Friday, December 31, 2010

Surprise, Surprise! Key West Style.

From the beginning, David and I never gave each other Christmas presents. Instead, we put our money together for a nice vacation. For the first Christmas, we took a January vacation to Jacksonville, FL (at the time we were living in freezing Indianapolis). For Christmas #2, we didn't do anything. Everything kept falling through and we were pretty preoccupied with moving to Florida on January 1st. In March, I flew home for NC vacation instead. With this being Christmas #3, we were excited about planning another trip. We looked into Tahiti, and then Hawaii. David was so excited about having a long vacation (it has been a while - not to mention we're workaholics). I just went with it ... if he was wanting Tahiti, I was game! :) Well, with some expected upcoming work changes in January and February and a coworker being on maternity leave March-May, we couldn't find the time to both take off for that. So, we decided to take time off from Dec. 21-26th for a Key West vacation! It sounded perfect and we started planning.

We arrived in Key West at noon on Tuesday and spent most of the day walking up and down Duval drinking Pina Coladas. Since we were in Louisville the week before, we were loving the 75-80 degree weather. I think it was in the teens in Louisville. We checked in, ate dinner, enjoyed the resort bar and hot tub and called it a night. Not quite what he had planned, but I had no idea and so it was a great day in my books.




Us - on the way to the resort



David



Me



View from our room


By Day 2, he's planning out all of the things that he wants to do. We wake up early and run and then immediately get ready for the beaches near the Southernmost Point.


Southernmost Point - 90 miles to Cuba

We rent a scooter, grab another pina colada (our first for the day) and then start walking up and down the beaches. We come up to this HUGE pier! We see an enormous sting ray and all sorts of pretty fishes. The water is crystal clear, the sky perfect blue and we're enjoying every minute of vacation. We must look at the fish for over 3o minutes. As we leave the pier, we stop again to look at fish. I mention that I want another pina colada and tell him that if I actually want to drink, he should be excited and go along with it! Ha (I never drink!). He says something in return (I don't remember the exact wording) agreeing and that yes, we can celebrate tonight. I say nothing - completely oblivious to his foreshadowing. A few minutes go by and he says "You never asked me what we were going to celebrate." I look at him confused, and not even seconds later he's pulling a ring box out of his pocket. He says something about spending the rest of his life with me ... but, I'm just so surprised. I wasn't expecting it all that I'm just like "Oh my God, are you serious! For real?? AAAHHH!" I am just so excited and happy and shaking and then he kneels on one knee and asks me to marry him! I say yes, of course!!






RING!!!!



View from Dinner



View from Dinner



Us - Celebrating at Dinner



Champagne the next morning

We enjoy the rest of our Key West vacation! I truly feel like I am the luckiest girl and in the world! I am just so incredibly happy!! I'm excited for what 2011 will bring and hope you all have an amazing 2011, too! :)



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm back ... and to the track I go! :)

Two weeks ago today, I went out for a track workout and then headed to the airport to Louisville, KY. 5 days later, I was back in Tampa but only for 12 hours before leaving for Key West, FL. Finally ... I'm back. I hate to say finally though, because vacation sure was nice and I didn't want it to end. But, luckily today, I was back at the track getting my butt in shape!

Today's workout:

10 x 400 w/1:15 minute rest in between

Goal: 96 seconds

It was 32 degrees and freezing. There was even frost on the field on the track. UGH! I was all bundled up and ran 1 1/2 miles as a warm up. Even still, my legs weren't ready to move once I started. Luckily, I quickly warmed up after that and had a pretty negative split workout!

98 95 95 95 93 92 89 86 86 82

I don't know if I've ever had such a negative split workout! I love 400's though! :)

Afterwards, I almost bailed on the optional mile, but then decided to do it. I didn't race it ... but I ran a 6:55. Not so bad.

I have lots to share from Key West .... but, until I find time to do a fun Vacation/Picture post, you'll have to wait! :) Maybe, I get lots of messages, I'll put up the post tonight!! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas + Snow + Recovery!

I have to make this quick ... but, wanted to say Merry Christmas!!

I got back from Louisville, KY last night and am getting ready to leave for the Keys right now! :) I haven't had any time to check up and read your blogs ... so sorry! But, I wanted to say Merry Christmas!

I'm very ready for the Florida Keys! I was in 20 degree temps in Louisville and it was extremely icy and snowy! I'm over the snow! So glad we moved to FL!

I realized after my last half that I haven't given myself any time off basically all year. So, I only ran twice last week. Track on Wednesday + an 8 miler. It worked out as the perfect recovery week since I didn't have access to a treadmill and the roads were so icy. But, lets just say I'm more than ready to get back at it. I seriously NEED running in my life!! :)

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Half RR

This morning, I ran the Holiday Half Marathon in Madeira Beach. It was only about 30 minutes away from me, so it was very nice to have a normal Saturday and wake up at 5:20AM on race morning!!

I REALLY wanted to improve upon my time from last month. I knew I could do it and I've been training very hard. I tried not to over think everything because 7:20 average pace sounds fast!! Wait, that is fast.

My only real race plan was to run easy for the first 4-5 miles. I was aiming for a 7:40 first mile and 7:30ish pace for the next 3 to 4.

I screwed that up!

After a mile warm up (slow) and some strides, I toed the starting line - or got about three seconds back from the starting line. I felt good. I was in my cute pink tank and little black spandex. I had on my black arm warmers, too! I felt good and I was ready!

As I looked down at my watch about .15 into the race, I realized my average pace was 6:21. Oops! I didn't worry too much, I just tried to slooooow down a lot! I kept slowing down until I crossed mile one in 7:11. Even though I felt great and secretly liked that split hoping I could run even faster than I had planned, I was a little nervous.

By mile 2, I was burning up. I tossed my arm warmers in the bin at Mile 2 ... the bin that promised retrieval at the finish line. Nice!! Mile 2: 7:21

I was trying to find a good pace to stay at but was getting passed and getting discouraged! I was trying to stay sub 7:30. In retrospect, I should have been aiming for 7:40's here ... but I was ahead of game and was playing the let's hold on game instead of "lets run smart" game. Mile 3: 7:28 Mile 4 7:28

Towards the end of Mile 5, we had to climb a bridge. It hurt!! I knew I was in trouble here. I was slowing down and I was only at Mile 5: 7:31

We were turning to go on the Pinellas Trail. I was grateful and hopeful of what that would bring ... including wind coverage. The first 5 miles were VERY windy!!!! Very! Mile 6: 7:36

I was telling myself to hold on until 6.55 (half way). At the Women's Half last month, I was right at 49:00 here. Today, I was at about 48:40ish. A little ahead of pace .... but in a completely different mindset that last month. Last month, I felt amazing! I was excited about being half way done and feeling great and wanted that sub 1:37 and knew I had negative splits in me! I was in the "game on" mindset and ready to push!!! Today, I was ready for the race to be over already and was fading.quickly!

I told myself to that the 7:30-7:40 range was still fine and just to relax and run! Sadly, though, I looked down and was running close to 8:00 miles. Ugh! Mile 7: 7:55

Nothing changed. I was trying to tell myself to pick it up but was honestly just hanging on. Mile 8: 7:52

I just keep tracking along ... I was upset with myself and wondering why I didn't taper at all this week. Note to self: I am NOT superwoman!

Mile 9: 7:58

When I got to Mile 10, I saw a friend. I smiled at her, hoping she wouldn't realize I was behind pace (slightly 2 minutes slower than I was at Mile 10 for the Women's half). Then, I had to climb another hill .... UGH! Mile 10: 8:13

At this point, I just told myself that I could do anything for 3 miles. I was doing the math in my head and expecting a 1:43. Mile 11: 8:13

I tried to push, but I couldn't ... but, no one passed me in those last two miles and I passed one runner. Right before Mile 12, a police officer that was directing traffic told me that I needed to take out my ipod and that it was unsafe and illegal and that he could DQ me. I was pissed ... I took out my ipod and lost even more mojo. Mile 12: 8:01

I thought, "Okay, Jaime ... when you get to Mile 13 ... just RUN!" I ran a 7:05 mile 13 at the Women's Half ... When I hit the last mile, we had to run around this lake on a dirt trail straight into the wind - no shield whatsoever. I just kept thinking ... how long can a mile really be?? 8:26 seconds ... that's how long!! I couldn't run faster and I couldn't kick. Finally, I turned a curve and right at Mile 13 and saw the finish line. I made myself kick .... and finished the last .1 in 32 seconds (6:10 pace). I can honestly say that the only kick I had was that .1 and that I couldn't have started any earlier.

I crossed the finish line in 1:41:52 and was so relieved that it was done!! I am happy that I finished and happy that I pushed on very tired legs! I still have high hopes of breaking my 1:37:35 and I have six weeks until my next attempt!

I had a crazy week -
Monday Tempo - 6 miles at 7:36 average pace
Tuesday - 7 easy in 59:51
Wednesday - Track. 6x800 w/the last repeat at 2:59
Thursday - OFF
Friday - 6 miles in 49:47
Saturday - 2 miles: 8:33, 7:26

No excuses. I need to get stronger and I can. I came in 4th place in my age group .... I will get faster and I will start placing. I love to run - even on hard days like this. I'm proud of myself for toughing it out. I will let myself relax and recover a little this week before hitting it hard for 4 weeks and then tapering at least a little before my next half on Jan. 23rd!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why + Weekend Race

People ask me why I run all of the time. They don't get it. Most people absolutely hate running (except all of you and my amazing running friends) and cannot understand why I not only put my body through this on a daily basis, but enjoy it.

I run because I can. I run because it's something that I love to do. I run to see sunrises. I run to escape life. I run to enjoy time with my running friends. I run to spend time by myself. I run to sweat. I run to feel better about myself. I run to stay in shape. I run to be outside. I run because I like pushing myself. I run to feel the wind. I run because I am able.

Don't get me wrong, I sometimes ask myself the same questions. Of course, I love it. But, I sacrifice a lot of other things for my early morning wake ups and my weekend long runs. Sometimes, I question why. I have to remind myself that I'm not an elite and that I don't get paid to run and that I need to find a better balance. I've been working on this a lot post Apalachicola and am happy to say that my running has not suffered at all - if anything, it's gotten even better with the balance. But, just because I'm not an elite and am not paid, doesn't mean that it doesn't feel good to push. I know I have much faster times in me and that excites me. So, while I will never run a 2:25 marathon and may never break 3:00 in the full or 1:20 in the half ... I do feel like I have better running days ahead of me. I believe in myself and I like pushing to see what I can accomplish.

Enough of the why .... let's talk about the FUN stuff ... like ... I have a race this weekend!

I can honestly say that I just want to run well. I'm trying to convince myself that I can run that fast again, or even a tad bit faster (who doesn't love PR's). But, when I look back at my times that day, they are soooo fast! So, I'm trying to think of the other reason's why it is possible that I could do better:
  1. When I ran my 1:37:35, I had only ever trained for full marathons. My tempos and long runs were paced around my "goal marathon pace."
  2. It was HOTTTT that day.
  3. I didn't run good tangents. Hello, 13.23. That's a full extra minute!
  4. The course was hilly. I climbed 1,041 feet.
  5. I walked a 5K the day before while carrying a 3 year old for over half a mile of it.
  6. It's been three weeks, and I've incorporated half marathon pace into my tempos now.
  7. It's going to be 50 degrees and perfect.
  8. The course is flat.
  9. I am not walking a 5K on Saturday, but instead will do a two mile run: 1 mile easy, 1 at 7:15.
  10. Because if I want something bad enough, I can make it happen!!
There you have it ... possibly the most random post by me, ever!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pure LOVE!

When my alarm went off at 4:45AM and I realized that it was 36 degrees outside, my first thought was to stay in the warm bed. But, I didn't. I got up and decided that I would go to the track. I knew I'd be upset if I didn't!

I got all bundled up in my cold weather running gear (Thank God I lived in Louisville and Indianapolis for the last 3 winters) and headed to the track. I ran a mile warm up to stay warm, took off my sweat pants and was ready for track!

6 x 800
Goal Pace: 3:19
Goal - Hit times, but don't push until the last two because I have a half marathon on Sunday

Times:

3:16 3:15 3:14 3:11 3:09 2:59

I'll take it!! Maybe, I like the cold!! :)

Still happy!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Jingle Bell 5K


I decided, on a whim, to run a jingle bell 5K yesterday! I decided to have fun with it. I didn't really want to try for a PR (20:30) because I have a half marathon again next weekend, have been racing and running hard lately AND because I wanted to dress up for the race.

The day before I went to Target and bought some candy cane stripped socks. I bought two pair - one for my legs and one to cut and use as arm warmers. Then, I picked up a cheap Christmas shirt and a candy cane headband to finish the outfit. Sadly, the headband wouldn't stay on and I broke it while trying to force it on. Instead, I put three pairs of jingle bell shoe laces in my hair. Ha.

I warmed up with a mile or two and was ready to go. My friend, Jen, was really wanting to break 20:00 and her ipod was dead! I quickly gave her mine. Note to self: When you aren't going to use an ipod for a 5K, do not put bells in your hair. Ha. Luckily, I was in the Christmas mood, but it was super loud and obnoxious the.entire.way!

The course was actually pretty hilly. It was two loops around the mall. The first loop went by relatively quickly. I was trying to keep my pace, but kept slowing down. I hit the first mile in 6:40ish.

As we started the second loop, we quickly caught up to the walkers. I couldn't believe how much weaving in and out we were having to do. I was a little annoyed and then remembered that I wasn't trying to PR. I wanted to give it a great effort, but had expected this! I pushed through mile 2 in 7:05. I don't remember my last split and .1 but I tried to make myself start pushing around 2.8 I knew I had slowed some, but was ready for it to be over. My legs actually felt good, but my heart was beating fast and I was having trouble pushing!

I finished in 20:56.

It was FUN! It was fun to relax and run and not stress about PR-ing. I would have been so upset if I were aiming for my sub 20 in this race. With the hills and the second loop ... yeah! Besides, i wore knee socks and didn't even wear my speed/racing/lucky charm shoes. They were my heavy Mizuno's that I use for long runs and that have 400 miles on them. Oops.

I can't find the results online, but I won 3rd in my age group. Jen ran a 20:12 and got third in her age group, too!

The pic above was taken at Starbucks, after the race.

Today, I tried to run long. It started pouring about half a mile in so I turned around and only ran 2 miles for the day. My body is tired and I have a half marathon next weekend. I really wanted to get in a good long run, but I guess it will have to wait. Funny enough, as soon as I drove home, the rain stopped and it's been beautiful the rest of the day. I made myself go to Bikram Yoga this afternoon, though. 1 1/2 hour long class. I really needed to stretch out and I think it did the trick!! Hopefully now, I'll be ready for my tempo in the morning!



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Killer Track Workout

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but nothing interesting has happened.

Yesterday was Wednesday, though ... so I can always post about my track workout.

For some reason, I wasn't really looking forward to it. It was super cold (62 degrees), windy and rainy (well, drizzly). UT's track is getting redone, so we were at a middle school and on a concrete track. It was dark and there weren't any lights. Not ideal circumstances.

The workout: 800 800 800 1200 800 800 800

Goal: 3:20 - 4:57 - 3:18

Rest - 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:30, 2:00, 1:50, 1:40

My times: 3:20 3:21 3:19 4:54 3:15 3:17 3:10

I wanted to quit after the first rep. For some reason, those first three felt like I was running 3:05's. I don't know if my body was tired (fourth day of running in a row) or it was the concrete. Oh well. I finished!!

Monday, I tempoed. I always tempo on Monday, but this Monday was different. I'm not training specific to half marathons which means that my tempos are like 45 seconds faster! That's tough! I was supposed to run 1 easy, 4 at 7:10, 1 easy. I ran: 8:40, 7:14, 6:59, 8:42, 8:30 I figured that 2 tempo miles at half marathon pace was better than 4 miles at marathon pace.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Women's Running Magazine Half Marathon Race Report

I must admit, this race has been on my schedule since before Apalachicola. I never really announced this to the blogworld though because well, I didn't want to stress over my goals. It worked. I actually had a pretty stressfree weekend. It helped that this race was about ten minutes from my house!


Friday night, Stephanie arrived. I was able to meet up with her and Penny for a couple of drinks but managed to leave around 9PM since I had to walk a 5K with work bright and early Saturday morning. It's too bad though b/c apparently they had quite a fun night!




Saturday came quickly. I walked a 5K with work. It was very kid friendly. I even carried one of my friend's 2 year old for about half a mile. I wasn't worried about the race. I just went about the day like normal. Penny had to work, so Stephanie and I hit up the expo, got lunch and then went to my pool to ice/heat! Not sure if that counts as an ice bath, but we figured it wouldn't hurt!


We ate an early dinner at Cafe Cibo and called it a night.

My alarm was set for 4:45AM which is the exact time that I wake up during the week to run before work - so, I felt really at ease! I got ready, ate my clif bar (my new secret fuel) and got ready!






The most chaotic part of the weekend came the hour before the race started. We all arrived near the start early, so we parked and decided to warm up. Well, we decided we'd jog about a mile to the bathrooms and then pack. The bathrooms were at least a mile away and the lines were loooong. I remember standing about 10 people back in the lines and looking at my Garmin. It read 6:32. The race started at 7:00AM.



We had to jog back to the cars to switch shoes and then back to the start line before 7AM! I do always wish that I would warm up closer to the start and not an hour before just to wait around. In the end, it turned out perfect. I literally got in my corral about 4-5 minutes before the start but I must admit I was quite nervous that I wouldn't be able to navigate through the 5000+ runners that quickly! We were in corral one and wanted to start as close to the start line as possible!



My secret goal all along was to break 1:40, though I knew I would be perfectly happy with a time around 1:42-1:43. The night before at dinner, I wrote down the average paces for every time between 1:36 and 1:45. I figured 1:42 was manageable and 1:40 would be a stretch. I didn't really have much to go by other than my recent 5K time and my 15 miler a couple of weeks ago. My coach told me that he wanted to work on my confidence and success (I guess we are still repairing the damage of Apalachicola). He wanted me to start at 8:00 minute miles and run that for the first 5 miles. Then, he wanted me to start picking up the pace and finish strong. I was okay with this goal ... but really wanted to give a try at the 7:45 pace.



My friend, Jen, wanted to run her first couple of miles at the 7:45 pace and then pick it up. We decided to start together and promised that we wouldn't run faster than 7:45 pace for at least the first three . . .



The airhorn goes off, and we start. Not even .1 in, we look at our Garmins and we're going at a 6:45 pace. We decided that we didn't want to lose the race in the first mile, so we kept trying to slow down. We tried for the entire first mile and finally came across in 7:23.



For the next three miles, I was just trying to feel out the pace. Around mile 2, I wondered if I could hold it. It didn't feel too hard and I was just running mile to mile. I just wasn't sure. This was the only moment of doubt I had the entire race. After that, I loved the splits. Jen kept telling me to settle. She said I was fighting myself. For some reason the 7:30 pace felt weird. I didn't want to slow down, I wanted to run faster. She kept telling me that it was a long race. I decided that I would wait until mile 5ish to make a decision. After all, if I picked it up, I wanted to know that I could sustain it! Miles 2-5 - 7:35, 7:37, 7:29, 7:32 Our coach was on his bike and I kept seeing him. Jen's husband, Bobby, was on a bike too so it was nice to keep running into him.



At mile five, we had caught up to a group of runners, as we kept passing them, our pace picked up. I just went with it. As I got closer to six, I was anxious to see what my half split would be. Mile six - 7:24



I've never passed so many people. Hell, I've never passed people in long races. I ALWAYS crash and burn in the marathon! It was so fun. I played a game from here to the end if my pace was faster than a 7:15, I couldn't pass anyone but if it were slower than 7:20 then I needed to pass. It worked, too because sometimes I would catch up to another runner and realize that I was pacing off of them. My pace would have slowed slightly, so I passed. Mile 6.55 came exactly at 49:00. I did the math quickly and realized that was a 1:38. In the back of my head, I knew that the NYC qualifying time was a 1:37:00 and I knew there wasn't a cushion. I'd have to run negative splits by a minute. Game on!!



We ran down the pier at this point. It was fun running because I was able to see Penny who was ahead of me and some of my other friends that were behind. The course actually had a couple of out and back sections and for that reason, it was nice!


Miles 7 and 8: 7:16, 7:18





I didn't realize that St. Pete had hills until mile 9. We ran up a slight hill, but it lasted for almost .75 miles. I was amazed at how many people I passed here. I just tried to keep my pace consistent and was so happy that I was going to be able to finish this race running DOWN the hill. Mile 9 - 7:17



There was a mini lake at mile 10 and we had to run around it. I was trying to take in the beauty but this is when I was finally getting tired. I told myself that this is where I needed to push. I could do this ... less than 3 miles left. Mile 10 - 7:21







That 7:21 actually made me mad. I wanted a sub 7:20. So, I decided with 2 miles left to pick it up. The tops of my feet were beginning to hurt and I was upset that I had tied my shoes too tight but there really wasn't anything that I could do so I just kept running. I remember glancing down at 11.25 and seeing that my average pace for that mile was 6:50. As I high fived Laura, a runner friend that was slightly in front of me, I entered the Rays Stadium (our baseball team) as she exited. We had to run a loop on the turf. I had never been to a game (remember I just moved here in Jan 2010) and so at first I was kind of excited that we were able to run on the field ... but it was so hard. I'm sure it wasn't quite like running in sand but the turf definitely made you kind of collapse into it and it was hard to keep pace. Mile 11 - 7:31 I saw Dror and he told me I was the 30th female. Little did he know that this was motivation for me to keep passing!



One mile left and I was able to go back down the hill! I kept telling myself if I didn't start pushing then, I would be mad at myself. I knew a sub 1:37 was probably out of the question ... but it can't hurt to finish with everything that I have. Mile 13 - 7:05



The problem here though was that mile 13 came way before the mile 13 sign meaning I didn't run the best of tangets! I hit 13.1 on my Garmin in 1:36:30 something ... and then I saw the mile 13 sign. I kept running. I remember seeing the finish ahead and just closing my eyes and running ...




I stopped my watch as I crossed the finish line - 1:37:35 (7:22 pace)



My Garmin said 13.23. The last .23 was run at a 6:10 pace in 85ish seconds.



Official Stats:


13.1 miles - 1:37:35 (7:27 pace)

23rd overall female out of 4,746!!

7th in age group out of almost 500



I met all of my friends at the finish! It's so great having a local race in which all of them were able to run, too! We celebrated and gave some recaps! It was a day I will never forget. It reminds me of my NYC marathon - everything went right and I was all smiles! We don't always get those kind of runs or races, so it's nice to really enjoy when we do. It truly makes all of the hard work and bad runs worth it!!





I didn't quite follow my plan but I have no regrets! Mission accomplished!



Three days later and I'm still all smiles! I'm still in awe and can't believe that I finished a half marathon in 1:37!

The most FUN workout, ever!

First and foremost, I will have a race report up soon ... I promise!

So, this week has been kind of strange. I raced (my little heart out) a half marathon on Sunday, ran 5 easy miles (9:07 average pace) on Monday and then went to the track last night. I'm taking today off and racing (or trying to) a 10K tomorrow.

Because a lot of people raced on Sunday and are racing on Thursday, our coach made last night's workout easy and fun!

There weren't any time goals - we were just to run at 85%.

400, 300, 300, 200, 200, 200, 200

No breaks ... just walk to the start of the 300 after the 400 and then walk across the field to the start of the 200 after the 300's.

I wore my watch anyway and was quite surprise by our times:

400 - 83
300 - 61
300 - 58
200 - 35
200 - 35
200 - 35
200 - 35

FUN! It was so over so fast! Running fast is soooo much fun! :)

My legs are feeling okay. I'm definitely not 100%, though. My hamstrings are pretty tight and the tops of my feet hurt pretty badly when I lace up my shoes. Because of this, I'm having to tie them differently and wear my shoes a little looser. Otherwise, I think I'm recovering well. I guess if I were 100%, I'd be concerned that I didn't race hard enough.

The best part about half marathons is that you can literally run the next day. Oh, I'm in love! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So, I raced today ...

Real quick . . . I ran a half marathon today! I've been looking forward to this for weeks - testing out how I run for a half marathon! I'm technically in the middle of marathon season and didn't taper at all for this race ...

I'll save all of that for my next post, though.

The official times aren't posted, but I ran a 1:37:30-something! :)

I'm definitely celebrating the rest of the day! I couldn't be happier!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Learning to Push ...

I've learned a lot about myself in the past month! I know that sounds a but cliche, but it's true. I've had some of my best and some of my worst runs. I've learned how easy it is to give up when things aren't going right. I've learned how to push through the final miles of a long run at paces that I didn't think I was capable of in a short tempo. I've learned what it feels like to do well in a race. I've learned what it feels like to ... well, not finish a race. I've learned that I am a good runner but I've learned that I have to believe in myself and that it isn't always easy. Sometimes, you just have to dig deep, not give in and keep pushing! And, if you do all of that, you may just surprise yourself.

I slept in on Saturday - until 6AM. This meant that I had a solo 16 miler on my plate since everyone else met at 5:30AM. My schedule said: 4 easy, 4 at 8:20 pace, 4 easy, 4 at 8:00 pace. I knew I could do this. Afterall, I had run 15 last week at 7:49 average pace.

It wasn't easy.

I decided to start with my easy miles and to just see where they fell. They definitely weren't as fast as I wanted them to be ... but, we can't always pick our easy pace.

8:41 8:33 8:25 8:21

I kept it "easy" and the pace gradually dwindled itself down to the 8:20 range. The next task was to push. Even though my schedule said 8:20, I knew it meant goal pace. So, I just picked up to what felt like I was pushing a tad and ran. Of course, when I saw the first split, I just tried to keep it consistent for the next three.

8:01 7:59 7:55 7:55

It wasn't easy. But, I got through the last 7:55 by telling myself that I got to run the next 4 as easy as I wanted. When I got to miles 9-12, I told myself that I would only look at my Garmin every other song. This meant 6-8 minutes at a time withOUT looking! I'm so proud that I actually did this. I slowed down to what I thought was a 9:00+ pace, but I didn't care. My schedule said EASY! Shockingly, I felt good and easy wasn't quite that slow.

8:22 8:26 8:32 8:19

I was ready to be done, but I knew I had four more pace miles. These were all supposed to be 8:00. I wanted to only do two, but somehow I made myself push through all 4. The worse part was that I finished at my car before I had these 4, so I actually had to turn around, run 2 miles out and 2 miles back! I took a quick gel (my first of the day) along with a quick sip of water (my second of the run) and headed right back out.

7:52 7:53 7:36 7:13

It wasn't easy, but I learned how to finish strong. That 7:13 took a lot out of me, but I did it. I didn't give in to my mental weakness! I was soooo happy!

16 miles - 2:10:10 (8:08 average pace)!

45 miles for the week, though I've ran 60 in the past 7 days.

The rest of the weekend was enjoyed outside with great friends! Saturday, I went to the ribfest and Sunday to the Bucs vs. Panther game. Can't beat that!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No More Doubting!!

I am a good runner! I am a good runner! I am a good runner! I need to keep repeating this! :) I'm still riding my 5K PR high. Though, I can hardly believe that I ran a 20:30 and pr'ed by 2:05, I'll take it! Now, I'm even looking forward to getting that down a little!!

I took Saturday off. I wasn't too sore, but a bunch of friends were doing there long run on Sunday and well, in all honesty, it was just nice to sleep in on Saturday! Here's the problem though (or maybe not a problem after all). I met up with a few friends (all of whom are much faster than me for our long run). I had 15 on the schedule and beside 15 it said "easy."

I had trouble getting GPS signal at first - so I reset my Garmin at our first water stop which fell directly on 3.5 miles. The splits are as follows:

28:33 - 3.5 miles
7:48
7:54
7:56
7:49
7:48 - this was at mile 8.5. I was starting to get very nervous about the pace. I told Jen and Penny at this point that I was going to "try" to stay with them until mile 10 and then I was going to run "easy" for the last five.
7:53
7:56
7:49 - Penny decided to pick up the pace at this point. I started to fall back a tad and Jen was in between us. Jen stopped for about 5 seconds, waited on me and said that we were going to run together. I was nervous ... but am now glad that we did. We ended up picking up the pace ourselves and I felt mostly good.
7:47
7:42
7:40
3:46 (.5) - 7:35 pace

Total: 1:58:24 for 15 miles (7:49 pace).

Okay, so I need to start believing in myself! I ran with them! :) I felt good and I enjoyed the company. I asked Jen what our time was when my Garmin hit 13.1 ... it was 1:43:48! What?!! In practice nonetheless.

I didn't tempo on Monday (since this run was on Sunday). I figured I tempoed for all of my long run and ran it about 30 seconds faster than marathon goal pace! Instead, I didn't look at my garmin, ran on my lunch break and ran 9 miles at an average pace of 8:31.

I woke up this morning, met the group for a 7 miler - average pace 8:25!

I can't get faster unless I practice being faster, right? The 50 degree weather helps, too! Maybe there was a benefit to training in the FL heat and humidity all summer long! :) Either way, I'm not complaining and I'm going to go with it!

I've been smiling all week and running, too! That combination in itself is enough for me! :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Richard's Race For Life 5K - RR & PR :)

Holy Cow! I am on cloud nine! I've never run a 5K on a Friday night and I was nervous all day about it. I was worried about what I was eating and how my legs would feel. I guess I did something right.

I met Jen super early because we wanted a good warm up and wanted to get there extra early because we hadn't registered. Everything went according to plan and we actually had some extra time to spare. It was freezing outside (Tampa went from Summer on Wednesday (88 degrees) to Winter on Friday (50-60 degrees) so we sat in my car for a little while and waited for Penny and Bobby to arrive.

We had a bit of a problem getting Penny parked, but figured it out. My heart was pumping and my adrenaline was high - but, maybe this just helped me get extra warmed up!

David along with Emily and Justin (two really good friends) came to the race! It was so nice to have them there! Like I said, it was pretty chilly out ... and they were troopers. They even held our warm clothes so that we would have them after the race. There was tons of amazing food and music. The race started and finished in Centennial Park - so, it made for a great atmosphere.

My race plan all week was to try to maintain 7:00 miles. My last 5K (in May) went something like this: 6:44, 7:20, 7:55 for a finishing time of 22:35. I knew I had a faster 5K in me, but I knew I needed to race smart. So, I didn't want to run faster than 7:00 and it all honestly I was going to be happy with 21:xx :)

The first mile felt great, as it always does. Jen was in sight and she was aiming for 20:30. I felt good enough to pass her at this point, but I did't want to. I knew better! So, I just stayed about 2-4 seconds behind her. I even thought about moving up to run with her, but I didn't want to psyche myself out. Jen's a great runner and I didn't know if I could hang! The first mile came by in 6:40. It wasn't quite the 7:00 that I had wanted, but I was pretty excited about it. Now, I had to maintain and NOT crash and burn. The next short term goal was to make it one more mile at that pace. Just one mile!

There were two sharp turn arounds, the ones that you basically stop and then start running the other way. Though those kill your time, they're pretty neat because you can see who is in front of you! I could see Penny each time. She was doing great! I just kept Jen in sight for this mile, too. I was feeling surprising well. I even looked down at my Garmin and it read in the 6:15's a couple of times. At 1.55 miles (half way), I was at 10:06. I knew that was so close to 20:00! Mile 2 split: 6:30 - on the dot!

So, 1.1 miles to go. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I knew I was going to PR and I kept telling myself NOT to give into that. The weather was great and I knew I needed to push for a mile. I knew if I maintained I'd be sub 21 and I really wanted that! I also knew what my half way split was and knew that I should be closer to to 20 than 21 and just tried my best to keep going. Jen started getting a little away. I didn't want to give in. I saw my watch go up to a 7:15 pace once and then tried to pick it up.

As we rounded the last corned and my watch said I had .2 to go, I started booking it. It hurt, but I passed like 3 girls and so it was completely worth it! Mile 3 was 6:45 and I just kept pushing. The last .11 - 5:10 pace! The official results aren't posted yet, but my Garmin read 20:28!

Results/Times/Placement to be posted soon ... but I couldn't keep this in much longer. This is what I needed mentally! I've been in a great place with my running post Apalachicola! It's amazing what a little belief in yourself does! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Channeling my Inner Speed

Ahhh, the good days of running make the bad runs tolerable! I live for the good runs - the ones that keep me smiling for hours afterwards. There really isn't anything better!

I wasn't so certain that yesterday was going to be a good day for speed. Due to some circumstances that were beyond my control, I had to run evening track (instead of AM .. which I love). Luckily, my friend, Jen, was at the evening practice, too. We met at the gym and ran a 1.75 mile warm up to the track. It was pretty hot - mid 85's - but was beginning to cool off as the sun was going down.

There is a local 5K on Friday that everyone seems to running, so the coach geered our workout towards the 5K. The goal was to run 5K pace for the 800's, run the 400's slightly faster and have minimal break in between.

(800 one minute rest 400) x4 We received 2 minutes rest between sets.

My paces were supposed to be: 3:20 for the 800's 97 for the 400's

Actual Splits: 3:16, 95, 3:10, 95, 3:08, 93, 3:04, 90

What?! I kept getting faster and faster. My biggest fear with starting a workout too fast and giving into my need for speed is that I'll crash and burn and not be able to sustain! I gave in, ran fast and kept it up!! Hooray! Definitely a win in my book!

Afterwards, I remembered that Jen and I had run to the track and had to run back. 1.75 miles later, we were back to the gym. It was a nice cool down! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Easy, Peasy, Cheezy :-)

I have no idea what my easy pace is. When training for NYC and even part of San Diego, I ran all of my Tuesday and Thursdays alone. So, easy to me, was well ... easy! This was always over 9:00 and often times averaged closer to 9:30.



Now, I meet all of my cool running friends on these mornings. Somehow, I've learned to not give into that 4:45AM alarm clock. Well, our easy runs are so sporatic. At some point around July, I decided no more miles over 9:00 (unless they were recovery miles). For the most part we had been averaging 8:30-8:50.



After Apalachicola, I thought ... Hmmmm, maybe I should aim for 8:30 range always on my easy run. Yes, I realize this is only 10 seconds over my goal marathon pace ... but, it's easy! AND ... I can't get better if I don't practice running faster, right?! Score. So, last Thursday I was very happy that my 7 miler averaged 8:32 and felt easy! :)



Fast forward to this week! Yesterday, I ran 6.43 miles (Clearly I cannot do math in my head and since I restarted my Garmin after my warm-up, I had to). Otherwise, I would have gone 6.5 or 7 miles. Regardless, I ran: 6:36 (.70 warm up), 8:14, 8:01, 7:56, 7:39 then cooled down with 8:50, 6:34 (.74).



I figured that I'd be a little tired this morning but I was game for my 8:30 pace. Here's how the six miles turned out: 8:29, 7:52, 7:48, 7:43 (at which point I remembered that I have track tomorrow and a 5K on Friday and tried to slow down) 8:29, 8:06 for an average pace of 8:04. I'll take it. It actually felt good to run fast-er!

How does your "easy," "tempo" and "marathon" paces compare?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So, What's Next?

In case you missed my last post, check it out! It's probably not quite what you expected! If you haven't read, please do so and feel free to leave lots of love!! :)

So, what's next? There are several, or should I say lots, of different things going on in my mind! I don't really want to share too many of them with anyone since my biggest struggle is with the mental battle and the pressure I put on myself! So, while I still have big goals (and want to acheive them now), I don't want to lay them out there yet! Just know that I'm running and I'm smiling! :) You may not get goal posts or even know when a race is coming up . . . but you better believe that I'm still running and working hard! This girl doesn't give up that easily!

The best part about only running half of my race this past weekend ... I'm recovered! :)

Saturday - race

Sunday - 30 minutes of easy biking

Monday -5 mile easy run - 8:55 average pace

Tuesday - OFF

Wednesday - Track 400 400 400 1200 400 400 400 1200
98 96 99 4:55 98 97 95 4:45

Thursday - 7 mile easy run - 8:32 average pace

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apalachicola - Race Recap!

The weekend started off on the right foot! Penny and I both took off Thursday even though we didn't leave until Friday morning! It was nice to spend a relaxed day with a great friend!!

When it comes to the rest of the trip ... I don't even know where to begin! Penny and I had a great time driving up to Apalachicola. It was five hours worth of driving in the middle of no where, but somehow there wasn't a silent second in the car.

We arrived on Friday around 1PM and headed straight to the Expo. I should have realized that all of my fears and nightmares were about to come true, but I still had high hopes. The expo was in a small little room that basically just gave us our bibs. We quicky learned that there wasn't chip timing and that we'd be going off of gun timing. I was so confused as to why this would be the case, especially on a Boston certified course. The chips on our bibs were for the finish line only. At the Expo, there was a small table with about 5 different clif bar samples. There was a sign that read "take one of each." At least I didn't go broke at the Expo .... no running temptations at all!

Penny and I headed out to the neighborhood (beside the expo) for our little 2 mile shake out run. I was supposed to run one easy, on at pace. I was aiming for 8:50 and 8:20. I ran an 8:10 followed by a 7:58. I was pleasantly suprised with the effort, especially since it was 85 degrees outside.

During my run, a million thoughts went through my head. Luckily, the race director was easily accessible at the expo and we were able to question him to death. I was terrified of getting lost on the course (there were only 200-ish marathon runners). We were terrified of having to stop to cross the road because of traffic. I was terrified of there being no water on the bridges (more than 20 miles of the race was on these bridges ...I'm not exaggerating ... probably closer to 23 miles). I had concerns of there not being mile markers or clocks on the course. What about traffic on the bridges? We were to run in the emergency lane facing traffic??!

This should have been a major concern of mine, but the race director (depsite being extremely laid back) eased my fears. Everything would be taken care of.

Then, I did something I've never done before .... I drove the course. All I can say is "Thank God!" We started the start/finish line. I got a crack out of this. This should have been enough foreshadowing in itself for what the rest of the weekend would entail!


The rest of the evening was normal. I hung out with Stephanie and Penny, ate pasta, tried on a million race outfits and then went to bed.

rftb3

The race started at 7AM, so we arrived around 6AM. I parked about fifteen feet away from the start line (NICE)! It was a little chilly but not freezing. We waited in the car until about 6:40, went to the bathroom and then made our way to the mat. We decided that we were going to start at the very front (sorry faster runners) .... but there isn't chip timing, so what else am I supposed to do ... not add 15 seconds to my finish time.

Running for the Bay 029


Running for the Bay 031

The gun goes off and we start running. Several runners pass me immediately and I notice that they keep going straight. I drove this yesterday and we were supposed to turn. There weren't signs, it was dark, there weren't cops or anything showing the way .... Another girl and I turn and soon everyone follows. I think several people probably added on a good .2 miles before figuring it out. Like I said, thank God I drove the course.

We climb a mountain of a hill (picture - Stephanie is approaching the finish line. The top of that bridge ramp is mile .5 and mile 25.5) and start across the water. I hit the first mile in 7:58 and freak out a little. I vow to slow it down and hit miles 2 and 3 in 8:20 and 8:29. I realize at mile 3 that I already have a mile over pace. I try to not let myself get discouraged.

Running for the Bay 117

My legs felt great! The wind was insane ... 25 mph gail force winds. Great! Two girls pass me and I swear I hear them say they're going for 8 minute miles and I think they're running the half. I decide to pick up the pace and stay with them. Drafting is much better than running in this wind. My next 3-4 miles are between 8:04-8:12 I hit mile 5 and I'm 1:30 ahead of pace. I feel good, so I don't worry about it. We are running in the emergency lane the same direction the traffic is going. The trucks are zooming by at 70 mph ... or so it seems!

When we approached the point for the half marathoners to turn around, the girls don't leave. Hmmm. I talk to them for a second and realize they're trying to run a 3:40. We're a little too ahead of pace, so I let them continue on. I get stuck on this long, hilly bridge with all of the wind by myself. I hit the next mile in 8:17 and am happy.

Around mile 8-9, I start worrying a little. I realize that I haven't smiled once and I'm already wishing that the race would be over. I'm starting to worry about the lack of water and the sun is coming out. The wind is brutal. I'm fighting it so badly and it's worse than the actual hills (which are the devil). I keep telling myself to be strong and to believe. I say a million prayers and simply just ask God for the strength to do my very best and for strength to not give up.

The hill at mile 10 was the worst. As I climb the half mile + incline, I see my pace dip down. I tell myself that it's okay and that I can make it up on the downhill. Once I get to the down hill, I realize my pace isn't picking up ... the wind is pushing against me. My ipod falls out of my ears three times on this stretch and the dust from the cars is blowing in my eyes. Mile 10 - 8:45 I'm at 1:22:40, though ... which is still ahead of schedule.

I keep pushing but it gets harder. I'm so mad because my legs felt great that day!! The feel incredible, but everything seems to be going against me. I think of Penny and Stephanie and how this is their first marathon. I ache for them ... this is not something they should be experiencing! :(

I hit mile 11 in 8:41. I'm upset. I'm already off pace. I'm even more upset. I feel good but I know the wind is wasting my energy. The only thing that is keeping me going is that I'm almost off of the bridge. There is a two mile loop once I get off and then I get to head back.

I get off of the bridge and Penny's brother hands me water! He was an angel! The neighborhood has no shade, either. At this point, I just keep telling myself to get to the half way point. It's the only mat on the course and I just want to be there. I hit mile 12 in 8:41 again and realize that my cushion is going away and that I'm not hitting 3:40 today - not under these circumstances.

Around mile 12.6, I make a decision to stop at the half way point. I know this is quitting ... but I didn't want to waste my legs. I don't want the recovery that comes with the marathon. I don't want a 3:45. Everything was going against me and I gave in. Right or wrong, I stop right after I hit 13.1. There was no clock, but my garmin read 1:49:34.

There were not any medical/aid stations on this course. After I walk .4 tenths back, I realize this is an out and back course and pray that John (Penny's brother) is still at the base of the bridge. I walk .4 tenths before any runners pass me. I was out there alone. It felt worse than a solo training run. My training runs have been crowd support and water stops. :/ I jog about a mile back to John, in tears, as I'm just ready to be done. I'm upset with myself for quitting but nothing in me wants to do this. Running isn't fun. I'm sad ...I keep crying.

I have a minor meltdown once I reach John. I borrow his phone and call David. Saying the words "I quit" isn't easy! I ask John to take to the finish line so I can see Penny and Stephanie finish.

I tell him to not let them know I stopped if for some reason they ask when they see him. I don't want it to mess with them mentally. This is my fifth marathon and their first. I can't let them know yet.

As we drive to the finish line, we see Penny. She's on pace and looking strong. She's second overall female. I hope that she holds onto it.

I get to the finish line and find myself excited. I tell the timing people that I stopped (just in case my chip picks up near the finish line).

I get so excited as Penny nears. Sure enough, she comes in looking strong. She finishes 2nd female in 3:20:14 - what a debut marathon! I get lots of pictures and get to witness her first finish. This in itself makes my decision worthwhile!! :) This girl has amazing potential. She definitely has a sub 3:10 in her .. especially after finishing in these conditions. We talk about the race and how horrible it was. She said she thought about me a lot and was so upset that I had such bad conditions to run in, too. Penny was walking fine and felt great ... simply amazing!

As the clock crosses 3:40, I have another breakdown. This one lasts about ten minutes. I kept seeing runners finish and was so upset. I was mostly upset because I kenw I was as good of a runner as them and that I just haven't proven it in a race yet! (I mean that with all the respect in the world).

I collect myself for Penny and Stephanie. Now is a time to celebrate and I don't want to interfere with their finishes!!

Stephanie finishes in 4:38. What a crazy first race. That girl definitely has a sub 4:15 in her!! :)

We all laugh and talk and take pictures. What a day! We definitely won't ever forget this. There isn't any ice at the finish line, or cold water. They have soft drinks and chips - but that's it.


Since the race is super small, I talked to the race director. He gave me a half marathon medal and said that he would use my half split as a half marathon finisher time.

I looked online Sunday and much to my surprise, I finished 5th in the half marathon. I was 5th female out of 126. Not so bad since I was pacing for the full.

I'm at peace with my decision now. I have my eyes set for a redemption race very soon and already have a new schedule from my coach. The best part about running a half on Saturday is that I was able to run on Monday and I don't have to recover. Still, though, I'm sad. I wanted to run Apalachicola .... but, I learned my lesson: no more inaugural marathons for me!!

Check out mine and Penny's medal ... they had already broken.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let's Talk Goals

It finally hit me. All week, I've been feeling semi-normal. My legs still feel heavy. I'm over analyzing every minor ache and pain. I'm getting nervous, I'm excited ... but all on a semi-normal level. I'm not over-the-top. I guess that's good in a way, but I don't want to ever become immune to the normal race week emotions.

As I left work this afternoon, I gave one of my friends (Emily) a card. I wanted to tell her thank you for all of her support over the past months. She always has a smile on her face and cheerfully asks how my running is going ... on a daily basis! Since I'm taking a personal day tomorrow, I wanted to give her the card as I left. I walked into her office and handed it to her. When she asked me what it was, I noticed that I started to tear up. I tried to walk away but she caught me. She asked how I was and I just started crying.

It finally hit me. I'm running a marathon in less than 72 hours. I won't be back at work until it's finished. I've been spending the last 4 months working so hard for this ... and really the past three cycles have almost overlapped. Essentially, I've been training for this race since the end of Summer '09. She asked me how I was and I just stood there with tears in my eyes. I felt so goofy, but I looked at her and told her I was ready. I'm not over-the-top excited, though I am at the same time. I'm just ready. I'm not over confident by any means ... if anything, this is the one thing I need to work on in the next 2 days. But, I know that I've done all that I can do and I've trained as hard as possible for the past 4 months. So, because of this, I'm at peace. I'm hoping that all of the stars align in my favor on Saturday morning because if they do I could have a really good race. But, if they don't .... well, that's out of my control. All I can do is fight the fight and that I can assure you I will do! I plan to finish the race completely mentally and physically exhausted. I will give Apalachicola everything I've got - and I can only hope that on Saturday that's my absolute best!

So, I'm sure you're dying for goals:
  • A) To finish under 3:39:59 ...
  • B) To PR. I'll need to finish under 3:51:50 to PR
  • C) To give it everything I have, not give up and finish with a smile on my face!
A lot of runners wouldn't even admit to goal C but I know that 26.2 miles is a looooong way and that you've always got to respect the distance. Anything can happen out there and while I hope that I reach A, I can honestly say that I'll be ecstatic with a nice PR.

I'll be heading up to Apalachicola early Friday morning with Penny. I can only imagine how we'll entertain ourselves for the 5 hours there. Sadly, David probably will not be going. Boo, last minute work! On a positive note, I cannot wait to finally meet Stephanie! This is both of their first marathons and they are going to do GREAT! I can't wait to share this experience with them! Please stop by their pages and wish them luck!!

Until then, wish me luck! Next time you hear from me, I hope to have great news!! :)

* For some reason, I can't get Stephanie's link to work. Go to: http://stephilynne@blogspot.com **

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Marathon Week!

So, it's marathon week! I can't believe it's finally here. It's the week that I've been anticipating for so long ... but, I'm so nervous it's not even funny!

It's time to start believing in myself and reflecting positively on everything that has gone better this training cycle - not everything that didn't go as planned! It's so funny. I've been through this marathon taper 5 times now and it doesn't get better. I still have the same fears and thoughts and doubts!!

  • Don't start off too fast! Banking time does not work!
  • Don't come across the half way point right on time (you should bank a little time). Running exact splits is too hard!
  • You're not ready for a sub 3:40
  • You ran a freakin' 20 miler at 8:24 average pace ... you are so ready for a sub 3:40
  • Miles 20-26.2 hurt so bad no matter how well you're trained .... Be tough! Don't give up!

AAHHHH! Okay! I'm excited ... I am, but I'm so ready for it to be here! I had the best week of training last week and then the worst last long run on Saturay (8 miles). I decided it would be best to start at 9AM b/c next week I'll be running at that time. I stopped like 5 times . . . on an 8 miler. My average pace was exactly 8:24 ... but it was a tough and very broken run. UGH! I was hoping for one more confidence booster.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Keeping myself in check . . .

I have a confession! As my legs start recovering during the taper, I have this desire to run fast! I love the feeling of fresh legs .... but it is so hard to hold back.

My mileage has been low this week (and even last) but every mile that I've run has been goal marathon pace or faster! I don't know that that's a good thing! I guess it's good to learn what the pace feels like but I'm supposed to be running easy!!

This morning, I met up with some friends to run 6 easy miles. I finished in 49:58. My miles were something like: 8:35 8:30 8:25 8:19 8:14 7:44

Oops!

I'm going to take tomorrow off and run 10 paced miles on Saturday! If this fast-er running continues into next week, I may have to cap myself at 3 and 4 milers!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tapering

I may be the only person in the world that you'll ever hear this from, but I love the taper. I look forward to the taper. I believe in the taper! It feels so good to have fresh, rested legs! I know that is what it takes to have a successful marathon and honestly, I like the down time. Of course, even though I know what's best for me, I still get worried that I'm not doing enough! But, overall, I think the taper is a great time for celebration and reflection. It's nice to have some time to sit back and think about all of the hard work that you've done over the past few months. It's also nice to celebrate all of that hard work (not too much though, we'll save the real celebration for after the race).

Okay, enough taper talk! I ran my last track workout this morning!

400 800 1200 1600 800

Not so bad! The real kick was only getting 2 minutes rest between every interval. Now, that's a lot of time after a 400, but not a lot of time after the 1200 and 1600.

My times:

96 3:13 4:57 6:33 3:14

I felt good. I wanted to kick it up a notch on the 1200 (especially since I ran that 4:39 last week) but I decided to play it smart, beat my goal time (5:06) and save my energy for the mile! I was supposed to run the mile in 6:48 - so, I'll consider 6:33 a huge success! :)

With less than 10 days to marathon, I'm feeling good. Monday and Tuesday of this week, I had the worst headache ever. When I didn't have enough energy to blow dry my hair yesterday before work I was worried - especially since I had taken a 3 hr. nap on Sunday, slept 7 hours Sunday night, taken half a day from work on Monday (along with a 4 hour nap) and slept 8 1/2 hours Monday night. Anyway ... I went to the doctor and I have a sinus infection. Luckily, they have shots for these things and I'm tapering. So, I took yesterday off and rested up! I woke up this morning feeling 1000 times better.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

4:39

Sorry I haven't written in a week! It's been a crazy week! Matt and Finleigh were in town from Thursday - Wednesday and now David and I are leaving today for Indiana. It's the second weekend in October = Pig Roast!! :)

I skipped my long run on Saturday. I did something I NEVER do and I went out on Friday night. Though I had a GREAT time, I now remember why I don't go out on Friday's (or really at all) anymore. Not only do I love running, but I love waking up early and running while the sun rises. I love the way the morning air feels (even when it's hot air). I love beginning my day with an endorphin rush!

On Sunday, I thought about making up the run, but I only ran a few miles instead. My legs were tight and I just wasn't feeling it. I've been trying to convince myself since then that I've still put in all of the miles (enough) and run harder and faster than I ever have before to prepare for this race. I've run more 20 milers in a training cycle and they've been 20-40 seconds faster than my 20 milers for San Diego.

My calf was still sore on Monday. I ran 5 miles in 44:31. I ran at lunch and it was a little hot. Otherwise, I tried to go super slow. So, for that, I was happy! If 8:5x is my super slow pace, I'll take it.

I took Tuesday off. My legs were still sore and I'm tapering. It's time to listen to the body, right?

I headed to the track Wednesday morning. My calf was still a little sore and my coach rubbed icy hot all over it. I warmed up and then started the track workout. It was 66 degrees with 60% humidity (AMAZING)!

1200 400 1200 400 1200 4o0

We rested for 3 minutes after the 1200's and for 1 minute after the 400's

Expected Times: 5:03, 5:00, 4:57 (for the 400's, we were just supposed to match whatever the first one was in).

My times: 4:59 96 4:48 96 4:39 85

I ran a 4:39! Holy Cow! It was my last rep, too! My legs felt great. My breathing was actually holding me back. Do you realize if I would have run one more lap that would have been a 6:12 mile. I've never run a 6:12 mile (especially at the end of a workout!!) Maybe training in the Florida heat and humidity this summer is finally paying off!!

Running 5 in Indiana this afternoon and then going for 13-15 "faster" miles this weekend. Will keep you posted!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A little, happy Jaime + What do this Weekend? Advice encouraged! :)

First things first! It's Wednesday! :)

Track Workout:

400 800 400 x 3 , 1600

We had 1 minute (not long) rest after the 400 and 800 and 2 minutes after each set.

Expected Times: 98 for 400's and 3:22 for 800's

My Times:

98 3:19 98
98 3:17 97
96 3:07, 85
6:44 for the optional mile! :)

I almost let the word "optional" get the best of me, especially after that 3:07 and 85 but with a little nudge from coach, I gave it a try! I actually felt pretty good!

So, now for the advice ...

In my first four marathons, I only ever ran 2 20/20+ milers. Just two. That's enough, right?! This time around, I've already run 3 20 milers and I have my fourth scheduled for this weekend. Some facts and thoughts for you ....
  • I've already ran 3 20 milers.
  • The first averaged 8:36 and I was ecstatic.
  • The second averaged 8:24 and not only was I ecstatic but it felt really good!!
  • The third averaged 8:44 and it was torture and horrible from the beginning ... Keep in mind this was the week after the 8:24 run.
  • My BQ pace is 8:24
  • I have no balance in my life ... nor have I since February since I jumped straight into this marathon training post San Diego.
  • My 20 miler for SD was at 9:01 pace and 22 miler was at 9:00 pace
  • My cousin (that lives in Cali) and his gf are coming into town on Thursday and I want to be able to have a good time with them on Friday and Saturday.
  • I don't think I can push my long run to tomorrow .... or that I should wait until Tuesday ...
  • I probably won't do anything crazy on Friday and Saturday night but it would be nice to not have to wake up at 3AM and go to bed at 8PM. And ... let's not forget that I'm usually drained and worthless the rest of Saturday ...

So, what should I do. I think I'm going to plan on running an easy 20 miler on Saturday ... but I'm not going to commit to meeting anyone. If I don't show up .... I don't show up. If I do, great!! If I'm late, then that's okay! If I run 20 milers - AMAZING! If I go, 12 ... then is that okay, too? I need to listen to my body right?! Even if Matt and Finleigh weren't coming into town on the last week before my taper 3 back to back 20 milers is a lot, right?! My body has done the work ... One more 20 miler may even be too much? Dare I convince myself of that??!

Eagerly awaiting your response,

Jaime

Monday, September 27, 2010

20 miles of not-bliss :(

I should have known better. I was still riding my high from last Saturday when I attempted my third 20 miler of this training schedule. It was not the bliss that I had experienced the week before. Nothing about the run went well (maybe b/c I met Nicole at 3:55AM to begin). By mile 4, I was already tired and ready for it be finished. Luckily, I ran 10 miles with Nicole before the 9 mile shark loop. Those 10 miles weren't horrible, but by the time I got to the shark loop, I felt like I had run 10 miles and was ready to be finished ... not ready to start!

I don't have my Garmin on me now. I don't even want to look at my splits. I know I shouldn't be upset with myself or think that my race is doomed now. Let's face it ... I ran 20 miles at goal pace (basically) last week. My average pace was 8:24 and my average pace for the last 10 was 8:12. I felt amazing and had this crazy kick that I never have.

This week, I had zero kick. I stopped for gatorade or water probably ever mile for the last 6 or so miles. So frustrating. Even then, I was working so hard to maintain such a slower pace. I finished in 2:54 with an average pace of 8:44 ... not quite the 2:47 that I did the week before. I guess at least I can say I ran 6 minutes longer ... that's good for endurance, right?!

I'm going to be positive now! I had a GREAT rest of the weekend. I spent the rest of Saturday at the beach! :) AND ... my fantasy team won this weekend! Oh, I had a good tempo today, too ... 8 miles of bliss. That's on it's way to 20! :)

PS: I checked the humidity when I was finished ... 91%.