Monthly Archives: March 2013

5,000 meters

Last night I opened my Outdoor Track Season with a sea-level 5,000 meters. 27 girls from 10 different universities toed the line after the stadium lights lit up the Friday night field. The heat from the day had subsided with the sun and there was just some slight wind.

Going into the race, I have had about 2 months of training since my last surgery and recovery. Normally, 2 months is not a long time to build up both a mileage base and speed. So I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of shape my body was in; I knew my workouts were progressively improving each week and I felt strong and ready. One year ago, at this same invitational, I ran 18:05, and a month later ran 17:50. This race would just give me some sort of indication as to what kind of shape I am in after so much down time.

Tucson Track Meet (stronglikemycoffee.com)

First mile flew by in 5:43, spot-on pace to break 18 minutes.  Luckily I had my teammate Lauren right in front of me to push me the whole time.

For the next four laps, I focused on staying consistent, though the hurt definitely set in. The last mile, the true test of strength, is where the gaps started to form. I told myself to pass the two girls ahead of me, and don’t let anyone pass me. At the three-mile-mark, I was at 17:32. Breaking 18-minutes was no longer reasonable, so I just kicked with everything I had left – 39 seconds later, it was over.

Just a Blur

Just a Blur

Finishing Time: 18:11 (5:49 mile pace)

Finishing Place: 4th (of 27)

Laps 10, 11, and 12 definitely tested my mental strength; I won’t lie, I really struggled in the last mile. It would have been nice to have my teammates supporting and cheering for the 3 of us running the 5k, but they were chowing down on the aforementioned pizza.

Give me another few weeks of track workouts and I’ll be back in the 17 minutes :)

Ultimate goal: qualify for Conference Championships in Oregon in May. To do so, I need to run a 17:40 or better in the next six weeks. Which would be a personal record, but stranger things have happened. Challenge Accepted.

Travel Day!

The wheels on the bus go round n’ round….

Yesterday was spent largely in the reclining seats of the team charter bus, on a 4-hour trek to sunny Tucson, Arizona! About half of the track team, including distance runners, sprinters, jumpers and throwers started Spring Break a day early to make our way to the desert and heat for today’s track meet – the Willie Williams Invitational hosted by University of Arizona. Temperatures are rising to the 90s today, but luckily my 5k race will be under the lights at 7:30 p.m.

Desert Cactus

Before sitting on the bus for hours, I did a nice 30 minute run, finishing at Target to stock up on snacks for the weekend. After reading our itinerary for the meet, I learned that we would be ordering pizzas for dinner the night of my race, and ham-on-white-bread for lunch the next day. (Obviously my coach is not a nutritionist…) These aren’t exactly my idea of “fuel food” so I made sure get a post-race protein bar, plenty of bananas, apples, and oranges, some oatmeal and cereal cups, and pretzels. I did not train my butt off these last 2 months to splurge on greasy, cheesy pizza the day of my race.

Oh hey, desert sunset!

Oh hey, desert sunset!

Once we checked into the hotel, the team piled back into the bus for a shakeout run at Pima Community College. Gotta get that blood flowing! By then, it was getting close to sunset. It must have been the most beautiful time to run in the desert; the mountains and cactuses (cacti?) looked gorgeous and I could’ve gone a few more miles if it weren’t a recovery day!

After the run, the one thing on a bus full of athletes mind: FOOD. Since dinner was just at a mall food court, there was some major variety among the team’s dining choices. From burritos at Chipotle to Dairy Queen blizzards, it was definitely a far cry from the pre-race pasta parties I’m used to from high school. I stuck with a much simpler and healthier Mediterranean Salmon Salad – though I’m definitely not opposed to Dairy Queen after the 5k ;)

I have an entire day to relax and enjoy before the race, but honestly I wish I could just race RIGHT NOW. Sometimes (okay, every time) I have a nighttime race, I usually spend the day over-thinking and becoming more nervous; it would be better to get it done first thing in the morning before I have time to obsess over it. I need a distraction, maybe I’ll spend the day catching up on the entire season of Amazing Race!

Luckily, I have been waiting to run this 5k for so long, I feel like I have enough adrenaline to push me through it. :)

Tomorrow I’ll share how the race goes, hopefully good news!

Shameless Lip-Syncing

That awkward moment when you’re shamelessly lip-syncing to your iPod while on the treadmill, look up and see someone staring at you. Yep that happened.

But Lose Yourself came on and I don’t care how totally 2002 it is – you know you feel like a badass listening to Eminem while working out. But then Miley Cyrus makes it’s way into the shuffle and it’s back to reality (“oh! there goes gravity”). ;)

I’m always people-watching at the gym, it’s just weird when you realize someone is watching YOU. However I’d rather be ‘lip-syncing-on-the-treadmill girl’ than ‘sitting-on-weight-machine-while-texting girl’!

Outdoor track season starts this week and our workouts are intensifying. Luckily I have a steamy cup of cinnamon coffee waiting for me after this morning’s track session: 8 x 800s at race pace. It’s one of those workouts when you look at the schedule and are immediately struck with fear. But then I saw the quote above our weight room:

“Victory is paid for in advanced.”

The culmination of weeks and weeks of preparation are what carry you through a race; this workout is just a down-payment on Friday night’s 5k under the lights. The more “generous” we are at practice, the more it will pay off on race day. Steamy Pre-Workout Coffee (stronglikemycoffee.com)

And here’s a bonus inspirational quote in case you’re still not persuaded to go extra hard in the gym:

“It is far better to be exhausted from success than rested from failure.”

If you need a visual, this is how you should feel at the end of a workout:

Obviously he just finished mile repeats…. He looks so sad and so cute at the same time!

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