First XC race in 3 years!

Well, I finally got to step back out on the cross-country course and it was AMAZING! Honestly, I would have liked to run a bit faster (I set a new personal record for slowest 4k of my life, yay…) but I felt good mentally and physically during the race. Best of all I had the good fortune to race against my former team at my first race back!  All but 1 of the girls were returners that I ran with in college (they’re all seniors now). I may have only seen their backs during the race (they are a speedy crew!) but I got to chat with them a little before and after and it was awesome hearing what they are all up to with school and training. 

My most significant take-aways from this race were:

1) I need to focus more on pushing, rather than just avoiding fear by not thinking about the next part of the race. Whenever I started to feel anxious about the pace I just told myself to let my body run – my legs have run enough races that they can pace themselves. However, sitting back and letting my mind drift made me less competitive over the latter stages of the race.  I just need to find the balance between relaxing early on and pushing when it’s time to really race.

2) Re-hydrate more effectively. I should have known the heat was worse than it felt when I saw the trainers draping a few gals in ice-water soaked towels post-race. Even though it was only in the mid-80’s it was also sunny, windy, and at altitude – perfect conditions for drying runners up into little runner-raisins. I felt fine until about 4 hours after the race and then “enjoyed” a couple hours of a pounding headache combined with some pretty impressive nausea. Not so pleasant 😛

Celebrated a good race with a new long-run location this morning:

IMG_0098

The Cecret Lake trail up near Alta ski resort. The climb up goes from 9000 to 10000 feet of lung-burning altitude over about 2 and a half miles – it hurts like heck but the views are totally worth it!

Advertisements

Weekly ‘long’ run

My half marathon is in 4 weeks…and I’m getting a little nervous.  This week’s long run was supposed to be 10 miles, but after the injury flare-up I cut it down to 8.  So if I keep up a reasonable long-run progression, that leaves me with a 9-9.5 miler, a 10-11 miler, and an 11-12 miler before the half.  Not my ideal plan – I’d rather get in at least one 13 miler or more, but I guess this will have to do!  I’d rather keep it a little shorter and make it to race day on a working foot.

Today’s run was rougher than I expected.  Hot weather made the first half drag by and I was pretty worried about making it the entire 8 miles.  I was struggling to stick to 8 min pace, which eroded my confidence a bit.  However, the run improved immensely once the sun went down and I did have some help during the early rough patches – my sister and MountainMan rode along on their bikes and provided some extremely welcome distraction from the heat.  They also got the awesome experience of practicing their water-bottle handoffs 😉

Feeling thoroughly dehydrated now, but happy to report that the foot felt good the entire time and I had enough left at the end to push the last 2 miles at race pace.  Proceeding cautiously but things are looking up! 

Workout Monday!

ImageSo apparently everyone in my little workout group has a greater sense of self-preservation than I do.  It was 101 degrees out when the workout was supposed to start and I was the only one to actually show up and risk heat stroke ha ha.

I ended up doing a workout on my own anyways, since I new I’d never get back out the door if I went home and waited for the sun to go down.  A fartlek in the shade (with the ‘off’ portions strategically timed to coincide with breaks at the two park water fountains) served me well and I only feel *slightly* dehydrated.

Ok, so I totally chugged a whole bottle of gatorade when I got home…plus a smoothie…and a bottle of water :S

Interesting sights on the run included a girl running in a sweatshirt and sweatpants (how the heck are you not dead?!?), a little group of old-man runners with awe-inspiring matching white beards (I really hope I’ll be running still at that age!), and this sign:

Image

The workout: 3 x 800m (400m Recovery), 400m for turnover (distances via GPS watch), averaged 7:30 pace during the ‘on’ portions (I’m going to use the long grass, heat, and hills as my excuse ha ha)