Category Archives: PR

bittersweet confirmation

Normally receiving this in the mail would fill me with the excited/nervous butterflies and I’d be jumping out of my skin with excitement.  Yes, I’ve known I was confirmed for Boston 2014, there is just something about seeing it so official like this.

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I am [attempting to] hold my plans for Boston loosely.  Will I be be able to run a marathon by April 21?  It won’t be a PR marathon for sure – there are not enough days in the calendar to be able to train in order to be a potential PR race.  Even though I’ve already paid the $175 entry fee, will it be worth the expense to travel there?  We’ve definitely decided that if I am healthy and can run (or even run/walk) the marathon, we will go.  2014 is going to be an intense, powerful, beautiful year for the Boston Marathon.  I want to be apart of it.

And for inspiration … here I am kicking it to the finish of the Seaside Half Marathon back in March in route to my PR or 1:27:22. I will heal and run fast again! :)

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Filed under injury, marathon training, PR, running

season in review

Looking back at my “season” – it’s been long, fun, successful – and no wonder my body is tired and excited about some down time of just running rather than training.

I have set PRs in every distance I have raced – 5K, 4 mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon and marathon.

I started my training build up for the Pensacola Marathon back in mid July.  After the marathon in November, I took a week off and then ran easy for about 3 weeks.  I then ramped it back up training for the Seaside Half Marathon.  After Seaside in March, I took a week off and the jumped right back in with intervals training for the spring 5Ks and Gate to Gate.

It has been a FUN year!  And yes, my body is ready for a break! I know I need a break to become a better runner and lower my PRs even more.  At the same time, taking a break is a bit scary.  This past year has been the most intense and most successful and it’s hard to not to feel like I’ll loose it all if I back off.  I know that’s not true – it’s just hard to trust it some times!  I’ve been very blessed in that my only breaks have been during my 3 pregnancies.

I still have not decided what the plan for the Fall is – in part because I do not know where we’ll be living!  If we stay put, I have my eye on the Huntsville Marathon on December 8th, with Boston to follow in Spring 2014.  If we move to who knows where, I’ll have to wait and see what races are possibilities.

Regardless, June will be a month of lower mileage, focusing on core and strength.  July, I’ll start building my mileage back up.  August will bring tempo and speed workouts.

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Filed under goals, plan / weekly recaps, PR, running, that feeling

King of the Mountain 4 mile race

We’re back home on Lookout Mountain for a quick weekend trip, and who I am to pass up on a race?!  The King of the Mountain has always been a favorite.  And with the Gate to Gate 4.4 miler coming up on Memorial Day, I knew this would be a good one for me to do.

I hate making excuses and never want to be that one who crosses the finish line with an array of reasons … so the short answer is I just wasn’t feelin it today.  The honest/making excuses answer is we travelled up yesterday and I didn’t get much sleep last night, I’ve been fighting a head cold all week, in spite of the head cold I still got in a tough week of training. Ah yes, making excuses.

I felt sluggish/dead legged from the beginning.  The 1st mile is gradual up hill.  Mile 2 has some rolling hills, and mile 3 and 4 are mostly down hill with 1 hill at the end.

My splits were 6:45 – 6:31 – 6:31 – 6:24.  I ended up as the 2nd place woman in 26:12.  I had a 3 tiered goal – to run sub 25, sub 26 or PR.  I did PR (in 2009 I ran 26:32).  SO at least I got 1  :)

It is frustrating when I’ve been training HARD and nailing my speed workouts, for it not to pay off in a race.  I have 2 more chances before things shut down for the summer and I take a much needed down time in my training.  As I mentioned at the start, the Gate to Gate 4.4 miler and Billy Bowlegs 5K on June 1.

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Heritage Museum 5K

Several friends and I ran a small local 5K on Saturday.  Several of our kids did the 1 mile run as well.  It was fun to share a race with friends!

This was my first 5K since June of last year, and this spring I have been training much more focused on 5Ks, so I knew a PR was possible.   My speed workout has been specifically geared towards 5K paces – I’ve been doing it at 6 min pace, which would be 18:38 5K.

Going out, we were running into a nasty wind coming in off the water.  My legs were feeling heavy and I was beginning to think it wouldn’t happen.  There were 3 guys in front of me.  I hit mile 1 in 5:53 – no wonder my legs felt heavy!  That was exactly where I wanted to be.  Just before the turnaround, I pass a guy and am closing on the next guy.  The leader is enough out in front that I know I’ll never see him.  I pull even with the guy in 2nd and we run together.  Mile 2 is 6:05 – a bit slower than I wanted but still in good shape.  I love having someone to work with!  I pull ahead probably around 2.75 miles.  I was pretty sure he’d have a good kick.  Sure enough, when we round the corner for the final stretch, he bolts past me.

I hit the line in 18:39!  Exactly the pace I’ve been training for – and a 15 second PR!!

I felt really good, and honestly felt like I had a bit left that I could have used in that last mile.   Normally I finish a 5K and think “Ugh I hated that! I hate 5Ks! Never again!”  But this time it was “Wow, when’s the next?!”  I guess the speed workouts are working!! :)

And I guess I need to start doing speed workouts at a 5:55 pace (18:22 5K).

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Filed under goals, PR, race, running, speed work

transitioning from Half Marathon to 5K

A week or so after the Seaside half, I read a great article in Runner’s World about several elite runners who ran PRs on the track soon after a great marathon.  Granted I just came off a half not a full, but it’s still very applicable.  The main point of the article was that you not only need to re-develop your foot speed, but you need to re-train your body and mind to endure the short lived intense pain of a 5K.   In a marathon, and in my half marathon, it’s more of a long dull ache with pain coming on towards the end.  A 5K often hurts from soon after the gun goes off!

In reality, I HATE 5Ks.  I hate that intense pain.  It hurts!  I’ve had more thoughts of dropping out of a race in 5Ks than in any other distance.  It’s so mental.

Thus, the article was great for me to read.  It also gave 5 workouts that help you train your body and mind for the transition.  I’ve done the first 3 and they’ve been really good.  I’ve been doing them on the treadmill at a 6 min pace (10.0 MPH) which would be a 18:38 5K.  Aiming high!

Here are the workouts …

5 x (5 x 200m @ 5K pace) with 30-second rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x (400m, 400m, 200m @ 5K pace) with 45-second rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x (600m, 400m @ 5K pace) with 1-minute rests between repeats and 3 minutes rest between sets

5 x 800m @ 5K pace with 3-minute rests, then 5 x 200m a little faster than 5K pace with 45-60 seconds rest

2 x (1K, 800m, 600m, 400m @ 5K pace) with 2-minute rests between repeats and 4-5 minutes rest between sets

5–6 x 1K with 3-minute rests; start slower than 5K pace and progress to running goal pace for the last 3 repeats

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Filed under elite runners, marathon training, PR, running, speed work

Spring plan

The Seaside Half Marathon was a serious HIGH for me.  I floated on cloud 9 for several days.  Actually, until the throw up bug knocked me and the kids out.  My body was whipped.  Every part of my body was sore – even my arms!  And then being sick, I had ZERO energy, and was forced to rest a few more days than I wanted or planned.  Which was good!

My loose plan has been to do some local 5Ks (had hoped for a 10K this weekend but based on recent runs and lack there of, it isn’t worth it), ending with the Billy Bowlegs on June 1 where I hope to defend my title from last year!

I’ll then back off for the summer.  Fall is undecided.  Partly because my body is tired and I don’t know if I’ll be ready to train for a Fall marathon.  I wonder if it makes more sense to spend the Fall building, and then train for a Spring marathon (hopefully Boston!!!).  Yet also, I’m not even sure where we’ll be living this Fall – could be still here in FL, or could be anywhere.  So it’s a bit hard to plan.  So back to focusing on the present – hopefully a 5K PR this Spring!!!!

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Filed under goals, PR, race, running

Seaside Half Marathon

Last Sunday, I ran the Seaside Half Marathon for the 2nd year in a row.  And I was 2nd again.  Yet this year could not have been more different! Last year I was sick and still managed to run 1:31:53 – only 18 seconds off my PR from 2010.

So this year … It was COLD!  Temps in the 30s and windy!  After getting warm in the Pensacola race a month ago, I bought arm sleeves to wear with my tank, and wore compression socks with shorts.

Lisa and I start off tucked in with a pack of 3 women and 3 men.  The 3 men are “pacing” 1 of the women with a sub-1:30 goal.  That was our goal too, and given the WIND, we were content to tuck in with them.

Mile 1 = 6:45. Perfect.

Mile 2 = 6:55.  I got nervous about slowing too much.  2 girls had pulled away.  We pulled ahead of the girl with her 3 guys pacing.

Mile 3 = 6:50.  Right where I wanted to be.  Lisa was hoping to be closer to 7 min miles and I could tell she was a bit nervous by the pace.

Mile 4 = 6:48.  I was feeling great and new I needed to go for it.  I pulled away from Lisa and started closing on the 2 lead women over the next 2 miles.  Mile 5 & 6 were 6:45 and 6:41.  I was steadily closing.  I pulled even with them as we approached the turn around.  Being an out and back, I knew they’d see me as we turned so wanted to be even with them rather than them ahead, see me closing, and get energized to pull away.  It worked – they were surprised.

The 3 of us girls ran even for a bit and then 1 of the girls fell back.  The other girl pulled right on my shoulder.  Yes, she drafted. Big time. And I got mad. I tried to slow to let her take the lead, but she slowed.  I surged and she matched it.  She was seriously driving me insane.  Yet I didn’t want to slow too much and sacrifice my time.  So I kept telling myself to run my race and not worry about her. Easier said than done!!!

Miles 7-11 were  6:34 – 6:37 – 6:37 – 6:34 – 6:44.

I kept thinking I needed to pull away but just couldn’t.  I was also internally beginning to freak out about my time!

Mile 11 – 6:21. She was still right with me.

Mile 12 – 6:21. We were killing it!

We’re coming through Watercolor, I see the 1/2 mile to go sign, and I think I am pulling away ever so slightly.  This is my day I think!  HOLY FREAKING COW.  She turned on rockets and dropped me like no body’s business!  And honestly, at that point, I didn’t even care. I had NOTHING left and simply fought to get to the finish line.  Apparently I looked right at my family but I have no recollection of seeing them.

1:27:22!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For real, I could NOT believe it!  I had gotten 2nd by a mere 13 seconds – but I had run a 4+ minute PR!!!  3 years and baby #3 later – I SMASHED my PR from 2010!

Leading up to the race, all I could think about was sub-1:30.  Looking at the McMillian calculator from my 15K time, it predicted a 1:28:40 and I thought oh that’s not possible!!

So to run 1:27:22 – a 6:40 pace – I was over the moon!  Yes, wining would have been awesome and it getting 2nd 2 years in a row is a bit of a dud, but I’ll take it!  I know I gave it every single ounce in me and had absolutely nothing left.

This race is probably tied with Boston for my favorite race ever :)

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