After I picked myself up after Mercedes, I decided I was going to make Tuscaloosa a good race. It should be flat, it looks like weather is going to be pretty dang good, and most of all– a ton of friends are running it and it should be a blast.
I’m really hoping to finally break that 2 barrier, and think I can do it on this course, but I am not going to stress. I’m still not that far from Mercedes, and it may prove difficult to race so soon. I guess, I still regret not taking that sub 2 in Tuscaloosa last year.. but I held back to talk a newly made on the course friend to the finish.. Sometimes, it’s good to be a friendly face on the course to someone.
I did my last long run solo this weekend… I think that was a wise choice since the mental battle has been such a struggle for me. I needed to be able to talk myself into keeping pace and I pretty much nailed it.
I feel confident I can do this, but will not stress about it. I can’t let myself overthink and stress about paces and what not.. I will just run my race to the best of my ability.
I’ve found a new love in compression socks over the past few weeks. I’ve been wearing them during long runs and and afterwards and it’s helped the soreness in my ankle so much. I actually ran my long run without my brace!
They get their love of brightly colored clothes honest, y’all.
I’m pretty much in love with this video that aired on Fallon last night.. I’m adding Let It Go to my race playlist immediately!
Anyway.. who is racing this weekend??
Saturday night was my normal pre race shuffle of laying out my outfit (had to decide what to wear first!), gathering all of my stuff to take, making my race playlist, etc.
When I got off the interstate, so much adrenaline coursed through me that I thought I was going to vomit. And they had roads closed that they don’t normally have closed, and so parking was super fun.
I found my C-town buddies staying warm inside Boutwell Auditorium.
We walked to the start line about 10 minutes before the race started and I lined up with the 4 hour marathon pacer. My plan was to stay with her, but keep an eye on my watch and stay as close to 9:05 as I could.
The gun went off and I had a brain fart and started my watch early… so much for it being time reliable at that point. After about 3-4 miles, I realized what a bad decision I made with wearing long sleeves.. should have done a tank for sure. I was feeling good though, staying with the pacer. She was a little fast, clocking those miles in the 8:50′s and between miles 5-6 and I decided to do what my coach told me, and back off. I still had a long way to go. I hit the 10K split in 54 minutes, which is a PR for that. I made through 5 points, no problem, but when I hit the Highlands, my brace came untied and I had to stop and tie it, and I basically lost all momentum at that point. I couldn’t rally. Miles 7 and 8 were my slowest. I switched my watch view to pace instead of time/distance so I could keep an eye on my pace. I tried to make up lost time on a hill (so smart! Not.) and told myself “do not let your pace get above a 9:30″ and I just watched it creep up and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I knew at that point, that the sub 2 was gone from my grasp.
I tried to hold on to the fact that I could still PR and I’ve never cursed anything more than I did running at mile 12. That last mile will get you. I crossed the finish line to cheers from some RR teammates and that made me smile. I PR’d with a 2:02:30.
I can’t say enough of the online support that I receive via Instagram and Twitter. You people rock!!!
I was so proud of Katelyn, who ran her first half yesterday and killed it.
It’s safe to say that post race, Katelyn and I had fun. This is basically all that we did. I told her we were lucky that her mom doesn’t know how to Vine or else there would be so interesting videos out there of our dancing.
I’m trying to be okay with not breaking my 2 hour time goal. I keep playing a lot of “what if” scenarios in my head, which makes it hard. I’m going to run Tuscaloosa in 3 weeks, so we are hoping it happens there. By the time I got home yesterday, Coach Ann had already sent me my training, so we’ve got some work over the next 3 weeks to prepare. I refuse to turn 30 without hitting sub 2.
I felt like I had been hit with a baseball bat after I got home yesterday. I took two naps. You know that achy-can’t-get-comfortable-feeling like you get with the flu? That’s how I felt. My lower back is sore from my phone in my spi-belt– I should stop running with my phone, honestly. My feet are ridiculously tender and I have blood blisters… thank the lord it isn’t flip flop weather! I also chaffed pretty bad in a area that no woman wants to be chaffed. I guess I will be spending some quality time with my foam roller this week since my hamstrings are like rocks.
I’m going to be honest. When I got home, and after I had taken my first nap and showered (in that order. Hubs called me gross.), I uploaded my splits and started looking and analyzing (what? C’mon. You know you do it too.) and I just started crying. I was so disappointed that I let it slip through my fingers.
Ever had a race like that? That just took a complete nose dive halfway through?? How did you recover?
We woke up Thursday morning to a Winter Wonderland. Except, I like Summer and am over this extremely cold weather. This was, of course, after already being trapped in the house for 2 days… err… I mean, being at home with my sweet redheaded children who love to fight in a fort and bake in the Easy Bake Oven.
As I sat watching the snowfall Wednesday evening, it was so peaceful, and all I could think was “I HAVE to run in this!”. Someone should have had me committed at that moment, because that’s the exact opposite of me 2 years ago. Heck, even 2 months ago. I don’t do the extreme cold. But I was itching to get out in it.
I decided to run out my front door. Something I very rarely (okay. Never.) do. Simply because it’s not very safe. People drive crazy on country roads and I don’t want to be road kill.
It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life… it was gorgeous.
I learned that you run on the powdered stuff and don’t try to attempt to run in someone’s tire tracks, because it’s frozen and the powder is soft. I stopped and took pictures when I wanted (which was a lot!). I even had some animals look at me like I was crazy.
It tried to eat my shoes, but I wouldn’t let it!
It was so fun running like this. Having to be careful where I stepped, but just running for fun with no time goals or stress and some beautiful surroundings. It was wonderful to help relieve some of the stress of my upcoming race and really just have fun running in the snow.
Here’s to a sub 2 at Mercedes!
- Run/swim/bike a combined total of 1500 miles. Didn’t happen. I was right at 1,000 miles.. pretty far off.
- Run 3 half marathons this Spring. DONE.
- Complete 3 tri’s this summer. Only did 2.. stupid injury.
- Don’t die during the Ragnar Relay. DONE.
- Run a sub 2:15 half marathon. DONE.
- Cook dinner every night for an entire week. Totally forgot I set this as a goal..
- Grow an herb garden and use it! Nope. I have a feeling I will never do this.
- Balance between my goals, John’s goals, and what’s good for the girls. Reaching goals take sacrifice for all parties, and it’s very easy to become selfish with what you want, and not what’s best for the family. I’d like to think I did this!
- Take the girls on a weekend trip.. somewhere fun but within driving distance. DONE. The cruise counts, right??
- Be able to do the splits. This is laughable that I set it as a goal..
- Continue with cross training and weight training. DONE… Err… still a work in progress!
- Clean up my eating… being more mindful of what I am putting into my body. Still a work in progress…
- Go to a Pro Football Game. Another one that’s probably not going to happen.
I haven’t set my goals for 2014 yet.. I’m a little disappointed that I missed so many. Oh well! Let’s take a look back at how EPIC 2013 was.
We started off the year with C turning 4…
And then I ran Ragnar Relay FLK… I still can’t believe I did that.
We went to the National Title game… and I was photobombed by my brother in law.
I ran Mercedes.. and officially crushed my sub 2:15 goal.
And then 2 weeks later, I ran Tuscaloosa and PR’d again..
I went to Texas for the final BlissDom…
C discovered her love of a knee pop..
I went up to DC and ran Nike Women’s with Molly… No PR for me, but still was one of my favorite races.
I did another Tri.. this one with J and I placed in my Age Group again.
We went on a cruise… and had a fabulous time.
Tried some Energy Bits… loved them so much I became an ambassador. (Use RUNINHIGHHEELS for 15% off!)
I raced twice in one day.. Triathlon in the morning and a 5K at night.
Mom and I took Addy to the American Girl Store in Atlanta.
2014 has some big shoes to fill… Hope it can live up the expectations.
Are you sad to see 2013 go??
I suppose I should discuss the fact that I have a half marathon coming up in a few days…Blah. That’s exactly how I feel about it at this moment. Which isn’t a good racing mindset, let me tell ya. Life is just busy right now, and with it being so cold, it’s really hard to stay motivated to get out of a warm and cozy bed at ungodly hours to run. I actually skipped the majority of my runs last week. Oops.
My goal is to break 2 hours… and I’d really love to be around 1:56, honestly. (Am I allowed to say that on the Internets?) But, to be honest, I’m still skeptical about the training and it freaks me out. Probably because my coach says I should be able to, but I just don’t see HOW. Which sends my tendency towards being a control freak completely into a downward spiral. Just top that off with some race week neuroses and life craziness and we have ourselves a fine concoction of someone no one wants to be around (Holy run on sentence, y’all).
Another thing is… I need a running playlist. I’ve spent the majority of this training cycle running naked (No iPod, perverts) and just chatting people’s ears off.. or listening to people chat mine off. Either way, I don’t think strangers will appreciate me rambling on. The point of that was… send me your best running songs, ASAP.
I realized this week that my ankle brace that I run in is tearing up too.. I really don’t want to have to replace that thing, but I feel like I am going to have to. Not. A. Fan. I hoped a little online shopping would help snap me out of my running funk, but nope. Not so far, anyway.
In an effort to not be such a Debbie Downer… I am including a picture from Halloween. Y’all would judge me on the amount of pictures that I take of myself and send to my friends, so lets just not go there. But I am wearing the Mouse Ears I bought at the expo for my first half marathon at Disney.
So. I need your favorite running songs and something to snap me out of this funk.
Recently, I was sent some Athleta gear to try. I’ve always loved to look through their catalogs whenever they come in the mail. When I tore into the package, I was expecting a pair of black running pants… talk about surprised!! It was as if Athleta already knew me and new I wasn’t a black running capri type gal. Since I am on the shorter side (5’4” on a good day), they sent me the capri instead of a full length pant. I immediately put them on and they felt so good!! The Relay Capri was so soft and thick, yet light weight. I love the thicker band up top too. For those that are wondering, this is the coral color. LOVE.
I’m so in love with this pocket looking reflective strip. It just adds a nice little detail, don’t you think?
I have run in these a couple of times and I love them! I use the drawstring and these things do not move. I ran in them when it was 20 degrees last week and the only part of me that was cold was my exposed skin at the bottom. They seriously didn’t let my butt fat freeze like other capris and I was most thankful. I am in need of some black running capris, and I actually ordered the Bare to Run Knicker this week. I’m ready to try it out!!
I have been so happy with Athleta as a company! I love that they interact with their customers on social media and I honestly think they are an amazing brand. They have a partnership with Girls on the Run, which is a non-profit organization to help young girls build confidence through setting and achieving goals. Their blog is a wealth of knowledge from running, to cycling, to triathlons, to training plans.. you name it, it’s probably there. I can’t wait to try out more of their products. Did I mention they come in tall, regular, and petite sizing as well?? Score.
I decided to get up before the chickens and drive to Birmingham Saturday morning to run with the Birmingham Track Club. They have an awesome group that meets on Saturdays and has multiple distances and multiple paces. With it being so flipping cold, The Trak Shak opened and let us hang inside while they went over the routes.. of course, I never listen to turns… Probably a terrible idea. But I did run with my phone, in case I got lost. Because that’s been known to happen before.
The gigantic group starts together but they end up breaking off into smaller groups based on pace. I am becoming more comfortable walking into these settings of not knowing anyone and just start talking to people. Sometimes people are more receptive and others aren’t, but I’ve found that this Saturday group is super friendly and will make you feel comfortable.
I met pacers for my upcoming half marathon and past Ms. Alabama’s, so it was a good run, I’d say. Of course, the route was a little on the tough side, with some killer hills… one of which was an incline for about 2.5 miles… Super fun with the ankle. But the view atop Red Mountain… was sort of worth it. The group said the sunrise was amazing, but we were a little bit early for sunrise and it was still dark… It looks lighter because of all the lights coming from the buildings downtown.
My race season starts on Saturday with my 3rd 10K ever and the first time that I’ve ever run the Vulcan 10K. I’m hoping it’ll be a good run that I finish in under 1:00, but we shall see what the ‘ol running coach says. I’d love to see sub-55, but I am not sure that is even possible or smart with a half marathon at the end of November.
The ankle seems to be holding up in the brace. It’s a little more sore after those 9 miles, but nothing unmanageable. I should probably avoid big hills though.
So. I sort of did something crazy and definitely out of the norm. I hired a running coach. I know me and how I operate (it’s a gift of having known myself for 29 years) and if left to my own devices, I would jump back into running with both feet… which is hard to do since running is typically one foot at a time. My friend Jennifer had sent me a link right around the time I got injured for Resolute Running. They were doing a training group for the Magic City half. After numerous e-mails with Alex about my injury and even discussing running goals when I actually couldn’t run, I decided to take the plunge and do it. I figured, if he would watch me like a hawk with my ankle and tell me exactly what to do, I’d be in good shape. That’s another thing with me.. I tend to follow directions well.
Coach Alex and I discussed using Magic City as my “come back” run. And the goal would be to just finish. We talked about my PR being 2:02 and how I REALLY wanted to break 2 hours and he said, “Oh. That’s pretty much done. Let’s look at 1:50.” Wait a second. I am barely running, and am not running near 2 hour paces and you want me to set my sights on a 1:50 half? Before the conversation was over, he had mentioned a 1:30 half and me still being “moldable”. Afterwards, I was very confused. I thought I was just easing back in and he’s talking about major PR’s.
Then I got my training plan. And it is a bunch of 10:30 paces and then I was SUPER confused. So, I e-mailed him and asked what was up– Was the goal really just to cross the finish line or was it break 2 hours? He explained to me that he was being very lenient with my paces and I should be able to run a 1:56 half with this. Skepticism, party of 1??
I read Tanya’s post on Coach Alex’s style and it eased my thoughts, but I’m still a little skeptical on it… but, I will trust the training and do what I am told.
For now, I am back running, with Betty the brace (she’s becoming a part of me so she needed a name). I’m not doing any speed work and I am glad to know that I haven’t lost too much of my fitness being out a month– I had a long run this weekend of 7 miles and still felt pretty dang good afterwards. Right now, I am running 3 days a week and cross training 2 days with 2 rest days. I have the Vulcan 10K coming up and I would love to break 55 for it, but I am not sure that will happen.
I swear I’m not intentionally holding out on y’all on the foot thing. I just sort of forgot to update the blog on it. Oops. So, I ended up going to physical therapy a couple of weeks ago and she gave me lots of stretches and told me to ice it twice a day and I could run half a mile on a track with the brace and work up from there and eventually back to the road and out of the brace. Do you realize that being told you can only run half a mile after a month off is actually worse than being told NOT to run?
So, I did that for about two weeks with no pain. Then it came time to head to Tuscaloosa for the Ole Miss game and I knew I wasn’t missing a crisp Fall morning campus run. So, I said I’d do 2 miles and stop immediately if it hurt.
We tailgate across from the Walk of Champions and the stadium, so I just headed down University and Fraternity Row. It’s crazy how these new Fraternity houses are. I remember when I was in school (yes. I just said that.) that the KA house was the nicest on campus.
Not bad, right?
This is just one of MANY new Fraternity houses.. Freaking MASSIVE.
When they expanded the stadium, they tore down several Fraternity houses and they got rebuilt. They also tore down some others to make room for more campus housing.
I ended up cutting down to Bryant and I had to go see the Alpha Gam house. It’s just gorgeous. I really love how the new houses still hold the aspects of their original houses.
I cut down Sorority Row and down the side of the stadium and said Good Morning to the Nick Saban statue. He seemed to enjoy some Energy Bits.
I had no pain post run. I ran Monday morning (3 miles) and Tuesday morning (3 miles) and my ankle was a tad sore so I am taking today off and will give it a try again tomorrow. Hubs keeps getting on to me about doing too much, but just like an addict, I can’t stay away.
Monday was my normal Spin class… Different instructor. She was very drill sergeant like and I didn’t approve of her tactics.
Tuesday, I ran with the Gardendale Running Club.. I am loving joining these group runs. Makes it much more enjoyable and sort of race-like.
Wednesday– I swam 1100 yards. Then, my ankle was hurting pretty dang bad so I decided to call it quits for a few days because I was really worried I needed to go see an orthopedic surgeon.
Sunday I ran 3 miles and it was awful. I waited too late in the day and it was pretty hot. Then, my Garmin decided to freeze, so I am really just guessing at the time, although I did map out the exact distance.
My ankle is better, just twinges a little, but nothing that’s not manageable. I’m still not convinced I haven’t done something to it, but I guess we shall see.
I am most likely dropping my Olympic distance Triathlon for next month… I just cannot train for it right now. It doesn’t sound fun at all. I have time goals for the Fall as far as running is concerned and I want to get faster. I am just not sure how to go about that. I also have NO CLUE how to do a track workout either.
Does anyone have an tips for speed work?