Saturday, November 21, 2009

5k PR's for Mr. & Mrs. Honaker, and What's Next

Bucks vs. Michigan today, and of course we kicked it off with a great 5k race. Weather was excellent with bright sun, and temps in the mid 40's. After my last 5k race two weeks ago I was itching to go out and give that sub 26 min goal a shot. I already had a minute PR two weeks ago, but given the difficult course I had to tell myself for the same effort I had to be able to break into the 25:XX range.

As for Chris, he was itching to for a little speed. He has not raced many 5k's this year, and his last one was back in September when he broke the 20 min mark with 19:24. For this race I know his goal was to take off as many seconds as he could from his previous time. He had already hit his 5k goal for this year by getting a 19:XX, but I was pretty certain he would like to get as close to that sub 19 goal as possible before the end of the year (shall I even dare say break that sub 19 goal).

The Buckeye Bash 5k is a charity race benefiting a local schools cross country team. Our local running store, Columbus Running Company puts on the event, and we knew it would be packed with some speedstars. This was all fine to us because it always works better to have some people to chase, then to be out there on your own. Before the race began I meet up with Lori, and Amanda for a one mile warm up. It was great to have a race with some gal pals, and to chat it before things got started. Like we thought the race was definitely bigger than the 68 runners it had last year. Several hundred had come out for a great day for racing. After Chris meet up with two other CRC Pickerington runners, Doug and Dave, I kissed him good luck and tucked in towards the middle of the pack. Knowing the race was not chipped time and that I only lost that sub 26 time two weeks by 3 seconds, I was hoping I wouldn't regret being back so far. Regardless the gun went off, and started the garmin. It took about 3-4 seconds to get to the start and take off running.

Mile 1: My plan was to hit 8 min/mile for the first mile. I have learned I do better banking some time in the beginning. I guess I feed of the energy, since the one time I played it safe I ended up walking.
7:57 mile 1 average time was and I am very happy with that. I've never recorded a sun 8 minute mile on my garmin before.

Mile 2: Mile 2 is always my issue mentally I feel I'm still too far away and I need to conserve my energy. Two weeks ago I had dipped to 8:40 avg for mile 2 so I knew I could slow down a bit, but I still tried to make sure I was more in the 8:30ish range. I also had some runners slowing up and down all over the place during this stretch. The faders where fading bad. Mile 2 8:31 still hitting my plan right on point (although I didn't know it out there sincceI forgot to look at my mile two split).

Mile 3: This is really the hardest mile 3 I have ever had. I had a side stitch that felt like it wanted to pop up every few seconds. I kept trying to focus on keeping my breathing as even as I could (in through the nose, out through the mouth). I never did get the stitch so I guess it worked. Once I saw 2.5 on the garmin I knew it was time to turn it up. I kept telling myself I could push for half a mile and then I saw the school. It was right there, but still looked so far away.
I waited for the turn straight back to the school and took advantage of a slight downhill. It was enough to get my legs moving faster and I tried to do what I've read in the books.....keep it going, don't slow back down. That gave me enough push to pass some runners, and then I turned for the last straight away. I knew my husband would be along the straight away some place and be looking for me to push hard. I got just to the point I could see the clock 25:1X and ticking...I knew I had my 25:XX goal smashed even if I let up some to finish looking like an alive runner, but I had never really pushed myself to get every second I could in a race before. Knowing Chris would expect nothing less of me, and learning how much those little seconds meant to me I pushed, and pushed hard.

(Sadly the best picture taken of me. I was not on the look out for cameras during this race.)

O.14 Mile: 6:53 average pace DANG!!!! Thank god no one had a finish line picture because Chris said I finally looked like I was in real pain, and ready to blow chunks. Well I didn't blow anything, but the kid I beat to the finish did right next to me in the chute. I never felt like I was going that fast, more like a slug across the finish, but regardless I am proud to have given it a strong finish.

I finally have a 5k time that I really think represents what my fitness level is. I also ran with my heart rate monitor and had an average of 188 and max at 204 (don't know resting rate yet I'll get it in the morning).

Chris was happy with his 5k results, though he thinks he "dogged it". He tried not to go out like a rocket which was difficult because the start line was crammed with a bunch of kids. His goal was to keep the pace above 6:00. After getting through the start line mass of runners, he began picking of cross country kids. His last .1 was 5:24 pace, and his heart rate never went above 190 (his max is 200). All things indicate he could have pushed it a bit harder, but who knows. Regardless, he came in around 19:11ish which is a PR for him too. It also sets everything up nicely for his goal of sub 19:00 in 2010.

Speaking of 2010, this was my last "real" race for the year. We both have a thanksgiving day race, but I'm going to run with some friends and have fun (maybe get a picture or video while out there). Chris doesn't have anything on the books, but that could always change pending some great weather. For now we will enjoy the holidays, and begin focusing on 2010 goals. With my 30th birthday just around the corner I've decided to prepare a list of 30 Things to Accomplish for my 30th Birthday. Day 1 will begin in 1/13/10 and end on 1/13/11. I haven't finished my list, but I am thinking of one pretty big and long goal to place on it. I hope to have my list published in a few weeks and at that time will share my big goal.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Live to run another race....

Last week I certainly had some left over pains from the gravel race, but by the weekend all was well again. I was looking forward to my weekend double digit run and the reward that awaited me at the end, pumpkin pie!

Chris was going to do a 15 miler (but if you count running with me too and from the CRC store then he did 17 miles), and I had my 10 mile run. I DO count the mile to the store, and then I planned on running with my long run pal Patty. She was doing the 5 mile loop, and then I would go out for another 3 miles by myself before meeting up with Chris for the cool down mile back home. The run itself was a run nothing to eventful to report other than I was too busy talking I never ate my cliff bloks (which until then I always did if I was running over 1:10). The first portion of the run was easy (Patty and I talk a lot), but when I went out on my own I kicked it up a bit and hit 9:38, 9:37 and 9:20. Now I know nothing to go nutty about, but the more I feel comfortable in the 9 min/mile pace range the happier runner I am. After my 9 miles I waited at the CRC store for Chris to finish and chatted it up with the other runners. My total average for all 10 miles 9:57.

That evening after a day of Christmas shopping we celebrated with some pumpkin pie for desert. For this next training cycle I have added an additional day of running to my week (from 4 days to 5 days a week). Sunday was chosen as the best day to toss in an easy 3 mile run. This is my second week running 5 days a week and so far I could barely tell the difference....let's hope this keeps up. I totaled my week out with 26 miles, and Chris finished with over 55 miles (I think 57 to be exact). Coming up next the Buckeye Bash 5k this weekend. Chris and I will both be running the 5k so check back next weekend for my race report.

Finally we had an exciting night in the Honaker house last night. Chris and I both obtained the newest edition of Mizuno Wave Rider 13’s. Chris loves his Wave Rider 12’s, and I am moving up in the running world and adding a second shoe into my running shoe rotation. Currently I run in Nike Vomero’s which I love, but they are feeling a tad heavy at times. The Mizuno is a lighter shoe which is important when wanting to run faster (I won't be expecting miracles).

Have a great week!
Chris & Stevi

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ohhh That Hurt!

Yesterday was the first time, in a long time I was really in pain after running. I certainly gained a new appreciation for people that run off-road/trail races. My leggies were just all ache (it even woke me up), and into the day on Monday. I was going to do 4 recovery miles, but my right leg was in so much pain I decided to move it to today.

So yesterday I did some hip hikers, balance on a pillow (cheaper than paying for the disc thingy), lunges, and other strength moves. I then spent a good 15 minutes with "The Stick" rolling my legs out. They are feeling 80% better today, and I hope to get in those 4 slow recovery miles on the treadmill. Chris was much tougher than me and got 6 miles in yesterday after work. He said it was a fairly painful run (this is coming from the guy that rarely feels injured).

This week's focus will be to just get the miles in, and add a few strides after one or two of my runs. I have another race in a week and then a 4 miler the following week. That's three races in one month, which is a first for me.

My miles for this week should get me back to pre-half marathon mileage peak:

On a different note I am on the hunt for a new pair of running shoes. I am going to keep using my Nike Vomero 4's, but with my mileage I'll go through them every 3-4 months. They aren't cheap, and it would be better if I could rotate in a cheaper pair of shoes (and lighter) for some of my lower mileage days. The owner of our running store (Columbus Running Company) is on the hunt for a 7.5 Muzino Wave Rider for me right now (I guess 7.5 size is popular). I'm looking forward to having a lighter shoe to run in. Although I LOVE my Power Pink Vomero's, they can feel heavy at times.

On a non-running note, I was super excited to get a package from Estee Lauder yesterday. I LOVE free gift time, I always try to pick up my make-up staples when a free gift is being offered. I hit the jack-pot this time. I got a full size face and eye cream, advance night recovery, full compact of ten eye shadow shades, and much more. On top of that I also got two free samples of more face creams. I will never have to buy the full size stuff if I keep this up.

That's all for now....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Duo Age Group Awards and a PR too

This morning was a semi-reluctant race morning. Chris had his 10k which he was not all that up for, and I had a 5k which was my semi-secret 5k fall race goal.

Back in May after running my first 5k in 28:28 I set a fall goal time of 26:XX. I had 4 5k's over the summer (one that I totally bombed on), and the other two I ticked off some seconds in the 27 minute range. I thought I was capable of 26:XX back in September, but I missed in by a few seconds. I was having a hard time pushing myself to the point of pain (which my running husband tells me is needed to get a full test of my potential). With my half marathon only three weeks ago, I was still tired from that experience. All in all I just didn't know what I was going to do today or what I was capable of doing.

The race was held at a local metro park, and the advertisement said paved/gravel surface with rolling hills. WELL......note to self take better note of the course description. The gravel was NOT nice crushed gravel, but real rock size gravel. Oh and the hills, I live in central Ohio and we just don't have hills. Somehow they made a park out of a surrounding flat area, and tossed in some wonderful hills. Chris was in his racing flats and could feel every stone when we went out for our warm up mile. From the start we had no idea what type of hills we would come across along the course, but lets just say that our training runs did not prepare us for what we had today.

The 5k started off 10 minutes before the 10k, so I gave Chris a good luck kiss and set off to line up. With no chip timing system I wanted to get close to the start, but not have a bunch of people passing me. Well I never had to really deal with other runners passing me. I had one girl start next to me, and take off in front and then one person that actually passed me on the course (it took a lot for me not to go after her, the the gravel kind of stopped me).

Mile 1 was 8:15, I have never in my life ran a mile that fast (let me note I have never tried to run just 1 mile all out either). I saw on my watch that I was pulling a pretty fast time, but I told myself to just go with it. Mile 1 also had a very steep hill that I lost my footing trying to go up and slid a few times.

Mile 2 was 8:41, I got a side stitch and knew I had slowed down to try and get rid of it. I also had some very consistent rolling hills and I spent a lot of time watching my footing because of the gravel. I remember thinking that maybe I would just have to can a PR, because I was having such a hard time.

Mile 3 was 8:24, I kept telling myself I was good as pushing it that last mile and I just needed to do it again. I really tried to focus on points I knew on the course that meant I was closer to the finish, and I think it helped. I also saw Chris go by me at this point and he was 4th or 5th position. Again the hill that I had the most trouble going up, gave me issues going down. This time I almost fell on my butt, somehow I managed to hold on and online slide and roll a ankle or two.

As I headed down the straight away and rounded the turn I saw the clock tick of 25:54. I knew I was at least ten seconds from the finish and although ecstatic to hit my fall goal time, I must admit I was a tad crushed to watch 25 minutes pass me. 26:09 is what I have on my Garmin and that meant a 1 minute PR.
As I crossed the finish line I was handed a race award, and then collapsed on the ground for a few minutes. A few minutes later I actually looked at the award and was pretty surprised to see I won 1st in my age group 20-29.

After I was done I waited for Chris to round the finish for his 10k with a fellow runner from the CRC group. The first 4-5 runners in the 10k were pretty spread apart (which included Chris). The first guy came by with room to spare for the second place finisher. As Chris rounded the corner as the 4th overall male finisher he looked strong and came across in 41:XX. It wasn't a PR for him, but he also wasn't really expecting one since he wasn't feeling 100% from the marathon 3 weeks ago. Even without a PR he came across well in front of the 5th place finisher, and won 1st in his age group 20-29 too.

Up next for me will be another 5k in two weeks. If all goes well I may just see if I can take off those last few seconds to get me into the 25:XX range....we will just have to wait and see.

Have a great week!
Stevi & Chris

Friday, November 6, 2009

Where can I get some of that speed?

Last Sunday was a great day for American distance running. Even if you don't follow running you have to smile at the news that Med Keflezighi was the first American to win the New York City Marathon in 27 years.
Chris and I joined other runners at the Columbus Running Company store in Westerville for another group run (we also do the group run on Saturday mornings in Pickerington), and then watched the marathon at the store while downing some great pancakes. It was fun to watch and cheer on the runners with other runners. Last week was also a week of first for me. I successfully ran 5 days a week. I previously only ran 4 days a week, but I decided I wanted to add another day. Sunday seems to be a great day to get an easy 2-3 mile run in.

After a weekend of great running (well beside a weird stomach crap I got on my Saturday run) I started the week dreading the time change. Monday I put in an easy 4 miles on the treadmill (I have vowed to make Monday recover days since I've never ran three days in a row before) so no issues with the time change, but Wednesday was a different story. I really wanted to go to the running trail, so I hurried home after work hoping that Chris and I could get our run completed before is was too dark. Oops, not sure what I was thinking, but when it says sunsets at 5:30 that doesn't mean it will still be light outside 30 minutes after sunset. I got pretty spooked several times, which made my 5k pace mile pretty easy. Chris ran by a deer that he could nearly touch, and then the Park Ranger decided to tell us just how bad we were for being out on the trail that late. That will be the end to my trail running till the sun decides to stay out for a little longer. On the plus side, I had a really good 5 mile tempoish run with a 9:30's average pace.

Thursday we both stuck close to home and ran in our neighborhood. I dressed up in my new Nike pullover we got on clearance (thanks to the hubby for my awesome present), and then strapped on two reflective bands and a blinky light. Drivers had no reason at all to miss me on the road. I decided to try and make my own 4 mile loop that would take me by the CRC store, and then back home. For once I was able to figure out my path with no issues, and finished my run thinking "this running thing is easy". Now that was an exciting thought last night. I just sort of thought for the first time since I started running how effortless that run was. The best part was I ran it all in under 10 minute miles. Now I know for my other running buds that is really slow, but I have only started running any training runs under 10 minute miles over the last 2 months. It use to be only on speed workouts with the fast CRC runners was I able to run under 10 minute miles, Now my body just does it on it's own. I feel like I am shedding my beginner runner shell.

This weekend Chris and I are supposed to do a local race (me a 5k and him a 10K). We both haven’t felt that excited about racing, but were hoping that feeling changes come Sunday. For me it will be about mentally wrapping my head around the pain you are suppose to feel when really racing a 5k (yes I am a whimp 100%), but Chris is still coming off his super fast marathon three weeks ago and is just not sure if his legs are ready for the speed of racing. On the plus and down side we may not even be registered since it is a roll over from a race we missed over the summer. The director is not the easiest to reach and with no race day registration, we may not even have a spot in the race.

Have a great weekend!
Stevi & Chris