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Perth World Record Kilted Race Done!

This one was quite the event! After a day of Scottish music and dance on the main stage, we march around the street behind three waves of pipe bands, representing the different runner’s speeds. I don’t think anyone knew what wave they were actually in…After a high energy fiddle player played out the last three minutes, they fired muskets and we were off! I must have got caught up in the wrong wave, I could not negotiate a pace for almost two miles. Hey, last time I lined up with the faster folks I got trampled so I was trying to be polite! That’s when I realized I hadn’t switched my watch back to lapping each mile automatically (by the end  of the race I might have been going 3000m pace, who knows?!) I had a fun little stand off with a man around the 4 mile mark, and decided to leave him in my dust after about 30s. I think I like being a little more competitive.
I was very happy with my effort for last half of the race, pushed hard enough without hating anything. I floated through the finish without the least bit of that want to die or puke feeling I always seem to have – but I regret it now! I purposely held back because I always want to die or puke at the end, but taking that away made the end…boring! I may try bringing my own fluids on a race like that, in the heat especially. Water stations really take energy to navigate at higher speeds, I guess that takes practice too.  Running in a “skirt”, albeit wool, was nice and drafty. I would do it again, maybe for a whole marathon sometime…

Did I mention the FREE BEER at the finish line?! Now that’s how to end a race!


Form, Distance, Speed Rediscovered

I live by the rule “First form, then distance, then speed” which I learned from ChiRunning.  I consistently do this on a micro level, week to week, using it to watch for signs of over training or exhaustion. However, looking back at 6 years of running, the cycle on a larger scale is now complete. I couldn’t ignore my form when I began, and I had to listen to my body to learn how to stay injury free. Then I took on the bigger distance races, where enduring to the finish was enough, while hoping to beat my last time. Choosing to train for speed for the Kilted 5 miler completes the macro-trifecta.

A week ago Sunday I did a 10K Time Trial (6.2 miles) with a 1.5 mile warm up and cool down. It was windy, raining, I had the stroller, and the “new” target pace of 7:53 almost killed me (but I still made myself go faster than that for a couple miles). Yesterday I did a 10 mile run with 6 miles at Half Marathon Pace, 8:15 per mile.   It was a huge confidence booster! There is that bit of genius in the way the plan was set up, whether it was intended or not. To boot, my HMP is now what my 10K pace originally was when I started this training plan. I could have raced another 3 miles to complete a half yesterday…makes me wonder if a pacing strategy like this would work for my next half marathon…. #inspiration!!

Speed training might be the best thing I have done for my running so far. Next on the list of to-try…the Yasso 800s….

Form First, then Distance, then Speed

I have given myself a very strict training schedule and the goal is the half marathon on Sept. 23. I know the mileage working up to race day is going to be a lot, but I am counting on my ChiRunning form and my minimal running shoes to keep me running without [major] injury. I’m re-reading Danny Dreyer’s ChiRunning and this time I’m getting the message of Form-Distance-Speed – in that order. You can’t cheat the order, or you’ll get injured.

I spent July working on achieving my goal of 108km in a month, which I completed. I was focusing on lean and cadence and assumed my posture was fine. I loved the feeling of increasing my speed with each run, along with bumping up the km every week. Well, overuse sneaked its little head in. My left ankle started feeling tight during the runs but I just chalked it up to old shoes, and hung on for a couple weeks. I thought the issue, as well as the recent regression on my right knee, would go away with my new New Balance Minimus shoes. (They’re a runner/modern dancer’s dream shoe, you can really feel the ground!) However, after a week, the little ache in my ankle didn’t go away, not to mention my calves took a hit with the new zero drop soles. I finally admitted I needed to stop pushing the miles and get it checked.

I had my massage therapist work out the worst of it, he said it was a localized trigger point that just needed to be released. I took 3 solid days off running. I was disappointed when I felt it the next time I went out, which sent me home walking after 2k. So I took another day off. Today I started with posture as my main focus and let the other focuses come and go. I was willing to go only as far as I was able to maintain my posture, and speed was not on my mind at all. I stopped to massage my ankle every time I felt even the slightest twinge (4 times). I made it 5k, and probably could have done more! My pace was almost a minute longer per km than usual, which is fine. I’ll still make it in under 2:30 if I run this pace on Sept. 23, which after today I’m sure I’ll still be able to do!

I didn’t lose any of my “fitness” over the past week – my head was ready to go for my usual Sunday long run and my endurance was there. I ran comfortably without walking. Now that I’m “starting all over again” at a higher fitness level, I will build up the miles again without the walk-breaks.

Maybe Rio 2016 isn’t a pipe dream.

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