Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Seven Things I've Learned About Racing [Also -- Bacon]

Monday morning spin class ---->  Hovers kick my trash.

I'll have a salad with everything on it:  Greens with blueberries, strawberries, tortilla strips, red and green peppers, TJ's spicy peanut dressing, and carrot strips.

Someone brought cookies.:)

It was parachute day for the second and Kinders (in a warm gym...this means pit stains on Tiffany's gray t-shirt).

Afternoon snack before heading home.  I have to drive kind of far, so I don't want to drive hangry.

I've been reflecting a bit since the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday.  I'm not gonna lie:  I'm not in race shape, or at "race weight".  I haven't been putting up a good amount of speedwork, and in fact, we only just started again with the /R/iver /R/unners.  I can only attribute the PR to my experience.  So I figured I might as well jot down a few things that I have learned about racing.

1.  The more you race, the less anxious you become.  I used to have PTSD over being near the start of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  I used to gag and zone out at the Expo.  I used to get to the starting line and get all of the butterflies.  But after a solid year of racing about once a month, ranging in distances from 5K to Marathon, I'm cool as a cucumber walking up to the starting line.

2.  Don't go out too fast.  EVERYONE SAYS THIS, and for GOOD REASON.  In the rare occasion, it may pay off to just go H.A.M. from take-off, but for the most part, N-O.  You're better off using the first mile as a faster warm-up, no matter what the distance of the race is.

3. You learn how to pace.  At some point in your running experience/career/heroic adventures, you'll start to learn "race pace".  It is such an anomaly when you first start running, since you and your body have no frame of reference.  I was a sprinter and hurdler back in the day, so the only reference I had was one with a different running stance entirely (see below).  Get to know what's going on before you make a HARD goal.

Lolo vs. Kara


4.  Play in races and in training.  Play with your pace (fartlek!  Literally!), play with your gear (clothing, shoes, watches, socks, headbands), play wit your music (what gets you moving?!) or let your thoughts stream to the beat of your feet and the street.  Just play.  Don't take this seriously.  There are a very select group of people who get paid to do this, and they've all figured out this and much more.  Even they have fun with this.

5.  Racing = Speedwork.  This past week, Harry and I met up with our speedwork track team, but we opted out of the workout.  We instead took to the trail for an easy run, since we knew we were getting a speedwork sesh/race later in the week.  Set a goal pace for yourself while playing with your speeds in training, and aim for those paces in the longer intervals of racing.

6.  Finding the fastest route.  This means trying not to zig-zag, weave, or bound between other runners.  It's taken me a while to realize that bouncing around like Tigger between people will get me nowhere but tired.

7.  Race smaller races.  Very big races aren't the best for PR action.  Even the big streets of downtown Chicago get heavily congested with a ton of racers.  It usually costs less, and you might even have a better chance at winning an age group medal, let alone a PR, at smaller races.

I for sure have other things that I've learned.  I'll jot them down later.:)

Quick Video on the "Bacon Weave" - Get Bacon in EVERY BITE of your sandwich! Slice, Weave, and Bake at 400 for 20 minutes... easy nuff' :)Bacon weave recipe here (if you prefer to read it)- http://myfridgefood.com/recipes/salads-and-sides/bacon-sheet/Video by Food & Wine - check out their page here!
Posted by MyFridgeFood.com on Fry'day, Marrrch 27, 2015
Runner friends:  What have you learned about racing?

Random:  Do you like cooking for other people?

Also?  If you do, will you make me that sammich?:)


  1. I totally agree with your racing lessons--but I will go even further and say that I don't race that much, and I'm pretty chill about the whole thing! Or at least I think so :D But then again, there is a difference between racing and RACING.
    I love the advice that Erica's coach gave her about dealing with less than optimal conditions: Everyone else is dealing with it too!
    And I love to cook for other people :D

  2. I'm pretty chill now at the beginning of races, I used to get so so nervous.
    And totally agree about race pace. I would read plans and not have a clue what they were talking about.

  3. I love that you included PLAY! It's hard work but it *should* be something you enjoy - otherwise, why not find some other way to stay in shape?

  4. So true! I used to cry the night before races, but now I'm just super nervous. It's so hard to be calm! AND to go out slow!


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