Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring Racing

      It has been quite a long time since I have written a new post for this blog. Needless to say, a lot has happened in regards to the purpose of this online journal since the fall. A long entry could be made solely on the tragic, horrific terror attack that occurred on April 15 in Boston. I have decided not to do so, however, because my thoughts and emotions are quite likely not too different than the majority of others, in general.
     The attack did affect me, though. When I first heard about what had happened, I felt a sense of numbness throughout my body. At the time, I knew of one person (that I actually know) that was running the Boston Marathon that day (later I discovered several acquaintances that were there taking part). Thankfully, they were all unharmed (physically, anyway).
     Am I still wanting to go to Boston and run next April? ABSOLUTELY!!! It seems as though each Boston Marathon is magical, amazing, awesome, etc. according to those who have taken part, but I expect next year to something quite exceptional. On April 21, 2014, I desperately hope to be in Boston and experience that magic.
     Now for some updates of my running since the fall Prairie Fire Marathon. I battled some patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner's knee) for a month or two during the winter, so I didn't put in a lot of miles. A lot of cross training kept me in decent shape, though (swimming and cycling). After the new year I was healthy enough to start running more, but I still swim and get out on the bike a couple of days a week. As much I would like to run every day (like I usually do), I know the cross training is a smart choice (it also keeps the thought of testing the triathlon world before too long). 
     I have raced in four races since the marathon: a 5k, 10k, 2-mile, and half marathon. A PR has come out of each of them. The first was the "2012 Thanksgiving Say Grace 5k." I finished with a time of 17:47 at 5:44 min/mile pace. Running a PR was nice, but since I never do track or speed work it definitely showed my lack of speed at shorter distances. I'd like to run a sub-17:00 5k at some point.
     Next, the "2013 Easter Sun Run" where I raced in the 10k and 2-mile. My focus was on the 10k, and I finished with a time of 37:03 at 5:58 min/mile pace. I was super excited to knock more than two minutes off my previous 10k PR (39:19 at 6:20 min/mile pace). The 2-mile started about 30 minutes after I finished the 10k, and after a quarter of a mile into the race my legs turned into cement. I halfway expected this since I gave all my effort in the 10k, and was racing the 2-mile just to see what kind of time I'd get. I finished with a time of 11:18 at 5:39 min/mile pace, fourth overall. And since I didn't have a previous 2-mile race PR... that was a PR! ;)
     This morning I raced in the "2013 Prairie Fire Spring Half Marathon." I've been putting in 55-60 miles a week lately (again, two days are either in the pool or on the bike), but I certainly wasn't "training" for this race. The weather has been beyond bipolar in Wichita lately (yes, even for Kansas), so we had a chilly, wet morning with some wind for our race conditions. My only goal was to, hopefully, PR. My previous half marathon PR was 1:26:07 at 6:35 min/mile pace. I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:23:25 at 6:22 min/mile pace. Another PR!!!
     A lot of times I look at my Garmin to see my mile splits during a race, but for the four races I've written about here, I've just been going on how I feel. It makes me feel a little "freer" to not be constantly checking my pace. 
     Overall, I feel good about where my fitness is at. I look at how all of my times have improved from a year ago, and can't help but think I'm a better runner than I was at this point last year. I don't have anymore races planned for the near future. A fall marathon will be my main focal point moving forward. Since I've raced in the Prairie Fire Marathon here in Wichita the last two years, I'd like to go somewhere else this fall. As of now I'm targeting the Denver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on October 20, or the St. Louis Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on October 27. 
     As always, thank you for checking out my online soliloquies about running!

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