Monday, June 25, 2012

Training at Races

This weekend was filled with races and training all wrapped into one! When we set a date for me to move from Alabama to Michigan, one of the first things I did was look for races. It wasn't necessarily to go and run them, but more to maybe meet people and to not have to do my runs alone! So this past weekend I had the Solstice Run, which was a 10mile route but I added 2 at the beginning. And then on Sunday was the Heart of Detroit Run which I did the 10k route. 

You may ask, "Why would I run a race as a training run?" Well that's an easy answer for me to answer...I have just started week 1 of my training for Detroit Marathon on October 21st! I ran my 1st marathon in March, read all about it here, and I am ready for the next one, and hopefully a better one! The one thing that I am doing differently for this marathon compared to the 1st one, is I have a running coach! We may not be in the same state, but there are a lot of online programs, so I figure this will work. I know my coach, I met him Alabama and actually talked about being my coach prior to knowing I was moving. But I will go more into that a different time. But I will say, so far it is nice to have a plan written out and with the pace I need to be at. I am one of those that needs things written out to completely understand. So I am really excited for this journey and really excited to see the end result on October 21st!

As for the races this weekend...they were both at different locations and had different terrains! But I learned a lot from both of them!
Solstice 10miler +2

Solstice Race:
It was in Northville, and the weather was perfect for a run! I had 12 on my schedule so I had to add 2 miles in addition to the 10 miles on the race course. I ended up parking at the High School and instead of taking the shuttle to the start line, I ran the 2 miles to the start line. I was supposed to be at 10:44 pace for today's long run, well it kind of happened. The 1st 2 miles were a bit to fast....even though I knew I had enough time to get to the start line, I was still worried about taking a wrong turn (even though it was impossible) and not making it in time. But I think going to fast the 1st 2miles ruined the average pace on the Garmin, which made getting to my training pace difficult when the 10mile race started. ~Live and learned from that one!~
I was looking forward to this hilly route, still can't believe I am looking forward to hills! This is from the website for the race------->10 Mile, 10K, 5K USATF Certified Courses: Run famous "KONA HILL" -challenging hill at 3/4 mile mark on 10 Mile Kona Run and 10K Aloha Run courses. But I guess I am still somewhat used to the hills in Alabama because at the end of the race, I was still looking for the hill... (sorry to those who are reading this & are saying those hills were tough) My tune might change in a year, after running on flat surfaces!

At the Tiger prior to Race

Heart of Detroit Race:
This was just an awesome location! Comerica Park!! Where the Detroit Tigers play. And at the end of the cross the finish on the field!! How awesome is that?? This one I was better about keeping my 10:04pace, I was a little faster then planned, but at times I stopped focusing on my running and just took in the sights of Detroit! Oh how it has changed, this area was so clean and built up! I know there are areas that are not like this, but this was all new to me! I am also hoping this was a small preview of the Detroit Marathon...if it is, it looks like it might be a flat race, which is good and bad.
an hour later...on the Field!

Here is what I learned from this weekend:
1) Going to race with out my running family is a little different. A race is more fun with a running family.

2) Both races I ran with no breaks! No 'water' stop breaks, for either the 10mile or 6mile. Which was great for a training run. As I am trying to limit my 'water stop breaks' or at least cut down on the stop time when I do stop.

3)*I am far from being a fast runner* but it was interesting watching those who were racing this weekend while I was just running. The biggest observation I took was the breathing! Because I was going at a slower pace then normal for a race, I took in how everyone was working really hard and they were all breathing hard! Do I sound like that too, I wonder? & it was great to see how many people were out there! I also learned that going at a steady pace does help, because at the start of the races I had many people past me, but by the end with my steady pace I did end up passing these same people. 

4) It was hard for me, a little bit, to not speed up! I really wanted to, but I know that all of these slower runs will pay off! I have a huge goal for October and following the plan will help me get to those huge goal!

5) During the races, I made sure to take the time to say Thank You to all those who were helping with the race. There were a lot of police and volunteers out there! So next time your at a race make sure to say thank you as much as possible, they really do appreciate it!!

Sorry for this long post....but it was a fun weekend and great end of week 1 of Detroit Marathon Training!!

~~~Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

~~~Have you ever gone to a race and used it as a training run? What did you take out of it?


  1. (sorry to those who are reading this & are saying those hills were tough)- That'd be me! LOL! You must have some hills down in AL! Actually it's not terribly surprising to me, FL was flat as a pancake so the hills in MI are still mountains to me. Great job sticking to the training plan during the races, I imagine it was pretty hard to keep yourself reigned in at times, especially if the hills seemed like nothing to you! Love that you had a great time at the Detroit race, I love it down there and hope that progress continues to transform the area. Great job this weekend girl and lets get together for a run soon!

  2. I need to send you some of my Garmin maps from the normal routes I ran in Alabama! I thought Birmingham, Al was hilly until I went and did Georgia Marathon! after that race I said B'ham was flat (which is far from it!)
    Yes, we will have to get together soon! next few weekends are a bit busy with moving and all, but sometime in mid July should work!!