathon, so hopefully I will be able to do it in a 5K (I had a super-successful speed work session this week so I am hopeful)!

I am going to try to do a race report before next Saturday, but we will see!

Don't forget: look for a race for ALS in your area if you are looking for your next race.  If you have trouble finding one, contact me and I can help!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I like this weather.

Look: I woke up late and it still wasn't a bajillion degrees outside! If I were to normally wake up this late (well this was even after my run), it would be at least 90 with at least 70% humidity. Today it was only 80 after my run AND breakfast! This is awesome. Well except for the fact that if I wake up late, I always get side stitches. Like every single time. I have no clue why.

My four mile run got cut short after a very long, slow, painful mile (think snail speed). I will try to go back out this afternoon to finish my run, but I thought this weather was so worth sharing!

Update on my break: I am back.  The last month has been the craziest month ever.  I had a guest at my house for two weeks which was absolutely fantastic (playing tourist in your own town is great- you should try it, I learned so much about the place I have always lived), but it also took up so much of my time and then with school starting I have had no time! I really am going to try to post at least once every week.  I think Saturdays will be my definite days so check out my blog early Saturday afternoons, and I should have a post!

Update on training: like I said, it has been crazy around here the last month.  I have been running, but not as much as I should have been.  Good thing my race isn't until December! I am so excited to be back training again! Oh serious running, how I have missed you!

Shoes: I ordered the Brooks Ghost 5s on clearance on the Brooks website.  I love them.  I took a leap of faith ordering a new pair of shoes online, but I have the Brooks Launch which I love, I was just looking for something with a little bit more support for longer runs.  I have only run 4 miles in them so far (I just got them), but I love them!  I will do a more formal review in a little bit after I have logged a few more miles in them.