Sunday, February 26, 2012

10k racing

I had a nice weekend. On Saturday I raced a 10k. This was my first race at this distance in over two years. My last race was in 2009. It was a Turkey Trot 10k and I had set a PR at that distance.

It really felt like I was a brand new runner trying to conquer a distance that I wasn't used to racing. My Saturday morning got off to a bumpy start because, my husband got a call early in the morning, informing him that he had to go to work. He knew how much I had been looking forward to my race so he  informed the dispatcher, that the earliest he could be there was 9:15am. He had made prior arrangements to watch his son, while his wife went to run a race.     This made me swoon. Normally work always comes first.

The race itself was a small local track club race. The goal of the race was to collect used running shoes for the less fortunate. I woke up at 6am and I made breakfast for my husband and son. I wolfed down my eggs and toast, got dressed in a hurry and left the house at 7:30 for an 8:00am start. In my haste I forgot my donated running shoes.

The course was on a pretty paved bike path located on the far east side of the Las Vegas valley and if you didn't have directions you wouldn't know it was there. I did a short warm up and did my ritual of saying a short prayer. The "gun" (horn) went off and the runners were on the move. The weather was perfect, no wind and it wasn't a very chilly morning. I took off and found my groove. I had a specific goal to run 7:30 per mile. I had to borrow my husbands watch to keep track of my splits. I hit the first mile at 7:23 and I felt good. At mile two I felt someone running up behind me. I had a feeling that it was another woman and I threw it into another gear to get some distance. I hit the turn around point and I realized that I was in 2nd place. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew I was running well. But "could I hold on"?
This was early in the race. I felt good here.

Well  the lady that tried to pass me at mile two caught me at mile five, and it became a dogfight. She would move up close I would pull away. She would eventually catch me down the home strtecth. I usually pride myself on my finishing kick, but I was dead at the end.  After the race I had a quick cool down, cheered on a few runners racing,  and then I had to hurry home because my husband had to go to work.
Today I am looking at the race in hindsight. I thought my legs would be trashed but, my back and core were more sore from pumping my arms. Also at the halfway point I had energy to cheer on runners and at the end when I was fighting it out I managed to  tell my competitor,  "good job". So I think I need to start doing shorter intervals (200, 400 meter repeats) I usually do tempo runs or progression runs. I need to do shorter harder stuff to increase my lactate and pain threshold.

I finished the race 47:10. That's about 7:35 per mile. I am happy because it is getting easier. In other news I am down 7lbs. I still have another 10lbs to lose but, it will happen. I can't wait to see where I am a month from now.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Another one bites the dust

This picture was taken at 1045 am

This Picture was taken at 845 am
I have been running watch free for the past month or so. I have a knack for kicking the crap out of my running watches. I've wanted to try the whole Garmin thing. But they are so freaking expensive. When I think "$275 for a watch?" I also think of all the other running things I could buy; Registration for a marathon, new pair of running shoes and a cheaper running watch.
I did try out an older version of the Garmin a few years ago. It was a really bulky watch and it took forever to find a signal. The most annoying thing about it though, was that there was a constant delay with the pace tracking. I would be running at a really hard effort and the pace would read in the 8:30's then I would slow down because I was climbing up a hill and the pace would read in the low 7:00's. It was frustrating and I felt like I was wasting a ton of energy and compromising my form by constantly looking for updates on the Garmin.
Garmin Forerunner 201 Waterproof Running GPS
Not a fan of this model
Another possible souloution is using an app on my phone to time myself.  The other day I went for a lunch time run and I decided to try Map my run. I liked this app but, it was annoying because I had to take my heavy phone with me and I had to start the application, then throw the arm band on my arm as quick as possible, then when the run was over I had to remember to yank my phone off of my arm and stop it as quick as possible. Don't get me wrong I did like this app because it told me my splits and elevation, But I know for sure that I wouldn't use this during a race. In 5k and 10k races I don't race with music. It's over before you know it and I want to hear other people breathing. During a marathon I need some music to zone out.  I need to find a new watch. Any suggestions? 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I love me some stroller running...

I haven't been able to run long on the weekends in a couple of weeks. I had family in town not so long ago. Then my husband got sick and I didn't feel right leaving him with the bambino so I could selfishly run miles all by myself.  So for the last two weekends I have been taking my sweet Sammy with me. Oh man.... I am getting faster so why is this whole stroller pushing thing becoming harder? Well my little guy is now a whopping 23lbs and it is getting harder pushing him around. But it is a good upper body/core workout. I am happy if we are able to hit a 10min per mile pace. I'm not really into running on the roads with him ( I worry about stray dogs and drivers that don't pay attention) so I head to the park around the corner from my house.
This is a nice view from the track. I love the view of the mountains.
This track is exactly a half mile long. Now that the weather is spectacular, lots of folks are in the park running, walking, playing volleyball, basketball etc. I had to do a double take today because I saw two different ladies carrying Louis Vuitton shoulder bags while walking. "Really is this necessary to work out?" Last week I ran 4 miles on Saturday and Sunday with the boy. Yesterday I ran 4 miles after work. Today I ran 5 pushing him, then I came home and ran 2 more miles on the treadmill. My upper body definitely feels the burn.  I'm hoping to run long tomorrow.

Living in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is typically associated with gambling, The Strip, night life, and really HOT temperatures.  Yes all of these things are what make Las Vegas "Vegas". But there is so much more than meets the eye.
Here are a few things that I would like to share about living and running in Las Vegas.

*Most people think that it is pancake flat out here. Well, the truth is that only the strip is flat. The Las Vegas valley is surrounded by hills and even mountains.  Yesterday I went for a run at lunch time. I ran 7 miles and climbed over 375ft in the first half. The nice part was the 375 downhill on the way back.

Dolly's lunch time hilly run
Distance:7.01 miles / 11.28 km
Location:Start: Touro University
Henderson, NV, US
Attributes:loop, mixed flat & hills, roads

Map data ©2012 Google - Terms of Use
2000 ft
500 m

*The temps out here are hot to run in. Well it's true from May-October I will no longer be able to enjoy lunchtime running outside But it's not as bad as people might think. June-August are ridiculously hot. You have to plan for your runs by leaving the house super early or you will be stuck on the treadmill. The rest of the year is perfect running weather. I believe that the desert heat has made me a tougher runner over the years and more disciplined. In Southern CA I had the option to run in the morning or the afternoon and I was more likely to brush off a run. In Vegas if you are not out the door by 5:30 and back by 7:30am in July you will fry like bacon. But, it's only for three months. Today is a beautiful 68 degrees and I will take the heat over snow any day.

* If you live in Las Vegas then you must work on the strip, have a gambling habit, and or live a nocturnal lifestyle. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm an early bird and I have a regular 9-5  Monday-Friday job. But  I sure enjoy the perks of the gaming revenue. Our city has some really nice parks and our libraries are open on Sundays and I don't have to pay state taxes. Think what you want about Vegas; It's a pretty sweet place to live.