Sunday, July 24, 2011

Time Trial Success

Hey everyone!  This past Friday I ran a 5k time trial out on the cross country course at McAlpine Park here in Charlotte, NC.  I wanted to see what type of shape I was in after 6 weeks into my new training cycle.  But it was 80 degrees and 85% humidity (75 degree dew point) the morning of my time trial, not exactly the conditions I would want to try and run fast in.    But then I figured, "hey not all races will have perfect conditions either", so I would just give it my best and take whatever it gave me.
My Mom, Dad, little brother and sister all went with me to McAlpine to cheer me on for my time trial.  My Dad rode his bike around and gave me my splits at each kilometer, while Mom, Bryce and Rose wandered around to see me at different points and cheer.  I really appreciated all their support.  It felt different doing my time trial on a Friday because I normally race or time trial on a Saturday.   I wonder if that helped me or not but I know I wasn’t nervous like I normally am before a race.  I felt calm and confident, like I just knew I was going to run good.  It was an awesome feeling, almost super-hero-ish. J
My Dad helped me adjust my expectations for the heat and we decided on a goal pace of about 3:35 per kilometer or a little faster and maybe be 5 seconds quicker on the first kilometer to bank the time I’d probably give back in the 3rd kilometer when you have the big (and only) hill to deal with. ;-)   When I finished my warm-up I was already drenched with sweat, well I guess I should be prepared to get wet on a day like this.
Then I reviewed my plan in my head, got to the starting line, and smiled, this time trial was going to rock!  Then I started;  the first kilometer was good, I felt a little uncomfortable but thought,” it’s a 5k of course I’m going to feel uncomfortable, no big deal.”  I went through in 3:27 – perfect!  The next kilometer was harder but I made sure I kept my foot on the gas and stayed aggressive and went through the second k in 3:28, absolutely perfect, I was ahead of pace!  On the straightaway leading up to the hill I mentally prepared myself to attack the hill.  It was my turn to be the predator and not the prey that the hill can often turn people into.    So I did attack the hill but the following downhill was a little scary, with all the ruts in it, but I still managed to run a 3:38 kilometer for k number 3, not bad with big hill and given the extra few seconds I banked in the first 2k.  Man though, that hill takes a lot out of you, making that 4th kilometer tough.  But I knew I was starting to slow down some, so I pushed as best I could and hit 3:37 for the 4th kilometer.  I was a little discouraged with that splits but then my Dad challenged me to try and a 3:30 last kilometer; I liked that so I took off and pushed it.    My chest felt a little tight from the humidity but I wasn’t going to let anything keep me from getting a 3:30 that last kilometer.   As I ran around the lake and hit the 3 mile point, I took off and tried to sprint in the last 200 meters as best I could, which is very hard to do at the end of a fast 5k.  I pushed all the way until I hit the finish line.  I had run 17:40 for the 5k cross country time trial on a hot muggy Charlotte summer morning.  I was SO happy.  Plus I had run the last kilometer in 3:29, I had met the challenge …. HA!
After that successful time trial I can’t wait to attack my next 6 weeks of training until the Virginia Beach Half Marathon.  And then see what I can do at McAlpine again later in the fall.  But first, Virginia Beach here I come! J

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Just Love Summer

 Maddy and me

Hey everyone!  I hope you are having an awesome summer like I am.  I have been having a great time but it’s already July, man time fly’s when you are having fun.
This summer I started a new training cycle and now running 11 times a week for a total of 78-80 miles per week.  The humidity is bad, but that is pretty typical for this time of year in the south.  So we are adjusting my training paces for the weather conditions and I continue my training as normal.  Everything is going really well so far, and I’m already on my 5th week of this new cycle.  I’m incredibly happy with how well everything has been going considering the weather.  Definitely my best summer of training ever.  Next week, I am going out to McAlpine Park to run a 5k time trial on cross country course to see where my fitness level is at so far in this new training cycle.  I am really looking forward to that.  It’ll be just me, the trail, and if I am the first person on the course: spiderwebs!  Ha Ha!  It’s okay though, I’ll be moving so fast I won’t even feel it.   Definitely a great summer of running so far!  Go running!
On a different topic, I have also been doing some volunteering this summer.  I have been volunteering at the Speech Garden, which is a speech therapy camp.  My little sister, Rose, is going to the camp, so I decided to go and volunteer and help out.  I am so glad I did that too.  I just have the best time watching and helping the kids.  So far I have been helping out in the younger kids classes.  The kids are just adorable and I always look forward to days when I volunteer.  I have been volunteering 2 days per week and on the other days I miss playing with and seeing all my little friends.  With Rose being 6 and getting ready to turn 7 later this summer, I miss getting to play with younger kids.   I forgot how tiny and cute they are.  I’ll be helping out for another 2 more weeks and know I’ll miss the guys when I’m done volunteering there.
The last week in July and the first week in August are coming up fast.  I am pretty excited about it but can’t say the same for my parents.  During those 2 weeks I’ll be taking Driver Ed.  That right everyone, I’m gonna learn how to drive!  How is that for exciting?!   This going to high school thing just keeps getting better and better. J
Another fun thing I did this summer was meet a talented young runner name Maddy from Austin, TX.  Maddy is running the Jr. Olympics this summer in TX and is doing great.  She has a big meet coming is in New Orleans in a few weeks, that I know she will do great in.  Maddy and her parents were in Charlotte this past week and met with my dad and I to talk about kids and running (my favorite subjects).  We had a great talk with them and enjoyed meeting them.  Maddy and I got to take a walk around and chat while our parents talked, she is just the sweetest girl, I had a great time meeting her.  Good luck in New Orleans Maddy!
Well, I definitely having a great summer this year and hope you are as well.  Now on to high school and that means school supply shopping!  Yay for shopping!!!