Blue Ridge Training: weeks 8.5-10

Everything has been ticking along pretty well.  I’m nailing my speed work/hill work on Wednesdays but seem to be paying for it (still) on my mid-week longer runs on Thursdays.  My Sunday long runs have been tough but the Share the Love virtual half seems to have put some pep back in my step.

As usual, the good and the bad seem to take turns but this week definitely ended with the pointer at GOOD!

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I didn’t like that I skipped my swim on Tuesday because I was just so dang tired.

I liked (really?) meeting my running buddy at Oh My God thirty for hill repeats on a kinda sketchy highway (safety in numbers, people!).  It was a long-ass hill so we sprinted up, tried not to puke, and sprinted back down x 3 instead of 6 uphills only.

I didn’t like not finishing my Thursday run.  My legs felt funky in the morning half and I was fighting a migraine in the afternoon. The 3:45 -4:10 alarms for several days in a row were really catching up with me.

I liked meeting some ladies I haven’t seen in FOREVER for 9 miles on Saturday, followed by coffee and doughnuts.

I didn’t like that I hurt my knee on Friday afternoon and it was swollen and sore on Saturday.  I taped and ran anyway, with the promise to stop if it started hurting.

I liked that I was able to complete all 9 miles.

I didn’t like that I felt a bit too good and kept jack-rabbiting ahead or pushing my friend when she really didn’t need my shit.  I’m soooo sorry!

I liked that wearing my CWX Stabilyx tights all afternoon on Saturday and during my run on Sunday was really good for my knee.  I only had one big hill at the end that kicked it off.  Everything else was fine.  I will be wearing them again for the marathon!

I LOVED that we were able to run 19 miles on Sunday at a 10:23 average pace and the miles just flew by!  We had friends pop in for some miles in the middle and that was such a nice treat!  We also had one crazy (and I say that with love 🙂 ) lady join us for 18 miles when the longest she had ever run before was 15 – a year ago!  Totally bananas and completely Bad Ass!  I was so super impressed by her stamina and form!!

Today, I’m feeling pretty fly (do people still say that? I’m so old) and am actually looking forward to Sunday’s 20!

Onward and upward!

 

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Race Report: Share the Love (of Hills) Multidistance

This may be the longest “race report” about a virtual race, ever.  But, I *puffy heart* loved it so much, I have to gush.  Please indulge my love letter to my “sole sisters”.

I’ve said before how much I absolutely ADORE my Moms Run This Town chapter.  These ladies are all so amazingly supportive and all around bad ass, I can hardly stand it some days.  A few weeks ago, I asked if anyone knew of a local-ish half marathon on Valentine’s weekend because I needed a time check for Blue Ridge.  These ladies can ferret out some of the most obscure races so I thought one of them might be in the know.  We can up empty handed but one of my friends piped up with an offer to make a virtual course for us.  And, the First Annual Share the Love (of Hills) Multidistance  race was born!

It was a double looped course, with the second loop in reverse.  The main loop was actually a figure 8, so ladies could drop out when they hit their desired distance. The house that was acting as home base was fully stocked with Lara Bars, Honey Stingers, water, pretzels, candy hearts, and other goodies.  The mom even remembered tissues and handi wipes (which froze, but that’s okay).

Our numbers were diminished a bit, due to the frigid temperatures, but everyone was happy to be running.  It was a real feel of 0 at the start but, luckily, the wind was light and the sun was shining!

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We had better finish line food here than at most races!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And, we’re off!

Only 3 of us were running the full 13.1 but we caught glimpses of the other distance runners and having friends at the aid stations was a big boost!

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This station even had a fire pit!  I didn’t want to get close because I don’t think I would have had the will-power to leave!
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No cold porta-pots here!

The actual race was pretty uneventful.  My two running companions were in great spirits and we had a fantastic time just taking the hills, one at a time.

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Going up one of the big ones – I’m bringing up the rear 🙂
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My husband and LR stopped by to cheer us on at mile 11. Always nice!

Before we knew it, we were done!!

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Strong finish!

With the help of these fantastic ladies, I was able to achieve an 11 minute personal record in my half marathon time.  That’s with a ton of hills and absolutely freezing temperatures.  I am so incredibly lucky to have such a fantastic support network!  I never thought I was much of a “group player” but being a member of MRTT has completely changed my tune.  I have received so much from the other members and I try to give as much as I get – but I know that the equation will never be balanced.  I truly ❤ MRTT

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Because I have to have at least one stupid picture of myself in every post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Ridge Training: Weeks 6-8.5

Training is still chugging right along.  I had to get a bit creative when Snowzilla locked down the eastern seaboard for a week but I’ve managed to get all of my training runs in, as well as most of my cross training!

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10 treadmill miles…

What’s Going Well

 

*I’m super happy with my Wednesday runs.  I’m alternating between tempo runs, hill repeats, and speed work.  I’m pushing the pace or incline on all of them and I see the work paying off on the road!  My Tuesday run had me clock an 8:45 mile and then 3 more sub-10, all with hills.  Never would have happened without the speed work.  My goal is to build to a few sub 9s in a row.

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6×800 repeats – the fastest I’ve ever run in my LIFE!

*My long runs on Sundays have been going well.  I’m running with my race buddy (M) so we are working on our pacing, hill strategy, and mental game.  We’ve been around 10:45-11:15 average pace for 16 and 17 very hilly miles.  I’ll take it!

*I’ve been trying to focus on prehabbing my injuries.  I’m not 100% compliant but I have rolled and stretched more this week than I normally do.  My left hip, right knee, and right hamstring have been 50 Shade of Cranky on my long runs so I’m trying to get them to simmer down.

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“When life is too much, roll with it, baby!” – Steve Winwood

*My nutrition has been great and I feel like I’m fueling properly 90% of the time.  I have learned that oatmeal in the morning is not good for me and lentils are pretty good in a salad.  Oh, and Trader Joe’s has their marinated beets back in stock.  So Good!  I made a salad for dinner with some sweet greens, marinated beets, lentils, goat cheese, shrimp, and orange champagne vinaigrette that was fantastic!

What’s Not

*My mental game on the long runs absolutely sucks.  The first half is good and the second is abysmal.  I really need to work on my positive mantras!!

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Feeling pissy on a run – find a prop and act silly!

*See above note about my various cranky body parts.

*My fueling for hard evening workouts is bad.  I didn’t eat dinner before last night’s 800s (didn’t want to burp anything up) so I ate some hard-boiled eggs and a banana when I finished and my stomach absolutely revolted.  Massive cramps and digestive issues all. night. long.

*My “easy” Saturday runs aren’t easy.  I’m pushing 9:10 for 8 miles and that is probably a big factor in my Sunday melt downs.  I seriously need to calm things down on Saturdays and save my legs a bit.

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This is the halfway week in our training and it’s technically a cut back week with no run on Saturday (but an extra 800 on Wednesday and an extra mile on Thursday).  Our chapter of Moms Runs This Town has created a virtual half for M and me (awesome!) but it’s going to so extremely cold, I can hardly think about it.  Like, “real feel of 9” cold.  Woof.  Onward and upward, though, right? I think my polar bear hat needs to make an encore appearance (over another hat because… cold)

In other news, I just signed up to take a RRCA coaching certification course in July.  I’m very interested in learning more about coaching and would love to work with “adult onset” runners (I seriously love that term!) and non-traditional athletes.  You don’t need to be young or fast to benefit from a coach!

Also, make these Strawberry Creme Truffles!  Just trust me on this 🙂