Archive | May, 2013

Getting ready to run the Freihofer’s 5K…in 90 degree weather

31 May

Tomorrow is the 35th Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K, a very popular and internationally known race. There will be over 5,000 women, from elite professionals to recreational runners. And the forecast is 90F with about 60% humidity and very little wind or cloud cover. Yikes.

First, I’m keeping my expectations relatively low. Since humidity and I are the opposite of friends, I know it’s going to be challenging for me to maintain a fast pace. I’m definitely not trying to PR tomorrow. I would just like to run a strong race without passing out or melting into a puddle.

As soon as the weather report made it pretty clear that this weekend would be a scorcher, I started searching for a light, moisture-wicking tank top to wear with a running skirt. (If I was a bit more comfortable with my body, I’d be rocking a sports bra and racing briefs, but that’s not going to happen.) Here’s what I ended up with:

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I’m also being careful to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This might be the first 5K I’ve ever run where I’ll take in water mid-race. I’ve got plenty of nuun to replenish electrolytes because I know I’ll be sweating like crazy. Other essentials for my race pack are a mini spray sunscreen, a pack of wipes, and lip balm.

20130531-215439.jpgI joined my BFF Vicki for a trip to the expo to pick up our bibs (mine is blue) and race swag. Olympic marathoner Joan Benoit Samuelson, who is running the race tomorrow, was signing autographs and I was able to say hi just before she was done!

20130531-220909.jpgIt was pretty cool to meet someone so inspirational to women’s running! She signed, “May the many miles of life be good to you.” Love that!

20130531-215503.jpgSince the run is sponsored by major baking company Freihofer’s, the race swag includes a loaf of bread and a box of chocolate chip cookies! Any race that hands out free cookies is a winner in my opinion.

20130531-215514.jpgWhen I got home, Mark was busy grilling an amazing dinner of grilled BBQ chicken, grilled avocados, grilled sweet potatoes, and fresh caprese salad. It was delicious and filling! Perfect for a hot summer night.

20130531-215451.jpgNow it’s time to get some rest and be ready to go in the morning!

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When NOT to run: During a tornado

30 May

As I approached the exit toward home last night, I was acutely aware of the dark sky and massive lightning bolts on the horizon. I thought, “OK, maybe it will pass and clear up in time for a run tonight.” Then, “Ohh…this looks pretty serious, maybe not.” My plans for an evening run went right out the window.

Within 20 minutes of getting home, my husband and I were getting sturdy shoes on, grabbing a couple of blankets, flashlights and water and corralling the cats in the basement in preparation for a tornado warning.

We stayed calm as things got very dark and scary outside, checking our phones for live news updates. After about 20 minutes, the worst of it had passed and we emerged from the basement safe and sound.

It turned out that TWO tornadoes hit the Capital Region of NY. One of them passed only miles from us. This one was rated EF-2 with maximum winds of 125 miles per hour, was one mile wide, and followed a 17-mile path. The other one was a little bit further South.

Here’s a little glimpse of what was going on outside:

Luckily, this was the only damage our property received. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s actually a pretty heavy branch from a giant tree right next to our driveway and it narrowly missed both of our cars.

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Not very far from us there is pretty significant damage – some homes have been destroyed, power is out, trees are uprooted everywhere, and neighborhoods are flooded. It’s pretty surreal to think that such destruction occurred so close to home, in an area so far from Tornado Alley.

My heart really goes out to everyone in this area who is dealing with severe damage and I am again praying for those affected by the recent deadly tornadoes in Moore, OK and the Midwest.

So, what’s this got to do with running? When there is severe weather (read: lightning, tornadoes, high winds, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, etc etc), be smart and stay safe. Running during a tornado warning or hurricane force winds does not make you hardcore, it makes you incredibly reckless and stupid.

I remember when Hurricane Sandy came through and seeing several photos of people running despite warnings to stay indoors…

(Source: People Doing Everything but Stay Inside During Hurricane Sandy)

And we all know how that turned out.

The point is, getting that run in is not nearly as important as your physical safety. Lightning can travel and high winds can create dangerous debris. No, you can’t really outrun that storm and taking one day off will not completely negate your training – so stay inside.

If you DO get stuck running in a thunderstorm, here’s a quick guide from Run the Planet on what to do.

A new goal…

28 May

Now that the busiest part of May has passed (you know, almost all of it), I can finally tell you all about my new goal.

A couple of weeks before the Jog4Jugs Half Marathon, I decided to dig up my old cross country records from freshman year of high school. I wasn’t able to find much online since they probably start deleting that stuff off the servers after a bazillion years, but I found a snippet from an invitational meet.

In 1999, I ran a 5K in 22:02.

My current PR as an adult runner is 23:19.

Hmm…

And they say your biggest competition is yourself…

So what’s my new goal?

I am going to beat my 14-year-old self.

It may not be this Saturday at the Freihofer’s 5K (especially with over 4,000 other women running and a 90F degree weather forecast…) or even this Summer. But I WILL do it.

When I ran XC in high school, I used to imagine targets on the back of runners ahead of me as motivation. My 14-year-old self now has a target on her back.

I know I can shave 1:30 off my 5K time, I just need to make a plan and stick with it! Here goes…

Any advice from you speedy runners?