Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Happenings & Race Reports

I guess I have some catching up to do!

I have jam packed my summer with a class (Categorical Data Analysis which just finished on Friday), working my new/exciting job, marathon training, Singletrack Academy (a mountain biking course I'm taking) and being a supportive Iron-gf for John, who raced IMLP last month and Peasantman yesterday.

This has not left much any time for blogging, with which I am A-ok. I guess I don't feel like it's so necessary to try to write about my life when I am having more fun actually living my life.

Last month, I raced one of my key races of the year, which was the Shoreline Marathon, which is west of Rochester on Lake Ontario. This was race 3/4 of the 4 Seasons Challenge, but it also happened to fall mid-marathon training cycle, so I thought I would have a good shot at a PR. Jennie and I coordinated this so that I did a taper for this race and was feeling really good going into the race. My goal was 7:40 pace for the first 5 miles, and then drop down to 7:30 pace until the final 3 miles - where I would try to pick it up again. This would hopefully get me to the finish in faster than 1 hour and 40 minutes (my current PR is 1:40:something from 2011).

Then, race morning happened with 100% humidity. I had known that the race is typically hot and I was prepared with a handheld bottle packed with ice, and lots of hydration the day before, but nothing could have prepared me for the insane humidity.

I ran a short warmup and made it to the starting line with 1 minute to spare. Starting the race completely drenched in sweat - awesome. Gave John a kiss and then the race was off. The first 5 miles were manageable. I didn't feel great with the humidity, but I was holding steady at 7:40 pace. I then tried to pick it up to 7:30s, and I couldn't. I tried to stay positive and hang on at 7:40 pace, convinced that the race/PR attempt wasn't over for me. However, it just kept getting harder and harder to run at that pace. At mile 8, I gave up. It was SO hot, I was getting cold chills/goosebumps/dizziness, and I was pouring water on myself at every aid station (and walking them). At mile 11, we were back up by the lake and there was a breeze, which perked me up slightly, and I passed a few women. The last mile was a little rough because I was so tapped out from the effort in that weather.

Even with my very low point in the middle of the race, I managed to finish in 1:46:38. Given the heat/humidity, that wasn't too bad. I also ended up finishing second in my age group, which was a nice bonus after the disappointment of not getting a PR.

Splits: 7:34, 7:37, 7:38, 7:40, 7:37, 7:39, 7:42, 8:13, 8:29, 8:47, 8:57, 8:24, 8:22.

John and his brother are also registered for the 4 Seasons Challenge - but they walked a large portion of Shoreline because John had IMLP in a week and was tapering!

The Four Seasons Challenge is exactly that. Winter - negative degree weather with windchill. Spring - weather perfection. Summer - 100% humidity. Fall - TBD. Rochester certainly sees the extreme of the seasons!

so hot. so many cornfields.
love this photo of the boys!

Two Sundays ago was my next key race of the summer - the Bergen Road Race (5K). This race draws a very elite field and is on a fast course, so I knew it would be a good place to go for a PR attempt (my 5K PR was 21:43 from 2009). A few days before the race, I got asked if I wanted to join a team - the Brockport Distance Project - which my friend Trisha is very active in. $30 and a USATF membership later, I was a member, complete with a new racing singlet! I got to meet 5 of the girls (plus Trisha ) at the race on Sunday. Our A team won the race and our B team (which I was on) got 5th. So it was a good day for us BDP women!

As for my race - I ran about 2 miles as a warmup, and then headed over to the start. I knew that I needed to keep my average pace under 7 min if I wanted a chance to PR.

I went out pretty fast, 6:30 but I felt good (classic 5K move). I then managed to hold on to a 6:49 2nd mile, and 6:55 3rd mile. I wish I had paced it a little better, but I run 5Ks so infrequently and it's pretty challenging to pace well with all of the speed/excitement going on!

This gave me a new PR of 21:17!

So that is 25 seconds faster than my previous PR. I was psyched!

workin' hard

this photo is ridiculously hilarious

Brockport Distance Project post-race team photo
I've also had some very successful mid-week tempo runs and weekend long runs. This weekend, John and I are heading to PA for a birthday party, and I am doing a 20 mile preview run of the Steamtown Marathon course. This is exciting!

Now I'm off to enjoy my week of freedom from RIT!