Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fairfield 1/2 Marathon

This post has gone back and forth a few times. This race...well it sucked. No way around that.

I was going to skip talking about Fairfield all together. Then I was going to give every dirty detail. Then I was back to skipping over it all. In the end I realized the fact that I sucked on race day (and HATED the course) doesn't take away from Stratton Faxon doing a great job putting on a race. They deserve credit for that, so here it goes.

Originally, I wasn't doing Fairfield at all. Paul was doing it and I was happy to sit it out. I have no good reason why I joined in with under a month to go, but it happened and I signed up. I had heard good things about the race in general but got a little nervous when I read bloggers past posts about the hills. I heard good race, tough hills.

There is nothing else to be said about that really. I hate them with a passion. Nothing is fun about them, going uphill is painful, going downhill is also painful if not done correctly (I don't do most things correctly fyi). I added in hills to my training plan, but didn't really follow through with that part. I also heard there was an adjustment to the course so I thought maybe not so many hills (oh spoiler, I was wrong).

Paul and I drove to Fairfield and got our packets on race morning. The race started right along the beach, which I LOVE! The pick up was quick and easy. I give tons of credit to the race directors for taking care of everyone picking up their packet before the race in a quick fashion.

The race started at 8:30am, which for end of June means it was incredibly warm. The start was also a separate mens and women's start which was strange, but fine. The first mile was ok but my legs were heavy and tired. There had been no hills at this point and I knew it was going to be a tough race for me. Had it not been a race day, this would of been a run that I said screw it, I'll try again later because running now will do more harm than good. But it was a race day, and there was nothing I could do but go the next 12.1 miles.

Towards the end of the second mile the first hill came. At this point I didn't know how many hills there were, I just new this one was going to suck. I made it through and thought "maybe I'll negative split for the next mile at least". Of course I was wrong. The hills did not stop. They just came one after another after another. It seemed like the end of each mile looked something like this...

Ok maybe I'm being a tiny bit dramatic, but by the fourth one, it seemed like I was running straight up something like this. I don't have all the details of how I did each mile. Each mile hurt more than the first. It was a mixture of a bad run day for me, a really tough course that I wasn't prepared for, and 85 degrees without shade. In the end I got through all 13.1 miles, and surprise no PR for me. After mile 1 I could of cared less about a PR, I just wanted it done.

There were lots of good things about this race that absolutely need to be mentioned. The organization of this race was great. Every mile was marked perfectly and there were plenty of water stations along the way. Along the course both the residents of Fairfield and the Fairfield fire department had out hoses to hose you down, which was amazing in the heat.

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The fans along the course and the volunteers were great and you couldn't ask for more from them. I have to say the best part about this race though, the lululemon crew!

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I would guess that there were about 7-10 people there from lululemon and they were awesome. Any race I have been at that lululemon has been cheering at has been fun, but this group was hands down the best I've seen yet! Great job guys! 

So there it is. The Fairfield half is finally done. I loved so much about this race, but can't get over how much I hated the course and the heat. Would I do it again? I have no idea. Maybe I'll come back for redemption one day, but for now I'm just looking to the next one

Happy Thursday everyone! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It takes one run

So I could apologize for not posting, but in reality, nobody would of wanted to read what I had to say about my running lately. It also apparently took too much effort for me to post "I suck at running right now, please come back later". Every single time I went out for a run it was bad. There was not one positive thing I could take away from the runs, and at some point the "well at least you went out to run" theory was becoming an everyday saying. That sucks a lot when you have a race coming up.

I had been trying out some new shoes as well which I think was the problem. I had old Kswiss shoes that I got rid of after the Providence 1/2 marathon, and got a new set of Brooks. I didn't love or hate my kswiss shoes, I just felt like a change. I tried out the Brooks ones and my first run was ok. It went downhill after that. Every run that I had trouble with also included intense calf pain. This happened for short runs as well as my long 6 mile, 8 mile, and 10 mile runs. It was the absolute worst. Finally I decided this wasn't me just having a tough time or not running enough, the shoes were not working. I put on a different pair of kswiss shoes that I had worn once or twice and went out for all my runs in those. I had no issues. None at all.

Last weekend was my last "long run" before the race. I went out for a 5 mile run and it was amazing. We will ignore the fact that I tripped during mile 2 and almost completely face planted on the sidewalk in front of 1000 (or 7, you choose) people. By the time I was done running, I was smiling and jumping up and down. I think I scared Paul who had been dealing with my angry face after all my runs lately. I was running faster than I had been lately and at the end of the run felt like I could of kept going. It had been WEEKS since I felt that way. This run was just what I needed before my Fairfield 1/2. It just took one run to get my mind set back in it.

Then there was this little bundle of amazingness!

 Benjamin Daniel! 

My best friend Carolyn had a baby last week! Nothing seems bad with a new baby in the world. I was able to drive back to Boston for not even 24 hours to see this cutey and loved every minute of it! 

 I'm obsessed, but it's cool

I swear he smiled at one point, it wasn't all sad faces 

Between my awesome run, baby Ben, and good news at work (will share later when I can!) my mindset about things is turning around completely. I'm back in it and ready to go for race day Sunday! 

Goal post to come asap along with more pictures of baby Ben! He's one week as of yesterday! 

Happy Wednesday everyone! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Good News/Bad News & 2 years!

My blogging has been slow lately mostly because my running has been slow. I've been having a rough time getting up early in the mornings to do the runs, so instead I do them after work. I'm happy with myself for doing the runs in general each day, but disappointed with my pace lately. We'll get back to that though.

I had two days off which gave me plenty of time to catch up on errands and beach time! That was the good news.

The bad news was that I neglected to put on as much sunscreen as I should of and got BURNT. It was pretty bad. Considering I was also only there for about 3 hours as well. I saved you all and forgot to take a picture of the nasty burn, so you're welcome for not having to see just how bad it was. I ran after the beach, but the sunburn hadn't set in yet, so I had no problems with it. Friday was my day off from running thankfully because I was in pain! I was really nervous about the long run on Saturday with my burn. Friday night I also received my anniversary present! Paul bought me a new Garmin Forerunner, probably 1/2 because I complained and 1/2 because he was tired of sharing his.

I had it all ready to go for my run on Saturday morning. Before I went out, we headed over to pick up Paul's race packet for one of his next triathlons. I ended up not getting out to run until around 11:30. Not the best plan since there was not a single cloud in the sky, and it was already about 85 degrees. I know, great planning on my part. I had Paul spray me down from head to toe in sunscreen so that I wouldn't burn anymore and was on my way. There was more good news/bad news with the garmin.The 100% upside is that I've needed and wanted the watch for a while now. I'm tired of guessing if my mileage is exact to what I need it to be, or having to bring my phone with me to track my mileage that way. The bad news is, I (as well as all of you) now get to know exactly how slow I am. Having that in my face the entire run is tough for me. It proved to be incredibly tough for me on Saturday. 

I was set to do 8 miles and was determined to get through all 8. I found a different route, thanks to the garmin, which was amazing. My run started and I felt good, and continued to feel good as it went on. I ran the first two miles without a problem. I can't tell you the last time that happened. I honestly don't even remember. Two miles straight, not one second of walking. Some of you may think I'm either insane for finding this exciting, or suck majorly at running that this was my excitement. It has been a while that I had any interest in pushing myself to just keep running, and I was so happy I was able to start and push myself. It may not have been my best time to try this out however since I had 6 more miles to go. 

Those next 6 were tough for me mentally. I was getting through them with very little walking and was so happy about that, but I was so disappointed with my time. What was the point of running it all if I was going to run as slow as possible. I got it all done and was thrilled when it was over. I had gone into the run focusing on walking very little, and doing mostly running. I did this. I should of been happy that I completed the goal for the run, but it was a major disappointment. 

I know continuing to push myself to run further and further without walking will be better for me in the end. After that I can work on speed more. I have a tough time of being patient with my running, by that I mean I'm not all. I want to run more and faster, and I want that now. Sadly it takes lots of time and effort, that in the past I wasn't willing to put into my training. Now that I am willing to, I need to give it time. I'm not going to suddenly run 20 miles, at a 8:30 pace. Lots of time and lots of effort.

I'm ready to get back out today for a short run and keep on track with my plan. Lucky for me, I have a boyfriend who is very understanding and even though it is our two year anniversary and I already have to work late, he's ok with pushing back dinner for me to run after work.

Happy Monday everyone!