Monday, May 28, 2012

Cabot Trail Relay 2012 - Leg 7

This was my 6th year running a leg of the Cabot Trail Relay. In the past, I've run legs 1, 3, 8, 15, & 16. Now I can add leg 7.

The elevation profile from my garmin 
I knew that the first 5-8k was uphill, gaining 100m elevation, so thought I'd start slow, ideally about 6:30/km as I knew I could make it up on the downs. I had no idea what I was in for. By 3k, I gave up on the idea of hitting the mats as my hamstrings were already dying. I took a walk break at 2k, then thought "I'll just take one every 2k up the hill" and then that didn't work - took a few more.

I'd pass runners, saying "I think we deserve a downhill soon," and then it came!!! I LOVED the downhill. I just flew. I looked at my garmin many times and saw it flashing a 4:40 pace down those hills on the fun parts. (For me, that was super fast - my usual "race pace" is just around/under 6:00/km.) I knew it would come back to get me, but I couldn't slow down. I knew I still had a chance to hit the mats. I had no idea that it would basically be 5k up hill, then 5k down hill.

After 10k, it got HARD. The little ups started again, then more down. The quads were beat. Luckily, at 10k, my support crew were there to give me some water and give me an excuse to walk. I took a few walks when I needed them, knowing I still had to finish on an uphill.

At around 13k, I got to the washed out bridge and knew I just had to turn the corner and run up the hill. Another runner and I kept passing each other and were pretty much together from 10k on. I took a little walk, and she passed and tapped my back and yelled "Come on!" I said "I am. But I need to catch my breath for that last up hill!" I then started running and she walked. I said "Now YOU come on!" and she did. She was on my heels and just as we got to the old finish (400m to go) the next leg of the race started. "Damn," I heard her say. I was thankful to have her there for the last of the race. It often happens, meeting a runner on the road and using them to help you along. I wanted to thank her and say hi after, but I didn't see her again. I only knew her from the back as the girl in the lululemon shorts with the brown ponytail.

I ran. I saw Trish, who was road crew, and heard her yell SO loudly "COME ON, ANG! RUN!" I yelled back "I am!" and tried to run faster! The mats were already folded up. Boo. But, I at least SAW them. I got an official time. I got my hug from Trish before she had to leave for the next leg. I did all I could do that race.

I came in 48th out of 70. That's a good placement for me! The official results say I ran 1:20:03 for 13.5k for a pace of 5:56.

It's done. I'm content, but still have to go back to get across the mats another year, before they are pulled up. This is the closest I've come to crossing the mats in the six years I've run this race. Next year....

Garmin Splits in min/km:

5-6:31 (31:58 5k)
10-5:23 (58:38 10k - 7 seconds off my 10k PB, making the second 5k a new unofficial PB of 26:40!)
0.37k in 2:12

Total = 13.37 in 1:20 = 5:59 pace

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2012 and a Third

That's right, we're one third of the way through 2012. I decided May 1 was as good a day as any to update my progress on my resolution.

Last time I checked in, two months ago, I was behind schedule by about $20. Now, I'm ahead of schedule! That's right! I should be at 33% of it paid off now, and I'm at 47%! My tax refund helped, as did adjustments to my spending habits.

I'm determined to stay on this financial plan for more than just the duration of paying off some debt. I.e. once I get it paid, I won't just go crazy spending and booking trips. I'll stick to a budget! There is no reason that I can't start planning financially for future events (i.e. that trip to Paris I'd like to take in 2014)!

With the news lately of lay offs and positions being done away with, it also hits close to home that it is very important to have a good cushion to land on if needed. I have friends who now have to compete for their jobs with their colleagues, and one never knows when they may be in the same situation. So, I may also shift more focus into that emergency fund.

It has been quite easy to shift my spending to a saving mode instead of spending. Things I've started to do that have made a difference are:

  • Put $$ on a Starbucks card - when it runs out, I wait until I can refill the card
  • Pre-plan expenses - now I've been putting aside money left over each pay for expenses I know are coming up, like new running shoes and a new jacket - that way, I don't have to put it on Visa or adjust my budget
  • Take cash out each pay - I have a general idea of how much "entertainment" money I have, and I like to have it in cash. Then when I am getting low, I can see that I am getting low and choose what I want to do more... Sometimes that means choosing between a bottle or wine or going to the movies.
  • If there is any money left in my account between pays, I transfer it to savings or to my debt. That $5-10 adds up!
  • Library visits - when I run out of $$ before pay day, a trip to the library is a free way to get some movies or magazines to look at
  • Pay attention to what I'm spending and on what...

Hopefully when I check in again in July, I'll still be ahead of schedule!