Month: April 2015

*courtney – i finally ran a half marathon under 2 hours!

yes. it happened–i broke 2 hours in the half marathon on 3/28/2015 at the total fitness connection run for children miniMarathon! official results can be found here, i think the most exciting part was getting to add it to my athlinks profile 🙂

sub2

while the goal was out there for a while, the only other time i actually attempted to run sub-2 was at the kentucky derby festival miniMarathon in 2014. i came up short by close to 7 minutes, and knew by mile 7 that i had no business even attempting it. i actually had a pretty strong first half, but bathroom issues and serious lack of training led to a nasty positive split. with my hip injury in january of that year, i only ran 93 miles from february 1st to april 18th in preparation for that race–what a joke that i thought that would cut it!

sometime in the fall i decided that i was going to make the local tfc run for children half marathon my goal race. i combed the internet for all types of sub-2 training plans, and created my own frankenstein plan in google sheets. i found appropriate training paces via all of the different calculators and mapped out 16 weeks that included different types of intervals, hill repeats, progression runs, short and long tempo work, and long runs that went past the 13.1 mark. i made sure to keep my easy runs super easy by wearing my heart rate monitor and staying in zone 2, and i incorporated a recovery week of easy, decreased mileage every 4 weeks. i hovered around an average of 25 miles per week throughout the cycle. i also did quite a bit of strength training and cross-training, but i will admit i was not quite as diligent as i could have been. when i toed the line on march 28th, i felt mentally and physically prepared to meet the goal. it was an out and back course, and unfortunately there was a headwind on the way back. the toughest miles were miles 7-11, and i remember not enjoying any of the songs that were coming on, feeling cold from the wind, and thinking maybe it just wasn’t gonna be my day. finally at mile 11 it was time to turn right on to the main road to the finish line, and i just zoned in. i ended up hitting not only a half marathon PR, but i also set new 10k and 5k PRs in that second half of the race! it was exhilarating crossing that finish line!

after the race i took a week of recovery and then jumped back in to training hoping that this year’s derby miniMarathon would yield an even faster time since the course is flatter. jenny and i talked about trying to do under 1:55, and i programmed my watch for that. unfortunately we woke up to rain, humidity, and some cross-winds. jenny was sick, and i was mentally not in the game. again, i had a really strong first half, but at some point i went under a tunnel and my watch rebooted. from then on my splits and pace were erratic and i had no idea what pace i was running. i stopped and walked to eat my second gel. then i stopped and walked again. then again. and then one last time during mile 10. i kept trying to tell myself to just listen to the music and don’t worry about pace, but i couldn’t focus. i crossed that finish line in 1:57:29 and felt totally spent. although my time was still great, i felt like a failure. i am beginning to think maybe derby is just not the course for me. i don’t know if it is the crowd or if it is too flat (too flat?!?!?!), but i always really struggle during the second half.

now that this big goal has been crossed off–what’s next? of course watching the boston marathon last week has me wanting to lose 30 pounds, quit my job, and start training 60 miles per week to qualify as soon as possible. but, this is real life, and until they invent calorie-free nachos and money starts growing on trees, i need to tone my goals down. i believe jenny and i are set on spending the summer building a really great base via maffetone/low heart rate training, and then attempting to run a sub-4 hour full marathon in january. i can tell slowing my easy runs down has helped me get fitter aerobically and stay injury free. i am also hoping it will help me lose some weight. i didn’t feel like dieting during goal-race training was a good idea, but the extra weight didn’t hurt! i swear every pound i gain is a minute off my PR 🙂

so, saturday i will do my first MAF test at a heart rate of 147 and for the following 16 weeks i will keep every run under that. it will probably get super tedious, but maybe that will help me with the mental toughness that i lacked in saturday’s half marathon. i am hoping to ramp my mileage up to 30 miles per week by july, 35 in june and 40 in august. then in september i will start incorporating speedwork back in to the mix and start 16-week goal specific marathon training plan for the louisiana marathon. i’m also committed to 2 strength workouts per week. if i slack on yoga or cross-training, i won’t beat myself up over it, but i have got to get my core and butt toned up.

i will post my first MAF test results on saturday–another commitment! 🙂

Limbo

I am purgatory. I am an orphan without a plan. 🙂 The Kentucky Derby festival half marathon on April 25th is going to be my last race on the calendar before beginning the summer cycle. Thankfully Courtney is towing me along behind her kicking and screaming to complete it. I’m not really sure what I’m looking for out of this race. I hesitate to try for another PR because I don’t want to get hurt and I already achieved the goal I set for myself back in December when I began shopping training plans. But I also know that the Kentucky Derby half course has historically been very kind to me, it’s fast and flat and the crowd support is amazing. I guess we’ll see. Between now and then I’ve promised myself to be more diligent about updating my training log here at the blog. Blog log. HAH. 🙂 Without further ado– I give you, my recap.

Planned Run: 6 miles easy.

Weather: Overcast and drizzley. Just gross outside. Slightly chilly.

Food: A small sweet potato and banana for breakfast. My mom has been dealing with a really weird psoraisis-like breakout and I agreed to try an elimination diet with her called the autoimmune protocol diet. I have no idea how long I will make it through this as it requires you to cut out coffee (I can already tell you that will happen when hell freezes over and satan comes for dinner), chocolate (shit), all nightshade vegetables including white potatoes and tomatoes (double shit), corn, gluten (gluten is like my 6th food group) and sugar (fuck and double fuck). But I agreed so I’m gonna’ give it a shot for a week.

Shoes: Blue pureflow 3s. I was having problems with these shoes. I believe I’m developing a neuroma on my left toe closest to the pinkie toe. I have to basically untie them to wear them but they’ve been the best shoes for me so far and I want to continue wearing them!

Entertainment: The Another Mother Runner podcast.

Actual Run: 6 miles at 11:11 pace, make a wish!

How did it feel: I tried to run this in the MAF range that I’m shooting for beginning next month. Tried to keep my heart rate average around 147. Turns out I nailed it with an average heart rate of 147 for the run! It felt a little slow and arduous but I reversed a route that I’ve done in the past and got to see some pretty houses and green farm land (spring is finally here to stay in Kentucky) and that was nice.

For the non running portion of my life lately… Tony and I just started Netflix’ Daredevil on Sunday and within 4 episodes it has shot to the top of my must watch tv shows list. Throughout the first 2 episodes I kept asking Tony who was playing Matt Murdock, I was too lazy to google. Finally after beginning episode 3 on Monday night I grabbed my phone and figured it out… Charlie Cox! None other than Tristan Thorn from Stardust! Only one of my most guilty of guilty pleasure movies!

Stardust is also my FAVORITE Neil Gaiman book. Daredevil definitely isn’t for kids, it’s more Frank Miller than Joss Whedon and I have actually had to look away from the television a few times– I don’t think I’ll ever look at the door of a suburban the same again *shudder*. It’s fabulous though. WATCH it.

On Sunday afternoon the guy in the hat and I loaded up Elton John jr and took her to the Nashville zoo.

She has talked about nothing else for the past week. We saw Dumbo (elephants), Araffes (giraffes) and goats (they had a petting zoo). I’m pretty sure her favorite was the goats which is funny considering we could have stayed in Bowling Green for goats.

Elton john

 

Those band aids on her knees were Anna and Elsa band aids. I thought we would escape frozen-fever because L is just shy of 2 and didn’t seem interested… until T let her watch it one Saturday morning while I was doing my long run. Now she specifically asks for Frozen Anna, Elsa and Olaf. Exactly like that. She thinks that’s the title of the movie. I hear mumbles of, “let it go let it go” as she toddles around the house. We didn’t escape.

 

elton john 2

 

Zoo coma. Notice the perfectly placed elmo sticker on her chest buckle. At one point I gave her a sheet of stickers to occupy her on the hour long drive home. I turned around, then around again and she was covered from head to toe in stickers. I wish I’d gotten a picture.

Zoo coma

I will officially be the owner of a 2 year old person on April 26th. If you need me I’ll be hiding in my coat closet hysterically sobbing.

So true:

2 yo

The zoo was kind of her reward for helping me deal with our spring/summer landscaping on Saturday morning. She was a big helper. She picked out every one of these flowers for me. 🙂

lydia flowers

The dyed black mulch I chose for the flower beds this year was not kind to me. This was after 15 washes and 2 showers. I don’t normally sport black nailbeds. At least, not since my goth phase in high school.

nails

 

If I don’t check back in before April 25th wish me LUCK!

 

*jenny throwing the vdot out the window, weee!

I’m back! OMG. I’m back!

So. The big news… is that I did it. I hit my goal. I ran a 1:57 half marathon at the Total Fitness Connection run walk for Children 2 weeks ago. Yes, folks, for once I nearly shit my pants after running because I was so happy and excited– not because of the trots.

I would love to tell you I’m going to write a beautifully detailed race report but I really don’t know if that will happen. It may happen. It may not. No promises.

Spoiler alert, I threw a hissy fit and walked for (exactly) 1 minute at mile 11. Courtney still felt good and blazed on ahead, but I was so glad because I felt like I was sucking wind and needed to give myself a pep talk. Once I said a prayer and told myself I came to finish this shit I continued on and felt strong for the last 2 miles. I’ve never hoped SO hard for a clock to read certain numbers. I choked up and flung myself into CB’s arms after crossing the finish line. It was glorious. I set a goal, stuck with a training plan (mostly) and hit my target. Nail. On. The. Head. I’m still so proud of myself. I really do believe that everyone should cross a few finish lines in their lives. Something about flying (re: shuffling) through a finish chute lined with people clapping and smiling is just my drug.

It looks like we’re going to work on base building for summer’s training cycle. Courtney picked the Maffetone method and I’m along for the ride. I’m glad to run low and slow for a few weeks. I don’t think I’ll get bored. I’m pretty toasted from speedwork and I’ve got some small aches and pains that could probably stand the rest of some slower miles.

Personal goals? To figure out my eating. One way or the other I need to come up with what kind of eating plan works best for me. That might be figuring out a solid fueling plan for each race distance or maybe it’s figuring out what to eat during regular training and the weeks leading up to race day. One of the walls that I hit during the TFC half was that I felt like I just ran out of energy. No bueno. As we say at work, key takeaway. Kill me.

To get stronger. Cross training. Historically I have sucked at cross training. But it’s time to add it back in. 2 times a week with weights or another cardio session. Also– continue yoga once a week. It feels good and it’s the only stretching I do. Bad Jenny.

In closing. The weather in Kentucky has gone from winter to summer over-night.

The face I gave T today when he looked at me as I was about to go run in the 80 degree, high humidity and midday sun and said, “at least it’s beautiful out today.”

I won’t complain too much. I love summer. It’s my fave. BRING ON THE SUN!

A picture of us with our perfect little sub 2 hour half marathon medals!!!

sub 2