Rebuilding Week 9 Training Recap

This week continued the uncertain navigation through the rebuilding process. I am hopeful that the functional training that I will start next week will help me fix my issues once and for all so I can really get back to training and going for the big goals.

Monday, May 23, 2016
This run was almost perfect. Both legs felt strong and normal throughout. My stride felt great. I focused on form. In the last 15 minutes I added six 1 minute intervals at a hard pace. I felt the top of my left hammy a little, telling me that it didn’t like the intervals very much. Other than that, this run went really well.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Maybe I did have a breakthrough last week. I used my normal bike and got even farther. I pushed hard and enjoyed the ride. I felt a little bloated; maybe I ate too much Monday? Other than that, this was a really good ride and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
I got some good answers in the evaluation Tuesday and hopefully a plan. Apparently my hips are still weak and glutes aren’t firing well. I’m glad I went. Even though it means spending some money it will be worth it. This tempo run went well. I ended up running the tempo portion a tad slower than I had planned but it is was still a good workout.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
We thought at first that we might be on our own since Ellis was late and his phone, at least, was at home. Thankfully we had our “fearless leader” sans phone. I tried to push hard throughout the exercises. I have to acknowledge though that, like always, I was aware of my left glute. Something about it just feels off. Hopefully the training that I’m going to get at Performance Therapy will help that.

Friday, May 27, 2016
This run went well for the most part. I’ve wanted to add a second speed work session in for a couple weeks now but this sort of work seems to aggravate the left glute. For the next week or two I am going to cut speed work out ask start the functional training and hopefully be able to start speed work up again soon. For the first mile everything felt perfect. I felt strong. My glute didn’t bother me. As I got into the run I could feel it a little but it didn’t interfere, like usual. I am hopeful that this training I’ll be doing at Performance Therapy will help me finally fix my weak hips and “non-firing glutes issue so I can get back to real training.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
This run surprised me. It wasn’t as fast as I normally like but I took a decided step back in that area and just focused on giving a good effort and maintaining good form or at least trying to. At the start of the run I felt a little sluggish like I have the past few weeks but, like usual, after I at a couple Gatorade chews at mile 4, felt much better. The left glute did not speak up at all through the entire run. That made me very happy. My right calf felt a little tight at first and around halfway, the knee didn’t feel that great. That sensation lasted on a short while and didn’t bother me later. I felt pretty good for most of this run and actually enjoyed it. I am looking into getting some Gatorade powder so I can bring some in my handheld so I don’t get dehydrated as easily.

Sunday, May 29, 2016
I woke up with sore legs, tight muscles, not pain. Since I had the time I took my time and stretched and foam rolled extensively. The left leg continues to behave as if there had never been an issue. Occasionally, I am a little concerned about the right knee but it may be mental since I have had issues with it in the past. I took it as easy as I possibly could to give the muscles the time to rest and repair as they should.

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Rebuilding Week 8 Training Recap

This week had its ups and downs both physically and mentally, but mostly mentally. As I describe below, I think I may have isolated a contributing factor and made a plan to address it. As summer starts, I’m going to continue focusing on rebuilding both speed and mileage the smart way so that I’ll have a strong base from which to launch a BQ attempt.

Monday, May 16, 2016
The first four miles were okay. Both legs seemed to hold up fine. Somewhere around the fourth mile I felt a mildly painful sensation just below my left glute. It went away after a couple minutes but the left leg felt a bit off after that. I focused on maintaining good form throughout. I’m not sure what’s up with my left leg. Yes, I’m aware that I sound like a broken record. Hopefully it’s nothing and I can finally put rebuilding/recovery behind me and start real training again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Either I had a breakthrough or the calibration of these bikes is different. I’m leaning towards the latter. My back cooperated on this ride (unlike the past two). I could feel my right calf. It’s felt a little tight after the past few runs so I’m more aware of it. I don’t know if what I felt was just in my head or something actually in my calf. Other than that the ride went really well.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
This tempo was tough. I was a little wary when I started but both legs actually held up. They both felt a bit sore but no pain or oddness. By the end of the tempo I did feel a little nauseated, like I pushed to the limit. I considered shortening the tempo by two minutes but pushed through. I am very thankful for a good run. As the day went on I could feel (or thought I could feel) a tingly sensation above the thigh sleeve but only occasionally. I do think that part (or most) of this may be in my head. Hopefully this will resolve itself soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2016
As is typical for me, I’m still in my head a bit with these odd sensations in my left leg and tight-ish right calf. Part of me knows that I obsess over things like this but another part of me wonders where I learned these sensations but anyway. This routine felt good. I forgot to watch my motivational show πŸ˜‰ but still tried to push hard. For the vast majority of the day everything felt pretty normal. I was glad about that.

Friday, May 20, 2016
This run went really well. My left hammy felt a little sore this morning and I could feel it a little during the run but it wasn’t significant. I focused on good form from arm swing to core on down. I felt really strong. I am encouraged by this run.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
I think I may have figured out what caused the weird feelings in my left leg. My pattern with shoe rotation has been to run in my primary shoes until the reach approximately 300 miles. At that point I’ll buy a new pair and continue to use the old pair once a week on my easy runs until I put another 100 miles (total of 400) on them. I don’t think I can keep doing that in the Saucony Zealots that I’m currently on my 6th pair of. Two weeks ago I accidentally grabbed my crosstraining shoes (aka the shoes that were my primary shoes three pairs ago) and expected that my legs wouldn’t like it. Last week, I managed to grab the right pair but my legs still didn’t like it. They didn’t protest quite as much but still. Then this week I experimented and on the easy run just wore my primary shoes which have about 130 miles on them. My suspicions were confirmed. The shoes bear a large portion of the blame. Looks like I’ll have to start looking for a new type with the ability to take me 400 miles. Now to the run itself. I felt a little sluggish in the first second but not too terribly so. Once I at a couple chomps at mile 4, I felt much better, just like last week. The humidity was ridiculous. I overdressed thanks to the chill from yesterday. I definitely could have done with sleeveless and shorts rather than short sleeves and capris. My legs felt pretty good through most of the run, including the massive hill on Ikes that usually takes almost everything out of me. (I have Ellis to thank for that…all that strength training is paying off.) Even though everything felt pretty good, I still made a conscious effort to maintain good form. This long run felt light years better than last week’s half/long run. I am so thankful for that.

Sunday, May 22, 2016
For the first time in a couple weeks, I was able to enjoy this rest day as a true rest day. My legs felt just a bit fatigued so I made sure to take it easy. Other than that, this was an excellent rest day.

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Rebuilding Week 7 Training Recap

This week saw some highs and lows, ending with a bit of a low and some frustration with my left leg. I’m not sure if it’s serious or not and am trying to withhold judgement on that. Hopefully, it’s temporary and will pass quickly so I can get back to serious training.

Monday, May 9, 2016
My legs felt a little fatigued at the start of this run, to be expected after Saturday’s effort. They warmed up fairly quickly. Mom joined me on the six 30 second intervals near the end of the run, stride for stride. Those felt good, although I did expect that I would be able to do them faster.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
I keep trying to reach a high mark that I set a few weeks ago, 12.24 but can’t seem to touch it. On this ride I was so close it was painful, 12.22. 😊 The ride itself went fairly well. Like last week, I had to concentrate on pulling my abs in to support my lower back. Not sure what’s up with that. Hopefully nothing. It didn’t bother me at any other point during the day. Maybe next week I can top that high water mark.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
These intervals were tough. I had to push myself almost to the limit each time and it felt really good. I love being able to dive back into actual training again. I did shorten the warm up and cool down sections by 5 minutes each but only to make up for the 10 minute late start.

Thursday, May 12, 2016
I think a regular viewing of a show like “Strong” should be required before a strength training session. I got into the gym determined to push hard. My arms are basically noodles now. I loved the entire workout and made sure that I pushed my limits each time.

Friday, May 13, 2016
I made sure to keep the effort level easy for this run with a half marathon Saturday. My legs were definitely feeling the strength training workout though, even though we didn’t do but a couple leg exercises. I will be making sure to hydrate fully and rest as much as I can. If my legs feel like they did on this run, the half might be a bit of a slog. 😊

Saturday, May 14, 2016
As I described in the race recap, I had some occasional left leg weirdness during the race, the same sort of weirdness that I felt after I ran in the wrong shoes last week and a little bit after I ran in the right shoes yesterday. The “right” shoes have only around 330 miles on them and are the ones that I try to use once a week on the short, easy run. I think that after six editions of this shoe, I need to switch it up, again.

Sunday, May 15, 2016
Various parts of both of my legs felt creaky or tight or a bit sore at various points through the day. I made a concerted effort to take it easy throughout the entire day and to stretch and foam roll as much as I could. I’m wondering if my legs weren’t ready for the half marathon distance but I don’t know for sure. This week’s mileage was the highest that I have had since Tobacco Road (except for the week of the TR Half which was ill-thought out) but it was only 32. I fell like I have been moving glacially slowly when it comes to increasing mileage and speedwork. Part of me also wonders if it might be my shoes. I’m on my sixth pair of the Saucony Zealots and while they have worked, part of my has always thought that there wasn’t quite enough cushioning for higher mileage. Ellis and Mom have both recently gotten some Hokas. I would love to try them but my running store, Greenville Running Company, doesn’t sell them. I also may consider redeeming my coupon from Reedy to Performance Therapy

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Can’t Catch Connor Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Race #108
Half Marathon #33
SC Half Marathon #25
Can’t Catch Connor Half Marathon #1

When I first heard of this race, I knew that I had to run. This race (including a 5k) was run in honor of Connor McManus, one of 11 people who died in July of 2013 in a small plane crash in Alaska. Another one of those killed in the tragic accident was Mills Antonakos, a former student of mine.

I remember when I first heard of the plane crash and read the names of those who died. I hadn’t been in front of the classroom for two years but it still felt like I had just finished teaching Mills.

I knew that this race was unlikely to have any of the other accoutrements that come with most races. I set my expectation accordingly. The entire course was on the Swamp Rabbit Trail so I decided to treat this race as a long run with a bib attached. Only 13 people ran the half so it ended up being almost exactly like a long run, complete with seeing my high school PE teacher. (She runs regularly on the trail, on Saturdays at least.)

Although the registration page stated that the half marathon would begin ten minutes before the 5k, we all ended up starting at the same time. There was no actual start line, just a few instructions, prayer and then “Go!”

Those first few miles were the toughest for me, mentally. My legs felt a bit tired and my mind magnified that tenfold. I wondered how I would possibly get through the rest of the race. The thought briefly crossed my mind about turning and finishing at the finish line when we passed it again after mile 4 but I didn’t seriously consider it. I was in it for the long haul, no matter how long that haul ended up being.

Mile 1 – 8:32
Mile 2 – 8:54
Mile 3 – 9:04
Mile 4 – 8:58

At mile 4 I at two chews, hoping for an energy boost from the sugar. It worked, thankfully, and helped snap me out of the mental funk for the most part.

As we neared the street crossing by Sunrift and Tandem I could see Mom (thanks to the matching green shirt) and managed to ask her if she could use the burst feature when she took pictures of me at the finish. This was after I had asked her how she had done. She ran and had just finished the 5k which, like the half, was about a tenth too long. Unlike other races, since this one was entirely on the Swamp Rabbit trail which lacks significant turns, there aren’t many ways that I could have failed to run the tangents.

The next section of the race was fairly uneventful. We saw plenty more people, most of them were the 5k walkers finishing up the race. As we neared downtown TR and then Furman, I finally saw the regular trail users. The first portion had been fairly sparse, just the handful of half marathon participants for the most part.

Occasionally through this section my left leg felt odd, nothing significant but some of the “off-ness” that I felt following my accidental run in way too old shoes last Friday.

Finally we reached the turn around point, about a mile past the parking lot off Duncan Chapel Road.

Mile 5: 9:35
Mile 6: 9:04
Mile 7: 9:00
Mile 8: 9:31
Mile 9: 8:59

(The slower times come from when I walked to eat fuel.)

The off-ness and occasional painful sensations in my left leg continued through the next few miles which ramped up the mental battle. I would start to wonder about the leg and then everything would feel “normal” again. I honestly wonder if it’s some sort of sciatic nerve thing. (I’ll have to do more research on that.)

When I got back to the water stop at Duncan Chapel Road I decided to grab one of the cups of Gatorade and drink that instead of the water from my handheld so that would last until the end of the race. Wow…someone did not get the ratio of powder to water right when they mixed that up. It was incredibly thick. I could taste it for the next mile or so until I took my next set of chews.

I plugged away to the finish, more than ready to be done.

After crossing diagonally through the intersection by Sunrift I entered the parking lot and headed towards the finish.

Can't Catch Connor Half Marathon and 5k 2016
Mom got plenty of pictures.πŸ™‚

I made the conscious effort to avoid looking at the Garmin. I did not really have any time goals, although I really wanted to come in under 2 hours. When I saw the finish line clock already at 2:01:xx I was a little discouraged.

Mile 10 – 9:21
Mile 11 – 9:17
Mile 12 – 9:35
Mile 13 – 9:11
.26 – 8:42

There was not much fanfare post-race, just a group of high school kids, likely friends of the race organizer, hanging around. I have a suspicion that this race was the Eagle Scout project of one of Connor’s friends who would likely be the right age, three years on from the tragic accident.

Mom had hung around after just in case they did a 5k awards ceremony but nothing happened. We didn’t hang around after I finished and instead headed to the car managing to forget to take a post race picture until we got home.

Can't Catch Connor Half Marathon and 5k 2016
My mouth looks ridiculously giant here.

Can't Catch Connor Half Marathon and 5k 2016
We are normal some of the time.

It is highly unlikely that this race will be run more than one time. I am glad that I participated. However, it just confirmed to me that I am definitely a big-race kind of runner. I thrive on competition and well-executed organization.

Now for the race review portion:

Registration and packet/bib pick up:
Registration through go-greenevents was painless and easy as always. Packet pick-up, from what I heard, went well as well. All seemed fairly generic for the race, nothing stood out either way.

Race shirt:
The race shirt is comfy. In fact, I’m wearing it as I write this review. (Yes, I did write that exact same sentence last week.) Many people wore the shirt during the race. While I really like it, I don’t think I’ll run in it. It’s definitely an excellent day-off t-shirt. (This whole section is almost identical. I feel the same general way about this race shirt too.)

Pre-Race/Race Morning amenities:
Everything except the actual start of the race (as I described above) flowed smoothly pre-race.

The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a really good resource, especially for small races. I’ve run it many times so it was nothing new. Although, I have to mention that for the first time I saw an actual rabbit on the trail.πŸ™‚

Course support:
I was actually impressed by the number of volunteers this race recruited for water stops which were placed approximately every two miles. I felt bad for them a little because the water stops on the half marathon portion of the course had very little to do. For the most part the street crossings were well manned as well. A couple of them had some police officers and most of the remaining crossings had volunteers from the troops who would step out into the road and stop traffic when a half marathoner came by. The mixing ratio of Gatorade powder to water could have been improved at that one stop but that was the only stop in which I partook of the water or Gatorade.

Finish line and post-race amenities:
There was a finish line and a table with some water. That’s about it. There did not seem to be an adult around to ask about any logistic information. I also did not see the high schooler in charge of organizing the race either.

Race photography:
I highly doubt that any pictures were taken at this race. If in fact there were some, I will update this section.

Social media:
The Facebook page was updated as frequently as I would expect the page of a race this size to be updated.

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Rebuilding Week 6 Training Recap

This week my legs and mind finally got on the same page. I’m thankful that I was able to finish the week with an awesome race and a renewed “need for speed.”

Monday, May 2, 2016
The humidity is ridiculous. I say that every year but every year is seems to be equally ridiculous. My stride felt amazing on this run. I’m still a little wary because I don’t know what’s up with the sensation that comes on hours later but during the run, both legs felt great, tired but great. The first part of this run felt like a bit of a slog with which the humidity did not help. I also asked Mom if she could drop behind once or twice and look at my stride. She said that it looked really good. Other than the humidity, this was a pretty good run. I wore the calf sleeves for most of the day and had no weirdness in the right leg. I think it might have been because of a tight calf.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
My lower back felt a little sore on this ride so I focused on supporting it by tightening my abs. I think this might be because I stood most of the crazy busy day at work Monday. I will be focusing on good posture as much as possible throughout the day. Other than that this was a good run. I didn’t get quite as far as my farthest distance from two weeks ago, only a few hundredths short. I think I may have reached the limit of how far I can ride in 45 minutes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016I felt really strong through this tempo. I stepped up the pace a little and when I first started I knew it would be difficult. I avoided looking at the clock because I knew if I did it would be a lot harder to make it through if I was counting down. Both legs continue to cooperate, which I appreciate. 😊

Thursday, May 5, 2016
I am not sure where my brain went this morning. I forgot at least one of the exercises each time we made the circuit. Whoops. The routine was arm heavy so I know that I’ll be feeling it for sure. I tried to keep pushing because I know that’s where the results will come from.

Friday, May 6, 2016
I grabbed the wrong pair of shoes this morning. Instead of my “old” pair that still has about 70 miles left on them, I grabbed the ones that are now my cross training shoes. Whoops. With that in mind, I did shorten the length of the run by about 5 minutes. For the most part I felt pretty good but I could tell that these were old shoes. Hopefully I’ll manage to wear the right ones for the 5k Saturday. Grabbing the old shoes helped me nail down the probably cause of my odd left glute thing from a few weeks ago, old shoes. My left leg made its disappointment in my absentmindedness known throughout the day. Thankfully, a good night’s sleep put that to rest.

Saturday, May 7, 2016
This race definitely reawakened my hunger for speed even though I did have the thought “I hate running fast 5ks. They’re so hard!”

Sunday, May 8, 2016
My calves felt a little tighter than normal when I woke up so I took the time to stretch and wore the compression sleeves. Hopefully, since the 5k wasn’t at top race effort, I’ll be able to recover quickly and dive back into training.

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Covenant Race for Adoption 5k 2016 Race Recap

Race #107
5k #42
Covenant Race for Adoption 5k #3

We had so much fun at this race. It’s so close to home, I still can’t believe that I missed out on running it the first two times it was held. This year Ellis joined us for his first race in over 10 years. He kept playing down his speed but 21:37 (unofficial) isn’t too shabby.

We parked in the Bi-Lo parking lot a little ways from Covenant United Methodist Church, the host and start/finish location, and used the distance as a warm up. Thanks to Ellis and Mom my warm up pace was regular run pace, about 30 seconds faster than my warm up pace usually is. I like that.

We arrived with plenty of time, definitely could have waited at the house an extra ten minutes before driving over and still made it on time.

Covenant Race for Adoption 5k 2016

Finally it was time to start. I, obviously, have not been training for short speed, so unlike the two previous years, I had no intention of aiming for the “podium” or anywhere close to my PR time. Instead I “hung back” and ran with Mom. I knew she would challenge me to keep up the pace and not slack off.

The start (and start line) are not very official, just “line up at the cone” and a countdown from 5. In a family race like this, there are many children. (There was a separate entry for those 12 and under.) It goes almost without saying that these kids are inexperienced racers. Thus a lot of weaving and sudden stops fill the course for the first mile or so.

Also, Mom told me mid-race that at the start, her she couldn’t get the start button on her Garmin pressed right away which caused her to delay half a second in starting. Apparently the kid/teenager behind her did not like that and actually put his hand on her back to get her to move. PSA: don’t do that.

That first mile was crowded but not too bad. I knew to savor the downhill because mile 2 brings rollers and mile 3 is one long gradual hill of attrition.. I’m not sure it’s possible to do anything besides positive split on this course.

Mile 1: 7:26

When the rollers got going in mile 2, I could definitely feel the pace. It was tough but something I knew that I could keep up with. I wasn’t sure how I would feel on that last mile but I focused just on this mile.

The one problem we had to deal with was a kid running slightly in front of us who couldn’t make up his mind which side of the road he wanted to run on. Several times I thought either Mom or I was going to run into him. At one point, one of the residents (the course runs through a local subdivision) had set up a bubble machine next to his mailbox. The kid darted from left to right in front of us just to catch and pop one of the bubbles. At that point I knew that if he did that again I was going to have to say something.

Sure enough it happened again a little later so I said, “Honey/Kid (something like that), you’ve got to stop weaving or we’re going to run into you.” I tried to say it as nicely as I could. I don’t think he was too happy about it but I’m pretty sure he (and the two of us) would not have been happy if there had been a mid-race collision.

Shortly after that came the one water stop in the race. Mom and I did not stop but the kid did and we never saw him again. Hopefully the rest of his race went well.

This is also where the gradual incline to the finish, with only a few brief respites from the climb, starts. Our pace got a little slower through here but effort remained the same, at least from my perspective. I made a conscious effort to avoid glancing at the average pace on the Garmin as we ran. I did check it several times to see where we were on the course.

Mile 2: 7:49

The most significant climb of the race happens in the last .75 of the race. This climb almost caused me to walk the first time I ran this race. I did not expect it. Last year I still hated it but at least I was prepared. This year I didn’t like it but I kept plugging away at it. I’m pretty sure that all the weekly strength training that we’ve been doing has helped significantly.

Unfortunately, this is where Mom and I parted ways. She had to walk for a few seconds to catch her breath. Unless it’s the Race for the Cure that I walk with Dad, I don’t walk in 5ks. We didn’t talk much. It’s hard to get enough extra breath on that hill! Instead I kept plugging away.

Shortly after we separated, another woman came up behind me and then passed me. She was moving strong on that hill, definitely had plenty in the tank. As she passed me I had a suspicion that she was in my age group. I haven’t checked the results yet to verify but I’m pretty sure I was right.

Instead of getting too competitive for my own good, I let her go and soaked in the determination to start working on short speed again both for this summer-I want to be able to perform really well at RWBS this year-and for next year. One of these years I would love to be able to win the whole thing.

The second to last turn gets me every time. We’re close enough to the finish that I’m sure that it’s just around that corner. Nope. One more turn and a continuation of the incline before we can finish.

With two tenths to go, I thought about putting on a little bit of finishing speed but I didn’t want to start the sprint too soon. I wish I had picked up the pace just a tad though so I could finish under 24 minutes. I was so close!

Mile 3: 7:58

They finally changed the finish this year! When I saw that they had moved the finish to another part of the parking lot so that we could use the actual entrance instead of having to hop the curb, run on the race, and then hop down into the parking lot, I got really excited. Nothing like a curb to slow you down in a 5k sprint finish.

As I made the final turn and read the clock, I had one “aw, man!” moment. It read 23:56. I knew there was no way I could cover that distance in 4 seconds. It took me 8.πŸ™‚

.14 6:32 (avg pace)

I finished quite pleased with my time and effort. Plus, I wanted more. That’s always a good sign.

I grabbed my phone out of my arm band and tried to hurry around to maybe get some pictures of Mom. I almost was able to get a few. Unfortunately, the camera was facing the wrong way. Whoops.

Although Mom’s time was slower than last year, she still ran well.

Covenant Race for Adoption 5k 2016

Covenant Race for Adoption 5k 2016

We stuck around for the awards. I knew that both Mom and Ellis probably won their age group. I thought that I might have gotten an age group award but I wasn’t holding my breath.

When they finally did the awards they went through the male age groups first. When the winner of the 20-29 age group was announced. Ellis turned to us and asked which age group he was in. When we told him, Ellis laughed and told us that that was the guy he had been casing down in the final section of the race. Yeah, he definitely won his age group.

The prizes were pretty awesome too. Both Mom and Ellis got a $25 QT gift card. (She won her age group, obviously). I managed to hold on to second in my age group and got a pound of Dunkin Donuts coffee (whole bean) and two gift cards to Chic-fil-a for one of a specific set of lunch items. Not bad at all. I love that the prize seemed to fit me so perfectly.πŸ™‚

Now for the race review portion. Since this is a much smaller race than Reedy, this section won’t be quite as long.πŸ™‚

Registration and packet/bib pick up:
Registration through go-greenevents was painless and easy as always. Packet pick-up, from what I heard, went well as well. We especially loved our bib numbers since mine added up to 12 and Mom’s added up to 7, our favorite numbers, respectively.

Race shirt:
The race shirt is super comfy. In fact, I’m wearing it as I write this review. Many people wore the shirt during the race. While I really like it, I don’t think I’ll run in it. It’s definitely an excellent day-off t-shirt. Excellent design too.

Pre-Race/Race Morning amenities:
It is always nice to have actual restroom facilities. The previous two years it was also nice to hang out inside, have a refuge from the heat. This year it actually felt warmer inside.

This course is not easy and we love it! I did overhear one lady ask someone about the course and get told that it was fairly flat. I wanted to go over to her and correct that because she was in for a rude awakening. Since they were perfect strangers, I held off.πŸ™‚ As I mentioned earlier, I am so glad that they shifted the finish line. Such an easy change made a significant difference.

Course support:
Many residents came out of their homes to either volunteer as course monitors or just cheer on the runners. They weren’t everywhere but they were definitely enthusiastic. There was one water stop on the course, typical for a 5k. Neither Mom or I stopped. I did notice that the cups were very full. I saw one runner near us pour water out of the cup as he ran before he started drinking. It is hard to realize for non-runners that a full cup is actually a little harder to drink on the run.

Finish line and post-race amenities:
They had Happy Cow Creamery chocolate milk. So delicious. They also had free Chic-fil-a chicken biscuits. I normally am not hungry after a race but a 5k where I didn’t go all out, I’ll have a biscuit.πŸ™‚ The awards were also pretty good too, as I described above.

Race photography:
At the time that I am writing, I was unable to find any pictures. I know that there will be some, likely from Pace Running Magazine but they have not been posted yet. (The perils of writing a race recap so soon after the race.πŸ™‚ )

Social media:
For a smaller race, Covenant United Methodist did a fairly good job of updating the Facebook page. I do always appreciate when a race takes the time to make at least one, preferably two posts on the day of the race, usually something about race morning and maybe one thanking the participants or listing the link to the results. I’m sure that one of those will be up later today.

This is hands down one of my favorite races in the area. As long as it is run, I will race.

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Rebuilding Week 5 Training Recap

This week the runs have seemed to defy my mind’s tendency to get overwhelmed with every twinge or odd sensation so it’s felt a bit of a mixed bag. That being said, training continues to go well. I’m looking forward to some easy races this summer and then perhaps taking the competitive factor up a notch leading into my fall/winter marathon, Kiowah.

Monday, April 25, 2016
Thankfully that right leg nonsense was all in my head. My legs felt a little fatigued from Saturday’s race which is to be expected. The left leg got a little achey after halfway but not too bad. Overall I felt pretty strong and enjoyed the run. Too bad summer seems to be here for good now.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
This ride felt pretty good. I was hoping to get as far I did last week and came up just a little shy. I felt stronger this week than last so I’ll count that as a win. The right knee felt a tad wonky at the start but nothing too bad and it worked itself out quickly. The only problem came at the end of the ride when the guy who’s always hawking lugies came and chose the machine a couple rows behind me. Seriously, the guy needs to get it checked out. I think it’s a serious medical issue and besides…it’s really gross.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
This run went really well. When I started I doubted that I would be able to complete the tempo as a tempo without turning it into intervals. I was able and it felt so good. I really enjoyed this run.

Thursday, April 28, 2016
I was not in the mood to workout when I first woke up this morning. I’m had that I’ve made it a habit to push through and work out anyway. The workout went well. I made sure to push myself on all the exercises. If I want to improve, I have to put the effort in.

Friday, April 29, 2016
My legs felt heavy on this run, likely due to Thursday’s strength training. Other than that, this was a good run. Both legs continue to cooperate, a definite good thing. I did have some odd sensations in the right knee later in the day but it doesn’t seem to interfere with anything and didn’t show up in the run Saturday.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
The only negative thing about this run was the heat and humidity. Okay, so that’s two things. I should also add the fact that I forgot to charge my Garmin and had it die on my with two minutes left in the run. (It wasn’t that bad though. I saw the low battery warning just before the hour mark so I saved the run at the hour mark and then every ten minutes just in case I lost whatever data I hadn’t saved when the battery died. Turns out that I didn’t need to but better safe than sorry.) At the start of this run I did wonder if I would be able to get through the full 90 minutes. My legs felt heavy. Thankfully, they soon warmed up and cooperated throughout the entire run. I, as is my new habit, didn’t look at my watch except to time the turn around so I was surprised when I happened to glance at it and saw a mile split of 8:42. (That was our fastest mile of the run.) Our overall average at the hour mark was 8:59 and then when we finished, our average was 9:06. With the last 30 minutes being rather difficult (crazy hills) I’ll take that average for sure. Since my watch died before the end of the run we used Mom’s watch and ended up running 41 seconds longer to get to 10 miles. When she said that she was going to try to get to 10, I was a little surprised that we had gotten so far! I really loved this run.

Sunday, May 1, 2016
In the late afternoon Saturday and into the morning Sunday, I kept feeling oddness on the upper outside right of the right knee. I still have no idea what this is or might be. It hasn’t shown up yet on a run but it is certainly messing with my mind. I am praying a lot and hoping for both peace and healing.

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