Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Carmel Marathon


Let's get the goal stating out of the way. As I've been telling my running buddies, my forever goal (until it happens) is 3:37. Why such an odd number? Because it's 3 minutes faster than the time I need to qualify for Boston. For me, three minutes is a cushion comfortable enough for me to feel like I'll actually get to participate in the race (for those not familiar, my qualifying time is 3:40, but that doesn't mean I get to run the race. Because so many people qualify and want to run this race, you often have to qualify more than 2 minutes better than your actual qualifying time). Did I think I could run this time at Carmel? Maybe, maybe not. I was never totally confident, but I wasn't afraid of trying. With that being said, here were my ABC goals:
 
Goal A: 3:37 or better.
 
Goal B: Faster than my race at Little Rock (3:52)
 
Goal C: Sub 4.
 
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Picture fun at the expo! [Amanda, ME]
 
 Amanda and I arrived to Carmel (suburb of Indianapolis) Friday afternoon and went straight to the expo. The expo is teeny tiny so we didn't really feel the need to explore. We just grabbed our bibs and race packets then headed to the hotel! Bonus: We stayed at the Renaissance, and they had a Starbucks that opened at 5:30 a.m.!!

We were pretty lame that evening. We checked in, rested a bit, went out to eat at Bub's Burgers, and came back to rest more! I think I laid down at 8 p.m. LOL. I like to live on the wild side.

Breakfast the next morning consisted of coffee, two hard boiled egg whites, a nutri grain cereal bar, and a pumping session (ugh...worst part of racing and breastfeeding). I just couldn't stomach the oatmeal. We got on the shuttle around 6:30 a.m. to head to the start line. I wasn't super nervous, but truly felt like an idiot for wanting to run a marathon.

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A lot of people commented about how great the weather was going to be. Temperatures seemed like they would be great, but it was so windy out! I think it must have been cooler than predicted. It was supposed to be 43-ish and progress to 47 or 48; wind predicted to be 11-13 mph. Per my Garmin, it was 41 degrees with the average wind of 11 mph. I wish I knew what the wind was that last 10k...BRUTAL.

This race had 4 corrals, A-D. I was in B which started with the 3:30 group. They waited 90 seconds between the start of each corral. It seemed stupid on paper, but I think it actually worked out well because it looked a little tight at the beginning. This allowed everyone to have more space.

Mile 1 was so freaking cold. We arrived about 50 minutes before the start so my legs were freezing. Despite the wind, my body warmed up by the end of the second mile (I wore shorts, tank, and arm warmers). In hindsight, I probably would have preferred a t-shirt to keep my shoulders warm.

My goal was to run 8:15 miles. My body tends to move closer to the 8:07-8:12 range so I knew I would need to keep myself in check. I honestly tried really hard to keep on pace, but I completely failed. I just didn't want to go out too fast and not be able to finish.

I believe the website says this course is flat, but they lie. I like hills so I have no reason to be dramatic about hills, but this course was rolling with inclines. There were no significant hills, but there were definitely a lot of inclines. If my legs felt good, I think I would have liked this aspect of the course. Unfortunately, my legs never felt good! UGH. I have no idea why. I basically did the same taper I did for Little Rock. The only difference is that I didn't do a 5k the day before this one. My legs should have been more tired for Little Rock! The course included a mix of residential streets, main roads in the city, and bike trails.

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The wind! Burrr!!!

As mentioned above, mile 1 was so, so cold. I was really paying attention to my watch to ensure I wasn't going too fast. I clocked in at [8:11]. I wasn't too hard on myself about it because it was pretty close to the goal pace. I just told myself to slow down a bit for mile 2. I think this mile had an incline followed by a decline where I caught myself going too fast. Mile 2 was [8:04]. UGH!! I cannot go this fast this early!

I could NOT get my dang body to feel that 8:15 pace, but I was very consistent the next 4 miles [8:09, 8:09, 8:09, 8:08]. We crossed our first stalker mat at 5 miles so I knew everyone would be getting my update. After 6 miles passed, I was still feeling tired which worried me because I typically feel warmed up somewhere between 6-8 miles.

I knew the next stalker mat would be at the half way point. I used that to motivate me to stay on pace for my BQ. I continued my quest to try to slow down a bit. I was all over the place during this section. Miles 7-13 were [8:11, 8:06, 8:14, 8:07, 8:10, 8:03, 8:19].  This was so inconsistent it makes me want to barf.

As I crossed the halfway point, I knew my goal of a BQ was not going to happen. My body was already breaking down. My half split was 1:47:25...65 seconds faster than intended. Was my body just tired today? Was it tired because I went out too fast? I have no idea. I just know I was feeling like complete crap.

At this point, things were not only physical, they were mental. I usually don't go mentally crazy until at least mile 20! After seeing my split for mile 14 [8:28], I decided that I was going to stop looking at my watch. I knew I couldn't change the way I felt physically, so I had to work on the mental part. That didn't change for several miles either! My next two miles were [8:35 and 8:56].

I had my mental breakdown around 15.5 miles and made my most dramatic move of the day. I got my phone out and went live on Facebook! LOL!! I let everyone know I wasn't going to make my goal but that I wasn't giving up on my race. I then texted Amanda and told her not to wait for me at the finish and to go back to the hotel because I had no clue when I would finish. In this moment, I honestly didn't think I could break 4 hours.

The next few miles are a blur. I was definitely at my worst. I continued not to look at my splits because I didn't want to know my reality. I decided I would just run the best I could until I reached the next stalker mat at mile 20. My miles leading up to that were [9:22, 9:13, 9:06, 9:06].

When I ran Little Rock and reached mile 20, I decided to look at my overall time and just add an hour. Surely I could run the last 10k in an hour. That gave me an idea of what to expect for my finish time. Since I hadn't been looking at my splits, I decided to do the same for this race. When I crossed the mat, I was at 2:49 and some change. This was the mental boost that I needed to make it through the last 10k. I still had a chance to break 4! What was even better is that I had a chance to beat my time from Little Rock!!

At this point, my body was in SO MUCH PAIN. My legs were so tight, and my back was killing me. Fortunately, I had experienced no cramping up to this point. It was all up to my mind. I felt I had no more physical energy to give. NOTHING LEFT. The only thing I was hanging onto was the fact that I could beat my Little Rock time and have a new second best marathon time.

Unfortunately this is when the race got pretty crappy regarding weather and course. The wind really started to pick up. We also entered the most boring part of the course (a couple miles of bike trail after hitting mile 21). It wasn't pretty trail...boring and lonely. Miles 21-23 were [9:02, 9:21, and...gasp...10:13]. WTF. I'm glad I wasn't looking at my watch. I would have flipped out. I didn't even have a 10+ minute mile at Little Rock!

After exiting the stupid trail, we entered the last 5k which was all city road. I'm not sure what came over me, but I was SO motivated at this point. I looked at my overall time to get an idea of how I might be able to finish. When I realized I was definitely beating my Little Rock time, I made it a point to try and beat it as much as I could.

I had negative splits for my next three miles! I think the last 5k was the roughest regarding wind. I kid you not, it was entirely into the wind. NO BREAK. I was so pissed that it just made me run faster. I kept seeing people stop to walk and they kept complaining about the wind. I wasn't going to let it stop me. If I couldn't BQ today, I was determined to get the best non-BQ time I could! Miles 24-26 were [9:08, 8:48, and 8:27]!!! What?! I was so proud when I looked back at that. In that last mile, we passed a sign that said "1/2 mile to the finish!" I just ran my ass off at that point. When I reached a quarter mile from the finish, I started cramping a bit. I'm sure I looked interesting going down the finish chute [last 0.30 miles at 7:37 pace]. I've never been so excited to look at my Garmin.

My official time:

3:46:14!!!





Amanda and I jokingly commented that this was the shortest marathon we ever ran! My Garmin said 26.30 miles! That's pretty darn close!


When I finished, I hurt so bad! Not injury hurt, but I was so freaking tight. I couldn't tell if it hurt less to stand or sit. It all sucked! On top of that, I was involuntarily crapping my pants. I couldn't think about anything other than getting back to the hotel and taking a shower!

**Race nutrition: Gels- 15 minutes before start and miles 4, 9, 14, 19, 23;  Salt tabs- approx. 2 miles after every gel; Water- drank at every station.

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Post-shower smile.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my performance. I knew a 3:37 was a lofty goal, but it wouldn't have settled well if I hadn't at least tried to get it. I also beat my Little Rock time by more than 6 minutes! I couldn't be happier with my progress since having Ruthie and healing from my fractures.

I KNOW I can BQ. I have no doubt about it happening. If I can run the freaking Flying Pig Marathon in 3:39:55 and feel good, I can BQ. I just need to stay patient, continue to work hard, and keep trying!

Thank you to all of my sweet friends and family members who sent me motivation and luck! You were all on my mind throughout the entire race. I didn't want to disappoint any of you!!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

HWGA: I'm Running a Marathon in a Week?!

Here We Go Again
 
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It's that time again...TAPER WEEK!!


Sweet Roop.

I wasn't that great about my strength training this week. I'm always busy, but this week was extra busy. I think I just got caught up in the craziness and, unfortunately, had to sacrifice my strength training time at the gym. I typically have time in the afternoon, but not this week. Ugh. This coming week, I will do some strengthening, but will avoid anything that will make me too sore. I need to stay fresh for this race!!
 
  • 4/10: 6 miles, 8:39/mile. I was supposed to run in the morning. I woke up at 4:15, complained out loud about the fact that I am sleep deprived, got dressed, and received the message no runner wants to receive as they are walking out the door early in the morning. I undressed, went back to bed, and stared at my shut eye lids for another hour and a half waiting for the next alarm to sound. Jimmy threw out the idea of going to Hoff Park after dinner. He said he would hang out with the kids and watch his friends play volleyball while I did my run. It was a nice evening. The clouds covered the sun so it wasn't as hot as the day. The wind was blowing just enough to make the temperature feel perfect. The run was fine, but I was upset that I was missing out on family time. Once I finished, my attitude turned around. Runs will do that to you!
    Post-run soccer fun with James.
  • 4/11: 2.2 cycling miles, 10:18; Bis/Tris/Glut workout. I needed a running rest day after Sunday's 5k. My legs were feeling a little tired.
  • 4/12: 8 miles, 8:35/mile. I joined Tamara and Katie for my last race pace run. The moon was shining bright, we saw a cute little fox, and had surprise donuts on our cars when we finished. Thank you donut fairy!
     
  • 4/13: REST. I did nothing. Absolutely nothing. John Mayer was the night before and sleep was lacking. Work was super busy, Jimmy got off work super late, church event was a bust...the entire evening was a  blur.
  • 4/14: 10.15 miles, 8:48/mile. Last double digit until my marathon! Heck yes!! I had 10-12 on the program and I opted for 10...I'm just tired. My poor sleep this week is catching up to me. I already warned the hubs that I would be going to bed at the same time as the kids every night until my race! Today's workout was to keep it easy for most of the miles, but insert a couple of race pace miles. I did those two miles about 15 seconds too fast, but I completely suck at pacing nowadays. Unfortunately, my face might be stuck to my watch the first few miles of my race to make sure I don't go too fast.
    Sports bra weather is my fav.
  • 4/15: 6.05 miles, 8:39/mile. This was yet another day that got screwed up and pissed me off. I was supposed to run at 8 a.m. with CRC for their group run. The night before, the hubs said he needed to go to volleyball an hour earlier than anticipated which meant I would have to rush home after my run (which I didn't want to do). I found some friends who were running at 6:30 a.m. and planned to join them. Ruthie had a rough time that night. When the alarm went off at 5:45, I couldn't do it. I couldn't make myself get up. I was lacking in the sleep department all week and just couldn't do it again. I was pissy all morning because I didn't get to sleep or run. I randomly decided to text a friend about running in the afternoon (not actually thinking she'd be able to run, but willing to take a chance). It was my lucky day because she was able to join me! We knocked out six hot as balls miles.
    I need a tan. [Theresa, ME]
  • 4/16: REST. Today was all about family. Yoga was cancelled so I had to miss out on that this week.
    Love that curly mohawk!

    Such a sweet smile.
 
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I'm so excited about my marathon this weekend! I still don't feel like it's actually happening. I'm hoping to treat my legs well this week so they'll be fresh on Saturday morning! I'm hoping the excitement of the Boston Marathon will put a little pep in my step!!


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Choo Choo 5k

Just after the finish. Roop is like "Where am I?!"
 
When deciding to register for the CRC Advanced Training Team, I was attracted to the team competition aspect of it. When you register, you choose a CRC location to represent. Since I run in Westerville most of the time, I opted to be part of their team. They have a list of races that are part of the team competition. You earn points for your team by being one of the top 10 CRC AT finishers. I have no idea how I compare to the other runners, but that idea alone is enough for me to run as hard as I can!
 
The Choo Choo 9 miler and 5k is the first race on their list. I was debating if I should register because Jimmy was doing worship at church and I didn't have a babysitter. I knew James could go with Jimmy, but what about Roop?! After a desperate attempt to find someone to watch her, I decided I was mentally willing to push her in the stroller. I wasn't sure what to expect out of her. She wasn't even a month old when we did our first 5k race together. Fortunately, she slept the entire time!
Our first 5k!
 
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Post race with Tracey and Ellen.
 
Pre-race:
 
I was excited to meet at the AT tent in hopes of meeting some team members. I'm a little shy so I wasn't bold enough to just walk up to people and introduce myself. So, I just used Ruthie as a way to pretend I was busy. LOL. I tried to be more brave and talk to people at the start line.
 
My friend Tracey and I did a short 1 mile warm up to get the blood flowing. Based on that, I wasn't too confident that my legs would move at any sort of race pace. My goal today was to try and average in the low 8's...something close to 8:15/mile. My stroller 5k PR with James is 23:52, and I knew I wasn't in as good of a shape as I was then.
 
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Race:
 
The website said stroller runners had to start in the back, but I was hoping that rule didn't count for me. I knew I was faster in my stroller than the folks in the back. I saw other strollers throughout the crowd, so I decided to sneak my way to my goal pace range.
Ready, set, go!
The start was a little tight, but it quickly opened up to the road. I hauled ass around the crowd to find a more open area. I tried to find a comfortable, quick pace for the first mile. I just wanted it to feel slightly comfortable so that I didn't die the last two miles. I didn't look at my watch until the split beeped. Mile 1 [7:50]. What?!
 
I didn't think I was going that fast. I had to decide if I'd be able to hold that pace for the rest of the race. I didn't want to crash before finishing two miles. Around this time, one of my Westerville teammates (he was running the 9 miler), caught up to me and gave me a heads up of what the course was like. It was nice because I knew exactly the area he was referring to and knew what to expect. The course is not hilly by any means, but we all know you can feel every slight incline while pushing a stroller. I could always tell there was a slight incline when I had to put both hands on the stroller to push.
 
While I was in the second mile, I did keep looking at my pace. I continued to try to stay comfortable, but I noticed my pace was staying in the mid to high 7's. I saw a couple of my friends in front of me and that kept me motivated to keep moving. As we were approaching 2 miles, I passed them hoping they would keep with me so I wouldn't have to be alone in my soon to be misery. As I hit mile 2, my watched read [7:48]. I was blown away...two seconds faster!
Such a gorgeous day!
 
It was at that point that I knew I couldn't give up and slow down. I was REALLY starting to feel it. My legs actually felt good, but my breathing was off. It was getting harder to push that stroller! I spent the last mile focusing on relaxing, controlling my breathing, and having good form. I kept looking at my pace to make sure I was staying in the high 7's. I mostly saw 7:55 on my watch, so I decided it was time to stop looking and just run so that I could finish. 
 
I was about a quarter mile from my watch hitting 3.1 when I heard the music and announcer at the finish line. I looked over and could see the arch through the woods. Thank goodness!!! I was almost there. I had no idea what place I was in...I just knew I wanted to earn points for my team which meant I needed to run as hard as I could and have a strong finish.
Finally...the finish!
When my watch hit mile 3, it showed a [7:47] mile! My last 0.10 was [6:52] pace. Negative splits?! Unbelievable. I have NEVER negative split a 5k. My official time:
 
24:08!!!

 
(16th overall, 5th female overall, 2nd in my age group 30-39)
 
 
Not gonna lie, without knowing anything about how I placed, I felt like a badass. When I was in my best pre-pregnancy shape in 2015, I ran a 23:52 with James. I don't feel like I'm close to that shape now and I managed this time. I was so happy!!
These ladies killed the 9 miler! [Elizabeth, Jackie, Marion, ME]
 
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I found out a couple of exciting things the day after the race:
  1. My race performance earned 10 points for the Westerville team! That means I was the top female performer for the 5k (amongst the AT people)! My friend, Tracey earned the next best of 9 points with her PR performance.
  2. I looked up old Garmin stats from my "5k" with James and realized the course was short! That race was only 2.96 miles with my average being 8:04/mile. Ruthie kicked James' butt! Girls rule, boys drool!!! (this also means I need to update my PR to 24:08...there's nothing more annoying to a runner than a PR on a short course).


Monday, April 10, 2017

HWGA: Weird Week

Here We Go Again
 
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James is loving baseball lately.

This week was so weird with the weather. We started out with some warm days, and followed that up with a cold front that included rain, snow and heavy wind. The crap weather went away for the weekend and allowed for some bright sunny days. It's amazing what a little sun can do to your mood! I started decreasing my mileage this week in prep for my marathon, but kept in some speed work and race pace miles. I had another solid week even though the body wasn't feeling amazing during every run.
 
  • 4/3: 6.28 miles, 8:09/mile. When two friends haven't seen each other in a while and want to catch up during an easy 6 miler. Ha!!! So...went a little fast but didn't realize how fast until we finished. I had a race pace run planned for Wednesday, so I decided this would replace it!
    I decided to register for the CRC Advanced Training Team this week. I like the idea of friendly team competition. Go Westerville!
  • 4/4: 2.3 cycling miles, 10:09; Glut rehab/shoulder workout. I knew my leggies needed a break after my weekend running and accidental race pace run. I went to the gym and warmed up on the bike before lifting.
  • 4/5: 8.01 miles, 9:05/mile. This morning was rough! My body felt fine, but I was so sleepy. The company was good, per usual, but we were all complaining about not feeling it.
    Roop doing some squats while waiting on daddy.
  • 4/6: REST. I'm not really sure what happened this day. I just know Garmin told me I did nothing.
    I REALLY wish I could sleep that hard.
  • 4/7: 14 miles, 8:43/mile. What the crap is up with the weather?! I spontaneously decided to register for a 5k which meant trying to get my long run completed on Friday. I had the time to do it, but the weather was shotty. I reluctantly decided to run on the treadmill. Fortunately, I had some friends to meet up with at The Y. Thanks to Marion and Dani, I only had 4 solo treadmill miles instead of 14! For this workout, I tested out a strategy for my upcoming race. I typically try to run even paces during races, but I was inspired by Amanda to try out the following pattern: break the marathon into 5x5 miles running 8:25, 8:20, 8:15, 8:10, and 8:05. Then  run as fast as I can for the last 1.2+ miles. I tested out one cycle of this after a three mile warm up. Unfortunately, I had to go to the bathroom BAD after 6 miles. I made it to 8 miles so that I could finish the cycle before using the restroom. Afterwards, I just didn't feel like trying the cycle again. I just opted to finish comfortably for the remaining 6 miles.
    Friday fun!
  • 4/8: 2.01 stroller miles, 9:20/mile. I needed to test out the stroller since I hadn't run with it in a LONG time. I took James to meet up with Meg for her shakeout run. We followed up with donuts from Schneider's!
    It was a chilly morning, but it was worth getting some Schneider's!

    Silly Meg.
  • 4/9: 1 mile stroller warm up, 10:22/mile; 3.1 stroller miles, 7:47/mile; Hatha Yoga Class, 1 hour. Roop turned 8 months old and we ran the Choo Choo 5k in Westerville! I'll type out a race report later.
    This was somewhere after or near mile 2. Gorgeous day for a race!
 
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My race gave me a little confidence boost. I've really struggled with getting my speed back postpartum, but the race gave me hope that I can get it back...eventually.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

HWGA: Highest Mileage Week

Here We Go Again
 
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The seven week time period between marathons 'allowed' for a 20 miler. Gotta be honest...I wasn't exactly thrilled about it! What is it about the 20 miler that makes you cringe?! I decided to stick with my post partum plan of not running more than 50 miles in a week. I might even stick to that plan next season as well. My body is feeling normal again so I added a track workout this week.
 
It's been a weird week for me, so my heart hasn't been into running 100%. I almost feel like this week has been about surviving (not so much physically, but mentally)!

  • 3/27: 8.03 miles, 8:37/mile. Met up with the one who convinces me to do crazy things (Amanda, in case you are confused). We knocked out one of my 8 milers. No specific pace needed...just ran. All I remember is feeling like a zombie. I think I would have been able to run and sleep at the same time.
  • 3/28: 6.05 miles, 9:03/mile; Bis/Tris/Leg Rehab. Met some folks for a shorter easy run. My friend, Tracey, needed some faster miles so we knocked a couple of those for her after a little warm up. Proud of her hard work! That afternoon, I hit up The Y for an arm workout in addition to my leg exercises (the ones to attempt to decrease race cramping).
  • 3/29:  REST. I rested knowing I had my speed workout the next day. I was completely jealous of all of the people posting about their amazing runs!
  • 3/30: 8 miles, 8:19/mile. I couldn't find a track partner for early morning, and I was too chicken to go alone that early. I ended up going to the gym to do it on the treadmill. Ugh. Not ideal, but it was my situation for that day. Workout: 2 mile warm up, 1600m, 1200m, 1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m all with 400m recoveries, 1.25 mile cool down. The goal was to start at 5k pace for the mile repeat and progressively increase by a couple of seconds each interval. Because it's the treadmill, you have to go the paces already set. I ended up doing the first three at 7:13/mi, the next two at 7:08/mile, and the last interval at 6:58/mi.
  • 3/31: 2.5 cycling warm up miles, 10:09; Chest/Back/Glut Med workout. Just a good old fashioned lift session to kill some time.
  • 4/1: 20 miles, 8:45/mile. My only 20 miler between marathons! It wasn't as awful as I anticipated. The only negative was the 4:30 a.m. wake up call. BOOOO! The cool thing about this run is that I never really felt like I was running 20 miles (until the last two miles). I started getting tight about that time but didn't want to take any salt tabs because the wind picked up and I was too cold (and maybe lazy) to get them. My pace was faster than intended, but that tends to happen with company.
    
    Shared all 20 with these lovely ladies and other mileage with other lovely ladies. [Karen, ME, Megan J]
  • 4/2: 8 miles, 8:55/mile. I met up with a friend for 4.4 miles and decided I would stop at 6 miles. As we parted ways and I headed out for the rest, I felt better than I thought and did the full 8 miles. Yay for motivation on a Sunday. I felt insanely good for someone who ran all the miles yesterday. I'm sad to say I couldn't do my normal yoga class this week as the hubs wanted to play sand volleyball. This also meant that I would miss one of my 3 strength workouts for the week.
    Brought home breakfast.
 
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I ended this week feeling really good about how I'm progressing. I had some really good runs  and felt great after all of them. I'm looking forward to these next three weeks and running my next marathon!
Fun with my smallest love.
 
I found out that I did NOT get into the Marine Corps Marathon. I actually wasn't that disappointed when I received the email. I had some reservations about it (financially), but I was going to make it happen if I was chosen. I'll likely be running the Columbus marathon (which is exciting since I completely blew my last attempt).
 


Monday, March 27, 2017

HWGA: When will I feel normal again?!

Here We Go Again
 
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These two make me melt.
Despite a decent long run at the end of last week, I was in a bit of a running funk. I mean, shouldn't I feel recovered after two weeks? I woke up Monday morning and felt SO SORE! Between that not-so-amazing 5k and my 14 miler over the weekend, my legs were toast. I took a complete rest day thinking that would be all that I needed. Not so much.
 
I met with some gals the next morning and felt like crud the entire run. I was so discouraged later that day and didn't want to think about attempting race pace miles the next day. I knew for sure that I'd fail. Fortunately, things seemed to turn around for me the rest of the week.
 
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  • 3/20: REST. My body made it clear that it wasn't going to do anything productive today.
    Celebrated the first day of spring by resting and paperwork-ing.
  • 3/21: 6 miles, 9:48/mile; shoulder workout. I met my friends Meg and Lynn for an easy 6 that didn't feel so easy. I felt like a slug. My body was still sore from the weekend, and it didn't want to move. If it weren't for the good company, I would have wanted to erase it from my memory. Later that day, I was able to hit up the gym for a shoulder workout.
  • 3/22:8.04 miles, 8:41/mile; 2.1 cycling miles; Leg and restorative yoga workout. Meg and Tamara were gracious enough to meet up with me for some race pace miles. As mentioned above, I just knew I wasn't going to be able to meet my goal today. Based on how I'd been feeling, I decided to turn 4 consecutive race pace miles into intervals during an 8 miler. We went into the run planning to alternate an easy mile with an 8:15 mile. The run didn't feel great the first three miles. Our first race pace mile was 8:12, but it felt slightly challenging the first half. After another recovery mile, I was scared to go into my next faster one. For whatever reason, I started feeling good. The next mile was 8:02! Faster than it should have but felt great. During the next recovery mile, Tamara suggested making the next interval 2 miles at race pace. They clocked in at 7:59 and 8:05. I left that run feeling so much better about my recovery. After work, I hit up the Y for my leg workout and a little yoga.
    Thanks for the boost of confidence, ladies! [Meg, Tamara, ME]
  • 3/23: 6 miles, 9:09/mile. Met up with Meg and Katie for easy miles and donuts. LOVE Schneider's!!!
    Hopefully our last cold morning for a long time! [Katie, ME, Meg]
  • 3/24: REST. I could have lifted, but I felt the need to take it easy. Work has been insane this week, and I had mucho paperwork to finish.
  • 3/25: 16 miles, 8:24/mile. I needed to give myself some sort of challenge or test between marathons without actually registering for a half marathon. I saved this workout from one of my old Runner's World mags. One of the elites said she does this workout 3-4 weeks before a marathon to test her fitness. I took my marathon goal time to BQ and turned it into my own personal workout. I altered the end a bit to give myself a cool down, but I accomplished enough to give me a boost of confidence. Workout:3 miles marathon pace (MP=8:15), 5 min. recovery, 1 mile 8:10, 1 min. recovery, 1 mile 7:55, 2 min. recovery, 1 mile 8:10, 1 minute recovery, 1 mile 7:50, 2 min. recovery, 1 mile 8:10, 1 min. recovery, 1 mile 7:45, 5 min. recovery, 3 miles MP. I wanted 16 miles total, so I added a 2 mile warm up and changed the final 3 MP to comfortable miles (ended up being 8:45, 8:44, 8:18). My watch isn't fancy so I don't know my exact splits for all of the intervals because of the odd recovery times. Overall splits [9:09, 9:00, 8:07, 8:15, 8:02, 8:39, 8:10, 8:08, 8:17, 7:50, 8:25, 7:57, 8:43, 8:44, 8:45, 8:18]. Per my running partners, Our splits were a tad fast which I suppose can be a good thing...bad thing if I'm trying to learn to keep pace, though. Either way, I left this workout feeling proud of my work.
    Shorts!!! Hallelujah! I even stripped to my sports bra after 11 miles!!
  • 3/26: 4.02 miles, 10:21/ mile; 2 miles, 9:09/mile, Hatha Yoga Class, 1 hour. A few of us reconnected with an injured friend to show her some love. We did 2 miles of walk/run intervals until we got to Starbucks, then a couple of us ran back to my vehicle to drive back to Starbucks to get the rest of the crew. A Starbucks date with friends is always memorable. I did my usual yoga that afternoon and decided to get my last two miles before it started.
    LOVE my baby girl. We had some family time at the North Market for lunch.
 
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I think I'm officially recovered. Once again, it took 2 1/2 weeks! Ugh. Why so long?! As I think about my next one, I just don't feel like my body is ready to BQ. I know it will be a different course, different weather, etc., but I just don't feel confident about getting the time I need. No matter what my head is saying, my body is going to do all that it can to try!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Stay Active 5k

 
I ran this little 5k last year (when I was 18 weeks pregnant) and WON! Bahahaha!!! I've never laughed so hard in my life. I decided to run it again this year in hopes that I could defend my title and smash my time from last year (23:39). I figured if I ran that pregnant, surely I could run at least a minute faster this year.
 
LIES!! I WAS TELLING MYSELF A BUNCH OF LIES!
 
Sure, I recognize that I ran a marathon almost two weeks ago, but that didn't feel like a good enough excuse for my performance today. When I ran that 5k two weeks ago, I ran 24:03 and it felt EASY...like, really easy. So what was my problem today?! I wish I knew.
 
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I started with my typical 2 mile warm up (9:33/mile) and decided to run the first section of the race course so that I could be reminded of how bad the incline was going to be. It isn't that horrible so I can't really use it as an excuse! It isn't ideal if you are already feeling like crap, but it isn't an excuse for a poor performance. They seemed to do a good job of clearing the path of the snow which was nice...especially on the bridge.
 
Since I suspected I might be one of the faster ladies, I lined up towards the front. I decided to wear music and amused myself until the start by noticing that a guy was doing dynamic stretching to beat of my current song (Ms. New Booty in case you are dying to know). Ha!
 
We set off into the depths of the Marysville trail system. Immediately you have to claim your position for a turn and short hill. That was followed by another sharp turn and longer incline. My goal was to keep the first mile a little slower so that I didn't wear myself out. I was hoping for 7:20-ish. After conquering the inlcine, we crossed the bridge and had a slight decline. I immediately made friends with Mr. New Booty and we tried to keep each other going. Mile 1 was [7:32]. WTF. I was so annoyed, but I certainly felt like it was only 7:32. I had a lot of catching up to do!
 
I knew I would be seeing my family during the second mile. I also knew I would see how far the leading lady was in front of me to gauge if I had a shot. I was hoping these two things might give me a burst of energy. At this point, I still felt like I hadn't hit my stride. My legs felt fine, but my breathing was off. My throat and chest were hurting a bit. I'm not sure if it was the chill in the air or just the fact that I was still in marathon recovery phase. Whatever it was, I didn't feel great. I did pass James, Ruthie, and my mother-in-law, Joan, on the course. James kept yelling "Go, mommy, go!!!" It was so heart warming! He was so excited to see me run. Just after that, I saw Beth, the leading lady. I told her "Good job!" and knew I couldn't catch her. I just needed to get around the turning point and see how far behind the next girl was from me.
 
I had a significant lead for second place and knew I just needed to at least keep this pace. After passing my family the second time, we hit 2 miles [7:39]. OMG, I was so pissed. I did not think I was going that slow. I knew I wouldn't be able to make up for the crappy time. I didn't have a whole lot in me to finish strong. I just wanted to finish. Mr. New Booty left me at this point (one of the many ball busters from today), and I was all alone.
 
I just needed to get through ONE MORE MILE. The only highlight (if you want to call it that) of the last mile was the fact that I passed one person...but it was a kid so it doesn't really count. I tried to cheer him on to keep with me, but the poor kid crashed. About a quarter mile from the finish, we ran into freaking ice and slush on the course! UGH. So annoying. The trail was fine up to that point so it was annoying to deal with this at the end of the race. Mile 3 was [7:37] with the last 0.15 at [6:39].
 
My official time was:
 
23:45.
 
Ugh. SLOWER than last year. SLOWER!!! So stupid. If I'm looking at it in a positive way, I'll take my placement stats:
-12th overall
-2nd female overall
-1st in the 30-39 age group
 
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I needed some afternoon coffee after this race!
 
This was a super crappy race for me, and I'm ok with that. I love racing, and I learn something from every race...good or bad. Today, I learned that I might still be recovering from this marathon and that I shouldn't have high expectations 2 weeks after running one. Maybe I just need to do a lot more marathons before my body can recover more quickly. I typically take 2 1/2 to 3 weeks to recover completely, but have felt so good this week that I thought I'd be fine.
 
Thanks to everyone for the kinds words. Hopefully you all understand when I corrected you guys after telling me that I did a good job and was fast. I do appreciate it, but I DID NOT DO WELL! LOL. I just didn't...and I'm ok with that. I still loved being there and I'm so thankful that I can run. Now I just need to focus on allowing my body to get back to normal so I can smash my Little Rock marathon time in a few weeks!