Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Race Report: JackRabbit Battle of Brooklyn 10 Miler

Sunday was the 2nd Annual JackRabbit Sports Battle of Brooklyn 10 Miler in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. I hadn't raced anything since the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in mid-June. Coach Jeff was nudging me to sign up for something to see where I was 69 days out from the Marine Corps Marathon. Summer training has been less than stellar but I, and Coach, thought I was in good enough shape to run around 1:15 (my current 10 mile PR is 1:19:50). As always, the wildcard was going to be the weather.

The race started shortly after 8:00 and I felt pretty good early on. After I finished my first loop of the park, I began to feel the effects of the heat and humidity. I saw my heart rate creeping up into the mid and upper 170s. A very dangerous range in ideal racing conditions let alone when it's 75 and 70% humidity. I realized that I needed to make some adjustments so I wouldn't blow up like I did in Vermont. One of the adjustments I made was to walk through the water stops, something I've stopped doing a while ago. I wanted to make sure that the fluid went down my throat and not up my nose. It also allowed my heart rate to come down a little bit. After cresting the big hill in the park for the last time, I dug deep and was able to run a 7:50 final. My official time was 1:19:50, an exact match of my current 10 mile PR.

When I was talking about the race on the New York Running Show Sunday night, Brenn asked me if I felt like I ran the best race that I could on that day. I answered that I thought I did. The weather was far from perfect and the adjustments that I made allowed me to have enough strength to finish strong. I also mentioned that I am not used to first starting a training run, let alone a race at 8:00 a.m. I am usually at the tail end of my run by 8:00 so my body is not used to running during warmer parts of the day. Hopefully it will be cooler for my next race, the Yonkers Half Marathon on September 18.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Keep it Real

Coach Jeff has said over and over again to set realistic goals based on the amount of time you have to train. Unless you're a professional athlete, training is just one aspect of our very busy lives. We all have day jobs, boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, children, etc... Reality set in for me this week. Coach assigned me a workload which was heavier than anything he's ever given me:

Monday: total body workout
Tuesday: 1:40 step-up run
Wednesday: 1:15 recovery run
Thursday: 1:00 bike
Friday: 1:00 w/ 40 minutes in upper zone 3
Sunday: 2:45 long run

That's 8+ hours of training. I thought I could handle it but after cutting my 1:40 step-up run short because time got away from me, I quickly realized that I couldn't. I realized that I only have a finite amount of time in the morning to train. I have no problem waking up at 4:30 every morning and starting a run by 5:00. However, I need time at home to clean up, spend a few minutes with Lil Ansky, and leave my house at 7:15 for my 1 hour commute to work. Which basically means I need to be home by 6:30 -6:40 at the latest. Working out at night does not work for me because Mrs. Ansky works out when I get home from work and Lil Ansky is not old enough yet to stay home by herself. Besides, I am already exhausted from a full day of work, hungry because I haven't eaten dinner yet, and have trouble sleeping because the endorphins are still pumping.

I called Coach and told him that we needed to cut back on the training load just a bit. He completely understood and we're going to make some adjustments that fit into what I have going on in my life including family and religious obligations.

The bottom line is, coaches don't want you to fail. If you have a coach and he/she starts giving you a load that you can't handle, don't be afraid to speak up and suggest some adjustments. Coaches don't want you to fail but you need to be honest with yourself and your coach about how much time you have to train.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Totals for July 2011

Total Number of Runs: 15
Total Time: 18:19:29
Total Distance: 128.62 miles

Average Time: 1:13:17
Average Distance: 8.57 miles

Total Number of Rides: 3
Total Time: 3:11:03
Total Distance: 35.25 miles

Average Time: 1:03:41
Average Distance: 11.75 miles

July marked my introduction to the bike. I drank the cycling kool-aid and bought Brandon's used Felt Z90 road bike. I'm becoming more and more comfortable each time I ride. I have a lot to learn but I'm enjoying learning a new discipline. The other highlight in July was running a 2k race with Lil Ansky on July 4th. It was the first of hopefully many races we'll run together. Since the race, we've run together a bunch of times on the local high school track. She's really enjoying and is looking forward to running another race when she gets home from camp and the weather gets cooler.

Now that it's August, MCM is another month closer. The heat and humidity have made it difficult to not only get all the miles in but also train at the level I'm capable of. I hope that the work I'm putting in now will pay off once the weather gets cooler.