Esprit de She Tempe

On Thursday night, my mom and I ran the Athleta Esprit de She race at Tempe Town Lake. I signed us up forever ago and at the time October 10th seemed so far away, but now it’s already come and gone and we had a blast!

Esprit de She is a new women’s racing series and they definitely went all out for their female racers! Post-race, there was champagne and wine and mini spa treatments. In addition to having hand sanitizer at the port-a-potties (women love that), they had…stacks of tampons! Haha, it was a nice touch!

Even more important, I really liked the course. When we signed up, it was in Scottsdale, but about a week before, I got a phone call that it was now at Tempe Town Lake. I’ve done a lot of races at Tempe Town Lake, but most start at the beach park, which last weekend, was being taken over for Oktoberfest, so it was on the other side and it ended up being a course unlike what I’ve run there before. I ran the 10K and I was especially happy it wasn’t just two loops! Part of it was out and back, but overall the course was pretty great.

It had rained earlier, which made it was the coldest night this season (for Arizona that means we were all bundled up for about 70 degrees) and perfect for a race!

EDS

EDS3My mom took off on the 5K course first and I caught up with her shortly after the 2-mile mark and we ran together for a little bit before she told me to take off, so I did! My training has not been as consistent as I would have liked and this was the longest I’d run in a while, but I did my best and ended up finishing in 1:04:37, my now-middle time for the 10K. I ran slower than the race I ran right after I got Rigo and was such a nervous new mom, I hadn’t slept or eaten for a few days before, but I ran faster than the race I ran while hungover/possibly still drunk. I’ll take it?

I found my mom at the finish line and we hung out for a bit, got massages, but when it got a little too chilly for us, we headed back home, pretty happy with our Thursday night accomplishments!

EDS2

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Going Rogue

My race calendar was pretty much set for the remainder of spring until a few weeks ago, Ashley from She Runs Strong did a giveaway for the inaugural Rogue Runner on her blog and I won! Even better, she was giving away two entries and my blog friend turned real-life friend and Ragnar teammate, Stacey, won the other, so I’d have a partner in crime for the race!

The race was on Saturday at McDowell Mountain Park, so it was actually an awesome and challenging 6.2 mile trail run in addition to being an obstacle course.

By the time we got our codes to enter, the earliest wave available was 11:30 and the high on Saturday was supposed to be 90, so I was a little concerned it would be too hot – that was a huge problem with the only other obstacle race I’ve done, the Lozilu, which took place even later into the hot Arizona spring/summer. Rogue before

The first half of the race was pretty warm and unfortunately the water stations were out of water! The obstacles offered a slight break because we had to wait in a line to go through them…we got to one and people were walking away saying they had been there for an hour already, so we skipped it as well.

Despite the heat, lack of water, my lack of recent training and Stacey’s hamstring injury, it was a great running day and we kept up a decent pace in between obstacles, not letting our Ragnar spirit die and chicked plenty of men along the way.

Finally, we made it to the mid-way point with its glorious stocked water station, port-a-potties and a water obstacle. Essentially it was a dumpster filled with water and you had to swim under three barriers. Kinda gross? Yes, but we were sweaty and dirty already and getting drenched to start out on the next three miles was actually quite welcome!

Then there was a slip and slide, which was super fun, some more military-style obstacles and more trail running, of course. There were a good amount of obstacles for the distance and they were spread out pretty well. Only once we ran for almost a mile between them, but the view was awesome and the trail made it more interesting. Then before we knew it (a little less than two hours after starting), we finished and got our sweet medals!

Rogue after

Lozilu was TOUGH, so I was worried about doing a longer course, but I guess with my yoga and swimming, I’m more strength-trained than I give myself credit for. I was sore for a few days, but it was a fun kind of sore.

This race did not feel like a first for Rogue Runner. It was well-marketed and brought in lots of participants and except for the water issue, it ran very smoothly. (I ran the first Neon Race the week before and it was fun because I was with friends, but logistical it was a complete disaster.)

The Rogue Runner course was legit – not just another copy-cat gimmicky run with more talk than walk – though it’s definitely an obstacle run, not fully a “mud” run. It definitely gave me the confidence boost I needed to get me thinking I can handle a Tough Mudder! I’m so happy I added this race to my schedule at the last minute, I had a blast!

My Phoenix 10K

I need to amend my list of race superstitions. Please add: Don’t talk about PRing beforehand even if (you think) it’s going to be a walk in the park.

Not that I didn’t – HOLLA! – but it’s probably not a good idea moving forward.

I finished today’s Phoenix 10K in 1:01:50 and although that impressed my not-so-in-love-with-sweat sister, I guess I have to say I’m disappointed.  I only reached my first goal – to beat my last 10K time – and missed both my other goals – 1:00 and 0:56. 

However, I did follow my unspoken race rule of just keep running and there wasn’t a moment when I felt like I could give anything more, so I can be happy with it.  It’s the longest distance I’ve run in some time, so my thighs?  Not so much.  Supta virasana, please!

Three-A-Week 10K

I recently read an old post in which I said I wasn’t going to sign up for the Shun the Sun 10K this year because it was too soon after Weddingpalooza aka October. That race isn’t very close to me anyway and while the start is at a Spring Training ballpark, it’s not a particularly lovely area to run through, so I stuck to not signing up.

Instead, I signed up for a race a week earlier. Oops. I’m running the 3TV Phoenix 10K on November 6th.

You do what you can with what you have, so even though I only have five weeks until race day, which will include a lot of Forced Family Fun for my sister’s wedding next weekend and travel for my college roommate’s wedding, I came up with a plan to build my mileage and speed up my pace while working with my schedule. 

I have the workouts on specific days, but basically the goal is to complete the following runs each week, even if I have to shuffle them:

Week 1:  3 miles; 10/5/5/5/5 tempo run; 4 miles
Week 2:  10 /5/5/10/5 tempo run; 5 miles; 3.5 miles
Week 3:  5 miles; 5/10/10/15/5 tempo run; 6.5 miles
Week 4:  3.5 miles; 5/10/5/10/5/10/5 tempo run; 8 miles
Week 5:  4 miles; 5 miles; 3 miles

“Tempo” for this training is 8:30 and the longer runs will have race pace (9:00) miles added in.  My goal is 56 minutes to the finish line!

My training schedules are always a weird mix of training plans from running coaches who actually know what they’re doing, ideas from other runners and things that have worked for me in the past all mushed together to create something that I think will be doable, exciting AND challenging for me.  How do you come up with training plans?