Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fourth of July (a couple weeks later)

Oh my, I haven't posted since July 1st.  I am going to attempt to get caught up in the next couple of days.
The Fourth of July has come and gone and now the summer is just flying by.  I had a good race on the 4th. I ran the Firecracker 5 miler in Hanover, MI.  The day before was speedwork day and I went ahead and went and ran 4 800s, all under 4 minutes or sub 8 minute mile pace.  The workout was actually 10 800s but I only did 4 because I had to go and register for the race.  It poured while we were running the repeats and as soon as I left, it stopped raining!
I decided to be silly and wear red, white and blue things.  I had a sparkly headband; I was worried about it but I forgot I was wearing it and never even noticed it.  I wore a red shirt and blue skirt and red, white, blue star/bead necklaces. 
I looked and looked for patriotic knee socks and never found any but I did find these - they are mens' dress socks!  They actually stayed up!   Had this race been any longer, I'd have been in serious trouble because these socks aren't made for running in!  They aren't as thick as my running socks so my shoes were a little loose no matter how tight I pulled the laces.  My feet were stinging by the time I finished.  I expected to have huge blisters because that's what it felt like but there wasn't any.  They were in the process of forming, I could see that but they weren't full on blisters yet.  They were a bit sore for a few days. 
This is, I think, the 6th year I've run this race.  They changed the course 3 years ago so this is the 3rd time on the new course.  There's a few hills out there.  I wanted to run at just under 9 minutes.  I wanted my average pace to be under 9 minutes.   At the first mile, Garmy beeped and said 8:11.  Huh??  Oh crap!!  I can't run that fast!  I knew it was going to get tough at the end, oh well, I'm the queen of going out too fast!  After that, the miles came in at 8:55, 8:45, 8:33, and 8:30.
The result:

This was a small race and did not have chip timing.  My official time was 43:15 for an 8:39 pace!!  I was 4th in my age group and they gave awards to the top 5 in each age group!!
After the race, I had to clean up with my Burt's Bees wipes (love those things!)and change clothes in the back seat of my car (the reason tinted windows were invented!) and head over to Grass Lake where the rest of the family was getting ready for the big 4th of July parade.  We only took 1 tractor this year. 
1935 John Deere D
I found a place to sit along the parade route and was surrounded by little kids!  This parade is known for lots of candy being thrown.  I was helping the little kids retrieve candy!  (and yes, I was giving it to them!)  I remember my daughter collecting a big bag of candy from this parade when she was little.  She's now 22; that's her on the tractor fender. 
After the parade, we got chicken dinners that the American Legion cooked in the park.  We took them home.
Later in the afternoon, I took off to go to my niece's house.  They were away for a few days and she wanted me to be there the night of the 4th because it's crazy in her subdivision.  She was right!  When I drove into the subdivision, the street sides were solid parked cars.  I think every house, except theirs, had 5 or 6 visitors parked in front!  There were kids running all over the subdivision.  Everywhere you looked, you saw people and then there was their house: empty drive, no cars in front, no people.  Now I know why she wanted me there.  As it began to get dark, the fireworks started.  There were fireworks being shot off all over the subdivison!  These weren't little fireworks that you buy from the tents that pop up all over town for the 4th of July, these were serious fireworks!  I sat out on the deck for a while watching the chaos!
So, that was the 4th of July.  Once the 4th of July comes and goes, it seems the rest of the summer just flies by.  I know there is still half of the summer left but I went to bed a little sad that it is going to be gone so fast.  I love the summer time!

Runner Nerd
loves summer

Monday, July 1, 2013

Best Tempo Run Ever

Today, a 6 mile tempo run was on the schedule.  I headed out to run in the small town of Chelsea.  It started sprinkling on the way there which did not make me happy because I do not like running in the rain.  The sprinkles stopped and started a few times on my way there.  It was just lightly sprinkling when I got to my parking spot.  I decided to go for it and hope that it did not rain any harder than what it was at the time.  I got really lucky because it just sprinkled on and off a few times.
It took me most of the first mile to get going and get up to speed.  I figure that anything under 9 minutes is ok for a tempo run.  I'm training for a 4:30 marathon so, really, anything under a 10 minute mile would be considered a tempo pace!  My first mile came in at 9:15.  After that, all miles were under 9 minutes:  8:45, 8:42, 8:48, 8:52, and a, how did this happen, 8:18!
I can't believe all the odd things that happened during this run!  About three-tenths mile into the run, a squirrel came running out and ran right over my feet; it happened so fast but I'm pretty sure that the squirrel jumped over my foot!  It scared me and I took a quick step back and stumbled a bit and watched the squirrel continue on to the other side of the street!  Just past 3 miles, on a dirt road, a bicyclist was coming toward me and he was drinking from one of those water bottles that attach to the aero-bars and I guess for that moment he wasn't looking at the road because he came toward me on the edge of the road and when he was right in front of me he looked up and he passed by me so close to my side.  Even funnier, as he was passing by, he said hello!  Just shy of mile 5, I enter a trail through a woods that is part of the Chelsea Wellness Paths and is on the hospital campus.    Just as I was coming out of the woods at the hospital driveway, two deer came running through the woods and very close to me made an abrupt stop and turned around to run away from me.  That really startled me!  Then, right after the deer, a Fed Ex truck was stopped at a drive that is for delivery trucks.  The truck was stopped so I thought nothing of it and I continued on.  Just as I was beginning to pass in front of the truck, I heard the engine start to rev up and looked and the truck was MOVING!!  I stopped and took a couple steps backwards and the driver slammed his brakes on; I'm not sure who was more startled: him at seeing me or me at seeing him moving!  On the final stretch of my run, just after climbing quite a steep hill, there were two little boys on the sidewalk on roller blades, they came off of another street and not up the hill I just ran up.  I said something to them about being hard to go uphill.  One of them said something about going fast and how fast can you go?  Next thing I know, I'm racing two little boys on roller blades for about a block!!  That's how my last mile came to be my fastest!  Well, that and toward the end, I really felt like I was slowing down and I was determined to not let this mile be over 9 minutes so I was really pushing.
I was quite pleased with my tempo run!  Next week, it's 7 miles and I don't know if I can keep that pace up for another mile. 
Yesterday marked 15 weeks until the Chicago Marathon.  I ran with my friend, Erika, on Saturday and she pulled me along at a 9:06 average pace for 8 miles!  Yep, that's a good long run pace for a 4:30 marathon!
Coming up Thursday is the annual Firecracker 5 Miler in Hanover, MI.  Erika and I are going to run decked out in red, white and blue! 

Tomorrow I have orientation for my new job!!  I'm going to be working in a hospital that has a unit where long-term ventilator dependent patients live.  That's what I do - take care of people on ventilators!

Runner Nerd
runs and dodges animals, bikes and trucks