Friday, February 26, 2010

Snowtorious BIG...Snowmaggedon...Snowapoolza... again

If you like snow, I have the place for you. It's only a short jaunt up North, and it can be easily accessed from all the major airports. Right here in Pittsburgh, PA, the home of Steeler football, Steel City, and what feels like the snow capital of the world.

Seriously, will it ever stop snowing here?! A drive that was about 10 miles on Friday morning should have taken 20 minutes, instead it took me almost an hour and ten minutes. Instead of heading to the office today, I was headed downtown to a Sports Nutrition Workshop with Nancy Clark, MS, RD and sports nutrition guru!

I think it's important to learn from the best to be the best, so that's why I'm here! She wrote the sports nutrition guidebook below.

Her talks solidified in my mind even further the importance of having the right type of foods at the right time to fuel up for your workouts and then refuel afterward. It's just essential.
With all the snow, I was worried that the Spring Thaw 10 Miler would be cancelled. However, on Friday night we recieved an email stating that the race was on and I was thrilled. I had scheduled my entire week around doing the race so regardless of absolutely no "thawing" I was excited to run hard and improve my fitness. I knew it would hurt, and I was more than right!Heidi and I met at my house and proceeded to the race wondering how the roads would be and the temperatures in the low-thirties would feel while we were running. Luckily we had our Jaggad Jackets to keep us nice and toasty! I had no idea what pace I was going to run, or what times to expect for a 10 mile race (it was a first!). The plan was to go out and see where the heart rate would be somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45 minute miles.

I started out to fast as usual (6:15 - I have GOT to work on that) and I ended up running with some of the guys for the first few miles. Around mile four I settled into a 6:35 pace and another female came passing by with a surge. I wondered who she was and I decided to try and hang with her to see what kind of pace she was running. By this point, my heart rate monitor was NOT willing to stay on my body and I messed with it the entire first 5 mile lap. I gave up and threw it and my MP3 player and decided the next lap would be sans technology!!

Without knowing my heart rate, I still was hanging out in the 6:45/mile pace and my female friend and I were trucking right along. For some reason, my legs were just not feeling so great, but I tried to stay positive and "talk" myself into staying with her no matter what if I could. Regardless of time or place, the goal was to run hard and if I stayed with her I knew I would be pushing myself.

The last miles started to come and I could feel the lactic acid building in my legs. I wasn't in a good place at about 8 miles and really doubted that I would be able to hang on for two more. I started to let her go and she formed a gap of about ten feet. Somewhere in that last mile I started to think back on other races and other times I'd pulled off something I wasn't physically capable of doing. I just couldn't help but pull up those images and let my mind feed off of them. She was no stronger than I was, I knew I had to go after her.

With a mile to go I started trying to close the gap. I could tell she too was speeding up. At 5'9" every stride she took felt like it took me at least one and a half! Either way, I decided I wasn't going down without a fight and we came into the 400 meters with me right on her heels. There wasn't much left in my legs, but I could tell it was going to come down to a sprint finish after ten miles of racing. There was an S curve made and then only about 100 feet to the finish. Once around the S, I came up on her right side and started sprinting as hard as I could. However, we were both pretty far over to the right of the finish and she was smart enough to keep moving over knowing I was on her right. Rookie mistake Kim.. you know better. At the last second she boxed me out and I would have had to smash into a metal pole if I was going to beat her. I was not happy when I crossed the finish line because I felt she didn't' need to make that type of move. Thinking back on it, it was my mistake. I should have gone left, it was something I learned a long time ago and haven't needed to use forever. She did the right thing, she wanted to win and she made a technical move to make sure she did.

I said good job afterward, but she didn't' even acknowledge me. Now that, I could have done without. Poor sportsmanship is just uncalled for, no matter the situation.

Either way, I was thankful for a hard race and the place and time for the Spring Thaw doesn't really matter at all. I want to be a fast triathlete, not February running race champion! There may be a rematch next month at the "Just a Short Half Marathon." One can only hope!
I accepted the award on behalf of Ballou Skies, my great team and charity!

Jeremy, my fellow teammate, had a great day too, taking first in the men's 30-34 age group!
Awesome job J!
We also added another member to the team that I got to meet for the first time yesterday. Joe! Joe is an amazing cyclist I hear, and not too shabby on the run either Joe! We caught him for a picture right before he went up to accept his medal!

Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years!! That's for you Heidi! Heidi had a spectacular race and really put in a hard effort earning her a little spring thaw bling as well! I was so proud of her. To think, this time last year she was getting pins and screws put in her pelvis... What a amazing recovery and a testament to the human spirit to see her back and racing again. These two bionic women hope to have a great year!!

It was an awesome day and one I won't forget any time soon. I love racing, and that's just the way I will always feel. Thanks to all the volunteers that came out and made this race a smashing success. The total runners were around 750 and for a cold February day, that's pretty impressive!

Hope everyone had a great weekend.. now, can we please start the "Thawing" pa

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