Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eye Heart Avery & Baby Bee

I knew that I would be adding 5K's to my race schedule throughout the year, I just wasn't sure which ones, but I just added one tonight. Run For Sight is a local race to benefit the Delta Gamma Center, which helps children with visual impairments, & is on May 1, 2011. Fair enough. I ran it last year for Team Avery, organized by Erin, who I met through the running community, for her daughter Avery Claire. Avery fought blindness & won with the help of the Delta Gamma Center here in St. Louis. Even though Erin & her family have moved out of the state, they are coming back to organize another team to help raise funds for this amazing cause.

NOW... Imagine going to the doctor for your 20 week ultrasound for your third baby. You expect nothing more than to find out the sex of your baby. That's what everyone thinks... No one expects to hear that your baby has a fatal birth defect, that you will have to deliver your baby promptly, & then your baby will die. Every mother's absolute hell on earth comes to mind every time I think about this scenario, & my heart just aches for this family. If you click the link below, you can read more about Erin's story. Even though they are going through this horrible tragedy, they still remember the Delta Gamma Center & the wonderful things they did for their oldest daughter. You can sign up to run/walk for Team Avery / Team Margaret (Avery's little friend) or you can just donate to the cause if you are able.

Did I mention that it's a great course? Downhill? Both ways? ;) But seriously... it really is a great course & is actually the course where I set my current 5K PR. Just do it :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Frosty 5 Race Recap

Frosty Five logo

Weather was absolutely perfect last Saturday for this race, which is one of my favorites for the year! I actually debated wearing shorts vs. tights, but ultimately went with tights because there was still snow on the ground, & that tends to make the air temp a little cooler. By mile 3 I was wishing that I had gone with shorts! The t-shirt has an awesome design on it (above), with no sponsors cluttering up the back. I love the rolling hills as it gives you something to shoot for, but the last mile is practically all downhill. It's pretty competitive for being such a smallish, neighborhood race, so I can never expect to win an award, which is fine. It's well-supported, & you have cookies & hot chocolate to look forward to at the finish line! Photos are courtesy of my friend Jon, who fell on the ice hurting his already bad knee, & was there to support his wife Caron. Maybe Jon would have been safer if he had just run that day!

Started the race with the same girl I ran most of the St. Louis Track Club Half Marathon with in November, but she was out of sight before the first mile. We both stated that we were nowhere near the shape we needed to be in, each running 15-20 miles a week for the time being. She actually went third in our (tough!) age group, as it went in 10 year increments. Unbelievable performance with the hills & her fitness level!

The above photo is at the start of the race. I had no expectations going in since I've been dealing with my piriformis issues (again) & haven't been able to run much. Mostly I've been riding the bike, & thanks to my friend Chris, I've been getting a 10 miler in every couple of weeks so I think that is what saved me for this race. Miles 2 & 3 have long uphills, so that's why they are slower, but I really love this course so am definitely not complaining!

My Garmin splits are as follows:

Mile 1 - 7:06
Mile 2 - 7:22
Mile 3 - 7:28
Mile 4 - 7:19
Mile 5 - 7:01
Total - 36:16/7:15 avg pace for exactly 5 miles (per the Garmin) & 36:21/7:16 avg pace - official time (not chip-timed) which makes a 41 second PR for me in the 5 mile on a hilly course. I'll take it!

Post-race & feeling really good! It's so nice to be able to train through the winter, & though I complain about the snow & ice some of the northern states do not have the option of running outdoors so I am very thankful for that!

With another race in the same area (University City) coming up next month, plus the entire spring racing season on the way, I had to make the decision to take some time off (again!) to let this piriformis issue settle down. Bought some new (firmer) shoes, which should help, as it seems that when my shoes start to break down I start to have the issue. We will see how this experiment goes, but so far I am loving the fit & feel of the New Balance 759's. AND they match my racing team singlet. Coooooool :) I would be fine if the pain would just stay in my lower back & rear, but when it travels down the hamstring, to the calf, to the arch of the foot I have to pull the plug. It hurts, & it's no fun running in pain. I have been riding the bike, & enjoying that, plus I even made it to the pool this week & may go again tonight.... I KNOW!!! Hopefully the bike will treat me well, & I can still do the U-City 10 mile in March, followed by the Go! STL 1/2 marathon in April. That is the plan, anyway... wish me luck!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter, Schminter

Winter always brings its challenges. It seems that animals aren't the only ones that want to pack their bodies with an extra layer of fat & hibernate. Those chilly mornings can be especially difficult to get out of bed & out the door for a run, & I really can't even think about getting in the pool (even though our gym keeps ours so hot you will sweat under your swim cap). I have taken to riding my new bike trainer nearly every day since I got it last week. My dad pretty much rocks & he surprised me with it. :) It makes winter training a LOT easier when you don't have to even get out in the snow & drive to the gym.

I wonder if Chrissy Wellington got her start like this? You know, in the basement next to an old broken washer & dryer. :) It's been going really well, & I actually like it a lot more than I thought I would. You get out what you put in, so I'm trying to remember that so I don't get too comfortable just doing an easy spin.

One thing I've found that is an absolute MUST is the Castelli cycling cap you see on my saddle. It keeps my hair out of my eyes, & I pretty much look totally awesome in it. I got it so I can look cool at rest stops & on the trainer. Good plan ;) All I need now to make my trainer-riding experience as fulfilling as possible is to get a couple of those vuvzuzela's for my kids so they can cheer me on as I sprint to the finish while watching the cycling DVD's.

I have an ongoing leg thing that is really making me crazy, & so I haven't been able to run much (again!) but I did get a great 10 miler in last night. It was about 20 degrees, but with the wind, snow, & ice on the ground it felt a LOT colder than that. I hope to do another one this weekend, plus a long bike ride on the trainer, & then I have a 5 mile race coming up the following weekend. I'm not sure what to expect, as I've only been able to run about 20 miles a week, but either way I will earn my hot chocolate at the end!

Spring will be here before we know it! I decided that in addition to 2011 being the year of 70.3, it will also be the year of the dreaded 10K!! If scroll down, you will see my PR's listed & you'll see that there isn't one for the 10K distance. I know, right?! I have some kind of mental block... Not sure, but I have this feeling that it will be really really hard for me. OK, I honestly don't know why, but if given the choice I always sign up for the 5K. Not this time! May 14th is the day after my birthday. I will run my first 10K & it will be EPIC!

Best of luck to all of you with your winter training! Keep up the good work & I hope the spring finds all of us well-trained & lean!