ETS Firecracker 5k

I have a laundry list of things to catch up on! Might as well start at the beginning: I ran a 5k on Tuesday the 24th of June. It was hosted by ETS and the YWCA, and it’s a very popular race among…well, almost every local runner I know. This, coupled with the fact that I had to sit out and watch the race last year, made me really excited to run it. My goal was to have fun, be grateful for being able to race, and run hard. After all, I had already tested my limits in the mile two weeks before and the 3k a week before, and in both I had felt like I could extend that fast effort to longer distances. Such as a 5k. So, I wanted to see how long I could hang on to a pace that’s slightly outside of my workout comfort zone. If I was successful, I thought I could PR, so that was in the back of my mind. I knew that a.) the course wasn’t flat as a pancake, b.) it was at 7:30pm and it would be hot, and c.) I wake up at 4:45am on Tuesdays and rarely get the chance to fuel properly if I’m not going to risk feeling sick. So I had no idea how it would go.

The group pre-race.

The group pre-race.

I biked to the ETS campus, which was only about five miles away. Steve was in town for the week, so I warmed up with him, his 14-year-old host-family member Harry (no other way to really explain…), and our Asics rep Joe, who decided a few days before to run. The start line was really congested, mostly of runners I knew, which was funny and nice! One of them, however, was my former college teammate who just graduated in May, fresh off a good track season. I knew there was no chance in beating her but I figured I’d see how close I could stay. When the gun went off, Sara found me quickly and I was determined to run side by side with her, since we do a lot of times in workouts. The first mile felt really long…maybe because it included more than one uphill, downhill, and flat section. I hit mile 1 in 6:09 – quick, but I was okay with it. The second mile was pretty much all flat, but I settled in a little and ran 6:28. The final mile was part of the first mile again, and it was agreed upon by everyone that the uphill felt much harder the second time around…I could see my college friend up ahead the entire time, but she was too far to catch (she won, in eleventh overall, 19:12). I pushed as hard as I could for a 6:16 last mile and 47 seconds for the last 0.15 mi. to finish in 19:41, twelfth overall and second female. I was very pleased with my time and effort, especially under the conditions. It was a 16-second road PR, and of course it made me think that 5ks aren’t so bad, and I should do a flat, fast one someday…more on that another time.

The start. My face is in this, it's just...small.

The start. My face is in this, it’s just…small. Photo credit: Martin Griff/The Times of Trenton.

Interesting thing about Joe’s race: he decided to move up after pacing Steve for awhile, and was leading the race when the lead cyclist turned the wrong way just before the third mile marker. He wasn’t giving a race effort, so he said he didn’t mind much, but I know he was annoyed by the incident. He’ll have to come back next year for redemption (but he probably won’t…)! He was grateful for the abundance of free food after, for what it was worth. 

The Intervals group ran as a team, and we placed 2nd! Most of us individually won our age groups too (in this race you actually didn’t get a medal unless you placed in your age group)! I think the racing high got the best of us, as we took a lot of pictures after….

Bling and shoes.

Bling and shoes.

Age group award. There's a whole thing inside, it's a big deal....It just occurred to me that I saw that girl running today. I only know it was her because I saw the shoes....

Age group award. There’s a whole thing inside, it’s a big deal….It just occurred to me that I saw that girl running today. I only know it was her because I recognize the shoes now.

I was going to keep up my weekly habit of running shorter races (they progressively got longer) on the 4th of July, where the group ran a 10k together, but then I decided very last-minute to go with my family to Maine after all, so I missed it. Maine included a lot of miles, both on foot and on the bike. It made me realize that I do like training here much, much better though. Strange to say, but even in beautiful places, I need variety. The fact that I can go any which way from right here and not get bored, rather than just one or two ways, is awesome. The possibilities are endless. If you are a runner or cyclist in the Princeton area and do not agree, come talk with me.  

20140704_110934

2014 ETS Firecracker 5k results

Triathlon training updates coming soon!

 

 

Trail runs in Maine & New Jersey

Maine

I was in Maine all week visiting family…my training schedule ended up being as follows:

Sitting in the front yard?

Sunday: off, drove for 12 hours and got exceedingly stiff. No fun. 😦 I didn’t feel too bad from the 5k Saturday though, at all.

Monday: I ran about 6.5 miles from the house we were staying in; some gravel road and some uneven paved road. I tried to take it easy and hardly looked at my watch. In fact, I turned off the tones so I wouldn’t be aware of each mile split, and I’ve been enjoying it. My splits (with rolling hills) ended up looking like this….

Oh, and the weather was nice!

Nice biking.

 

 

In the afternoon, I decided to take my Garmin on a kayaking adventure… apparently you average 22 minutes per mile when you try to kayak in whitecap waves…needless to say, it was a bit too windy to be out there, so we turned back.

Tuesday: I biked 26 miles in ~1:44. I went to Schoodic and took the road through Acadia, which was nice and smooth. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a view…just fog. I averaged 19-20 mph on the roads I think; I was extra careful with my tires on the dirt roads to and from the house.

Wednesday: I took off from running and biking and hiked a couple hours up some mountains in Acadia on Mt. Desert Island.

Thursday: This was the best day…I roped my uncle, aunt, and brother into a trip to Eagle Lake for a run. I ran ahead while my aunt ride her bike on the carriage trail, and my brother and uncle ran about a minute per mile slower behind me. I went into this run unsure of how I’d feel…and almost preparing for the worst. I was relieved to feel somewhat normal, just tired. See, I’ve been feeling something not right in my ITB since probably Monday, the same feeling of a knot in the surrounding quad muscles as I had before the triathlon. I think I’ve concluded that it is just bruising from breaking up scar tissue with my roller. Which leaves me with a dilemma, because now I’m not sure to roll or not to roll….Anyway, I ran 9 miles – farthest since the marathon (and injury, obviously)!

Image

Image

Lobster for dinner:Image

Friday: Morning ITB PT, afternoon bike.

Saturday: Easy 3 miles on the dirt road before driving back to NJ.

*    *    *

New Jersey

It was a rather productive first day back, despite feeling…well, not very well. The ITB bruising has gotten worse, and there is still a definite knot in my lateral quad. It doesn’t bother me when I’m actually running, which is really good. I just can’t decide if I should continue being a masochist for my own good or not. It’s confusing. Because the “knot,” to which the area will hereafter be referred, felt so weird in the morning, I decided to run later.

Side note: there are only 3 acceptable reasons not to do your long run in the morning on Sunday:

1.) You’re really hungover You aren’t feeling well & know you’ll be able to do the whole run and run stronger later in the day

2.) You can have company on the run if you wait

3.) A body part (ITB, calves, etc.) needs to warm up

In this case, my situation was #3. I just needed time to address the bruised-ITB-quad situation before heading out for the run. Also, morning yoga was free. Afternoon yoga was not.

I just did 9 miles Thursday so I figured I would just do that again, and my Thursday + Sunday would somehow even out to “normal” mileage? Basically, I wanted to do about 9 miles. End nonsensical pre-HTC post-injury banter. I went to yoga in the morning, then cleaned and organized my entire room, then set off for Six Mile Run around 5:00 PM.

Six Mile Run is a park worth its own post. I first ran there during cross country preseason in August 2010, and have been back in December, and today of course. I only didn’t get disoriented there once. Guess which time? The first of course. Makes no sense. I think the fourth time will be a charm though – I figured out there is no hope at the end of the red trail! I found some new trails across a road today, though, which was fun. They didn’t give me much trouble. I got a little sucked in and wanted to go farther and farther, but made myself turn around at about 5 miles just in case the disaster that was December’s run happened again. That day, I intended on running 7 miles…and did about 14. For a cautious runner like me, that’s not cool.

Today’s route….

Let’s zoom in on that one part:

Garmin’s worst nightmare?

The coolest thing about the park is that you feel like you can just…roll. There are so many little ups and downs and boardwalks and other strange bridges. Parts of the trail are like rollercoasters. This is also the reason I almost got run over my mountain bikers, but hey, there was only one occurrence! Apparently mornings are the peak time, so I’m glad I avoided that.

Not my photo - phone camera was being weird. It also wasn't sunny today.

Not my photo – phone camera was being weird. It also wasn’t sunny today.

Park trail map. I don't think I'll forget that the red trail dead-ends anymore. Although ot also ends up back at Canal Rd. mysteriously, so...might have to get to the bottom of that someday.

Park trail map. I don’t think I’ll forget that the red trail dead-ends anymore. Although it also ends up back at Canal Rd. mysteriously, so…might have to get to the bottom of that someday.

I believe only one run stands between me and Seattle (OMG OMG OMG)! The plan is to cross train Monday and Tuesday and also do the Intervals workout Tuesday night. Wednesday will be a travel day and then I’ll be off on my Hood to Coast adventure! As for the bruising I’ve inflicted…well, I’ll just try to find a happy medium and throw some ice on that.

ALSO, I NEED GARMIN HELP!!! Maybe somebody can help me, even though every blog and manual I’ve read so far has not. I have a Garmin Forerunner 210. I got it in April, but because I haven’t been able to do tons of workouts between now and then, I’m just getting around to seriously answering this question now. What I want to do is what I do with my simple Timex: have the time running, press a button to take a split, and see the current time for that split. I know how to take a split on the watch, but I only see the total time on the screen. I can go online later and view everything, but I’d like to view it at the time. So, it seems like I’m actually having a display setting issue – the watch will do what I want it to, just not show me what I want to see. I’ve tried playing around with everything and can’t figure it out. I can program in a workout, but how often (when I’m with a group) do we actually take exactly 2 minutes of rest, or the loop is exactly 0.6 mile, or something? 

Any help would be MUCH appreciated (if you read this far…fit a lot into this one post, oops!)