Unicorns & Turkeys

Hey friends!

Last week was the second week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. I am also pacing a marathon in 3 weeks! I didn’t make many notes about the easy runs last week, so this will be fairly brief.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 11.13.17 – 11.19.17:

Monday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:40 pace) + PM – Easy: 5.1 miles (8:41 pace)

Tuesday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:43 pace) 

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Girls on the Run poster of things that bring the girls joy … lots of unicorns!

Wednesday AM – Brisk: 10 miles (7:38 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:10 pace)

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So peaceful.

Wednesday morning my training plan called for a 10 mile run with 5 miles easy and 5 at a brisk pace, which is very similar to goal marathon pace. The goal range for the brisk portion was 6:45 to 7:00 pace. It felt great out Wednesday morning (once we got warmed up :)). It was a brisk 50 degrees with a slight wind … perfect weather for a brisk run!

I had company for this workout! Workouts are a million billion trillion times easier with friends. We averaged 8:28 for the first 5 miles of the run and then it was time to pick it up a little bit! We averaged 6:45 exactly for the second 5 miles, so right at the low end of the goal range! Woo! Our splits for the brisk miles were 6:57, 6:53, 6:45, 6:32 and 6:39. We got a little overly ambitious on those last two miles, but it felt good, so I just went with it.

Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:32 pace) 

Friday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:39 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:56 pace)

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Love a good sunset!

Saturday – RACE: Turkey 10! Fast Finish Long Run (aka Turkey 20!): 20 miles (7:29 pace) 

Race recap is here!

Sunday – Easy: 6.8 miles (8:28 pace)

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A winter runderland! 

Total – 75.0 miles (so even!)

That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Talk to you guys soon.

Race Recap: Turkey 10 X 2!

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I have shorts on, I promise. Note to self: don’t wear towel in future post-race pics.

This year’s Turkey 10 went a little bit different from how it has in the past. You can read my recap from last year’s race here. Seeing as how several of us (at least 5 for sure) are training for the First Light Marathon (FLM) in 8 weeks, we decided to revive a tradition that only a brave few have dared in the past, the Turkey 20 miler. It is only in the throes of marathon training that a runner would dare to attempt such a feat. I, myself, have done it once before (circa 2012), also in preparation for FLM. Others in the group have done it many a time, but they are far braver than I.

We spent what felt like ages (i.e., weeks) discussing our plans for this event. We planned to get to the race about an hour and a half before it started, to run the course “easy” beforehand and then to run the race at or close to goal marathon pace. This was definitely a key workout in our training and I was looking forward to it. We all talked about it a good bit over the last few weeks and the hype had me … well, hyped.

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I was equally as excited about my new turkey socks! Although I must say, I am a tad disappointed that they aren’t symmetrical. I don’t know if I just got a bad pair or this is how they are supposed to look. Either way, it’s not a big deal and they are still super cute!

We got started on our first 10 miles at 7:00 a.m. The race started at 8:30 a.m., so this gave us an hour and a half to get our 10 miles in and hopefully have a minute or two to go to the bathroom, take a gel, get some water, etc. before the actual race started. It was 75 degrees and humid for the run. What the what?! The weather has not been cooperating for races recently. We’ve actually had some really chilly mornings (like today for instance … it’s 35 degrees), but it is NEVER chilly on race day. One of these days it will be. If I say that enough, hopefully it will be true at some point.

The 10 mile “warm up,” if you will, went by fairly quickly and with no major issues. We averaged 7:56 pace for the first 10 miles. We didn’t have much time at all once we got back to the start to get ready for the actual race. I did manage to take a gel and hit the bathroom (it was essentially a sprint to the bathroom and a sprint to get to the start line on time … that was probably the fastest I ran all day). I *attempted* to make some UCAN gels the evening before the race, but I don’t think that I got the ratio of powder to water quite right. I put the gels (which were basically just liquid) into plastic baggies and I just bit the corner of the bag to take the gel. In theory, this seemed like a good idea, but in practice, I wasn’t a fan of the plastic baggie method. I’ve got a 22 mile long run coming up and I might try again (using a different recipe and a different container).

As far as the race itself goes, my plan was to run as consistently as possible, somewhere in the 6:45 to 6:55 range. Rather, that was my plan in ideal conditions, but 75 degrees and humid is less than ideal for a race in November. Daniel ran the first 7 miles of the race with me, which was lovely. We talked a little bit, but not a ton. It was just nice to have someone there to work with. We stayed pretty consistent for those 7 miles. Our splits were 6:58, 6:54, 6:59, 6:59, 6:56, 6:56 and 7:04. I started to fade at mile 7 (17 for the day), but Daniel felt good and I wanted him to go on ahead.

I definitely faded, but it wasn’t a total crash. The last three miles were 7:10, 7:19 and 7:08. In the moment, I was a tad disappointed that I wasn’t able to keep it under 7:00 pace, but after thinking about it a little bit more, I’m okay with it. My average pace for the race was 7:02, which is not far off from where I ultimately want to be on race day. I still have 8 weeks to get to that point too. I have to remind myself sometimes that I am where I am, not where I want to be … yet! That’s why we train!

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#runlove

After the race I was a little dizzy and light-headed, which is not good. Once I got something to eat and got some electrolytes in, I felt fine. We headed over to the after party (a pot luck style holiday party) and stuck around until we got our awards. Our group was 4 out of the top 5 men and I ended up as the first female, so I’d say it was a pretty good day!

I always enjoy this race and this year was no exception! Doing the race as the last 10 of a 20 mile run definitely takes the stakes up a little bit. We all put in some solid work and I know that will pay off in January!

Let’s Do This!

Hey friends! Two posts in one day. I’m on a roll! Ha.

Last week was the first week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. I did a 9 week fundamental phase and I have a 10 week specific phase (including the taper weeks). Also, I am pacing a marathon in just 4 short weeks (gulp … cue minor freak out).

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Alabama snow! Doesn’t have anything to do with the post at all, but I just think it’s so pretty … I had to stop and take a picture.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 11.06.17 – 11.12.17:

Monday AM – Easy: 8 miles (8:11 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:12 pace)

Daniel and I got in a solid 8 miles Monday morning. The temperature was nice and it was SO MUCH brighter out! We both felt good and our easy pace was a little quicker than what it has been here recently, which was nice to see. I hope that means that my fitness is actually improving. I never want to force an “easy” pace, but it’s really nice when it happens naturally.

We did our first “dark” evening run after work Monday evening and boy was I decked out in reflective gear. For whatever reason, I don’t wear reflective gear in the mornings when we run, but when we run in the evenings, I want all the lights. I’m usually not a fan of the time change, but I gotta admit, I’m kind of digging it this year. I used to feel guilty for wanting to go to bed before it was dark, but now … I got nothing to feel bad about! It’s 7 p.m.? Yes. It’s dark? Yes. It’s perfectly acceptable to go to bed? In my opinion … Yes!

Tuesday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:50 pace) + PM – Easy: GOTR Practice 5K 

We did an easy, uneventful loop with Young Daniel Tuesday morning.

The Girls on the Run practice 5K was Tuesday afternoon. The girls did great and I really think they had fun. We tried to make it a big deal for them with signs, music, medals, treats, etc. Several of them didn’t think they would be able to complete the distance, but they did … that was so cool to see!

 
Wednesday AM – Tempo: 12.75 miles (7:12 pace) + PM – Easy: 3 miles (8:56 pace)

Wednesday morning my training plan called for 3 X 3 mile repeats at aerobic threshold pace with a 3:00 jog recovery in between sets. You know things are getting real when you see a 3 X 3 mile workout appear on the schedule. Holy Moses. That’s a long workout! I’ve done this workout at least once before, but this was actually my first time doing it outside, as opposed to on the treadmill. I actually used to do 75% or more of my workouts on the treadmill. While it is certainly a great tool to use, I think that doing my workouts on the roads (or track in this case) has been much better.

I hit the track fairly early (definitely earlier than normal since this was such a long workout). I did a mile and a half warm up and then it was time to get going. My goal pace range for the repeats was 6:35 to 6:45 with a slight negative split. My actual paces were 6:45, 6:45, 6:50 (6:46 avg), 6:49, 6:41, 6:44 (6:44 avg), and 6:35, 6:39, 6:31 (6:35 avg). I was very happy with how this one went. It was a confidence building workout for sure! I had to stay engaged mentally and really focus on the mile I was in and I think this was great mental practice for the marathon. It’s really easy to let your mind wander and think about how many miles or laps you have left, which can be totally overwhelming at times. It’s always best to stay focused and take things one mile (or one lap) at a time.

Daniel wanted to run Wednesday evening and I thought it might be nice to shake my legs out with an easy run, but no. Definitely not. My legs were having no part of it. I let him finish the loop on his own and I called it a day at 3 miles.

Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:53 pace) 

I ran a loop with Daniel and headed back out for 3 more miles after the loop. Have I mentioned how much I am enjoying the extra light in the mornings?! Yep. Just wanted to make sure.

Non-running related side note: We went to see Elf the Musical at the Saenger Theater in Pensacola Thursday evening and it was fabulous! The story line follows the movie, but it is not the same as watching the movie (which we will definitely still be doing). The songs were all different and the scenes varied a good bit. It was hilarious and very entertaining.

Friday – Easy: 9 miles (8:35 pace)

We didn’t get home until way past my normal bedtime, so I slept in a bit Friday and headed out to run around 8:30 or 9 a.m., which was lovely! I got to listen to Lindsey Hein’s interview with Allie Kieffer (5th place finisher at NYC) on my run Friday morning. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I love her outlook on life and training … very inspiring.

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Friday evening sunset! Also has nothing to do with the post, but you know I can’t resist a good sunset. 

Saturday – Easy: 6 miles (8:57 pace)

Saturday morning I ran a few miles with the Daniels and Cody and finished up the run with Jessica (and Olivia!). We kept the pace pretty chill and enjoyed a beautiful fall morning.

I had a gift certificate for a pair of shoes from Running Wild from a race I did a few months ago and I finally cashed that bad boy in Saturday! I wanted to try something new and fun, so I went with the Altra Torin. I wore them around the house Saturday and made the executive decision to wear them for my race Sunday, violating one of the main rules of racing … nothing new on race day. I’m quite the rebel.

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Sunday – RACE: Battleship 12K

Race recap is here!

Total – 72.8 miles

That’s all I’ve got for today. Talk to you guys soon!

Race Recap: Battleship 12K

Hi! Happy Monday.

I ran the Battleship 12K (7.45 miles) yesterday morning. I ran this race last year, really enjoyed it and knew that I wanted to run again this year. The Battleship 12K is a patriotic run on Veterans Day weekend to honor those who have served our country. It starts on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay and finishes at the USS Alabama. The Battleship 12K partners with the Boot Campaign, Mission 22, & Team RWB to further their missions and the raise awareness for the men and women who bravely serve our country. It is a great race that supports a great cause!

Before the Race

The race started at 8 a.m. in Spanish Fort. They offer race day packet pickup, which I think is always a nice option. An 8 o’clock race start about 10 minutes away from home is quite nice! I could’ve [theoretically] slept in until close to 7, but of course, I was up before 5. The weather was supposed to be really nice for the race (upper 50s and low humidity), but instead I woke up to temperatures in the 60s, rain (just a light drizzle) and 95% humidity. Sigh. The light rain pretty much continued all morning and throughout the race. I didn’t really mind it, but I definitely would’ve taken lower humidity and sunshine if given the choice.

I got to the start area around 7:15 to pick up my bib, shirt, etc. and to do a 2 mile warm up with a few strides. The packet pick up was in a different location from last year, so that threw me for a bit of a loop (they had this posted online, I just failed to check because I assumed I knew what I was doing (but we know what happens when we assume)). I had plenty of time, so it really wasn’t a big deal at all. When I gave her my name and ID (you must have your ID to get your bib (just FYI)), she said that they had given me the #2 bib since I was the 2nd overall finisher last year. I’ve never had that happen before and I loved it!

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The race plan was this:

  • Mile 1: Ease into it and find the race rhythm. Goal pace was somewhere in the mid 6 range (6:25 – 6:35 ish).
  • Miles 2 to 5: Settle into a strong, sustainable rhythm without pushing too hard. Goal pace was somewhere around 6:15 – 6:25.
  • Miles 6 to 7.5: Race it to the finish line, depending on how much gas was left in the tank. If I felt good, I would try to drop the pace down some.

The Star Spangled Banner was sung, the cannon was fired twice (the first time was unintentional and quite startling) and we were off.

The Race

I knew from last year that the first mile had a nice little downhill start. I  had to hold myself back during the first mile. The pace felt effortless, but we were running downhill and we had 6.5 more miles to go! My first mile split was 6:22, which was pretty much right where I wanted to settle in. Unfortunately, I didn’t ever settle in next to anyone (I am the queen of getting stuck in no man’s land during races). I turned my watch over on my wrist so that I wouldn’t look at it, except for the mile splits. I really wanted to just focus on running by feel and get more in tune with what that felt like. My go to mantra for this race was “run the plan.” I repeated it to myself several times and tried to really stay focused on what I was doing.

Miles 2 through 5 are fairly uneventful. There aren’t a lot of spectators along the course, but you are running across the bay, so there is plenty of water and scenery to take in. We had to go over a few small bridges with only a very slight incline, but we also got to go back down the other side of each incline, which made it nice. My watch shows 6:25, 6:26, 6:25, and 6:23 for those 4 miles.

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Map from Strava

Once we passed mile 5, I picked the pace up a little bit (per the plan). I was actually catching up to the third place runner at this point as well, so my goal became trying to steadily reel him in. I ran mile 6 in 6:12 and caught up to him! He stayed with me for perhaps a quarter of a mile and then I went on ahead. My 7th mile was 6:16. At mile 7 we turned into Battleship Park and there were volunteers at the last water stop handing out American flags for us to run in with. I almost missed getting a flag last year, just because I wasn’t expecting it, but this year I knew what to expect and I was more than ready to get my flag and run it in.

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I finished with a time of 47:17 (6:21 average) for 1st female and 3rd overall. The first place guy ran 5:17 pace (holy smokes) and B. Rouse was 2nd overall with a 6:10 average. He was within sight, but never quite catch-able.

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After the Race

I debated running back across the bay after the race to get a long-ish run in, but ultimately decided against that. I did manage to get in close to 4 miles of a cool down in (thanks to B. Rouse for joining me for that!), which gave me close to 13 miles for the day. I’ll take it! After we finished up our cool down, I promptly turned into a human popsicle. Yes. It was 60 degrees, but I was wet from both sweat and rain and once I stopped moving … I was frozen (what can I say … sometimes I defy the laws of science). I don’t know how you people who live in cold climates manage. I am a wimp.

My mom was sweet enough to come over and pick me after the race. They have shuttles that take you back across the bay, but she offered to come and I wasn’t sad about it. I turned the heat up to 85 on my side of the car and layered up with dry clothes. Thanks mom!

I loved the race again this year and I would highly recommend it to anyone (near or far). There are so many men and women that sacrifice their lives to protect our freedom. Participating in a patriotic event on Veterans Day weekend is a wonderful reminder of just how much we have to be thankful for.

I hope you guys have a wonderful week! Have you ever run an odd race distance?

I Forgot to Think of a Title

Hey guys!

Another week of training is in the books! The fundamental phase is complete. Time to move on to the specific phase! Woo!

Here is what the last week of the fundamental phase looked like:

Monday AM – Easy: 7 miles (8:28 pace) + PM – Easy: 5.25 miles (8:27 pace)

I ran easy Monday morning … two miles with Brooks and then five miles on the treadmill. I saw Ryan Monday afternoon and thankfully my hamstring was healing nicely. Of course I asked him if I could run “hard,” as I was really missing workouts. He suggested that I ease back into things a little bit and not try to do some sort of crazy speed work just yet, which definitely made sense.

Several of the usual suspects met Monday evening and so I decided to tag along for an easy double.

Tuesday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:40 pace) + PM – Steady State: 8 miles (7:09 pace)

Due to time constraints Tuesday morning, I wasn’t able to squeeze a workout in. Even though I wanted to “test” it, at the same time I really didn’t want to “test” it (that probably doesn’t even make sense). I mulled it over a little bit more and by Tuesday evening I decided that it was, in fact, time to do a test run and see how the hammy held up.

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Gorgeous afternoon!

My only real plan for the test run was to try to run a few miles in the 7:00 to 7:15 pace range, which is what I would consider to be a steady state effort (10 – 20 seconds slower than goal marathon pace). I did this workout solo, which is definitely not normal. Daniel did a workout on the bike while I ran. We both did an out and back route. I went out 4 miles and he went out 12 or 13 miles. My splits were 7:47, 6:58, 6:56, 7:11, 6:56, 7:03, 7:03 and 7:22. I felt decent and was THRILLED that my hamstring felt fine! Whew.

Wednesday – Easy: 10 miles (8:22 pace)

Wednesday’s run was an easy 10 miler w/ 10 X 1:00 pickups w/ 1:00 recovery. Typically the 1:00 pickups are done at a fast pace (VO2 max or faster), but I still didn’t want to take a chance with the hamstring. I didn’t time the intervals at all and I definitely didn’t push like I normally would on this workout.

Thursday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:57 pace) + PM – Easy: 5.25 miles (9:00 pace)

Apparently easy five mile runs were my jam this week.

Friday – Easy: 5.75 miles (9:10 pace)

Daniel and I did the standard five mile easy run again Friday morning and I took Brooks for a short trot once we got home.

Saturday – Race: Senior Bowl 10K

Race recap in separate post!

Sunday – Easy: 10 miles (8:01 pace)

I met the group for our Sunday “long run.” Most of us raced the day before, so we didn’t go as far as we would have otherwise. My legs felt surprisingly fresh. I think we were all pleasantly surprised as far as that goes. Of course it was also 10 degrees cooler Sunday morning. At this point, we will take it whenever we can get it!

Total – 71.5 miles

Have a wonderful week!

Race Recap: Senior Bowl 10K

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This was such a beautiful sight! Photo cred: Tim Ard.

I had my sights set on running the Reese’s Senior Bowl Charity Run 10K for several months and originally wanted it to be one of my key races for the fall. I hadn’t done this one race in several years (quick recon confirmed that the last year I ran it was 2013). Senior Bowl is typically one of the bigger races in the area (probably only behind First Light and Azalea Trail). There were 514 participants in the 10K and 595 participants in the 5K this year. So, small in general, but one of the bigger local races if that makes sense.

This was my 5th Senior Bowl 10K. I’ve run this race in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and now 2017. The 2009 race was the first time I ever wore a team running singlet (Team Spiridon … holla!). I remember feeling like this was a very big deal at the time and I felt like I had “arrived” as a runner. Haha. The 2010 race was my first sub-40 10K, so that will always be special too. I won the race in 2012 on what seemed like a fluke. I remember being “interviewed” after the race (definitely another first!) and telling the guy that I never imagined that I would EVER win that race, regardless of how many participants decided to show up or not show up.

I know that likely no one cares about the preceding paragraph except for maybe me, Daniel and my mom and dad. Thanks for being my biggest fans and most loyal readers! On to this year’s race …

Before the Race

Several of our running buddies ran Senior Bowl this year, which always makes a race more fun. I met Rebecca, Jessica and Sasser at Starbucks to carpool over to Mobile. We got across the bay and found parking with no problem. We picked up our packets and met up with Cody and Young Daniel downtown.

My original plan of treating this as a goal race was modified because of a cranky hamstring. I tweaked my hamstring the last week of October and had a mild hamstring strain. In the grand scheme of things, definitely not a big deal, but it just meant that I had to take it easy for a week or two to make sure that it healed and didn’t turn into a tear. I can’t even imagine how painful that would be and I definitely don’t want to find out! My coach asked me if I still even wanted to do the race and I told him that I did (mainly because I was already registered). We decided that the best course of action was to approach the race as a lactate threshold (LT) workout, which as it turns out, is easier said than done.

After our standard two warm up miles and two porta-potty visits, it was time to roll! It was 70 degrees and humid at the start. I’m pretty sure this qualifies as less than ideal, especially for a November race!

The Race

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Going into the race, I had 6:25 to 6:30 pace in my head as my LT pace and I wanted to start conservatively and finish strong. Young Daniel and I planned to run the first few miles together at around 6:25. We came through the first mile in 6:28, which was right within my pace range, so I was happy. I felt good overall, my hamstring wasn’t bothering me at all and I could see the first female just ahead of us (so basically this is where my “run this all at LT pace” plan went out the window). Miles two and three were 6:18 and 6:09 as I caught and passed the first girl. The 6:09 was a bit rich and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold that the entire second half of the race, so I tried my best to reign it in. My first 5K split was 19:38.

During the fourth mile, I set my sights on chasing down a pack of four guys ahead of me. My mile four split was 6:17, which got me up to the group. The group kind of fizzled out and I ended up passing two of the guys and leap frogging back and forth with the other two guys during the next mile. My split was 6:21. By the time we got to the final mile, two of the guys were ahead of me and two of the guys were behind me and I don’t think our places changed from this point to the finish. My last split was 6:22 and I finished out the 0.2 with a 5:54 pace. My second 5K split was 19:35, so I managed a tiny little negative split. Woo!

After the Race

The 5K & 10K winners got caught in a whirlwind of post-race interviews and photographs. I mean, for a local race, they do this one up right! The photographer was “coaching” LaJuan and I on how to tilt and turn our heads to capture our most flattering angles. It was quite comical. I felt silly posing for the pictures, but at the same time, I’m not sad to have learned the proper head tilt and arm positioning. Ha.

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Hands on the hips was highly recommended. 10K & 5K female winners! 

We all did a two mile cool down to get a nice, even 10 for the day. This was Jessica’s first postpartum race and so of course, we had to document that with a friend selfie.

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So thankful for these two!

They took their time getting to the awards, but it was nice to hang out for a little bit and catch up with friends. Overall, I am pleased with how this one went. I’m happy with my time and happier to have been able to enjoy a wonderful fall morning doing something that I love with my friends!

October Recap

Hey-o! Happy Halloween!

Can you believe that the holiday season is upon us? Me either! It’s time to recap another month of running and randomness.

Month Recap: October 2017

The Running

Workouts: October continued the fundamental phase of marathon training. For the most part, each week had a mix of speed, tempo and endurance workouts. I have one more week of the fundamental phase and then we will move into the marathon-specific phase. I was having a very consistent month of training until a mild hamstring strain put me out of commission workout-wise the last week of the month. I jumped on it (not literally) fairly quickly and am hopeful that I will be able to get back into things without losing much.

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1200 (5:02, 4:52, 4:47, 4:46, 4:37, 4:34), 2 mi. CD

15 mile long run w/ a fast finish (6:59, 7:21 (big hill), 7:02, 6:45)

2.5 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles (6:50/6:37 = 13:27, 6:31/6:29 = 13:00, 6:35/6:56 = 13:31), 2 mi. CD

10 miles w/ 10 X 30 second pickups 

18 mile long run w/ 10 mile “WU” (8:04) + 10K (6:40) + 2 mile “CD” (8:28)

2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 hill repeats (1:45 – 1:50), 2 mi. CD

8 miles w/ 10 X 30 second pickups

2 mi. WU, Half Marathon @ brisk (7:07 average), 2 mi. CD

8 mile brisk pace run (7:10 average)

Favorite workout: My favorite workout was the 1200 meter repeat workout. The temperature was nice and the workout was executed really well [pats self on the back]. Now if I could just execute my races the same way … ease into it and finish strong! I need to repeat that to myself 100 times before each race that I run.

Races: I ran two 5Ks, a 10K and a half marathon this month. I included my 10K and half marathon in the workout section as well, since they were technically races that I used as workouts.

Race Recap: Bras Across the CAUSEway 5K

Race Recap: Shrimp Fest 10K

Race Recap: Running for the Bay Half Marathon

Favorite Race: I don’t even have a recap for my favorite race of the month. That’s a bummer. I guess it’s never too late to add one in. I ran a local turkey trot with two of the Girls on the Run girls and I loved it so much. I think that I enjoy pacing equally as much as racing! It’s so much fun to run with someone, encourage them and watch them meet their goals.

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Paces: Paces ranged from 6:01 (last mile of the BATC 5K) to 9:52.

Total miles: 284

Distances: Distances ranged from 3.5 miles to 18 miles. On the day of the half marathon, I technically ran 21.5 miles, but I don’t think that really counts since it wasn’t all continuous.

Strength work: Oh snap. I have NOT gotten my 10 minutes a day in. I have been icing, rolling and stretching though, so that’s at least something.

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The Other Stuff

This portion of the post is just your typical A to Z list of random thing I am currently …

Anticipating: I have FIVE races that I want to do in November! November is my favorite month of racing!

Buying: We had a cold snap last weekend and I decided that I needed to buy a few winter sweaters. Of course, it likely won’t be cold again until 2018, but whenever it does cool down again … I’ll be ready!

Considering: that I’ve used the concept of “faking it until you make it” in the past and really wish that I had just been honest and transparent with what was going on. How many people are out there “faking it” because all they see is other people doing the exact same thing? Let’s make it a point to be open and honest with other people and not worry about whether or not they think we’ve “got it together” because … little secret … no one has it together. We’re all just doing our best to make sense of things and figure out our place in this life.

Discovering: joy in the journey.

Enjoying: the cooler air! It might not be here to stay, but we will take anything we can get at this point. It was even fire pit weather last weekend.

Feeling: confident. That’s a new one.

Going: to watch the sunset. Fall sunsets are the best!

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Hoping: that we have some trick or treaters! Brooksy is ready! Rawr!

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Inhaling: candy corn! I try to make sure that my candy corn quota gets met each year by Halloween so that we can move on to more nutritious things after that. Such sacrifice.

Loving: these Lululemon Train Times Shorts (<– affiliate link … NOT!). The waist is higher and the shorts are longer than your typical running spandex shorts and I love them. If you hear of a Lulu sponsorship out there, please let me know ASAP! I need to find a way to put Lulu to work for me.

Missing: 10% of Brooks. Do you remember when we took him to the vet and they told us that he needed to lose weight? Even though I thought he was beautiful just the way he was, we got right on that, because I didn’t want him to have health complications as a result of his weight. We cut back on his food and treats a little bit (nothing drastic) and he’s been running a mile or two here and there (again, nothing drastic). I took him to the vet for his yearly shots, etc. and he lost 10 pounds! Go Brooks! Since it was time for his yearly visit, that also means that we just celebrated his 6th birthday. WHAT?! Time slow down.

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Noticing: that if we ever have a kid, I’m going to be so annoying.

Obsessing: about nothing? I honestly can’t think of anything for this category, which is quite rare.

Planning: to test out the hammy with a speed workout tomorrow morning.

Questioning: if coffee is making me sleepy. I know that energy drinks can cause you to crash, but can coffee do the same thing? Does anyone have answers for this? I typically have two cups in the morning and could immediately fall asleep (if I needed to, for research purposes only). The past two days, I haven’t had any coffee and I think I feel less sleepy. This confuses me.

Reading: Y’all. I’m going back to school! I am so excited to join the staff at University of Mobile as an adjunct accounting professor. I will start teaching in January and in the meantime, I will be digging into this textbook, Taxation of Individuals & Business Entities. I can’t wait to do the syllabus and make outlines of the materials, etc. My little nerd heart is so happy.

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Saving: papers. I tend to be a saver, but not in a hoarder sense. I just hate emptying my shred box at work. They ask me every week if I have anything to get rid of and every week, I’m like “nope, nope, nope.” I hold on to that junk for a least a year in case because you never know what you might need down the road.

Thinking: about cooking dinner tonight. Like, cooking cooking. Please be impressed.

Using: Pinterest for recipe ideas! So far, I’m at “recipe. dinner. easy. 5-ingredient. healthy.” I’ll let you know how that works out.

Visiting: Salty Running! I’m writing over at Salty Running some now, so go check out that site if you haven’t read it before.

Watching: Life Unexpected. We finally found a decent show to watch! Granted, it’s only two seasons, so we’ll probably be done with it in no time, but it’s nice to have something besides Impractical Jokers to watch every now and then.

Xeroxing: I made a copies of my college and graduate school transcripts this week! What?! Finally I have a good xeroxing moment. Those are the best.

Yearning: to take a nap. The struggle is SO VERY real.

Zeroing: Same as the last few months, it’s really hard to come up with an Z word, so … zeroing means “closing out” for purposes of this post and with that, we are done!

It’s your turn! Tell me something you are loving or thinking about!