Sunday, January 20, 2013

You just never know...

It's been a tough week with running. I'd had a big week of miles last week. I ran my long run using a local race. I ran a couple miles to warm up (ha! it was 24 degrees) and then ran the half marathon pace at my marathon pace. I felt great and was able to maintain even splits even with the hills towards the end. The next day I ran 7 miles for 48 miles total for the week. 

I was tired though.  Was I so tried because I was trying to do too much? Or was a cut back in miles warranted? I realized i'd had 3 building weeks (each week had increased mileage) and figured a rest week WAS in order. And then the weather turned pretty icky and it it all worked out great! 

Freezing fog and iffy conditions forced me to switch workouts around and even run commute in the evening.  It's iffy enough in the morning walking to the bus but the temps have been slightly warmer in the afternoon.  Slightly.  The murk though has been horrific and just really miserable.  EVery day has looked so dismal and been so chilly.  This is me waving in that murk:
No really. :p
The next race of the Winter Grand Prix Series was this weekend and I was really looking forward to it.  Having set a new XC PR last race, I knew that during this series I'd be able to come under 14 minutes flat for 2 miles.  This was my goal overall for the series and I'd last done that in 2009.  Would it happen for this race?

The weather was pretty good.  No wind but just cold. I didn't get over there in time to get in a long warm up like I'd planned but i still had time for just over 2 miles. During that two miles I deliberately listed all the reasons why this race might just be a run.  I'd been so tired this week.  It was cold. I'd been so slow on my runs this week. I still had two more races to nail that goal. I did some strides and switched into fast shoes and just let it all go and relaxed. 

The other goal for this race series was to work on running hard, maintaining focus and not being afraid to have it hurt. And I'd realized last race that I needed the practice with race tactics too. When was the best place to pass people? How was I feeling compared to those around me and could I pass? I thought of all this and again just relaxed before the gun.

Evidently i relaxed too much because i nearly missed the start.  Ha! And we are off! And I realize I LOVE my fast shoes for race pace but hate running warm-up pace in them. My legs felt light and strong adn before I knew it i'd gotten drawn out at 6:15 pace for the first quarter miles.  YIKES!

No panicking!  This is why you are doing these races.  I steadied and expected to slow through the first turn. I was still under 7 flat pace and stayed strong through the long straightaway. I'd learned that last time that to make up the slow turns, i had to keep up the pace when I could.  First mile was 6:50 and I was good.

Really?  Could I hold it?  And this is where i made a mistake.  I was still gradually catching up to people but hadn't been monitoring my pace. I was using others around me to gauge my pace instead of checking in with how i was feeling.  I came out of that same turn and realized I was way slow for the second mile.  My pace was 7:15 for the second lap at 1.4 miles. 

HELL NO!  I wanted that second mile under 7.  I had that long straightaway and made it my mission to go faster. I passed more and more people and saw i'd made it up to 7:05 by the final turn.  Go! I was momentarily distracted by an older guy i'd passed before the final turn came blowing by me like i was standing still.

Really? You are going that fast now?  Geez. Why not try speeding up for the first 1.8 miles instead of blowing out your quads now or pulling a hamstring? Whatever.

I misjudged where the finish line was and didn't get quite the finish I wanted but was delighted by the 13:50 overall time on my watch.  Woohoo!  I'd gotten that last mile under 7 by .06 of a second.  And this is a new PR as well.

I wasn't expecting a good run but went with it.  You just never know!

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