Monthly Archives: April 2013
My blog has clearly taken a back-burner to school, sports, and social life over the past month, and I have to warn you that another two weeks of minimal posting is coming. Right now we are in “Reading Week” at school, and next week is Finals Week in conjunction with the Conference Championships track meet in Portland, Oregon. I will be doing lots of cram-studying/packing/last-hurrah plans with friends/long workouts. Not that I’m complaining!
It’s hard to believe that I am already in Week 15 of the 16-week track season. All the hard work, early mornings, sore muscles and post-workout bliss has come down to the single most important race of the year – the Big Sky Conference Championship 10,000 meters. Up until now, each race has been about time. Now the goal is to score points for my team by placing in the Top 8. Every little thing counts:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating nutritionally (balanced carbs, protein, fats; lots of fruits & vegetables; vitamins; less caffeine)
- Staying hydrated
- Daily stretches
- Daily core routines
- Minimizing stress from finals
Summer is just T-13 days away and I’m excited to be able to share plenty of workouts & recipes plus pictures of the cutest dwarf polar bear you’ve never seen:
See ya when things slow down!
Mt. SAC Relays 10,000 meters
It’s taken me a few days to write a recap for the Mt. SAC Relays 10k. Actually it’s hard to believe that the race was already three days ago. The race was Thursday, laaaate Thursday. So late that we didn’t leave the hotel and head to the track until 8:00pm, and we didn’t toe the start line until nearly 10:30pm. A time when I’m usually winding down, I was instead summoning all my energy to run the fastest 6.25 miles of my life.
Mt. SAC (San Antonio College) is an iconic host of high school, collegiate and elite running events. A sign with a flame stands at the entrance to the stadium: Where the World’s Best Athletes Compete. Among some of this weekend’s competitors included Olympians Morgan Uceny, Carmelita Jeter and Ashton Eaten, plus elite athletes from all over the world. Just being accepted into the meet was an honor and I felt very lucky to be there!
I’ve competed at Mt. SAC a total of 12 times since 9th grade, including 9 cross countries races and 3 track meets.
The 10k is tricky because it’s about pacing. Of course the first couple of miles are going to feel conservative, in order to have enough energy to power through over half an hour of racing. My previous best (okay, my only 10k time) is an altitude-adjusted 38:48. Going into Thursday night’s race, I had my sights set on 37:30 which would be six-minute-mile pace. 90 seconds per lap, for 25 laps.
The 33 girls in the heat formed a pretty solid clump, and our first lap was a few seconds slower than goal pace. There were definitely some elbows flying until we began to spread out.
The hardest part about racing 10,000 meters is being mentally tough. My legs are a lot stronger than my mind, and 25 laps is an awful lot. I have to keep myself positive for 37 minutes, because once the moment of doubt or fatigue comes in, you will struggle.
Staying on pace for the entirety of the race, I finished in 37:17, approximately 5:57.9 mile pace. I was beyond thrilled, but mostly just exhausted. My calves are still sore from wearing new spikes for such a long time, but I’m more confident about my next 10k and my abilities to run consistently.
As content as I was with my own race, I am humbled by the fact that many of my competitors were able to complete the same distance in 34 and 35 minutes.
With the first 10k of the season under my belt, it’s back to the grind to keep working hard until the conference championships!
“If you can dodge a wrench…”
Recently, our training schedule has moved Sunday Long Runs to Saturday mornings, and I’m not sure how my legs feel about it. Fridays are usually hard track workouts, and a 12-14 mile long run within 24 hours is a little rough. This morning I knew I’d need a little something extra to get through.
Half way in, my running buddy and I both took our gel packs for some extra carbohydrate & caffeine energy. Personally, wasn’t a fan of the Power Bar Energy Gel and I couldn’t finish the whole thing. Tooooooooo sweet! I would much rather have something less sugary tasting. However we did manage to get through a windy, hilly 12 miles in 1 hour and 36 minutes, 8:00/mile so it must have done the trick.
After the out-and-back run along a gorgeous winding road, a few of my cross country teammates and I got ready for the “Jocks vs. Joes Dodgeball Tournament,” an annual event put on by our Student Athlete Committee. Teams show up in costumes, though not as snazzy as the ones from the Dodgeball movie.
I’m not sure who created the bracket but we were seriously at a disadvantage when the first round put us up against 5 football players. Even our sprinting skills couldn’t help us. Needless to say, we did not advance to the final bracket.
There’s always next year!
Have you tried any energy products during long runs? Reviews?