Flying Pig 2015

Flying Pig 2015

Sunday, December 18, 2016

CTLR: 11 more weeks!!!

Countdown to Little Rock

Celebrated my sweet boy this week.
Week 7 of training brought about a change in my mindset. TYPE A is the name of my game. Schedule oriented, can't slack off the intended program, must get ALL THE MILES! My main goal as I train for Little Rock has always been to train smart postpartum. I just want to be nice to my body and stay uninjured. The past couple of weeks, I've missed a few of my intended miles and it really got me down. I was so annoyed at myself. I mean, what is two more miles or one more mile?! Surely I can do that! Well, in those moments, those miles might have meant passing out or throwing up or something else completely stupid. This week, after my race pace workout and a conversation with a friend, I realized that those itty bitty miles aren't worth the fuss. I kept trying to figure out how I could fit them back in rather than sucking it up and just throwing them away. Everyone has a bad day...or two...or three.

So, from here on out (at least for this training cycle! LOL), I vow not to stress about missed miles. I vow not to feel like a failure when workouts don't go my way. I vow to continue to listen to my body and know that postpartum progress is a process.
  • 12/12: 7.04 miles, 8:38/mile. I knew I wasn't going to get up early to run after a weekend of travel. I also had no idea what my legs would be able to do after racing. I felt like I might be a little tired, but that doesn't mean you can't have a solid run. I headed out after work and decided not to look at my watch...not even for my mile splits. Based on how I felt, I fully expected something in the low 9s. Looking back at my splits, I ALMOST had a progressive run. [9:15, 8:44, 8:38, 8:30, 8:34, 8:27, 8:17]. Mile 5 included two uphills, so I wasn't shocked that it was a little slower. My last mile included a dog chasing me so I knew it would be faster. See bottom of post for my DOG STORY.
  • 12/13: 6.2 cycling miles, 30:02. What a horrible ride!! I had been up since 2:45 with Ruthie (and she had me up another time earlier in the night...and I didn't fall asleep until almost 11). Not only was I sleepy, I just felt plain fatigued. I mean, there are people that run a 10k faster than I cycled it! LOL!!
    Coffee is my friend.
  • 12/14: 8 miles, 8:35/mile; leg circuit. This is the workout that brought about my epiphany. Another rough evening with Roop made for another sleepy morning. Because I feared the slippery roads, I opted to go to the Y for my race pace run. The intended workout was 10 total miles with 8 in my goal race pace range. I ended up with a 2 mile warm up and 6 miles in the 8:20s. I just couldn't will myself to finish the last two miles. I JUST COULDN'T. I was pissed at first, but realized that I had a really good run despite missing two miles. Later that evening, I managed to fit in my leg workout.
  • 12/15: 8 miles, 8:51/mile. I planned to get up and run 7 miles with Meg, but it was stupid wickedly cold outside. Something like single digits with wind ?-teen mph and wind chill in the area of -8 or so. I've run in that crap before, but I'm just not ready to make it happen again. I hate it. Why get in the crap when I have the opportunity to run in a schweaty YMCA on the treadmill?! (something I'm also not a huge fan max tolerance is about 4 miles). I did end up at the gym after work to knock it out. I started the mill at an easy 6.4 mph and pushed it up each mile until I reached 7.1 mph. I felt great the whole time and actually enjoyed it (which is why I did the extra mile!).
    Sun...but cold. So cold.
  • 12/16: 16+miles (accidentally turned off my watch and didn't realize for a while, but I had to make sure Garmin had 16!), 9:27/mile. I don't even know where to start with this run. I didn't intend to run this today, but the weather was looking sketch for Saturday, and Sunday wasn't an option. Fortunately, Gahanna did a great job clearing their trails and roads so the first 4-5 miles were mostly snow/ice free. Once I hit Hamilton/Morse Road area, it was all snow and ice from there. I thought for sure New Albany would have their paths cleared...WRONG! I was shocked. Because of that, I ran in the snow and ice for the next several miles (minus a small are in which I could safely run on the road). The worst part had to be the last 2 miles on Morse Road...awful, just awful. I did eventually find my groove and didn't fear falling. I was excited that the run felt very easy. It made me look forward to longer mileages. SIDE NOTE: 18 degrees, cloudy, light wind. I think I did a perfect job of dressing appropriately. I was never hot or cold. Fleece lined tights, tank, short sleeve and jacket; ear warmer and hat, gloves, buff.
    C'mon New Albany! Clear those paths for your people.
  • 12/17: CORE. I didn't get to it until 9:30 p.m., but I did it!! Busy day with Christmas festivities including Breakfast with Santa, last minute shopping, and Christmas at the in-laws.
    Breakfast with SANTA!!!

    I'm in love with this face.

  • 12/18: Leg circuit. It felt weird not to run over the weekend but also awesome because I didn't have to run in this icy mess.
    Angel wanted to get in on the action. I don't know what it is about my yoga mat that attracts these dang dogs.

So, I finally locked down some goals for my marathon. I debated not having any
 goal except to finish, but I realized I can't really do speed work or race pace runs if I don't at least have an idea of what I would like to run. Even though I have my A, B, and C goals, I don't think there is any way I can be disappointed in the outcome. I just need some sort of structure to keep me sane.
Dog Story:
I was less than a half mile from my house on Monday when it happened. I live on a semi-busy road and NEVER see dogs out (unless my beagle escapes and we are chasing her down the road in our underwear or without shoes...but I digress). They are either in their homes, in their fenced in yards, or on a leash while walking with their owners...normal, right?
Well, I was running on the sidewalk and looked over to cross a side street to the next section of sidewalk. When I looked over, I saw a dog chasing after me while barking. He was about 2-3 houses down when he started. There was what I assumed to be its owner putting something in or getting something out of her vehicle. I was immediately freaked out because it was coming after me with no intention to stop. My initial reaction was to stop (after turning off my Garmin, of course) and just stay still in hopes it would get the dog to leave me alone and maybe just sniff me rather than chase me. The owner yelled for its dog to come back. The dog didn't listen initially until the owner raised it's voice slightly. I was extremely startled and I told the girl she needed to have her dog on a leash so this would not happen. When I said this to her, she got super offended and yelled at me saying I was in her dogs territory and messing up its flow. Ummm, no lady.
First of all, you live 2-3 homes down from where I am currently running/standing. Second of all, I am on a pedestrian sidewalk where I'm supposed to be. Third of all, get your damn dog on an f'n leash or at least pay attention to your surroundings or simply control your pooch. (side note: I have dogs and I'm a dog lover. I respect other people by keeping my dogs controlled when appropriate AND leashing them).
Of course, I didn't say these things to her, but this is what I did say after she yelled at ME  (I was pissed and yelling at this point): "You need to control your dog and leash it." She did not like this and continued to yell at me. I was pissed and did NOT practice self control. In fact, I decided that the F-word was appropriate at this point. I just said "Control your f'n dog." As she continued to yell and finally had ahold of the dog, I just left her with a big "F you" and ran off. I'm sorry, y'all. I get so mad at irresponsible pet owners. I also get mad when stupid people make me feel like my life is in danger when I'm doing something as simple as running in the middle of broad daylight. I likely would have brushed it off if she had not blamed it on me, but she made the choice to yell at me so that was my response. You can at least be proud that I didn't pay her a visit after I finished my run. I'll try to behave next time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

HHH Week 6: RACE WEEK!!!

Hilly Half Hustle
Race week should be awesome, right?! Lots of easy running, checking the weather app like a mad woman, packet pickup, etc. Well, well, well...let me tell you about my race week...
  • 12/5: 6 miles, 9:41/mile. I met with my lovely friends Ellen, Melissa, Jen, and Meg for a nice, fun run. All was good, and it was a great start to my week. Bonus: I finally found my beloved PowerGel at CRC that afternoon!
    The drama: I went to go see a patient earlier that morning and was bitten in the leg by their mouthy Chihuahua!!! Holy mother of *$%#. It was so painful. Fortunately, it did not break skin or cause me to bleed, but I bruised immediately. I was pretty sore the rest of the day and the following day.
    Darn dog!
  • 12/6: 6 miles, 9:15/mile. I was so excited about this run! I was planning to meet up with Theresa and Meg for 7 easy miles and was pleasantly surprised to see that Marion and Dani decided to come. Seven miles, nine minutes per mile, no problem. Oh boy. I'm pretty sure my lack of sleep caught up to me today. I crashed towards the end of the run. The group was going faster than planned so I decided I would turn around at 3 miles and stick to my original plan of 6. Meg decided to stick with me to keep me company. When we got to the start, Meg went to finish 7 miles and all I could do was bend over to recover. When I finally opened my eyes, I was so dizzy. I sat down and continued to feel like crap. I had no idea what was going on. When everyone finished, they said I looked pale. I was a cold hot mess. After tears and hugs, I tried to survive my day at work. My friends checked on me all day long and things were looking up. When I went to the office after seeing patients (it had been raining all day), I freaking slipped on the asphalt, crap flew everywhere, and I fell HARD on my left side. It was so painful. All I could do was cry. I was pissed, embarrassed, in pain, etc. I was limping the rest of the day. All I could do was pray that a night's sleep would allow the pain to go away.
    I'm an idiot. I spared you the butt shot.
  • 12/7: 7.8 cycling miles, 30:05; Upper Body Lifting. I wasn't sure I'd be able to do my workout today. I woke up to my hip being extremely tender, and I could feel pain in my butt with each step. My groin was still hurting as well. I decided to take it easy to see how I'd tolerate it. I think cycling might have actually helped my pain! When I finished, my groin no longer bothered me. I still had a sore butt the rest of the evening, but, again, hoping more rest will help.
  • 12/8: 3.1 miles, 8:32/mile. I was so nervous about running! I didn't want to get out there and have hip pain. I started off at what felt to be an easy pace. When my watch beeped and told me my first mile was [8:45], I decided to speed up and do at least one mile at my goal race pace to make sure this no pain thing wasn't a fluke. My next mile was [8:20] which is, basically, my goal. After finishing, I still didn't have any pain while running, but I did notice some fatigue in my hip while running. I'm hoping another day of rest will allow it to feel good race morning.
    P.S. That's 29 bags of leaves.
  • 12/9: REST. Explored my beloved city of Nashville and packet pick up!
    Roop turned 4 months old!
  • 12/10: 2 miles, 8:52/mile; 13.2 miles, 8:15/mile. RACE DAY!!! See race report HERE.
  • 12/11: Core workout followed by leg workout. I refuse to skip these!! MUST STAY COMMITTED!
So, basically, I can't elaborate on anything else because I'm super busy!!! Holidays are cray cray and work is keeping me on my toes with working on Sundays this month!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Panattoni Mt. Juliet Holliday Half Marathon

My "Hilly Half Hustle" came to an end, and the reward was SWEET! I usually have three goals per race, but I only had one this time around...1:50. In the beginning, the goal felt lofty. I really just based it off of a 5k I ran in October. A couple of people even questioned why I would go for that time after having a baby. My response was always some form of "why not?! "
As the weeks went on, and I did more runs with my friends, I was becoming more confident. Doubt started creeping in last week because all of my runs felt so hard (in addition to me being bitten by a dog AND busting my butt on the wet asphalt). After a day of rest and fun enjoying the city of Nashville, I felt refreshed. My body wasn't as sore from falling, and I felt rested (minus the whole sleep aspect! Those darn babies!).

Lucky number 263!
The race was in a suburb of Nashville and didn't start until 10:45. That was actually a perfect time for me. I could sleep a little more, enjoy some coffee, and get ready without rushing. It is so crazy trying to get ready in a hotel room with a toddler and a 4 month old! A parade followed the race start which made for a lot of spectators in the first three miles. After that, it was pretty lonely minus the other runners. I was in a good time range that allowed a lot of my fellow runners to be around me at any given time. I liked that the course had a few turn-around areas in which you could see the runners ahead of you and then the runners behind you. It allowed me to see my friend Joy a couple of times! It also gave me a chance to cheer on the other runners.

Pre-race with Joy! This chick is so awesome. Her southern voice was refreshing!
I decided the night before I would wear capris, short sleeve shirt, arm warmers, ear warmer, hat and gloves. I wanted the hat to shield the sun (I need some new running sunglasses!!!). I did a two mile warm up and decided it was too hot for the ear warmer. Even though it was in the low 30's, the sun was shining enough to make it feel just right.
Let's talk splits...
I had it in my head that I wanted to average 8:20/mile. I figured that would still give me my 1:50 if the course was a little long (which it was...13.2 miles). I wasn't intentionally trying to start too fast. In fact, I've been a lot better about controlling my pace at the start. I kept remembering what Amanda told me about running MY race and paying no attention to those around me. I felt like I was going an 8:20 pace, but mile 1 beeped in at [7:51]. Oops....that's ok...refocus.
Mile 2 was a gradual incline of approximately 100 feet. I could see it, but didn't feel it. I did intentionally slow down a bit to stick close to my goal pace...[8:23]. The next mile brought us back down 100 feet and gave me my fastest mile at [7:41]. I didn't get mad at myself about it because I knew I had hills ahead of me and wanted to take advantage of any downhill that I had. Legs still feeling good.
Miles 4 and 5 were fairly uneventful and mostly flat. The parade crowd was fading and we were getting onto country roads rather than city streets. The end of mile 5 had a little hill which made the difference in my splits. [8:00, 8:09].
Miles 6-10 were a mix of flat, small hills, and gradual inclines. I don't recall any significant declines to help my cause. It was during this time that I started getting tired. I was good until mile 8 and then I just wanted it to be over with. I spent most of my time trying to figure out why the hell I thought this was a good idea. The good thing was that I never felt lonely. I was always surrounded by runners because we were entering the section of the course with a few turn-arounds. [7:50, 7:51, 8:17, 8:43, 8:21] As you can see, mile 9 was a doozy for me. It was easily the most boring mile. I was also trying to take a gel and will myself up the incline. It was a dumb mile.
Mile 11...holy ish. This was the worst mile in the history of miles. At this point, I conquered the mental part of it. Mile 9 got me down, but I pep talked myself to make it to 10 because I would have only a 5k left to run. Even though I was struggling physically, I had my mind in check to give it my all.
Let's talk about mile 11 [9:09]. Yes, you read that...9:09!!! That's enough to ruin a race plan! This mile was fairly flat the first quarter mile, but it was all up from there. It sucked so bad. I didn't look at my watch. I knew it would mess me up. I just got my ass up that stupid hill and spent that time telling myself I had to make up for it the last two miles. I had no other choice. Fortunately, I had some sub 8 miles to help me out, but I pretended they didn't exist and ran like my goal depended on it.
Also, in that mile, my right calf started cramping. I thought it was my imagination, but it wouldn't stop! I semi-freaked out because I knew there were no more water stops for me to get Gatorade and I had no salt tabs. I mean, who cramps during a half marathon?! Never in my freaking running life has that happened. Halfway through that mile, my foot joined the cramping party. I spent the rest of the race dorsiflexing my foot and extending my toes to help decrease the cramping. UGH. It was the worst.
As promised, I made up for that craptastic mile by pulling out an [8:16] for mile 12. Fortunately, I had a small decline to help me out (but the decline made the cramping increase!). The last mile, of course, was tough. It was an incline, although gradual, I was tired, my cramps were getting worse, and I just wanted it to be over with. I literally gave it all I had left and only managed [8:40]. When I finally spotted the finish line, I developed my running neurological disorder in which I run like a velociraptor. I managed a [7:56] pace for the last 0.20 miles. I really hope they have a picture of felt ugly.

The Garmin always speaks truth. Ha!!
My official time:

I ended up being the 9th overall female and 2nd in my age group.

My prize for placing in my age group!
You guys, I haven't been that proud of a race in a long time. Sure, it's almost 9 minutes more than my PR, but I didn't care! I thought 1:50 was a lofty postpartum goal. I was over the moon happy! It wasn't as much the result as the fact that I literally gave that race all that I had...there's no better feeling!

A tired racer equals a happy racer.
Thank you to all of my sweet friends who supported me and sent me sweet messages of encouragement! Love y'all!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

HHH: Week 5

Hilly Half Hustle
 I was tired a lot this week. It was my first time in a while to run three days in a row. This post pregnancy body is just taking a lot longer to recover from runs. Sometimes I wonder how I ran 5-6 days a week and 45-60 miles a week all while feeling good. I've continued to stay committed to my strength workouts, and I'm ready for the day I reap the benefits of them!
  • 11/28: Leg Circuit. Once again, I waited until the last minute to do this and the leggies were tired in the morning. I can't be disappointed because it just means I'm working hard!!
  • 11/29: 8.02 miles, 8:25/mile. I had a short work day so opted for a daytime run. It was gorgeous outside (tank and shorts!!!). This was my tempo run day, but I also wanted to run sans looking at my watch. I didn't even look at my mile splits! So proud of my self control. LOL. I had a few inclines and hills on my route so I wasn't sure how I'd do. I was pleasantly surprised with my first 5 miles [8:58, 8:28, 8:28, 8:11, 7:58]. I knew mile 6 would be a doozy because it had the two uphills [8:29]. At that point, I was just straight up tired so mile 7 was [8:36]. My gel must have kicked in at that point and I ended with a nice [8:09]. Overall, today felt great minus miles 6 and 7.
    I have a feeling this might be my last run in shorts for a while!
  • 11/30: 7.01 miles, 8:51/mile. I met up with Amanda for an easy run. I knew my legs would feel tired after yesterday, so I was hoping not to slow her down too much. I was surprised I could manage sub 9, especially after a slow warm up mile. We were disappointed in the lack of Christmas lights, but my attitude turned around when we saw Debbie and Maria! It's always nice seeing other crazy people on the road.
    Amanda. She's like a sister. We even have disagreements and get mad at each other. Ha!
  • 12/1: 7.00 miles, 8:53/mile; CORE. I haven't run three days in a row in a LONG time. I knew I would need easy miles today. I was actually surprised at my average because most of the group was WAY ahead of Megan and me. Come to find out, they were running in the low 8's so I didn't feel so bad! I'm looking forward to a day at the gym tomorrow.
    The Thursday Crew! [Jeanne, Dani, ME, Marion, Allison, Megan]
  • 12/2: 8.9 cycling miles, 30:07; Upper Body/Core. I spent some time researching some exercises that are "good for runners." The anti-rotation press was of particular interest because I had never heard of that exercise before. I could definitely feel it in my core. I finished up with a half hour on the bike at moderate effort. I wanted a decent workout but didn't want to kill my legs. I can't believe I'm doing 14 miles tomorrow.

  • 12/3: 14.04 miles, 9:01/mile. I knew today would be tough. Not only because my legs were tired, but because I knew the first few miles would be on an incline. Fortunately, I had two declines in that first half to provide quick relief. As you guys have learned by now, I take FOREVER to warm up (usually 6ish miles). Today, it took about 7 miles before I had a decent mile [9:44, 9:19, 9:11, 9:23, 9:10, 9:07, 9:14]. I took a gel after 5 miles so it must have kicked in. I also saw a group of my friends as I was approaching 8 miles so that pumped me up a bit. My next four were [8:58, 9:02, 8:33, 8:52]. I took another gel after 10 miles. I think I was feeling pooped mile 12 and ran a 9:16. I must've been going uphill again. The last mile and a half were on a decline so I busted out two good miles at the end [8:20, 8:05]. I didn't look at my splits during the run and thought my average would end up between 9:10-9:20. I really wish I could get my pacing skills back!
    I'm smiling because I'm thinking about tacos and coffee.
  • 12/4: REST. I had to work most of the day but got off in time to spectate a 5k in Westerville that afternoon. Races are so exciting!! Everyone did awesome!
I'd be lying my face off if I said I wasn't nervous about this half marathon. I'm not sure why. I suppose I do have an expectation, but I also know that anything can happen on race day. I really just want to run my butt off and enjoy it at the same time. I love that part of racing! So cheers to race week and running really easy until race day!

Side note: Let's quit with the negative comments about peoples' body type. I go through this every few months and it pisses me off every time. I've had two incidents in the past week with regards to me being thin. 1) Granted, this was last year, but I was informed this week that a comment was made that I looked anorexic in one of my race pictures from last year. How kind of someone to say that. Anorexia is nothing to joke about. It is also something that I have never struggled with, but I know people who have and it's not a joke. To say someone looks anorexic out of jealousy or just plain being mean is not something someone should do. 2) Someone I see a couple times a week commented on how skinny I looked after having a baby. As the conversation progressed, I was asked if I had talked to my doctor about my weight. This person is a kind person, but the comments were completely inappropriate. I literally went to McDonalds and bought a number 3.
I guess my point is to be careful what you say to others or about others. I don't think I need to elaborate more.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

HHH: Week 4

Hilly Half Hustle
James at the Wolverine Chase.

 What an eventful week! My main focus this week was making sure I was ready for race day and ready to conquer my longest long run thus far. I can't believe I'm only two weeks away from my race!! I'm very excited, but I really need to look at the course map and figure out my strategy with the hills (remember it's a "moderately hilly" course in Nashville...whatever that means!). I'm confident I can get my goal of 1:50 if I play it smart.
  • 11/21: 6 miles, 9:46/mile. Hill repeats. After a slow two mile warm up...10:27 and 10:13...(Noemi and I had no idea we were going so was so cold that I didn't notice anything!), we hit up the hill at the dam for repeats. I completed 6 repeats (approx. a quarter mile each) and ran a cool down until I reached 6 miles. The hill felt so hard, but I remember it feeling hard when I was in good shape. It's a tough one.
    Baby, it's cold outside! [Noemi, ME]
  • 11/22: 9.4 cycling miles, 35:45; upper body circuit. I wanted to knock out my monthly goal of 30 cycling miles, so I rode until it happened. I opted for upper body so I wouldn't be too sore on race day.
  • 11/23: REST.
    James wanted to hold Roop. SOOO sweet.
  • 11/24:RACE DAY! 2.01 mile warm up, 8:56/mile; 3.99 mile race, 7:41/mile; 1.07 mile cool down, 9:33/mile. You can check out my RACE RECAP for details!
    Turkey Trot crew.
  • 11/25: Leg circuit. Basically everyone I know was off work today,  but I had the joy of working. I was too lazy to workout in the morning and forgot to do it after work. I had to knock it out while Ruthie was napping and James was taking a bath...but I got it done.
  • 11/26: 13.15 miles, 8:36/mile. My long runs keep getting longer! After a couple of weeks running 12 miles, it was time to move up. At least now I know I can complete the distance of a half marathon. Every time Amanda offers to run with me, I get nervous!! I'm not sure why because she's never left me dead on the road. She took me on a Tour de LC. The first half of our run was the hillier portion (although the back half felt like it might have had some inclines...or maybe I was just getting tired). I realized when I got to her house that I forgot my gels so I couldn't practice nutrition during this run. Just like last week, I felt fine until the last 4 miles. That's when I started to feel my leg workout from the night before. I do wonder if having a gel might have helped a bit. Either way, we stayed pretty consistent with our splits (minus miles 6 and 10 which were in the 8:50s...we cranked out our fastest mile at the end to make up for it). Overall, very happy with the run. It does take me back 2 years when Jackie and I first started running with Amanda. I didn't realize my potential until she pushed us a bit. I'm happy to have a whole crew of besties to push me now!
    Happy face after my long run!
  • 11/27: 6 miles, 9:10/mile; CORE. It was another bRUNch day with my pals! I'm starting to love these little get-togethers. We went to Fox in the Snow, again, for those that couldn't attend a couple of weeks ago. Jackie, Megan, and I were all a little tired from our long runs the day before so we made sure to keep it easy. After the holidays, I'm hoping to arrange a bRUNch in Grandview!
    COFFEE!! [Meg, Jackie, ME]
After an exciting week of training and racing, I'm hoping for something more low key this week. Happy Running, friends!
Side Note: I decided to take some pics of my postpartum mid section progression. I'm still pretty flabby but the weight is slowly coming off and my shape is slowly coming back. I'm excited to say that I was able to button up my favorite pair of jeans this morning! Woo Hoo!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Powell Turkey Trot

Powell Turkey Trot

This was my medal (it was actually a magnet)! They had several different designs, and they were made by elementary school students. How awesome is that?!
Columbus offers so many race options on Thanksgiving morning! I didn't realize it was a thing. I thought people were crazy to want to run a race on a holiday. Two years ago, I volunteered at Flying Feather 4 miler and ran my first turkey trot last year in Virginia while visiting family. I think I decided on the Powell Turkey Trot after my girl, Amanda, registered. I thought it would be a good test of my postpartum fitness and give me a good idea of what I should be able to run at my upcoming half.

Pre-race smiles with Amanda.
As always, I make three goals for every race. Goal making was harder this time around because postpartum running can be so inconsistent. My goals were based on a 5k I ran at the beginning of October in which I averaged 7:49/mile.
-Goal A: 7:30/mile average (30:00)
-Goal B: 7:45/mile average (31:00)
-Goal C: My ass better get under 32 minutes or I have issues.
I knew Goal A was lofty, but I also knew I had the ability to make it happen if I was having a good day. On this particular day, Goal A was not in my favor, but I did meet Goal B! I think the course was the cause of me not meeting Goal A.
I did drive the course the day before so I sort of knew what to expect. Things are always different when you drive verses run, but it gave me a general idea. It seemed that mile one would be a gradual incline most of the way and there would be a more prominent incline/hill after mile one. It then seemed to gradually incline until mile three. Via car ride, it appeared that miles 3 and 4 were flat until the very end where we had a nice downhill and slight uphill (I later discovered while racing that it had more gradual inclines than I anticipated). Based on that, my strategy was to keep mile one right at my goal pace of 7:30 rather than start too fast and gas out. I expected mile 2 to be my worst mile, and I hoped I would recover quickly in mile 3 so that I could make up for lost time.
I met some girlfriends for a two mile warm up before the race. The weather was pretty perfect...50 degrees and cloudy. Although it didn't rain during the race, the roads were wet from it raining the night before and that morning. I wore arm warmers and a very light jacket to warm up, but quickly got hot. I ended up wearing shorts, short sleeve shirt, and a visor (in case it rained). I also decided to wear music in case I was lonely and needed the motivation.

A bunch of happy ladies! [Jeanne, Dani, Amanda, ME, Debbie]
We spent some time before the start admiring the fast runners...wishing I was fast enough to wear panties and a sports bra while racing. You could tell who the good ones were by the way they warmed up. I decided I would have to start a different warm up routine so that I at least looked intimidating! LOL. If you look scary and fast, maybe they won't try to pass you!?! I kid, I kid.

Got Diarrhea? It looks like we do! [ME, Dani]
Mile 1 went exactly as planned and expected, gradual incline with a split of [7:27]. It definitely gave me a boost of confidence at the moment, but I knew the next mile was going to be tough. I tried hard not to look at my watch because I didn't want it to get me down. I based the uphills on effort and tried to make up for time on any decline we might have had (which wasn't a whole lot). I noticed my legs were feeling heavy, but didn't know why. Was it the course? Was I just tired in general that day...I mean, I am getting up at crazy hours to feed a baby? Was my pace just too much for me to handle this close to having a baby? I really didn't want to know my split but knew I needed to look in order to figure out my strategy for the last two miles. Mile 2 [7:47].
Ugh. I don't know what I wanted my watch to say, but I knew at that point that Goal A was out of reach. I knew I couldn't make up for that time in two miles. Even though I had that feeling, I wasn't going to give up trying. I was hopeful for a better mile 3...didn't happen. Mile three was actually my worst mile! I don't know what happened. I felt like I was moving way faster that my watch told me. Mile 3 was [7:49]. What?! How is that possible?!

Post race donut fun with Dani.
At that point, it was balls to the wall. I only had one mile left and I had to make the most of it. I had two choices: give up and settle for Goal C OR run my tail off to get  the best Goal B that I could. Fortunately, I had two girls going back and forth with me. It was motivating me to keep moving. I wasn't so much trying to beat them as much as use them to help keep me moving. I was flying down the hill during that mile. I needed that hill to give me some time back. It was a tough finish, and I'm sure I had my ugly running gait on display, but I was giving it all I had left. Mile 4 [7:33].
Per Garmin, I clocked 3.99 miles in 30:37.

My official results:

Since the top two in my age group qualified for a cash prize, does that mean I was actually top three in my age group?!
Upon finishing, I was not disappointed in any form or fashion. I can honestly say that I ran as hard as I could have on that day. My legs were tired and the course did not favor my current fitness level, but I did the best that I could. Pre-pregnancy Lisa would have dominated that course. I typically do well with hills. They are just so hard for me right now. The fact that I was able to run this time after not running for three months because of my injury (and being 3 months postpartum) gave me confidence that I have the ability to eventually return to where I was last year.

Turkeys everywhere! [Jeanne, Danielle, Melissa A., Dani, part of Amanda, a hidden Debbie, ME]
Coming back after all of this crap has been HARD WORK. I've worked my butt off for everything I've accomplished so far. Despite my rough year, the past few months have been some of the most fulfilling of my running experience. I've had so many people help me through various runs and accomplishments. Yes, I'm looking forward to that day that running anywhere in the 8s feels easy again...or the day when I can run a hill and not feel like complete crap when I get to the top...but the journey to make those things happen will be what fulfills me the most.
I had such an amazing time with my friends at this race, and I'm super proud of how everyone ran! Thanks you, ladies, for making it a great start to my Thanksgiving Day!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

HHH: Week 3

Hilly Half Hustle
 Getting back into shape is SO HARD!!! UGH...but I digress. Another successful week of sticking to my training plan (minus the fact that I had to cut my cycling workout short). I practiced with gels again during my long run and race pace run. I used Clif and Carb Boom this week. Neither of them upset my belly, but they are both pretty thick. Clif is much worse than the Carb Boom regarding thickness. The thought of swallowing it makes me want to barf. I think I may try PowerGel next or just stick with Carb Boom. It all sucks so I've totally wasted your time by typing all of this.

Love my boy. The last nice day of the season. BOO!
  • 11/14: 4.3 cycling miles; leg/core circuit. I initially planned a track workout for today, but my legs were tired from the weekend. I'm just not used to the long runs yet! I went to the Y that evening with James. He LOVES playing with his friends at Child Watch. Unfortunately, time was not on our side this night. I had just enough time to do my workout as long as there were no hiccups (Jimmy had somewhere to go later that night). Halfway into my cycle, they told me James pooped in his diaper. UGH. I brought his bag in case it happened, but, by the time I would have changed him and returned to the bike, it would have been time to go home so Jimmy could leave. I was annoyed the rest of the evening because I didn't get to finish my dang workout.
  • 11/15: 7.63 miles, 8:49/mile. Track day! My first track workout in probably a year. It was SO HARD!! OMG. The middle school track is just 1.89 miles away from my house so I used that as my warm up and cool down. I did 5x800 meters with a 400 meter recovery. The goal was to run the 800s at 5k pace which I decided would be 7:50 based on my 5k a few weeks ago. The first four intervals were a little too fast, but I was tired enough by number five to keep it where it was supposed to be. Shortly after I finished, I could feel my muscles tightening! Geez!! My body just isn't used to this crap yet.
  • 11/16: 6 miles, 10:00/mile. I needed an easy run to recover from that track workout. I had offers from my usual training crew, but knew I'd be tempted to go faster than I should for recovery. I'm really trying to be nice to my postpartum body! My New Albany friend, Rhonda, was gracious enough to run with me and keep me in check. This run was perfect for me on this day. I was able to get the miles without killing myself. I love that I have a well rounded group of running buddies!
    A bunch of crazy people.

  • 11/17: Core workout. This was supposed to be my complete rest day, but I didn't have a chance to make it happen yesterday.
    Stretchy stretchy.
  • 11/18: 8.06 miles, 8:21/mile. I recruited Marion to help me with my race pace run this week. This week felt SO much harder than last week. I'm not sure why because last week had some pretty shotty hills. Despite that, my miles this week seemed a little more consistent and were more progressive than last week. I can't pace worth a crap right now.
    Marion keeps me fast.
  • 11/19: 12.01 miles, 8:43/mile. Lately, I go into these long runs feeling excited. Three quarters of the way through, I'm like "WTF am I thinking?! Why am I doing this again?! How am I going to be able to run more than this next week?!" When it's over, I'm always pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I went into today knowing it would be tough because I did my race pace run yesterday (part of good ole Hal Higdon's training theory). I wanted to quit after 8 miles and probably would have if Jackie and Theresa weren't there for me. Besides being tired from yesterday's run, we had wind the entire run! It was freaking insane. Did I mention the sleet?! Geez. Welcome to winter training.
  • 11/20: Leg circuit. I better be sore in the a.m. because my legs felt it.
Only three more weeks until my half marathon. What the crap?! Some may think my goal is a little lofty...and it might be for this course...but what's the point in a goal if it doesn't take a lot of hard work to attain? Word.