Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Popular Bank's 5K 2014

A couple of days ago I was talking to my brother about this race. He said that once you do a race three consecutive  times, then you can say: " Oh, that race? Yeah, I run it every year." And so it is, that I continue what is now my yearly tradition of running Popular Bank's 5K, which was my first race ever back in 2012. How time flies...

What doing something repeatedly also affords you, is the ability to rate it with some degree of accuracy so, after running this race three times, I think I can honestly say this: I kind of hate this race.
Life in the last corral.

It's really more of a love/hate relationship. Being my first race ever, there is no way to not look back at this race with fondness and memories of how, despite my horrible finish time, it made me look ahead at what I could do in the future. On the other hand, for several reasons -some of them beyond me- I can't seem to perform the way I would like in it despite the fact that it is a relatively flat course. 

There were many factors that I couldn't control. It's a popular race so it's crowded. Runners and walkers alike (many racing for the first time, so they might not be aware) don't seem to respect the "rules" regarding lanes and walking 10-wide. Even though they added corrals this year, they really didn't mean much. I'm sure it will be better next year. This year we had non-stop rain all week so I didn't train as I would have liked. All that was a factor I'm sure, but...

It really comes down to me just being plain slow.

One of the reasons I love to hate 5K's in general and this 5K in particular, is that it requires a gear I seem to not posses. As my marathon finish time will tell you, I have no problem running for hours on end, but sustaining speed for prolonged periods seems to be eluding me. My best mile for example, is in the 9's but there is no way I can hold that for more than that.

My goal right now would be to run (and hold) at about 11(ish) minutes per mile for a whole 5K but right now I can't do it. I have to stop, walk a bit then run again. In this race my splits say it all. I ran the first mile in 11:38, then the other two in the 13's as I was forced to stop a couple of times. It's the domino effect: if I can't hold 11's for three miles then how can I expect to hold 13's for a Half-marathon? (Which is what I would need for a sub-three.) 
With an official finish time of 39:25, the race predictor in the Runner's World web site says I should run a Half-Marathon in 3:01 which is short of my goal by two minutes. Clearly a lot of work to do in the coming weeks.

But it wasn't all gloom and doom of course. This is the tenth year this race was done and the bling reflected that. Despite the corral issue, the race was well organized overall and I got to meet with what is quickly becoming my running posse, which you have all met in other recaps I have done. Gilbert, which was forced to walk it due to injury and the fact that he is a wimp (he, he). His dad, running a race for the first time, actually did a lot better than I did in this race the first time around and he is 63 years old! He also ran with his daughter, Cristie, who ran last year with us as well. Frankie, who I think I will start calling "The Jet" from now on, sped down the course in 27 minutes and some change. He will be running the Star Wars Half-Marathon and watching the NY Jets play in the coming months so I'm of course, green with envy. His wife Nadya ran a PR and will run the Star Wars 10K with Frankie. Some people have all the luck. LOL
The Fat Runner's Running Posse: Frankie "The Jet", his wife Nadya, Cristie, Gilberto, myself and Gilbert "The Walker"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guess who won the DietBet?

Remember the DietBet? I talked about it a while ago.(Actually a month ago to be exact) You sign up on the DietBet website and join a challenge. In my case it was Mindy Bobe from Road Runner Girl who set up the whole thing. $25 got you in, lose 4% of your weight in a month and those who did would split the resulting pot. For me to partake in said pot, I would have to lose 11 pounds.

Well, I ended up losing 12.

I submitted my results on Tuesday and on Wednesday I got confirmation as one of the winners. There were 108 players and 59 of them actually made the 4% goal. The pot was $2,750. That means I got my $25 investment back plus 10 bucks. So I got paid 10 dollars to lose 12 pounds! Pretty cool if you ask me.

So now, thanks to this bit of motivation, not only I'm at the lightest weight I've been in years but 20 pounds below what I weighed when I got married 9 years ago. (Back then, I was... um, challenged to lose 25 pounds for the wedding, which I did.) 

Why thank you Mr. President. Thank you so much.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Training Update

Let's begin with something totally unrelated to training. runDisney released pictures of the medals for the Avengers half Marathon weekend. Here they are:

I've been following what people have said regarding the medals when Matt Marcela posted the picture to the Team Run Disney group on Facebook and apparently there are some mixed feelings. Personally, I love the Half medal. It is simple, elegant and to the point. Makes me even sadder that I'm gonna miss this one.

Anyway... training! Now that I'm deep into training for the Philly Half, it's time for an update. So far, it has been positive despite few snags. My mileage is up and I feel like I'm making good gains overall. Here are some of the good things and bad things that have happened so far. First the bad:

1. I have not been feeling well. I was sick a while back and for some reason I still have a cough and a head congestion that is giving me some pretty bad headaches. A few days ago, I was forced to cut a 5 mile run at 3 miles simply because the headache wouldn't let me go on. Sadly this is not new. Whenever I get the flu or whatever, the cough always lingers for the longest time. Totally sucks.

2. Apparently, I took it a bit too easy these past few months so it has been hard to get myself in "proper" running form. Long runs in particular have been challenging.

3. For the most part, I've been tracking my calories and behaving myself but there have definitely been some bad days...

4. It's been hard to keep a consistent schedule. Been forced to run on rest days and cut running days to make up for it however...

The Good:

1. My mileage is definitely up. I don't like the unpredictable schedule but I'm running so that's good.

2. I'm back to doing speedwork and tempo runs. Hurts so good...

3. Back to long runs on the weekends. Hurts... not so good, but I'm out there.

4. Soda consumption has been reigned in to an absolute minimum. Almost to zero. Almost.

I am having a bit of an issue in the nutrition department that I can't seem to figure out though. I usually run after I get home from work (5:30pm - 6:00pm-ish). On the days I run, I eat dinner afterwards. Since I'm watching my calories, my lunch is on the lighter side and apparently not enough to fuel my run properly. I have felt awful and tired during the run. Solution? Skip dinner and have a more robust lunch, then have a snack at night.

Skipping meals is a bit of a no-no when you are trying to lose weight but what other way is there around this? Has anyone had (or has) this problem?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Last week? Could've been better.

I was supposed to post a report on how my training and nutrition has been going this last week. I didn't. Sorry about that. Before I do go into how things are going, allow me to vent for a second about how wonderful last week was.

Puerto Rico, to all my friends from the States and other countries who might not be aware of this, has been going through a pretty dry period recently. So dry in fact, that last week, the dreaded words "water rationing schedule" started to be uttered by government officials. If things didn't change soon they were to start rationing water sometime next week. Dear old Nature had other ideas.

So, what is Nature's way to deal with a water shortage in a place of extremes? Send in a Tropical Storm. Bertha made land on Saturday and all the trouble that comes with it, including power outages and not being able to leave home (too dangerous). I missed my long run. The end result? It rained and the lakes had some relief but we are not out of the "worry zone" yet. There wasn't any major damage so at least good for that.

Then I murdered my phone.

You know those Galaxy S5 Actives that are water resistant and stuff? Yeah, mine is not one of those. Something that became painfully apparent when I joined my daughters for a dip in my brother's pool with the phone in my pocket. I played, splashed and did the backstroke a few times and then, I realized what I had done. At least it didn't die alone. The keys to our mini-van were in there with it so the remote (which turns the security system and the locks plus the locks) died too. It was a massacre. Hopefully my wallet didn't suffer the same fate. A good thing since I sure needed it to pay the deductible to get the phone replaced. Worst part. The replacement will arrive by mail so for now, no phone.

I'm gonna miss that phone. I ran the Disney Marathon with it. I reviewed the Armpocket i35  with it. It was a good phone. Rest in Peace phone.

OK, next post I will give you a training update. I promise.