Wednesday, May 30, 2012

2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon

I was pretty sick with a virus the week leading up to Rock and Roll. Felt like a train hit me. I managed to run 3 miles the Tuesday before at Gabriel Park and I barely managed a 12:30/mile pace. Thursday I was feeling about 80% and ran about 5 miles at an 11:30/mile pace. Clearly, my body was WIPED out.

Sunday came and I felt back up to 98%. It took us a while to find parking and then we had the choice to try and find our friends for the pre-run photo, or hop into the extremely long port-a-potty lines.. I opted for the bathroom line. Good thing too, since it took close to 40 minutes to get through the line. At 8:00 I lined at up at Coral 15 and then waited another 25 minutes until we got to start the race. The first 5 miles felt pretty good. Though I could tell I had been sick, because I just didn't have the usual energy in my body. By the time we hit the uphill portion of Hawthorne, I was having to start to combat the negative thoughts in my head. My knees actually felt fine - I just really wanted to be done. The temperature was pretty close to perfect for the day and the light mist felt nice. By mile 10, I was averaging an 11/min mile and this felt like the fastest I could run. I didn't have any more in me to push faster and that was frustrating. I knew my odds of PRing were not good, so my goal became to finish. I was walking 1 min every mile to stay ahead of my knee pain. Mile 11- People around me were probably getting annoyed with my "Dig Deep, it's time to dig deeper" mantra chanting up each little hill. I just kept trying to tell my extremely heavy legs to keep moving.

Seeing the balloon archway was a very happy moment. I was able to push it a little more for a sprint to the end and I was done!! 2:24.00. About a min and a half slower than the Heartbreaker Half, but all things considered going into this race- not that bad. I would have liked to PR - but as a friend and longtime runner pointed out- you can't PR every time. I am very happy that my knees felt good through the entire race- that's a huge praise. I wasn't all that sore and had a nice 5 mile recovery run the following Tuesday.

2 weeks until the Epic Relay - Portland to Eugene and then 3 weeks until  the Sauvie Island Flat Half (really hoping to PR). Praying I stay injury-free!! Then I will be taking a 2 week rest and then starting a new training plan.

Happy Running!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

18 days until Rock and Roll!

(Recent run along Fanno Creek trail)

18 days, 7 training runs, until Half Marathon #3.

My goals going into this race?

1. New PR - so anything better than 2:22.30.
2. My personal goal 2:15.00 (McMillan seems to think I could do a 2:07, but I am not so sure...)

So as the race is getting closer, I started reflecting on things I am learning....

1. Don't try something new too close to the race... Yes- trying Spin for the first time less than 2 weeks out from your first half marathon is a bad idea. I won't be doing that again.

2. Don't taper too much....I think my body doesn't like to taper. I have realized I don't need to cut back that much before a half.. this may not hold true before a full marathon- but I am not running at a level that requires it, plus my body actually seems to revolt and hurt when I cut it back too much.

3. Ice baths and compression socks are my friends. I have been doing these post long run and I think they are helping my recovery.
(Yes, those are my pasty white legs in the COLD, COLD water...)

4. Sometimes it takes me six miles to warm up. I think it was on a run where I started feeling better after nine miles that I realized I might be a distance runner.

5. I love Nuun. I might have a problem.

6. Don't slack on doing strength training. I need to be doing quad, hamstring, calf, glut exercises at least 3x a week to balance out my crazy hyper flexibility. I started doing a Yoga for Runners DVD I like, as well as fitting in my Jillian 30 day Shred since I like the quick total body work out it provides.

7. Right now the 3x week running seems to be working for me. My knee has been feeling strong - and I have been able to extend out my 'walk breaks.' After RnR, I may add a short run on one day so my body can get used to 'doubles', but nothing crazy.

and since I am running out of things - some random thoughts...

8. I really need to add some speed work - but I am afraid of injuring myself.. would love some tips.

9. Went to a Love and Logic parenting seminar last weekend and got some GREAT tips that really seem to be working with my preschooler. Feeling more on the road to being the parent I want to be..

10. Just feeling so blessed and thankful for my children, my husband, my job that allows me to work from home, my friends, everything coming together for the Ladybug Run. So much to be grateful for. Including each day I am able to run without pain. Each day truly is a gift.. tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.

Live and LOVE today fully.