Resolution Run 5K

The Resolution Run 5K last weekend was my first planned race of the year. Of course, nothing is ever simple, and there was an open house at a school we’re considering for L at the same time. However, H agreed to take the kids to the open house, and I went by after the race. I really like this race series as it’s very low-key, and their courses are nice and flat. While I enjoy training on hills, I’m really into chasing PRs right now, so I favor flat, fast courses. Conditions really couldn’t have been better. It was chilly, partly cloudy, and not raining. There was a bit of a headwind on the way back, but it didn’t last very long, thankfully. I wore my Sugoi Midzero tights (love them) which were actually probably a bit much for the weather, and a Sugoi Fusion Core Long-sleeve top. Yes, I am a little bit obsessed with Sugoi running clothes. I skipped gloves and headband and felt very comfortable, maybe just a tad warm.

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(The race provides free photos.  They had two of me – an unflattering one – shown – and a very unflattering one, which I will spare my readers and myself.  I was actually attempting to smile for this one, but 5Ks are painful.)

Before the race, I noticed at least two female runners near the front who were wearing college gear, implying they had been NCAA DI runners. I figured they’d leave me in the dust, and they did. One of them left me in the dust while pushing her one-year-old in a jogging stroller. Yup – she was awesome. I got a nice warmup dashing to the bathroom and back just before the race, which probably made the first mile a bit less painful. Or maybe it just tired me out – who knows.

I tried to go out hard for the first mile, but not too hard. My watch said about 7:04 at the first mile marker, so I ran fairly consistent splits. At 1 mile, I was hurting, but it was manageable. The second mile went by fairly quickly, and then it was just getting through the last mile. By the time I hit that last mile marker, I was really tired and just wanted to slow down. I told myself I had only 7 minutes of running left (which of course was not true – really more like 8 minutes). Then I just pushed through the various distance markers and picked up the pace a bit at the end.   My time ended up being 22:10, 7:09 per mile.  That’s a 20 second post-college PR and isn’t all that far off my high school times (in the 21 minute range).

I’m really pleased with my run, and I hope I can go even faster. The obvious goal would be to break 22:00. I’ve done that before – but not since college. It’s cool to feel like I can still run reasonably fast at 37 after two kids.  We have a weekend mini-vacation planned for the weekend of the second race I’d been considering, so I need to find another, possibly the weekend of the 18th.

my week in swimbikerunning #3

Goals

  • Run 4 miles twice and 3 miles once
  • Swim 2000 m
  • Do the group bike ride route (~15 – 20 mi)
  • Run 7 mile long run

Actual

  • Monday: Run 4 miles easy
  • Tuesday: Run 4 miles easy
  • Thursday: Run 3 miles easy, Swim 1700m
  • Saturday: Run 7 miles long (treadmill)
  • Sunday: Run 3 miles easy

I did pretty well on my goals this week.  I met the running goals, including the most challenging one, a 7 mile long run.  We had terrible weather Saturday, so I skipped my outdoor route and ran my longest treadmill run in a very long time, maybe ever.  7 miles.  I bought The Revenant, and that entertained me so it wasn’t actually so bad.

Unfortunately, it’s snowing today, and I just decided I wasn’t up for a bike ride in these conditions.  I either need to get over it and hit the roads in the rain, or I need to figure out an indoor biking option.  I think it’s time to explore the latter.  I’m just not comfortable on the hills around here in the wet, and I want biking to be fun, no torture.  Either “spinning” at the gym or getting a trainer at home is probably a good option.  I’ve never done either, but hopefully it’s fairly straightforward.

I ended up swimming only 1700 m.  I’ve had a really hard time finding goggles to fit.  I have to wear my current goggles so tightly to get them not to leak that they give me a headache.  I stopped swimming after 1700 m with a splitting headache and starting to feel nauseous.  I’d actually run that morning, as my work schedule dictated that was really the best guaranteed swimming day, so I think I was also just fatigued.

Overall, it was a good week.  Next week, I’ll try and get on the bike, hit 2000 m in the pool, and up the mileage of my midweek easy runs a little.

the week in swimbikerunning #2

Goals

  • Run 4 miles twice, 3 miles once
  • PR in 5K at the weekend
  • Cycle 16 mile bike ride planned for “GR2R” series
  • Swim 2000 m

Actual

  • Monday: Run 4 miles easy
  • Tuesday: Run 4 miles easy
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Run 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Run 3 miles easy
  • Saturday: Bike 15.3 miles
  • Sunday: 5K Race – Time 22:10 / 7:09 mpm

I basically met the schedule as planned, except that I ran on Friday instead of swimming.  I found out a friend of mine is leaving the company, so I decided to have lunch with him rather than swimming with my other co-worker.  It turns out my other co-worker couldn’t swim either, so it’s just as well.  (My goal is to try and swim at work once a month so I can get tips from this coworker, who is an excellent swimmer.)  Anyway, I’ll try and do 2000 m next week.

I blogged about my bike ride yesterday, and I’ll write up my race today as soon as I get my time.  As always, I was tempted to skip it, but as always, I’m glad I didn’t.

getting ready #1

I went on a 15 mile bike ride today.  That’s the longest ride I’ve been on by a significant margin.  My second largest ride was only 10 miles.  There are two major rides beginning in Sea.ttle every year: Seattle to Portland (STP) and Seattle to Vancouver.  The largest bicycle club in the area, Cas.cade Bicycle Club, offers a training course to prepare called the Cascade Training Series.  They offer four pace groups, from 12 to 14 mph on flats to 18 to 20 mph on flats.  In order to take the course, you must be able to go 12 to 14 mph for 25 miles.  Apparently, you work up to a “century” – a 100 mile ride.  I have no real interest in riding one of the two major rides this summer; they are both 200 mile rides, and I can’t really see being in that kind of shape.  I’m not sure I would enjoy riding that far.  However, I would really like to get better at bicycling, so I can see enrolling in the training series.  However, I’m honestly not sure I could ride 25 miles at any pace – I mean, I’ve never tried.  It seems like a long way.  Enter the GR.2R series – Getting ready to Ride.  They start at 10 mph over 16 miles, which seems very doable.  They have groups that go our around the area, and the series starts this weekend.  I am way overbooked tomorrow, so I am using that as an excuse not to join the group.  (Joining a group is more intimidating to me than cycling a long distance on my own.  It seems stressful for all kinds of reasons, but I’m sure it would be good for me.)  Anyway, they publish the rides they are planning to do, so I rode the planned ride today that the group will do tomorrow.

The cue sheet has about a gazillion turns, so although I’m familiar with the area from running, I kept having to stop and try and figure out which way to go.  I got slightly lost a couple times, and the route-finding aspect of the ride was highly annoying.  On the flip side, the course was dead flat, and it was so, so different that my rides around Newcastle have been.  On my Newcastle rides, my quads are usually screaming at me half the time (on all the uphill sections).  I’m also usually broiling hot and sweating on the uphills, and freezing cold and clammy on the downhills.  When I finish a ride, even the 6 mile ride I did last week, I feel like I’m going to keel over.  Today, on the other hand, when I wasn’t getting lost, I felt completely relaxed and not really tired at all.  According to Strava, I averaged about 12 mph, which is pretty slow.  (I’m in the bottom 10% on most Strava segments.)  I’m still encouraged, though, because I felt so comfortable.  I think I could definitely go faster if I was more confident in the route.  I thought it was interesting that I noticed small discomforts like my hands being sore and my butt being sore (maybe I should look into this chamois thing) that I’m normally completely oblivious to because my legs are so sore and tired.  I also didn’t have to change gears much.  On the hilly rides in Newcastle, I’m constantly changing gears.  On the flats, I could just cruise and not think about much.

I’m excited to try the next ride next week.  I may be able to go with the group, but we’ll see.  It’s L’s birthday on Saturday, so it’ll be a busy weekend.

the week in swimbikerunning

I’m still excited to try a tri this summer, and I’m still inspired to exercise.  While getting up in the morning hasn’t exactly been effortless, I’ve been determined.  Day by day, the winter is passing, and I know it’ll mostly get easier.  I also know it’s tremendously important for my mental health, and that inspires me as much as anything.

Goals

  • Do two 4 mile runs, one 3 mile run, and a 7 mile long run
  • Swim 1900 m

Actual:

  • Monday: Run 3 miles easy
  • Tuesday: Run 4 miles easy
  • Wednesday: Run 4 miles easy
  • Thursday: Swim 1900 m
  • Friday: Run 3 miles easy
  • Saturday: Run 7 miles long
  • Sunday: Bike 5.7 miles

I’m loosely following the base-building schedule from Faster Road Racing, and this week it called for a 7 mile long run and two 4-milers – hence my goals for the week.  I am also trying to increase my swim endurance.  I’d like to get up to 3200 m, or maybe just 3000 m, and so I’m trying to increase 100 m every week.

Darkness, cold, and ice continue to be the biggest challenges for me.  This was the first week I was able to run in the morning since the days started getting shorter, and I can only do it when I have no 8 am meetings, since I couldn’t get to work before about 8:35.  Friday featured some particularly hazardous and annoying black ice on and off throughout my run.   Then, when I drove to work, my car slide across the road.  It was hair-raising.

My 7-miler actually went quite well.  The ice had melted over night, thank goodness, and I was able to just focus on running.  The warmer weather (low 40s) and good traction went a long way towards making the run tolerable, and I didn’t feel half bad when I got home.

I had been planning to rest Sunday, but I haven’t been able to bike in a month due to ice, rain and darkness, and I wanted to take advantage of the warmer weather – 44 F and cloudy.  I was a little worried about road conditions since I’ve been seeing – well feeling – black ice in the low 40s on occasion, but it turned out fine.   What didn’t turn out so fine was my physical condition.  I was completely exhausted.  I’m sure the long run the day before didn’t help, but I went more slowly than on my recent rides, and the hills just killed me.  Oh well.  It’ll motivate me to start biking more again.

 

 

saudi music video

I am simultaneously inspired and horrified by this music video out of Saudi Arabia creating a sensation.  I am inspired by the brave and obviously vibrant women who made it, and horrified that playing basketball while cloaked and covered from head to toe is considered controversial.

 

It’s well worth watching if you have a couple spare minutes.  There’s so much debate about feminism (and all the isms these days), but very little discussion about the widespread subjugation of women around the world, especially the Arab world.

One thing that struck me recently is that the US has resumed trading with Iran.  Great.  We’re all becoming friends.  However, US women who wish to do business with Iran will have to cover their hair and obey highly sexist Iranian attire rules when in Iran.  This is being dictated by Iran of course, but also by the American companies they’re trading with, such as Alaska Airlines.  What are a few hijabs when we’re talking about billions of dollars in airplanes, right?