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Race Report: Palouse 100k Relay + Glow Run

 

I always was the first kid to jump a fence, do a rope course or generally enter the unknown. This character trait led me to volunteering to do perhaps the hardest run of my life. I volunteered to run leg six of the Palouse 100k relay.  Let me just give you a visual.

That is an elevation gain of around 1700 ft.

But before I get much further, let me give you a quick synopsis of the Palouse 100k Relay. The Relay is 10 legs starting and ending in Pullman, WA. For the past two years, I have been part of the Beer Chasers 1 team and our primary goals are to have fun, drink and beat team two. Last year, we ended up being second overall in the mixed category (at least four women). We start at 7:30 a.m. and typically get done around eight hours and some change later. This year, we had a few new legs but we were just as ready to have fun and run. My running partner, Alexiss, and I had scouted our legs (six and seven) the week before. I averaged around 11 minute miles.  I knew it was going to be rough but not quite as rough as it turned out to be.

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We had distanced ourselves from the rest of the teams that had started at 7: 30 a.m. (there was a second heat that was for the faster teams, we had been originally placed in this heat but had begged to be move to be in the same heat as beer chasers 2). My teammates were killing it, looking strong and surviving the warm day. By the time my leg started, it was us and one other team. For the first two miles,  I felt great maintaining a sub ten pace but quickly I began to unravel and became a game of run until you see the next truck.  By the time I hit the fourth mile of my six miles I would run that day, the other team was long gone. My mind was just focused on finishing and not frying. My average mile pace had dropped between 12 and 13 minute miles.

This isn’t some great story about how I dropped some fast miles and came back to catch the other team. Instead, I toughed it out, put one foot in front of the other and finished. It wasn’t easy and I’m not exactly happy with but I did it. I quickly negotiated to run another leg next year. I handed off the rubber chicken and Alexiss kicked some major butt and made up ground. We slowly ate into the time of the first place team but sadly finished seven minutes behind. Two teams from the second heat also finished in front (one less than a minute) but it was all good in the end. We won most spirited and had plenty of laughs along the way. It was a great way to kick off the summer racing season.

WP_20160430_20_37_00_ProIn fact, this past weekend I ran a 52:24 for a 10k and felt great.  It was fundraiser and not officially timed but we got free beer and a glow in the dark shirt. I ran pretty consistently and felt like I could have pushed a little harder at the end. My fastest mile was 8:03 and slowest was 8:53 but that mile had a pretty good hill in the middle.  Next up in a duathlon in June (two mile run- 10 mile ride- two mile run) which will be a first for me.

-Cara Hawkins -Jedlicka
@carabyrd

 

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A short ode to hill repeats

hill

Hill repeats are speedwork in disguise
Driving knees and long strides
Make for quick feet and strong thighs
Over pavement the runner glides
Taking on harder climbs

I have always felt like summer and hill repeats pair perfectly together. I am sure this stems from training for cross country for eight summers and hill repeats are the perfect way to slowly edge into speedwork. Running hills will develop the leg muscles – particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles – which ultimately get your body ready for the intensity of speedwork. My fondest memory of this work-out was my high school coach having to load us up on a bus and drive 15-2o minutes out to find a hill. One of our favorites was Cowman’s which is a hill in a middle of cow pasture on the outskirts of my hometown. It was a sharp climb that made your calf muscles burn but we knew that we would never see a climb like that in a race.

Even in the flattest areas, you can find a hill. Another favorite hill repeat place of my high school coach was an underside of an overpass. Into college, I would do hill repeats in the summer on that overpass blaring Red Hot Chili Peppers the whole way.

Most recently, I had an urge to find a hill and climb. I relied on an old favorite 10x 30 seconds hill repeats with a jog down. I was able to go a bit further each time and afterwards, I knew I deserved my beer.

Where is your favorite hill? Do you incorporate hill work into your training plan?

Cara
@carabyrd

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Runners and Races

The atmosphere on race day is something everyone should experience. There is a such a sense of excitement, and nervousness felt from every runner. Not to mention the sense of enjoyment from being part of such an awesome running community. I feel like us runners are an elite group of people who understand one another. I love when I am running a race and I get the encouragement from other runners I don’t even know when circling back on a course. The simple head nod, high five or thumbs up really makes a difference.

But two weeks ago I really got an idea of what racing and running was all about. At the starting line of a race I was looking around at my fellow racers. Sometimes I like to people watch but mostly I was sizing up my competition. I spotted an elderly man getting ready to run with his dog. His dog looked about as old as him. We made eye contact, I smiled, and turned back to my friend. A few seconds later he taped me on my shoulder and inquired about my shirt. I was wearing a race shirt from the year prior and he was curious if I had ran the race or if I was apart of the running group that organized it. He said that he usually puts on that event but decided to give it to someone else this year because he wanted to run it instead. He just turned 70 and has a goal to run 70 races this year. That day was already race number 31 for him. He was running around 2-3 races a week. His dog, Griffin, runs every race animals are allowed and can run up to 10 miles with his owner. We continued to talk about the different races we each were going to do this year and our goals for times. I am so excited to see him at every race and cheer him on when he crosses the finish line. One day I hope to challenge myself to something of that magnitude at the age of 70. Running and racing is a great sense of competitiveness and accomplishment, but when you really get down to the bottom of it, it is a feeling of being alive. My new friend, Dr. Mike, has shown me that. So inspiring!

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Baby, its cold outside

Happy 2015! If you are like me, you are likely still asleep (you have to love a good scheduling tool). Typically, blog posts around this time do one of two things; talk about goals or reflect about the previous year but I’m not going to either of those. I have already written a blog about goals and this past year was a bit of a mix bagged.
Instead, let us talk a little bit of subject that has been hitting me hard this week that is running in the cold. By hitting hard, I mean the high was 14 degrees yesterday. I know many of you would scoff and consider this warm but I was born and raised below the Mason Dixon line. Let me put it this way, I own only four pairs of tights. I had no idea fleece lined tights existed until this year.

ColdoutsideWith that being said, cold weather has a negative effect on my running. Mainly, I don’t hydrate enough and I don’t want to run in the cold. I’ve been able to tackle the hydration issue pretty easily but drinking lots of tea. There is nothing quite like a warm cup of tea after a cold run or even during the day. I have also discovered the NUUN makes a pretty warm drink. I stick to the caffeine free teas. I have found that I drink more tea than I did water.

The issue of going out to run in the cold hasn’t exactly been resolved. For Christmas, I asked for lots of layers and warm athletic gear which helps. I also purchased a cheap (like $3.00) drawstring toboggan that allows me to wear it around my nose (see pic). I also received a white reflective vest and a head lamp that helps me navigate night run (will also make Beer Chasers Wednesday night group run heck of a lot nicer). If I’m really not motivated, I stick a few dollars in my pocket to purchase a hot drink on the way home. I will admit I do wimp out sometimes and use the indoor track at the gym. Miles are miles.

What do you do to help your running in the cold months?
I hope everyone is having a great new year! I’m looking forward to getting married and running my first half with a new last name in May.
Cara

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Fall Goal Setting

I ran my first and only marathon in Chicago on Oct. 10 2014 (10/10/10). I was 23. I told myself, I would run one again at 25 but life got busy. I graduated with my M.A. in advertising that year, moved to Colorado Springs and started a new job. I was just trying to get a handle on life.

Four years later, here I am again thinking and plotting about running a marathon. I’ve moved to Washington, took a new job and getting married next year. I am contemplating another go at the marathon. The goal is to do another and PR by the time I’m 30.

It is really weird to see the number 30 and I know I am referring to myself. So much can happen between now and 30 and I’m nervous I will get side tracked. I know that even my upcoming nuptials will be a large roadblock. So I know I need to be deliberate in setting my goals.
Goal Setting
I’m not a motivational speaker or accredited in any way with setting goals. But, I have a nice way of thinking of them:
• Define
• Plan
• Do

So I have defined my goal pretty well-marathon before 30 under 3:59. The next steps are harder. I have read up on training cycles and consulted my online coaches (I do use an online training program). I am going to focus on short races building up to a half marathon next August or September. I am going to add in core work and cross training. Finally, I need to follow-up and stick to the plan. I know the next few months are going to be hard with the holidays, wedding and just adapting to a new place. I am going to continue to make sure to interact with my online group of runners and luckily, I’m joining up with a running group or two here. It is time to set myself up for success.

How do you set yourself up for success?

-Cara
@carabyrd

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2013 so far…

I’m Kim and I’m psyched to be a part of the URTribe!

2013 has been an awesome year so far for running!  I started seriously running last year.  I’m slow, but working at it.

So far I have run the Color Me Rad 5k, The Kona Run 10k, and the Clawson Freedom Run.  Color Me Rad is a fun run and I forgot my watch, so it was truly just a fun run.  The Kona Run was a different story for me.  I was able to knock a minute per mile off of my average pace for my 2012 races.  I felt amazing when I finished.  Even more good news came after the Freedom Run when I finished over 5 minutes faster than my previous PR for a 5k race.  I’m feeling great this year.  My breathing is improving – I have asthma and require an inhaler to run.  I only have 81-92% of my lung capacity I should have, and that is after using my inhaler.  My muscles have changed tremendously.  Climbing has also helped improve my strength, particularly in my core.

I am continuing my training schedule that I kept last year, only this year I am wayyyy ahead of where I was last year.  I run 2-4 times a week at least 3 miles, if not more, and do a long run on the weekends.  Right now I’m adding a mile a week to my long runs.  I did 7 this past weekend, so I’m shooting for 8 this weekend.  I also climb 2 times a week.

URTribe is a great source of motivation and I love sharing accomplishments!  It also helps keep me accountable for my workouts.  I’m loving it and representing the company.  It’s great to be asked about it when out and getting to start a conversation about a product line I’m happy with and just fitness in general!  I can’t wait to hear about everyone’s races for the rest of the summer.  Good luck all on your training and runs.  I’m thoroughly enjoying hearing about it all from so many different levels of experience.

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I am Lucky

6_20_13post

The thing is and I think I should preface with this, because I have been thinking about it a ton lately. Recently JORDAN and I went on a run YES Jordan is running. The amazing gazelle she is, deciding to train with me.

Good choice!

Anyway, yesterday we were out on our run and we were talking and she had expressed some aggravations about running and how it was going. Of course being the elder I had to share my perspective. And here you all go this is my perspective:

After running middle school track, skipping two years in high school in order to play soccer, then racing for Michigan State University. I thought I was over and done with racing on a track. I just thought ya know I put my time in, I had a wonderful ride but now I am done. Life works in funny ways sometimes, and being out in the great state of Washington has opened up this opportunity again. I get to race (run hard) on a track again. I get to prolong this experience. Thus every race is icing on the cake.

Also I am not racing to possibly make someone proud or win or anything. I compete but that isn’t why either. I run hard because I love the feeling of running hard and I love the feeling of coming home still pumped up from a hard run. And I will continue to do it until I can’t anymore. When that day comes, I don’t want to regret not enjoying it while I could.

I am so lucky.

Alright, SO for the race. I think that I warmed up okay, but I really think that I need to get more form drills. Maybe some harder sprints to begin with, it just takes me far too long to get focused and find a rhythm  I again AS PER usually, will blame this on the distance racing ha! I will also blame it on the fact that I really haven’t done any speed training yet. Thus I am okay with how it went considering those factors, I would just like it to feel like I am not pacing it. I have some ideas I would like to play with and I will let you know how they play out. #HFCNC (Have fun, Compete and Not Care).

Thanks,

Jac

Race: 1500 meters

Official Time: 4:51:31

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I am Lucky

6_20_13post

The thing is and I think I should preface with this, because I have been thinking about it a ton lately. Recently JORDAN and I went on a run YES Jordan is running. The amazing gazelle she is, deciding to train with me.

Good choice!

Anyway, yesterday we were out on our run and we were talking and she had expressed some aggravations about running and how it was going. Of course being the elder I had to share my perspective. And here you all go this is my perspective:

After running middle school track, skipping two years in high school in order to play soccer, then racing for Michigan State University. I thought I was over and done with racing on a track. I just thought ya know I put my time in, I had a wonderful ride but now I am done. Life works in funny ways sometimes, and being out in the great state of Washington has opened up this opportunity again. I get to race (run hard) on a track again. I get to prolong this experience. Thus every race is icing on the cake.

Also I am not racing to possibly make someone proud or win or anything. I compete but that isn’t why either. I run hard because I love the feeling of running hard and I love the feeling of coming home still pumped up from a hard run. And I will continue to do it until I can’t anymore. When that day comes, I don’t want to regret not enjoying it while I could.

I am so lucky.

Alright, SO for the race. I think that I warmed up okay, but I really think that I need to get more form drills. Maybe some harder sprints to begin with, it just takes me far too long to get focused and find a rhythm  I again AS PER usually, will blame this on the distance racing ha! I will also blame it on the fact that I really haven’t done any speed training yet. Thus I am okay with how it went considering those factors, I would just like it to feel like I am not pacing it. I have some ideas I would like to play with and I will let you know how they play out. #HFCNC (Have fun, Compete and Not Care).

Thanks,

Jac

Race: 1500 meters

Official Time: 4:51:31

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PR for 5K

6_13_13postAll right. SO this last track meet was pretty awesome. Well and a little lame, because my trusty sidekick Jordan did not attend. She was a bit hurt-ish.

I raced the 5k this week, but got to watch two of my friends in the mile. One of my friends just realized at age 27 (after competing collegiately) that you should, at some point during a RACE breath through your mouth. I am not kidding. This kid has raced countless 5ks and has run a 30 something 10k on the track, ONLY breathing through his nose. That still cracks me up. Even better the REAson he was doing this was because his 6th grade gym teacher told him to.

My 6TH grade gym teacher told me, THAT IF I did crunches I would have an hour glass figure, and I knew that wasn’t true in 7th grade.

UMMM that’s called genetics buddy.

Okay, so back to my race… I warmed up pretty well. The meet was a little behind when I had started warming up and by the time I finishes just my jog. It was caught up all the way … (I knew it would happen). So I felt like I needed more drills, but didn’t have a ton of time to do them. It is one of those things like when you know your about to go run hard (or try to run hard). You get really lazy before, so I think I could of got more drills in but instead I was like I have to pee (even though I didn’t).

Yeah a little lacking in drills, but other than that I got my strides in and felt fast (spikes). I am not really wearing proper spikes. I mean for me this all doesn’t REALLY matter. Thus wearing MD spikes for a 5k is cool.

I had not one, but two pacers actually a couple (female and male) paced me for my 5k. I could feel the love (only kidding). They had just done time trials themselves. ACTUALLY they ran the mile, then right after the 400×400 and then right after that they agreed to pace me for the 5K. AND I wasn’t about to let them get out of that. No takesy backsy.

Going into the race as a dumb 800m runner I was like AHHH I think I will run with the 17:00min 5k gal. Luckily I had my pacers and didn’t do that dumb move. I tried something similar in a half marathon once where I put the hammer down at mile 6 and that ended horrible. Well, felt horrible.

ANYWAY back to 5K that felt okay until last mile then I had to really focus on my pacer and at one point I got confused on laps. Thought we had 2 to go when we really had 3 so that was VERY disappointing.. but I did finish in a PR with a lot of hands on knees breathing. Embarrassingly kept breathing hard for quite some time. Oh 5K you are never kind to my ego. Can’t forget my goal for this year though (Have fun/Compete/Not Care). #HFCNC

Thanks!

Jackie

Unoffical (times aren’t posted) – Jackie 18:22 5K

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I. ME. 3K

6_6_13post

Back for another charming week of amateur competing… It’s your host Jackie Gross (that has a nice ring to it). I am here to just give you brief insight into the track meet last week..

SO. Last Wednesday was AB FAB and all the good weather runners decided to join in. Oh wait, I mean parents didn’t mind sitting around in the sunshine, so the big kids meet started later then expected. I. ME. Warmed up a little too early discovering that a little too late.

If you don’t know I was doing a bit of “work out” instead of a “race” still trying to gain fitness running the 1500m (in spikes) and the 3k (in trainers).

Jordan was also doubling doing the 1500k (with me) and the 400m (both in spikes). Thus far Jordan has managed another full week of non-running followed by track meet where she does two races quite literally back to back. The girl has lost her mind.

It is always interesting for me to race distance races on the track, always a bit of a humbling experience. If I ever get a big head about anything, I’ll just stick myself in a 5k on the track. ANYWAY, we aren’t here to worry about my ego. Like I said before no ONE cares.

Continuing on…

The 1500k for me was a bit of a wakeup call, totally have been racing way too many distance stuff. I woke up half way through the run and was like, “Ooh, I should be sprinting this” and then the race was over… So I am really excited to race another 1500m where I actually ya know.. race.

Jordan did not do too shabby considering she doesn’t run. She was a little pissed at me right after the 15 for suggesting she race that. But, 10 mins later we were friends again. Her 400m which was right after the 1500m, she kicked some serious a$$, and I was pretty proud of her on that one.

My 3k debut, was me and this other fast girl -OR- this other girl who had maybe run the 3k before ..maybe several times…. Maybe not. Who knows. All I know is that she was faster than me. Which isn’t saying much.

I was supposed to cool down 7-10mins after the 1500 and then warm up 7-10 before the 3k but ummm I didn’t get to warm up…. only cool down. In all honesty there was maybe 20 mins between the two events. I would also like to confess that I keep forgetting the 3k and 5k start on the other side of the track.

Needless to say it went like this, ME: “UUUUMMMM sh1t the 3k is starting” (me grabbing my number and running over to the other side of the track).

Then BANG.

I did enjoy the 3k that was quick and only painful for the last 3laps, overall a good time and fast girl I am coming for you (maybe).

Official times:

Jordan: 1500m – 5:37.87

Jordan: 400m – 1:06.72

Jackie: 1500m- 5:00.19

Jackie: 3k- 11:11.50