MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 6, 2011

The Race That Wasn’t Supposed to be a Race. And Wasn’t. Really.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:36

I’m really glad that the DRC Breakfast Bash 5M that I ran on Saturday morning wasn’t supposed to be taken as an actual race for me.

competetor . com

While the above picture isn’t exactly what happened to me during the race it was probably the longest 5 miles. Of. My. Life.

The plan was to get some miles in before the race and then take the race as MP, to get some pace work in, as it was the LR day for the group ( I still feel weird calling it “my group” despite having run with them 3 times in the 3 weeks I’ve been here and 2 weeks in Dallas). MP, of course, means nothing to me as I’m not signed up for a marathon and sooo am not in marathon *racing* shape or really any racing shape.

I met with up with two friends to do a 9 mile loop around White Rock Lake beforehand. My goal was to run the first 9 slow and then just push the race. We started out at 0600 (and it was PITCH BLACK) and we went…slowish. The first mile was nice and slow, right where we wanted it to be (we were shooting for 9:45 average) and then picked it up a bit too much for our liking given how early we were in the run, the first three miles were 9:30 average. Normally this wouldn’t matter too much but we had that race after.  We locked into 9:45 even for miles 3-7.5 and then slowly picked up the pace over the next mile and a half.

Grand total pre-race: 9 miles in 87 minutes even, which is a 9:39 pace. I’m pleased with it.

We finished up with about 20 minutes before the 8am start and I’m pretty sure it was hot out. As I mentioned above the goal for the race portion was to go at MP.  One of my friends who did the lake loop with me wanted to target 9:00-15 pace, and I wanted…well ideally I wanted to PR, but that would mean a sub-7 pace.  Did I ever mention I was delusional?! I set my sights, however, on a sub-9 pace.  Ideally just under since my speed session during the week indicated those were the paces I was training for (according to that chart). As I told my friends earlier in the run, I want a sub-9 pace, even if it’s one f#$%ing second sub-9.

Summary of the race: It hurt and tested me mentally. I gunned it from the get go and my first mile was a little fast, second mile a little slow but the last three were dead on even (8:50, 8:58, 8:55, 8:55, 8:54). According to my watch (and I had to stop and tie my shoe and stopped my watch.  If it’d been a training run, which essentially this was, I’d have done the same. Don’t judge) my time was 44:42, which about a 8:56 pace.  Officially I ran a 45:01.  Annoying 1 second.

I’m pleased.  It’s what I wanted, even and hard effort, and my pace, while definitely not my marathon paces in the past, felt hard and challenging and it was a good workout on tired legs. And  I’ll repeat: it was the longest damn 5 miles of my life.  Thank god for some guy that chatted with me during the second half who kept me going and not letting me quit (and called me silly for not taking any water at the water stop. HA)

That said, after talking with some peeps from the group post-race (see below picture), I’m still excited to get into a training mode for my half in early November. I also got a mini-massage on my achilles and hips because they’re acting up, no injury but just tightening.  Silly Dallas and all your concrete!

Oh yeah, in a race that I was not racing at all I got 4th AG. So maybe it was a race for me. Evidently my AG isn’t too competitive here.  Too bad I’m bumping up one this fall and it’ll get more competitive. Damn.

I went out to Ft. Worth that night with a friend (who ran the loop with me) and met up with a bunch of people, including a girl I went to college with.  We danced the night away! It was so much fun despite, out of all the people we hung out with I only knew two of the people. But I guess now I have more friends after that night.

The rest of the weekend was about recouping, both from the race and getting home from Saturday night at 0430 Sunday.

I got a little taste of home on Labor day, when I stepped out my door for a morning run: 67* and a nice crisp breeze. Yay for “cold fronts”

But after being here for close to 3 weeks now, with the lows in the 80s and the highs being 100+, it did almost felt chilly – guess I’m embracing the whole Texan thing.  I wanted to go for a mid-distance run (and I got it) but I also wanted to get some type of faster turnover and I figured that my legs should be adequately rested from the pace work on Saturday and would be ready for the group quality workout Wednesday if I did them today.

I settled for a minute-ladder: 1-2-3-3-2-1, with half recovery between them.  I toyed with the idea of doing it twice (because grand total my miles were around 10.7 and the above workout wouldn’t take that long) but after the last interval, I could take the second ladder or leave it.  So I left it. I’m second guessing my decision so if anyone has any input (*cough*FLO*cough) on what the “correct” thing to do was I’d love to hear it. I’m sure that if I took equal recovery for the intervals I’d have been able to do the second ladder but I’m never sure how much rest to take during speed sessions.

I figure that since I’m getting back into quality workouts, I think I’ve only done 4 or 5 speed ones including today, and that last week was my first “training week” with 92 miles. It might be good to ease back into it and work up to multiple ladders? On the other hand I ran over 10 total and maybe the long slow portion negated the faster minutes.

Who knows. I clearly overthink things. This morning was an even “chillier” one: 63*.  I was running and looking around expecting leaves to be changing and apples to be ripe for the pickin’.  No such luck.  This is Texas after all.  I got my 8+ in though.  I’m thinking of hitting up my standby neighborhood run (aka I can run on people’s grass and not concrete) later today when it’s *only* 80-something degrees out.


  1. Great job girly on the race! Its a great starting point and I know that running with that group will help to make you faster!

    Comment by J — September 6, 2011 @ 12:52

  2. Do you know what a superstar you are? I believe that when we keep doing exceptional things, we tend to start disregarding the vitality of our NOWNESS. I am proud to share the journey with you

    Comment by specialkphd — September 6, 2011 @ 14:09

  3. Great job racing on tired legs! Enjoy that texas ‘chill’ Haha!

    Comment by Marcia — September 6, 2011 @ 17:11

  4. 92 miles last week? Yowza! Hooray for getting back into training and for cool days in Texas – hopefully you guys have a lot more of those headed your way soon!

    Comment by Kelly — September 6, 2011 @ 20:21

  5. I hate taking water during the races. I either have to slow down or gag as it goes down the wrong pipe. Clearly I cannot multi-task well.

    Nice race, though!

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — September 6, 2011 @ 21:47

  6. Yay it’s below 90! Get out the sweaters!

    Comment by Jess — September 6, 2011 @ 21:51

  7. I know this wasn’t what you were asking me about but I need to say this: you have to get to a doctor and get to the bottom of why your paces are the way they are. These aren’t “your” paces, girl, you’re a much faster runner than this when healthy. And 92mpw is truly not a good idea to be doing until your paces line up with your capabilities. I know you know this.

    As for the ladder, I’m no coach so what I would do is Google some fartlek articles and just grab workouts from there. That way you don’t have to wonder if it’s a good workout or not. No sense reinventing the wheel, right? 🙂

    Comment by Flo — September 6, 2011 @ 22:18

    • Yeah Sweetie, I agree with Flo. It’s difficult to say this to you b/c you are such an AMAZING person and runner. It’s not normal to go from a low 7s marathon to 9+ 5-mile race. You know this, honey. Please seek help or advice. Flo and I both care about you a lot and are saying this out of concern and kindness.

      Comment by Rebecca — September 6, 2011 @ 22:24

  8. OMG that cartoon is too funny!! That is definitely how I feel in the last mile of any shorter race. Those dang things hurt!!

    Have you thought about an iron deficiency? My times TANKED one summer and I felt awful….turns out I was anemic. A little iron fixed it….as did adding meat back into my diet. I know it’s tough when you’re unemployed (and probably without health insurance) but you can check it the cheap way — offer to donate blood. They check your iron before they let you do it. 😉 Yes that sounds awful, but I’ve been the unemployed grad student before….you do what you gotta do!

    Comment by Ashley @ This Is The Place — September 7, 2011 @ 11:59

  9. Still fantastic but so frustrating about that second! haha love that cartoon too… pretty sure I’ve been there a few times before!

    Comment by Laura @ box run eat — September 7, 2011 @ 12:14

  10. I was just thinking how you moved from the smallest state to one of the largest.

    Random thought. That’s all.

    Anyway. I would have wanted a PR too even though I so clearly know one is not happening. Obviously the competition is lighter in Dallas than it was back in RI. 9min/miles = 4th place AG. Hey, we’ll take it.

    I’m sad I don’t recognize *anyone* (in particular) in these photos…

    Comment by Lindsay — September 7, 2011 @ 12:19

  11. 92 miles? You amaze me! Sorry that you hit the wall so hard in the race, maybe a mix of so much concrete + the temperature shift? I love that it was a cool chilly morning of 63 degrees 😉

    Comment by Sarah — September 7, 2011 @ 18:46

  12. I hear you on the pace thing, so frustrating but you are so freaking fast, you will have the speed when you need it, I have no doubt!!

    I am so behind in blogs…and life. Did you move to Texas??? Argh, I can’t believe I missed that!

    Comment by Jill — September 7, 2011 @ 19:46

  13. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I had a chance to visit your blog!

    Texas is one place I haven’t been but I hear it is HOT there right now. I hope you going okay running in that heat. And congrats on your move! I had no idea.

    Comment by Ameena — September 9, 2011 @ 12:00

  14. That’s a heck of a race report. I love all the detail you shared. Congrats on the AG award too. 🙂

    This may sound silly (and obvious) but it’s inspiring to know that someone as fast as you (who runs kick butt marathons) still has to work for speed. You lose some if you don’t keep up the speedwork, but you can gain it back too. It definitely shows me that if I keep consistently working on it, I can also continue to get faster. 🙂

    Comment by Lisa — September 11, 2011 @ 23:45

    • P.S. I do, however, agree w/ previous commenters that you should make sure you’re healthy and a-okay physically. Take care of yourself in the midst of all these life changes!!

      Comment by Lisa — September 11, 2011 @ 23:49

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