Joggin for Frogmen 5K Race Recap

A little over a week ago I raced the Joggin for Frogmen 5K in Norfolk, Virginia. This was at the end of an 88 mile training week but for some reason I had it in my stubborn mind that I was going to set a PR (sub 17:53). Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that did not happen…not even close.  However I did have an amazingly fun time at a great organized race that I will, for sure, run again.

Race morning, we lucked out with cooler temps but the humidity was still high (this is the beach after all).  I did a one mile warm up alone then striders and some drills with friends around the starting line. We all sang the Star Spangled Banner together, led by race director Cameron Cooper, such a cool touch but maybe the runners within ear shot of me didn’t appreciate it, ha.  Then we were off!

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On the starting line. Already staring at my watch (my worst racing bad habit) Silly Kristen.

I found myself as 2nd place female a quarter to half mile in and the girl leading was pushing 5:15 pace, out….of….my…comfort….zone.  So I backed off and settled into the grind. I focused on staying relaxed but pushing hard and until the half way mark, was lucky enough to have a man at the same pace to work with, we had passed the first female somewhere close to mile 1.

At halfway our overall average was 5:37 pace, which I was happy about. I still felt like I had a ton in the tank, and that I could pull off a PR, but things change so quickly in a race.  Legs started to feel heavy, the man I was running with faded a bit, and the course that was previously super straight and fast, started to weave through narrow streets.  With almost a mile to go and us still running past the park, away from the starting line, I knew the course would be long. And that’s the thing with 5K’s.  I feel like, the second I start losing focus, I’m done.  I started worrying about the finish line, I started asking volunteers which way to go, I turned down the wrong way on a street and had to back track (not by too much).  These are all things that were 100% in my control, my fault, and I messed up.  The finish line was very cool (see picture below) and I was elated to finish as first female, but I was not thrilled with my time of 18:26.  It was a huge reminder to me that at Chicago I MUST focus. Stop getting sloppy when you are tired, stop staring at my watch every 10 seconds, remember to keep pushing.   

Besides not coming close to the time I had in mind, I loved this race.  Not only did our $40 race entry fee go to a good cause, Joggin for Frogmen beneficiaries, but we recieved soft shirts in sizes that fit all women (this is a race rarity and deserves bonus points!), a medal that doubles as a bottle opening key chain, gorgeous location, finish line food, and something especially cool…free race photos.  Also the awards for first male and female were fantastic.  Its hard to see the details in the photo but the handle is gorgeous.  It’s one of my favorite awards ever.

Awards

The next day after the race was an easy day then I was back at the training. With only 9 weeks to go until the Chicago Marathon, I can’t afford the time to taper for shorter races. I do feel that I have come a huge way since my injury in March but in the grand scheme of things, hearing there is less than 10 weeks until your goal race is a bit terrifying! My right calf has been a bit cranky here and there, and a little twinge like that can give a huge sense of paranoia. There are days that I feel completely overwhelmed and doubtful and there are other days that I feel confident and in control. I guess that all goes in as half the fun right?! My next race will be the Rock & Roll Virginia Beach Half in three weeks.  I have run this race for the last 3 years so even if the weather is bad, I can use it as a nice gauge of fitness.

Thanks for reading everyone!  Have a great week!

Weekly Recap- 11 Weeks until Chicago.

Marathon training is a long drawn out process.  You push and push in hopes to see a break through and then continue to push and push for more all over again. After my injury early in the year I felt like I would never get back to the paces and endurance I was. Then in my last recap I noted that I was getting pretty close. Finally last week I felt as though I had a small break through in training and am not only where I was in January, but a tiny bit beyond it. The breakthroughs are not always smooth, but progress is progress. I’m thrilled about every step in the right direction, exhausted but thrilled ;)  Here is a recap:

11 runs in 7 days

83 Total Miles

Monday- 2 mile warm up, 12 by 2 mins @ 6:00 pace, Incline 4 on the treadmill.  This workout was absolutely brutal. The incline range was between 4-5. I, being ambitious on a Monday morning, set the incline to 5 and died on the first one. Any second I expected to be thrown off the back of the treadmill and my heart rate was through the ceiling. There was no way I could complete the workout at an incline of 5 so I switched it to 4 where I continued to feel like bad things could happen at any moment.  My pride wouldn’t let me adjust the pace or incline any lower though and I survived through one of my hardest speed workouts to date. How could an interval that only lasts two minutes be so difficult?!?!? 

Wednesday- After a rough Monday, I didn’t let me brain stress about this one too much. I had childcare but not until later in the morning when it was 85 and a dew point of 73.  Not great tempo conditions but I will say, after a workout on the treadmill I was so happy to be outside that I didn’t care. I always do the same exact 5 mile tempo loop so that I can accurately compare. There are sections with a headwind but its an out and back so it’s “fair” with a tailwind as well.  The miles went 5:56, 6:04, 5:56, 6:08 (oops!), and 5:55 (6:00) average. My fastest 5 mile tempo before Philly was 5:59 pace and that was in near perfect conditions so this tempo, in such heat & humidity, was huge for me.  If you are feeling down about proper pacing in the heat here is the link to the chart I use for temperature/humidity adjustments- Maximum Performance Running Heat Adjustment Chart

Friday-  16 mile Fast Finish Long run.  All of our long runs have a different goal, some are medium pace, some include tempos, some are water only.  These week was a fast finish.  My first 12 miles were at 7:03 pace and my last 4 were at 6:18 pace, averaging 6:55 overall.  I did take two gels and stopped for water to take with those gels.  This was WORK but It’s been nice to see my average pace for long runs dropping. Last year long runs were very rarely sub 7 overall.

    Friday was also the day I mowed our lawn and got stung by FOUR bees.  I suppose I was lucky it wasn’t more but it was an awful experience. Has this happened to anyone else? I jumped in our pool and got tons more off after the first four stung. I have been sung before and NEVER had a reaction but this time my ankles were swollen and the pain irritated me for two days.  It was even waking me up at night.  When I ran Saturday and Sunday my ankles were bursting out of the tops of my socks, lol. For now on when I mow the lawn I will be wearing pants and long sleeves even if its 90 degrees out. This isn’t the best picture but look how swollen my left ankle is 24 hours after the stings:

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  So (besides the bees) running is going very well but I do have to say something else that has happened in the past week that blows running out of the water.  The Mr. came home!!  It’s been a long summer without him and it feels amazing to have our family whole again.  This is an old reunion picture, I was too lost in the moment to take one yesterday but it captures the moment.   I feel like I’ve neglected some of my sponsers, so I wanted to give a little thank you to Bedgear for supporting us. When they send me gear, they also send the Mr. some as well and as a submariner he really appreciates his.  Those guys are tired! He slept for over 12 hours on bedgear before heading back to work.  We are so happy to have him home!

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 Have a happy week everyone!!