I’m baaaaack! + Spring Racing Schedule

I hope everyone had a lovely, fantastic Thanksgiving holiday weekend with loved ones. I had a great time hanging out with my brothers and nephews all weekend. (The sisters were doing their own thing in DC and I missed them terribly. But they missed out on some delicious food and hot toddies…just sayin’). It was unseasonably warm in Indy, just as it has been in Chicago lately. On Friday, we had a toasty high of 63 degrees! SIXTY-THREE!? Absolutely wonderful. I’m glad I brought plenty of running shorts with me as opposed to leggings because I put them to use.

The Drumstick Dash was a success. It was a much different experience this year than last. (Last year involved sideways rain and a lack of preparation apparel-wise on my part. I hadn’t truly gotten into my running kick at the time and just ran the race to have fun. Well, I guess as much fun as you can have running in sideways rain.) I’ve slowly been healing after I was diagnosed with peroneal tendonitis in my left leg and I wasn’t sure if I’d RACE or RUN the Dash. My dad even found me 2 minutes before start-time and asked me the same question. I told him I didn’t know—but I think I did. πŸ™‚ Because I took off runnin’ and got into a rhythm with my tunes right away.

I must be lucky when it comes to running into people I know (literally) because I saw an old high school friend that went to France with me at the time during the race. We chatted as much as we could (I told you I was racing!) and agreed we’d try to catch up afterward. It was nice to see a friendly face and be surprised during the race.

The Dash is only 4.5 miles but it feels much longer because of the small turns you take through the Broad Ripple neighborhood. I had enough distractions and I set my sights on some other runners up ahead to keep the momentum up. By the 3rd and 4th mile, I had thoroughly shocked myself. I looked down at my Garmin and it didn’t budge from a 7:00-7:10 pace. Where was THAT coming from!? It must be the rest I’ve been taking lately with this tendinitis issue. I even managed a 5k PR during a 4.5 mile race. (My previous PR was in August and it was a poor effort on my part. Still, that was my PR at the time). I finished the course in just over 32 minutes.

Age Group: 14th place
Overall finish: 492/5604 *top 9% out of those with timing chips (15000 people registered, 5604 with chips)

I didn’t have much tenderness in my left leg the day after like I did when I first experienced pain there. I’m so happy the pain is going away and I’m able to run longer distances now. I even ran 6 miles before work this Monday! Talk about starting the week off on the right foot…or left?

This morning I got up early and managed to find the time to do both a biking and running workout. I got on the bike for 20 minutes while I waited to snag a treadmill at the gym. I am not on a structured training plan right now (which is awesome), but I decided I would run 4 miles today. I started the pace at 8:30/mile and ended at 7:06/mile. Last year when I started my training in February, my pace for 800 springs was around 7:50. Now that is an easy run. It’s funny what time and dedication can do within a year’s time. I’m looking forward to starting off even healthier this year and working towards a fun spring racing schedule.

Since I won’t be able to register/run Boston until 2013, I’m looking forward to dedicating the spring to my half marathon time. My current half PR is 1:43:48 (average pace 7:55), while my marathon PR is 3:32:53 (8:08 average pace). My average pace for the half and the full definitely shouldn’t be that close. And I know I’m capable of running the half much faster. So, without further ado, my spring racing schedule:

  • Rock ‘n Roll National Half Marathon– March 17th 2012– Rock ‘n Roll always has really well organized races and this will be a good excuse to get out to D.C. and visit my twin sister. πŸ™‚
  • Carmel Half Marathon– April 21– I’m excited about running this one. I grew up minutes away from Carmel and I’ll have a hometown crowd there cheering me on (thanks to my nephews! :-)) The price is right and it will be nice to run a race in Indy again.
  • Bayshore Half Marathon– May 26th–I think I most excited about this race. It’s small (they only allow 2300 runners) and flat and scenic. My brother will be running the full and WILL qualify for Boston at this event. It’s going to be a good day πŸ™‚

I’m sure Coach has a specific pace in mind, but we’ll see how the season unfolds. I feel like there’s a lot of good stuff to come. If this morning’s 7 min pace is any indication to what I can look forward to, it’s going to be a great spring running season.

Have you registered for your spring races yet? What are you focusing on? Do you like having a structured racing plan or play it by ear?

-J

I always thought of myself as photogenic…

This past weekend, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k with my older sister, Brittany. And, as I alluded to in my previous post, we had a lot of fun sprinting to the end after a nice run through the city. Luckily, there were photographers present to demonstrate how photogenic and how unphotogenic we can be. Proof below…

Here we are. Lookin’ pretty. We may be cold, but we’re put together. Looking forward to getting the race started and running for hot chocolate and fondue.

It’s about to get ugly…

I spotted the Marathon Foto dude. So maybe I am photogenic. Unlike THAT dude who just had to push ‘stop’ on his Garmin at the exact right moment in time. (I kid. I get it. Time is important.)

This is my favorite. Wait for it…….

Bahahahhaa! This is Brittany. After I told her that she should probably use those legs–afterall, she WAS on the 4 x 800 relay team in high school when they hopped right on up to the Indiana State Track & Field championships. Yup, that lit a fire under her butt! (That and she WAS running for chocolate. duh.)

So there you have it, proof that we can be photogenic if we put our minds to it and proof that we may not be that attractive when we lose our minds. But at least we had fun. πŸ™‚

-J

Running a Race Just for Fun

I’m running a race just for fun this weekend. I won’t be racing it. For real, I will not be racing. I promise.

Well…ok, I might race it. The verdict is still out on this one.

Reasons to race it:

  • ‘cuz I want to.
  • ‘cuz I know that I’ll go out fast at the start line like an all-star.
  • ‘cuz it’s in my blood.
  • ‘cuz…how could I not?
  • ‘cuz the weather is going to be wonderful.
  • ‘cuz there’s CHOCOLATE at the finish line. DUH.

Reasons not to race it:

  • ‘cuz I’ve raced enough this year (10+ races is a lot in my book)
  • ‘cuz I just wanna have fun. (but I’d probably have more fun if I raced it…right?)
  • ‘cuz I’m running it with my mom and sista.
  • ‘cuz they won’t run out of chocolate. (although, this might be questionable).
  • ‘cuz I want to give my body more rest and allow this minor calf issue to disappear.

Yup, that just about covers it. So I’m on the fence, but I’ve devised a plan to keep me from running this race all out, which would mean a pace somewhere in the range of 7:30-7:40 for the 15k.

I will leave Mr. Garmin a home. In my nice warm apartment.

Yup, you read that right. Tonight, I will not worry about charging that buddy o’ mine. I will make sure my iPod shuffle is ready to go with some nice fall running tunes and get ready to run for FUN …and for CHOCOLATE.

How ’bout you? Have you ever successfully run a race just for fun and not worried about what your race pace should be? Tips/suggestions?

Side note: I’m going against my better judgment and participating in a RAM Racing race this weekend. Read an open letter to @RAMRacing here and learn why some other Chicago runners are frustrated.

-J