Firehouse 5K -Recap

I met my goal, but just barely.

Firehouse 5K offers packet pickup at the firehouse the night before and it was a breeze.  My only hesitation came when I saw the sign for an Easter Eggstravaganza being held in the nearby park on the same day.   I asked what time that started because I was concerned that it would affect parking.  It didn’t start until 10 so no worries there!

Right after this pic, the truck behind me pulled out with lights flashing!

Right after this pic, the truck behind me pulled out with lights flashing!

I had laid everything out the night before but right before leaving the house in the morning, I grabbed a long sleeve layer.  It was foggy and a little bit cold but I was hoping it would warm up.  The plan was to head out with my mom and the puppy.  Since it was so close, my dad and brother were thinking about following later.    Once we arrived it was still foggy and I figured that since my lungs have become babies who don’t like weather below 50, I put on my long sleeve layer.  I also used the inhaler again before heading to the start line.   I have had 3 rough races this year for a variety of reasons and I didn’t want this one to be the same.

Fellow Ambassador!!!

Fellow Ambassador!!!

I managed to snag the same parking spot as last year so it was about a block and 1/2 to the start line.   As we were walking up, I heard my name being called.  Huh?  Looking to my right, I saw a couple walking up.  It was another SLO Marathon Ambassador!  It was Lisa from Runner In Training!  Both she and her husband were running too.  It was great getting to meet another ambassador :)

Can you see the singer all way up there?

Can you see the singer all way up there?

The start time had been pushed back to 8:45 for some reason but there was a group warm-up put on by a local sports therapy group.   Then the usual pre-race announcements, followed by the national anthem.  I love how they display the flag at this race, and the singer gets to sing the anthem from the top of the big truck!  I’m kind of jealous.  With a blare of the truck horn, we were off!  firehouse elevation

A little under 1/2 a mile is on streets up to the trail, then it’s about 200 yards until we start climbing.   This is where it gets tricky.  All of the trail section is single track.  2 miles of the race is trail, which means 2 miles is single track.  Which for the last mile is ok because the crowd had thinned out.  However, the initial, biggest climb was a crawl.    At one point, I was stuck behind 6 people walking.  The short length of the switchbacks made it hard to try and pass people.  I managed to get past a few but not all.   We were so on top of each other that I could have smacked the firefighter in front of me on the backside.  ( I didn’t!)

so close to finish!!!

so close to finish!!!

After finally getting to the top, I was able to get around some people.  It also leveled out briefly so I picked up the pace a bit.   Then we hit our first downhill.   We went down a different way than we came up, so the downhill was shorter than the uphill.  The trail is shale-like, with some bigger rocks and divets, so you had to watch where you were putting your feet.   I tend to have kamikaze tendencies when running downhill on trails, and I have fallen before.  I skidded out once but managed to reign it in.  Then there was another uphill.  This one was small but I was already tired from the mountain.  It also bottle necked again.    Then it was down hill back to the street.  Kamikaze me came back and I a hit a 6 minute pace for the entire downhill.   Then it was back to the street and across the bridge to the finish line.     I crossed the line and stopped my watch.  Final time- 32:59.  Really?   Yes, it was faster than last year but only by 32 seconds.

I really felt like I was running faster than that.  The only thing I can think is that I probably walked close to a mile of it, between the climb and the bottleneck.  And even me running downhill like a crazy person couldn’t make that time back up.    It was hard to go off my Garmin because it never matched up with their mile markers.    All I really used it for was current pace.    I have to admit that maybe it’s just that this race kicks my ass.

The brother

The brother

DSC02673

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a smaller race, only 3 years old, but it has been impressively organized each time I have run it.   The course is well marked and any time there was a trail split, there was always a volunteer directing which way to go.   There was only one water station but that more due to land constraints than poor planning.    There is also a small health fair.     The crowd was smaller than last year but there was a conflicting race in a nearby town that accounted for that.   The other race is a very popular 10k that draws thousands every year.   It really was too bad that they both fell on the same day.

She's in front of the camera!

She’s in front of the camera!

My family was at the finish line which was cool.  We took advantage of some photo opportunities.  And in keeping with last year’s failed selfie, I have a new one to add to the collection.  I tried to get a photo with my brother and he ducked.  So my dad photo bombed again-

selfie fail!

selfie fail!

Today my legs are feeling the results of my crazy down hill running.  That probably wasn’t the best idea the week before a half marathon, but it was a fun race.  Maybe I will try again next year.  :)   Running another 5 miles yesterday didn’t help either.  :)    But the pizza reward for lunch was amazing!IMG_3836

How was your weekend?

Happy Easter!

 

freemont
Aside

Sometimes You Listen

In my March Recap, I likened March to a truck that had run me over.  Well, April is a freight train barreling through.   I have been trying to stay upbeat, particularly when I post but I am not sure if it worked.  :)

Work has been crazy busy since the beginning of March and it’s likely to stay that way through late August.   I did not think it would affect me as much as it has.   But I am tired, so very, very tired.  But again, I tried not to say much because, 1- who wants to read a Debby Downer all the time, and 2- my boss reads this blog.  (Hi awesome boss!)  I think with work being crazy and then trying to stay trained for 3 half marathons (plus 5k’s) in 3 months may have been a little more than this Slacker was ready for.   I still love my job, I’m just a little worn out and somehow when I was planning my race schedule, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention.  My next few weeks look like this-

This weekend- work/ long run*
April 19- Firehouse 5K -may be a 5K but there’s a 500 ft elevation in    less than 1/2 a mile
April 25-27- SLO Marathon weekend- half
May 3- Run or Dye
May 10- work

My last post mentioned an irksome migraine, and it hasn’t really left.  This is not horribly unusual; I average a lingering one around once a year. :(     Between that and being overly tired, I got a little emotional driving home on Friday.   There may have been some loud, off-key singing involved as well.  :)  Maybe a little Let It Go.

Saturday was a work day and I was trying to psych myself up for the 10 mile run that I needed to do.     Meanwhile, both of my co-workers were lecturing me that I needed to take of myself.  After work, I headed home for the usual lunch and errands.  It was while I was in Target with my mother that I had to face facts.   I jokingly mentioned that a nap sounded like a great idea.  She looked at me, paused and then said that it was a good idea.   Ummm, what?

Pinterest

Pinterest

My mother is not the type to suggest that.   Growing up, one of the things we argued about most was my inherent laziness.    If there are hours in the day then there are hours you could and should be doing something.   The name of my blog came from her; one day I said I didn’t feel like running, she called me a slacker.  So for her to say I needed a nap meant I must look like a train wreck.  Ha!

Even then I still thought about trying to get in my run.  I was telling myself I could start with 5 miles and see how it went.  Finally common sense prevailed and my planned *2 hours of running turned into 2 hours of napping.

slo

This will be the finish line in 2 weeks

I was still feeling a little rough today, so I took it easy again.  That’s not to say it wasn’t a good day.  I headed down to SLO for some more hardwood shopping with my mom, seriously, how long does it take to make a choice?  The choice was finally made, so now I just get to look forward to helping her rip out the carpeting in the near future.  My brother gets to install the hardwood.  :)   So that’s coming up in a few weeks too.

I ate some yummy food, didn’t buy too much and finally managed to get this shot-freemontThis is the local landmark that inspired this years medals for the SLO Marathon and 1/2.    I can’t wait to earn this crossing the finish line.  :)

Tomorrow, depending on how I feel, I will get back to running.   If I am still tired, I may rest another day.   I would rather feel rested and slightly under trained for the half than exhausted and sore.    Work is likely to be just as busy in the coming weeks, we will down a person, so I am thinking of dropping my training back to 3 days a week.  I need to think on it a little more though.

How was your weekend?

 

Real Running Conversations

Wow, I love all the comments on the last post.  I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who can get a little crazy while running.  :)

Tuesdays seem to be turning into a typical rest day for me.   I had briefly thought about trying to squeeze in a run before my doctor’s appointment but I didn’t get off early enough.  That was probably a good thing as it was pretty warm when I got home and I was still in a little funk from Monday’s rambling :)     So instead, I went to the doctor (yuck) and then just had an easy night.  And maybe some pizza.  :)

Yesterday, I had the beginning’s of a migraine but I was ready to run.  I knew I was meeting M after work to run a few miles.   I haven’t run with M since last fall, so I was excited.  Then I found out C was joining us-sweet!     As I drove up to M’s house, I had to laugh out loud.   They were both waiting on the sidewalk and somehow without planning it first, we all wore pink.  Like bright pink, so 3 blondes in pink tanks.  And blogger fail, I forgot to take a picture.  :(   We didn’t really have a route planned but it didn’t matter.  We ran when we wanted to, walked when needed and talked a lot.  It was great.  M’s just getting back into running so when we passed her house at 2.6 miles, she peeled off and C and I rounded it out to 4 miles.    Now if we can just make it a weekly thing.

While it was a great run, it still felt hard.  Granted, I don’t usually talk (out loud) and run at the same time.  Then a light bulb clicked- my doctor had ordered a bunch of lab work and I had the blood work done that morning.  That lady was a vampire!   Seriously, how many vials did she need?!   And she left me with a gnarly bruise.  That could have made me a little tired.  Oops.2.5miles

That headache that was niggling yesterday was a full-blown migraine when I woke up this morning.   It got so bad, that I actually took something for it at work.  Our first aid kit makes me smile, I took a “Pain Terminator” today.  I love the names they make up for their generics :) I also accepted that the planned 6 miler was not happening.  Instead I headed to the lake for a short 2 miles.  Sometimes, running can help my head.  Usually I would head to the gym for the treadmill but I figured the lake was just as good.  If my head was pounding after the first lap, I could call it done.   It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t horrible either, actually pretty speedy.  I finished 2 laps plus a tiny bit to hit 2.5 miles and headed home for the comfy chair.   Interestingly Nike says I ran through the lake tonight-

ummm, not so much

ummm, not so much

I did get an inhaler from my doctor on Tuesday but I haven’t noticed any difference in either run.  Then again I was never very good at using one.  :)   But in yummy news, we have awesome customers and I got to enjoy this today-cheesecake Anyone racing this weekend?

Any big plans?

 

Slightly Unfocused

Ever have one of those runs that makes you feel crazy?  Today’s run went something like this–

Yay, the sun is shining- oh more geese, but they don’t look cranky today, that’s good- wow, this feels hard, maybe I’m running too fast- check watch- oh a 10 minute mile, not so tempo-ok, let’s make this an easy run- well that’s assuming I can finish this second lap- man this kicking my butt, 3 is good right- left, right, left- take deep breathes- just keep going- ok, 3 miles done, I can do 1 more right?- this is not easy- man, it’s hot-get over it, it’s like 60, big baby- man why is this so hard- yeah Saturday was 11 miles not 8 but 3 were slow walking- did I foam roll? I can’t remember- I took Sunday off, I should be fine- it is Monday and work was busy but aren’t all Mondays?- Maybe I too much popcorn last night- did I eat enough today- I did start earlier, but I took a full lunch, so those cancel out right?-hey look, sprinklers! Can I run though them?- Water sounds really good right now, why didn’t I bring any?- Yay 4 miles! But I’m on the other side of the lake- If I keep running, I will get to my car quicker-  just keep running, just keep breathing- man, I feel hot- even the nasty lake water looks inviting- on second thought, not so much- oh thank god, the parking lot- pause watch- oh wait, 4.70 miles- I can run a bit further right?- I can finish 5- oh this sucks-what was I thinking- I should have quit at 3-just keep breathing- yay the watch vibrated!- 5 and done- where’s water- I should stretch-ooh, my splits kind of look like a pyramid.

photoSo, I was just a tad unfocused during tonight’s run.    Throughout the day I was undecided about what I would run.  I was torn between 4 miles of downhill-uphill in work town or a 5 mile tempo at the lake path.   I had my Wave Rider’s, so I was hoping for a repeat of last week’s great speed work out and I headed to the lake.  While work had been long (I started early) and crazy busy; we managed to get out on time.  The sun was shining and the weather looked great, so I started my drive.  I was still excited when I got to the lake, but it didn’t take long to lose that energy.   After the first mile, I mentally changed from the planned tempo to an easy run but it was rough the whole way through.  I should have quit at 3; I really should have.   I also should have taken water.  What good is my shiny new handheld if I don’t use it?  As I was stretching, I figured out that it was actually in the mid 80′s.  At 7:00 pm… oops.  That’s not even a newbie mistake, just me being stupid.5mile

Overall, the pace didn’t suck.  I drove home remembering all the times I ran 12:00 minute miles just wishing I could break 10.  This may have been a less than stellar run but overall it’s still an improvement.   :)   I managed a long slow run of 8 miles on Saturday.   8 miles at 10:18- that used to be my 5k race pace, so that’s a plus.     After those 8 miles, I headed out for another 3 with my mom and the puppy.  So Saturday was an 11 mile day, yowza.  Nothing to complain about there.

Could have used this earlier...

I took Sunday off but it wasn’t exactly restful.   I headed down to SLO to browse hardwood options with my mother.  Hit Dick‘s and finally chose a new gym bag.   Had a yummy lunch before heading back to town to go to a friends BBQ.  I got to hang out with Baby G for a bit :)  She has gotten so big; she walks and dances now!    I went home to do some laundry, then I joined my mom at the school.  They’re doing construction so she needed help moving all of her tennis stuff. (Can we count that as strength training? Ha!)   That was followed by a quick dinner before going to the theater to see Captain America.  Which was awesome, but I may have indulged in a little too much popcorn.  It was worth it.  :)

Could have used this earlier

Could have used this earlier

Please tell me I am not the only who conversations in their head while running?

Seen any good movies lately?

 

 

 

Slacker Reboot -Training to SLO (and beyond)

Back in February, I had a few issues with my legs not feeling so good. I figured it was caused by overuse as the training plan that I had been following was a little overeager. The mileage that it was calling for was a little intimidating. 40 mile weeks are great for some people and in theory I like them, but come on, Slacker over here. Weeks 2-5 hitting 40 was yowza! I never actually hit that mileage but I was running more than I was used too. After the ugliness that was the Heart & Soles 10K, I took a week off resting my ankle, Achilles and basically my left leg and started fresh with a new plan. A Slacker Plan. I tried using it leading up to my half in March and I am planning on continuing with it through SLO and for the beach half I want to run in May (doh!).

I thought about what worked for me before 3 days a week and then I considered the fact that I want to run more races this year and continue to improve my times ( sub 2 please?!). Plus there was my goal of hitting 750 miles this year. So I decided on 4 days a week and decided to call it 4-5-6-SLR.slackerplanAnd either 1 long run (L), or a track workout (S) or a race (R) on the weekend. Why does it need a name? Because I like names. Why so many letters? When I figured out the SLR almost looked like Slacker, I tried really hard to come up with a word for C or K, but no luck yet. :( Maybe someday I can graduate to 5-7-9 :)    Kind of random, but does anyone else remember that store?

There are no set days and I can switch of the mileage and work out when I want. Plus, with 3 different towns and a treadmill to choose from, I have a lot of flexibility. And I don’t get frustrated when I miss a Track Tuesday or hill interval Wednesday because I can do them on whatever day I feel like it. Now I don’t feel guilty for never running on Fridays. :) I would like to get to the point where a weekend long run is at least 10 miles; every week. I’m not there but I’m working on it.

Double rainbow!

Wednesday morning’s commute! Double rainbow!

So with that being said, after Monday’s crazy rain and a Tuesday rest, I headed out Wednesday for a quick 4 miles. I wasn’t feeling the run for some reason so I wanted it done quickly. I was aiming for as close to 5k race pace as possible. I had missed my Wave Rider’s so I ran in them that night. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I am faster in those shoes. My first mile included a little warm up and then I was off. Miles 1-3 felt good, I hardly felt like I was pushing. When my Garmin chimed at mile 3, I saw a chance to push. If I pushed- hard- I could pull off 4 miles in what was my very first official 5K time- 35:44. So I pushed. 4 Miles- 35:35-holy crap. This left me on the backside of the lake so it gave me plenty of time to walk it out and breath after. I was super stoked.

photo 3Thursday called for 5 easy miles. The first 2 miles were pretty good, but by starting my 3rd lap, I knew I wasn’t completing 5. My ears were freezing. I can’t stand cold ears, they hurt, so I figured one more lap would bring me to 3.5 miles and I would be done for the night. Which I was ok with because there were a few border collies out for an evening walk. They looked well-behaved, but then I never expected to be attacked by one in the first place a few years ago. I admit I never took my eyes off of them when I ran past and my hand may have strayed to my pepper spray. I had a 1/4 mile left to complete when I got to add a new animal to my animal encounter list-

Run for your life!!!

Run for your life!!!

Yep, these guys are actually pretty scary when they charge you and then try to follow you. Great for a strong burst of speed at the end but freaky. Then I realized they were between me and my car. Boo.

My weekend looks pretty clear. No complaints, I would love to sleep in. I need to get in a long run and an easy run at some point but other than that, nothing. I can’t even begin to say how much I am looking forward to that. :)
Anyone else have an aggressive goose (or any animal) encounter?
How was your week? Anyone racing this weekend?