Monday, June 1, 2009

Coming to grips with the pain... and then glory!

[by Candis]

I want to be careful with this post not to come off as a poor sport or even worse an emasculating wife, however I think that we all know that Ian would have already devoted several posts to gloating had he won. But he didn’t, so I know that you’ll all join me in saying: Haaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Up until last Monday I didn’t think I’d ever actually catch up to Ian, but the gap between our 10K times went from 13 minutes last year to 5 minutes this year and to be completely honest with you I think he’s lost a step.

Races are won and lost in training and I am totally hooked on the FIRST plan. If you’re not sick of hearing Ian & I talk about it then you haven’t been here very long... just wait, you’ll get there. You only run 3 times a week, omitting easy runs which I hate anyway, they’re as useless as a banker in a financial crisis. (Too harsh?) Each run has a specific purpose and is rarely less than 4 miles. You calculate ambitious paces using complex algorithms and spend 12 weeks mostly missing them. For several years now, it has been quite effective for both of us, although obviously more so for me. I think my edge has come in the addition of other training. I am now training for my second sprint triathlon- which means I bike and swim several times a week whereas Ian only ever bikes to our friends house 2 blocks away and would rather [insert just about anything here] than swim. These disciplines have added muscles I didn’t get from running and have done a good job of removing evil fat. The more muscle you have the more efficient you are- muscles propel- fat just jiggles.

Like cramming for an exam, I ate super healthy for 2 weeks before my race and only consumed 2 glasses of wine over 10 days. This was spurred by this chart on runner’s world. WOW. I dropped 4 lbs like nothing when I removed alcohol, sugar, limited my portions and ate useful foods. Who knew? has some really helpful nutrition articles for those of us who know little about it. Use these articles to get started.

Having given all of this training advice, I am not an expert on any of it, nor do I have any authority to speak on it. It’s never stopped me before, but if it doesn’t work for you then you must have done something wrong.

All that blabbering and now the actual race report. The Bolder Boulder has always been our favorite race. Because this race is such a big deal for us, my adrenaline is always at an all time high on race morning. This year I planned to start at my goal pace and hold it throughout the course instead of speeding up at the end. For most training runs I try to run negative splits when possible, but that would have made my final miles way too fast. So this year my adrenaline rush got me through miles 1 & 2.

Beyond mile 2 took a little more work. My biggest problem in races has been my head. I talk myself out of what I can actually do. Ian’s been telling me for years I’m underachieving. My head says “Aw, it’s too painful.” “You’re breathing too hard.” I recently read that pain is often made up in your brain and not even real. It is amazing the things our brains can control. I have come to grips with the pain of speed and decided to run through it aided by the GI Jane quotes in my playlist. It’s also a matter of how much you want it, the more I want it, the less I care about the pain. I kept telling myself it wouldn’t even hurt 5 minutes after I finished.

The race felt much shorter this year. It was shorter, 6 minutes shorter to be exact. This really helped. Even though I was in more pain, it didn’t last as long. Knowing the course also helped. Surprises in races get in my head, but this year I ran the tangents and was really happy to know what was coming. Hills seem easier if I know how long they’ll last.

I knew I had run as hard as possible because I almost hurled on the metal floor in the stadium stretch- I believe Viper calls this the puke threshold. This happened in the Skirt Chaser 5K last year and was my best time. It is now my standard. No dry heaves = too slow of a race.

The last mile (9:09) was slower than I wanted to finish but I was really happy with my time, 58:52. I love to sprint it out and beat 3 people at the end- like I just won the whole thing. This time it was just an even pace, oh well. I finished. I cried. I tried not to be giddy around Ian. Then I drank a bucket of frozen margaritas.


  1. Good race babe. I'm proud of you, but you were right in your original assumption that you'll never fully catch up to me.

  2. Congrats on a great race, Candis!! Thank you for talking about your training too. I totally need to get on this now.

    You were too nice in this post, btw. You totally need to rub it in more. :)

  3. Brilliant! Candis, you may also bask in the glory that as age sets in, men slow down significantly faster than women. I hear you roar!

  4. Go Candis! PRing is one thing, but as soon as I read about your 4-lb weight loss, I decided I REALLY have to jump on this "competing with spouse" bandwagon.

  5. Great race - congrats! I'm checking out your recommended reads right now! (I need all the help I can get)

    Hmmm, but I can't apply the FIRST plan if I'm running everyday in June - which shall I choose?

  6. Great race! You are way too nice to Ian! Love your posts.

  7. Grats Candis, sub one hour for the win! The stench of the area where they hand out food is what always makes me want to heave...

  8. I hope during your bucket of margaritas you let your husband know how well you had his ass!

    Great report.

  9. Nice job, Candis! I knew Half Fast had the potential to be informational.

  10. great race Candis, and you were quite kind to your slower husband. a PR, weight loss, and beating your spouse, what a great week!

  11. Great race! Glad to see my racing strategies and post-race hydration principles put into action. Kudos!

  12. Congrats on your race and great links! Thanks for posting.

  13. Great job! I love hard-fought training pays off.

  14. Candis, great work!

  15. You guys totally crack me up. :)

  16. I wonder....will Candis be chasing Vanilla now in the Skirt Chaser race? How does that work based off of these results?

    And, Candis, you should totally slap Vanilla's ass when you pass him.

  17. Hey, wanna hit your puke threshold real fast? Read Nitmos's last comment above.

    you’ll all join me in saying: Haaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! ...

    Ridicule and poor sportsmanship at What is the world coming to? I don't care for this! Not one bit!

    O, wait, it's at Mr. Vanilla's expense! In that case:

    [joiningin] Haaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha![/joiningin]

  18. Excellent race!!!

    You definitely should be rubbing it in more...I hope you are doing so in person, as you pass him at random moments arond the house, making offhand comments about your superior BB performance and increas in speed. (I can guarantee you that when I cut that much time on my hubs, I will be rubbing it ALL OVER.)

  19. Nice report! Perhaps if you got your friends to move farther away then Ian could finally incorporate that biking and actually call it cross training?


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