Wednesday, November 21, 2018

St. Augustine Half Marathon

(Insert standard disclaimer about how long it's been since my last post. Didn't want to go all of 2018 without one).

I was looking at my running log that dates back to 2005 (!) and came to the ol' blog to see why there were serious dips in my mileage at certain times over the years. The reminiscing made me realize how convenient it was to have details from my training over time, and also miss my OG running blog friends. (Remember when we used to plan race meetups?) So thankful for the running friends I've made over the past 10 years, some of which I've been fortunate enough to meet IRL too.

About that, ten years 'chasing the kenyans'! Granted only 5 of those years were diligent blogging/training years and the latter 5 have been... less than such. I've become much less competitive over the years, only signing up for the occasional race, but I think if I get back in a training groove some of that fight will come back. I'm currently just running to run, working on getting my weekly mileage back up, and trying to convince myself to suck it up and do another marathon (still 38 states to go).

The catch up:
  • Ran the Smoky Mountain Relay again with the best team. (April)
  • West Coast Road Trip - Seattle to San Fran. Had a weird back pain so didn't get to run on vacation - this later turned out to be dislocated rib. (April)
  • +1'd on a friend's work trip to South Africa. AMAZING. (May-June)
Victoria Falls, Zambian side
  • 4th of July in Toronto (so American). Finally got to meet up with Marlene and wish we could've hung out longer! (July)
My favoUrite Canadian
  • Escaped Hurricane Florence to celebrate my birthday in Bermuda. (September)
  • Practiced for retirement with a river cruise from Basel to "Amsterdam". The river levels were too low so we disembarked in Strasbourg and road tripped to Amsterdam. (October)
Cologne, Germany

Selfie with the girls in the Black Forest
  • Half marathon in St. Augustine. More importantly, a laughter-filled girls weekend with friends. (November)

Let's just say a bit of false-advertisement here. "The most beautiful run course in Florida". Umm the majority of it is down a 4-lane highway. It's not like you're running among beautiful historic buildings or beach landscapes for 13.1 miles. It's a fairly small event with only 1,000 runners total between the half, 10k and 5k. Overall it was a smooth, low-key event. Plenty of water/gatorade stops and at least a few of them were handing out Gu. There were limited spectators along the course and no bands (not a complaint, I don't care about either of these, but many people looking for a race do). There was one decent hill (twice) over the intracoastal and a gnarly headwind for the last 5 miles.

I didn't really train for this (of course). All of my running these days is around a 9:00/mile pace and my "long runs" were 8 miles. My goals were a sub-2 and to not poop my pants (isn't that every runner's goal?). I thought I'd start out around 9:00/mile and pick it up later if I felt good. Turns out I'm still as 'good' as starting out slow as I used to be. My first mile was an 8:36 and I knew I was going to have to hang on for dear life from there. Spoiler alert: I obtained both of my goals.
Selfie in mile 11/12
8:36 - 8:19 - 8:17 - 8:16 - 8:08 - 8:36 - 8:05 - 8:02 - 8:06 - 8:06 - 8:13 - 8:06 - 8:15

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon

I last posted in January, solid. A few things have happened since...
  • Ran the Green Valley 10-miler in February and only a minute slower than my PR, which is a miracle considering the weight I've put on in 7 years.
  • Didn't run Tobacco Road Marathon in March - had another case of vertigo. Ah memories of 2009-2010. 
  • Ran the Smoky Mountain Relay with the most fun team. Warning: this relay is mountainous AF.
    Bootleggers - Van 1
  • Minimal spring/summer training - April (102 mi), May (41 mi), June (39 mi), July (35 mi), August (54 mi). Yes, those are month totals.
  • Ran a (slow) half in Olomouc, Czech Republic in June (off all that stellar training above).
  • Before the start of the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon
  • Went streaking in September in an effort to get my rear back in gear - 129 mi. 
  • October holiday in Greece broke the streak (although there was lots of walking). Had signed up to run a 10k in Athens but overslept. Oops.
  • Being a nerd - running a lap around the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens
  • Did a CrossFit 'competition' (charity fundraiser) with my little sister and came in 2nd!
  • Ran the Paris Mountain Road Race 20k. Ok, if we're being honest there was walking too.
About that Czech Republic run though - the ladies I traveled to Tulsa with for the Route 66 Marathon last November planned another runcation and I tagged along again. We spent a few days in Prague before taking a train out to Olomouc for the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon. This race was AWESOME. If you are looking for a destination race I'd highly recommend it. It's an evening race (in June, so it's still light out if you finish in 2 hours) and only 30-45€. It draws top talent runners (Mary Keitany won in 2016) and is well-organized. Olomouc is a small town, but everyone comes out and cheers. The streets were lined with spectators and even though I could not understand a word they were shouting, the atmosphere was incredible. The one slight negative to the race is the brief period on cobblestone streets at the start and finish, but it's manageable.

Czech-ing out Prague
As for what's next, I'm almost afraid to stake any claims. I really want to get back to marathon shape / running marathons 1-2 times a year. Just need to stop with the lazy streaks.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Tobacco Road Prep - Month 1

With fresh memories of the Route 66 Marathon and all it's pit-stops still in my head, I took the plunge and registered for the Tobacco Road Marathon (Raleigh, NC) on March 19th. I'll be running with my friend who ran Ann Arbor with me, and now wants to try for a BQ. I figure, why not. I've been wanting to chase down my 2009 self anyway.

I gave myself two weeks "off" after Tulsa before jumping straight back into marathon training. I still ran of course, but took extra rest days and didn't worry about accumulating weekly mileage. The first two weeks of training for TRM went smoothly, but at the end of the third week (Christmas) my left achilles flared up and let me know it wasn't happy.

Week 15: 12/5 - 12/11
Long: 14 miles
Speed: 4 mile tempo (middle of a 10 miler)
Rest Days: 1
Total: 52.6 miles

Week 14: 12/12 - 12/18
Long: 13
Speed: Fartlek 5x4:00 hard+3:00 easy (middle of a 10 miler); 4 mile tempo (part of long run)
Rest Days: 2
Total: 45.9

Week 13: 12/19 - 12/25
Long: 7.8 (supposed to be 14, cut short by achilles and had to call for a ride home)
Speed: 5x1000m (middle of a 9 miler)
Rest Days: 2
Total: 39.8

Week 12: 12/26 - 1/1
Long: 16 (I was determined to run 16 on NYE, achilles or not!)
Speed: None (achilles doesn't like speed, or hills)
Rest Days: 3
Total: 30.5

Yeah so I probably should have given my left foot a little more time off but I love running around the holidays. In theory, less work = more time for mileage! I had to shorten my stride and slow my pace for the NYE 16 miler which made my leg muscles work more than they're used to and I was SO sore the next day. It seems to be doing better - allowing me to run my normal easy pace and only occasionally starting to ache on hills.

If you're looking for an early spring half or full - come join me at TRM! I haven't run this race before but it looks to be pretty flat on a paved rail-trail so I'm hoping it'll be a fast course. Use code TRMBuddy to get $10 off registration in January. (This code was emailed to everyone already registered to help spread the word, "this code is only available to friends of registered runners!").