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:
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!
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!
So 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:
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)
The premise of this journal club is to discuss articles and blog posts about Diversity in STEM and academia. We post the paper/topic the 2nd week of the month, and discuss the third Friday of every month at 2pm EST, under #DiversityJC on Twitter. Hope to see you there!