I’ve Missed You Guys!

WARNING LONG POST AHEAD!  Yes, yes, it’s been awhile.  But I warned you in my last post.  Work is just insane right now.  All good things, but I’ve had to prioritize my time a little.  Hopefully it will settle down in a couple of weeks.

So what exactly have I been up to?  Well besides work, I have been continuing to train for the Baltimore Half, I ran the Charles Street 12, and I got a few new pieces of gear.

Lets start with Baltimore training.  When we last spoke, I had just wrapped up week 5.  I’m now about to start week 10.  I just realized I have 4 more long runs until the race.  Wow, time sure does fly doesn’t it?  Training has been going well, except for the fact that I have unfortunately missed the last few weeks of tempo runs.  First it was due to work, then weather, then just pure exhaustion.  This past week it was raining in the morning, so I planned to go after work, then I got out of work an hour later than I wanted, it was still rainy and I just bailed (it’s a step back week anyway.)  Or so I reasoned.  I’m recommitting this week, so it will get done, come hell or high water.

Mileage counts have been:

Week 6 – 13.3
Week 7 – 15
Week 8 – 16.2
Week 9 – 10

This week I’ve got a track workout Tuesday, tempo on Thursday, and 12 on Saturday.  I have to be honest though, I’m so sick of training.  I’ve been training for races since February.  In May it was the Frederick Half, then in June it was the Baltimore 10, and then last weekend it was the Charles Street 12.  The Baltimore Half will be my last long distance race and I’m so glad that I’ll be done with it for a while.  I need a break from long distances.  If I was just running for fun, maybe I’d feel differently.  There is just pressure (self-imposed) to perform and run well, so it’s just been a bit draining.

Next on my adventures over the past month was the Charles Street 12.

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Facebook followers got this last week. At mile 11.9 I found a small droplet of energy I didn’t know was left and booked it to the finish.

I won’t bore you with a full on race recap, because you can read a nice recap over on Salt’s, Lisa’s, and Amber’s (who placed 3rd in her age group wahoo!) pages.  But I will share my tale.  This was the FINAL installment of Charm City Run’s B3 race series.  It started north of Baltimore City and for 8 of the 12 miles took Charles Street all the way down into the city.  It was my first time running and this race was a doozy.  It is net downhill, but that doesn’t mean downhill.  It was a typical Baltimore City run loaded with rolling hills, awesome city views.  The weather was overcast, but HUMID!  I was running it as a training run, so I wasn’t trying to race it (but I did have a super secret time goal – spoiler alert, I didn’t make it).  The humidity got to me as did the need for the bathroom at mile 6.  I waited much longer than I would have liked.  There were several downhills that I took way too fast and then at mile 10 when it flattened out, I was just dragging.  The last two miles were a real struggle for me – the sun had made its way out at that point and there were no more downhills to ride to the finish.  Oh well, I made it to the finish in one piece and collected my bling.  I felt pretty beat up last week following the race, so I took it easy (step back week as I mentioned).

This race was really fun and challenging.  Not sure if I will do it next year or not, but I would definitely run it again – I love my Charm City Run races.  The premium was nice, it was an Under Armour waffle long sleeve shirt.  It was kinda odd, but I have so many tech shirts it was a nice change of pace.  I Will (see what I did there Under Armour?) definitely be sporting it once he weather cools a bit.  The B3 premium was a really nice Under Armour gym bag.  I think it was originally advertised as a vest so this was a really nice surprise.  The color is a weird reddish brown, but whatevs, it’s still a really nice bag.   I’ve already used it on an overnight trip Labor Day weekend.

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Next on my adventures…new gear!  Everyone loves new gear…but not new gear they really weren’t in the market for.  Like a new Garmin.  In my last post I mentioned how my Garmin 110 was acting funky, well Garmin support couldn’t help, so a new 220 it was.  I haven’t used all the features yet, but I’m loving the wireless syncing.  That is just amazing and so worth it.  I’m actually really excited to use the Workout function and download some workouts to try on my own.
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Next on the gear list is new shoes, no pic yet as I just ordered them today.  I’ve been rotating between a pair of Saucony Triumph 11s and ASICS Nimbuses for the better part of the year.  I was starting to feel the pavement towards the end my long runs.  I actually had been looking for a while, just trying to find a deal.  Since I need a wide shoe, its hard to find my size in stock, so I bit the bullet and just got the Nimbus 17s.   Now was the time to get them so I can break them in before the half.  So I’ll wear these Nimbuses exclusively until I can get a deal on a second pair.

Then yesterday there was this:

   

Charlotte ran the first race of the Charm City Run Kids Cross Country Series.  To say she was excited was an understatement.  She was in the 4 and under age group and they ran one loop around the track.  It was so cute.  I ran with her and she did such a good job.  Before the race I told her that if she gets tired to just slow down, but don’t stop running.  Well during the race she stopped a time or two but I encouraged her and we ran holding hands.  When she made it to the finish – she had the biggest smile on her face.  She kept saying “I did it!”  It’s not her first kids race, but it was the longest.  Our next one is in two weeks.

Anyone with the Garmin 220, what’s your favorite feature?  How do you break in new shoes?  How is your training going?

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Weekly Workouts 6/29 – 7/5

Happy Monday!  How was your fourth?  I spent mine with family in Frederick and took Charlotte to see her first fireworks.  I actually had a lot of fun because I haven’t gone to see fireworks in years.  My brother went down to the park to stake out a spot early in the morning and we met up later in the afternoon to listen to music, eat good food, and let the kids run around.

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As far as workouts go, last week there were zero!  As I mentioned in last Monday’s post I was in Vegas for work and the time change and delayed flight, combined with the long days really wore me out.  I did do a ton of walking, it was one of the few times I wish I had a FitBit.  I got home at about 2:30 AM on Thursday and was too tired to get up on Friday morning.  Vegas was fun though.  My hotel was awesome, I saw a Cirque show, and I actually did learn some things at the conference.  (I’m proud to say that none of these pictures involved a selfie stick.)

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On Saturday morning, my local running store, Charm City Run was having a Fourth of July group run so I signed up and met up with another friend who was running.  I was only going to do 3 miles, but thankfully she convinced me to do 4.  When we got started it was misty and overcast out and I had hoped the rain would hold off. About 2.5 miles in, it started to pour. I had never run in the rain before so I felt kinda awesome.  I wasn’t wearing a hat though and it was getting in my eyes, not fun.    Overall, the run went okay, my body didn’t totally hate me.

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Total Miles – 4

Today it’s back on the wagon.  Half-Marathon training officially starts this coming Saturday so the countdown begins again!

Since it’s that time of year again, are you starting up your training for a fall race anytime soon?  How did you celebrate 4th of July?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Five – Favorite Summer Activities

Yeah Summer!  It’s really here this week – my car read 100 degrees yesterday!  I won’t complain though, I’ll take this over the freezing cold that hung on for way to long this winter.

So along with summer comes a bevy of new activities to occupy my time.  Thanks to the DC Trifecta, Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia, I can divulge all those things in this weeks Friday Five.  These aren’t specific activities necessarily, but definitely things I’m looking forward to this summer.

Friday Five

Pool days and Pedicures – I finally joined a pool last year that was fairly cheap.  I missed their early bird deadline this year and couldn’t stomach paying what they wanted me to pay with the complete lack of amenities they had.  It was a pool at an apartment complex, it was nice and big, but no snack bar, snack machines, etc.  I put that money towards a larger pool this summer.  It has 3 pools, a splash pad, playgrounds, etc.  Just lovely.  Summer time also means pedicures are a necessity.  Gotta keep those piggies lookin’ good!

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Being outdoors in general – just being able to go outside for extended periods!  I can take Charlotte to ride her bike, we can go to the pool, zoo, etc.  It was so hard being stuck in the house when it was so cold outside.  She would get so bored and I would get so bored – and she’s three, she needs to burn off that three year old energy.

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Summer Fruits – I love the summer fruits that are in season.  Peaches, watermelon, strawberries, all berries…  Smoothies never tasted so good!  I’m planning to do some strawberry picking at some point this summer.  I think Charlotte will love it.

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Sweaty Runs – I know my face doesn’t look like it in this picture, but I do love a good sweat.  It makes things a little tougher, but it’s so much easier to get outside for a summertime run than winter.  The sun rises at about 5:30, so it’s not dark when I go out.  It’s not freezing cold so I don’t need a million layers.  I can just get up and go!  And a good sweat sesh in the morning makes me feel great the rest of the day.  Check out that glistening forehead!

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And my most favorite of all?  HALF MARATHON TRAINING!!

I trained this winter for my spring half all on my lonesome, so this summer I signed up to train with the Charm City Run Half group again.  Our coach from last summer is returning and so is one of my running friends from last year.  I’m really excited to do it again and do it better than last year (knowing what I know now).  It starts in July and we meet twice a week, once for a track workout and on the weekends for long runs.  It’s much more fun training with other people.

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Some of my BRFs from last summer’s group.

What are you looking forward to this summer?  Ever been strawberry picking?  Have any good strawberry recipes to share?

Sara and the Blustery 5K (Kelly’s Shamrock 5K Recap)

I am so behind in my posts.  I haven’t felt like getting on the computer after work, especially since Charlotte isn’t going to bed until after 8 nowadays.  By the time she is asleep, I have little time to myself and I’m usually just beat.  I’ve got to catch up on my posts!  So you might see a few more than usual from me this week.  Not a bad thing.

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So last Sunday (the 15th) I ran the first race of the Charm City Run B3 Challenge, the Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K.  This was my first time running the race and it was a great time.  The forecast was predicting temperatures in the 50s,  which we got.  Along with it, we also got a lot of gusty wind.  I had no idea what to wear.  With temps in the 50s, I was going to wear my short sleeve neon green shirt.  With the wind, I just didn’t know what to expect.  I ended up wearing my Brooks fleece jacket over top, but at times I wished I had gone with a windbreaker.

I had pre-purchased parking at a garage lose to the finish line, because you just never know.  My friend Nichelle went with me.  We walked to the finish area to check her bag and use the facilities.  No lines at either.  Which of course was probably because we were there pretty early.

After we got ourselves bibbed and time chipped up, we started walking towards the starting line which was about a half mile away.  It wasn’t a bad walk, except for the blustery wind.  It was freezing!  In the sun it felt good, in the shade of the buildings it felt 30 degrees.

We got to the starting line with plenty of time to spare and stood around people watching and jogging in place.  Lots of festive runners.  I kinda felt out of place in my plain capris and red jacket.  Not enough planning on my part.

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This was before we started – you can see everyone in their neon green race shirt.

 

Eventually the race began and it was on a very nice downhill down Charles Street.  I wish I had taken a picture, but as you go downhill as you look ahead, all you can see is a sea of neon green runners – it’s a really cool sight to behold.  I know how tricky a downhill start can be so I tried to hold back a bit.  I knew a majority of the race was flat so I figured I’d try to maintain my downhill pace for the remainder.  The first mile chirped in at 11:34.  I was worried I wouldn’t be able to maintain that.  I mean, I’m a 12 min/mile runner.  Or so I thought when I started.

Once I got started running I started to warm up, so I unzipped my jacket.  No sooner than when I would unzip, there would be a gust that would just blow right into my jacket and I’d have to zip up again.  It was quite annoying.

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Did anyone else have these 45s and storybooks growing up? We had a whole bunch of them and would play them on our little Fisher Price record player.

The rest of the race looped down Light Street to Key Highway. There was a turnaround at some point on Key Highway and then a water stop.  I took a brief drink of water then picked back up.  The race continued back to Light Street then onto Pratt.  I knew the finish line was close. So I kept pushing.  My watch said I was still in the 11s which I just couldn’t believe.

I made the turn onto Market Street towards the finish line and just gave it all I got.  My official finish time was 36:55.  A one minute improvement over my last 5K and an average pace of 11:55.

After getting my time chip snipped off my shoes I was able to get a bottle of water, some pretzels, chips, a granola bar and a banana.  It was really crowded in the area where the beer line was, so we couldn’t figure out where to get in line for our free beer.  No big deal since I had left my ID in my car.  They had a band playing 90s & early 2000s covers – they were really good.  So we ate our snacks and listened to music for a bit before I had to head back home.  Overall I think the race was really well organized and fun.  Next year, if the weather is nicer, I want to convince Brian to bring Charlotte down so we can watch the parade together afterwards.

I wanted to talk about my pacing for a minute.  My Garmin actually had me at 11:40/mile at the end.  Doesn’t matter if the official time and the Garmin time don’t match, I’m just happy there was an 11 in front.  It did get me thinking though, did I push myself hard enough?  I typically do my long runs at about 12:30 and my speed training and tempo runs have been in the mid 11s down to a pace in the high 10s.  In my tempo runs I’ve been holding faster paces, so I wonder if I held myself back in the race because I don’t typically see those numbers on a regular run.  My next timed 5K is in June at the Baltimore Women’s Classic so I’m going to try and push harder.  It’s a vastly different course, with hills and such, but my goal is going to be to beat this one.

 

Does anyone else have trouble running shorter distances as far as pacing goes?  Do you have any fun races coming up?