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Tracy Lightfoot

Blogging on the road to the Louisville Triple Crown of Running




Mar 31, 2007

Success!

Over. Done. Grateful. And, no longer scared of the mini.

1:21:05, so right on target. I was hoping for anywhere in 1:30-1:20, so I'm very happy with that. I finished in the top 10 percent, which is very cool.

I loved the courses, loved all the fans, loved running around the stadium at the end. Had a hard time finding my way around post-race and finding the best way back out of the stadium. Sore ITB now, but I think it's minor.

Our gang is doing the "hard 10" route through Iroqouis on April 14, only we're going to add an extra mile or two. That will pretty much put a cap on my training.

Too tired still for anything more.

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Falling off the blogosphere

The blogosphere is actually flat, you see, and I got to the edge and fell off.

Actually, I've just been slammed with school and work the past couple of weeks and am just now seeing it recede.

RCR went well; I took it easy and finished in just over 44 minutes, which I thought was alright for my first 10k. I wanted to go out conservatively, because I knew if I pushed hard and bonked toward the end, or just felt absolutely done for at the end, I would have a bigger mental hurdle to overcome for the next two races.

One of which is in two hours. I'm nervous, but not sure why. I ran 11 miles last week at 8:20/mile, which is quite snappy for me. I hope to do something similar today -- looks like the weather will be absolutely perfect. It's 64 right now, but looks like it's going to drop a couple of degrees by the end of the race.

A few fewer miles this week, just because I had too much going on Thursday to run and didn't want to run yesterday, so 11.5 this week so far -- plus 10 today and a few more tomorrow.

Alright, I promise to post later today about the race. I'm bib number 2851 -- if you see me, say hi! Now, I got to get ready!

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Mar 16, 2007

Sorry so long, no post. To be honest, it's been a busy couple of weeks. I know some of my co-bloggers are U of L students, so I'm sure they understand -- this week is spring break, which means I was slammed with projects due that week. This week I've been working on a lot of different things while I had a little free time.

Training wise, they've been a couple of interesting weeks. A pretty easy week last week with some shorter runs, speed work and a 9.5 miler on Saturday. This week has been similar, taking it easy with the Rodes City Run tomorrow. I also bought some new shoes this week, so I did some slow runs to scope those out.

I've also been reading "Marathoning For Mortals" by John "The Penguin" Bingham ("No Need For Speed" column in Runner's World) and Jenny Hadfield (a running coach). It's entertaining but a little simplistic, really geared to people thinking about running a full or half marathon but not actually training for one yet. For example, I'm reading about shoes right now -- and if I didn't have that figured out by now, I probably would have given up already.

So some pre-RCR thoughts ... I am feeling anxious about this race, because it doubles my previous race distance. I worry I will go out too fast, which then makes me worry I may go out too slow and over-compensate. It will be interesting, that's for sure. Another big crowd; I just wish the nice weather would come back. I also think the cash prizes are pretty cool, although I have no chances of winning them! I am aiming for 45-48 minutes, which is not fast enough to win anything but is fast enough to make me eligible for a seeded position next year. (I don't know what seed times are for other 10ks.)

That's all for now, just didn't want anyone to think I had abandoned ship!

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Mar 4, 2007

Running reflections ...

Another week of hard training in the can - 28 miles and still going. We made it through the Anthem 5k yesterday, which was an interesting experience. It was a nice course, but you couldn't see the pace markers from inside the start chute, so I ended up way too far back. I still PR'd, which is nice since I had just set one three weeks ago at the Frostbite 5k, with a (chip) time of 21:29.

I must say, though, that I think I'm happier with the smaller races, where national talent hasn't been recruited. I don't get excited running in races where only one top five finisher from either gender was from Louisville; these just aren't for me. Perhaps they will be when I can post a sub-19, but I'm definitely not there yet.

Today I ran 10.5 miles, my longest run to date, at 8:10/mile. It was hard, but I feel more confident as I look down the barrel of these upcoming longer races. I have only raced 5ks and a couple of 4 milers, so even though I know I can cover the distance, I am feeling pretty antsy about the rest of the Triple Crown (we won't even talk about the mini until March is over). I am trying to formulate race strategies, like breaking the 10k into two slower miles to wade through the pack, then three miles right under pace, then whatever is left for the last 1.2 miles. Runner's World recently covered 10 milers (and named Papa John's as one of the top three), and suggested breaking that distance into thirds. I'm also relying on times from the McMillan running calculator to help me determine pace.

I am definitely ready for the warm weather to come back, though. Yesterday morning was colder than I had hoped, but not as bad as it was this morning when we went out (22!). But, looks like we may be over the hump, as the coolest day in the 10-day forecast is low-50s. Running feels less like work when the weather is nice!

That also reminds me: I've given a lot of thought over the past few weeks to running and my committment to it. I started off last May wanting to get in shape, and a few weeks later I found the couch-to-5k plan on CoolRunning.com. It worked perfectly with the Gaslight 5k, just blocks from my house, so I decided to give it a shot.

I was definitely hooked. I found there was an amazing number of the races floating around town, most of them supporting charitable causes. I suckered my mom into the Bark in the Park, where she did the 1 mile walk, but then decided to go back to running herself. So I ran two in October, the Northeast Y Turkey Trot in November, then the Fleet Feet series and the Run to the Sun. Seems like it's been more, but I guess just nine to date -- not bad considering I have five age group awards (two firsts, a second and two thirds). Which is probably part of why I've been so hooked, because I keep getting faster ...

So I spent a lot of my recent miles contemplating this devotion: Was it a devotion to winning and to competing, or to running? And I suppose, in light of how much time I spent thinking about this while running, it must be both. I am a competitive person; a serious Type A who thinks entering any competition is exciting and is constantly setting goals meant to be achieved. But, I also see running as me-time: I am a consultant and freelancer, so my work hours vary wildly and there's no regularity in my job life; I take care of my two step-kids on what definitely seems like a full-time basis; I'm also a full-time student. Running is a guilt-free way to take some time to just relax and think through any problems I'm encountering, and gives me time to reflect on what's going on in my life.

Plus, I have some fine looking legs to put on display this pool season! My initial intent was to improve my cardiovasular fitness, and I was feeling like a lazy bum after soccer and track during high school. I didn't have time during college to keep up exercising, and I wish I had put more of an emphasis on it. I blame it all on the good fortune that blessed me with a good metabolism -- I didn't feel like I needed to exercise.

Now I am feeling fit, looking good, fulfilling my competitive streak (both against myself and others) and keeping my stress level down. I have a hat that sums it up: Running is cheaper than therapy.

With all that in mind, I hope you all had a great race on Saturday and continue to fulfill your own goals, whatever they may be.

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Feb 25, 2007

Run to the Sun



Whew! Just over 60 days till the mini, and it's definitely crunch time. I ran the Frostbite 5k last week, the Run to the Sun this week, and then Anthem is next week ... I'm glad I'm running the Triple Crown series this year, since it's my first year of racing, but I'm already thinking I may lighten the spring race load next year.

Run to the Sun was a nice race yesterday -- some of you were probably there -- flat course, compared to the races I've been running in the parks! It was well-organized, although there was a pretty crazy bottleneck at the finish line. The goodies from Java Brewing Co. were fantastic, though!

A lot of folks from the Ken Combs contingency were there (my mom, Doug, Kevin, Drew, Angie, Liza, Erin, and the superstars Jill, Shannon and Diane), and everyone seemed to have a good race. I put out a respectable 28:41, second in my age group (to the aforementioned Diane) -- 11th female and 42nd overall. I was excited to be on the first page of the results (there were 10)!

I logged 25.8 miles this week, including a 7x800 speed workout, a 4 mile race, a 7.5 mile long run and a few easy runs. I think I'm ready for a soak in a long bath; I'm definitely feeling the miles in my quads.

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Feb 18, 2007

Spring?!



I am so excited to be starting off the week looking at warm weather everyday. I hope it holds up, because we ran yesterday while it was 14 degrees, and I'm about sick of my face being chapped.

It's been tough running through this bout of cold weather, but I'm definitely thankful for it. When I ran the Frostbite 5k on Saturday, I could tell the intensive training I started in January is worth it. When I was running 5ks in the fall (before I had decided to run the Triple Crown and mini), I wasn't doing more than a four mile run. I didn't yet understand how running longer would make me faster when running shorter distances.

I am delighted to say I was very wrong. The combination of long runs, speed workouts and just more running overall has certainly improved my 5k racing. Prior to Saturday, my best time was from October, a 24:39. I came into Saturday's race hoping to break 24:00, which would have meant 8 minute miles. I wasn't sure I could do it, I hadn't been feeling very fast last week. But, I cruised through the first three hills, clocking 7:30-something the first mile. I crested the hill by Hogan's Fountain happy that the hills were over, but worried I couldn't maintain the pace. The downhills made that much easier, and I used those to catch my breath. I slowed a little on the flat stretch heading to the finish, and I had been warned that you had to run past the finish line before getting to the chute. I picked it up once the finish line was in sight, but held back and let some people pass me as we went by the chute. I could tell they didn't know where the finish actually was, because I passed them about 30 seconds later. I opened it up after rounding the final turn, and came in at 21:45, good enough for second in my age group.

It was a fairly fast race; all the runners from our Ken Combs "running support group" did well. I think everyone PR'd, and we all felt that our training has been worthwhile.

I went out and ran again today with some faster and more experienced runners. We did a 60 minute run at a pace slightly faster than what I would usually run, but not so fast I couldn't do it. It felt like a good run. But, definitely sore now.

This week
Monday: 3 or 4 miles
Tuesday: Speed night - 7x800 with 400 jogs
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: off
Saturday: Run to the Sun 4 miler

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Feb 14, 2007

Chilly + rain = not fun

Wow! I was excited about the warmer temperatures until the precipitation made it just as bad. We did speed night at Waggener High last night, 200m with 200m recoveries. I did a mile warm up and 3 miles worth of 200 on/200 off. We were scheduled for 4 miles, but as I entered the third mile, the rain really let loose. I was also having some pain in my lower leg, which I think was caused by running sideways along some embankments Monday.

Probably short run today, a little longer on Thursday, then off on Friday before Saturday's race. Weather is still predicted to be nice.

That's all for now -- keep on running!

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About Me


I ran track (100 meters, 200 meters) and played soccer in high school. I took a few years off from running while settling into the academic grind and picked it back up in May 2006. I ran my first five-kilometer race in September 2006 and decided in November to go for the Triple Crown and the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon. I am the training coordinator for Ken Combs Running Store, where I lead a Saturday group from the store each week.

I run at least five days a week, sometimes six, and it's usually through Jeffersontown and through the parks on the weekends. My 5k personal record is 21:45, and I'm shooting for a sub-2 hour mini - in part because I'm a bridesmaid in an afternoon wedding that day!

When not running, I manage my own media and marketing company. I freelance for several local publications, primarily The Lane Report and Business First. I also coordinate promotional efforts at Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood. And, I am finishing my bachelor’s in communications at the University of Louisville.




My Recent Posts


Success!

Falling off the blogosphere

Sorry so long, no post. To be honest, it's been a ...

Running reflections ...

Run to the Sun

Spring?!

Chilly + rain = not fun

Altius, Citius, Fortius.*

A quick introduction ...



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February 2007
March 2007