Ab work this morning at the gym, followed by a 2250 meters (2460 yards) swim. Taking it kind of easy for a 5K race tomorrow morning. I’ve never raced one, and I can’t remember the last time I ran just 5K, but it’s been at least 2 years. Usually my training runs are at least 8K.
I’m really excited about tomorrow, although at the same time if I have to use just one word to describe how I feel about this race, it would be confused. I will think of this race as a training tempo run, where I do the last 5K at a faster pace, and try to copy that tomorrow. After a warm up run, 5K tempo will be the race.
The possibility of going out too fast when it’s a shorter race seem even more probable than usual, at the same time going too conservatively and then having the race be over too fast, without never making the hardest possible effort, would suck a little.
In the end, it will be a good experience, if only learning wise.
This will be a small race and there will be a few people I know, so I am looking forward to hanging out and talking to friends. I wish I could run a great time, but I’m not feeling it too much. I haven’t tapered, except for taking it slightly easier after my 5 day running streak late last week, and my nutrition and sleep have been lacking due to same late nights.
I need to work on my playlist, I will need only a few songs, and then I’m going to bed to watch some TV. I may lose your respect, but I’ve been watching Devious Maids and it’s so entertaining. I’m so tired when I go to bed that I can only watch light stuff, and this show is doing it for me. The maids and the families they work for have some interesting stuff going on.
What is your favorite low quality entertainment?
For me it’s reality TV.
Any 5K race tips?
1) I wish I was a better cook and baker: I know I’m not great in the kitchen, but it just took me over 3 hours to make 3 simple cakes.. The kitchen counter is a mess, so let’s say it will be another hour before I’m done. How do some people host dinner parties, I’ll never know.
2) I can’t believe my son is 6 years old: My little boy is turning 6 tomorrow, how can that be? It seems not long ago we came back home with him from the hospital. Time is a weird concept.
3) Races are awesome: I thought I was done with racing until next season (October), and then a friend sends me a message today asking if I’m in for a night race on June 12th… and I said yes. Now I’m thinking of the training runs I want to do and I’m all happy inside.
4) I love reading blogs: Most nights after the kids go to sleep I sit on my computer and read blogs, the perfect way to unwind and just enjoy what I’m reading. I hardly remember when was the last time I read a book, and I don’t miss it.
5) I’d be fine with every date being a coffee date: Every time my husband or a friend asks me what I want to do when we meet, I think of talking over coffee. There’s something so perfect about that combination. But I don’t want to seem so uncool so sometimes I just say other things, like going to a bar or a movie..
6) My left arch hurts and I wonder if it’s because of my running shoes: I seem to get a bit of a soreness every time I run in my Brooks Pure Flows 2. This doesn’t happen with my Mizunos or even my Brooks Pure Cadence 2. I need to pay more attention and figure out what is causing this.
7) I need new work shirts: Seriously, since spring started, every night I get my clothes ready for the next day, I can’t find any nice short sleeve shirts I want to wear. I stand there for 5 minutes trying to figure it out, and in the end choose to wear a dress. Not that I don’t like shopping, but I can’t find the time to do it.
About running, after Tuesday’s easy 10K, I did another easy 10K on Wednesday, and a fartlek run on the treadmill today, first run with speed after last weekend’s race. 3 x 10 minute intervals at pace Min/KM: 04:50, 04:35, 04:20 (Min/Mile: 07:47, 07:22, 07:00). With warm up and easy breaks, I ran 45 minutes. It was a hard run only because it was too hot in the gym, it really made me want to be outside.
Do you run by time or distance on your runs?
I go by distance and pace outside, and by time and speed on the treadmill.
Would you rather cook a meal or bake?
I prefer baking, and I enjoy it when I do it stress free. If I’m baking with a deadline then I get stressed of messing things up.
This morning I ran my last 10K of the season, the Herzlyia Race, most likely my last race of the season too.
Overall Place: 315 out of 1514
Women’s Place: 20 out of 410
Category (30-39) place: 8 out of 127
I PR’ed by 10 seconds.
I’m not happy about it because I was expecting to do much better than that.
I had an ambitious time goal of 43:30. Forget ambitious, I guess it was very ambitious.
I’m not too bummed that I didn’t make my goal, and I’m surprisingly not embarrassed about sharing my goals in advance and failing.
What bothers me the most is the 10 second PR. 10 seconds means I’m exactly at the same place I was before. I’ve been training hard and pushing myself, and I have nothing to prove for it. That bugs me.
And at the same time excites me. It gives me drive, pushes me forward. I have something to work for.
I would have a lot of room for improvement even if I’d done better today, but the fact that I didn’t pushes me even more. Now I still have my current goal hanging there in front of me, waiting to be achieved. And I’m looking forward to good training and great runs ahead.
As for the race, it was one more race.
The course was mostly on the highway, which was nice, a straight out and back stretch.
Everything else: organization (the race started 15 minutes late), water (they ran out), snacks, entertainment, etc.: just OK, and I’m being nice (I’ve heard and read quite a few complaints).
Have you ever gotten a PR or a great result and still were bummed?
I actually went to sleep after 10:00 PM last night, because I knew I wouldn’t be running this morning, or tomorrow. 2 days straight of no running or working out, brought to me by tapering.
I didn’t drink coffee for breakfast today.
No, not because I didn’t need it due to waking up 2 hours later than usual, but because I wanted to drink my new health elixir (aka green juice), which a coworker brings me to work, on an empty stomach.
I had the juice when I got to the office at 08:30, and a granola bar about half an hour later. Gave the juice some time to work its magic on me.
I wonder if it makes a difference to drink it on an empty stomach or not, but it usually doesn’t happen that I come to work without first having breakfast and going for a run, so today was a good day to try.
I’m no longer able to drink office coffee, it’s just too bad, so that’s how “no coffee” happened this morning.
I saw a really good tip on Single-Tracked Mind’s blog about withdrawing caffeine for a couple days before a race, and then drinking coffee on race morning to get an extra boost, so I thought I might give that a try for my 10K race on Saturday, since I had one morning of no coffee under my belt already.
However at noon I made an emergency call to a friend to go out for coffee, yep, I’m addicted I guess. I couldn’t stand the headache any longer, which of course went away after the first sip.
See the empty coffee cup? It took me about 30 seconds to finish it.
Coffee and ice cream loading with a good friend. It made me happy.
And then I got an email about the race I’m running on Saturday, letting me know of my bib number: 888.
OMG. Is that a cool number or what? Now I have to rock that race. The best bib number I’ll ever get just cannot go wasted.
According to a random blog on the internet, 888 is the luckiest number in Chinese numerology. I will be able to confirm or refute that piece of information on Saturday morning.
Are you physically addicted to coffee? From all the bib numbers you got, do you have a favorite?
If you are going over all the details of your upcoming race, trying to figure out how to do things the best way, then you are probably wondering if you should carb load.
But what exactly is carb loading, should you do it, and if so, how to do it right?
The technical mambo jambo, ADD version:
Our bodies store energy in the form of glycogen, in our muscles and liver.
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are our main source of glycogen.
Our bodies store enough glycogen for about 90 minutes of exercise.
See? That’s it.
Should I carb load?
Eating enough carbs before a race is not only beneficial for longer races, but it will also give you extra energy for races where you’ll be running less than 90 minutes.
Even if you are planning on consuming carbs before/during your race, carb loading a few days in advance will ensure you have the maximum energy available come race day.
However, there are a few negatives to carb loading to consider before you make the decision:
Feeling bloated: a change in diet, especially consuming extra carbohydrates, may make you feel bloated.
Water retention: Our bodies store 3 grams of water for every gram of glycogen.
Stiff muscles: extra carbs can make your muscles feel stiff and less flexible.
Change: sometimes the uncertainty of change doesn’t sit well on our minds, especially close to race day (see “make a plan” below).
The right way to carb load:
Do the math: By using a nutrition app like myfitnesspal or sparkpeople, figure out what percentage of your daily calories comes from carbs, so you can gradually increase them. Keep in mind you’ll want to eat around 7-8 grams of carbs for each KG (2.2 pounds) of your weight (this is what works for me, some suggestions go up to 10 grams per KG).
Practice: General guidelines are great to get an idea of what to do, but they are guidelines. Your body may respond better to a bit less or a bit more carbs than the recommended range, so take the time to experiment.
Make a plan: Figure out in advance what you will eat and drink every day during the carb loading phase, calculate the carb and calorie content to make sure you are on track with your needs.
Start 3-7 days before the race: The last 2 days before the race, consume 80% carbs, the days before that, range between 50% and 80%.
Choose wisely: Despite what you may have heard, carb loading is not about eating a lot of starchy junk food. Chose simple and nutritious foods, without a lot of extra fat and salt. Go for complex carbs the first few days (whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, oats, etc.) and stick to simple carbs (white breads and flours) the day before the race.
Get them in: Some people actually enjoy eating a lot of bread, pasta and rice. But for others it is more difficult to eat a larger amount of carbohydrates. Healthy drinks are a great way to get some additional carbs without the extra feeling of fullness, think smoothies, shakes, and natural juices.
Don’t overeat the night before the race: Eat a medium sized meal, 12-15 hours before the race. You want to feel comfortably full after dinner, and actually wake up hungry the next morning.
Race day breakfast: Don’t go overboard with your race day breakfast, so you don’t feel too full and heavy when it’s time to run. A 200-300 calorie breakfast of mostly carbs, 2-3 hours before the race should be enough.
Have you ever tried carb loading? Did it work for you?