Sunday, March 6, 2011

WINTER Running Series and a New Addition to the Family

Winter Series 30k finishers wooden block
This past Saturday was the 15K leg of the Winter Running Series.  Earlier in the week I thought we'd sneak by this year without a wintery run, but as I slept race morning I was awoken by the one sound that has become more irritating than fingernails on a chalkboard.  Snow Plow!  Don't get me wrong, I totally appreciate the fact that these guys/gals are out at 4 in the morning keeping our streets clear.  Selfishly though, it means I'm freezing out there on my run or worse, stuck inside on the treadmill!  Why do we live in the cold part of this state? ...St. George is calling yet again.

After clearing the 6 inches of snow off the driveway Michelle and I headed out.  Thankfully, the kiddos were with Grandma Lisa so we didn't need to stress about getting them somewhere before the race and were able to take our time and just enjoy each others company.  As we approached the site of the race we noticed there wasn't as much snow as expected, and to our surprise the roads were clear!  I had envisioned a slushy mess as we left our house, and had just planned on running as hard as possible, but didn't think a PR was in the cards this time.  The clear roads gave us hope.

Saltair beach house
The beauty of this running series is regardless of the weather the races will still go on...and it seems like all the people still show up.  Over the years we've run in every condition you could imagine...sun/wind/rain/snow/blizzard/COLD/smog or some combination of these elements.  This year was no different.  For the 5K we had a cold smoggy mess, the 10K was a really nice sunny day, and the 15K was a nice snowy day.  Another thing to love about living in Utah, wait 5 minutes and the weather will be completely different.

As we were getting loosened up for the race we did a little "people watching".  We hadn't really ever noticed the different ways people warm-up for a race, but when you actually take a step back and look it's pretty hilarious.  You see guys doing things they would never let themselves be caught dead doing in any other setting.  Others bending over in these positions that I swear would kill me.  Jumping, high knees, butt kicks, wall stretches, etc.  Watching this gave us a good laugh, so we devised a devious plan to implement some new warm-up routines.  Don't be surprised at a race when you see us or someone else implement the Justin Army Crawl, Michelle's cart-wheel routine, or the Anderson running chest bump!  Maybe we'll start a trend.

Back to the race...

Coming into the 15K I knew it would be the hardest PR for me to break.  I had smashed my half-marathon and 10K times (simply because they were really old), and easily bested my previous 5K time.  My 15K time on the other hand was much more realistic as to how my running results have been recently.  My time last year of 101:40 was pretty solid (6:38/mile), so I knew I'd have a challenge trying to beat it...especially with less than perfect conditions.  As we headed out I wanted to make a concerted effort not to go out too fast...mile #1 (5:40).  So much for that!  Michelle always tells me to hold back a bit at first but I just don't seem to listen.  Had hoped to got out closer to 6:00/mile.  What can I say?  I'm a little thick headed and stubborn.  Can't teach an old dog new tricks, I guess.

For the next few miles until the turnaround I noticed we were running into a steady headwind.  Nothing crazy, but enough to make it challenging to maintain the same pace.  Time to settle in and get through in one piece...then kick it into gear on the way back!  Yeah, right!  Back to the thick headed thing, but is it just me or does it always seem like the second you turn around after running into a headwind the wind miraculously decides to calm!  I know it's probably not true, but it sure feels that way sometimes!

I pushed pretty hard for the second half of the race knowing the PR was going to be tight.  My mind was playing tricks on my telling me to back it off, or even walk..."it's okay, nobody would notice, right?"  Yeah, that's a great attitude for someone training for an IRONMAN, but sometimes those thoughts are hard to block out!  My body has definitely been feeling the volume of training, and has started to push back a bit!  More on that in a separate post.  Fortunately, I was able to block out the negative thoughts and ran hard to the finish.  I crossed the line at 59:23 (6:23/mile pace).  Whoa...was that hard!  I was so happy to have finished!  Took a quick break and then started looking for Michelle.  I knew she was going to have a great race!  She came in at 1:11:38 (7.42/mile) and crushed her PR, 8th female!  Nice work babes!   She even negative split the race...I'm so jealous.  I should really start listening to her.

All in all it was a great Winter Running Series.  Set some new PR's, met some cool people, and had a ton of fun! 

In other news...

We would like to announce a new addition to the family.  New cat? New dog? Baby on the way?  HA HA!  Nope!  Only a really nerd can be as excited as I am about this purchase.

I finally begged and groveled enough that Michelle couldn't take it any longer and "let" me purchase a new bike.  I've been eyeing this beauty for a while, but just couldn't take the leap!  With IRONMAN on the way, I figured the time was now.  Say hello to my new friend...a pink beach cruiser! 

Check out this beauty!
 She's perfect...and check out the sweet bottle holder!  I'm so excited, look out everyone, it's going to be a fast bike split for me in St. George!

Okay, as much as I would LOVE that bike, I decided I better get something a little more reasonable.  Say hello to my little friend...the CervĂ©lo P2C. 

So much for an early retirement...anyways, Michelle how about some aero wheels???
  I got a really good deal on a 2010 model at the local bike shop, and just couldn't resist.  Can't wait to get the fit done so I can get her out on the road.  I'm trying to think of a good name too, any suggestions? 

Well, gotta run (or bike or swim)! 

Tri Hard!