Monday, February 21, 2011

I must be doing something right

This past weekend, I earned another PR during the second Winter Pickle race on Saturday, February 19. See below for my results. The Winter Pickles are in a prediction format, meaning you turn in a card with your predicted time before you start, and you are not allowed to take any timing devices with you while you run. In addition, there are two courses--a 5k on the paved trail and a 4.4 mile route that includes some of the paved trail and some of the hiking trails. The pickle runs are very fun because the format gives everyone a shot at a prize. In addition to predicted times, prizes are also given out to those who find pickles along the trail (of which 10 are hidden earlier in the day.) Prizes have included mugs, novelty items, CD's, and even DVD's, some of which have been box sets. After the time awards are given out, those who found pickles claim their prizes, and then they give a few other random prizes out by asking the crowd to answer a few silly questions. It really has a great experience and the people who put the runs together (Run The Day) do a great job.

On my first Pickle run, I was running with my sister and her friends, and made a prediction of around 57 minutes, and finished in 52 minutes even. For this one, I knew I would be running alone and would probably end up faster, so I made a prediction of 47 minutes. My intent was to run this casually, as I needed a nice, easy zone 2 run for my training. Since I did not have my Garmin, I did not wear my heart rate monitor, and I had to do this one by feel (something that the coaches at PRS Fit teach). That was about where my planning ended. Somehow, I ended up near the starting line and ended up going out fast--both of which are things that I try to avoid and I have only ever done once before (at the LIVESTRONG 5k). My finishing time was 42:14 (chip time 42:18), which was an amazing result for me. That was almost 10 minutes faster than the first Pickle. Overall, I was #32 out of 51 runners. Not bad! (Remember, I am not racing for first place--I am doing this to have fun.)

I have to give credit to my training plan from PRS Fit. I have been doing a lot of core and strength work, using videos that coaches Jeff and Diane have put online, and they have really been helping me. In addition to my training plan, I have been reading the book, Natural Running by Danny Abshire, and using techniques from the book, and from PRS Fit's Train with the Coaches podcast, to improve my form. I already feel light on my feet with the minimalist shoes, and the improved form makes me feel even better, which is obviously translating into better performances with less effort.

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