How’s the weekend going so far? Mine has been fabulous. The perfect cocktail of fitness, work and relaxation. Ooo, I could go for a good cocktail, but instead, I am enjoying a serving of Athletic Greens (more on those tomorrow).
Friday started off with this little motivational text from Katie:
This was her attempt to get my pumped for our morning race… it worked. And scared the you know what out of me.
We didn’t die! But I felt like I might a time or two.
She’s is super speedy and was aiming for a PR sub 21 minutes. I wasn’t aiming for an overall time, but instead wanted to average a 7.15 mile pace (or better) for the race.
Let me say this… it was hot! It was hotter this morning at 8am than it was last week for the 4pm race. Oh, and the humidity was in full swing, it felt as if we were in a sauna before we even took our first steps. There is nothing like the feeling of sweat slowly rolling down your back to make you realize the race ahead isn’t going to be fun.
But I had paid to be here and I was going to go for it!
I did something different for this race than I have ever done before:
I DID A WARM-UP JOG
Are you shocked?
Probably not shocked that I did one, but shocked that I have never warmed up for a race before? I know, stupid move on my part.
I get so worked up for races that the idea of running before the start goes off scares me. I get nervous that I’ll tire myself out and have a crappy race. Which is ridiculous.
Warm-ups are crucial and can only help, not hurt.
Here’s what I read at Runner’s World:
“A good warmup dilates the blood vessels leading to your leg muscles, ensuring that they’re well supplied with oxygen, and increases the muscles’ temperature to the optimal level for flexibility, efficiency and powerful contraction. By gradually raising your heart rate, the warmup also helps minimize stress on your heart during the early stages of a race.”
We ran about a mile before standing on the starting line. Once there, of course we stood checking out the competition around us. Which was pretty freaking intimidating. This race had a cash prize so some of the best runners in Charleston were standing right beside us.
We even “ran” into Virginia! Who I met last with when I met Forrest Gump. She is due to have your first child in August and is still running races #fitpregnancy
Oh well, we were there to run our own races and if we placed in our age groups awesome. If not, then we have motivation for the next race.
Then it was time. I knew Katie and I would not be running together, and I made it a goal to simply keep her in view. If I did that, I knew I would be able to PR.
My legs felt great from the get go and even with the crazy heat and humidity, I felt relatively okay. Of course, when you’re chasing after someone aiming to do 6:15 miles, it’s not “easy” but I knew I would set a new personal record.
The final mile was really hard, my body was tired and I was crazy hot. But I knew that the end was near and that I could finish.
I crossed the finish line with a clock time of 22.20, 20 seconds faster than my previous PR and 20 seconds closer to hitting my What’s Beautiful goal!
This is a little off because I didn’t press “stop” right when I crossed the finish. But I ended up running each mile at an average pace of around 7.14 minute/mile! Goal achieved!
Katie finished about 60 seconds ahead of me (I told you, she’s a speed demon) and her husband John, PR’d at 28 minutes!
It’s not green or lean, but apparently this was the mascot: Pelican love!
It was the icing on the cake when Katie and I were awarded 2nd and 3rd place for our age group.
Even though it was a great race, we decided to forgo 5Ks for a bit until the summer heat dies down. So we’re looking at the Turkey Day Run!
Now it’s time to turn our attention to 1/2 marathon training.
Do Warm-Ups Make A Difference?
Well, I PR’d, so for me, it definitely didn’t hurt.
Research has shown time and time again, a proper warm-up is extremely beneficial for exercise. Not just running, but exercise in general.
Here are a few important points of warming-up:
- Enhance performance: the muscles are given the opportunity to increase in temperature and prepare themselves for intense exercise.
- Get in the zone. Your heart rate should be raised to 70-80% of maximum (max = 220-age) to help prepare the cardiovascular system for what’s too come. If you don’t raise it enough, you can suffer and the same if you raise it too much.
- Do an interval or two. Wake up the nervous system and boost your coordination by doing a few very short fast runs (race pace). Short meaning, just 50-100 yards.
- No standing around. Your warm-up should not include a long lull between it and the activity. Warm-up right until the start of your event. This way the muscles stay prepared and ready to go. Plus, your mind is in the “zone”.
I definitely thing that the warm-up helped! If nothing else, I was more calm and felt race ready than normal. And I know it’s something that I should have been doing this entire time!
All it all it was a great run, now just 20 more seconds to knock off and I’ll have one goal crossed off (then of course it’s time for a new one!).
Do you warm-up before exercising?
When I am lifting, we always start with a quick treadmill run and a few body weight exercises to get the body prepared for what’s about to come. But when it comes to running, I am working on it!