Hanson’s/NYC Marathon Training: Week 6

Week 6 sucked.

It happens and it’s over and I’m moving on–but I’ll give a quick recap in case you’re wondering what the hell happened.

Marathon Goal– 3:50
Marathon Pace/Tempo Runs– 8:45
Easy Runs–9:40-10:20
Long Runs–9:29

Monday, August 8th–Rest Day

You read that right. I didn’t run. So after the previous day’s 12 miler, I started feeling a little niggle in my right shin. I iced it and continued my usual rolling and stretching but in the evening, I could still feel it. My husband was leaving Monday morning for an out-of-the-country work trip (for the whole week!) but I’d planned on running before he left for the airport. I couldn’t though. I could still feel a little throb when I woke up and even though it was insignificant, it was significant enough for me to say rest. So I did.

I iced throughout the day and felt a little better. But that night, I hardly slept. I’ve always been a horrible sleeper but it intensifies when my husband’s not home (Michelle, you are my hero). I must have gotten maaaaybe 3 hours of not continuous sleep.

Tuesday, August 9th–1 mile WU, 2×1200 w/400 R, 1 mile CD

I modified the day’s workout from 4x1200 to 2x12oo for a few reasons. One, my shin. Two, I was completely exhausted from not having slept the night before. Three, I had to do this workout in the evening in 100+ degree weather. Not an ideal time to do speed work. Nonetheless, I was able to nail it.

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I was really proud of this run. I did it solo and felt good despite everything and really wanted to do the full workout but I reeled myself in. I definitely needed this confidence booster though.

Wednesday, August 10thRest Day

This is Hanson’s regularly scheduled rest day. I wrote a post on how I decided to modify the plan (and more on why) to ensure I make it the whole way through.

Thursday, August 11th–Rest Day

The lack of sleep was catching up to me and I just couldn’t. Tempo run, not done.

Friday, August 12th–3.75 Easy miles

The modified plan said 4 miles (four!) and I almost got all of it in. I took my son for a run around the block and we chatted the whole way. It was a fun run as I hadn’t done a run with him in a looong time. I’m excited for cooler weather to do it more often.

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Saturday, August 13th–6 Easy miles

One of the things I plan on making sure I do better this time around is running my easy runs easy. My easy range is 9:40-10:40 and my easy runs have been around the 10:00 minute range. I want them more at the 10:20-10:30 range from now on. I think this will help my situation. Sunday’s run: 10:16 average pace. Getting there.

(And my husband came home this day ❤ )

I channeled my inner Olympian for this run :D

I channeled my inner Olympian for this run 😀

Sunday, August 14th–5.8 Easy miles

This was my Moms Run This Town Summer Sparkler 5k. I had been planning and organizing for months for this race and was excited the day had finally come. My chapter co-leader and #brf Foxy Jen (she’s running Chicago for Team Fox) and I ran 4 miles before the race, then we ran 1.5 miles mapping the 5k course.

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We had such a great turnout!

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At the start line!

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Foxy Jen and I ❤

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Medal and swag (a “sparkle” towel)

I ended this week with ~20 miles. Quite a down week in mileage compared to previous weeks but I needed it. My leg is feeling SO much better and I’ve been catching up on sleep. I’m def ready to take on the rest of the training plan 🙂

–Have you ever organized a 5k (or any race)?

–Have you changed/modified your training plan mid way through?

–Do you fall asleep quickly? I wish I did. My husband does and I ask him all time, “Don’t you have thoughts?!?”

 

 

 

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Tri For The Cure 2016 Recap–I’m Officially A Triathlete!!

You can tell from the title that yes, I did finish!!!!

But it wasn’t without excitement–as it always seems to be the case with me, lol! I tried to make this recap short and then after a while, stopped caring, so if you don’t get to the end, I totally understand…

At bib pick-up, we were told to get to the race early, around 6 a.m. because the ceremonies would start at 6:30 and the race at 7.

I was there at 5:30.

Paranoia about forgetting something (and nerves) kept me from sleeping and I was up at 4 to start packing up my car. I was so nervous, I wanted to make sure I had everything and that my transition area was okay/ready. Coffee in hand, I hit the road at 5.

A big reason I chose to do Tri For The Cure AZ as my first tri was because so many of my Moms Run This Town friends were doing it. I was not going at it alone. Sure enough, when I was almost to the parking lot, I saw several of my friends’ cars driving in. We walked our bikes to the set up area and I was so happy to have someone help me right from the get go.

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After I set up my bike and transition area, several friends inspected it making sure I had things in the order I’d need them. I had done well they said, as I didn’t have any unnecessary items (yay!).

I got marked up, getting my bib number written on each arm and my age on my leg. (I had always wondered what those numbers meant on triathletes!) We gathered near the pool for a group pic–

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— and this was when I saw the pool for the first time.

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Holy moly. The nerves came roaring back as I stared at the monstrosity of the pool before me.  And before I knew it, it was go time.

The Swim

We were lined up according to our age with the older women going first (it was an only women event). This pleased me because it seemed there were a lot more older women there than me; the line behind me was shorter than the line in front. Every 10 seconds, an athlete would jump in the pool. Each step closer to the mounting pad made my heart skip faster. Then, it was my turn.

I stepped on the pad and waited.

“Your goggles?” The race volunteer said.

“Yes, I have them.”

Pause.

“Put them on.”

“Oh yes, of course!”

I scrambled to put on my goggles as I saw my 10 seconds expire in two, and I jumped in.

Immediately, I began swimming as close to the right side as I could, leaving space for all those behind me to pass. I started off slowly (which is my swim speed always) and concentrated as best as a I could. It was a 400m swim with each lane 50m–I had “trained” on a 25m pool, so I knew that getting to the end of one lane would be an accomplishment. I just needed to do it 8 times.

After 3 laps down (and stopping at the end of each), I noticed towards the end of the 4th lap how the pool was deeper on one end. It went from light blue water to deep, dark blue and when I noticed that, I panicked. Fear crept up that I would drown as I approached the deep end and I felt myself start to flail. When I got to the end of the lap, I pulled up on the wall and tried my best to control my breathing.

You’re halfway done, Helly. Don’t quit!

I had never practiced the backstroke but at that point, I invented something and I turn on my back and did my best to float and move–anything to get to the end of the lane. At the end of the 6th lap, I noticed it was just me and one other girl. Everyone else who started after me had exited the pool.

Me and my new friend reached the end of the 6th lap at the same time. Her family was waiting and they yelled words of encouragement, “Just an out and back from here!”

I put my arm out telling her to go ahead of me. I knew I wasn’t going to finish the last two laps on a strong note. I was barely able to breathe at that point.

She went ahead and I began a few seconds after her. By the time I reached the end of the 7th lap, she had exited the pool. I had the entire pool to myself for the final eighth lap.

Thoughts of being last had never entered my head. I had thought maybe my natural athleticism would carry me through and that I’d do decent at the swim portion of the race. Nope. I was the very last one out of the pool.

Volunteers helped me out and they greeted me with “You did it!!” “The hard part is done!” and I choked back sobs of embarrassment, but also pride that I had finished, and whispered, “Thank you so much.”

I began the short run to the bike transition hearing a volunteer say in his radio, “The last swimmer is out!”

The Bike

I did as best as I could to dry off and put on my clothes, shoes, and helmet as quickly as possible. I was the last one out so I didn’t have to deal with any crowds, a plus! Lol!

After being the clear to mount, I was off! The bike portion was a two loop 8 mile course with an UPHILL just after the start each loop. I biked like I’d never biked before and I actually was able to pass a few people. I turned to began the second loop and saw the huge hill before. Just get through it one more time. I could see some people walking their bikes up and I told myself to stay on the bike, I could do it.

Near the top of the hill, as I was switching gears, I hear a click and then nothing. My pedals wouldn’t move!! I stopped and looked down–sure enough, the bike chain had fallen!!! I had absolutely no idea what to do and immediately sadness took over me as I knew this would be where the race would end for me.

But because I had started last, I was near the sweeper and he saw me on the side off my bike! He asked what was wrong and as soon as I showed him he put the chain back on and said, “Keep going!”

And I was off. I pedaled my little heart off telling myself to finish this bike ride and get myself on the road to running. I was able to pass a few more women on the last part of my bike ride!

The Run

I dismounted my bike and took off my helmet. Grabbed some water, retied my shoes, clipped my bib belt and got the hell out of the transition area. I wanted to run!

The run was a 2.4 miler along a canal so it was terrain I was used to. I never worried about my time in the swim or bike portion and told myself to do the same with the run. Even though this was my strongest event, I didn’t want to pressure myself into holding a specific pace.

When I turned the corner to get on the canal, I was surprised to see there were still a lot of athletes out there. I ran along one side cheering to my friends on the other side running towards the finish. I wanted to be with them!

First mile, 7:52.

I was shocked to see a sub 8!! I hadn’t felt I was running so fast and it thrilled me to see such a great split. I told myself to keep at it. I was almost there!

I made a right to get on the other side of the canal, the final stretch that would take me to the finish, and I just ran. I passed so many people on this last stretch.

Mile 2, 8:01.

I knew I had less than half a mile to go, so I just went for it. When I turned the last corner onto the field, I could see the finish and I could see my friends waving, cheering me on. It was so unbelievably awesome.

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I was a triathlete!!!

You couldn’t remove the smile off my face, I was so happy. I was swarmed with hugs and words of praise as I was one of very few who was doing this for the first time.

This was as hard as I thought it would be. I never thought a triathlon (of any distance) would be easy, and no, it wasn’t. And even though I struggled immensely with the swim, (I knew I hadn’t given it the preparation it deserved), I was proud of myself for making it through. I had be the last one out but after seeing the official results, I wasn’t the last one in the event.

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In fact, I had done pretty good overall placing 135th out of 201 and 8 out 13 in my age group!

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But honestly, the numbers don’t matter. I’m just so thankful to have been able to finish and so thankful to have had the support of my husband and friends along the way ❤

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If you made to the end, thank you! Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement on Instagram and Facebook. More than you all will ever know.

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xoxo,

helly

–Have you ever finished last in something? 

–Would you consider doing a triathlon (if you haven’t)? 

 

Giddy Up and Go!!! MRTT Summer Virtual Race Recap

I mentioned in my previous post how last Sunday I met up with my Moms Run This Town ladies.

A little backstory on MRTT: I started my city’s chapter a little over a year ago having no clue what to expect. I was sorta involved in neighboring cities but thought that having one in mine would be fun (and convenient) so I went for it.

Over 150 women later, my chapter has become very active and super fun. It’s been a blast to see the group grow and meet people starting their fitness journey, coming back from a hiatus, or trying out a “run club” for the first time.

We have weekly meet ups on Sundays, but because both my husband and I are currently training, I’m not always able to attend (I’ve been long running Saturdays and my husband Sundays). I do have an amazing co-leader who has been instrumental in helping the group grow and making our meet-ups successful though.

With her help, I finally felt like our chapter was ready to take on a summer virtual race. MRTT national hosts two virtuals a year, one in summer and one in winter. I passed last winter as I was reluctant (and really, still a newb) to take on such a task. But with my buddy Jennifer, this summer I was in.

The theme was “Giddy Up and Go!” and the medals were suh-weet!!

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A lot goes in to making a race happen (and this was a suuuuper small one, lol!) and organizing was tough, but after months of planning, last Sunday, we were finally able to see the fruits of our labor. And it was….AWESOME.

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We had such a great turnout for our first!

Jen and I created swag bags that our runners would receive (and swag for their littles if they ordered medals for their kids!), mapped out a 5k course, and even had bananas, oranges, and water as post race fuel.

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Everyone loved our swag! We had MRTT colored bandanas, headbands, an MRTT magnet, and really cool drinkable glass jars (that had chalk tops to write on!). Inside the jar were hair ties, a rubber MRTT bracelet, running fuel, and a discount card to a local burger joint.

I decided not to race and take pictures for the runners. That way, they could get free race pictures 😉

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I also wanted to be at the end so that when they’d cross, I’d be able to medal them. The mom who finished first was so excited that she was the first to cross, saying that she’d never finished a race first in her life. It was so cool to see her excitement 🙂

All in all, it was so much fun and even though it was super tough behind the scenes, the big day was such a success that yes, I’d do it all over again ❤

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–Have you ever organized a race?

–Have you run a virtual race before?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!! Who’s racing? Who’s long running? (I’ve got 18!! Eeek!) ❤ , helly