Monday, January 14, 2013

Race Weekend Recap

On Saturday I did Polar Dash (Chicago) and had a great time! I had registered for the 5K and toward the end of last week (Thursday, I believe) I started thinking about doing the 10K instead. I was still undecided when I got to packet pick-up on Friday evening. I had filled out the paper - just in case. Before I knew it, I was handing over my paper and paying for the upgrade. I figured 6.2 miles would be a good run for the day, and with my half marathon next month a longer outdoor race would be good prep.

I didn't do a traditional workout on Friday night. I had packed extra workout clothes and then forgot to pack my Turbofire DVDs. I picked up the SP DVD at Target, but after a super filling (and late) dinner, working out wasn't happening.

FYI... I had an amazing dinner. I totally went over my daily calories but I needed those carbs for the run in the morning! Dinner was at Grand Lux (right downtown, off of Michigan Ave.). I had the garlicky shrimp pasta for my dinner and ate about half of it. I also had some fresh, warm bread (two slices - no they weren't huge) along with it. I indulged in one glass of pinto grigio (seriously, wine is a MUST when eating pasta). There was even a splurge for a shared dessert.... Beignets. Oh. My. Yumminess. They were delicious!! I ate two of them (they weren't huge like some). I enjoyed every single one of those delicious calories without too much worry. I ate healthy early in the day, needed some race fuel, and don't do that often! Guilt? Nope.

As far as working out, it was at least a mile and-a-half walk to and from dinner, so I did get in a little walking (3 miles; carrying bags too). I had all of my gear for the race series (Polar Dash, Get Lucky, and Monster Dash), a shopping bag from Old Navy, a small bag of popcorn from Garrett (I get the Chicago mix whenever I'm downtown - it's the BEST!), and then after dinner there were take out bags. We had our arms full, so I'm sure that must've made me burn a few extra calories... Right?!

So... I ran a 10K on Saturday; my first (and longest) race to date. I've done longer distances, but not in a race. For anyone who runs, you "get" what it means to reach one more goal, even if you already do it unofficially. At least it's a big deal to me.

The weather was unseasonably warm for Chicago. At one point when I finished my race, I heard the announcer say that it was 55 - in Chicago; in January! It was wonderful! The wind made it feel colder than 55, but I'd still consider it a "warm" morning! I wore a long sleeve shirt and a wind breaker style jacket, and probably could've gone without the jacket. I'm glad I had it though, as I filled my pockets with things I needed - a bandana (to wipe away sweat from my eyes and, on the other side, blow my nose as needed), my phone, and at one point my ipod because it kept coming unclipped. I have a shuffle specifically for running, since it's lighter and easier to manage. Not to mention it's cheaper so if tragedy were to strike it would be much less expensive to replace than my phone or ipod. Also, when I finished I got cold very fast, so that extra layer was nice!

The race itself went well... We ran along paved pathways, along Lake Michigan (the Lakefront trail, for anyone who is familiar with it). We ran somewhere between three and four miles before turning around to finish the race (started and stopped at the same place). I will admit that I don't run up a lot of hills and there were several along the path. They weren't big hills, but inclines that I wasn't really used to. I didn't mind them, but could feel the difference in my body. I'm sure that running into wind didn't help much either. I was glad that the weather forecast changed from 20+ mph winds to 12-15! The wind and inclines definitely took a toll on me and I started to feel tired toward the end of the race. I allowed myself to slow down and walk as needed, but didn't really walk much... I think the most I did was between miles four and five. For some reason I had to blow my nose a lot at that time, so I'd slow a little to do so. I found a running buddy along the course... We didn't chat but we tried to keep pace with one another. I lost her at mile six. I decided to run the last two-tenths as fast as I could, and she apparently kept pace.

Oh! This course ends with an incline. Nice thing to do at the end of a race, huh? I knew it was coming, since it was along a similar route as Monster Dash had been, so at least I anticipated it. I dug hard and powered up that hill as fast as I could. I can safely say that I was breathing hardest and pushed the hardest after making the last turn toward the finish. I'm not a fast runner (nor do I claim to be). My goal is to, some day, be able to run a ten minute mile. Shoot, even in the ten minute mile range (10-10:59) would make me happy!

I'm currently in the 11 minute mile range. This makes sense for outdoors since I usually run about a 12 minute mile on the treadmill... A little less, but it's often closer to 12 than my outdoor pace. My goal for this race was to finish under a 12 minute mile, which I did. I know the last couple outdoor runs I did were slower than normal; around a 12 minute mile (but I had to walk around some snow and ice, which slowed me down). I was happy with my final time... I finished the race with a time of 1:12:39. According to the website, this was a pace of 11:42 per mile (the 10K was a little longer than 6.2; calculated at 6.3). When I mapped the race out on endomondo, it was actually closer to 6.5 (6.46, I think), but that may not have been accurate. If that were the case, my pace was 11:14. Both paces were in my range (11-12) but let's be honest... I'd have been a lot happier with 11:14. I believe my fastest pace in a race is 11:12 per mile.

I always like the first race of its kind... Every first race means a PR. That means that every 10K after this, I will strive to run it at a faster pace than 11:42. I suppose I should be thankful for more inclines than anticipated; and wind! This means that on a difference course, without as much wind, my pace should be a little better. I hope anyway!

I'm pleased with my performance. I wasn't totally exhausted when I was finished so I know I could've gone a longer distance. I was pretty tired immediately, but I think it was from sprinting up that last incline. As soon as my heart rate went down and my breathing returned to normal, I was totally fine. I think that the key to my half marathon will be taking little walk breaks as needed. I like knowing that I will be able to, comfortably, slow down. At my current pace I will finish in just a little over two and-a-half hours. My goal is to do it under three hours, and the time limit is three and-a-half hours. Provided all goes well, I should be able to finish under my goal.

I celebrated with post-race cocktails and lunch at Weber Grill. I drank a Bloody Mary before lunch arrived and became a buy tipsy. Apparently burning 885 calories after only eating a bagel will do that. For lunch I had half a burger and some of my fries, and another Bloody Mary. Weber Grill serves theirs correctly, with a little glass of beer.

After lunch a stop at HomeGoods was in order. The downtown store is my favorite. I'm not sure why but I love it. I discovered some great finds - on clearance! There was a lot more I would like to have purchased but couldn't, for various reasons including a walk back to the parking garage. At least I had the sense to realize that.. Which wasn't the case when I purchased this hideous dog:

He will be the source of an inside joke for years to come. Perhaps shopping after drinking isn't a good idea. Perhaps.

Don't drink and shop.

The rest of the day was spent shopping and with dinner out. I ate out a lot this weekend!! I'm glad to be back into my normal routine today.

Yesterday was spent grocery shopping, doing some driving, a little cleaning, and relaxing. Not an eventful day but a nice day.

I came home with a headache so I ate an early dinner and will workout in a bit; after my food settles. It's later than normal for a workout but I wanted to wait and see if my headache would lighten up or go away first. I'm hoping my headache will go away before then. I have about an hour of TF to do this evening.

I'm going to go spend some time cleaning before I workout. It's about time I put the Christmas decorations away!!

Hope you had a great weekend and have an even better week!!