Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Race Recaps x2

Exciting news...I ran a new 10 km Personal Best, shaving a whopping 2 minutes off my previous time. Then 2 weeks later I beat that PB by 36 seconds! And with that, I'm officially retiring (may as well quite while I'm ahead). Just kidding, I'm not actually giving up on running but I am finished with the races for this year.

Energizer Light Up The Night Race (Photo Source)
This was a unique and fun race. It started at 9:30pm just as the sun was setting and everyone wore headlamps. With over 1,300 runners this looked really cool. The race was 2 loops of a 5km route so you had a few chances to see all the lights bobbing up and down. I must admit that the novelty of running with a headlamp lasted about 2 minutes before the thing kept slipping off my schweaty forehead and knocking me in the nose. I ended up taking off my headlamp and carrying it the rest of the way. I felt great the rest of the run and ran at a steady pace. I was so happy when I saw the finish line and the timmer was at the 45 min. My final time was 45:45.

Pre Race Fuel: This was an odd race to plan for because it was the first one I ever ran at night. I ate how I normally would throughout the day and drank plenty of water. About 2.5 hours before the race I made homemade burgers and salad for dinner. I'm sure this isn't the greatest but I had no inspiration that night to make anything else. I also had one small mouthful of GU in the car to the race but I was too nervous to eat anything else. No matter what, I always get nervous before a race.

Calgary Women's Run (Photo Source)
Last weekend I participated in the Calgary Women's run. I was supposed to run it with my mum but she is nursing a running injury this summer so we couldn't team up for the mother-daughter category. Too bad because we would have killed it (she is faster than me - although I think I'm catching up with these times). Maybe next year.

I ran most of the race all by my lonesome, since the first few girls were super speedy. Well I thought I was by myself but if you look in the pic you see a nice pack behind me to the right (the lady on my left is some random who was running on the path that day). I eyed out that little group behind me at the turnaround point and am pretty sure that's why I ended up running a personal best. My final clock time was 45:09! Nothing like a little competition to push you. Take that previous PB.

Results: Turns out I didn't need my mum on a team to help me place. I was 8th overall and 2nd in my age group! At first I thought I hadn't placed in my age group because the first few finishers were all in my age group, but they actually took the overall winners out of the age category prizes, so I got my little moment of glory (that is a race pet peeve of mine, when the winners get two prizes. Who needs 2 prizes anyway?)

Pre-race fuel: I went with my pre-race staple Oatmeal+PB+Banana. Why change a good thing? Clearly it worked.

And with that, I am officially done all of my races this year. Hockey season is starting up soon! Can't wait.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Race Recap: Rock The House 5km

Last weekend I completed my first 5km race of the year, the Rock The House fun run in support of the Ronald McDonald House. I wasn't planning on running a 5km this year; however, an opportunity came up last minute to do this one, so I jumped on the chance. Overall the race was a casual fun race, with live music and entertainment throughout the course, so I could leave my iPod at home and just enjoy it all.

Planning For The Race
Since it was a last minute decision to run this, there wasn't much planning involved. Basically I decided the night before that I wanted to run a sub-24 minute 5km, which would be a personal best for me (my previous personal best was 24:01). I have been consistently running throughout the summer so I felt like this was do-able. I'm also a bit of a math nerd, so I figured out the exact minute break downs for each kilometer and charged up my Nike+ watch (I'm not cool enough for a Garmin).

The Race
Despite some sore legs from a 10km hike the day before, I actually felt pretty good and energetic during the race. My big fail was spending all that time the night before planning out my pace and timing for each km. As soon as I started, my Nike+ watch switched to miles/hour, not km/hour (damn US factory settings). I gave up on the watch and saw a girl running a few meters in front of me at a decent pace so I decided to keep up with her. This plan worked out really well because she was strong runner and held a steady pace the whole way through. I never did catch her but I did destroy my previous personal best by finishing with a final chip time of 22:19. I was actually quite shocked that I ran it that fast but my Nike + said 3.1 miles exactly so it must be true (my math is so stellar I can convert that to km in no time...)

Race Day Eats
I stuck to my race-day stand by of oatmeal. I find it easy to digest and it gives me enough energy for any distance. Clearly it helped me out with this race.

1/3 c Oats
1 Banana
1 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter

My Thoughts on Beating a Personal Best
Damn it. Now I just want to go faster. Why can't I just be satisfied for once.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Amazing Discoveries: Things That Stick

I had a few amazing discoveries today. Two great ones and one not so much. They were so epic that I had to share.

1. Homemade veggie burges do not make good pre-run fuel
(This was the not so great discovery.) After dinner tonight, Bill and I decided to go for a run. About 15 minutes in I asked if we could walk because I didn't feel so hot. Bill was more than happy to because he wasn't feeling so hot either. I was feeling barfy and the dinner I made was definitely sticking to my stomach too much. No need to worry, I pride myself on having an iron stomach so that dinner did not reappear. Lesson learned: my experiment with homemade veggie burgers was a fail.

2. The headband that finally stays put (for the most part)
I have a head shape that can not hold a headband. I have tried and tried to find one that stays put, ranging from the tiny to the wide to the expensive-no-slip versions, but to no avail, they alway pop right off my head. I have the headband down to an art where I put my hair into a low ponytail and bobbypin the shiz out of them, but they still manage to slip. Le sigh.

Today everything changed. A few weeks ago, I saw across the blog world that everyone was raving about these BIC Bands, claiming they did not slip. Challenge accepted! I ordered two (because that's what you do in Canada, you order multiples of things to justify the shipping and customs charges) and they arrived in the mail last night. Today I put them to the ultimate challenge, high-up ponytail and no bobby pins. I was nervous, but they passed the test. No slippage! Well until I went on my run tonight. I think it was my fault though as I pushed the BIC band too far on it's rookie day out.

3. Nail polish that doesn't chip
Ok I know what you are thinking, this has nothing to do with exercise. Wrong. I have always had chipped-nail-polish nails from all the hockey/skiing/biking/any-sport-that-involves-gloves. All of these sports destroy a fresh manicure in a matter of seconds. I impulsively bought these Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips the other day (the sparkles got to me). I tried them out and so far they have yet to chip. Granted I have only biked twice, but usually by this point my weekend nail polish job is looking a little lack luster. Not this time around. These bad boys hold their own. I highly recommend for those who do a lot of sports but want pretty nails.