Monday, May 22, 2017

Home Away From Home Half Marathon

So, friends, I ran a race. First one in for-evah!

And it was a half-marathon. I went from a full marathon in October 2014 to no races to this half-marathon in May 2017. Holy cow, that's a long time between races!!!

Back in the beginning of the year, I decided I needed to set my sights on a race that would require some commitment. And a half-marathon requires a fair bit of commitment. I settled on a (pretty much) hometown half-marathon and decided to follow a very low-key training schedule to prepare.

I wanted to see what I could do after so many ups and downs with my running (and other things that have had an impact on my running).

But I was also sort of a Nervous Nellie and I didn't want any part of injuries or burn-out. So, I ran 3-4 easy runs each week, one long run, and did yoga and upper-body strength on the two other days. No speedwork. No tempo runs. Nothing too training-ish. Just some solid, enjoyable running.

I made it to race day full of excitement.

I even had the requisite pre-race nightmare where things go fantastically wrong on race day: For me, the full 13.1 was run on a track and I was wearing clogs. Clogs!

Anyway . . . the forecast for the race was rain. All rain. I was freaked. But I shouldn't have been because the rain held off and we ended up with more or less perfect weather (cool and overcast).

I met Bridget and Kate before the race and we tried to warm up and, of course, we snapped some pics:



And then we were off.

Now, let me tell you about this race. It was small. The 5k and the half-marathon started together but there were only 80 people in the 5k and 103 in the half. The out-and-back course was hilly for sure. Not steep hills, not long hills, just constant rolling hills.

I ran off with the generic, feel-good goals in my mind: I just want to run strong! I want to see where my fitness is these days! I want to smile at the finish!

But, honestly? Those goals are crap. Truth be told, I wanted to run under 1:55. I felt like I had it in me. Sure, that's far from a PR and I know I'm not in PR shape right now. But, 1:55? Doable. Totally doable.

So I ran:

Mile 1: 8:41
Mile 2: 8:25
Mile 3: 8:20

The first few miles had the 5k runners in it but once they turned off at the 1.5 mile mark, the "crowd" really thinned out. Everything felt easy. I was holding myself back from going out too fast and I'm glad I did!

Mile 4: 8:37
Mile 5: 8:25
Mile 6: 8:17
Mile 7: 8:11

Still going strong through the middle miles. Here's what I learned during this patch: I love out-and-back courses (when you're near-ish to the front)! Being able to cheer for the leaders gave me such a lift! And, I could count how many people were in front of me and that made me feel pretty good :-)

Mile 8: 8:25
Mile 9: 8:13
Mile 10: 8:27
Mile 11: 8:29
Mile 12: 8:30

So, this was a weird section for me simply because the dude running behind me Did. Not. Stop. With. The. Yelling.

Yes, the yelling. Every few minutes or so he'd YELL something like, "C'mon!" or "Move it!" or "Get going, RIGHT NOW!" It was . . . unsettling. And yet, humorous. I mean, I guess he was pumping himself up so I went with it and just ran.

And then there was just over a mile to go.

Mile 13: 7:58
Last .18: 1:15

Um, I love that last mile time!

Official Time:
Overall place: 19 out of 103
Female place: 10

Yeah, I beat that 1:55 goal!!! So happy with the race. So happy to be back.

And also pleased with how I felt during the race (like I was pushing but always completely within myself) and how I felt the next day and few days later. No soreness. None! And that tells me that I ran my race well.

It also tells me that I probably left a little in the tank . . . and that has me wondering what's next. Another half this fall? A full?

Time will tell my friends :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

June recap.

June was packed with lots and lots of activities -- both for the kids and the adults. I found myself turning to a little more cross-training than in recent months, which is probably a good thing. After the hamstring injury I told myself I'd be a lot better about cross-training. And I've been only OK about it. Except in June. June I was good!

My running mileage wasn't very high, though. No matter. I'm running as I feel like it and getting in the cross-training.

June mileage: 57.5

It's fine. I did cross training probably twice a week, all month. I'm happy about that!

And I'm feeling good on my runs. I'm enjoying it. Sometimes, that's all that matters!

Happy July, folks!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

April and May.

Well. Here I am, two months after my last post. Where have those two months gone?

They were filled with baseball games, birthday celebrations, and essential oils classes, mostly! It really has been a bit of a whirlwind around here.

I also got in some running and have been progressing fairly nicely.

April miles: 59.3

May miles: 63.9

Compare that to where I started the year -- a measly half-mile at the end of January -- and, hooray! I'm happy for the miles I'm running these days.

I'm also happy for the fun my two boys have been having playing baseball. The regular season has ended for both of them but my little guy had a great time in his first season of t-ball and my big just-turned-8 year old loved every minute of his farm season. His team did well in the playoffs, making it to the championship game, but ultimately losing in a hard-played game. He's now moving on to All-Stars so we have another "season" of baseball ahead of us!


Getting a hit in the semi-finals.

The 8-year-old requested a baseball stadium cake -- so I got busy and made one :-)

 Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Post-running injury disorder.

As I've been making my way back from my hamstring injury in November, I've realized something about myself: I am, on the one hand, full of joy because I am running. On the other hand . . . I am full of fear . . . because I am running.

This is real.

I've been contemplating signing up for a 5K now that I'm able to run 5 miles comfortably. But, I haven't pulled the trigger. I just keep contemplating it.

And I keep talking myself out of signing up.

Why? Because I'm afraid of re-injury, sure. But why else? Because I'm -- and this is so vain I don't even like to admit it -- well, I'm afraid my race time will be too slow.

Now, before you jump all over me and say that slow is relative and my slow is someone else's fast and all that  . . . let me stop you and say, I know all that. I do. And I get it.

However, it does not change the feeling that I have about my times. I don't really care what my times are in relation to anyone else's times. I care what they are in relation to me. And now I'm feeling like my speed is gone. Like I'm at that point where I'm not getting any faster and, in fact, will see only slower times ahead. Like I'm the Pokey Runner. 

This is totally a case of post-running injury disorder.

See, I spent 9 weeks not running At. All. And when I got back to it I was running only a half mile at a time. I can totally understand why I was feeling unsure about my running back then. Even when I'd gotten up to a full mile, I was still feeling pain.

Now, though, I'm not. I'm good to go. Good to run. Good to race.

So, why not go for it, already?!?

It's the fear. I know. And I know I've got to get over it.

Today, I actually made a little progress. I ran 4+ miles and then tacked on 5 hill repeats (for about another mile). This was the first time I've run anything close to speedwork since before the marathon. It was a big step, for sure.

We'll see if it helps shake the fear. 

I need that powerful weapon back!

I'll be working on it. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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