Tag Archives: Cazenovia July 4th Footraces

Triathlon Training Log – Week of June 29 (Week 26)

Although far too short, my Fourth of July weekend in good ole Upstate was filled with delicious food, quality family time, and a handful of good workouts.

2015-cazenovia-lake-4th-of-july-sunset

And now, I’m sitting on the train en route to NYC. Wahhhh.

General training notes: It’s all about progress, and I continue to feel better, fitter, and stronger each week. My swim and bike feel pretty on point right now, and I’m having more of those moments on the run where everything lines up and feels effortless. (I associate those instances with last year’s Philly Half training because running simply felt awesome.) My only shortcoming this week was getting in the water once. Full disclosure: I brought home my wetsuit for the 4th of July weekend, but never made it into the water. Family time always takes precedence.

Monday – off

Tuesday – a.m. run and strength training; p.m. swim with Bearcat masters

The speed is coming back! Six miles along the West Side Highway with pickups sprinkled in, plus a ton of corework and some upper body strength training. After work (and again, fueled with an afternoon iced coffee), I met up with the Bearcat masters for an 8 p.m. workout. Worlds collided because my old coworker/work friend who originally got me to join the team was coaching the swim. I heckled him a little bit (that’s how I show I care), but I was honestly more concerned about making the 12x100m intervals. Brutal. Twenty-six hundred meters total, though.

Wednesday – a.m. brick (CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance and run at Finish Line PT)

For my first “fun” bike-run-bike-run-bike-run brick in a while, this workout went really well. I was able to hit and hold my projected race wattage for the 10-minute blocks in the saddle, and I was also able to negative split each of my mile runs on the treadmill. And I saw Abby in action, which totally made my morning!

Thursday – a.m. CompuTrainer class at Tailwind Endurance

It blows my mind how bike adjustments can positively affect power numbers. Even though this was a tough workout—FTP sets, plus VO2 max one-minute and two-minute blocks—I was consistently hitting wattages that were 10-20 watts higher than normal.

Friday – a.m. run

Long and relaxing nine miles and change around my hometown lake. The highlight of the run was easily running into my high school basketball coach during the final mile. Surprisingly, he did not yell at me to finish strong, but he did tell me to pick up the pace. Some things never change!

Saturday – a.m. run (Cazenovia 4th of July Foot Races 5-K)

Coach Pat told me to see how my legs felt after the first mile and go from there, and I was pleasantly surprised how easily I was able to lock into a decent pace and cruise along. Due to not doing speedwork for a month or so, I did not have the top-end speed/leg strength/turnover to go “into the red,” but I was able to run slightly faster than my projected off-the-bike pace. Overall, though, it was a good, confidence-boosting run; I finished feeling fresh and strong (23:30) and secured 3rd place in my age group. Gotta love the local yokel races!

Sunday – a.m. run

Thanks to Independence Day debauchery—my aunts brought an industrial-sized Margaritator, and my grandma made creampuffs—this run was not great. Unsurprisingly, I felt like I consumed too may margaritas and creampuffs and watermelon cookies and s’mores. When things didn’t improve after three miles, I shut it down. You win some, you lose some.

What did you do for the holiday weekend?

2014 Cazenovia 4th of July 5-K Race Recap

Before spending the day with family, I ran a local yokel 4th of July 5-K in my hometown.

2014-cazenovia-4th-of-july-5-k

[source]

Neon makes you run faster.  Also, woohoo for mid-foot striking!

I’ve done this race every year since becoming a “real runner.” In fact, it was my first ready-set-go, run-to-the-finish-line event. (And I actually removed the timing chip from my bib because I didn’t want nosey people looking up my results online.) Since then, I’ve also slugged through the 10 miler around the lake, but I downsized to the 5-K last year. Quality miles over quantity of miles, right? So I pushed, dialed into my tempo pace, and posted a 23:36 finishing time. I worked, I hurt, and I left everything out there.

This year, I ran the exact same time—down to the second. That’s right: I posted another 23:36.  However, I felt totally different both during and after the race.

My Dad and I arrived about 20 minutes beforehand to pick up our bibs and t-shirts, and I even saw my JV basketball coach. He’s a big-time runner (he podiums frequently and wins races), so he gets the triathlon thing; I always enjoy catching up with him.

Anyway, after collecting our materials, I hit the track for a mile warm-up. Initially, I planned to do 1.5 miles and some dynamic stretches, but I ran (get it—ha!) out of time.

Overall, I wanted to put forth a decent effort, but I knew truly racing wouldn’t be a viable option. Because of racing back-to-back weekends—and tapering and recovering and all that jazz—I hadn’t done speedwork in … about a month. And because I’ve been doing Olympic-distance tris, I feel more confident running 10-Ks. If you execute a 5-K right, then it’s brutal. If you run a 10-K properly, then it’s still painful, but more manageable. And I’m all about managing. So the game plan was to just run and go by feel.

There’s nothing too groundbreaking to report in terms of the race itself.

caz5k

As in years past, the course basically starts on a hill, which is why I wanted a decent warm-up. A little after the climb, I saw my 1st and 2nd grade teacher, and a high school classmate cheered for me. When I started talking to him—“Happy fourth of July! How are you?”—I realized how manageable my pace felt. After that, I zoned out a bit, took in my surroundings, and enjoyed running through the area.  And I also kept an eye on the kid who was running next to me; it sounded like he was going into cardiac arrest.  The last half-mile snuck up on me, so I picked up the pace, finished strong, and immediately started cooling down—even though I finally felt warmed up.

At first, I was frustrated I ran the exact same time, but then I realized how different I felt. Last year, that pace equated to a hard effort; now, it feels semi-comfortable and sustainable.  Sounds like progress to me!

How did you spend the fourth of July?

Triathlon Training Log – Week of June 30 (Week 26)

Don’t make me leave Central New York!

cazenovia-lake-sunset-july-4-weekend

I’ve had a relaxing long weekend at home—I left New York City Wednesday morning and took the train back this afternoon—and it made me realize I cannot go six-plus months without making a trip back here. That’s way too long to go without seeing family.

General training notes: As you’ll see below, this week’s workout schedule changed. First, my team restructured our training because all the triathlon and cycling teams ride in Central Park Tuesday mornings; it’s just too crowded. Plus, the Friday morning summer concert series also started, so hammering loops with semi-clueless pedestrians wandering around isn’t safe. (Instead, this session will be a bike-run brick, and our main cycling workout will be Wednesday.) Two, since I came home Wednesday, I frontloaded my bike workouts and intensity in general. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday saw harder efforts, and I eased off the gas as the week progressed. Let’s just say I got a jumpstart on our recovery week!

Monday – a.m. swim and strength train; p.m. run

Whew, brutal set: 3,700 yards that included 6x150s and 10x75s, and my coach turned the shorter, race-pace efforts into a game. Each lane arranged itself in order of increasing speed (so the slowest person went first and the fastest went last), and the leader would do however many 75s possible before the next person touched their feet and caught them. As the second fastest in my lane, I took 4-7—and it hurt. A lot. After, I did some upper-body strength training; I know, right?

That evening, two of my coworkers and I ran to an animal shelter in Brooklyn to walk dogs.

brooklyn-animal-shelter-lola

Lola was such a cutie!

Tuesday – a.m. bike

Under the new training schedule, Tuesdays will be devoted to speedwork, but since I would be spending the 4th of July at home sans Slice, I wanted to get in as much saddle time as possible. About 12 of my teammates met in Central Park, and we broke into pace groups for three steady-ish loops for a total of 27 miles.

Wednesday – a.m. bike

Did I say this last week too? Girl down—wayyy down. This was our first Central Park “race,” and the premise was simple: My coach divided us into groups, and we were instructed to ride one warm-up loop, then race for two and attack at will, and the person who makes it to the finishing spot first wins. To make sure we were safe, one coach road with each group to keep an eye on things. Sounds like pain fun, right?

The night before, my teammate and I exchanged a few texts to strategize: we planned to let others do the work during the first loop, and then make some moves during lap two; she’s great on flats, so she would pull me to the hills, and then I’d surge since I’m an OK climber. However, during the “race,” I started my final hill attack too soon and bonked hard. Arghhh. Train, race, and learn, right? In total, we logged about 30 miles.

Thursday – a.m. run and swim

Back in my itty-bitty Central New York hometown, I logged an easy 2.85-mile run around town to shake out my legs before the 4th of July race. I hoped to do five, but my legs had other ideas; those tough bike workouts took their toll! After, I wiggled into my wetsuit and swam in the lake for 20 minutes. Again, nothing serious; just getting into a rhythm and feeling my stroke.

FridayCazenovia 4th of July 5-K

Even though I used this 5-K as a training run, I’ll probably write a race recap later this week. It went well: I felt OK, dialed into my semi-comfortable pace, and cruised for 3.1 miles. I tacked on a warm-up and cool-down too, so I finished the day with 5.5 miles.

Saturday – a.m. run

This was a great out-and-back five miler. I warmed up for two miles or so and then picked up the pace and cruised since my legs felt good. I’m pretty sure Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse University basketball coach, drove by me—and he actually stopped and let me pass. If I’m being honest, I thought he was stopping to yell at me for not running fast enough and getting back on defense!

Sunday – off

After consulting my training log, I realized it has been 12 days since my last day off. Whoops.

And that’s that—an OK week overall.  I’m actually looking forward to the recovery week. Bring on the rest!

What did you do for the 4th of July?

Cazenovia 4th of July Footraces Recap

To celebrate both Independence Day and my first birthday as a true runnerd, I ran the Cazenovia 4th of July 10-mile course around the lake.

(source)

Since my dad signed up to run the 5-K that started at 8 a.m., we headed to the school around 7:20 a.m. to pick up our t-shirts and race bibs.

Getting this “super odd” number put my mind at ease!

Aren’t these greyhounds the cutest?

They make Zelda look like a pocket-friend.  Which, as the runt of her litter, she kind of is.

One of my favorite parts about local (and holiday) races is running into (pardon the pun!) people I know:  I saw Alex, one of my Seneca7 teammates, two of my former basketball coaches, a bunch of teachers and family friends, and MB, who was running the 10-miler, too.  I jokingly asked her if she’d pace me, but let’s be real—there’s no way I can sustain 7:00 splits for 10 miles!

The 5-K started at 8 a.m.  Looking good, dad!

This is when my stress level started to rise.  We drove to the high school, so I held the car key while my dad ran; we planned to hand it off when he finished the 5-K.  Even though I saw my dad nearing the finish line, I couldn’t find him anywhere once he was done.

It was getting dangerously close to 8:45 a.m., so I ran back to the start line with the key and hoped he would find me.  I made it back with two minutes to spare, and my dad grabbed the key shortly after.  Talk about cutting it close!  This stress affected my mental game big time.  Instead of stretching out and reviewing my race plan, I nervously looked around for my dad.  I did manage to stretch my calves for 20 seconds or so.  I hoped it would be enough.

For the first two miles, I ran “naked”—sans music—and I felt really good.  My splits were 8:30 and 8:20, respectively, which were in my goal-pace ballpark and totally sustainable.  However, after I hit mile two, my calves immediately cramped up.  I was expecting and mentally preparing for this to happen, but I was anticipating it much further into the race—like maybe mile five or six.  As soon as they tightened up, I slowed down and tried to talk myself through it:  I am acknowledging this pain, and I am dismissing it.  I can run through it.  Mile three passed, and it didn’t relent; in fact, it only intensified.  Taking up iPod out of my running belt and popping in my ear buds, I hoped the music would help downplay the pain.  Might as well let Kanye do the swearing for me, right?  Unfortunately, my calves remained tight during mile four and progressively got worse as mile five approached.  I couldn’t believe what was happening.  I slowed down even more, grabbed water at every available station, and hoped the cramping would subside.

Speaking of water stations, the volunteers were awesome!  It was great to see so many people out on a holiday morning cheering, handing out water, and spraying the runners with hoses.  At mile five, volunteers handed out ice, which was amazing—I grabbed a handful, stuffed it in my sports bra, and immediately started to cool down.

As miles five and six passed, and the cramping was still an issue, and I started to channel my inner yogi:  Let it be easy.  In hindsight, this is not an ideal mantra for a race, but at that point, my mental toughness was completely shot, and I was simply trying to cross the finish line without walking.  Needing an extra burst of energy, I slammed a peanut butter energy gel at mile 6.5 or so, which was about 56 minutes into the race. (Energy gels should be taken for every hour of exercise, and I figured four minutes wasn’t a big difference in the grand scheme of thing.)

The final two miles followed Route 92 into town.  Although flat, this straightaway sat directly under the sun and boasted little shade.  During my training runs, I knew this stretch would be tough, but running this path at 7 a.m. does not equate to running at 10 a.m.  Around mile 7.5, my calves finally started to loosen up.  It was about time!  I increased my turnover, picked up the pace, and I finished the race strong—my official time was 1:32:54 (9:18 splits), which was good enough for a fifth-place finish in my age group.

Although I’m OK with my finishing time, the race itself was very unsettling.  I was able to find and settle into my goal pace relatively easily—I’m a horrible pacer—but it was frustrating having to change my race plan because of my calves.  It’s normal for them to give me trouble during long runs—I know I “hit the wall” around mile seven, so I mentally prepare for it—but I’ve never experienced tightness like I did yesterday.  Usually, it lasts one or two miles, so I can run through it, but yesterday’s extended cramps surprised me.  I hydrated appropriately for the race, but maybe the heat and humidity played a role.

Aside from my calf issues, I feel unsettled from a cardiovascular standpoint.  Because I listened to my body and slowed my pace so much—approximately one minute slower than my goal pace—I didn’t feel tired at any point during the race.  Thirsty, yes; exhausted, no.  In fact, if I had to run three more miles—which I will on Aug. 9—I definitely could’ve done so without a problem.  This is most likely the result of running slower than I’m accustomed to, but it’s frustrating to know that I have run the course faster.

After all, this was my first “long” race, and I have nowhere to go expect up. (And by “up,” I mean my times will go down!) This was a crazy tough race mentally, so I now have this experience to drawn on during future runs.  Looking forward, I know I will need to adequately stretch and strengthen my calves so this level of cramping will not be an issue during my half-marathon.

What was your first “long” race like?  Did it go according plan?  What do you do when you have to change your race plan mid-race?

Another Space Odyssey

Yesterday’s space odyssey clearly wasn’t a one-time deal.

Another day, another space odyssey voyage.  I really need to get a big-girl doctor.

Good news, though:  my thumb is responding to the antibiotics.  It’s still swollen and hurts a little when I move it—it’s like a jammed finger—but it feels much better than it did yesterday.  In other good news, a three-peat space odyssey adventure hopefully won’t be necessary!

Workout

In preparation for tomorrow’s 10-miler around the lake, I took it easy today and ran two miles.  My calves were a bit tight, so I’ve been stretching and hydrating accordingly.

4th of July Roadrace

Tomorrow’s supposed to be a hot one.

This afternoon, the race director sent this email to all runners.

As of tonight, I still plan to run around the lake.  However, I want to make tomorrow’s run worthwhile, but not push myself “like it’s a race.”  I’m shooting for the same intensity level (seven out of 10) I maintained for last weekend’s RUNapoolza, and I will be extra careful to listen to my body and back off if necessary.  During my training runs, I’ve completed the 10-mile loop in 1:20-1:30, but I won’t be crushed if I don’t finish in this ballpark.  First, this will be my first long race (read: longer than 3.1 miles, not counting the Seneca7).  Second, although it’s no use worrying about the projected temperature and humidity, both could affect how efficiently I run.  And third, I’ve tackled this exact route between the hours of 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., but I’ve never tried the loop at 8:45 a.m. when it starts heating up.  Right now, I’m trying to relax and trust my training.

Breakfast

I made two scrambled eggs with spinach and red peppers plus a slice of Ezekiel bread.

Around 11:15 a.m., I ate half of a banana. (I ate the first half before I ran.)

Lunch

After microwaving two homemade black bean burgers, I placed them in an Ezekiel wrap with plenty of spinach and made a panini.

I also had a few cherries and a handful of grapes for dessert.

Dinner

Pork medallions with roasted mushrooms and green beans.

Have a great night!

Infected Thumb and Write It Down, Do It Up

Hi, everyone!  How was your Sunday?  Things were lackadaisical around here.

Zelda loves a lazy Sunday.  My infected thumb made for an interesting wake up call, though.

Gross, right?  It’s been bugging me for a few days, and I figured it was just an ingrown cuticle.  However, when it woke me up around midnight—absolutely pulsating with pain—I had to pop two painkillers.  I rarely take Motrin or Tylenol—I’m paranoid my body will build up resistance to it—but I had to take a couple pills last night in order to fall back asleep.  It hurt that much.  Good news is I’m on antibiotics, so I’m hoping the swelling goes down within the next few days.

Workout

When I’m not volunteering for the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse, Sundays bring Cycle 60 at the YMCA.  I arrived shortly before 8 a.m., and the building wasn’t open yet!  Eight of us stood outside and counted down the minutes before the doors opened at the top of the hour.  In all my years of organized athletics and gym rat-dom, I don’t think I’ve ever been locked out of a facility.

When spinning class began at 8:15 a.m., I focused on simulating a road bike ride:  I changed gears quite often—putting on resistance and taking if off even if Ron didn’t instruct it—and worked to keep my cadence—or turnover—constant, regardless of resistance.  After the hour-long class, I went to the weight room for some quick upper-body work.

Write It Down, Do It Up

(If you’re new to WIDDIU, here’s how it works:  Every Sunday evening, I will post my week workout schedule, and I invited you to do the same.  This way, we can motivate each other and hold ourselves accountable.  Sounds like a win-win, right?)

You know you’re a runnerd when you sign up for three races in nine days.  Here’s what my fitness-filled 4th of July week looks like:

Sunday – Cycle 60 at the YMCA

Monday – Swim at the YMCA/rest (but most likely swim)

Tuesday – short run (three miles); free weights; ab exercises; potentially Women on Wheels

Wednesday – Race-day – 4th of July 10-mile Footrace

Thursday – Swim at the YMCA; potentially Women on Wheels

Friday – Swim at the YMCA/rest

Saturday – short run (three miles); free weights; ab exercises

Sunday – Race-day – Boilermaker 15-K

Are you running any 4th of July Races?  Anyone going to the Boilermaker this weekend?