Week 2: #itsgoingdownatphx

Hello, November!! I finished off month 10 with 98 miles and no desire to run two more for the century mark, lol!! And I started off month 11/week 2 with 22 and 33 miles, respectively. Here’s how it went down:

Monday, 10/30: Mondays have been designated as hill days so I went off in search of some incline. I really have two choices if I want to stick with roads, both about the same distance in different directions. Lately, I’ve been going to a spot my coach has her athletes go. I’m on my own though, as I venture out that way after kid drop off.

Garmin vs. Strava

Tuesday, 10/31: I met up with my MRTT chapter for a Halloween run and kept a friend company on her 400s. Her target pace was 7:30 and it was crazy that I was able to keep that up and hold a conversation. We talked the entire run!

Wednesday, 11/1: I very well could’ve chalked up Tuesday’s run as my speed day, but I was looking forward to my coach’s Wednesday track workout. Waking up was tough after the previous night’s Halloween shenanigans, but I love/hate going to track because all of the athletes that go are super fit and I totally feel out of place there. But, I like being motivated and chasing ’em.

The workout was 400@5k pace followed by 400@half marathon pace up to a mile with a 90 sec recovery b/w each mile set. It was hard and I didn’t always hit my target paces, but I was very happy with my efforts.

5k–1:45, 1/2–1:55

Thursday, 11/2: Morning date with with my mat. Got the MYRTLES in, planks, and all that good stuff.

Friday, 11/3: Easy negative splitter 4 miler around the hood–9:17, 8:54, 8:49, 8:38

Saturday, 11/4: Woke up early to meet my friend and St. George training buddy Ashley for a 12 miler. The weather was uhmazing–cloudy and cool. Perfect long run weather ❤

Sunday, 11/5: Slept in while my husband got his long run on. He just had to out do my Friday negative splitter with a 10 miler of his own.

That my friends, is a thing of beauty.

Afterward, we chilled out and rested while seeing Shalane Flanagan kick some ass. Did you guys see her awesomeness? I legit cried when she was crossing the finish line. Gahh!!! Love her!!!

To quote: “Fuck yeah!!”

Week 2 Total: 33 miles

–How was the start of your November?

–Did you catch the NYC Marathon? I had major withdrawals. Last year was epic.

–Do you ever admire your paces (or others’)? I seriously stared at my husband’s stats while drinking my coffee.

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Some St. George Extra and What I’m Doing Now

I mentioned in a previous post about St. George how I was excited about the race because of friends running it.

My friend Jenna, who also used the same coach as me, was running to Boston Qualify, and I had no doubts she would do it. Guess what? SHE KILLED IT. She needed a 3:35 like me and ended up with a 3 FREAKING 20!!! Yeah, demolished her goal!!!

My other friend Kimi was running her third marathon in 6 months (crazy girl) and also pulled out a BQ. We’re not sure if it’ll be enough cushion but that girl is serious amazeballs.

Ashley, my training buddy/partner-in-BQ-crime, came away with a 4 minute PR at 3:43!!! I *know* she’s got a BQ in her and with the right course (maybe CIM in December?) she’ll get her Boston ticket.

In my race recap, I recounted how we’d driven the course and seen that while it was net downhill, it was a lot of rolling up and down hill. I knew I was not prepared for that (or prepared to BQ or PR), but even Ashley who had done some hill training wasn’t feeling confident after the preview.

St. George Marathon is an absolutely beautiful course. The views the entire way are breathtaking. The volunteers and overall organization of the race are seriously topnotch. Like, for real. At each station, there were people who who would rub cream on your legs to help with cramping, they were people who had vaseline if you were chafing, there were people there to help you with mostly anything. I had never seen anything like it!

But as a Boston Qualifying course, I’m not so sure I’d recommend it. If you like hills, have hills around you to train, then this is def a good course to shoot for that goal. If you’re in the flatlands, it might be tough.

I’d have to stick with my Phoenix Marathon course. It’s also net downhill (that’s really more flat than downhill after the initial descent) and while boring and lacking in views (after the initial descent), I honestly think it’s a good PR course. (and of course, shameless plug: Use Helly10 for $10 off the half or full!)

Downhill but way less so than St. George.

So that’s where I’ll make my next attempt. I’ll have home court advantage, so I have that going for me. And if I’m honest, I need all the help I can get.

Right now I’m laying low, easing myself back into running after a much needed rest. I’m skipping CIM in December and instead getting a full cycle for Phoenix. Training for Phoenix officially begins the 24th, and I’ll be going in ready to give it all I have. I’d love to use my coach again, but with budgeting for the holidays, I’ll be re-using some of her workouts in addition to Hanson’s to go at it solo. I’m excited, and I feel really good about where I’m at right now with running. Even though I had a rough go at it with St. George, coming away with a PR match has given me a newfound confidence with this next attempt.

Let’s do this, blogging fam!! ❤

–What is your next running/fitness goal?

 

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2017 Phoenix Marathon: Race Recap

I know you’re probably tired of hearing this 😉 , but I got another PR!!! That’s the short of it, but if you want the extended version, here it comes….

(By the way, excuse my absence–my last post should’ve also been titled Blogging Blues, lol!)

Okay, the Mesa-Phoenix Marathon. So, I had friends coming in from Texas–Scott who used to blog and that’s how I “met” him (and in real life in Chicago), his partner in crime and better half Marsha, and a cool dude named Roberto.

Me and Scott after Chicago Marathon 2015

Me and Scott after Chicago Marathon 2015

I had convinced them to come because Marsha was looking to BQ and I knew she could do it on Phoenix’s course. When we first met back in Chicago, she had, unknowingly at the time, gotten super close and didn’t need a whole lot to shave. I was certain she’d get the sub 3:45 she needed.

With her goal being sub 3:45 and my PR being 3:58, I figured I’d just hang with her for as long as I could and see how it went. I didn’t mind combusting if that’s what happened; this wasn’t a race I was going for a real time goal anyway. I could risk it.

Marsha also wasn’t putting too much pressure on herself to BQ. While it would be great if she did, she wasn’t going to be fixed to her watch and causing herself race anxiety.

Having that mindset, we went into the race stress-free and full excitement for a long run with friends. That’s how we were approaching it.

Shakeout run with the Texas gang

Shakeout run with the Texas gang

The race started out bright and early at 6:30 a.m. in the middle of the mountains out in nowhere. We saw the sunrise the first few miles and we were in really good spirits promising everyone tequila at the finish.

“You get tequila!”

“And you get tequila!”

“Everyone gets tequila!”

(Spoiler: I did not have tequila at the end, lol!)

Scott had pacing duties so I never looked at my watch, instead, just followed his lead.

This was a pretty steep downhill so I was proud of how controlled we stayed. Thanks, Scott!

This was a pretty steep downhill so I was proud of how controlled we stayed. Thanks, Scott!

I felt good and when we approached the only hill of the race, I knew if I just stayed close, I’d be okay.

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-8-56-00-am

We didn’t skip a beat going up and my pace for miles 5 and 6 were 8:31 and 8:35!

It was a nice downhill for a while after that and our pace stayed relatively steady between miles 7-15.

17091307_10107563239000311_618192374_oOur conversation stayed steady too. We were running calm and enjoying the absolutely amazing weather we were having. We joked, we sang a little, we told Marsha to slow down. It was the most fun and relaxed I’d ever run a marathon… ever.

When we got to mile 16, I felt myself slowing down and I decided then to plug myself in and prepare for the last ten miles. I kept Scott and Marsha in my sight though, so I wasn’t too far behind them.

I stayed steady at around 8:30ish for a few miles

Call me Miss. Consistent :D

Call me Miss. Consistent 😀

and felt pretty good despite having slowed down a little (and really, I couldn’t believe I was still running an 8:30 something in the back end of a marathon!)

Cruising!

Mile 19–Cruising!

At mile 23, the cramping started. But like New York, I just accepted it and ran with it. They slowed me down, and I could feel them with each step in my calves, my shins, my quads, the tops of my feet–but I knew I had a sub 3:45 if I just kept moving.

And would you believe that the miles I ran with cramps were in the 9s?!!??!!  I mean, I honestly am just in shock that that was my pace with freaking cramps!!!

You guys, seriously!!!

You guys, seriously!!!

Must. Get. To. Finish. Line.

Mile 23–Must. Get. To. Finish. Line.

I turned the corner, and I finally saw the person I hoped to see–my husband. I knew that he’d finish before me and be at the finish line waiting, and it was that which kept me going.

Started and finished with a smile :D

Started and finished with a smile 😀

Me and my 3:17 marathoner <3

Me and my 3:17 marathoner ❤

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I saw Scott and Marsha who had also just finished. I could see the huge smile on Marsha’s face and I knew it–she had BQ’d!!!!! Scott snagged himself a nice little PR coming in after her (but before me)– we all finished within 4 minutes of each other!

We're awesome.

We’re awesome.

I cannot get over how amazingly awesome and FUN this race was. I know that all races won’t be like this one, but I’m glad I finally had a race that was absolutely a blast from beginning to end. The PR is the cherry on top but honestly, it’s the people that made Phoenix Marathon unforgettable.

My two halves though--and average pace--I can't believe it. CAN'T.

My two halves though–and average pace–I can’t believe it. CAN’T.

<3

–Have you had a race that was just an absolute blast??