Monday, November 26, 2012

Turkey Trot 5k

This Thanksgiving, Dad and I ran the Turkey Trot 5k in Washington, DC. It benefits SOME (So Others Might Eat) and runners get a nice view of the Capitol (with an O) and the Mall (without stores).

The Good

  • Bambino got to participate in the 1-mile fun run. At least, it was supposed to be one mile.  We got there a tad late, started on our own, and we let him turn around on the out-and-back course as soon as he felt like it. Sure, he didn't run a mile. I couldn't care less. He ran joyfully and energetically the whole time, high-fiving a turkey at the finish.
  • I ran the 5k in 25:57, four minutes faster than my goal and one minute faster than my super-secret goal.  I've got another 5k in December (Running of the Balls), so maybe I'll shoot for sub-25:00 with that.
  • Dad got a PR!
  • I've never run a 5k in a big crowd before, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't talk to anyone during the race (Dad and I ran separately), but I enjoyed listening in on conversations. Annoying things even enticed me to speed up: I had to pass three chatty girls running in a straight line as well as a woman with about $1.50 in change in her back pocket. Whatever motivates you, right?
  • After the race, we went to the Natural Science Museum. Bambino loved it! He loved the dinosaurs, the fish, the mammals- everything. He's a science kid.
The Bad
  • The one thing I didn't like about the crowds was that there was no room for snot rockets. That's right, I said snot rockets. I love them. I'm good at them. And with that many people, there was no chance to show off my skills.
  • I missed the chance to see friends who were running. If I'd posted the race on FB, maybe we could have coordinated. Maybe next year...
The Funny
  • I did see one old friend. To be precise, I saw him pushing a stroller on the other side of the road as I looped back around the course.  I did what anyone would do, I'm sure: I shouted his (full) name at the top of my lungs several times while running out of my lane to circle around, get right next to him, wave my hand in his face like an idiot, and say "hey!". Then I turned around and ran back to my proper spot. Yup, I have amazing social skills. At least I didn't trip. 
I looked through the race pictures, but no shots of Dad, Bambino, or I. I assure you, we had a great time. Next up- streaking. More to follow this week!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Spring 2013 Races

It looks like Cannonball will be my only half-marathon of 2012. Months ago I planned on running the Mistletoe half in Winston-Salem on December 1, but at this point I am sorely unprepared when it comes to long runs. I don't regret it at all; I've worked hard to rebuild my base, I am very healthy, and I've really enjoyed running this year. No reason to ruin running bliss by racing 13.1 miles unprepared.

That being said, I have begun planning my races for 2013. 2012 was an appropriately light racing year, but come January 1, I am back!

  • Resolution Run 5k. I won this race (not age group- overall female!!) back in 2011. That may never happen again, but I still love to start the year right.
  • Lakeside Trail Race. I've never run this one before and still don't know if I'll do the 15- or 8-mile option. Either way it will be a fun time on the trails.
  • North Carolina Half. While disappointed that there's no full marathon option this year, I'm thrilled the half is back and will definitely run it.
  • either New River Marathon or Potomac River Marathon. Although the names are similar and they happen the same weekend, these two races are quite different in terms of elevation. The New River Marathon is near Boone and very hilly. The Potomac River Marathon, on the other hand, bottoms out at 12 feet above sea level and gets up to 44 feet above sea level. Both are on gravel trails, so that will be new. The chosen race will be my dad's first marathon! (unless he decides to run the RNR Washington, DC race in March.)
I don't have definite plans after the marathon, but I think I want to focus on speed for the summer.  Pre-Alfie, I had gotten pretty speedy. I'd like to break 22:00 in a 5k and 50:00 in a 10k. For me, summer's the perfect time for that sort of training because it's not as dependent on a specific schedule. As a teacher I have lots of free time, but we travel, hike, bike, and do all sorts of fun stuff that's better suited to getting faster than going farther. In August I'll start thinking about longer distances again. I'd love to do Baltimore again, and with all of our family in Memphis the St. Jude marathon could be fun.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cannonball Half Marathon Race Report (only a few weeks late...)

The Good

  • Goal! My dad beat his goal of 2:30 by more than a minute! He has trained so much this year, adding in outside, hilly running. If he'd add in lunges and squats, he'd get even faster.
  • The course- I love this course. Sure it's hilly and out-and-back, but these are the trails I train on (or at least where I used to train before getting pregnant, moving, and having a baby) and the greenway is just lovely as it goes along the lake.
  • Watermelon GU Chomps- I don't remember when I had them, but I ate two bags (four servings) during the race. Some people can get through 13.1 miles with nothing, but I need some calories to run beyond 8.  I had a Hammer Gell Espresso fifteen minutes before the race, and I had water and Gatorade at each water stop.
  • Conversation- I could talk to my dad forever, so getting the chance to chat while running for more than two hours is divine. We talked about, among other things, Nationals baseball, church, school, training plans, food, vacations, art...
The Bad
  • Droopy pants- I have these wonderful purple Brooks shorts that I adore. They have back pockets for Chomps, which I also adore. The thing is, when you put two packets of Chomps in the back pockets of the shorts, they do not actually stay up without a lot of assistance.  I had worn them on long runs before, but not weighted down with food. Oops.
  • Chaffing- Stupid real sports bras. Normally I can choose my, ahem, apparel based on softness, color, whatever. However, these days my choices are limited to the several Moving Comfort designs that double as nursing bras. They're great, but after about 10 miles, I start to get blisters along my ribcage. After about 12 miles, they start to bleed.
The Funny
  • In the past, my father has tried to get through a whole race without any cursing. He always, inevitably, fails. This time he had no such goal, made several colorful statements, and ran faster than ever. Coincidence? I doubt it...
And now for some photographs...

 After seeing us at the half-way point, the non-running family members went to a Fall Festival.

It is really difficult to get a picture in which both Bambino and Alfie are smiling and looking at the camera.