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Clues & Lessons (race recap)
by on Sunday, April 28, 2013

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Yesterday, I donned my BTC racing kit for the first time -- first race this year and first race since October '12 -- for the Boulder Distance Classic 5K. Overall, training had seemed to be going well, though it had admittedly been diminished the past few weeks. Regardless, I was excited to finally get to race and the weather was getting really nice. My race execution was what I had planned: get out to an aggressive start and cruise through the first mile, pick it up for the second mile, and then push hard in the third mile. However, that plan left me with a finish that was not at all satisfactory, even given the slow nature of the race course: 35th overall in 18:57. I laid it all out there, showed up and ran the best I could on the day. I make no excuses, yet I am wondering about what reasons might be holding me back from racing faster. First would be the aforementioned flimsiness of my recent training. The structure itself is sound, it could just use more volume, which I will be correcting. I am also reminded of the ancillary strength training I have not yet implemented. Aside from those details, I have been feeling significantly low in energy lately (including the morning of the race) and in reading a NYT article today that mentioned symptoms of sleep disorder it occurred to me to start being more disciplined in getting sleep. The other possibility (which lack of sleep would lead to) is adrenal fatigue, so I will also be cutting out coffee and alcohol for the next few weeks to see how that helps. The good news is that I am confident in both pinpointing clear issues and knowing steps to take to work on eradicating them. It was also good to be around the team at a race, there was a really good group energy there to keep my mind off my disappointment. The great news is that two guys I coach had really good races, plus I now have photos of me racing in my new club uni!

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Race report - Deer Run - 5K
by on Saturday, April 27, 2013

My reports are not nearly as good as Ryan's are but here goes.

I made sure to get to the race early - I like being very early so I can be relaxed. After getting my race packet I went back to my car and ditched my warmer clothing. The weather was very nice and the winds very light - I was happy with the weather conditions. I pinned my bib on (glad I brought my own pins as they only provided two) and the turned on my Garmin to go for a 2 mile warm-up run.

I ran at about an 8-8:15 minute per mile pace for the warm up and was sure to run the final half mile of the race to end my warm-up. I noticed they were setting up timing pads at the start/ finish line and I checked my bib. There was no chip! I went to the check-in area and they directed me to a spot behind day-of registration where they were handing out the timing chips. (I wish he told me that when he gave me my packet at check-in.)

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Effects of sports drinks in mid-distance road racing
by on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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For terms of this post, I'm considering anything 90 minutes and under to be a "mid-distance" race. For most of us, that would be somewhere between 15K and half marathon at the upper limit.

This is something I've often wondered about. We know our bodies can store enough glycogen for about 90 minutes of running so how useful are sports drinks in a race of less than 90 minutes? Your body already has enough fuel on board, does it really help to top off the tank?

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Running in a Small Town
by on Sunday, April 21, 2013

This is an uncomfortable post for me to write. But sometimes uncomfortable things should be talked about.

I live in a small town where very people run. I am known by strangers as, "The girl who runs." I am used to people asking me in the grocery store how far I run each day and that is something that I am sure you all encounter.

A few things though the last few months have started to trouble me. I have always felt safe running. My only worries for my own personal safety have only been about traffic or falling. Like I stated before people often use my running as a way to start a conversation or introduce them self to me. Usually those conversations are quite normal. But lately some of these conversations have been strange. Like people say things that they really should not. Like things that make me think that they might have a somewhat unhealthy interest in my running. I am not a person that is easily offended and as a long time regular of the dive bars in this town I have heard about everything and am quite used to the more suggestive comments that people sometimes make. Most of those comments are actually pretty normal considering the people that they come from. I have some friends in low places. Those type of comments or cat calls no matter how crude are not what I am writing about here.

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Race report: Pike Lake Trail Run
by on Saturday, April 20, 2013

I was looking for a race to test out my legs some but not worry about times or beat myself up too badly. When I saw this race on the calendar, I couldn't resist. Times mean nothing when running at Pike Lake due to the extremely undulating terrain so I wouldn't find myself worrying about running a certain time. No matter what time I run, it doesn't matter. Further, I figured the trail aspect would save my legs a bit and, this time of the year and with the recent large amounts of rain we have had, ensure times would even mean less. So I signed up and was off to the races.

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We will overcome
by on Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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I know everyone is writing about this and I have no doubt some are far more eloquently than I will. Still, I can't help but add my own thoughts.

Yesterday's events at Boston have shaken the running community. There is no denying that. Never, as far as I can recall, has an act of terror so directly attacked the distance running community. There have been acts of terror targeting the Olympics and that, obviously, affects the running community but they weren't directly targeted at a running event. They were targeted at an event that running is a part of. On top of that, this wasn't an attack on just a running event. It was an attack on the longest-running annual marathon in the world. It was an attack on possibly the most famous marathon in the world (some might quibble with this but it is definitely among the top two or three).

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Terrorist attack at Boston Marathon
by on Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm still catching up myself on what is going on in Boston right now. It appears two bombs detonated near the finish line. Initial pictures I've seen are not looking good. I won't post pictures here for those who don't want to see them. If you do want to see what seems to be the most commonly used photo, see the link below:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/15/two-explosions-boston-marathon/

I'll update here as I'm able and as I get updates. Mixed messages now but it sounds like runners are being rerouted away from the finish line. If anyone has more details or finds updates before I post them, please don't hesitate to update in the comments. I'll be doing the same.

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A Tale of 2 Tempos
by on Sunday, April 14, 2013

I am excited for tomorrow morning as I get to track four friends racing Boston. This definitely brightens up what has been a very gray couple of weeks. All of them are prepared to run great races and I will be so happy to watch them do so from my computer screen. Plus I think that either Shalane or Kara will come through in a big way. Hopefully there will be lots of me cheering like a freak all morning.

Last week was a very good week of running with an excellent tempo run of 6 miles @ 6:32, a 5x1000 workout, and a 15 mile long run to total up to 60 miles for the week. I was feeling really good about the direction my fitness was going and excited enough to sign up for Crazy Legs for the first time ever. In the past I have not ran this race due to the lack of seeding for those who have not ran the race the previous year. This year it appears that they will seed the newbies so I can only hope I will not start behind a wall of walkers.

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Doping with thyroid medication?
by on Thursday, April 11, 2013

This Wall Street Journal article prompted a lot of discussion yesterday about whether or not our sport has a new doping problem in the form of thyroid medication.

It's always tough when medication for a genuine medical condition can also be a performance enhancing medication, as some people think this thyroid medication could. As I began reading this, I instantly thought of the fact that asthma seems to stricken track and field athletes at higher rates than it occurs in the general population. Anti-doping agencies allow inhaled corticosteroids for athletes suffering asthma with a "Therapeutic Use Exception" (TUE), which basically means they are granted permission to use a normally prohibited drug due to a medical condition that requires the drug as a part of treatment. There is no doubt that some of the athletes do have asthma and need the corticosteroid. There is no doubt that others are skirting the rules in order to use a performance enhancing substance.

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Tragic story out of Sun Prairie, WI
by on Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Some of you have probably already heard about this story. In short, a woman named Maureen Mengelt from Sun Prairie was out on a training run Sunday afternoon when she was hit by a drunk driver. She was taken to a local hospital but died at the hospital.

I was informed this morning that she was a long-time runner who had run the well known Syttende Mai 20 miler in Stoughton (near Madison) over 20 times. I'm sure she will be deeply missed in the running community over there.

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