Two weeks of great training

I know that I did not post a recap of my training last week, so I’ll go ahead and add it to this one. These past two weeks have been wonderful! I’ve finally gotten back to consistent running and without ankle pain. I certainly wouldn’t call it 100%, since I doubt I could run on trail, but I’m getting there. I managed two long runs (one was 6.4 miles and the other was 8 miles), along with some shorter and quicker runs. I have also been practicing yoga and doing core work every day. I do have some pretty lofty goals for the A1A Half, so it’s important that I get my running base back.

Week of Oct 26-Nov 1

M: Rest
T: 3.1 miles at 8:55/mi with running group
W: 3.2 miles at 9:18/mi
T: 3.3 miles at 9:00/mi
F: Rest
S: Biked 15 miles along Native Stone Scenic Byway
S: 6.4 mile long run at 9:23/mi

I thought this was a great week back. I kept the mileage low at 16.2 miles. It was nice to be out again running and I felt surprisingly strong. I wanted to keep the mileage low to kinda test out the waters a bit. I promised myself that if I felt any pain, I would just back off and skip a day or so. Luckily, that didn’t happen and I managed to stay consistent!

The bike ride was beautiful!

Frank and I at the top of a hill on our ride. Perfect day for it!
Frank and I at the top of a hill on our ride. Perfect day for it!

I also got to dress up as Tim Tebow for Halloween to support my Gators!

Go Gators!
Go Gators!

Last week

M: Rest
T: 3.8 miles at 8:57/mi with run group
W: 3.5 at 9:43/mi with Frank
T: 4.5 at 8:42/mi
F: 3.5 at 9:38/mi with Frank
S: 8-mile long run at 9:20/mi
S: 27-mile bike ride

I ran about 24 miles last week and it was the first time in a while that I actually felt like a runner. The weather has been perfect and all of my runs felt great. I ran my long run as a progression run, with each mile about 10 seconds faster than the one before.

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On Sunday, four of us went for a ride along the Flint Hills Nature Trail that runs about 60 miles through Kansas. We had a few bike mishaps, and I had to herd a calf back about a half-mile that had gotten lost on the trail.

Back to the car after 27 miles. I was pretty happy to be back.
Back to the car after 27 miles. I was pretty happy to be back.

These two weeks have been great! I’m starting to feel more confident again. I have some big goals in the spring, and I think these next few weeks are important in making sure these goals happen. I’ll post about these goals once I’m ready…

This week I am doing a lot of traveling and running will be pretty hard to get done. I’m heading to Fort Lauderdale for the Yoga Journal Conference with my mom and I’m pretty excited!

How have you been these past two weeks? What are your goal races for the spring?

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Weekend Update!

Even though I have been nursing my ankle injury, my 2016 racing schedule is starting to fill up! Luckily, I seem to be doing a lot better, and started running 2-3 miles at a time this past week without pain. Next week marks the official start of my training for the A1A Half Marathon, and I’ll begin it with some easy running. I’m hoping to get in a 6-mile long run, which will be the longest run I’ve done in probably over a month.

As I was suiting up for one of my 2-mile runs, Frank turns to me and says “Wow, this ankle injury really messed you up. You were going out for 15-16 mile runs before this.”

Talk about cutting me to the quick.

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It’s really hard to take this huge of a step backwards, especially when I was in such great shape during my Chicago training. I just have to keep reminding myself that the training that I did was not a waste, even if it didn’t culminate in a race. Regardless of how things have gone, today begins a whole new training cycle with a whole new set of goals. I’m super excited about have a fresh start.

This weekend, Frank and I spent Saturday afternoon going on a bike ride along the Native Stone Scenic Byway. Although Kansas does not have a lot of hiking, there’s tons of great road biking. It’s a huge state with only about 3 million people living here. There just are not that many cars on the road. We covered close to 20 miles battling winds and tons of hills. It was pretty fun!

The road is lined with these old fences from the 1800's. They require a lot of upkeep, but some have fallen to disrepair.
The road is lined with these old fences from the 1800’s. They require a lot of upkeep, but some have fallen to disrepair.

We spent Sunday floating down the Republican River. Unfortunately, it’s a little late in the season for paddling, so there was very little water left in the river. There were a few (by few, I mean like 50) sections that we had to walk the boats. Having grown up in Florida, I still don’t have the hang of the seasonality of the rivers here. In Florida, most rivers are spring fed, so you can paddle all year round. Overall, it was a really fun weekend!

Before I go out for my first run of my training cycle, I’m going to make a few new running playlists. Any favorite songs I should include? What are your favorite tunes to run to?

When Marathons Don’t Happen

On October 11, I was supposed to become a marathon runner. I was supposed to cross that finish line and be spending this week feeling sore and triumphant. Unfortunately, it didn’t really happen that way. I spent most of the day looking at my phone, checking Instagram and wishing that I were there. However, as things stand now, it is a very good thing that I deferred until next year. In fact, I won’t be running a marathon any time soon.

This was supposed to be me!
This was supposed to be me!

As you know, I have many passions beyond just running. I do a lot of hiking, biking, climbing, etc. Although I do love to run, my passion for long distance running really began as a way to get me in better shape to do other things… like climb up mountains. It is hard to keep yourself completely injury free when you are always active. Generally, I worry about running related injuries, but they are not the only ones. About a month ago, while out mountain biking, I hit a rock, flew off my bike and landed on my left ankle pretty hard. I laid on the ground screaming in pain, and crying because I knew with that fall, my dream to run a marathon before the end of the year were completely over.

For the last few weeks, I took some time off from structured training. I was still able to do yoga (Thank God!), but that was about it. Fortunately, I am now back to running and biking, but I have to take it slow and only go short distances. Basically, my fall racing schedule is just not happening. I am looking for some shorter distance races, but I have no big goals of PRs or new distances this fall. Right now, my only goal is to get myself back up and running without pain again. Although I will not be racing this fall, I still have the A1A Half Marathon in February, and I will begin training for that in a few weeks.

I am still so disappointed with how all of this has gone. I trained hard this summer to run a marathon. But I am going to move forward and find new goals to work towards. Once I am back to training consistently again, I will talk a bit about what I hope to accomplish in the spring. For now, it’s just to be able to run more than 3 miles without ankle pain.

I know one ting for sure. Next October I will be in Chicago… and I will not only make it to the start, but I will cross that finish line.

How do you get back after an injury? What is your favorite form of cross training (mine is yoga and biking)?

Friday 5 Linkup: My FIVE Half Marathons

I’ve never done a Friday 5, but I figured I’d give it a shot this week. Mar on the Run, Eat Pray Run, and You Signed Up for What?! host a weekly linkup that anyone can join in on. This week is a freebe, so I can post on a topic of my choosing.

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My FIVE Half Marathons

1. A1A Half Marathon

I am from Fort Lauderdale, Fl and grew up in Coral Springs. I’ve been living elsewhere for the last 10 years, but I wanted my first half marathon to be in my hometown and on my home beach. It couldn’t have been a better experience! My parents (and in laws) were there to see me cross that finish line on the beautiful beaches of Fort Lauderdale. It was an automatic PR (1:56:46) and it was the race that made me fall in love with the half marathon.

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I’ll be running this race again on Feb. 14, 2016!!

2. Holy Half Marathon

Running the Holy Half is a bit of a right of passage at Notre Dame. I knew I’d be moving in the summer, so I needed to check that off my bucket list. It was crazy cold out… like in the teens. The race became my next PR (1:56:44), but the cold wore me out a lot. Despite the cold, I still had TONS of fun. Lizzy ran the race with me, and it was tons of fun to race with a friend.

Lizzy and I at the finish of the Holy Half with our medals!
Lizzy and I at the finish of the Holy Half with our medals!

3. Hospital Hill Half Marathon

This was a TOUGH race. There was about 1000 feet of elevation gain throughout the race AND the biggest hill was at mile 10. By the time I got to it, I was beat! I had a ton of fun though. I felt pretty accomplished having completed such a tough course in under 2 hours.

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4. Rocky Mountain Half Marathon

This race was a gem! There were crazy amounts of elevation gain, but I was on that day. The course was the most scenic I’ve ever been on, with the beautiful Rocky Mountains as my backdrop. I plugged in, hunkered down and kicked serious butt to get my new PR of 1:51:46. After the race, I hiked up Hallet Peak and to Chasm Lake to be in the Continental Divide Club and the Chasm Lake Club.

Hallett Autumn Classic

I couldn’t have had a better race and I can’t wait to run it again in 2016!

You may have noticed that I have only run 4 half marathons, but this post says 5. Well… that’s because I am running the Kansas City Half Marathon on October 17!

5. Kansas City Half Marathon

This race will be a dry run for the Route 66 Marathon. I’ll be running it right around marathon pace. I’ll be taking it pretty easy, since I don’t want to risk injury before my big day in November. A lot of people from my social running group will be there and it’s relatively close to Manhattan. Should be a fun day to run!

What is your favorite half marathon?

Finally some goals: Rocky Mountain Half Marathon

The Rocky Mountain Half Marathon is tomorrow. I still have no idea what my goals are… besides just running a good race. The race is at 7500 feet and works up to 7900. I have no doubts that the altitude and difficulty of the course are going to make a PR out of reach, but is it bad that I hope to wake up Saturday morning with super legs and pull off a miracle? I know it’s unrealistic, but I guess I can still hope.

There's like a bit of a mountain to climb during miles 5-8.
There’s like a bit of a mountain to climb during miles 5-8.

In more realistic terms, I do have another goal. If I climb Hallett Peak (which is 12,713 feet) with my medal and bib, I get into the Continental Divide Club and get 50% on next year’s entry. The crazy thing… is that I am going to have to do this immediately after the race. Frank and I have to get back to Kansas on Sunday, so we gotta get this done right after the race. Luckily, I’m pretty good at hiking long distances after running far.

I have a lot to do on Saturday, between running 13 miles and climbing that mountain.
I have a lot to do on Saturday, between running 13 miles and climbing that mountain.

So…I guess these are my goals:

  1. A miracle happens and I PR despite the elevation profile
  2. I hit marathon pace and sneak under 2 hours
  3. I enjoy the views of those crazy awesome 14,000-foot peaks – I mean how often do I get to run through Estes Park!
At least the weather is supposed to be good. This will feel like the arctic compared to the 116 degree weather I ran in the other day.
At least the weather is supposed to be good. This will feel like the arctic compared to the 116 degree weather I ran in the other day.

I’m trying to have a good perspective. I know that I have a half marathon PR in me… a big one. I just wish that I were signed up for a race where I could prove it. But this isn’t all about the numbers. Racing and running is about having fun. Being in Colorado (my mom calls it “The Promise Land”) is fun enough for me.

On the Road to Chicago

This week kicks off my training for the Chicago Marathon. I’ve been excited about this for a while, but it’s finally here! Unfortunately, I did not have a break between Hospital Hill and Chicago training, so the first week of training is chill with a lot of recovery runs.

I’ve already gone on my first run of my Chicago training cycle. Even though I am still sore from Hospital Hill, I managed to go out for a 4-mile easy run through the National Forest here in Westminster, MA. It went pretty well and I was jazzed about beginning my training!

This is one of the runs I saw on a training run.
This is one of the runs I saw on a training run.

I chose a training plan that is a combination between Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 and Matt Fitzgerald’s Intermediate plan. This will take me from my first week of 22 miles, to my peak week at 48 miles and has two 20-mile runs, plus I’ll have some speed work and tempo runs. I am a little nervous about going long in the hot Kansas summer, so I’ll probably be doing my long runs in very early morning.

I am also going to be racing the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon on August 1 at Estes Park. This race is at 5000 feet, so I imagine it will be a challenging one, but it will give me a chance to practice my race day strategies. I am considering going for another PR on this race, but as we get closer to race day, I’ll reassess my plan.

There will be some nice views  at this race.
There will be some nice views at this race.

So what are my goals for Chicago? In all honesty, the marathon distance still scares me a lot. My main goal for Chicago is just to finish the race, but I will try to do marathon pace tempo runs with the intention to run a 4:00:00 marathon. It is more than ok if I fall short of that time. All that I want is to finish.

This is just the beginning. I still have over 600 miles to go before I reach that finish line in Chicago, and I’m pretty excited to get there.

What are you training for? What are your goals for the fall?

Training Update: Race Week!

I didn’t really do a whole lot of running this week besides the race. Frank and I spent a lot of the week going through our stuff. We’ve already brought two carloads to Goodwill! It feels great to be cleaning stuff out, and I can’t wait to move. I know, Kansas might not sound like the best place ever, but I am excited to have a new place with new trails to explore. We still have a lot of clearing out to do. We are leaving with only what we can fit in our small Kia Soul (along with us and two cats). I’ve already found running clubs and nice trails to check out. It should be pretty great.

Oh and this too…

The Hospital Hill Half Marathon! I better do some hill work!
The Hospital Hill Half Marathon! I better do some hill work!

I’m signed up for a half marathon in Kansas City! It’ll be my first race in the area and I’m pretty excited. The Hospital Hill Half is one of the oldest Half Marathons in the country. There are also like five hills. I have some work to do to prepare. Haha!

I’m sure you’re all wondering how I did at the Holy Half this weekend. It went… ok. Certainly not bad. Just ok. A few hours after posting my goals, I realized why I had never intended for this to be my goal race. I’ll talk more about in my race recap, but I did PR. I ran the course two seconds faster than I did A1A’s course AND I ran the whole thing at a pace that was 9 seconds faster than the A1A Half. The Holy Half was about 13.5, so I had a little extra to run. Since I did a lot of resting, I’ll go ahead and talk about the days I ran.

Wednesday: 3.6 miles at 8:35 pace

I ran with my usual run group, but tacked on about a half mile more by running from my house to our meet up. We had a pretty good time running our 5K route around Notre Dame. I was running with Lizzy, and I think she was feeling quite a bit better in her recovery. She was keeping us at a pretty good clip for a lot of it. Haha.

We're a cute bunch!
We’re a cute bunch!

Saturday: 13.5 miles at 8:46 – Holy Half Marathon!

I won’t give too much detail, since I’ll be writing a whole post about this. I had a good time, but unfortunately had my period the morning of the race. I felt pretty icky and pooped out a little at the end. I finished the 13.1 faster than A1A by about two minutes, and finished the course two seconds faster than A1A. Having Lizzy there helped immensely, especially since I was not doing well with the mental game. She took off from me around mile 9, but I came in not too far behind. So I guess we can call this a PR. Afterwards, my husband wanted to go mountain biking, so I tacked on 10 miles of that too. I feel like that was worth mentioning.

Lizzy and I at the finish!
Lizzy and I at the finish!

Overall, I didn’t do much running this week, but I’m feeling a little better. I was getting stressed and burnt out about running and work. These next two weeks are really just going to be chill out weeks before I start my training for the Hospital Hill Half. I’m going to just finish my milage and run by feel, no speed work. I’ll start that up again soon. I think I just need a little break from structured workouts.

Thanks everyone for your support this past week. I know I’ve been a little negative and down. Work has been a bit better and your support really helped me get through the race.