Marathon Training Recap Week 13

I’ve been waiting a long time to say this…..

IT’S TAPER TIME!!!

And from what I hear, this is inevitable:

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So this is what the past week looked like:

Sunday, February 2nd-Rest Day. I foam rolled and rested from the previous day’s long run.

Monday, February 3rd-Cross Train. Typically, I get on the bike but I decided to switch things up and spent some time on the elliptical. 5 miles. I also did a Blogilates abs video.

Tuesday, February 4th-I’ve dubbed this day 10k Tuesdays as I’ve been doing 6.2 on these days the past few weeks. This run particularly felt AWESOME. I don’t know what it was; I felt good the entire way. Last week when I did these 6.2 miles, I felt the same and had a great time. I have no idea how I did better today but I did!

Top: 1/28 Bottom: 2/4

Top: 1/28
Bottom: 2/4

Wednesday, February 5th-Speed Work. Wednesdays are track days so that’s where I was. My husband left out of town for work earlier but I was fortunate that my brother was visiting and he baby sat while I ran. It was extra motivation to go faster to relieve him lol!

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Thursday, February 6th-Blogilates Abs video. I typically cross train but couldn’t make it to the gym since the hubs was away. I did a different video than usual, a more difficult one, and boy did I feel it the next day.

Friday, February 7th-Rest Day.

Saturday, February 8th-TWENTY MILES. Yes, today was that 20 miler in training plans. I was actually pretty pumped to do this. I had everything ready to go in the morning so I wouldn’t be rushed. There were quite a few in my run club who were also doing 20 miles and some had gone at 5 to get a head start. I knew I’d need that extra hour of sleep so I began at the usual 6 a.m. and planned to run on my own.

We run along a canal and we started south which is what I prefer. I decided that I’d split the twenty so that it wouldn’t get boring–6 miles south out and back for 12, and 4 miles north out and back for 8.

The first 6 went pretty smoothly. I absolutely love love love my Ultimate Direction hydration pack. I’m able to carry my phone, car keys, and my fuel with ease and with no discomfort. At mile five, I sent my husband an update and at six is when I broke open the Gu and had a bit.

Six miles was the first turn around point so it was nice to have reached a target. I felt breaking up the 20 miles really helped me mentally. Realizing this, I made mini check points that would continuously help me have something to look forward to. I’d fuel every 4 miles after the first 6, I’d send an update to my husband every 5 miles, and I’d have the turn around points.

So at mile 10, I had a little more Gu and I updated my husband. At mile 12, I reached the beginning of the 4 mile out and back point. At mile 14, more Gu. At mile 15, updated my husband. Mile 16, turn around point. Mile 18, more Gu. Mile 20, DONE!!

yay!

yay!

I was shocked at how good I felt and wished the marathon would’ve been today. I hope hope hope I feel this good on March 1st.

My goal was to stay around 30-45 seconds over my marathon pace of 10:00/mile and not stop. I met both goals 🙂 I do think that my marathon pace is pretty lofty. I mean, I felt good the entire way of this 20 miler but thinking of having to average 30 seconds faster makes me pretty nervous. At the end of the day though, all I’m looking forward to is finishing. I don’t have  a goal that I’d be devastated not meeting. I think that’s important for first marathons (or first races in general).

–How was your running week?

–Do you make a goal for every race? (I try not to but I alway do lol!)

–Are you a good taperer? What tapering advice would you give me?

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Hot Chocolate 15K Re-Cap

First off, we’re in need of another YAAAY!!!!

I knew it was going to be a cold one (I have to add the “for Arizona” disclaimer) and it certainly was. I expected it and went prepared with the works: long running pants, long sleeved shirt, running jacket, those ear cover thingys, and gloves. You’d think I was running in Antarctica but I didn’t care—I hate being cold.

 

Pre-Race: Do I look cold?

Pre-Race: Do I look cold?

I had a feeling I’d start stripping during the race and I did; the gloves came off at mile 3 and the jacket at mile 4.

After my watch beeped away the first mile, I saw I had done a good warm up at 9:27. I decided then and there that I was going to shoot for sub 9:30 the entire way. And…..I did it!!

Here are my splits (I love them!):

1-9:27
2-9:02
3-9:11
4-9:16
5-9:16
6-9:17
7-9:05
8-9:18
9-9:07

As I was running and seeing that I actually was completing each mile under 9:30 I couldn’t help but think of how far I’ve come. I felt like I was seeing all of the hard work from the past couple of months right in front of me. Sometimes it’s hard to think that it will pay off but it does, it truly does.  I had been a 10 minute miler for such a long time you couldn’t convince me that I’d be running a race with sub 9:30 miles.

When I crossed the finish line and saw that I had finished at 1hr 25 min tears welled up in my eyes I was so ecstatic. My goal had been to finish under 1:30 and to have done it with time to spare made me so happy. You couldn’t erase the smile from my face crossing that finish line. It never went away all day.

To top it off, well, you know what else was waiting for me at the finish line…..chocolate!!! After I collected myself as best I could, I walked over to redeem my mug of hot and melted chocolate. I’m a bit particular when it comes to chocolate but I definitely give this race’s two thumbs up! Perfect Sunday!

Snapshot 2013-12-08 21-00-02

Have you seen your training pay off?

Are you a chocolate lover?

P.S. It was another no music race and I must say, I’m digging the silence.

5k Turkey Trot Recap

Wahooooooooo!!!! Okay, I just needed to let that out :  )

Yesterday’s 5k went way better than expected.

I woke up and got ready for what was going to be my coldest race to date.

Snapshot 2013-11-29 18-05-57

I was glad that I had run an easy two miles the day before to get acclimated to the weather because holy freezing temps!

The race actually started pretty late, 9:00 a.m., giving it a chance to warm up. At go time it must have been around 35 degrees which I know isn’t technically cold, but for this girl it certainly is.

I went out with the mentality that I wanted to hang out in the 8 minute range throughout the race. I knew there was an almost mile long incline starting around mile 2 so I also wanted to make sure I had stamina to get through that.

The gun shot and we were off! There was the usual speedster crowd at the start and around the half mile it began to dissipate. I was feeling pretty good when my watch beeped the first mile complete and showed me 8:09. Yes! That was great news knowing that in about a half mile the incline would start. I turned the corner and there it was. I picked it up a little to adjust and kept trucking along. Mile two, 8:49. Yay! I was on cloud nine seeing that despite the long incline I had maintained an 8 something pace. I rode that high into the end of the race finishing at 25:44 (official time). Yes, 25:44, a new PR for me!!! I was in total shock. I had majorly surpassed my goal of finishing under 27:00.

5kturk1  5k watch time

My husband, who had finished earlier, was at the finish line with a look of astonishment. Once I crossed, he met me saying, “You are amazing!! Do you know what your time is? Under 26:00!!” I was so exhausted but thrilled I couldn’t even talk, I just let him envelope his arms around me.

Once I was able to catch my breath, we went to the racing station to check out where I had placed overall and if I would have a chance to place in my age group. I saw the 14-19 group and then mine, 20-29. I was a little bummed they hadn’t split my group as it had been the largest show and I ended up placing 4th, 8th overall for women, and 28th overall for the race. I was sad for maybe 2 seconds and then I remembered 25:44!!!!

On the car ride home, I told my husband of a funny thing that happened around mile two. After the crowd dissipated at the beginning, I found myself running alongside an older gentleman. We were running at the same pace and stayed together for about a mile when I passed him to adjust for the incline. He was still at earshot behind me (I was running with no music!) when I heard him say to another runner, “Don’t let her beat you.”

Was that “you” he was referring to me?

A few seconds later a tall blonde teen began to surge past me. My instincts reacted and I could feel my legs start to quicken but I immediately said to myself, “Helly, this is your race, your pace. Don’t ruin what you’ve got going on to try and show up someone else.”

I went back to my pace and let the blonde go. It wasn’t worth it.

Overall, I am beyond thrilled with the results of yesterday’s race. Not only did I get a better time than I expected, I feel like I’ve grown as a runner these past few months. My training has taught me so much. I very easily could have attempted to pass that girl but I knew that I would be risking burning myself out at the end. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have cared. Now, I know that the race wasn’t against her.

5kturkeytrot

–What are some things you’ve learned as a runner?