Thursday, July 30, 2009

26th Annual York Days 5K

This past Sunday, Christy and I ran the York 5K, which is part of the Seacoast Series ( We ran it last year-it's a pretty flat, easy course, with the last part being by the water. My time last year was 29:06, which is a 9:24 min/mile. I think this was one of the first times I ran a 5K under 30 minutes.
This year, it was raining a little at the beginning-and it was humid. When its humid, its like running with plastic wrap on you. I don't mind getting wet from the rain, but I do mind humidity. Because of this, the race felt hard-but in a different way. I sometimes give my 110% in a race and feel tired and spent after a race, but feel energized because I know I gave it my all. This race, on the other hand, was hard, but I didn't feel like I was giving it my all. You just can't when its hot and humid. I did the best I could for the circumstances, finishing at 28:20, a 9:08 min/mile. I placed 61/133 for my bracket and 461/787 overall. I finished and did improve from last year, so that is all I can ask for!
Next race in the series-my archnemesis Saunders at Rye 10K. I HATE this race. Here's why: 1. Its on a Thursday night, so you spend your day trying not to exert energy. The day ends up becoming a total waste. 2. It is by swamps-it smells and you get this coating of salt all over you. Fine, yes, I get that coating all over me anyway from sweating like a pig, but this makes me double-brined 3. Last year, it was my 2nd 10K ever. Each race prior to this (my 5ks), I had improved my finishing time every race. Not this race-I did WORSE. Now, not a lot worse, but not better. This was my first personal defeat in racing.
I remember finishing feeling like I had been run over by a dump truck. It was hot humid and at 6pm at night. Nothing wonderful about this race. And now it is completely messing with my mind for this year. I better go in there and kick its sorry little Rye, NH butt.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Running with Tri-Kate

Wow, keeping up with this blog is harder than I thought! Anyway, a couple weeks ago, my friend Christy and I met with a running coach. ( My main purpose was to correct my form. My body is in tough shape-I have severe lower back pain and foot pain from running. And it only gets worse with more mileage. Hey, I have a great idea-I should run a marathon, which ups my mileage when my body is in the worst shape to date! I’m not very bright.
We arrive at the track and meet Kate. Kate looks just like her website picture-with the addition of looking like a Power Bar ad has thrown up on her. She has Power Bar socks, hat, shirt, etc.
Side note: I always apply to be “sponsored” by these companies-you get free gear and free food just for wearing their ads while you run. Part of the application process is informing them of your best racing times. They probably look at mine and laugh. But if they were smart-they’d pick me. Here’s why-when Kate runs by people, the crowd thinks, “What’s Pwr Br?” If I ran by them, the crowd would think, “Hmm, Power Bar. I wonder if those taste good? They were on sale at Shaw’s this week-10 for $10. I wonder how many flavors they come in?” All while I am still running by them. See, more exposure to their ads. Those marketing gurus need to think like me.
Back to Kate-she provides us with a ton of handouts and starts reviewing all of the information-which is a lot. I feel lucky that I have a background in exercise (I was a certified aerobics instructor back in the day), so I am able to follow along pretty well. She reminds me of me when she talks (but my topic is nutrition)-she is such a fountain of knowledge and enthusiasm about her discipline, she showers you with it-all at once. I often did this with clients-provided way too much info, so really, they had no need to come back for another visit-I told them all of the information they needed in that first hour. Maybe this is why I never was in the black with my practice.
We get on the track and Christy and I take turns running around the track-and she films us so we can see “before” and “after”. Since there was so much information, I will provide you with the 3 main take home messages:
Focus more on your exhale than you inhale. If you keep trying to inhale when you haven’t exhaled enough, you aren’t using your lungs to their total capacity. Empty them out with a huge exhale-now you have made room!
Heart rate monitors are vital. I had ordered one, but listening to her helped me to justify my purchase. I’m still in the process of tweaking it, in regards to my training and my Garmin, but knowing my heart rate during certain runs has helped judge my exertion. (or lack there of)
Most important-the changes to my running form. My back hurt-so I thought, I need to stand up straighter. WRONG. That was making the impact to my spine worse! I need to learn from my ankles and make sure my arms move front to back-not side to side like they normally do.

It’s been over 2 weeks since we met with her and I must say-zero back pain. My feet still hurt (its because I land on the balls of my feet)-so we’re going to meet again soon to tweak my form and possibly get me a pair of shoes especially designed to prevent my tip toed running. I also feel like I can run faster with less effort. Well worth the cost of admission.
If you are interested in running and improving your running form, I would highly recommend Kate!