Marathon Training: Week 9

This week has been a little different than weeks past, but that’s the way uh-huh I like it!

The half marathon was a nice break from my long runs but this week is the week where I start my completely revamped training! This is what it has looked like and is looking like:

Monday: 4 miles, trotted (to help get rid of some of the soreness from Sunday)
Tuesday: Zumba. My effort was subpar due to my brain reviewing formulas for the test I took directly after the class. Don’t dance and review chemical compounds; you’ll look stupid.
Wednesday: Rest…this has been strange for me, but I love rest days.
Thursday: 16 miles!
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7 miles, 5 at goal marathon pace…and I won’t be running forever on a Saturday, yippee!
Sunday: I might get a few miles in if I feel like it

I’m finally getting excited with training because races are coming up; I am running another half in just over two weeks and then the marathon is right around the corner from that! Let’s hope my sucky days of training are over…hope reallll hard

Heels, Hills and Him Half Marathon

This weekend I had a mini-vacation down in Texas, a vacation that included a half marathon. The first time I have ever traveled for a race! I had been wanting to drive down and see my brother + family for a while, and knew that if I were going to stick to my training plan and get my weekend long run in, I needed a race to motivate me to make sure I didn’t spend all weekend shopping and eating.

Why did I pick this race?

  • Location: it was close to where my family lives in an area that I am very familiar with.
  • Time: this weekend my training schedule called for a 13 mile run or half marathon so how PERFECT was it to do this race!
  • Course: there was another half in Grand Prairie but the course didn’t seem as appealing as this one.
  • Competition: I felt as though this was a race I could do well in.
  • Cause: the Heels and Hills is an advocate for women’s fitness and health in the DFW area which I loved, this was also a big event for Team in Training.
The race was the smallest half marathon I have ran (roughly 1100 runners) and about 90% of the race was on trails throughout Irving, which were well paved and shady but definitely NOT spectator friendly. One thing I though was strange were the pacers; there were 2:00, 2:20, 2:25 and on pacers but nothing in between. I started with the 2:20 pacers (and maybe I should have stuck with them) but I got in my own comfortable groove and got a good warmup in the first mile or so. I also remembered that I forgot to factor in the heat when setting my goal time. Slap in the face! It was kind of hot.
Running solo allows you to eavesdrop, and I heard a couple of guys talking something about a half marathon course that was only 12.5 miles, so naturally I inquired about this race hoping that it was the full distance. It turns out, one of the guys, Jason, is a 2:15 pacer for several Dallas half marathons (yesssss!) so I hung with them for about 5 miles, then Jason picked up the speed a bit and I hung back, and the other guy hung back farther than me, so there I was running solo once again. Honestly, I didn’t mind it; all of my long runs have been solo so I relaxed up and reminded myself that this was just a training run.
Apparently crazy people run half marathons in Texas. Right after Jason and I parted ways, I noticed this lady in front of me who was running in booty shorts (like you could literally see her cheeks) and matching bra, with a white tank top over it…which doesn’t make sense. But anyways, she was wearing headphones and carrying an iPod in her left hand, and waving her right finger like she was practicing telling someone off. Up came a curve in the trail and she started weaving which is very rude and annoying to do in a race. Then she cut me off and I didn’t say anything because she was too busy waving her index finger and probably wouldn’t have heard me. “Whatever,” I thought, some people just don’t know race etiquette. She started to slow down, so I went on her left to pass her…just like driving because we’re all Americans here…and after I passed her and was a decent distance ahead of her, I hear, “Oh well just go ahead and cut me off, that’s rude!” and I signed and thought “WTF??” I though of probably 8 things I could have said, but I just sighed and kept on my way, she clearly had problems. The next 20 minutes were the most awkward running moments of my life because she finally caught up to me and we ran side by side without a word for nearly two miles. I was keeping an eye out to make sure she wasn’t going to swing at my or poke my eye out with her index finger, eventually I let the woman pass me and I’m pretty sure she was cussing me out to herself whilst still waving her finger.

Then I was alone for what seemed like forever. Though there weren’t a ton of spectators, but many people gathered by the water stations and were very awesome at cheering us on…I loved it! They also had motivational signs every quarter mile or so which gave me something to read helped. After the crazy lady incident, I found Heather and JJ, both moms, both running slower than they wanted, and so we pushed each other the last 3.1 miles. It. was. awesome. It was so nice having someone there to chat with and to motivate/be motivated by. The Team in Training coaches also were cheering everyone on, not just TNT runners.

The last mile my legs were on FIRE…I just wanted this ‘training run’ to be over with. It was hot. It was 90 degrees when I was on the last mile. I made a mental note to race in Texas again when it is winter everywhere else. And then before I knew it…I was crossing the finish line. I can say that I loved the feeling of pushing through and sprinting at the end which is something I NEVER do on training runs. I sprint when necessary, only.

I wanted to set a PR this race, but didn’t because I (doh!) forgot that it is still summer in Texas.

I left the race happy that I had a solid run; I maintained a pace nearly 2 minutes/mile faster than my recent long runs which is right at my goal marathon pace. Later on Sunday night when the official results were posted…I found out I got second place in my division! I was ecstatic but wanted to curse when I saw that I was beat by 12 seconds. Naturally, I thought of all I could have done to have gotten first (pushed harder) but calmed myself down; I have never placed this high in a race in my life and I decided to be happy about my finish.

My awesome uncle, grandma and aunt who were waiting at the finish line!

What I have learned: sign up for small races with people slower than you. Then you can win every time! Ha!

I needed this race to break up my training, I’m finally more than halfway through! Also very much looking forward to this half marathon in a little over two weeks!

PS. THANK YOU to everyone who encouraged, supported and congratulated me on Sunday, it means more than you know and you are totally amazing 🙂

Eat meeeee

Sometimes I want to eat my feelings. If I were going to eat my feelings tonight, they would look like this:

I love candy corn. Like I like it so much it’s embarrassing; forget Snickers, Milky Way, whatever…I’ll take the reject candy that sits at the bottom of the bowl.

But instead, I’m going to go eat an apple and pack my suitcase. Self control is SO overrated!

Marathon Training: Week 8

I have been waiting for this week for like…8 weeks.

I am halfway through marathon training, yessssss!!! I am also looking forward to this week as more of a ‘recovery week’ which I really need after that 20 miler on Saturday. I’m still sore and walking kind of funny, good thing my legs will have plenty of time to rest on the 8ish hour drive to Texas on Friday, where it is still summer:

This is what the week is looking like as far as training goes:

Today: 5 miles, I maintained a 10:00/mi pace which was good considering that is faster than my goal marathon pace and my legs were all kinds of sore
Tuesday: Zumba, my favorite day of the week!
Wednesday: 4-5 miles depending on how I feel
Thursday: 60 mins cycling, strength training
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Heels, Hills and Him Half Marathon!

This will be my first out of state/metro area race and I’m so excited and slightly nervous! I am primarily going to Texas to visit my brother and some family, and figured that I might as well sign up for a race while I’m down there to ensure I get my training miles in (I’m not that motivated now, people. Who runs 13 miles on vacation? Not me, that’s who).

I also signed up for this race to break up the (gasp) monotony of long runs. I’m finally going to get a medal and cute shirt for this work! This is something I’ve done to help keep me motivated, but also to get back into the race mindset. I haven’t ran a half marathon since June and have been itching to get back in the game!

It’s all downhill from here folks!

4am is early

As if you didn’t know that! While you were probably in bed which is where you should be at 4am on a Saturday morning, I was having breakfast getting ready to head out the door for my run. 20 miles of run.

Last time I did a long run on a treadmill, it was terrible. I was somewhat weary about running 20 miles on a treadmill, but the weather men convinced me that it would be raining this morning. I am glad I paid attention. The normal time I start my runs (outside) is around 7-7:30 because the sun is up, had I done this today, I would have only made it through about 14 miles of my run before it started raining, and I don’t really do running in the rain. 20 miles was challenging by itself.

I was up and at em so early because I wanted to get to the gym when there wasn’t a lot of people and at least get a couple of hours in before it started to crowd up, and I didn’t want my run to last until the afternoon. Here is my run in numbers:

3:57:55 – time it took to run 20 miles
20 – miles ran
16 – crazy stares I got from trainers and people working out
7 – times I realized how glad I was that I bought running capris
6 – pieces of gum chewed
4 – water bottles consumed
4 – times I had to reset the treadmill
3 – towels used to mop up my sweat
2 – times I repeated the running playlist on my iPod
2 – energy packets consumes, Accel Gels (LOVED the chocolate flavor) and Honey Stingers
1 – movie rented on iTunes to watch
1 – time I wanted to cry
1 – potty break

Last night I read a quote,

“Believe in yourself, know yourself, deny yourself, and be humble.” -John Treacy

and I made my goal for this run to be denying myself, denying my flesh, making it a complete mind over matter thing. Every time I wanted to stop, I reminded myself to deny my flesh. Deny the desires and thoughts telling me that I couldn’t  be successful and complete this run. And it worked! How amazing is it that we have the ability to press through every situation??

I hope you all have an AMAZING Saturday, whatever it is that you’re doing!!

when in doubt, shop it out

Earlier this week, I had been having quite a fiasco with marathon training.

So what’s a girl in trouble to do but shop?

  • Accel Gel, ShotBloks and Honey Stingers to experiment with on my long runs. Tomorrow I think I’ll be trying the Accel Gel and Stingers, with ShotBloks as extra in case I feel I need them

  • New running shoes! I was way past overdue for a new pair, and this is the third generation of this shoe that I have bought, the only shoe I have worn since running long distances. I took them on a test spin earlier this week and I was running on clouds…hopefully I can say they feel the same during my 20 miler tomorrow
  • I also bought this skirt. I used to think skirts for running were so lame, until after my 16 miler where my shorts were dripping in sweat, creating chub rub and riding right up into my lady parts. Rude, shorts, rude. This skirt has nice little spankies inside and I’m hoping it works as well as I am imagining. Good thing it will get here on time for my half marathon in Texas next weekend where I will hopefully not melt.
Now if only I was as good at shopping for real clothes as I am running clothes…