Monday, October 21, 2013

Bull City Race Fest Recap

Yesterday was a bittersweet day as I ran the Bull City Race Fest as part of Team Josh. As I have mentioned. Team Josh was organized by my friend Kelly who lost her 3 month old son to SIDS this past summer. Originally her goal was have a few friends run with her and raise $3000 for SIDS research and awareness. By the morning of the race there were 85 team members who raised over $6000! It was truly amazing to watch something positive come out of such an unspeakable tragedy.

Team Josh

Our Team Josh shirts

His donation page will remain open so people can continue to support the CJ Foundation in Josh's memory.

The race itself was pretty familiar to me. For the past two years I have run the half marathon when it was part of the Ramblin Rose race series. The half marathon course is wicked hilly so I decided to save myself for Philly this year and signed up for the 5 mile run since I've never done one.

(Can I pause here to say "WTH?" when it comes to the distinction between an 8k and a 5 miler?!)

Anyhow, the race itself was great. It is a route I am very familiar with so I was not shocked by how hilly it was. I knew when I should hold back and when I could release the brakes. I was hoping to keep my pace right around my half marathon goal pace (11:20ish) using my 4:1 intervals. It would be a true test because I ran 10 hard miles the day before and my legs were tired.

The course was really crowded so I did the best I could. Miles 2 and 3 were below goal pace, which is awesome because those were the two hilliest miles, but I paid for it in the last two miles. Every time things got tough I thought about Kelly and Josh and that seemed to pull me through.

I was pretty excited during mile 2 to look over and spot a Oiselle singlet and realize it was my Twitter buddy Courtney. I love that because of the running community on Twitter, you are quite literally able to meet someone for the very first time in the middle of a race and start up a conversation like you've known each other for a while.

Me and Courtney at the finish

I was able to run with Courtney for one of my intervals before I sent her on ahead. The rest of the race went well and I was glad to get the experience of running planned intervals during a crowded race. (This was my first race using the Galloway method. I have a lot of thoughts on the method that I'll save for a whole other post.)

My goal was to come in under an hour and my finish time was 59:26. Everyone I talked to said that their Garmins measured the course as 5.2 miles (just like mine did), which would make my average pace not too far off of my half marathon race pace. On a hilly course and on tired legs, I was pretty pleased with that.

Because the 5 mile finish was not at the same place as the start line, I cooled down with a walk back to the starting area (which is also the area for the half marathon finish). A bunch of people from Team Josh were at the finish line waiting for Kelly to finish the half. We all cheered so loud when she made her way through. Her strength and grace through her ordeal is simply amazing.

They were also having a food truck rodeo at the finish area so I waited in line for over 20 minutes to get the most amazing fries ever. They were from the Greek food truck and were covered with lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and feta cheese. They were delicious.

They were amazing!!

But I was only able to get about 5 bites before I freaking dropped them on the ground. I swear I almost ugly cried in front of a bunch of strangers.

I don't really care about Dawson. #TeamPacey forever.

I decided then and there it was time to go home.  Overall it was a great race and we raised money for a great cause.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Prepping for Philly

Only five and a half weeks until I get to go back to my hometown for the Philadelphia Half Marathon!

As I was in the process tweeking things on the blog, I came across a post I wrote around this time last year. Six weeks from my goal race last year and I was freaking out just a bit. What shocked me though was that I could have written this same exact post this year as well.

The premise is this: I am rocking my training. I have a string of awesome runs were I feel like a rockstar and then BAM! - it's 6 weeks before my goal race and running sucks. The same exact thing is happening to me this year.

In the past few weeks I have had some pretty stellar runs:

A 12 miler in Boston that was a full minute/mile faster than I had planned and I felt amazing the entire time.


Plus it was in Boston, my 2nd favorite city ever!

I've had some pretty good 14 milers and a personal distance record 16 miler with my favorite run buddy too.
I am not concerned about making the distance - I've been recording some of my highest mileage weeks recently and it feels really good. I do, however, have major doubts I will be able to hit my goal times. I just haven't been coming near my target paces during my training runs. While initially I was inclined to freak the F out about that, I am coming to the point of acceptance. I am not giving up my goal of a shiny new PR and will continue to work as hard as I can in the next few weeks. Ultimately this is not my job. I do this for fun and nobody but me cares if I PR this race or not.

I mean ideally I would love to see progress from previous race times. To me it is validation of all of my hard work. But the truth of the matter is that the mere fact I am making it through this training cycle is a small miracle.

First, I started off the training cycle injured.

Luckily, after several weeks of not running, I was able to regain my fitness pretty quickly and jump right into the thick of it. My foot still aches after my longer runs, but I am learning to take care of it.

And now, as I type this at 10pm my husband is leaving to go back to work. The poor guy has been working 16-20hr days for months. I've been left to handle the house, the children and my own full time job practically on my own. And each of these things is more important than numbers on a clock.

What I am trying to say is that no matter what the clock says in Philly, I need to be ok with that. I need to have fun and be proud of myself for even making it to the start line.