Monday, September 3, 2018

July vs. August Miles

Today's post is just a quick update for the end of August and how it compared to July.
July: 26 miles
In July, I was still running 2-3 miles more frequently than I aimed for 3-4. My dedication took a hit from traveling and then going back to work. I was pleased that I got a few runs in while on vacation, though. I tend to slack while traveling.

Toward the end of August, I planned to add in weekend runs, but I got sick the last week of the month. I managed to still get my three weekday runs in, but I didn't see a benefit in pushing myself to run while battling the back-to-school crud, so I took the last weekend off. I also upped my weekday runs from 2-3 miles to 3-4, which made a big difference.
August: 48 miles
I nearly doubled my total miles between July and August, which is mind-boggling and incredibly motivating. August is by far my highest-mileage month in ages, and I felt good the entire month, without any aches, pains, or tightness.

I am tentatively planning to lengthen my weekday runs by a half mile or so until my base is 5 miles instead of 4. Despite the humidity and work-exhaustion, my runs have all felt really good and almost easy, so it's time to do a little more.

I am officially one year post-op on my right leg. Even though the process of diagnosis, surgery, and recovery felt long, in the grand scheme of things, I am pretty much back to where I usually am at this time of year and I feel great. I am grateful, amazed, and complaint-free.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Rampage 5k 2018

Back in June, or maybe even May, my friend, colleague, and fellow Skirt ambassador Michelle floated the idea of running a race together with our other friend, colleague, and Skirt ambassador Ashley. We thought it would be fun to all run together, because even though we work together, I've only gotten to run one race with them before. (Ashley and Michelle train together frequently and are currently training to run the Chicago marathon together.)
The last time we raced together.
Anyway, I had this race in my head all summer, but I never signed up. Then, last week, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up before I chickened out. Both Michelle and Ashley signed up, too, so we were all set to meet before the race, run it, and have breakfast together after.

I had a banana, a tbsp of peanut butter, and a cup of strong black coffee about 90 minutes before the race, then made the half hour drive to the park. The race started at 7am; the weather was cool (mid-70s at the start) but the humidity was no joke (94%). Before the sun was up, though, it didn't feel too bad.

At the starting line!
I had no goals for this race. I didn't even have a "I don't want to walk" or "I want to sub-30" goal. This race was literally just to help push me mentally further into the headspace I've recently been in, where real training and weekend runs are appealing to me again.

Based on my paces lately, I was surprised to find myself running in the 8:50s early on. I was sure I wouldn't be able to hold it long, but it felt really comfortable, so I just let my legs do their thing. 

My legs continued to do their thing to mile 2, but my hair threw the first wrench in my wheel. It's at a weird length right now where I can get it into a bun and keep it there with the help of a lot of bobby pins, but it started to come down and was really distracting. I took a walk break to shove the pins back into place, but as you know...once you walk, it's hard to convince yourself to get going again. I started to realize how hot it was. By this point, the sun was fully up and I was running directly into it.
I took this photo after fixing my hair. The last mile of the race was quite pretty!
I managed to run another half mile before I decided to take another walk break. I kept it brief. I think my need for it was more mental than physical. I made the decision to run the rest of the race at a much easier and more sustainable pace, which ended up being around 9:30. I was able to finish the last sprint at a 7:52 pace.
Here's a blurry screenshot from the finish video.
I know some of you (ahem, Megan) like finishing videos, so here's the one from this race. I come into view around 10:04.

I finished in 28:57 (or 29:00 according to my chip), 8th in my age group. 
I caught some photos of Michelle and Ashley finishing, and then after waiting to check our times, we went to breakfast at Skillets. 
I haven't eaten there in years, but it used to be my go-to post-race breakfast place, and it was a great way to end the morning.
Considering I had no goals for the race, I am very happy with my performance. And I'm happy with the mental outcome: I definitely feel invigorated and excited to sign up for some more races. I told Elizabeth last week that I don't really care about collecting medals anymore, but the elation of crossing a finish line continues to be one of the best feelings in the world.