Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Little Pacer that Could

 I think I can..

Sometimes a 20% chance is all you need to make something work.
Tired of feeling tired, I decided this was the best thing for me. I tried to look at the bigger picture, and I seriously thought about what the universe was trying to tell me through all the running articles directed at the importance of a long, slow run. 

I really had to forget about my pace this time.

This ringing in my ears since Hurricane Sandy, my increasing heart rate, eating improperly - things just seem like they're going downhill. Where is all that energy I had just a few months ago? And that weight that I lost? (Well, I have Breyer's and my lack of will power to thank for that) Could all this be partially because I'm trying to run faster than I was built for? 

If I think back to when I started running, the first thing I remember wanting to find out is if running would lower my resting heart rate. I think at the time, my RHR was between 76-84 BPM. All it took for me to hear it pounding in my ears was climbing a flight of stairs, or lifting weights with 15 second rest in between sets. I wanted to be healthier than that. I was also carrying around an extra 12 pounds for a year or two. I wanted to know if running would help me loose that weight. It turns out that running alone brought my heart rate down.  Eating less calories AND running, and then cycling as cross training- helped me loose those pounds.
So, here I am at the end of the year, having started running 9 months ago with a new set of issues. I'm so glad I stuck with my plan to slow down and go long to see if anything changes.

I went back to that lovely neighborhood with the Italian residents. I learned today that they don't like to get into a cold car. I counted about 9 cars that were running, without a driver, in driveways and on the streets. Cough, cough.  Early on in the run, I waved to a police car with two officers in the car. Surprised, I got an enthusiastic wave back from both of them. I said a silent prayer of thanks that they were patrolling the streets and protecting lone runners like myself.

Now, being only slightly embarrassed,  I will tell you that I went out with Runmeter on my iPhone, my Magellan watch, AND MapMyRun on my old HTC EVO.  One of the guys I work with is running with MMR, and we are sharing info. I felt a little obligated to give him something to look at and help encourage him. I turned it on, stuck it in my coat pocket and forgot about it. I played a bit more with Runmeter, and set up an activity to run for TIME, and even though I tried to ignore pace, I did tell it that I wanted to remain between 9:45 and 10:30 per mile. So, I had some feedback which kept me somewhat accountable.

I felt really, really good. I brought water with me, and I drank a few ounces every time I came back around to the car. At one point, I was so HUNGRY that I figured taking more water would take care of the hunger pains - and I was right. I slowed down to a walk for about 10 seconds that only time. At about mile 8.5 - 9, my left knee started bothering me laterally, and my plantar fascia was tightening up on my right foot. I tried super hard to vary my form, trying everything I learned over the last few months. At times, for a few yards, the pain would dissipate, but then return again. I saw that I had about 12-15 mins left out of my planned 2 hour run - but I didn't want to take a chance. Cardiovascularly, I could have gone on, which is different than my usual runs. My legs were getting heavy, and the pain I was experiencing was putting my head in a negative place. It was time to stop. 

Getting into the car I found that I was just as soaked through as if I had run a race. But, my breathing was steady and slow, I did not feel like I overdid anything. On the ride home, I fought that nagging feeling of 'coulda, woulda, shoulda'. Maybe I should have tightened the time on that activity. Really? 10:30? I could have come in much sooner, and maybe finished the 2 hours before the knee pain.(ha)  I tried to remember my previous long run times.  I told myself that everything is variable, and to let it go.  But then, I could not resist looking back at the numbers.

All this data was taken from MMR for consistency sake. These were all runs above 8 miles.

Yeah, so I'm slowing down. But I can run 10 miles!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Know Thyself

Using MiCoach again this morning, I was hoping I could self-regulate. I forgot to turn my music on, and it turned out to be a good thing, I think. With less to distract me, I tried harder to focus on how I was feeling at different points during my run this morning. Since the update of the Magellan, I haven't re-programmed my screens, so I was unable to see what my heart rate was during the run. It pissed me off a bit (why can't I remember to fix that?) but it could have worked in my favor as well.

I was happy to see that my green zone running is a little more accurate, but now I'm having issue with reaching and staying in yellow. I'm also needing to walk periodically for 10 seconds at a time after the halfway point.

It seems everything I'm reading lately reiterates the fact that I shouldn't be relying so much on my gadgets. That could be the reason why I'm having such a hard time understanding my perceived exertion, and what changes I should be making to return my breathing and heart rate back to a steady-state as I run.

I think I'm going to figure out how to get Runmeter to keep my pace between 9:30 and 10:00 and just go long this Saturday. 

OR, hey! This is a novel idea for me, -  maybe I should just run EASY for 2 hours, forget about my pacing... and see what values I end up with. (I give that a 20% chance of happening)

My resting heart rate has been high lately.  I'm thinking :
 1. I'm eating like shit again, too much fat and sugar
 2. I'm running too fast when I train.

I think I will do some more creative visualizing before bed tonight and tomorrow, seeing myself running very easy, and having abundant energy during the whole run.

You can be sure I'll let you know how it goes.

Magellan Data

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Easy does it..

Christmas morning I'm up before my daughter and her boyfriend. A cup of coffee, and I'm set to go. I fiddled more with Runmeter, fired up the Magellan and headed out, in my own neighborhood. It's so quiet. Empty. Solemn. 
I've got plans I'm sorting out in my head - how long do I have before they wake up? What am I making for breakfast? How much time do I need to finish the dish I'm bringing to my sister's at 2:30-3:00? Will the kids like their gifts?

Just run.

I felt tired. Great opportunity to take it easy. I took a different route, making sure to stay away from that steep incline/decline from a few days ago. I appreciated the new surroundings I ran on Sunday, and realized I really need to run more often in different places. This morning I mixed up my route locally, just going where my subconscious brain took me while I was thinking about other things. The weather was damp, but 38 degrees. Very agreeable. 

Three plus miles and a short cool down later, I walked back into the house. My daughter was up, getting ready to work out herself.

I uploaded the data, and here is what I saw.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays to all. 

Magellan Data
(inital date and time is incorrect because of a recently installed update)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Double your pleasure, double your data.

Even though I said I wasn't going to splurge for the iPhone5, I did. I am a sucker for technology.

In my excitement of playing with all that is my first iPhone, including Runmeter, I didn't do my homework with the program the way I should have. I had Runmeter only partially set up when I went out for my run this morning. I did go to the neighborhood that is now my new favorite place to run. What a pleasure. The roads were smoother, less camber, less traffic, and for every 2 - 3 blocks there was only ONE stop sign. The neighborhood west was primarily old world Italian - and everyone, either walking their dogs or couples out for a stroll had Italian accents. And they were SO friendly. Smiles all around. It was a great experience. There was a breeze coming from the west, so for a while it was a tad uncomfortable.  I did not use MiCoach today, and I have to say, it was a very relaxing run. 
I started my Magellan watch, and then Runmeter. Tracy's voice  told me to start, so off I went at an easy pace. The sun was behind me warming my back. Delightful.

Somewhere after 2.5 miles, I lost my music. After I managed to restart it, Runmeter stopped announcing my stats. I was bummed, but the stopwatch Runmeter displayed was easy to read and I was getting my info visually instead.

I was planning on a nine mile run today, that would have been my newly formed route, three times around. But I was feeling poorly as I was making my way back to the beginning of the loop. And I started growing more frustrated at not being able to hear any of my stats. After 3 miles, I got back into my car. I was having a bit of an arrhythmia, which I get every so often - so I decided to take a short break, reset the program and go back out again. The windows inside the car started to steam up a bit - I was putting out quite a bit of heat, no doubt. I hydrated, left my gloves in the car, and started out again.  I had started to cool down a bit while in the car, so now, I had gone back out into the cold being wet with a lowered body temp. I was getting chilled and thinking about calling it quits, but I really needed to get in some miles. I had hoped that after the first mile I would start warming up again, and that's exactly what happened. For a month or so, I have only been running 5ks, and I knew my endurance was suffering. I went around for another 4 miles, and called it a day.

So, I have 2 separate data sets - 15 minutes apart. A total of 7+ miles. I'm happy. My heart rate, although a little fast even now,  8 hours later, is beating regularly.  So it's all good. I'm looking forward to running Christmas morning after gift giving and before going to my sister's house. 

Magellan Data, 1st run   Runmeter 1st run

Magellan Data, 2nd run  Runmeter 2nd run

Friday, December 21, 2012

Do not go to the head of the class.

I've been so busy that I haven't had the time to post about my last run. I'm going to post something short and sweet, so that I can get it done and then just worry about blogging about a longer run I have planned SOMETIME this weekend. I have to work Saturday, and then I'm going to spend time with my daughter afterwards.  I doubt I'll even remember in another few days that I ran yesterday. I'm tired and ready for bed, so I'm foregoing the minutia and just posting the main shizzle now.

I got up extra early because I had to work an hour earlier, and I was fine with that. Less cars. I took a different route too, that had me running down a very steep hill, only to have to come back up to the elevation I started at. I apparently don't learn from previous lessons. Please refer to this post if so inclined.

It was a MiCoach run. (aren't they all, lately?)  Here is the graph. I overlaid the elevation data.

I walked UP the hill. Oh, it was steep. The view was different. But look how I stayed in the blue zone at the start! Booyah!
I decided for my long run I'm going to drive over to another residential area (the next town over) -  that is much more flat, and the roads are paved much better, and it appears to have less traffic. It's supposed to be cold and windy this weekend. We'll see what transpires. 

Over and out.

Magellan Data

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mind games.

I should think twice about complaining about the neighborhood I have to run in..

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fishy Feet.

I hope I'm back to running 4 times a week at this point.  I'm feeling better and I don't have a race coming up, which tends to distract me. I think impending races make my training runs feel like 'all or nothing'. I'm finding I'm enjoying them less these past few weeks, and I'm not sure why. It could be because I'm using the MiCoach. Although I think it's a GREAT tool, (especially because I've found some new ways to manipulate the graphs which give me different ways to look at the information) I can't help but think that it dampens my mood a bit. I think I beat myself up too much psychologically as I'm listening to it tell me that I'm not maintaining the expected pace. Then I second guess myself because the pace intervals are so large within each of the zones that I really don't know how to gauge my exertion at any particular point in time. I'll have to see if I can fiddle with the settings some more. 

Meanwhile, Runmeter has just had an upgrade to 8.1.1 which now includes updated FB support. It looks really cool. I'm not yet ready, though, to upgrade to an iphone.

I'm also not ready to purchase a treadmill for myself, for a few reasons.

I was looking forward to my run this morning  and was happy to see that it was 48 degrees and it had stopped raining. Everything was still wet outside, but that didn't bother me. I dressed in only one long sleeve, high collared 1/4 shirt and my long pants. By the time I got down to the end of my driveway, I realized it was misting. A lot. Almost a drizzle. My sunglasses were already wet. I surprised myself by not turning around to get my rain jacket. It's just water. One of the things I like most about becoming a runner is that I recently realize that I'm tougher than any previous notions I had about myself.

But, being tough does not mean that all my runs are optimal. Today, my feet felt floppy. Like two fish flopping around on my sister's dock in Minnesota. No pain, no discomfort - just a lack of form. It felt like I was landing flat foot, from toes to heel, instead on my mid foot. I needed to land with a little more bent knee to provide a spring effect, and try to extend my leg out in back more. I knew that. I tried to do that. But it wasn't working. I was also aware that when I concentrate on my legs, my arms stop moving. Wtf is up with that?

I had to walk 4-5 times, I think, but I kept them to about 10 seconds a piece. It seems I was having a hard time with my heart rate going above 175 today. Usually, 180 is my upper limit. But a 10 second walk is all I needed to come back down to 170.

All in all, a good run. 85% according to MiCoach. The Magellan Switch UP remains a faithful servant. The best GPS watch ever.

Magellan Data

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ho Ho, hee hee.

This was my first Ho Ho Ho Holiday 5k. It was held in Bethpage. I believe the loudspeaker guy said it was the 23rd? 24th? After a moment of semi-silence (not everyone of the 1200 participating was paying attention) in honor of the children and teachers we lost yesterday, the gun went off.

Broadway was narrowed considerably by cars lining BOTH sides of the street, even though the brochure stated NOT to park there. People were running on the sidewalk, and at one point a wave of people swept over to the right, I was lead over, and my right shoulder found itself slammed into some SUV's side view mirror.  "Ouch! F*&% n' A" -was all I said out loud to that! Sorry to any children that were running within earshot.

I can't believe I did not check out the route before the run. Where was my head? I don't think I like not knowing where I'm going. I probably could have calculated my energy expenditure better. As it was, I remember walking 2 times.. I think it could have been 3. That's what it looks like with MiCoach. They were all under 30 seconds, just enough to get my heart rate down. I was up in the 180's at the time, and not comfortable. At my age, that's WAY above where I should be, according to some of the info I've read.

The route took us into a residential loop. At one point, a woman was trying to back out of her driveway! Most runners passing and coming up to to the car were screaming at her. She and someone at the front door of the house were screaming something back.. I missed most of the drama because I was not going to slow down.

Otherwise, it felt like it went pretty fast. I did not PR, but I also did better than I thought I would since I was laid up with that neck issue for a good part of the previous week. I thought for sure I would come in just under 30 minutes. I tell ya.. I feel very competitive in a race! Did I mention that yet? I hope I don't kill myself during a race one day.  I guess since I don't feel too badly about slowing down or walking when I need to, there is less of a risk of that happening. :) I am happy too that I no longer get jitters before a race. I think the last time that happened was at Cow Harbor. Who knows?  I may get nervous again for my next 10k. 

This is my last race for the year. I started running in March. I've done 7 races in 10 months. I don't think that's too shabby. Although I've put on some weight after dropping a lot over the summer, I'm happy with my performance overall. 

Next year, a 5k here or there, 10k's will be my staple - I hope to complete a half by the end of fall '13.

Here are some poorly taken pictures for your perusal.

I love shepherds.

Really neat equipment.

I started out too fast again, and didn't slow down enough before the sprint home.

That's probably why I had to take walk breaks.

Have a great weekend!

Updated stats from Athlinks 12/22/12
26:53 8:39 avg pace
9/54 Age group 
124/620 overall women
363/1155 overall combined

Jack McCoy Photography: Finish-between 24min25sec-27min55sec  Finish_0375

Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm so sorry.

I pray for strength for the friends and families who were involved in today's tragedy in Newtown CT.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I've been steadily feeling better. Decreased pain, increased range of motion in my neck and upper back. I've stopped taking ibuprofen. I was all set to get up and run early this morning.

But I could not open the kitchen door leading to the backyard.

I needed to go through my routine. Come downstairs, let the dog out, turn on the computer. Turn on the Keurig. Put dog food in the bowl. Fill the little plastic Keurig pod with coffee (I try not to buy the prepackaged pods anymore). Start the Keurig. Let the dog in. Add condiments to my coffee. Sit down at the computer, drink my coffee - head upstairs, get dressed to run - out the door 30 minutes after getting up.

But I couldn't open the kitchen door to let the dog out into the yard.

 I had to go put sneakers on, bring the dog around the house, open the gate, and let her in the yard that way.  Now my whole morning is off kilter. And of course, instead of continuing on with my regular routine, I spend an hour taking apart the door knob. It is very difficult to re-assemble said door knob when the door does not open. I had to tape the outside handle in place in order to screw in the handle on the inside. To facilitate that, I opened the window onto the deck so I could shorten the distance to the backyard. I must have looked ridiculous climbing in and out of the window with my PJ's on.

Now, the question was, do I run, continue to fiddle with the door knob, or run to Home Depot and buy another one? It took me another 30 minutes or so of fiddling, another 15 minutes to make the decision to run. Just do it, Celia. Forget the door. 

So, I ran. But my heart was not in it. All I kept thinking about was that freakin' door knob. "I'll have to look up 'door knob mechanism' when I get home." "Will I have time to run to Home Depot before my 10 am patient?" I decided I could probably do that if I ended the run early - I was having a hard time as it was staying in the green zone today. Forget about the yellow. You'll see the graph.

I got home, and the office texted me telling me to cancel my 11:00. I promptly called my 10:00 and asked if I could see her at 11:00. No problem! 
Off to Home Depot. Found the same door knob. Talked briefly with the aisle guy. He explained how it worked, and what he thought I should do. Got home, tried it - didn't work. I can't get a handyman down until the weekend. 

My HO HO is gonna be a HA HA - insufficient training because of, well, life getting in the way. I'm kind of relieved. I don't feel pressured for a PR this race. I'm giving myself a break. I'm just going to have fun. Maybe I'll even take some pictures this time!

Ok.. that's it. I've got to go back outside to bring the dog in.

32 degrees. Clear sky, no wind.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've been suffering a bit from some neck pain as a result of a poor sleeping position on Thursday night. I originally acquired some kind of probable cervical vertebral injury (never diagnosed, this is my feeling only) about 6 years ago on a jet ski. Since then, at least once a year, my neck acts up.. I loose range of motion, some of my muscles spasm, and I develop either a torticollis or pain with all planes of motion. I had planned to do at least one long run this weekend, but on Saturday, just climbing stairs was god-awful. Sunday evening I started feeling a little better, but Monday morning, I did that arms-over-the-head stretch in bed, and felt something 'pop'. My head fell back on the pillow, and I had no strength to lift it up again. Fighting panic, I took many deep breaths until the pain subsided. I still had sensation and movement in both hands, so that calmed me down. I managed to shower, but could not blow dry my hair because any additional tug of the brush forcing me to stabilize my head was very uncomfortable. I took 400mg of ibuprofen and got my ass to work. My friend Trish taped my upper trap to inhibit it, and I started to feel human again. When I woke up this morning, I was suffering all over again, but this time, my left shoulder blade was numb! As I drank my morning coffee, and tried desperately to ignore the lack of sensation, I was actually thinking about running. It had just rained, I heard it on the skylights in the kitchen. It was 45 degrees. But I needed a reason to make me believe I was going to get over this. I've gone as long as 2 weeks with remnants of cervical dysfunction, but  every time it happens, I think this is the time it will do me in. This was my running day, and I had to at least try. 

Getting into my sports bra and tight base layer top was a struggle. The rain had stopped, but I decided I would need a light jacket to keep  me dry if it started again. I really don't remember putting on all my equipment, I think I could do it in my sleep now.
I jogged out the back door, around the house and to the driveway, and felt ok. I started out into the street. Every foot strike caused me to wince a bit, but I found I was feeling it less and less the further I went. I was following miCoach so my attention was attuned to the fact that the UK lady was telling me that I was out of the blue zone again, and to slow down.
It's a little disconcerting running in the streets and having to cross when you can't turn your head. I thought briefly about running backwards a few yards to see what the traffic behind me might be doing, but then I'd loose sight of the traffic in the other direction. It was a little tense and awkward, but I managed. Because I hadn't run in 4 or 5 days, I did have to stop about 5 times and walk - but that didn't bother me like it usually does. I was grateful I had just gotten out.
By the time I got home, my neck felt a little stiffer, if that was at all possible - but by the time I settled in front of the computer with my Shakeology recovery drink, I first noticed that I was able to drop my chin down to my chest farther. About 15 minutes later, as I was getting undressed, I was able to pull everything over my head with very little pain. Coincidence? Blood flow? Endorphins? I don't feel like I'm in the midst of a runner's high...

3 hours later, as I'm driving to one of my home care patients, I'm actually giddy. Happy and feeling GREAT! Watch me turn my head! See how I can push my long ass Mini Cooper driver's side door open without feeling a thing!?  Is THIS a runner's high? Hours later? Or am I just so happy I'm feeling good after 5 days of misery?

It doesn't matter. I took another Advil a few hours ago.  I still have 50% limited rotation to the left, but the pain is substantially less. I may get all stiff again tomorrow morning. But I think this is finally the beginning of the end. I want to run again on Thursday, and now I feel I can HO HO over to Bethpage on Saturday.

Today's miCoach.

Magellan Data

Some how the Magellan did not map the beginning of the run, but the data seems to be all there, regardless.

Over and out, but not down and out.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

But I NEED my fingers...

The morning was clear, with a light breeze. But at 7:00 am, it was 29 degrees. Should I even attempt to run? I knew once I was dressed, I was going out. So I shut out all the negative self talk and just started pulling running clothes out of drawers.  I wore 2 long sleeve layers, and a running jacket. I had my Lululemon ear band on, and also my neck warmer that I brought up over my head. Halfway down the street, I was just fine! The only issue I'm still having is with my fingers. One morning they will freeze and promptly fall off into my gloves.

Another miCoach morning. I had some sprints to try. Didn't make it into the red zone. They were only 45 second sprints, and it seems that I took too long to ramp up to attempt to get to where I should have been. That must be why the peaks are actually past the end time of the zones.

I had almost reached red by the fourth try. I was also supposed to be in the blue zone the whole time, and I did not succeed with that either. Maybe it was because it was below freezing? I don't know. I remember feeling comfortable except for my fingers. I'm writing this 2 days after the run, and I'm not remembering much of it.

I slept wrong on Thursday night, so I'm suffering with a severe wry neck - with limited rotation and neck flexion. I only just now took a muscle relaxer (I've had this before), and 2 hours later there has been little change. Between that and this tinnitus I've developed since after Hurricane Sandy and that head cold I had, I don't think I'll be in any shape to run again tomorrow, either.

Seems like a good weekend for a Sex and the City viewing marathon.

Magellan Data

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Me likey.

My first workout with miCoach after the Hot Chocolate Run did not feel easy. I had 5 minutes in the blue zone, 20 minutes green, and 5 in the again in the blue. I thought I was running too fast in the blue, but the UK lady was not letting me in on how I was doing. The coaching sounded different,  I wasn't receiving the information the same way I was with previous training. I thought perhaps I had fiddled with the settings, and screwed up some part of the audio coaching.

The outcome was that my phone didn't find a GPS signal before I started. So, no info. Damn. I was however, wearing my Magellan, and I was really surprised with my pace. I don't think I've ever achieved as fast a pace training before. 

This run was also after work. I couldn't get out this morning because of the rain. I usually run better in the morning.

I really have nothing else to say, except I'm so surprised at my results.

Magellan Data

P.S.  Magellan put my time at 26:13 at 3.1 miles. I beat my fastest 5k by 18 seconds today.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Not a fluke!

I ran my first Seaford Hot Chocolate 5k this morning. The temperature was 41 degrees, with a north-northeast wind, felt like gusts around 10 mph. We started running north, so running into the wind was sucky, and since we went in a circle, we finished the same way.

There were 780 runners. Most seemed to be over 30 years old. Some were running with bells, antlers, colors of red and green. I saw some elf and Santa hats. It was briefly amusing. There were some children running, but nothing like the Turkey Trot last week.

I felt somehow that last week's race finish time was a fluke, because I had lost control of my pace before the end of the first mile, and being caught up in a race, had a hard time gaining control again. I felt terribly unfit during most parts of it. Although I was thrilled with my time, I felt as if I had earned it as a mad woman, running without thought or consequence. I wanted to feel skilled and athletic.

This race was a different story. I had decided to forego MapMyRun. I used miCoach to verbally pace me through different stages of the race. I reasoned that even if I came in slower for this one, I would run a race knowing what it felt like to be in control - and that would be a valuable lesson. I was real happy to learn that I could create my own workouts with miCoach, so I made one for the race. It looked like this:

 My goal was still somewhere around 26 minutes, even though I wanted to finish around 25:00 or 24:00! (I'm hoping that will happen sometime in the spring of 2013)
You can see I've forced myself to start slower in the beginning, slow it down at the end before I try again to achieve a 7:30 pace at the last minute before the finish. It almost worked!

Here is what the actual run looked like:

Click to enlarge

The UK woman was telling me to slow down in the beginning, and I managed to stay in the upper limits of the blue zone only briefly. I was most comfortable in the green zone! She had shut up most of the way, except to tell me to stay out of the elusive yellow zone, and RED zone halfway through! I had a problem again slowing down toward the end. Had I slowed my pace to the middle of the blue zone, I probably could have ramped up to the yellow 8 minute pace for a full minute at the end. As it happened, I was only able to do that 10-15 seconds before the finish line, when I forced myself to look at the ground 10 feet in front of me, and concentrate on my hamstrings and gluts providing the power to cross me over the finish line. Everything else around me seemed to be a distraction. I did, however, hear my name and finish time called out over the PA system. That was a first!

So, I was 71% accurate, but if I had been 90% accurate, my finish time would have been slower. As it was, I walked for 20-30 seconds right before I eked out that burst at the end. It would have been another PR had I not. I was only 1 second slower than the OB Turkey Trot! But I did feel SO much better during this race, and I really prefer that. I did feel like a skilled athlete this time around. I'm working hard for it, and I appreciate what my body is returning to me. 

I also did something else different for this race. ( I know, you're not supposed to try anything new, but it seemed like the thing I needed). I read this article, Can a Shakeout Run improve race day performance? a few days ago, and decided to give it a try. I was up at 5:30am (my usual time, 7 days a week) and out the door by 7:00am (I was ready to go at 600am, but it was still dark). I felt no worse afterward for doing it. I took that as a good sign, and had a much more positive expectation for myself and the race as a result.

00:26:32, 8:33 pace - missed a PR by 2 seconds.
10/54 by Age, 251/780 overall

Magellan Data