Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanks4Giving 10k

My pre-thanksgiving post detailed the things I am thankful for and the goals I had for my 10k on Thanksgiving. I had hopes of breaking 1 hour so I set my goal for 59 at a 9:30 pace. I was nervous driving up to Lowell, hoping I could push to a new PR.

I know this Lowell course VERY well. It is where we run 2 races a year and at least 1 or 2 triathlons so I know every rise in the road and every turn. As usual Thanksgiving races are packed! This year there were about 5 lines of pickups for 5k numbers and 1 line for us crazy 10k folks. We grabbed our numbers and met up with friends. D had offered to pace me. I was psyched to have the help! Our friend Matt offered to stick with us too, which was very sweet of him.

We went through the first loop dodging all the 5k folks. And as always the second loop was sparse with runners. D started talking me through pushing to the finish. Talked me through form, talked me through the upcoming parts of the course. It was great. I could barely breathe, I had a cramp on my side pretty bad. Which seems to happen when I push my pace. I tried to squeak out I can't breathe in response to his coaching. My muscles didn't hurt much, I get used to the little twinges here and there but the breathing is the thing that gets me. D kept pushing me, telling me to stop looking at my watch and just run.

Well with all the coaching and pushing through the slight lack of oxygen I did it- 58:28 to be exact. I didn't just barely go under 1 hour. I smashed that idea. I'm so psyched! It brings me into a whole new 10k pace! With D talking in my ear the whole time I was able to shut up a lot of the voices in my head of you need to catch your breath. For my next 10k I will be sure to have those words running through my head. I can't wait to run the course again on New Years! I think I might be able to push it again! Thank you all for your words of encouragement for the goals I set before the race. And I owe a HUGE thank you to D for his awesome job pacing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving: Gratitude and Goals

I have been having a lot of gratitude lately for my situation. I went last week and bought a car. First time! With a little help from D but I did a lot of it by myself. I am pretty proud riding around in my new Scion! I own a home and can pay my bills. I am lucky enough to work with a great group of people and really enjoy what I do. I have a FANTASTIC support network starting with D! And I am happy to say that I am just about as healthy and fit as I was when I was a USA swimmer in High School. When I start thinking about things I have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving I think I've got a pretty good list!

Now as for Thanksgiving, in keeping with tradition we will be running the 10k in the morning, come home and deep fry a turkey! I am hoping that I can have a nice new 10k PR to talk about while passing that turkey round the table. My goal is 59 SOMETHING! I just want to break an hour! I did my track work with the goal of my 10k pace being a 59- so 9:30 pace. I am hoping to maintain the 9:30 pace and end up with a 59:00 but I'd be happy with a 59:anything!

So here are the numbers:

Last year: 1:00:48
1st Run (same course): 1:03:09
BAA 10k: 1:00:18
Tufts 10k 1:02:38 (the day after the BAA Half Marathon)

Goal: 0:59:00 9:30 Pace

Well- CHEERS folks! Happy Thanksgiving! And with the positive vibes I've got going here's hoping for a 59!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Winter Training- Bikram Yoga

In my End of Season Thoughts I mentioned I would like to do Bikram Yoga at least once a week. As many of my readers know I travel A LOT so I figured once a week was a reasonable goal with my schedule. I figured some weeks I'll be able to do more but that is a attainable goal. So at the end of September I started doing this once a week or so yoga, so I have had about a month of "regular" practice. The other limiter of me only going once or a few times a week is over the winter I just can't stop swimming, biking and running completely.

For those of you that haven't done Bikram Yoga let me set the stage a bit. 90 min. 26 postures. In a room that is hot and HUMID, essentially the equivalent to the worst workout day in the summer (probably running not biking). I have used Bikram off and on over probably the last 4 years to help with recovery and just have a different workout in the mix. Just to be clear this isn't your typical relaxing yoga experience. It is hot, you sweat like crazy, sometimes you feel like you could pass out, and I have even puked after class. I am always sure to wear my heart rate monitor, I burn anywhere from 500 to 700 calories in the 90 min class. This is a screen shot of my heart rate data from one of the classes.

I want to see what a "regular" practice will show for benefit. So far I have the usual things I get from every yoga class:
- skin feels great
- increased flexibility
- stretching
- GREAT workout

The other things I am starting to notice is a change in my ability to control my breathing. I ran the Army Ten Miler all out, a new 6 min PR. I kept my breathing under control the whole race. I think it is because if I can breath normal in that hot sweaty room pushing in postures I can do it running on a nice cool day.

Like I said I have been doing yoga off and on for about 4 years. There have always been a few postures that I attempt but haven't gotten very far. Over the last couple weeks I have been able to get my elbows down in fixed firm pose, I am still working to get my head and back down on the ground. I had always only been able to do the start of camel. A couple weeks ago I started putting one arm down on my foot  then the other arm on the other foot for the second set. Yesterday for the first time I got both arms down on my feet. Maybe someday it will look like this. But for now I am taking my little wins day by day with my postures in my PRACTICE.

I find that the standing series is really tough. I think it is the balancing on one leg trying to lock my knee. And everyday I go to yoga I have either ran or biked or done some workout using my legs lately. I hope that the standing series will help build my leg strength for my biking, and running and I will see improvements in my standing postures.

My mom has gotten hooked on Bikram Yoga too and goes with me to almost every class. It is pretty sweet to spend time sweating it out with her! The yoga studio I go to Bikram Yoga Natick is doing a bring a friend for free for November so if any of you want to come join.....

I am sure this is just the start to what a regular practice will provide for benefit. I will keep you posted on the other benefits I am seeing over the course of my winter training and hopefully this coming season I can do a better job of keeping the yoga in the mix.