Sunday, April 17, 2011

Go Team!

I almost forgot to recognize the accomplishments of some of my team/running mates. Last weekend was the USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Al. The UofM mens team placed 10th overall, with one gent getting a top 50 finish. The women's team did quite well too. Tomorrow (Monday) is the 115th running of the Boston Marathon. Several runners from PR Fitness will be there to represent. Best luck to all of them.

My coach gave me a shoutout in this months PR Fitness newsletter:
"PR of the Month:
Congrats to Tracy Berman, who has made great strides in her running. She has gone from a 2:13 half to a 1:56 half marathon time. This is an amazing jump! Great job Tracy!"

Lululemon, which hosts the PR Fitness Saturday runs in Ann Arbor, gave me a couple pairs of socks to promo. I just have to give them feedback on what they could do to make them better. According to Greg, I'm picky about my running socks, so it will be a good job for me. I will have something to say if I get blisters!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Exercising, More Fun Than Homework

Instead of working on my now past due lab report, it's more fun to think about new things that I have coming up.

Starting in May I'll be taking a triathlon class where we'll focus on transitions and open water swimming and all sorts of new stuff. They already sent me a training plan to use, though I'll probably only use the swimming portion as my coach already gives me my running plan and I need to follow a much different plan as I train for my 120 mile bike ride in mid-June (the bike distance in a sprint tri is only 12 miles). I'll need to make sure to get a bike rack for our car before then!

Also starting in May are new UMove classes. I'm definitely taking Vinyasa yoga again, I just have to decide during which time slots. Too bad I don't have time to do all of them. Yoga is really awesome because you can work on so many things, strength (e.g. squats and planks), balance, stretching, and my favorite part is ending class in savasana (resting pose).

AND since I wont have class anymore, I want to start going to my coach's core workout class. It's held at a bar, how cool is that? Running in Golden,CO (home of Coors) I got used to the smell of beer when working out.

I just have to squeeze this all in with PhD research and being a mother. The first step is to finish this darn report.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Half Marathon PR!

Results from the Martian Invasion half marathon:

Time: 1:59:18 (8:54 pace)*
Place: 688 of 1836
AG: 35 of 136

* The course was 0.3-0.4 miles too long, somebody put the turn around point too far down the road. The 8:54 pace is calculated assuming as distance of 13.4 miles (a half marathon should be 13.1). If you do a percentage based adjustment, my time for 13.1 miles would be 1:56:38. However I'll leave my PR at my official time, it is what it is.

The race went very well, aside from me getting there late and without money to pay for parking (three cheers for one of the guys in my running group for loaning me a $20). I got to warm up by running to the start line and jumping in the already departing crowd. Most races use chip timing these days, which means your race time is calculated between the time the RF ID in your shoe tag triggers the start and finish mats. If you start in the back of the pack, or even late (I was 10 minutes late to my 2nd marathon) your time doesn't start until you reach the starting line.

My goal was a sub-2 hr time, so I paced myself to run at 9:09 pace for the first 7 miles, even though it felt pretty easy. My plan was that if 9:09 was felling too easy, I was then to run 8:50 pace for miles 7-10 and 8:35 pace for miles 10-13.1. I held to that pretty well. However, once I realized that the course was going to be too long (I knew the mile markers were off after mile 6, but I still assumed the finish line would be at 13.1), and I still really wanted a sub-2 hr time, I managed 7:47 pace for the last 1/2 mile. That's only 2 seconds slower than my most recent 5k pace. Being that I had that much left in the tank at the finish, I probably could have pushed harder earlier in the race, but I'm still very happy with the results. Maybe next year.

I held up really well mentally for it being an out and back road race. I swore off all road marathons last year, they're just to painful and boring, but this wasn't bad at all. It will be fun to do at least one a year and see if I can get my times to improve. Trail races are still better though.