Sunday, January 1, 2012

Glorified Tempo, PR, and Time For Some New Brooks!

I don't have one of those "Reflections and Recaps of 2011" posts for you.  Nor do I have any New Year Resolutions to share yet.  No goals and reflections for Runninghood?!  What is this blog world coming to?  I suppose I reflected and set goals so often in 2011 that I'm all reflected and goaled out for the time being.  No, never.  I'm just a little mentally tired.  I'm sure the 2012 goal post will come soon.

No resolutions but I did start my year off right! My first day of the new year was actually a pretty awesome way to start 2012.  I made the decision last week to sign up for a 10k just for fun and to see if I could start the year with a PR.  Well, it wasn't really fun but I did set a small PR so I have to take that as a reason to celebrate.  

Out with the old and in with the new!  These shoes have seen their last race.  Now time for some real racing shoes!  Can't wait for a new pair of Brooks!

Race:  Twenty Twelve Resolution Run--Portland Oregon
Weather:  Clear skies, mild temps, windy.  Besides the wind, it was actually some pretty great racing conditions.  I was overdressed by a lot!  
Weekly Mileage before race: 59
Goal:  My biggest goal was to break 42 minutes but hoped for a 6:35-6:40 pace or better.  I feel confident that this was a very realistic goal right now.  
What really happened:

42:09 Chip Time (PR by 10 seconds)
20:54 split
1st in AG out of only 11.
4th woman out of only 65...I could have sworn I only saw 2 women ahead of me.  Weird.  

Some not stellar parts:

  • Nerves nerves nerves and self doubt.  Lots of it.  Even during the race I found myself talking all kinds of non-go-getum talk.  I will have to work on this.
  • I honestly did run hard even though my splits don't show this to me.  But my body was telling me differently.  
  • A 6:40 pace felt like a 6:15 pace today.  
  • I really shouldn't eat pizza and sweets all week and then expect to perform efficiently.  Fueling correctly really can't be underestimated. At the same time, we shouldn't be overly concerned with what we eat either.  Definitely didn't have balance this week.  
  • My prerace meal was half of a Pizza Schmizza pizza with a beer.  Ha!  I don't think this really had that big of an impact on me to tell you the truth.  Just funny.  
  • I think that even though I cut back on the miles towards the end of the week, 59 was still a bigger week considering that I ran a lot of miles at the start of the week and my body is still adjusting to this.  I know this wasn't a peak race so I won't dwell on this too much. My plan was to NOT run this race on totally fresh legs so that was expected.
  • Hope this isn't too much information but this weekend does mark ovulating day for me...not sharing this with you for any other reason than to bring up the topic of ovulation and the affect it has on our bodies.  For me, I get very tired, irritable, break out, and just want to stuff my face with food. There are just a couple of positive things about it too but for the most part, I feel pretty drained. Does ovulation affect you in a negative way or do you even notice??    
  • I ran hard
  • I was running alone for most of the race (especially the second half) and I didn't sneak off into the trees and quit like I wanted to when I saw my splits being so much slower than my goal.  ha!  
  • Even though my husband claims that I didn't change my stride or pace at the finish line and look like I was working hard, I felt like I was working it.  I didn't have a kick in me but I pushed it.  
  • This served as a strong 6.2 mile tempoish run (a bit faster than I'd do my tempo but with a few 7 min miles in there, it felt rather tempoish and less 10k race-like)
  • I won a gold medal for first in AG.  Who cares if there wasn't much competition.  AG win is AG win.  I'll take it!  
  • I had my kids and husband to greet me at the end.  
  • I got an awesome pep talk and pep e-mails from some great running gals!  I feel really blessed with friendships recently. Lots of love and support after the race too.  
  • I was inspired by some very beautiful and chiseled bodies at the starting line.  One of them being someone I kind of know...Helen Rarick, who ran an impressive 17:12 in the 5k!  Seriously, sometimes I bend down to stretch at the starting line just so I can check out all the pretty legs around me.  Lots of shorts today too.  I love runner legs!  Helen's got some amazing ones.  
  • Waking up to a crayon scribbled note from my husband.  He left it right by the coffee pot.   

Love the way that my four year old is dressed.  If only we were all like four year olds in the way that they just are who they are.

Finish line...overheated and very tired.  Ready to be done!!

1.  How did you start your new year off??
2.  Ladies, curious on your thoughts about ovulation and the affect it has on you?  Do you get overly tired, emotional, or irritable?  Does it make you want to crawl into bed and sleep like it does me?  I usually have one or two days like this.  I'm pretty sure today is one of them.  



  1. Awesome job on your race!! The notes from your hubby are so sweet :) today I had trapeze class, biked and did pull ups! First run of the year is tomorrow! Can't wait to see all that you accomplish in 2012!

  2. I was actually going to write a post on #2 next week. I could tell this week that I was "off". I was tempermental and tired. And the worst days lined up perfectly with my cycle. Hrm.

  3. I ALWAYS want to crawl in bed and sleep, though I never know when I'm ovulating so will have to accept that it's pure laziness on my part. :) Started the new year by sleeping in til 8:30, reading a book, and then running 4 sloooooow miles on the trails.

    What a great race! You are so speedy fast, even on tired legs and with sweets and pizza for fuel. Hey, if it works for Dean Karnazeres (oh man I butchered that last name but don't care enough to look it up, lol). And what a sweet note from your husband! A partner who gets it is an enormous blessing.

    Happy New Year, my friend!!

  4. Nice PR, I think that's indicative of your 2012 race season! You have been turning out such quality runs and races.
    My little brother and I did 12 miles for 2012 this evening. It was agony because he is fast (his "Kenyan shuffle" slow pace had us running 7:08's) and I ate a large serving of New Englad Boiled dinner before the run. Oh my gosh I never want to see corned beef again. My stomach was so upset!
    I monitor my cycle pretty closely because I don't take birth control. We use the sympto-thermal method, which is usually fine because I rarely ovulate thanks to my thyroid condition. Maybe 6 or 7 times a year for me. When I do, though, I know. I always bloat behind my knees! Weird but true! And I cry happy tears, and normally I never cry!

  5. I agree about four year olds! my daughter will be four in a month, but she has always been way ahead of herself developmentally and she has such a mind of her own!

    I notice I am more irritable ovulation time, like today. and I am just grumpy and stressed feeling. Blah, tired.

    Great job on your race by the way!

  6. You ran a good race, Amanda! Proud of you for doing it! Bold of you for doing it! This predicts a 3:17 marathon for your RIGHT NOW, before you even start training. I think you will find that all the tough Hudson workouts will no longer seem that hard; this run put you ahead:)

    Ovulation and running. Honestly, hard for me to know. I ran great races on my period, I ran bad races on my period. Same with other parts of the month. I know one thing that ovulation does for me, but I won't post it here, ha!

    And yes, although I don't often do it, I love to crawl into my warm bed:)

    Happy New Year Amanda. Love the note from W. Such a good man you have:)

  7. So proud of your PR. What an awesome way to start 2012!!! I think this race will be a good indicator for all of the success you will be achieving over the next 12 months. You are so incredibly talented! My girlfriend ran the same race you did today and she said that she saw you and you were haulin'! :-)

  8. Awesome job in working for your PR. I totally feel the same way you do during Ovulation. I am tired and hungry and have a terrible sweet tooth. Your girls are so dang cute.

    I ran 13.1 miles today with my hubby, I think this may become our New Year's Day tradition.

  9. I started my year off with an 8 mile run on our treadmill today. Had planned to go outside but it rained ALL day so that wasn't happening.

    Great job on the race. I LOVE when my girls are at my races. It really makes me push myself. Sorry I have no opinion of the ovulation thing. I've only had one period since 2008 so I'm not really sure anymore.

  10. A PR with a prerace dinner of pizza scmizza and beer is something to cheer about! Also that crayon good luck note is priceless!

    I ran 12 miles on New Year's Eve to ring in 2012 on icy roads. Just a fun run, with a great running buddy.
    Here's to a great 2012 for you and your family!

  11. Great run! I can't even imagine what it's like to run that fast! Only my 15 year old knows ;) I love your daughters outfit! My kids told me I had the races most embarrassing outfit today....didn't boher me a bit! It's part of 'being me' when I run :)

  12. congrats, Amanda! sounds like truly a great race for you even though it wasn't your ideal splits. funny you mention ovulation. I ovulated this week and I felt AWFUL. Ovulation is worse than the actual 'week' for me. It has been an issue since I had my third and had a tubal ligation. I'm sure it plays a role for me in training.

  13. Congrats on the PR and AG win! A great way to start the new year for sure.

    59 miles is a lot to run the week of a race. I bet you could take another minute (maybe more) off that time with a proper taper.

    Happy New Year!

  14. Congratulations, Amanda! Great race!

    I'm on continuous birth control, so I haven't ovulated in years, but back in the day, it DEFINITELY made itself known. I really don't remember if it affected my energy level much (I didn't run back then.), but I always ate like a horse for those couple of days.

  15. Congratulations on 1st in AG!!! Astounding pace. Very nice. New Year for me was a regular Sunday - church, little visit from in-laws, stretching / rolling, wondering if I can add another mile to my long run next Saturday without my legs falling off...the usual. ;) Happy New Year, Amanda!

  16. Amanda - awesome PR and I only wish I had your "tempo" run speed! Amazing!

    Congrats on a great start to 2012!

  17. You so do have a new year's resolution. You just started it earlier than the new year and it's something to do with a 'little' race that you've been training for.

    As for the ovulation question. I just used to get pain every month - strong enough to take an anti-inflammatory. And I say used to because I found out that it's endometriosis and I'm now on the pill to control it.

  18. i just read this and thought of your question, thought you might like it

  19. Who needs resolutions when you actually work towards your goals?!

    Not every race will be all sunshiny, but you did a good job taking the positives from it. Perhaps next time have a mantra or word or two to insert at the first sign of doubt. When I do my tempo runs, I swear the first 1/4 mile doubt first appears, then I remind myself that it happens all the time and is just the body adjusting.

    Works for me. Happy New Year!

  20. Great pr! Congrats to you! I have only one the 10k once and it is a challenging race to pr in. Okay, so wordpress finally let me subscribe to your blog, so I hope I can keep up with your blog on a regular basis now. So inspiring and a great read for us running mamas!

  21. Great race Amanda. I did a 10K as well, but no PR. I definitely relaxed during the Holiday vacation and have not been sticking to my diet.
    I don't get overly emotional during ovulation, but the week before my period stinks. It is hard for me to control my emotions.
    Happy New Year!

  22. Amanda, what a great job. I started my New Year by working for a few hours (and this helped me mentally clear out some gunk!), then reading and taking a nap. The wind here is blowing super hard (25 + mph) so not very friendly for outdoor activities.

    I did buy and receive some outdoor running gear so I'm going to try running while there's still no snow.

  23. Congrats on the PR and the AG win! I get very crampy and bitchy with ovulation too... but I haven't noticed an impact on my running.

  24. Yes, you sure did start your year off right:) Loved reading both your stellar and not so stellar parts. Oh God, I spend way more time looking at the women's legs around me at the start line than focusing on my own race-ha! Runner's legs, a thing of beauty.

    Sweet note from Waylon!

    How did I start my year off? 3 barefoot miles on the treadmill. Last year I started it by running a marathon in training-ha!

    Not sure how ovulation affects my running....not too negatively I don't think as I'm seeing I ran very well through it last time. I do have some of the same effects from it as you mention though.

    Great race. Big things ahead for you!!

  25. Congratulations on a great race! What a way to start the year!
    Boston, watch out, you will rock it.

  26. Congratulations! Great way to start 2012!!

  27. I had a so-so start to the new year, but made sure to take a leisurely 2.5 mile walk with my dog. It might not be the run I wanted, but at least there was exercise. Nothing compared to your speed demon, Boston running self!

    I found that my iron deficiency anemia seems to be at it's worst around ovulation (but of course, I'm at average iron levels during menstruation, my body is weird). And that makes me tired, cranky, and irritable. So upping my iron rich food intake has helped this a bit.

  28. What a way to start the year! I think that you even did this race and PRed and medalled after the holidays is good enough - on tired legs and everything else as well. You never fail to inspire.

    And I just read Alisa's point with interest - I'm always hovering on the edge of anemia and I hadn't considered that ovulation might affect it. Worth looking into.

  29. Reflected and goaled out? Would never have thought I'd read that here. Happy New Year!

  30. Gosh I am more amazed by you ever day! UH YES my cycle mess me up bad. I get out of breath and run slower.. I hate it!

  31. Great to to a speedy start! Yes ovulation can be crampy and distracting when I run. Food Food and more Food and definitely irriatable.

  32. What a sweet note from your husband! I love pointing out the positive points from your run, thats great! Erica

  33. Love the positive note from the hubs! That's awesome. Happy New Year!

  34. Congrats on the pr!!! You did incredibly well considering your current focus has been the marathon distance. It is incredibly challenging to race shorter distances when the training focus is on the marathon. You should be very proud!

  35. Great race! I'm finding that racing really does help improve my performance for other more important races.

    There's a good 24-36 hour time chunk during my period where I feel like I'm going to die. It's really bad. It doesn't seem to impact my performance all that much because once I start running I feel fine. As soon as I stop, however, all the pain and discomfort comes back. I think I might be odd though. My period lasts 7 days and I have a good 3 days of extremely heavy bleeding.

  36. I love the notes from your husband!! Isn't it amazing to have that kind of support??? I love that my husband is there for me almost ever step of the way when I am running - whether it is training or racing. I am pretty lucky as are you!

  37. Great way to kick off the new year, Amanda! Really!! I know the wind was tough, so the PR should be all the sweeter. Also, AM knows her stuff and I think this indicates a GREAT marathon for you, especially since it is this early on.

    Glad you are retiring the shoes. Ha! What do you have in mind for new racers??

  38. Just came across your blog... what an awesome race! I'm excited to start working on speed, but am also not sure we're done with our family yet... so we'll see what the year holds. As for ovulation, I definitely notice I'm more sluggish. And this is strange, but I also seem to deal with insomnia for a night or two, don't know why. Nice to find you!