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Posts Tagged ‘half marathon’

I ran on Saturday, did my 8 miles like a good bunny.  But I really wasn’t feeling it.  My legs were tired.  My head was tired.  I almost turned around.  So my time wasn’t anything special, but I got it done.Sunday did not happen probably because Saturday was a challenge.  I woke up early and ended up watching ThunderCats with my son instead of charging out the door.  Then I really wanted to get stuff planted, but it was hot.  I did some before I decided that what I really wanted to do was read and watch the kids splash.

They had more toys than pool!

The day of rest, although it did nothing for my future (hopefully) crop of veggies, worked out well for my run this morning.  I was able to do a 4-mile speed workout with an 8:36 minute pace.  I feel good about a 9 minute pace for my half marathon this Sunday, I look forward to making it to 8:30 for a fall half.

I don’t feel terribly fast out there, and my friend who achieved his BQ yesterday with a 3:00:05 marathon in Vermont doesn’t help.  I keep my perspective by thinking about how much I have gained this year (doubled the mileage & 30 seconds faster average pace) and that he didn’t birth any babies.  His wife made a cute one though!

Also, Happy Memorial Day!  Thank you to any service members, past or present, who read this!

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After another rained out Wednesday run, I was eager to get up this morning and make up for it.  I hoped to make the 7.15 miles in around 60 minutes.  Found out pretty quick that I wasn’t going to be quite so quick.

I had made an appointment yesterday to see the chiropractor next Wednesday.  That appointment will be 1.5 weeks out from my half marathon, a perfect tune-up!  I haven’t been feeling too out of alignment, but I want to be totally in for the race.

Shortly after I set out this morning I found that my right leg was pulling funky, creating stiffness from my ankle to my hip.  So I won’t make the time goal for the day, I can still try to be faster than I have been.

I run along woody areas that open into a few lakes and swampy areas, creating fantastic views in the morning.  This morning I saw lots of dead stuff.  Baby turtles, frogs, snakes, even worms.  It was a bit of a downer.  On the way back, I thought about how I had driven up this road yesterday in the rain.  I wondered if I had killed anything.

About 1.25 miles from home, a huge snapping turtle was wandering into the road.  I debated stopping to move it, but I still wanted to make the surprisingly good pace I had maintained.  I looked at it and ran around it and then I stopped.  I suddenly felt somewhat ashamed of myself.  I had been noting the numerous deaths along my route and now I wanted to ignore this animal in the road to make my pace?

So I turned around, grabbed the very large (over 12″ across!) and very grumpy snapper and moved it across the road and down the embankment to the lake shore.  How long did that take me?  Maybe a minute?

I ended up taking a total of 25 seconds longer than the last time I ran the distance.  I estimate that my pace was 8:45 without the turtle, but it was only 8:52 with the turtle.  Still pretty good for me!

I promise to keep my priorities straight when I see a creature in need in the future.

Not my turtle, but you get the idea. Further research tells me it was probably about as old as I am!

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I have been training since December 31, 2011 to get back up to speed (following a 3 month hiatus) and to complete a half marathon this spring.  After 4 months of training, I finally feel like I am really training for racing.  Before I may have just been training for plain, old running. 

After yesterday’s long run, I am 4 weeks out from the race and suddenly very concerned about what I am doing when I am not just preparing to run.  I have been eating healthy and hydrating and carbing up for the long runs, but not very well.  I now feel a need to overhaul everything, because for Sunday’s run, I felt the impact of anything I had done in the last day.  In a good way.

I was really focused on grains, veggies and water on Saturday.  As soon as I woke up Sunday, I started to drink while changing instead of waiting until I got to the kitchen.  I prepared little balls of raisins in plastic and thought out when I might need them.

I found that I did not return with my forehead bruised from repeatedly hitting the wall and I cut another 3:40 from the previous week’s long run.  It doesn’t sound like much, but I did work myself considerably harder than usual on Saturday and I still felt pretty good after the long run. 

I also felt like I gained in technique.  I will start the refueling at 40 minutes next time and repeat every 20 with slightly smaller balls.  The Gatorade-to-water ratio was too high for my stomach.  And Saturday’s pasta & meat sauce was a much better last meal than the previous week’s chicken & broccoli with alfredo linguine (too much fat vs carbs). 

I am also looking up side dishes I can make in small quantities to boost protein and carbs during the week.  It’s very hard to feed myself for training and prepare meals for 3 other less-concerned citizens.  On the upside, my 6 yo is determined to come to my side.  We followed up both of my runs this weekend with a mile of jogging together in decent form.  That makes me proud.

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My first observation today was that the kids slept in, good news for all!  It wasn’t until 8:15 when I left the house for my run, usually I leave by 6:30.  I felt nearly naked running this morning in only shorts and tee.  Sleeping in also meant the day had warmed to 50*.  Usually I run in a long sleeve tech under a sports fleece with sweatpants.  I may have some extra drag factor in the wind.

So it was a lovely morning with sunshine and birds, the neighbor’s dog pooping in their yard and light traffic.  I also usually get to see the sun rise above the lakes when I run early.  But since I missed the sun rising, the birds put on their own show when I got to the lakes.  The starlings were singing in the trees, robins bopping about providing the footwork and red-wing blackbird males were chasing each other across the shallows in a fast-paced dance.

Red-Winged Blackbird

A red-winged blackbird, courtesy of a Vermont logging company's website.

Not my picture, but still a neat looking bird.  I ran 3 miles this morning 2 minutes faster than on Wednesday.  Starting to feel my body coming back to me.  When I finish my run, I stretch on the yoga mat I specifically requested from my in-laws for Christmas.  It is way better than on the carpet, which kinda captures the smell and doesn’t clean easily.  I like to stretch against a wall in the office, where we hung a random framed poster of a cockatoo I have had for years.

My Feet

My actual feet and poster and curtains. I didn't pick the paint.

Also, the curtains matched a room in our last house perfectly.  My husband could not bear to part with them, though I don’t think the teal works well with them.  I am not sure what the exact appeal of the poster is, other than we are bird people who like flowers.  In addition to stretching out the muscles, I also become a love-station.  My husband’s cat has learned that the mat functions much like a bathroom.  He has a captive audience with nothing better to do than pet him (or so he tells me).

The Friggin Cat

Friggin Cat is his given name, and he uses it well.

 Loooove the cat.  At least I have company.  The other 2 cats haven’t figured this out and the other humans are usually still asleep.  So we are cat people too, basically we love animals.  We also have 2 large fish tanks and I would really like some goats.  I hear they eat poison ivy like rabbits eat lettuce.  And we get poison ivy rashes like a pregnant super-star gets paparazzi.  Good times.

I did register for the half marathon last night.  $75.98 later I am good to go in June, with much Facebook encouragement from friends and family.  Luckily, the next race I have in mind after that only has a $20 fee with fundraising expectations.  I can do that, especially considering it is a children’s hospital.

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I took yesterday off, but today I was back on.  I ran 4 miles this morning.  I was quite discouraged with myself when I got home.  I should be running 11 miles this Sunday, if the last several weeks had not set me back with head colds.  So I can continue the self-pity or move on and figure out how to make it work.

After I got the first grader on the bus and the preschooler ready for her day at work with me, I took a look at my training plan.  I do have the ability to be objective and honest with myself about what I can do, something I notice some people lack.

So any way, I believe I can do another 3 tomorrow and 6 on Sunday.  I will work on strength and endurance with 3 mile runs as often as I can.  I will keep my 6 miles as scheduled on Wednesdays and jump next Sunday to 8 miles.  That gives me another week to get back to where I was a few weeks ago.  I can jump again on the 29th to 10 miles.  Sounds fast, but I promise to go easy with the pace to build the endurance I need for the distance.  That gives me 3 more Sundays to do 11, 12 and 13 miles before I scale back prior to the big race.  I am less concerned about the time now and more concerned about the distance.  Although it would be nice to do better than a friend who recently ran her first half.  She did 2:22, can I beat that?  I’ll sure try.

Even better is the news of how much we are expecting to get back from our taxes.  I have been holding off on registering for the race because it has a high price ($70 right now) with the intent of pretending I was running the race that day if I did not have the cash to pay for it.  Now I can be assured of the cash and if I am lucky, I will still be early enough to get a t-shirt!

OSRR

The Old Sandwish Road Race Half Marathon is my big event for this spring!

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I swear I wrote a very thorough and concise training plan for a half marathon in June.  I increased my weekly mileage slowly and planned speed workouts throughout the week.  I even left in extra time in the event that weather intervened. 

I have already had to push my plan back a week when I was sick a couple of weeks ago and unable to stand, forget running.  Whatever disease I had has created a sinus infection, or acute maxillary sinusitis per the doctor, that has really made life difficult this past week.  I have not run since Sunday and know I will not be up to increasing this Sunday.  Also, my family is coming down Saturday for Easter and I am really behind on the cleaning.

So I will have to set my training back another week, again.  At least I will have the time tomorrow in my meal plan to take a run and shower before anyone arrives.  I do make plans for everything.

Easter Plan

I do this every year and save them for future reference.  So I have time after starting the lentil soup and before putting in the ham.  I was going to premake the rolls today and refrigerate, but I decided I will have time to make them fresh Saturday.

So I am thinking I will start with a 3 mile run Saturday and maybe a 6 mile run on Sunday if Saturday goes well.  Today is the first day all week that my teeth aren’t throbbing from the pressure, so I take it as a sign that I am on the mend, even if I can’t hear anything on the left side.  Of course, I also wanted to be on plan so I could say I was up to 9 miles this week.  Since that won’t happen, I will have to rely on the pity attention from accomplishing a dinner for 18 people with some minor disability.  Just don’t look too hard at the floors, or glass, or anywhere really.

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When I run, I think.  I think about what I have to do, what I have done, and what I might be able to do.  It gives me time to sort my life and priorities.  Currently I am training for a half marathon in June.  I like to imagine myself blowing away my goal of less than 2 hours.  I find that I am more optimistic and focused in all aspects of my life when I have a strong goal I believe I can achieve.

Sunday, I made a 6 mile long run.  I last ran 6 miles in September of last year.  I fell out of running shortly thereafter due to morning craziness with the kids and a new job.  I had a rough time mentally without my outlet.  When I resumed in January, I quickly rediscovered my mojo.  As a morning runner, I love the idea of accomplishment before breakfast.  I love the feeling of success in what I start out to do.  It starts my day on a very positive note.  I may have become an endorphin junkie, as I now run 5 days a week. 

So Sunday, I felt fantastic.  I even wrote that to some friends who track their runs with me.  To get back to a milestone I had not visited in 5 months and actually run faster, I felt I could take on any challenge.  When I saw my time, I was nearly jumping for joy at outdoing myself.  I can do anything!  I felt strong and cute.  (Since cutting my hair, I had to go twin piggies on top.)

By the end of April, I intend to be running 12 mile long runs.  I am not afraid or overwhelmed at the idea.  I know I can do it and I will.

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