I redoubled my 10K training efforts this week, and experienced a few runner-unique situations. Additionally, I attained a personal running goal that seemed out of reach for so long. #runnerproblems #personalbest
New distance Personal Best (PR)!
First up was my long run with my friend Maria on Tuesday. Since it's late March, and since my house was pretty warm, I just thew on a short sleeve shirt with shorter running capris. It wasn't until I stepped outside my car at Maria's house that I realized it was 40 degrees with chilly 10-15 mph winds. Thankfully, Maria is such a sweetheart, and also my size, so she lent me a long sleeve shirt. About halfway through our run, we realized that this made us match almost exactly: she was wearing a purple light-jacket with black capris, and I was wearing her purple long-sleeve with black capris. The first three miles were nice and smooth, and then we turned around (we were running an out-and-back route). That's when the cold wind hit us straight on. So, on we trotted. While it sucks to run into head-on winds, I try to look on the bright side and consider it like hill training, especially since Clovis doesn't have any hills. The painful part about the wind was the effect it had on our ears. My ears felt like they were being stabbed with tiny frozen needles. My running lessons learned up to this point were: always keep a jacket in the car and stuff a spare ear warmer headband in the glove compartment. Runner problems aside, this was my best run ever. I ran the entire 6 miles, and then an additional .2 miles to make this officially the farthest distance I've run straight. Since I completed a practice 10K, I know have renewed and solidified confidence that I will excel at my race Saturday. Not only will I run the whole course, but with Dallas being at a much lower elevation than Clovis, and without the gale-force winds, I'm certain I'll beat my time of 1:11:34. All those runner problems I experienced this run only intensified my determination to do even better at the race.
Love these headbands.
My next run was supposed to be an easy 3-miles with my friend Keri, and that's exactly how it started. Then, we turned a corner and faced, once again, wind. But Wednesday delivered much stronger winds...upwards of 20 mph. So, we slowed to a crawl-jog and then a walk. It was a challenge just to stay upright. Yet again, I looked at this as intense hill repeats. However, I'm quite glad I decided to wear an Sweaty Bands headband (thanks again to Maria for this great birthday gift). It kept my hair in place, even in oncoming high winds. Active Bands are also wonderful as well. When we reached the first corner, we decided to turn left instead of try to continue into the wind. Once we changed direction, we could run again! Until we encountered a pack of dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds. Initially, we thought they were fenced in. And then they started charging us, barking and bearing their teeth. Normally, one dog I can handle. I just stop, turn at them, try to make myself look bigger, and tell them to scram in a loud voice. That wasn't working today. We were walking slowly as far from them as we could when, thankfully a truck drove up. He was the owner and he corralled them all back to his property. Needless to say, we ran off at a fairly brisk pace. At this point, my easy 3-miles had turned into 3-miles of interval training. We finished up our run-jog-walk sequence with no further issue other than a higher heart rate, and that was that. Still a good workout. My quads were burning from the additional strength required to run/walk in the wind. The lesson I learned from this run is to start carrying mace. If the owner hadn't shown up, I'm not sure how we would've handled the dogs. This run also marked an achievement for Keri. She's just started getting into running, and I feel encountering a dog during a run is a rite of passage for runners. You know you're a runner if you've been chased by a dog.
My recovery routine: hydration, massage, bath
The other workouts I completed this week weren't nearly as exciting, but they all increased my fitness level, my motivation level, and my confidence level. After a solid day of recovery which included: 30 minute foam roller massage, 60 minute soak in a warm tub with milk and honey Epson salts, and thorough hydration (loving this water bottle from my friend Cambria as I enjoy lemon and cucumber water); I'm ready for the Women Rock Dallas 10K, and I couldn't be more excited.