Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boogie that Bosque!

This morning Husband and I and my running partner ran a 10K all terrain race in the beautiful bosque. Last year it was mid-forties for this race. Yesterday it was 32 degrees at 7am. I wasn't sure what to expect weather-wise, but was happy when I checked the weather and saw 41 degrees at 6:30am. Decided to wear a light pair of tights, a short sleeve shirt under a long sleeve shirt, light gloves, and a beanie.  I also put my number on a race belt so that I could remove my long sleeve shirt if needed and still have the number out front since the timing device was on the back of the race number.

On our way to boogie that bosque!
If you recall, my goals for the race were something on the order of  "Don't fall, have fun, meet or beat last years time (1:03:14) and 1:02:00 would be even better."

I probably should have spent a little more time determining a race strategy to achieve those goals.  Preferably one where we didn't start out too fast.  But I didn't (determine a race strategy).  And I did (start out too fast).

The way this course is laid out is that you start out on a hard surface road, then you turn onto a wide dirt road, then into beautiful single track for a few miles.  Then it brings you out of the single track onto dirt road for a long stretch before you finish back on the hard surface.  Personally, I find the single track difficult to run in, but it is a lot of fun and very pretty.  The dirt road is much easier and nice on the joints, my favorite running surface overall.  And the hard surface is of course the fastest, but probably the most boring.

Splits for the race
Anyway, while running this race, I remembered why I don't like 10Ks.  For me it is too far to maintain a 'fast' pace, but too short to really slow down and have fun like I do for half-marathons.  I expected to be a little behind a 10:00 pace while in the single track, be able to maintain close to 10:00 pace on the dirt road, and then and then make up time on the hard surface, and this is generally what happened.  I kept my eye on the cumulative time at each mile marker and knew I was on track to hit my 1:02 goal if I could push it for the final bit. But admittedly, I was really struggling at the end.

My final time was logged as 1:01:44 gun time, 1:01:38 net time (I think that is taking into consideration when I crossed the start mat).  6th of the 20 women in my age group (F45-49); 83 of 221 women running the 10K.  Not only did I make my 1:02:00 goal and a beat my time from last year for this particular all terrain course, but it was actually a 10K best for me by about 30seconds.  WoooHooo!!

Final thoughts:  This is a great course because of the venue, absolutely beautiful this time of year. So glad we ran it even though I'm not a fan of 10Ks.  I keep thinking I might have it in me to break an hour on a flat road race, but I dislike this distance enough to keep me from actually testing that theory.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goal for upcoming 10K

The all terrain race is just around the corner. My running partner & I ran the course s-l-o-w-l-y this weekend.  I made the mistake of trying new shoes, the Brooks Cascades that I won in a give-away, for a longish run.  I've been walking in them with my dogs on trails and the soles are more grippy and better suited for single track than my Kinvaras, but I've been running in Kinvaras for months and switching back to regular shoes for a 7.3 mile run was not a good idea.  My hips were sore!   My body really likes the lower profile of the Kinvaras, so I'm sticking with those this weekend even though Kinvaras aren't ideal for trails.

While we were running, I mentioned that I don't feel prepared to run a 10K well.  I'm confident that I can run it, just not run it as well as I would like.  I mentioned that I need a goal, a plan, a strategy, something to focus on for race day.  But I hadn't figured it out and decided I needed a few days to think about it.

A few days later, my running partner texted me, "So what's the plan? ;-)"

I went back and found my time for this race from last year, 1:03:13.  If this was a road race, I'd like to try to beat an hour, but it's a single track/dirt road/asphalt mix and will be slower.  I really like to run 1:02:00, but I don't know that I've trained correctly for that.  That's why I don't feel like I can run it well.

My response "Don't fall!  Have fun.  Meet or beat last year's time.  1:02:00 would be even better"

Her response was simple, "Sounds like a plan.  Let's do this!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

A little bit of running

1) Cupcake Classic:  We'll call this one my cupcake classic virtual run.  This was another run with a warm up, then a few miles tempo, then a cool down.  Happy 37th B'day, Jess!
Cupcake Run Splits. Time at 3.7 miles = 37:27

2) Interval Run:  The first and last splits (10, 10:30 paces) were about a mile long, the run/walk segments in the middle were timed to be one minute each.  The fastest split had me going at about a 7:11 pace.  That was too fast.  Most of them were closer to 7:30, which was tough, but doable.
Interval Run/Walk.  Holy Heck that was hard work!

3) Planned Run:  Saturday I hope to go 6.5-7.0 miles easy on a mixture of single track, dirt levee road, and hard road in preparation for the all-terrain race the following weekend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stubborn Persistence

Elevation Profile from Half Century
I knew that the half-century had a climb in the middle.  I didn't know how much of a climb until I grabbed the data off Husband's Garmin yesterday evening.

Oh-my-freaking-gosh, no wonder I was exhausted afterwards!

In yesterday's post*, when I mentioned the long slow climb being not too bad, that was 7 miles from mile 14-21 which gained about 1100 ft over 7 miles.

The short steep climb that I mentioned was the little peak in the center that gains about 350 ft in about 1.5 miles.  Aye carumba!  Whatever grade that works out to be is enough to make me go so slow that I nearly fall over.   I knew we were almost at the turn point.  I was also certain that if I stopped I wouldn't be able to get going again and would end up walking my bike.  I really didn't want that to happen.  I just kept repeating to myself "Don't stop.  Don't fall over.  Almost there."  I'm convinced that it was nothing more than stubborn persistence that got me to the top.

With a little stubborn persistence, sometimes we can do more than we think we can.  What is it that you are training for that will require stubborn persistence?


*Oh, and I should have added one more lesson to yesterday's post:  Cycling tan lines are not sexy.  You're welcome.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ten Lessons from Half-Century

Happy Cyclists - Day of Tread morning
1) I enjoy riding with Husband a lot more than riding by myself
2) At about 35-40 miles, I'm ready to be done
3) I'll probably never want to do a full century (see #2)
4) With more practice, it gets easier and easier to fix flat tires (learned during training.  almost.every.time.)
5) Rides without flats or mechanical problems are extra awesome (discovered on day of half century, yay!)
6) The long slow climb up Tramway isn't as bad as I expected
Mid-point Rest Stop
7) The short steep climb up toward Elena Gallegos is worse than I expected and about did me in (ugggh!)
8) Peanut butter sandwiches seem to have magic powers
9) I have more confidence with my bike handling skills than I did a few years ago
10) Riding downhill isn't as scary a it was a few years ago (see #9)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Hills, Plans, Hat

1) My running partner & I finally made it to the hilly course on Tuesday we had planning on running for the past two weeks.  Twice we were rained out.  Not this time, though!  That hilly course is tough, but it was a very satisfying workout.

2) Husband & I took the day off work with the plan of going for one more ride before the Day of the Tread this weekend.  Not sure if we are going to aim for 30 miles on a mostly flat course or if we go shorter and ride the hilly part of the weekend route.  We'll decide in a few hours.  Looks like we're going to have a nice day for the ride.  I'm also supposed to be running 4 miles tonight, not sure how that is going to go, but it's still the plan.

3)  One of the best things about cooler weather is that I get to wear fun hats.  My daughter knows that I like sock monkeys and fun hats and bought me a gift.  That strange expression is me squealing with joy when I tried it on.  I love it!
Rockin' the Sock Monkey Hat

Monday, October 10, 2011

Run, Rain, Run, Ride

THURSDAY: The plan was to meet with the run group in the evening. The plan was: half mile warm up, 1 mile @~10:15, 1 mile @~9:30, 1 mile @~10:30, cool down. Here is the graph by half mile increments (because of the half mile warm up). I did okay through mile 3, had a little trouble holding the pace target for the last mile, and my cool down was too fast. But, other than that, it was a pretty good run, and a good way to practice various paces.

Thursday's run splits in half mile increments

FRIDAY:  We had bought park&ride tickets for the Special Shapes mass ascension Friday morning. Woke up at some ridiculous hour only to find that it was raining. Waiting about an hour, the official status was that the events were delayed, not cancelled. Decided to go for it. Arrived at the park, had something to eat, and got the word that the morning events were now cancelled.  The field was open and balloons had the option to inflate, but no flights.  We saw a grand total of one single balloon while we were walking back to the bus to go home.  It ended up raining most of the day, which is actually a good thing as we really need the rain.  However, it also messed up my plans for a bike ride.  Oh well.

Move along, nothing to see here, folks!

SATURDAY: They have finally opened registration for the upcoming all-terrain race. Yippee!!  Met my running partner at 7:15 to run the course. Since it had rained all day Friday, the single track was slippery and muddy. Lots of puddle jumping involved. The footing on the dirt levee road wasn't too bad, and we had a nice view of the balloons in flight that morning. When I got home, my shoes were a muddy mess, but it was a really fun run. Still very much looking forward to this upcoming race.

Yes! Finally able to register

SUNDAY:: It was chilly in the morning. Husband & I were planning a 50 mile ride and postponed our start time a few hours so that it would warm up. This ride didn't go nearly as well for me as our ride last week. Not entirely sure why. But we got it done. When I got home, my bike computer said 49.8, close enough for me!

Pre-ride Determination: 50 miles or bust!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Whine and Love

While I'm generally in a fairly positive mood, I must admit to having a case of the mid-week grumpies.  Here is a list of my current WHINES:
  • My run yesterday got cancelled due to rain.  While I'm well aware that most of you would have run in the rain, I did not.  To my credit, I think I run outside in hotter and/or colder weather than some of you do.  But not in rain.  Not by choice.  We really needed the rain, so I'm not unhappy that it rained, but I think the timing sucks.  Why couldn't it have rained on Monday, my rest day?
  • Looks like Thursday's run might get cancelled due to wind.  If the weather forecast is correct, they are predicting 40-50 mph winds with 60+ mph gusts.  No thank you.  
  • The all-terrain race that I'm targeting at the end of the month STILL hasn't opened registration.  What the heck!?!  Does this mean it's not happening?  It's still posted as a planned event on the organizers website, but no way to register for it.
  • I'm interested in getting a pair of Merrell lithe gloves for colder weather.  The pace gloves are great for summer, but as it gets cold, these aren't going to keep my feet warm enough.  I drove over to the local store that carries them and discovered that they had them in pretty much every size in stock except for the size that I need.  I guess I'll be ordering them online.
  • I've mentioned the toddler sized quilts that I make for Project Linus before, right?  I go in and out of quilt making phases during the year.  I decided this weekend that I was going to start making another batch.  About one hour into the first one that I was working on, my sewing machine started having problems.  Took it into the shop on Monday and they say it will be about two weeks before they can get to it. *sigh*    

To balance it out, I will list some of the cool things that are going on in my life. In the grand scheme, those whines are nothing but inconveniences. Here a list of LOVES:

  • Daughter, who is a senior in high school, is planning to spend spring break on a mission trip to Haiti to do work at an orphanage.  I happen to think that it is super cool that she has a heart to help others and is choosing to do this volunteer work at this time of her life.  This weekend they are doing a fund-raising event for the trip.  I'm very proud of her initiative.
  • I am really enjoying the cycling time with Husband.  It's much more enjoyable riding with him than it was riding solo to prepare for my sprint Tris.  I think I will look at doing a charity ride with him next spring as well.
  • One of my favorite light weight jackets (by New Balance) had a broken zipper. I considered retiring said jacket, then decided to take it to a tailor to have the zipper replaced.  Yes, I sew, but replacing zippers can be a pain.  $15 later, and the jacket is as good as new.  Yay!
  • The temps have been heavenly lately.  And the leaves are starting to turn. I just love fall!
  • Booked flights and hotel for a weekend trip to Nashville in November to attend my niece's wedding.  I've never been to Nashville before.  Even though it will be a quick trip, I'm looking forward to it.
  • I've been feeling really good on my runs lately.  And my knee is still holding out.  Pain-free running is a very good thing.    

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Musings


  • I found out over the weekend that my work team won IPads from a company sponsored raffle related to a project that we completed earlier this year.  Nifty!
  • Have you heard about the HTC Rhyme?  That purple phone?  I'm extremely interested in it. Waiting to read actual user reviews before deciding.  I would be upgrading from an original Motorola Droid.  Big question is whether or not I can live without the physical keyboard.


  • As I mentioned in my September Summary post, I want to spend some time on single track this month.  Started off the month with a 5.3 mile run that included 2 miles of single track.  I'm off to a good start!
  • I'm also planning to continue running hills.  I'm going to try to run the aka killer hill course once a week.  Hills makes us stronger, right.


  • Our 44 mile ride went MUCH better than the 40 mile ride from the previous week.  I felt better.  We went faster.  It was more enjoyable.  Next weekend, 50.
  • This weekend we finally got the Yamika RailGrabbers and bars for my Jetta.  We already have the bike mount pieces from use on our 18+ yr old Explorer.  Haven't installed yet, but the idea for the short term is that we will be able to mount Husband's bike on top of my Jetta, with my bike inside the car.   This allows us to leave one mount on the explorer as well.  I'm all kinds of excited about this.


  • The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a HUGE event.  Broke a world record on Saturday by launching 345 balloons within one hour.  There were over 550 balloons total in the air yesterday.  It's crazy.
  • We have mixed feelings about it when the wind brings the balloons our way.  On the one hand, it is neat to be able to see them.  On the other hand, it makes Bandit very unhappy. Stymie is unfaze, but Bandit highly dislikes them. Poor doggy.


  • Well, it's October and my watermelons are still growing, but several plants are starting to die off.  Harvested quite a bit this weekend.  It's been a good year.  I'll be making more changes next year, constantly seeking the perfect mix of stuff to grow.  Fun times.
  • Discovered that Stymie likes cherry tomatoes.  Bandit won't touch them, but Stymie acts like they are candy.  Whenever I go into the garden, he now sits by the gate waiting for me to bring him a snack.  Cute.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Tally


  • 64 miles by feet (40.0 running, 24.0 walking)
  • 144.9 miles by seat
  • 1800 yds in the pool
  • 5 hill workout
  • 5 yoga workouts
  • 3 planned rest days
  • 3 unplanned rest days
  • 1 race (sprint tri)


  • It doesn't make sense to pay for the gym just for pool access in October - I need to either save my $$ or spend more time at the gym, probably the former rather than the latter.  
  • I'm glad to see my cycling mileage go up.
  • Tried yoga a few times at the end of the month.  Not excited about it.  
  • I hope my tolerance for the bike increases so that the end of the 54 mile charity ride isn't miserable.


  • Spend some time on single track
  • Keep running hills at least once a week
  • 44-50-54 <-- planned long bike rides
  • Day of the Tread half century (54 miles)
  • Bosque Boogie 10K (all terrain run)

[edited to add:  so far in October I have had one run with a few miles on single track and completed the 44 mile bike ride.  I'm off to a good start!]