September 27, 2014

26.2 Debut

Marathoning is a weird phenomenon... how did 26.2 miles catch on as a distance we aspire to complete? It's such a long way to go, so much farther than the rest of the races (5k, 10k) we normally compete in. How does one decide to move up from 10 kilometers to 42.2k? HELLO, that's a huge jump!
For this runner, the decision to tackle 26.2 came about after the 2012 Olympic Trials. I've long been told that the marathon would be my best event, but it's taken me some time to wrap my head around it. Like I said, it's FAR! That's a long time to focus, be alone with your thoughts, and combat those creeping feelings of self-doubt...

Plus, I love the track and I know it well. Each spring for 15 years, I've laced up my spikes. Tracks are the same, from Davis to San Francisco to Cleveland to Providence. With so much change in life and so many unknowns, there's a comfort in the consistency of the track. To me, the rhythm of 400s doesn't feel repetitive; rather, I gain strength from each steady lap. It's familiar territory, and therefore safe.
But it's time to venture outside my comfort zone on the track and tackle a new running challenge. After much thought and physical and mental preparation, I'm ready to take on 26.2!

I'm excited and happy to announce that I'll be making my marathon debut on December 7, at my "hometown" marathon, the California International Marathon in Sacramento!
I am thrilled to race back at home in California, on the roads where I've run many a mile, with family and friends from nearby Davis able to come watch and cheer. There's a lot of marathons to choose from, but deciding to run CIM back at home was an easy choice. I am SO excited!
We're 10 weeks away from the big day and marathon training is in full swing. I ran my farthest run ever (18 miles) this week and it's only getting longer from here! 
I'll be chasing an Olympic Trials qualifier at CIM (the Trials are coming up quick - February 13, 2016!) and can use your encouragement along the way! Follow the journey here on the blog and on Twitter (@runnerKG)! Thanks as always for your support!


September 20, 2014

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

September is a great month to train in Providence. The weather has finally turned, with the summer's sweltering humidity giving way to cool mornings and crisp evenings - perfect temps for running! And with the change in season I've found my fitness again - after struggling through the early part of the summer and then suffering through the heat of August, I'm rewarded by FINALLY feeling good again! The joy is back!
When you're in such a beautiful place, how can you not run joyfully?
Last summer, Ohio running friends wisely counseled me that putting in the work during a humid summer will pay big dividends in the fall. East Coast humidity is what we like to call "poor man's altitude" - with the air so thick with moisture, it's like running at elevation. You try to adjust your paces accordingly, but it's hard not to feel discouraged when every run is a struggle and you're not even cracking 7:30 pace... The summer cruelly plays with your mind and steals your confidence. 

But just wait! they told me. Hang in there. Stick it out. And come September, when the humidity dies down and you "come back down from altitude," you'll be so fit and feel like money! 

Right they are, these wise Cleveland friends of mine :) @nicolecamp @heidijogreen @beckimichael9 East Coast summers test you -- and try to get the best of you -- and make you question why you ever left California! But they also make you tough, and for that, I am grateful.

I returned to Cleveland earlier this month for a work trip, putting in time at Movable HQ. In between work, I returned to my old haunts, the Case Western track and my beloved Cuyahoga Valley National Park and ran joyfully with CLE friends.

Cleveland weather tried to get the best of me, with an especially humid morning for my track workout and a torrential downpour for my tempo, but sorry CLE, I've learned to overcome you! In the words of Kayne:
Work it, make it, do it, makes us
Harder, better, faster, stronger
Now that that don't kill me
Can only make me stronger

So back in Providence and with summer behind me, I'm bringing my harder, better, faster, stronger to the starting line tomorrow! I'm suiting up in my sweet new New Balance uniform and racing here in Providence at the USA 5k Road Championships. 3 years ago, this race kicked off a great string of races for me, and I hope to do the same again tomorrow! 5k road PR, let's do this!

August 29, 2014

First race as a Goodman

Earlier this month I ripped off the "I haven't raced in a while" band-aid and laced up my flats for my first hard effort in a while. Having not competed since early May, Coach Dena and I felt that it was a good time to remind myself of the rhythms and rituals of racing -- pre-meet shakeouts, the pre-race eating routine, pinning on the race bib, and feeling the familiar, if briefly forgotten, butterflies that accompany the moments before the gun goes off...

So, I headed out to Falmouth, Massachusetts to get in a hard half-marathon pace effort in the 42nd annual Falmouth Road Race. This 7 mile race traverses the hilly wooded roads of Woods Hole before spilling out onto flat, beachside streets overlooking Nantucket Sound, with Martha's Vineyard in the distance. I couldn't ask for a more scenic course to run in my return back to racing!
I knew the race would be a rust-buster for me, so I came in with the goal of feeling comfortable at 5:45 pace over 7 miles. The hills in the first 5k took their toll a bit and I ran a little slower than I wanted to, but felt good on the flat part of the course and executed my race plan well. I know I have a lot of work still to do, but for just getting back into shape, I was happy with a top 20 finish in an international field, where I was the 12th American.
The best part of the race was getting to compete as a Goodman for the first time! It was pretty cool to don a race bib with my new last name and hear cheers of "Go Goodman!" along the course. This bib is now pinned up at my desk to commemorate the first of many races as Kaitlin Goodman :)
Other highlights of the weekend included getting to spend time with new family members (how awesome is it that when you get married, you not only gain a spouse but an entire new family!). Post-race, I got to explore Falmouth with my new aunt and uncle. Ice cream and lobster rolls were the perfect way to celebrate the weekend!
With the racing band-aid ripped off and rust busted, I've been enjoying a few good weeks of training. Next up for me is the USA 5k Road Championships here in Providence. Although I'm not focusing on the short stuff this fall, it will be fun to race a 5k here in my new hometown!