Saturday, February 16, 2013

I ♥ PRs

This is my race report for the Striders 10k.  As I am sure you can tell from the title of this post, it was a VERY good race for me :)

Anyhow, to start with, I felt like crap the night before.  I had a headache the entire day and my normal ways of trying to get rid of it weren't working.  It made it a little better, but it never disappeared completely.  I was also exhausted beyond belief.  I was thinking I was getting sick, and I also knew what lie in store for me the next morning with a brutal race course, so to be honest, I didn't really want to go.

But, for those that know me, I would have to be on a death bed to miss a race.  I am also cheap and I paid for this race as part of the series.  I also love me some race bling, so I knew that if I missed any of the 5 races in this series, no finishers medal.  So all of those factors got my butt out of bed and to the race.  I was excited to see Ken come along as well.

The start temp at the race was around 20.  I wasn't thrilled, but what do you expect for a winter race in Northern Utah?  I saw many of my friends there and was excited to race.  I decided that this was a "just survive" it race, and more of a good training run as this is a very difficult course with tons of hills.  It starts of with a decent, but doable hill then heads down hill for the first two miles.  You hit some rollers up until the half way point but nothing terrible.  As I was doing this course and feeling really good, I was wondering what all the huff was about when others had told me how brutal this course was.  Well, it didn't take me long to figure that out!  Just after the half way point, another hill started and it seriously lasted till the end.  It was gradual in parts, but otherwise it was this straight hill the final few miles to the finish.  It was awful.  I thought I might puke at a few times, but I just reminded myself to take deep breaths, look up, and keep going.  Even though it was hard, I was feeling pretty good, considering.  I then noticed on the toughest part of the hill I was passing guys in my tri group!  Now if THAT doesn't get you excited, I don't know what does!  I kept going and plugging a long and was very happy to finally see the finish where I just went for it.

I crossed the finish line with no idea how I did.  I forgot to hit STOP on my watch, and didn't pay attention to the finish time on the clock because that isn't my chip time, so who cares, right?  Some one there said that they had a feature that if you used the bar code scanner on your phone and scanned your bib, it would give you your chip's finish time.  I scanned it and could not believe what it said!  I had finished this, my second 10k in 1:00:04.  This was an average pace of 9:42/mile, and it had been 2/3 hills!  This was a new PR for me as my previous PR was a 1:01:32 at the Resolution Run just 6 weeks prior, and that had been a FLAT course!

Once again, I have found that I am stupid to sometimes have such low expectations for myself.  I have done this countless times now where I discredit myself, and tell myself I am just "going to finish" and make excuses for why it won't be a great race.  Dang it, Katie!  Just stop already!  I am so excited to see this progress!  I love that I am running better than I have ever done, and doing so consistently!  This PR was just 6 weeks old under easier conditions, and I saw a huge improvement, all things considered, in a short amount of time!  So exciting!

One of the things that I love about my tri training is that I am running less but running better than I ever has.  There is such a power and benefit in the cross training it provides and the benefits that cross over into results in all three sports.  I am so excited to have my first tri of the year and see how all this adds up together!  Maybe a podium this season?  Can't wait to see!

I have a few weeks off from racing now.  I do have a snow-shoeing 5k next Saturday, but that is a just for fun race, and not even really a race.  I have 3 weeks until the 10 miler in the Striders series, and I hear that is equally brutal as the others have been.  My mindset is simple...♪ just keep training, just keep training, just keep training, training, training ♪

Friday, February 8, 2013


As of this morning, I am down 15.5 pounds since mid October! First is my disclaimer...I am not nor have ever been obese, or overweight.  However, my pants were starting to get too snug again and I knew that I was heavier than I wanted to be and had been at my healthiest.  I know that there is more to life than a number on a scale, and that is why I have never been after a certain number then or now to see.  I am looking to tone up, get faster, and fit into my clothes better, period.

So with that said, I got on the scale and noticed today that I am 15 pounds less than just over 4 months ago. This is almost to where I was before I ran my first marathon just over two years ago.  It is only 8 pounds over what my doctor and I have discussed would be my ideal weight.  I am so excited by this!  Though it is not about numbers, it does represent a lot of work on my part.  Here are somethings I have learned a long the way...

1) Weight loss is 80% diet.  I hate admitting this, because I love food...especially sugar.  I can do pretty good at sticking to a  training plan, but having discipline diet wise is hard for me.  I have been VERY good about it the past few months.  I don't go by any specific formula other than watch TOTAL calories for the day.  I try to stick between 1200-1500  a day depending on my training schedule and I use the app myfitnesspal to track them for me.  Every meal, every snack, every day.  I am a HUGE believer in protein.  I try to eat as much lean protein as possible, I have two protein shakes a day (usually breakfast and lunch) as well as snack on Greek Yogurt, almonds, string cheese, etc.

2)  All things in moderation.  I still eat with my family most meals.  I have found that if I have stuck to a good diet for the first part of the day, I can eat pretty much anything for dinner, with good portion control.  I am a working mom and we have crazy nights at our house.  I do pick up a pizza on the way home.  The difference is before I would eat 2-3 slices and a few bread sticks.  Now I have one slice and have a salad on the side.  I still do a daily sugar fix, but it is in the form of a few candy corns, or one cookie.  Not a while Snickers bar, or bag of M&Ms.

3)  Drink a lot  TONS of water.  I drink 10-13 glasses (8 oz) of water a day.  Granted, I also have my diet Coke habit in full force, so I am ALWAYS drinking something, but really try to get the water in.  I usually have 4 of those glasses between my two shakes a day.  Then I have another 32 ounces at work in my water bottle.  I also have a 24 ounce water bottle that I try to finish off with every work out.  With that formula, it really isn't that hard to get in that many ounces.

4)  Consistency is KEY.  I have been sticking to my training plan and missing very few work outs.  I have been consistent in my dieting.  I have been consistent in my water intake.

I am excited about this!  I am excited that in this weight loss I am seeing results across the board.  I feel great.  I am healthy and have amazing energy levels.  I also am seeing faster times and better performances in my trainings and few races I have done this year.    I really think that part of that success is simply due to the fact that I am hauling 15 pounds less around!

So, here's to sticking with it and having better times, more consistent performances, and looking less like a stuffed sausage in my tri suit this season!

In the meantime...Happy Training All!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Striders WRC 5k 2013

Today was the first race in a series of 5 races that make up the Striders Winter Racing Circuit.  The races all get gradually longer in length and are designed/timed with those doing the Ogden Marathon to fit into their training and serve as practice runs.  Even though I am not doing the Ogden Marathon this year, several of my Tribuddies are doing the Circuit, so I signed up as well.  I think that they will put me in a great position for my first A race of the year, the Salt Lake City Half on April 21.

Anyhow, I was totally unaware of what this race was like.  I have not done the Circuit in the past and am not familiar with the area the race was done in.  Turns out I was in for a surprise!  This is the toughest 5k in the state of Utah due to the hills.  Well...there goes any thoughts of a PR right there!  As I was talking to other runners around me who had done this, I quickly realized this was going to be a difficult run, and I decided that my strategy would be to simply run as comfortably hard as I could, but also NO WALKING at all, even with the hills.

This started at Dee Events Center in Ogden and encompasses the neighborhoods around Weber State University on the benches there.  The course got hilly immediately and would go from one bad hill, to a steep down hill, to yet another up hill.  I ran the best I could and at the end there was another slight increase as we hit the finish, and I literally thought that I was going to puke! I had to immediately put my head down between my legs to avoid doing so.  I had jokingly told Ken on last night's date that I was going to go hard since it was a shorter race and "just run till I puke".  Well, mission accomplished!  I said that before I knew how hard this was going to be!

It was a good race as far as how well it was organized.  I loved seeing my friends from Tribuddies that I haven't seen since our weekly open water swims ended in the early fall.  The weather cooperated as well, with sunshine and mid 20s!

My final time for this race was 29:23.  I came in 50 seconds past my current 5k PR and this was a TON harder of a course!  That means I ran a pace of 9:28/mile, which is great!  I love how I am continuing to see progress on my runs!  They have always been the weakest of the 3 sports in triathlon, and so seeing more progress is encouraging!

I heard from others that the next two races in the circuit, the 10k and the 10 miler are brutal.  More of the same as far as hills go.  I am going to go into it like I did today, and just do my best.  I am excited though, only two weeks left till the 10k!  In the meantime....

Happy Training all!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Another successful race lotto...

I found out today that my friend Leanne and I made it into the Little Red Century Ride on June 1.  This will be my first century ride and I would be lying if I said that I am not nervous.  I am hoping to figure out my shoulder issues between now and then.  I am encouraged by the fact this is a flat race with only occasional rollers as it winds through Cache Valley.  It will be a great time for a ride like this, June is a gorgeous month in Cache Valley and Leanne is a great riding partner.  Now to get those training rides longer!