Well How About That

 

One of my goals for 2016 is to race at least once a month, except maybe during the dead heat of summer.  So to get started right, I signed up for the Pirate Dash 5K a couple of Saturdays ago.  I had 3 miles planned for that day anyway, and I knew the course would be kind of hilly, so I planned to take it easy and save my harder efforts for my long Sunday run.

While the rest of the country woke up to this

south Alabama was just dealing with temps in the 20’s and a hella lot of wind.  I thought we would freeze to death waiting for the gun to go off.  About 200 of us huddled at the line, along with a couple of strollers and more dogs than I’ve ever seen in one race, a creepy pirate and the Chic-Fil-A cow.

This 5K benefited the town’s schools, so there were quite a few kids too.  Having dealt with the dangers of kid runners and their inclination to stop directly in front of me after 100 yards, I decided to hang to the back of the pack and let that mess clear on out.

We got one major downhill (and the lone water stop?) in the first mile.  Did I mention it was cold? I couldn’t feel my face until mile 2, and my butt was frozen the entire time.

Things started to get tough in Mile 2, as they are prone to do.  After our nice little downhill we started going the other way.  And not in the nice, rolling up and down sort of hills.  No.  Up, up, up we’d go, turn the corner, and go up, up, up some more.  32 feet of elevation gain may not sound like much, but I’ll remind you that I’m a flatlander.  But I put my head down, kept my feet moving, and wished there was one more water station.

Mile 3 had one more monster uphill, but there were a couple of downhills, and I knew I could hold onto things until the finish.  Besides, my legs were just getting warmed up.  Before long, there was the finish, but first, lets take a selfie!

The hat keeps my head warm, but its really not my best look.

And, a couple of yards later, the finish!  I felt pretty good about the effort.  And I should, because when I looked at the data later, it turns out this was a 5K stand alone PR by about 30 seconds.  Had I not stopped for the #pirateselfie, it would’ve been almost a minute.  If I had realized, I would’ve pushed a little harder.  Oh well, its still a PR!

And then I refueled.  Because, Mardi Gras.

Official Time: 42:46
Overall: 189 / 214 
Age Group: 8 / 12 
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SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt and GIVEAWAY!

I was provided a Dual Pocket Run Belt for review and to give away by SLS3.  All opinions are my own.

You probably have noticed by now that I love my Sparkle Skirts.

Not just because they are pretty, but also comfortable to run and, and POCKETS!  I’m not talking about those tiny pockets that are made for keys except the giant one to my car.  I mean 2 large pockets in the legs and a zipper pocket on the waistband.  But I don’t like to pin anything to my skirts, so a still wear a race belt.  And, frankly, I’m like a Sherpa and like even more storage capacity. So I was excited when SLS3 contacted me to try out their Dual Pocket Run Belt.

My long run was the perfect place to try out the running belt.  It was pretty chilly for south Alabama, so I wanted to wear capris instead of a skirt, and I had 9 miles on the agenda, so I needed to carry some Gu’s.  Mark only had to run 6, so I wanted to also carry my Iphone 6 for my solo miles.

The belt has two zipper pockets that meet in the center big enough to hold my Iphone easily.  I’m sure a bigger phone would fit nicely as well.  The elastic on the running belt was wide and comfy, but snug, and had adjusters on both sides.  I’m not sure they would adjust big enough to fit Mark, but the belt held tight against my body and eliminated jiggling.  I put 3 Gu’s in the other side with plenty of room for more.

I was afraid that having all of that around my waist would be heavy and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t.  The Dual Pocket belt was snug and didn’t move.  I just need to figure out where the best place is to clip my iPod Shuffle, but that’s not big deal.  And I was able to easily pull out my phone to take the ever-important mid-run photos without having to pry my phone out of the too-small pocket on my other running belts.

The folks at SLS3 have provided Runs With Glitter readers a special price on the Dual Pocket Belt.  Use this special link.

SLS3 has provided a Dual Pocket Running Belt to give away to one lucky reader.  Enter by Wednesday, February 3 at 5 p.m. CST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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I’m a Stinkin’ Genius and Training Update

Training for Rock n’ Roll NOLA has been trucking along.  Between sickness, Mardi Gras, and dental work I haven’t been getting in all the miles prescribed in my plan, but I’m running at least 4 days a week.  Last Sunday was my first truly long run since November: 8.5 miles (I HATE all the .5 miles in this plan!), and I did just fine and wasn’t a hobbled troll for days after.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s winter, and its dark outside by the time I get off work and can run.  I try to stick to lighted areas, but even the lighting in our neighborhood leaves a lot to be desired.  So this year I invested eight whole dollars in a head lamp.

Guess I really have to run in the dark now. #shizgettinreal

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But I didn’t love running with it.  I had to keep my head ducked down to keep the light in a spot that actually helped me see where I was going.  And I kept blinding Mark when I’d try to talk to him. So I came up with a genius idea.

I unclipped the light from the headband and clipped it to my race belt!  It fit perfectly and now I have a belly light!

The spot is perfect and it doesn’t swing quite as bad as when it was on my head.  And Mr. Winston approves.

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My 2016 Plans

Hidy-ho there!  It’s another year, and I’m back to training.  In 2015, I ran 11 races, including 4.5 half marathons, earned my Coast to Coast medal from Disney, and did not come anywhere close to breaking 3 hours in a half marathon.  And I also burned myself out on running.  Right now for 2016 I have no goals other than to have fun at the races I do, and do my best to improve my time.  I want to run a race per month to keep in starting line practice. Here’s what’s on the calendar so far:

February 28 – Rock n’ Roll NOLA.  I’m going back to where it all started and to finish my original running goal that my broken foot kept me from: run the NOLA half.

 

 

 

March – Excalibur 10 Miler.  Because the medal is just too cool. Guaranteed to be a PR since I nearly gave myself heat stroke at the Tower of Terror 10-Miler.

April –  DH is running the challenge (10K+Half), so I’m in for moral support on day 2.  Plus, I’m not going to sit out on earning a Disney medal!

November #1 – Rock n’ Roll Vegas Half.  How about a little runcation and get to run on the Vegas Strip at night?  Hell yes!  It’s been way too long since we visited Sin City, so 2016 it is!

November #2 – Space Coast  Half.  Just a couple of weeks after Vegas I plan to make a return trip to Cocoa, FL for our third Space Coast half.  No PR dreams this time; just the goal of the Milky Way challenge medal.

You can see I’m far from 12 races, so I’ll have to pick up a few local 5K’s and such.  No pressure, just consistent running and racing.

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Space Coast Half 2015 recap

This is so not the recap I wanted to be writing.  I had big, big goals for the Space Coast half, and every reason to think I would reach them.  But my body had other plans.

By the time we got to Cocoa on Black Friday, I’d logged more than 40 hours of riding and driving in the car in November.  I’ve talked about my back problems before, and nothing irritates my back more than being in the car for long trip.  That and yard work, or having to bend over for long stretches.  My back bothered me on our run on Thanksgiving, so I cut that one short, but everything seemed fine on our shakeout run on Saturday.

When I lined up on Sunday morning, I was worried about the humidity.  I tried to line up just in front of the 3:00 Galloway pacer, but it was far to crowded to even get into the street.  I was six people deep on the sidewalk near where the pacer was, so by the time the gun went off and we started moving, I was probably 45 seconds behind the pacer.

Why didn’t I want to be with the pacer?  Because her :30/:30 intervals didn’t jive with my 3/1.  After getting caught in the mob of 30 or so people in the pace group, who apparently abandoned all race etiquette about walkers keeping to one side and letting runners through when they joined the group, and being elbowed and stepped on when the group would start running, I made the decision to pass the group.  I burned up far too much energy doing this and finally just decided to let them get ahead and try to stay to the back of them.

But these extra efforts meant a. I never got into a groove and b. I started getting overheated quickly.  Also, all the lateral movement really worked my back.  By mile 5 I was having trouble keeping the 3/1 intervals and was feeling extremely nauseous despite taking salt tabs and drinking Nuun regularly.   I had to let my goal go.  And then, things went downhill.

This course is not flat, and in the first/last few miles, there are small hills.  My back decided these hills were just too much work, and somewhere around the 10K timing mat, decided to start really complaining about what I was doing.  I also started having extreme GI issues anytime I would take any fuel including water.  I changed to :45/:45 intervals.

Somewhere in miles 7-8 my back had just had enough and started spasming.  I really started to doubt if I would even finish the race.  I was only running every third/fourth/fifth interval, and every time I would run for just those 45 seconds, it would literally take every bit of physical effort I could muster and I’d be out of breath for a while.  By mile 11 I couldn’t hold myself up anymore and in mile 12 I had to hold onto my husband’s arm for him to help me walk up a hill.  You can see just how stooped over I was in this stolen race pic that I have absolutely no intention of buying and can’t even believe I’m putting out there for the world to see:

capture

I’m proud to say that I never quit running completely, even though running spurts were few and far between.  I mustered every bit I had left in me to run as much of the running intervals in the last mile as I could, and I only walked 1 45 second segment.  And I finally finished.

Results

Finish time: 3:27:25

Overall: 2699/3314

Gender: 1828/2319

AG: 355/427

There were lots of tears of sadness and disappointment and frustration.  Frankly, I’m still a little shocked that my 3:27:xx effort made this my third fastest half.  I’m amazed it wasn’t my slowest.  I’m trying hard to look on the bright side and be proud of finishing 13.1 miles through absolute agony, but I’ll be honest: I’m struggling with that.  I don’t have happy thoughts when I look at my medal.  I didn’t really even wear it after the race.  In the past I’d look for a race in the next week or so to try to take another shot, but my back’s in no shape for it.  The next race on my calendar is in February, just after Christmas and Mardi Gras, so I’m not sure my training would be up to par for another sub-3:00 run.

I know you have to take the good with the bad, but I’m pretty much 1 for 8 for something not going terribly wrong during a half.  I’m not going to quit running halfs, but my motivation is really lagging right now.

Until I start training for Rock n’ Roll NOLA, I might not be blogging weekly.

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Battleship 12K & It’s Almost Time!

T-minus three days and counting until Space Coast. Training hasn’t been absolutely perfect, it’s been way to long since Ive run more than 10 miles, but at this point it is what it is. But if the Battleship 12K I ran a couple of weeks ago was any indication, I might be OK.

A 12k is a pretty odd distance and this was a new race, but when there was a deal to register for $12, I figured what the heck. 2 weeks out from my goal half would be a great place to see where I was. Plus, a medal!

Ready for this one tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get to run ALL the miles this week! #battleship12k #nuunlove

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We stopped by bib pickup on Saturday and got a nice swag bag, and our shirts had the names of the runners on the back. What a neat idea.
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It was nice to be able to get my stuff ready and sleep in my own bed the night before.
The race didn’t start until 8, but luckily we had 2 days of fall weather, and it was kind on chilly at the start. OK by me, since I run hot.
This race benefits a couple of veterans organization s, so there were groups running with flags and very patriotic outfits. After the national anthem, we were off.
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Believe it or not, we do have hills here on the coast, and the course took advantage of that for the first mile. Garmin’s elevation data isn’t lying.
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I figured mile 1 would be fast, so I focused on holding back and watching my footing. I was shocked when my Garmin beeped and showed 12:33. I thought I was really in trouble. There were  couple of small bridges in the second couple of miles and we ran them,so I figured things would even out. I just focused on running my 3 minute intervals and not looking at my watch. I did ask Mark at one point if we were running fast, because I was having some trouble with my breath, but I never felt like I was running hard. But then I took a peek at the watch:
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Holy Mother Crap! I have never run more than 1 mile at a time at a 12:xx pace, much less 3, and I still felt pretty strong. There weren’t any 5k or 10k splits, but unofficially my 5K split was 38:59, a 4+ minutes PR. I took a GU at mile 3 and to used on the mile I was in. And also not to cry tears of sheer joy.
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Courtesy Tim Ard

By mile 4 we were on the heart of the Causeway, so super flat, literally at sea level, and full sun. It was very scenic, but it started getting warm, and I’d forgotten salt tabs. Luckily Mark had some and saved the day, and the nausea went away. It still wasn’t as bad as the last time I ran a race there.
I was slowing down, but not too bad, so kept plugging away at the 3 min intervals and focusing on the mile I was running. Again, no 10k mat, but by my watch another nearly 5 min PR there. I was so super excited and proud. There was another, taller bridge in mile 7 (rude) and we walked up that. Turning into Battleship park, Boy Scouts were handing out American flags to finish with.  We made our way around the park, and I thought I was all smiles, but photographic evidence proves otherwise.
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There was a real finish line and they called our names as we finished. I honestly still cannot believe my paces.

 

 

 

And then there was the medal.
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This race was really well run. Boy scouts manned aid stations every 2 mile with plenty of water and Gatorade for everybody. Everything was well organized and all the miles well marked with themed mile markers. I real!y have no complaints and can’t wait to run it again next year, even without a discount.
Results:
1:37:29
 Overall: 411/479
AG: 52/59
Women: 243/295
So using this finish time, McMillan tells me I can run a half marathon in 2:58. Its really going tone weather dependent. And even now I feel like there must have been some mistake because I can’t believe I ran *anything* in a 13:05 pace, so I’ll believe it when I see it. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, everybody.
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Another year of #nuunlove

You all know how I love my Nuun.  It gets me through pretty much every training run and race, especially the hot and humid ones. So I was super excited to open my email inbox and see this last week:

I’m back for another year as a #nuunambassador, and I’m freakin’ excited!  Thanks @nuunhydration!

You can be a #nuunambassador too.  Go to Nuun’s blog to find out how to apply.

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