Tag Archives: great race

Race Recap: Great Race

29 Sep

I don’t even know where to start with this recap other than to say this was such an awesome race!!  I had built this one up so much in my head that I had been nauseous for DAYS, I mean I’d been running but I definitely did not stick to my training plan.  Oopsie?  The night before I tried really hard to just relax, but of course I want to fuss over everything when I’m stressed out.  I ran down to the expo on Saturday and grabbed my bib, I did a few laps around and talked myself down from buying anything because I wanted EVERYTHING.  I did stick around and play with the kitties at the ARL booth and say hi to the Greyhounds.

Great-Race-2014-Expo-Bib

I made sure I ate something carbaliciously familiar the night before and somehow managed to get an awesome night’s sleep.  I woke up at 6:30 and at a pumpkin english muffin (who knew those existed?!) with peanut butter, a bottle of water, and a banana.  Then I paced around my house for several hours.  I finally decided to head to the starting line super early because I thought it would be better to just stretch and people watch.  As soon as I parked my car I realized that my phone armband thing was broken which was soooooooo annoying.  The stupid velcro just came completely off so it wouldn’t stick together anymore.  I guess if something had to go wrong on race day morning, I’m glad it was just that!

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The starting line was insanity.  This was by far the biggest race I’ve ever been to.  The relay didn’t seem crowded to me because I started at an exchange point and the crowd was pretty small.  It looked like this in front and behind me.  I seriously could not stop people watching, I’m such a creeper!  The crowd started slowly walking towards the starting line and I was so so so nervous because this race starts with a hill.  As the people crossed under the start, the tempo picked up a little bit and they were blasting the song “Shout.”  It was seriously the perfect time in the song as I started, the way the crowd was picking up speed at that exact moment – I seriously can’t even explain how awesome that feeling was!  I was totally not nervous anymore and I killed it up the hill.

I felt like I was pacing myself pretty well, which was easy since it was so crowded.  I tried to just find someone who looked experienced and was running around the same pace I wanted to be at, then just tried to stick with them!  That worked like a charm for the first 2.5 miles.  As we got into the Oakland, I was shocked that the first 1/3 of the race went so fast.  I started to struggle around UPMC because I felt like my bladder was about to pop – luckily that’s right where the 5K starting line was so there were bathrooms available.  I seriously wished there had been at least one other bathroom available  before the middle of the race.

The second half of the race was a LOT harder than the first for me.  It was getting really hot and there is not much shade from Oakland until you get downtown.  I made sure to walk through every water station.  The first actual walking break I had to take was right at the mile 5 marker because I started getting a side stitch.  My legs felt like jelly as soon as I started walking so I kept telling myself to push through it because ain’t nobody got time for that.  I think I SPRINTED down the hill on the Boulevard of the Allies and I knew I would be okay when I was still passing people as we pushed into downtown.  I just remember thinking – “OMG, this is the coolest thing EVER!” as I ran into downtown.  That was another big first for me!

As soon as I saw the finish line banner I gave it all I had and finished strong.  I was actually kind of nervous at the mile 6 marker that I would be crawling across the timing mat because I was just so done at that point.  Of course the crowds and the adrenaline wouldn’t let that happen though. 🙂

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It was really disorientating after the finish line because it was just a massive crowd of confused, tired, sweaty, disoriented zombies wandering around a grassy knoll.  I made a bee-line for the water station, which was really understaffed if you ask me.  All I wanted was a banana and people would. not. move.

Starving

I grabbed 2 bananas and an apple and headed directly for a shady spot closer to the point and away from the crowds.  I just laid there and couldn’t move.  You know I’m just exhausted when there is a squirrel within 15 feet of me and I literally don’t react.  (I do NOT like squirrels.)  I laid in the grass, ate my apple, and listened to my favorite cool down music.  I want to always remember those few minutes and that feeling:

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It was seriously so awesome!  My Garmin said I finished in 1:07:22, but my official time was 1:09:55.  Since this is my first official 10K, I’m considering this my PDR race AND since I ran basically this same distance in the relay in May – it was a PR too!  Just a great day all around and an absolutely awesome race.   Definitely didn’t have the energy for a full smile though!

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I took the shuttle back to the starting line where my car was and I will NEVER do that again.  I underestimated how badly a city bus full of sweaty runners could actually smell.  I will run this race again and again and again though!

 

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Cue The Slow Clap.

18 Jun

I am honestly having a hard time believing that the humidity was only 48% yesterday, but Siri says it’s so.

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Sure felt like 100* to me!  Suck it mother nature.  I feel groggy, bloated, tired, and generally just disgusting when it’s hot and humid.  I’ve been going to bed earlier and sleeping past my alarm.  And yet, I did the almost unthinkable and forced myself to run after work yesterday.  I only had 2 miles on the books, but I was dreading 2 miles in the muggy misery.  To really dig it in to myself, I opted for a 2 mile trek that included several hills.  Honestly, it was forecasted to be hotter on Wednesday (today) than Tuesday, so I knew if I didn’t get the miles in they would be there waiting for me.  But they would be hotter.

This arrow in the picture below points to the spot where “Yay!  I get to run down hill!” became “Oh…we are going back up hill again.”  I forgot to bring my Garmin with me today to check the actual steepness, but I will make sure to include it in my weekly recap.  There wasn’t anything special about this run – it was probably pretty slow considering I walked a lot because DUH.  It’s really super friggin’ hot.

You’re lucky I love your curves, Pittsburgh.  That’s all I’ve got to say.

Doyle.West.Homestead

When I got home, I was sans energy.  Sans spirit.  Sans vitality.  I knew dinner needed to be mindless and needed to drag out into lunch for the next day.  So, I grabbed one of my most recent Patak’s Simmer Sauces (swear, they do not even know who I am – I’m really just enjoying trying all the different flavors!) which was Mango Curry and some chicken breasts.  Very yummy and I’m not worried about a little extra sugar after a long, hot run.  I got 3 servings out of the jar, here is the nutrition facts per serving:

Pataks-Mango-Curry-Nutrition-Facts

Mango Curry Chicken w/ Coconut Rice:

Mango-Curry-Chicken-Coconut-Rice

Yes, I know there was a startling lack of veg on my plate.  I was too hot and tired to even care.  There was more than enough chicken for lunch today and now I have to figure out how to use the extra coconut rice!  It would make a fantastic rice pudding.  So anyway, there was really no point in today’s post other than I am really proud of myself for getting uncomfortable!!!

NoOneEverDrownInSweat

The Goals Which Remain

4 Jun

Happy National Running Day, everyone!!!!

Training-Overview-SFTSRuns


If life was one of those missing persons shows and this blog was the example they used of my behavioral patterns, they wouldn’t even file a missing persons report.  That’s why you should follow me on Twitter, duh.  @MichelleSFTS

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I’ve been watching a lot of true crime TV lately.  There’s also been a lot of boring, but clean food and a lot of sleeping going on.  Pretty darn exciting around these parts.  Between work being busy, personal crap, my monthly friend, and the humidity spiking: I’m pushing through.  Barely, but I am.  That’s all that matters really!

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What is the most effective trick for getting motivated?  Sign up for a race of course!  So I signed up for 2.  If you’re getting confused about what races I will actually be running for the rest of the season, don’t be alarmed.  I’ve been all over the place since the relay  😦  After Pittsburgh Marathon weekend, I would’ve signed up to run across the country.  I get race fever something serious!!!   But, I’m so strapped for time and energy and I need to set realistic goals.  I’m also really torn about running a half in the fall:  getting it in while I’m still 30 or holding out for the Pittsburgh Half next May.  I’ve got to follow my heart.  If I never run another half marathon in my life, I want to know that the one I finished was Pittsburgh.  Besides, I think it’s appropriate for all old goals to met before new ones…know what I’m sayin.’

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I have 3 remaining goals for the summer:

1.  Get pageant ready.  – Psssh.  Done.  Makenzie Myers is basically my spirit animal.

2.  Brentwood Firecracker 5K – July 4th

3.  Great Race 10K – September 28th

4.  Be halfway to my weight loss goal by August – 17 lbs. to go!

 

I clearly can get nothing done without being held publicly accountable for my actions so in that spirit, you will all have to suffer along with me while I give weekly recaps about my progress.  Sorry kids, but it’s the only thing that really kept me consistent last race season and I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED.  30 don’t play, yo.  Hopefully everyone agrees that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because I will be “borrowing” (aka committing copyright infringement) a weekly template from Ethan at Spiritual Creaminess – go check out his blog, he just finished his 1st full marathon!!  I made a fancy new banner (at the beginning of this post), I’ve got my spreadsheet locked and loaded, and I’m ready to W.O.R.K.

 

GlindaWorkBitch

 

Coming To Terms

26 Sep

I can’t even say that my absence has been well spent.  Well spent on working, yes.  But working isn’t what I write a blog about.  I would even venture to say that I’ve been avoiding you.  And avoiding this:  I will not be running The Great Race on Saturday.

I just can’t.  And not like I just can’t because I don’t believe in myself.  I can’t in that I haven’t put my shiny new running shoes on for over a month.  I can’t in that I’m not one of those people who can unintentionally step away from running and then just pick up right where I left off.  I’m also not the kind of person who can admit defeat.  But, here I am.  Coming to terms with the fact that my 2013 race season has ended and it was the year of the 5K.

The year of the 5K wasn’t a bad year.  It was actually my best year ever.  2013 is the year I started running.  Training for and running two 5Ks is nothing at all to be ashamed of.  In the Ole 5K, I surpassed my estimated pace goals by 2 minutes and shocked myself completely.  I learned that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.

Ole5K.Halfway

In the John Thompson 5K, I placed third in my age group (I still can’t believe that), despite the fact that I had no idea how much more difficult a trail race is from a street race.

Medal.JT5K

I really feel like I ruled in 2013.   And oh, yeah:  I also whelped a litter of puppies, flipped a friggin’ house, helped run a professional association, not to mention opened a new facility and picked up a ton more work at Changin’ Time.

2013 has been a year of huge personal and professional accomplishments.  2013 has also been a year of coming to terms with the fact that I can’t do it all.  And I have to be okay with that.  I have to take pride in what I have been able to accomplish and use my experience to develop realistic goals of the future.

Oh, friends.

26 Aug

I have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to log in to SFTS for days! In fact, I’ve been so busy that I barely have enough pictures for a phone dump post.  Last week, Changin’ Time was busier than ever and I’m also gearing up for a big conference in October. (I’m planning the conference, mind you, so it’s a lot more work than I had anticipated!)  We’ve got our final occupancy inspection at the rental tomorrow along with a tenant moving in later that day.  It’s been hectic!  Last week, I did manage to log a little over 11 miles, but not all of them were running miles.

I found absolutely no balance over the weekend, splitting my waking hours between working at the facility, working at the rental, and then filling up my downtime doing awesome things like attempted matchmaking and fantasy football drafts. Let’s just say that a lot of alcohol was imbibed this weekend and I was certainly in no condition to exercise. Fail. But hey, sometimes a girl just has to let her hair down and unwind before she freaks out and quits life.

This morning I got up about an hour earlier than I normally do, determined to start the week off on the right foot. I drove the 3.8 miles from my house to the Schenley Oval and somehow managed to miss a key turn and ended up in Squirrel Hill. Womp womp. Undeterred, I finally made it to the park ready to tear it up!

phoeberunning

It’s amusing to me now that I thought training on a flat, paved trail would prepare me for a 10K road race through the city of Pittsburgh. Insert face palm here.  Needless to say, the hilly trails of Schenley were challenging today and will be nothing compared to the Great Race course.  They were challenging enough that I got lost for the second time in one morning, just past a gaggle of scantily clad, buff female athletes stretching out on a playground.  They then proceeded to run in a pack while managing to look like a live streaming Nike ad.  I, on the other hand, consulted with a very friendly Hungarian man and his dog on my best course of action to get back to my car.  Red face huff & puff, sweat pouring down my face and neck, with a too-tight long sleeve running shirt clinging to me.  I felt like a total shit show.  But, self doubt is something I am working to overcome these days people!  I am just me and this is the healthiest I’ve ever been <– mantra used to avoid having a sobbing breakdown in the middle of a playground.   I decided the best thing to do was to just turn around and run back the way I came.  No big deal.  Crisis averted, pride slightly less intact.

I think I’ve been improving on my form.  The rest of my metrics (speed, distance, fuel) have all gone to hell.  I need to get my ass in gear!  Sunday will be the halfway point of my training program and I am heartily sucking.

I’m going to try and stick to the park this week for my shorter runs.  I think that the hills will be a nice change and will build strength in my legs that I’ll need for The Great Race.  There are enough people around that I’m less likely to half ass anything.  And, to be honest, I feel safer on the trail there.  The GAP trail is starting to feel a little bit rapey since I noticed there was a homeless person camped out along the trail, just past the eagles.  If I was on a bike I would have no hesitation, but I’m just a chick out there running by myself with no ninja skills.  I’ve seen enough Lifetime movies and true crime shows to feel totally heeby-jeebied out by that campsite.

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