Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Love-Hate Relationship

Congrats to all the BRC athletes in their recent races!! Wow we have an awesome team!

So I have a love-hate relationship with my spikes. I love my Adidas spikes for many reasons. I love the way they fit my foot, the way they make me feel fast, the way they look, and the way they make me feel "ready" when I put them on before I race. I especially love them because they helped me qualify for USA Track Championships and to acheive a 28 second PR (33:10) in the 10k this past weekend at Stanford (Payton Jordan Invitiational). I also love them for assisting with the 5k PR a few weeks ago. They are incredible!

However, the last few days I have hated them and cursed at them for the pain they have caused me. I hate them for making me not be able to walk flat footed when I first get out of bed or when my legs feel like they are on fire as I attempted to run. Both Tuesday and Wednesday I felt like my legs were about to break in a million pieces with the pain stretching through every muscle in my leg. My poor dog wanted to leave me behind because the pace was extremely slow (most likely the pace can't even be considered a run, more like a fast walk). I hated my spikes making my muscles so tight that my form was funky and I'm sure I looked pathetic. Oh spikes, why oh why do you have to cause so much pain in my legs for so many days?

Don't worry I will love them again when we meet again for a track workout or race.

Videos of the 10k race with Ali, Nicole, and I: www.flotrack.org/coverage/238232-2011-Stanford-Payton-Jordan-Cardinal-Invitational/video/488282-W-10k-H02 Finish is at www.flotrack.org/coverage/238232-2011-Stanford-Payton-Jordan-Cardinal-Invitational/video/488236-W-10k-H02-Finish

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's good to be back

Well, the last time I got on here I wasn't in such a great mood. I was still injured and frustrated with my lack of progress toward getting better. Since then much has changed. I finally got things figured out thanks to Dr. Mathews A.R.T. and some patient help from Tommy at BRC. I figured out that I was over-pronating just a little bit so to patch things up I had to switch my trainers up and I now train in a combination of the Adidas Adapt and the Adizero Tempo. This training shoe switch has made all the difference for me and I have been training solid for 5 weeks now. Unfortunately after losing a month my fitness isn't where I wanted it to be and my motivation was suffering. There is of course only one solution to that problem, get in a race.

The first race I decided to hop in was the Boulder Distance Classic on April 23. I went up there because I knew that there was likely to be some good competition and getting my @$$ handed to me is a great motivator. I ran the 5k and surprised myself a bit. The weather was pretty awful with wind and snow but I scrapped my way to a 15:58. Although this isn't a blazing time I discovered that I had more fitness than I had thought and gave me some hope. If you look in the results my official time is listed as 16:08 which is a total load. In fact discussing times with fellow racers I discovered that everyone's time was slower than what they actually ran. I was even told that this was common with the timers that this particular race employs. Well, I just want to go on record and say that this is crap. Give people the times they run and nothing else. This should be a no brainer when it comes to running. Overall I would recommend this race but just be ready to time yourself.
The next race I did was May 1, the Cherry Creek Sneak. I hadn't planned to return to this race after last year but it just seemed to fit my training well and offered the opportunity to get in some good work. Like a crazy man I entered both the 5k and the 5 mile. The 5k was first and it went about as well as I could ask. I snapped my winless streak at 17 months since last victory running 15:43 to win by a few seconds. I was very pleased with this because not only did I run faster than the week prior but I did it with gas left in the tank. I didn't totally sell out for time as I knew the 5 mile was just an hour away. After the win in the 5k I was really relaxed for the 5 mile. You never know how the legs will respond as part of a double so really there is nothing to lose. Although I was never in the race to win as 1st and 2nd place took off early I got in a nice group for 3-6th. This group was all together until around the 3.5 mile mark. This point in the course turns uphill and feeling like I still had the legs I made a move and no one in the group could fully respond. Jay did a nice job of going after me but luckily for me the last mile has a lot of turns and this allowed me to keep him away. I couldn't believe that I still had legs at the end and was really surprised when I saw the finish time of 26:14. I hadn't figured I would be able to double back under 26:30 so I was quite pleased. It feels good race again and success is also a nice motivator. I'm not totally sure what is next on the menu for me but I've got the fire back so I'm sure it won't be too long.

3 race update

I’m sitting in crop duster right now heading back home to Tucson and figured it was time to stop shirking my blog obligations for the team. Part of the reason I haven’t been able to write since the Jax River Run in March has been because school decided I wasn’t working hard enough and threw every piece of garbage it could find at me. The other reason was because I wasn’t sure how to respond to being dubbed “no pants Burrell” by my favorite new teammate Tommy Neal. I’ve found a break in my workload, but I’m still not sure what to say to Tommy … You’re “no pants Burrell?”

Anyway, I’ve made some solid improvements since a disappointing run in Jacksonville, and I think I’m slowly getting back to PR shape. The first week in April, I ran 29:20 in a road 10k in Charleston. Overall, it was a decent performance with a brutal tailwind and a 2-mile hill in the middle of the race. However, I wasn’t able to finish with the strength and speed that I would have liked. My next race was a 5k at mt. sac. I felt certain I was in pr shape about a week and a half before the race. I had done a couple solid work outs with Jorge Torres who came down to Tucson for a time before the race (8x400 with 1 minute rest at 62, 400 jog, 6x400 with 1 minute rest at 59). Unfortunately, allergies and congestion, which have cripple most of my track seasons since leaving CO after high school, kicked in about 5 days before the race. I went in with a sore throat and plugged sinuses hoping the cool California evening would alleviate the congestion. It didn’t, but I ran 13:55 and still think the race went well all things considered.

I’m coming home right now from running the Bloomsday 12k in Spokane, WA. I’m still having trouble dealing with allergies with the severity depending on the day. Again, I think the race went relatively well. I placed 13th overall and 3rd American although I put myself in position to be top American and around 8th overall with about 1K to go. I was struggling for the second have of the race and ended up getting caught by a pack right at the end and lost about $5000 in that last bit – pretty difficult not to be upset about that even if I think I’m still improving.

Not sure what my racing schedule is going to be going forward. Basically, I’ll just keep after it until the allergens die down and the breathing comes to the level my legs are at (which has been at the Atlanta Peachtree the past 2 years – for some reason I have been able to breathe there). I’d also like to get a track race in the lower the 5k pr and will look to either Canada or Mexico. I haven’t been able to put together a good track race since 2007 so it would be nice to get that monkey off the back. We’ll see.

Go BRC Adidas!!!

Congratulations to all of my teammates on some amazing performances this past weekend. Nicole, Cassie and Ali rocked it at the 10K at Stanford; Amanda and Adrian both had great races down in Denver at the Cherry Creek Sneak; and Kristen and Wendy both ran fast 5Ks up here in Northern Colorado. I was very inspired and hearing about those performances made me really want to start racing again SOON!

The unfortunate part is that I am not quite ready as I have only been back running 4 weeks after taking 4 weeks totally off with only rock climbing and no cardio. So while my long run this week was 1 hour and 45 minutes it was slow and I am no way ready to step up to the starting line and give it my all. Instead, I am getting inspiration and motivation from my teammates burning up the roads and the track! Great job ladies!