Monthly Recap

December Recap

Hey-o!

Can you believe that the year is coming to an end? Me either! Wowza. It’s time to recap another month of running and randomness. I also have a nice little 2017 yearly recap post drafted up that I plan to publish soon, so check back for that one if you are so inclined.

Month Recap: December 2017

The Running

December was *supposed to be* the highest intensity month of training for the upcoming marathon (in two weeks). However, life happened and several of my workouts didn’t exactly go as planned. I needed a bit more time to recover from the marathon that I paced than we originally anticipated, so I missed a few workouts there, and then lo and behold, I came down with the flu and bronchitis the last week of the month. I am currently still sick and hoping to shake this thing here in the next few days. I honestly don’t know what this means for the marathon at this point. We shall see …

Workouts: I had several threshold runs and long runs this month.

5 mi. easy, 8 mile AT tempo (6:45 avg.), 5 mi. easy

1 mi. WU, 10 mile AT progression (6:42 avg.), 1 mi. CD

25.7 mile long run (7:47 pace)

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile (6:28, 6:28, 6:36, 6:31, 6:38, 6:26), 2.5 mi. CD

20 mile hilly long run (8:12 pace)

1 mi. WU, 6 mi. wave tempo (6:53 avg.), 1 mi. CD

18 miles w/ 10 easy (8:07 avg.) + 8 brisk (6:58 avg.)

Favorite workout: My favorite workout was, without a doubt, the 10 mile AT progression workout. It was one of those days where the stars aligned and everything clicked. I left that workout feeling more confident than I had felt the entire training cycle.

Races: I paced the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon the second week of December and then finished up the month with the Round the Bay Relay in Fort Walton Beach, Florida got the flu and bronchitis and missed the Round the Bay Relay in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Favorite race: I was really hoping to use the relay as my favorite race, but I guess I have no option but to go with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon at this point.

Paces: Paces ranged from 6:26 to 9:49.

Total miles: 300! I can’t believe that it ended up so very even. I love it.

Distances: Distances ranged from 5 miles to 25.7 miles.

The Other Stuff

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve chatted about current things.

Current book: I just finished up John Grisham’s Camino Island. I started it on the 25th and finished it on the 27th. I got a little bit into it. I am also still going through (in painstaking detail) the Taxation of Individuals and Business Entities textbook for the class I will be teaching (starting in January). I’m reading each chapter, studying the instructor materials that come with the book and then going back making my own outline and lecture materials because theirs aren’t good enough (of course … hashtag overachiever). I would totally dominate this class if I was taking it instead of teaching it. Ha. I also just started reading How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle by Matt Fitzgerald. I’m only a little ways into at this point, but I’ve already highlighted several things.

Current music: I recently downloaded T. Swift’s new album Reputation. It’s … edgy. I’m digging it.

Current guilty pleasure: Organizing and cleaning things. I guess I got a jump on the “starting fresh” mentality for the new year and I really got down to business in December. My home office is so. very. organized.

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Current drink: Hot chocolate.

Current food: Chicken noodle soup. I wonder why chicken noodle soup seems so delicious when you are sick?

Current obsession: Daniel got a Rubik’s Cube for Christmas (well technically, it was an early Christmas present to himself) and he has learned how to dominate that thing. I would like to get to his level, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon. I have completed it once though. It took me two and a half hours. He can do it in less than two minutes. Ha. But eventually, I will learn and I will dominate that cube. It is making me crazy.

Current need: Wellness.

Current indulgence: Nasal spray.

Current bane of my existence: Coughing.

Current procrastination: I am long overdue for a visit to the optometrist. I’m up to date on all my other annual and semi-annual doctors visits, but I haven’t had my eyes checked in … years. Maybe 2 to 3 (or more?) years. Yikes. Going to schedule that pronto. [Update: going on Tuesday!] I also really need to “un-decorate” for Christmas. The task seems too daunting at the moment. I’m thinking this is likely why we typically don’t decorate in the first place.

Current confession: I have been using the same box of contacts that I got at that last eye appointment for however long that has actually been. I take them out every night, but I definitely wear them well beyond the recommended usage.

Current quote: This little passage from How Bad Do You Want It stuck out to me. In talking about one of his mental victories, he writes, “Sure, it was just a race, but sports are not really separate from life, not is the athlete distinct from the person. In mastering my fear of suffering in races, I acquired a greater level of respect for myself, a sense of inner strength that has helped me tackle other challenges, both inside and outside of sports.”

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Current excitement: I’m excited about the idea of feeling back to normal. Hopefully that will happen here shortly!

Tell me something that you are currently excited about!

 

FLM, Weekly Recap

Merry Christmas!

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Last week was the seventh week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. Three weeks to go! I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

After a strange start to the week, a few pep talks from some of my Salty friends, my actual (IRL) friends and my coach, I finished the week off feeling stronger and more confident. After not completing any of my workouts as prescribed last week, I was basically questioning my fitness and doubting my training. I was dwelling on the workouts that didn’t go well, instead of realizing that *most* of my workouts over the course of the entire cycle have actually been really decent (good in fact). My coach pointed this out to me and suggested that I stop focusing on the missed workouts and focus on the positive ones. Fair enough. Onward and upward.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 12.18.17 – 12.24.17:

Monday – Off

I decided to take an unplanned rest day. I had an on campus training session to attend and my introduction to the world of academia left me feeling a tad overwhelmed. Asynchronous students. Grading rubrics. Oh my. I quickly learned that I have A LOT to learn (about teaching in general … I’m comfortable with the subject matter, so I guess that’s at least one positive). So yeah, at the end of the day, I was very stressed. Stress does weird things to my stomach. This will be a recurring theme this week.

Tuesday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:48 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:23 pace)

I ran a few miles with Rebecca Tuesday morning and then we came back to the house and ran some more miles with Daniel. About half way through our miles with Daniel, I started to have severe stomach pain. I slowed way down and eventually couldn’t even run. The pain was so intense that I even felt kind of dizzy. Rebecca was a saint and ran back to our house to get the car while Daniel stayed with me as I alternated between being doubled over in pain and trying to stagger my way back home.

At the time, we had no clue what was going on. I laid down in the middle of the floor for a while. Laying flat seemed to be the only position that felt okay. Eventually the pain subsided and I felt pretty much normal. So strange. I was hopeful that it was just a fluke. By the end of the day, I felt totally fine and was even able to do an easy loop with Daniel and Cody.

Wednesday AM – Tempo: 8 miles (7:17 pace) + PM – Easy: 5.1 miles (8:17 pace)

My schedule called for a 1 mile warm up, a 10 mile wave tempo (alternating between 6:50-6:55 pace and 6:30-6:35 pace every half mile) and a 1 mile cool down. I met Rebecca at the track Wednesday morning. She was doing some 1200 repeats and we were both just happy to have some company at the track. My stomach felt totally fine … until it didn’t. My stomach started hurting again about halfway through the tempo miles. I made it to mile 6 of 10 and had to call it a day. For whatever it’s worth, I averaged 6:53 for those 6 miles, even though I felt pretty crappy (no pun intended).

I came home and laid down in the middle of the floor again. Rebecca asked if I had eaten anything different from normal the last few days. Ahh! Yes. Perhaps the ice cream I was eating before bed was NOT agreeing with me. Oops. To be fair, I still think it was likely a combination of ice cream and stress. I don’t eat a ton of dairy in general and I guess it might need to stay that way. Ha.

By the end of the day, again, I felt totally fine and was able to do an easy loop with Rebecca.

Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:45 pace)

I decided to skip the morning run Thursday (just in case). I ran later in the day and felt good. My legs felt a little heavy, but my stomach felt great and that was all I really cared about.

Friday – Easy: 12.5 miles (8:41 pace)

Friday morning I met Jessica and Rebecca (it was just like old times!). My schedule called for 12 miles with ten 30 second pickups. I did the pickups during the last 2 miles of the run. I didn’t time them or anything and apparently I didn’t count them either, because I actually did twelve 30 second pickups instead of ten. I got an entire extra minute of work in! Such an overachiever. I know.

It was nice to feel some pop and turnover back in my stride. This was the first run since the marathon where I actually felt fresh.

Saturday – Long Run: 18 miles (7:37 pace)

My schedule originally called for a 24 mile long run this weekend, but after talking with my coach about it, we rearranged and modified some things. I will do my last easy-paced long run next weekend and instead of an easy-paced long run this weekend, I did 18 miles with the last 8 miles at close to goal marathon pace. Since I had to cut my wave tempo workout short earlier in the week, it made sense to add some more quality miles in during the long run.

Ideally this run should’ve taken place on Sunday (since I did 12 miles the day before). Not only would my legs have been a little fresher, but the weather would’ve been MUCH better as well. The temperature was in the seventies with 99% humidity on Saturday. Yuck. But seeing as how Sunday was Christmas Eve and most everyone had family plans, it just made more sense to go ahead and get the workout done Saturday. I had company for the entire run, which was amazing! Several of us met early to do 8 miles and then others joined an hour later for the last 10.

The weather definitely made those last 8 miles a bit more of a challenge, but I knew that if I could come relatively close to my goal range in those conditions, I would be happy. My splits for last eight were 6:51, 6:47, 6:49, 6:49, 6:58, 6:52, 7:46 (big hill) and 6:58, for an average of 6:58. The hill at mile 17 crushed me a little bit, but I was pleased that I was able to at least get it back down under 7 minute pace for the last mile after that. It just so happens that there is a rather large hill at mile 17 of the First Light course as well and so if nothing else, this was excellent race-day simulation.

Sunday – Easy: 6.5 miles (8:26 pace)

I ended the week with a fun little Christmas Eve group run.

Total – 73.1 miles

Merry Christmas everyone! Talk to you soon!

FLM, Weekly Recap

T Minus One Month

Hey friends!

Last week was the sixth week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. Less than a month to go! Holy Moses.

After running the marathon last Sunday, I was a little fatigued (not injured, just tired). I guess that is to be expected. Since the marathon was approached more as a long training run, there was technically no break in workouts and everything was supposed to be training as usual. However, I think the marathon took a little bit more out of me than expected, both physically and mentally. My motivation to run First Light seems to be dwindling at this point. Hopefully things will turn around a bit this week.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 12.11.17 – 12.17.17:

Monday – Easy: 5 miles (8:59 pace)

Tuesday – Easy: 5 miles (8:52 pace) 

Wednesday AM – Easy: 9 miles (8:18 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:38 pace)

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Thursday – Groove Repeats: 12 miles (7:25 pace)

My schedule called for a 2 mile warm up, 6 X 1 mile groove repeats (between LT & VO2 max pace) with a quarter mile recovery and a 2 mile cool down. My goal range for the groove repeats was between 6:05 and 6:10 pace. I knew going into this workout that my legs weren’t going to cooperate. While they were feeling better, they weren’t fully recovered from the marathon.

My coach pointed out that the point of the marathon specific phase is to train the legs (and mind) to run even when tired. With this in mind, I kind of approached the workout as if it were the last 6 miles of the marathon. My legs will be tired. My pace (likely) won’t be exactly what it is *supposed to* be. This workout proved to me that even when I don’t think it is possible, I can still work hard and have a decent run.

Mile splits were 6:28, 6:28, 6:36, 6:31, 6:38 and 6:26. Sometimes showing up and putting in the effort is more important that nailing specific pace goals.

Friday AM – Easy: 6 miles (9:04 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:39 pace)

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Saturday – Easy: 9 miles (8:30 pace)

Sunday – Long Run: 20 miles (8:12 pace)

Several of us met in Mobile Sunday morning and ran the hilly section of the First Light course (miles 10 through 20 essentially) twice. I was technically supposed to do a steady state long run at 7:10 to 7:20 pace. I think running the course with friends was more beneficial at this point. 20 miles at 7:10 would’ve been a bit stretch after the marathon last week and would’ve set me back a decent amount as far as recovering this week.

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Total – 76.0 miles

That’s it for now! See you soon!

Race Recap

Race Recap: Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Well guys, my first experience as a pacer was interesting. I paced the 3:25 group at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon Sunday morning in Biloxi, Mississippi. Technically, the race started in Pass Christian and ended in Biloxi.

We went over to Biloxi Saturday afternoon and hit the expo on our way in. The trip was really quick (less than an hour and a half!). I picked up my bib and pacer singlet at the expo, as well as a sweet Run Mobile bottle and some Goodr sunglasses from the Fleet Feet Mobile booth (I couldn’t resist). Um … the sunglasses are AMAZING! I ran the whole marathon in them and they are so comfortable.

We spent the night at the Beau Rivage, one of the host hotels. The hotel was very festive and done up “real nice” for Christmas.

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We walked all around and looked at the lights and the casino before settling in for the night. The air conditioner in our room was either broken or disabled and it was approximately one thousand degrees in our room (a slight exaggeration, but not a major one). I tossed and turned all night and eventually got up around 3 a.m. so that I could take an ice-cold shower. I don’t usually sleep well the night before a race anyway, so that wasn’t really a big deal.

The silver lining was that I was so excited to get outside into the 30 degree temps and run! Ha.

We left the hotel around 5:45 to make the trek over to Pass Christian for the start. I had a 26 mile car ride to mentally prepare myself for the race and see firsthand just how far we would be running. It was far … a long, long way to run. We arrived at the start line around 6:30 for the 7:00 start. I picked up my pacer sign at the gear check, waited in line for the bathroom and then before I knew it, we were lining up and taking off. Everything was seamless.

The weather was perfect! It was mid-thirties at the start and warmed up as we went. There was little to no wind (which on a point to point course could’ve been a major problem). Gear wise, I went with a long sleeve shirt under my singlet, shorts, tall socks, gloves, my rocking reindeer hat and my new Goodr sunglasses. I also held a hand warmer for the first few miles (and yes, just one … for whatever reason, I just assumed that a package of hot hands would have two in them since you have two hands, but apparently that’s not the case).

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We started right on time and I started right on pace. I planned to run even splits. I needed a 7:48 average to finish a few seconds under 3:25. I was determined to nail those splits and run exactly what I needed to run. Certain pacing companies won’t let you pace again if you don’t come within one minute of your goal time. I don’t think that was a stipulation here, but I still wanted to make sure that I ran what I was supposed to since there were other runners who were counting on me to do just that.

The course was beautiful. We ran right along the Gulf the entire way! According to the race website, the course is a “fast, flat, BQ-friendly path along the coast from Pass Christian to Biloxi. The course is a USATF Certified Boston Qualifier route and offers unobstructed beach views and a takes you past some of the coast’s most historic and beautiful homes.” There were aid stations and porta potties every mile and a half along the entire course. The aid stations had water, powerade and gels.

I wrote down the times that I need to be at in 5 mile increments and tucked the paper away in my glove for reference. For anyone that in interested in the actual details of my splits, here they are …

7:50, 7:47, 7:46, 7:47, 7:47
7:47, 7:47, 7:45, 7:47, 7:47
7:48, 7:50, 7:49, 7:51, 7:47
7:49, 7:50, 7:47, 7:50, 7:45
7:44, 7:45, 7:45, 7:38, 7:37

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I had a decent sized group for the first half of the race. Several of the runners seemed very appreciative of my consistent pacing. I was appreciative that they were appreciative. It was a nice little cycle of appreciation. One guy did ask me how many marathons I had paced, to which I had to awkwardly explain that this was my first time pacing, but he didn’t seem bothered by the response. So … since it was my first time pacing a marathon, here are a few random observations:

  • Running while holding a three-foot pole is difficult. I was SO OVER that pole by the end (heck, even by the middle) of the race. I hit a couple of people with it (sorry guys!) and kept shifting it back and forth, from right hand to left hand. Super annoying. Let’s go with signs taped to our backs next time!
  • Taking gels and water while holding a three-foot pole is even more difficult. I somehow managed to take the majority of a gel at mile 8 ish and at mile 16 ish, but it was NOT easy. The good news is that I feel like taking gels and water during a regular marathon will be super easy now in comparison.
  • Most of the people around you are going to be wearing headphones.
  • Most of the people around you are racing and not exactly looking to chat it up. I tried to make casual chit-chat, but no one was real big into it.
  • A marathon is a long, long way to run, regardless of what pace you are running. While physically I felt fine, mentally I struggled. I questioned why in the world I willingly signed up for this, why I was planning to do it again in a few weeks, why anyone would EVER want to run this far. Ha. Lots of negative thoughts that I really wasn’t expecting. I mean, I expect these thoughts when I am racing a marathon, but I wasn’t expecting them here. Perhaps I need to work on my mental game a little bit.

Basically everything was smooth sailing up until mile 23. My group dissipated between the half way point and mile 20, but I still had about 3 runners with me at mile 20. By mile 23, I had no one. I hated to be running alone, but I knew that my job was to keep running the pace regardless of who was or wasn’t with me. Oddly enough, while I was running by myself, I ended up with a bike escort, as apparently I was the third place female.

I was using my Garmin to keep the pace steady and the mile markers along the course all seemed in line with the mile splits on my watch. My watch was beeping a little before the mile markers the further along we got, which was to be expected, as it is almost impossible to run the tangents perfectly over the course of a full marathon (so keep in mind that up until this point, I expected my watch to measure a tad long when we got to the finish). I picked the pace up ever so slightly between miles 20 and 25 to account for the minor discrepancy between my mile splits and the course mile markers.

The course was essentially a point to point course for 24 miles with an out and back stretch for the final two miles. At mile 24 we ran up the interstate on ramp (gotta love that) and ran on I-110 for what I assumed would be one mile. You could see the finish line at MGM Park as you ran up and onto I-110. I was running alone (expect for my bike escort). We came to the turnaround before I expected to and so I asked the bike escort (several times actually) if this was right. He assured me that it was. My watch eventually beeped to signal the 25th mile, but I never saw the 25 mile marker on the course. I had very uneasy feeling at this point. Half a mile later, we arrived at the 26 mile marker. I looked down to see 25.5 on my watch. I knew I had [inadvertently] cut the course somehow, but I was confused as to how. I debated just stopping right there and waiting for the clock to catch up so that I could cross at 3:25, but ultimately decided that would be silly, so I ran on into MGM Park and crossed the finish line.

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As I ran into the finish, the announcer said, “Here comes our 3:20 pacer! Wait. No. 3:25?! Someone is a little ahead of schedule aren’t we?” At this point, I was really upset. I felt like I had royally messed up and I was still very confused as to how. I stalked my pace the entire race and I knew that I had averaged EXACTLY what I needed to. After talking to other marathon runners and other pacers, we learned that the course was marked incorrectly and everyone ran short. Selfishly, I was relieved to learn that it wasn’t just me, but I also feel terrible for … well, everyone that raced … but especially those that got PRs or qualified for Boston.

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Finish line confusion. Me being like, “What exactly just happened?!”

As of today, the race organizers are standing by the fact that the course was certified and that runners’ GPS watches are not always accurate. While I agree with these statements, there is no doubt in my mind that we didn’t actually run the certified course. You can actually see where the turnaround should’ve been on the certified map (below on left)and if you compare that to all of the runners’ Strava data (below on right), it is very apparent that the turnaround was not in the correct spot. Lots of runners have questioned it, but the race organization is adamant that the course was certified and thus, was correct.

The race director sent out a heartfelt, sincere apology email to the marathon runners Tuesday afternoon. He wrote, “I am deeply sorry for this series of events. I am sorry that I didn’t recognize it earlier and that our responses have not been on point due to that. I always trust my staff and my people and they confirmed they did exactly as instructed.  It wasn’t until later that I realized my instructions were wrong. I have always taken a great deal of pride in the fact that runners can have faith in us to have a correct, safe and complete course no matter what. It’s painful to let so many down in that regard. Unfortunately, BAA does not currently allow exceptions for people not running the complete marathon distance at a race even if it is the event producer’s fault. For those runners who were able to make your BAA qualifying time, I am deeply saddened by my mistake especially for you.”

I was torn about how to eloquently word this post, but at this point, I think it kind of just is what it is. I feel that I did my best and did everything I could’ve done given the circumstances. It was a little bit crazy and not how I expected that to go down, but definitely an interesting experience. Pacing was fun and I hope that I get the opportunity to do it again one day!

FLM, Weekly Recap

Let it Snow!

Hey friends!

Last week was the fifth week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. Five weeks down and five weeks to go! Woo!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 12.04.17 – 12.10.17:

Monday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:40 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:20 pace)

A morning run with the Daniels and an evening run with Jessica. I love it.

Tuesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:31 pace) 

Another morning run with the Daniels.

Wednesday – Tempo: 12 miles (6:55 pace) 

My workout Wednesday morning called for a 1 mile warm up, a 10 mile aerobic threshold progression and a 1 mile cool down. I was not looking forward to this workout in the slightest. It was rainy most of the week and for some strange reason, I couldn’t convince anyone to run a 10 mile tempo with me (shocking, I know). I had to get this done before work and I was torn between the treadmill or the track. I don’t run by myself in the dark if I can help it. I decided to meet Young Daniel at the track. He had a three mile tempo workout to do, so at least I had some company for a little bit. It rained on us, but just a light drizzle, nothing too bad. Another runner that I know showed up to do a workout not too long after Young Daniel left, so I was only by myself for a couple of miles.

So basically I just ran lap after lap after lap around the track for 12 miles. It was a lot of laps (<– so profound). I had low expectations for this workout (since I was mentally not feeling it and usually physical performance is correlated to my pre-workout (or race) mental state). I was SHOCKED that once I started running, I felt AMAZING. It was one of those workouts where something clicks and everything just feels easy and effortless. I don’t know where it came from (actually, I do … it came from lots of hard work … ha), but I sure hope that it stays around for a while. I averaged 6:42 for the 10 mile workout portion! 6:46 for the first half and 6:39 for the second half.

My coach shared this on IG this week and I thought it was really good and on point with what I felt during this workout.

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He says, “The State Of Flow is the sweet spot where the challenge before you is roughly equal to your fitness and readiness. Learn to find this zone naturally by feel for each workout and race. This zone is where the magic happens. It is where you stay engaged but not anxious, challenged but not overly stressed. Use your watch only as a sanity check and feedback tool. Any pace guidance I give as a coach is designed to help the runner find this zone.” Yes! I love it.

Thursday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:30 pace) + PM – Easy: 7.6 miles (8:28 pace)

Yes another morning run with the Daniels and an evening run with the group.

Friday – Easy: 7 miles (8:57 pace)

I went to the YMCA for the first time in months (/years). I like to think of my membership fee more like a monthly charitable donation (not that I count it as such on my tax return … don’t worry). It was cold and raining (/snowing) Friday and I wasn’t ready to brave the elements. Our treadmill was also randomly stuck at a 15% incline and I wasn’t ready to tackle that either, so the YMCA seemed like my best option. Our treadmill is fine now (thanks to Daniel).

Saturday – Easy: 7 miles (7:57 pace)

We woke up to a light dusting of snow! I think the last recorded snowfall in our area was in 2010 and before that it was 1993, so not something that happens often, that’s for sure!

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Someone had fun!

I ran a few miles with Kenny before the Holiday Half Marathon. It was a CHILLY (33* & windy), but beautiful morning to run! Daniel made a last minute decision to run the half and got second place overall with a 1:28. Yes! Way to go, DG!

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❤ this group!

Sunday – [ALMOST] MARATHON: 25.7 miles (7:47 pace)

Race recap is here. I had lots to say. Ha.

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Yep. I ran the whole way in my reindeer hat, carrying that stick!

Total – 82.3 miles

That’s it for now! Have a wonderful week guys!

FLM, Weekly Recap

Pace Week is Here!

Hey friends!

Last week was the fourth week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. I am pacing the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon this weekend!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 11.27.17 – 12.03.17:

Monday – Easy: 5 miles (8:27 pace)

I majorly procrastinated my run on Monday and didn’t end up running until almost 6 p.m. At that point, I decided to just hit the treadmill and get it knocked out.

Tuesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:33 pace) 

I had to be dressed, ready and out the door by 6 a.m. Tuesday. I knew that if I waited until the evening, it wasn’t gonna happen. This meant that I was up and on the treadmill again by 3:45 a.m. I don’t necessarily recommend that, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

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Brooks was sweet enough to come lay with me while I ran. He practiced his down dog on my yoga mat (that hasn’t been used for yoga in years).

Wednesday AM – Tempo Repeats: 12 miles (7:19 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:40 pace)

My workout Wednesday called for a mile and a half warm up, followed by 4 X 2 mile repeats and a mile and a half cool down. This was the first time I have ever done 4 sets of 2 mile repeats, as the workout is typically 3 X 2 mile. I was a bit intimidated by the idea of doing an extra repeat, but I was also strangely excited to try it out and see how I felt.

Thankfully, I had company for the first 3 repeats. If I hadn’t, this would’ve been a long, lonely workout. One notable thing that sticks out from this workout was that Young Daniel got The Ballad of Davy Crockett stuck in our heads. You know the “born on a mountain top in Tennessee, greenest state in the land of the free?” Yep, that one. Problem was, at the time, I couldn’t recall the actual lyrics of the song, but only the lyrics that my dad made up when I was a kid which involved something about Davy Crockett being born on a toilet seat in Tennessee. Of course this also led my thoughts down a rabbit hole of other songs that my dad had “modified” the words to, such as Little Bunny Foo Foo, who in our version “went to take a crap” and “got her tail stuck in a trap.” So lovely. Thanks for that, dad! Haha.

I don’t recall exactly when my thoughts came back to running and away from toilets, but eventually they did. At some point during the workout (I think it was when Sasser and Young Daniel finished up their workout (so after the third repeat)), I changed my watch screen from current pace to average pace. I keep an eye on the current pace during my workouts usually, especially on long repeats, to make sure that I am within my prescribed pace range. In this case, I was right where I was supposed to be for the majority of the workout, but when I looked down to check my pace on the last set, I forgot that I had changed the view to average pace (which included my slog (slow jog) recoveries and was thus, a decent amount slower than my current pace). I had a momentary freak out where I was like, I really feel like I am running close to 6:30 pace, how can this possibly be 7:00 pace?! I was aggravated for almost an entire mile until I realized that I was looking at average pace. Silly rabbit.

My splits for the miles and 2 mile repeats were 6:48/6:32, 6:31/6:29, 6:27/6:35, 6:31/6:20. My goal range was 6:20 to 6:30, so I am very pleased with how this one went down.

After my workout, it was time for my weekly visit to Dr. Ryan. This week I got the extra special torture of having my hamstring wrapped in ice as it was hooked up to the e-stim machine. Fun times!

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Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:56 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:02 pace)

My legs felt better than I expected them to on Thursday morning. Daniel got up and rode his bike with me while I ran, which was much appreciated. We did 7.25 miles and came back to the house so that I could grab Brookser for the last little bit.

We had an impromptu group run at our house Thursday evening, as our town got “lit” for Christmas and our usual running spot was in the middle of all that. I got to chat with Jessica for five miles and that was lovely.

Friday – Easy: 5 miles (7:40 pace)

Since I am pacing a marathon next weekend at 7:45 – 7:50 pace, I decided to practice that pace during my run on Friday. It took me 3 miles to settle into it (the first mile was a tad slow and the next two were a tad fast), but once I did, I nailed it for two miles. I’m glad I tested it out a little bit and I’ll likely do that again this week just to make sure my body is used to what it feels like.

Saturday – Easy: 10 miles (9:46 pace)

I met Jessica and Joy in Mobile early Saturday morning to knock out a few miles before the Girls on the Run Fall Celebratory 5K. We ran several miles on part of the First Light course, so that worked out quite nicely. The girls ran great and had so much fun! Hopefully we’ll get some of the official pics soon.

Sunday – Long Run w/ AT Tempo: 18 miles (7:54 pace)

My long run Sunday included 8 aerobic threshold tempo miles in the middle of the run I did a 5 mile warm up, 8 mile tempo and 5 mile cool down. My goal range for the tempo portion was 6:40 to 6:50. Most of my usual training buddies ran long on Saturday, but thankfully Bowie volunteered to run my workout with me on Sunday. My AT pace is not a tough pace for him to run anyway, so that worked out. He kept me on track and I definitely needed the extra encouragement. At one point, a dog named Sam decided to come out and chase us for a little bit. I know this because the owner was frantically calling him (or her perhaps) back with “Come here Sam!” and “SAM! Get back here.” It was pretty funny.

Our mile splits for the tempo miles were 7:05, 6:44, 6:44, 6:43, 6:47, 6:42, 6:41 and 6:39 for a 6:45 average, which was exactly within the prescribed range. I would describe it as a comfortably hard effort (if that makes any sense). The idea of having to 18 more miles at just a slightly slower pace is still quite intimidating though.

Total – 76 miles

Monthly Recap

November Recap

Hi! Hey! Hello!

It’s time to recap another month of running and randomness. I’m so glad that December is here! I am feeling quite festive. I know I already showed you our Christmas tree, but just in case you missed it …

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Out of the 8 years that Daniel and I have been together, this is only the second year that we’ve ever even gotten a Christmas tree and I am so glad that we did! It smells amazing and it was actually a lot of fun to hang up all of our medals and reminisce on some fun race memories.

Month Recap: November 2017

The Running

Workouts: I had several good tempo runs and long runs this month! Marathon training is officially here. After recovering from a mild hamstring strain at the end of October, November was definitely a strong month. I am still trying to be very careful with the hamstring and am seeing my sports chiro weekly to stay in tune.

10 miles w/ 10 X 1:00 pickups

1.5 mi. WU, 3 X 3 miles (6:46 avg., 6:44 avg., 6:35 avg.), 1.5 mi. CD

10 miles w/ 5 easy (8:28 avg.) and 5 brisk (6:45 avg.)

20 miles w/ 10 easy (7:56 avg.) and 10 brisk (7:02 avg.)

22 mile long run (8:16 pace)

1.5 mi. WU, 4 X 2 miles (6:40 avg., 6:30 avg., 6:31 avg., 6:25 avg.), 1.5 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workout was probably the 10 miles with 5 easy and 5 brisk. The brisk pace is about 20 seconds slower than lactate threshold pace and 10 seconds slower than aerobic threshold pace, which makes it fairly close to goal marathon pace. It was my favorite primarily because the weather was perfect the morning of this workout. I felt strong and it was a good confidence builder.

Races: I ran 4 races in November and that’s exactly how I like it! I got a little bit of everything with a 5K, a 10K, a 12K and a 10 mile race.

Race Recap: Senior Bowl 10K

Race Recap: Battleship 12K

Race Recap: Turkey 10 X 2!

Race Recap: Turkey Trot

Favorite Race: My favorite race was the Turkey Trot, but the Battleship 12K was definitely a close 2nd! I think the weather, the friends, the cause and the homemade medals were the biggest contributing factors to choosing the Turkey Trot as the favorite. I love the course of the Battleship 12K, but the weather wasn’t great and not as many of my peeps ran that one this year.

Paces: My paces ranged from 5:49 (last mile of the Turkey Trot) to 9:10.

Total miles: 316! Phew. Highest mileage month in quite some time (perhaps all year). Again, marathon training is officially here!

Distances: Distances ranged from 3 miles to 22 miles.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Have a wonderful weekend and I will talk to you guys again soon!