Saturday, February 19, 2011

This is my blog, and these are my guns...

….this one’s for fighting, this one’s for…never mind.

Well, time to check back in. P90 has been amazing. I am not following the recommended routine, but I’m squeezing in a core/upper body/ abs workout whenever I have time and/or after feeling sufficiently recovered from previous workouts. I’m actually excited when my alarm goes off and I head down to the basement in my fuzzy purple slippers to face off the once dreaded pull-up bar.

What sort of face are you supposed to make when you're flexing in front of a camera?? 
I believe I’m currently in the best shape of my life (save the 13 weeks I spent in USMC Boot Camp…I’ve since switched out my drill instructors for a loving husband and 2 drooling 4-legged children). My weight isn’t as low as I had hoped, though I’ve still managed to lose 8 lbs and continue to increase my strength. 

I can honestly say there is a huge improvement in my running thanks to all of this core work, and I’m hoping it pays off big in 2 weeks. My form is solid and I’m finding my paces are dropping with minimal effort. Track workouts have been so rewarding that I actually willingly ran a 5k today.  I couldn’t remember the last time I ran a 5k, or what my “PR” was, so Athlinks served me well yet again. According to Athlinks, I ran a 21:31 in 2009 (I remember it was a horribly hot day) and a 20:52 in 2007. I knew that I was faster than that, so I was excited to see what I could do.

I woke up to the sound of a hurricane outside of my bedroom window this morning. Am I back in Flordia? No. is it even hurricane season? No. What day is it?  A quick cup of coffee and the weather report concluded that the winds were at a steady 30mph tempo with gusts over 50mph. Bwaaaaaaaa!!!!!  So much for a stellar race…

I dragged my wonderful neighbor, Eliza, out of bed at 5am so we could head to Haines Point in DC, find parking, pick up our bibs, and get in a short warm-up. The By George 5k is a small, cheap race (can I get a “hells yeah!”?) and it showed. There were a good 50 people standing around aimlessly with no clue where the registration table was, so after a bit of investigative walking we found the table blocked from view behind some trees. The volunteers didn’t seem to care if we found them or not. Hey, I’ll take it for a $15 race.

As we stood around waiting for the start of the race and trying desperately not to get blown over when the gusts came through, I somehow got settled in behind the 3 people at the front of the line who would NOT go out fast. Oh no, quite the opposite I figured if they’re toeing the line, they have good reason to be. Someone yelled “go!” and we started running. I instantly got boxed in behind these 3 dudes and muttered out of frustration as I tried to get around them. Finally free, I set off on a particularly fast pace during a short tail-wind stretch. One girl in front of me, one at my shoulder. Hmmmm.

The course was a horse-shoe shaped out and back, which meant we’d be running tail wind/head wind/tail wind/head wind. I took advantage of the tail wind and came through the first mile at 5:52.
 A little fast, not too bad. As if on cue, we changed directions and my pace instantly dropped. Holy freaking crap!!! Who’s pulling on my singlet? Someone’s dragging me backwards!!! Nope. Just the wind.  2nd mile: 6:13.

Here I realized the disadvantage of a horse-shoe shaped course. The course is measured along the inside curve running out, which means you’re running on the outside curve on the way back. Those distances are not the same, as it’s the difference of running on the inside lane of the track v. the outside lane (there’s a reason the lanes are staggered…).  I never swear by the distance of a garmin, but it’s logical math….1.55 miles out on the inside of the curve is not the same as running on the outside. Anyways. They did not move the finish line up to compensate for the added distance.

Mile 3, starting to feel the burn. Lungs are working hard, slight taste of blood in the back of my throat. Some people get vomit-y , I get bloody? 1st place chick is just up ahead, but she hardly even looks like she’s working hard. B!tch. Just kidding. No really… I look at my watch and realize I can break 19 if I keep my pace. Just then, the wind decides to come in full force, head first. Well, at least no one’s passing me. Finish line? No, that’s the 10k turnaround. There. Last 1.10, 6:15 pace.

Unofficial time: 19:10, 2nd female.  I really wanted to break 19, but that freakin wind was a killjoy.

Where does this leave me? After talking to some of the other runners who finished around me, they all agreed they normally run anywhere from 30-45seconds faster in a 5k. What kind of people run multiple 5ks? Huh. So maybe I would’ve been well under 19 if the day had been more ideal…it was a flat course, so no complaints there. Just mother nature playing her tricks on runners, as usual. I’m ecstatic with my performance, as I felt strong the entire race and didn’t want to kill anyone or anything afterwards.

After cooling down for a bit I went to collect my prize…a cherry pie. I approached the race director (whom I’ve encountered on multiple occasions and have since decided he’s certifiably nuts) and told him I was the 2nd female. The conversation that ensued was par for the course:

Me: I was the 2nd female, can I have my pie please?
Him: Congratulations! You must be Amy Lane.
Me: Yessir
Him: (in a very serious voice) Are you Penny Lane’s sister?
Me: No…
Him: Well, great job Penny!
Me: My name is Amy
Him: (grabs the microphone) Everyone, can I have your attention please…Penny Lane was our 2nd female, please congratulate her on her impressive time.
Me: My name is Amy
Him: Here’s your pie, thanks Penny!
Me: You're welcome.

I’m now excited to be in full taper-mode with Napa a mere 2 weeks away. Even though my time was not what I had expected, it showed that I’m a much stronger runner than when I ran a 3:12 in Boston last year. Time for some serious PR’s in 2011.