FroYo 10k Recap (PR!!)

Whew! What a week last week. Before I get to my recap of my first race post injury, I’ll quickly give you the run down of last week and a surprise!

Monday: 30 minutes on the bike and the usual planks and bridges
Tuesday: Got in some good miles–5 at 8:30/mile. Felt good the entire way and was continuing to be surprised at how good being in the 8s felt. I was working, but not pushing too hard. Planks later.
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: 5 easy miles at 9:50/mile as I knew I had a race on Saturday. Planks later.
Friday: I was planning on doing a little shakeout run anyway but then it for sure happened so that I could test out THIS!!!

Squeeee!!!

Garmin Fenix 3–Squeeee!!!

It’s so beautiful and I’ll talk more about it later 🙂

Saturday: Race Day!
Sunday: Rest day

FroYo 10k Recap

My game plan for the race was to try and maintain 8:30 miles for the first 3 and then progressively speed up for the last 3. And then gun it for the last .2.

But this is how it went.

The race was in Tempe Town Lake, a pretty area that I was familiar with. I arrived early to pick up my bib and meet up with some friends and we talked about how cold it was (for Arizona) but we knew it would quickly warm up (which it did, to like 80). I also planned on taking a pre-race pick with my Moms Run This Town group ❤

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The 10k would start first at 7:45. There were no corrals but volunteers holding pace signs. I went to the front where the 8:00-9 sign was and adjusted my ear phones. Yes, I actually ran with music! Well, kinda. More on this later.

Soon enough, it was go time.

I started running and just ran. I always try to only look at my watch when the mile beeps and adjust accordingly so when the first mile beeped and I saw 8:08 I panicked a little. Too fast and not what I planned. I kept going and that’s when my earphones began to fall out. Plus, I had the I-pod in a pocket on the back of my shorts and when I ran, the volume would decrease and increase. I was reminded why I don’t like running with music. Too many unimportant/unnecessary things to worry about. I ran with one ear phone in and left the I-pod alone as I didn’t want to be struggling with trying to fix it. Some parts of the race I had music, most of it I didn’t, lol!! Mile 2, 8:12 and I felt a little better as that wasn’t as fast as the first mile had been and closer to what I had planned.

Mile 3 was the last of the loop (we’d do it again for the 10k) and it was a tough mile because there were little climbs throughout, tight turns, and changes of terrain–concrete, asphalt, and dirt. But I kept pushing through.

a fellow MRTT friend snagged this race pic -- having fun doing what I love :)

a fellow MRTT friend snagged this race pic — having fun doing what I love 🙂

There was a girl in front of me who looked really strong. I kept admiring her calves and her arm muscles and for a while, I was distracted. Do you do that sometimes? Stare at runners while you’re running? After a while, I was pretty close to her and I wondered if she was slowing down. I began to pass her and then wondered if I was going too fast. Isn’t it funny how we do that? Doubt ourselves and let ourselves be intimidated by runners we feel ‘look’ faster than us?

Not too long after, mile 3 chimed in at 8:04. Panic set in again as I began to feel like maybe I wasn’t focusing on my pacing. I worried about getting tired and not being able to finish strong.

But then I remembered I had done 4 miles at an 8 minute pace not too long ago and told myself, heck, I could do it if I concentrated and pushed myself. I’d already blown my plan of doing the first 3 at 8:30 so new plan it is!

Mile 4, 8:06
Mile 5, 8:04
Mile 6, 7:54

I freakin’ did it!!! And you know how I said I wanted to “gun it” the last .2?? I freakin’ did that too!!!

6 minute pace for one minute!!!

6 minute pace for one minute!!!

I ran through the finish line fists in the air and with a huge smile. An over 3 minute PR at 49:29!! NEVER did I think I would get a sub 50 time.

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I met up with some other friends and we quickly got in line to get our celebratory yogurt.

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I was on cloud nine on my drive home and was so excited to see my husband. I had texted him my race results and I knew he would be as thrilled about it as me. He was ❤

On Facebook a while later, a friend posted her official time which prompted me to check out mine. Except I couldn’t find it!! I looked and looked and rechecked my bib number but I was nowhere to be found. When I compared my time to the overall, gender, and age group I saw that I had finished 20/361, 7th female, and 3rd in my age group! I had placed!

Except it wasn’t official 😦

I immediately e-mailed the race people, and Facebooked them for good measure, but have yet to hear back. The age group placement doesn’t concern me; I’m glad I placed and all, but I just really want my time to be listed and official official, you know? I mean, it’s gotta be on my Athlinks! LOL

Overall, I just can’t believe how well I ran. That I maintained a sub 8:15 pace for 6.2 miles is just dumbfounding. It’s a huge confidence booster going into the 1/2 marathon I’m running in two weeks. I hope to PR there (sub 1:55) but really, I’m just so so glad to be running again ❤

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–Do you get intimidated by the way other runners look?

–When is the last time you surprised yourself at a race??

A Rock and Roll Weekend (RnR AZ Recap)

I didn’t run RnR Arizona as most of you know, but my husband did and I was still very excited about this race because of that reason and several others.

I’ve been very lucky to have met several blogger buddies and this past weekend I was able to scratch two more off my long list!

I found Suzy last year and it was love at first read. She swears a lot (which I do in real life–right, Scott?) and often when I read her blog, I’m just nodding at how much I relate to what she’s saying. If only I was as fast as her….oh wells! 😀

Anyway, we Facebooked messaged leading up to the race to figure out how we could meet up. She’s from Canada so we couldn’t text so thank goodness for technology. I managed to sneak away to the expo Friday so I could catch her–my husband wouldn’t be going til the next day.

And as I was walking in, she was walking out–as soon as our eyes met, we squealed!

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Suzy and me

She’s so pretty. She’s beautiful in her writing, but in person… ❤

The next day, Saturday, I went back to the expo this time with my husband. I was texting with Mar all morning to make sure we met up and as I looked up mid-text, there she was! Oh man, had I been waiting for this day! I somehow missed Mar when I was in her hood for Marine Corps Marathon and we vowed to not let the chance escape us this time. We seriously chatted for almost an hour there at the expo like we’d known each other forever–which 2 years in the blog world kinda is, lol!

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Me and Mar

At the expo, they had a special for next year’s race and since this is a race we always do (it was both of our first half marathon) we signed up!

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First race of 2017! (wow, lol!)

I hit the Lululemon booth and snagged these really cute shorts

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and used a coupon they gave to buy some pants 🙂

The ProCompression booth was nearby so I was able to visit my Instagram buddy Shane. He is super sweet!

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Race day was the next day and my husband and I ventured out early in the morning. We’re pros at this race as it’s become a yearly thing for us. I wanted to get there a little earlier than usual though, because I was hosting a meet up spot for the Arizona Moms Run This Town chapters. We had a good group turn out for the pre-race photo and it was so much fun meeting women from different chapters around Phoenix.

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Arizona Moms Run This Town

 

After, I walked my husband to his corral, corral 2, and he was off! I waited along the corral fences holding my sign and cheered the runners as they started. I even got to see Mar again! I waited til the very last corral, corral 19, and had an absolute blast. Some people recognized the MRTT name and posed with my sign as they waited for their start. It was so cool!

My husband had been running for about 30 minutes when the last corral started. The start line and the finish line are just under a mile apart so I began making my way there to catch him.

Thanks to tracking, I knew how much time I had before he’d be approaching the finish. I was able to catch him turn the 13 mile corner and he waved to me as he ran to the finish line.

We took a post race pic and hung out for a while and then we went home! It was such a fun weekend that I hardly noticed I didn’t race 😉 (you guys know that’s not true, lol!)

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He let me keep his medal ❤

How was your running weekend? 

Have you met bloggers/social media friends at races? 

Have you had fun at races you were supposed to run but didn’t? 😀

Chicago Marathon {Race Recap}

I finished. 

And it feels so good to be able to type that.

—————————————————-

Things didn’t go as hoped/planned and if you follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook, then you already know what happened.

People have been asking me how I feel and I’ve been saying Fine, Good, Happy (that I finished) but if I’m to be completely honest, and I’m always honest here, I’m angry.

I’m angry that my body just didn’t want to cooperate. My mind and my heart were there, willing to fight, but my legs weren’t.

I stuck to my plan of starting with the 4:25 pace group (about a 10:05/mile) thinking this would be the smartest way to go. My ultimate goal was a sub 4:30 and I wasn’t going to get risky by trying to attempt anything faster than that. My long runs had all been around the 4:25 pace and I felt this was “safest”.

It’s impossible to get comfortable the first mile or so in a race so big and that’s understandable. My watch had gone wonky after passing the first tunnel and mile two told me I’d run a 7 something mile (ja!) way before I reached mile two. I saw that my watch would not be a good go-to for assessing mile splits and there was no way I would be attempting any math. I ended up just turning it off (and then turning it back on at mile 6 figuring I could do math now that I would have an even 20 miles to count from). In retrospect, I should’ve left it on from the beginning to at least have the running time. You live and you learn.

At mile 4 though, my legs began tightening and by mile 8 that turned into full on cramping. I begin cursing and told myself there was no way I was walking now, so early.

I made it to mile 14.

At mile 14 I watched the 4:25 pace group go and I was so angry because I should’ve been there with them, running.

But the cramps had become debilitating and they were everywhere. My quads, my hamstrings, my calves, my shins, the bottoms of my feet, my toes. I’m not kidding when I say my entire legs were cramping.

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I had done everything just as I’d trained. Fueled every 5 miles, salt tabs at miles 4, 11, and 17, water at every station.

I walked for a bit at mile 14 and told myself to shake it out and keep going. I would only walk when the cramps were unbearable.

From then on, it was me running from cramp to cramp. When they became excruciating, when I could feel the balls of crampage against my skin (they left me bruises), I would walk–not for too long, and then keep going.

Not a single tear was shed.

Because it wasn’t sadness that I was feeling. It was anger. I was angry I wasn’t running the race I trained for. I was angry I couldn’t race how I’d like for all those who were cheering me on. I was angry that I wanted to so badly run and my legs wouldn’t let me.

It was this anger that kept me going. It was this anger that kept this race from being a total disaster–because even though I didn’t get the time I wanted, it could’ve been much, much worse. I’m not reflecting on this race as a loss or a let down; in fact, this was a race where I proved my mental strength has grown. I finished in 4:45:08, less than a minute from my marathon PR.

Any other time, I think, I would’ve cried, pulled over to the side, walked a lot more, maybe even given up because of how awful I felt and how upset I was at was happening to me.

But the whole time I kept thinking how this race wasn’t about me, it was about my buddy Graisyn who I Run 4, whose family stay at a Ronald McDonald House when he goes to hospitals. This race was about the people who donated, who helped me get to Chicago in the first place–that without them, I wouldn’t have been able to even get to the start line. This race was about my husband, who was running his very first marathon.

This race wasn’t about me at all.

And the anger I felt inside wasn’t going to let those people down.

So I kept going.

It hurt. A lot. My legs were battling me, testing all my strength. I saw the 4:30 pace group pass me around mile 18. I didn’t cry.

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Mile 20 came and I ran through Pilsen, Chicago’s Latin community, and they all helped me push through the next two miles. I felt a deep sense of comfort being around people like me, whose language I understood, whose cheers I felt were so heartfelt–“Animo!” My legs were trying to stop me from enjoying this neighborhood, but I didn’t let them.

The last 4 miles were awful. I passed through Chinatown and soon after saw mile 24. Two miles left. I knew my husband would be waiting for me and that kept me going. Mile 25 seemed like eternity. I wanted to run the entire last mile, but couldn’t. My legs won that time. I turned a corner and saw a sign that said, 400m left! There was no way I would walk across the finish line. No way.

Limping, dragging my legs (by this point they were shaking), I hobbled across.

Smiling.

And I finished.

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Thank you all SO much for your support throughout this entire training. Wow. I’m completely overwhelmed by your love–it’s part of what keeps me going. And I’m going to keep on going 😀 I’ll be sharing more Chicago marathon memories with you in the next couple of days; I just really wanted to get my race thoughts down first. 

❤ you all,

helly

–Ever experienced insane cramping? 

–How ’bout them race photos, eh? Ever had the camera catch you in pain?