Friday, March 31, 2017

Encinitas Half Marathon Race Recap

My watch beeped 6:56 as mile one came and went in a flash. 
6:56 was quicker than I was supposed to begin the race and I am glad I got that out of my system in practice, because I will not be doing that in less than three weeks.

The course made a quick, but not at all sharp left turn and immediately went down a super steep hill. It was the kind of hill that puts worry in the back of your mind for two reasons:
1. Holy knees (which everyone around me was saying) and 2. Ugh. We have to come back up this hill at some point!

The good stuff!

Okay then. Let's back up a tiny bit before we get going too far. After a very low key day on Saturday, I crawled into bed early in anticipation of my alarm ringing at 3:15 am.
What the what? How crazy is that? 3:15 in the morning. On a Sunday. But, that is what I had to do as we weren't planning on getting a hotel and spending the whole weekend in Encinitas.
You know how we talk about runners making such great friends? Well, on Saturday I get a message from Caitlyn offering for me to stay at her house that night so I didn't have to get up at 3:15 am ("Do you really want to do that"?! She asked). That was the kindest offer I have received in a long while and my theory is indeed correct - runners are way cool people.
Since my kids wanted to travel with me, I decided to go with my original plan and left on Sunday morning for the race.

Flat Nat was laid out and ready to go.

My kids were begging me to let them come to the race. We had a family meeting about it and I outlined the plan. Go to bed early on Saturday and leave about 4 am on Sunday. Josh was totally onboard, I knew I would plan for Elle to be with my Mom, and Megan decided, nope - she didn't want to come after all. That is until she realized she didn't want to miss out on something Josh was doing. #siblings

We left the house about 4:30 and sailed down in an hour and thirty minutes. Easy and zero traffic at that hour of the morning.
I arrived, picked up my bib, started to warm up and immediately had to go to the bathroom. Porty Potty line was insane at this point and I was starting to get nervous about getting to the start and thinking about the race a bit. My coach texted me to see how I was doing and the text came at the moment I needed it. It's amazing how things happen and you get a boost of extra confidence and remember all the hard work you've been putting in, even though you seem to have a case of temporary insanity.

Race begins, I made it in plenty of time and we're off.

Miles 1-3: 6:56, 7:01, 6:57 - it takes me a few miles to get into the race and I needed to slow this down. Women around me were racing for sure and it would be interesting to see where they all would end up at mile 11.

Miles 4-6 : 7:03, 7:09, 7:04 - The 1:30 pacer was ahead of me at this point and in the back of my mind I wanted to keep him in sight, but also didn't want to blow up my race plan. I was feeling good at this point. Not great - not the light and airy feeling when you've tapered for a goal race - but good.

Miles 7-10: 7:00, 7:16, 7:16, 6:59 - Came in through the 10k at like 42 something and that made me feel like things were going well. Mile 7 was fine and then we had a long gradual hill at 8 and 9. You wouldn't normally notice it, but you notice it a bit eight miles into a race. The thing is, I could see that there was a turn around and then gradual downhill at mile 10 - I just needed to make it!
I was determined to turn things around, hence the 6:59 at mile 10.

Miles 11-13 and the end: 7:24, 7:28, 7:11 - So this is where it gets a little ugly. 7:24 and 7:28? After the gradual downhill of mile 10, it felt like a slight long incline at mile 11. By this point, we all realized this was not a flat course and people were dropping like flies. I passed a lot of people at this point and tried to focus really hard. I definitely need some work on the last 5k, but every race is a chance to learn and grow. Mile 13, I was talking to myself - "come on, you have to finish this strong". I felt like I had more left in the tank than 7:11 at mile 13, but the mental demons were rearing their head a bit. I was not happy about the previous two miles, trying to shake off the sting of disappointment and forge ahead.

There was a woman who passed me a few miles back and then I passed her during mile 10. Mile 12 point something comes along and she passes back. I knew we were getting so close - less than a half mile - and that was when you needed to start giving it your all. I didn't and I think there is I have a slight fear of sprinting the last mile, but honestly - what could happen? I have to learn to take chances and race hard.

Hot chocolate and oatmeal was served afterwards as promised. They also gave coconut water, a banana and some other goodies.
I met a lot of fun people and then a fellow Instagram runner, RunnergirlNatalie came up and said hello! I love meeting runners from social media, she was really sweet, and we chatted for a bit. I am so bummed we didn't get a picture!

Next, Caitlyn and I ran a post run cool down and cheered the other runners onto the finish.

Just like that it was time to get home and relax. We stopped for bagel sandwiches (eat all the food!) and enjoyed a nice drive home.

I really enjoyed this race and will definitely be back to run it again. The volunteers were cheerful, warm and fun. It was beautiful course in a quaint beach town and very well organized.

Now it's time to get ready for BOSTON!

Have you ever been to San Diego?

How many miles are you running this weekend?

Whether you are running or spectating, I want to know ----> Who's going to Boston?! 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Three Weeks

Hey you guys.

It's been silent here on the blog lately. I feel like I am juggling a thousand balls and gambling that they don't come crashing to the ground. I've never been good at juggling, and somehow it's working? I think. I hope.

Running a whole lot of miles, writing deadlines and super focused on my kids. The afternoon/evening routine with three kids literally running around is hectic to say the least. They have been getting bored with the meal choices lately and I am making a concentrated effort to spice things up a bit in the dinner department. Honestly, it's not easy to do that when my Sunday meal planning has been lacking (yeah, I've been falling asleep after a 22 mile run - not really jazzed to meal plan) and then we're on the fly for the week. 
I could make it sound neat and pretty and tell you I've got it all together, but most of the time I don't. Sunday afternoon following the race (recap is coming!) I made a delicious leek and zucchini soup - so easy to prepare and I found it in this cookbook which I love. I paired it with a whole roast chicken plus sweet potatoes and felt pretty darn proud of myself! Nutrient dense and colorful for the win, also a perfect recovery meal after a race. We all sat down for dinner together, which was really nice, as during the week Jerold is working a ton and we don't have many family dinners with him.

I looked around the dining table and couldn't believe how much my kids are growing. Josh is 10 (TEN!) now, Elle is such a little girl at four and Megan is this spunky six year old first grader. How did this happen and please let me not miss a single second.

The grind of marathon training is completely here. I've hit the peak of the crazy mountain, we need to fine tune a few things and then coming coasting down to race day in three short weeks. These weeks are going to quickly evaporate and before I know it, it'll be time to board the plane.

My kids are beyond excited to go to Boston. In their eyes, we may as well be going to Tahiti - they are so pumped and it makes me smile to have them with me. There was a point where I was going to fly in for the weekend, race and fly home, but Easter is the day before the race and it's also during spring break. There was no way I would miss Easter with my family - so off we go.

I realize I haven't updated you on my training in a bit, so here's an eight day snapshot:

Sunday March 12th - 4 moderate, 8 at 7:03, 4 moderate. 16 total
I kicked butt on this workout. It was the end of a long week, my legs were a bit fatigued, and I put it aside and got to work. 

March 13th - 4 trail miles to recover

March 14th - 6 miles

March 15th - 6 miles

March 16th - Yasso 800's anyone? 2 mile warm up, 10 x 800, 400 jog in between, 2 mile cool down.
Splits for the 800s: 3:09, 3:09, 3:09, 3:07, 3:05, 3:05, 3:05, 3:03, 3:01, 2:58

March 17th - 6 miles

March 18th - 10 miles

March 19th - 22 miles at 7:40 (coach didn't want me to go faster than this)

65.5 miles for the week of March 13th.

This was peak week, last week was a tad lighter and then I raced the Encinitas Half on Sunday! I can't wait to tell you all about it.

I will say that official time is looking like 1:33:33, 3rd in AG = 7:08 pace on tired legs.

Bring on Boston.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Boston Marathon Training: 6 Weeks To Go!!

Hey you guys. 
I picked up my computer several times last week to write and between a yucky cold (that thankfully was really bad for only 48 hours), kids and a 62 mile week...
Yeah, there were a lot of early bedtimes, stretching, eating and Mom life going on for me.

Thank you so much for all of your sweet words about my son Josh. We go back to the doctor today for his three week post op check up and I really hope he gets the all clear to be active again. Fingers crossed and lots of prayers going on around here!

Training has been on fire. I had zero days off last week and I could feel the hard work being done. These are the weeks that you remember - the ones that flash through your mind during the marathon (especially that last 10K) and propels you forward. You can't even think about giving up, because you know all the work and sacrifices that have been put forth.

Strength training has been a huge priority this week and of course always plugging away on PT exercises and core work. You wanna run fast - get your core and glutes in order.

I have been rolling my muscles like a boss - before and after each run and I have an epsom salt bath date practically every night. A heavenly 90 minute massage happened this week (life changing) and I have another scheduled in a couple of days. I purchased a new pair of shoes (Brooks Ghost 9) and I am thinking about the shoe I will wear for the marathon. It may be the new Launch 4 as it is a lighter, faster shoe and I will try that out in the coming weeks.

I am so excited to keep working my butt off during this month, because I know a month from now the taper will begin and it will be time to put the hay in the barn.

For now, there is a whole lot of hay left to be made, so let's catch up on the past two weeks of workouts, shall we?

Monday Feb. 20th - 5 easy trail miles

Tuesday Feb. 21st - 5 easy treadmill miles

Wednesday Feb. 22nd - 10 miles on the road

Thursday Feb. 23rd - 10 miles on the treadmill - 
2 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile repeats (6:28, 6:24, 6:20, 6:16, 6:09), .25 jog in between, 2 mile cool down
**Making progress on these mile paces. Short term goal - get low sixes on all of them. #boom

Friday Feb. 24th - 4 easy miles on the road

Saturday Feb. 25th - REST

Sunday Feb. 26th - 15 miles on the road - 10 miles easy, 5 miles at 7:04 pace

Total Miles: 49 

Then things got real in the mileage dept.  :)

Monday Feb. 27th - 4 easy miles on the road
** Love these easy, recovery days. I focus on the joy of running, paces are what they are and I have a lot of fun.

Tuesday Feb. 28th - 6 easy miles on the road 

Wednesday March 1st - 10 miles - 3 mile warm up, 5 mile tempo at 6:40 overall pace, 2 mile cooldown
** This workout was one of the highlights of my week. My body really pulled through, as I was not feeling well and doubting whether I could accomplish the paces that I needed to hit. Really happy with this effort (and was super glad when it was done!)

Thursday March 2nd - 6 easy miles

Friday March 3rd - 10 easy miles

Saturday March 4th - 6 beautiful miles on a trail that I love!
**This run was heaven. I feel so lucky to have access to these trails!! 

Sunscreen in full effect.

Sunday March 5th - 20 miles at 7:40 pace!!
**Took 3 GU (Salted Watermelon, Pineapple, and Blueberry Pomegranate. I've decided I prefer Espresso and Vanilla) and tried Run Gum (humm - the jury is still out on this - have you tried it?) during the course of this long, long run. Water every 3-4 miles with Enduropacks.

Immediately after the run. They are my everything. Oh, and then I stuffed a banana and almond butter in my mouth, stretched for 5 minutes and hauled my butt to the shower. Crackers with more almond butter on the way, lots of water. I had to rush and take my daughter to yet another birthday party! I ate a lot at the party and then a healthy dinner (I made chicken and zucchini Pho soup!!) afterwards. So thirsty, so tons of water.
PS: I love my son even more for not caring how sweaty I am.

Total Miles: 62

Six weeks till the race, which means we leave for Beantown in less than six. Whoop!!

Have a great start to the week!!

Tell me something fun you did this weekend!

Is it still cold where you are?