Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Run Tip: Don't Run After Eating Dinner

It was 6:30 pm and I'd already come up with a zillion reasons why I couldn't or wouldn't get my scheduled run in for the day. I was anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new bike, I just ate dinner, it was going to get dark soon, etc. In an effort not to feel like a total slug I decided to head to the Rail Trail to take a nice walk.

Of course, when I got to the Rail Trail I couldn't help but run. The first mile was rough, I felt my dinner sit like a rock in my gut. Taco casserole was probably NOT the best choice. As I completed mile 1 I felt my dinner starting to rebel so I took a quick walk break. The rebellion quickly retreated and I decided to continue on at a slightly scaled back pace.

Over the next mile I had to take 3 more quick walk breaks as the rebellion threatened, only this time it was threatening to evacuate via tow routes (you can probably guess what the two options were).

I plodded along, paying close attention to my gut instincts (pun TOTALLY intended) and completed my 3 miles. I've decided I will count this as my easy 3-miler for the week.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sugarloaf Recap

Better late than never, right? It's hard to believe just a week ago I was up at Sugarloaf with my KVC girls running the 15K... in 86 degree weather! To say the weekend was fabulous is an understatement and fails to show the event in its proper light.

Karen, Aimee, Tara, Lynn, Amy
I'll start with the team... Team KVC- Amy Lawson (aka Coach), Lynn Ouellette, Aimee Ellis, Karen Longfellow, Heather Perrault, and myself. We were fortunate enough to score a sweet condo for the weekend AND a team Chef and Caretaker!! Heather is new to KVC (and will no doubt be running this next year with us) so even though she wasn't running she volunteered to cook for us! And OH BOY did she cook. When we arrived at the condo (she'd arrived earlier) the whole place smelled delicious! Chicken Marsala, a HUGE salad, guacamole and chips, and CUPCAKES (for after the race... because at KVC we really DO run for cake)!
We went to pick up our packets early so we'd have the rest of the night to relax and encourage each other. Packet pick up was rather uneventful (if you don't include the atrociousness of this year's tech tees (mens-cut in baby puke tan with a moose on the front). I've never been to Sugarloaf without snow on the ground, it's quite beautiful.

The night was spent eating and laughing. There was a lot of discussion about what shoes to wear, what time to wake up, what to eat for breakfast, and a book called Fifty Shades of Grey (need I say more)? To say it had the feel of a teenage girls slumber party should conjure up the proper image.

After deciding where everyone would sleep for the night (and a LOT more laughing) we finally settled down. I'll be honest, I didn't sleep more than an hour or two. I don't sleep well in general, and I sleep even worse in strange places. I can still rest though, even if I'm not really sleeping. And I'm happy to report, there were no snorers:)

We woke up early, 5:15, on race day morning. Bagels and peanut butter were eaten, water was consumed (but not too much) and a LOT of trips to the bathroom. We either have very small bladders or we all get nervous pees before a big race! After much debate, I decided to wear my new (just out of the box) Nike Vomero 6 over my Nike Vomero 5. This isn't as crazy as it sounds, since I'd already retired an identical pair of Vomero 6s earlier this winter. I also decided to go "tech naked" (i.e. no Garmin or watch) as I did at Race the Runways. Instead, I lent my Garmin (aka "Miles", 'cuz I really do name EVERYTHING) to Amy.

We arrived at the start in plenty of time to work out some nervous energy, and yes... another trip (or two) to the porta-potty. We checked out the competition and decided that if you wear brightly colored shoes you MUST be fast. My shoes are mostly white, with a little yellow, this appears to support our hypothesis. To the race organizers credit, the race started on time (much to the disappointment of the 20+ people still standing in line for the porta-potty).

This was my first time racing this distance, even though it's not my furthest. I remembered from my half marathon experience that starting out slower than you think you should will benefit you in the end. Thus, I set out at a comfortable pace. I was a little tempted to step it up as I saw wave after wave of people pass me, but then I just reminded myself that we lined up in the first half of the crowd, and let's face it, I'm not fast. So I let them pass and focused on how I was feeling to gauge my pace. I thought of my teammates and silently wished them a good race. We all had our own goals and definitions of success for this race. For some it was a time, for others a pace, and others were running the furthest they'd ever run. I knew we would all be successful, we'd all been training diligently, we were prepared.

I have to admit, I like racing the longer distances and I like going tech naked. I find myself really responding to my body's cues and by the end of the race I feel like I put everything I had out there.

Once I got to the first water station at mile 2 I'd loosened up enough to really feel like I was racing. This is one of the reasons I like the longer distances, because often times it takes me a mile or two to really start enjoying a run. I'm not a big water drinker when I race (which is something I'll have to address before the marathon and the half marathons this summer), so I ran through all the water stops without taking any water except the last one. I grabbed a cup and rinsed out my mouth which was quite parched by mile 8.
As the lumber store sign became visible up ahead (aka the turn off for the finish line) I began to get excited. The last mile was a bear as the temperature hit the 80s and the sun beat down on me without any shade. I was tempted a couple times to take a walk break, but resisted remembering how I started to fall apart after taking a walk break at Race the Runways. As I approached the turn off to the finish Amy was there, with a BAND, cheering me on. Conch shells, cow bells, and bongo drums! That was enough to lift me up and release what little energy I had left to pick up the pace and cross the finish line. My official time was 1:42:24, my goal was 1:45. My average pace was exactly 11:00 which I was thrilled with (my pace at the 10 mile mark at RTR was 11:16).

The rest of the afternoon was spent cheering on our teammates and eating cupcakes. Amy won 3rd place for her age group (way to go Coach)! We stuck around for a reason. Deborah, an online client of Amy's, was running the marathon, it was her 13th marathon. She's run Sugarloaf last year in about 6:15, she finished in about 5:45, a full 30 minutes better than last year! I also was looking for my cousin, Tony. He was running the marathon too, his first! I didn't find him on race day, but looked him up and saw he finished in 4:24, not too shabby:)

We stopped for ice cream on our way home, still beaming from the triumph of the race and the fun of the weekend. When I got home I showed my husband the cool medal I'd earned ('cuz I run for cake AND MEDALS) and gave him the baby puke tan race tee. I can't wait for the rest of the races this season and for Sugarloaf next year! I bet we'll have 20 runners!

I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but I feel so lucky to be a part of Kennebec Valley Coaching. Not only have I made great new friends, but I'm continually pushing the envelope and doing things I never would have imaged... AND HAVING FUN!!! If you want to join us (and you KNOW you do) click here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sugarloaf Weekend is Here!

This weekend, May 19 & 20th, is the Sugarloaf Marathon & 15K. I will be running the 15K with my girls from KVC. We'll be staying overnight in a condo together. This should be an awesome weekend. I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures and shenanigans to share when I get back:) Wish us luck!!

Check out the Sugarloaf Marathon & 15K!