Thursday, August 26, 2010

Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon

Well guys, I ran a half marathon this past Saturday.  It was kind of a last minute plan.  I had thought about running it a long time ago when I was planning out my training plan for the distance run.  Well, then I forgot about it.  I really was unsure if I would have my mileage built up enough to run it, and I didn't want to plan on running it and then get injured along the way and have to lose my registration money.  So, the Sunday before last, I ran 10.4 miles in 1:50.  Thursday I decided, what the heck, it's just a few more miles, so I registered.  It was pretty last second, and my husband had other plans, so I had to make the trip by myself.  That kind of stunk because I had to work out of town, come home, pack up everything, then drive over an hour to Parkersburg.  I didn't end up getting there till 11:30PM, and didn't get to bed till about 12:30.  I had to get up early in the morning to get my race packet before the race. 

Let me just tell you about this hotel I stayed in.  Because of the race and my lack of planning, there were only 2 rooms left when I got there.  One was a smoking room and the other didn't have a key.  No key??  What do you mean??  The hotel guy told me that he could let me in, but I couldn't come and go.  Lol, no problem I'm just going to bed and leaving in the morning anyways.  This place was so gross.  It was the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in, and the carpet was nasty.  I was so creeped out by this place and excited about the race that I could barely sleep.  Luckily, I survived through the night.

So, on to the race.  I had heard this race was a little hilly.  Nothing like the Charleston Distance Run, but still hilly.  I figured it would be a great training run for the CDR.  I also heard about a monster hill at mile 11.  I didn't think much of it.  Boy was it ridiculous.  Just at the moment you can't take one more step, you get to a giant hill.  Terrific!!

My plan was to run this as a long slow run, in place of my usual long Sunday run.  I told myself I would run it between 10:30-10:45 min/mile pace and pick it up at the end if I had anything left.  Well, I made it through the first couple of miles holding back a little, and then I couldn't hold back any longer.  I felt so good, and my competiveness got to me.  I settled in at a 10:00 min/mile pace and felt amazing.  The hills didn't phase me a bit.  My breathing was very controlled and I felt great.  I got water at every water stop, not losing a beat.  Then, around mile 8 my race bib decides to rip half off.  Great.  I'm trying to keep it from falling off, and I finally ask another runner if she could spare one of her safety pins.  She was nice enough to do so, so I pinned it back on and kept running.  I felt good till about mile 10.  I had to take a walk break.  Not necessarily because I was pooped at this point, but my stupid feet were killing me.   Seriously, my feet never hurt, so I don't know what was going on.  So, I started running again, then came to a bridge at about 10.5 miles.  Haha, yep I'm walking this one.  At this point, I'm really tired, and I'm had to start doing the running/walking thing.  Then, I got to mile 11.4.  The monster hill.  And man, they weren't kidding.  It was the steepest hill, but luckily not too long.  I laughed, as I wasn't even going to attempt to run up this thing.  I walked to the top, then saw the big downhill and started running again.  I was 1.5 miles away.  I stopped to walk a couple more times, then with about a 1/2 mile left, I could see the finish line.  This motivated me enough to keep running to the finish and to finish strong.  Boy, that last stretch of street seemed to go on forever!  I crossed under 2:19.  It averaged out to be about a 10:35 pace.  Even though I had managed about a 10:05 pace through the first 10 miles, those last 3 miles kicked my ass!

I'm actually very pleased with the race.  I mean, I have only been back training from my injury for 8 weeks.  So, I am actually very happy with how I did.  I believe had it not been for the hills, I could've maintained my 10:00 min pace.  I'm not disappointed at all that I tired the last few miles.  Considering my last long run up to that was 1:50, I think I did pretty good.  The Distance Run is in 10 days.  It's 15 miles, so I will have to push myself, especially with the 5 miles of hills in the beginning-middle, but I know I can finish.  I'm probably not going to finish in under 2:30 like last year, but I will finish nonetheless.

I will say that the Parkersburg Half was a very well put together race.  There were tons of spectators all lining the course, which was very encouraging and motivating.  They had groups of people strategically placed when you needed it, lol.  It was very cool how supportive the city was.  Also, there was a nice pizza party afterwards with Papa Johns Pizza, cookies, and ice cream.  And, the local YMCA opened its doors to allow the runners to take showers.  By the time I got there, there was no hot water, but I was thankful to take a shower and change into dry clothes.  The sucky part was having to drive home tired and feeling like I just got hit by a bus, lol.

Overall, a great experience and I will definitely run it again!

race info:
My race pic:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

20 days to go!

Wow, it has been almost a month since I have blogged!  Sorry about the long hiatus, but my life has been pretty busy lately.  I finished working in Summersville about 2 weeks ago.  Thank goodness that is over!  No more driving 90 minutes every Monday, staying in a hotel for 2 nights, and driving back home Wednesday night.  I mean, it was nice just working 3 twelve hour shifts per week, but I'm not going to say it was easy to leave my husband and pets every week.  So, I'm back home now and very happy to never have to go back there again!

I'm finishing up my 8th week of training for the Charleston Distance Run.  Things have been going very well!  My ankle and achilles are pretty much all healed up.  I run 4-5 days per week on it, and the only time it reminds me it's there is the day after a long run.  It gets a little bit stiff after the long run, but I just stretch it out and it's good to go.  I did an hour and 40 minute run last Sunday, and I'm bumping it up to 1 hour 50 minutes this Sunday.  I have really been enjoying my long runs.  I have a great downtown route I run that includes part of the CDR course.  Last year, I tried to keep my pace 11:30-12:00 min/mile because I was going off of heart rate.  This year, I ditched the HR monitor and I just run how I feel, so my long runs are faster.  Last week I ran a little over 9 miles at a 10:50-ish pace.  This Sunday will be my first 10 miler in a really long time.  It's pouring the rain now, and is supposed to rain in the morning, so I should have a nice rainy 10 miler.

I ran the CDR hills for the first time in almost a year on Thursday.  I forgot what a beast Capital Punishment is.  It's almost 1 mile at a 5% grade.  I had to walk twice up that, then a couple more times on a couple other hills.  I got a tummy cramp under my rib at the downhill.  I finished the 5.5 miles in 60 minutes.  I was pretty satisfied with the run.  I'm going to run the hills two more times before the race, which is only 20 days away!!  I'm barely going to have enough miles built up for my long run to even think about running this race, but I have to run it!  It may actually be the last year of this race :(  They keep talking about turning it into a flat half marathon to draw more people.  There's actually an article about the race in the most recent article of Runner's World.  It's towards the back and talks about how the race is in danger of being in its last year.  It's quite sad to read.  When we heard RW was doing an article about the CDR, us locals got really excited.  I thought they were going to talk about the history of the race and talk it up to try to get people interested in running it, but instead it just talked about how it's almost dead.

Anways, it's been so freaking humid and hot here, my runs have been hit or miss.  I have been doing my runs early in the morning between 6-7AM to beat the heat.  The heat index has actually reached 105 degrees a couple of times.  Some days, the morning weather is good and I have a great run, and other days the air is just so heavy and humid, I can barely run.  I'm hoping to have two weeks of really good training in before the race.  If the weather cooperates, I should be fine.  I just hope that raceday the weather isn't too bad.  Last year, it was just the perfect temperature, and I had a great race.  They start the race early at 7:30, but with this weather, they should start it at 7!  I'm not sure what my goal is, or even if I have a goal time.  With the limited time I will have had to train (10 weeks v. 16 weeks last year), I may be just happy to finish.  I have told myself that I'm going to take it easy on the hills, and take a few walk breaks, so I don't wear myself out.  I may just shoot for a 10:00 min/mile pace again and see how I feel.  Last year I finished in 2:28.  We will see how things go, though.  My training has been very different this year, so I may just surprise myself.

Oh, I ran a 5k last Saturday.  I finished in 27:37, which was a huge surprise to me!  I planned on running it as a tempo run at about a 9:15 pace, but the weather was so cool at about 65 degrees, I pushed harder.  I tried to keep it under a 9:00 min./mile pace, and I succeeded.  It was a flat 5k just minutes from my house.  I was very pleased with the results.  Considering I haven't done any speedwork or hill training, I'm very happy with that!

This week's training plan:
Monday:  off
Tuesday:  80 min medium effort run
Wednesday:  CDR hills
Thursday:  80 min medium effort run
Friday:  60 min rolling hills
Saturday:  off
Sunday:  2 hour long run