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.


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.


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!


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


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.


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.


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!

H[a]mming & Hawing

Happy Monday friends! I hope your week is off to a great start!

Thanks to a cranky hamstring, my week of training didn’t go exactly as planned last week. I’m thankful that I was able to get in what I was though. I am hoping to resume training as normal next week and planning to continue rolling, icing and stretching like a champ.

Although Brooksy tries his best to thwart any attempts at rolling.

Monday – Easy: 5 miles (8:56 pace)

My legs were a tad fatigued Monday morning after the half marathon long run combo that I did on Sunday. Daniel and I got up and got a loop in before work and it felt good to stretch out my legs some. I had an appointment with Dr. Ryan at Coastal Chiropractic Monday morning. I got a little bit off schedule with my weekly appointments (as in I went 3 weeks in between appointments instead of 1 week) and I could definitely tell a difference. My left glute, hamstring and IT band were screaming at me. This was foreshadowing of the rest of the week.

Tuesday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:56 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:12 pace)

Tuesday morning I ran easy on the treadmill … nothing fancy, just getting some easy miles in before work. At Girls on the Run Tuesday afternoon, we played a game that resembled freeze tag. The coaches had to chase the girls and if we caught them, they were frozen. While they were frozen, they had to think about how they would resolve a conflict with a friend, using scenarios that we gave them. Some of those little chickadees are FAST and I had to sprint to catch them. I don’t think I was properly warmed up (we do a warm up with the girls, but I think that maw-maw here likely needs a bit more of warm up than the girls do) and I tweaked my [already sensitive] hammy. I didn’t really realize this at the time, but looking back I’m fairly certain this is what happened.

Daniel and I ran a loop with Jessica Tuesday evening. I definitely knew that something was “off” with my hamstring at that point, but I figured it would loosen up as we went along. It wasn’t specifically bothering me to run easy, but I noticed that if I tried to pick the pace up at all (which meant lengthening out my stride), I was feeling a pull all the way down the back of my leg. No bueno.

Wednesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:50 pace) + AlterG: 7 miles (8:34 pace)

Being the stubborn runner that I am, I got up and ran Wednesday morning. I was supposed to do a wave tempo workout and I was actually really looking forward to it. You alternate between two paces (i.e., half marathon pace and 10K pace) every half mile during the tempo, which was scheduled to be 5 miles. As soon as we started running, I realized that I was NOT going to be able to do the workout. I had to admit that something was actually wrong with my hamstring at this point.

I went back to see Ryan again Wednesday after work and he diagnosed a mild hamstring strain, which is definitely better than … well, anything worse. He recommended taking a day or two off from regular running, but gave me the option of running on the Anti-Gravity treadmill in the meantime. I decided to go ahead and test that out to see how it felt Wednesday evening. I did 7 miles alternating between 50 – 75% body weight. I also ran on an incline, as your stride naturally shortens when running uphill and shorter strides felt fine on my leg.


Awkward AlterG selfie. I wish I could show you how cool this thing is!

Thursday – OFF

I let my legs rest completely on Thursday. My hamstring felt fine, but of course, that didn’t necessarily mean anything. I had Girls on the Run Thursday afternoon, but didn’t run with the girls. Hashtag self restraint. Hashtag sarcasm.



Friday – AlterG: 5 miles (8:34 pace)

I ran on the anti-gravity treadmill Friday afternoon. I ran at 75% body weight the whole run and played around with the incline again (alternating between 3 – 6%).

Saturday – Easy: 3.5 miles (8:30 pace)

I was originally planning to race a local Turkey Trot (you thought it was still October … yes … earliest Turkey Trot ever) that takes place less than a mile from the house. Oddly enough, this is the same race where I injured myself last year. In case you are new or don’t remember, I fell during the warm up and busted my face and knee up. It wasn’t fun. Here we are one year later and I wasn’t exactly able to *race* this year either (apparently the week of Halloween is meant to be a down week in the life of Sam).

The silver lining this year, however, was that I still got to run the race! As a pacer! My favorite thing! I ran with two of the Girls on the Run girls. I had a blast and they both came away with PRs, which was great. I was just happy to be able to participate in the race, after missing it unexpectedly last year.


Girls on the Run! So much Fun!

Sunday – Easy: 9 miles (8:42 pace)

My hammy felt fine after Saturday’s run, so I got in a little bit longer run on Sunday, but nothing too crazy. I got to run with Jessica and Rebecca, which is always lovely. Rebecca even taught me how to use Instagram stories, which obviously makes me super cool and hip now. It was 41 degrees (feels like 38!) and windy for our run. We skipped right on over fall and got some winter temps!

Total – 35 miles + 12 miles (AlterG)

Race Recap: Running for the Bay Half Marathon


Wall of buoys. 

Hey guys! I ran the Running for the Bay Half Marathon in Apalachicola, Florida on Sunday. I know that you are all dying to hear all of the painstaking details of how that went down, so let’s get to it.

I guess before we get into it for realz, we need to back up for a minute. My friend Rebecca is training for her second 50 mile race (check out the recap of her first 50 here). She needed to get a long run (like a 31 mile long run) in last weekend and so she did some searching and found this race in Apalachicola. She asked if I would be interested in tagging along and running one of the other various distances (there was a plethora to choose from … 5K, 10K, Half, Full & Ultra). It sounded fun to me, so I told her I was in! I decided to do the half as part of my long run for the week.

We left around noon on Saturday to head over to FL. It took us about 3.5 hours to get there, which wasn’t too bad. We saw a full moon at 3 in the afternoon on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere FL, but otherwise the trip over was fairly uneventful. We arrived at the “expo” (using that term loosely) and picked up our numbers and our tee shirts. This was definitely a bare bones, no frills race, which we were totally expecting and is totally fine. They did a great job putting on a million races at the same time.

After the expo we headed to find out “hotel” (also using that term loosely). We stayed on St. George Island at the Buccaneer Inn. We checked in and were handed an actual key (as opposed to an electronic card) from behind the desk. I’m pretty sure that the room furnishings used to be part of a diner somewhere. It was really quite comical! We had a good laugh about it at least. The room was clean, so really we were fine. We were in the room for less than 10 hours anyway. If you plan to stay longer than 10 hours, I’d likely explore other options! Ha.


We got dinner at the Blue Parrot (next door to our hotel) and hit up the local Piggly Wiggly to get some water and coffee supplies for the morning. We both crashed and it was lights out by 10 p.m. I think this actually might be the most sleep Rebecca has gotten in at least 3 years. The race started at 7:15, so we got up around 6 and got to the start by 6:45. We didn’t have any trouble finding parking and there were no lines for the bathrooms. I had planned to do a two mile warm up before the race. It was still fairly dark at this point and so I stayed pretty close to the race start and just ran up and down the same street several times.

The full and ultra marathoners started at 7:15 and the half marathoners started one minute later. I’m guessing the 10K and 5K started one minute after us, but I wasn’t there for that part, so I’m not entirely sure. It was 75 degrees, 99 percent humidity and 20 mile per hour winds at the start. Not exactly ideal running conditions. One of these days, I just know that we are going to have good weather for a race! I just know it. That day wasn’t Sunday. The first mile went up and over a fairly substantial bridge. The remainder of the half marathon was decently flat, except for the last mile, which went back up and over the same substantial bridge.


Me. On a bridge. Trying to show you how steep it is. 

I had planned to start at around 6:55 to 7:00 pace for the first few miles and wanted to ease it down to 6:45 for the remainder of the race. I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to hit those paces and tried to just keep an honest, hard effort. I caught most of the full and ultra runners within the first mile (which makes sense … they were going 2 to 2.5 times farther than I was). After the first mile, I was pretty much on my own out there. I don’t always listen to music during races, but I am oh so glad that I decided to bring some tunes along for the ride on this one. I needed a distraction for sure.


My splits for the first 5 miles were 7:23, 7:03, 7:27, 7:30 and 7:25. That got me across the Apalachicola Bay bridge and there was little bit of a reprieve from the wind once we were directly off the water. My splits for the next 3 miles were 6:56, 7:05 and 6:50. I was feeling pretty good and was happy to see a splits under 7.

After that I was headed back across the bridge. Thankfully, the wind wasn’t as strong one you headed back. I definitely started feeling HOT on the way back. I guess the wind distracted me from the heat for a little while. My splits on the way back were 6:53, 6:53, 6:59, 7:11 and 7:07.

The finish line was fairly anticlimactic. The medal, however, is amazing! I don’t usually even care much about the medal, but this is definitely one of my favorites! I collected myself for a couple of minutes and then headed out to do my two cool down miles. When I use races as workouts, my coach usually reminds me to try to make the run as continuous as possible in order to get the benefits from a stamina and endurance perspective. It’d be pretty cool if you could choose a spot somewhere in the marathon and take a breather for a few minutes and not have it count towards your time.

After my cool down, I headed out to check on Rebecca. The ultra course ran across two bridges, so she had headwinds for over 10 miles during the first half of her race. Yikes. She was also running by herself for most of the race. By the time I got to her the first time, she was almost to mile 20. I ran a couple of miles with her in between 20 and 25 and then headed back to the finish and met her on the final bridge. She passed the first place ultra runner (male) around 25. When I met her on the last bridge, she was in first overall, but the second place girl wasn’t too far behind. Rebecca was determined not to let that girl catch her though. She busted out a sub 7 minute last mile to hold on to the WIN.


My legs were in a total state of confusion after running that last little bit with Rebecca. In fact, I’m fairly certain that they are still angry at me. She collected her medal and trophy and we somehow managed to accomplish things like walking, eating, putting on dry clothes and driving home. We drove through some bad weather on the way back, but luckily we made it home safely and avoided the worst of it.

I think this race is likely a one and done for us, but it was really fun and the course itself is very scenic. If you like running across water, you should definitely hit this one up.

Apalachicola is known as the Oyster Capital of the World. We decided to pass on the oysters at dinner Saturday night, as raw seafood pre-race seemed a little suspect. What are your thoughts on oysters? Think they are delicious? Think they are too slimy? Think it would only be worth it if you could find a pearl?

Run With It

Here is my training log for the week of 10.16.17 – 10.22.17!


Monday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:43 pace) + PM – Easy: 5.2 miles (8:10 pace)

I woke up to steady rain Monday morning and decided to hop on the treadmill for a few miles.

Fall finally made its much anticipated arrival Monday afternoon! Woo! Plans were made for an impromptu group run after work and I just couldn’t say no. It felt absolutely amazing out.

Tuesday – Easy: 6 miles (8:34 pace)

I did an easy loop with Daniel early Tuesday morning. I was off work Tuesday (no more taxes!) and I had Girls on the Run Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday AM – Hills: 10 miles (8:18 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:49 pace)

Let me just say, I am not a fan of the hill repeats. I’ve done hill repeats outside and handful of times and have also tried them on the treadmill [check out this post for a “fun” treadmill hill workout idea]. This week’s workout was outside. I Strava-d a quarter-mile segment that climbed about 60 feet.

My schedule called for a 2 mile warm up, 12 X 400 repeats up a moderate hill (4 to 5 percent incline) with a jog down recovery and a 2 mile cool down. The goal was to run at a hard, but manageable effort up the hills. There were no set pace goals (thank goodness). Running up and down a hill 12 times is basically a challenge, regardless of pace. For what it’s worth, I did track my paces (because … data). My splits were all between 1:45 and 1:50, which is between 7:00 and 7:20 pace. I basically feel like I am running in quicksand when I try to run up a hill and my training buddies (Young Daniel and Sasser) left me in the dust! I know that hills will make me stronger and faster, but it certainly didn’t feel that way in the moment.

Basically, my theme this week was, “I’m free [from work]. Let’s say yes and run all the miles [within reason] when anyone else wants to run!” Jessica wanted to run Wednesday evening and so, duh! I did. The weather was still quite nice (this wouldn’t be the case later in the week) and we had a wonderful run!

Thursday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:35 pace) + PM – Easy: 5.6 miles (8:20 pace) 

Daniel and I did a loop Thursday morning. He had a work thing to go to Thursday evening. After Girls on the Run, I decided to head to the local group run and keep myself occupied for a little bit while he was gone.

Friday – Easy: 8 miles (8:00 pace)

Young Daniel, Sasser and I were back at it Friday morning for some 10 X 30 second pickups with 1 minute recoveries. This mini workout has made its way into my schedule several times recently and I’m loving it. Our pickups were faster this week than they have been. It was the perfect start to a Friday!

Saturday – Easy: 4 miles (9:29 pace)

I got in an easy run with Jessica Saturday morning before heading to Apalachicola for the Run for the Bay Half Marathon Sunday.

Sunday – Long Run: 21 miles (8:07 pace)


I will likely write a separate recap of this race in the next day or so, but basically my plan was to run a 2 mile warm up, run the half marathon at a brisk pace (close to my goal marathon pace) and to run a 2 mile cool down to get in a 17 mile quality long run. I wasn’t able to hit the pace that I wanted (6:45 to 6:55), but the conditions were far from favorable (75 degrees with a dew point of 73 and 20 mph winds at the start). Fall decided to take a few days off.

I averaged 7:21 for the first 5 miles of the half (on the bridge straight into the wind) and then was able to drop it down a tad. I averaged 6:59 for the last 8 miles of the half (off the bridge for a couple of miles and then 5 more miles back across the bridge). I got my two miles in afterwards and went out to cheer for Rebecca, who was running the ultra (31 miles). I ran a few more miles with her at various points along the way and ended up with about 4 more miles total, giving me 21 miles for the day.

Rebecca and I both came in first overall at our races, so that was really cool! To be fair, the race had so many distances (5K, 10K, Half, Full & Ultra) that there were less than 50 people per event (it seemed like). Haha. Whatever though … we’ll take it!

Long May You Run

Hi friends. Happy Monday! It’s *finally* October 16th! WOO to the HOO! Today is the official last day of second tax season and I’m pretty dang pumped about that (if you didn’t pick up on that already). An added bonus is that fall is coming. We’ve been tracking its arrival for quite some time now and it is scheduled to make an appearance early this week!

Here is my training log for the week of 10.09.17 – 10.15.17!

Monday – Easy Run: 5 miles (8:44 pace)

I ran an easy 5 with Daniel Monday morning before work. This week at work was bananas, thanks to the above-referenced tax deadline, and I actually had to be up and out the door earlier than normal. It’s worth mentioning that Daniel actually woke up at 3:50 to run with me (and that is not something he would voluntarily do on his own). Early morning quality run time is my love language. I was oh so appreciative of this gesture.

Tuesday – Tempo: 11 miles (7:48 pace)


You can actually *see* the humidity! 

Tuesday’s workout was a tad brutal and not because of the workout specifically, but rather because of the dang weather. A temperature of 75 degrees combined with a dew point of 74 degrees = a misery index of 149. The air was so thick and muggy that it really felt like you could cut it with a knife. See pic above of foggy track … that’s what we were dealing with Tuesday a.m.

The workout was a 2 – 3 mile warm up, followed by 3 X 2 mile repeats w/ a quarter-mile recovery in between and a 2 – 3 mile cool down. The goal pace range was between 6:20 and 6:30, which is probably between my 10K and 10 mile race pace currently.

Actual paces per mile and times per 2 mile repeats were 6:50/6:37 = 13:27, 6:31/6:29 = 13:00, 6:35/6:56 = 13:31. While I didn’t specifically calculate a heat/humidity pace adjustment beforehand, looking back I kind of wish that I had. I think a fair adjustment would’ve put me in a 6:35 to 6:45 range. I was working too hard on the second repeat to hit the target paces and I definitely ran out of steam on the third repeat.

Wednesday – Easy: 8 miles (9:15 pace)

All of my typical morning running buddies bailed Wednesday morning and so I ran on the treadmill. I listened to a podcast and the miles flew by. I love it when that happens!

Brookser joined me while I ran on the TM. For some reason this is the face he started making when I try to take his picture? Cheesin.

Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (8:43 pace)

I was feeling kind of worn down Thursday morning, likely due to some lingering tiredness from Tuesday’s tempo workout and longer than normal days at work (or some combination of the two). I called it a day after 5 miles.

Friday – Easy: 10 miles (8:09 pace)

Friday morning’s run called for 10 X 30 second pickups with one minute recovery between each set. I did the pickups between miles 4 – 5 of the run. I’ve come to really enjoy these little 30 second pickups. Honestly, I used to just skip this entirely when it showed up on my schedule (sorry coach), because I thought to myself, “It’s only 5 minutes. Why even bother?”

It turns out that these quick repeats improve your stride power and train your body to get used to quicker paces and effort levels. The quick pickups make your regular pace seem easier by comparison. I usually end up running a little bit quicker than normal after the pickups, which is definitely what happened Friday morning.

Saturday – Long Run: 18 miles (7:38 pace)

I decided that this run-race combo deserved a post in and of itself and so feel free to check that out here. If you don’t feel like reading all of the details, the TL;DR version is that I made a last-minute decision to hop in a 10K for miles 10 through 16 of my 18 mile long run. I was actually |thisclose| to missing the start. I started chatting with a friend during the warm up miles and completely lost track of where we were and what time it was. We ended up having to basically run race pace for two miles to make it back to the start of the race, which we did (with about one minute to spare)!

My splits for the 10K were 6:49, 6:57, 6:33, 6:32, 6:33 and 6:39. I didn’t have any specific goals as far as the race went, as the main focus was getting the long run done. I was pleasantly surprised that my legs felt decent and I was able to maintain a respectable pace for the race. I finished it up with a two mile cool down and called it a day.

Sunday – Easy: 7 miles (9:52 pace)

After Saturday’s shenanigans, I wanted to take it easy and get in a true recovery effort. I was able to run with Jessica and we did the usual post-run breakfast + coffee thing, which was wonderful!

I hope everyone has a great week! Talk to you soon! 

Race Recap: Shrimp Fest 10K


I ran the Shrimp Festival 10K yesterday morning. The race was a very last-minute decision (as in, I decided Friday evening that I was going to run it). I had 18 miles on my schedule this week and so I concocted this master plan of running before the race, running the race and then running some more after the race. So yeah, basically my plan was to run, keep running and run some more. Genius! I needed to be at work around 10 or so Saturday morning and so I ended up doing the majority of the miles before the race so that I could leave and get back at a decent time.

I sipped on coffee and UCAN on the way to the race (about a 45 minute drive), got to the race around 6:30, registered and hit the [paved] trails! Daniel came with me to the race and rode his bike while I was running. The sun had just come up and I felt completely comfortable running on the trails by myself. I took my phone with me and listened to a podcast while I ran. I don’t wear headphones, I just let it play out loud. I would never do this in a race (as that can be quite annoying), but when I am by myself, I’d rather listen out loud (softly) than wear headphones. I saw some rabbits, a few deer and some other wildlife that I think I’m forgetting. It was very peaceful.


I thought this sign was great! 

I met up with my friend, Jill, at about five and a half miles or so into my warm up. She wanted to do a three mile warm up and so we tried to coordinate our schedules so that we could run three miles together before the race. We haven’t seen each other in a while and I guess we were just extra chatty and also not paying attention to what we were doing, but before we knew it, we realized that we were actually about two and half miles away from the start … and it was 7:40! EEK. We had to really book it to make it back in time and we weren’t sure that we even would.

We threw down a 7:18 and a 7:14 mile in our best attempt to actually make it to the start of the race on time without completely exhausting ourselves. I hadn’t even pinned my number on my shirt yet and so we were definitely scrambling. Daniel called me asking what in the world we were doing and I explained that we just lost track of time and were currently hauling it to make it back. The race had chip timing, so we had decided that even if we had to start late, it would be okay, we would just have to do a lot of weaving around folks on a very narrow trail. There was also a 5K that started about 15 minutes after the 10K. We heavily contemplated that as well.

Ultimately, we made to the start of the race by the skin of our teeth with about 1 minute to spare. Whew! The good news is that we didn’t have to worry about getting nervous standing around waiting for the race to start and also that I definitely got the “continuous” feel of my long run in. There were no breaks between the warm up and the race!


Off we go!

The race starts and finishes at the Orange Beach Sportsplex and runs on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail (a trail system with over fifteen miles of trails throughout Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and the Gulf State Park). The trails are all paved and it’s a great location for a race (or just to run if you are ever in the area)! The only minor drawback is that the GPS satellites are a little wonky in there and you can’t really rely on your watch for accurate mid-race data. I am trying to get away from Garmin stalking anyway, so this actually worked out.

Jill and I ran the first two miles together (6:49, 6:57). This wasn’t a goal race per say for either one of us and we talked about trying to keep it under seven minute pace with maybe a negative split if we felt good.


Thanks Lizzie for the mid-race cheers & pics! 

I kind of did a quick assessment at mile two and decided that I wanted to try to pick the pace up a little bit and get close to 6:30 if possible. I was feeling pretty good and managed to hit 6:33, 6:32, 6:33 and 6:39 for the last four miles of the race. I didn’t think to restart my watch after the “warm up” to have accurate times and splits for the race, so my mile markers were a little bit off the whole time and I wasn’t even sure what my total race time was until I got to the finish line (it was 41:37). I think I was fifth overall and first female, so I can’t really complain about that!

I didn’t have any real expectations for what I was going to feel like running a 10K already being 10 miles into the run. I was pleasantly surprised! I was also very thankful that I had already done ten miles before the race because that meant I only had to do two miles afterwards to get my eighteen in. My legs were definitely toast at that point, but I got it done. Daniel’s family was in town staying at the Gulf and they came out to the race, which was wonderful. It’s always great to have a little bit of extra moral support out there.


The fam! 

We weren’t able to hang out very long after the race since I had to get back to go to work. Only 1 more day until “second” tax season is over! Praise the Lord! I hated to miss the awards, but sometimes you just do what you gotta do. I’m glad that I made the last-minute decision to run this race. It’s definitely a good one. Hopefully I’ll be able to run it again next year and perhaps not have to come and go in such a mad dash!

Always on the Run

Hey guys! Here is my training log for the week of 10.02.17 to 10.18.17!

Monday – Easy Run: 5.5 miles (9:02 pace)

I started the week off with a short recovery run with Daniel. This is pretty typical, as the weekends are usually filled with higher mileage and/or races and I need a day (or sometimes two) to recover. Last weekend was filled with lots of running shenanigans and I definitely needed a couple of easy days this week.

Tuesday – Easy Run: 8 miles (8:40 pace)

My legs were starting to feel better by Tuesday and I did 8 miles with the Daniels that morning.

Wednesday – Speed: 10 miles (7:30 pace) + Easy Run: 5 miles (8:21 pace)

Young Daniel and I hit track bright and early (well … actually very dark and early) for some 1200 meter repeats Wednesday morning. The workout was a 2 mile warm up, 6 X 1200 w/ 400 recoveries and a 2 mile cool down. There was a gorgeous harvest moon over the track for the majority of the workout.

My goal pace range for the 1200s was 6:10 to 6:20, which is probably somewhere between 5K and 10K pace currently. It took us a couple of repeats to ease into the pace, but once we got there, the pace felt manageable. My splits for the 1200s were 6:35, 6:27, 6:13, 6:14, 6:04 and 6:00. This workout was a great reminder that easing into the pace and nailing the last few repeats (or miles of a race) is definitely the way to go.

I did a double Wednesday and my legs were toast by the end of the day.

Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (9:47 pace)

I stuck to the treadmill Thursday morning and my legs were definitely feeling the effects from Wednesday’s runs. I had a hard time settling into a comfortable rhythm and overall this run was just kind of blah.

Friday – Easy: 7 miles (9:22 pace)

I ran 5 miles with Daniel and 2 miles with Brooks Friday morning.

Saturday – Endurance: 15 miles (7:48 pace)

I had a fast finish long run on tap this week. I was planning to jump into a local 5K Saturday morning for the fast finish portion, but the race was cancelled courtesy of Hurricane Nate. I like using races in my training, especially for something like a fast finish long run, as I find that having a race makes me exponentially more motivated to actually pick it up at the end of the run. That didn’t exactly workout for me this time around, but I did manage to complete the run sans race.

My goal pace range for the last four miles of the run was 6:45 to 7:00, which is goal marathon pace range (eek … I try not to think about that too much). The first 10 to 11 miles of this run felt so long. The anticipation of knowing that you have a workout to do, but not being able to just get it over with is really tough. Our splits for the last four miles were 6:59, 7:21 (big hill (i.e., 100+ ft. of elevation gain)), 7:02 and 6:45. Having a buddy gut it out with you at the end is really nice … thanks Sasser! I was just outside of the goal pace range on those miles, but I’m still really happy with it. I think some workouts count as mental victories and this was one of those for me.

Sunday – Easy: 9.5 miles (8:39 pace)

Sunday morning was a bit of a wash out due to Hurricane Nate, but thankfully it never got too bad here. I got to run with Rebecca and Jessica Sunday afternoon, which was so nice! We’ve not been able to run together as much recently, but I guess that makes us even more thankful for the times when it does workout.

I hope everyone has a great week!