My First Century

Hi! I haven’t written about any training things for a while, but I’ve been training for the Tour de Tucson which is a 111 mile ride. I had been training for my 2nd marathon, but after Hood to Coast and just not feeling 100% back to running health, I decided to be smart, give myself a break, and focus on a new goal, so I’ve been riding the crap out of Mean Green, and grown to really love cycling beyond as more than a means to get to coffee, breakfast or yoga. ;)

A few weeks ago, I had a really great, confidence-building, solo 80 miler, and I wasn’t really planning on doing more than that until closer to the race.

In fact, yesterday’s route was originally supposed to be about hill training–for those of you that aren’t local, there is a gooorgeous hilly route that I always stop and turn around at just before it gets challenging because I’m a wuss.

Anyway, we planned to tackle it yesterday and the entire route was supposed to be about 60-70 miles, but then I got a message earlier in the week from Steve asking to make it a century with a map. I thought he had planned a century instead of the hills, but he had planned one that included them. Awesome.

Well, Friday night Steve tells me he feels like he’s getting sick…again. That was the whole reason I went solo for 80 mi is we had planned to do it together, and then he got sick. You see, I have this really annoying personality trait where once I decide to do something, I can’t not do it. Once I’m mentally committed, there is no backing down–it can be really obnoxious, but I guess it’s mostly a good thing. 

We still started the ride together, but Steve was struggling almost immediately. The wind was also out in full force–like, sometimes I swear if I didn’t pedal hard, I was just going to go backwards. We made it pretty slowly to the hilly section (Power to Usery), all into the wind of course, and as we started climbing Power, we met up with a couple other cyclists Doug and Kendra who chatted with us for a while. We rode together for probably 5-7 miles and it was so nice to have some strangers to distract me from how tough things felt. The wind was so intense at this point because we were in the middle of no where–no buildings or anything to block it. Even going downhill was hard! Anyway, we broke off from them at Usery, and that’s where Steve and I started to split up as well.

After the first mile of consistent climbing (it’s 3.5 miles of climbing total), I stopped to wait for Steve. When he caught up, he told me to just get to the top and wait for him there, so I continued on. One guy passed me, then I passed him back, then he passed me again and that was that. I am a sloooow climber, and I honestly have basically no hill experience at all. I kept looking down at my garmin and thinking “this is slower than most of my friends run”, but I didn’t really mind. I knew I’d get there eventually, and I was happy to not have to stop and rest. My friend Jason told me that the first time he did this route, he had to stop and walk his bike up, so I was happy to feel strong even though I was averaging a snail-like 7.2 mph.

I didn’t realize I had gotten to the top until an other cyclist mentioned it to me. I had been really scared about this part of the ride, and I was thrilled to finish the tough climbing section with so much fuel left in the tank! Good thing too, because we were only about 30 mi in. I waited for Steve, and then the fun began! I hit 35.8 mph without even pedaling! It was exhilarating, and it made every foot I had climbed 100% worth it. Not to mention, we finally had the wind at our backs!

As the path flattened out, Steve started struggling again. He just felt terrible, couldn’t breathe, etc. He was in no shape to make it a century. He told me to wait for him at our next turn, which was several miles away. He had planned to still do 80 with me, but when he got there, he was in bad shape. I thought about calling it. I had finished the climbing, I didn’t feel great (female problems…sorry boys), and I wasn’t even half way through yet. I was mentally unraveling a little at the idea of doing more than half of the ride by myself, but that thing inside my brain clicked in, and off I went. I actually felt fine until mile 60 where I turned back into the wind.

I knew if I wanted it to be easier at the end, I had to face the wind at that point, so I went back east and the wind was literally confidence shattering. I was struggling to go 13 mph, and it felt like no matter how much I pedaled, my garmin would.not.move. On top of that, my shoulder started to get really tight, and I kept having to try to stretch it while I was riding which is…not easy haha. I texted Steve at mile 78 and told him I wasn’t sure I could make it. I had been going back into the wind for almost 20 miles, my shoulder was killing me, and I was feeling spent. He asked if I could finish 85 and be satisfied with a new PDR, but I told him no–ya know, that brain thing.

But then something magical happened! I turned away from the wind, and suddenly I was going 20-21 without effort! Here’s where I started to go a little nuts. Laughing, yelling things to myself, pep talks with myself out loud. I kinda lost it, but in a good way? I texted Steve again the last time I refilled my water and told him to meet me at Dutch Bros for a celebratory coffee, and I thought about that coffee the entire way there. As I got to the last 1/2 mile, I remembered that this was the same way I ended my first 20 miler, and I got all kinds of emotional and started to cry.

100.2 miles in 6:41:51 with 1,900 feet of climbing. Not super speedy, but not bad either!

Fuel:

For those of you who are curious, and  because I know I would be, I brought enough fuel for a small army, but here’s what I actually ate:

  • 1 ALT Larabar (pumpkin pie flavor–yum!) ~ 200 calories w/10 g protein
  • 1 Kind bar (one of the protein ones) ~ 200 calories w/8 g protein
  • 3 packs of black cherry shot blocks (I cut the tops off with scissors before I leave so they’re so super easy to eat while moving) ~ 600 calories

So that’s about 1,000 calories total. I have no idea if that’s good, or right, but it seemed to work for me. I feel pretty confused about bike fueling, so a couple of days ago I emailed my friend Julie who gave me some good tips. She suggested alternating small snacks with bigger ones, so I would get through an entire pack of blocks (first time after an hour, then 2 blocks every 45 minutes), then eat a bar. Towards the end when I needed more energy, I started eating 1 block every 15 minutes, and it seemed to really help!

So that’s my story. Now I’ve hit my longest ride that I’m going to do and the race is still a month and a half away, so I’m not really sure what to do for the next 6 weeks. Maybe the husband will rope me into an other century, but with how tired I feel today, I’m not so sure I want to commit to triple digits again until race day. We shall see. :)

 

PF Chang’s Marathon Training Week 3

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I didn’t run a ton this week, but it was a great week, and it ended on a a REALLY great note. I don’t have a ton to say other than that, so let’s get to it.

Look! A leaf! Maybe Arizona has fall after all? Anyway, Steve took this picture at the race on Sunday, and this post needed a photo…

Monday: 8 mile run. The schedule called for 4 miles easy, 1 mile at MGP, 1 mile at HMP, 1 mile at 10k pace and 1 mile cool down. Somehow I counted wrong and started the marathon pace mile after 3 miles. Whoops. So after 3 miles Nicole and I did a mile at goal pace, then 9:03, 8:12 (what????), then we added an other mile at goal pace, and a mile cool down. We ended the day with an average pace of 9:54, and I felt surprisingly strong.

Tuesday:  Upper body strength training? Okay, so I’m determined to get back into strength training. I’ve been ignoring it, and let’s just say I’m not too happy with the Atlantic ocean that has become my upper arms, so I’m starting slow with things I can do at home until I at least get my motivation back up enough to get in the weight room, and do some legit strength training. It’s weird, before I started running, strength training was my favorite, and now I dread it. Anyway, I did 3 sets of 10 regular and dip push ups, 2x1min planks, and my dance ab warm up that I used this summer. I was SORE the next day, so even though the whole thing only took me about 15 minutes, I feel like it did something?

Wednesday: 2 mile run. No, seriously. I waited around too long, ran out of time, and that’s just all that was in the cards that morning. It was probably for the best. After my Monday run my foot started really bugging me, and I wanted just a short easy run to see how it was feeling after hours of icing. The good news is, I felt AWESOME! The whole run felt so easy, and I really wanted to keep going, but I had a time deadline, so 2 miles ended up being it. I went out with the intentions of taking it super slow, but without garmin stalking, I settled into a 9:30 pace that felt like a breeze. That never happens for me. It was great!

Thursday: 8.7 mile bike, upper body. Rode to Dutch Bros, then repeated Tuesdays strength training. Twice in one week–WHAT??

Friday: 11.32 mile run. 3 miles easy, 2 at goal pace, 1 easy, 2 at goal pace, 1 easy. I felt super sluggish during this run. The marathon pace miles felt harder than usual, and I was just having a hard time getting my head in the game. Luckily, I had Nicole there to yell at me when I slowed down which was about every 5 seconds. Just kidding, she didn’t yell, she just ran in front of me and told me to hurry up in the way that the best running friends nicely do when you’re kinda sucking ;) . Anyway, I still finished with an average pace of 10:07 and hit all my paces, so even though I wasn’t super into it mentally, I’m glad I got it done.

Saturday: Rest. 

Sunday: Fiesta Bowl 5k. Recap coming soon. Spoiler alert: it was one of the coolest days of my life, and included some happy tears :)

 

NYC Marathon Training Week 18

Week 1 of taper, check. You know, I read about how everyone hates taper, but this week was kinda nice. I enjoyed a slightly shorter Monday run, still pushed myself at the track, and loved being done with my long run at 7:15 Saturday morning! It was also really great to end a long run and not be totally exhausted. 10 miles felt short, and nice. I could get used to this taper thing! ;) Here’s how it went down:

Monday: 6 mile run. The schedule said “3 miles easy, 3 miles at marathon pace”. WHAT IS MARATHON PACE?!?!?! HOW DO I CHOOSE???? LIFE IS SO HARD!!!! Soooo, I ran 3 miles slow, and 3 miles less slow, ending up with a 10:11 average pace. I was not feeling this run. I had canceled on Nicole so that I could sleep in later, then I had to keep making deals with myself like “Maybe I’ll just run 3 miles….” to get myself out and going, but finally I turned on some relaxing music (because I’m a freak and sometimes I want mellow music while I’m running), and just gave my mind some time to do it’s thing. The run ended up being really good, and a nice reminder that even when I realllllly don’t want to, it’s almost always better to just get out there.

Tuesday: 11 mile bike. Easy ride to coffee with Steve.

Wednesday: Track. Ao about this marathon goal pace. I guess I’ve figured it out? Coach Loken sent me my projected finish time, and it scared the crap out of me. My head immediate filled with “I can’ts” and doubt. I’ve since talked it through with anyone who will listen including my super smart coach (you know the person I actually should talk to about it), and figured out what a realistic goal is mentally for me, and I’m keeping her projected finish time as a dream goal, but trying to run my marathon goal pace miles at that pace. I’m not going to talk about what any of these goals are because when I write my recap about how I ran my first marathon, I want to write it with joy and pride no matter what my finish time is, and if I tell you what I want it to be, and that doesn’t happen, I will feel like a disappointment. Anyway, back to the track. We warmed up, had a mile at marathon goal pace, then 4 x 400s, then an other mile at goal pace, then a cool down. I hit my goal pace miles and they felt easy! It was AWESOME! I also pushed really hard on my 400s running them @ 7:05, 6:57, 6:58, 6:42. The whole workout felt awesome! I completed 5.17 miles in 50 minutes. After track, a couple of people from my team came up to me and told me how much faster I’d gotten!! This is the second time this has happened recently, and it made me feel so awesome!!

Thursday: 3 mile run. Nice and easy recovery run with my speedy friend Ashley. She was practically walking. ;)

Friday: 17.3 mile bike. The usual Friday am bike ride/breakfast/coffee with Nicole.

Saturday: 10 mile run. I came, I ran, I got chased by wild dogs, I ran the second half fast to keep up with my friends, I was done by 7:15 and averaged a 9:57 pace. Ask me about the wild dogs sometime. It’s a really funny story that includes some pretty big embarrassment, but I don’t mind embarrassing myself.

Sunday: Rest. Necessary.

Fundraising update: As you know, I’ve been running with Team Chances to raise money for Chances for Children. I committed to raising $5000, and I’M GETTING SO CLOSE!!! I’ve now raised $4,110 and have just $890 to go thanks to so much support from everyone in my life! Please consider helping me to reach my goal by making a donation or placing an order! Remember that all donations/orders are tax deductible and in the state of Arizona, you can receive a full tax credit ($200 individual, or $400 family) for donations. Thanks to all of you for all the support!! I truly believe I can meet this goal by November 4th!

NYC Marathon Training Week 16

LOOK COACH SUSAN!! I ran your marathon pace for 6 seconds. I think I'm ready for the olympic trials now too. 6 seconds is basically the same as a whole marathon, right?

Good morning! It is an absolutely perfect fall morning in Phoenix. It is a beautiful 68 degrees with the most perfect breeze. We’ve got the front door and all of our windows open. It’s fall break so I have a much lighter schedule this week. My run is done. I’m just hanging out, enjoying the breeze and a pumpkiny breakfast. It.Is.Awesome. I can’t even tell you how happy I am to have a little bit of a break right now, especially since it’s peak training week. I’ve got a big scary 20 miler staring me in the face this Friday, and I’m super pumped that I have an easier week work-wise to prepare for it.

Anyway, that’s this week, but I’m here to talk about last  week. Here’s a look at how my training went down:

Monday: 8 mile run. Ran with Nicole. 4 easy miles, then 4 moderate @ 9:38, 9:40, 9:25, 8:37. My legs weren’t quite ready to get back to work yet, but they made it through and we averaged a 9:58 pace. Those stupid easy warm up miles totally kill the average. I should track them separately. Just kidding. Kind of…. ;)

Tuesday: 10.4 mile bike. I didn’t feel like working out at all, so I just took an easy bike ride to coffee with Steve. I broke all sorts of records with my amazing cycling speed and averaged 13.6 miles an hour. It’s okay Lance, I’ll take your spot since they won’t let you race anymore. Clearly, I’m at your same level.

Wednesday: Track. Warm up, then 2 x 1200s with 90 second rest @ 8:33, 7:54, then 800 @ 7:45, then 4 x 400s at 7:00ish. Ummm yeah, apparently the work out was so hard I forgot how to work my garmin. I kept forgetting to hit the lap button, then accidentally stopping it–it was just a hot mess. When I went in and tried to figure out my paces, it looked like they were all between 7:00-7:05. My type A brain was a little annoyed to not know every single pace EXACTLY (shocking, right?), but I got a pretty good idea. This workout was HARD. I thought my 400s would be closer to my ridiculously fast 400 at track a couple of weeks ago, but I did my first intervals really fast (for me), and didn’t account for the fact that 4 400s would be hard than, oh, one. It was awesome, though, and I ended up covering 4.77 miles in 42:28 for an average pace of 8:54. Not too shabby.

Thursday: 12.8 mile bike. Had a recovery run scheduled, but I found out when I woke up that I’d be going alone which sounded not at all fun, so I swapped it for an other ride with Steve. Stepped it up to a 13.9 average pace. Watch out cars. I will pass all of you.

Friday: 21.4 mile bike. I guess I rode my bike a lot last week! Nicole and I took a new route and rode to breakfast at Essence Bakery. It.Was.Amazing. My breakfast was, um, a little heavier than I expected, and by heavier I mean covered with cheese from top to bottom, but it was soooo delicious. We also both got some mini macarons for the road. The pumpkin spice and hazelnut were my favorites, but they were all amazing! Oh wait, I’m supposed to be talking about exercise, not cheese and macarons. The ride was great. We chatted the whole time (obviously), and it was nice to ride somewhere new! Oh, and I averaged a speed demon pace of 12.9 miles an hour.

Saturday: 10 mile time trial. EEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10 weeks ago, we were asked to run a 10 mile time trial. I ran it up in Portland with Tali and Camille. I called it the best run of my life. It was perfection–perfect weather, perfect company, perfect mind set. I finished that run in 1:34:45. Well, it’s 10 weeks later, and I’m 3 minutes faster! Pretty good, right? I was NERVOUS about this run to say the least. The last time I went after a specific time goal was at AFC in San Diego. I posted my big goal of a sub two half all over the internet for the world to see, then I crashed and burned. Hard. I didn’t really tell anyone my goals for this run, except for Steve and Nicole. I didn’t want to set myself up to tell everyone I failed again. Of course, I had a few goals–the main one was just to be faster than last time, which I actually was not sure I could do. Everything last time seemed so perfect–what if I couldn’t do it again?? I really wanted to be around 1:32. 1:32:30 is a 9:15 pace which seemed like a big jump from my previous 9:28, and I knew that would be something I could be proud of. My dream goal was to magically be able to pull a sub 1:30. That one obviously didn’t happen, but I am totally okay with that!

Towards the beginning of the run, I found myself running right behind to other ladies, so I asked what their goal was and they told me 1:32. Perfect! I ran with them until about mile 6, and we chatted most of the way. It was an awesome distraction. A little over haf way through we all started to split off a bit, it was getting harder, and I was starting to doubt myself. I put on my music, and told my brain to STFU. I really started to understand the mental battle part of running. I was sure that I was too tired, and that I couldn’t do it, but I really fought back this time instead of giving up, and I ended up really surprising myself!

Mile 1: 9:32
Mile 2: 9:15
Mile 3: 9:20
Mile 4: 9:08
Mile 5: 8:56
Mile 6: 9:11
Mile 7: 9:09
Mile 8: 8:53
Mile 9: 9:31 <—SOOO TIRED!!!! WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER?!?!?!
Mile 10: 8:43

You know something I love? When you’ve sprinted at the end, and you go and look at your final lap pace on your garmin.

LOOK COACH SUSAN!! I ran your marathon pace for 6 seconds. I think I’m ready for the olympic trials now too. 97 feet is basically the same as a whole marathon, right? Also, I really need a manicure.

Anyway, the time trial was awesome. Really awesome. So awesome that McMillan seems to think I can now run a 4:17 marathon. Silly McMillan. I’ll be happy with half an hour longer than that! Also, I just wanted to say that 9:09 for 13.1 miles = 1:59:59ish half marathon, if I ran the tangents perfectly…. Lost Dutchman, I’m looking at YOU!

Sunday: Rest. Much needed. I’m getting better at this whole rest day thing. I might even go so far as to say I LIKE them! :)

TOTALS:

Running: 22.85
Biking:  44.55
Eating: Everything in site. 

Tell me about your training!! Any big goals coming up? Record breaking bike speeds? Long run PRs??

 

NYC Marathon Training Week 15

GUESS WHAT!!!! In September, for the first time ever, I ran 101 miles! My first time breaking the triple digits. I am aware that some people run that many miles a week, but whatev. I’m excited. In September I also got sick and took a week off running all together, so basically I ran 101 miles in 3ish weeks. I like it. Here’s a look at how last week went down.

Monday: 8 mile run. This run was just okay. I was still not feeling my strongest, and my breathing felt off from being sick. But this girl got me through it, and we averaged a 10:09 pace. Slower than usual, but not terrible.

Tuesday: 13.7 mile bike. Rode with Nicole at a faster-for-us-but-still-easy pace. Averaged 14.4 mph which is slow for all you speedy cyclists, but good for a couple of girls who really just ride their bike as an excuse to hang out and be social. I miss spin class. I haven’t been in weeks. I have a million excuses, but I think it really comes down to two things: I don’t like waiting until 9:15 to start my work out, and I’m really physically tired from marathon training, so a nice easy bike ride outside just seems so much nicer.

Wednesday: 4 mile run, 30 minutes strength training. WHAT?!?!?!?! Yes. You read that correctly. I was a little bitch still not feeling quite 100% and my ankle was bugging me after Monday’s run, so I ditched out on hill repeats with the team, and decided to make up my own speed work and run with Ashley. I suggested a 1 mi warm up, 2 faster miles, and a 1 mile cool down. For once I was not the queen of ridiculously slow warm ups, and we ran our miles in 9:50, 9:07, 8:39, 9:42. That’s pretty good for me! Then at physical therapy, instead of just asking to get scraped and needled, I actually pushed myself through a bunch of my exercises, and my abs were sore for days. Like, today they still hurt. Talk about needing to get back into strength training….

Thursday: 4.1 mile run. Fun run around Kiwanis park with Jason. We hadn’t run together in so long! It was supposed to be recovery, but he is so fast now! We averaged a 9:33 pace, but it felt harder than it should have.

Friday: Rest. Rest days are so weird when they’re the day before a long run. My legs weren’t really that tired. I didn’t feel like I needed  to rest. I felt like I wanted to go ride my bike and do fun active things outside, but I knew I’d regret the slightest hint of tiredness on my legs the next day (and Nicole was out of town, so I had no one to ride my bike with–problem solved). Instead of exercising, I baked cookies. That seems like the obvious choice, right? It’s actually what I have always ended up doing with the free time I usually spend exercising. They were awesome and Halloween-like, and I promise to share them with you this week. See, you too like rest days. They bring you cookies.

Saturday: 18 mile run. Thank goodness this went well. I was so nervous. Read about it with practically step by step detail, because I have always been wordy and long winded ;)

Sunday: Rest. This rest felt AWESOME and NECESSARY.

I’ve definitely noticed that now that we are in peak training, my body needs more rest. It needs lighter cross training, more rest, and more focus on running. Half marathon training didn’t really feel that way, so I was a little taken off guard at my body’s reaction, and I felt a little bit like a slacker for skipping out on things like spin, and choosing to drive to the coffee shop when the weather is perfect out for a bike ride, but I have 26.2 miles to run, and I need to listen to my body and RESPECT what it is doing for me. My legs carried my butt around for 3 hours and 8 minutes on Saturday. My body is amazing, and it is being great to me. Aside from a sprained ankle and my usual achilles stuff, I have been able to stay injury free throughout this process, and I am so grateful. So I’m backing off a little in other areas to say thank you and give my body a break.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR TRAINING!!! Do you back off from other workouts in the peak of marathon training?

NYC Marathon Training Week 14?

If you’re training for a marathon but don’t run a single step, does the week still count? If a tree falls in the forrest… Okay, but really. Our bodies are funny, funny creatures. Up until this week, I think I had skipped one track work out (my honeymoon) and two recovery runs (tech week, and one week with no good excuse other than I didn’t do it) in 13 weeks. I’d say I’ve been getting little marathon training gold stars. I’d give myself an A on the whole “following the training plan” thing. The whole “listening to my body” thing? Well, I certainly haven’t been failing, but I am definitely the type of person that when someone tells me to do something, I want to do it, and do it flawlessly. I’m a total people pleaser, and having a coach that I admire and respect so much makes me really want to do all my training runs and do them “right” and show Coach Susan what an exceptional little coach-ee she has in me. COACH SUSAN, I NEED GOLD STARS!!!!

Anyway, I’ve ignored aches and pains, chalking them up to being part of the training process, and while 90% of the time I would say I made the right choice every single time I went out to run, I think I have some things to learn about the rest of the whole training process, like you know, sleeping, and taking care of myself in other areas. It’s a hard to come to the realization that marathon training is about so much more than the runs. It’s about me. It’s one of the only things I have ever committed myself to that literally requires me to put myself first, which I actually think is maybe why I wanted to do it in the first place. Not that I am this amazing selfless person that only cares about others, but I often feel guilty about putting myself first.

I thought I was doing a pretty good job battling that guilt, and taking the reins in my life, but I realize  that I’m not quite there yet, and that’s okay. I’ve made time for my runs, for the part of training that someone else sees and can check me off for following instructions, but my mind and body were begging for a ditch day. In college, I called them “mental health days”, where I just called in sick to school for absolutely no reason, and went shopping. They didn’t happen all too often, but they were so necessary, and worth it. I didn’t take a mental health week, and I wouldn’t have, so my body stepped in, and forced me to take some much needed rest.

Let me back track to last Sunday. I ran with Jason in Prescott, rolled my same ankle for the billionth time, and it hurt. It hurt all day, and it was scary, so I woke up Monday and rode my bike in exchange for the easy run scheduled. Then Tuesday I woke up with what my doctor later described as “the same bacteria everyone else has right now”. Actually, that was the nurse practitioner. I feel like my doctor may have been slightly more descriptive. Anyway, I uncharacteristically listened to my body. I rested.

Clementine assisted in the resting process. She’s real good at it.

I even called out of my afternoon classes/rehearsal on Wednesday. I slept and laid around my house in the mornings instead of running while my super annoying body waited all freaking week to get it’s act together.

I did an easy bike ride on Friday with Nicole, and then today when I woke up for the first time all week feeling on the rode to not feeling like crap, I did a more challenging bike ride with Steve (where we averaged like 20 mph for a good 6 miles straight–speedy for this slow poke!!). I went out to dinner one night with some of the AZ Bloggers, and I got through the rest of my work week, but otherwise, I stayed in, ate lots of soup (some cooked by my awesome and sweet husband), and recharged.

I have to admit, it’s not easy mentally to take an entire week off this far into the training, but I am grateful that this was a cutback week anyhow, and I am not missing any of my key runs. It may not be what I would view as “ideal”, but more importantly, I feel like it’s what my body viewed as “necessary”. Bodies are smart. It’s probably best not to argue. I mean, what do I know anyway? ;)

I plan to take the start of this week slow while I’m still getting better, but I have 18 miles waiting for me on Saturday that I plan to tear up! After the week off, these legs are ready for some action!

How do you deal with illness while training? Run through it? Time off? Cry? Tell me awesome things about your training, so I know that somewhere out in the world people are having awesome runs that I can live vicariously through!!

Skull Valley Challenge

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Last weekend was a super special weekend! It was the first time Steve and I got to switch places, as I went to cheer him on for his first “race”. I call it a race, but it was untimed and they called it a “ride”. Well, he goes for a “ride” like, umm, every day so that doesn’t sound quite fancy enough for me. There was a starting line, and a finish line, so in my mind it was a race. Steve left for Prescott to get acclimated with the elevation on Wednesday. Remember how us Phoenix folk do with mile high elevation? I had to work, so I left with Jason on Saturday afternoon. On the way up, we decided to get married.

Sorry Steve. I know I’m supposed to be coming to see you, but Jason and I are in ring pop love.

We arrived just in time to head over to the bib pick up with the boys.

HE HAS A BIB!!!

Cycling besties. They’re in like, straight man friend love.

After bib pick up, we headed to The Raven Cafe for dinner.

Raven Cafe  is a super cute restaurant in downtown Prescott with a unique menu, coffee bar, and big beer and wine selection. Jason and I ordered a couple of beers to start.

Mine: Nut brown mmmmmm

Jason got this super intense Black Butte with a bunch of roman numerals after. It was DARK, and definitely a sipping beer, but we were both fans.

Look! It also comes in a fancy glass. Sorry bar tender lady, you’re on the blog, but it’s just your hand. Apparently I couldn’t wait until we sat down to start photographing. I’m a little impatient ;)

They have a really cool outdoor upstairs patio, and the weather was perfect, so we enjoyed dinner up there.

I’m a proud wife. And that lady in the background is apparently REAL freaked out by us taking a picture. CALM DOWN WOMAN!!!

I ordered a turkey sandwich that came with cranberry sauce, cream cheese, avocado and tomato–ohhhhh my gosh, it was so delicious! I got tortilla soup for my side which was also good, but the sandwich was definitely my favorite part!

After dinner, we went back to Dan’s and turned in early so the boys could get some sleep before the race ride. The next morning, Steve and Dan rode their bikes down to the start while Jason and I ran down to meet them.

Before we knew it, they were off, and I was pretty much the only person yelling and cheering like a crazy fool. Once they were out of site, Jason and I finished our run and ended out 3.5 miles at breakfast at The Sweet Potato Cafe. After breakfast we walked around, got coffee, and went back to work on a big obnoxious sign to hold at the finish.

Unfortunately, Steve didn’t end up having the best ride. The course was ridiculously tough and had about 4,000 ft of elevation gain over 54 miles. Around mile 37, the constant uphill just got to be too much, and he had to drop out. Bike races are serious business, man. If I get tired during a race, I just walk, but what do you do on your bike? You can’t walk it up the hill. I mean, I guess you can, but if you don’t do it all on the bike, does it really count? Anyway, he did the best he could at this point in his training, and I was still a proud lady! It just means next year he’s going to kill it!

Steve actually had a really great attitude about the whole thing. Of course he was disappointed, but he truly knew that he had done the best he could on that day. I really admire that about him. I spend a lot of time beating myself up and crying in the car after not performing the way I had hoped, and he just understood where he was that day, made some goals moving forward, and moved on. I absolutely feel like he still succeeded, and I feel beyond proud that he set out for such a challenging course on his first race ride!

How do you handle not living up to your expectations on race day? Ever done a bike race? What do you do if you can’t pedal up the stupid hill anymore?!?!?!

NYC Marathon Training Week 13

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Okay, before I get to telling you about a week of training full of lots of amazing firsts, I just need to discuss the season premier of Glee that I embarrassingly watched last night. Do you watch Glee? Despite how truly awful the writing has gotten, I always continued to watch. Why? Well, you wouldn’t believe how many of my teaching jobs are named “Glee” or at least inspired by/modeled after the TV show. And, if I’m being totally honest, at the end of last season, I really did find myself caring about stupid Rachel Barry and if she would be able to pursue her dreams and major in musical theatre in a fancy NYC conservatory program. However, last night I watched the newest season premier, and while Rachel cried in the rain, only to turn around and find her BFF Kurt standing behind her rescuing her from her slutty roommate, I kind of felt like I might need to break up with Glee.

Sorry, I just needed to share that with someone, and Steve didn’t seem particularly interested. Shocking, right? He did go see Step Up Revolution with me though, so he earned himself a night off from discussing musical theatre for the moment ;) Okay, anyway, let’s talk about last week’s training! Here’s how it went down:

Monday: 7 mile run. Ran with Nicole, and the weather was awesome! It’s finally starting to cool down (although this week, it’s back to the 100’s, so maybe I should knock on wood?) and I noticed a huge difference effort wise. After a 3 mile warm up, we ran the last 4 miles in 9:22, 9:15, 9:18, and 8:10. I died a little on the last mile, but overall the run felt amazing, and the first 3 working miles felt so much easier than they have been!

Tuesday: Rest. I just mentally wasn’t really feeling it this morning. I needed some me time, and decided it was better to take the day off from spin than to miss a running day.

Wednesday: Track. I guess my day off was a good idea, because I had the most amazing track work out! I did a 1.2 mile warm up, then we did all those silly looking running drills (dear b skip: you are not my favorite), then we got to work. The plan for the day was 1600 @ 10k pace, 1200 @ 5k pace, 800 @ mile pace, 400 sprint, with 400 recoveries in between. As soon as we started the first mile, I started to get into a bad mental place. I was on pace, but I just kept watching all the faster runners whizzing by me, and I started to get really down on myself. Around the third lap, I was right on pace with 2 faster guys on the team. They had passed me, but then I was sticking right behind them, and my coach yelled to me not to let them get away, so I spent the 4th lap awkwardly pacing them from behind before finally asking to just join them, and try to keep up. They told me their pace goals, and it definitely made me nervous, but I committed to holding on for as long as I could. Well, I stuck it out the entire work out, felt what it was like to actually think I was going to puke, but not stop, and ended up with some of the speediest running I’ve ever done!

As you can see, the recoveries got slower and slower as the working laps got faster and “OMG IS THAT A 6?!?!?!” fast. Actually for the first 200 of that sprint, my watch said 5:41 but that’s when the puke feeling came, and I slowed my role into what is still BY FAR the fastest lap of my life. Holy freaking accomplished feeling. I love the track :) Also, by the end, I couldn’t remember who had passed me, and I couldn’t have cared less. And I realized how much more I push myself when I keep up with other people I *think* are faster than me. I need to step it up, stop doubting, and give 100% more often.

Thursday: 10 mile bike. This was the weirdest day. I set off with Nicole on our usual easy ride to coffee. On the way, we saw a UFO. Okay, actually some people say it was a missile from New Mexico or something, but I still say it was a UFO.

Then as we were getting to coffee, Nicole’s bike got pissed, protested and threw her off. What a jerk. Luckily she was okay, but it didn’t stop me from having some choice words with her bike for messing with my friend like that. Not cool.

Friday: 17.03!!!! Check out my novel length in depth recap because I’m in the “OMG can’t talk enough about running” phase. What?? You can’t go on without seeing the splits from this run too? Oh okay, if you insist ;)

Ignore “lap” 19 and 20. I accidentally hit my start…twice.

Saturday: Rest. I wanted to get an easy bike ride in, but time wise it just didn’t work out. After running the longest distance of my life the day before, I wasn’t too concerned.

Sunday: 3.5 mile run. I still had a recovery run left to get done, so I ran with Jason up in Prescott. It was hilly, and there was that whole elevation thing, but we averaged about a 10:30 pace after I had to insist to speedy that we slow the F down because “RECOVERY RUNS ARE SLOW!!!!” The last time I ran with him, he ran closer to an 11 minute pace. Stupid boys get fast so quickly. The run was mostly good, but I rolled my same ankle for the 89th million time, and it hurt the rest of the day. Lame.

Total running mileage for the week: A new high for me of 32.6 miles!!!! My first time hitting 3o in one Monday-Sunday week!

Your turn! Tell me about your training!!

NYC Marathon Training Week 12

This week was a cut back week. After 15 miles at South Mountain, and looking ahead at the training that’s coming up, an easier week sounded awesome. However, I think for the first time I started to feel a little bit of the craziness I always hear other runners talk about during cut back and taper weeks. I have to admit, even though I really do love running, I’ve never been one to look at less miles on the training plan and feel disappointed, but I started feeling weird not-so-healthy thoughts of not doing or being good enough this week. I followed the plan almost to a tee, with the exception of a missed recovery run to which Nicole replied “It’s just 3 miles. That means you’re supposed to skip it. In fact, I think she probably meant ‘skip this run'”. This is why I love her.

Anyway, my 3 main runs (long, medium distance, and track) usually leave me feeling like a rockstar. Each one leaves me with a different sense of pride, and accomplishment. This week though, especially after my long run, I just felt a little…inadequate. Let me premise by saying I am well aware of how silly that is. I literally used words like “I only ran 10 miles.” Ummm, how many people out there would be over the moon to be able to run 10 miles??? And since when is double digits only 10.

I feel like part of that comes from the constant use of food (and beer) as a reward for long running. How many times have we all hear “Don’t use food as a reward”. Well, there’s good reason. It’s a tough habit to break, and I find myself continuously falling into it this training cycle. I can’t even tell you how many long runs I’ve gotten through by thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner! I know that’s not the worst  thing, especially if it motivates me enough to keep going (what can I say? I love food), but it becomes bad when I do a 10 mile long run, and feel like I haven’t run enough to “earn” a fun dinner out. Ridiculous. I know. I’m actually kind of a smart lady. And I think that if I wasn’t aware of my silliness, then there would actually be a problem. I’ve learned enough about myself at this point in my life to be able to navigate the craziness, but I wanted to talk about it, because I feel like it’s something a lot of people deal with, and it’s okay. Beating ourselves up for struggling mentally is equivalent to beating ourselves up for  one bad work out. You wouldn’t do it to your friend, so why should you do it to yourself? That’s just how I was feeling last week.

Okay, enough of that. Here’s how last week’s training went down!

Monday—4.2 mile easy run. After Saturday’s challenging long run at South Mountain, I was super relieved to have an easier day. I ran with Nicole and Stacey, and averaged a 10:27 pace. It was good, but shorter and easier and came with no awesome runner’s high. Sad day.

Tuesday—Linda’s Spin. This class kicked my butt this week! Linda called some of us out on our flat road being too easy, so I picked mine back up to 11, and I hung in, but I was definitely working hard!

Wednesday—Track: 3×1 mile. Balloons. Rainbows. Glitter. Confetti. This run was so freaking awesome!! I had the biggest case of runner’s high all.day.long. We warmed up, did all the silly looking running drills and about a million lunges, then set out on the track for our mile repeats (with 400 recovery jogs in between). The first one was supposed to be at 10k pace, then between 5-10k pace, then 5k pace. My goal was 8:40, 8:30, 8:20. My first mile clocked in at 8:38, then my second in 8:27. I was getting nervous at this point. I mean, I’ve done 800s faster than that, but I was worried about my ability to run any faster for an entire mile (so much longer than it seems!) when I was already feeling so tired. The first 3 laps of my last mile, I was doing okay. Not great, but staying on pace. The last lap, I just wanted to give up and lay down on the track. I asked some of my speedier friends that were finished to finish my last lap with me, and they ran the last 300ish with me, pushing me and helping me bring my lap pace from a steady 8:15 to 8:06!!!!! Ummm, that is FAST for me! I felt amazing, like I had really given the workout everything I had. I rushed up to Coach Susan to tell her my splits, and she said that I got a P for Perfect for the day! This was one of the best runs of this entire training process!!

Thursday—14.7 mile bike ride. Since Nicole and I decided to long run on Friday, we took a nice little bike ride on Thursday. 

Friday—10 mile run. 10:21 average pace. Pretty uneventful with the exception of all the wildlife we encountered! In our 10 miles, Nicole and I saw a toad, coyote, jack rabbit, and a giant fish! This was the run that I ended and had my ridiculous, bratty “so what” attitude. I’m over it. 10 miles is 10 miles. It has 2 numbers, therefore it is long. Welcome to the long run logic of Ari’s Brain. Actually, anything over 10 seconds usually feels kind of long….

Saturday—9.7 mile bike. Rode to rehearsal, and for the first time in months, I actually focused on riding, rather than pedaling along having casual conversation. There was a super intense headwind, and I still only averaged 14mi an hour, but it felt good to push a little more on the bike again.

Sunday—8.4 mile bike. Rode to coffee with Steve, and took it mostly easy/moderate with a couple of sprints thrown in for fun. He does this weird strava thing for nerdy boys who ride bikes (or maybe it’s for all people, but since he does it, I just assumed…) and he wanted to race his “segment”. Of course that meant I was going for it too. I was doing really awesome and averaging a 20.8 pace, but then I hit two stop lights, cursed at them (only in my head), and ended up at around 18.5 for both sprint segments. It was fun to change it up a little!

Wow, it’s a good thing I have this little blog. Apparently, I have things to say, or something. Poor Steve would be so annoyed if I just regurgitated the same recaps of my paces and feeling to him 50 times a day. Oh wait, that is his life. Now it’s yours too–HAH! ;)

TIME FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES!!! I want to hear about your training–your accomplishments, frustrations, celebration beers, thoughts that celebration beers should never ever happen. TELL ME EVERYTHING!

NYC Marathon Training Week 11

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Friday night I had big plans. I was, for real–no sarcasm, super excited about said plans. I sat on the couch (between sessions of stretching and foam rolling), ate a big salad with whole wheat gnocchi on top (because I still don’t like eating a whole plate of just pasta–yuck), and watched Fast Women. Fast Women is a documentary about some local Phoenix runners including my super amazing inspiring coach. It definitely inspired me, and made me excited to get out there and run the next morning! Perhaps my big Friday night plans seem super lame to you? That’s okay. I’m perfectly content with my life as it is right now. I’m feeling good about my training, and I’m starting to take it more seriously, and commit myself in all areas of life, not just the training runs.

I had a really great week of training. I was in the right place mentally. I felt focused, and positive all week long. I really pushed myself this week, and ever since last Saturday’s 14 miler, I have been in almost a constant state of runner’s high. After almost every work out, I felt that sense of pride, accomplishment, and “I can do anything”! It was awesome. I made a lot of personal discoveries this week, and though most of them came through in my training, many of them aren’t running related. That is why I love challenging myself. It’s only when we push ourselves beyond our limits that we truly learn about ourselves and grow as human beings. Too much? Sorry, I’m a REALLY sappy person. I mean ask my friends who is the most emotional person they know. I guarantee you, they will all say me. And you know what? I like it. So here’s how the 11th week of training went down in the land of I Feel Deep Personal Crap 24/7:

Monday–7 mi run. Okay, so about these medium distance runs…Until now, I’ve totally sucked at them. The training plan always reads something like “X miles easy to warm up, then X miles at moderate pace. Moderate pace is slightly harder. You can hear your breathing, but you’re not gasping for air.” Problem #1: I can always hear my breathing. Perhaps that’s not normal? I just usually wear headphones to block it out ;) Problem #2: It’s 90* out, and no pace feels easy. Problem #3: PLEASE JUST TELL ME A PACE TO HIT OTHERWISE I NEVER KNOW IF I’M DOING IT RIGHT!!!! Please Coach Susan? Can’t you just tell me exactly what to do at every moment of every run? I thought that was how this worked? And while we’re at it, maybe you could just run the miles 4 me. You’d do it in about half the time. Okay, or maybe that’s not the point. Anyway, after the scheduled 3 mile warm up, I told Nicole that I actually wanted to try to push the next 4 miles. I’ve spent a lot of time being scared I can’t run faster when it’s hot out, and that if I actually picked it up, I wouldn’t be able to get through it. Well it turns out, although running in the heat is still tough, running at a moderate pace is actually not that much harder. I ended up running the last 4 in 9:40, 9:34, 9:25, 8:31. Note to self: Stop sucking it up like a baby, and actually push yourself. You  can do a lot more than you think.

Tuesday–Linda’s Spin. Love.

Wednesday–Track: 6x800s. We were told to find a partner at about our speed, then one partner did a lap alone, then the second lap with their partner, then the second partner did their second lap alone. Sounds more confusing than it is. I partnered up with Bob and was the first to go, so basically I would run the second half of my 800 with him, then rest while he ran his final lap (around 2 min). After Monday, I was all pumped up and ready to really push myself, and I ran my 800s in 8:07, 8:08, 8:02, 8:00, 7:58, 7:57. I wanted to die on the last one, but it was awesome to really push myself, and work harder than I have been. I was still basically the last one on the track, but such is life.

Thursday–Recovery run. 3 miles of shuffling at a snail’s pace. The first run I’ve done by myself in a while. No music (what??? I’ve actually run a lot without music lately, and it really isn’t so bad!) It was nice to just go at my own pace, shake my body out, and let the recovery run do it’s thing.

Friday–18 mi bike ride. Friday mornings are my happy place. I get to hang out with one of my favorite people, move my body, and not worry about pace/time/mileage/anything. Nicole and I just spend the time chatting, and there is always breakfast and coffee. This time it didn’t rain (YAY!!), and Nicole learned to change a flat tire.

while I sat there and looked totally confused.

For some reason we wore our helmets the entire time. We wondered how many food bloggers it takes to change a tire….Steve ended up coming to save the day, but Nicole was doing pretty awesome I have to say! We also saw this awesome sunrise.

My favorite thing about morning workouts.

Saturday–15 mi run. If you live in Phoenix, perhaps you’ve had the pleasure of running on San Juan Rd. No? Lucky. In all seriousness though, this run was I would say 90% great. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t 100% hard. It was one of the most challenging training runs I have ever done, and it was the first where I had to take walk breaks, but you know what? I didn’t care. I didn’t care about my super slow pace, and I didn’t really mind the fact that when I arrived at 5am my phone said it was 92*, and I didn’t hate working hard on the hills. I’ve said it 100 times, but I signed up to do this because I wanted to challenge myself. For some sick and twisted reason, I actually enjoy this crap. Not so much while I’m doing it, but nothing compares to the pride I get when I finish a tough work out. In the end, I ran 15 miles with 986 ft of elevation gain at a 10:48 average pace. I had so much support from my coach and so many members of my team it was incredible! At the turn around point, Susan was up at the top of the hill with a bull horn yelling for us! We also had people on bikes (ummm David you are AWESOME) with water and lots of positive energy to keep us going. When my ipod stopped working, David actually sang to me. Nicest guy ever. Having so many supportive people around during the hardest parts of this run made it so.much.better. The end was the hardest. The road is only 6.3 miles long, so I had to run back past my car, run the opposite direction for a little over a mile, and it turns out the way out was all downhill, so at the very end when I wanted to die, I had to run back alone and uphill. I may have had an F this moment, but I finished it, and within an hour I was riding some serious runner’s high.

I spent my Saturday night like this.

I lead a thrilling life. Don’t be jealous.

Sunday–Super easy recovery ride. I wanted coffee. My legs were stiff and a little angry, and begging to move around, so Steve and I rode to Dutch Bros and back.

 

Next week is a cut back week (hallelujah!), and then the week after that, shit gets real. I’m going to run further than I ever have, and I cannot freaking wait. All this time I’ve been telling everyone “I can’t wait until we do 16 miles! I’ve never done that before!’ Well as some sort of cruel joke, we skip 16 and go straight to 17. Whatever. I’m freaking stoked.

NYC Marathon Training Week 10

Week 10–half way there! This was a huge week. We had our team fundraiser with a big silent auction, and I spent most of the week freaking out over preparing for it. Good thing I had a little lot of help from my friends! The event actually ended up going really well for me , and I am happy to say that once everything is entered in, I should be about half way to my goal! That means there’s still a lot of work to do, but I am starting to feel more confident that I can do this. All of it.

This week was tough for me. I don’t know what it is, but the day after a half marathon I always feel terrible. It doesn’t matter if I’ve done well, or if I’m frustrated with my time, I just feel completely wiped physically and emotionally. The emotional exhaustion just seemed to carry through the week. I honestly can’t be surprised. Most nights I don’t get home until after 9, and then I need time to wind down before I can fall asleep, and then I wake up between 4-5am most days, and it’s just not enough sleep. For the first time, I started to feel like the time commitment of my training was a burden, and I know I don’t *actually* feel that way, but between work, fundraising, training, and trying to not completely suck at being a wife/family member/friend, I just felt like something had to give. I’m hopefully with the stress of the auction behind me, this week will be better. Also, I have an incredibly supportive coach and teammates that are doing everything they can to help me reach my goal.

This week felt like the transition into real marathon training, if that makes sense? For the last 10 months, I’ve been perpetually training for multiple half marathons, and now I don’t have anything scheduled until NYC. Our long runs are getting longer (14 miles this week), and the entire commitment of a full marathon is slowly starting to sink in. It’s tough and it’s presenting unexpected challenges, but I like it. I didn’t sign up for a walk in the park. I signed up to challenge myself, and stretch my abilities in ways I never dreamed were possible.

So, all that said, here’s how it went this week:

Monday–12 mi bike ride. Nice and easy recovery ride with Nicole to get my muscles loosened up post AFC.

Tuesday–Linda’s Spin. Perfection, as always.

Wednesday–Speed work: 8 x 1min. Warm up, 1 min intervals @  6:58, 7:12, 7:21, 7:24, 7:25, 7:17, 7:11, 7:00. My legs were definitely still a little tired, but not too bad.

Thursday–6 mi run. Okay, so I kind of suck at the whole do 2 miles slow then the next 4 at moderate effort thing. I’m really good at the slow part, but then I just slowwwwwwlllllyyyy get faster each mile. I don’t really think that’s the point, but with the heat, I’m still trying to base it on effort. I don’t have it totally figured out yet. I ran with Nicole (who is awesome and slows down from her speedy ways to stick with me) and averaged just over a 10 min pace. I feel like I need to work a little harder on these.

Friday–12 mi bike ride. Ugghhh, this day was annoying. I rode in the 10 min of pouring rain, got picked up by Nicole just as it stopped, then we went back out to ride, but everything was muddy and gross. Ended up cutting it shorter than normal, but as always the company and breakfast/coffee parts were awesome :)

Saturday–14 mi run. Okay, so Friday was the team fundraiser, and I didn’t get home til well after 10. I tried to go straight to bed, but I was all wound up from the evening and it took me forever to fall asleep. I ended up getting between 4-5 hours of sleep, waking up at 4am, and almost convincing myself to go back to bed and just skip the run. It felt impossible, and I knew I had 4 hours of teaching to do right after that I wasn’t quite sure how I’d make it through. I’m not gonna lie, the run was tough, and the rest of the morning was too. However, tough is not impossible, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I didn’t feel great, and it wasn’t my best, but I also didn’t feel horrible, and it wasn’t my worst. I ran with Stacey the entire time, and we ran with Jo a lot which was super helpful, because when you run with someone you don’t know as well, there is more pressure to keep going, haha. I ended up finishing in about 2:26 with a 10:24 average pace. I got some serious runners high and decided that there was nothing in the world I couldn’t accomplish. Then I was so tired that I missed my exit going to the studio, and then stopped at a green light. I was a little weird all day long, but no one really seemed to mind ;)

Sunday–10 mi bike ride. Snail speed. Rode with my perfect husband. He has been so awesome, I could write an entire post about how I’m the luckiest woman alive.

So there you have it friends. Half way through marathon training. Also, I’m working on convincing my mom to come out to NYC to watch me cross the finish line, because at 27 years old, I still haven’t grown out of needing my parents approval when I accomplish things. Okay, let’s be honest, I still haven’t grown out of needing the entire world’s approval, because I thrive on positive reinforcement. ;)

 

NYC Marathon Training Week 9

Oy. Yesterday was not the best day, but you know what? It finished a whole lot better than it started. It’s amazing–if you just ask for help, usually people are happy to do it! Heather, Nicole and Tara are being rock stars helping me out to get ready for the fundraiser. Emily and Lauran talked me down, and reminded me that I don’t suck at life. I got lots of love from my best friend Bethany, and then my amazing husband….GAHHHH, I LOVE HIM. He cleaned the house. He knows me. He gets it. He knew exactly what I needed from him, and he agreed to help me with my baking for the fundraiser on Friday. Everything will work out. I just have to get through this week of auditions and silent auction planning!

So about this whole marathon training thing…. One day its going to be over and I’m actually gonna have to run the thing. That day used to seem so far away, but its going to be here before I know it. Sometimes I think I prefer the training to the actual race. There’s less pressure, and so many opportunities to hit new paces and mileage. I’m so excited for the week we do 16 miles because it will be my first time really tackling a new distance since February. That was my favorite thing about training for PF Chang’s–every week I was setting new records for myself, and it definitely motivated me to keep at it.

I was a little emotional about my running this week. Pick your jaws up off the floor, people. I know me being emotional is totally shocking and out of character, but please keep it together ;) Here’s a look at how it went down.

Monday: 6 mi run with Nicole. This was supposed to be 2 miles easy, then 4 moderate. It ended up being a start realllllllly slow, then get faster every mile. Close enough, right? It was hot, and by the end I was at my normal moderate pace, but it took me a while to get there. Ended up with an average pace of 10:14–not quite where I’d like to be, but I’m trying to learn to go by effort rather than numbers when it comes to running in the heat. Nicole and I did see a really gorgeous sunrise, though which made everything kinda worth it!


Tuesday: Linda’s spin. 20.5 miles in 55 min. I love spin. Christina even joined me last week, and she’s coming down again today. I love spinning with friends!

Wednesday: Track. 1.2 mi warm up, 4x400s @ 8:17, 8:16, 8:16, 8:10, 1mi @ HMGP @ 8:54. I ended up with 4.36 mi in about 41 min (9:17 average). I felt like my paces were spot on, but then I was the very last person left on the track. I ran 2 entire laps with no one else. It was embarrassing and frustrating. I know it’s because most of my team was not racing, and did their mile time trial, and that’s faster obviously, but it just kinda put me in a bad place mentally about it. I hate feeling like I’m the worst, slowest, etc. Coach Susan gave me a pep talk about not comparing myself to others–something that could still use some work.

Thursday: Recovery run. Ran with Nicole again. I love having running friends so close by, and I’m so happy we’ve been able to work out in the mornings so often lately! I came up with this brilliant plan for Nicole to do her mile time trial while I recovery ran. We warmed up together, I met her at the end of her mile after I continued on at my slow recovery pace, and then she was able to cool down while I kept shuffling along my tired legs. I ended up with 3.32 mi in 35 min. Nicole killed her mile. She is Speedy Gonzales.
Friday: 19 mile bike ride. BBFF cross training day! Bike + breakfast + coffee = the reason I love Friday mornings.

Saturday: Rest. 

Sunday: AFC Half Marathon. Full recap coming soon. Spoiler alert: it was hot and I met none of my goals I’m working on being Zen about it. Here’s an other sunrise picture. This was probably the best part about this race.

So this week was kind of a roller coaster. That’s okay. It’s  long training plan, and not every week is going to be perfect. I just keep reminding myself of when I did my 10 mile time trial, and it was the most perfect run ever of life. It reminds me that I’m capable of having kick ass runs that not only meet my goals, but feel great too. Onward.

PS: Yesterday I officially signed up online, then received my travel info from marathon tours. Talk about things getting real!