Running more than 2 days in a row is rare for me. My janky knees would protest if I would attempt to run more than that.
And yet, I’ve run every day since Thanksgiving and feel great! No, this isn’t some sadistic experiment. It’s because I’m participating in Runner’s World 2012 Holiday Running Streak, in which runners pledge to run at least a mile every day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.
I’m doing this for a few reasons. First, I liked the challenge of running more often than I currently do. Also, running more often and on tired legs will hopefully help me prepare for surviving Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge in January. Lastly, I eat like a piggy during the holidays, so I hope these extra miles will help offset that ridiculousness.
Today is Day 8 and so far, so good.
Anyone else doing this holiday run streak? Or are you all badasses who run every day normally? :)
Detroit Free Press Marathon Recap
Another overdue recap, surprise surprise!
I found myself more nervous for marathon #2 than my first one a year ago. I think that was because this time around, I knew what I was in for and that I wouldn’t have that first-timer excitement to help carry me along.
Despite the race-day jitters, I couldn’t help but feel the excitement of being around over 20,000 runners and loads more spectators. The excitement was contagious, and I hopped into my corral and eagerly awaited my wave to cross the start line.
Other than beating last year’s 4:37 finishing time, I had no specific time goals for the race. I started out nice and steady as we made our way to the majestic Ambassador Bridge. If you ever do the Detroit international marathon or half, the sunrise alone is worth the price of the entry (that and the amazing finisher’s medal). It’s an amazing sight to be running across the Detroit River as the sun peeks out and smiles on the morning.
As usual, the Canadian riverfront was rockin’ and full of encouraging spectators. My time along the riverfront flew by, and before I knew it, I was entering the Windsor-Detroit tunnel to re-enter the States. I’m always glad to exit the tunnel since that mile gets quite warm and has little airflow. I have to say, though, doing an international underwater mile is a pretty cool thing to do.
Back in Detroit, around mile 10 I could feel that I felt a little “off.” I had a nagging hip flexor, but that was nothing major at that point. I just felt like I was tiring way, way sooner than I should be. And I was feeling some stomach trouble, a first for me at a race.
I crossed the halfway point at 2:15, so I had some leeway to set a new PR. But by the time I passed the 14 mile mark, I had the overwhelming urge to walk for a minute. I knew that wasn’t a good sign of things to come. I hadn’t gone out too fast, hadn’t over- or under-done the hydration, so I couldn’t figure out why I was already feeling gassed.
I actually considered taking a DNF at that point, but I knew I would regret it. So I pressed on, slower and slower. I’m really not sure how I got through the next 12.2 miles. Indian Village and Belle Isle was a blur. I was just doing everything I could to keep moving.
Finally, finally, finally…I saw the finish line.
I saw the clock and instantly felt disappointed. I crossed at 4:53:41, well behind my 2011 finishing time. After a week of thinking about this race, I’ve found what bothered me most is that I know I underachieved and undertrained. I know I’m capable of far better. I know I could smash my PR if I stayed committed to training harder.
Like any race, this was a learning experience. Every once in a while, you have to bomb a race to appreciate how awesome it is when you’re at your best. I have a renewed fire to turn this around and prove to myself that I can run better.
Marathon PR or bust!!! Look out, Chicago, I’m targeting you for my PR in 2013!
Smiling because I finally reached the finish!
Marathon #2 complete!
I’ll have a more detailed post this week, but my second Detroit Free Press marathon is DONE!
I’m pretty darn bummed and surprised with my time (4:53:41), but I just couldn’t make up feeling like crap from mile 15+. :-/
Oh well, each race is a learning experience…so onto the next one!
It’s marathon week!
Commence freakout! 6 days!
A little bit of everything…
Once again, I find myself behind on updates. Alas, when will I ever learn?
The past couple months have been busy: new job, a little vacation time, and of course, racing. So here we go, with the CliffsNotes version:
Labor Day 30k
My old nemesis. Well, at least from a year ago. This hot and insanely hilly course once again kicked my ass, leaving me cursing my signing up for this event…but I still PR’d it by 7 minutes! I’m a glutton for punishment, so I’ll probably run this again next year.
Mackinac Island 8-Miler
My bestie and decided to run this for funsies. Winning free race entries via Active.com certainly helped with that decision, too. I’d never been to Mackinac (blasphemous for a native Michigander, I know), so this was a great way for me to visit the island.
We laughed, we played, we ran…and we stopped to take high school-esque “Senior pictures.”
Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo
I love all the happy zoo animals, so I signed up not just for the 5k but for the 10k as well. The day before I had aborted my scheduled 19-miler after a crappy 6 miles, which was probably a good thing or else I wouldn’t have had anything left in the tank.
The highlight of the morning was visiting the zoo afterwards and seeing a rare appearance by the adorable red panda!
Lake Tahoe Emerald Bay Half-Marathon
My first ever destination race! Lucky for me and my appetite for racing, I have an awesome friend in the Tahoe area to visit. How convenient that Cara Jo and I scheduled a little vacation around this half-marathon.
Running at altitude was a new experience. It made me feel out of shape, but hey, it’s vacation so I’m gonna run it easy and have a blast doing it. The first part of the course in the mountains was absolutely gorgeous, and my pictures won’t do it justice, but here’s a sneak peek, including another in-race “Senior picture” moment:
Cara Jo had the awesome idea to have THE SIGN shipped to our friend so that she could cheer us on with glittery awesomeness:
Oh yeah, that little Detroit Marathon thing I’ve been training for. :) 13 days!
Summer Race Madness! (Part Deux)
Once again I find myself playing catch-up with my blog. Forgive me, loyal readers. It’s not you, it’s me…but I resolve to be more consistent at this bloggery!
Here’s a look into what’s been going on the past few weeks:
The Color Run
About a month ago, I participated in the joyous Color Run. It really is the happiest 5k on the planet, as advertised! I mean, how often do you get the opportunity to run through massive clouds of powdered color to the point that it looks like Rainbow Brite took a dump on you?! Not often enough, I say.
My running buds Cara and Kristy joined me for such ridiculousness. We got all decked out in silly sunglasses and feather boas (white, of course, to better absorb more color). At each 1k mark, we had delightful colored powder slung at us so that we were a fun blend of yellow, pink, blue, and green when finished.
Cleanup was fairly easy, but the pink seemed to stay in my scalp for a week, making it look all angry and inflamed. Despite that, if you have the opportunity to do a Color Run, it’s worth it!
Color Run shenanigans
Holly Recreation Triathlon
I’ve wanted to do a tri for a long time. So about a week before the Holly Recreation Triathlon earlier this month, I decided to register. Never mind that I hadn’t trained specific to a Sprint Tri or that I hadn’t practiced swimming since about 1892. I wanted to do this just for the hell of it and do it sooner rather than “one day.”
I knew the swim leg would be challenging, for the aforementioned reasons. But I slogged my way through the half-mile swim in 24 minutes…and I wasn’t even close to being the last one out of the water, yay!
I lost 3 minutes in the transition area from swimming to biking, so there’s definite room for improvement there too. Holy hills the bike course was tough. So many people even opted to WALK their bikes uphill because the inclines were quite fierce. Based on my biking experience, I had planned on about 45 minutes for this leg of the race, but due to the freakish hills (and non-brick training, ha) it took me 51 minutes.
The next transition was smoother, even if the legs did feel a bit like Jell-O. I knew I would be fine for the run, given the 8 billion runs I do each year. I felt great on the 5k and crossed the finish line at 1:51:08. For my first tri, I’ll take it!
I’m officially hooked on triathlons. I look forward to doing some more Sprint Tris and working my way up to Olympic distances. And maybe, maaaaaaaybe, there will be a half-Ironman in my future!
I kinda look like I know what I’m doing…right?
This was my second year doing the Crim Festival of Races 10-miler, and I still can’t say enough good things about it.
This event is worth the drive just because of the incredible community support. People line the streets of Flint to support all of the runners. Not only do they cheer you enthusiastically, but they’ll kindly spray you with water to cool off from the hot August sun. Oh, and they’ll also offer you beer, fresh coffee, Krispy Kreme donuts, hot pizza, Hello Kitty french toast, and other assorted goodies. It’s a very impressive spread, and I wish I were actually hungry enough while running to partake in such awesomeness!
I remembered from last year that there were some intense hills (the legendary Bradley Hills) near the midway point of the course, so this time I was ready for them. I chugged up and over them and was feeling pretty darn good.
My goal was to beat my time from last year, and I did it! I knocked 6 minutes off my time, coming in at 1:36:45. I was pretty stoked about that, and now the bar is set for next year!
I plan to avenge my time from last year’s Labor Day 30k! Fingers crossed.
Summer Race Madness!
Since the Dexter-Ann Arbor half-marathon on June 3, I’ve completed a 5k, 10k, 10-mile, and half-marathon. And this fun summer race-a-thon has no plans for stopping. Next up: The Color Run! I can’t wait to be covered in a ridiculous amount of color and look like the Crayola factory vomited on me!
The four recent races have been a mix of highs and lows (and world records!) so here’s my rundown…
Canton Liberty Run
First up was the inaugural Canton Liberty Run, put on by Running Fit stores. The goal for this event: a Guinness World Record for the largest group ever assembled dressed as the Statue of Liberty. How cool (and random) is that?! When you registered, you received a Statue of Liberty costume and your choice of inflatable torch or sexy festive sunglasses (I opted for the torch).
Race day was a hot, hot day, so we nearly sweated our gowns off in that heat! But this day was a ton o’ fun, and you can see that on our giddy faces below:
All the Lady Liberties!
The next week, I did the Solstice Run 10-miler in Northville. I had run this event last year, so I knew to expect a whole lotta hills! I felt pretty darn good on this run, despite the hot temperatures, and my splits were incredibly even throughout. I finished in 1:38:45, a couple minutes slower than last year, but I was still happy with the result. I love the feeling of conquering a hilly course without feeling completely wrecked afterwards.
Heart of Detroit
I don’t normally do back-to-back races, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to do the Heart of Detroit 10k. I love this city, and it was my friend Kristy’s first 10k, so I wanted to be there to run it with her. Oh, and did I mention that the finish line was at home plate inside Comerica Park? Yeah, that last reason was pretty much the selling point for me.
My legs felt fatigued, so I tried to keep the pace really slow so that I wouldn’t have a crazy heart rate. Well, that plan kinda went out the window, because Kristy was pushing the pace and I wanted to keep up with her! Entering the stadium was such a fun experience, and Cara Jo was there with the famous “PR That Shit!” sign to cheer us on!
We even got hugs from the Detroit Tigers’ mascot, Paws!
Hungry Duck Run
I saved the worst for last!
Cara Jo said she felt like doing something epic for the 4th of July holiday, and I agreed, so we signed up for the Hungry Duck Run half-marathon in Brighton. We hadn’t done this race before, so I asked a friend who had done it about the course. He described a lot of rolling hills, but he said they were nothing like the Solstice Run we had just completed. So despite the oppressive heat and humidity on race morning (95 degrees, eek!), I felt confident that if I listened to my body and paced myself accordingly, I’d get through it.
Holy shit. I mean HO-LY SHIT! This was by far one of the toughest, most hilliest courses I’ve ever run. “Rolling hills,” my ass! These mountains kept coming and coming, and of course the hotter-than-hell temps didn’t help. I blew up around mile 5 and ended up run/walking the rest since I felt so gassed no matter what I did to compensate.
I had nightmarish flashbacks to last year’s Labor Day 30k, which had a similar course profile and similarly hot weather. But in that race, I blew up with about 4 miles to go, not 8! It was the longest 8 miles of my life (and my slowest half to date), so I was incredibly relieved to see the finish line. I love the cute ducky medal we got, too:
The sadistic thing is…I’m not ruling out a return to this event next year. We’ll see… ;)
Happy summer racing, all! Keep cool out there.