Race Recap: 10 Miler in the Heat

Well this is a few weeks late, but I wanted to wait to publish this until I uploaded my Garmin data. Clearly, I’m a slacker because it took me 11 days to getting around to that.

A couple Saturdays ago was the 10 Miler in the Heat. I built this race up a lot in my head so it was nice to finally get to it and, ultimately, get through it. At the last minute, Matt decided to run also! Not gonna lie, I was pretty excited to have him there.

The race started at 7, and I learned just how much of a control freak I can be when I’m forced to wait for someone else. I wanted to get to the race by 6:30 because we still needed to pick up our packets. Plus time to park, go to the restroom, put my goodie bag back in the truck, and generally not feel rushed. Getting to post takes about 30 minutes from where we live. That means leaving at 6am. When 6am rolled around I had been ready to go for 10 minutes and I may or may not have been tapping my foot while I was waiting for Matt. The sad thing was, he wasn’t even running late. I am just that impatient.

We left by 6, but once we turned onto the main road leading up to the gym we got stuck in a line of cars not going anywhere. Cue my impatience and minor freakouts. Turns out it was for reveille…something I have never actually witnessed before. All the sudden Matt jumps out of the truck before I had any idea what was going on. The guy in the lane next to me a few cars up was late to the party and didn’t get out until the end. Oops.

I would like to say we had plenty of time to get our things situated at get to the starting line, but we walked up to the line just as the starting gun was going off. Luckily, it was a small enough race that I was easily able to find Amy, but I was so distracted, I forgot to turn link my Garmin with the satellites!  See. This is why I didn’t want to feel rushed.

Starting the race! I'm yelling at my Garmin because it was taking it's sweet time linking up.
Starting the race! I’m yelling at my Garmin because it was taking it’s sweet time linking up.

Amy and I started off running with fellow Wear Blue member, Jennifer. This was Jennifer’s first time attempting a double digit run. She was bubbly, excited, and fun to be around. We were treating run as a “regular long run” so we didn’t a specific time goal we were trying to hit. The goal was to start conservatively and finish strong.

Everyone started really, really fast. Like really fast. I have since learned that this race was being used as a qualifier for the Army Ten Miler. I am typically a middle of the pack runner. I’m not spectacularly fast, but I’m not slow either. I assumed leading up to the race that it would be mostly soldiers that are a lot faster than I am. That was a fair assumption. Even though I knew the population of runners, it was a little weird being at the back of the pack.

The beginning of the race went by really quickly. Amy, Jennifer, and I chatted easily. We made a fueling stop at mile 3.5. At mile 5, Jen had to peel off because her Gu didn’t sit well with her. So, Amy and I continued on our own.

My favorite running partner!
My favorite running partner!

Thank God I had her to run with. After the turn around (mile 6ish?…I don’t remember), I was starting to feel the distance. Had I been running alone, the rest of the race would have been a struggle. It was the point in the race where you are getting close to being done, but there is still a ways to go. It is more of a mental challenge for me than a physical one. I knew my body was prepared for a 10 mile run, but sometimes my mind (and my doubts) get the best of me. Fortunately, that was not the case this day! Amy and I chatted easily about pretty much everything.

Before I knew it, we were getting close to the end. We started speeding up (subconsciously I think) during the 8th mile. I was a little worried that if we picked it up too soon I would burn out before the end. We tried to reign it in a little bit, but I’m not sure we did. In the last mile, I tried to focus on the whole “finish strong” thing. And I think we accomplished that. My finish time was 1:47:22. I’m pleased with it. We stuck to our race plan pretty perfectly, so I’ll call it a success.

Running towards the finish line.
Running towards the finish line.

Matt did awesome, by the way. I was pretty impressed because he doesn’t usually run for distance. He finished in 1:12:xx and he was 23rd overall finisher.  I think he caught the racing bug a little bit though. There is an 8k on post next month that he is all excited about doing. 🙂

For the numbers junkies!
For the numbers junkies!

 

Runners Tell All: Training Routine

 

This month we are supposed to talk about our day-to-day running routine. I could talk about this for hours. I’ve toyed with my routine a lot since moving to El Paso, and I think I’ve figured out what works for me. I’ve definitely learned a lot anyway.

Morning or Night? I am strictly a morning runner. When I first moved to El Paso, I tried running in the afternoon/evenings because it was easier with my schedule. I’m not saying I didn’t have any good runs, because there were a few, but I was mostly tired and grumpy and just not feeling it. There were a lot of runs that just didn’t happen because “eh, I don’t want to.” When the weather warmed up I switched back to mornings. It’s so much better. If I am not out the door and running by 10am (at the latest) it’s probably not going to happen that day. I’m okay with that because I would rather rearrange my running schedule for the week than force a shitty run later in the day. Shitty runs will make me grumpier in the long run than a missed or rescheduled run will.

When you run in the morning, you get to see things like this. (There are two rainbows...the stupid iPhone just didn't capture them very well - yes, it's the phone's fault).
When you run in the morning, you get to see things like this. (There are two rainbows…the stupid iPhone just didn’t capture them very well – yes, it’s the phone’s fault).

Music or Silence? Depends on my mood. Before moving to El Paso I never listened to music. Then when I moved here I picked up the habit again to help get me through the rough times (or hills). Now, I put on my headphones on the days that it takes a little something extra to get out the door. Assuming my iPod is charged. My friend, Amy, suggested listening to Podcasts. I actually really liked that. There is one, Everyday Runner’s, that are really good.

Training Plans? I love a good training plan. I love being able to cross the run off my calendar and visible proof I am one run closer to race day. The training plan I use varies depending on my goals. When my goals are to build a base, I tend to like Runner’s World Smart Coach. When my goal is to train for a race, I am starting to like the Run Less Run Faster plan. This is the plan I am going to use for my upcoming half marathon. In a new twist, however, lately I have been very lax about my training plan. I improvise when needed and feel no discomfort at all when I need to modify it. The old me was so rigid about it, I would have anxiety about not running exactly what the plan said to do. I’m not sure if this means that I am becoming less OCD/anal about things, or if I am smart enough about training plans and I know my body well enough to know what it needs and what I can do. Either way, it’s a nice change.

Solo or Group Runs? This has probably been the most drastic change since moving to El Paso. Up until recently, I was a solo runner. Not because I had something against running with others, I just didn’t live near a friend who ran the same kinds of distances and paces I do. Also, I’m a big scaredy cat and have always been too intimidated to join a running club. So I ran alone. Spending my runs solving the worlds problems and over thinking my own. Then I moved to El Paso where I met Amy in real life (we had been blog buddies for a while). We have similar running goals and run at very similar paces. Match.com couldn’t have done a better job finding me a running partner. We started doing easy runs together during the week . Then we found the Wear Blue: Run to Remember group at Fort Bliss. Now I am part of a running group! I do long runs with other people! Y’all. Seriously. This has been the most eye-opening experience! While I still enjoy my solo runs during the week, I very much look forward to the group runs on the weekend. Running with people who share my passion and excitement for running just makes me more passionate and excited about it. When it comes time for us to leave Fort Bliss, I know I will miss these people the most.

Wear Blue (El Paso Chapter) Group!
Wear Blue (El Paso Chapter) Group! Also, do you see the 10 week old vizsla puppy? I tried to steal her.

 Crosstraining? Ummmm. I want to cross train. I really do. I really suck at this thing called balance. When running is my focus because I am training for a specific race, everything else seems to fall by the way side. So, yes, I cross train, but not with the consistency I would like. I try to do yoga once a week. My goal for this upcoming training cycle is to yoga once per week and do a spin class once per week and do at least one circuit/crossfit type workout per week.

So there you have it. That’s what my day-to-day training looks like. 

Do you like to work out alone or in a group? Fitness classes at the gym count too!

It’s Race Week!

Hey y’all!

It’s been over a month since my last post. Crazy how time flies. The biggest lesson I learned from my other blog was not to post random shit when I didn’t have anything to say. Those were the posts that I ended up hating the most.

Anyway…

It’s race week here! The 10 Miler in the Heat is on Saturday. For a long time I wasn’t sure if this race was going to happen. I had some terrible long runs and felt sick for a couple weeks. It was a pretty big confidence killer. I was toying with the idea of pulling out of this race and just focusing on the half marathon in October.

But, since I’m stubborn that didn’t happen. Then we had some unexpected (at least to me) storms roll through El Paso. The storms dropped the temperatures and increased the humidity. Just my kind of running weather. I’m weird and seems to thrive when the temps are in the 80’s and there is some humidity in the air. Pretty opposite of every other runner ever, but hey, it works for me.

Two Saturday’s ago, I met up with Wear Blue: Run to Remember (this group deserves it’s own blog post – spoiler: I love them). Several people in this group (including the fabulous Amy) are also doing the 10 mile race so we have been doing the long runs together. The rain was fairly steady, but not too bad. We huddled under the tree before taking our weekly photo and setting out.

It was the best 9 mile run ever.

Sorry if you follow my Instagram and have already seen this. (Not really, I love this picture)
Sorry if you follow my Instagram and have already seen this. (Not really, I love this picture)

Well, maybe not ever, but in my recent memory. It rained off and on, but I felt good the entire time. After weeks of feeling like crap I really needed that run. That one run was pretty much the reason I decided to go ahead and go for the race. I know I have the ability to run 10 miles. I just don’t know how pretty it will be. I wish I felt more prepared going into it, but that’s okay.

I don’t have any specific time goals. My goal is to start conservatively and pick it up at the end.

As a last minute surprise, Matt had decided to run too! Some of the guys he works with are going to do it, so he registered for it as well. Hopefully he gets some good pictures of me. It will give him something to do while he waits for me to finish since he runs so much faster than me.

Wish me luck!