Friday, March 26, 2010

Running in Monterey

At the turnaround point of my Monterey Peninsula run.

Last week while on a business trip to Monterey, CA I got a chance to get a couple of runs in on the Monterey Peninsula Trail. I was staying on Wave St. along Cannery Row so the trail was a half block from the hotel - basically right across the street.

Running west, the cement trail turns to asphalt and dirt, then entirely dirt trail - following the shoreline.

On my first run, I went 2.5 miles in this direction before turning around for my return and took a few pictures and a video along the way.

My second run was in the easterly direction toward Fisherman's Wharf - less trail and more cement but interesting sights anyway!

The temperatures were quite cool (almost cold) with temps in the mid to upper 50s and breezy. It felt great in my short sleeves while running - but once I stopped running I had to quickly get inside and warm up.

After my second run, I quickly drove over to the other side of the peninsula to catch a beautiful CA sunset!

It is good to be home, but I will certainly miss running along the beach!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A New 10K PR and Pacing

Shirley and I after the race - both with shiny new PRs!
The Winter Park Road Race is usually the next race I focus on after running the Disney Marathon. For the past couple of years, my training had not gone so well - so I was thrilled that I had some great training in my buildup to the race and my best chance at a PR. My tempo runs showed I had a PR in me - my stretch goal was to try to bust 1 hour. Breaching the 1 hour mark was not in the cards for me today - but I am not disappointed because I felt like I ran a good race overall.....and had a 2:32 PR!

I got to the race early (around 6:30) so I could get a good parking spot. The 2 mile run was set to start at 7 am so I was a little worried I might not be early enough - but I got a decent parking spot and headed over toward the race area. It was cool this morning, about 53 deg F - and although my long sleeve shirt felt nice, I knew I wouldn't need it for the race, so I took the marathon approach, ditched the long sleeves and stuck with my short sleeve shirt along with a thin plastic rain poncho (a little more fashionable than the standard garbage bag). Most folks braved it without a poncho or bag...I did see one person with a bag on. Still, I was warmer and happier with my poncho.

I stopped by the Orlando Running Club tent and said a quick hello to Kitzzy who was transitioning from biking mode (she rode her bike around 5 miles to the race) to running mode. She then headed for the 2 mile start area (she ran both the 2 mile run AND the 10K!). After that I wandered around a bit, ran into a running friend from work, then made one more porta potty stop before lining up.

Given my anticipated finish time of around 1 hour, I lined up just behind the 9 min/mi sign. About 5 min before the race start I ditched the rain poncho. Then we were off!

My plan: Don't go out too fast (shoot for around 10 min for first mile) and treat it like my 5 mile tempo runs. Also part of the plan - iPod shuffle with a 180 bpm Podrunner mix.

It was a good plan. I hit the first mile at about 9:45 - not too bad. Mile 2 came around 19:33. I was behind a sub 1 hour pace but I didn't have the energy to push my pace anymore. I didn't want to run out of gas at mile 3 or 4 so I focused on running comfortably hard with my 180 bpm turnover. There were 3 water stops and I took water at all of them. The second stop is right before mile 4 so I took a Clif Shot there and made sure I drank enough to wash it down. The last water stop was around mile 5 or just after. Other than the water stops, I didn't take any walking breaks. When I got tired, I shortened my stride but maintained my turnover.

Just at the mile 4 water stop a woman ran by me and was just telling someone that I was her pacer! Then she said to hurry up so I could pace some more. I was right there so I ran up and agreed to keep the pace up and went ahead. The next time I saw her was a bit after mile 5. I had started to speed up but then bonked a bit and was having trouble keeping my pace going. She ran by and said I needed to keep it going. I told her that maybe she could pace for a bit since I was a bit out of gas. She said she would try and plugged on ahead. I worked to keep up with her. It was a nice diversion during mile 5. Coming around the corner at about mile 6 I passed her again.

At mile 6, you can see the finish line up ahead for the 0.2 mile stretch. I decided to go for it and picked up the pace - I was almost done! It was tough to hold the pace though - my stomach was starting to turn, but I kept telling myself that it would be done in less than a minute! And then, it was over.

1:01:25 - a 2:32 PR over my last PR 2 years ago.

Shirley was at the finish to meet me. Then the pacing lady came up behind me and greeted me. She introduced herself (I forgot her name AND I should have gotten a picture) and thanked me for pacing her to a 4 min PR. I thanked her for getting me through the end of the race as well.

I am happy with the results - a great PR time with the 1 hour goal out there for another day (perhaps on a flatter, straighter, brickless course). I felt like I didn't go out too hard, I maintained pace but didn't kill myself in the middle, and I finished strong. I can't think of anything else I would have done differently to try to finish faster.

My next race is the Corporate 5K. I am trying to decide whether to train to run a faster 5K time or to not run it at all and spend the time cheering on the other runners and taking lots of pics (I am the team captain). Given my training I would most likely have a shot at a 5K PR, however, this is not a timed race AND there are only about 10K other folks there - I would be weaving and avoiding folks the entire time. I would like to put my time up as one of the fastest women on our team....but it would be fun to run it again with my daughter. I have a month to decide! :-)

Hope everyone had great runs out there this weekend! I am going to slack off and take tomorrow off!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sub-1 hour 10K??

Note the dead palm tree out in front of my house....when the cold is finally gone those dead leaves are coming off!!

I think I might have a sub-1 hour 10K in me....

So I am putting it out there for this weekend's Winter Park Road Race.

Unless something unusual happens, I will PR this weekend (current PR is 1:03:57).

If I have a really good day, I think I can bust 1 hour. That is a 9:39 min/mi pace which I think I can maintain. That is, as long as I don't use my usual 10K strategy, which from the comments on Shirley's blog, a number of other folks use. It's the "go out too hard and try to survive" approach to 10Ks. What I really want to do is go out easier, negative split, and finish strong. I do it on my 5 milers all the time, so this should be a no brainer.

I just need to watch the start....I think I will focus on mental training for the rest of this week! :-)

Race report Sat or Sun we shall see!