Summer of the 10k

I don’t normally run 10k’s. I don’t even know why. But this year I’ve already run as many as the previous 8 years put together. lol

I should blame Disney…I had SO much fun running the 10k there in January that I got a new appreciation for them.

But really, I needed a change. I needed to regroup and refocus. I needed to not have to run 20 miles in the slime on a Sunday morning this summer.

So I went to the 10k. And it’s paid off in spades.

3 10k’s, 3 PR’s!!!

June was the BAA 10k. I wasn’t trying to PR, just to run my best. I finished in 58:22. Which broke a 9 year-old record by 6 seconds. 🙂

July was the Narragansett Summer 10k. That I one was trying. I was focused and I ran hard. I “owned” that course. Lol And I finished in 57:42. A new PR by 40 freaking seconds. And I figured that would stand for a while.

Then came August. And a little 10k in the mountains.

I joked a few weeks ago I was going to try to win my age group. But after “stalking” other registered runners to see their recorded finish times (athlinks rules!), and finding someone faster than me in there, I was like okay cool, pressure is off. I can just have fun.

And Saturday, driving up the course to the start, I saw the hills. And was like “oh hell no”. We are NOT racing this sucker. We are just gonna run it.

But we all know, when you pin on that race bib all bets are off. 😁 And apparently I keep forgetting I’m darn good at hills.

So we lined up to start. The director went over a few items and told us “it’s just straight out to the turn around, where the volunteer with the orange flag and cones are, and back. If you get lost, there’s nothing I can do for you” lol

We took off, I let the surge go by me, then passed a couple people up the first hill and fell into pace behind a man in a red shirt. I actually ended up following him for most of the first 3 miles.

At mile 1.55 (cuz I checked my watch so I’d remember), a handsome deer came out from the woods on the right side of the road and ran across m right in front of red shirt guy. Whoa!!! So cool. And a definite race first. Lol

The course rolled. We we either going up, or going down. We had an insanely long uphill and I was thinking “omg where is the top of this sucker??” And then a nice long downhill headed towards the turnaround. That we then had to come back up.

I think it was the hill around mile 4 that was the worst tho. It was just long enough and just steep enough that I spent the second half of it chanting “Don’t walk. Don’t walk” which, after cresting the top was quickly replaced by “Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up” as the heaving started.

I just tried to slow down, and let my heart rate recover. And when the watch beeped 4 I snuck a glance at my pace for the first time. Holy crow – a 9:17? No wonder I almost barfed. 😂

I told myself I’d hit the water stop and regroup, but by the time I came to it, I was feeling way better and opted to just keep going.

And I hit that nice long downhill that the super long uphill on the way out had become. And ooh that was steep. But great for recovery, and that let me finish strong. Plus I caught up to red shirt guy again!

The last mile was just little rolling hills and when the sweet older gentleman out on his driveway with his dog asked “how far do you have to go” I glanced and my watch and replied “just a half mile more” 🙂

And I got passed. By a woman who I had passed walking right after the turn around. And you know that sparked the fire…

Not that I thought I could catch her, but I wasn’t gonna let her get too far ahead.

As I approached the final turn, I saw the hubs standing there and waved and grinned.

And then I turned. And saw the clock. And saw the woman. And I kicked with absolutely everything I had. I flew past her and then stopped my watch, got my medal and a water.

Hearing the announcer go “and a PR for…(a name I didn’t catch)” I looked at the volunteer and said me too!! I just got a one minute PR! He congratulated me. I thanked him. And then I looked for my training partner/biggest fan.

Jumping up and down I was like “omg!!! I just got my third PR this summer. By a whole freaking minute. And a 2 minute course PR”

Cue happy dance of joy!!!!! Lol

As I waited for the results to see what that zippy little time got me, I ate about 4 wedges of watermelon (new fave post race food). And I found the woman I passed at the finish and thanked her. For pacing me at the end. And told her it helped me get my PR.

I saw the results get posted…and I walked over full of hope. I saw I was 22nd overall (woohoo!) and I started down the list looking for women in my age group.

I spotted her. The one I knew would beat me. And she did. By 3 minutes. Wow. I am so impressed!! But she was the only one who did. I got my very first 10k age group place. 2nd!

I was also the 6th female.

And as I write this I am still shaking my head. That 56:39 doesn’t look real. Nor does the 2nd AG/6th female/22nd finisher.

I am SO amazingly proud of myself.

And while I do have another 10k in September…I think I just wanna have fun at that one. I want this PR to stand a while.

Because I mean who gets this… On these! Me. That’s who. 😁

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Glass slipper…found

You know this Cinderella has been looking for her glass slipper for a while now. 

Well, after a lot of trial and error and blisters and frustration, she has finally found it. 
I suppose it’s inevitable that a Disney runner would end up in New Balance. 

I just wished I’d fallen in love with the Vazee Pace back when they still made Ariel themed ones. Lol 

Tho I do love this purple color with the green accents. In fact, these are pretty much the perfect color for my Dopey training and racing. 😁 Plus #purpleisalwaysfaster

I got them Saturday…and tested them on my treadmill for a 1/4 mile (because this way if I hated them they’d still be clean and unworn-ish).   Took em through their paces – walk to normal pace to sprint pace – and they did what I asked. 

But as someone who has worn Brooks for years, I still wasn’t sure I trusted them. 

Until I took them on the roads Sunday. 

Just 10 miles on the schedule. But it turned out to be my fastest 10 in ages. 

I mean negative splits and 9 minute miles? Whoa…where did that come from.

These babies were light and fast and comfy. Lots of room for my toes and snug around my ankle bone (so no random acts of stones – YAY!) but didn’t rub.

They felt…..magical.

I ran in them again yesterday morning, on the treadmill, to see if it was beginners luck, or if these really were the glass slippers i’ve been seeking.

Let’s just say…. even Mickey himself approves.

And, with the expo just 11 weeks from today, I am happy to say i’ve found my Dopey shoes. Just need to pick up a second pair for alternating. Wonder if they make red (you know… cuz its better when it matches your costume. LOL).

To everyone out there getting Dopey with me… hope your training is going well and that you’ve also found your glass slippers.

Running the Rails…

Saturday was my final race of the year (at least I think so…lol. Runners reserve the right to change their mind last minute should anything irresistible pop up). 

The Edaville Rail Run

  
It’s a 5 mile (or two mile) jaunt through the grounds of Edaville Railroad and its cranberry bogs. 

It’s flat. And it’s trail. And it’s pretty. 

I ran it on my own two years ago as my first race since being cleared to run after “The Injury”. And I ran it last year with my sole sister Karen as her first 5 miler. 

Both were amazing experiences. And this year I was again going to run it with Karen as a “sole sister social event”.  We both had other friends we’d convinced to run too. And Karen’s sister Julie was going to do the 2-mile as her first ever race. 

Saturday morning I awoke early as I usually do, and shortly after got a text from Karen… She was out. Sick as a dog and while my first thought was “the race doesn’t start til 10 you might feel better by then (runner logic. Lol)” it wasn’t gonna happen. 

My second thought was “oh sh$t. I gotta RACE this thing now.” 

I looked at my time from 2013 – it was 48:58. And I set a goal of 45:00.  

While I’m not really in 9:00 half marathon shape right now, I figured I’d be able to pull it off for a shorter race. 

It was a beautiful morning, mostly. 40’s and sunny. But with 20mph winds gusting to 40. Yeah. Windy. 

Before the race I found my friend Jenn, gave hugs and hellos and tried to shake off the nerves. 

When the gun went off I wished her luck and said “see ya at the finish”

And off I went…fast and hard. 

I knew the course would narrow about a 1/2 mile in and I wanted to get around as many people as I could. 

Long strides, quick feet and the thought that I can slow down later when I have room, if I need to. 

Omg the wind! Half-mile in, an arctic, nose-freezing, knock you sideways blast. Eek! 

It’s okay. We got this. 

And when my watch beeped at a mile and it said 8:50 I thought “perfect” and dug in. 

Note my game face. 🙂

  
All business now. Because I knew I naturally speed up. And it was gonna hurt. 

The ground was a little soft, but level. I peered out over the cranberry bogs, saw the lighthouse that stood at mile 2, and thought of Karen. And how last year she declared this the most beautiful course she’s ever run. And I smiled. 

Rounded the corner to the lighthouse and up the only hill before the finish and settled in behind another runner on the side by side tracks. And then crept up and passed her. 

Through the slippery soft sand. Gazing at the scenery. Thinking of Karen. And Paris. And a friend Karen lost last week to PTSD, Luke. 

Keeping them all in my mind, knowing I wasn’t just running for me, kept me strong and motivated. 

And at mile 3, watching my pace continue to drop, I knew I was gonna reach my goal. 

I just kept smiling. And running. And posed for the camera. 

  
Because I was having a blast. 

And I started picking people off. 

Not a soul passed me the next two miles. And I passed several. 

And near mile 4 I heard the strains of “Gonna Fly Now” and thought – I already am.  🙂

I high-fived that volunteer for his excellent choice in music. 

And around mile 4 1/2 I spotted Julie. Gave her a quick cheer and a wave and bolted toward the finish, which I could already see. 

And the truck parked at the base of the final uphill was playing “We Will Rock You” (darn right!!)

Because this race was mine. 

Grinning ear to ear I dug deep for any last kick I might have, and went for it. 

Crossed the line in 42:40. Holy smokes! 

Must have been the wings…

  
I waited by the finish line, and cheered both Julie and Jenn across. So proud of both those amazing ladies!!

And so proud of myself. I didn’t realize how much I needed that validation that I’m still fast, until I got it. And I’m happy to hang up my safety pins for the year and just train. 

Gotta go out on top right? (Plus it’s only like 54 days til Disney. Gotta focus)

Happy Monday my friends. And Happy Running! 

Epic Garmin Fail

Don’t you hate it when good technology goes bad? 

The fail is partly my fault…I knew when I headed out Sunday morning that I was gambling with my battery life. But…I didn’t think it would matter. Until it did. 

See on Sunday, running friends of mine across the country were racing across the country. Half-marathons, marathons and ultras. 

And I got jealous. 

Yes, I know, I did just run a marathon like two weeks ago. But that was two whole weeks ago! And I wanted to race now. Lol

So I figured you know what? In honor of all my friends (who by the way had amazing days – a couple even set a new PR) I decided to go 13.1 instead of 12. A tribute half!

I wasn’t exactly racing it, but I wasn’t exactly not. I was just enjoying the perfect fall weather, and the scenery, and letting my legs go how they wanted. 

I didn’t look at my pace until somewhere around 7 when I noticed I was clocking a 9:15 mile. Sweet. 

And uh-oh, low battery warning. Eh, I once got like 10 miles after a low battery warning. Not worried. 

And the next couple were right there too. Huh….maybe I AM racing. But I wasn’t pushing. Just running comfortably. 

And at mile 11, when I thought I was trying to reign myself in, I hit an 8:50. (Does anyone else have that problem? You know when you think you’re trying to slow down and you’re actually speeding up?)

And another low battery warning.

Mile 12, an 8:42. 

And yet another warning. (OMG please let me get this last mile in, because this is serious now)

 Mile 13, 8:35. 

Ran as hard as I could that last .1. 

Hit the stop. And saved the activity. And 3 seconds later – the watch gave up. 

But I got it in. And wow….

  
Best half-marathon since April. 

Not bad at all. 🙂

So I brought my watch inside. Gave it a couple percent of battery life so I could sync it with the app. 

And nothing. It synced, to no activity. 

Whaaaat?!!?

But it saved! I have the screen! Where are my splits? How will I know how fast my kick was? 

Okay, well it saved the activity. I can look at the splits on my watch and figure out how to upload it later. 

No go. While every other activity on my watch I could get into, when I clicked on this one, it went back to the main screen. 

It’s gone. 😦 Epic. Garmin. Fail.  

Guess I’ll just have to run 2:00 on my November 1st half to make up for it. 

Happy Tuesday my friends. And happy running!

Fall running rocks!

Well….this was recovery week. Which means I spent a couple days doing a whole lot of nothing. 

Except stretching. And taking Advil. And marveling at how sore I was. Like seriously the sorest I’ve been since after a marathon since my first one. Walking was truly hilarious. 

Wednesday I walked a 10k. On the treadmill. While watching funny animal videos. That was an interesting change of pace. (Side note – why is watching someone get surrounded by a pack of tame deer and freaking out so darn funny)

Thursday I resumed kettlebell training. Despite the universe’s attempt to stop me. Seriously – my laptop wasn’t charged (drat). So I grabbed the iPad. Got 1 1/2 minutes into my favorite YouTube kettlebell workout and the wifi went down. Ungh. Fortunately, after 2 years of doing pretty much the same set of videos I’ve learned the moves. So I brought up the clock, turned on the timer and did my own improvised routine. 🙂

Friday I got back in the saddle, laced up my launches and went out for 4.5 miles. Started slow and easy and it felt SO good to run. 

I think sometimes having a few days away from running really makes you appreciate it more. 

Saturday I got a massage.  And it hurt so good. She really got into my hips and quads and I left feeling like a new runner. 🙂

So Sunday…since it was a stellar fall morning (48 degrees – woohoo), instead of the 6 I was gonna do, I headed out on my favorite 10 mile loop – the out and back to the animal sanctuary. 

And I killed it!! I decided to not look at my watch until mile 5. When I felt like I was going fast and couldn’t resist a peek. It said 9:05. 

I was thinking cool – let’s see if I am stay here. And the next mile beeped as an 8:47 (holy crow!) as did the next. 

The problem with my realizing I’m running my fastest long run in ages is that now I need to attempt to keep it up. Lol and somehow I did. 

This, is a set of splits I’m quite excited about.   
It had to be the combination of the weather and the massage. 

But it’s convinced me to definitely run my November 1st half. I’ve been on the fence. And now I know I need to do it. Maybe I can snag that sub 2-hour half again. 

I’ve always said I’m faster in the fall. And with the year I’ve had, I can’t wait to see what I’ve got ahead of me the next couple months. 🙂

What I do have ahead is the following – Black Goose half on November 1st and the Edaville Rail Run November 14th. 

And, of course, the big one. The Goofy Challenge that starts in 96 days. 🙂  I so can’t wait!

Happy Monday my friends. And happy fall running!!