A Simple Running Log

August 9, 2010

Training for 8/9/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:02 pm

Hey, today’s date is 8-9-10. I just noticed that.

Anyway, today I did some push-ups, some weight training and a short bike ride. I was a little sore from my awesome 5K Saturday morning (more on that in a minute,) but mostly from a 15-mile bike ride yesterday (because I felt like Friday had basically been a rest day and my bike deserved a real ride) and then a couple of fun hours of pulling weeds in the flower beds. As usual though, all it took was a good workout to get out the kinks, and I feel a lot better now.

So, that 5K… remember how I wanted to beat my 23:35 from a month ago, but ultimately get back down in the 22-minute range?

The fates aligned, and I squeaked out a 22:59! Only 38 seconds off my PR and fast enough I feel a lot more confident about possibly meeting my time goal in the half marathon less than a month away.

Friday night, I was making my usual pre-race dinner of spaghetti, when Clark asked if I wanted a beer. Conventional wisdom is alcohol is dehydrating, so beer is bad the night before anything physically demanding. Clark said he’d read an article on MSN.com that day (I can’t seem to find it now though) about the benefits of beer in moderation — that is, drinking one or two. One of the benefits was actual increased hydration, because the body absorbs the water in a couple of beers better than straight water alone. Or something. That was all I needed to hear, so I decided to conduct a little beer run experiment and had two Coors Originals with my spaghetti.

I got up at 5:30 a.m. Saturday for my Total with skim milk and ab exercises. TK met me at my house at 6:10, and we were in Millsboro by 7.

After getting our race bibs and shirts, I did a couple of warm-up miles. The weather was cool enough, I actually kept my shirt on for the warm-up miles and was only a little sweaty when I was done. But I took off the shirt for the actual race.

To meet my goal of a sub-23, I’d have to average 7:24 miles. I lined up kinda close to the front of the pack, but behind any women I recognized as being much faster than me. The start was a little crowded, as there were a couple of cars parked on the right side of the road just past the start line, so everyone had to squeeze together.

We got that all settled out and I fell into a comfortable pace. I hit the first mile marker in 7:21 and realized I hadn’t felt that damn good in a race since the 15K I ran in San Diego in January. I had high hopes for this finish.

The race was basically an out and back. Somewhere in the first half of the second mile, we hit a downhill slope and I knew it was going to be tough on the way back. I just don’t do any hill training. After the turnaround, I started looking for the 2-mile marker. We came up on what was now an uphill stretch, and I checked my watch. It was way past 14:48 (7:24 pace) but I hadn’t seen the second mile marker, and now I had to run uphill? I felt a little discouragement creep in, but dug into the hill and tried to convince myself I’d just missed the marker.

I did OK on the hill, at least I thought I did, until this guy blasted past me like I was walking. Back on flat ground, I watched for the second mile marker until my watch hit 16:00. I then decided without a doubt I had just missed the marker.

I was getting tired by this point, but I was sure I still had a shot at sub-23. I just did what I always do at those times — concentrated really hard on my breathing and form. The more efficient it is, the less energy I waste and the better I feel.

I came around the final turn and saw the three-mile marker. I don’t remember what my watch said, but I knew it was going to be close. Helping me was the fact the last tenth of a mile was all downhill. When I finally got close enough to the finish line to make out the numbers on the race clock, it was at 22:54 (yes, I have bad eyesight.) I gave it all I had and crossed the line in 22:59!

Coming to the finish line.

I was ecstatic. I took a bottle of water and walked a bit, dazed by the 22:59 on my watch. Was it really less than two months ago I ran a 25:13 and thought I would die? I did a couple more miles to cool down and waited to see the official results, because I was afraid my watch had been a little off and I had actually run a 23:00 or 23:01.

It turned out I did in fact pull off the sub-23, and I won our age group in the process. I finished 49th out of 170 overall, and ninth out of 60 women.

Here I am with the third place winner in our age group, accepting our little trophies:

And here is Kari, me and TK after the race (both pictures courtesy Seashore Striders):

I can’t believe this summer series is over. It feels like just last week I was flailing my way through that 5-miler in Lewes.

The results will be tabulated and the awards ceremony will be held after a prediction 5K on Sept. 4. I think I’ll run that 5K with TK and Kari, not race it, as I have my big goal half marathon Sept. 5, but I want to be there for the awards ceremony. I’m pretty sure I got third or fourth in our age group.

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