I swear I was fast. At least, for me, in my age group, for my distances. I spent a good chunk of time and effort working on speed and got to a very comfortable place this year where my ‘slow, easy’ run was at 8:40, my 5k pace was near 7 minutes and my other mid-distances paces hovered somewhere between 8:00-8:15/mile. But alas, I seem to have regressed back to a 9 minute pace and just logged a long run averaging 9:15/mile. This rut, if that is what it is, is both frustrating and enlightening.
At the Annapolis 10-Miler this year I was behind a couple girls with t-shirts that read on the back “Trained on LSD and Speed” and as a runner I thought that was cute and a clever play on those two words. It wasn’t until days after the race that I started to really consider how the blend of long slow runs and speedwork really are the core tenants of training. And then I realized it was time for me to evaluate if I had been training on LSD and speed.
I’m on week eight of Bart Yasso’s Runner’s World marathon training program as I train for the Richmond Marathon. His plan very clearly spells out Easy runs, Hills and Hill Repeats, Speedwork, LSD runs, and rest days. This is the last week of the hill work-outs and then we move on to mile repeats and a variety of other track work like the famous Yasso 800s. Up until this last week the LSD runs have been between 7 and 13 miles and I have to admit I was only doing LDs. In each of the long runs, I went out with the goal of maintaining my 9-minute, or faster, pace. Over the weekend I was working the gracie’s gear booth at the Nation’s Tri with Coach Gracie Updyke and we each had a 16-mile long run planned for Sunday, so we got to talking about long runs. Continue reading
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to volunteer for the ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon and 10K because it was not a race that I was ready to run. This coming weekend is one of my favorite Annapolis races put on by the Annapolis Striders, the A10. Unfortunately I missed registration and learned too late about the option to do a “bib swap.” Volunteering was definitely an option but then I was given yet another way to be involved with the event.
I have been a huge fan of Gracie’s Gear ever since I met the company’s president, Gracie Updyke, this spring at the ZOOMA kick-off event in Annapolis and after having had a chance to try out her tops, capris, and shorts. We’ve kept in touch and every so often I work with her on PR projects and she asked if I’d be interested in repping her gear at the A10 event in the Fleet Feet Annapolis booth. So there you go! I get to see yet another side of a run event by participating as an exhibitor in the Expo. What does this mean? Continue reading
Earlier this year I met the owner of Blue Point Timing and Race Management in Annapolis, Ron Bowman. He has worn many hats in the Annapolis running community and continues to coach many runners in addition to running alongside them, and is now well into his second year of operating his race management company. It was when I met Ron that I learned about the Ben Moore Memorial Half Marathon and 10K and put it on my calendar as a summer race.
The race is in honor of another running coach, Ben Moore, who was also a Marine and so the race started and ended at the Truman Parkway Park n’ Ride where Ben, and now Ron, begin and end many group training runs. I’ve lived in Annapolis for over seven years but there are plenty of places I’ve not been before and this park n’ ride is one of them. I knew the race was going to be small and registration was going to be held the morning of the race at the start area. As happens with me on all race days I woke up before my 5:30 a.m. alarm excited for the race. I wanted to make sure I’d have plenty of time to get ready, find the park n’ ride, and get registered before the 7:30 a.m. start gun.
I sort of knew where to go to find the start location and even though I knew the race was going to be small I was stumped to find that there weren’t any signs pointing runners to the race location. I also knew that Ron was operating as a one-man show most of the time and that he was relying on a small pool of volunteers to help for the day. I knew I was in the right place because other runners were milling around the parking lot but it took me some time to find the humble registration table set-up. I started to have mixed feelings about the small race. I absolutely wanted to support Ron and his efforts to put on local races. A friend of mine was helping to time the race and along with her volunteer time I always appreciate the work of any volunteer. Standing in the registration line with other runners we talked about how great it was to have such a reasonably priced timed half marathon right in our backyard. And that is when I realized that no matter the size of a race, races are races and runners are runners and that is what it’s all about. Continue reading
The room was dark, a fan was blowing on me from the corner, I was slightly uncomfortable on my seat, I was focusing on the upbeat music the instructor had chosen, and in my mind I was pedaling along an uphill road that I had once biked along in Cape Town, South Africa. Except that I was on a stationary bike in Charleston, South Carolina. Soon I was sweating profusely and by the end of my first spinning class I was drenched, sore in places I didn’t think possible, and my legs were shaking from being pushed like they had never been pushed before.
That was seven years ago. I’m grateful to have taken spinning classes before because I know from personal experience what an incredible work-out a well taught spinning class is and that the harder you’re willing to try, the better the class can be. In college I might have taken a couple dozen spinning classes which was great for when I needed to get in a good sweat, but not enough to get me totally hooked. Though I enjoyed the spinning classes I took in Charleston, since graduating from college I have focused my energy mostly on running. Continue reading