Friday, July 15, 2016

Harrison Old Home Days 5K

It seems to be the time of year when there are local races to choose from every weekend, or even more often.
The great thing about the shorter distances is how often you can race/run them without getting completely overcooked. I must admit that I get used to the marathon lifestyle and the limitations on how often you can race that many miles. It's nice to get out locally this time of year, see friends and get in some quality speedwork.

Or hill work with an attempt at speed.

Hills. Very hilly.

And of course, there is the always present 86 degree weather because we wouldn't have it any other way!

Last Wednesday Eric and I drove 5 whole minutes to participate in the Harrison Old Home days run by the lake 5k.
By some stroke of luck I won this race in 2012 and haven't been back since to defend my honor.

Pre race. Not too sweaty.
I was feeling loads better than I had on Monday the 4th and I was ready to push for a better race and faster time. I wasn't going to kill myself for the podium because my speed just isn't what it used to be (and 86 degrees. and I'm lazy) but I wanted to do my best.

I made it out pre race for a 2 mile warm up which was very helpful but hot, man was it hot!
(not as hot as VCM though, so there's that.)

5K race recaps are easy:
I ran 3 miles each one faster than the one before, which seems to be my thing lately. Then I ran .1 even more super fast and then it was done, the end.

There was also a huge hill, as previously mentioned. 

I ran it in 22:19 which is a 7:12 pace, a speed that I currently think of as "super fast"

Flying! Whoot!
I didn't win but I came in 2nd!! The woman who beat me was only ahead by 10 seconds but I'm in no condition to chase people down, she had it in the bag. 10 seconds could be 10 minutes as far as I'm concerned!

I like this race, I like that I see lots of people that I know, I like that they control the traffic well and have lots of water and whoopie pies at the finish. Mmmm lots of good stuff!

The other thing that there was lots of at the finish was BARFING. Several young people blew some massive chunks like, IN the finish chute which created a dreadful mess. Gross. Running is gross!

I had a great time and Eric did too, he finished about a minute behind me and was NOT one of the finish line pukers. It was a really enjoyable evening despite the hot temps and mountain! My legs felt really good, maybe not as quick as I'd like them to be but they are really appreciating the month I spent fixing them. I like it when hard work pays off!

Post race. Much more sweaty.
So that's it for the summer race recaps at the moment. More to come soon about summer marathon training at the busiest time of the year. Fun! 


Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Bridgton 4 on the 4th. Not the best time.

Monday was the 4th of July, the wondrous 3rd day of a 3 day weekend and a day that is much dreaded by people who own horse barns in close proximity to fireworks. (although thanks to the power of science and medication we survived!)

The feared fireworks, from above.
July 4th also marked the beginning of another marathon training cycle for me and what better way to start than with a race up a mountain! (?)

I feel like Eric and I have figured out how to turn this race into a streamlined event over the past couple years. We have the parking in a crowded town situation down, bib pickup is easy and last year the actual race start (which can be a clusterfuck of 8 year old campers and stroller pushers) went off seamlessly.

As a general rule I find the 4 on the 4th to be an enjoyable race. The roads are closed to traffic, there is always plenty of water and watermelon at the finish and it is a fun community event.
I do have one bone to pick and that is about the chaos that is the start. As previously mentioned this was NOT the case last year so a smooth start CAN happen! My hope (upon hope) is that next year some care is taken to give better instructions on how to correctly, and safely self seed.

Well, while the race itself only had one major fail I had a couple all on my own. 

Fail #1: I woke up feeling like a bag of assholes. Female issues made me wish to curl into a fetal position and die and my GI system decided that it felt sympathetic. WOW. BAD.

I took 2 pepto and 4 advil and said a little prayer.

Fail #2: Due to said issues after .3 mile warmup I quit. A bathroom break was more critical and I felt so lousy that I seriously considered not even starting. Helpfully, with 3 minutes to go until the start my fistful of pills kicked in and I was able to maintain. Knowing that the first mile of the course is basically downhill I didn't think my lack of warmup would matter.

Fail #3: A horribly congested start. Sardines. Total gridlock.

Bottom line: This needs to be a race that gets a rename. "The 4 on the 4th, crash 'em up derby".

I'm not going to waste time ranting about the situation (or am I?). It was shit. Dangerous shit. Children darting, stopping, getting hit. Young people strolling 5 across, hand in hand (starting in the SIX minute area!!) I want to support this race because it is local, convenient and community driven. I also do not want to hit your child who is unsupervised and doesn't know how to stay safe because he is about 8!!! (and by NOT hitting your child on Monday I got hit by another runner which wasn't fun for me.)

SIGH. Moving on.

Oh! Fail #4 was that it was hot as balls. Luckily, most of the race was well shaded so it wasn't really too bad! As far as the race season of 2016 goes it was almost frigid! (so cold! 75!!) So maybe this was a win.

Hot July sun
After the first two miles of stupidity I felt a bit better and had room to run at a pace that was slightly quicker. I actually could see Eric up ahead of me and at the 2 mile mark he had a 20 second lead.
At this point the runners had thinned out significantly, I felt as good as I was going to and I had managed to get over my irritation about the BS start. I knew it was no day for anything close to my course PR but I figured that I could salvage a couple of decent miles.

Which I did. After a start that was a slow I ran a strong negative split, with the last 2 miles at 7:40 and 7:10 (hello?)
Eric and I ran the entire last mile together which was quite fun. We passed a few people, narrowly avoided a boy who was projectile vomiting up large quantities of purple barf, and finished in the exact same time of 31:03. (which, shockingly was good enough for 3rd in my AG.)

My face in this proves that there was suffering...
I'm glad that I was able to have a couple good miles despite some less than ideal moments.

This certainly wasn't a great day for me, I wasn't feeling my best, I had a terrible start and never was able to really pick it up until the final mile.

After the much better organization of last year's race start (there were many reminders of how to appropriately seed one's self) I'm really bummed out about the decline of control this year.

Everyone should be able to have fun racing. People who are front runners should be right at the line. People who want an easier day should figure out what that means and try to be honest about it. This is more of a safety concern for me than anything in a race such as this one. So, SO many little children were running in a way that could have caused them, or others harm that I couldn't help but to feel irritated.

The rest of the day was spent prepping horses for fireworks, enjoying the gorgeous weather and eating ice cream. We had a very pleasant 4th and hope all of you did too!!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

BAA 10K: the tardy edition

Since I haven't blogged in over a month I need to backtrack a bit.
June was, in a way, an uneventful month. After a fairly long stretch of training and marathoning I had decided to use June a a time to sort out a few small physical issues (nothing major- but I felt the real potential for the development of something unpleasant...)
(This really deserves a blog post of its own. In case I don't get around to it the short story is: ran Boston, was strong. In the following 6 weeks felt some discomfort develop. Used June to rest from running (80 mile month) Get fixed up (3 chiro/ART appt's) and to do a lot of strength/rebuilding. At this time, I declare success!)

So back on topic now.

Eric and I ran the BAA 10K a couple weekends ago.
Eric is running the BAA Distance Medley this year because this is the year of *all* the extra medals and new adventures! He ran the 5k prior to Boston and the 13.1 is in October.
I always enjoy a good 10k (but not B2B haha) so I jumped on board post haste.

AS IS THE NORM. The weather looked HOT. It was scheduled to be another 88 degree day! WHY.
Luckily, we were really looking forward to spending some time with my family in the Boston area and that was a good motivator to get pumped even when the weather looked gross.
Since the race had an 8AM start we also felt confident that it would be much closer to 70-75, which it was.

We did indeed have a terrific family (and excellent beer) pizza party! It was great to see everyone and most of my attending cousins and their spouses were competing in the Cohasset Tri the next morning. This prompted many amusing discussions about the merits/need for body glide, how to get out of wetsuits, how NOT to transition (by eating and showering) and poop. Normal stuff.

Sunday dawned all sunny. And hot. *sigh* We all got up and put on body glide and tried to poop and then went off to our various race destinations.

Eric and I hopped on the T which was wicked convenient and off we went.
There were other runners on the train with us, pre race cigarettes in hand, ready to go. *serious* athlete alert!

On the T. See that sun? Gorgeous but warm!
We got to the city in time to stand in a porta potty line, have Shalane Flanagan and Amy Hastings run RIGHT (as in RIGHT) by us and to try to properly self seed ourselves in an honest way. Which was dumb, because apparently everyone thinks they are faster that they are. Oh well...

You call can't be Amy, so don't try to line up with her!
We were able to watch the elites finish their warm up (it was really impressive). Old news here but Shalane went on to win and set an American Record! I am a big fan of all 3 of the women running the Olympic Marathon and it was so cool getting to see two of them up close and personal.

Front row seat!!
And then.... We were off. And as seems to be the tragic norm in any self seeding situation the going was slow for a while. I got a bit irked about this, if you can't run 6 miles at a 7:00 pace that is fine. Occasionally I can run a random mile at a 6:xx pace. One mile. Occasionally. I don't line up in the 6:00 area because I don't want to get trampled, yo. DON'T BE A DUMMY. Line up where you belong. It's OK to run a 12:00 damn mile!!!! It's ok to run a 5:00 mile!! (yikes) Go where you belong. Knock it off.

The first mile was in the shade and was bone flat, so really pleasant if I do say so. This made me feel better about the crowd (which, after running the 4 on the 4th seems more like a litttttttle traffic jam but whatever.)
I had no goal for this race other than to not vomit or feel like an asshole so that was nice. The thing about running a race, whether I have a big goal or not is that I'm going to give it my best shot within my current fitness level. That's basically what happened.

After mile one things got pretty warm because the shade vanished (boooo.) The crowd also thinned out and I more or less chugged along, grabbed a couple cups of water (which speaks to the intensity of the sun because 6 miles isn't really that far) and I watched the fast people whip by around the 3 mile mark.
The remainder of the race was similar, warm but reasonable running conditions. A continuation of a good effort. Pretty flat course and people moving at a similar speed to me. 

I ran a pretty solid effort which I think very accurately represented my level of fitness on a relatively flat course on a warm day. I pushed as hard as I could without being willing to vomit or foolishly injure myself. I certainly felt as though I was giving a 100% effort on the day. This pleased me as I have a tendency to swing hard one way or the other- being overly cautious or pushing much faster than my level of fitness permits. I worked the whole time. And I did not barf.

My finishing time was 47:37 which is a nice AG PR for me.
As soon as I was finished I felt like it was 10,000 degrees out as the sun was blazing down like a little skank.
I met a really nice lady (Anne? Was that you?) who somehow recognized me and told me that she read my blog. I felt like I needed to apologize since my blog is garbage! But thanks Anne, you are nice to read here and congrats on a good run!

Eric was right behind me all covered in sweat, as one tends to be. He had run a 49:05 and had had a good race too.
Team Bradlowski! So hot and smelly. Gross!
We stood in front of some amazing misting fans that blew the most icy mist that I have ever felt in June. It reminded me of a nasty Maine morning in March. I'm not sure how this worked because I did not investigate the inner workings of said misting fans but it was delightful.

We sat in the shade for a bit which was quite pleasant. There wasn't much humidity so once you got out of the scorching sun it wasn't a bad day!
View from the Shade
After that we got back on the train, headed back to Scituate, showered and had a wonderful lunch with the Triathletes, comparing notes on the day. Everyone seemed a bit knackered, which in my opinion is the real sign of a good race day!

And that was that. Eric and I headed back home so that I could get ready for the start of Camp season at 8AM the next day (hence, my delayed reaction to blogging. About anything!!)

Next up:
The 4 on the 4th, a horrible time
The Harrison 5K, why is it always 90?
Marathon training: it begins