Seen on the run (April 17, 2014)

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Seen on the run (April 16, 2014)

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Seen on the run (April 15, 2014)

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Chocolate Chase 10K (April 12, 2014)

IMG_20140412_131132_928The Chocolate Chase 10K marks the beginning of the Lewisburg Chocolate festival. This was our fourth year in a row of running it.

The race starts at the (very small) Lewisburg airport and follows beautiful, rolling countryside to the finish line in downtown Lewisburg.

Packet pick-up and registration take place inside the airport.

IMG_20140412_082146_151We arrived early, registered, took a pre-race photo, and headed out to do a quick warm-up.

IMG_20140413_120533IMG_20140412_083104_380Just before 9 am, everybody lined up in the airport parking lot. One of the volunteers had an actual starting gun. It was a little strange to see her there, holding the gun pointed up at the sky.

gunpicApparently, nobody had fired the gun ahead of time to see if it worked. We were told to just go ahead and start at the end of the countdown regardless of whether the gun went off or not.

It went off with a “BANG!”, though, and we all started running.

I had decided, just moments before, that my only goal for this race was to NOT start out too fast.

So, when Kurt quickly pulled ahead, I just let him go.

I passed the “mile 1″ marker and looked down at my Garmin. It said I’d traveled .79 miles. Interesting.

I was feeling pretty good. I kept the pace conservative. I didn’t want to repeat the mistakes I’d made at the Charlottesville Ten Miler.

The course is absolutely beautiful. I usually prefer cooler temperatures for running, but the sunny spring weather and beautiful scenery must have been making me giddy. I was actually enjoying the warmth.

I was also enjoying the comfort of running a familiar course. I liked knowing what was coming, and comparing how I was feeling today to how I’d felt in the past at certain points along the course.

With two miles left to go, I was exactly where I wanted to be. I was feeling pretty good, and passing all the people who were struggling because they had started out too fast (I know all too well how they were feeling).

There were two women that I could see in front of me. I passed one, and was closing in on the other one. I picked up the pace for the final mile, but she did too, so I was not able to catch her.

I crossed the finish line happy.

0412140952cMy parents and Kurt were there to cheer (and take my picture!).

I grabbed a water, posed with Kurt for our post-race photo, and then my parents drove us back to the hotel for a quick shower.

IMG_20140412_095613_386I needed a good cup of coffee, and I also wanted something not sweet to eat before we started eating chocolate, so I went to the Wild Bean. Kurt ran back to the finish line to see if he could catch the awards ceremony. We had both placed at this race in the past, and he’d run a pretty fast time this year.

I was still in line to order when he came in holding up two medals. We had both placed in our age groups!

IMG_20140412_192352_150I was happy, and felt pretty good…

until we got home and I looked up my finish times from previous years. Of the four years we’ve run this race, I’ve only finished slower once, and that was the year that I was just coming back from an IT band injury.

2011: 49:09
2012: 55:42
2013: 48:48
2014: 51:05

Even though (in hindsight) I was disappointed in my performance, I actually enjoyed this race in the moment, which is a huge step in the right direction.

Yay me.

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Seen on the run (April 13, 2014)

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Three things

1.) Tracking recovery with coloring

http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/how-to-recover-more-efficiently

The idea is simple: rate how you feel during each run, then assign the run a color.

Yellow: felt strong/awesome

Orange: felt normal/average

Red: bite me!

At the end of the month, if you see mostly orange and yellow, you are probably recovering properly. If you see mostly orange and red, you might want to pay more attention to your recovery. Are you eating and sleeping enough? Do you need to add another rest day?

IMG_20140403_111005_069What I learned:
1.) I tend to have red days following long runs and high-mileage weeks (not surprising)
2.) I like speed workouts (my only two yellow days)
3.) Coloring is still fun

Even though I’m not sure I learned much about how well I’m recovering, I’ll probably continue to track my runs this way.

Mostly because it’s fun.

2.) Kinetic Revolution

I discovered James Dunne of Kinetic Revolution on Twitter and have been very impressed with the quality of the free videos and tips he posts.

http://www.kinetic-revolution.com/

If you’re a runner, you’ll want to check out his videos on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/user/RunningRevolution

 

3.) Nats Push-ups

It’s that time of year again.

One push-up for every point scored. Double that if the Nats lose.

IMG_20140403_111415_835Who’s in?

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Seen on the run (April 9, 2014)

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