Saturday, December 7, 2013

this will shock you

As a recovering marathon addict/junkie, I think my new favorite distance is the 15k.  WHAT????
If you know me, you know I have been addicted to the Marathon since my first one in Dec. 2003.    I've been chasing PRs at that distance since that very first one and FAR exceeded my expectations of what I would ever achieve.  Makes me smile even today.

Fast forward to 2013 - ran my 2nd Boston 26.2 in April, an injury in June, and a SUPER SLOW come back .

I've been on a new training plan recently.
**run if I want to, don't if I don't = about 3-4 days of running per wk, about 20-25 miles per wk
**zero speed work up until the last 2 wks, which was 1 day both weeks
**get the long run up to 11-14 range to be able to jump into some half marathons whenever I want,  during the winter
**not "all out racing" at any race - more like tempo pace and focusing on keeping my heart rate down

It's been FUN !  It's been different, for sure,  but I'm learning to love the relaxed state of my racing, or my "NOT racing" racing.

Racing Updates
Nov 30th -  Keeping my tradition of the "post-Thanksgiving burn", I headed to the MS Coast Marathon at the Stennis Space Center.    This year the weather was PERFECT for racing.  Not sure what the temp was at the start, but as I was traveling to the race, the car thermometer read low 30s.

My last half was a couple of weeks ago at the Houma, LA race.  The conditions that day were somewhat on the warm side and typical South LA humid air.  Needless to say, I was HAPPY to see the 30 degree reading on the car.

With both courses being flat and fast, I expected to pick up a few minutes, not based on any quality training, but solely based on the better weather conditions.  Like most people, I run much better in the cold air.  Oddly, I ended up running the exact same time, 1:55.  I did pick up a few seconds per mile "pace wise" because I ran the Houma course a little short (13.0 for 8:52 avg) and at Stennis, I ended the day with 13.15 for 8:46 avg.  I wasn't disappointed with the result, but it was just an odd thing for me, considering the much improved running weather at Stennis.

Back to my new favorite:
Dec. 7th - Missions in Motion 15k - today I headed over to Petal, MS to run a 15k.  Petal is known for some challenging hills.  I wanted to go and run it because I will be running a half marathon in Jan that will be hilly.  It's in Travelers Rest, SC.  I'm totally excited about it because I will be traveling with some local friends AND.....wait for it.....     wait for it........

if it works out, I think I will finally get to me my friend Lindsay, over at "Chasing the Kenyans"
Super Excited about THAT !  In addition to that, one of my local friends who moved to NC may end up running it too.  I haven't seen him since he moved away.

Good things ahead in Jan 2014

back to today -
with the temps in the low 40s this morning, I was expecting a good day of running.  I wasn't sure "how" hilly the course would be, or how it would impact my time.  With little, or no experience at the 15k distance, I wasn't sure what kind of pace I could expect.    I used my 1:55 half marathon time and plugged it into the McMillan Calculator and came up with a lofty goal of 8:35 avg pace.  Remember, the calculator works based on similar course conditions.  Remember,  both of the 1:55 finish times were  on FLAT and FAST courses.   The course today was hilly, but prior to the race I mentioned to my friend, Nikki, that I would like to run 8:35.  I entered the race hoping for the best on the run through the hills.   I ended the day at a comfortable 8:36 avg pace.    I'll take that !  I ended up winning a $15 I-Tunes gift card for overall female (only because of ridiculously low turn-out, but I'll take that card ANY way I can get it).  The course meandered through some scenic country roads.  I enjoyed the 15k distance because of how easily manageable it is.  A 10k is basically like running a 5k X 2 - too fast, the half marathon is good, but the 15k distance was a perfect distance for today.  I liked being 3 miles into the race and thinking I only have 6 miles to go.  Nice ! 

My next race will be the Jan. 11th half.  In the mean time, I think I will throw in one speed day OR one tempo day per wk, until the race.

Simple Plan (or no plan), Small Goals - it's FUN !
I'm thankful that I am adaptable to whatever type of running that I'm doing.
One way,  or the other,  I learn to make it enjoyable.   
 I like that about ME !