Thursday, November 26, 2009

A day for giving thanks and giving back

At 8:00 a.m. today, I was still in bed, thinking about the race I was registered to run, The Run to Feed the Hungry 10k, which kicked off at 8:45. I tossed and turned all last night as a result of a poor choice in meals at dinner. Red peppers never do sit well with me. For hours, my stomach felt like little men were on the inside with pick axes poking at the lining and they probably had some sort of acid on the ends of their pick axes to make it hurt worse. I couldn't imagine myself running the race.

The only thing that drug my butt out of bed finally at 8:10 was a reminder that this was a workout for me, and I could stop at any point and walk or just decide to enjoy a stroll along the way if I wanted to. My workout was 8 miles with either 10k or 5k at lactate threshold (tempo) effort. I chose the 10k distance thinking I would have an easier time keeping myself at LT effort due to the longer distance. I laced up my trainers and left my racing flats at home, just to be clear with myself that this was not a race I was about to run.

Traffic was miserable, so we just parked a mile from the starting line and ran in. I ended up nearly stripping down while running to the start, throwing my bag of clothes to The Genius (who incidentally PR'd in the 5k today!) while I scaled the steep grassy cliff next to the road in an attempt to get as close to the starting mat as possible. I got to the line as the last words of the National Anthem were being sung. Luckily, the race started a couple of minutes late.

I started the 10k with a couple of runners that had told me they were going to be running what I thought my workout pace might be. We all got sucked out way too fast. When I looked at my Garmin in the first 1/4 mile, we were somewhere around 5:40 pace. We slowed to 6:05 pace by mile 1. When my group noticed how fast they were going, they started to slow down. I looked at my Garmin and saw 6:23 pace, and I took off around them. I finally settled into a steady 6:15 or so pace by mile 3 and hung there for the rest of the race. My stomach felt okay, but I was glad I wasn't racing or I would have gotten a major side stitch, I'm quite certain.

A young girl with a blond ponytail and headphones popped up next to me around mile 3 and asked if I was on a team, and if I ran in college, and if it was okay if she ran with me, and what my name was, and... I told her I was doing a tempo run, and she said, "great! I haven't done a tempo run in a long time!" Hmmm. Not sure she knew what a tempo run was. Anyway, she dutifully stuck with me for the rest of the race, and every time I got a step behind, she encouraged me to keep going. Very cute.

As we turned for home, I let her take off since there was really no point in me starting a sprint a half mile from the finish, but she wouldn't have it. She said, "Come on, Jaymee, keep going. We're almost there." I looked at her and very nicely said, "You go ahead. I'm just doing a workout here." She finally got it and sped off to finish 6 or so seconds ahead of me.

This workout was supposed to be a heartrate max test for me too, but that didn't really work out. While my heart rate got up to 192 within the first 1/4 mile, my coach and I think that may have been an anomaly. After that brief spike, it settled down, and then kept going down as I settled into my LT pace. My last 1/4 mile was at 5:46 pace and my HR averaged 174, the lowest average for any of my race splits. Go figure. And, I thought I was pushing it.

After my rant on effort-based running, I believe I hit it today. And, I did it in a race no less! My Garmin said I ran 6.3 miles at 6:10 pace with an average HR of 175 and best of all, it felt like a tempo effort. My official time was 38:50, which was good enough for 4th overall female and 2nd Master.

I actually won $100 in prize money, but started to feel guilty about taking that when someone asked me at Thanksgiving dinner how much money I raised for the hungry. I answered, "Actually, I think I took money from the hungry." I decided to donate the extra $65 I earned (after subtracting out my race fee), and contribute it back to the cause. Not sure I could live with myself otherwise. I made the donation in memory of my Dad, Joe Marty, Jr. I think he would have chosen to donate the winnings too.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  1. That's funny about the young ponytailed runner. LOL. Great job on nailing that tempo effort run AND still getting some hardware and prize money. Very good of you to donate it back to the cause!
    Happy Thanksgiving, Jaymee!

  2. Thanks for your sweet comment, Glorybelle! Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  3. Great tale all 'round. I love Blond Ponytail, that's so sweet of her to try and keep you in the game, lol. And there you go winning money without even trying. Very cool of you to donate the dough - such a strange concept, feeling guilty for winning, but I get it, can't imagine living it, but I get it. :-)

  4. Flo, I had a big smile on my face while interacting with my pony-tailed friend. She was super sweet and provided a great distraction.

    Giving back seemed like the right thing to do on Thanksgiving when the main focus of the race was raising money for the local food bank. I wouldn't be surprised to see you taking a top Masters' spot in a race. If you don't believe it, it won't happen.

  5. Thanks J, I got 2nd masters at the Lehigh Valley Half this Spring - it was my first prize money and I liked it so much, I'm planning on doing it again in the future. So yes...I do believe. ;-)

  6. Hi Jaymee girl? You did not recognize me with my ponytail? Hope you had a great turkey day.

  7. Flo, Cool!

    Bobby, you didn't have your flowing locks in a ponytail yesterday! There's no mistaking you on the road. Turkey Day was good. Hope yours was too.