Full Marathon Training and Run for the Roses 5k RR

Apparently mother nature is determined to test how much I want to run the full in April. After providing great weather for my 14 mile run,  old man winter dumped about 2″ of ice covered with about an inch of snow the night before I was supposed to do my 16. With no other options, I hopped on the treadmill for the most boring and painful 3 hours of my life. The guys in the weight room (you know the kind who walk around and grunt for 2 hours) kept staring at me. Half of them seemed like they were waiting for me to stop running before they would leave – as if spending less time at the gym than me took away their man cards. Weirdo muscle men.
Snow in Raleigh doesn’t look intimidating, but the sheet of ice under the snow made for a scary walk to get beer!
The TM run drained me of everything, including any confidence that I could complete the 26.2. Many thanks to the peeps on the board and my awesome friends for reminding me some runs are just bad and that the TM increases the chances of a bad run. After that, I promised I’d never do more than 10 miles on a treadmill ever again! The great master planner that I am, I took a half day off work to get the 18 miler done on Friday and schedule a rest day before my 5k on Sunday. I am so smart! However, I must have bragged too much because the forecast for Friday afternoon called for hours upon hours of freezing rain and wintry mix. Luckily, my manager let me switch my vacation to Thursday after I explained. He told me he had heard of running on vacation – but never taking vacation to run. I’d like to think that makes me more hardcore!!
The 18 was a dream run. It was in the mid 40s and I chose a route with enough rolling hills to make it interesting but not steep enough to pose a real challenge. I managed to get some stretch breaks in every time I hit a red light and I felt strong the whole run. In fact, I felt better after the 18 than I did after the 14. It was a slow run (probably more of a jog to most people – a little under 11:30 avg pace) but feeling worse in exchange for a better pace would havent been a satisfying trade. I felt strong. I felt like if I had to, I could have gone on for 8.2 more miles.
RR: Run for the Roses 5k
Everyone knows I hate 5ks. However, my trainwreck running group hadn’t done a race together for a while and Shannon played the birthday card, insisting we all sign up. How can I say no? Plus my 5k PR is under her name since I stole her bib in the Apex Turkey Trot and I wanted to get that time for myself officially. The race didnt start until 2 and it was a crisp, sunny afternoon in the low 40s. Shannon, Ellie, and Julie were already hanging out when I got there and they had my bib and chip ready to go (best racing buddies ever!). Ellie even brought her husband along to hold our stuff, which was awesome because I was able to wear sweat pants over my shorts to stay warm while we waited.
The start was really congested. It was the kind of start with people stepping on my heels and luckily I was able to catch my balance on Shannon a few times. The crowd eased up once we crossed the start mat and I took off. The first mile was hard. I regretted not warming up or stretching. I think that’s one of the drawbacks to doing races with a bunch of friends – we all talk too much and I dont focus my mind on the running aspect. Mile 1 came up at 8:40. I’m not that fast. Not wonder it was so hard. My legs started to feel heavy and I yelled at myself for begin lazy all morning. I slowed down but for the rest of the race my breathing was off, my heart rate too high, and I couldn’t settle into a rhythm. I felt more like I was running away from Godzilla than a race because nothing felt right. Mile 2 came up at 18:30 and I figured if I could hold that pace and finish with a kick I could still get my PR of 29:17. The last mile had other ideas. HILLS. Two mean, ugly, and horrible hills. Shannon described the first one as something out of San Francisco. It had to have been man made. Not only was it the steepest hill I’ve ever seen in Raleigh (or maybe I was just that tired) but the road did a 180 on it so it was like running up a slopped spiral staircase. The ground leveled off for a few feet and then a nice half mile incline beat me down even more. I didnt even have the energy to kick out the last 200 meters. Chip time was 30:19.
I’m trying to console myself with the fact that I ran 42 miles in the 7 days leading up to the race (regular MPW is in the 20s still but the long runs have been pushed back and pulled forward causing the perfect storm of miles) but I know that I need to work on pacing for shorter distances and do more speed work. I think I’ll focus on the fact that I had a good 18 miler and ran with my girls as the highlights for the week.
Actually, the highlight of the race was watching the little kid’s run. Tobi mentioned that her little one was running it and we were hoping to meet up, but I had foolishly not entered her number in my phone (sometimes I just don think). At one point I wanted to yell, “Is someone named Tobi here?” but opted to not steal any thunder from the little ones. She and I will probably cross paths again soon enough  The kids all had bib numbers on, which took up all of their shirts. There were even two little boys who were running in the peewee race, who held up signs to cheer on the bigger kid’s race. Too cute!!
They also gave out roses to all the female finishers and had one of the nicest post race food spreads I’ve ever seen. The course map showed we ran that thing backwards so boo on whoever made the decision to flip it around. Next year I think I’ll go to the race as a cheerleader – that thing needed some crowd support! Oh, well – I’ll get you next time 5k PR but not before I tackle Mr Marathon!!!!!
Congrats to all my girls on a good race!!!!
Julie, Shannon, Ellie, and me

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