Monday, July 23, 2012

Sauvie Island Flat Half, and a new plan

Good friends at the crack of dawn before the Sauvie Island Flat Half, July 4th, 2012. 

And after - with our cute Strawberry Medals!!

So 2 and a half weeks after Epic Relay, we decided we should sign up and run a half marathon. I was a little worried that this might be a recipe for injury.. but thankfully that was not the case. If you sign up to take the bus out to Sauvie Island (which is something I would NOT do again) you have to be at the Silver Cloud at 5:00 am. This meant a 3:45 am wake up for me to eat, pump, and get ready to be picked up by 4:40 am. If I would have done the math before signing up, this may not have happened. But I am so glad that I did. It was a very fun day- and it was pretty cool to have run 13.1 miles by 9:30 am.  I had 2 goals going into this race.

1. Get a new PR, so anything less than 2:22.30
2. Achieve 2:15.00

Melanie and I discussed our strategy at the starting line and had plans of staying together- but we lost each other quickly because of the congestion at the start of the race due to the traffic coming onto the Island. Once we found each other again, we found a pace that was easy to maintain the first 3 miles - but then a bathroom break was needed and I decided it would be worth adding the extra time to have someone to run with, so I waited. We stuck together and it just makes the miles pass so much quicker to have someone to chat with. There was one tiny hill, but otherwise a very flat course - as advertised. 

We tried to keep the pace between 10:00 and 10:30 min/miles.. but then once we hit about mile 11, I thought I saw a 2:15 time still in our grasp, so I sped up. The last mile I was pushing with all I had left.. Ended up with 2:17.16- a new PR. Also, looking at the 2 minutes we lost in the bathroom line- we totally would have achieved a 2:15 and hit both goals that day! Since I know this in my head I am happy. 

1Interval1 mi10:29.7010:29.7010:30   
2Interval1 mi10:15.1520:44.8510:16   
3Interval1 mi12:21.8033:06.6512:22 BATHROOM break  
4Interval1 mi10:21.2843:27.9310:22   
5Interval1 mi10:04.3253:32.2510:05   
6Interval1 mi10:16.771:03:49.0210:17   
7Interval1 mi10:21.181:14:10.2010:22   
8Interval1 mi10:36.191:24:46.3910:37   
9Interval1 mi10:40.941:35:27.3310:41   
10Interval1 mi10:31.431:45:58.7610:32   
11Interval1 mi10:30.341:56:29.1010:31   
12Interval1 mi10:10.382:06:39.4810:11   
13Interval1 mi9:22.132:16:01.619:23   
14Interval0.23 mi3:16.372:19:17.9814:14   

The New Plan......

Last Monday I started a new training plan that is supposed to help me get faster. My friend Justin is coaching me and sending me my weekly workouts. He used to coach college runners, is a triathlete, and has been running pretty much his whole life - oh ya, and his finance is an elite runner that he also coaches. I feel like I am in excellent hands. His approach is more miles, slower, MUCH slower than I have been running, and there are various phases to the plan. There are building phases where you are building your base - but running most of those runs at an easy pace. I think he follows a Jack Daniels (not to be confused with the whiskey) approach. For me an easy pace is about 12:20s - so it feels painfully slow. But, I ran 25 miles last week- and am not sore, or feeling any problem areas. After several building weeks, then there are weeks focusing on speed/strength - I haven't done one yet so I am not sure what to expect. I also have to pay more attention to my heart rate and some of the training miles are tied to certain HR numbers. It feels like I am training with more intention, which is exciting. He says I will be faster and just need to trust him - so I am. My goal half marathon will be at the end of October.. so I am thinking about doing the Runaway Pumpkin in Lebanon.. just hoping to find a friend to sign up with me so I don't have to make that drive solo. 

The best news is that I have been running without my knee braces for the past 3 weeks without any pain, so I am feeling good and strong. My hamstring isn't 100% - but I am continuing my PT exercises, rolling, and icing as needed.  It is most difficult to keep up the 'maintenance' when you are feeling good- but I know that as soon as I get lazy and stop entirely, injury will come a knockin...