Saturday, October 3, 2009

keys to success

ahh cement legs. you've been so faithful to me, never leaving my side over the past few weeks. i'm so.... grateful?

i have tried a number of things in hopes of cheering (and lightening) up my legs. ice baths, epsom salt baths, ice packs, extra stretching, very slow easy runs, and even a massage. none of it seems to work.

i've been wanting to run a local race here in ky just because i'm here. so far they've all been on weekends i was gone, but the cards fell into place this weekend. it was a small-town 5k, but i just wanted to run a race for fun anyway. no pressure, no goals. well, i was going to try to make it a threshold workout, but that's slower than my 5k pr so i really wasn't putting pressure on myself. considering my heavy leg syndrome lately, i really wasn't expecting too much.

friday's easy run was s-l-o-w and as usual the legs were being disagreeable. i kept it short and ran 6.40 miles, telling myself i was saving what little i could for a weekend long run. i got back and ate some "green giant immunity blend" vegetables, mac 'n cheese, and ghirardelli cookies. the cookies are a mere 310 calories each, healthy. they seem to be magical though and i suppose i will have to sacrifice eating them before every race.

saturday morning i made the half-hour drive over to the metropolis of georgetown, kentucky. i parked and hit the road for some miles. what do you know, cement legs.

my plan was to run for about an hour, register for the race, jog around to stay loose, run the race, and run some more after. for the pre-race run, i hoped to run 2 miles easy, some miles at threshold pace, and then easy until the race where i wanted to crank it back up to threshold again. the first two miles were dreadfully slow "in town", and then i turned onto a 4-lane highway with a wide shoulder. apparently, this is what my legs prefer to run on.

i didn't get down to threshold pace, but my legs did manage to pick up the pace as soon as i hit the wide shoulder. (legs, what's up? i can't be running on highways everyday here.) i got in 3 miles at/below goal marathon pace and then cruised back to main street to register for the race. although it wasn't threshold, i was glad my legs still knew how to turnover.

i registered for the race and jogged around to stay warm/loose while trying to not look like one of those hardcore people since i definitely do not run at hardcore pace. it was a small race with a few hundred people. i was hoping i could place well and was content knowing a pr was not going to happen. i wanted to get in some threshold miles, try to push some concrete out of my legs and finally cross "run a local race while i'm here" off my list.

the air horn sounded, and we were off. i counted the number of females in front of me but (for once) exercised patience and held back. for probably the first time ever in my life, i did not start a race too fast. a lot of people did go out too fast, and i passed them easily in the first mile. lesson learned, finally!

mile 1 - 7:10, right in the threshold zone, right where i need to be. surprise! it wasn't even uncomfortable. (what the heck legs? you need company in order to run well?)

mile 2 - 7:10, pat on the back for some consistency. i never see this, especially not in a 5k. i almost went crazy thinking about my smart running! don't go out too fast, run your own pace, work the hills. i smiled, waved and said thank you or good morning to the volunteers and police officers. i was feeling good, which also has never happened in a 5k.

mile 3 -6:47, yeah buddy. crank it home. i started picking it up around 2.5 miles. caught up to a guy running in front of me and then beat him.

mile 3.1 - 0:35, (5:47 pace). uhhh. again, another "never". as in, i never see 5's on my watch.

so, this racing smart thing actually works. who would've thought? start out strong and even, maintain pace, push harder, finish feeling good. what a concept! only took me, like, 11 years to catch on.

i met an older woman at the race who just started running in april. this was her 5th race/5k since then, and she placed 2nd in her age group! she was very excited and i couldn't help but be excited for her. placing well at a race just feeds the running fire and i hope she sticks with it.

saturday (10/3) am run: 6.76 miles, 57:46 (avg pace 8:32), avg hr (158), 50*
saturday (10/3) am race: 3.1 miles, 21:36 (avg pace 6:58), avg hr (178), 50*
not sure where i finished overall, but it was good enough for first place female!

what about those planned post-race miles, you ask?

saturday (10/3) am run: 1.00 mile, 8:09, avg hr (154)
after finish the race and getting a quick cup of water, i turned around and headed back out on the course to cheer on the people still finishing. i did a mile loop, ending up at the finish again and well, stopped. still need to work on the post-race mileage, but otherwise a successful morning.

apparently, all it takes is eating super delicious, high-in-calories chocolate chip cookies the night before and getting in a 7-mile warm up in order for me to run well. cookies, quite do-able. seven mile warmup? not so sure... maybe i will be running 33.2 miles in nyc.

thank you, georgetown, ky and your horsey 5k for restoring my running spirit and (hopefully) relieving my legs of their heavy load.

54 comments:

  1. you are totally a "hardcore person." congratulations on winning; you need some kind of large executive desk for that award, perhaps oak or mahogany. fancy!

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  2. Love you girl! I am SO happy for you. What a race, and what a time. You are a superstar. For once I don't have any wiseass comments for you. You deserve this award. I can't wait to see what your time is for NY!

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  3. what a frickin' awesome 5k! congratulations! i bet this will totally give you a boost knowing that even if your legs feel crappy sometimes during training, they can still totally bring it when it counts. :) love the award too!

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  4. Nice race! Like that trophy. Even if you feel like you have "cement legs" it's in you girl. Just waiting for a chance to get out. It's in you because you deposited it there with all the miles you've been putting in the last few months.

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  5. Grats on your race, awesome hardware!

    With that speed there's only one place where I can see you in NYC and it will be at the start. After that you'll be way too far ahead of me.

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  6. Wow, very nicely done! Congrats! Need to get me some chocolate chip cookies:)

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  7. Congratulations on 1st place. How exciting!! That is a heck of a warm up too!!! :)

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  8. What's up, hardware! You are such a bad ass, it isn't even funny. Who else on earth can place 1st in their gender at a frickin 5K race when sandwiching it between two other runs?! You are my hero--especially because you've given me a reason to eat more cookies :)

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  9. Ahhh! Way to go! You ripped it up and did an awesome job, congrats! On your wat to nyc!

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  10. Awesome girl! You ROCKED that 5k. First female--you even beat the 17 year olds---whoooooohooooo!
    Its just what you needed to mix things up with the training--I am hoping you're goodluck at the 5k will rub off on me--I don't want first place just to hit the 25's 25:59 would be amazing!
    You're my inspiration today!

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  11. Instead of cookies, my key to success is cereal :)

    Congrats on the race!

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  12. Of course cookies are the key to success.

    You ran a very smart race and did great! Nice job speeding up during the race.

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  13. Yayyy! That so great!!!! Plus that is SUCH a cool trophy!

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  14. congratulations! great race & excellent pacing - i've never run negative splits in my life, hah. also, i'm with you on the value of cookies as pre-race fuel. they are a miracle food.

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  15. 1st overall female?! AWESOME!!! Can you come pace me for my 5k tomorrow?

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  16. NICE RACE! And even better to know that a race like that can happen on cement legs! Stephen King once threw his manuscript for "Carrie" in the trash. His wife rescued it. The lesson, as put by another writer I respect: Sometimes, even when all you feel like you're managing to do is shovel s**t from a sitting position, you're really turning out great work. :)

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  17. Wow, 1st place female!! That's awesome. Great job seeing the 5:XX pace on the watch too!

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  18. Awesome race, Lindsey!!! Sounds like the concrete might be breaking up!!!

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  19. great job!! sometimes racing is all you need. I still need to learn that whole "race smart" thing-- i go out like a bullet and then suffer :)

    keep it up. Taper's soon and then time to rock it in NYC.

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  20. You're so funny. You just kind of slip in there that you were the first place female. Woot! Woot! is right! Good job. Maybe that's what I need to do, just train for a marathon that way I can run all those fun distances inbetween like the bionic woman. :)
    Bet that was a good feeling to grab first place and a nice trophy. Good for you.

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  21. Wow that is awesome Lindsay!! You TOTALLY rock!! Congratulations!!

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  22. That's it, I'm heading out to get some cookies :) Congrats on the win - but most of all to the restored running spitit!

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  23. First place female? You are my hero now and forever with that 5k time!!!!

    Just incredible. Congrats Lindsay!!!!!

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  24. Nice, 8 miles in addition to racing a 5k, which you win your AG, can't get any better than that. That is a nice trophy too, way to run smart. I NEVER do that!! I really need to learn how though, esp for my upcoming half.

    I was going to do a local 5k in a few weeks, but have a wedding like right after the race, so I don't think it'd be wise to risk being late and come in all sweaty! Oh well, I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait for that dreaded half marathon in Nov!!

    ps keep running on wide shoulders, it seems to be working..

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  25. Great job.

    Cookies the night before,eh? Maybe I should try that. ;-)

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  26. Nice trophy! Holy shit girl, who runs 7 miles for a damn warm-up??? You make me sick!!!!!
    Sweet race, just please make sure you don't ever do any races in Wisconsin-I couldn't handle being totally smoked by your pace! That is an awesome time. I'm happy with 11-12!
    Oh well, you run fast....I snatch hard!!! LOL!

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  27. Great job. Thats one nice trophy for a 5K. It should give you a confidence boost for sure

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  28. Congratulations on a running a great race on Saturday .. Its funny how good performances always seem to come down to keeping your pace and not starting too fast (regardless of the distance) .. its such a simple thing, but we runners always seem to overlook it ...

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  29. Congratulations. You always get such nice trophies. In addition to the cookies, I have a feeling the lack of pressure you put on yourself for the race may have contributed to your satisfactory performance.

    Saying "eh, I'm just going to run Threshold pace" helps you start smart and finish strong. Good job.

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  30. mazel tov first female! I was excited on Sat for my friend Elizabeth who got 9th female - but now I am in awe.

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  31. D@MN Ms. Speed Demon! That is killer! Congrats!!!

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  32. Great job! I've been having cement legs too!

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  33. I love how you show up at a race all non-challant and casual, only to WIN the thing! Way to go, girl! At least those legs remembered how to move. So happy for you!

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  34. AWESOME!!!

    Next time I race I am going to channel by inner Lindsay ;-)

    Great job. Congrats on the win, too!!!

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  35. OMG, that is super freaking AWESOME!

    What a great way to blow out the cement. Maybe all you needed was running with other people and a long enough warm-up? Whatever, CONGRATS!!!

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  36. I can't believe you don't have a foam roller yet with all your running...get one now!

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  37. Wow! That was some race. Congratulations! I think you don't give yourself enough credit. Without question, you are a hardcore runner.

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  38. I say "whatever" to you being a NON hardcore runner (come on, your blog name gives you away..heh heh). LADY, you got first place!!!! YAY! Congrats! :)

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  39. First place female? Nice... you are hardcore!

    So obviously it wasn't working for you now, but I'm curious if you have had success with epsom salt baths? I've never tried those.

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  40. Wow....I'm in awe!! And, not a "hardcore person"??? Psssht!! Whatev - you ROCK!!! I get excited to see 9's on my Garmin - you're seeing 5's!!! WOW. :)

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  41. Oksy lindsay - that's not a third place ribbon there.....

    Great job! And whatever it takes to get the legs moving. It could be worse than chocolate chip cookies!

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  42. Woo hoo, first place female! That's an awesome trophy. I hope your legs will continue to stay in the running groove now.

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  43. Congrats on the trophy! The only time my garmin will see a 5:xx pace is if someone really fast stole it:)

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  44. 21:36! That's fast! Makes me think you'll surprise yourself at your upcoming marathon, too!

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  45. 1st place female?? That's awesome! Glad your legs figured out what to do well enough to have such an amazing race. Well done!!!!!

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  46. Very cool. That's how many "first place females" now for you? :-)

    Interesting how your cement legs still tend to be much faster than just about everyone I know. Watching you and my brother run at Ragnar, whichever one we do, will be very fun for me!

    Hey, if the cookies work for ya, I say, use 'em! (You know how much I love oreos!)

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  47. WOW congrats!! I am super super behind on my Blogs this week. That award is SWEET!!! So the trick is to start slower... GEEEZZZ guess I have years to go before I learn that..

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  48. Your humility and eating of magical foods kills me. Congrats on winning...I almost missed that part.

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  49. You're too funny. Loved the race recap. CONGRATS ON THE WIN. Now tell your legs to keep it that way.

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  50. P.S. Former comment from my other account. Alterego: Shinsplint. I confuse a lot of people this way.

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  51. Yay look at you bringing home the hardwear!

    Nice job and very tidy splits!

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