Goals

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Goals. They can be big, and scary, and impossibly hard. As runners, we often set manageable, small, tiny goals that are reachable. We set goals that we can wrap our heads around. But sometimes, we should be setting goals that are maybe a reach, something that even on a perfect day may not happen. Failure is part of the game, and often times, I set soft goals that I can reach even on an okay day.

More important than choosing the goal is realizing that you are capable of something really really big. When toeing the line of my first marathon, I remember being filled with self-doubt, but as the miles ticked on, I realized that I was a lot stronger than I gave myself credit for. I have been a runner for a long time and lately, I have been feeling ready for something huge. For some reason, self-doubt seems gone and marching forward, I feel like I am capable of something harder than I have done before.

In October, I am running the St. George Marathon, and my goal is to run a Boston Qualifier (3:35).

I signed up for St. George with this goal in mind, but I was debating putting it on the blog at all. St. George is a downhill course that is known for it’s BQs. Yeah, I know a few of you are laughing right now. Given my past times, this is a reach. But I know that my obstacles are not physical. Every time I truly believe that I can be faster, I am. I don’t know where that wall is, and maybe it’s somewhere like 3:40, but by going for that qualifier, I’ll find that wall and I’ll know for sure. My shorter distance (5K and 10K) times reflect that this is within my abilities. St. George gives me the opportunity to find out if that is true.

I am not afraid of failure and I am not afraid of pain. There is no doubt in my mind that going for this goal will be unbelievably painful but that’s fine. I can handle that. And if I fail, I’ll just do it again.

I will be using a training plan by Sage Running. It focuses on making sure that I get the appropriate amount of rest between hard workouts, but it will also be pretty high mileage at it’s peak. Luckily, the plan is easily adjustable if I do run into any over training problems (which I often do because my job is very physical as well). My mantra over the next few months is to trust the training plan. Training officially starts on June 19 and until then I am just base building and getting stronger.

Am I nuts? Yeah, probably, but really, why be afraid of failure? October 7 is going to be a glorious day either way. Maybe this is corny, but all I have to do is believe.

Colfax Marathon Training Week 11: Cutback and Questival

Happy Monday Everyone!!

This week was a bit of a nutty one, although it was a cutback week on my mileage. I gotta say, I wasn’t too sad about not running once I saw a bunch of snow in our forecast. I absolutely hate running in snow. Even though I cut back in mileage this week, I still had a “race” of sorts to do on Friday night/Saturday. I kept the mileage this week low because Frank and I participated in a 24-hour adventure race in Dallas with two of our friends, which included a lot of running. Even though we were out-of-towners (we live in Manhattan, KS which is about 7 hours from Dallas), we still rocked the race. Recap will be coming soon… but trust me, it was pretty weird.

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The Batllama Questival Team – only like 3 hours in and Ben is already asleep.

Monday: 5.5 Miles at Recovery Pace + Yoga

After a long day of work, I did an evening run with a few friends that are training for their first half marathon. We kept it slow and steady, especially since I was recovering from a pretty tough tempo session the day before. My legs felt a little heavy and overused, so I knew that this cutback week was going to serve me well.

Tuesday: 5.1 Miles at Goal Half Marathon Pace + Yoga

I felt good starting on this run, but I started to notice some pretty nasty stomach pain that I was having. I didn’t think too much of it and just kept chugging along. Eventually, it just got too bad and I dipped into the local running store to use their bathroom. Unfortunately, I had my period… Weird for me to be a few days early, but whatevs (sorry for the TMI, but we’re all runners here… and mostly women). I was happy to see that the stomach issues were not actually stomach related. I tried to up the pace and get back to my car ASAP. I did a little yoga in the evening and that made me feel a lot better.

Wednesday: Rest Day

 Thursday: 12 mile Long Run

I guess when you get to the point where you are doing 18 and 20 mile runs, 12 miles just doesn’t seem that far. This run didn’t even feel like a long run. I kept the pace slow, but was surprised by how short 12 miles felt. Like seriously, 12 miles used to be ridiculously long!! Now, it’s just a normal no big deal run. The pace was a little faster than I would have liked. Around mile 6, the KSU men’s cross country team came up from behind me and took off into the distance. My competitive spirit kicked in a little and I upped the pace to keep up (like yeah right)… after about a half mile I tried to slow it way down. It took me another mile or so to get my pacing right and I kept it slow for the rest of the way home.

Friday: Questival Begins

I have no idea how much running I was doing, but we were running from challenge to challenge. We also slept for maybe two hours. I am going to write a full recap of this soon, but this is a short list of some of the more crazy things that happened:

  1. This picture:
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When dragonflies attack?

2. A cop coming to kick us out of a state park after dark – while we were having a peanut butter explosion in the car

3. I sang Bohemian Rhapsody in the middle of down town Dallas with my headphones in as loud as I could and embarrassed my entire team (this was a liberating experience)

4. I ran 1 mile on a trail in one of my nicest dresses

5. We cheered on a random baseball team with signs and everything at a city park

I’ll give you that much for now… more to come in the recap, but we did like over 50 things.

Saturday: Questival Ends (7 pm), 3.5 mile run at easy pace + 1 mile trail run (in a dress)

After running in a dress, I understand why running clothing companies make their clothes the way they do. After only one mile, I felt sticky and incredibly gross. Frank and I also ran 3.5 miles on the KATY trail through downtown Dallas. This is a beautiful trail and if you are ever in Dallas, you should check it out.

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Team Batllama getting up close and personal with a statue of Mark Twain

Sunday: Hiked and Drove Home

After a long day, we camped in a state park in Oklahoma and went hiking the next morning. Pretty uneventful.

Total Miles: 27 + running around for Questival

Overall, it was a nice and easy week of running. I think I got my sleep schedule back on track, so this week will be back up to high mileage. I have my first 20-miler on Friday. I am a little nervous because this week and the next one are pretty intense on the mileage. If I make it through this… I am basically there. I’ll only have one recovery and one last tough week before starting the taper. Seriously… this whole Marathon thing is getting very real!!

How was your week? Did you race this weekend? How do you usually feel at peak marathon training?

Thinking Out Loud: Random thoughts on running and travel

This is my 100th post!!!!!! Woohoo!

I am going to try something new this week! I’ve never linked up to “thinking out loud” and I figured I’d give it a try. There’s no theme, just random thoughts and ideas about running and whatever else I’m thinking about.

  1. This week has been a recovery week in my training, however, I feel like I am not doing anything at all. I feel like I’ve come so far in these past 10 weeks and I really want to keep going hard and running fast. It’s been really fun to see these big improvements so quickly and all I want is to see more! It’s like addicting. It is taking every bit of my reasoning (and fear of getting injured) to not push this week… to lay low, chill out, and give my body some time to reset. I also only have a few weeks of heavy training left before the taper. Three to be exact. The next two weeks will be 50+ miles, and then I have another recovery before the biggest week of this training cycle.
  1. And to bounce off of the thoughts in number 1… I am pretty proud and impressed that I have remained strong, on top of my training, and injury free. Even thought the injury was not running related, getting hurt heading into Chicago definitely messed with my head. I am just happy that things have been going smooth and that it seems like I am going to make it to this start line ready to go!
  1. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT QUESTIVAL!! I head out to Dallas on Friday before the start of the adventure race. I have no idea what to expect! There will be lots of stuff to do, pictures to take, and very little sleep. This is my kind of trip!!! For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I tend to cram lots of stuff into my weekends, like insanely long hikes and weird little travel stops. I feel like I have been training for this adventure race for my entire relationship with Frank. This is our thing! We have two other friends that are coming with us… and I’ve already warned them that there will be no sleeping and lots of fast paced travel. We probably wont win… but darn it… I am going to try! Also, our team name is “Bat Llama”… long story.
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I still don’t really know what it is…
  1. In other travel news, pending good weather, we are going to be heading out to Colorado in a few weeks to summit Longs Peak. This is a notoriously tough 14er within the bounds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The weather out there is frequently bad, but if things look good, we’re going to go for it. The only problem is… This is during the peak week of my training. I have not decided if I am going to cut back a few miles to accommodate this tough hike. The thing is, I am usually pretty good at doing stuff like this. I am not bothered by altitude and I’ve been going out to CO for 14er climbing for a while now. I feel like, although it will be challenging, that it wont disrupt my training. The end of the climb will also kick off the beginning of my taper. I am not sure if there is a better way to do that!
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We’re gonna climb that giant mountain!!

Thanks everyone for reading my long and rambling thoughts. Thanks to Amanda at Running with Spoons for hosting the linkup!

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What are your random thoughts?

Some Goals, Weather, and a Dream!

This weekend is the season opener for the DINO trail racing series, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be headed to Mounds State Park on Friday, to camp and wake up early for a 15K. The best part is…..my husband is running too! He’s doing the 5K, but I’m pretty excited to have him racing with me. He isn’t often a runner, but it’s fun when he comes out. The race is likely to be a muddy one. The snow has melted on the trails and it is projected to rain on Friday and Saturday. I guess that just makes for interesting trail conditions.

Perfect recipe for some muddy trails. Bring it on!
Perfect recipe for some muddy trails. Bring it on!

Typically I don’t have time goals for trail races, since the terrain and trail conditions play such a large role in race difficulty. I’ll be shooting for 1:35:00, but my only real goal is to just have fun and run a smart race.

I completed Kristina’s Virtual 10K for Team Paws today! It was pretty awesome, and I walked away with a PR! To make the day even better, it was warm enough to wear shorts. Spring has finally arrived.

I'm getting fast! This was a pretty big PR for me.
I’m getting fast! This was a pretty big PR for me. 

So, I have a surprise. It’s more of a dream right now, but I wanted to tell you, since it could really change my training in the next few months…

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I entered the lottery to run the Chicago Marathon. I realize that most people will not be picked, but hey, maybe I will. I’ve always wanted to run Chicago. I was in town a few years ago during the marathon and it looked awesome. It would be my first, and I think it would be a pretty awesome race to debut at. We’ll see what happens…

Anyone else looking to do Chicago? What do you think about trail racing? Also, go wish Lizzy good luck on her Marathon this weekend! 

Am I Crazy?

I am still sore from running my first half marathon two days ago and I went ahead a signed up for the A1A 2016 Half Marathon.

Slide1Oh, and where they asked for anticipated time… I put 1:45. I guess I have a lot of speed work to do. 🙂