Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Week 9 of Half Marathon Training and Bloomsday Race Report

This week was a challenge for me in both the mental and physical areas. I also go on a moral tangent in my race recap so please bear with me while I express my deep thoughts.


What I did follows:



Monday: Stretch and Strengthen

What I did: Yoga Meltdown Level 1 by Jillian Michaels…nuff said



Tuesday: 5 mile "easy" run

What I did: 5 mile stroller run

I decided Miss Bean and I needed a little adventure and we went to the Coeur d’Alene Centennial trail to run. It’s also part of the Coeur d’Alene Marathon and Half Marathon so I’m familiar with the route by the water. I love to run by water, something about the water calms me and makes me feel at ease. If I had my choice I would live on an island just to be surrounded by water.



5 miles @ 49:28 Average Pace: 9:53/mile

I took this while running:
 Water is up super high since the Dams have not been opened yet:
 Miss Bean in front of the Coeur d'Alene Resort:
 There were geese EVERYWHERE, I had to dodge their poop on the trail!







Wednesday: 9x400 5k Pace

What I did: 9x400 in the range of 1:36.9-1:41.1 (6:29-6:46/mile pace) per McMillian Running Calculator for speed workouts for middle distance runners at my current 5 mile race time.

I went up to the South Hill so my in-laws could watch Miss Bean while I ran speed work. Attempting speed work with a stroller is more of a chance for injury, for me at least, I’m not superwoman like some runners.

I warmed up for .66 of a mile. Then it was GAME TIME!!
Here were my splits: 1:35,1:40,1:39,1:40,1:37,1:38,1:37,1:39,1:35 (with 1-2 min. jogs in middle)
I then warmed down for .64 of a mile.

Speed work: 3:45 @ 29:22 Average Pace 8:30/mile

Warm up and down: 1.30 @ 12:39 Average Pace 9:43/mile

Total run 4:75 miles



Thursday: 3 mile "easy" run + Strength

What I did: I didn’t get anything done this day. It rained and I didn’t want to go in the rain. Miss Bean has been teething and fussy so I decided I would just spend more time with her inside.



Friday: Rest Day or Easy Run

What I did: 3 mile stroller run

Felt like running so I did. My Garmin battery was dead because I forgot to put it on the charger after my run on Wednesday. I ran my usual 3 mile route at an easy pace with a sprint at the end. Felt good but my calve muscles were feeling pretty tight, followed up the run with foam rolling and stretching.





Saturday: Rest

What I did: Rest and went to the Bloomsday Expo to pick up the race packet

Met my sis-in-law at 10:30 at Thomas Hammer in downtown Spokane and then walked down to the convention center to pick up our race packets. The Expo was packed with what felt like a trillion people. We bellyached that we should have come earlier or on Friday, next year we will. It did give me a glimpse of how many people would be running/walking Bloomsday; therefore I was mentally prepared for the craziness the next day would bring.
Mmm...Velvet Hammer!
 Crazy Expo! Most of the people are not shown.
 Miss Bean being cute, as always!
 My sis-in-law (left) and me (right).




Sunday: 15-K Race

What I did: 12k Race- Bloomsday


RACE RECAP (warning: it is LOOONG!):

Waking up on Sunday morning was easy because I hadn’t slept much the night before due to Miss Bean waking up for nursing sessions (why does this happen on race day??). I suffered mental anguish most of the night about whether or not I could run at the pace I was aiming for and if I could do it by myself. Unfortunately, Tasha was not going to be pacing me and I doubted if I could do it by myself. I had told Tasha that she could run for fun and not with me if it put too much pressure on her because of her heartbreaking marathon she just ran the Sunday before. She never communicated with me what she was going to do but I assumed by Saturday that she wasn’t running with me because we never set up to meet. (With that being said, I’m glad she didn’t run with me because she got a PR and my run was not a fun experience.) Miss Bean got up when I did at 6 am, which was not helpful because I had to get her ready before I got ready. I got her diaper changed and put an outfit on her and then went to make something to eat. She however, didn’t want me to let her down, she cried if I did (I have a hard time when she cries it makes me sort of frantic and disorderly, other moms may know the feeling). I grabbed an english muffin and popped it in the toaster and then that’s what I ate. Which is not my usual pre-race food but I have ate them before runs in the morning in the past, pre-baby pre-nursing past that is. I downed a cup coffee to give me my caffeine buzz and then drank some water to help eliminate the dehydrating effect of coffee (little did I know at the time that I didn’t drink enough water!). We hopped in the car and off we went to meet my sis-in-law and a couple of her friends down by Gonzaga at 8 am before the race. We live about 20 minutes from downtown and we left at 7:45 so I was a little edgy about being late but fortunately we made it there in time. However, when I arrived there one of my sis-in-law’s friends was not there so we waited for 20 minutes for her. By that time we were pushing 40 minutes to race start and we still had to jog down to the start line. Then the same chick had to stop and go pee, which added another 10 minutes of time. We made it into the yellow group at the last call, they shut the gate behind us, phew!! We weaved through people to try to get towards the front but we only made it to about the middle of the pack. While we were waiting I was trying to get in my “happy” state and was joking around with my sis-in-law but, then the chick (same chick that was late and had to pee) started talking negatively about some people and I really don’t like when people are mean!

Side note: I know that when people are mean it’s usually because they suffer from insecurities themselves and to keep the focus off of their negative qualities (that they base within themselves) they talk negative about others. I try to not judge or base what someone does off of how they act or talk because I believe people are better than they think they are or others think they are and that’s probably a fault on my part because I end up wearing my heart on my sleeve and get hurt easier than I should. I want to see the good in people and I want people to know that Jesus loves them just the way they are and that He wants to save them. Nobody is perfect and we should all know and expect that by now.

Side note end.

On that note I just responded back to the chick that some people don’t realize the way they look and we should be sympathetic towards people.

Start of Tangent: Plus who ever said looks are everything? If you judge the way someone looks then you may never get to know who that person really is. We should always try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes because we have never experienced where they are instead of judge them from the outside. I will be honest in saying I have judged people on the exterior before and have ended up being totally wrong about them only to find out that I was the rude person and not them. Give grace if you desire grace, give mercy if you need mercy. Treat others as you would want to be treated. End of Tangent.

Then a gun fired and the race started, first the Elites, Corporate Cup and Brown Seeding were off. Then the Yellow Seeding, which I was in, was next to go. The crowd started to move up a little and I said, “Oh have we started?!” “Yes, this is it!” exclaimed my sis-in-law. We walked for about 100 meters and then started to jog and before I knew it we crossed the start line. I ran about 200 meters with my sis-in-law and then we parted ways because she did not have the same goal as me. The first mile was a bunch of weaving through people and I ran on the grass in the median in the middle of the street. BEEP!! I heard my Garmin sound way before the 1st mile hit and then realized I forgot to take it off .25 mile splits from the speed work I did the Wednesday before the race, Oh Crap…Oh well! I knew that as long as I was under 2:00 minutes for each ¼ mile I would be on track for my goal. My goal was to run the 7.46 miles, hills and all, under an hour. My plan of attack was to run steady on the straight-aways at a sub 8:00/mile and then try to bank time on the down hills so that it would make up for the added time up the hills and then after Doomsday hill I would put my all into the last mile and half. The first 4 and ½ miles went by quickly and I felt strong and was running sub 8 minute miles and under for the majority of my splits. Then while I was running down the hill just before the bridge to go over the river and up  Doomsday hill, I felt a sharp pain in the upper middle of my back. It was like two knives were cradling my spine and it was making it hard to breath. I drank the rest of my Nuun from my Nathan Sprint handheld but my mouth felt a little dry. I tried to lean forward in my stride since I thought I had been leaning back going down the hills and maybe that caused the pain in my back to start but, to no avail it just kept cramping. Then a wave of nausea overwhelmed me as I went to ascend Doomsday.  I decided at that point I would stay next to an older gentleman who I had been leap frogging with the whole race, he had a Venice Marathon shirt on and I thought about how cool it would be to run a marathon in Venice. I started the ascent behind him and then just stayed next to him till the middle of the hill and then it just seemed too slow for me so I chugged on by myself. Almost up the hill there was a wheelchair racer who had blood going down his arm but was turning his wheels with agonizing force. I shouted out encouragement to him, “You can do it! Almost there!! You ROCK!!” It’s amazing how when you encourage others it gives you energy. I ran up the hill the rest of the way and saw the water stop ahead and decided I would grab a cup and walk through the stop and hopefully that would help ease the cramp in my back and the nausea. After I drank the water I started to run again but with each step the pain worsened. By mile 7 it was horrible and the awful part of it was that I felt like I couldn’t breath. My mouth was all dry and then it hit me…I was dehydrated and the pain was a cramp, an EVIL MUSCLE CRAMP!! Ugh!! The rest of my body was aching and the nausea I felt was due to dehydration. The thought crossed my mind that maybe I should stop and have my husband come get me, “I don’t want to die!!” But then I retaliated against myself, “Don’t be so dramatic, you made it this far and it’s not like a marathon where you could die if you didn’t stop.” I was just battling against myself to not walk at this point and just keeping running...or jogging. It was painful but not the most pain I have ever experienced (28 hours of labor with no epidural is, but that’s another story!). When I saw the turn up ahead that led to the finish line I tried to give it my all and sprint through the finish line but I couldn’t get my legs to go. I ran through the finish but then stopped and walked. I felt like I wanted to cry, I felt miserable, I wanted my husband and my Miss Bean. I needed water but there was none to be found. I texted my husband to see where I could meet him. They were handing out water at two different places before the shirt pick up. I grabbed two cups of water and downed them. Tore my ticket off my shirt and handed it to the gal to pick up my Bloomsday Finisher Shirt. If ever there was a race where I felt like I deserved a shirt, this was it. My husband and Miss Bean were to be at the next intersection and my eyes wandered around desperately searching for them and then Hallelujah! Hallelujah!! Hallelujaahh!! There they were. My husband handed me my Nalagene and I downed it like a thirsty plant (haha, couldn’t think of another metaphor). I still felt crappy but my hubby gave me a big hug and said he was proud of me which made me feel better. I kissed my Miss Bean and she smiled which made me feel sunny inside. I needed FOOD right away, we walked down to Thomas Hammer and my hubby said to get a breakfast burrito and a coveted PBNJ (chocolate peanut butter frozen drink that’s delicious beyond words!). I was totally out of it, I had a hard time deciphering what I was doing or saying but I ordered my food and drinks and then waited patiently for them to heat up the burrito, which I devoured in .2 seconds after. I felt more coherent after I had food and water and walked the trail back to our car that was parked next to Gonzaga. After the race I knew I needed to figure out how to stay hydrated before I ran anymore races longer than 5 miles because it seems that at 4.5 miles I start to dehydrate. I then remembered a post by Dorothy Beal at Mile Posts where she was dehydrated from nursing baby C at a half marathon and what she did to remedy the situation. The post is here. In short I will be measuring out all my water for the day by placing it in my 32 oz. Nalagen bottles (4 of them=128 ounces) plus a 20 ounce Nathan bottle will hold Nuun. I will then keep them on my counter so that I will be reminded to drink, drink, drink through the day.

 This should be fool proof way to prevent dehydration. At this point I’m not sure I will be running the Coeur d’Alene half marathon and I may wait and do the Seattle Rock n’Roll half marathon because it will give me another month to prepare as well as help me test out my new hydration plan. The biggest thing is making myself drink whether I “feel” like drinking or not. As well as keeping my coffee (I don’t drink soda) consumption low a couple days before the race. I got these other sources of caffeine to see if they still give me umph with less dehydration.


Here are my splits from the race: I did my best to calculate the miles from my ¼ miles but they are not 100% accurate:
Mile 1: 7:58
Mile 2: 7:28
Mile 3: 8:00
Mile 4: 7:54
Mile 5: 8:21 (pain began and ascent up Doomsday)
Mile 6: 8:43 (Doomsday and walking through water station)
Mile 7: 8:45 (trying to run with pain...notice I ran faster up Doomsday, ugh)
Mile .50: 4:19 (8:38/mile pace, finish line is down a small hill)

Official Time: 1:01:47
Average Pace: 8:16/mile

Time up Doomsday: 3:51
35th out of 614 other 27-year-old females

192nd out of 3,909 people in my age group 23-29

Additional RACE REVIEW: This course is AWESOME!! I really enjoyed the rolling hills and even Doomsday. The distance is not too short but not too long. It has great crowd support and even though it's a huge cluster of people it's a fun race to run. Next year bloggy buddies you should come run with me!!

The only pic my hubs could get of me at the race!
You can see my head in the middle, haha!

Miss Bean and Shaggy the bear walking around with Dada!

Pic of the Spokane Falls my Hubs took

Miss Bean and my Hubby hanging out while I was running

Ooo a goose!

Miss Bean trying to make friends with the goose.




The night after the race we went to Red Robin since Miss Bean loves the busyness of the place and I was craving a guacamole burger and fries…I know bad food choices!!
But I took this cute picture of my hubs and Miss Bean:


I'm glad this week is over and it has made me realize that I appreciate my family more than anything else. :) 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, wow, Kris- what an experience! I remember L having some awful nights of sleep before races, too... and it is so hard to stay well hydrated when nursing, because you often don't even feel thirsty until you're out running and it's too late! You really ran a strong race, despite all that you were dealing with. That's a great pace! And only one minute over an hour. Be proud! You did some killer 400's too!

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