I can’t believe another week (and weekend) has flown by. Let’s catch up over an end of the week summary.
First things first … I know I kind of left y’all hanging the last two posts about “what’s next,” so I am gonna go ahead and put it out there. I have decided to train for the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans marathon on February 28th, 2016.
I have talked with my coach about it and he feels like it is plenty of time to recover and get another training cycle in and after all, I do have a title to defend. No pressure, right? I’m also really excited about this training cycle because Daniel and two of his buddies are planning to run it as well, so we should all be able to train together. Plus it seems like just about everyone that I know from our area that runs is going to NOLA for either the half or the full. It should be lots of fun!
Now that I’ve put that out there, hopefully I will hold myself accountable to stick with my training. My motivation has been slightly lacking the past few weeks, which is fine. I needed some down time. Now I think it is time to set new goals and get back to work. Last week was officially the 1st week of my NOLA training cycle. It didn’t go exactly as planned (i.e., I completely skipped a race that I was supposed to do), but that’s okay.
Monday and Tuesday were easy runs with Daniel before work. We’ve gotten into a pretty good routine with our early morning runs. It is so nice now that we are actually working somewhat similar schedules. He used to work 12 hour shifts that weren’t always set days of the week, so it was harder for us to run together in the mornings. Now we both pretty much work 8 to 5, which makes it so much easier to coordinate our training.
Workout Wednesday found its way back into my life this week. I had a progressive tempo run (where you gradually increase the intensity and pace of the run) on the schedule. I was supposed to start the tempo portion of the run at a comfortably quick rhythm (think marathon pace) and gradually increase the intensity as I went, finishing at strong quick rhythm (think 10k pace). Coach told me it would start off feeling good but get fairly intense in last third of the run and boy was he right!
I did a 2 mile warm up, a 4 mile progressive tempo (6:58, 6:44, 6:31, 6:15), and a 2 mile cool down. The last mile of the workout was super tough! That was the first real workout I had done since the marathon though, so I guess that makes sense. I felt awesome (once the workout was done)!
Thursday was another easy run with Daniel before work. After work we headed down to the “Tree Lighting Celebration” in downtown Fairhope. I love this little tradition. They close the streets off and everyone gathers to watch the Christmas lights come on for the first time of the holiday season. It is absolutely beautiful! The lights stay on the trees from mid-November through the “Arts & Crafts Festival” in mid-March. I love that they are on for about half of the year! The picture doesn’t exactly do it justice, but you get the idea.
Apparently some of the “locals” (or at least this lady) were upset that the crowds were large at this event this year. I must say, I am completely baffled by this. The city promotes the event and they have Santa and all the frozen characters (well … at least Elsa, Anna & Olaf) there. There is fake snow and everything. I guess I really just don’t understand why this lady would be upset that people came to support the city?!
We stayed around for a while after the lighting and ate at one of the restaurants downtown. I’m pretty sure most of the people that came did the same, so I feel like this was a good thing for the city and local businesses, but perhaps I am missing something. Sorry to get off on a tangent, but for some reason I felt like I needed to get that out there.
Friday morning Daniel and I did yet another easy run before work. Are you noticing the pattern here? I love it.
Saturday morning I was supposed to race the Turkey 10 miler in Creola, AL. I usually love this race! It’s flat as a pancake. For whatever reason, I was just not feeling it this year. It’s a little bit of a haul to get to and I didn’t want to spend the entire day Saturday at a race. Plus, 10 miles just seemed like so far to race (says the marathoner, I know). What can I say, sometimes you just aren’t feeling it and I most definitely wasn’t, so we slept in a little and ran 10 miles at home (at about an 8:30 pace, as opposed to the 6:30 pace that I would’ve been *trying* to run at the race). Much more pleasant.
Saturday evening we had the graduation party for the Running Wild half and full marathon training groups. Missy and Mike were so gracious to open their home to everyone. It was fun to see everyone after the race and hear “what’s next” for all of them as well!
Sunday morning we planned to do our usual group run and we woke up to a major cold front. I know the wind shows that it was 12 mph, but I am fairly certain that it was at least 20 mph (if not more). The breeze blowing right off the bay made for an exceptionally chilly run. We had a fun group and got in 15 miles at a 7:37 average, which I was very pleased with!
I played tennis again this Sunday afternoon and the wind definitely kept things interesting for us on the courts. My partner and I won, but it was a really close, fun match. We split sets and the third set went all the way to a tiebreaker, which we managed to win. Our match last week was the exact same. I guess our teams are really evenly matched, which makes for some good tennis!
Sunday evening we had “Friendsgiving” with our small group. We had so much food (and so much fun)! Everyone contributed to the meal. I was asked to bring a salad and a veggie tray. My friends know me well (i.e., they know that I don’t cook).
This was a very “social” weekend for us. I am so thankful for the friendships that we have made through running and through our small group.