CHM Training update: T-15 weeks – another one down, and a race recap

Lots of changes, lots of adjustments, and half of my double-dip race weekend completed!

Sunday 10-6: Long run – 75-85 min @ 9:18/mi, 8.5 mi // 1:21:38 @ 9:03/mi, 9.0 mi  Mother Nature thought she had a surprise for me today: the very moment I set foot on the running path, the rain began falling…not just a sprinkle, either, but that particular kind of rain that lets you know it has work to do and ALL DAY to do it! For half a minute I considered postponing my run until later, or heading to the gym and running on the ‘mill, but then I realized what a great training opportunity I had been presented with: the race must go on, rain or shine, and how often do you get to practice in THOSE conditions? It turned out fabulous – the rain was cold enough to leave my hands numb by the end; pouring rain means hydration is not so much of an issue 🙂 ; and most of all, I felt hardcore for sticking it out! My pace stayed nice and steady, too, something I have had trouble with, so there’s that too.

Monday 10-7: Rest day // Rest  What a glorious word that is! Another hard day on the job – 10 hours in the warehouse, unloading trucks, with only a 15 minute lunch break…so glad I pack a ton of sandwiches that I can grab and gulp whenever a free minute presented itself.

Tuesday 10-8: TM intervals – Warm up: walk 0.25 mi, run 0.75 mi @ 10:00/mi, 0.75 @ 9:30/mi; 2x [0.75 mi @ 7:54/mi, 1:00 rest @ 12:00/mi; cool down 1.5 mi @ 9:00/mi //  42:00, 4.5 mi total  Having fun with paces, and practicing controlling my breathing – important stuff!

Wednesday 10-9: Cross training  //  Rest  Long day in a closed building with no A/C; my body needed rest, and I listened.

Thursday 10-10: Maintenance – 65-70 min @ 9:18/mi, 7 mi //  53:24 @ 9:17/mi, 5.78 mi  Getting home from work late, because of two blown tires on the delivery truck 😦 and then scrambling to make packet pickup for Saturday’s 5K (I wrote about that here) had me late to the gym, so I had to cut this short when they closed; I felt that I could have done the distance, so I have consolation in that.

Friday 10-11: Pre-race rest day // Rest Not much of a rest day, since we had to return to the job that the blown tires interrupted, and then got sent on a night job – I made it home after 9 pm, and didn’t unwind enough to fall asleep until nearly midnight – needless to say, I was anxious about my performance the next day.

Saturday 10-12: Race – West U Halloween 5K //  26:25, 8:31 avg pace; 57th overall, 24th in age group   See race recap below. 

Total for this week: 4 runs, 22.4 miles

Total for October: 7 runs, 40.4 miles

Race Recap – West U Halloween 5K

Despite the long day and late night, I woke up at 4:30 am, raring to go! I’m not much for setting my gear out the night before, I use the ritual in the morning to quell the nerves – you have to go with what works for you. So, quick light breakfast and cup of coffee; re-lace my shoes to accommodate thicker socks (because I have over 500 miles on these shoes, and I can feel it) pin my bib, then unpin it so my seat belt doesn’t bend the timing chip; get out the door at 6am, because the RD warned us parking would be a problem – this run benefited a local elementary school, so we had to park in the neighborhood streets in one of the little enclave communities that litter Houston, and their police LOVE to write tickets and tow cars. The PTO has been doing this race for years, and so everything went off seamlessly, even the kids’ 1K fun run and costume contest – here are some of the best adult costumes, since almost all the kids who were in costume were wearing off-the-shelf superhero stuff:


Here, kitty kitty!


You see some strange Things on a race course!


Hansel and Gretel meet Oktoberfest – with coffee??


Gumby didn’t run, but he cheered us on.

As for the race itself, I had hopes that a smaller field would give me good chance to get that sub-25 I missed out on three weeks ago; alas it was not to be…there was rain forecast, but it didn’t present itself until later in the afternoon. What WE got was partly cloudy, warm and muggy – maybe 10 degrees warmer than usual for mid-October. I started out WAY too fast for these conditions – 7:45 on the first mile (!) and fading from there; even walking a minute or so in the last mile to clear a sudden, deep side stitch. (What is with those anyway? I never got them before, but in the last 3 or 4 weeks, they have been popping up way too frequently. Is it my breathing, or am I hitting a fitness plateau? The Internet is filled with conflicting information, so maybe my blogging friends can help me out here??) Given these conditions, and working on 4 hours sleep and a 50-hour work week, I can be satisfied with myself, all in all; it’s like I told someone on Facebook today: there are no bad races, even the worst will teach you something if you let it…and today was far from the worst!

These small local races tend to go super light on swag – medals only go to placers, everyone else gets a cotton shirt – but what do you want for a $25 entry, and a fundraiser besides, right? It’s a cute shirt, anyway, another in my small but steadily growing collection:

West U shirt&bib

So now it’s time to plan out my schedule for the second half of my “double-dip”: the Space City 10-Miler. I missed early packet pick-up, so I need to be in Clear Lake City between 5:30-6:30, race starts promptly at 7:00 – finally, an early start to beat the sunrise, these 8am start times have been killing me! Wish me good running, because I don’t believe in luck; I believe in hard work, consistent training, and putting out your best effort – if you do all that, you are guaranteed a great result, whatever the clock says! I’ll post the recap sometime tomorrow, see you then – and tell your friends to come see it too 🙂

What was the best thing you ever learned from a “bad” race? What did you change moving forward from that experience?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. Nicole Marie

    Awesome!!!! Glad you had fun! I’m really hoping to find a fun Halloween 5K. Isn’t it the greatest feeling, accumulating all of those bibs and shirts? One of the closets in our bedroom displays all of my bibs and medals (not that there are too many medals) :). You’re kicking butt!!

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