Rock n Roll Arizona: Race and Half Marathon PR!!!!

I previously wrote about how my pre-race jitters going in to this race were at an all-time high. I didn’t have my fuel, and I was a nervous wreck about breaking a cardinal running rule: Nothing New on Race Day. But, I figured a Huma gel was better than no gel, and I just had to deal.

Luckily, my husband and training buddies Ashley and Dallas were with me at the start. A calming presence for sure. Dallas and my husband planned to run together and Ashely and I would see how long we could last with each other. We’ve yet to finish a race together, ha!!!

My coach had given me a plan. Start miles 1-4 conservatively. And like a good student, I followed direction, holding my pace the first couple of miles. But when we turned the first corner, we were met with a head wind that all of sudden, made staying at half marathon goal pace difficult.

Seeing that 7:55 bummed me out, but I told myself to keep to the plan. Coach had said miles 5-8 needed to be slightly faster than goal pace and to move by effort up the big hill at mile 9. I slowly started to separate from Ashely as I tried to pick up the pace.

It was shortly after mile 5 that I found a buddy who is also under my coach’s direction. He was seriously a Godsend! I took the Huma gel and tried to just swallow that thing down. I could taste the tart strawberry and feel the texture of the chia seeds (way too healthy for me. Give me GU any day). But I was feeling okay.

We coasted along as best we could with the wind and slight upness when we finally reached it.

The hill.

I told myself not to freak out. Stay with Alex as close as I could. It was a short hill. I would be fine. After the hill, it’s down the rest of the way.

JUST GET TO THE TOP.

7:49!!!! Y’all have no idea how insane that looked to me. It was such a confidence booster seeing that split considering how awful I am at running uphill.

But my happiness was short lived once we turned to go down because WHAM!!!–headwind!!! I let out an expletive as I ran, so angry that I would have resistance going down hill.

But I had to deal. Nothing I could do.

According to the plan, once I reached mile 10, I was supposed to “Last 3, fast 3” as I’d been practicing during training. I wasn’t sure I could muster “fast” at the end of this long race, but I knew I had to give it a shot. I was cutting it close.

Mile 11 was a blur as I tried to concentrate on my form and moving my legs. I was expecting my coach and teammates after mile 12 but instead caught them right at the mile mark. My coach yelled out words of encouragement and I felt a rush of pride at how well I was doing–I wanted to show her I COULD DO THIS.

Her instructions had been to ignore the watch the last three miles, so I didn’t know at the time what paces I was hitting. All I knew was that I. Had. To. Move….FAST.

When I turned the corner at mile 13 and saw the time clock at 1:39 (I started about 30 or so seconds behind it) I gave whatever kick I had to the finish.

I was NOT going to let this opportunity pass. I ran knowing that it all came down to those final seconds and if I didn’t do it now, the chance would be gone and I would regret not giving it my all. Close but not succeeding wasn’t an option. I needed to get it done NOW.

I sensed two men increase their speed as I passed them and I hit turbo. NOT TODAY. NOT RIGHT NOW. This was MY time. I was going to be the fastest one to the finish these last few seconds.

I don’t know who this person is.

There was no picture of me stopping my watch. I ran that thing all the way through like a maniac. As evident by that 5:10 pace, lol!

Oh man, I was so happy. I was so happy when I finally looked down and saw 1:39. 1:39. I never, ever in my life thought I would be in the ’30s, that I would run a half marathon averaging 7:30 something. Sometimes it’s hard for me to accept reality–that I really am running the way I’m running right now.

I don’t take progress for granted. I don’t forget the long journey it’s been to this moment. I’m not sure how much longer the desire to continue to improve will last, but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come. I’m so proud of how I’ve overcome negative thoughts, feelings of insecurity to get to this point. I am fast. I’m not bragging, but I need to tell myself that so I can accept this craziness that’s happening. That it’s not a fluke. It’s not luck. It’s freaking hard ass work I’ve done.

This was a hard race. But I know the real hard is coming next.

And I’ll be ready.

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Week 11: #itsgoingdownatphx

With the countdown getting closer to go-time, I have to say, I’ve never felt so confident about a training cycle. I’ve mentioned being nervous with how good things are going, and it’s really freaking me out–but I’m trying to tell myself that this is what happens when you prepare, train smart, and put in work. You feel good! 😀

Monday, January 1st–5.25 miles

I celebrated the new year with some easy miles around the ‘hood. There was no other way I would’ve liked to have kicked 2018 off.

Welcome, 2018!

Tuesday, January 2nd–8 miles

I had a 6 mile tempo with 1 up and 1 down. I tried really hard to make sure these tempo miles stayed close to the target pace (7:40) and not faster (my coach is big on that).

7:37
7:29
7:34
7:35
7:39

There was a 90 second rest interval after each mile, too, so that was nice.

Wednesday, January 3rd–Strength, Stretch, Roll

Did some arm workouts, planks, stretches on the mat, and some rolling. It was my husband’s birthday and we celebrated with a yummy pasta dinner. I had gotten us tickets for a concert for Friday so were really looking forward to that 🙂

Thursday, January 4th–8 miles

This was a doozy of a workout. I had 2 miles of warm up, then 3×9 minutes (3 min fast, 3 min faster, 3 min fastest), 2 miles cool down. I wanted the intervals to be at targets paces 7:40, 7:25, 7:05 but yeah, I didn’t do a very good job of that.

Friday, January 5th–Rest

Today was concert day! It was at night so I could’ve done something during the afternoon….but didn’t 😀 We went to go see one of my favorite Mexican singers, Pepe Aguilar. I’ve listened to him pretty much my entire life and couldn’t believe that I was actually seeing him perform LIVE. It was a major moment crossing that off my list.

Saturday, January 6th–5 miles

Post concert recovery miles, lol!

so much fun!

Sunday, January 7th–12 miles

I moved my long run to today. It was a fun little fartlek with the last 10 miles having 1 minute pick-ups at the beginning of each mile.

Which brought me to 40.71 big ones for Week 11! This week my coach has given me a mini taper leading into Rock n Roll Arizona 1/2. I’m gonna be shooting for that sub 1:40 again so if you can send me all the good luck juju you can, I would appreciate it!!! ❤ Check out my instagram for “live” results, lol!

–What musician/band(s) would you like to see?

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Week 10: #itsgoingdownatphx last week of 2017

Hi!! Hope your 2018 has started off on the right foot! Or left, whichever is your go-to.

I realize it’s Friday and this week is coming to a close, so I’ll just quickly recap last week as there’s more exciting stuff to share 🙂

Monday, December 25th–Rest Day

It was Christmas and I just spent it with my family. No running, just eating.

Tuesday, December 26th–5 miles

It was a mini-tempo run so a simple mile WU–9:13, then 7:42, 7:34, 7:45, mile CD 8:58.

Wednesday, December 27th–2 miles, Strength, Stretch, and Roll

Hopped on the treadmill to make sure the thing still worked. We bought last year for Christmas and while it’s nice knowing it’s available, we rarely use it.

Thursday, December 28th–5 miles

Met up with a friend for what was supposed to be “easy” miles (she was pushing her 4 year-old in the stroller) but we found ourselves going at a pretty nice clip at an 8:39 average pace. I need to slow the easy runs down.

Friday, December 29th–5 miles

Took this run to the hills and slowed things down, 9:18 avg.

Saturday, December 30th–18 miles

Took this run to the hills again and met up with my coach and some of her athletes. This stretch of road is up and down and up and down and probably not the most ideal route for a long run. But I need the hill work (for the lone hill in Phoenix Marathon, lol).

I stayed slow and steady knowing there were hills spread throughout. I even had a 9:55 mile in there somewhere. I also knew that the last three miles were to be at half marathon pace (7:40) and I had no idea if I would be able to do it. Luckily, there was a nice gentle decline at the end and I was able to nail it at 7:38, 7:18, 7:12.

Sunday, December 31st–Rest, Roll, Stretch

Nada. My husband and I vegged binged on pizza and wings on the couch and watched movies all day. Okay, I did a little rolling and stretching before bed, so there’s that.

It was a good week and the 18 miler while hard with the hills, was a confidence booster as I’ve always been intimidated by the longer distance and honestly, I’m not so much any more. So crazy to think that!!

–Do you long runs scare you?

–How did you spend your New Year’s? 

–Do you have a treadmill in your house you rarely use?