On skipping races

So I was supposed to head out to Virginia Beach today for the Surf ‘n’ Santa 5 Miler. The race was supposed to start at 4:30p, so I was going to leave Richmond around noon and head back after the race.

However, I was exhausted when I woke up this morning. I planned to run a few miles this morning just to work out some kinks before making the trip. But every step felt like it took so much work, I couldn’t imagine racing with this complete lack of energy. Plus, I was starting to dread spending 4-5 hours in the car for what would be about 45 minutes of running.

The only reason I really wanted to do this race was because it was in the evening, so you could run under the Christmas lights on the boardwalk. I decided that it wasn’t worth the trip, seeing as the drive would stress me out and I mentally wasn’t in the mood to race.

It was also cold as heck today, and the wind is way worse on the boardwalk.

Having seen some pictures from the race posted on Facebook, I think I made the right decision. It wasn’t even dark, so the lights weren’t as impressive. And everyone looked really cold…

I made the decision some time ago that traveling for a race had to be a half marathon or greater for me to stay in a hotel; anything else had to involve friends and/or a day trip. I think it’s served me well.

I ended up skipping three races this year. Nothing over a 10K, so I didn’t lose too much in race fees. But I feel like sometimes you have to just give up.

So I guess that’s all the more racing I’ll be doing until February. Time to get my groove back and let my body recover a bit. With work and holiday things and squad stuff, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and in the middle at the same time. I am exhausted and I am soooo glad that after Monday and Tuesday, I do not have to go to work until the Monday after New Year’s. I still have a random PRN shift and a squad shift in there, but for the most part… Just me and my dog and my pillow and my sneakers…

I’ll try to start posting about more than just running. Or, you know, posting with some regularity…

2014 Richmond Marathon

Ooooh Richmond… You will forever be my favorite marathon…

But it was soooo cold this year! It was in the 20s at the start and that was the coldest for this race in 15 years! Why do I never get “good” race weather?

After twisting my ankle a few weeks before the race and then having the triumphant return of my knee pain, i debated pulling out of the race. But I didn’t want to waste all the training, so I decided to go for it anyway, knowing that I wouldn’t push myself.

I started out by stressing about my phone not picking up Pandora, and spent the first couple of miles trying to warm up and get into my groove. On the plus side, my legs were so cold I couldn’t feel any shin splints!

I knew my biggest problem at races is not fueling like I trained, so I tend to bonk. I actually did pretty well fueling every three miles and just tried to keep from running too fast.

Overall, I felt like the race was flying by. I remembered the course pretty well from last year, and I think that definitely helped. Unfortunately, around mile 22, I just got soooooo tired that I wanted to take a nap on the side of the road. I couldn’t run more than a few minutes without getting exhausted again.

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Not my best photo! But that was around mile 25 and I was clearly tired.

Finally, I got to the last half mile or so which is all downhill. I found out I still had a little steam left and started passing people and finally crossed the finish at 04:41:51.

My slowest marathon yet, but I also know I was trying not push it. I’m disappointed, but I’m hoping to reevaluate my training (and my rest days!) and have a great year next year. I just have two short, fun, Christmas-themed races next month and I am looking forward to them!

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Richmond Marathon Expo

I went to the race expo for the Richmond Marathon today after work. Thankfully, I got there right as they opened, so I was in and out pretty fast. I actually don’t like expos that much. I’m usually stressed out already over travel and race day logistics, and I just want to runnnnn. I don’t need ten thousand expensive gadgets and five different things with the race name on it, especially if it ends up being a race I’d rather forget.

But I found a non-dated item that I fell in love with:

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And since I ran it last year, it’s more about the race as a whole than any specific year… Especially since this is probably going to be bad on Saturday. It’s going to be COLD. And my training has really suffered lately. Plus, a recent ankle sprain and then sporadic knee pain aaaaand Aunt Flo visiting? Yeah, I just want to cross the finish line in one piece.

Guess we’ll see. I still have to get through another rough day at work tomorrow (I still love my job. Just some crazy politics going on right now)…

Hershey Half Marathon

This was up in Pennsylvania. I grew up near Hershey, so I stayed at my parents’ house.

Chilly!! Barely 40 degrees at the start. The course wove through Hersheypark, the Milton S. Hershey school, and some of the farms in the area. And hilly!! So many hills!

I went into this race just wanting to have fun. My training has been spotty and I knew the course would be rough. And it was so fun! The race benefited the Children’s Miracle Network and there were a bunch of kids out on the course cheering us on. I totally want to do it again and again! Plus tons of chocolate and other Hershey products in the swag bag and post-race lunchbox (yes, they hand you a massive lunchbox packed with food afterwards).

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Well.

I got my PR for the half – 2:11:32 despite the hills!! I still wanted to break 2 hours this year, but it just wasn’t meant to be… Some day, some day…

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach

Long time no talk! Life has been beyond crazy lately… So let’s rehash the highlights over a few posts.

August 31 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon, aka the Race where I thought I was going to die.

Long story short – 80F and 80% humidity at 6am and it only got worse. I got way overheated and ended up with chills during the last mile. Slowest time ever for me – 2:22:something. Not impressed by the RnR race series – I paid way too much for nothing good.

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Defeated and exhausted afterwards. I don’t even want a rematch.

6 miles on a weekday

So most days before work I am only getting in 2-3 miles. I’m having problems getting out of bed when my alarm goes off (5am is sooooo early!), so by the time I actually get up, I have limited time to run before walking Maddy and then showering and hurrying my butt to work.

But today was different. :-)

I had a state committee meeting to go to, and because of where that meeting was, versus where my office is and where I actually live, it made more sense for me to go to the meeting and then to the office. So not only did I get to sleep in a little, but I had time to knock out six miles.

It. Was. Awesome.

The only bad part is that I think I’ve lost some fitness. I can do my long runs and all, but I need a LOT of walking breaks. I think I’m actually going to do some of the couch-to-5K app stuff during the week just to mentally build myself back up to more uninterrupted running.

In other news, I really like my job. :-) Some parts of frustrating and it’s definitely not as exciting as actually being out on the street, but I love who all I’m getting to meet and what I’m involved in. I get to see how EMS changes at the national and state level and how we filter it down to the different agencies. It’s really, really cool.

Job Update

So I’ve been MIA for the last month or so… Mostly because I’ve been kind of overwhelmed adjusting to a Monday through Friday kind of job after working evenings for the last two years. Most nights I feel like this by 8pm:

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It’s also been really hard for me to run much during the week. It’s been way too hot to try to run after work, and I don’t have time to run more than four miles in the morning. On the plus side, I always have my weekends free to do my long runs. :-)

Without boring you with the details, I now work for a regional EMS council, helping make sure EMS agencies and hospitals comply with state regulations. It’s a lot more involved than that, but I’m not sure you want to know all of it. I still get to ride at the squad and work at the pediatric center on occasion, so I get my clinical care fix without getting burnt out. :-D

…And I have a fabulous office all to myself.

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I’m not used to a desk job, though, so I usually take my lunch break to get out of the office and either wander around a store, like Target (and try not to buy anything), or I check out a nearby park when the weather is nice.

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I’m adjusting slowly, but I’m getting there, and I’m starting to like my new normal… :-)