Made it to south Florida!

I made it to Florida! The way here was certainly not easy! My flight was cancelled and I was forced to change my entire itinerary. I didn’t make it home until about 11:30 pm, but after a good night’s rest, it seemed pretty worth it. It is nice to have some warmer weather AND I get to hang out with my favorite dog.

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I woke up him to take this picture. He has a case of bed head here.

Oh and my parent’s cat too (she doesn’t cuddle like Elly).

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I do miss Elly!

I’ve been doing a bit of a taper heading into A1A. On Tuesday, I went for a run on the dreadmill because it was just way too cold! On Wednesday, before my flight, I managed to get myself out and moving for a marathon paced tempo run, despite the cold. I finally managed to feel comfortable holding my goal pace for Colfax.

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The river was looking super nice!

I am definitely feeling a little nervous heading into A1A. I feel tired and a bit overtrained and I am just not sure if I can hold a PR pace for 13.1 miles. Although the extra mileage that I’ve been putting on my legs during marathon training has certainly improved my fitness, I’m not sure that it has improved my SPEED. I feel like I am ready to run a super long distance… but just not very fast. Maybe I’ll wake up Sunday morning with super legs. It’s just hard to imagine holding under 8:30 paces for over 13 miles. I know that I tend to show up strong at races, but I do tend to feel inadequate during training. Unfortunately, there will be no pacers to help me reach my goal of under 1:50:00.

Whatever happens… happens. Regardless, I plan on having a good time!

I am excited to see both Kristina and Ally on Saturday! It’s going to be great to finally meet and wish them good luck on their races. Also, Lizzy is doing the LA marathon on Sunday, so wish her good luck nabbing that new marathon PR!

Anyone racing this weekend? Do you usually feel unsure of yourself heading into a PR attempt?

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Colfax Marathon Week 2: Kickin’ Butt!!

Week two of my Colfax Marathon training cycle is over, and I only have 110 days to get myself ready! I know that sounds like a long time… but it’s not. However, it will be more than enough time if every week goes as well as this week did. Basically, mostly everything went right. I had a few weather snafus that stopped me from hitting my paces, but the effort was there, even if the clock didn’t say so.

Monday: 8 miles LSD – Long run pushed off from week before due to weather

I wrote about this run here. It was a pretty good long run, but was pushed off to this week due to arctic temperatures in Kansas.

Tuesday: 3 miles easy pace on treadmill + Yoga

It was still bitterly cold out on Tuesday, and I had kinda lost feeling in my legs by the end of my 8-mile long run, so I decided to take this one inside. I hate the treadmill, and even though it was an easy paced run, mentally, this run was pretty tough. I have such a hard time keeping my mind occupied while running indoors.

Wednesday: 3 miles in snowstorm + Yoga

I went out for a run during a rather nasty snowstorm. I figured that since the temps weren’t too bad, that I could take the snow. I was hoping to hit close to marathon pace, but couldn’t stop my feet from slipping on the snow, so I just did put a medium amount of effort into the run. I was pretty glad to get home and dry off a bit.

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This is what Elly was up to when I got back from my run. It was apparently too cold to be awake.

Thursday: 3 miles easy pace on treadmill + Yoga

Kansas doesn’t believe in plows and salt… so I ended up taking my run inside… again. By the end of it, I was ready to swear off the treadmill forever. I did some yoga after, and that made me feel better about being cooped up indoors.

Friday: 5 miles Marathon Pace… but not really + Yoga

I intended for this run to be at marathon pace. Frank and two of our friends came out for the run (although Frank only did 3 miles). It was icy and cold, which slowed us down a lot. Dodging the ice and snow made for an interesting run that almost felt like trail running. We kept it about 30 seconds per mile slower than MP, although the effort seemed pretty tough.

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The reads and sidewalks were caked in ice… and it really only got worse as we went along.

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Obligatory post-run selfie. Frank had already run inside to get away from the cold.

Saturday: Rest Day – Went to see the largest ball of twine in the world… and yes, that is in Kansas!

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Artsy shot of the twine. Kansas is a strange place…

Sunday: 10 miles LSD + Yoga

I went to a yoga class in the AM and ran in the afternoon. One of Frank’s co-workers expressed interest in training for a half marathon, so I took him along for 7 miles of the run… and he did great! This was the first long run that has actually felt like a long run in a while. It was a real milestone to hit double digits. I actually don’t think I have done that since my Chicago Marathon training back in October. It was a great run, and I even got to explore a new route. Frank joined me for the last three miles and really pushed the pace. I ran a negative split with the last mile well below marathon pace (Thanks Frank). I had intended to keep this run pretty slow, but with the ice gone and fresh legs, I felt too good to slow down.

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Zeb is learning how fun running can really be!!

Total Mileage: 32.4

Overall, this was a great week. I needed it too! With the A1A Half Marathon coming up, I think I needed a few confident long runs under my belt into order to go for a PR in Fort Lauderdale. Also, the higher mileage felt good on my legs, so I’m pretty glad to be back! This week, Frank and I will be heading to Boulder on Thursday night, so I’ll be doing a few runs at altitude!

This week:

M: Rest

T: 3 miles easy

W: 6 miles MP

Th: 3 miles easy

F: 6 miles

S: Hiking in Colorado!

S: 12 miles LSD through Boulder

How was your week? Anyone hit by bad weather? Also, I know Kristina and Ali are doing the A1A Marathon/Half Marathon. Is anyone else gonna be there?

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. 🙂

A1A Half Marathon Race Recap: I crushed it!

Some days you go out and they are perfect. Perfect weather, perfect energy, perfect race. The A1A Half Marathon was just that and I killed it. My goal was really just to finish, and in the back of my head, I wanted a sub 2-hour half, which I thought was impossible.

My time was 1:56:48.

The race was in Fort Lauderdale, Fl, which is a solid 3 hour drive and a 2.5 hour plane ride from South Bend. With delays, I was traveling for close to 12 hours before I made it into bed on Friday night. The next morning, my mom and I headed over to the expo, picked up my bib and some free stuff, and then took off to teach a guest yoga class.

Pre-race yoga with my mom. Also, we got my personalized bib!

Pre-race yoga with my mom. Also, we got my personalized bib!

I got to bed pretty early Saturday night for a 3:45 am wake up. I slept ok, but not great, since I still had a ton of anxiety about even finishing. I had never run that distance before, and I figured I would struggle. My breakfast was an a luna bar and a banana, which did not go down too well. My stomach was doing flips and I was nervous. My parents and I hopped into the car and headed to the start line at the Broward Museum of Discover and Science and there were TONS of people. Like I have never seen so many people up at 5 am in one place in my life.

My dad and I chillin' before the race. It was COLD (for Florida). Perfect race day weather.

My dad and I chillin’ before the race. It was COLD (for Florida). Perfect race day weather.

Standing at the start line, I still had no idea what my strategy or my pace would be. I was considering going with the 2:00 pacer or the 2:15 pacer… but I was also thinking about doing it alone. I felt good, and as they started the race, I walked up towards the starting line, looked behind me, saw the 2:00 pacer and made a last minute decision to commit to running with her.

Hanging by the start with anticipation and a little anxiety.

Hanging by the start with anticipation and a little anxiety.

The start was still pretty dark, and I was running with a rather large group of runners. We were trying to get through the crowds of people and set our pace comfortably just over a 9 minute mile. The pacer was really nice and we chatted a bit about Notre Dame and the weather up there. I talked to some of the other people in the group and they were all pretty excited that it was my first Half Marathon. My plan was to run with the pacer and at the half way point if I was still feeling good, I’d stick with her.

The course was beautiful and took us down Las Olas Blvd (which, honestly, I don’t even remember running on), then north on A1A to Birch State Park and finally up to the Galt Ocean Mile before taking us south to South Beach Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale. There were ocean views and a pretty rockin’ sunrise.

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At Birch State Park, we started to see the potential winners of the half marathon heading back to the finish line, and they looked awesome. I was still feeling good and was really enjoying being with a pacer. Giving up control of the race to someone who can definitely run it is actually pretty wonderful. I felt like my usual mental battles were being fought by someone else and all I had to do was follow that person.

However, just after mile 8, I went to a water stop and lost the pacer. I knew I was ahead of her, and as I was about to head into the Galt Ocean Mile, I looked behind me and couldn’t see her carrying the sign. I figured I’d just run and if she caught up, I’d know that was the 2 hour mark.

I looked at my watch and noticed that I was running at 8:42, and I just kept going. And then I ran another 8:42, and another. And before long, I knew I was minutes ahead of the 2 hour pacer.

Negative splits... like a boss.

Negative splits… like a boss.

Suddenly, mid-race, my goals were changing. I was not only looking to break 2 hours, I was looking to crush 2 hours. I have never run (before today) a race at a negative splits. Usually, I go out too fast and get really tired. I knew that in order to reach my new goal, I’d have to dig deep and do it.

And then mile 13 happened. I got there and was dying. I was looking to the crowd for help and I was really thinking I was gonna have to walk or something. I kept taking water at the stations, but nothing was helping. An older guy came up from behind me and said “you’re doing great” and I told him that it was my first Half Marathon, that we were way past the furthest I’d ever run and that I was really struggling. He looked out in front of us, saw an overpass in the distance and said “that overpass is your goal, just make it to there”.

So I ran to the overpass with him.

He then spotted another landmark ahead, told me to run to that… I continued with him. Suddenly we were a half mile from the end, I was dying, but he just kept talking me through it.

Then I saw my mom, who didn’t think I’d be coming in that early, so she wasn’t paying attention to the racers. I ran over to her, grabbed her and yelled “I’m about to break 2 hours!” …and then I sprinted and gave it my all. I passed the finish line, looked at my watch and saw 1:56:45. I couldn’t believe it. My reach goal was just to break 2 hours… I broke it by over 3 minutes. I had never run negative splits, and my 2nd half was close to 4 minutes faster than my first.

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Running with the pacer was the best decision I could have made. Even though I eventually took off ahead of her, she really helped me remain on time and stable. Usually my mind does a lot of fighting in races, and there was none of that (until the last mile). This race could not have gone better.

At the finish line my parents, cousin, and in laws were there to cheer me on. We walked around the vendors and watched the marathoners and half marathoners come in. I even saw Kristina from blogaboutrunning.com cross the finish line. She looked awesome!

Thanks to everyone who helped me get through my training and overshoot my goals. I had a blast and I can’t wait to do it again.

The Holy Half Marathon is in 41 days. Now I have a time to chase.

Heading into Race Week

One week exactly from the A1A Half… and I’m a little nervous. I really don’t know what to expect and honestly, I have no idea what pace I’ll be running it at. I’ve been totally all over the place this week. There was a ton of snow on the ground at the beginning of the week, which made my legs felt like they were carrying lead. I finished my week off great, though! My second long run was definitely a high point.

Due to the crazy blizzard last week, I had two long runs this week. I had planned to run the first on monday, but I was so sore from galavanting through a blizzard on sunday that I decided to push it off. The run went well, but I was definitely tired by the end. I had a recovery run on Wednesday, where I spent 30 minutes complaining to my running buddies about how sore I was from the day before. Thursday I took a much needed rest, but spent most of my day bouncing around with energy. I guess the training is working. Friday’s tempo run went great and I finished feeling strong and ready for the half.

Saturday was spent cross country skiing ALL DAY LONG! I think I skied close to 14 miles total. It was a perfect day for it too.

My friends and I by our snowman after many hours of cross country skiing.

The South Bend Adventure Club by our snowman after many hours of cross country skiing.

I gotta say though, my long run was definitely me at my best. I ended up going with my roommate who is training for the LA Marathon. She was running 20 miles and I was doing 10. Normally I take my long runs at about 10:00-10:30 pace. However, with her, we were going closer to 9:30 and I felt great. I had minimal suffering and I seemed to be just winning the mental game that I battle with so badly when my milage is above 8. For the first time, I was really feeling ready for this half.

Training this week

Monday: Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: 10.56 mile long run
Wednesday: Ran 3.12 miles for recovery + yoga
Thursday: REST REST REST
Friday: 5 miles tempo (1 mile warm up, 3 tempo, 1 mile cool down) + yoga
Saturday: Cross Country Ski
Sunday: 10 mile long run + yoga
Total: 28.7 miles

This is my highest milage since my ankle injury over a year ago and I felt really really good. However, I am kinda glad to be heading into the taper week. My goals are just to keep being positive and trust the training I’ve done.

Taper Week

Monday: Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: Run 4 miles
Wednesday: Run 3.1 miles
Thursday: Run 2 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: A1A Half Marathon

How was your training? Any big running plans coming up?

The Ups and Downs of Training

I am officially less than three weeks out from the A1A Half Marathon, and I have no idea what to expect. This week was full of ups and downs. On the up, I seemed to have beaten the flu. On the down, well, I had a flare up of my IT band syndrome on Wednesday’s run. However, I rested it, and my long run on sunday went great. So, go figure. I did change a few things, and I hope maybe I can get to the bottom of this once and for all.

Over Christmas, I went to the Delray Running Company to check out their shoes and see how they fitted me. I had come in with my Brooks Ravenas, and the owner of the store swore that I was in a shoe that had too much of a drop. She convinced me to come back in and get fitted by showing me her awesome setup where they record your running gate on video and slow it down to see your weird running tendencies. When we looked at mine, I was horrified. I am a super duper crazy pronator and I do this really strange kick out thing with my right foot. To improve my form, they fitted me into a pair of Newton Pop 1‘s. These shoes were really weird (they have these strange things on the bottom called lugs that force you to mid-foot strike) and ridiculously expensive. So, long story short, I took the info from my gate analysis, and didn’t buy the shoes. However, after my flare up on Wednesday, I decided to try and attack my form a little and go back to some of what I learned from my analysis. I also bought a compression sleeve for my knee and that seemed to help a ton. On my long run sunday, I concentrated on not kicking my foot out and trying to not over-stride, which seemed to be causing at least some of the over pronation. Hopefully, these adjustments help and I can forge ahead in my training without too much trouble.

Aren't these the weirdest shoes? I just can't commit to something so different for $175.

Aren’t these the weirdest shoes? I just can’t commit to something so different for $175.

My training last week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5 mile run outside at ~9:30 pace
Wednesday: Tried for 3 miles, but only did 2.5 because of the IT band + yoga
Thursday: yoga + rested my leg
Friday: More Yoga
Saturday: Hiked 6 miles + Biked 50 min + Yoga
Sunday: Ran 9 miles at ~9:30-10:00 pace for my long run + Yoga

Total: Ran 16.5, Hiked 6, Biked 50 min and a ton of yoga

My one picture on my long run before my phone died. It was snowing the whole time and my face felt like it was being pelted by tiny razor blades, but besides that, it went great!

My one picture on my long run before my phone died. It was snowing the whole time and my face felt like it was being pelted by tiny razor blades, but besides that, it went great!

As you see…this is a pretty all over the place week. My long run went great and gave me a ton of confidence for my training ahead and the A1A Half coming up. However, Wednesday had me pretty worried since I had so much pain. Hopefully this week goes a little smoother. I have my longest run of my training cycle and this week will likely be my hardest week.

My training this week:

Monday: Yin Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: 6 miles chill pace
Wednesday: 3 miles with Fleet Feet run group + yoga
Thursday: Yoga + Bike
Friday: 5 miles with 3 miles at 8:45 pace + yoga
Saturday: Hiking
Sunday: Hiking + 11 mile long run

Total: 25 miles

Run in the Sun… and back to the snow!

Sorry about being MIA over the holidays. It is always craziness down south. My husband and I are both only children, so we are showered with attention when we visit. I spent a lot of time with my family and catching up on my yoga practice. My mom, who is also a yoga teacher, and I went to a class every day that I was home and had a great time experiencing some new instructors. Taking new classes reminds me to step outside the box when I teach and is a great way to jumpstart a more challenging practice. AND…while at home, my mom and I cooked up some fun plans for this Valentine’s Day (the day before the A1A Half). Check it out…

This is a workshop I will be teaching in South Florida at Juliana's Art of Yoga. If you are in town, you should check it out!

This is a workshop I will be teaching in South Florida at Juliana’s Art of Yoga. If you are in town, you should check it out!

I figured that this would be a wonderful way for me to curb the nerves for the race and it is a fun thing to do with my mom!

So, you may be wondering how I did for my holiday training. …It was pretty bad. I spent most of my time doing yoga and hanging with family, and not too much time running (although I did get a few runs in). Despite my lack of training, I think I needed some time to check out and concentrate on lowering my stress levels and practice mildfulness. However, now I am back in Indiana and ready to get back to the roads, at least with a little bit more consistency. My training this week will be with an intention of going slow and long. My husband promised to join me for a few runs, so I’ll have some company.

Monday: Much needed rest!

Tuesday: 5 miles slow and yoga

Wednesday: 5 miles and yoga

Thursday: Hike along Knobstone trail

Friday: Trail run 4 miles

Saturday: Hike along Knobstone trail

Sunday: Hike and run 8 miles

Total: 22 miles

How is your training going? Have the holidays made it a little harder to get it done? Don’t beat yourself up about it, just make it a priority in the next few weeks. Happy New Year everyone!