On the last check-in, I had just finished a streak of post-surgery mileage PRs, which meant I had a cutback week coming up. And the timing was perfect for that, because I was freaking tired. Basically all my runs during cutback week were for time and not mileage, because, again, TIRED.
I finally perked up when I met the BF for lunch at his favorite Korean place and I got beef. Ahhhhh. Red meat. Iron. <---- probs why I was so tired.
That Saturday was the annual Corporate Challenge 5K. Some of you are familiar with corporate challenges, no? It's a spring/summer event put on by some organization (here one of the county parks & rec departments) and all the businesses compete against each other for team points. I'm still not sure what the winner in each division wins - besides bragging rights - but with my employer, you can get an extra vacation day if you participate enough, so I signed up for 1 event and 2 spirit team events (hold signs and yell loudly) in order to get my free day. My 1 event was the 5K.
Going into Saturday morning, I knew I wasn't in 5K PR shape, but I figured I might as well test my fitness. This course is a monster. It's not rolling hills (my favorite), but rather a quarter mile slight downhill start, followed by a gradual 1.5 mile uphill, which is the worst. The. Worst. Total mind f*ck. Then you get one rolling downhill, followed by the rolling uphill before a mile gradual downhill "coast" to the finish.
I don't know why everyone thinks running downhill for a mile is easy. It's not!
Anyway, I found myself being passed by everyone and their co-worker for most of the race, because the start was a cluster and I just went in where I could. I think I started with the 24-minute 5K'ers. One day I'll be with them ... just not yet.
Splits: 10:06, 10:11, 8:55, total time 31:08
Polly had that I went 3.22 miles, but I basically ran the opposite of the tangents because of the crowd, so that's not surprising. That last mile, though? I am so impressed with myself and simultaneously annoyed that I had that much left in the tank. I basically ran that last mile with a guy with a neon yellow t-shirt - sometimes he would slip ahead of me, sometimes I would slip ahead of him, but it was one of those carrots that you refuse to let get out of your reach. By the end, it was rough, but I think I'm finally learning to embrace the pain of a 5K. Should be an exciting fall if I choose to focus on that distance.
Pulling just ahead of neon t-shirt guy. At the time, I thought maybe I had gotten a PR. No dice.
If any week was going to really get messed up, it was bound to be this last week. I was traveling for work, getting back late Friday night and then heading to my parents' house to surprise my momma for Mother's Day. I was determined to get everything in though - and I did! All I had to do was move my runs up one day and skip my traditional Monday spin session. So Tuesday morning, I got in my 3 miler before I headed to the airport, did core work in my hotel room that night. Wednesday morning, I found a nice 5 mile route already mapped near my hotel ... got lost and ended up with nearly 6 (oops!) and got in another 5K Thursday morning with a colleague, after a quick strength/core session. Then, Friday morning, I found myself with enough time to do a yin yoga session before my flight home. Determined as ever, I got up early Saturday morning and did 10 miles solo.
That 10 miler? Yeah. I HAVE to tell you about it.
It was early. I was still travel-hungover from the night before. But I got up. Got my running clothes on. The threat of sprinkles was a tempting excuse to crawl back into bed and say, "meh". Actually, it wasn't that tempting. I just thought it would add to the drama.
Water. Nuun. Cheerios. Extra long podcast. Visor. Sunscreen.
And everyone thinks running is a "simple" sport. Also, yes, I'm high maintenance when it comes to long runs. At the very least, medium maintenance.
Drive to favorite 4.22 mile loop spot. Check Instagram. Check Twitter. Realize there is no more stalling. Get out of car. Warm up. Fire up my favorite SURVIVOR podcast. Take off trotting. Think about SURVIVOR strategy. Feel a strong desire to watch the original Blood vs. Water season. Remember too late I was trying to figure out where the .8 mark was just in case the watch ran out of juice (which appeared to be dangerously low). Look at watch at 1.08 miles. Oops.
Waking up a little bit now. It's humid. Sweat is dripping everywhere. Feel that gross trickle between my boobs (ladies, you know what I mean). Wipe sweat from my eyebrows. Realize there is a 5k/10K race starting at 9. Thankful I managed to start running around 7:20 - I'll miss nearly all, if not completely all, of the foot traffic.
Finish the first lap. Desperately want to ditch my tank top and join the sports bra club, but don't, for reasons I can't even remember anymore. Drink a bunch of Nuun. I think I ate some Cheerios. <-- Seriously. Great fuel. Press on. Not really paying attention to my splits. Paying probably too much attention to SURVIVOR strategy. The podcast guest proposes a strategy of just winning everything, cuz then you can't get voted out and who can argue with the fact that you actually WON EVERYTHING? Consider this to be my strategy for when CBS inevitably casts me to see me become an emotional mess. Won't they be surprised when they write that million dollar check out to me?
It starts sprinkling around 5.5 miles. It's cool, refreshing and I wish it was just a tiny bit more steady. My wish comes in full force two miles later, when it becomes a full on rain. Whatever. I feel good, I feel faster than when I started, but now my tank is just drenched and clinging to my body. Yuck.
8.4 miles. I stop quickly at the car to ditch the phone and headphones so they don't get too wet. The race has started, but I'm running in the opposite direction of the runners. Get a surprised look from a course monitor when I don't get in my car, but shut the door and keep running.
The rain lets up half a mile later and I'm trying to do runner math to make sure I turn around at the right spot. I'm coming back and I realize I'm on the same path that the runners make, either for the final part of the 5K or to start the second loop of the 10K. A course monitor who is probably in junior high or high school looks worried when she sees me, but I give her a look that says "don't worry, i'm not that fast" and she thinks I'm a wierdo. Desperately want to be done now. Mile 10 beeps and I'm like, thank goodness. Another #psmPR
Hobble to my car, stretch and head to get coffee. It's only then that I look at my cumulative time. 1:57:50. My last 10 mile on record was 2:11:52. My PR is 1:50:57. Had this been a race, who knows what I could have done.
Do you listen to podcasts when you run? What would your SURVIVOR strategy be? Have you ever done a training run while a race was going on?