Monday, February 28, 2011

Detroit Runner - I Just Felt Like Running Virtual 5K Report

Jeff over at Detroit Runner decided to host a Virtual 5K.  One of his goals was to get participants from all 50 states and he actually did a pretty good job.  I think he had around 35-40 states represented.  The official race date is Saturday, March 5th but Jeff allowed you to complete your race up to one week before or after the official day. 

I have a busy weekend coming up so I decided to use my speed workout as my Virtual 5K race.  The workout tonight was a pretty good option since it covered almost 4 miles.  Our speed workout was to start on the far side of the track. As my running partner and I were shuffling over, we both realized we needed to go potty.  Our options were to head back to the parking lot and use the porta-potty or to head to Arby's a few blocks away.  We determined that the jaunt to Arby's would be about the right distance for the first interval so we incorporated Arby's into the workout as a continuation of our warm-up. 

The official workout was:
1000m at 5K pace, 30 sec. rest.
1 mile at 1/2 marathon pace, 30 sec. rest.
1000m at 5K pace, 30 sec. rest
1 mile at 1/2 marathon pace, 30 sec. rest
1000 m at ALL OUT pace

Our potty stop constituted our first 1000 m interval.  We finished up at the start line and took our rest time.  While we waited, I reset my watch so that I could count the remainder of the workout as my race. We started off and were grooving along at about 10:15 pace for our mile repeat.  As we hit the final turn of the first lap I realized that I never started my watch.  BOOOO, now my distance was going to be off for the 5K.  I had to add just under a 200m interval at the end to get to the official 3.1 miles for the 5K race. 

I checked my total time before the last 200 and realized I was super close to a race time below 30 minutes.  I made that my goal to do my last 200 in less than 42 seconds.   Below are my stats which had an awesome fastest pace of 6:10 per mile for maybe 1 second of that last 200m repeat!  It was hard to do that 200m and I was watching the distance on my Garmin very closely and basically stopped as soon as it hit 3.1.  My finishing time was 29:54!!!! Not bad since almost 2 miles of the race were at half marathon pace.   It was also good to see that we picked up the pace as we went through the workout (race) versus getting fatigued and slower. That is never a good sign so this is just something else to be happy about! It was extra motivating to know that I was counting this as my virtual race and it held me accountable to staying on pace.

My total distance for the night was 6 miles between the warm-up, missed lap, workout, and cooldown.  Thanks to Jeff for hosting this race. 

A Note About the Workout: Most of our running group are training for our local half marathon in early April so the workout had longer intervals that are geared towards building capacity for that distance.  The mile repeats at half marathon pace seem easy but end up being more difficult when they are following 5K pace with short rest intervals. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Get by With a Little Help From My Friends!

Well, the text above is what I sent this morning to my running partner.  We didn't have plans made to run together this morning since she had to work for a little while in the morning.  I wanted to do an 11 mile long run but this morning I just had no desire to change out of my jammies and go out for a run.  I think I sent Anne a text because I had a feeling she would be running after work and that maybe if I could join her I would get it done. Sometimes my subconscious works with me because Anne offered to wait 15 minutes for me to change fast and meet up with her. 

Anne is working through some IT band issues so we took things slow and just chatted along the way.  We had to make a stop at one of the churches for a potty stop for me and water stop for Anne.  There must have been a music practice going on but we just quietly snuck in and headed back out quickly.  We were past our halfway point so things went quickly from there.  There was one long steady incline that wasn't too fun but with a friend by my side it was 100 times better than it would have been alone.

I was so thankful that Anne delayed her start because I really would not have run today without her.  Anne is a great running partner and a wonderful friend. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Frost Bike Race Recap

I headed to Carthage, Missouri this afternoon for a 20 mile time trial style bike race.  The race is part of the Rufus Racing Ruthless Series, however, Mother Nature did not cooperate with the race founders.  The race was intended to be done in the dead of winter and earn the name Frost Bike.  Mind you, I would not have done the race under those circumstances! We have had a beautiful week with temps ranging in the mid-60's so with a little prodding via Facebook announcements I decided to do the race.  I'm a total race swag fan and the cool keychain swag had me sold (once I knew the weather would be warm, that is!)

So much better than a t-shirt!
The race was set up with a time trial start. Racers started every 10 second from a complete stop with one foot on the ground.  Some friends of mine (Brent and Cole - a father/son duo) also participated in the race.  I was rider number 25 and they were 63 and 64 so I got quite the head start on them. 

Cole and I before the race...check out his bike with star rims!
The start was straight into a headwind for a short distance.  Honestly since I wasn't from the area the race course was a complete mystery to me.  It was very pretty for the most part with the course going on country roads with little traffic.  The downside to country roads are rolling hills.  I found out the course elevation chart on Map My Ride was not accurate.   
Race start
 The race was uneventful for the most part.  I spent a lot of the ride wondering when Brent and Cole would catch up to me.  I kept ahead of them until around mile 10 and 12 respectively.  They had a little competition going between them.  Cole, the son, was riding a single speed bike that he has just finished restoring.  His dad was riding his regular road bike with gears and it sounded like some trash talking had been going on between the two! Brent was rider 63 and caught up to me first.  He told me I should tell Cole that he was way ahead of me:) Unfortunately we were on an out-and-back section of the course so I couldn't mislead Cole. Also of note, Cole was racing in jean shorts or jorts over his bike shorts and had Vans shoes on!

While the temperatures weren't as frosty as the race organizers would have hoped, the wind was out of this world.  The wind was steady at probably 10-15mph with gusts up to 30-40mph.  There were sections of the course that were directly into the wind and you could just feel your bike slowing.  The cross wind was also a little tough but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Cole, Me, and Brent after the race
 I finished up the race in 1 hour 11 minutes 7 seconds.  This calculated out to a 16.87mph average pace and 8 out of 17 for females.  I was pretty pleased with my performance given the rolling hills on the course and the stiff wind.  For the family competition, Brent ended up with the win and a 20.8mph average to Cole's 20.2mph average.

Going into this race, I was worried that I wouldn't remember how to ride outside since I haven't had my bike off the trainer since November.  I guess it's never forget how to ride a bike!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What a difference one week makes in the South!

This morning I headed out for my long run and the temps were already nearing 60 degrees out. Whoo hoo that means Spring is on the way.  Last week we had a mega snow storm on Wednesday and the snow was basically all melted by this Wednesday.  It is crazy how fast the weather can change here.

Due to the two weeks of consecutive snows, I had 2 or 3 very low mileage weeks.  This week has been all about returning to my normal mileage.  I had a rough speed workout on Monday with toes that kept falling asleep while I was running. I modified the workout slightly but was able to finish it up even with the discomfort in my feet.  My Wednesday run also had some toe pain but for the most part my pace wasn't too bad.  I was a little nervous that my toes would bug me again today for my long run.  Luckily they decided to cooperate and I was able to finish up a 10 mile long run.  I have longer second toes than my big toes so sometimes I have neuroma pain while I run. It is usually after I have worn less supportive work shoes and my feet are fatigued going into the run. Nothing to worry about, just something that I have to work through!

The weather today was perfect...slightly cloudy, not too windy, and perfect temps.  I think it helped me make it through with a faster pace because I felt like I was running much slower than I did.  It was fun to see everyone out running and walking around town.  I guess I'm not the only one who finds this nice weather motivating.

 In a moment of weakness after my run Wednesday in the glorious evening temps, I might have signed up for a 20 mile bike time trial race on Sunday.  I haven't had my bike outdoors in a few months so I'm anxious to see what kind of shape my trainer workouts have kept me in.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Run Happy - Giveaway Winner

This morning I drew to determine the winner of the Run Happy t-shirt giveaway.  I wanted a fun way to draw so I listed all the comment names on small slips of paper and placed them into my Shark Sprint pint glass.  The Shark Sprint was my first ever triathlon in 2009 and thinking of that accomplishment always makes me happy.

There were 31 entries into the giveaway. 

The lucky winner was from comment #2 made by Heather.

Heather wins the Run Happy t-shirt as well as some samples from SBR's TriSwim product line.  While Brooks helps me Run Happy...TriSwim helps me Swim Happy! Congratulations to Heather!!!

Heather please email me at runningwhit at hotmail dot com with your mailing information so that I can get your prize in the mail to you. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shuttered In

You won't believe it but Northwest Arkansas received about 18" of snow this morning.  That's right another 18" on top of the 8" we got last Tuesday and the 5" we got last Friday.  That's a lot of snow for Arkansas! I believe today was a record breaker for the most snow in one day in the state of Arkansas.  Some areas just to the south of me got 24".

Needless to say, I did not make it outdoors for a workout today. I had some conference calls during the day which kept me busy but I did get out to shovel the driveway.  The sun came out and I have found that the faster I clear the driveway the better.  Not that I'm driving anywhere soon but it just feels good to know that I could at least drive down my driveway since the street hasn't been cleared yet.

Hershey hanging in the driveway
My best workout option was again the trainer.  I was due to receive some Netflix movies by mail today but the snow actually stopped the mail.  That's okay because I was able to watch Netflix On Demand through my Wii.  I went with Shutter Island for today's selection and talked myself into a long bike workout to make up  for all the junk food I snacked on during the day.  I actually went for 90 minutes on the trainer.  That's the longest I have ever ridden on the trainer for and I don't know how some of you do it! Whoo, that's a long time.  The movie was good and I have to admit that after watching the end (from the comfort of the couch!) I'm confused.  Was he crazy or not?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the Brooks Run Happy t-shirt, here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Own Version of Ironman

I have a secret...I'm not a huge fan of NFL football.  While the majority of the country was watching the Super Bowl I watched some HGTV until I talked myself into a little workout.  I had a movie from Netflix so I decided I would watch part of the movie while doing some bike trainer intervals.

I got on the bike at 8:02 and decided a 58 minute workout would be optimal (I'm a little behind on my time goal for the month so thought I could pick up some extra minutes!)  While spinning in an easy gear I came up with my workout.  Lesson learned...never trust your math while working out! I decided on a ladder that I thought would get me to 40 minutes of intervals and then my warm up and cool down time.  It wasn't until after my second ladder that I realized my intervals were going to be short.  My interval set was a decreasing time ladder with increasing resistance.  Between each rung of the ladder I did a 1 minute standing run in my big chain ring.  I started at 10 minutes and worked my way down by 2 minutes each ladder rung with a bonus extra 2 minutes at the end too. 

You are probably wondering where my title post comes in? Well, the movie of choice for my ride tonight was Ironman 2.  I know the movie came out a while ago but I'm a little slow sometimes.  It was a good distraction for while I was on the bike. It didn't require any thought to follow the plot and I was able to stay interested and get the full workout in. 

Don't forget some great giveaways going on this week:
Tanita Body Composition Scale
Gu Giveaway Pack
My AWESOME Run Happy T-shirt and Prize Pack

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cabin Fever Run Happy Giveaway

It seems like most everyone has had some sort of yucky weather this week from rain in some places to ice and snow for those of us lucky ones!  A while back I was lucky enough to win a contest sponsored by Brooks Running. A little secret was that I had already won before so lucky for you guys I am hosting a giveaway.  The winner will receive one Brooks Run Happy cotton t-shirt.  There will be some other fun goodies in the prize pack including some TriSwim product samples because I just love TriSwim products. 

I love the combination of the Black and White Prints in the Glycerin Diva Jacket!
I haven't blogged too much about it but I am a huge fan of Brooks products. How can you not love a company whose slogan is Run Happy?!? For products, I adore my Brooks Adrenaline shoes and have a cornucopia of previous color combinations.  My summer time favorite shorts are the Brooks Infiniti Short Tights.  They keep my legs chafe free in the crazy hot and humid weather.  I just suffered the ridicule of my friend and running store owner Mike for wanting the Brooks Glycerin Diva jacket (pictured above.)  I spotted the Diva jacket on a Facebook post from another running store.  Mike and crew declared it one of the most ugly jackets they had ever seen but eventually agreed to order it for me.  The jacket came in and is super cute (Mike even admitted that it was much better in person too!) I can't wait to sport it on a run and I'm fairly certain that it will make me Run Happy!

Back to the Giveaway...the prize is a Run Happy cotton t-shirt in size Medium.  There will be some additional add-ins including TriSwim samples and other goodies.  The giveaway will run through February 11th with the winner determined via a random drawing.  The winner will be announced by February 14th. 

For entry please leave a comment for each:
Mandatory for One Entry - Become a follower or tell me if you already are
Bonus Entry - Become a fan of Brooks Sports on Facebook or tell me if you already are
Bonus Entry - Sign up for The Loop email newsletter (you could win a pair of shoes from Brooks!)
Bonus Entry - Leave a comment about how you Run Happy

I received this prize as a contest prize and I have not been compensated for my review and love of Brooks products!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fun Giveaway Coming Tomorrow!!!

Stay Tuned for a fun giveaway post tomorrow morning.  I want to help you Run Happy!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Slow Snow Run is Better Than No Run

Well, today was another day stuck in the house due to the snowy and icy roads.  Around lunchtime, I talked myself into venturing out for a snow jog.  Last year I discovered a single YakTrax on one of my runs so I figured I would just put that one on and see how it worked! I know, I'm a total dork!

I headed out with Hershey figuring that she would motivate me to get at least one mile in of run/walking.  It took a while for my Garmin to link up with the satellites and it was tough to wait since it was so cold out.  The temps were around 7 degrees so I had lots of layers on.  I even added a polar fleece scarf at the last minute and was glad that I did, especially when my chin got super cold during my run.

My street hadn't yet been plowed so I stayed to the car tracks until I got to the main road.  Even though the main road had been plowed it was mostly ice with a layer of tight packed snow over top of it.  I kept to the edge where it was crunchy ice/snow and wasn't too slippery.  Hershey quickly grew tired of running so at the 1/2 mile mark we turned around so I could drop her off.  She spent the entire return trip running behind me...nothing I did could entice her along any faster.  She did enjoy going but was happy to get home!

I headed back out and went a little further on the second round. My crunching feet scared some deer at one point and I got to watch them bounding through the snow covered trees.  I was on narrow, hilly roads so I made a point to stop anytime I heard a vehicle.  I felt safer watching the car in case they would slide and then starting back running after they passed.  Near my turn around point a random stray dog decided to express himself with some barking.  Luckily he didn't stay interested in me for very long. 

Towards the end of my run I got more comfortable running on the snow and ice and was able to slightly pick up the pace but for the most part it was a slow recovery run for me.  I ended up with 4.5 miles for my run and I was glad to learn that snowy roads aren't as bad as I thought!  I'm even thinking I might head out again tomorrow...maybe switch my single YakTrax to my left foot this time!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day!

Today was a massive snow day here in Arkansas.  I would guess we got somewhere around 8-10 inches through out the course of the day.  Underneath all the snow was a nice layer of slushy ice from the sleet/freezing rain that happened early this morning.
Yes, I still have my lights up...they make me happy!
I finally got out tonight to shovel the driveway.  We were still having light snow flurries up until 5PM so I avoided it for most of the day.  Hershey was getting confused on where the yard was and peed several times in the driveway so I wanted to get it shoveled before her post dinner bathroom break!

In anticipation of the snow storm I got to the track early last night to get some extra mileage in for my Monday night run.  My warmup wasn't going all that well so I decided to skip the track workout and just run on the streets.  I was aiming to do an 8 mile run so I figured I was more likely to get the distance in by leaving the track.  I let my friend Lori know where I was going and told her that I would text her when I was done so she would know I was okay. As I was nearing our downtown square, I saw a runner with a dog pass a few blocks ahead of me.  The runner and dog looked suspiciously like my friend Kyla and her dog Pilgrim. 

After a few blocks, I was close enough to yell out and discovered it was actually Kyla! Thank goodness Pilgrim took a sniff break so I could catch up to them. I got to run the rest of the way with Kyla and Pilgrim.  I ended up with a fartlek workout (which was the track workout for the night) because Pilgrim likes to alternate sprints and walk breaks...his walk breaks aren't always that long but a couple times they were necessary! We also got to tackle some hills which I haven't been running much lately.  It was a fun run and I made it the 8 miles. 

I'm not sure when the roads will clear up but I hope to get a run in later this week.  For now, I'll be getting some cardio in on the bike trainer.  How about you...did the snow storm cross paths with your neck of the woods?