November 9, 2012

Trail racing and redemption racing

Again, thanks to everyone for giving me a few days to thoroughly whine about missing my Boston qualifying time by two measly seconds. It helped that on the day of the race, my friends who were at the race encouraged me to cry about it immediately. Yes, they're awesome friends. I think that helped more than anything to just get it out of my system that day. Then writing the race report pretty much sealed the deal emotionally. I like that writing something down has a tendency to carry pain out of you and onto the paper/computer. And even though it really stunk to get so close but not quite there, there are obviously way more important things in life. So thank you, thank you for not calling me a jerk for whining about those two seconds, and now I'm ready to move forward.

Good thing because I have a trail race this weekend at Oak Mountain Park. It's my first race with team Alabama Outdoors, and I'm very excited to get some trail time in after all of the pavement pounding I've been doing. Also, I couldn't be happier that temps are cooling and the threat of poison ivy is low.

My goals for this race? Since I just came off a week-long rest, I'm going to start conservative and see how I feel. I'll bring my own water, which I didn't do at my last trail race, so I won't have to worry about hydration.

One of my main goals is to start feeling comfortable passing on the single tracks, so I might just try it a few times for fun. Part of the reason I hate passing on them is that after passing, I then feel pressure to keep up a faster pace that may not be sustainable.

As far as a time goal, last time I raced a half in this location my time was somewhere around two hours so I'd like to go sub-two. This race course could be completely different because there are so many trails out at Oak Mountain Park, so that goal isn't really a solid one.

Also, some of you asked if I have a redemption marathon planned, and I do! Before I even ran Savannah, I had signed up for Rocket City in Huntsville, AL, for December 8th. Registration fills up early for this one, so I'm glad I got in before it was closed. When I signed up, I felt like I could use it as a back-up for my BQ goal if I needed to, or I could just run it for fun. So back-up race it is.

Supposedly the course is pretty flat for Alabama, and a lot of people set personal records there, possibly because of the great temps in December. According to findmymarathon.com, a site that compares race times and courses, I should be able to run Rocket City 13 minutes faster than Savannah. I think they are basing those estimates on cooler temps. I don't really expect to run that much faster, but if I can run two seconds faster, I'll be super happy. I was really hoping to go into that race having already qualified for Boston so that I could just enjoy the course and relax that day, but I'm slowly getting my mind back in the game.

Also, I'm going to try and follow one of the pace groups, which I've never done previously. Any advice on following pacers?

As far as training goes, I'm finishing up my week of rest, and then I'll just rewind my training schedule the number of weeks I have until the race. Except this time, with a healed foot, I'll actually be able to do my speed work. Yay for the little things in life.

Here are some other little things that I love.

My turn to teach co-op preschool and paper plate jellyfishes.

Getting my age group award in the mail. But what do I do with a large medallion? Try to buy something with it?

Carnival in my son's room last night. And that resting was one of the activities.

Also, I have an extra pair of orange shoelaces that I want to mail to one of you.


This isn't a contest or anything, just the first person to tell me they want orange shoelaces (confessing that orange is the best color on the planet is optional) will get them. Comment on this post so that people know you're claiming them, and then send me an email at yomommaruns (at) gmail.com with your shipping info. 

Do you have any tips for passing during trail races? Or any other trail racing tips?

Have you ever followed a pacer during a race? How did it go?

What's a little thing that you love today?

20 comments:

  1. I would love the pair of orange shoelaces as I know orange really is one of the greatest colors ever!!! :)

    You can TOTALLY shave 2 seconds off your marathon time. Good luck at your redemption race! :)

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    1. Done! On the shoelaces and the two seconds (hopefully!).

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  2. Take is easy this weekend! With your redemption race so close you want to make sure you are 100% recovered before you go back at it too hard! I know everyone is different when it comes to how long it takes the body to recover, but you HAVE to kill those 2 seconds at the redemption race...so PLEASE take it easy this weekend :)

    ps- you have a killer attitude and I love that :)

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    1. Good advice! I haven't even laced up my running shoes this week in an effort to actually rest. That's a good idea to continue that trend into the weekend.

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  3. Good luck at Rocket City! I have a feeling you won't have any trouble running the time that you need.

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  4. I stayed with the pacer this summer and PR'd my half marathon time so it was great. It is amazing how the pacers are always right on. . You're going to do great at Rocket City !!

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    1. Glad to hear you had a good experience with the pacer. That gives me hope.

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  5. LOVED the 3:40 pace group at my BQ marathon last January. I was lucky because the 3:35 pacer apparently went missing and the 3:45 pacer went out WAAAAAAAAY too fast. The 3:40 guy/girl (they switched at the halfway point) were MONEY though. I stuck with them until around mile 20 and then eeeked ahead because I was feeling good. Good luck if you decide to go that route. Really helps eliminate the extra stress with all the mental math. Who wants to do all that when you are already tired?

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    1. I'm trying to decide if I should start with 3:40 and speed up if I need to, or start with 3:35 and slow down if I need to. Decisions, decisions.

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  6. I will definitely have to check out that marathon website, sounds interesting. I will look forward to seeing how the pace group thing goes. Those jellyfish are so cute!

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    1. I'm kind of obsessed with that site. It gives you percentage chances for PRing at certain races too. It's really cool.

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  7. lol My Mom wanted that military coin keepsake. She placed 1st female overall masters in the 5k all she got was the sweater. Those jellyfish would make great tree decorations. Rock Rocket City!

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    1. Ha! We should do a prize swap.:) I'm so jealous of their jackets.

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  8. Watch out for that trail run! You will wonder why it was so hard on you physically afterwards because mentally they are amazing, with all that gorgeous scenery to distract you while you are slogging UP and down. I love orange, too -but only for shoelaces. That color looks terrible on me anywhere but my feet!

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  9. Still not done any trail running..but my gorgeous new trail shoes looked amazing in Target this afternoon.

    A little thing I loved today...at the aforementioned Target, I got fleece sleep suits/onesies with feet etc for my little boy in size 5T. I will have him sleeping in fleece sleepsuits until he is 18 if I get my say so it made me incredibly happy.

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  10. I haven't done any trail racing, but for all trail running runs that I did, the most important thing I can think of is "stay focused and don't let your mind wander in the woods" - you don't want a broken ankle, or falling on your face.

    During my last marathon I tried staying with a pacer and it was pretty cool because it kept me relaxed, not thinking about pace. He lost me at km 18, but that's another story, I just deflated on my own.

    I am happy for the 2 loaves of banana bread that just came out of the oven. I shared the recipe on my blog. Yum!

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  11. I love trail racing the feel at that kind of race is so different than a regular road race. I am very excited for you! My advice is to stay focused. Every time I slip nto the groove I fall flat on my face! HA HA! It's all part of the fun! When you pass someone just say "On your left" and then hang on their left for a few seconds to offer words of encouragement- LOVE that!
    I have a feeling you will BQ!!!! Can't wait to read your race report!! I am a pacer with a MN team. We work very har to motivate our runners and we need to be "spot on" in our timing. We encourage our runners to take off if they have it in them in the end. I finish many races all by my lonely little self and that makes me very happy!
    A little thing I love today is my new wicking hat from Target - bright pink!

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  12. I think it's very healthy to whine and feel bad about missing a goal. If anyone judges you for it, they suck. The end. :)

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  13. and, if i would’ve read ahead i would’ve known about rocket city! I hate that i won’t be there for that this year. I’ve heard exactly what you have heard-fast, great course. It was going to be my fall/winter race this year had i done one. never done a trail race! and, my one attempt at following a pacer sucked. bc apparently the pacer had an off day and wasn’t running fast enough-other pacer grabbed the sign and took off. Sub 8 min miles to try and make up for the missed time. total Ahole. thing I love? my girlfriends new born that I got to hold today :)

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