The End of My Streak [Race Recap}

Four years. For four years straight, I set a new personal record at every single race I did. Regardless of distance, I was on a roll. Sometimes they were small, sometimes they were big, but they were always a PR. Last night, that ended and I’m not going to lie, it stings a little bit. It’s not nearly as fun to write about but as I share my triumphs, I should also share my disappointments.

Last night was the annual Maple Grove Esprit de She. You might remember last year the course was significantly short. Well this year, they got rid of the 10k option and changed the course which was actually the right distance, if not ever so slightly long. While I loath 5ks, I’m not one to pass up a race minutes from my house that always ends with booze and great company from my amazing running group friends.

Just after 5 pm I drove over to the Town Green where the race was starting. Unlike in previous years, the course was not a loop. We were now finishing at the newly completed Central Park. We hung around for a while sweating before taking our group picture. Unfortunately, thanks to bag drop being at the finish line, we were missing more than a couple members.

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After the picture I tried to stay in the shade as long as I could. I was dehydrated and it was HOT and HUMID (it was nearly 80 degrees still). Blah. You’d think I’d be use to it by now, but no. Does anyone get use to humidity? I was silently cursing them for moving the race from late September to early August. Anyway, I made my way to the front of the corrals with some friends and sweated it out for 10ish minutes until the race started.

I crossed the starting line quickly, going out a bit fast as I chased after a ton of high school girls that were ahead of me. I knew it was going to bite me in the ass. I finished the first mile in 6:50. Bad decision. After that first mile I was looking for the water stop. It was about 1.5ish miles in. I stopped, drank one cup, poured one over my head and continued on. The second mile was 7:13. Already positive splitting.

Once I hit 2.5 miles, I’m pretty sure I stopped sweating. I don’t think I had enough fluid in my body to keep it going. I was overheating bad. I posed for a picture.

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When I thought I’d safely passed the photographer, this is what I was feeling.

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I was done. I just wanted it to be over. I looked at my watch and new that my chance to PR was gone. My third mile was 7:39…ouch. That is a HUGE positive split. The finish line was setup really poorly. We had two tight turns to make a U and had to run on uneven patchy grass.

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I tripped a little bit, but was just so damn happy to be done, I didn’t care. I honestly was so hot I thought I was going to vomit.

Official time: 22:41      Avg. Pace: 7:19 min/mile

I was 22nd overall of 1430 runners and 5th in my age group of 501.

I missed beating my 5k PR by 26 seconds.I was really bummed. I hadn’t really expected it. Yes it was hot and yes I was dehydrated and sore from Orangetheory the previous night, but I’ve gotten so much faster since November. I was kicking myself for the walk break I took to drink the water I needed so badly. Honestly, if I hadn’t walked then, my streak would probably be in tact.

It had to end sometime right? I’m trying not to be too hard on myself, it’s not like I totally crashed and burned, and no one PRs every single race forever. I’m trying to tell myself that one race that broke my streak, doesn’t mean I’ll never PR again. It’s silly to think that right?

After the race I got some free food (which by the way, has gotten worse every year) and even better, free booze while I hung out with the girls.

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Not a total failure of an evening. It evened cooled off nicely after the race. Maybe next year, if it’s in August again, they can start it an hour later.

 

What’s Next?

I no longer want to crawl up and down the stairs. In fact, I’m itching to do more than just go for a walk. Not running feels so boring. I almost don’t know what to do with myself. Since the marathon I’ve done nothing. I’ve walked up to 2.5 miles at a time, spent a lot of time stretching and foam rolling. Oh and eating. I’ve been so hungry. My friends have been kind enough to bring me all sorts of treats from quiche to cupcakes, booze to gelato. Needless to say, my body has had plenty of calories to help it recover.

I am planning a very easy, no time, distance, or pace goal run Saturday morning with Amy. I’m looking forward to a chance to hear in more detail how the race went for her, other than the obvious setting of her new personal record. I’m also really looking forward to my first Orangetheory class in three weeks on Monday.

Looking forward to this summer and fall, I have a few things on my calendar. First up, the Rock N’Roll Chicago half marathon in mid-July. While I’m going to keep my fitness up, I’m not sure how much I will actually train for this race. We will see how Orangetheory goes on Monday before I decided whether or not I want to jump back into speed work so soon after a marathon. I’m more just looking forward to that being my first girls weekend away since before kids. It could also be the first training weekend for Indianapolis (see below).

In late August I have our local Esprit de She 5k. It will be my first 5k since the Bolt for the Heart on Thanksgiving. It’s always a fun night, but now that they moved it up to August, it could be a really hot one! They also dropped the 10k distance after the course measurement fiasco. Hopefully this year the course will not be a quarter mile short.

Back on New Years Day, I registered for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November. Originally I did so because it was 50% off and it was to be my Boston qualifier back-up plan. Luckily I don’t need my backup plan. I’m not make a decision just yet, but I’m considering dropping down to the half. It’s about 23 weeks before Boston. That means I’d have about 6-7 weeks ‘off’ before training for Boston would start. That’s really not much time between training cycles. I have two fears, first that I’ll get injured, two, I’ll be so burned out that my training for Boston will suck. We will see how I am feeling in a few months. I could always start training for it and if I feel like it’s going to be too much, back off. Regardless I’ll do the race at some distance.

That will take me until the end of the year. There will likely be a turkey trot or another small race thrown in there for fun, but I don’t like racing too much. It’s expensive and hard on my body. More running for fun. That’s just what I need.

Esprit de She 10k {Race Recap}

I looked forward to our local Esprit de She all summer. I had such a good time last year that I was eager to participate again. After all, who doesn’t like a race that gives you wine, food and musical entertainment afterwards? Not to mention a pretty nice running shirt. The weather was iffy all day. One minute it was pouring rain with thunderstorms and the next the sun was shining. When Morgan and I were driving to the race, it had just stopped sprinkling. We met for a big group picture before lining up to start the race.

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I had a tempo on my schedule so I figured I’d just run a little cool down at the end of the race to hit the seven miles on my schedule. I lined up near the front and tried to not go out too fast. While I did go out fast (7:10), I didn’t feel like I was going to keel over after the first mile. Just after the second mile marker, I turned the corner and I realized there was something off about the course (my 2nd mile – 7:28). When I crossed the 5k mark, I was just shy of a quarter mile short of the distance.(Mile 3 – 7:37) It wasn’t until my second loop that I realized where the course had gone wrong. They had mismarked one turn which changed the direction we ran up towards the finish line. I was starting to get damn tired. (Mile 4 – 7:32) I walked through the water stop just around the 5 mile mark (7:53).

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I crossed the finish line at 5.73 miles. As I kept running I told the officials that the course was significantly short. My official results put me at 43:20 which was 10th overall and 8th in my age group. I’m in a very fast age group apparently. I figure that my 10k time was more like 46:58 ish which was a 7:33 min/mile average. The speed work must be working because that would be a three minute PR!

I finished my extra mileage and went to pick up food and wine. A couple glasses of wine later we went to hang out at a restaurant offering us half price appetizers. It turns out we were not the only ones disappointed to get kale salad rather than the usual turkey burger after the race. they had so many leftover they were handing us as many as we would take.

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Obviously we had to order cheese curds and sweet potato fries as well. Have I mentioned that I love my running group?

Hopefully next year they will have the course on point.

Esprit de She 10k – Race Recap

It’s been ages since I last ran a 10k race. In fact it’s been 10 months, almost exactly. A few months ago I registered for the Esprit de She which was being held on Main Street here in Maple Grove. Being so close to home, I had no excuse to not run it. A Thursday night isn’t a typical race time, but it fit in well with the 6 mile tempo I had on my training schedule for the week.

Being right in town we had a big group of mother runners participating. We all met up at the amphitheater in the Town Green for a quick picture. It was so fun seeing such a big group!

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After our picture it was time to hit our corrals. I spotted Morgan and Jen by the 8 minute/mile pace flag and jumped in with them. Our first mile was 7:25…oops. I actually felt really good for the first 2.5 miles. Jen and I were chatting a bit but I was started to work harder and harder. The course was two loops of the 5k course which kind of sucked. I finished my first 5k and past the finish line at 23:56 (7:43 min/mile) – a new 5k PR!

At that point I told Jen I was going to slow down even further so she could continue on. I swear these 5 and 10k distances kill me. Probably because I go out too fast or I push so much harder because I’m trying to run faster. By mile 4.5 I had slowed to an 8:18 pace. Around mile five I thought my stomach was going to revolt. I started looking for somewhere to run if I had an emergency. I walked briefly as I tried to determine if I was going to make it to the finish line or have to find a bush.

Luckily my stomach settled a bit and I started running again. Josh and the kids were just before the finish line cheering for me which was awesome! I sprinted through the finish line to a new 10k PR – 50:08 (8:04 mine/mile). Yep, I successfully got slower with each mile. I added nearly three minutes to my second 5k. I was 36th of 506 overall and 9th in my age group of 115.

I found Josh and the kiddos as I walked towards the food. I ran into a woman from my mom’s group and some of my fellow mother runners. Josh took the kids home while I enjoyed a post-race turkey burger, chips and champagne with a few of the girls. It was a fun night and an event I’d do again.

I’m strongly considering training for a 5 or 10k after the marathon. I’ve never really done so and I think I would make big strides if I really worked to improve my pacing.