Monday, November 8, 2010

Roll with the punches

So on Thursday, I went out for a business lunch and was feeling great throughout it, but by 3.00 pm I started to feel a tickle in my throat and my muscles started to ache as if a cold was coming on. It is amazing how you can feel 100% perfect one minute and then literally within a 1/2 hour time period you feel lousy. By the day end my glands in my throat were tender and I had the chills. I took Friday off of work for I felt completely miserable but managed to make a Naturopath appointment in the afternoon. I figured if I went to the doctor they would either quickly give me an antibiotic to take or tell me to rest so my hope was for the Naturopath to give me something that would allow me to fight this thing ever so quickly. Over $75 later in supplements I was eager to start the battle beyond what I was already doing, the good thing is that I already felt a lot better than in the morning. I felt even better the next day but was still very fatigued so on Sunday morning I decided to drop down to the 10k race instead of doing the half marathon so I wouldn't make things worse.

So race day.... I went down with a fellow running friend and her daughter. My running friend was doing the half and her daughter was there to provide support which was nice. It was incredibly busy leading up to the start of the half which started at 10.00 am and as I bid all my friends a good race there was a pang of disappointment as I waited for my own race to start at 10.30 am. So I spent the next 30 minutes psyching myself up for the 10k by doing a light jog around the grounds. While I was doing this and trying to focus on the positive I felt stiff and heavy and I was dreading what might happen out there on the road. I did really enjoy though watching others do their warm-up and for the most part you can tell that these fellow runners are usually in the elite squad or part of the faster runners. Many of them were doing bum kicks, and leg swings, getting themselves warmed up and some were doing wind sprints; while 99% of the other runners were either inside or huddling together with pre-race nervousness and excitement. Even though I know doing this type of a warm-up is very effective before a race, I feel that because I am not a "fast" runner that I am not entitled to do them or would look silly doing them knowing that I won't place anywhere near these people. A mind set that I definitely need to work on.

So I forgot my Garmin at home charging which I was a little peeved about for I really wanted to capture my stats but figured in the end it was just as well that I should base my run on how I feel versus what I should or want to be doing. I heard Paula was running this race but couldn't find her in advance but managed to see her and her sister, Cara, ahead of me just after we started. I ran to catch up to them and we ran together for the first 4k which was a nice start. I purposely did not bring any water on me so at the 3k water stop I took some gatorade which I don't normally do for I find they often make it too strong but to my pleasant surprise it was nicely diluted, if only other races could follow the same formula. Up to this point my shins were back-talking to me and I felt like I was pushing things as opposed to finding a nice and steady warm-up rhythm. At the 4k mark, I started to loosen up and got ahead of Paula and Cara, and then I Paula may have given Cara her blessing to do her own race to because before you know it she was ahead of me. From the 5k mark on I was determined to catch up to her even if it was going to be a slow and steady process. At the 6k mark I stopped long enough to take a drink of Gatorade and by then my legs were all warmed up and I was feeling very good. At the 7k mark I made a concertive effort to pick my pace up slightly and did so again at the 8k and 9k mark. I still hadn't caught up to Cara yet and by the 9k mark I wasn't sure if it was even possible. In the final 200 meters I gave it everything I had but Cara remained steadfast ahead of me. Since I was not wearing a Garmin and there were no clocks on the route I had no idea of my time until my feet literally crossed the finishing mat. To my amazement and pleasant surprise the clock read 1:22:34 (the clock reflected the half start time), I would have been happy with a 55 minute finish given the circumstances.

Eventually I went to check my official time and it was 52:15 and I placed 4th in my age category. Not too shabby!!!! Of course I had to look up what it would have taken to place 3rd and I was off by just over a minute. Something to aim for next time when I am healthy. Oh, and Cara's name was just ahead of me on the results list and would you believe that after you take into account our start times she finished just under one, yes one, second ahead of me. Good on her!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Preparing for Angus Glen Half

It has been awhile since I have posted and the simple reason or excuse is time, not enough of it in the day.

Last night I went to run club to do the usual Wednesday night 10k route and my plan was to warm up for 2k or so and then run the rest at race pace, which is 5:30/k. Luckily Marlene and her hubby were out last night and that her normal running peeps were not to be found so she was stuck with me :-). I told her my plan knowing that it would be a walk in the park for her and she was more than happy to oblige in trying to keep that pace for me. So as planned, we took the first 2k easy and then picked it up to finish with a 5:39/k pace. Not bad at all but if you would have heard my breathing throughout the run, you would have thought that I either smoked a pack of cigarettes beforehand or was practicing for a night shift of phone sex with all that heavy breathing. Of course because of Marlene's amazing conditioning, she floated along breathing effortlessly like it was a walk in a park. I am determined to "catch up" to Marlene's current conditioning and last night's experience was only further motivation to get there.
In looking forward to the Angus Glen Half Marathon this Sunday, I do so with a little trepidation for I don't feel like I have put in the training, particularly speed work, to warrant a PB faster than 1:54:55 due to all the things going on in my life (i.e. Run4Rett event). I do want to give it my all but want to go in with something realistic given where I am at today.

Here are my times from the last two Angus Glen Half Marathon events:

2009 - 1:57:54
2008 - 2:03:11

My most recent Half Marathon time was back in late September at the Prince Edward County (PEC) Half Marathon of 1:58:47.

So my three time goals are as follows:

Time Goal A "Estatic" - 1:56-1:56:49
Time Goal B "Happy" - 1:57-1:57:49
Time Goal C "Content" - 1:58-1:59