Saturday, September 12, 2015

Race Report: Rise Up and Run 5K 2015

Shortly after my hubby and I finished the Braves Country 5K that ended on the warning track at Turner Field (the Atlanta Braves stadium), we were sent a code from Atlanta Track Club to save on entry to the Rise Up and Run 5K, which ends on the 50 yard line inside the Georgia Dome (where the Atlanta Falcons play football).

He forwarded me the email and said, "Sign us up!" LOL

I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to make it work since Saturday is a dance day for our Dancing Queen, but she was able to spend the night with a dance friend last night who took her to class this morning - so we were all set!

Yesterday was a crazy day and I was so tired, but I did sleep pretty well. The alarm went off at 5 and I started to get ready. Woke hubby up at 5:30 so we could leave at 5:45. Men. @@ On the ride down to Atlanta it was sprinkling. Of course it was. If it rains on marathon day, I am all set. I have run so much in the rain recently, it's not even funny.

Thankfully, the rain stopped before we arrived downtown and we found the parking lot with only a little bit of confusion from the directions. Still, we pulled into the parking garage at 6:30 which is what I wanted. We lucked out by parking right next to the stairs to where the start line was. I'm not sure we could have done as well if we had planned it that way! Took all of 5 minutes to pick up our bibs and shirts. Atlanta Track Club really knows how to put on events and keep everything organized well. Took the shirts back to the car, put on our bibs, and went back to the start line area.

Pre-race selfie!

Start Line

The new Georgia Dome for the Atlanta Falcons!

The current GA Dome - our race finishes inside!

The Atlanta Skyline before dawn
The porta potties were flushing ones. As in, you stepped on a thing on the floor and the toilet 'flushed'. It was dark, so I can't say how it worked - but it sure was cool. We made one more trip back to the car so hubby could finish his coffee - a perk of being so close to the start!

While waiting for our corral to start, we discussed strategy. Hubby had not been able to keep up with training over the summer, so he only ran the last 2 weeks regularly. He wanted to do a 2/1 interval - something regular - instead of running until he got tired like he did last time. Of course, I was all on board with that. We would take each mile slightly faster than the last. And he needed to keep his walking pace at a faster pace.

Keeping a slow pace was easy in the last corral - any pace higher than 9:30/miles. Let me tell you that is a HUGE variance. We had to move around a ton of slow walkers. But it kept us from going out too fast.

Hubby did very well! It was a cool, overcast morning which certainly helped. The course was a tiny bit hillier than the Braves Country one, but it didn't feel that way to him, so that's good!

We turned into the GA Dome and saw the field and the markers for the "40 Yard Dash"! This finish line sprint was going to be timed all by itself. I had reminded hubby not to go all out so he didn't have a heart attack or something. But then we got there and started speeding up and I find myself saying, "I'm going to beat you!" and pushing it! He pushed, too, but I'm better trained currently. He's much faster than I am normally! So I'll take my edge while I still have it. I'm certain that I'll pay for that sprint for many races to come! ;)

Our time was slightly under 39 minutes, about 30 seconds faster than in June when he was fully trained!

There were finisher's medals for this race - so my hubby got his first ever medal!

They were letting everyone hang out on the field, which was really cool. They had some fun football-type activities but we weren't able to stay too long. Hubby has a recording session today in the studio with his band! But I took a few pictures of the stadium, since this may be my one and only time to go inside it!

Picture with our medals that was not taken well! We should have asked someone! 
There were photographers out on the course - and I especially hope they got a picture of our sprint to the finish! We asked a photog to take our picture together in front of the Dome before the race so I will post it once it gets posted to their FB page! :)

Now, back to that "40 Yard Dash" split I mentioned earlier: it turns out that I was 2nd in my age group and 4th overall Female Masters in that split! I can't even believe it!

Age Group results for "40 Yard Dash"

Masters Female results for "40 Yard Dash"
I feel so incredibly speedy! LOL There aren't any awards for the dash winners, as nearly as I can tell! But I do have bragging rights on my blog and on FB, and that's enough for me!

Hubby is already asking when the next 5K will be. He seems to need a race to keep him motivated to run. I think we qualify for the free Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, put on my Five Star NTP, so I'll have to check that out!

Will post the Week in Review tomorrow! Come back to check it out!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

MCM 2015: Week #13

This has been the most emotionally draining week of training so far! On Monday evening, I started to feel some back pain. I woke up on Tuesday and still felt it, but it wasn't too bad and I could do the trainer ride. I later went to swim. By the evening, the pain was absolutely dreadful. It got so bad overnight that it woke me up and I had to take ibuprofen just to get some sleep. I never take OTC meds. So I knew it was bad.

Wednesday morning I woke up still in pain. I had tried to do a heating pad, ice, and a new rub that I got from an essential oils company and nothing really helped. Obviously, I canceled my run for the day and spent time researching doctors. I decided to start with a chiropractor because our copay is less than 1/2 of what it is for an orthopedist or sports doctor, but I knew I wanted a different one than I used before. Called around but nobody could get me in until Friday at the earliest. Ugh.

I was trying very hard not to freak out. A phone call from the chiropractor's office didn't help. Turns out our current insurance plan doesn't differentiate between chiropractic and specialist. Both are $60 each. And PT would also be a $60 copay. There is simply no way we can afford that. I was so sad! When I got home from my Dance Taxi duties, I decided to take an epsom salts bath. I felt so much better when I got out! I applied the essential oil rub again and went to bed. I woke up feeling like a totally new person! I skipped my trainer ride but I was feeling well enough to swim.

I continued to feel good on Thursday. I kept stretching and doing yoga for my back and hips and applying the rub to my back. I slept pretty well on Thursday night and on Friday morning I decided to cancel the appointment with the first doctor. I have another appointment scheduled for next Wednesday with my first choice chiro but I decided to leave that one in place pending the rest of the week.

I ran on Friday morning - just a 40 minute easy run. My training plan called for 16 miles as a long run and I did not want to get into that to find out that running would hurt my back. I could feel my back, but that is common for me when I have an area that's bothering me. I seem to hyperfocus on it. I worked on relaxing my shoulders and back as often as it came to mind. I had full range of motion stretching after the run so I decided as long as I felt good all day, I would attempt the long run!

I barely slept last night leading into this 16 mile run. I decided to stick close to home just in case it didn't go well. I also had to think about my nutrition as I was going over a half marathon distance for the first time. My friend, Julie, uses UCAN to fuel her full marathons so I asked for her advice! She suggested taking the 2nd serving of UCAN in a bottle, carrying it with you, and then dumping the bottle. That's so simple! I just have to see if I will be allowed to carry in a full bottle at MCM.

I arrived at the park before the sun came up. It was darker than I was expecting, but luckily there was a huge soccer tournament going on and people were already starting to arrive!

Boy, do I look tired! And I haven't even started!
Even though it was going to be warm, I wanted to wear the top and capris I am thinking of wearing during the race. That's one reason I started so early.

Overall, the run went very well. I had to adjust my route to avoid the very crowded soccer fields, but the baseball fields were empty so I just did more loops on that side. No biggie. I ran for about 2 hours and then picked up my bottle of UCAN and drank it during my walk breaks. The thick texture was hard to handle at first since I wasn't used to drinking it during a run. Last year I took in my extra UCAN on the bike and that was different. I was afraid I would have a "sloshy" feeling while running but I didn't!

I was feeling utterly blessed with each step! Just a few days prior to this run I was afraid I wouldn't even be able to do it! I was afraid my road to MCM was derailed! It felt so good to be able to train!

I started feeling weak in the last mile or so. My legs just felt weird. I wasn't sure what was going on and felt a little aggravated and out of shape. Well, while I was doing my cool down walk, it dawned on me that I hadn't taken in any electrolytes during the entire run! I had filled a bottle with water intending to put Nuun tablets into it this morning on my way out the door but I completely forgot! And it never, ever dawned on me! Yikes!

The bottle that was in the cooler that was supposed to contain my electrolytes!

The bottle of electrolytes I purchased at the concession stand! 
I walked myself over to the soccer fields to see if the concession stand was open - it was and Powerade was only $2, which is all the cash I had with me! LOL It was absolutely perfect! It was very cold and I drank it down quickly and it helped me to feel much better right away!

Better than an ice bath!
I took my Powerade and went to stretch under the pavillion an then over to the water feature to soak my feet in the frigid water! Overall, I hit a home run by choosing this park for my long run today!

I have felt good the rest of the day! I got my turkey sandwich that I was craving after my run, and I even took a nice 2 hour nap! As soon as I finish writing this post, I am going to take another epsom salts bath! :) And then I'll probably go to bed again! I am really, really drained from this week. I'm so glad it ended up on such a good note, and I will not take any of these steps I'm making during training for granted!

7 weeks until Race Day!