Thursday, April 30, 2015

Up next....

So…  now that I am through my Spring goal race, it is obviously time to start planning ahead, working on the next goal. And sometime around April 15, marathon fever started to set in. I don’t know what it is about the Spring that makes me want to train for a full marathon (not to mention chase BIG dreams), but once again, I am there.

As usual, watching Boston on Marathon Monday, or Patriots Day, definitely continued to inspire and make me realize that the BQ dream is definitely still there, even though I stepped back from it this spring. I was feeling mentally unable to get there when training first started this winter. I just did not have it in me for the long runs this winter, especially when I had some struggles trying to get outside, run long miles on the treadmill, whatever. I apparently got very comfortable with the fact that I was out.

Regardless, since I have come to peace with the fact that training in the winter is the harder time of year for me. I seem to feel better in the summer and fall, I guess.

As a result, I have been making a plan for fall. And I think I might have it locked in.

Yep. I am in. I had a guaranteed entry from running in Columbus last year (from my time) so I applied for it and was accepted as a result. I am going for the big BQ once again in the fall.

Not only that, but due to some discussions with an old high school friend, there has been some coaching discussions. So... be on the lookout for that... It is coming.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

GCM follow up

So I am sitting in my hotel room in Sioux Falls, SD. The last time I was here I started writing a blog post, and it sat in my drafts for MONTHS, and I do not know that I ever actually posted it.

Today is my first day back on the workout train after the GCM on Sunday. I got up at 6:30 am (CST) and headed down to the hotel gym for a quick three miles. After that (progressive pace, 8:24 average), I did a solid core workout (including this one from one of my HEROES!) and did some basic leg strengtheners (squats, bulgarian split squats, calf raises, donkey kicks, sumo squats) with the free weights that my hotel gym had available. You do what you can, right? I will head down there again tomorrow, I think, for a similar workout.

I have two more pics from GCM that have not been posted yet.
Me, my cousin Megan (first half!) my Uncle Joe (you may remember pics of him from other Toledo races) and Megan's son Quin. I am so proud of Megan for running her first half, and her husband for running his first (and only, so he says) full. We shall see where they end up landing, after all, Uncle Joe said last year was his only, and he obviously has now done another.

I am definitely already wondering if Megan is done or not. I know that she and Pete are planning to come down and run the Hudy with me in the fall, so maybe we can discuss it then.

And of course, I had to meet up with Jen and Deloris again AFTER the race to see how they did. They both said they had decent races, but were a little disappointed (understandable, that happens.) But overall, it was a great morning in Toledo!

Glass City Half Marathon: Race Recap

Well well well, Glass City Half Marathon, we meet again. The site of many "firsts" in my racing career. My first real goal race (although it ended up being a training run for my first marathon.) My first sub-2 in 2012. A DNF due to pregnancy in 2013. A 2014 PR. A brand spanking new (spoiler alert) 2015 PR. And that being in a boot for 2 weeks prior to the race. Yes, I still ran light miles during those two weeks, but outside of workouts, I have been in a boot. I didn't want to mention that on here for fear of jinxing myself or something.

(And before you ask, YES I have been clearance to get OUT of the boot for workouts).

So I arrived on the University of Toledo campus at approximately 6:15 am (7 am start time) after my mom dropped me off at the college of engineering. That is where I parked the previous year, and so I knew that it would be a good place to get dropped in order to best bang for my buck (read: mom would be able to get back OUT of the parking lot, and I didn't have a terrible walk!)I headed immediately for Savage Hall to use the INDOOR facilities. I went twice, for good measure, and then headed outside to meet up with some of the birds at the elite tent.
(Deloris, me, Jen)
Granted, Jen was the only one of the three of us who could actually USE the elite tent, but it was a good place to find each other. After snagging this pic, Jen went to go warm up and Deloris and I walked to the corrals where my high school friend Alisha joined us. We chatted together for a few minutes and then Deloris headed a bit further back and Alisha and I talked plans for the race. I told her what I wanted to do, and she talked a bit about being sick and not training exactly how she wanted. It wasn't long before the race started and we were off!

Leaving the campus of the University and heading into Old Orchard, we passed Alisha's mom immediately (I could hear Alisha behind me yelling to her - "Did you see Emily?") and ran through the neighborhoods of my high school friends, a few of which I saw as we ran past their family homes. At about 1.5 miles into the race, we crossed Secor and entered Ottawa Hills, where the majority of the race takes place. Now the "hills" here are nothing like those of Cincinnati, so I was comfortable, but it is the hilliest portion of the course, if you can call it hilly. We ran past St. Ursula Academy, and I considered stopping to pee, but I had set a goal and I did not want to miss it for a potty break.

Mile 1: 8:04
Mile 2: 7:54
Mile 3: 7:53
Mile 4: 7:54

Mile 5-ish is where the first relay exchange is. I was kind of in the zone by then so I was not really noticing ANYTHING that was going on around me. I noticed a pair of Stride short minis (in the punch) and since I have been tossing these into and out of my cart for WEEKS I decided I was going to catch this girl. I spent the rest of the time weaving up and down the streets of Ottawa Hills chasing those shorts (if it was you wearing those shorts, reach out to me!) and when we crossed Central Avenue to go into Wildwood, I was excited. I kicked up the speed then (although looking at my splits you cannot see it because over the mile I didn't actually go any faster) and caught this girl. I complimented her shorts, and sped by. Just past the 8 mile mark the half and the full split directions with the full going into Sylvania and the half headed back to the University.

Mile 5: 7:56
Mile 6: 7:57
Mile 7: 7:58
Mile 8: 7:51

After we turned back on to the bike trail, I kept my head down and kept running. They had mile markers out there for the marathon, which were the 21 and 22 markers, which made me realize how different they would be feeling when they hit that part of the course. I was feeling good, running the race I had planned, conservative pacing. We went back into Ottawa hills and ran what felt like the hilliest miles of the course, but if you look at elevation, it is probably not. I was starting to feel a little tired, but I was able to keep pushing back through Ottawa Hills and back into the University. It was a good race. I eavesdropped a little on a few folks that were running slightly ahead of me, and was able to catch and pass them.

Mile 9: 8:03
Mile 10: 7:59
Mile 11: 7:51
Mile 12: 8:05
Mile 13: 7:51
Last tail end: 1:01

My official time was 1:44:17 for a 7:56 average pace. I am so pleased with the race! I ran exactly how I hoped to run, and honestly, look at those split times, they were pretty damn good and even. I am SUPER pleased with the race.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Some training notes on flexibility

So I have been looking back at my training cycle and trying to pin down different things that have happened, how they have maybe effected me (or not) and try and look at it and see how I can do better next time. I worked very hard to try and be more flexible this cycle, knowing that I had to be that. I knew that it would be better for me to be more open this cycle and try not to get very stringent about training.

I have certainly struggled since I started training for big races finding a balance between my "regular life" and training, and this cycle was a test. I started lifting again, but still managed to get the majority of the mileage that I wanted to get by shifting my days around, running in the morning and then adding additional miles while warming up before lifting. It made things work out.

I also learned that it is a little bit difficult sometimes to run the paces that I need to run for my speedwork first thing in the morning. But I am going to continue to make it work. I have to. I think that as I get back into marathon-mode, I am going to need to run in the morning almost all that I can. It is definitely going to be the easiest way to make sure I can log all of my miles.

Occasionally I did runs (usually a tempo and a long run) on back to back days on the weekend because that was the easiest time to make sure that I got them both done. It is all about making sure that I can best get the appropriate amount of training.

So here are some numbers for the training cycle (reminder: I have about 8 more miles to run this cycle.)
309 miles run
4 pair of shoes rotated
105 lbs squat (new PR! for 4 sets of 12 reps)
6:44 fastest mile
8:30 or faster - most runs

So here we go. Let's run hard.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Less than a week

So I am now less than a week out from the Glass City Half Marathon, a race that I PR'd at a year ago after not training the way that I should have. This year, I have trained my rear end off after all of the training I did in the fall for Columbus and then falling off the wagon for a short time. But regardless, this year I am ready for a REAL race with a well-earned PR instead of one that I just lucked into. I am very much ready.

I keep telling myself that, I have been telling myself that for weeks, and after two back to back 12 milers, I truly feel as through I have properly trained, even though the cycle was not without its flaws.

But I am ready. I am ready.

I will review my training cycle soon, and go into race goals later this week, but for right now, I want to take a deep breath and focus on how things went and try and focus on running fast and feeling good.

Here goes nothing!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Finally writing

My final post was written nearly a month ago. Let's be honest, that is really pretty damn sad. I miss writing. I miss the consistency that I used to have updating this. I miss being able to express myself through the written word and having a relationship with other writers. My work life and home life have been so busy that I have not even been able to think about it.

I guess it is what it is...  Sometimes things get in the way of all of the things that you want to do and you just need to make it happen.

And maybe sometime I will just figure out my schedule well enough in order to balance all of the things that I would like to be able to do. But for now, I prioritize and I just make do with the time that I have to really hammer through the important things. And work and Roo and J have to be the priority all the time, they just do.

We are nearly over the busy hump at work (I hope), and my time will become slightly more flexible, and I might be able to squeeze in other workouts or time to write. I keep saying that, I feel like I have been saying that for months, but this time I might actually mean it. We have been going through the audit at work and it just has been never ending. But I really think that there is a chance that we might be over the big hump at the end of April.

I am hoping for June to be a nice relaxed month because we have a lot on the books that month. There are the obvious things, Father's Day (Addie and I are starting to make plans!) and my birthday. But then there are less obvious things like planned trips. One weekend J will be gone in Vegas for a conference. On Wednesday of the following week, I am flying out there to join him for a long weekend. The following week, I am flying out to Salt Lake City to meet a few Oiselle ladies to run the Ragnar Relay out there. It will be my first Ragnar experience, although not my first overnight relay. And then I will be back in Ohio just in time for my birthday!

But here is a few quick Roo shots, because I am sure you all (if anyone is still reading!) miss her little nugget face!

And yes, she still has a Paci. She is the "class biter" so if she tries to bite someone, they stick that in her mouth. Let's be honest, I would rather have her do that than bite another kid!

And a few where you can see her sweet face. She is the best.