Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Trot Success!!!

On turkey trot morning I had my strategy all planned out on how I was going to set a PR and finish a 5K under 27 minutes. I wanted to go out at around a 9 minute pace for half a mile, then 8:30 for a half a mile, 8 for a mile and half and then push hard for anything under 8 till I finished. Only problem was, I forgot to bring a watch so I had no way of knowing what my pace was. So much for strategy! : ) Still, I've run the 5k distance so many times in training that I thought I'd have a pretty good idea of how fast I was going.

Taber and I did an easy 15 minute jog to warm up. It was actually the first time I've ever warmed up before a race. I should probably do that more often. We stretched for a bit and then headed toward the starting line and waited with nervous anticipation.

The horn blew and we took off. I meant to start out slower but with all the race day adrenaline I kicked it up and when we passed the first mile I hadn't even finished two songs on my iPod. most songs are around 4 minutes long so I figured I must be doing around an 8 minute mile. The second mile was tough because we went from being on the road to this little forest trail that was lose, rocky, twisty, and thin. We had to run in single file and Taber pulled ahead but I got stuck behind this slow guy. Finally we came out of the forest trail and I sprinted ahead of the guy and passed Taber in the process. I exerted way too much energy doing that though and at the higher altitude my lungs were burning. Taber easily caught up to me and passed me.

With one mile to go I was getting tired and depressed as I realized I wasn't going to be able to catch up to Taber. He was probably about 50 yards ahead of me when the temptation came to just stop running and catch my breath. That's when I noticed a girl who looked about my age about 10 yards ahead of me. I knew I couldn't catch Taber but I vowed I would catch her. I kicked it up and steadily started closing the gap between us. I could see the finish line and gave it everything I had left. I passed her about 20 feet before we crossed the finish line and finished just 2 people (and 9 seconds) behind Taber.

There wasn't a clock at the finish line and I was dying to find out my time. I knew I ran hard so I felt good about that, but I wanted to know if I had met my goal. Finally the results came out. I grabbed my card and a huge smile broke across my face as I read: Becca Rigg, female, age 29, finish time 25:46, average pace, 8:17 min/mile.

It was such an awesome feeling to set a PR! That's one of the things I love about running. I know I'll never be the fastest girl out there but it's fun to race against myself and improve. Last year when I started running I was doing 11 minute miles on the treadmill and that was tough. Kind of cool to see what a difference a year makes.

The next day when the official results came up online I found out that I also placed 10th out of 77 in my age division of 20-29 year old women. I wouldn't have made it into the top 10 if I hadn't passed that girl. Glad I didn't give into the urge to walk and finished strong instead!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'll take what I can get

So, my last post was about combating the holiday bulge...hmmmm....Can't say I've done too fabulously with that one. As I predicted, my birthday and trip to Boston were both delicious and a little high on calories if you know what I mean. Also, with the travel and busyness of getting ready to travel again tomorrow I haven't done much working out. Ooops!

Still, I signed up for a Turkey Trot in Grand Junction, CO, where we're staying for Thanksgiving, And I made a goal to get a PR. My best 5K time in an actual race is 29:41. Shouldn't be too hard to beat that. My best 5K in training is 25 flat. Odds of me getting that are slim to none. Still, I'll take what I can get. Any improvement will be great. I think I'm shooting for around 27 minutes, right between my best and my previous. I ran on the track yesterday and finished in just over 26, but I only ran 3 miles, didn't do the .1 that is part of the 5K.

I hope I can run again tomorrow night or Monday morning while I'm in Utah so I can at least have few training runs at altitude. Even though it's just a 5K I'm still a little nervous because I actually want to do it kind of fast. So yeah, here are my main worries:
1) running at altitude could slow me down
2) I haven't run outside in a long time so not sure if my treadmill and track training will help or hinder.
3) I haven't exactly been sticking to a great nutrition plan. Not sure if all the cake and desserts I've eaten lately will affect my speed.

On a positive note, here are the things I've got going for me:
1) The few times I have run lately I've been trying to go for speed and I'm getting pretty comfortable in the 8:15-8:30 minute mile range, which is definitely fast enough to beat my last time.
2) I totally get serious adrenaline on race day so I think that will help.
3) Taber gave me a gift certificate to iTunes for my birthday so I'm going to have a sweet new playlist to push me.
4) I've done a little cross training lately so I'm hoping that will help too!

Anyway, wish me luck and I'll keep you posted on how it goes next week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Keeping the holiday bulge in check

Halloween kicked off the beginning of the holiday gluttony season for me. It's tough because my kids don't like chocolate! They go out and collect all this awesome candy and then all they want to eat are starbursts and smarties. What I SHOULD do is throw the other stuff out, but I was always taught, "waste not, want not," so unfortunately, none of their chocolate has been "wasted" this year.

Combine that predicament with the fact that my birthday is tomorrow and we've been celebrating it it for the past week and will continue to do so through the weekend. It's a funny tradition we have, but anyway, I already had two cakes last week, I'm probably gonna have cake tomorrow, and then we're going on a weekend getaway that promises many fine desserts and dining experiences.

Long story short, I'm starting to get the holiday bulge. Similar to the baby bump, just with more sugar and no baby. This is not good considering that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner and all the calorie laden goodness that comes with those holidays will not be passed over by these taste buds.

So, to keep this unwelcome expansion in check, I'm trying to step it up at the gym. I'm spinning every Wednesday, swimming twice a week, and running 3 times a week. Sounds like a lot but it's either that or give up my holiday food and I just don't think I'm strong enough to do that. Anyway, today was great. I ran on the track instead of the treadmill and was actually able to break the 25 minute barrier on my 3 miler. I also found a Turkey Trot 5K to run on Thanksgiving and am looking forward to seeing if I can PR on this one. It's in two weeks, I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I think I'm getting hooked!

My alarm went off at 5am this morning. I confess, I hesitated for a minute as a considered the two choices ahead of me, stay in cozy warm bed with cute hubby and cuddly puppy dog, or get up and torture my quads in spinning class. I chose torture quads, and do not regret it.

Spinning is hard, harder than running in my opinion. But somehow it's also really really fun. I mean, I came home hopping around like I'd just drank a red bull or something I was so pumped up after my class. Taber was waiting for me and I was bouncing around telling him how we were simulating this 50 mile race and we were divided into teams and half of us would sprint while they others drafted, then we'd switch, and then we'd climb these crazy hills and at the end of the race people were attacking so we'd stand up and sprint every time someone raised their hand to attack and I mean Wow! I felt like I was really in a race and I was pedaling my guts out so we could get our instructor across the finish line in first place. Burning legs aside, you can't tell me that's not fun!

I have a feeling I'm gonna get hooked on this. There's a couple from my church who were in the class and they are big time bikers. They have the fancy clip on shoes and the biker shorts and they don't mess around in the class. We were chatting afterward and I think they might've convinced me to ask for my own fancy clip on shoes and biker shorts for Christmas! It's funny because last year I asked for some nice running gear for Christmas. I had never run more than 2 miles and I think Taber was a little hesitant to spend the big bucks on shoes and performance gear. One marathon and a handful of other good races later and I think he's glad he bought me that stuff. I'm totally gonna work that angle to convince him about this biking gear. I think this could be the beginning of something totally awesome : )