Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Placed In Another 5k Race!!!!

This past weekend I learned another valuable running tip!

Stick around for the awards ceremony even if you THINK you didn't place. Friday night just as I was finishing up work for the day my friend Bob sent me a text asking if I was interested in running a 5k on Saturday. My reply was simple, "DUH"! So on a whim I ran the River Run for Wellness 5k in Chillicothe the race has set some amazing time records as it is a super flat and fast 5k. Saturday was a beautiful morning for a run/race the weather was perfect for it however a late night and an unhealthy dinner didn't have me going into this 3.1 mile run with confidence. The River Run had a record turn out with just under 300 runners and walkers, this is a small race but growing each year. The River Run is also a "Grand Prix Race" for the Illinois Valley Striders. In addition I saw a ton of Team RC (Running Central) runners there as well. In other words this is a competitive run, I did NOT have a chance of place. Even if I had a proper dinner (I had pizza at 10pm) and adequate sleep (I had only 5 hours, I'm an 7 or more hour kinda gal) this is not a race for someone at my level to be competitive at. In fact the top finisher (19 year old male) ran a 5:14 and finished at 16:15 and the top female runner (and 43 years old) ran a 6:35 pace finishing at 20:24! My best 5k time (and one that did get me a first place medal) was in 24:15! I was running just for fun and to get me out of a long 10 mile run, not to be competitive.

So after the race I met up with Bob and Matty for some water a banana and decided to head back to Peoria so we could get our yard work done. Well the rain beat us and we still didn't get to mow our lawns so the big rush to get home was for nothing especally because I PLACED!!!! YES! ME! I GOT ANOTHER MEDAL! Well, kind of. A few hours after the race I saw the awards posting and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that I finished 3rd place in my age division. I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE STAYED! I am seriously heart broken because I won a medal and didn't stay so I didn't even get it! I don't even know how to go about seeing if I can still get the medal (or if they give them to 3rd place) but I'm pretty sure I can't. My heart sunk when I saw that. I was elated that I placed but I'm just heart sick because I earned a medal and I don't have it. :(

I've looked at all the stats of the top finishers and these are some serious runners. I've got some work to do if I want to do this race or others and stay competitive. I know they are small 5k's but I look back at what I have done in the past year and a half and its crazy. I went from overweight an active, to active and losing weight, to a healthy weight and fit (I lost about 30lbs) to a runner, to a long distance runner to now a competitive local runner. In the past 2 months I've done two 5k's and I've place and won an award in each race. Truly an accomplishment that I am beyond proud of however, I'm still sad I don't have the hardware to show for it!
PS: I have herd from a few other runners who have said that this has happend to them and their awards have shown up in the mail. I'm praying that happens, pray with me, but I don't want to get my hopes up!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tips for Getting Past A Bad Run

When your a runner its bound to happen a bad run. There are different forms of bad runs the first is figuring out what kind of run. Let's say you set out to do a certain speed and fell far below your goal pace. Or distance, that was me today I set out to do 7 miles, which I did do, but sadly I didn't run the whole time. There are sprints you set out to do so many but was exhausted to early on to even finish. I've had all sorts of bad workouts, its just part of the game. I think the hardest part of me when I experience a bad run is the mental aspect of it. I'm always in a battle with myself and secretly with my runner pals (sorry guys/gals) I want to be fast, stronger and run longer than myself and others I know. Which is probably why I am finally wanting to do a marathon, heck all my r un pals are now and I just simply cannot be left in their dust, noooo way José! So when I have a bad run instantly the negativity comes into my mind and I dissect every single part of my pre-run ritual, where did I go wrong? What did I eat? Is it my clothes? What about my music? The weather? These were all questions that were running through my head as I was...WALKING...on my run today. I tried to blame that I had coconut milk with my breakfast, I must strictly stay away from dairy before running. I blamed the weather, it was too warm and I'm not used to it yet, even though I ran through heat Sunday afternoon. I blamed my shirt because I usually never wear it in warm weather. I blamed myself because I didn't take proper rest after my last 1/2 marathon. Runners will analyze every aspect to learn to be a better more effective runner. I went from doing 9 minute miles to over 11 minute miles which is SICK for me! But really it boils down to one simple thing, I (you) had a bad run. Its just part of the sport, bad runs happen. And as my good friend and fellow runner Jana pointed out was that you have to have a bad run in order to experience a good run! So don't let it play with your mind, be glad you still did something which is better than nothing and remember that run is done, until the next one of course, which for me is my 8 Mile Thursday.

Run for a cause? By now I am sure you have heard of the devastation in Joplin, Missouri after the most devastating tornado ever. I have a co worker who lived there and is trying to help out in anyway possible. She's even got co workers donating blood, but sadly I am not a very good blood donor. But I can run! She is pledging $2 for every mile she runs between now and June 18th (That is her race day-The Warrior Dash). Maybe we can do the same and join her Jogging for Joplin. I know some of us are pretty hard core and cover 30+ miles a week but maybe we can pledge $5 for every run or 25 cents a mile? Who's up for it? Please read out her personal call to help here at Jenn's Jogging For Joplin!

Runner's prayer, via U.S. 50K record holder Josh Cox: God, grant me the serenity to accept when I cannot run; the courage to run when I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Tide Sport

I sweat...A LOT! I always try to tell myself that "at least it shows I'm working hard" or "I know I'm getting my burn on" but still deep down I'm a little bit self conscious of it. I'm sorry if this is just TMI for some of you I know men don't really like to hear about the unglamourous things women do but I feel the need to bring it up in todays blog after all I am doing a review of the new Tide Sport laundry detergent.

What is Tide Sport? According to their website "Tide Sport is formulated to fight tough sports stains like grass, dirt, clay, and blood. It’s the #1 sports detergent that also helps eliminate odor." How does it work? Tide Sport has this thing called "Renewing Freshness Technology" meaning that "This freshness releases when you wear or use an item, for fresh bursts of fragrance." In other words once I finish an RPM class or the Steamboat Classic I shouldn't smell as bad as I would had I not been using the Tide Sport (TS)!

I've seen TS in the isles and I've even seen other kinds of laundry detergents or laundry additives at specialty sport stores claiming to help take the stink out of your workout wear but not damage the goods. Lets face it, when you work out like I do you spend quite a bit of coin on workout attire. In fact I think I spend more on my running gear than I do my normal every day wear! And no matter how much I wash them it does take the smell out but not 100%. I was at Target Wednesday, picking up more sport bras and running capris, and decided to give the TS a try. I've never been more excited to do laundry and last night I rushed home from work with excitement to wash my pile of workout attire, no joke! I had a small load so I only filled the cap to the first line, per the instructions and washed/dried as normal. Upon removal from the drier my clothes did smell a bit better than normal but the true test would come once I was running today. I had 8 miles on tap and yes I did sweat a lot but never felt like I smelled any worse or any better than normal. I was in my newest clothes and didn't notice any smell. Now my older clothes have had time to lock in odor and I am pleased to say they seem to be smelling a bit fresher. I think the true test with the new TS is going to be over time. If my clothes continue to not have the odor locked in them then the new TS will definilty be a winner. With only one wash I am pleased with the results and hope that with continued use of TS they get fresher and fresher. I do recommend!

Price report: Price wise I believe with anything you get what you pay for. When you use the cheap generic brands you don't get a fresher scent. I've always been a fan of Gain, its a middle of the road detergent price wise and does very well. I picked up the 75oz bottle or 45 loads of TS at Target on sale for $8.99 with the original retail price being $11.99 so at the sale price it was a good buy and if I use it only on my workout clothes its a good buy in my book. Here is a link for a $1 off coupon.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Recap: 500 Festival Mini Marathon

This past weekend I ran my best ever 1/2 Marathon, the 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana. I knew no matter what I would set a personal record (PR) but how well I wasn't sure. Let's break it down by the numbers. I ran four times a week for the past 12 weeks, running almost 56 hours, covering over 355 miles and burning just shy of 36-thousand calories so on Saturday May the 7th I could cover 13.1 miles in record time and gain a PR. My goal was to come in at 1:59:59, that's about 10 minutes off my first 1/2 race time of 2:10:18.

In Indy each runner was assigned a corral, based on your estimated finish time, and I was in "E" so pretty close to the start. Saturday was a perfect day for a run wasn't hot, wasn't cold, rain was expected but luckily I didn't feel a drop until the last 3/4 mile of the race. Once the gun went off it only took me about 2 minutes to get to the start line, there are 35,000 people in the race alone (that also doesn't count the thousands watching and the thousands volunteering) so I was very impressed it only took 2 minutes. Once you cross the start line your timing chip starts and you begin your run. There was some congestion at the start but not as bad as I expected and in  my opinion in helped to keep me slow to start, you never want to begin a marathon or a half at full speed out of the gate because then you crash to quickly. I had a good pace right around 9 minute miles for the first mile. As I glanced down at my watch I instantly know that I am on target to reach my goal. I'm feeling good, legs are strong, I'm going at a very comfortable pace, my heart rate feels good and then it hits me. I have to pee, CRAP! Now 9 times out of 10 when you feel like you gotta go when your running its just the bouncing and after a mile or so it goes away. So I keep on and it gets worse and now I know that its real and I've got to stop and hit the porta potty and it cost me about 90 seconds. Ninety seconds may not seem much but when you have a time goal it can really bring you down. And after that stop from mile 3 all the way to mile 10 I was in constant doubt of my ability to come in under 2 hours. And when I hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the main reason I am running this particular race for the wow/cool factor of running the speedway, it gets worse. It wasn't the wow moment I had hoped it to be, it was a mind killer. For the entire track I was in constant battle with my pace, it was so difficult to run the track because as you keep going, and going, and going, and going (yep this is what its like) you feel like you've not even gained any ground, I felt like I stood still the entire track (about 2. 25 miles). Even as I crossed the yard of bricks at 1:10:29 (and well on pace to smash my goal) I continued to feel like I was slipping and wasn't going to make it. But every time doubt came in I said to myself "picture yourself crossing the finish line under 2 hours" because a well known tip is if you picture it you will do it. Finally leaving the speedway I felt a little more confident because that part was over and now I can feel like I'm back to going someplace. I reach 10 miles at 1:30:54 (still on target) and my confidence starts to come back. I'm still regretting the "pit stop" but was feeling less guilty when ever I needed a water or Gatorade stop. I've learned in training that if I run and drink I run and get water on my shirt and get absolutely no benefit of the refuel. I had stopped twice for water and twice for Gatorade and each time was recharged. Once I hit the victory mile (the last mile) I know I am going to make my goal, I have 15 minutes and I can slow down a bit so I can sprint my last mile. At 3/4 I start to feel tiny raindrops, my legs are tired, cramped and I start taking 10 step strides, fast for 10, slow for 10 and then I hit 1/2 a mile and drop the hammer, 400 meters keep sprinting Anna, at 100 meters I just can't sprint anymore and I slow back down to average pace. I see the finish line, I hear the announcer saying "look at all these runners trying for the goal of under 2 hours" and I'm looking at my watch, know I can do this but my legs hurt so badly. Will I make it? Will I PR? Legs done give, keep running!

Miles 1 and 2 was done in 8:53, 3-9:57 (stupid bladder), 4-8:37, 5-8:57, 6-8:48, 7-9:02 (this is where the speedway got to me) miles 8 & 9-8:59, 10-8:36, 11-8:59 (intentional slow down so I can finish strong) 12-8:56 (struggled to sprint) and 13.1 miles done in 1:58:40! I DID IT!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

500 Festival Mini Marathon....IS HERE!!!

UHHH out of all times to get a blister-and for it to pop too! Hellllooo Blister Band-Aids! Tomorrow another adventure begins in my running passion. The clock is ticking and the to-do list seems endless the pressure is on to get everything done and in order and I  love it. Tomorrow at 10am I head to Indianapolis Indiana for the first time to run with 35,000 strangers...well 34,996 strangers, I'll know Matty, Bob and Koller. We've all been registered for this race since early December and have had our hotel booked  (Sheraton Downtown City Center) since December as well. Tomorrow I will take in the 500 Festival get my race packet, number, goodies and shop the expo all part of running a race and I love it. Pasta dinner at night and then the ritual begins, laying out my clothes that I will wear race day, my ipod, Garmin, attach my race number to my clothing and make sure everything is in order. I do this so that if I have forgotten anything I will have plenty of time to get what I have lost. Plus in the morning, which always comes way to early, I can easily get going and don't have to do a frantic search for what I need. Breakfast is already planned, Bagel, organic Peanut Butter and Banana-its my run must food, and I'm a big fan of the G-Series I love the pre-workout pouch and then G2 at about Mile 5-6 depending on how I feel and then usually around 9-10 I go with just water. Something really cool that they have going on with the race is you can follow me in real time via my facebook page with my split times being posted by Race Day tracking. My goal is 1:59:59, I don't know if I will make it, I did get seeded so I don't have to be slumped with the slow/general runners. I'm excited, nervous and oh so ready to rock this 13.1!

Wanna see the race I am running? View the video below-that race track BTW is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway roughly a 2.5 mile run on it-so so so soooooo excited!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Have you read about the Nake Marathoner yet?

Over the weekend an Ohio man was arrested for running the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati NAKED! Police have charged Brett S. Henderson, 35, with public indecency and obstructing official business.

The Naked Marathon man is speaking out and held an exclusive interview with The Urban Daily Citizen and according to Henderson he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Henderson says he’s run marathons all over the country and he knows that “anything goes on race day”. He claims he didn’t plan on running in the buff but he had borrowed shorts from his father and they kept slipping off. There was no drawstring and he even tried to tie his shirt around his waist to act as a belt with no luck. Eventually he just let them drop, with the encouragement of other runners and kept on going. He continues that police eventually asked him to stop, and he didn’t, then they threatened to Tase him and he still kept going, under the assumption that “anything goes” in the running culture. However the police didn’t see it that way, they Tased him, he dropped (like his shorts) and was arrested.

So as a runner I read this and find it funny because its kinda true, anything does go when it comes to race day running. Yes its true people do pee in their shorts (I’ve never done it, never had to, I pee a thousand times before the race to ensure I don’t have to stop) I’ve read countless articles of people who have done #2 in their pants or even on the race track. (again thankfully never happened to me but I have gotten the runners trots-look it up I’m not explaining it here, sorry.) But I’ve never actually herd of running in the buff. But ya know I guess anything does go in the race world. But there is one thing that Mr. Henderson says that makes me question him. He said he borrowed his shorts from his dad. I’ve only run a handful of races and even I know one of the cardinal rules of running is you NEVER wear something on race day that you haven’t worn before. Never! You just don’t know what it will do, ride up, chafe or even fall off. And when your running 26.2 miles its a pretty excellent rule to follow because when you have a problem at mile 2 with your clothing you’re stuck with that problem for another 24 miles.

Obviously this guy hasn’t googled nudist races because I found a few: Nuderuns.com and ironically I read about a nudist race in the latest Runner’s World Magazine and they suggest checking out nudist5k.com

Final thought-the sport bra was invented for a reason!