Monday, July 15, 2019

Sweatfest: The race lived up to its name!

The short:

I decided to jump into a race that my local running club OMRR hosts, accurately called Sweatfest, in Missouri's July heat and humidity.  Albani and I both ran the 2 mile, which started at 8 p.m., and I ran the 10 mile, starting at 9 p.m.  The state records in both events for my age were very weak, so I was able to break them.  I also broke the overall female 2 mile state record (which was also clearly very weak - we all know short races are not my forte!) with 11:37 chip/11:39 gun (I should have gotten farther up on the starting line!).  But the largest success of the night was that I actually fell asleep when we got home from the races!

Official results are here.
State records are here:  2 mile and 10 mile.
We are very sweaty
The long:

The perk of running a Saturday night race:  my house was spotless by 10:30 a.m.  The downsides of running a Saturday night race:  I spent most of the day not resting, and also worrying that I was either eating too much or too little or the wrong things (spoiler: it was the third).  I remembered why I don't want to do any evening goal races; someone suggested the Rock 'n' Roll Vegas marathon to me for an OTQ attempt, but I think I'd have to be carted off to the looney bin by noon on race day if I tried that!

I hadn't run this race before, but I usually volunteer at it, so I was familiar with the event area and course.  Part of the "fun" of the race is that it takes place mid-July when it's inevitably steamy.  They even have a contest for who loses the most water weight in sweat!  There are 2 mile, 5 mile, and 10 mile distance options, with the 5 and 10 starting together and running the same course.  OMRR selected these distances because there are not very many certified courses of these distance in Missouri, so the state records are easily attainable.  The records for my age were 15:39 and 1:19:22, meaning that I could run my easy training pace and break them - if they had been fast I wouldn't have tried to break them in an oppressive summer night race!

I ran the 2 mile course for my "warm up" (it was 85 degrees with a dew point of 76, so I was sweating just walking across the parking lot), did a few strides and drills, and lined up to see what these marathon legs would do.  I didn't really know what to expect considering a) the weather, b) the time of the race, c) I hadn't run anything hard since Grandma's Marathon 3 weeks prior, and d) I sure hadn't done any training for a 2 mile since, oh, high school!  I also hadn't raced anything shorter than a half marathon in 10 months.  I decided I was going to just run hard and see what happened.
Thinking about lining up
The first bit of the 2 mile
Chasing two females
As we took off, two females went out fast.  One looked high school aged and the other looked around my age and very fit.  There isn't much time to make up ground in a race like this, so I tried to stay relatively close.  I passed the older of the two within a half mile, and then passed the 14-year-old at around 0.75 mile and told myself "now you have to hang on to this!"  I tried to work up to each man who was ahead of me.  The course had a hair pin turn at halfway, which was not easy to navigate running fast, but after I got around it I kept reminding myself to keep the pedal to the metal because the end was already close.  I didn't look at my watch during the race, but my first mile was 5:39 per my Garmin.
Towards the end of the 2 mile
This turn was terrifying
Final stretch
As we headed back to the finish line, my legs started to remind me that this is not what we do!  I kept trying to work up towards a man ahead of me, and caught him as I turned to go up an incline towards the finish (spoiler: he then out-kicked me going into the finish).  I knew I had a solid female lead at that point, and the upcoming 10 mile was in the back of my mind, so I eased off going up the hill.  When we turned down the final stretch towards the finish and I saw the clock in the 11:20s, I tried to really notch it down, although I'm not sure if I actually did.  I finished in 11:37 chip time, which also meant I positive split like a champ (5:58 second mile per my Garmin, but Strava short-changed me and said the course was 1.99).  It is always more difficult for me to negative split in any distance in the heat - hot races often end up being more like regression runs, haha!
Seeing the clock at 11:29
That's my fastest 2 miler as an adult, although I've run workouts pretty close to that (in better weather).  All-considering I was happy with it, especially because the overall state record was 12:00.  I am sure there are hundreds of females in Missouri who could run faster than I did, but lucky for me they haven't run a certified 2 mile road race in the state!  It was also a good confidence boost that I may be able to try for a 5K PR this season, because I think I could have averaged about the pace I did for this race for another mile if it had been cooler and I hadn't been holding back for the upcoming 10 mile (plus I am actually doing a speed work block at the beginning of my next training cycle, which can't hurt).

Albani ran the whole way in her 2 mile (no walk breaks) and finished in 22:06, for 4th in the 14 and under age group.  She hasn't been running at all, but was really excited to do this race and is already asking to repeat it next year!  She was disappointed that she didn't win an award, but I gave her my 2 mile trophy - we also realized that if I hadn't run she would have gotten 3rd in her age group, because the second overall female was 14, but don't tell her this.  After watching her finish, I drank some water and ate some watermelon, we took some photos, I received my award, and then I headed out to jog a mile cool-down/warm-up.
She begged to run this race, then made this face
See, this turn was terrifying!
Look at that stride!
Great finishing clock shot
Me being a dork at the 2 mile awards
I also wasn't sure how the 10 mile would go, considering a) the weather, b) it started at my bedtime, c) I hadn't run any long runs or workouts since Grandma's Marathon 3 weeks prior, and d) it was my first time racing with a headlamp.  I figured I'd start out at 6:30 pace and try to work down, maybe getting in a solid progression run and finishing at 6:00 pace, but I thought if I could average my marathon pace I'd be doing good (spoiler: I couldn't).  Nick, a friend through my running club, was also running it with a similar pace in mind and we decided to run together.
First 100 m of the 10 miler
After the start there were 4 men ahead of Nick and I, but we didn't know who was in the 10 mile and who was in the 5.  By the turn around at 2.5 miles we'd passed 2 of the men and were gaining on the others.  I looked at my first split (6:23), told Nick I didn't want to go any faster, then just followed him.  Coming back to finish our first tour of the 5 mile course, we passed another man and pulled up with another.  The second went with us, and told us he was running the 5 mile.  We ran with him until he started his finishing sprint and pulled ahead.  Then we went through the finish line to start the second lap of the course.
My headlamp is intense!
I felt okay on the first lap, but I wasn't sure if I had the reserves to run a good second lap.  I felt pretty dehydrated and took water 7 times during this race, which I have never done before in anything except a marathon!  I could tell Nick felt a lot better than me, but I just kept telling myself to stick with him until the next mile.  Then we'd get to the next mile and I'd tell myself, "okay, just until the next mile...okay, just until the turn around, etc."  I was slowing down but I wasn't looking at my watch (it would not have mattered if I did).
Around the halfway point of the 10 mile
Just after the turn around at 7.5, I suddenly needed an urgent bathroom stop!  I told myself, "Only a little over 2 miles can run straight to the porta-potty by the finish line..." but as we came up on the mile 8 mark I knew there was no way I was going to make it.  I told Nick I had to stop because it was happening one way or another, and I wasn't pooping myself unless it was en route to a 2:45 marathon!  The perk of it being pitch dark out and not having any other runners close to us was that I just had to take one step off the course into the ditch.  This has never happened to me before in a race except when I had cryptosporidum, and I blame it completely on the fact that I ate 2 full meals that included fresh garden produce before the race.  But after I went, I felt much better!  We won't talk about that car that suddenly drove by and honked at me (they were honking at everyone running though, at least)...

Although I felt immensely better after my pit stop, I was still fading (the 10 miler was another solid regression run for me, hah!).  Nick had generously run up a little ways and eased off the pace while I stopped, so I caught back up with him.  I told him he could feel free to go ahead; I could tell he was much stronger than me.  He said there wasn't any reason to; we would finish together (he also had a huge overall male lead and even if he kicked it in he wasn't going to run a great time for him).  Although my last few miles weren't pretty, they would have been much worse if I hadn't been trying to hang onto him!  Around mile 9 my shoe came untied, and by that point nothing really mattered so I quickly tied it.  I was pretty glad to see the finish line coming closer, and I told Nick, "I am not kicking", hah.  We finished side-by-side, although my chip read 0.22 faster than his so I technically won overall.  I felt bad about that because he would have had absolutely no trouble smoking me if he'd wanted to!  My time of 1:06:16 was a new single age state record for females age 38, despite being a slower pace than my half marathon state record.  I stopped my Garmin for my pit stop and shoe tying, which took exactly 45 seconds together.

I cooled down for a mile, which gave me 16.5 for the night and for my first long run after Grandma's.  I grabbed my 10 mile award as soon as I could, but we still didn't make it home until about 11:15, so by the time I made a smoothie and showered it was midnight, i.e., way too late for me!

The best thing about the race was our awesome running community and club.  Albani said the best part of the race was the ice cream truck!
Overall record

Thursday, July 11, 2019

June Cravings Post

Another month of food!

Beets, beets, and more beets!  They are so good for endurance athletes, and the ones we grow ourselves are so sweet that even my daughter loves them.
We grew a lot of beets...
Watermelon is one of my summer favorites, and I really appreciate the seedless variety.
We have more blackberries than we can ever eat right now; my husband and daughter are also selling them at a local farmer's market.  On June 30 we sold 150 quarts in 2 hours!

My newest protein powder flavor.
It goes great with garden fresh strawberries and beets in smoothies!
One of my favorite flavors; I always add cinnamon, which is great for taste and for reducing inflammation.
Open-faced veggie burgers (our ratio of buns to burgers did not quite align), steamed broccoli and carrots, and a few olives for good measure, all drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
Roasted veggies, cottage cheese topped with Everything but the Bagel seasoning, sweet potato topped with coconut oil and cinnamon.
 Dinner plate of beets, broccoli, black olives, baked potatoes, and hard boiled eggs.
I made kale chips seasoned with this sundried tomato seasoning/sauce mix, and they came out really well.  Also home grown kale!
 Peaches and pears.
I found this yogurt at Aldi and really like it.  It is full fat but no sugar, which is hard to find.  I topped this one with blackberries.

Here are several of my eats on my Grandma's Marathon trip.

Blackened salmon with power rice and grilled veggies from 54th Street Grill (this also came with a summer salad, pictured towards then end with another meal).  The power rice seems to be rice, quinoa, kale, and some seeds, and it's delicious.

One of the easiest traveling breakfasts is oatmeal - I add protein powder and cinnamon.

I ate many meals on the road that consisted of baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon, a veggie, and a tuna pouch (I was in my parent's RV with a microwave).

Post-marathon brunch!  Veggie and cheese omelet and pancakes.  I like my pancakes with peanut butter instead of syrup, but they didn't have it so I settled for butter.

Another meal in the RV - baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon, cherry tomatoes, and chicken and corn my mom didn't finish in her post-marathon meal.

Quest bars are some of my favorite protein bars.

Fish tacos with fresh white fish from Lake Superior, plus the tiniest fruit cup ever.

Ginger Thai stir fry take out.

Final RV sweet potatoes and tuna meal, with sugar snap peas.

Summer salad from 54th Street Grill.  I like salads as a side but not as a meal, and this one was really good, with strawberries, pecans, apples, and blue cheese crumbles.  The dressing was good too!  It came with the meal below.

Red snapper, power blend rice, and grilled veggies from 54th Street Grill.  I liked my first meal from there so much I went there again on the return trip (the restaurant I went to is in Kansas City, but it's a chain).

Sometimes a tuna sandwich is the best on the road!

These are okay; they travel well though.

After months of mostly avoiding sugar, I indulged the week after the marathon.  I have quite the sweet tooth but I always feel better when mostly avoiding desserts, so when I wasn't training I tried to get my fill for awhile.  After eating all of this crap, I was sure craving healthy food again!

Frosting is my favorite.

Since it was hot, ice cream was a close second.  This peanut butter sundae was amazing.

This cotton candy Blizzard was disappointing though.

This was the best dessert I had; which as you can see, was not an easy contest to win.
So delicious, but I probably have diabetes now.

Also pretty amazing: a peanut butter no bake cookie topped with a Hershey Kiss.