Saturday, April 30, 2011

Heart & Sole 5 Miler Recap (Take 2)

5 Mile Race faster than last year (29:52) and to win $500

3 miles warmup
5 Miles in 29:30 with splits of 5:50, 5:39, 6:16, 6:05, 5:37 to tie with Meagan Nedlo
~2-ish miles cool down

The Providence Hospital Heart & Sole Women's Only 5 Miler race was a completely different experience this year than it was in 2010.  Last year I placed third at this race in a very competitive field, ran by myself the entire five miles and didn't really enjoy myself during any of those miles.  This year I tied for first with my good friend Meagan, ran with her for the entirety, and enjoyed myself the entire way, especially at the finish when we held our hands as we broke through the finish tape together.  Last year it was hot and humid; this year it was cool and dry.  Last year I had taken a couple of days off running before I did this race; this year I had been training consistently since Feb 1st. 

Obviously, things were bound to go well.  Initially, I planned on doing this race because of how well they treated me last year and also because of the nice paycheck that comes along for the top five finishers (500-400-300-200-100).  I told Meagan Nedlo of my plans this week and she tinkered with the idea of racing as well.  I thought the field would be as competitive as it was last year, but it turns out it wasn't.  After Meagan made her decision, she emailed Heather the race director and heard back within minutes.  I'm really grateful that Meagan came because she kept me company and helped me run faster this year!

Meagan and I spent the night at Elyse's beautiful, brand new apartment just outside of USC's campus.  We enjoyed catching up with her and eating frozen yogurt from their local self-serve fro-yo joint.  After dessert, we were all ready to call it a night as we had a race and Elyse had a final in the morning.  After Meagan and I crawled into bed (Elyse was kind enough to sleep on the couch for us), I figured the night would be rather uneventful and I would fall asleep immediately.  

I was wrong.  

I had a fitful night of sleep, and kept tossing and turning constantly.  I was even awake when Meagan began to cuddle with me unconsciously in her sleep.   Lo and behold she thought I was her beau Jordan.  I later found out that she realized her mistake in her grogginess and casually turned around after she rubbed my side a little bit, secretly hoping that I hadn't noticed.  Oh I noticed her tender rub on my side and even felt kind of loved.  This did not stop me from making fun of her the next morning though.

After a 7am wake up, we were off to the race.  During our strides, Meagan asked if I wanted to race this all out.  I said it just depended on if there any other women around. As we sized up our competition, we both realized there probably were not going to be any women around us, so we agreed to make it a hard tempo effort and work together.  I told her that no matter what, I wanted to run faster than I did last year here.

After a couple of girl power motivational cheers (we are women, we have power, we are great!), we were off!  The first mile came and went pretty quickly. Meagan and I didn't have another woman within 100m of us and we focused on several turns that characterized the first mile.  There were at least 8 different turns!  As we rounded through the second mile, we passed by a cheerleading squad, the Chik-Fil-A cow, and a boom box.  The cheering sections through two miles had already surpassed any cheering section at a Charlotte race. 

It was somewhere in this section that Meagan and I decided to hold hands when we crossed the finish line.  After all, Meagan had done the same with Alice Rogers last week, so why couldn't she do it again this week with me?  Better yet, we were at a women's only race, an environment that seemed perfectly fitting for a race to be won by two girl friends who worked together the entire way.  That's what I call girl power.

We rounded another turn to face the dreaded mile-long hill in the third mile of the race.  Our chatter was reduced to a couple of labored one-liners as we pushed up the hill.  At the top, we were almost to the fourth mile and I told Meagan that the hill was over.  She doubted me.  She said "Are you sure?"  Well, I wasn't, but as we rounded yet another turn, I saw the road flatten, with a slight decline.  Phew, I was right.  

The fourth mile is deceiving because there are two hills that continue to tire your legs out.  I pushed up one of the hills, realized I felt great, and noticed that I had dropped Meagan by a couple of steps.  I told her some encouraging words of wisdom and eased up a bit.  She tucked in behind me as she continued to run with me.  After we passed the mile mark, I said "una mas" and encouraged Meagan to run up alongside of me again.  She hung tough and came up alongside me again.  We were teammates helping each other out!

As we rounded the final turn into the finish, we were propelled forward on the down hill by gravitational forces out of our control.  Meagan even told me to be careful because the hill was so steep.  We devised our plan to hold hands on the count of 3 through the finish line.  We did it perfectly.  I assumed we would smile real big, and the result was that I look like I'm winning the Olympic Trials and that Meagan is just like, "Ah , whatever..I already did this last week.  No biggie."

After we finished, 8 different people asked to take our pictures.  We received a rose for our efforts.  The pictures below were stolen from Strictly Running, but I did place an order to buy all 3 of these.  They will be coming in 3 weeks, so technically I'm covered.  The third place girl was almost 4 minutes behind us, and we waited to congratulate her on her accomplishment before we made our way to the post-race expo to enjoy chocolate covered strawberries and a free massage.  I was the stupid girl who spilled gatorade all over 8 different strawberries, which forced me to take all of them.  I guess it worked out in the end because we got more than just one strawberry to eat.

After our massages, somehow Meagan and I managed to lose each other for 45 minutes and to not reconnect until 2 minutes before the awards ceremony.  The best part about the awards is that they announced Meagan and I as the "winners" of the race, so we approached the podium together.  The race director even told us that it was too hard to pick the winner and we reassured her that we were splitting our earnings any way so it didn't matter.  We told them we would be back the next year, and with even more Charlotte women!  We thanked the elite coordinator and the race director before making our way back to Charlotte feeling empowered, elated, and proud to be a woman. 

Meagan and I on the count of 3

Meagan and I tear through the finish line tape

Meagan and I in the finish corral with our roses

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ladies' 800m Workout

8x3 min with 2:30 Rest

18 minutes warmup
8x800m at 2:37-2:42 with 2:16-2:34 jogging rest (see below for splits)
35 minutes cool down for ~12.5 miles total

After Meagan raved and raved about her 12k trail race with Alice Rogers, I decided it would be good for our soul to work out with a bunch of ladies.  Turns out that Alice does 800m repeats just about every Tuesday on the Dilworth Speed Loop, so I rounded Meagan up, convinced Jay to work out one week earlier than planned, and determined the meeting time of 6:30am. 

Most of us were running to meet Alice at the start of the speed loop, and Meagan and I both were late, but at different times.  I arrived after Jay, Alice, and Jocelyn had finished their first interval, and Meagan jogged up after they had finished their second, and I had finished my first.  Needless to say, we were all able to start together by Alice's third interval. 

I ran the first one with Alice and just ran relaxed and controlled.  Once Meagan returned, we put on the gas and began to push up the speed.  I looked at just the 400m split on my first interval and then decided that I didn't want to check my split times until the end of the workout and to just run on feel.  Turns out it worked perfectly because my splits did gradually get faster even though I didn't know this until the work out was completed.

For the first 6, Jay sat on my left shoulder and just drafted off of me.  I think he knew that if he positioned himself out front that he would end up pushing it too much for his first workout back since 2010.  His presence helped a ton as Meagan was a couple meters off in the first intervals.  Soon she gathered herself and shortened the gap between us from 3 seconds to 1 second.  At first I was worried that her IT band was bothering her, but fortunately the IT band is healed but her legs are tired (probably from the White Water Center Trails).

I utilized a mental tactic for each of these intervals to make sure that I maintained just as strong of a pace in the second 400m as I had in the first 400m.  Each time I passed the painted 400m mark on the asphalt of Dilworth Road West, I made a conscious effort to pick up the pace and to change gears.  This forced me to maintain the pace that was carried over from the slight downhill featured in the first segment of the loop. This also helped break the 800m up into segments that are easier to handle mentally.  While these times are not exceptionally blazing, they are in sync with what I ran last summer leading up to Twin Cities.  I had a big week last week with two workouts, a 1 mile race, and a 20 mile long run on Sunday, so I'm really quite pleased with the effort today. I also got in a lot of miles, which should help my strength and endurance as I ran over 35 minutes for the cool down.

Time ( Jog Rest Time)

304 (216)
242 (225)
241 (234)
241 (228)
239 (226)
238 (235)
237 (226)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week in Review

85.3 Miles
8 Runs
20 Mile Long Run
$250 Cash Prize
1 Mile Road Race in 5:18

This was definitely a big week!  I ran a 5 mile tempo, a 3x3 mile workout, and a 1 mile road race to win some cash dolla dolla billz...and topped it all off with a 20 mile long run.  While my body felt like a train wreck after the long run on Sunday, my massage therapist from Balance Bodywork practiced two hours of magic on my sore muscles and now they feel much better.   

My mile race time wasn't anything astounding, but I did just enough to win the first place prize of $250.  Once I went through the 800m point around the center of Trade and Tryon, I knew the next girl was most likely to place in second, so I settled down and cruised in.  I'm not training for a mile; I'm training for a 25k in 3 weeks.  The dolla billz will go toward my travel fund to visit Garrett while he's away playing baseball until September.  A girl has got to see her boyfriend! 

This also marks the first week in which my social life came back to life since the GMAT is finally out of the way.  On Monday, the Kinlo's came over to watch the Boston Marathon.  On Saturday, I cooked the Kinlo's a delicious meal of stuffed eggplant, sweet potato fries, and salad with feta and cranberry.  On Sunday, I hung out at the pool with Jenna, Meagan, Michelle, Thomas, and Matt drinking mimosas and getting sun burnt.  It was definitely an Easter week to remember.  I'm looking forward to our first Hepp/Hovis training camp next weekend!

1 Mile Race (courtesy of Bill Shires)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

3x3 Miles at Booty Loop

3x3 miles with 4 min rest at Goal 25k Pace (18:00)

2.5 mile warmup
3x3 miles @ 17:34 (552, 556, 545), 17:39 (551, 600, 547), 17:47 (559, 604, 542)
~2.5 mile cool down

Sometimes I really wish I was fast enough to pace Jordan in his workouts because I would like to repay him for pacing me in tough workouts like this one.  I'll just keep him company on his slow doubles so that he can hit a weekly mileage in the triple digits.

Since I'm house sitting in Matthews, I woke up this morning and drove to my house in uptown to warm up and meet Jordan at the tennis courts in Freedom Park.  On the way over, I could tell that my stomach was not happy and that I was likely to have stomach issues throughout the workout. 

The plan was to run my standard Twin Cities Booty Loop course, which is a hilly first mile, a flat second mile, and a mostly downhill third mile. 

On the first interval, we began with the hilly mile.  Everything felt harder than it should; my legs were heavy, my breathing was labored, and my shoulders tense.  We went through the first mile in 552, mainly because I was setting the pace.  I heard the garmin beep, saw the pace, and said "Shit."  I think I said that because 1) I knew that I would need to maintain that pace for the next 2 intervals and 2) I already felt really terrible 1 mile into a 9 mile workout.  It was going to be a long one.

I always seem to struggle on the flat portion of the Booty Loop, and that was no exception today.  One thing that I have learned about myself is that I tend to run very well on rolling terrain with gradual hills versus flat courses or really steep hills. Today, I really had to mentally focus on the flat portion. I think Jordan could tell I really struggled on that section, so we offered words of encouragement to keep me focused on the landmarks. 

For the second and third interval, I just felt like my legs were hitting the ground too hard and that I was using up a lot of energy on my ineffecient stride and arm movement.  My entire body felt really tense.  When I finished the second one, I questioned my ability to even do the third one.  I really didn't want to do it because I knew that my body really was pushing hard to maintain a pace under 18:00.  Luckily Jordan was there, so I couldn't just duck out. I am actually quite surprised with how the third set went considering that I was mentally falling apart in the first mile and that I had some GI issues.  However, I felt like I really made a conscious effort to start pushing again after the Garmin beeped for mile 2.  I was able to finish up with my fastest split of the day - 5:42.  It's always great to end your last mile with the fastest time.

All in all, while the effort was excruciating and while the pace gradually slowed, I am happy that I was able to run faster than I've ever run on this course.  Also considering that this is my third week over 80 miles, I am confident that after a week of taper, my legs will be ready to run 6:00 pace for 15.5 miles in just 23 days. 

For historical purposes, I did this workout twice before Twin Cities, on August 24th, 2010 and July 29, 2010.  

In August, my splits were:  18:53, 18:17, 18:00.

In July, my splits were:  18:31, 18:03, 18:13.

Granted, it was a lot hotter last year when I did these, but I think that the times I posted today showed a little improvement in my fitness.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

5 Mile Tempo at Mcalpine

5 Mile Tempo at sub-6:00 pace

3 mile warmup
5 Mile Tempo at 29:30 (5:54 pace) with splits of 605, 555, 546, 558 (car), 546
2 mile cool down for 10 miles total

My reliable workout partner Eric joined me in the early hours of the morning at McAlpine for this tempo.  We warmed up 3 miles and I highlighted the best moments from the Boston Marathon since Eric had missed it.  I felt inspired on the warmup just recounting what had happened! I'm so impressed with all the performances, especially with Desiree Davila's amazing second place finish.  She ran a 2:44 in Boston in 2007 and has increased her marathon time with each marathon she has ever raced.  Her improvement in times shows those inspiring runners like myself that anything is indeed possible!

I also summarized the local Charlotteans' results.  All the hard work and dedication paid off for several Charlotte runners as many saw major drops in their marathon PRs.  Great job everyone!

After reliving the Boston races, Eric and I stretched a bit and headed to the two-mile mark of the greenway.  The plan was to run to the 4 mile mark, turn around, and then head onto the course and run a loop around the lake to finish at the 5k finish.  While the pace above was not blistering fast, this was the first time I had run a shorter tempo out at McAlpine since 2010.  I'm sure that my legs are not used to the softer terrain.

Only 200m into the tempo, I could tell that my legs were tired from last week's workouts, but I was determined to still make this count.  I went through two miles in 12:00 and then decided to pick it up a bit for the third mile.  I had to slow down a bit for traffic on Margaret Wallace Road, but pushed through until I got back onto the XC course.  At this point, I began to feel fatigue in my quads (probably from the elevated split squats I had done the day before), but continued to press because I wanted to hit as close to 5:45 as possible on the final mile.  I finished with a strong 5:46 and was entirely content to be done with the workout.  It was just one of those days when my entire body felt tired and tense.  I was not relaxed for a single moment. 

Eric followed closely after me, finishing his tempo right at 6:00 min pace.  He even admitted to me before the workout even started that he did not like me for making him wake up way too early.  I told him that he will appreciate the early morning discipline once he wins top five award in the grand prix series. 

After some easy miles on Wednesday, I've got a 3x3 mile workout on Thursday that I plan to do on the Booty Loop to bring back nostalgic memories of my Twin Cities training.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week in Review

~82 Miles
9 Runs
2 Good Workouts
14.3 Mile Long Run

There are just four more weeks until the USA 25k Championships, and with the success of this week's workouts, I'm beginning to get rather excited.  This week I was lucky to have the company of Eric for both of my workouts - 15x1 min and 3x2 mile.  I ran both workouts faster than I had intended and felt great.  I enjoyed a long run today with Jordan and Meagan.  Jordan and I picked it up to 6:20s for the majority of the run and I felt strong.  Good things are going to happen in Michigan!

I've got a busy week ahead with a 30 min tempo and 3x3 mile on tap for next week.  I'm going to top it all of with the Tryon Street Mile on Saturday.  Definitely should be an exciting week.  Just two more weeks of 80+ miles and then it's taper time. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Major Confidence Booster

3x2 mile with paces at 6:00, 5:50, 5:40

3.4 mile warmup
3x2 mile with 2:15 rest at 11:49 (5:53, 5:56), 11:15 (5:40, 5:35), 11:06 (5:33, 5:33)
3.4 mile cool down for 12.7 miles total

I woke up this morning with a feeling that my legs were going to be ready for this workout.  With everyone running Race Fest this weekend, I struggled to find running partners for this until the very last minute.  I was fortunate to have company from Eric and Justin this morning as we met at Rebecca's house at 7am. I enjoyed a nice warmup on my own my from my house to get in over 3 miles and then did a couple of light strides and stretches before heading to the start line.  

Going into this workout, I had set out rather low goals for the paces.  I originally had intended to run 6:00 pace for the first set, and then drop 10 seconds per interval.  However, if I feel good in a workout, the intended goal pace is thrown out the window and I just run on how I'm feeling.  This was definitely the case today

For the first set, we went out at a relaxed pace and I was chatting it up with Justin.  My breathing was under control and I did not feel like I was labored at all, in fact.  It was a great feeling, so I knew that I would be picking it up on the next one so that it actually felt hard.

For the next set, Eric hung back at 5:50 pace, and Justin helped me for the first 800m and the last 800m.  It was helpful to have Justin there, especially during the slight uphills in the last mile.  I felt like I was pushing it this time, but I was not going into overdrive and I was relaxed.

For the final set, I was pretty much solo until there were 1200m to go.  I could tell this one was fast because my breathing was fast and labored.  It was difficult to keep my mind focused when I was out there on the road by myself, but I kept reminding myself that Eric and Justin would be joining soon. I went through this mile in 5:33.  Eric and Justin hopped in a pushed me to complete the last mile in another 5:33.  I had to work on this one, but it wasn't like I was going to the well.  

I feel really happy about this workout because I was able to run way faster than a terrible mile repeat workout I had in the beginning of March.  It just goes to show that when you have a bad workout, it's not an indicator of your fitness.  Rather, it's a mere indicator of how your body was feeling that day.  Stress from outside sources can impact the way your workout goes on any given day, and sometimes it just doesn't pan out.  However, today everything synced together well as both my mind and body were in the right state of being.  Based on this workout, I can go into the USA 25k Championships with confidence that I can achieve my goals.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

15x1 Min On/Off

15x1 Min with 1:30 Rest

2 mile warmup
15x1 Min with 1:15 rest at an average of 5:03 pace
~4 mile cool down for 10.2 miles total

Initially, I asked Meagan Nedlo to do this workout with me because I have missed her company on workouts.  Unfortunately, her boyfriend/coach/roommate Jordan told her that minuters were prohibited because he considers them to be "too short of a workout."  Apparently Jordan doesn't know that several people do 20x1 Minute to prepare for longer races, including James Kwambai, who is a 2:04 marathoner.  While his thinking could very well be sound, I do wish that Eric and I were graced with Meagan's presence this morning, but she obeyed her coach's strict order to do 800m repeats the next day.  

Since the 10 Mile Race on Saturday, my legs have been a mess.  Nothing is in pain, but all the muscles in both of my legs seem to be extremely tight.  My IT Band is really tight but I have not had any pain in my knee.  Knowing that my legs are not completely recovered, I was a bit weary of this workout and hoped that they would hold up on this speedy workout.  After the warmup, the legs didn't really feel any better, so I crossed my fingers that everything would fall into place once we got going.  

Eric and I did 2 loops of the Dilworth Two Mile Loop.  There isn't much to report except that we ran at a pace much faster than the last time I did this workout in February, when we averaged 5:10 pace.  This time through, we averaged 5:03 pace, with 8 intervals between 4:50-5:00 pace, 2 at 5:01 pace, and the remaining 5 intervals at 5:03-5:10 pace.  I felt really strong and maintained my form throughout, even though my legs were pretty dead.  

I'm hoping that my legs will calm down a bit more before I really start to do some more 25k Specific workouts like 3x2 mile and 3x3 mile.  Luckily, Byran at Balance Body Work massage was able to get me in on short notice to work on my legs.  The most important thing is to keep myself healthy this year, and I plan to keep it that way if I can help it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week in Review

80.5 Miles
14 Mile Long Run
10 Mile Race in 1:00:52 
$420 earned in Chapel Hill
9 Runs
3 Cities - Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Orlando

After a short 2-day trip to Orlando and after a short drive to Chapel Hill, it should be no surprise that my body feels like it has taken a beating.  I'm exhausted!  However, this week has definitely been a good one both in social and running terms.  I had such a great time visiting with Garrett during his two days off from work and was able to get in a solid workout there.  I kept the mileage high despite heading to Chapel Hill for a 10 Miler. 

I won $420 at the NC 10 Mile Championships, which is always a great thing. I wish I got paid $420 an hour all the time!  I can put this toward the massages that I need to get this next month. I've got a couple more weeks of 80-85 miles and then I'll be lowering the mileage to prepare for the USA 25k Champs. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tar Heel 10 Miler Race Recap

10 Miles at 6:10 for a Tempo

~3 miles warmup
10 miles at 6:05 for a Race in 1:00:52
~1 mile cool down for 14 miles total

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that I had a 60 minute tempo on tap during the same week as the NC USATF 10 Mile Championship in Chapel Hill, NC.  After clearance from Mark Hadley, I was ready to run this race in hopes to get a good effort in and to win some cash (1st - $400, 2nd - $200, 3rd - $100). 

In order to give myself a later wake up call, I spent the night at the guest quarters of Joel Tull, owner of The Human Touch massage.   Of course, I got a wonderful massage as well to prepare for the race.  At 5am, I woke up and drove to Chapel Hill, making it to the designated parking spot at 620am...70 minutes prior to the start of the race.

Unfortunately for me, I do not know the UNC campus well and set off in what I thought was the direction of the football stadium.  Boy was I wrong.  I headed in the opposite direction, ended up in a nice neighborhood that edged the campus.  To make matter worse, I had to use the rest room.  Eventually, I made my way to woods, where I found a folded twenty dollar bill.  I decided after that the the odds were in my favor.  I was going to win today because I found $20.  

I finally found the stadium, picked up my bib, skipped the long line to get the t-shirts (have enough as it is) and ran the mile back to my car to take off my sweats.  By the time I made it back to the start, I had 10 minutes for drills.  I noticed a woman that I knew was my former Wake teammate's (Brian Smith) wife.  I couldn't remember her name though because she went to Wisconsin and I only met her once.  She came up to me though and asked if I was Caitlin and I found out her name was Lindsey.  Then we both figured out we were shooting for the same time. We ended up working together the entire race, and she pushed me enough so that I ran faster than my goal time.

The gun went off and I settled into a relaxed clip slightly behind Lindsey because she took off pretty fast in the first 200m.  I think she eventually noticed that I wasn't near her because she slowed down to run alongside me.  We exchanged some short stories with each other in those first five miles.  We also saw Brian at numerous spots throughout the course, along with her friend Heidi, who was also pushing Lindsey's baby Hudson in a stroller.  Other than that, the cheering was pretty sparse throughout.

For the first 8 miles, the course was rolling, and with each uphill, there was a nice downhill to follow.  I actually think it is a very fast course for those first 8 miles.  The last two miles are tough because of the steep uphill, however.  Lindsey's company helped make the race go by faster and helped keep me focus.  It also gave me a buddy to run with because the number of men around us was slim.

Around mile 6, we converged with the 4 miler racers.  We had to weave in and out of them for miles 6-7 and then it eventually thinned out.  It was definitely a huge pain to dodge walkers and runners alike.  At one point we didn't even know if we were on the right course and Lindsey yelled to a ten year old who was directing us and he pointed his flag in the direction of where the masses of 4 milers were.  We weren't sure if we should trust this young kid, but eventually we passed the 7 mile marker, so I guess he actually knew what he was doing.

Going into 7.75 miles, I used the momentum coming off of a decent downhill to pick it up, and I gapped Lindsey by a little bit (I ran a 5:42 this mile).  Little did I know that shortly after mile 8, a huge hill on Laurel Road would be ahead.  I passed over a mat and then a steep, one mile hill presented itself to me.  At this point, I could barely lift my legs and I kept waiting for Lindsey to come blowing past me.  I contemplated dropping out, but not because I wasn't in the race mentally, but because I really don't think my legs could keep moving. Unlike the Houston Half, where I wanted to drop out because I mentally was not in the race, at the Tar Heel Ten Miler, I wanted to drop out because my body had hit the wall.  Yes, I hit the wall in a 10 miler.  I could barely lift them up enough to make the next step forward up the 1 mile hill on Laurel Road.  I wanted to walk, but I knew that $400 or $200 were at stake here.  I decided to run up that hill, even if it was at 7 min pace.

Brian even told me afterward that he thought I was done on Laurel Hill based on how I looked.  It was obviously ugly.

After I passed mile 9, the terrain leveled out a bit and I felt a huge sense of relief mixed with confidence pass over me and I found it within myself to keep pushing forward.  To my great dismay, however, there was another hill that was big enough to put my legs to their true test and I crumbled. 

At mile 9.25 Lindsey passed me, but only created a 4-5 meter lead on me.  There was a slight downhill as we were about to turn into the final 400m stretch to the final.  I found a second gear and pushed through the downhill to pass Lindsey for the second time.  I held on and hoped that I could hold her off through the final hill to the finish.  Somehow I was able to and closed the finish in 1:00:52.  Lindsey came through five seconds later. 

I've never been so happy for a finish line.  My legs were toast.  I could tell that I had not tapered at all for this race and that I had 80 miles under my belt.  I was upset with myself for running a slower pace on a hill at the 9th mile of a race than during the 22nd mile of my marathon in Twin Cities.  However, I competed really well with the way that my legs were feeling this day.   Now, I know that it will be very important to take a nice taper before the 25k Champs in May.  

Fortunately, I was still able to negative split during the second half of this race.  I went 30:32 during the first half and then 30:20 for the second half.

A huge perk for the race was the pancake bar from a local restaurant in Chapel Hill.  That was pretty cool!

1 - 607
2 - 608
3 - 608
4 - 608
5 - 601 (30:32)
6 - 600 (downhill)
7 - 550
8 - 542 (48:09) (downhill)
9 - 630 (54:39) (uphill)
10 - 613 (100:52) (uphill) (30:20 2nd half)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week in Review

63.5 Miles
6 Runs
1 Day off
14 Mile Long Run
10k Race in 35:43

I thoroughly enjoyed this down week because it allowed me some much needed restSme of the highlights:.  I got in runs with Will, Jay, Aaron, Megan, Paul, Matt and many other friends.  I ran a PR of 35:43 at Richmond. Now I'm only 50 seconds away from my college 10k PR!  I rode the Megabus from Richmond to Charlotte and enjoyed a jostling ride as the bus was pulled side to side by the high winds. 

Next week will be pretty exciting as I'm off to Orlando for 48 hours from Monday to Wednesday to visit Garrett on his off days.  On Friday, I'll be staying the night in Greensboro and then making the trek to Chapel Hill on Saturday morning for the Tar Heel Miler.  I'll be a traveling queen.  Looking forward to logging 80 miles a week again and spending time with the beau.  

Ukrop's 10k Race Recap

Top 7 and 35:45

3 mile warmup
10k race in 35:43 (18:02, 17:41) with mile splits of 5:42, 5:47, 5:54, 5:45, 5:45, 5:39, :69 for 12th place overall female
2.5 mile cooldown for ~11.5 miles total

Just glancing at the breakdown of events above, it is clear that I made a conscious decision after the 5k mark of this race to get my rear in gear and pick it up a bit.  I'll get to that later though...

After packing for much warmer weather than what actually was the case in Richmond, I loaded my things into my car on Thursday night and drove up to Matt's parent's house to spend the first night of my Richmond adventure there.  I am extremely grateful for Matt's parent's generosity as this was my second time staying there for a race. 

On Friday, I picked up my race bib and number.  Luckily for me, the Elite Race Coordinator Thom was holding my race bib and chip at the Double Tree downtown so that we could avoid the traffic near the expo for the 42,000 person race.Thom was so helpful.  He told me about the women's field, during which I made a silent mental note to myself that getting top 7 was not going to be realistic any more. They provided me with a room to myself that was only three blocks from the start and one block from the finish.  It was such a great opportunity and I thank the Richmond Road Runners and Road Runner for their support during this race.

Race morning finally came and I warmed up 20 minutes with Paul.  I met another guy who is the Treasurer of the Richmond Road Runners and he held our bags at the start line so we could dump our clothes into them.  I was stupid enough to think that it would actually be warm in Richmond this weekend, so I didn't bring much in terms of cold weather gear.  I only had my Craft tights and a GoreTex shirt that Jordan had given to me.  Usually I don't write much about the gear I wear, but I was so impressed with how it blocked the cold wind from getting to my skin!  We had a pretty nasty headwind on the first mile of our warmup, and I felt all cozy and warm with just the shirt on and nothing else.  Too bad they don't carry GoreTex in any of the Charlotte Running stores.  Jordan tells me my best bet is at the Fleet Feet in Winston-Salem.
Showing off my new Gore Tex shirt pre-race
After lots of drills and strides, I put on my Zoom Marathoners and stood in the Elite corral.  I met Emily Potter again (US Army Athlete of the Year) and exchanged some pleasantries with her.  A tall, slender woman looked at me and said "I need to run 5:45 pace" and situated herself behind the first row of Kenyan runners.  I told her I was hoping to do the same.  We decided to try to work together for as long as we could.  I learned later that she is Samia Akbar, a 2:34 Marathoner.  I'm sure I'll be seeing her at the Trials!

I also wished Megan Wright good luck - last year's winner.  She went to WVU and is Canadian.  She was really nice.  I saw her at the turn around and wished that I could look as speedy as her at the 4 mile mark of a 10k.  In case you wondering, Megan ended up winning and Samia surpassed her goal of running 5:45 pace. 

The race went off with a uneventful "Runners, set, go" by a woman.  Samia and I situated ourselves in such a way that we were getting passed left and right from the male runners from the A corral.  I glanced at my Garmin about 800m and saw 5:20 pace and eased off the pace a little bit. I didn't want to get myself into oxygen debt 1 mile in.  

Mile 1:  5:42...Perfect.
The perfect pace, but I wasn't feeling too good. I could feel the slight incline affecting me.  I accidentally spit on a guy and actually cared...If I was really focused I would have ignored it.  

Mile 2 - 5:47...Slowing down.
I told myself it was just the slight incline and that the next mile I would be back on the 5:45 goal pace.  Samia had already gapped me by about 5-10 meters, so I could tell she was right on the target pace that I was supposed to be at too.

Mile 3 - 5:54...What?
I saw this mile split and lost a breath or two.  A few strides later, I crossed the 5k mark and saw my watch tick 18:02.  I started calling myself bad names.  I cursed myself, and thought (clean version):  "Caitlin you came here to run sub-36 and you are not going home without that.  So pick it up."  Guess what?  I did.  I listened to myself.  I willed myself to pick it up and to achieve my goal.  Ok - so maybe the slight decline also helped me pick it up, but at least I made the decision to actually start trying. 

Mile 4 - 5:45...Here we go
I found a guy wearing a Fleet Feet Winston Sale jersey and vowed that he would not beat me.  He was my bait.

Mile 5 - 5:45...Even.
I kept my eyes glued to a guy wearing a blue jersey.  I eventually caught him and then surpassed him.

Mile 6 - 5:39...Rolling
I passed 4-6 guys here, but I think that they all passed me in the final 400m as they went to their sixth gear and I switched to a measly third gear.  

Finish - 35:43. 
I crossed the finish line, stopped, bent over, and then suddenly gagged. I was able to hold back for the first gag, but for the second gag, I actually threw up. I hadn't done that since the Adidas National Track Meet in 2003.  I was slightly embarassed so I stopped myself from throwing up more (I definitely had some left), grabbed my bag from the Elite guy, and found Paul.  I didn't want to face anyone who may have seen me throw up, and fortunately Paul missed it.  I'm waiting for the professional photos to come out so I can see if my fine moment was caught mid-stream.

Yes, I did achieve a PR but I wish I had stayed more laser focused for the first 3 miles of this race and gotten closer to 35:10.  I didn't commit myself to the first three miles of the race, and I paid for it in the final 3 miles.  However, I am proud of myself for making a decision to stop being a baby and to really race with all my heart.  

All in all, I am pleased with this effort right now, especially given how my training was off to a rough start for the first 8 weeks of 2011.  I want to be able to run my marathon at 6:00 pace, and this is a stepping stone to get me there.  I think it is a good indicator that I will be able to run sub-6:05 pace at the USA25k Champs in May.  I would definitely run this race again as there were bands every block and that definitely kept my mind occupied.  

Matt, Caitlin, and Paul post-race (and post-puke for me)