Saturday, March 7, 2009


well, on thursday night, i decided to do a running race this weekend (Sue Krenn 15k) as an excuse to have one more week of no speed work. because races count (in my head) as speedwork. so i have a bye for one more week. this was my first repeat road race. sue krenn 15k was one of two races i did before i fractured my hip in 2007. things were so different back then....i think this is my first race picture ever:

this photo cracks james up becuase of the sweet big white headphones. he wants to know if my discman is in a tune belt on my backside.

this year, going into the race i hoped that i would improve upon my previous time. after all, i had started running consistently just a month before this race in 2007 and was CLUELESS to racing, pacing, nutrition. i finished the 2007 race in 1:01:27 (6:35/mi)pace...this year, i thought maybe i could break an hour. well guess what? i sure didn't! i crossed that line right around 1:01:20...yes, the same time i ran before i started any of this craziness!!!! today i was second overall and won my AG, but instead of being excited at the finish, i was kind of bummed (but i totally acted excited :) because that's what you do! why did i run the same time as i did two years ago and why wasn't i faster?

1) gradually, as i talked to the garmin-ified, the course was exactly .2 over (so it was 9.5 instead of 9.3)...about 6 people told me this. so its either right, or everyone else is trying to justify their slower time too. :) so, that means that if it was 9.5 miles that is 6:27/mile pace. so even using this number, i am only 8 seconds faster per mile than i was with ALMOST NO TRAINING.

2) it was windy today. (and thanks to my 2 gracious tall-man-wind-blockers. these REALLY come in handy on fiesta island.) i get good practice drafting on the bike, so it's second nature now on the run. so yeah, it was windy today, but not THAT windy. and maybe it was windy in 2007 too, and i just don't remember becuase i was zoned out clueless listening to hillary duff or avril lavigne or something cool like that on my discman.

2.5) i got a very bad sidestitch at mile 6. lasted until mile 8. the kind that had me stabbing my side with my fingers and bending sideways to try to make it stop. but i don't think it made or broke my race. i think this one is negligible as to "why" i wasn't faster.

3) i am certainly fitter now, but i'm also fatter...and i am NOT saying i'm fat. perhaps i am not even fatter percentage-wise, but i currently carry at least 5-7 pounds more "mass" than i did at that race. which is okay becuase i think at that point i was so underfueled that my body decided to make "layoffs" and since it had to work full time on my basic life functions (breathing and such), it had to make cuts in the muskuloskeletal department. bone renewal apparently wasn't a priority and i ended up on crutches for 5 months. after that, i decided that i'd rather be healthy than frail.

anyhow. i wasn't unhappy with the race today, and i really felt thankful that my legs work and i can just hop in and run and run well. i can't do that biking or swimming so i know how lucky i am. i just am now wondering what running improvement is supposed to look like. how much do most people improve? since i was never a "runner", i have assumed that if i work, i will continue to get faster over the next few years before i reach my limits since my "runnning age" is low..maybe not? call me stagnant stan.
i am also wondering (knowing) if (that) this means i need to do some more harder running to get faster. i feel like i run hard on training runs at least once or twice a week, and i run a lot of hills, but i guess i am not cultivating the kind of speed i need to be fast at the under 10miles type of races.

okay. done with rehashing, on to pictures! i figure we're reaching the point of saturation on this blog of photos of me with race medal, acquiring race medal, or posing with others with race medals, so for this race, i took pictures of other things.

this next picture was the highlight of the awards... at the Sue Krenn race, winners get bottles of wine (right on!). but, the police patroling did not think that was so right on, and in the middle awards the race directors had to pack up the cases and take them to a truck. contraband! nothing to see here folks. it was funny. ...

i WAS allowed to go to the back of said truck later and pick up my vino...mmm. pinot noir. this is such a romantic race, i got a rose for finishing and wine as an award...the roses are given in honor of Sue Krenn to all the women who race- its a great touch.

at least there is some romance going on somewhere, because right now i'm sitting next to passed out/shelled james who just raced his best in a brutal mountainbike the romance is on hold here for now.

and here is my new favorite recovery drink (pre- workout too!)...coconut water "nature's sports drink" [its not coconut milk, totally different, much lighter, almost like water (duh)].

coconut water has 5 essential electrolytes, more potassium than a banana (670mg), is all-natural, no sugar added and is very low acidity. so far, i've seen coconut water big in the "hot yoga" set...but i feel the crossover to endurance sports coming on. i love this stuff right after an easy workout on its own (it's 60 calories/15g carbs/1protein) or along with a snack w/protein after a bigger workout.

after my recovery bevvy...i was supposed to meet bethany for a 2 hr. ride from the race site. and i was freezing. i had the arctic chill set in while waiting in the shade for my wine after the race and it was chilly out. i knew i would not be a fun ride companion and i had underestimated how much the race would take out of me. (i ended up running 3 miles warm up 9.5 miles race, 2 mile cool down, for a total of 14.5 miles). so i bailed on her like a bad friend and headed up the coast towards home. i was still freezing when i remembered that hot yoga at the tropics started at 10am. JUST what i needed to shake the shivers and stretch it out. what a great call. i need to do this after every running race!i think it really flushed out some of the junk and got that lactic acid moving right on through.

after the yoga, i headed home and went to the store to pick up stuff to make asian turkey lettuce wraps for dinner tonight and set off on an easy 1:15 spin on my own. this was a good call-it had heated up nicely outside and i really just rode peacefully and easily at my true easy pace. i didn't even use my ipod, i just enjoyed. good times.
big hilly 70-miler on tap for tomorrow. i planned the route so we'll see how lost i get's the route...a big "local" loop with some nice climbs (del dios, lake wolford)...
happy sunday.


Vincent said...

you mentioned two years ago that you had only trained for a month beforehand, could the lack of difference be that this year you didn't taper or prepare specifically for this race, where as two years ago you put a lot more emphasis on it?

Great result nonetheless though.

Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...

could be that champions too have "bad" days sometimes, no :)

And judging by the blog title photo super-Beth aint running no more but FLYING :D so wind resistance that high can make a huge difference :D

Sherry said...

Beth, to this fan of yours... you are fast! Not just fast... but like super fast! It's mind boggling to me just how fast you are with such a short amount of time under your belt. There... now, did I mention that you are FAST? Feel better yet? :o)

Seriously, job well done!

Hmmm... coconut water... sounds interesting! :o)

Christine said...

I think you are as fast as humanly possible for someone who has a job etc (and isn't Kenyan). Keep your head up and don't be disappointed if you don't get faster. YOu are already an elite small increases in speed are HUGE at that point.

beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beth said...

thanks, guys! but for sure i am NOT saying i am slow and am not complaining. i know i am a decent runner and am super lucky for that.
i just want to know how much you are supposed to improve and over time.
i thik vincent may be on to something. i am coming off of 3 15-17 hour weeks so my body=not so fresh. thanks for thinking about that!

Maggs said...

But you still looked good! were you swimming and biking 2 years ago? I'll never be as fast as I was when I didn't swim or bike.

Sue said...

since i am clueless on training, etc...I can only give input on the pics..which we never get tired of seeing your sweet mug on any photo with a medal :)

allyson said...

I had the same thing happen with a race, had the same thoughts too. I forget that actually having hard training weeks does tire you out! Just think how much faster you will be when you do taper.

Awesome job

X-Country2 said...

Races like this just make you appreciate races you rock all that much more. Enjoy your wine! :o)

Mike G said...

The wind can make such a big difference. I just did the red rock marathon this weekend and the wind basically stopped me from getting a PR.

I would imagine if you did one track workout with eight to ten 400 meter sprints you would get a lot faster. One track workout a week is not such a scary thing.

BreeWee said...

GREAAAAAAAT post, I feel ya. I am so with ya.

Crapola every time we don't bust up a new PR or at least something better than 2 years ago! Hang tight sister, it only gets better and we only get stronger... sometimes it just doesn't happen as FAST as we want... you are still going to KICK major @$$ this season.

As for the coconut water, I filled my bottles with that stuff at Kona 07 and have been sworn on it since, it is so amazing... I like ONE brand best though, but let me tell ya, if aid stations served that stuff life would be so sweet.

enjoy the wine, you deserve it!

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

You rocked. I am sure the race was longer and windier....I bet your legs had a ton of load in them from last week. In terms of relativity you crushed your previous time. It's just that darn bar keep getting higher. Remember to stay focused on what's really important....How many guys did you drop?

GZ said...

So there are a lot of reasons why performance is what it is - wind, taper, where you are in your training cycle, stress (uh, don't you have like a billion hour credit load), good day, bad day, etc.

FWIW - and I am certainly not saying anything @ your wt - it is been bantered about that a pound of excess wt is about 2 secs a mile. Obviously there is a point where that is a limiting return.

PIKES! (reg is Wed).

jameson said...

you ARE faster than you were 2 years ago... and you'll see that when you are rested...

wish i could have been there... but i'll make up for by drinking the wine!

D a v e P said...

Hey Beth,

I agree with everyone about high volume training weeks/not being rested. What we don't know is how you actually ran the race. How fast were your first couple miles? Maybe you started too fast or slow? Lots of variables go into each race, aside from the weather alone.
On a side note: KLE has another famous 15k that is def NOT 15k (more like 9.55mi), so that really sucks when courses are longer than they say they are!
Peace out!

Charisa said...

side stitches are EVIL and congrats on your race - I think you rocked it.

Webber said...

I have to admit, I have been a lurker! I do recall you listed the Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon on your site in the past. I live in Colorado Springs and wanted you to know that registration is on the 11th of March. In case you did not know, the Ascent fills up in hours. Check out this site for some
I did not want you to miss this great (but tough) experience. Best of luck!

Caroline said...

Oh and another reason to add: You have been training like an animal! So your legs were actually stronger, but tired too! You are on fire, and going to have a great year!
Keep Smiling ;)

Jill Costantino said...

Good job on the race Beth! And wow with what you decided to do with the rest of your day.
I am with you on the Coconut water! I LOVE it! I use O.N.E. brand - same as Bree.
I too would like to know how to get better. It seems like it just keeps getting harder to improve the faster you get! UUuurrGGHH!!!
Great job again and enjoy the wine!

FatDad said...

Great race. You're a machine. Race, yoga, spin. Hard-core.
Also, as a reply to your whining, er, observations, couple things:
1) 10 seconds per mile IS faster over a 10 mile race,
2) Now, you can carry that pace over 26 miles, just like you trained your body to do. Could you say that in 2007? Uh, no.
I'm sure you could discover a LOT more top end speed if your training was tipped towards developing it.
Taper up and watch the road catch fire.

Zach said...

Wine always makes the best award.

That ride looks like it will be fun; or was fun - I guess you have already done it by now.

Have a great weekend.

Jamie said...

They were giving out that coconut water after my yoga class at Lululemon the other day. Really good stuff, but I tried it on a trainer workout and realized how small the bottles were. I'm a heavy sweater and sucked down the whole bottle in less than 30 minutes. I guess they are more built for recovery than mid-workout nutrition.

Either way, good stuff and I loved the mango flavor!