Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 - list of races to do

The new year is almost here and I thought I'd get my list of races on here. I'm a solo runner now (Matt and his freakishly long legs are too fast for me now) so this is all on me to stick with it and not give up. Who are we kidding ... I'll give up ... but the point is, I hope I will get back on the bandwagon and keep trying even after I get frustrated or not be able to get out and run. There's only so much of the treadmill I can handle ...

January - no race scheduled. With the crazy weather we've been having, no telling what it'll be like outside anyway!

February - trying a new race this year up in Indianapolis on the 27th. It's a 4 or 8 mile run/walk benefiting the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and it's only the 2nd year for it. Matt and I are signed up for the 8 mile. Starts at the City Market downtown -- hope it's fun! We opted to do this one instead of the 1st leg of the Triple Crown. Reason? $25 for a 5k with thousands of runners vs. $25 for more than double the distance and hopefully not nearly as many runners. No contest.

March - 2nd and 3rd legs of the Triple Crown (10k and 10 miles) - only goal for me is to get a PR in both. I was faster on the 10k in 2015 compared to 2014 ... but bombed the 10 miler in 2015 compared to the prior year. Not sure what happened but it won't happen again. Just hoping to PR. Oh ... AND get over to Iroquois Mountain before the 10-miler and practice running up that beast.

April - KDF Half-Marathon! Again, just looking for a PR. Question - is a PR based on the distance or the race itself? This race has more hills and people than the Indianapolis Monumental, plus it was raining last year AND I was battling bronchitis. If I want a PR, do I aim to beat my KDF-half time from 2015? or my Indpls Monumental time -- which was my fastest half time thus far?

May - no race scheduled but I'd like to get back to running the Fast Freddie's 5 mile loop on Memorial Day weekend. That was a Memorial Day and Labor Day tradition for Matt and me that we didn't do at all last year.

June - Will probably sign up for the Barnyard Dash at Huber's again. 10k and crazy hilly. Only goal would be to beat my time.

July - Independence Day 5k again? possibly! Also will be the month I officially start MARATHON TRAINING!

August - no race scheduled. Odds are, it'll be too stinking hot anyway! Would love to find a race that starts after dark or before sun-up. I don't do well with heat.

September - Fast Freddie practice loop again on Labor Day. Also, a 10k at my high school in Indianapolis and goal would be to beat my time from 2014. But again, need to find out if a quest for a PR is to beat the time from that race or to beat my 10k time for all races. There is also a half-marathon in Indianapolis for women only. I checked the marathon training schedule and I would need to run 16 miles on that particular day anyway ... very tempted to sign up for the Indy Womens' Half.

October - no race scheduled. Last October, we were able to find a 10k race going on while we were on vacation. Actually, it was the last day of vacation but we were able to con ask nicely if we could return to the condo and shower before hitting the road, the condo owners allowed it. Besides, Bob was running it too and we ended up getting out of the condo before they came back from their vacation home. Hoping we can find another race while in Hilton Head in 2016, but if not, marathon training will be continuing.

November - Marathon!! main goal is to finish strong and uninjured. Also, Fast Freddie's 5 miler on Thanksgiving Day. Definitely going to be ordering a shirt for everyone in the family. Only the names of the top 500 finishers make it to the next year's shirt and Matt is going to be on there!

December - no race scheduled at this time

Tally:
5k - 1
5 mile - 1
10k - 3
8 mile - 1
10 mile - 1
Half - 2
Full - 1

Always looking for more races to do but I also want to be a spectator at some races. I know how much they motivate me to continue so I'd like to be able to do the same for other runners. 2016 is looking good! Hope to be able hit my RunKeeper goal of running 500 miles -- didn't make it in 2015 so I'm keeping the same number to strive for next year.

Doable? Suggestions?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Indianapolis Monumental

This is my race. This is the one I want to continue doing each year and is the one that started my running journey.

March 2012 - my dad died in his sleep. It was a heart attack, but he was also going to be getting a stent put in for dialysis that next week and he was having anxiety over that. He was retired military but was not an active person. I never considered him overweight - but with his health problems (diabetes, being on oxygen, sleep apnea, heart problems, cancer survivor, kidney problems, and fully recovered from a stroke that wasn't a stroke the year before) he had slowed down considerably from his already inactive lifestyle. He was 76 years old.

Summer and November 2012 - friends from high school were going to be running the half-marathon in Indianapolis that November and invited me to join them. I agreed but kept procrastinating on registering and starting some sort of training (had zero, basically). It was a week or so before when I finally decided to register but was realistic in that I knew I'd never be able to do a half without training. Matt agreed to run the 5k with me -- again, I hadn't run in a LONG time and had never done an organized race before. To get downtown and see the crowds and all the runners ... REAL runners ... I was overwhelmed. I ran as much as I could, but walked a lot. Finished and couldn't wait to do it again. :)

November 2013 - Matt and I ran the 5k again and I only wanted to beat my time from last year -- did it and decided I'd go for the half next!

November 2014 - Matt and I ran the half. I ran/walked the whole thing with my friend, Johanna, and had a three-tier goal: to finish before the female marathon runner finished (success!); to finish under 2:45 (also success); and if I finish before 2:30, I would sign up for the full marathon (fail). I wasn't too disappointed in the last goal because I wanted to run the race again to beat my time.

November 2015 - Matt has been losing some weight (men can drop it like a hot potato - stinks!) and I knew I couldn't run with him. Johanna and her husband were running it again -- Ted had a seeded bib so I ran with Joey for the first 4-5 miles. Last year, we were able to make it to mile 8 before I had to start doing my run/walk intervals ... I don't know if it was lack of training (probably), lack of sleep (probably), poor nutrition (probably), or all of the above (probably) but I didn't feel confident about this one, especially with having to start the intervals 3 miles earlier. I waved Johanna on and just tried my best. I didn't have a timer set so I would run when I could for as long as I could and then walk -- but I would only walk when I could see a landmark to stop at and one to restart at. I didn't even check my Runkeeper pace or time ... just wanted to finish!

The weather was much nicer than the year before and the spectators were out in droves - I loved it! I didn't want to walk in front of any of them so that made me run more. I was coming up on the last mile or so and was in a crowd of runners when all of a sudden, I heard a loud thud/smack behind me. Immediately, the group I was in all turned around and there was a runner who had just faceplanted on the pavement. We helped her up and she waved us all on ("I'm fine! Keep running! We're almost to the end!") Well, if you can faceplant and still finish running, I guess I can keep going too!

There's one point where the full marathon rejoins with the half on Meridian Street and I remembered from last year how inspiring it was to see the full runners still sprinting after 24 miles (at that point) and how I didn't want to be seen walking when they were still racing. This time, I was so busy looking at the spectators and the buildings that it wasn't until I was almost to the end that I realized I didn't see any full runners in their lane. My mind couldn't process what that meant though at that point.

The finish line had been moved this year so I didn't really know how much further I had to go. I guess I was about 1/2 mile to the end and just wanted to quit. Someone else's coach looked right at me and said "you've got this, girl! I believe in you!" And that's all I needed. I seriously want to be a spectator on a course now because they really do help the recreational runners finish this stupid thing we started.

I turned the corner onto Maryland? Washington? I don't know but there, in all its glory, was the freakin' finish line ... you know how in horror movies, the door someone is running for keeps getting further away? That's what it felt like. But thank you, Jesus, I finished and even had some juice left in the engine to sprint the last 50 yards.

Here's the thing though ... I saw Johanna and Ted at the finish line and Joey was yelling "you beat your time! you did it!!" Again, my mind couldn't process things at this point but I did remember to turn off my Runkeeper while looking for Matt. Wait - what's this? Runkeeper said I finished in 2:30:20? And I had waited a few seconds after finishing to turn it off. I finally found Matt and we went to the results tent to get our official times ... sweet cracker sandwich ... my time was 2:29:48!! And Matt finished with a 20+ minute PR! Seriously, with what I thought was more walking than last year since I was by myself and stopping to make sure that lady was OK, I was not expecting that time.

So here I am ... preparing to register for my first marathon next year. Registration starts at midnight on January 1st, so that's about the main reason I stay up on New Years' Eve -- to get my registration in at the reduced price and so I don't chicken out. AND several friends have said they will be registering as well. Matt will be doing the half but I wonder if I can convince him to run some of my long training runs with me or maybe bike alongside me.

Good times ahead ... good times.

Looking for a training program/schedule now so any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Playing catch-up on this rainy day ...

Well ... yeah. Anyway, been running, been racing, haven't been training as I'd hoped. Rather than post on each race after the Barnyard Dash, just going to do a quick-ish recap of the last 5 months.

July:
Two years ago, the four of us ran the Independence Day run in New Albany - it started at the Amphitheater, ran to 'midtown' and then back. We skipped last year (not sure why) but decided to try it again this year. With the 4th being on a Saturday, the Farmer's Market was in full swing so they started and ended the race in the middle of the Farmer's Market! Not what I was hoping to see. The main point was to get the kids out and running. I don't remember my time but it wasn't very good, I know. We'll probably do this one again but only when the Farmer's Market isn't open ... too much of a crowd for me and very few encouraging spectators, if you know what I mean.

August:
No race. Hotter than anything so I didn't do much running outside either. Yeah for treadmills though! Matt and I did do some runs along the riverfront. I wish they'd get the Greenway done between New Albany/Clarksville/Jeffersonville -- there's just not enough foot traffic and it makes me nervous to try to run there by myself. Need to take some self-defense classes, or start packing heat, or stop watching CSI-type shows and movies where women are abducted while running.

September:
Ran a 10k up at my high school in Indianapolis. It is very well-organized and well-attended and inexpensive! It was only $20 or $25 for the 10k and came with a great long-sleeve tech shirt. I ran it last year for the first time with a couple of high school friends. They weren't able to make it this year so Matt ran with me for part of it. I don't remember much about it -- I don't think I went out too fast but I definitely hadn't warmed up sufficiently and started getting leg cramps at mile 2. Matt had long-since passed me by but I caught up with him at maybe mile 4? The race itself runs through neighborhoods around the high school so I had fun remembering friends who lived in those neighborhoods. Even the high school mascot was running the 5k part of the race. All the elementary schools had running programs and the students were participating in the 5k. I wish running had been this popular when I was in elementary school! Anyway, after the 5k split off, there were very few that were continuing on with the 10k. I walked far more than I had intended to and finished later than my time from last year (and after Matt, he would like that to be noted).

October:
Ran another 10k this month but while on vacation. We were already planning our trip to Hilton Head and I checked the Running in the USA website and found a race that was going to be on the day we were leaving for home. (side note: first embedded link for me right there. baby steps.) After a request was put in with our friends (the condo owners and one of whom was also running in the race), we were able to leave the kids at the condo while we ran and then came back to shower and hit the road. They didn't want to stand around in the chilly morning waiting for an hour. I don't blame them but I do wish they would be more supportive without being forced to be supportive. This one was also well-attended and the available food/drinks after really hit the spot -- pizza, bananas, oranges, apples, water, Gatorade (of a questionable color).

November:
doing the Indianapolis Monumental on a separate post :)
Also ran Fast Freddie's Festive 5-mile Foot Feast on Thanksgiving morning. We ended up leaving the house a little later than planned so when we got to the fairgrounds, I had to use the port-a-potty. I know they're probably donated but they really should have more than 3 of them for a race with nearly 1000 people. By the time I got through the line and headed to the start line, the race had started. Question: why can't they have a timing mat at the start and then move it to the finish after the last person has started? My time ended up being a couple minutes after the official time because of my pre-race potty stop. Anyway, ran more than I did last year and must have run faster during those intervals too, as even my official time was faster than last year's by about 3 minutes! Matt FLEW and he is getting his name on the back of next year's shirts for being in the top 500 finishers! Awesome and so proud of him! :)

December:
no race planned but just playing catch-up on my RunKeeper annual goal of 500 miles. I thought if I did a running streak from November 1st, I'd surely make it. That didn't stick either so now I'm just running when I can. January 1st will be the day I register for my first marathon and I'm just a-hoping that I can stick with THAT training program ...