Racing Thoughts: Runfessions November 2019

bracingthoughts

I’m mining my 15k and my 5k for a few November Runfessions today. The Holidays are going to be pretty low key around here. Thanksgiving at my parents Senior Living Community (please God no drama), we celebrate Hannukah, which is not a big deal. So not a whole lot to runfess when it comes to the holidays. I hope wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, you enjoy this time with friends and family.

I runfess . . .
I seriously gave consideration to running another half marathon this year. After training for a 15k, I knew I was pretty much there. I got as far as looking a few up, trying to judge the drive.

I decided that even though I was pretty much trained, the stress of the travel — the potential for crappy weather on that travel — just wasn’t the right thing for me right now. I am both sad that I don’t get to see where I’m at, but thinking maybe my body needs this longer break right now (even though it feels pretty good).

Would I soldier on in pain in a half or DNF?

I runfess . . .
I also wondered after that 15k just what would I have done if it had been a half? The pain started before the halfway mark of a half. It was slowly but surely changing my gait — never a good sign. Would I have had the sense to DNF or would I have been stubborn and finished, risking a real injury?

When the sun is shining it’s easier to get out the door — but we don’t get a lot of sun here

I runfess . . .
I am forever procrastinating on getting out the door once the weather dips down into the 30s (and below). Sometimes it seems really cold in our house — or maybe I just imagine it? Then I step outside and it really isn’t so bad and I kick myself for waiting so long. Although sometimes it really is that cold!

Yup, I ran in these sunglasses one day & didn’t even realize it

I runfess . . .
I got done with a run one day this week, got to the car, and went to take off my running sunglasses to put on my driving sunglasses. Only I’d never actually put on my running sunglasses. I didn’t even realize it!

Well, good to know I can run in those, although kind of scary how bad my short term memory is lately.

My friends didn’t know I was out here running this

I runfess . . .
I kept my 5k last week (read about it here) on the down-lo from my friends. I didn’t tell my running friends beforehand (with one exception). I knew they weren’t interested in running it and sometimes I just want to go and do my own thing, I guess.

Do you procrastinate on getting out the door in Winter? 

Do you only race with friends or do you sometimes go solo?

Ever got back to the car after a run & realized something was odd about your outfit?

What do you have to runfess from November? Come join us

Runfessions

I am also linking up with:

Stockcadeathon Race Recap 11/10/19

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I’d been stalking weather for this year’s Stockadeathon for a while and finally signed up on Tuesday. With another very stressful week on the family front, I was definitely feeling run down by race day and kind of questioning why I thought this was a good idea?

A nice long sleeve tech tee (I got mine before the race, as I’d signed up so late)

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup is always easy, and this year was no different. I signed up the same day I did as last year, but this year no race shirt at pickup (option to maybe get one after the race). No biggie … I have plenty of race shirts.

The weather & dressing
I say the same thing about this race every year: I thought I was overdressed in the beginning. I was definitely warm. When I took off my coat at the end, it was drenched in sweat. I also get cold towards the end of the race, and I’m unzipping and zipping my coat the entire race. I probably could have worn a lighter jacket, but this outfit was okay.  Same starting temp as last year too: 36.

I wore my an old New Balance jacket, my Wonder Wool Tee and Wonder Wool Skirt. Newton Distance on the feet. I also wore a buff around my neck; unlike last year I never found it annoying. I didn’t wear gloves at all, although I’d taken a couple of pairs, and that was the right call for me.

Yup, foot already painful but must smile for the photographer

My Race Plan
No race plan. Decided to try to run by feel. I did peak at where I was in mileage more than once, but I was never, ever aware of pace.

I parked at a hotel, as I’ve been doing the last few years. It’s about a 10 minute walk over to the Y, which hosts the runners before and after the race. Even though the Y has real bathrooms, the line for them is long. So I use the bathrooms in the hotel, and if there is a line, it’s usually short.

I got over to the Y to drop off my bag, and realized on the way that I’d forgotten my water bottles. I debated it, but knew I had enough time to go get them — so that was my warm up, partially running to and from my car. I’m actually really glad I got them. I used the bathroom one more time, since I was there, and headed back to the start — unfortunately it meant I never met up with any of my friends before the race. I even did a bit of dynamic stretching before the start.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:10. You start on a downhill. I always love a downhill. Quite a bit faster than last year (due to not looking at pace), but I actually think — which makes me a broken record lately — that it was fine.
  2. Mile 2: 10:57. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. Again a bit faster than last year. I did run/walk by feel up the hill.
  3. Mile 3: 12:15. You’re still going up. This mile was slower than last year.
  4. Mile 4: 10:55. Another mile quite a bit faster than last year.
  5. Mile 5: 11:37. Relatively flat. Slower than last year. Still running by feel . . . a course marshal was telling all the runners that it was downhill from here — and it isn’t. I told him to stop saying that!
  6. Mile 6: 11:08. Running around the lake in Central Park (see the photo above). Still relatively flat. Unfortunately this is where my foot started to be painful. Another mile significantly faster than last year.
  7. Mile 7: 11:49. A decent hill at mile 7.5. I ran/walked up again, and it was basically about the same pace as last year. Foot still painful (right foot on the bottom, over a bit towards the right). Painful enough that stress fracture thoughts flitted through my mind. It didn’t hurt much when I walked, but really hurt while I ran. What to do?
  8. Mile 8: 12:22. Despite the downhill, my pace slowed down significantly and you know how I love a downhill. My foot was really painful. Bad enough that a course marshal actually asked if I was okay.
  9. Mile 9: 11:26. The last mile is really downhill. By this point it seemed like I should just get it over with. Slower than last year, but not by too much.
  10. Last .47: 10:34. Still going downhill to the finish line. One of my sole sisters was handing out water at the finish, and I told her how much my foot was bothering me as she handed me a bottle of water. It was still really painful as I walked to get some food & my jacket, at which point I ran into Darlene and a few other running friends.  One of those friends is also a Skirt Sports Ambassador, and we were partially twinning in our outfits, but photo fail. My foot felt much better when I got back up after sitting for a while.

2015: 1:51:32 (an automatic PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)
2017: 1:45:09 (crushed it for another PR!)
2018:  1:46:49, 11:28 average pace, 1170 our of 1308, 43 out of ?? F55-59
2019: 1:47:31, 11:33 average pace, 1259 our of 1409, 41 our of ?? F55-59

In 2017 they added the splits for each 5k (probably because you can now run this as part of a relay team), and I had beautiful negative splits:

1st 5K: 35:43
2nd 5k: 35:16
3rd 5k: 34:11 (gotta love a downhill finish)

Last year I was just consistent, apparently:

1st 5k:  35:25
2nd 5k: 35:42
3rd 5k:  35:43

And this year positive splits:

1st 5k: 35:11
2nd 5k: 35:50
3rd 5k: 36:31

Like last year, I chose to run this race totally by feel. I do think I did a great job considering the foot pain, but it also pains me (see what I did there?) knowing I would have pushed the pace more had my foot not been hurting — I think I *might* have been able to PR.

It’s annoying, but it’s life, and I’m definitely glad that in the end my foot seems okay.

Was the race well run?
Not enough water stops! I say this every year. I bring my own water. Otherwise this race is a well oiled machine with plenty of direction, course marshals, and lots of food and water for everyone post race. Even foam rollers! I really think having the post race stuff going on in the same building we use before the race is very helpful.

Refueled immediately after with half a cider donut, a protein bar, then had hot chocolate at brunch. I make some healthy hot chocolate often, and only very occasionally indulge in the real stuff.

What I learned
I left later than last year, and it would have worked out beautifully — if I’d remembered the darn water bottles. While I missed chatting with my friends prior to the race, I know that having that water with me was the right decision for me.

I’m really proud that I ran by feel and still had a good race (aside from the foot pain). Pretty sure if it hadn’t been hurting I could have pushed a lot harder.

Positives:

  1. Extremely well organized race.
  2. Hot food inside post race, and enough for all.
  3. Real bathrooms at the Y and where I park.
  4. Although a hilly course, most (but not all) of the hills are frontloaded into the first half of the race.
  5. A nice downhill finish.
  6. Running with friends. Running into friends you haven’t seen in a while.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. The course runs a little long.
  2. Challenging course (some might view that as a positive).
  3. Not enough water stops.
  4. Although parts of the course are very pretty, much of it just isn’t that interesting to me.
  5. I actually had chafing underneath the bra line (which I never do). I didn’t see/feel it til post race, and I put on anti chafe before showering so it never bothered me. I wore one of my wool bras, which I still love — this is the longest distance I’ve ever worn one for. Oddly I’ve been wearing them a lot this summer, too, including a lot of hot trail races. It wasn’t a big deal though.
Coming into the finish: please make it stop already!

Final Thoughts on My Foot
I don’t know what caused the pain, but my suspicion is that shoe was laced too tight coupled with the pounding on the uphills. It was slightly tender if I had to raise up on the ball of my foot later on race day, but otherwise fine, and fine now.

Should I have walked the end of the race? Really, I probably should have. It didn’t hurt as much when I walked. What if it had been the beginning of a stress fracture (or reaction) and by walking I averted that danger?

It really was stupid to keep running but I’m glad it wasn’t something serious. I hope it never happens again! Pain isn’t always temporary, my friends.

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Third time’s the Charm: 11/4-10 WRD

At my mom’s much of this week again. Dad is home. Big, big adjustment. Third time refers to the fact that his release kept getting pushed to a different date, due to medical issues, but in the end I brought him home on Thursday. Although there was time to get a third run in this week, I knew my body was better served with extra rest.

It was a week short on activity, although I did the best I could, and also way short on sleep. And photos, apparently — I took almost no photos this week.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner and sharing how I try to listen to my body and adjust my plans accordingly.

briots

And linking up with Jenn @ Runswithpugs, Brandi @ Funnerrunner, Anna Louise @ Graciouswarriorprincess, Briana @ Matsmilesmedals, Meghan @ Meghanonthemove, and Elizabeth @ Trainwithbainfor RIOTS(running is our therapy)

Workouts update

  • Monday: Yoga (50 min), Lots of small walks
  • Tuesday: Taught Yoga 60 min (which is actually mostly sitting for Yin) & 60 min PM, 3 miles easy
  • Wednesday: Hips (20 min), Dogwalk
  • Thursday: Dogwalk, brought Dad home
  • Friday: Yoga (15 min), Dogwalk, ST (10 min)
  • Saturday: Yoga (60 min), Dogwalk
  • Sunday: Yoga (40 min), Stockadeathon

Mileage: 12.5 (-1.5)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Tuesday
I considered pushing this run to Wednesday, but Wednesday ended up being very unsettled so probably just as well I did it. Kept it nice & easy. Overdressed but survived.

Sunday
It was 15k weekend, and I woke up feeling run down this morning. Still the race would have gone really well — if my foot hadn’t started to really hurt by mile 6. It’s mostly ok now. Best I can figure is my shoe was laced too tight. Very odd, never had pain there at all before today. I’ll recap the race on Tuesday.

It may be cat yoga, but there was down dog (and yup, that’s Darlene 2 days post marathon)

Favorites of the week
I taught my first big yoga class. I’d posted it to my FB page, so the cat was out of the bag, so to speak: yes, it was cat yoga at the Humane Society.

Lots of stretching for tight muscles from sitting (and some core work — not sure that was appreciated but important!)

Let’s just say there’s a lot I need to learn (which I knew) and going from teaching one on one to teaching 18 people of all sizes, ages, and abilities was a big leap. They’ve asked if I’ll do a class in December — it’s a win-win on both sides!

A little breathwork to start

The bar was low, though, because the real star of the class were the cats.

A definite favorite was getting together with a running buddy (who is currently sidelined from running) whom I haven’t seen in a while. We went out to lunch, then ran into each other the next day when I went to pick up my bib (she was there for someone else, not herself). Also our post race brunch, also seeing runner friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

Unfortunately there was some more family drama (not involving my parents this time), but it seems resolved. Plus bad news from another friend. I’m really ready for some good news!

Ever tried a yoga class (not at home!) with animals? 

Are you good at listening to your body?

Suffering through winter like temps already?  

Stockcadeathon Race Recap 11/11/18

stockade18

Stockadeathon is the only 15k I’ve ever done. I really like the distance — long enough to be a challenge, but ends at about the time I start to get really tired. This year’s race dawned with a dusting of snow, and snow continued to pelt the windshield on the drive to the race, but that’s when it ended and the sun came up, setting us up for a sunny, if chilly race.

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup is always easy., and this year was no different. Unlike last year, even thoughI signed up very late (Tuesday, I believe) I still got a race shirt, which was a nice long sleeve tech tee.

One of the sole sisters was volunteering at packet pickup and I stopped to chat with her a bit before leaving.

At least zippers allow me to regulate my temperature

The weather & dressing
I said this about my last half (read about it here), about this race last year — and again, this year! I thought I was overdressed in the beginning. I was definitely warm. When I took off my coat at the end, it was drenched in sweat. But I also got cold towards the end of the race. I probably could have worn a lighter outer layer, but this outfit was okay. At least I didn’t have to drag out the Thermoball to run in like I did last year! It was 36 at the start this year, compared to last year’s 28.

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Maybe I overreacted to the snow . . . but it was also supposed to be a little windy; it wasn’t that bad — especially in comparison to running a half in a Nor’easter, of course!

I wore my Skirt Sports Double Take Reversible jacket, my Wonder Wool Tee and Wonder Wool Skirt. Newton Distance on the feet. I also wore a buff around my neck, but I did find that annoying later in the race. I had fleece glittens (convertible mittens) on the first couple of miles, took them off and put them in the back pocket of my coat, but then at the end my hands were so cold! Since I’d lost so much time stuffing everything in there at mile 3, I didn’t want to futz with it again, so I just sucked it up.

My Race Plan
No race plan. No looking at last year’s results, either. When you register they ask you your predicted finish time and I actually guessed fairly close to what I ended up running. I don’t know why they ask as there isn’t a corral start.

I parked at a hotel, as I’ve been doing the last few years. It’s about a 10 minute walk over to the Y, which hosts the runners before and after the race. Even though the Y has real bathrooms, the line for them is usually extremely long. So I use the bathrooms in the hotel, and if there is a line, it’s usually quite short.

I went in at about 8 am to use the bathrooms the first time. Then I chatted up a couple who turned out were actually staying in the hotel, and went to use the bathroom one more time. And then I realized that it was about 8:15 and the race starts at 8:30 and I still needed to drop off stuff at bag check and it was about a 10 minute walk to the Y . . . Oy!

Always a good time with these ladies. Darlene is taking the photo.

So I got my warmup mile (but no dynamic stretching) done as I ran to the Y, passing the Sole Sisters on the way there. I’m really glad I decided to still drop my sweatshirt and jacket off, because I was very chilled after the race and still had that walk back to the car. I made it to the start with a couple of minutes to spare, but I also ended up lining up closer to the start than I should (pace wise) and apologized to everyone around me.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:53. You start on a downhill. I do love a downhill, and I didn’t take my first walk break until halfway through this mile because it was too crowded and narrow to stop before then. I briefly saw one of my Sole Sisters running friends (and that was the last time I saw her during the race!).
  2. Mile 2: 11:14. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. I was running fast to catch up briefly with a fellow Skirt Sports sister. Miles 1 & 2 were faster than last year . . . but no other mile was.
  3. Mile 3: 11:49. You’re still going up. I suspect that when I changed out one water bottle for another in mile 3 I did lose a significant amount of time, causing this mile to be slower than it should have been. I was having trouble getting the full water bottle — which, as it turns out, was leaking, so I’m glad I switched them — out of the pocket.
  4. Mile 4: 11:32. They changed the course this year, and took out the part along the river on the bike path. Which was nice and flat and very scenic. I thought this course was actually hillier, although looking at my stats it wasn’t (it seems to get less hilly each year, and this is the first time since I started running it that the course has changed!); Darlene thought it seemed easier. It seemed to me that every time we made a turn — and there are plenty — we were going uphill.
  5. Mile 5: 11:00. Relatively flat. I saw a couple of my friends, who were course marshals, midway through this mile — they always give me a boost!
  6. Mile 6: 11:30. Running around the lake in Central Park. Still relatively flat.
  7. Mile 7: 11:46. A decent hill at mile 7.5. This was about the only hill that felt not as bad as last year. Yet I still went up it slower.
  8. Mile 8: 11:45. Through the cemetery and mostly downhill. And yet the same pace as the uphill . . .
  9. Mile 9: 11:13. The last mile is really downhill; last year I was way faster this mile. This year I wasn’t watching my Garmin.
  10. Last .41: 9:57. I was hoping the new course wouldn’t run long . . . but it did.

2015: 1:51:32 (an automatic PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)
2017: 1:45:09 (crushed it for another PR!)
2018:  1:46:49, 11:28 average pace, 1170 our of 1308, 43 out of ?? F55-59

In 2017 they added the splits for each 5k (probably because you can now run this as part of a relay team), and I had beautiful negative splits:

1st 5K: 35:43
2nd 5k: 35:16
3rd 5k: 34:11 (gotta love a downhill finish)

This year I was just consistent, apparently:

1st 5k:  35:25
2nd 5k: 35:42
3rd 5k:  35:43

Why do I turn out that right foot? How do I correct that????

I chose to run by feel for the race. On the one hand, I’m glad I did. My piriformis and hamstrings have been complaining for a while. And they were sure sore after the race, too (despite foam rolling before and after and legs up the wall later on).

On the other hand, when I saw I was 1:49 off of my PR . . . I know I could have pushed harder. I know that often when I run by feel, I’m slower (but not always). Could I have pushed hard enough for a PR? Probably. Would it have just aggravated my niggles more than was worth it? Well, we’ll never know, will we. I’m feeling okay the day after.

Was the race well run?
Not enough water stops! I say this every year. I bring my own water. Otherwise this race is a well oiled machine with plenty of direction, course marshals, and lots of food and water for everyone post race. Even foam rollers! I really think having the post race stuff going on in the same building we use before the race — last year was the first year they did that — is very helpful.

What I learned
I can leave later for the race, but pay attention to time and leave from the hotel I park at early enough so that I don’t have to run to the start (yes, it’s chip timed, but who really wants to start at the BOTP if they don’t have to?).

I’m still kind of kicking myself for not paying more attention to my Garmin. It doesn’t make a race “less fun” for me when I do. Last year, however, this race wasn’t just two weeks after a hard half. I had 6 weeks in between my half and this race. I’m sure that played into what went down.

On the other hand, for not paying attention to my Garmin, it was actually a pretty decent pace for me. So maybe there still is something to be said for running by feel.

Positives:

  1. Extremely well organized race.
  2. Hot food inside post race, and enough for all.
  3. Real bathrooms — I didn’t use the bathrooms at the Y. Darlene said the lines weren’t bad, but my guess is later on they were. I’ve never seen them not be bad.
  4. Although a hilly course, most (but not all) of the hills are frontloaded into the first half of the race.
  5. A nice downhill finish.
  6. Running with friends. Running into friends you haven’t seen in a while.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. The course runs a little long.
  2. Challenging course (some might view that as a positive).
  3. Not enough water stops.
  4. Although parts of the course are very pretty, much of it just isn’t that interesting to me. And they took out one of my favorite parts this year!

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Stockcadeathon Race Recap 11/12/17

Stockadeathon was my last big race of 2017. I didn’t ask Rachel @ Runningonhappy for a plan, although I did think about it, because yes, I was gunning for a PR again. And while Darlene was running 13.1 in Vegas with other blogger friends, I still had some friends to hang out with and bumped into a few other friends, as well.

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup is always easy. I signed up very late, so no tshirt — they did suggest you might be able to get a relay tshirt. This is the first year they offered the option to run the race as a relay team — and as far as I could tell, while it seemed to be well organized, I don’t think many people chose to do it.

I went early, as I had several errands to run and also had a haircut later in the day and had to drop the dogs off at the pet sitter before that. While I could have definitely used a rest, it was a very busy day.

The reason I had to drop the dogs off? Mr. Judy was out of town. There’s just no way I could feed them before I had to leave, at least without making race morning stressful, and on top of that, there’s also no way they could spend that many hours at home without a potty break.

Well, maybe they could, but I didn’t want to find out or be stressed out about that, either. In addition, it was Bandit’s first overnight with our local pet sitter — a test run for a weekend away coming up.

I love this part of the course — but it’s a very small part of it

My Race Plan
Much like the Great Pumpkin Challenge (read about that here), I didn’t look up my previous results, but guesstimated what would be a PR and formulated a plan based on that. And it was a simple plan: try to hold about an 11:15 pace the first 10k, then try to chip away at that pace the last 5k.

I ran a half at almost that pace, after all, and this was about 3.5 miles less (the race runs a bit long).

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 11:02. You start on a downhill. I do love a downhill, and yeah, I took it a little too fast — but I wasn’t even aware of it; I missed that mile notification.
  2. Mile 2: 11:27. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. I chose not to reread my recap this time.
  3. Mile 3: 11:25. You’re still going up.
  4. Mile 4: 11:26. I won’t lie; I was getting just a little discouraged here being that far off my “plan”. I just reminded myself that what comes up (you’re still climbing in mile 4), must come down — because there’s an awesome downhill finish.
  5. Mile 5: 11:01. Relatively flat.
  6. Mile 6: 11:19. Running around the lake in Central Park. Still relatively flat. I always enjoy the scenery in the park. I’d watched “McFarland, USA” the night before, and much like the scene in the state championships, while you’re running flat you can see the faster runners climbing . . . and climbing . . . and climbing.
  7. Mile 7: 11:15. A decent hill at mile 7.5. Interestingly, it’s not as steep as the hill in mile 3, but at mile 7, it feels steeper.
  8. Mile 8: 11:20. Through the cemetery and mostly downhill.
  9. Mile 9: 10:59. Finally reaping the reward of all those uphills — downhill for the win!
  10. Last .43: 9:25. Yes, this race runs long. This is the only split that I didn’t beat last year’s pace.

2015: 1:51:32 (an automatic PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)
2017: 1:45:09 (crushed it for another PR!)

New this year — or at least I don’t remember seeing it before — results for each 5k segment:

1st 5K: 35:43
2nd 5k: 35:16
3rd 5k: 34:11 (gotta love a downhill finish)

Yes, I have an uncanny ability to run negative splits. Even when I’m not trying to. Not that I always do, but often even on easy runs, I do. Ask me to run steady? Almost never happens. And yes, still BOTP — 1343 out of 1482 runners.

Skirtsisters (did I mention she did NYC the week before?)

The weather & dressing
Even colder than last year’s race and I dressed warmer. At the beginning I thought I’d overdressed, but it worked out perfectly for me.

Better shot of the ensemble

I wore my North Face Thermoball (allows me to regulate my temperature by zipping and unzipping as necessary. I also wore my Skirtsports Wonder Wool Tee and Wonder Wool Skirt, which is great for that in-between weather when it’s cold, but not super cold.

Was the race well run?
A resounding yes. I have only one complaint about this race: 3 water stops for a 15k is not enough. I wore my hydration vest, so it wasn’t a problem for me, but I know if I’d relied on the water stops my race would have been a different story. Not to mention, the water that sloshed out at the stops was literally freezing on the road, which was a first for me for this race, and I was able to avoid that by carrying my own water.

There is quite a variety of food post race, too: bagels, bananas, cider donuts, soup, pizza, candy, cookies. And plenty for the BOTPers like me. This year they moved the after party from Proctors to the Y, where the gear check is (and I used it this year), and I think that was a really good move.

What I learned
An egg bagel the size of my head with cream cheese and lox makes a perfectly good race morning breakfast. Breakfast of champions?

I’m really glad I chose to carry my own water. Obviously I know I didn’t need to, having done the race twice before with just a little extra water, but it’s actually nice to avoid the water stations (especially this year with the water freezing on the road!) and to be able to drink a little bit each mile.

With my Garmin around my Thermoball I couldn’t feel the vibration for my intervals as well. I actually ended up running a lot more than usual — did that help or hinder? Would I have been faster with my normal walking breaks, or did more running net me my PR? We’ll never know.

Positives:

  1. Extremely well organized race.
  2. Hot food inside post race, and enough for all.
  3. Real bathrooms, but very long lines, which means you really need to get there early.
  4. Although a hilly course, most (but not all) of the hills are frontloaded into the first half of the race.
  5. A nice downhill finish.
  6. New this year was a station to check your results — but again, long lines.
  7. Running with friends. Running into friends you haven’t seen in a while.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. The course runs a little long.
  2. Challenging course (some might view that as a positive).
  3. Not enough water stops.
  4. Although parts of the course are very pretty, much of it just isn’t that interesting to me.
  5. I actually had a hard time figuring out which side of the street was the finisher’s chute. I don’t remember that happening in previous years. I probably lost just a few seconds kind of going back and forth between the two sides of the street.

Tor-box

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Goodbye is so hard to say: 1/23-29 Weekly Wrap

I kind of feel like I’m on repeat lately — tired, missing sunshine, slightly stressed, some good days, some meh days . . . it might be mild, but it’s still winter! Oh, and don’t worry about the post title — nothing dire, we’ll get to that in the favorites of the week.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin : I’ll show you mine if you show me yours (fitness, that is). Make sure to hit up a few other bloggers in the linkup!

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Pahla B ST
  • Tuesday: 3 easy miles on treadmill, shoveling ice (not kidding)
  • Wednesday: Pahla B ST, Trim & Tone Pilates Total Body& Stretch, Shoveling ice 45 minutes (yeah, you read that right)
  • Thursday:  Pahla B Core, Dogwalk, 5 miles easy, YFPR Hips
  • Friday: Dogwalk, 3 easy miles
  • Saturday: Dogwalk, a semi-restful rest day
  • Sunday: YFPR Align & Alleviate, 15k

Mileage: 20.37 (+2.37)

TIU = Tone it Up
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

 

Tuesday


A nice snow/sleet/freezing rain storm overnight kept me on the treadmill. Which actually didn’t feel too bad.

 

Catching the setting sun

Thursday


I procrastinated until it clouded over again. I didn’t wear sunglasses, and then the sun peeked out at times. I got Bandit ready to run with me, and then he didn’t want to run. My capris kept falling lower on my hips than I wanted, so I kept having to tug them back up.

Don’t you just hate days like that?

It was definitely easier without Bandit. Faster, too. I wouldn’t really call it “easy”, but I knew I was kind of tired from shoveling the snow the day before and thought about switching my easy 3 tomorrow to today; as usual, once I got started, I figured I might as well just get it done.

Back at the park (Chester’s Bench)


Friday


The sun is just taunting us now. It peeks out every now and again, but in general, it’s still really, really gray. It was also really windy. I felt warm when I walked the dogs, but I felt very comfortable running — very glad I didn’t change tops as I was considering.

I’ve been kind of tired again this week — no doubt lack of sun is a major player there — so I just ran without watching my watch. My pace came in a bit slower than the suggested pace, but I knew that Sunday’s long run will probably be faster than the suggested pace — which is exactly why I didn’t try to push it in the first place.

The 15k . . . not so scenic


Sunday


This was my first time running the 15k distance at our supported long runs  — and also my first time being DFL. Which is fine.

When I told Darlene I was worried about getting lost, she thought I was worried about being last. No, actually, but there were long stretches with no signs, no volunteers, and I did worry at times about being lost — thankfully it never happened.

Sometimes the course was marked, but for long stretches . . . nothing


The weather was mild, there were a couple of aid stops (but I carried water with me too, thank goodness), and there was food afterwards. Not bad for free!

Favorites of the week
Still not much going on. Some baking, a little too much eating of said baking, out to eat, still running. Rinse, lather, repeat.

The goodbye in the subject title refers to donating some running clothes. I donate clothes all the time, but sometimes it’s hard to let some go. Even when I haven’t worn it in a long time. Not so much the running clothes (although there’s that), but the regular clothes.

I actually do have clothes I’ve held onto for years, and then worn — and been glad I held onto them. But there are others I’m pretty sure I’m not going to wear, but sometimes, it’s just hard to let go.

Don’t forget to enter my raffle for a free entry to any of the races at the Utah Valley Marathon (I’m running the half) –for more information, click here. Right now you have a pretty good chance!

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do you donate old running clothes?

Do you find it hard to make time to return clothing you don’t want?

How do you keep your spirits up when the sun disappears?

Stockcadeathon Race Recap 11/13/16

I had a plan for this race, and it wasn’t to PR. I wanted to treat it as somewhere between a tempo run and a 15k at roughly race pace, shooting for an average pace of 12:15. I wanted to see if I felt I could go another 4 miles after I finished, since I have a half coming up quickly. And unlike my crazy marathoner friends, I respect 13.1 miles.

No spoiler alerts, you’ll have to read on.

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup was again at our local Fleet Feet and again was easy peasy, although I went to the late registrants line (since I’d registered just a few days prior) and at first they couldn’t find me. No worries, I had my print out with me, just in case, but they finally did locate my bib.

No celebrities to meet and greet this year, so I was in and out quickly. I ran some errands beforehand, more afterwards, and just like last year, I ended up walking around way too much when the plan had been to rest.

My Race Plan
This year I am not yet done with my goal races. My next half is in FL and I don’t race well in the heat, so I’m not expecting a great finish time. I always train as if I do, though.

I didn’t want to race too hard now and crash and burn in my half, not to mention that I enjoy Fall racing (that temperature thing again) and I pretty much have a race every week until my half!

So I considered this a supported long run. That was the plan, anyway.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 11:41. You start on a downhill. I always watch my watch in the beginning to try to make sure I don’t go out too fast.
  2. Mile 2: 11:51. Most of mile 2 is a long, gradual hill. I knew this because I read last year’s race recap. I warned Darlene, who apparently was in denial, because after the race she was wondering where those hills came from.
  3. Mile 3: 11:49. continued to drop, except for mile 8, where there was a short, steep hill. Those first 3 miles felt so easy, these last 3 miles were definitely hard, but mile 9 was the fastest of the race and that always makes me happy. What made me even happier was that it was downhill!
  4. Mile 4: 12:02. And a sprint to the finish, where Darlene was waiting (and apparently yelling, but I didn’t see her).
  5. Mile 5: 11:36. Just about to enter into Central Park, which is lovely and I always enjoy.
  6. Mile 6: 11:45. Running around the lake in Central Park.
  7. Mile 7: 11:53. The steepest hill of the race comes at mile 7.5. There’s a water stop right before it — seriously, who has time to drink their water and then run uphill? In my mind I had made this hill into a monster, but although it is very steep, it’s not very long. It was nothing compared to Craft Classic Phoenix!
  8. Mile 8: 11:27. Through the cemetery and mostly downhill.
  9. Mile 9: 11:19. So glad they changed the finish to downhill (I never experienced the old course).
  10. Last .45: 9:09. Yes, this race runs long. Even though I was definitely sprinting to try to come under 1:50:00 (don’t ask me why), I did see Darlene waiting for me this time. I knew to look for her.

2015: 1:51:32 (an automatic PR — new distance)
2016: 1:49:31 (a most surprising 2 minute PR)

(You can read about last year’s race here)

fullsizer.jpg
Trying hard to beat 1:50:00! Thx for the pic, Darlene

Was the race an epic failure? Well, as a training run vs racing, yes. I was in no way aiming for a PR, not that I am unhappy about it, of course. I will only be unhappy about it if I feel I don’t do as well in my next half because I ran too hard at this race and all the other races between now and then.

Dressing this time of year is such a guessing game!

The weather & dressing
It was forecast to be a little colder than last year’s race, with low 30s at the start, warming up to mid 40s by the finish. I reread my post about the race to see what I wore last year. I packed my gear bag with almost every jacket, gloves, and hat I own — it felt that way, anyway.

Skirtsisters & an array of Skirtsports outfits!


In the end I am happy with what I wore: the 261 Switzer Capri Skirt (with compression sleeves under, so it looks like I’m wearing tights), the Free Flow Long Sleeve top (love, love, love this top — remember code CRJ20 at Skirtsports gets you 20% off regularly priced items) with a windbreaker over it.

I do wish I’d worn a hat instead of the beanie, but oh well. And I brought throwaway gloves, but realized at the start I didn’t need them, since both my windbreaker and my top have longer sleeves with thumbholes. I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away so I stuffed them in a pocket.

I stowed one small flipbelt bottle in one pocket, my phone and Ipod in the other. And I brought along 2 pouches of Clif pizza for fuel, although I didn’t even finish one so next year — only one!

And that is why I always look like the Pillsbury dough girl when I race.

Was the race well run?
A resounding yes. Packet pickup is easy, the course is well marked, there’s real bathrooms in the YMCA where you hang out before the race, all aid stations were well stocked (even for BOTP), and there was plenty of food afterwards even for BOTPers like me (and Darlene, who had waited for me).

And there was quite a variety of food, too: bagels, bananas (I grabbed 3 — don’t tell anyone), cider donuts, soup, regular and Sicilian pizza, candy, cookies. I had to rush home last year so I didn’t get to partake, but it was quite the spread.

What I Saw/Felt
While I didn’t line up with Darlene, I might have lined up a bit further up than I really had business doing because I walked with her to the start (but moved further back before the race actually started). I never felt as though I was in anybody’s way, but it’s always tricky when you’re a run/walker. I was able to stick with my run/walk intervals right from the start.

Pretty along the Mohawk, but you’re not there for long


Another pretty path
Around the lake in Central Park
Path in Vale Park

I love the parts that are along the water, but the actual Stockade section of Schenectady, which is where the race gets its name, doesn’t move me.

Somehow this race seemed easier than last year. Less wind? Better training? I’ve dropped a few pounds (which are slowly creeping back on, though)? Using the ShinTekk? Lining up to close to the start?

Lots of Skirtsports support.

At 85 Ed can run rings around me

We also met Ed Whitlock (briefly), and if not for Darlene, I wouldn’t have known he was there or who he was. On the other hand, if it weren’t for me, she wouldn’t have her selfie with Ed. I think they have a lot in common — they just run. They don’t worry about speedwork and tempos and strength training yadda yadda yadda.

Only Ed is blazingly fast and 20 years her senior (not that Darlene is a slowpoke, as I’m constantly reminding her!).

What I learned
I really didn’t need as much fuel as I thought I did, but I was glad I had my extra water bottle. I can definitely get by on less water in a colder race, but there are only 3 water stops. And it’s hilly. You’re working hard and you do get thirsty. At least I do.

I also didn’t need those throwaway gloves, but the truth is I was glad of them after the race, so okay, just call me Pillsbury Dough Girl. I’ll just laugh at you as you try to get your hands warm after your race.

I hear people say all the time that they prefer rolling hills to flat courses. I don’t really have much experience at all with flat courses. But I think I get it: I’m not sure I’d run as fast if it weren’t for the downhills in this race.

On the other hand, I already know that this is the sweet spot, just about, for me and racing, weather-wise. And the race was a week later than it was last year, and it was cooler and I believe less windy, too.

While I still don’t agree on the beauty of this course — some parts are very scenic, some parts, not so much. Spectator support is very sparse.

It’s a speedy field, so I’m solidly BOTP for this race — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was running by myself quite a bit after the halfway mark, but it didn’t bother me; in fact, I rather enjoyed it.

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

Tuesdays on the Run

Slacker/Not Slacking:11/7-13 Weekly Wrap

There wasn’t much yoga this week. In point of fact, none. There wasn’t much cross training either. And precious little strength training, to boot.

So why am I so tired? Well, of course, there was Monday, going through more crap/stuff at my parents, visiting with my parents, driving about  2 hours home.

Next I attacked the house and some decluttering. I spent 45 minutes cataloging clothes to donate. They’d been bagged up previously, but I never got around to listing what was in the bags. I know, I know, I should do it as I go along. Except it tends to be a shirt here, three there, and before you know it.

Then there was baking. A whole lot of cooking baking. Testing out recipes for Thanksgiving.Yes, it’s a week from this Thursday.

And oh yeah, November is typically my busiest month for races. Usually I’m done with my goal races and I prefer to race more when it’s cooler. Only this year I’m just three weeks out from a half marathon, so I considered Sunday’s race a supported long run.

Busy as I’ve been, I love linking up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin because you just never know who you might inspire.

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: It was a long day with working on the parents’ home, spending time with the parents, and driving back home
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 3 miles with 4 x 400/400 intervals
  • Wednesday: 5 min bike WU, Purely Twins Weights#33, Dogwalk
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 3 miles easy (2 with Bandit), 4 strides post run
  • Friday: Dogwalk, 3 easy treadmill miles
  • Saturday: Almost 10k steps with no formal exercise
  • Sunday: Stockadeathon 15k (but ran a bit long)

Mileage: 18.5 (+1)

TIU = Tone it Up
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

Those trashcans? Filled with leaves

 Tuesday


I headed out and warmed up with Bandit in the neighborhood for a mile, then dropped him off at the house and run 400m fast, 400m recovery 4 times. I was shooting for about a 10 minute pace during the fast portion, because someday I’d like to run a 5k at that pace.

I never quite made it, but my last interval was the fastest and at least approached it at 10:16 so I was happy with this run.

Sporting the latest race tee (I hate white!)

Thursday


Set out for an easy run with Bandit and took him along for 2 miles this time. It’s not like this saves me anytime at all, in fact, I’m probably slower with him along, but he seems to enjoy it. I think. He actually doesn’t stop to pee anywhere near as often as he does when we walk!

I dropped him off at the house and ran one more mile than did 4 strides since I had a 15k race coming up on Sunday.

I do love the light on the leaves in the late afternoon. The hard part is getting out the door when it’s chillier!

Just me & Old Faithful & my half medals

Friday


It was a cloudy, chilly day and I just decided to run on the treadmill to make life simpler. No worrying about Bandit, no runcrastination getting out the door, and I always figure it’s kinder to my legs.

I increased my run pace from 4.7 to 4.8 mph (approximately 12:30mm), which combined with my walk breaks took me to a 13mm pace.

Nothing notable about this run.

Skirtsisters! Use Code CRJ20 for 20% off regularly priced items

Sunday


My second time at the Stockadeathon. I had a plan for this race. Did I follow it? Guess you’ll have to wait for the recap. Which probably won’t be for a couple of weeks. Sorry!

In the meantime you can read about last year’s race (my first 15k) here.

Favorites of the week
Perfect running weather, with the exception of Friday. At least the days I ran. We did have one very nasty, cold, rainy day but luckily I didn’t have to run that day. I’ve had my share of nasty, cold, rainy runs.

Love the light on the leaves

Loving the light on the remaining leaves in the afternoons.

A little retail therapy at TJMaxx (no photos — but I think I found what I’m going to wear on Thanksgiving).

I also bought Bandit some sweaters and jackets at TJMaxx, and while I was out running my race, Mr. Judy chatted with one of our neighbors, who lost their dog a few years back — they gifted us with Dakota’s jackets and sweaters. Thank you, Dakota’s mom & dad! Also no photos . . . yet.

Pumpkin Corn Muffins

Bringing together my Thanksgiving menu, slowly. These pumpkin corn muffins from Ambitious Kitchens made the cut.

This salad will be on my Thanksgiving table, too

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Are you making anything for Thanksgiving?

Are you done with goal races for the year?

Do your trees still have leaves?