Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Workout Update - Running Club Fun Times Edition!

Last Saturday, my running club had a "benchmark" run - the longest run yet of the season for each of the groups. The full group had 15 miles on their schedule, while the half group had 8 miles. To mark this big occasion, our coaches treated it as a "race day" with several manned aid stations, and a post-run party, complete with breakfast tacos, fresh fruit, massages, music and a chance for everyone to hang together and bond over this experience. Jeff volunteered to help with the aid stations which was nice - it helped to to see him twice on the course.

The morning dawned all too early - it was going to be another warm day, so I tried to dress appropriately. I have a difficult time not overdressing...even though I know I will warm up quickly, it's hard to convince myself when it's dark and cold at 5:30 am that I only need to pull on a technical t-shirt and shorts (or a running skirt!). I consider this little struggle the first mental step that I had to take that day. I did end up wearing a zip up jacket and a pair of gloves...which I regretted about half a mile into the run. Luckily, with the manned aid stations, we could ditch our extra layers, and I was able to do that at 2.5 miles in.

I have to say that this 8 mile run was amazing! I felt great the entire time. It's still a bit disconcerting to go from being the last person in when I ran with the full marathon group, to being the person in the lead with the halfs. There's no one to follow - I have to make sure I'm aware and paying attention to the little arrow route markers that Coach Dale posts throughout the course - I'd hate to miss a turn and accidentally run farther than I needed to! And it was funny to see Jeff's reaction when I arrived first at his aid stations (he manned the ones at miles 2.5 and 6.5) - he's so used to seeing me come in toward the end of the pack at races that this was a bit shocking for him. I hit 8 miles at 1:33; my average pace was 11:39; and my splits were:
11:39
11:39
11:10 (wow - and this was when I stopped at the aid station, stripped off my iPod armband, jacket and gloves, put the armband back on, and filled up my water bottle!)
11:28
11:55
12:03 (start of the "Boonville Hill" incline)
12:03 (first half of this mile was continuing the incline)
11:19

Really, this was my best long run ever. Everything worked great - my fuel was good (I ate two Sports Beans at miles 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7), and my hydration worked well - I started off with coconut water in my bottle, and refilled it with water along the way. I wore bandaids on my ankles so no blood was drawn, even though I kicked my ankles several times (at one point I yelled "oh come on!" when I kicked myself for the third time, lol). Coach Dale stayed behind at the park while we all ran, and took our "finish line" pictures when we came in...truth be told, he was sitting at a picnic table chatting with the masseuse when I came in (perils of being first, lol) so this picture is a bit staged:

Woohoo!!! Eight miles and done!!!
Julia and I - happy runners!

Then I headed to the massage table, where I was treated to a mini-massage, complete with ice - it felt really good, strangely enough!

Totally worth running 8 miles for this reward!
Wish we could have massages after every long run!

Then it was time to eat!
Breakfast taco with homemade salsa - delicious!

While we were eating, the wind picked up and it got cold!
Tiffany with four hats on - an unseen beanie, pink hoodie, white cap, black hoodie...she is serious about keeping her ears warm!
I wrapped up in a blanket and huddled by the barbecue when I got really cold - it was quite toasty!

As if that wasn't enough fun, we also had the unofficial USAFit Jingle Bell Run on Tuesday night!

You know I HAD to dress up for this one:
How 'bout those socks??? Gotta love Target. I was going to wear my battery-operated Christmas lights, but it was too warm for my vest, which has pockets, and I didn't have anywhere to stash the battery pack in this outfit. Oh, I also attached jingle bells to my shoes. :)

We ran a 5K through a nice neighborhood in town and got to enjoy all the Christmas lights - quite fun! I've been wanting to do a Jingle Bell run this year, but they've all been on Saturday mornings and weren't long enough distances to match up with our training, so this fit the bill perfectly!

After our run, several of us went out for dinner at Freebirds:
Tiffany, Julia, me, Coach Joni (cute socks!), Coach Erica, Coach Dale

I love having special running events like these - they really make all the training so worthwhile. Glad I found my running club; glad the coaches are so willing to make it fun for us; and glad to have such fun people to run with!

18 comments:

  1. You look so happy! Its nice to see you having the time of your life:)
    Awesome time on the runs and how nice to have a free message.
    I was wondering where your antlers were on your jingle bell run? Just kidding!
    All I can say is Go Shelly Go!

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  2. It looks like you are making great memories!!

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  3. Awesome fun!
    A technical shirt?
    What kind of technical shirt?
    So glad it works for you.

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  4. Luuuuuurve the socks!

    And?

    That's it. I'm moving to Texas immediately. I want and probably need your running group. (Also motivated by the fact that it was only 14 degrees here this morning with a windchill of 4).

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  5. Oh my goodness, you had me at breakfast tacos and coconut milk. Then a massage too! Awesome! You looked fantastic in that yellow shirt and pink skirt (I got the blue one on sale from Skirt Sports...love the Gym Girl Ultra).

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  6. How cool is that?!What a fun running group. Congratulations on coming in first. High five, my friend. :)

    Mmmmm....Freebirds. I've been craving it.

    As usual, I'm so impressed with your running.

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  7. Love the jingle bell run outfit!! Glad you had such a great 8 mile run - way to rock it out!

    I think I need to make a breakfast taco now! :D

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  8. What a fun report. I WANT your shoes!!!

    Just so amazing to hear you describe your run, to hear you were in first place, and to see your times. Do you go back and read some of your posts from the beginning of the year when you 'hit the wall' at 100 feet or so? (I remember that so well because it described just how I felt.)

    Never heard of Freebirds. Gotta check them out!

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  9. Awesome! It is funny when you talk about it being "too warm"..it's freezing here!

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  10. That does look like fun! Note to self - find massage after working out.

    I had to laugh at you guys being cold, though. Come and run with me in 18 degree weather :D That will change your cold perception LOL!

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  11. I love your running club too. I'd wish we had something like that here but we don't have it. We do have running clubs but they don't organize such fun things.

    Well, well done on your 8 miler my friend. I couldn't be more proud of you!

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  12. This is one of my most fave Wed Workout posts. You really do look happy. I love that you felt good the whole time.

    That's some nice group....nice event!

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  13. Look at you run, girl!!! You are awesome - and I have to admit, I am so super jealous of your running club. I wish I had something like that here!

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  14. Congrats on both runs! I love my group, too. They make it extra-special.

    Oh, and the socks rock!

    Winks & Smiles,
    Wifey

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  15. ha ha yes a loonie = dollar - I have fixed my post ;-) thanks Shelley got a chuckle out of that one.

    I also glad I came by but not, I love your recap, I love that you have a running group, I love that you are smiling, but I hate that you don't have to wear a toque, gloves, mitts and layer upon layer to run... I would give anything to put it all away and enjoy some warm weather, snow sucks ;-).

    WTG!

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  16. Congrats on our 8 miler! Your running group sounds so awesome. I love reading about your accomplishments and I just think to myself.....someday.

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  17. Come on my friend: set that goal of 1011K for 2011.

    With all your planned races so far you can reach it. Changes you will reach it are bigger than I will. It would be fun to have the same mileage goal this year.

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  18. Congrats on such a great run, sounds like your running club is fab. There is a running club near me but I don't think it's anything like on the same level as your's, and unfortunately due to hubby working shifts it's hard for me to make their runs which are early evening. But maybe next year I might give it a go.

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