Wednesday, March 22, 2017

50K Training

So I think I mentioned on my 5K post (too lazy to actually look), that I am training for a 50K trail race! This is all some harebrained idea of my friend Steph, who has run 3 marathons (which are 42.2km, FYI) and decided she hadn't been punished enough. And I am very easily influenced so here I am! Or maybe it was my idea. Frankly, we are dangerous together.

My race is on May 13th, just one day after my 31st birthday and it is in Pickering, ON where I grew up so there is a warm bed, shower, and maybe some birthday cake not far from the finish! The race is called the Seaton Soaker and it takes place on the Seaton Trail and there are two river crossings during the race. Have I mentioned that I had never run on trails? Did I also mention I hate wet shoes?

I kept up my running somewhat all fall/winter of 2016, but training really started in January and has been going fairly well. I am following a plan that is a long run on Saturdays, followed by a short run on tired legs on Sunday, a mid-week run to work on either speed or hills, and then two more mid-week runs whose purpose is to make sure I don't attempt to have any sort of life during training. I can't run and do other things. I get Mondays and Friday's for life.


Anywho- part of trail running means getting new gear! Yay shopping! I bought a hydration pack, which is a little running backpack that holds snacks and water, and there is a tube to deliver the water directly into my mouth! The future is now! If only the snacks had a tube as well. I also bought trail shoes! Which are like regular running shoes, but waterproof and have different grip designed to grip the mud and roots better. But they don't grip ice better- I learned that on my first trail run and the bruise is still healing (I wish this was an exaggeration).

They are no longer this clean. Oh also, got them on sale for $50!


And I have run on a few trails now! One VERY COLD day, my friends Steph and Kevin met me in Pickering and we ran about 17km along the actual race route. It took us 3 hours due to ice and beavers, and I fell twice, but it was actually....fun? And then the other day I ran to High Park in Toronto and found a bunch of trails there and did 28km, and it was also pretty fun?? I think this experience has made me realize that trail running is the bees knees!!! I need to find more!

High park trail

Seaton Trail

Steph, Kevin, and I

log hazard
Beautiful views!
So I am up to 28km in my long runs, and this weekend I am running Around the Bay 30K in Hamilton! And the weather is calling for freezing rain! Why on earth do I do this to myself! But as Steph said, we need to run 30K this weekend anyway, so we might as well pay $90 to get a medal at the end and free water on route. After this our long runs will climb up to 38km...which is just 6K shy of a full marathon. IN TRAINING!



Honestly, our goal for our 50K race is really just to have fun and finish. We are planning to take our time. It is actually really well reviewed as a fun race and Steph has run the shorter distances of it in previous years so she knows what she is in for at least. I will hopefully be able to crawl out of the woods at the end.

But hey- at least now I have an excuse for all my snacks and naps??


Sunday, March 12, 2017

My First 5K! Achilles St. Patrick's Day 5K!

This may come as a surprise- especially as I am currently training for a 50K race- but I have never run a timed 5K before. I ran a couple 5K distances with Terry Fox, and I have no idea of my time on them, but my first real race was a 10K and I've just always developed from there! I really enjoy plodding along at a comfortable pace so longer distances are more my "speed".

But I have always had it in my mind that I would like to run a 5K just to see what time I could run it in- because clearly I could really try and run as fast as I can if I am only going 5K. In longer races that tactic would be brutal! My really unrealistic goal was sub 25 minutes, only because:
a) it sounds good
b) in my 10K last May I ran the first half somewhere just south of 26 minutes (according to my watch)

I should note here that I dont think I have ever in my running career, run a sub-5 minute kilometre. And to run a sub-25 minutes 5K race means five sub-5 minute kilometres in a row...

However, I'm about half way through my 50K training, so my legs are very warmed up and ready to roll, and I found out last week about a 5K literally in my backyard for this weekend! It is the annual Achilles St Patick's Day 5K. Achilles is a great charity that helps runners with mental and physical disabilities, and my running group was going and had a coupon code, and as I said, it started and finished within a 5 minutes walk from my condo! And- this was a rest week in my 50K plan so my legs would actually have a chance of holding up since I wasn't running as much this week!



The only downside is that I woke up today and it was -21C outside, which is -6F for my American friends. Super chilly!!! I wore 2 warm long-sleeved shirts, my warmest pants and running socks, my RunTOBeer singlet, and a neckwarmer, hat, and gloves! I did a 1.5km warm up run (I can often take 5-8km just to warm up my legs on a long run), and then a lot of dynamic stretching at the start.



At 10:30 we were off!

It was a bit slow-going at the start. This race always has a walk/run and walk portion and a lot of walkers were up near the front and there wasn't a lot of room to weave. I also made a point of not looking at my watch once during the race- the main reason being because I was going to run as hard as I could so what good would it do to look down and realize I won't hit my goal? But also because we were running downtown and the buildings mess up my GPS anyway!

The first half wasn't too bad- but I was huffing and puffing right from the get go, which is never a good sign. Keep in mind that I usually run around 6:30/km, so this was a sprint for me! The turn-around came so fast (yay 5Ks!) and then suddenly I was on the home stretch! I started to feel a little sick around km 3-4...my stomach did not like the speed I was running, though my legs were fine. It was all a mental game so I just tried to put it out of my mind and focus on the finish. Weirdly enough, km may have been my fastest one. 

We rounded down around the Skydome and I swear they had moved the finish line farther away! I put my head down and just focused on trying to get every last bit of strength out of my legs! Finally I looked up and the clock at the finish said 24:55 and I was like "RUN AS HARD AS YOU CAN CASEY" and I just dug really deep to try and sprint to the finish.

I crossed the finish line at 25:05, but my actual chip time (aka, when my computer chip in my bib cross the start and finish line mats- I didn't start right at 00:00) was 24:35!!!!!!!!!!! I did it!!!



I had to sit down for awhile, because I thought I might throw up (from the run, not from excitement at being so speedy). but then I was able to get my medal, and my free chili and beer and relax inside in the warmth! The race started and finished at Steamwhistle Brewery so everyone got a free beer and food, and I was glad I was able to stomach everything because it was delicious. 


not pictured- the roll I devoured

Then it was a short jog home to a hot shower and a warm bed for a nap (hey, we lost an hour's sleep last night...I was tired).

And now I guess I am back to 50K training, which I will blog about sometime....maybe :)




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