Friday, August 18, 2017

Blue Moon 10k

Going into our last of 3 races in the summer running series we do, I was really excited. I ran a 7 mile tempo in 7:17 pace pretty easily, starting off at 7:30 pace to be conservative since my previous tempo run hadn't gone very well. I felt strong and felt as though I could have maintained 7:15 pace had I started there and possibly sped up a bit at the end. My race at the Starry Night 10k in June went really well. I started off conservatively and felt really strong as I sped up in the second half. I definitely wanted to take that same approach this time around. My goal was to go out around 7:15-7:20 pace for the first half of the race and then see how much I could speed up on the way back. Since I'd ran a time in June equivalent to what I ran at this race last August I felt confident I could run much faster this time around. I averaged 7:16 pace in June so I figured I could be under that this time for sure. The first mile goes out fast since there's a long, although slight, incline for pretty much the first half mile of the race. I planned to run the first mile in 7:15 and then go from there.
We took off at the start and I felt strong. I felt like I was right where I needed to be pace wise and I moved into first female within the first quarter mile. Then I looked down at my Garmin and it showed I was running 7:40 pace. I immediately panicked and sped up. I told myself that's why I felt to strong and comfortable, I was running way too slow. I continued to pick up the pace in an attempt to get down to the 7:15-7:20 range I'd been hoping for. Each time I looked at my watch it was showing somewhere in the 7:35-7:40 range. I started to really panic thinking something was wrong with me that this pace felt so fast. It was beginning to feel like a pace I wouldn't be able to maintain for the entire 6.2 miles of the race. For whatever reason I never listened to my body and how fast it felt. I continued to believe my Garmin. I passed Jeremy and he yelled out that we were running low 6:00 pace. I looked at my Garmin which had finally dropped down to 7:30 pace and threw my arms up in frustration. I didn't realize that Jeremy has his Garmin set to show time and distance rather than pace so he was calculating our pace based off our time and how far we'd run. I didn't realize that until after the race. When my watch beeped for my first mile split of 6:55, I tried to talk myself into that being okay. I told myself sure it was 20-25 seconds faster than I'd hoped but was sub-7 minute pace really out of the question?

Instead of at that point figuring my Garmin was worthless at determining pace for me during this run, I continued to use it. I figured it just took it a while to catch up with me and would be correct during the second mile. After such a fast first mile my legs were feeling a little trashed and I was having a hard time determining what felt right so I focused on the pace showing on my Garmin during the 2nd mile even more than the first. Each time I looked at it I was reassured I was in a perfect place for me, sitting right at 7:15 pace. When my watch showed my 2nd mile was 7:29 I was so discouraged. I knew there was no use even looking at my pace on my Garmin anymore so I didn't. I tried to run based on feel and attempted not to look at my watch. It was hard though since I had been running completely alone since 1.5 miles into the race. I could barely even see the person in front of me. Mile 3 was fairly steady but still over pace with a 7:25 third mile. I could tell it was going to be difficult to salvage a decent race out of the situation as my legs were already feeling dead. I was just trying to hold it together as best I could. When I did sneak a look at my Garmin a few times, it showed I was running 8 minute pace and I almost cried. This was turning into one of the most frustrating races I've had in a long time. My legs were dead, my Garmin was worthless, and I was alone in almost complete darkness. I couldn't run based on feel because my legs were dead so the pace felt much faster than it actually was. Mile 4 was 7:37. At that point I thought about giving in. At the turn around point I saw how far the 2nd place female was behind me and I knew I had a huge lead. But the fighter in my kept going. I told myself if I really pushed the last 2 miles there was a chance I could still run close to my time from June. And even if I didn't, why waste a tempo effort by slogging in the last 2 miles. My legs were dead, but I was still somewhat mentally tough and really the only silver lining of this race was that I didn't give in.

A little bit before the 4.5 mile mark I crossed a road and I could see a shadow bobbing along behind me in the light of the police car's headlights. I kept thinking, please let it be Jeremy, please let it be Jeremy. As Jeremy pulled beside me to pass me I told myself, here he is. This is what you need. Let Jeremy carry you to the finish line. I told myself I needed to stay where I could see him. I needed to try to go with him as much as I could. That helped me pull my time down for my 5th mile which I ran in 7:19. I passed mom finishing the 5k and she cheered for me which I enjoyed. With about 3/4 of a mile to go we hit the bridge we cross and it started getting really dark. It was dark enough I couldn't see Jeremy anymore. Once I lost sight of him it was harder not to fade, especially because I had hit the slow incline to the finish. At that point my legs were burning and I told myself it didn't matter what I ran this portion of the race in as long as I gave it my all. I was passing a lot of 5k runners and felt like they were impeding me more than what I experienced in June. One lady went out to pass someone and slammed right into me. With my dead, rubbery feeling legs I swayed and almost went down. I just kept pushing on, one foot in front of the other. As I neared the finish line and attempted to kick it in I felt like I was barely passing the 5k runners rather than blowing by them like I should have been. It wasn't until I neared the pavement for the finishing kick that it dawned on me I may not even break 46 minutes. As the clock came into view I saw that I most definitely wouldn't. As I crossed the finish line I was so exhausted, so spent, so emotionally drained, I just wanted to cry. It was that terrible feeling of putting my all into a race, giving it everything I had, but having a spectacularly bad race. There's nothing like fighting through lactic acid and fatigue only to run almost a minute slower than planned. It's a big bummer! I was able to pull out 6:58 pace for the last 0.2 of the race so I was proud of doing that on dead legs!
I watched mom finish and then headed out for my cool down. My legs were so tired I actually had to walk for a while because I physically couldn't run. When I finally did start running it took me 12 minutes and 21 seconds to run my mile cool down! It was insane. Almost the entire mile of my cool down I wanted to cry. I just couldn't get over how badly I had crashed and burned. It's not often that my wheels fall off in a race but in this one they fell completely off. I tried to focus on the fact that I was able to hold it together enough to finish at 7:24 pace but I couldn't stop thinking about how my time of 46:05 was over 40 seconds slower than what I'd run in June! It was a huge bummer and I couldn't help it. I lamented my terrible race so much on the drive home that Carter finally told me, "Mommy, we shouldn't have let you run tonight." When he said that I realized I needed to tone it down and work through my feelings. If I was going to have a bad race this was the time to have it. I haven't started the bulk of my training and I'm not into my goal season. I wasn't going for a PR or a certain time, just hoped to run a faster time than June and get in a solid tempo performance. My dad told me it was impressive I could hold it together when my legs were so full of lactic acid and he made me feel better. I thought of it as running a 5 mile tempo after doing a mile of speed work. Who would ever do that!? I thought back to when my coach asked me to do a mile time trial and then 4x800 repeats afterward. My legs were dead during the 800 repeats and I had a hard time finishing them. This was somewhat similar. Although my body failed me, my mind didn't. For as much as my legs wanted to give in, my mind wouldn't let it happen. It's good to know I have that toughness and determination still, even after the spring season I had. I still have that fighter spirit.

Although the kids and I didn't have good races, everyone else did. I find it kind of ironic that I told Carter his race didn't go well because he went out too fast and then I went out too fast (although inadvertently) and died during my race! Jeremy killed the 10k running over a minute faster than last month, finishing in 45:12 which put him 4th out of 77 overall and 2nd in his age group. My disappointing 46:05 still put me 5th overall and 1st female. In the 5k Thomas finished in 22:13, winning his age group and finishing 28th out of 308 total finishers. Dad finished in 23:51 to finish 1st in his age group and 43rd overall. Ty ran an awesome time pushing the double stroller, finishing in 26:05 for 71st overall and 8th in his age group. I'm excited to see what he can run in a race without the stroller! Mom finished in 34:43, good for 3rd in her age group and 186th overall. My lesson from this race was to not rely on my Garmin so much and on this course to set it to show distance and overall time instead of pace. I guess all the tree coverage on the trail keeps my Garmin from getting a good reading. I've always had trouble at this race but never this badly!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blue Moon Fun Run

Saturday was the last race in the summer race series we enjoy doing each year. Carter ran the fun run at the first two races and had a blast, running an 11:12 and a 10:58. Elise somewhat ran at both of the other races as well. The first one she ran until she saw me and Carter headed back after the turn around and wanted to turn around then too. At the second one after she saw us she wanted to be carried. Mom and I had it planned out that I wouldn't cheer for Elise when Carter and I went by this time and hoped that would keep her from getting distracted by us so she'd make it to the turn around. We went out for a late lunch at Jimmy's Egg and filled up in hopes that no one would get hungry before the race. I usually feed the kids dinner before we leave but neither of them wanted anything.

The announcer at the start makes a big deal talking about who is going to win and then tells the kids to run as fast as they can from the start which always gets Carter off the start too quickly. He was again determined not to run with me. He wanted me there but way behind him. His exact words were, "I want you to run behind me. I want you way behind me." Okay, then. Carter took off super fast and was way ahead of me. I looked down and saw I was running 8:55 pace and I could barely see him. About 200 meters or so into the race he looked back and saw me and then started walking. I caught up to him and he told me his heart was hurting. I asked him to show me. He put his hand more toward where you would get a side stitch. I told him to just keep walking for a while to catch his breath, he probably just went out to fast and was having a hard time breathing. He tried running again multiple times and said it was still hurting. He said, "I'm definitely not going to win now." Thanks silly announcer for making such a big deal out of that, he'd never cared before! Then he looked back and saw Elise behind us so he turned around and ran to her so he could run with her. She loved it and chased after him for a long time even after he got quite a ways ahead of her.
Carter getting off the start way too fast!
Off to a super fast start!
Elise wanted to be carried for the start.
It was a rough race for Carter. Once his side stitch went away he was able to run the rest of the way and didn't seem to have anymore pain but then with less than a quarter of a mile to go he told me he needed to poop. He picked up the pace and ran as fast as he could to the finish. Once we crossed the line we immediately headed for the porta potties. Just like the past 2 races we ran out to Elise to finish with her. Mom was carrying her and said Elise told her she couldn't run because her belly was too full. I ended up taking her and running her in to the finish with mom and Carter. I'd say the heavy lunch made the race rougher for the kids and going out too fast really hurt Carter. He finished in 12:47. It was over a mile with him running back to Elise to run with her but even considering that it was significantly slower than both of his previous races. It just goes to show how bad it is to go out too fast in a race no matter what the distance!


Even though both kids didn't enjoy the mile as much as they had the past two times, they still loved the ice cream. I safety pinned the waistband of my extra light up tutu for Elise so she could wear it and she absolutely loved that! I was worried Carter would be super disappointed this was the last race of the series because he enjoyed them so much and would ask when our next race was in between races. But the side stitch definitely kept him from being disappointed. The only thing he's said since the race is that he doesn't ever want to run that fast again (meaning at the start of the race) because it made his heart hurt.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Carter enjoying his under the table hammock.
I told Carter we could roast marshmallows over the stove for s'mores and then later found out it was National S'more Day!
Elise putting honey and jam on her breakfast bee-doh.
Elise's cheese face looks more like a grimace. I was dying laughing when I looked at this picture!
We were watching baby Enloe get water in his mouth and then spit it on his mom. I could totally relate!
Elise loved watching the elephant get a bath!
The tiger was roaring and Elise would meow at it in response.
Watching a different tiger laying in the water.
I love that they snuggle up on the couch to watch tv together.
Painting rocks to hide.
Playing with peanut butter play dough leftover from Oma and Opa's house.
Carter had a $10 gift card to a cookie place and was sweet enough to share it with his sister.
He picked mango gelato.
Elise caught me taking a picture while Carter was reading to her and cheesed for me.
Finally got new batteries in Carter's toy tablet and he was so excited to show it to Elise.
Racing Lego cars at the Children's Museum.