Tag: race

*courtney – total fitness connection run for children minimarathon race recap

finish time: 1:56:04 (a 10 minute and 44 second PR!!!)
race: total fitness connection run for children minimarathon
location: bowling green, kentucky
swag: cotton t-shirt, goodie bag and medal
weather: 35*/windy/overcast
gear: adidas adios boost, injinji socks, lululemon pace pusher crops, lululemon swiftly racerback, lululemon swiftly short sleeve tee, arm warmers, adidas visor, lululemon run with me fleece gloves, c9 ear warmer, jaybird bluebuds, nathan quickshot
nutrition: cut out fiber gradually the week of the race and added in coconut water on thursday and friday. olive garden spaghetti with meat sauce and breadsticks for dinner. 2 imodium 2.5 hours before the start, a bagel thin with peanut butter and coffee 1.5 hours before the start, and another imodium with some gulps of water with caffeinated nuun 30 minutes prior to start. Had a salted caramel gu and s!cap at mile 4, 8 and 10 and drank water in my handheld and from the water stops.
recap: what a race! although it was windy and had some rolling hills, I honestly couldn’t ask for a better experience! I am sure that is the PR speaking, but truly it was a great race, and I hope to complete it over and over again 🙂

the plan was to average an 8:55 pace, and i programmed my watch to start at a 9:10 pace and drop 3-5 seconds every mile to end up with the last 1.1 miles ~8:30 pace.

miles 1-3 (9:09, 9:07, 9:00)
the field was very small for the half marathon, so we found ourselves near the front of pack. it was great because we didn’t have to expend a bunch of energy bobbing and weaving, we were pretty much instantly in a good position to cruise. i looked down and we were running at a 7:30 pace! it is amazing what adrenaline will do for you. we reigned it in and evened out quickly. i had on a jacket at the start since it was pretty chilly, but we saw kristen around the 1st mile marker and i threw it over to her. miles 1 and 2 flew by, and as we headed in to the 3rd mile we turned and ticked off that mile right one pace.

miles 4-6 (9:01, 8:58, 8:52)
i took my first gu in mile 4 along with an s!cap. mile 5 included a little bit of elevation, and we made our next turn on to the road that would lead us to the turnaround point. seeing all of super-fast runners on their way back was a big boost—but i tried not to use too much of my energy cheering, because i have paid for that in past races! we hit the turnaround at 6.6 and were immediately facing the wind.

miles 7-10 (8:46, 8:52, 8:48, 8:57)
not sure where the speedy mile 7 came from—maybe we were just super excited to be on the way back to the finish line! the wind was getting pretty abusive, and i think as i took my second gu in mile 8 i asked jenny if we were going to be in to the wind the entire way back, which she confirmed would be the case. i started focusing on targets that we could pass. by mile 10 my attitude really started to suck. we had been on the long stretch of road since mile 8 and didn’t have another turn until mile 11. i was getting tired, my music was skipping, and i almost quit pushing myself.

miles 11-13.1 (8:50, 8:36, 8:20, 7:08-.10)
finally at mile 11 we turned on to the main road and i knew i needed to pick up the pace if i wanted to meet my goal and leave it all on the course. i turned up my music and started pumping my arms. miles 12 and 13 seemed to tick off easily, and although the race is cruel and throws a hill in at the end i had a little bit of the finishing kick and crossed the finish line in 1:56:04! i was so elated!

i learned a lot during this race. i learned to trust my training and that i do well with progression runs and negative splitting. i also finally figured out a fueling strategy that kept me out of the bathrooms and full of energy! i realized that it is possible to come back from a bad mile–i struggled in miles 8-10 mentally, but i sucked it up and moved on to the next mile and finished with my strongest miles at the end. i also learned that i probably should have done a little more hill work. i would really like to get two hill workouts in a month when i train for the next race. i know they help with strength and form without being as stressful on the joints as intervals.

overall it was an awesome hometown race, and i cannot wait to run the tfc run for children next year!

*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 🙂


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! 🙂

*courtney – weekly training log 02/09/15 – 02/15/15

i’m drinking a beer on a sunday, because according to the weatherman we are gearing up for the great snowpocalypse of 2015. i LOVE snow, so i am pretty pumped about this! the plus side to commuting 65 miles one way to work is that in inclement weather i get to work from home 🙂

pink has always been my favorite color!
pink has always been my favorite color!

we don’t get a lot of snow ’round these parts, so i am not sure what it will mean for my training. the good news is that this is a cutback week for me, and kenny and i are going to south carolina to visit my parents on wednesday, so i might not have to slip and slide or succumb to the treadmill too much.

i cannot wait to visit my parents in south carolina! i haven’t seen my mom since december, and i haven’t seen my dad since the wedding in july! i am hoping my mom will feel up to doing what we do best–shopping and eating.

i promise to run some easy miles in new places and post about them!

week: 02/09/15 – 02/15/15

total miles: 27
easy miles: 21
fast miles: 6
strength workouts: 2 spin and 1 strength – got off track with a work lunch and race packet pickup 🙁
overview: the week felt great, but my body is definitely asking for some rest, and i will gladly give it some. i feel super tight tonight, and i am kicking myself for not squeezing yoga in at some point. i am also having problems with my heart rate monitor(s)… i couldn’t wear my chest strap at all this week, because it cut me to pieces on saturday. the bottom of the strap cuts (not chafes) my skin, and i am not sure how to avoid that–bandaid? duct tape? on the other hand, my optical wrist strap is just not very accurate. it recorded a new high of 203 on saturday during our warmup. while i don’t doubt it got pretty high on one of those hills while we were running at race pace, i absolutely know i didn’t spike that high during the first 10 minutes 😉 so, i am currently exploring new options, because keeping my heart rate under 154 is how i know i am going easy. if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

planned workout: spin
actual workout: 7 miles on the bike

planned workout: 6 miles with 6 x hill repeats + the core strength workout
actual workout: 5.5 miles with 6 x hill repeats @ 11:35 pace + the core
course: campus – paved and has a nice and long 1/4 mile hill which gets pretty steep for ~200m
weather: 30*/dark
gear: brooks pureflow 3, athleta polartec powerstretch ii tights, lululemon run first base tank, lululemon fluff off pullover, the north face ear warmer, lululemon run with me mittens
nutrition: hot and sour soup and pork chops for dinner, water on the run
how did it go? hill repeats are just the worst in my opinion, but i really tried to push it on the sprints and fully recover on the downhills. i do feel like i am making progress on my form and power, so that is a plus!

planned workout: 4 miles easy + spin
actual workout: 4 miles easy @ 11:17 (147 HR) + 7 miles spin
course: the bypass – paved and hilly
weather: 27*/dark/windy
gear: brooks purecadence 3, athleta polartec powerstretch ii tights, lululemon run first base tank, athleta cinch popover, the north face ear warmer, lululemon run with me mittens, saucony gaiter
nutrition: turkey tacos for dinner, water on the run
how did it go? this was an easy, barely awake run

planned workout: 6 miles easy + strength
actual workout: 6 miles easy @ 11:19 (146 HR)
course: highland/campbell – paved and semi-rolling
weather: 30*/dark/windy
gear: brooks purecadence 3, athleta polartec powerstretch ii tights, lululemon run first base tank, athleta cinch popover, the north face ear warmer, lululemon run with me mittens, saucony gaiter
nutrition: chicken caesar salad for dinner, water on the run
how did it go? the run was straight in to the wind on the second half which was absolutely brutal. i think the wind chills made the real feel ~10*. i was happy to see some other runners out in the wee hours on my way home. i didn’t get to strength train on my lunch break because we had a team lunch. if i had any sense of discipline i would have made myself do the simple workout when i got home, but i suck.

planned workout: yoga
actual workout: none… because of that lack of discipline thing. jenny and i went and got our packets for the hot chocolate 15k race. i did give a man the finger when he honked at me, so i got to work that muscle.

planned workout: hot chocolate 15k race! jenny’s plan prescribed a 2 mile warmup, 4 x 1 mile @ 8:56 pace with 1 minute recovery, 8 x 200m @ 7:50 pace with 200m recovery, and a 2 mile cooldown
actual workout: 2 mile warmup @ 10:00 pace, tempo miles @ 8:52, 8:53, 8:59, 8:40, and then after that it all kinda went downhill for the 200m repeats, but we held ~9:00 pace for the last 3.3 miles
course: downtown nashville – paved and hilly as fuck
weather: 31*/sunny
gear: brooks pureconnect 3, lululemon tech fleece speed tights, lululemon swiftly racerback tank, lululemon flurry fighter pullover, lululemon run with me mittens, the north face ear warmer
nutrition: olive garden asiago tortellini with meat sauce, salad, hummus, breadsticks, wings, and dessert for dinner (so, actually typing it all out makes me realize why i had some serious tummy issues the next morning); coffee, 1 imodium and belvita soft baked biscuit for breakfast; caffeinated nuun and a couple of shot bloks during the run (1 at mile 3 and 1 at mile 6)
how did it go? thankfully jenny and i decided we would treat this as a training run and not a race. shitshow is a pretty accurate description of the second half of the run. i ran in to some major tummy problems, and i am working to figure out what the cause was, but i am thinking i should have made some better choices at the olive garden the night before. i also learned that i should have tied the drawstring of my pants before the start, because i was tugging at my waistband pretty much every mile. i was NOT prepared for the hills and 400′ of elevation gain on the course. couple that with mile and 200m repeats, and boy was that a workout. after the mile repeats jenny turned and told me the 200’s were up next. i told her i would try, but i wasn’t sure how many i could hang on for. i had no idea how many we had done, but at some point we came to another freaking hill, “turn down for what” came on, and my stomach had had enough. i tapped jenny and told her i needed to stop and to go on without me. i turned down all right, and i walked it off a little bit and then started jogging. turns out she was on her last repeat, so i was able to catch up to her when she got to the cooldown. we walked a couple of more seconds and i told her i thought i could make it the last couple of miles. we passed the porta-potty and she urged me to go, but being a dumbass i said no, i could keep going. it was painful, but i carried on. i was so over it and just wanted it to be over. jenny was such a trooper and was telling me stories to keep my mind off it. when we saw the finish line we sprinted on in and got our medals. i immediately found the ladies room, and then we went and got our delicious hot chocolate and treats. the miles at pace definitely felt hard, but we climbed 270′ in the first 6 miles, so i think we did a damn fine job and the effort was warranted. it was definitely a great training run, but i am sad that i am still playing with the fueling and gi issues. i have got to figure that out before the half. also, the pureconnects were not the best choice for this distance. i will leave them to interval runs of <6 miles.

planned workout: 5 easy trail miles
actual workout: 3 easy trail miles @ 11:01 pace via 5 minute run/1 minute walk intervals
course: keriakes – gravel and rolling path
weather: 15*/sunny
gear: brooks puregrit 3, lululemon brushed speed tights, lululemon think fast long sleeve shirt, athleta cinch popover, saucony gaiter, lululemon run with me fleece gloves, polartec mittens, lululemon run with me toque
nutrition: wendys for dinner, donut and coffee for breakfast
how did it go? i knew not to push it on this run since i was still sore from nashville’s hills, so i decided to cut it to 3 miles and throw in walk breaks every 5 minutes. i was actually faster than usual, go figure. it felt nice to shake everything out, and it was so cold i had the whole park to myself!

*courtney – weekly training log 1/26/15 – 2/1/15

weekly training log 1/26/15 – 2/1/15:
total miles: 29
easy miles: 23
fast miles: 6
strength workouts: 2 spin, 2 strength and 1 yoga
overview: another strong week! i made it out of bed at 4 on tuesday and thursday, but i couldn’t do it on wednesday. the end of this week makes 127 miles for january!

planned workout: 40 minutes spin
actual workout: 40 minutes spin @ varying resistance for 9.6 miles
how did it go? felt great!

planned workout: 6 mile fartlek with 1.5 miles warmup and alternating 1 minute “on”, 2 minutes “off”, 2 minutes “on” and 1 minute “off” with pace goal “on” intervals @ 8:30 + the core strength routine/planks/myrtl
actual workout: 6 mile fartlek with 1 mile in HR zone 2 (11:31 and 144 bpm) .5 mile in HR zone 3 (10:11 and 158bpm) and “on” intervals average pace of 8:22 + the core strength routine with 10# weights
course: purple striders – paved and flat
weather: 32*/dark/misting
gear: brooks pureconnect 3, injinji micro socks, lululemon speed tight *tech fleece, lululemon swiftly racerback, lululemon flurry fighter pullover, knuckle lights, mace jogger, nathan quickshot
nutrition: caesar salad with chicken, pretzels and dip for dinner
how did it go? i love this workout! it is so fun and really makes the time go by. it snowed the night before, so i was a little worried about slick spots, but the ground was just wet like it had rained. the last 2 minute interval was a little scary because it was on blacktop which was much slicker than the road. i actually got up at 4am to do this run, i feel like i deserve a present or something! next time i will shorten the warmup to 1 mile and the cooldown to .5 mile and take on a couple of reps. on my lunch i went down to the gym and did the core with 10# weights, some planks and the myrtl routine.

planned workout: 40 minutes spin
actual workout: 45 minutes spin and weights class with christina
how did it go? holy crap this was hard! i did not realize that i would be so terrible at actual spin class! i could not do the standing drills at all, it burned down the front of my thighs. we were on the bike for ~15 minutes and then hopped off and did upper body weights, some more cardio, some squats and then clamshells. loved this class! i was pouring sweat.

planned workout: 6 miles with 4 @ 8:55 pace and 1 minute recoveries
actual workout: 1 mile warmup @ 11:17, pace splits @ 8:47, 8:45, 8:45, 8:44, 1 mile cooldown @ 11:05
course: highland/campbell – flat pavement
weather: 42*/dark/rainy/windy
gear: adidas adios boost, lululemon brushed speed tights, lululemon swiftly racerback, reebok windbreaker, c9 gloves, c9 earwarmer, knuckle lights, mace jogger, nathan quick shot
nutrition: turkey tacos for dinner and water on the run
how did it go? i think i was still half asleep during the first half of this run! it is so hard to get the body going at 4am. my main goals were to make my first mile repeat the slowest and my last mile repeat the fastest, and i actually did it! i had to be really mindful of my pace on the 3rd one, because that was the flattest portion and the wind was at my back. it was about half a second slower than the 4th repeat 🙂 i will call that a success! these repeats actually felt like a comfortable pace that i could sustain on a flat course. my heart rate didn’t get up in to the 180’s, and i was able to maintain a 3:2 breathing pattern for all of the repeats with exception of the last half mile on the 4th one.

planned workout: yoga
actual workout: 30 minutes yoga from yoga studio app
how did it go? felt so awesome!

planned workout: 12 easy miles and snow flurry scurry 5k
actual workout: 12 easy miles @ 10:36 pace with snow flurry scurry in the middle
course: jenny’s neighborhood and the lost rive cave greenways – paved and flat
weather: 35*/overcast
gear: brooks pureflow 2, lululemon brushed speed tights, lululemon swiftly racerback, lululemon fluff off pullover, the north face ear warmer, lululemon fleece run with me gloves, nathan quick shot
nutrition: spicy fajitas for dinner and belvita biscuits, coffee and 1 imodium for breakfast. ate 2 tropical punch clif shot blocks every couple of miles.
how did it go? it was SO NICE to do a race and not actually race it! jenny and i both needed to do 12 easy miles, so we did a 4 mile warmup around her neighborhood, drove to the race and ran it easy and then returned to her neighborhood for the last 5 miles. we talked the whole time and kept it super easy.


planned workout: 5 easy trail miles
actual workout: 5 of the worst miles of all time – i.e. the one time i ran on a treadmill @ 10:20 pace
course: the treadmill. in the garage. 🙁
weather: super rainy
gear: brooks purecadence 3, lululemon dart and dash shorts, oiselle flyte tank, nathan quick shot
nutrition: pizza for dinner and pizza for breakfast. fueled by pizza.
how did it go? i absolutely despise the treadmill. if it hadn’t been pouring i would have gone outside, but i knew if i waited for it to let up i wouldn’t make it out the door! i was happy to have this one over!