Monday, June 30, 2014

June recap.

June was one of those months for me. When I was in the thick of it, I didn't feel like writing about it, because I tend to feel like the more life you give anything bad, the worse it is.

Now that the month is over, I can say that it was a bit of a stressful one, full of both good and bad stress. Like regular life, right?

Anyway, June started great -- Conal turned 7 and that was a happy, happy day. But then, well, yuck. A few days later, a huge casserole pan filled with baked macaroni and cheese fell on my right big toe -- from a high shelf in the refrigerator.

So much pain, bruising, swelling. I thought my fall marathon plans would have to be put on hold. But, a week of total rest from running (and as much keeping off the foot as I could), plus some icing, elevating, and rubbing it with healing essential oils, and my toe is more or less OK. Meaning, I can run on it with not much more pain than I'm used to.

Then my little guy got Lyme disease. Grrrr . . .

Totally threw me for a loop. But, I know that it was caught early so he shouldn't have any lasting problems.

Unfortunately, it happened right in the midst of another medical issue that he had. I won't go into all the details but my poor little guy has been to so many doctor and specialist appointments in the past two months -- but this past Friday he had an exploratory procedure that gave us really good news!

I'm so lucky that he's a happy patient!

Such relief!

June wasn't all gloomy, however. Niall finished his first year of preschool and had a sweet moving up ceremony.

Moving up!

And then we had a rocking trip to Long Beach Island, where I got in some great runs and the whole family relaxed and enjoyed the beach.

My boys at the beach!

Here's what the month looked like, mileage-wise:

Running (miles): 57.6
Races: 0
Cross-training: plenty of crossfit and (here's a new one for me!) bike riding

So that was June. I finished up the month by starting marathon training. It will heat up over the summer and I. Am. Ready.

Have a great week, everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Let's remember the Run to Remember.

So, it has been, I don't know, over 3 weeks since I ran Boston's Run to Remember half marathon. Not a big deal, really, but odd for me because I like to write race reports somewhat soon after the actual races. By now, this race report is old, old news.

I guess my reporting is going the way that my training and eventual racing did.

Ah, yes. The race.

Well, let me start by saying I learned a few things about myself while running 13.1 miles in Boston. For starters, I now know that I can be one heck of a head-case during a race. Seriously. I also now know that I need to have a race goal. Doesn't have to be a stretch goal or anything aggressive. I just need a goal -- or else I turn into that head-case I mentioned.

Anyway -- race weekend started great. I went over to Boston with friends -- rode with Elisa and then Janis, Bridget, Kara and Caitlin followed us.

Janis, Elisa, me, Bridget, Kara, Caitlin.

After a few wrong turns, we made it to the expo for packet pickup. We picked up our packets, took some goofy pics, and bought t-shirts. Because that's what you when you're away for a race. Buy t-shirts.

At the Expo!

After the expo we checked-in at the hotel, hung out a bit and decided to walk over to Boston Common. It was a beautiful day and it was nice to stretch our legs on the walk and to do a little people watching.

Why on earth did we all have to put our hands on the frog?
Then, we went to dinner. We found a restaurant within walking distance and had delicious meals. Unfortunately, when we went to walk back to hotel, it was raining. What's a little rain, we asked ourselves. We're tough . . .

So we walked on. And then it started to pour. 

So we walked faster. It poured harder.

We then ran down the streets -- finding an awning, huddling under it, running on. We were drenched. Saturday night fun for the half-marathoners!
Under one of the many awnings that provided cover as we made our way back to the hotel in the pouring rain.

Sunday morning came wicked early and before I knew it we were piling into a (too small) cab on our way to the race. The Run to Remember was the largest race I've ever run. I think they said there were about 12,000 people registered for the half and the 5-mile races.

I lined up at the 8:30 pace flag. I felt so unsettled because, as I said, I had no goal. I knew that my training was not nearly strong enough to beat my PR (1:46:12) that I ran in October. And I pretty much knew that it would be hard for me to finish under 1:50. Truthfully, I wanted to. But, I told myself that anything under 1:55 would be fine. I'd be happy. Just run your own race. Run strong. Run smart.

Running through the streets of Boston was great. The first mile was tough because it was so packed. Then, I noticed I was pushing too hard so my second mile was too fast.

At some point, I went bonkers in my own head. I was having a tough time. I couldn't push the pace at all. It was a struggle run 8:30 miles. And it got in my head. By about halfway through the race, all I could think was, if running this half is this hard, how am I ever to run a marathon at an 8:45 pace? I can't do it. I might as well change my registration now and save myself tons of tears later.

Looking back, I have to wonder why my thoughts went from the present -- half-marathon in May -- to the far-away future -- marathon in October. It was not good thinking. It was defeatist and it slowed me down and made the race harder than it had to be.

Not having a goal also contributed to my nutty thinking. Sure, I lined up at the 8:30 pace flag but I also had a thought that I might be able to go faster. I ran a 48:56 10K two weeks before the half-marathon so I kinda thought I might be able to go under 1:50. But my training had been all over the place so I just wasn't confident. And I had no plan.

Wah, wah, wah.

In the end, I crossed the line in 1:51:18. It was a tough 1:51. Mentally, very tough.

I wasn't disappointed in my time but I was really disappointed in my mental attitude while I was running and how I let myself think such negative thoughts over and over and over again during the race. It was unlike me and it was not good!

What was good, however, was watching Kara finish her first half marathon. After grabbing some refreshments, I made my way up to the meeting spot and eventually met up with the rest of my friends. We were able to watch Kara run to the finish and I cheered for her with all my might. It was terrific! She did great.

So did everyone else! Caitlin ran her first half-marathon, too, but I didn't get to see her finish. Overall, it was a great time.


After the race, we cleaned up, put on our new t-shirts, and headed out to stuff our faces with lots of yummy, greasy food! Post-race food is the best.

And then we headed home and race weekend was over. But, no worries, we're already planning the next one!

Here's a look at my mile splits:

Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 7:46
Mile 3: 7:59
Mile 4: 8:15
Mile 5: 8:01
Mile 6: 8:20
Mile 7: 8:31
Mile 8: 8:20
Mile 9: 8:25
Mile 10: 8:21
Mile 11: 8:35
Mile 12: 8:45
Mile 13: 8:18
last .1: 8:03 pace

OK, so, those aren't bad splits, which makes my negative thoughts during the race even worse. Well, I guess I know what I have to work on this summer! My mental game. For sure.

Overall time: 1:51:18
Overall pace: 8:30
Age group place (female, 40-49): 89 out of 828

Thanks for sticking around and reading my long race report! If you have any tried-and-true tips for improving your mental game, hit me up. I can use all the help I can get!

In the meantime, have a great day!

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