race time

Last 5k of the Season

I signed up for two 5k’s this year. I completed the first one last month, about a week after throwing my back out. 🙁 Despite not being 100%, I was able to run a lot of it and I wasn’t running at a snail’s pace. I was happy with the outcome. Of course, I was hoping this one would be a little bit better!

I signed up for the Westmoreland Park 5k, which was part of the Portland Parks and Rec $5 5k race series (which I love). This one was two laps around Westmoreland Park (on race day, it was actually 3 laps!), which is a really nice and big park in SE Portland not far from Reed College.

4468915
I ran my last 5k with Michael (and it was his first!). This time I ran it with my dad! My parents came down from Seattle for the weekend so we could run it together. And by “together” I mean we started at the start line together and then met up at the finish line later. LOL. Yes, my 60+ year old father is a much faster runner than I am. Oh well! I knew I’d be slow and I warned him to go at his own pace.

Saturday morning I did a quick, easy workout on the elliptical. I took it easy and was basically just trying to loosen up and stay limber for race day. I usually don’t workout the day before a race but last month I did a similar short, easy elliptical workout and I felt like it helped.

IMG_9109

Saturday evening we had a little dinner party at our place with my parents and Michael’s mom and stepdad. I made a veggie tray with homemade onion dip and Michael’s mom brought over freshly smoked salmon. By the way, get the veggie chips from Trader Joe’s. They are so tasty!

IMG_9112

Michael mom made a delicious Caesar salad and we got pizza! It was nice to hang out and catch up.

IMG_9115

Apparently there was a big game going with Oregon State and…someone… :/ I’m not a football fan! So we watched that, too. I practiced sleeping with my eyes open. 🙂

IMG_9113

It was kind of a late evening but I got an ok night’s sleep and got up early, ready for race day!

IMG_9121

Race Day

This was first organized race my dad has done in years–my mom said 20 but I don’t know if that was accurate. In the Marines my dad was a runner and he was the fastest in his company.He spends a few months every winter in Arizona and runs every day. It’s cool that he’s still doing it, too.

We were ready!! We watched the little kids do their “fun run” (which was adorable) and then it was time.

IMG_9116

I told my dad again that if I was too slow he could go at his own pace but he stayed with my the whole time! Which was nice. 🙂 We got in the middle of the pack, between the 10 and 11 minute mile pacer.

IMG_9117

The time started and we were off! Westmoreland was a nice park for the race. First, it was completely flat. A nice change from the other parks I’ve done. Second, the terrains was a lot different. We ran on pavement, bark chips (which were nice), grass, dirt, sand, gravel, and wood bridges. It was kind of nice having a little variety.

IMG_9120

We ran the first lap (without any walking!) in 11 minutes flat. It was a good pace for me. My dad usually runs a 9 minute mile, but he seemed content to go at my pace so that’s good. That first lap my legs felt awesome and not tired or slow at all.

The second lap I was about 1/4 of the way through and needed a quick walk break. Took about 30 seconds to walk, let my heart rate come back down from absolutely crazy-high, then started running again. Ran the rest of the 2nd lap around 12:30 minutes. The third lap was okay. I took a few short walking breaks but not too long. My lungs were feeling okay, my legs were starting to feel…fatigue. And a little groin/ligament pulling a little bit.

We got to the home stretch and the last 1/4 mile of the race was straight, flat and on the nice and comfy bark chips so we sprinted to the finish!

IMG_3159

We got our ribbons!

IMG_3164

Took a few minutes to walk around, cool down, stretch, get water and a banana then stopped my watch. Our official chip time was 36:41! I am very happy with my time and the race! And it was cool to be able to run it with my dad. 🙂

IMG_9119

We went home and cleaned up and then drove downtown to Tilt for lunch. It’s a restaurant I’ve heard tons about, Michael loves it, but I’ve never been. It was nice to finally be able to try it. It was a cool restaurant in the Pearl District with concrete floors, super modern designs and tons of space. It had a very awesome vibe to it. I ordered the brisket, bacon and egg sandwich that came on a homemade biscuit. It was amazing!

IMG_9123

My mom’s burger, the teriyaki and pineapple burger:

IMG_9122

My dad got a brisket sandwich with coleslaw and Michael also got a crazy burger:

IMG_9124

We shared a giant order of fries at the table. The fries were fantastic! One of my favorites. And the sriracha mayo dipping sauce was so good. Loved it.

After lunch I could have used a nap. I was in a serious food coma and race coma! But there was stuff to do. My parents were helping us get rid of some stuff and donate it to Goodwill. It was a huge help since we don’t have a truck. Got rid of a bunch of bags of stuff, an old shoe rack and my old Ikea loveseat. It was time to get rid of it. A little sad, but it wasn’t something we used (except to pile crap on it) and we needed to make space. It was nice to have the help.

It was a great weekend. Got a lot of stuff done and it was such a cool memory to run a race with my dad!

What I Did Wrong

wrong

I am a firm believer in learning from past mistakes. The problem is, it sometimes takes awhile to figure out what those mistakes were until you repeat them a few times, or enough time has passed that you can see clearly. I’ve had enough time the last few years to reflect on some of my events and can pinpoint the mistakes I made for each one.

My First 5K

Run Like Hell 5k was my very first race. I’d trained for the 5k but wasn’t following any program, which I wish I’d done now that I’ve been working through the Couch to 5K program. The mistake I made in my first race was pacing. I did not pace myself and halfway through I was fizzling out. Part of that could have been the fact that I had the flu for two weeks leading up to the race and just wasn’t healthy enough to run it (but did it anyways), but PACING was huge. It’s so hard not to go really fast at the beginning!

 

Reach The Beach

You can read the Reach The Beach posts here: Recap 1,Recap 2Recap 3. Reach the Beach was my first cycling event. Michael started from the 75 mile start point and I started at the 55 mile start point. The race a great one and even though my bike broke in the last 10 miles (that was not fun) I crossed the finish line and overall felt great about the whole thing. Michael and I had been training every weekend doing the 40 mile loop through Portland and it helped a lot! Physically I was ready for it.

What was the mistake? There were two. The first was not being prepared for the drastic climate change at the beach. It was freezing and I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeved jersey and was shivering so badly we thought I was getting hypothermia. The other mistake was not fueling properly.

Fuel is SO important for any long distance event. I should have known better because there were several training rides where I crashed because I didn’t eat enough along the way. It took awhile after all of this to figure out WHAT to eat while riding (dried apricots work well) so I don’t crash. That crash is not fun.

yay

Shamrock 8K

Taking my experience from the 5k I think I did really well on this race. I trained, I paced myself the entire time and felt really good afterward. You can read the recap here: I DID IT!!!!!!

So what was the mistake in this one if everything went well? I ended up injured afterward (thankfully for only about a week after) with bursitis in my ankle. It hurt like hell. The reason I got bursitis? Not paying attention to how I was running for that last mile of the race. I was getting wrapped up in being almost done and the excitement of the crowd…I was running DOWNHILL and I was running too fast, stomping my feet too hard, and my stride was too long. Basically, I hurt myself because I wasn’t paying attention.

Hood to Coast

Hood to Coast…so many emotions, so many feelings. It was something so epic and massive and I’m happy I accomplished it. It was difficult, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Here are some of the Hood to Coast posts:  Hood to CoastLeg 12Leg 24Leg 36Crossing the Finish Line , Day OneAfter my First RunHurry Up and WaitThe Home Stretch,  Because You Can’t Do Epic Alone.

I made a few mistakes in HTC…The first was training. I did NOT train properly leading up to the event. I had tons of time, nearly a year, to train. I wish I had done a structured program instead of just running. I also didn’t do ENOUGH miles. I had 3 legs in the race and each were around 4-6 miles each. The most I ran in one training session was I think 8 1/2 miles? I should have been building up to 15 miles at a time and I never got there.

The mistake during the race was in the last leg. I was exhausted, sore, my legs were tightening up, and I should have listened to my body those last two miles and given myself permission to take a walking break. I did not and I think that’s what started my knee issues. Sure I accomplished Hood to Coast without walking, but now I wish I had.

The last mistake was a week after. I went back to running too soon. I had my heart set on running a half marathon and I wanted to get started training ASAP. I should have taken it easy, I should have stuck to light workouts and swimming only. Instead, I pushed it and injured my IT Band.

htc

The Portland Century

There wasn’t anything I necessarily did wrong with this one. I’d say this is one of the more successful events I’ve done. I biked 72 miles with the bare minimum of training. If I had to do it over again I would have trained more, but the little bit I did seemed to be okay.  The posts can be read here: Part 1Part 2The EndRecovery.

Peach of a Century

I did the metric century in Peach of a Century a few summers ago. This was the last event I did. You can read the posts here: Peach of a Century Part 1Peach of a Century Part 2. I did okay with my training and did really well during the event. I felt really good afterwards. I fueled properly, I paced myself. It was good.

So what was the mistake? It was the same one I made with Hood to Coast — I went back to activity TOO SOON. This was the event that started my Runner’s Knee. I guess the only GOOD thing that came out of this was that I FINALLY admitted that I needed to fix the weaknesses in my body. I started weight lifting on a consistent basis and improved my body in a lot of ways. That runner’s knee still plagues me off and on and it will probably be something I always have to deal with…but I am focusing on strengthening my glutes, consistently doing yoga to stretch out my tight muscles and working on my balance. It will be a lifelong project I think.

Portland Parks & Rec 5K

It’s coming up soon! I really hope that I’ve done well with my training and learned from my mistakes in the past. Time will tell!

Lessons Learned

To sum it up…I learned how important crosstraining is, that RECOVERY is crucial, and that I need to listen to my body–when it hurts, when I should back off and when there’s clearly something unbalanced!

What lessons have you learned from past mistakes?