Friday, November 12, 2010

No regrets, just love

First of all....

Obsessed actually doesn't even begin to describe my love for this song.  I've probably listened to it like 30 times since I downloaded it on Wednesday.  And sometimes I watch the video, purely because the lead singer is pretty darn attractive [no offense to my dear boyfriend of 3 years :)]

So I've been sort of acting like a real runner again this week.  I'll probably hit like 45 miles for the week, so back on the upswing, and usually in the off season I like hanging out around 50, so this is a good trend.  I also am going to hit 2000 miles for the year at some point during my run today! I ran 1856 miles total in 2009, and definitely less in the years prior to that, so hitting 2000 in mid-November is pretty sweet.  Of course, training for 2 marathons over the course of 2010 will help with that, but I think I'm figuring out that higher-mileage (50s-60s...which I realize isn't very high for some of you, but I pretty much max out in the high 60s) training seems to help me with races all over the spectrum, so that's what I'm going to stick with.

Also, apparently my MO in the indoor season is going to be the 800/mile.  This is both terrifying and amusing to me at the same time. I haven't raced a mile since junior year of college (my still standing PR of 5:44) and for the 800 it's been even longer - my PR was in outdoor sophomore year (in a meet where I also raced the 400 hurdles, 100 hurdles, and 4 x 400. Clearly my priorities have shifted since) But really, I haven't run FAST in over 3 years. After marathon training for the past year, I'm not sure I remember how. I'm sure it will come back to some extent, but my PRs aren't all that great and I'm a little worried about getting smoked by everyone at these track meets since my PRs aren't exactly anything to write home about...but there's also the chance that 3 years of running and training have made me *gasp* faster!  At least I hope so.

Alright, well, my clinical is over so I actually have today off, and thus far I have done nothing of value (unless you consider eating a popsicle and watching "A Knight's Tale" valuable....) so it is time to be productive.  Hooray! Happy Friday!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

"Just 400 more, and then you can kill Tom!"

Note to self: when you run a marathon, and then you basically don't run for 3 weeks, you are not in shape to run a 6K XC race.  In fact, you will probably run one of the worst times you have ever run at the distance, while cursing your coach and your existence and the existence of a certain "Bear Cage Hill" along the way.

So this was not pleasant at all.  It was like 40 degrees and windy, and Tom's "plan" for me involved me trying to go out with our top 5 women (bahahahaha...yeah....) and then accepting the fact that I would die at the first hill and pretty much just run comfortably the rest of the way in.  His words were something along the lines of "oh yeah, you're going to suck today, it's OK".  Very comforting.  And it amuses me that despite the fact that he obviously knew that I was going to fail hardcore at this race he came up with a ridiculous plan for me to run anyway, lol.

It was freezing at the start and basically as soon as we took off my legs seized up for the cold.  I had a brief shining moment of about 200 meters where I thought things were going to be OK, and then my legs balled up and were like "eff you! we want to be warm!" and I could not run any faster. My first mile was 6:45, whatever, but it's obviously only going downhill from there. Then we ran up the bear cage hill, and I thought I was going to die.  [Aside from said hill, I actually really like the course, and I think in the future I would actually be able to throw down a solid time on it.  But definitely not today.]  As we ran by the GBTC camp Tom was sort of laughing at me because I was making a face, and I just yelled "I hate you" which made everyone else start I'm going to race poorly, might as well provide some comic relief, right?

I was just mentally done after about a mile and a half, I knew my time was going to be down the crapper and I had no interest in injuring myself trying to kill myself the last mile and a half, so I won't say I didn't try, but I certainly stopped racing....surviving was more like it.  I miraculously passed a couple girls during the 3rd mile but I was so far back in the field that it was pretty inconsequential to me at that point.  Up the bear cage hill again, I think I would have preferred to be mauled by one of the bears than be running up that beast at that point, back down, past the GBTC camp again where Christy yelled "almost done! 400 more and you can kill Tom!" which made me laugh...summoning some sort of failure kick, and done in 27:33. Disgusting, just about my worst time at the distance, and 30 seconds slower than even my disastrous race at NIRCA 2 years ago. [Edit: I just remembered that I did run like a 27:20 at Griak, and I was in pretty good shape at that time.  This makes me feel a little bit better.] I just really can't bring myself to be too angry about it.  I obviously lost fitness the past 3 weeks and that's my own problem, and I think it's fine at this point to still be in a little bit of recovery mode from the marathon.  If nothing else, the race was a great workout and a kick in the pants to get back to real training.

And also, because I only had the goal of run one XC race this year [with no mention of running it well...]...I achieved another 2010 goal!  Hoorah. And I got a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts because they are a GBTC sponsor now.  I got to hang out with/meet more girls from the team, cheer for the guys, and run a 100% stress free "race" which sometimes is a really good thing. And it seems like Tom cares to some extent about my training, which for me seems crazy because there are so many faster women in the club, so it's nice to feel like I have some potential to run fast at some point.  In the end, can't really complain.

But for serious, it's time to train for real again.  Indoor track approaches...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Momentary insanity

All post-marathon & midterm blues aside, I've been enjoying my life the past couple of weeks. I've been content to frolic along, running as far and as fast as I wanted, whenever I wanted, and generally had no running related worries or cares.  I was happy to rest on my laurels and just enjoy life without the idea of any impending race on the radar...after all, I  had just PRed in the marathon, why on earth would I go back to racing without a nice break from spending any time on the red line?

And then I received an email addressed to the Baystate ladies, telling us that it would really be ever so wonderful if we raced at USATF-NE's this coming Sunday.  Blame it on midterm studying madness, the extreme quantities of caffeine coursing through my veins, or the fact that I still get a kick out of the fact that I'm running for a pretty awesome club...but I got this email and was like "a 6K! a cross country race! oh boy! sign me up!"

It was approximately 4 hours later when the reality of this situation hit. Last time I did anything resembling speed work? October 3, a month ago, at the Providence 5K.  Total miles run in the past 2 weeks? Er...32.  Oh. crap.  This isn't going to be very enjoyable at all.

I couldn't make it to Tuesday practice because I had a midterm the next day, but I decided yesterday that if I didn't want to feel like I wanted to stab myself for 3.72 miles, I should probably go do the workout to remind my legs what the whole "running fast" business was all about.  It was just 4 x 800 with 200 jog recoveries, which on paper doesn't sound bad, but when you're running them FAST (and really I was only hitting 5K pace, something tells me it should have been a bit faster)....yeeow.  

It didn't go too badly, I had wanted to get the workout in on the outdoor track but unfortunately some mystery BU team was doing a workout so I was stuck on the indoor track.  800s were at 3:10, 3:14, 3:14, 3:17 and none of them were easy.  Which I guess is fine - I highly doubt my ability to throw down 6:30 pace for a 6K XC race right now, but since my PR is only a wouldn't be a horrible thing to shoot for a PR.  We'll see.  It's been almost 2 years to the day since I set foot on an XC course and since I have always adored XC [joining XC my senior year of high school was 100% my gateway drug to distance running] I can't deny that I'm a little excited to feel grass under my spikes again. I will probably be the slowest GBTC woman there but whatevs...I'm sure it will be a fun time nonetheless. And by fun I mean painful...yeah.

Either way, I suppose it will be a nice "welcome back" to my legs...hah.