Monthly Archives: March 2014

Last Long Run…

After yesterdays storm, todays run was crisp and clear.  It’s one of those days that make you glad to be alive and thankful to be moving around under your own power.

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My schedule called for an easy long run of 9 miles and that’s just what I did.  9 easy miles in 1:33:16.  Average pace of 10:20.  This is the pace I’d like to maintain for next weeks Running of the Elks half marathon.  This run was my last long run of this training session.  I’ve been feeling a lot tired over the last week so I’m hoping with this taper week I will be able to gain back some of my energy before next week.

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I’ve run a lot of miles this month in preparation for Running of the Elks and I still have more miles to run before the month is over.  I’m scheduled to run 4 miles tomorrow to round out the month.  Those 4 miles will be the longest run of the week until Sunday and then the race is on.

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I am so looking forward to this race.  I’m hoping that this cooler weather holds until next Sunday.  The course for this race is all in the open with no shade.  I need to defog my glasses before this race and wash my visor.  I’m going to have to create my own shade.

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I’ve joined the ranks of people with racing stickers on their car.  I’ve never had stickers on my car before but I feel like I’ve earned the right with 2 halves under my belt and two more scheduled this year.  And possibly more in the fall.  I’m already looking forward to the fall season.

And Then the Weather Changes…

After a couple of weeks of perfect weather California decided to throw a curve ball.  It’s overcast,  the wind is blowing and rain is threatening.   We even had tornadoes earlier in the week.

Crazy Ca Weather

I can deal with the crazy weather.  Unless there is lightening,  I still get out and run.  This morning was no exception.

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I have a 9 mile long run scheduled for tomorrow and last night was a little crazy in terms of when I was finally able to eat dinner.  Dinner was at 8:30 and it wasn’t real food.  So my fueling was off for today’s run.  But I needed todays run so I went out slow and just the legs decide how fast to go.  It was a much slower run then I’ve had in a while but it felt good.

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My new Brooks Pure Cadence 2 arrived last night so I took them out for a test drive on my run this morning.   When I first put them on I was nervous because I felt like they were going to slip in the heels but they didn’t slip at all on my run.  The first half mile I had a bit of arch pain in my right foot but thats not at all abnormal for me.  I’m super tempted to wear them for my long run tomorrow but I dont want to anger the running gods.

Overall it was two thumbs up for the new shoes and Maggie gave them the dachshund seal of approval too.

How do break in your new running shoes?

What kind of weather keeps you from running?

I’m the Fastest Kid Alive!

Ok, I’m neither fast nor a kid but I did run my fastest mile since middle school last night and I’m flying high today because of it.

03-27-14 Splits

Look at mile 4…8:46!  Negative splits all the way and then, BAM, 8:46.  I knew I was working hard the whole run but I didn’t realize that I was working that hard.  The last mile was me pep talking myself the whole way.  “I know it hurts but keep going.”  “Don’t slow down.”  “Shut brain, let legs handle this.”  “Go legs!!”

I am so proud of that one mile.  It was a good run but that one mile was amazing to me.  I remember when I thought I was so slow running an 8 min/mile.  If getting older means getting faster, I’m in.  I’m faster than I was two years ago and I’m continuing to get faster.  Of course I’m working at it, it’s not a magic trick but I’m so excited to see the numbers dropping.

FF March Miles

My original goal was to run 70 miles by March 30th, but I decided to make it 100 miles by March 31st to participate in FitFluential’s March Miles.  Including yesterday’s run, I’m at 95 miles.

FitFluential March Miles

I have 3 more runs scheduled for this month.  Saturday is 4 miles, Sunday is long run day at 9 miles and Monday is 4 miles.  No run tonight because I’m getting my hair done but after Mondays run, I will be at 112 miles.

When I was running a couple of years ago, I didn’t feel like I was a real runner unless I was logging weeks in the 30 miles area.  Each mile was fought and won but there was no joy in them.  It was a job.  I never pushed that hard, I never wanted anything more than to finish.   But this time is different.  I love my runs more than ever.  And yesterdays run was a prime example of that.  I loved my run not just because I got an amazing mile time but because I was in a terrible mood before I went out and when I came back I was a much happier person.

Legally Blonde

Elle’s right.  Not that my husband was in any danger…last night.  Just kidding.  But no matter how tired I am or how much PMS (sorry guys) I’m dealing with or crappy days at work, running leaves it all behind and I come back a much happier person.

I Love Running

What do you love about running?

Racing this weekend?  Tell me when & where!

2014 Modesto Half Marathon Pictures

One of the perks from the Modesto Marathon is that all the pictures taken by the course photographers were free.  At the race you could pick up pictures that were taken on the course and printed out for free at the end.  The tent was so crowded that I just took a quick peek as best I could and got out.

Today the pictures were finally available on-line.  Let me remind you here that I’m not pretty when I run.  I sweat, my face turns red and my hair gets frizzy.  I don’t wear make up and when I’m done, I look like I just worked hard.  I’m not one of those ladies that looks like they just finished fixing their face after a half marathon.  I look and feel like I just work my tail off.

The following pictures are not for the faint of heart….scroll at your own risk.

Mile 7.5 - Looking good, feeling good
Mile 7.5 – Looking good, feeling good
MIle 10 - looking exhausted and feeling exhausted.  That excalated quickly.
MIle 10 – looking exhausted and feeling exhausted. That escalated quickly.
Finished!  So happy to be done!
Finished! So happy to be done!

A week and a half until The Running of the Elks on April 6th.  My training this week has been on a slight hiatus due to the demands of life.  I finally got in run yesterday morning and it was the first one since The Modesto Marathon.  I was worried that it wasn’t going to feel good or I was going to be in pain but once I got going, it felt so great.

Miles:  4.58
Time: 45:04
Pace: 9:50

I’m going to try to squeeze in another run tonight because I already know that I’m going to miss my Friday run.  I have an appt to get my hair done and it’s going to be a long once because I’m getting a Keratin treatment done, plus the regular cut & color.  I’m looking forward to it because the keratin will help cut down the frizzy that I’ve been having.

Avenue of the Vines

In other running news, I’ve decided to add one more race to my schedule for this spring.  I decided to add another Half Marathon to the schedule but this one isn’t until May 18th.  It should be interesting since I’ll be on vacation for most of the week prior to the Half, so my training won’t be dead on.  But I’m not too worried since that would have been taper week for me anyway.  But now I need to put a training plan in place so that I can stay on track for this one.

9 days until The Running of the Elk
30 days until the Capital City Classic – 10 mile
50 days until The Avenue of the Vines Half Marathon

That’s not too crazy…

I’ve never had a race/training schedule like this before.  It’s tight and doesn’t allow much room for anything else.  I have decided to quit cross fit for right now because I was working out 7 days a week between my running schedule and crossfit.  It was leaving me no time to rest and no time to take care of anything else that needed to be taken care of.  I’m still doing body weight exercises at home so it’s not a total wash.  But I really need some room to take care of family business and some monkey business.

At this point, I will not be adding any additional races to my schedule until fall.  It’s going to be getting hot here and I don’t do well running in the heat.  At some point all my running will be switched to the AM before work which means getting up at 4am.  Not looking forward to that part at all but I don’t want to let my running drop off over the summer and then half to start from square one in the fall, especially if I’m going to run any fall halves which I would like to do.

What’s your summer training schedule look like?

Any fall races that you’re looking forward to?

The One in Which I Took No Pictures…

Good morning and Happy Monday to ya!  I survived the Modesto Marathon and I liked it.  But I took no pictures at all.  How every unblogger like of me but whatever.  I managed to get up at 4am on Sunday, shower, dress, eat and be in my car at 5am.  I did have to detour back to the house once because I forgot my water bottle.  I don’t usually drink that much water but I need the bottle to wash down the Gu.  So I U-turned about 2 blocks from the house to get it.

I got the bottle and left again.  2 blocks later, I had to stop again because the gps on my phone quit working.  Pulled over, got it fixed and got back on the road again.  I made it down to Modesto in less than an hour and found a primo place to park only 2 blocks from the starting line.  I paid to park and then headed out to find the porta potties.  I used the bathroom, wandered around a little bit and then staked out a place at the 11 minute/mile marker at the start.  At 6:45 I ate my Gu and enjoyed the people watching.  It’s always a premium at races.  I can’t decided who’s my favorite, the girls in full on make up like it’s the Oscars or the super serious 5k’ers with the full fuel belts.  No, it’s the people in full costumes.  Yep, gotta be the costumes.

The race was scheduled to start at 7am and at about 7:10 we were off after a very amazing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.  I’m a big softy and get choked up every time.  But I wasn’t the only on wiping tears. The music was thumping and we were all pretty pumped.  Due to the congestion at the start and the fact that they were only using half of the street for the start we walked across the start line before the field could spread out to run.  It was the slowest start I’ve ever seen.

The first 2 or 3 miles were through some really lovely neighborhoods and the crowd support was really great.  People were up early and some were handing out champagne to the runners.  I skipped the champagne.

Once we left the neighborhoods, we went into an industrial area which is fine but the roads were a little worse for wear and you had to watch your footing.  Then it was up and over “Mt. Modesto.”  Mt. Modesto is a very steep overpass that takes you up and over some railroad tracks and Highway 99.  There was a lot of walking going on here but I powered up and over.  I was feeling really grateful that I had done the “steep” over pass here in town during my training.  I didn’t do it on purpose but it was the only was to get to the other side of town on my long runs so it became part of my training plan.

After you went up and over Mt. Modesto, you looped around to a frontage road and then we were sent off into the country on farm roads.  They were fairly narrow but the field had really thinned out at this point so it wasn’t a problem. But again, you needed to watch your footing.  About this time I took my first package of Gu.  The scenery was really nice with lots of orchards.  Thankfully most everything except for the walnuts had already bloomed and didn’t affect my horrible allergies.

About 7.5 miles in the Half Marathon split off and we were headed back toward the finish while the Marathoners headed further out into the farmland.  Before we split I did see the first wheelchair racer to participate in the race but wasn’t able to catch him to congratulate him.  It was very impressive to see especially since I new that he’d had to climb Mt. Modesto too.  It was hard on two legs.

At mile 8, I Gu’ed again.  After we split off, I had started wondering how we were going to get back to the otherside of the free way again…um, hello again Mt. Modesto.  It was like a cruel joke.  At cuel joke at mile 10.  So mean.  I’d say that 90% of the field walked it.  I slowed way down but I didn’t walk it.  I just kept the legs moving.  The joy in the up hill was the down hill.  I just let my body carry me.

Everything was going well until mile 12.  Bonk.  Smash.  Ouch.  I hit the wall so hard that I’m pretty sure I left parts of me behind.  I started taking very small walk breaks.  I know I had juice in the tank but mentally I was ready to be done.  I had to pull out my ear phones becuase I just couldn’t deal with the noise anymore.  It was making me feel manic instead of energized.  I managed to pull it together enough to run the last half mile in without stopping and even pick up the pace for the final sprint in.

As I was running down the chute all alone, the photographer yelled, “hands up” to me and I managed to get them up and even woohoo’ed a bit.  I hit the stop on my Garmin, grabbed some water, received my medal and made my way through the madness grabbing some food (why I don’t know, I didn’t eat it until hours after I got home).  I checked out the pictures that were up, none were of me, and checked the results.  My results weren’t up yet so I wandered around and then decided I was ready to head to my car.  Thankfully I only walked about 4 blocks and I was there.  I stretched out some, grabbed my jacket & started drinking my Nuun that I’d left in my car with extra ice.  The ice was gone but it was still good.

My lower back was killing me so I did some stretches as best I could to get the knots out and then remembered I hadn’t looked at my Garmin.  Let me tell you guys, when I saw the time, I totally choked up and got all teary eyed.

2014 Modesto Half Marthon Garmin Reading

2:18:58!!!  I planned to treat the race like a training run.  Run what felt good, keep it around the 11 min mark for my pace.  I didn’t really pay much attention to time except to know when to fuel.  So seeing that 2:18 was a shock.  I couldn’t believe it and I still kinda can’t.

2014 Modesto Half Marathon Medal

My splits look like this:

2014 Modesto Marathon Splits

At mile 9 is when I started to tire based upon the splits and the fact that was about the time I started to feel physically hungry.  I need to rethink my fueling plan.  Instead of fueling every 45 minutes, maybe every 40 minutes.  Not sure but I’ll be working on this over the next two weeks before the Running of the Elks.

My offical finish time was 2:18:47.  In the next couple of days the race photos will be up and I’ll be sure to share them…provided they aren’t horible…cough.  What?  I’m not pretty when I run, not that I care since I don’t have to look at me!  😉

Pro’s and con’s of the race:

Pros:
Early start time
Nice course, Flat
Good scenry
Plenty of aid stations with medical care
Closed course, no vehicle traffic except for emergancy vehicles
Good weather, 45 degrees at the start
Good swag including a light weight jacket, tech shirt and assorted goodies
Expo in an easy to get to location
Plenty of parking at the race within a few blocks
Course entertainment from a vartiy of different bands (one band started playing Sweet Home Alabama as I went by. It was like a nod from the running/music gods that I was doing good.)
Amazing volunteers & course support

Cons:
Mt. Modesto…twice – Not a deal breaker for me but was pretty brutal around mile 10
The staff didn’t seem to know what was happening. I enquired about changing the size of my shirt and was told I could do it at the expo. But at the expo they said you could only exchange them after the race. Never did try to exchange it for a wearable size.

So just two cons. One of which would have been a non issue if I’d registerd for the correct size shirt to begin with.  It was a good race with a very fun atmasphere and I would run it again.

Did you race this week?

How’d you do?

Pre Race Jitters? Who me?

Pretty Princess Pink Nails

 Stopped on my way home last night to get my nails done.  My old nail polish was in bad shape because I couldn’t keep myself from picking at it.  Gel nail polish is like a plastic more than a traditional polish and I couldn’t stop myself from picking it off.  Because I’m a 12-year-old girl, I got sparkly pink polish.  I know I’m 38 but some times it just feels right to be 12 again.

Since I got gel polish again, my nails were dry before I left the salon.  When I got home I changed my clothes and headed out for a run.

03-20-14 Splits

I went out just fine at 10 min/mile but about half way through mile 2 I had a wicked side cramp and heart burn.  I didn’t realize it at the time but I had increased my mile time by more than 30 seconds.  I can run a 9:30 mile but yesterday it just didn’t agree with me.  I think it was a couple of factors that cause it.

1.  I hadn’t eaten anything since 3pm and it was now after 6.  I need fuel to run.  It’s a proven fact.

2.  Heat.  It was 78 degrees here yesterday afternoon.  And there wasn’t much of a breeze to help keep me cool.  Me and heat don’t get along.  I tend to get fainty.  I once fainted at a renissance fair due to heat.  Thankfully when  I passed out, I fell into the guy in front of me and he was quick thinking and was able to grab me.  So embrassing.

Thankfully I was able to slow my pace to more of a 10 min/mile pace and the cramp went away.  The heartburn did not.  But that’s doable.  The cramp was really uncomfortable.  It was on my right side, lower almost on the front of my rib cage.  So annoying.

Right now I’m hoping that this isn’t  a precursor to the Half on Sunday.  It’s 1 day and 21 hours and 59 mintues away (give or take).  Sunday is going to be fine.  No bad omens.  No pre race jitters.

Originally, I was planning to run this race fast and shoot for a 2:20 or 2:25 finish.  But the more I think about it and get advice from more experienced races, I think I’m going to pull back and go for a 2:29:00 finish time or at least a time between 2:25 and 2:29.  At my last half marathon 2 years ago, I finished in 2:29:30.  And I’d like to beat that time without killing myself.  This is a training run, not a race.  My real race is still two weeks a way.

Week 5 Long Run Splits

I have been looking at last weeks long run for inspiration and to remind myself that I’m prepped for this run.  I only had three miles that were 11 minutes or over and 2 of those were at times I was fueling.  I will slow down a lot to fuel because I can’t breathe through my nose which means that some times I will walk or slow to a very slow jog.

I maintained a 10:55 average pace for this run but there are factors that I can’t control when racing that don’t apply to your long runs.  Race traffic isn’t an issue at home but it is during the race.  The lucky run was proof of that.  During that race 7 mile/7k group was so crowded that my first mile was 1:11 min/mile and by the last mile when I was basicly alone except for getting passed by the eleits from the Half, was 9:47 min/mile.  Obviously traffic was a factor there.

I’m planning to take my small hand bottle to avoid the water stations as much as possable.  Traffic around the aid stations can get a bit crazy.  I figure I will only need water after 9 or 10 miles.  I plan to hit the tables at the back of the line to avoid any kind of congestion.

No matter what happens on Sunday, I am going to run my own pace and my own race.

Thursday Inspiration…

Kara Goucher

I skipped my Wednesday night run in favor of cleaning out my closet and going to Home Depot with Hubby.  Runners World shared this quote on Facebook this morning and I wanted to share it with you.  Sometimes I need just a little reminder of how great running and life in general is.

Registered Half Marathoners

I finally made the list for Registered Runners for the Modesto Half Marathon.  I have been obsessively stalking their website waiting for my name to come up and they finally updated it this morning.  I just can’t figure out how I ended up choosing an extra-large shirt.  I’m usually a medium or a large but never an extra-large.  I guess that’s what happens when you’re rushing to sign up before you leave work for the day.  Oops.  At least they will have a shirt exchange at the expo and I can trade it for a smaller shirt.

I got an e-mail from the race this morning saying that you have to know your bib number to pick up your race packet and goodie bag…Goodie BAAAAAAGGGGG!  So excited about swag.  Who doesn’t love it?!  But the part I can’t come to terms with is that I can’t locate where to find your bib number on the site.  It’s not listed on the list of registered runners and I can’t find a place to locate it…interesting.

On a side/shopping note, if you like Under Armor, Zulily has it on sale today.  They have Men’s, Women’s and Kid’s.  I picked up two tank tops and a long sleeve for Hubby.  It still wasn’t cheap but it was better than paying retail for it.

Happy Thursday, Folks!  I hope it’s a great one!

In terms of swag, what’s the best thing you’ve gotten at a race?

Do you obsessively stalk race websites waiting for your name to appear on their registered runners list or is it just me?

Race Schedule Additions…

Yesterday afternoon, I was putzing around on the internet looking for a race this weekend.  Hubby may or may not be out-of-town this weekend and I was looking for a 5k or 10k just as something to do.  I did not count on deciding to add a major race to my docket for this weekend.

Modesto Marathon

Race Schedule as of 3:58pm yesterday:

04/06 – Running of the Elks Half Marathon
04/27 – Capital City Classic

Race Schedule as of 4pm yesterday:

03/23 – Modesto Marathon – Half
04/06 – Running of the Elks Half Marathon
04/27 – Capital City Classic

Yep, thanks to the influence of my friends and family, I’m going to run the Modesto Marathon – Half this sunday.  I was scheduled to run 12 miles anyway, so what’s an additional 1.1 miles?

The only draw back to this is that Modesto is an hour away from the house and it’s a 7am start; which means that I will have to be up between 4 & 4:30 to be on the road by 5am.  I’m not complaining though, the 7am start is wonderful.  I generally start my long runs at 7am anyway so no biggie.  Hubbs was a bit worried about me driving an hour but since I drove 45 minutes for the Lucky Run, it’s not that big of a deal.

I’m planning to drive down on Saturday morning to pick up my race packet and check out the expo.  I haven’t attended a race that had an expo before so I’m interested in checking it out.  I’m hoping that I will be able to exchange my shirt because somehow I requested an extra-large women’s technical and I really need a medium or a large.  Fingers crossed.  I’m hoping that they will update their list of registered runners so that I can request the change before I go down but if not, it’s a shirt and I have tons of them so it’s not really a big deal.  But it’s also a tech shirt and I do wear them.  I never buy tech shirts anymore since I have them from races.

Modesto Marathon Weather

Looks like the weather is going to be perfect.  Low’s in the upper 40’s and high in the mid 70’s.  Hopefully by the time it’s in the 70’s I’ll be done.  I’m going to be shooting for a 2:20 – 2:25 finish.  I don’t know if they are having pacers or not but if they are, I’m going to try to sick to the 2:20 like glue.  I finished my 11 mile long run last week in 2 hours flat so I think that it’s realistic to want to finish in 2:20 – 2:25.

I guess I’m going to be doing some serious carb loading Friday and Saturday night.  I see pasta and bread in my future in a big way.  Since I love pasta and garlic bread, I don’t see this as a problem.

I don’t normally dedicate my races or specific miles to people.  But yesterday one of my favorite cousins had to have emergency surgery.  He’s doing fine but it was very unexpected.  He’s a personal trainer, fellow runner, police officer, father, husband and all around good guy.  He’s a great guy and I admire him.  We keep in touch via Facebook and he’s always encouraging me in my running.  He recently started training to run the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon in South Dakota but due to this surgery he won’t be running for a while.  So mile 13 is for Jimmy; I’m totally blaming you if this doesn’t go well!

Have you ever added a last minute race to your schedule?

What’s your favorite way to pre-fuel for a long race?

Monday, Monday, So Good to me

It’s another beautiful day in sunny California.  It’s a bit colder than it has been, 55 degrees on my way in this morning but still a gorgeous start to the day.  Yesterday was beautiful that I was really grateful that my work day ends at 4pm and leaves me plenty of time to spend outside before it gets too dark.

Hubbs and I have been working on the landscaping in our back yard for over a year now and about a week and half ago the new lawn went in.  And it has made such a difference in our yard.  It’s actually livable out there now.

New Lawn

Only half of our back yard is grass, the other half I have a garden area with 3 – 12′ x 3′ raised beds and 1 – 6′ x 3′ raised bed.  The little bed has my herbs in it, one big bed is all flowers and the other two beds I plant veggies in.  But since we’ve been working on the other half of the yard my garden has gone to pot a bit.  The weeds were so tall that the dogs were getting lost in them and I never knew if the dogs were going to come back.

Yesterday after work was so nice that instead of walking the dogs, I pulled out the shovels, hoes, rakes and the yard waste can and started working on pulling all the weeds up.  Hubs came home right after I got started and helped.  We worked for about an hour and a half and got most of the garden cleaned up.  The plan is to put decomposed granite in between the beds so that we don’t have a weed problem anymore.  We still have a bit more work to do but the weather was perfect for working in the garden.

After we quit in the garden I changed and got my run in.  It was a four mile run but the wind was really blowing so I expected it to be a horrible pain.  But it wasn’t.  Any time the wind blows, I run faster than I intend to.

Monday Run

4 miles in 38:53?!  Oh baby, I was flying.  BTW, I hope you like my mid run selfie.  I was cracking up the whole time.

Splits:

Mile 1: 10:11
Mile 2: 9:46
Mile 3: 9:34
Mile 4: 9:20

Negative splits, baby!!!  I could tell I was pushing it but I didn’t expect it to be that fast.  Usually I only get that low in the 9’s when it’s really cold and I’m just running to stay warm.  Despite the winds, the run was great.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, it was perfect.

Lucky Run Finish

The professional shots from the Lucky Run were out last week and I actually bought them.  They offered a deal, $25 for all the pictures of you in digital format.  I never buy the pictures because they want to dang much but for $25 I sprung for it.  The only picture that was decent was my finish picture.  So now you know, I am not pretty when I run.  I’m red, sweaty and my hair is frizzy.  But I’m a happy girl so I’m willing to let the rest of it go.

Happy Tuesday, people!  I hope the weather where you are is as beautiful as it is here in Northern California!

Week 5 Long Run and Recap…

Luck O'the Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my friends!  If you had long runs planned for Sunday morning, I hope you didn’t do too much rabble rousing on Saturday night or if you did, I hope you were able to pull off the long run without a hangover.  I stayed in on Saturday night and did no drinking…which is pretty normal considering I don’t drink.  But whatever, St. Paddy’s day is upon us and I hope it’s lucky for you.

Week 5 recap:

Monday:  5.07 miles in 50:56
Wednesday:  4:55 miles in 45:05
Friday:  Skipped to stay home and eat pizza with Hubby
Saturday:  4:02 miles in 41:09
Sunday:  11.03 miles in 2:00:21

I was really happy with my Monday & Wednesday Short runs.  Monday average pace was 10:03 & Wednesday was 9:57.  Saturday was ok at 10:14.  It’s nice to see that despite the warming of the temperatures, I’m still able to keep my times in the 10 minute range.  I know it’s not “fast” but I admit that I’m a middle to back of the pack girl.  But at 10 minutes/mile I feel like I’m putting in a good effort.

Long run:

Sunday Long Run 3/16

Sundays long run was really nice.  I planned a route that would take me from my familiar routes to a new area of “town” that I’d not really run in.  New terrain on a long run is a must to keep me from thinking about the run.  I wish I’d taken some pictures because it was a beautiful morning.  Right now despite the drought, it’s very green and lush here.  I saw squirrels, cows, horses, sheep, goats, ducks and chickens.  My route took me out into a more rural part of town and it so so lovely.  The only down side is that there are no shoulders on the road or sidewalks so I was forced into the roads.  But most cars just gave me a wide berth, waved and went on.  In town, if you’re in the street it’s almost like they aim for you.

Week 5 Long Run

I mostly stayed in the upper 10’s, lower 11’s.  While I would have liked to start picking up the pace around mile 5 and finish with my pace in the lower 10’s, long run is supposed to be long and slow so I’m ok with it.  Average pace as 10:55 and I finished in 2 hours.  My goal for Running of the Elks is to finish around 2:20:00 and I think that if I can keep an 11/minute pace I will come dang close to that goal.  While my goal is 2:20 as long as I beat my previous half marathon time of 2:29:30, I’m going to be happy.

Running of the Elks is now 3 weeks away.  I have two more longs runs and then it’s taper to the race.  The plan is to run a 12 mile long run this coming Sunday and then a 9 miler on the following Sunday.  On one hand I feel like I’m prepared for the race but on the other, I’m kind nervous about it.  Pre-race jitters.  Clearly I’ve done the work.  I’m not worried about not finishing or looking like a fool or coming in last but the thought of not performing the way I know I can scares me.  Or having a tough run that I struggle the entire time, now that scares me.  I try not to think about it.

What scares you about racing?

How do you mentally prepare for a big race?