Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Race Report: Rivalry Run 10K

This was the first Saturday all summer that I was able to "sleep in".  And it was GLORIOUS!!!

The race started at 10am, which meant it was hot.  Oh, and we were almost late getting there because I always take forever to get ready.  I also forgot my bib and we had to go back to get it.  So we had about 60 seconds before the race started when we got out of the car.

The course was challenging, with plenty of uphill and downhill stretches.  The sun was high and made it feel hotter than it really was (that's what happens when you are used to running at 6am, before the sun is even up).  So I wasn't as fast as I wanted (again).

But it was a small race, so my 8:55 min/mile pace was good enough for first place in my age group and I have a new 10K PR of 55:28!

I know that I can run a faster 10K, so I'll just keep trying.  One of these days conditions will be perfect.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Other Hobby

Besides running and Zumba, I have a new hobby/business that I'm trying to develop.


So I'm here with a shameless plug.  Like me on Facebook!  Check out my website!  If you are close to the Salt Lake Valley, use me for your next family pictures!  Tell your friends!

Shameless plug over.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Extra (Half) Mile

If you read my race report from Saturday, you may notice a discrepancy when I told you that I was running 8:20's as my average down the canyon versus my finish time of 1:55:48, which is just under an 8:50 min/mile average.  I would like to clarify that.  And do a little grumbling.

First: I lost about 90 seconds waiting/using the Honey Bucket.  That adds 10 seconds to my average pace making it the 8:30 that my Garmin has recorded.

Second: My Garmin says that I went 13.7 miles.  And I believe it to be pretty darn accurate.

This course was certified for the distance, and that means they had to measure based on the tangents.  When you are running down a canyon, there are a LOT of curves in the road, making for a longer run, if you are hugging the center and side lines (like everyone was doing  because the road was open to traffic and we were told to stay to the right).  I'm pretty sure everyone went well over the 13.1 miles that we should have been running.

I found myself taking the "longer" route more than a few times in the race when I wasn't focused on the course ahead of me and was just following the lines.  And the one time when I didn't stay to the right and ran the tangent, I got weird looks from the people behind me (and in front of me that I passed because I got ahead of him on the curve).  I wanted to tell them that I wasn't cheating!  I was running the shortest legal distance that I could. 

I wish that the entire road would have been open to this.  I probably could have shaved another minute off of my time.

Do you run tangents in races?  Ever had someone give you the stink-eye for "passing" them on a corner?

All posts are better with pictures.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Race Report: Vigor 13.1 Half Marathon

When I picked up my packet on Friday afternoon, I found this lovely surprise waiting for me on my bib: 4:00am bus.

My alarm went off at 3:18am and up I got to get ready.  I made it on my bus, even though I was almost 15 minutes late (they decided to close my on ramp to the freeway, so I got to drive, cursing, up to the next one).  I was dressed in shorts and a tank top and when the bus got to the top of the canyon a half an hour later it was 37ยบ.

Luckily, we were all let inside one of the buildinga and we had access to a full bathroom of 12 flushing toilets.  I tell you - it was a luxury that I won't find again at another half marathon start line soon.

After waiting for almost an hour and a half for the race to get going (and after I helped my self to some free swag for running more than 10 half marathons, and after getting my legs warmed up by a massage therapist), we all headed out in the cold about a quarter of a mile down the road to the starting line.

It was pitch black.  And cold.  And, I didn't get in my last pre-race tinkle, so I was a little keyed up.  The horn sounded and down we (me and 175 other runners) went!

It was dark, but they had several cars heading down with us, so there was a little bit of light around us.  By mile 3 it was plenty light.  Also at mile 3?  I had to stop.  To tinkle.  So I lost maybe 90 seconds.  But I got right back on the road and kept going down.

I was running solid 8:20s the whole way down and I didn't stop again until mile 9 to take two sips of water (maybe 10 seconds of walking) and I continued on my way.
(coming down from a leap that the photographer didn't catch)
Around mile 10 I could really feel the downhill working over my lower legs and knees.  But my pace was still 8:20ish and I was feeling great.  At mile 12, or what they had marked as mile 12 but what my Garmin was telling me was really mile 12.67, I talked to my husband to tell him that I was going to absolutely crush my previous personal best and he would see me in about 9 minutes.  He told me that he would see me soon and to push it hard. I was at the mouth of the canyon and was heading into the short residential part of the course.

The last mile was actually much more, but when I rounded the last turn and saw my husband and daughter waiting for me just before the finish line - well, I can tell you that I was happy.  More than happy.  I was finishing my best half marathon ever and my husband and daughter were there with smiles on their faces (and a "Go Go Mommy!"), despite the early hour and the chillier mountain-bench temperatures.

Finish time: 1:55:48.  Almost a full 6 minutes faster than my previous best set in March (2:01:41).  After 14 half marathons I have FINALLY made it below 2 hours!!

Yes, it was a downhill course (almost 3700' of elevation loss), but I was pushing to keep up that pace and not fall back to my "normal" run pace of about 9:30.  I would say that since I was already hobbling at the finish line, my legs had given what they could.

Today?  I honestly cannot walk.  I'm going down the stairs backwards and even then it's with a grimace on my face.  My lower legs are SO tight.  I was expecting that my quads would be shredded (and they are), but this lower leg stuff is surprising.  Hopefully I can get them to loosen up tomorrow morning before work.

This was the race's inaugural run.  And I was pretty impressed.  I had to provide my own GU (which wasn't a big deal, because I always bring my own to all of my races), but they had water and EFS at the aid stations.  There were 4 aid stations with water, EFS and 2 port-a-potties.  Mile 3, 6,9 and 12.  I didn't need more than that (since I only used the ones at 3 and 9). 

The course was BEAUTIFUL.  We've had a VERY dry summer and because of it the leaves in the canyon were already changing to orange and red.  Once the sun was up, the views were incredible.

It was really well organized and the volunteers at the stations were full of smiles.  The girls at mile 9 were especially great because I ran passed the EFS and grabbed water, thinking it was the EFS.  Because of the steep downhill I couldn't get my legs to stop moving forward and one of the girls "ran" me down a cup of the "good stuff" (which was NOT good tasting).

I loved this race.  Even with the early hour.  I loved how small it was, I got a great quality shirt and a medal.  The finish line had free Jimmy John's sandwiches and Creamies and fruit - what more could you ask for?

Loved it.  I'll be back next year.  And this time I'll have an empty bladder.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How I Spent My {Summer Vacation}

Hello blogging world!  It's been a month since my last post on here.  Want to see what I've been up to?

We've been riding alpine slides.

I planted some carrots and beets in a pot on my patio.

We've been swimming almost every weekend.

Katie got her first pair of Nike's.
(via Instagram)

We've been watching some great movies.

Katie had her first pony ride.

My husband turned 30, so I threw him a surprise fiesta.

And, we've been enjoying the fruits of my parent's garden.

I've also been running.  Every Saturday and then maybe one other time during the week.  For some reason (like, staying up too late), I haven't been able to get up for my morning runs.  And that means that I'm not as trained as I would like for this weekend's half marathon.  I guess it's a good thing that it's all downhill, so I don't have to try as hard. Ha!

Since Labor Day usually marks the end of summer, I'm looking ahead and planning my fall racing.  So far (not counting this weekend's race) I'm signed up for a 10K, a 5 mile race, another half marathon and a 5K.  Plus a trip to Disneyland thrown in, just for fun.

Bring on the cooler weather, so that I actually enjoy running again!  Instead of sweating to death and feeling super slow.  It's time to focus on speed again.

And Zumba.  Because Zumba freaking rules.