A Hodgepodge of Running & Racing

Hi! Well, I am happy to report that I recovered well from the marathon in February and after a few weeks of either not running or just running for pure pleasure, I returned to training and racing.

I have been running different races/distances and still think that I can somehow pull off some speed in the shorter ones, ha!

First up: the race director from the Tri for the Cure was looking to put together an elite relay so I accepted the run leg. I had participated in this event 2 years ago, and it was fun so I was excited. This was my first speed test so I had no idea how my legs would feel. The swimmer and cyclist are amazing and created a huge lead so when I took off for my 2.4 mile run, I just had to run solo and rely on some self-motivation. I was happy with my 6:10ish pace and brought my team to the victory.

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Next, at the end of March, I decided to challenge myself and run a true mile on the track (1609 meters, so just over 4 laps). A local running coach, David Allison, holds these “time trial Tuesdays” at the track near my house, so I thought, what the heck! Well, it turns out that my mile time on the track needs some work, I ran a disappointing 6:02 and it felt horrible! I have run faster mile times in races. Boo!

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Then my parents flew in for a visit in early April. Pete and I ran a 5k so they could come watch. I knew going into the race that the competition could be sparse so I made the race as a workout within my long by running 9 miles to Kiwanis Park where the race was held and met Pete and my parents there. Races at Kiwanis can be challenging because of the grass and hills, almost like cross-country. I led the race for about half a mile until a high school kid passed me. He stayed a few seconds ahead and I thought this would be perfect pacing until the end when I would try to blow by him. Then in the final mile we climb a big hill on the grass, and he completely stops! Ok…and I continue on to the finish and win overall! My parents were there cheering and Pete sprinted in not too long after. Sometimes these smaller races are the best as I walked away with a nice prize and we all grabbed lots of food and drinks!

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Another mile time trial on the track at the end of April…ok, Carrie, you can certainly run sub-6:00. Probably not the greatest idea, in retrospect, to run a track workout in the morning and then run the time trial in the evening…and of course, 20-30 mph winds would not help. My nephew Owen hopped in and I planned on running behind him. He took off a little faster than I wanted. I was on pace through 800 but that 3rd lap is where I lost it. Owen ran 5:49, me 6:07. Boo again! Excuses aside, I think the track just intimidates me and I don’t really know how to run a fast mile on it. Give me a marathon any day! But I have another chance in a few weeks! This time I am going to treat it like a race, I am not going to do a workout before, and I am going to make it hurt!

A few days later, I lined up for a half marathon! See what I mean about a hodgepodge? I feel like I might be in PR shape, although it has been a little hard to gauge with my workouts. This race was all women, SHE Power half and 5k. I also had that inkling that it may not be very competitive but you just never know. Thankfully, it had cooled down and the wind abated (a couple of days earlier it was hot and very windy!). And I was feeling really good! We took off and within the first half mile, no one was with me…Pete saw me at mile 2ish and said, “this is how it’s gonna be”. I felt like I got into a little groove and went through 5 miles on PR pace (6:20-25), surprisingly. Then suddenly the road ahead of me looked long and all I could see was…nothing! Very few spectators and my pace slowed. I had a nice motorcycle cop that drove up and back to make sure I was on course and watching for traffic. I wish I had asked him to drive about 10 mph so I could chase him! Once that mental fatigue set it, my body jumped on board, and it got hard! I threw my time goal out and focused on winning. It was one of the longest feeling and slower half marathons, but when I approached the finish line and made the final turn, the crowd went crazy! It. Was. Awesome. Someone even threw rose petals and I had to smile and laugh!

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Overall, the race directors were great, the Chandler police were great, it was a fun event, and I am just happy to do what I love. My sister-in-law and a few friends also ran which adds to the enjoyment! I just need to work on that darn mental piece when I am out there on my own!

Up next are some competitive races! I am excited to see the difference!

Pete and I are running a 5k in Tucson at the end of May, a half marathon in Iowa in early June, and I registered for the Quad Cities Marathon in September! Let the marathon training begin, but first, let me conquer that mile on the track 🙂

How do you manage the mental aspect running races or workouts solo?

P.S. I have been wearing headbands (MaviBandz) that I love, they don’t slip, they don’t give you a headache, and they have lots of styles and colors and designs! You can get 20% off here with the code: cweldyrunner20

 

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2 Comments on “A Hodgepodge of Running & Racing”

  1. Kelly Says:

    Hey Carrie!!! I just love reading your posts!!! Thanks for sharing your running with the rest of us!! Miss you hope to see you if I get back out to AZ!!! Happy running!!!


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