Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Brazen Racing's Bay Breeze 10k

My love affair with Brazen racing continues as I ran their Bay Breeze this past weekend. I've done this race once before I ran the 5k. It's the only flat run they offer and you can come back and revisit it as the Summer Breeze, in the well, summer. running a 10k is part of half marathon training plan, and since I tend to only run a 10k when I'm half marathon training I haven't run this distance in two years.

Normally, I am pretty uptight pre-race, I know what my goal is, I know what pace I need to average to hit that goal. Last week was a pretty crazy one, I had a migraine on Tuesday, the five year old was home sick on Wednesday, let's just say race prep did not go as it usually does. I was not overly worried about it since this was simply a training run, I knew I should PR here based on my average run times but I wasn't really focused on a number or a pace.

Mary Sue was signed up for the 5k so it was nice to hang out for a little bit pre-race. I also ran into a very nice woman I had met at the last Brazen race. I found Pia at the start line, which is pretty amazing considering there were so many people there.

Everyone wears bright colors to find themselves in the free photos, so I'm not alone! 

Very quickly we were off and I tried to find a pace that felt comfortable, I looked at my watch but that didn't seem to help much since I really had no guess on what pace I should be running for 6.2 miles. This was also the first 10k that I have run the entire distance. Last time around I was working through a leg injury while training so I ran the 10k and half with run/walk intervals. There were some questions in my mind if my pace would actually be slower by running the entire distance. As all of these crazy thoughts went through my head, I got passed by a lot of people. I kept telling myself to run my own race, this was not a 5k and I could not hold my 5k pace over a 10k distance. Run your own race, run your own race. I was being leap frogged by a woman in all bright pink. Her run pace was pretty fast and then she would walk. I am obviously familiar with intervals and totally respect that, so we kept on leap frogging.

As we approached the first aid station around mile 2.5 I ran through it and passed some folks there. Anything over five miles and I run with my own water. Mostly because anything over five miles I carry a Gu for and I need water to wash that down with. I don't like to be hampered by where an aid station is located and when I consume my Gu. It felt really good to hit the turn-around and this is where I opened my Gu and took in my first water. Once again I ran through the aid station without stopping. At this point I felt pretty good and wondered if the course was slightly slower on the way out as my pace increased. I gradually started negative splitting my miles and started to pass all of those people who had passed me in the first mile. This felt really good and just reaffirmed the fact that holding back in the first couple of miles was going to pay off at the end. This is the point in the race where I finally lost the woman in the pink tights and jacket. I almost wanted to ask her if she wanted to run with me to the finish line.

As I approached mile five  I peeked to see where I was time wise, I realized that if I kept running the same pace, I may not hit my goal time. I stepped up my pace. I don't think there has even been a time in my life where I actually felt like with over one mile to go that I could pick up my pace and hold it that long. I honestly felt like I could, so I did. By this point we were hitting the 5k walkers on the course so there was a lot of maneuvering going on but I held steady and only had to yell "on your left" once. I was also passing 10k runners and feeling really good. As we rounded the corner and came into the final stretch, I picked up the pace even more and sprinted to the finish line. I finished 1:01:59 just under my goal for a 3:16 PR.

I think the woman at the finish line was afraid to give my medal because I must have looked like I was going to puke on her. I must have still that looked that way when I wondered over to Mary Sue who had cheered me across the finish line because she asked me if I was going to puke :) thankfully, there was no puking,

Overall, I'm pleased with how the day went. Looking back, I probably could have held a slightly faster pace over that distance, but I loved having the energy to feel so strong for the last 1.20 miles of the race. There will be plenty of time to focus on this distance after tri season is over.

Three weeks until the big race! So it's head down and focus on getting the miles in.

Bay Breeze 10k
Mile 1 10:07
Mile 2 10:14
Mile 3 10:14
Mile 4 10:09
Mile 5 10:03
Mile 6 9:30
.20      8:06

AG 22/69
OA 206/551
Happy to be done with the days workout before 9:30am! 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Remember when...

Remember when I always said I would rather run in the rain than in the heat? Mother nature has been putting that to the test the last two weekends. I will not complain about the rain, because we need it so badly. In fact, even with the massive amount of rainfall this weekend and flooding, we're still totally screwed.

As I thought about last weekends long run in the rain, my attire worked for seven miles in light sprinkles. I wore long sleeves, long tights and a hat. The only issue I had was when I hit one windy part and I got really cold. For today's eight miles, I knew the rain was falling harder and it was windier so I made the decision to wear a jacket over my long sleeves.

All weekend I had been worried about flooding and cars and cars driving through puddles and spraying me if there was flooding. I toyed with the idea of driving to the park and not running on the street at all. I also knew that there would be parts of the trail that would be flooded. I thought briefly about going to the gym with my husband and running eight miles on the treadmill, ick. Once I woke up on Sunday morning I knew I couldn't go to the gym, it would be crowded and hot and it would suck.

I put my big girl panties on and stepped out of my garage into the pouring rain. A half mile into my run I was pretty wet. I briefly thought about turning around and changing my clothes into shorts and a tank top and heading to the gym. But that seemed like a lot of energy that I could just put into continuing on another 7.5 miles.  There was flooding and debris that I had to negotiate all while keeping my eyes on traffic. The amount of noise along Moraga Way was deafening, I couldn't even hear my music, which I had turned down to make sure I could hear anything I might need to. You wouldn't think the noise of cars on a wet road could be so loud, it was shocking really. As soon as I made my first turn off of Moraga Way, I felt a calming affect as the noise quieted.

Along the trail I came across one other runner, one cyclist and three walkers. Other than that it was really quiet. I was never so thankful to hit my turn-around at mile four.

Is it over yet?
By this point I was squeezing water out of the arms on my jackets. I felt like i had gained ten pounds on this run. This jacket absorbed way too much water. While i have never been out this long in it, when I've worn it int he past it has reflected rain well, but that has been for runs to the store and picking up kids at school. I really wanted to ditch it, but it was at least keeping my core warm.

There was a lot of flooding and I had to crisscross along the trail to avoid big puddles.

When I got home I took my shoes and socks off in the garage because they were soaked through. I took my jacket off and hung it in the shower to drip dry. Learning from my mistake of last weekend (don't immediately jump in the shower because that results in heat rash) I stripped off all of my clothes and threw on flannel pj's and a robe to warm up and some compression socks. This worked much better than last weekend.

Phew! Now that this long run is done, I'm curious if you have any advice on run clothes for the rain. I have a water and wind proof cycling vest, I'm thinking about wearing that over a long sleeve technical shirt might be a better option in terms of keeping my core warm and not adding tons of weight with a water soaked jacket. I'm also wondering if my thinner capri's would be better, less material to absorb water?