Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quick Report

Survived a chilly 5K! It was fun - relatively speaking. I really enjoyed the challenge. And I am happy with my results for what was really the first 5K I have ever raced. That distance is tough. Because you really just want to go all out from the gun -- but the reality is that 3 miles is still 3 miles. The last mile was pretty brutal. My stomach started turning and I wasn't able to finish very strong because of the nausea. That said, considering I have not been running with any real regularity - and definitely have not been training to run anything fast (not to mention I did a killer legs strength workout on Wednesday that I am still feeling the effects of!) - I am pleased. I wish I had had more in the tank to bring it home. But all things considered, it's a great place to start.

Here is the data from my watch:

You can click here for the official race results. (Which graciously give me back 2 seconds with a time of 25:23...I'll take it!) Here is a news article about the winners.

I should add that the first half had a slight downhill and a little bit of a tail wind. And, well, the second half was the opposite (it was out and back). So while I did die, it wasn't 100% because of my lack of fitness! ;)

I got 9th out of 109 people in my age group! It's not too often I am able to report that type of success. I am usually a pure, average, 50%, middle of the packer when it comes to the entire field, my gender, and my age group.

Did I mention it started blowing snow, seemingly out of nowhere, during mile 2? Gotta love Duluth in April.

My one disappointment is that I really wanted to push my max HR over 200! :) (For no reason other than I thought it would be cool.) I think I could have if my stomach hadn't given me so many problems in that final half mile. Alas. I'll take my 198. And my 188 average for the entire race. There was a time not so long ago when I definitely did not have the mental ability to push myself that hard. And while I won't likely be taking myself to the masochistic levels of pushing through pain that coach Wendy does - it's clear she's rubbed off on me at least a little bit.

Good times.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back At It

Well, it's been a while. Over FIVE months, in fact. Wow. And, really, I haven't been running much since completing the NYC Marathon. This always happens even though I swear it won't - I complete a big goal race and instead of maintaining my fitness, I stop altogether. In my defense (this time), NYC was followed directly by exam prep and then exams...and then Christmas in MN...and then...

In that time I did have some running related fun. Me, coach (Wendy) and coach's husband (Tim) went to Houston together to watch the Olympic Trials. It was, in a word, a blast. I originally intended to run the half marathon (of the regular Houston Marathon, the day after the Olympic Trials)...all three of us did. For some reason it helped us justify the expense of the trip. But with my lack of training between November 7 and January 16, I decided I didn't want the pressure or stress. It was a good thing, in the end, because it allowed me to stay up late and party with Kara, my good-friend-turned-second-time-Olympian, along with some of her other friends and family (AND a couple of other Olympians...pretty cool for a geeky Track and Field fan like yours truly).

So now it's April and I am itching to get back at it. But the "it" I want right now isn't more marathon training. Blah. Blech, even. That just doesn't sound like much fun. I want to get in shape! That may seem funny...but I do not get in shape training for a marathon! Because I never find time for strength or core training with all of the miles I need to log. So while I gain endurance, I don't really get "in shape." As of late (at least when it comes to running) I have been craving two seemingly unconnected things: fast track running and technical trail running. That's what I want to do right now. So that is what I am going to do.'s what we're going to do.

That's right. Coach is still on board despite my awkward new request to have her help train me to run faster races and challenging trails. The good thing about Wendy is that these two opposing desires make complete sense to her...and she is totally on board. So this spring/summer, I am going to run fast. Not like, old-school Sara Jane fast. My hamstrings simply don't allow that. No more 100-meter dashes in these legs. But I've never really raced something like a 5K before. And I want to do track workouts. Not to train for a particular race or distance - but simply because I want to do track workouts. I love the track. You might remember me taking a trip down memory lane last spring - when I first started training with Wendy - when she let me do a track workout. Or at least she let me do my workout on a track.

So I am going to do some workouts on the track, I am going to do some workouts on trails, I will still do lots of runs on the roads (albeit shorter ones)...and I will also add strength and core workouts. These are very important to me. Since I started marathon training in 2007 I feel I have completely lost any sense of strength and overall fitness. I just run lots of really slow miles. And it's what it took for this former sprinter to run marathons - and for me to ultimately drop 40 minutes between Marathon #1 and #6 - but for now, I am bored with that.

What's on tap? Well...I am running a 5K tomorrow. It should be fun. I am going to run it as fast as I can and see what happens. I am by no means in 5K shape (whatever that is), but that's OK. Most of the 5Ks I have run have been of the slow jogging, talking, charity-sponsored variety. Tomorrow I am just going to run as hard as I can and see what happens.

I've got a few more things on the horizon in the coming months...but I'll keep them in my pocket for now.


Here are a couple of my favorite pics from the Olympic Trials:

The Finish Line! (The day before the Trials)

Me and Wendy the night before the Trials

Me, the Olympian, and my friend Kelly (her sister) the night AFTER the race - celebrating! (And reminiscing about the old days!)

You can check out more pics from the weekend here.