Monday, July 18, 2011

98, 99...

On Monday on my way to Cleveland, my flight encountered a Midwest storm that had me stuck in O’Hare till Tuesday. This screwed up my schedules, my work plans and my running impetus. When I finally got to my destination, 24 hours later, I was absolutely exhausted. Work became the priority and running was nothing but a luxury. But as I absorbed every inch of Cleveland downtown, I fell in love with the city. I couldn’t leave without at least jogging 3-4 miles. Though the temperature was warm (mid 70’s), there was a lot of breeze and it was not humid. It was a delight to have a leisure run, surrounded by beautiful architecture.

Back home, I had scheduled back-to-back races for the weekend. Saturday, a 5K, Washington Games Day, and Sunday, a Half Marathon, See Jane Run. I had no idea on how I would perform, as my body was very, very tired. When I woke up on Sat I told my husband: I need a new body; notwithstanding, I got ready and left to run a 5K to the best of my abilities. And to the best of my abilities I ran it. I PRd with 26: 52. That was the time I had in my watch, that was the time in the official clock when I crossed the finish line, and that’s the time given to the lady that probably gave her tab before me. I will contact the organizers who had me with 27:00. We sweat for 8 seconds, don’t we? As this 5K is part of Magnuson Series, I am planning on running it again in August to see if the time can be improved in the same course.

On Sunday the schedule belongs to a fun Half: See Jane Run, to run for chocolate & champagne. Friend Suzanne and I were planning on drinking “some” champagne afterwards.

As my body was tired for the week, and the legs tired for the 5K the day before, I went with a goal of not-to-exceed 2:13, which was my last week hilly Langley. I ran with the same heart rate strategy I used for the 15K in this same course: To keep a low HR ~ 148 bpm until mile 4; increase it a notch to ~152 and keep it stable till mile 6; then increase it to about 158 till mile 9; ~165 till mile 11 and then 170+
the last two miles.

It worked to perfection. It took me a little while to adjust the HR and I went a little bit faster than I wanted for the first mile, but finally settled and kept it in 148 till mile 3.5. The rule of my game was every body is allowed to pass me during the first miles. And everybody did. Out of a running book, HR strategy 101. Then between mile 4 and 6, when everybody has set their paces, nobody passes anybody. Between mile 7 and 8 the only few hills of the course showed up, but I feel very strong . Then, with 4 miles to go, the pace was picked up and now the rule is to pass people, most of them are tired. Again, out of the HR chapter in my running book. 

My friend Benny joined me at mile 10 to run with me for a while. It was fantastic. I saw Suzanne coming back after mile 11 and it was nice to know that there was a turn around very close to turn up the speed. And I did. I couldn’t feel stronger. My splits below reflect that: beautiful negative splits.

After the race, Suzanne, her friends and I had a wonderful celebration. We drank more champagne that the body could take (at least mine), laughed until the stomach hurt, and cried sharing some personal stories. I was hesitant to participate in this run due to the high cost of US$95. But the run, the PR, the shared moments, and the friendship of the day were definitely priceless…. Did I mention the champagne??? The champagne served also to celebrate that these two back-to-back races, with back-to-back PRs, are my last races with two digits: Races #98, 99...

See Jane Run Splits
1- 9:30
2- 10:31
3- 10:21
4- 10:20
5- 9:56
6- 9:30
7- 9:27
8- 9:59
9- 9:30
10- 9:17
11- 9:43 (a car in an adjacent street hit a runner (not in the race). Fortunately there was a cop just in front of the accident who stopped us so he could go and help the man.
12- 9:26
13- 9:19

5K at Magnuson Park

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