Women's Day rocks. This is when the guys have to do all the housework, chores, cooking,etc. it's also the early season opener for the road races. To be honest, this race was not in the original plan. Last year, I skipped it for the snowshoe. All the other years I've done it I haven't eeked into the top 10 and get my ass handed to me on a silver platter by all the elites for whom short and fast is their thing. It's NOT mine that would be why I do ultras and have moved up to specialize in the 100k. This is a short, fun race, but also very competitive.
After last weekend's ass kicking double, we figured it would be best to skip the March 8th run and my chances of making top 6 (top 6 overall hit the podium) were about that of a snowball's in hell a 25km trail run to keep up the recovery from the weekend would be better. Sometime midweek perhaps Wednesday (race was th) I was due for a low volume speed session. We needed to lay off a bit on the hard workouts following last week. Last week, I did a 15 tempo at just under half marathon pace 2 days after the track double. Five days later, I did the xc +snowshoe double. Mind you the snowshoe produced a 10k PR split along the way so yeah, I was pushing the envelope.It was time to back off a little this week and digest it. We were keeping the volume up but lowering intensity for a few days to recover.
Monday 23k easy up from snail to turtle pace...progress:)
Tues 20k on the track with 10x 200m on 200 off...eek yuck poopy still not recovered these were slow averaging 42 sec. Yeah better just keep taking it easy. The 200s were supposed to shake out the leftovers in my legs but I still felt totally BLAH! Coach decided to skip Wed speed and send me to the 4k but just as a moderate speed workout at 4min/k-no ass busting since I'm still very obviously not recovered yet.
Wed.....very ez sandbag it slow in the snow on the trails day only 15km. I am simply dragging ass! I came home and napped! Jesus am I still seriously recovering?? After nearly 6 min/k crawl on the snow??? Are you kidding me?! I really probably really really should not race in the morning and take another ez day. I'm pretty good at listening to my body and when I go through a bout of the poopy tired drag assy-ness I know I need to back off a little. I'm toeing a fine line with the kind of training I do between getting into phenomenal shape and or overtraining if I'm not careful. This is where listening to my body is key.
Massage with the stick before bed and lots of stretching to get remaining kinks out helped. My thighs and quads were still not 100% after the snowshoe. They needed some TLC. So off to bed. Alarm screamed at 7:15 -oh Jesus I otherwise would have overslept and it was still DARK out. I REALLY DO NOT wanto to get out of this warm bed. Ugh window thermometer reads -18C- Ok by this time of yr I'm getting a bit tired of big minuses too. "I really should just crawl into bed and run 25k in the afternoon when it's not -18 and early morning," I thought. Ok plop the Fein into my Emergen-C- I'm just not going to wake up without the Fein.
After breakfast, I got dressed and was out the door by 8:30. What to wear.....Today was definitely a 2 layer on the legs day. I had on my 3/4 length compression tights and socks as the base layer and my regular tights on top. Ok it's Women's Day I need to be girlie....I went with my Ink N Burn Wicked Fast Chick'D shirt. I love this one because on the front it says "getting chick'd", on the sleeve "chick'd" , and on the back "you got chick'd! yeah, the guys run 8k we run 4 but I figured I could still be a smartass and chick some along the way;) Ok girlie....pick skirt hmm got many ....tie dye, blue, daisies, hmmmmm going with the Moeben daisies again they match the shirt nicely. Ok off to chick some folks dressed all girlie LMAO!
I met Tamara one of our club directors who told us all to meet her at 9:30 to get numbers from her. Then off to gear check I was. They had warming tents this year-thank God as it was a bit nippy for changing on the street. I squeezed in a 4k warmup and my legs were slowly waking up. I still wasn't 100%, but feeling much better than I was just yesterday. Soon we were off and the course was nice and ice free this yr. I got to run in my Lunarracers instead of Icebugs. 1 K was 3.50 hmmm that's a bit frisky as it was still about -15C for the 10.30 start. Just before 1k a mystery lady in black looked maybe mid late 30s joined me. Someone new? I didn't recognize her. First turnaround...I see we were running 6th and 7th. Her pace was just right not too fast not too slow we just ran together. Just before 2k we passed 2 ladies. 2k 7.35...damn that's fast for being all layered up on tired legs on a cold day! I still felt ok and the Lady in Black and I continued on together pulling further away from the ladies behind us. 3k...11.22 (11.22my garmin vs 11.19 course 3k marker)ok, excuse me, this is sub 19 min 5k effort on non recovered legs in the cold! JEEZ! We were just evenly carrying on pulling further away from the chasers. Lost a little time on the tight turn but still the pace was not too easy not too hard. With about 500m to go, there were a few tight turns that cost me some time and the Lady in Black was better at negotiating them and I finished just behind her in 14.50. Actually I would count it more as a 15.10 ish effort garmin slowed it just over 100 short but 3.47 pace. Nice- I was not dying either just felt like a nice controlled effort. yeah, I could have easily held the pace another K and pulled an 18.50 ish 5k proving once again that I'm a cold weather runner. I finished and was handed the card for 5th woman(top 6 for awards here)-are you kidding me? How did that happen? I was also handed 3 roses for Women's Day :-)
So who was the Lady in Black???? It was Alevtina Naumova. Once she shed her hat inside the tent I recognized her. She said she'd recently turned 50-holy crap! I knew she was a 2:29 marathoner but somehow I thought she was about 40 because I remember seeing her a lot at the indoor track about 8-10 yrs ago when I was here on winter break from Alaska. She lives not too far from me. Yeah she looks way younger than 50! There are not many 50 yr olds still running 18 smthg 5 ks either- that's top notch in the 50-54 group. I just thought WOW if only I live to 50 much less still run like that and look that good! Up just a bit from us in 3rd place was a girl who had just placed at jr. indoor Nationals in the steeple and trains with one of the top coaches in Moscow. First and 2nd went to Elena Burikina and Tanya Perepelkina- 2 elite marathoners. 6th place girl was another young, speedy one not too far back. Ok.....so how did I end up on the podium with these ladies in a SHORT race on legs not 100%??? I almost felt not worthy-I'm an ultrarunner being speedy? Maybe I just handle cold better? Heat is my nemesis so that could be. I don't know but the 4 ladies just ahead of little ol' me are all serious professional runners. Off I was to cool down then the awards were soon thereafter.
So, yeah I still had to get in my 25k totals today.I ended up doing a short and sweet 12k ez run late afternoon to fix that:)