Sunday, June 5, 2011

New PR & sub 20 (Long version) Miles of Mozart 5K

The Miles of Mozart 5K (June, 4th 2011, Eugene, OR) was a last minute decision.

I chose this race because: it was certified, I had remembered the area as fairly flat, and it was close for my parents. And, it was fairly cheap, if you registered early- which I didn't. :)


I got 5 hours of sleep, but I slept in the day before and took a rest day Friday before the race (not on purpose, just turned out that way). I also forgot to set my alarm the night before, but woke up at 6:15, which is about 15 minutes later than I had planned.

I took a shower (pre-race ritual), chugged coffee and ate a banana. Then I whisked the kids into the car (with Jon's help) and met my parents at Alton Baker Park (an hour away) by 8:15.

It was warm, first day of summer warm, so I wore a scandalous outfit that shows my current NON-race weight, hence the photo cropping :))
The race had a 9AM start and I had hoped to do a good, long warm up, but had to register and run back and forth from the registration tables, to the restrooms, and my car across the park a few times. I got in about a mile of slow running and then 4 or so sets of 100meters =/- at @ mile pace. I also took Ana-Maria's Roctane gel about 20 minutes before the race with some water.
Then I dinked around looking for the Daniels book in my car and gave up. Finally, I did a little mental math and chose to set my pace alerts on the Garmin to 7m/m just in case I needed it.

Race is ON.
The race director had the small group of people get behind some cones, explained that there would be course marshalls to help direct us, and arrows on the path.  There were few people, so I got right in front.

When she rang the cowbell- YES, COWBELL- we started. There were a handful of men who got ahead of me and one was certainly quick- and wearing an Oregon Track Club shirt. I went out FAST and forgot to clear my watch for my running race time. Oops!

From there, it really is all just a blur.
 Just so you can see that my heart rate monitor likes to hang out near my belly button. 
Maybe it's confused. Maybe I have no heart.?

Here are some of the more relevant race details:
  • There were no mile markers that I noticed..None. 
  • There was one water stop, with one person at it holding a cup out. Maybe mile 1.5? I didn't stop.
  • I recall getting passed by a male near the water stop, but that was it for jostling positions.
  • At several points in this race I thought of Amanda, and was hoping, praying, it was cooler on the coast for her marathon. 
  • Also thought of some other blogger ladies who have been very encouraging to me- and how blessed I was that I had an opportunity to race, but glad I wasn't running 26.2 miles. Too hot.
  • At some point in the race, I settled on the notion that I wouldn't PR, but I would just do my best and see what that was. My thoughts were, if I could get between 21-22 in the heat, it would still be an accomplishment.
  • My watch kept beeping at me, and I did not look at it. I had NO idea if it was because I dropped below 7 minute/mile, or because I was back up above it, or if it was just another mile on auto lap!
  • There were a lot of turns on this course, especially after the one short, steep uphill to get on the bridge for the second river crossing. (This is the point- around mile 2.5- that I thought I might be blessed to get 21 minutes).
  • After the last two loops around duck ponds, I found a bit more energy and zipped in to the finish, where there was no one cheering, but a sign read 19:something, much to my surprise! I hauled it in to make an official 19:55.
  • My heart rate maxed out at 173 during this race. I think that might be tops...since I thought I might DIE several times.
  • There was no water at the finish line. But there were some coconut juice things, and later, bagels.
  • The awards ceremony was about 40 minutes later- pretty much on time. I received a nice medal with a blue ribbon, and watched a 5 year old boy, 2K racer, win a free entry to the Eugene Women's half marathon- worth $75.00.  I'm just a little jealous of his opportunity. :) I'll take the PR though.
Some background and training details
  • I was primarily looking for a chance to bring up my VDOT training number after Boston, which had slipped from almost 50 in November to 45 in April. (In a nutshell, VDOT is a number given a runner, based on his/her most recent race performance, used to set running paces for 5 different categories of training.). Click here for VDOT calculator, or here for more explanation on VDOT training.
  • A week after Boston, after much questioning myself, I settled on the fact that my training was NOT working and went back to the drawing board. The realization that I was training at paces faster than what *felt right* much of the time.
  • I did two runs with 3 and 4 miles of tempo in them (respectively) and one set of 4x400 meter repetitions with long recoveries, to work on mechanics.
  • Any speed work was done very close to Daniels prescribed paces, and the easy/recovery runs were done between 8:40 and 9 minute miles...though Daniels indicated 9:17 (based on my Boston performance)....I just couldn't go much slower than 9.
  • Training between 8:40 and 9 minute miles, my heart rate was staying under 140 BPM, except for hills. 
  • I earned a new VDOT number from this race and am now back up to 50; but, I do not feel ready to train at the suggested easy paces, so I will continue at 8:45 +/- until it seems like 8:30 feels easier.
  • I have a suspicion that I might be stronger at half marathon and shorter....but I'd like to do at least one more full marathon to be sure.
After the race, I met the boys at the park and visited with my parents, who so graciously watched them for me. I am SO blessed!!

Here are some photos from both of our park trips after the race:

I am looking for a blog solution and am considering blogging at Word Press. Does anyone know if you can have just some entries private there? What are the key differences between Word Press and blogger?

OK... I am working on moving to WordPress, but with the craziness at home, I have NO idea how long this will take. Thanks for your patience and any helpful suggestions.


  1. Thank you for the invite to this, I love reading how slow I am compared to you!!! Great job on the sub 20 PR!!! You are amazing! I don't know if you could set up a private blog and the public blog, and have them separated? I haven't tried out Word Press or explored the other features here on Blogger, so I will be of little help on this, however, I might look at it for curiosity's sake.

  2. I never got the invite to this website, I hope it's ok that I'm here; I just clicked around until I found you as I wanted to see what you were up to. Sounds like some speedy PRing, that's what :). Congrats on the PR, that is fantastic. And more so, you are gaining your fitness level back (we can't always stay high, we needs highs and lows or we'll be injured all the time - like me :p). I love the pictures of your boys many memories formed!!

    I had a wordpress blog for about 2 days and it frustrated me but that's just because I didn't give it enough time, I hear it has a lot more features. I do want to change, too.

    Happy Week ahead!!

  3. from the peanut gallery, i started in blogspot and jumped to wordpress. like it a lot more. i don't think the partial private thing would work, but nobody has ever accused me of being smart at tech stuff.

  4. WOW great time at 1955! Fun little cabin as well for some photo shots.

    hope things work out on the blogging issues.

  5. Wow! That is one great race!! Congratulations!

  6. congrats on your PR!! I can't believe you surprised yourself like that on a hot day, well done!!

  7. Awesome race! You are going to have to update your PR list on the right column now!

  8. HI you! I thought I commented on this! Good grief I'm behind here. Thanks for praying for me and thinking of me on your race day!! I learn so much from you Raina and love that you talk stats and numbers...this helps me learn. Although I'm still not sure of all those terms you use...I just really loved that Matt Fitzgerald walked me through so much of it. :) So when do you think your next marathon will be?? Congrats on your awesome race as I said in e-mail!!

  9. way to go lady! you paced it perfectly in my opinion. Heat wave and all. I love the prayers behind it too.

  10. Can I have your non-race weight b/c I think you look fabulous!! Congrats on the PR SPEEDY! WOW! Sorry for you AND Amanda that it was so warm.

    You have me thinking about HR training now...

    Gorgeous photos and weekend for you Raina!! And, yes you need to apply for H2C!!!

  11. I found your blog again!!! Congrats on the very speedy finish and PR!!!

  12. GREAT JOB and awesome race! :)

  13. Oh my gosh! CONGRATULATIONS! So so speedy in all that heat.
    Cute pics of the kidlets. =)

  14. PR's are the best. Love them. And there is almost NO point at which you can't keep striving for them, in some race. I've never done a 5k! I guess it makes sense not to drink anything while running it. every second counts in such a quick race!

    I'm also thinking of moving to wordpress...I hate technology though. sounds scary

  15. I just found your blog and I just love your header! What a beautiful place to run!
    Awesome race!

  16. I think the boys would like to live in that cabin.
    Maybe they could get jobs at Fort Umpqua in the near future.
    Wonderful run... be proud.

  17. Wow great time and congrats on a PR. I am going to have to check out the VDOT thing. I am not familiar with that.

  18. Nice run sub 20, you rock.

  19. Thank you for the invite. I have been somewhat of a loser to posting and reading. Sad I am.

    6:25!!! - can I have your autograph??? Speedy you are; as always.

    I am going to look into the VDOT after this weekend's race.

    btw - have you eliminated the faith references?

  20. Fantastic race speedy girl! Congrats! This VDOT stuff is fascinating...going to check it out.
    Adorable kiddo pics!

  21. You don't pop into my blogroll any more, so I'm a bit late on congratulating you on this AMAZING PR.
    Now, no pressure, but with the skirt and a cape, I expect great things in July, just sayin'.

  22. Congrats on the sub-20! I like the VDOT stuff too. Except there it doesn't let me plug in my 50-mile races =)...

  23. You are very very fast, a sub 20 is a wonderful finishing time. Congrats!
    I am sure that in a better organized race and with better weather conditions you will break again that PB.
    Have a good week end.

  24. AWESOME job on the 5k!!!
    I'm switching around my training and speed work and I'm finding it to be so much better doing shorter tempos and more hill sprints, etc. My body is really responding, I guess the months and months of long mileage were taking a toll. Thanks for sharing the VDOT stuff, it's always great to keep a check on your paces!

  25. Wow, Raina!! Congrats on an amazing race!! Sub-2o~ so awesome!


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