Monday, August 15, 2011

A tale of three runs...

Hoping to get in my long mileage for the weekend while getting myself a little bit more prepared for Hood to Coast, I decided to split my 18 miles into 3 separate runs between Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Run #1 - 8:09pm - 7.51 miles - 1:05:51 - avg pace 8:46
 Almost everything about this run was great.  The weather was perfect and it was pretty quite out.  I started out running with music, which is something I never do, and enjoyed that for about 3 miles before I decided to stop fighting with my headphones and enjoy my run a little bit more.  The majority of the run was on the Adidas Rexius Bark trail which felt really good on my legs and I think contributed to me having absolutely zero knee pain!!!  One thing I dislike about running in the evening is the bugs, especially along Amazon Creek.  There were a couple times where I was running with my mouth and eyes closed and tried not to breathe through my nose as I went through swarms of them below the street lights.  The only really eventful thing that happened was at a spot where the bark trail ran really close to the street.  Just as I was noticing there was only a curb barrier, a car came driving up and kind of slowed while they approached me, which kind of put me on edge.  Then all of a sudden, a girl stuck her head out the window and yelled, "AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!".  Holy cow, it about gave me a heart attack.  I wish I would have been wearing my heart rate monitor because I'm positive my heart stopped for a moment.  I'm sure the people in the car had quite the laugh at my expense.

By the time I was heading up the street towards my house it was dark and I got to see the moon rise.  This picture doesn't do it justice, it was a big and bright full moon.
To better simulate race conditions for Hood to Coast, I considered not showering and sleeping in my van, but since I didn't have 5 other smelly & sweaty women to enjoy my company I opted for the comforts of home which included a nice long shower and a super comfy bed.

Run #2 - 5:52am - 8.05 miles - 1:09:52 - avg pace 8:41 - rest between runs almost 9 hours
I had planned to leave a little bit closer to 5am but barely made it out of the house before 6.  I was tired and did not feel like running.  It was also a lot darker than I had anticipated it being.  I'm not a fan of our days getting shorter already.
I opted for my "glow in the dark" outfit
 Run #2 didn't feel quite as good as the previous night's run.  I felt sluggish and unmotivated.  I wore a pair of compression socks in hopes of giving my Achilles & calves a bit of extra help.  I stopped less than a mile in to stretch a bit.  After stretching I felt a lot better and picked up the pace a bit.  I didn't really have any expectations except to run.  For the most part it was a good run.  One thing I dislike about early morning running is all the cobwebs.  I think the spiders spend all night weaving their little traps across my path just to bug me.  I hate running through them because they are right at face height and they get in my mouth or eyes and then I can never get them off.  Also I always wonder where the spider is and whether or not it is not hitching a ride in my hair.  Yuck!  I think I prefer running through the bugs at twilight.

Anyway, the run went alright.  I stopped again to stretch on a bridge at my halfway point.  As I was stretching, a transient man rode up on a bike and pulled over on the bench directly across from me.
"Good morning", he said.
"Good morning".
"Can I tell you something?"the man says as he starts to unzip his backpack.
"Ummm, sure?" I respond, a bit tentatively.
"You look very lovely." He said.
"Oh.  Well, thank you", while thinking "okay, that's my cue".  All of a sudden I wasn't feeling the need to stretch anymore.  "Have a great day!"  as I run off over the bridge to do, unsurprisingly, my fastest two miles of the entire run.

One thing I love about running in the morning is watching the sun come up.
After my run, I took a quick rinse off shower and changed my running clothes but didn't wash my hair or get feeling super great.  I was afraid if I did I wouldn't head back out for the final 3 miles.

Run #3 - 10:36am - 3.11miles - 21:15 - avg pace 6:50 - rest between runs about 3 1/2 hours
Originally I had planned to do this run after lunch and give myself a little bit more rest between my earlier morning run, but I was anxious to take a real shower and get ready for the day.  Also, my in-laws where expected to get into town around 11am, so when 10:30 rolled around I got tired of waiting and figured I could get in a quick 3 miles and a shower before they arrived.

This 3 mile run was in honor of Amanda @ Run to the Finish turning 30.
I realized about 1/2 mile in that I forgot to wear my "race bib"... oops.
She set up a virtual 3 mile race.  When I "anted up" with a couple of bets, I also predicted a finish time.  I went with 24:00.  I had no idea how fast I would be able to run 3 miles after having barely completed 15 so my goal was to run 3 even paced 8 minute miles.  Well, that went out the window when my first mile split came in at 7:10 and that was after I made myself slow down after starting out around 6:10pace.    So much for 8 minute miles! I decided just to run fast.  It felt awesome!!  When my 2nd mile clocked in at 6:44 I decided to see what I had left.  Mile 3 split, 6:42.  I was slightly shocked, that seemed pretty speedy for me.  Originally I had planned to stop right at 3 miles even, but I was curious to see what my 5K time would end up so I kept going.  3.11 miles, final time 21:15.  So, I failed miserably at predicting my time, but I'll take the faster miles any day.  My post college/post babies 5K pr is 21:31.  I'm thinking it's about time to find an "official" 5K to race and see just how fast I can do it.  :)  Thanks Amanda for having a run to celebrate your birthday.  I had fun, hope your birthday was spectacular... welcome to the awesome 30's and being at the bottom of the age bracket again. :)

I was happy to see that my legs held up just fine to some speed work after very little rest and best of all, again no knee pain!!!  It gives me much needed confidence for my ability to succeed on my legs at Hood to Coast.


Casey said...

amazing time on your 3 miler!! your glow-in-the dark outfit is cute! what is it?

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

hot dang way to rock it out!!!!

that is definitely some great relay race training!

Emz said...


Love the outfits - so chic. ;)

you are going to rock the HTC!!

Amber said...

I did Amanda's 3 miler virtual race also! So much fun and pushed me HARD!

Jody, RD said...

Awesome runs! I love that you referred to that man as "transient". I have definitely had those experiences back when I lived in the city. Now that I live in the country I'm more aware of dogs not on leashes and deer.

Raina said...

YES!!! Go run a 5k! The Fall classic is coming up.

Very solid training, Laurie. I echo your sentiments on the bugs at night, and the beautiful full moon!

Beth said...

wow, that's a crazy fast 5k time, especially for the 3rd run in a day. Congrats!

jillconyers said...

Hi from a new follower! Loved reading this. I'm totally jealous that you're running H2C and I look forward to hearing all about it!

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P said...

Yes, I'm just now getting around to reading this...I'm just a *little* behind on blogs!
Holy moly, you ROCKED that 3-miler!!! I've never done back-to-back-to-back runs like that, but I feel pretty confident that I would not be busting out a 5K PR on the last one. Good for you!