Sunday, March 20, 2011
So yesterday I had a plan to run 10 miles in my training schedule for the half marathon I am doing 4/30. I have adapted a schedule by Hal Higdon to fit the mileage I was already on, which stretched out the increases by smaller increments instead of the 1 mile per week in his plan. I have repeatedly read that you should not increase mileage by more than 10% per week and I don't want to risk an injury. Also, his 12-week plan takes a runner to 10 miles (week 11) with the race the next week. I wanted to be able to run 12 before the race -again 10 to 13 is a big jump. If I was 10 years younger and 20 pounds lighter I probably would have the confidence to follow that plan, LOL. It seemed a little aggressive for me and also started at a lower mileage than what I was already doing.
I started thinking about a half marathon after Christmas in Dallas (with the in-laws). I wanted to run the Dallas Rock & Roll Half 3/27. Then I was sidelined with an injury at the first of the year and it shook my running confidence. I went from invincible Rock Star to injured (and pouting) Bench Sitter. I didn't register for the race because I didn't think I would be ready. I realize now that I could have slipped in walk intervals if needed and I wish I was still doing it because it looks like a lot of fun. But on to Plan B! In Feb, I registered for the 4/30 Renaissance Half in Madison, MS -an hour's drive away. I've been training consistently and cautiously as I build my miles while continuing to crosstrain on non-run days.
Friday night I carefully mapped out 10 miles on mapmyrun.com. I always run at the Vicksburg National Military Park. It's near my house, beautiful, safe, peacefully empty and the road is flat pavement. Except it is very hilly! There are 3 main loops with a few cross roads that create different routes and mileage.
Saturday morning off I went with my fuel belt filled with 1 bottle of G2, 1 of water and a GU in the pocket. It was thankfully overcast and just under 70 degrees. I wore my compression shorts for the first time (normally capri tights) along with a sleeveless top and my visor to keep the sweat out of my eyes. It was all good except very humid and sweat was rolling down my arms, haha. So I'm running along for miles ... and now I'm running around a circle at the end of the road. Crap! I was supposed to turn somewhere?? There was no sign! I was supposed to be on a road that led to the Cairo Exhibit. Last week I ran the other direction to the Cairo then turned around. Now what? Backtrack half a mile to see a sign now facing me "USS Cairo Exhibit-->". The entire park is a one-way drive. I did note as I was running that it had changed to a two-way and thought that was weird. Ha, now I get it. Visitors drive the road down to Grant's Circle (which was really nice) then loops back to the spot that turns them toward the Cairo. Anyway, I was a little miffed that there was no sign telling me to turn and now I added another mile to my route. I debated just going back the way I came to stick to the 10 miles, but I trudged on. Glad I did because it was a lovely view. I even saw a pair of turkeys and the Wisteria was blooming all over the place.
This was a view from the top of a hill. You can see the Mississippi River in the background. Those white things sticking up are the tops of the pavilion covering the Cairo. And yes that is a real cannon next to the blue marker sign.
This is the USS Cairo. It was a Civil War Ironclad Gunboat that sank in the river and was found in 1956. It was salvaged in 1964 then restored and rebuilt at the park in 1977. There's a museum building to the right of it that has the only restrooms and water fountains on all those miles. Potty break!
This is the US Cemetery across from the Cairo.
By the time I passed this stream I really wanted to jump in. But I had many hills left to climb and wet shoes would have been a drag.
Remember last week I did 9 miles? Funny thing was no sooner did my Garmin beep to let me know I had finished mile 9... my body said ERRRRKKKK!! (The sound of screeching brakes). And my brain said "hey, what's up with that?" Body said "Ok, this is the end. We just did this last week and this is where we stop." Ah, but the brain prevailed with logic. "Look, body. We have 2 more miles to go thanks to that missed turn. Walk it or run it -we still have to go the distance to get home. Running will get you to the food quicker so suck it up and move those feet!" And the body said "Food? Hells to the yeah, I'm in." 11 miles, 1,054 feet in elevation climbs and 1,226 calories burned.
A huge egg sandwich, coffee and shower... and I'm off to work to party with a bunch of 7 yr old girls. I don't look like those 11 miles killed me, right? Note to self: remind assistant to tell me she's taking a pic so I don't look so goofy.
Today is my rest day. I'm taking that very seriously.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
LOL, I should have thought about taking this pic before I ran this morning. I didn't think about it until a walker passing the other direction said "I think I could be a runner if they served margaritas along the way!" Then I remembered your race and decided you need one of these, too. Sorry about the sweat!
Good company with nice products!
Monday, March 07, 2011
I sometimes complain about having nothing but hills for running. Six months ago, when I first started C25K, I mapped out a little one mile course that I could run down and back so that I didn't die trying to run hills. When I was in the final weeks of C25K I ventured out to some of the small rolling hills because I was tired of looking at the same scenery and wanted to start working towards being able to make it through the full 2.75 mile loop.
I'll never forget the day I conquered the Louisiana Monument hill. That's the biggie you see in the elevation graph between mile 1-2. It's like Mt Everest when you see it even though SP compresses the graph and makes it so much less scary. I hit the top of it still running and I would have shouted woo-hoo but I couldn't breath. So it was a silent woo-hoo as I sucked in air. I've run up that hill many times and it is still a feeling of accomplishment especially since now I can do it without gasping for breath when I get to the top. I didn't realize how much harder it is to run hills until I ran the first 5K that was flat with 2 inclines. I passed a lot of people that had to walk. Last month I did a 10K down and back that was so flat the elevation gain was only 25 feet. Thank goodness because I had been sick all week with a cold and my goal was just to finish. I did it in 1:04 which I was happy with because my best 5K was 31:26.
Every year since moving here I have envied the people participating in the Run Thru History race that takes place in the Vicksburg National Military Park (Civil War Battlefield). The race offers a 10K run & 5K walk. I always wanted to do it and, in fact it was one of the motivators that got me started on this journey last year. Another year had gone by that I didn't walk it. Fast forward to Week 9 of C25K and I put the Run Thru History on my calendar for 03/05/11. Nevermind that I could barely run 5K. I was going to run 10 by then. Just sending in my registration was emotional for me. It meant so much that I had far exceeded my "want to walk that race some day". Now I was going to run what is considered the hardest course around here.
I was a bundle of nervous excitement. It was supposed to thunderstorm from early morning through afternoon. That's ok, I've been rained on before. But I had this fear that my foot would slip on one of the steep climbs. I pictured my foot flying out behind me slamming my face into the pavement. Thankfully it didn't happen, but don't think I wasn't thinking about it on every incline! Parking is rather inconvenient so I decided to walk to the start (a mile from my house) then have my DH pick me up at the finish later. The finish was outside of the park 1/2 mile in the other direction.
The race started on time and I was rather displeased with myself when I checked my Garmin and saw that at the 1/2 mile I was running under a 9 min pace -that's way too fast for me and I seriously don't think I have ever done that in a practice run except blazing down a hill. My plan was to stay at 10 for the first mile because it is relatively flat and Mt Everest was ahead. I finished mile 1 at 9:46. About that time we rounded a bend and the beast came into view. A lady in front of me shouted "OH HOLY HELL ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?" That brought a lot of nervous laughter from the pack. It's not a long climb, it's just steep. A lot of runners stopped at the base and walked. At mile 2 it rained on us through mile 3. I was really glad I decided to use my fuel belt for my own water because the water stations were at miles 2 & 4. I need more than that. My heart rate was higher than I wanted it to be but since it was cooler, I was doing ok. When it gets too high, I get extremely hot and I have to dial it down or my breathing gets too heavy. I watched my HRM more than my pace. The Galloway run/walkers were making me nutty. Scurry past me, walk until I pass them and repeat. But hey it sure works for them because we all finished together.
The advantage in having experience with the course is that I knew after the back-to-back climbs in mile 5 that I was home free with a downhill to the finish. As I came out of the park and onto the road with finish line in sight, I burned it out on the last quarter mile at a pace I didn't know I had left in me. As I approach the inflatable archway I notice a man in a yellow vest in front of it shooing people to the right side. I'm blazing for the finish thinking "what is he doing?" when I hear someone shout "runner's finish to the right". And then I see it. This isn't the finish line. My finish line is another 100 yards --on an incline! I would have yelled like the other lady did, but I couldn't spare the oxygen required. Talk about diggin deeper! I maintained to the finish line and the clock flashed up 1:02:52. My official time was 1:03:10 though. My Garmin says 6.33 miles for 1:03:30. I have no idea. I thought the Dtag was supposed to give actual start to finish. I hit my Garmin start on the gun and it was at least 15 seconds before I crossed the start line so I guess the finish clock was wrong.
My only complaint is that there was no water at the finish. We had to climb a hill to the top of the parking lot to get to a single Igloo of water which two young ladies were slowly filling Dixie cups to hand to dehydrated, heavy breathing runners. Yep, 1 bucket of water for 700+ runners & walkers. I went inside to the after party thinking I could get something quicker in there. Hotdogs, bananas, oranges and a great band. No beverage. Or napkins, LOL. I tossed a few orange wedges into my empty water cup. I went back outside and the few people I knew were hovering at the beer truck. That's right. We drank a beer and ate a hotdog at 10am. I sent my DH a text and he arrived just as it started to rain again. I jumped in the car handing him a hotdog for his pick up fee (he loves hotdogs) and he asked where was my medal. Pbbbth. He thinks he's so funny.
I'm really happy with my race time. This wasn't a beginner's race and I held my own in the competition finishing 10/19 in my age group and 60/120 of women. I've been training for a half marathon (4/30) so I am not working on speed as much as I would have if I was only shooting for a 10K. I have to build my mileage right now. But next year... I'll be back. I'll be even stronger, fluff-less, and faster.
1 00:09:46 1.00 09:46
2 00:10:02 1.00 10:02
3 00:10:14 1.00 10:14
4 00:10:12 1.00 10:12
5 00:10:23 1.00 10:23
6 00:10:01 1.00 10:01
7 00:02:49 0.33 08:41
Summary 01:03:30 6.33 10:02
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