Friday, November 30, 2012

November Road Racing Fun!


This year, I had decided to do more trail running.  And while I have done a lot of trail runs and ultras, I have been yearning to get back into road running.  I think I started getting a little lazy with my speed on the trails.  You run slower on the trails than you do on the road but I think I was starting to use that as an excuse to just run slower.  I know I have been getting lazy with hills.  Hills that are runnable, I find I am walking/hiking.  I am starting to see that to be a strong runner, I need to have a good balance of road running and trail running.  I like the speed too.  I  think running trails do make you stronger on the roads.  But, I am starting to see how road running can be helpful to the trail running too.  Getting that leg turnover and developing road speed is helpful in getting me to run faster on the trails.  I was surprised to find the roads calling me back.  But, I think as I grow as a runner, I am learning about balance between all aspects of running.  

So, for the month of November, I decided to get back to running some road races.  Also, I needed to get more running in to be ready to run CIM in December.  

Apple Hill Harvest Run - 8.5 Mile Run
November 4, 2012

Craig and I talked about visiting Apple Hill sometime.  I had never been to Apple Hill before.  What better time to go to Apple Hill then on the same day as the Apple Hill Harvest Run.   :)

The race was a lot of fun getting to run through some of the main stretches of Apple Hill.  Nice seeing the pretty orchards and vineyards with all the autumn colors.  The course had a nice downhill stretch and then a long uphill stretch to the finish so a challenging run.  Fun to get a running preview of the area.  This made it easier to sightsee afterwards.  Also, fun to have a bunch of friends out there running the race too.

I ran a good race and enjoyed some yummy apples afterwards.  Then, Craig and I went sight seeing around Apple Hill and ate/drank more apple treats!  A fun race and fun day!

Clarksburg Country Run - 20 Mile
November 11, 2012

The Clarksburg County Run is a popular race for those training for CIM.  This was my first time running this race.  I was a little nervous as to how I would do running this race.  I can run 20 miles but I had not run distance on the road, at a brisk pace, for some time.  In trail running, I am not running for a straight 20 miles.  I hike hills and stop at aid stations.  But, road running, you generally don't stop.  I was not sure if I even still had my road running endurance.  But with CIM around the corner, I needed to get in a long road run in.  

I hoped to finish in under 3 hours.  The first 6 miles, I felt a bit sluggish but eventually, my legs warmed up and got into gear and I was able to pick up the pace a bit.  The course was not very exciting but there were some nice sections in the countryside.  In the end, I was able to pick it up in the last couple of miles and finished a little under three hours. I was happy I was able to meet my time goal.  I feel better about CIM coming up.  

This was another fun race with a lot of my running friends out there!   I remember in the first few races I did in my early running days, I would hardly know anyone at the race.  Now, it is nice to see many familiar faces at the races I do.  Definitely makes for a more enjoyable experience.  

Davis Turkey Trot - Half Marathon
November 17, 2012

On a wet day, I head to Davis for the Davis Turkey Trot.  This was the first year they would have a half marathon at the turkey trot and so I signed up for it.  Also, since the Urban Cow Half Marathon ended up being long so I didn't get my PR, I was  yearning for a half marathon PR.  

The rain did not bother me too much at the start of the race.  I ran the first half at a pretty brisk pace and well on track to get a PR.  Then, I turned and ran along a country road next to Highway 113 and a heavy head wind blew at me.  I struggled to run a 9:30-10:00 min/pace in the head wind.  I felt like I was about to get blown away.  I saw a larger guy go flying by me and I wish I had a little more weight to not get blown around.  

But, once I got back into the city limits, I was able to pick back up my pace again and finish the last few miles strong.

I got to see a few Java Jogger friends were out there (Dionne, Diana, and Enrique) and they all did pretty well given the wind.  Craig and my brother, Jimmy, were at the finish line cheering me on when I came through so that was nice.  

The course ended up being a little short of 13.1 miles. So, I got a PR (1:48:28).   And, to my surprise, I finished 3rd place in my age group (3rd out of 48 women ages 30-34).  I am feeling good that I am getting my road speed back!  :) 

Run to Feed the Hungry - 10k
November 22, 2012

On Thanksgiving Day, I ran my second Run to Feed the Hungry.  It is a fun, short race to do before partaking in Thanksgiving feasting.  It was super crowded at the race but got to see many running friends out there.  My running friends have become like a second family to me so it's nice to spend part of Thanksgiving with them.  Craig went to watch me in the race too so that was nice having him out there for our first Thanksgiving together!  

The course is fast and flat.  I had fun running it.  I got a new 10k PR (48:34) so I was happy that I was able to get a sub-8 average.  While I prefer the long endurance events, I am starting to come around some of the short and fast ones.  They don't take the whole day either.  Get in a good morning workout and still be able to do stuff.  

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