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!").

Monday, December 19, 2016

Running in Los Cabos

I don't know about you, but I (usually) like to run while on vacation. We went to Los Cabos back in October/November right in the midst of peak training for the Route 66 Marathon, and I knew I'd need to get serious miles in. There weren't many routes on Map My Run and the satellite view of our hotel location was not promising. I rarely run on the treadmill so I figured I could just suck it up for a couple key runs and maybe I'd luck out on finding somewhere to run outside.

Skull Spandits for Dia de los Muertos
The day after we arrived was the Ironman Los Cabos, which shut down most of the main road from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas (the two towns are about 20 miles apart). I was soo tempted to run on the bike course while the triathletes were swimming, but at the same time I didn't want to be arrested by la policia. Plus I overslept. Instead I suffered through 15 miles on the hotel treadmill which used up my treadmill tolerance for the week.

I tried beach running one day, but the sand was terrible for running. I've never enjoyed beach running anyway. I meant to try running near the hotel to (what looked like) a neighborhood across the highway but I overslept too often - as in I didn't get up at 5:30 to run before the heat. It was vacation after all.

Soft, sinking, sloped sand
Prior to the trip, I'd discovered Running Tours Los Cabos via Instagram. I knew I wanted to try to run with them, but didn't know if I could make the scheduled tour times. Turns out I couldn't make one of the tours, but I was able to coordinate a private/custom tour with Patty in the middle of the week. This was hands down the best run of the week (obviously) but also a great way to see the town.

Photos from the run courtesy of Patty
We toured around Cabo San Lucas for about 7-8 miles. Since we met up at 6:30a, the sidewalks were clear of tourists and timeshare salespeople. Patty's route started with a conveniently-located bridge to catch the perfect sunrise, and from there we looped around town and the marina. She gave local insight to restaurants and things to do, took pictures along the way, and was the perfect running partner. I enjoyed chatting with her though I should have practiced my Spanish more.

After the run, we stopped at El Dengue for fresh juice. I was tempted to try "the Vampire" (beets and other stuff) but ultimately played it safe with an orange and carrot combo. I was spoiled in Los Cabos - fresh juice bars and public transportation! Take notes, South Carolina.

Fresh post-run juice from El Dengue
RTLC souvenirs - bag, bottle & t-shirt
Overall, I got in 27.5 miles on vacation. Not great for marathon training, but better than nothing. If you're ever in the Los Cabos area, I highly recommend joining the Running Tours Los Cabos team for a run. It was one of my favorite things about our week in Cabo. Other (non-running) highlights were an ATV tour, the Art Walk in San Jose, and lots of pool/beach-side lounging.

*Disclaimer: I paid full-price for my custom tour. Just sharing the experience as it was a lot of fun.