Monday, August 19, 2013

A Race Recap & Training Update

On Saturday, I ran the Milwaukee Irish Fest 5K with some of my Olallie friends! We ran as a team. Going into the race, I wasn't sure how to approach it. As I mentioned in my last post, I've been having some issues with my knee and my right foot. Part of me wanted to take it easy and just enjoy the event with friends while also giving my body a break. The other part of me knows that I am too competitive to let that happen.

Fast Olallie and Oiselle girls before the race.
I lined up near the front - but I left plenty of room to keep an eye on the girls that lined up closer to the start. I assumed they'd be my competition. Whenever I run a race, I use this strategy - line up slightly behind my anticipated pace and scope out the competition - basing my opinions entirely on physique, gear and pre-race demeanor. (SCIENCE!) There were only a couple girls in front of me to check out anyway. 

The start of this race was - umm - really weird, because some random lady in the crowd started shouting the start sequence. Literally "ON YOUR MARK. GET SET. GO!" Everyone was confused. I thought it was a joke until the crowd started moving. 

Let me stop for a moment here to say I generally don't enjoy 5Ks. I would rather run a marathon any day over a 5K. I can't even really say what I dislike about them, but it probably has a lot to do with guaranteed pain for 3.1 miles worth of time. I give people a lot of credit when they run 5Ks as their preferred race distance, because a 5K is no joke if you actually race it. All of these might actually happen during a raced 5K:

My race wasn't puke or faint worthy (or death - sheesh.) The fact that I didn't really feel like puking or fainting tells me that I probably could've pushed it a little bit more - but remember - bum foot and knee demand restraint. I do a "smile test" during races of all distances, if I can still smile I am not suffering (which is good in a marathon) but I should also consider going faster. So - I did the smile test and settled in around 6:22 min/mile pace. 

I passed the girls that were in front of me - and no girls found their way back to the front of the pack. I am always expecting some girl to take it really easy and save a sizable energy reserve for a killer finish - she typically comes blazing past me in the last half mile when I am ready to trip on an imaginary crack and call it a day. This happens in every race - without fail - until Saturday. My finishing time was 19:44 - good for a *1st Place Female Overall finish. Olallie girls, you understand the asterisk.

Olallie girls collapse after a fast and hot race.
We all ended up doing pretty well - and most importantly - we had fun! If you want to see a really flattering picture of me running this race, click here. In that exact moment, I spotted the photographer and thought "Oh crap. He caught me making a face. Not a pretty face. Damn it!" All that intensity in my face is going to leave a mark and a trail of ugly race photos on the internet. 

So - that brings me to the rest of my marathon training. I have to be honest. This last week sucked for training. I took off four days entirely and the running I did get in was not great. But - I have to keep reminding myself that is all in an effort to give my knee and foot a break. The 5K did nothing for my ankle and heel; I woke up on Sunday with a swollen ankle and a nasty limp. It was so bad that I opted out of doing the Dirty Girl 5K, because obstacles with a swollen ankle sounds like a terrible idea. I was bummed.

I also missed the 20 miler that my schedule called for this past weekend. I am willing to make a lot of sacrifices, but long runs and speed work cannot be skipped during marathon training - not when there are goals on the line anyway. I ran my 20 miler today instead. It really wasn't that bad - definitely a little sore once I got home, but the run itself was fine. I ran 7:30 to 8:00 pace the whole time - averaging 7:48. I did give myself three 3 minute water/fuel stops - because I was not interested in pushing my luck today. The worst thing about the whole run: a blister from new shoes and some chafing from thighs that won't cut me a break. Such is life. All that matters is that those miles are in the books!!

How is your fall race training going??


  1. Congrats on taking the W! Sounds like a good race and that when the foot and knee are ready to roll you will kill it again. I am sooo with you, 5K's are freaking hard and they make me more nervous than marathons in so many ways. You never hurt that way in a marathon, totally different kind of hurt! Nice work on getting the 20 in too, nice pace! :)

    1. Well, I wasn't pulling in the low 7s like you were but thanks! I've never dealt with an injury during training before and god is it annoying. :)

  2. *Congrats again on the win! :)
    Photographer be damned... when I saw you on the course, you had a big smile and looked awesome! He should have photographed that moment, lol.
    I hear you on the 5ks being painful... I just generally don't like sprinting, thus I dislike short distance races. Give me a 10k or greater any day!

    1. Thanks - I'm really not photogenic during races at all. I can feel myself making ugly faces, but I think I can't go fast without them! ha. Whatevs - who said running is about being pretty?!
      You're brave for liking 10Ks. I think that's one of the hardest distances, because its still so fast but also long. I'm getting worked up thinking about it.

  3. Nice job on Saturday! I'm like you and like to line up further back than I probably should. It's always a mental boost to do the passing rather than getting passed :)

  4. GREAT JOB AT THE 5k! I hate them. My PR is SO 3-4 years old...because I never run 5ks! I hate paying $30+ for a 3.1 run that I could do on my own. Way to run it out at 3/4 of my regular pace ;-) you rock