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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, toddlers, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

Training for Life, Motherf*cker (4/24-5/7)

April 24-April 30

Monday – treadmill tempo/yoga. 1 WU/3@7:23/1CD. Bryan had to leave for work earlier than usual so I drug the twins upstairs with the promise of some IPAD time to get my tempo run in. Miles walked on the treadmill after, and then we all hung out while I stretched 🙂

Tuesday – swim/ride. 2525m swim/9.6 mile ride. Starting to finally get used to getting up at 4:30am….kinda. My last kiddo of the day canceled so I hopped on my bike for 30 min after work and tried not to get hit by any cars. I’m kidding. I wasn’t close to getting hit. 

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Wednesday speedwork. 3x 1 mile repeats with WU and CD – 6 miles total. My computer still wants to autocorrect this to spadework. One day I might just leave the correction. It was a very warm evening and we got kicked off the track because of a soccer game, so I ran on the trail. I made the mistake of trying to run at 50-60 degree pace in 80+ degrees and completely bombed the last repeat (7:01, 6:57 7:31), which just goes to show you that if someone sends you  an email with suggested pace changes due to temperature, you should probably actually follow it. 

Thursday swim – 2500 meters. Still really early in the morning. Still torturous. 

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Friday long run. 9 miles@ 8:49/mile. It was already 75 degrees when I started. Ugh I am so not ready for summer. 

Saturday long ride/run. 25.36 miles @ 19.9mph/3 miles (2@ 8:20, 1@9:06). My legs could still feel the effects from the previous days long run. Even though the pace wasn’t fast the heat makes the long runs feel that much more tiring. So, it took me a bit to warm up and get them going, but I stayed with a smaller group even pulling a couple times without hearing too many sighs (not that I could have heard them anyway). Afterwards, I ran an “easy” 2 miles with John which turned out to be more like tempo pace for me given the temps, and then one actual easy mile, so I could round out April with an even 100 miles. 

Sunday rest day

May 1 – May 7

So I’ve decided that to avoid burnout (and injury) over the summer I’m going to train 3 weeks with a focus on speed at 7-8 hours per week followed by one cut back week doing whatever the hell I want. So welcome to week “whatever the hell I want”

Monday easy stroller run 5 miles @ 9:25/mile. Apparently so many runs I’ve had to stop and pee with the kids that Miles frequently asks me if I need to go. Today he didn’t, but I did need to stop….and then miraculously Abby did and so did he. Go figure. 

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Tuesday – swim/trainer ride. 2625 meters/30 minutes trainer. I actually got to swim on time this morning, but still didn’t come close to finishing the work out in its entirety. In fact, I picked the WRONG lane, and was lapped frequently. #guppy.  On the plus side, this was the first post swim work day that didn’t feel 80 thousand hours long. The bike was nothing to write home about, just trying to get some time in because I knew I wouldn’t be riding much more (ahem – at all) this week. Afterwards, the twins and I went for a walk, where Abby insisted her skirt wasn’t too big.

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It’s not too big-uh!

Wednesday speed. 6 x 400m with WU/CD. 5.25 miles total. I drug my poor unsuspecting neighbor out with me and now she won’t talk to me anymore. Kidding. But she may never run with me again. My splits were faster than they should have been because my quads were sore for 3 days, but I hit one split at a sub 6 (5:57)!

Thursday row. 4100 ish meters/25 minutes. Yeah, you read that right. I used a rowing machine. So I drove from Charleston to Virginia with a friend and flew home Thursday morning. They happened to have a rowing machine in their spare room so I jumped on at 4:30 am (which, insanely, doesn’t seem all that bad anymore) to get a quick easy workout in. 

Friday – rest day

Saturday 10k race plus short cool down. Definitely not my best thanks to some asthma and side cramp issues but it was still a fun race and I had a blast (recap to come).

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Sunday easy stroller run. 3 miles @ 9:25/mile. This run included bribery because my kids are now old enough that they want to run and walk themselves more than they want to be pushed. I’m wondering if my stroller days are numbered. 

Training For Life, Motherf*cker (4/17-4/23)

Last post I wrote about how I wasn’t really training for anything, and Amy said she heard somewhere that if you’re not training for a specific race you’re “training for life”. That sounds better than “training for nothing” so we are going with that.

Monday – tempo run/ride. 1 easy/6 @ 7:35/1 easy.  8 total. The speedier runs in combination with the biking and swimming are a little easier but overall my legs still feel tired much of the time. I hit the paces but not without a few rest breaks, even with a temp below 60. 30 minute trainer ride/6 miles I needed to get my bike to the shop for a cleaning and to see if I needed new tires so I hopped on the trainer after the run so I’d at least get the 2 rides in. I’m not even going to share how slow I was going

Tuesday swim. 2500 meters. The swimming will get easier, right? RIGHT?

Wednesday speed. 6.25 miles with 5×1000 between 6:25-6:33. This run went surprisingly well. It was warm, but not TOO warm (around 75).

Thursday swim. 2800 meters. At some point I’m going to get used to getting up at 4:30 am right? RIGHT? I mean I’m not even trying to be an Ironman right now. I must be nuts.

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Friday long tempo. 8 miles @ 8:09.  The goal was 7:50 so that tells you how this run went. I did the first mile easy and then tried to pick up the pace, which went ok for 3 miles and then I was done. I tried one easy mile and the picked up the pace again, but my pace was 10 seconds off of goal so I ran the last two at my future goal marathon pace (8:15) and called it a day.

Saturday rest day

Sunday ride/run brick 25 miles @ 18.9 MPH. There was a larger group at this ride and I took it easy for most of it, but pulled for a couple segments at between 20-21mph to get a little speed in. 1.13 miles @ 8:35/mi. 

 

I’m Training for Nothing (4/10-4/16)

I’m not really training for anything, and it feels kinda weird. I still have a 10k in early May in mind, but it’s really going to depend on how warm it is. I guess I am “training” for the Charleston Sprint series?

I started swimming with the YMCA Masters group last week (I skipped the recap) but only swam once because of weather, so this week was the first week of getting up at 430 am both Tuesday and Thursday. Ya’ll, I am a morning person, but 430 is EARLY. 430 is still night time.

So what I’m planning through the summer is to keep up my tempo/speed/long runs probably 3 weeks out of the month and then do one easy week. I’m going to swim twice a week and ride twice a week. My focus will be mostly on running and swimming so my bike is going to take a backseat this season. But really, other than Kiawah my races are only 12 miles. This week was tough because I’m trying to add a good amount of swimming (2500m or more) twice a week in addition to riding AND my speedier run workouts.

Monday – tempo. 6 miles. 1.25 easy/3 @ 7:23/1.75 easy. This went fairly well, though I warmed up a bit longer than a mile so it threw my pace off for the faster part. I took one rest break and ran a 7:21, 7:17, 7:18.

Tuesday swim/strength 2500m swim/15 min leg workout. There was a big focus on kicking for the swim workout but I figured since I was wearing fins I didn’t need to worry too much. Then I got home and decided a 15 min leg workout was necessary, which I paid for dearly later.

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Wednesday  speed (ish). 6 miles with 4 x1200 and 400 recovery. I woke up and my quads were a little sore, which is never a good sign. I felt ok during my warm up, but once I started my 1200’s I knew I was going to be throwing my pace goals out the window. I was shooting to run them in a 6:42. I ran the first in 6:44 (not bad) and the second in 6:41, but thats only because I literally stopped and rested halfway through. The third was a 6:58 and the fourth a 7:10 – slower than my last 5k average page. My legs were just totally trashed.

Thursday swim. 2500 meters. 4:30 comes really really early. My legs were still tired. I felt them all day.

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Friday long. 9 miles progressive. 8:00 average. I woke up Friday and my legs were still tired, but at least no longer sore. My goal for the day was supposed to be 8 @ 7:50 but after Wednesday I decided to start easy and see how it went. The last thing I want to do is end up injured. So I started at a 8:35, ran the second and 8:20, and decided to try an easier progression. 8:35, 8:20, 8:12, 8:00, 8:01, 8:00, 7:49, 7:35, 7:23.

Saturday ride/run 25 mile ride @ 17.6 MPH/1.7 miles @ 8:56/mile I joined Tammie on her long ride, which was my first of the season. I’ve hardly been on the bike at all this year, honestly, and it was nice to get a good easy long ride in.

I took zero pictures this week, so if you’re still reading I’m impressed.

Cooper River Bridge Run Recap

I’m allowed to use the life has been crazy busy excuse, right? Because it has. And I’ve either not had enough time or just not felt like writing much, so this recap comes a solid two weeks after the fact.

Better late than never?

I’ve run/raced the Bridge Run two times before. It was the final run on the old bridge and the first run on the new, so 2005 ( I ran a 50:44 and there were 18k runners) and 2006 (I ran a 52:52 and there were 33k runners) It was a long time ago and I was much younger then. Actually, that first bridge run was my first official race, even though I had been running recreationally since 2001.

The logistics of this run have always been a nightmare for me. The last time I ran it I got up at the crack of dawn to drive to Mt Pleasant, waited in line to get on a shuttle, ran it, couldn’t find my friends, sat in a shuttle again to get back to Mt Pleasant and then had to walk my to my friends apartment solo. Not that much fun. Nearly every year people ask me if I’m running the bridge, and until this year I’ve said no. There are simply too. many. people.

So fast forward to 2017. It is the 40th anniversary of the event, so guess what? There is a finishers medal. Did you say medal? Sign me up!

Yes, I signed up because there was a medal.

Don’t judge.

This year, I also happen to have friends that have the logistics of the race down to a T. It still involved getting up at the crack of dawn. I honestly think I wasn’t up much earlier than this for the Ironman, if that tells you anything. I rolled out of bed, made some coffee, and hopped into Tammie’s car when they pulled up at 5:02 (3 minutes early). From there we drove to Kelly’s house, where we hopped into her car and drove to West Ashley to her parents. There, we crammed into their car and they drove us about a half mile from the start. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited. The sun came up. We still waited. We peed. We waited. We peed again. And THEN, we waited some more.

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The last 10k I ran was in early 2012, before we started doing fertility treatments. The 10k used to be my favorite race distance but I’d gotten away from them and started running more half and full marathons. Considering I’d made great strides in my half marathon time, I’d hoped I’d PR, but with minimal hill training, who knew. My pace for my fastest 10k (in 2011) was a 7:37, so I just hoped to run faster than that.

My race strategy was based on a lot of estimation and hope. I planned to run the first 1.5 miles 10-15 seconds faster than my average goal pace (maybe 7:30?), because I knew I’d lose speed going up the bridge. I’d hoped I’d gain some on the way down and then try to stay steady towards the end.

It turns out this was a good, solid plan. Even starting pretty close to the front I did some people dodging the first half mile or so, but hit mile 1 in 7:18. I tried to keep that pace until we hit the bottom of the bridge. Half of mile 2 was flat and half uphill, so I averaged 7:35.  Almost all of mile 3 was an incline. A steep and torturous incline.  Like I why in the world did I sign up for this type incline. At one point I was only averaging an 8:45, but gained some speed back on the way down and hit mile 3 at 8:00.  Mile 4 felt surprisingly easy and steady (though it was totally downhill) and I hit that one at 7:00. The rest of the race was flat, and it was starting to get warm, so the last two miles were a bit of a suffer fest, but I was happy with the averages at 7:21 and 7:28. I had very little left for the last .2 but got a little faster (7:13).

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 46:33, about a 45 second PR, and celebrated with the yummiest muffin (cinnamon bun flavored) that I think I’ve ever eaten while chatting with friends and stalking official results.

I just wish I had gotten more than one picture. And maybe a picture of that muffin. *drools*

Finish Time: 46:33

Overall:  990/32,532

Gender: 159/19,381

Age: 27/2,406 (they put me in the 35-39 age group)

This run makes my 3rd PR in a MONTH! Now, time to rest a bit!

 

I Have A Need for Speed (3/20-4/2)

And yet again I get behind and do a combo post. I guess some weeks I should just be happy I manage to post anything.

Week of March 20

Monday – swim. 1800 meters – still slow. While I don’t look forward to waking up at 4:30 am to join masters swim, I could REALLY use the help on my form.

Tuesday – running snacks. 5 miles @ 8:51/mile. The twins ran a little afterwards, but Miles was cold because he insisted on not wearing a jacket.Sometimes moms ARE right, buddy.

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Wednesday – speed. 4.81 miles @ 8:26/ mile including 6 x 400 intervals. I did this one in the morning and I can’t remember why, but whatever. I wanted a little speed before the 5k but didn’t want to overdo it, so I did 6 intervals with 1 min rest between, ranging from 6:10-6:36. It was a bigger range than I had hoped but I started out more slowly, and had some incline every other interval since I wasn’t on a track.

Thursday running snacks/yoga. 3 miles @ 9:22/mile followed by some stretching so I hopefully don’t make my PSOAS angry.

Friday rest

Saturday long run/race. 8.1 miles including the Turtle 5k race, where I FINALLY hit my long awaited 21:xx. I ran one mile before to warm up and did a long 4 mile cool down.

Sunday ride. 13.23 miles at 17.5 MPH.  I had planned to do an hour but it was a chilly morning and I didn’t put on socks, so I cut it shorter. My toes were going numb.

Week of March 27

Monday – easy run. 6 miles @ 8:37/mile. Trying to both recover from Saturday’s 5k and prep for the upcoming Bridge run, I took it easy. I also took the day off and took the twins to the zoo with my friend Virginia and her daughter, Stella.

Tuesday ride. 16.2 miles @ 18.3 MPH I got a mile from my house on this ride before realizing I had left without my helmet. So I had to turn around and go back. Apparently I left my brain at home too.

Wednesday hills 6 miles @ 8:40 including 4 hills. I wasn’t sure how much prep 4 hills was going to be 3 days before the Bridge Run, but I figured a little couldn’t hurt. The rest of the run was done at an easy pace. Melissa and I were gone longer so we missed the group picture.

Thursday cross. 30 minutes elliptical and 20 minutes weights.

Friday rest

Saturday run 6.24 miles at the Cooper River Bridge Run. Recap coming!

Sunday running snacks/yoga. 2 miles @9:15 pace and yoga for runners.

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Ignore the garage

Turtle 5k Race Recap

Slow and steady wins the race is the lesson behind the well known story of the Tortise and the Hare.

The Turtle 5k supports Meals on Wheels and is in honor of Lena Cox, a long time volunteer. She was nicknamed the turtle because she believed very much in the perseverance lesson involved in the story. Interestingly, it turns out that I know Lena’s daughter, though mostly in passing. Her family also attends the church we attend. Not only that, but she has twins so of course that is something I pay attention to.

Like the previous years, the race is an easy out and back on a local bike/running trail, with the awards at a church within walking distance (literally down the street). While speaking to Arden (Lena’s daughter) prior to the race I learned that there is not a single runner involved in the organization of this race, which I find particularly impressive because it really is very well run for a small local race.

Too cheap to pay the transaction fee involved in registering online, I showed up an hour before race start to register in person and hung out talking to a couple other runners while waiting to warm up. Melissa showed up about a half hour before race time. Her plan was to run this race as part of a tempo workout. She had offered to pace me but since I really never accepted or denied it I was a little surprised to find out this was still her plan.

Before the Charlie Post 5k, which brought my 5k PR from a 22:17 to a 22:12, my PR was OLD. Like pre infertility old. I hadn’t really trained for it but ran a 5k a few weeks after a marathon and ran it without really knowing much about pace. Ever since then, I have been after this elusive 21:xx 5k time. Of course I had to take quite a bit of time off from running during the IVF and subsequent twin pregnancy, but this is a goal I have seriously been chasing for over 5 years.

In January, after a surprisingly successful 2 mile speed work time, I started out too fast for my ability at Charlie Post. I ran mile 1 in 7:03 and mile 2 in 7:01, and then died a slow death during mile 3 with a 7:16 (though wind didn’t help) for a 7:06 average. It was enough for a 5 second PR, but obviously not the 21:xx I had hoped for.

I changed my pacing strategy for Catch the Leprechaun, hoping to stay at a steady 7:05 or so pace. Again, the first two miles went as planned with a 7:04 and 7:05, but I died again at mile 3 (though again wind didn’t help) with a 7:12 for another 7:06 average, but a longer overall time becuase my watch measured the course at 3.15

For Turtle, I planned to start slower than my goal and gradually work my way faster – a 7:08, 7:06, 7:04ish. I told this to Melissa before the start and then we were off.

Mile 1 – 7:07

No matter how hard I try I simply cannot seem to keep myself from jolting out of the gate too quickly. Once my watch caught up with my pace I was going a 6:45 so I had to slow down. We ran a short but steep up and downhill twice which I knew I’d be cursing on the way back, but overall I felt not too out of breath so I was hopeful. I stayed slightly ahead of Melissa for this mile.

Mile 2 7:05

I started to feel it about halfway through this mile and had to work to pick up my speed towards the end. I was slightly ahead again until a little after the turn around where I started to lag slighty behind. I could tell she was saying something to me but I had my music on so I had no idea what it was. Hopefully it was something encouraging. Mostly I was just annoyed she had enough breath to speak. 🙂

Mile 3: 7:07

Ya’ll. If I had the energy to curse the short but steep up and downhill we had to do again, I would have used more swear words than are currently in the English language. It was in this mile that I was very thankful Melissa was pacing me because with no other female in sight if I had been alone I’m not sure I would have kept pushing to go faster. In fact, at one point I wanted to swear at her for nicely motioning me to go faster because I WAS GOING AS FAST AS I COULD DAMNIT. Luckily if I had tried to talk I probably would have collapsed so I just yelled it in my head instead. I stopped looking at my watch once we hit about 2.5 miles  because literally all my concentration was going towards trying to not fall too far behind her die.

The Home Stretch (last .1) – 6:23

So, just before my heard my watch beep for mile 3 I could see the finish clock, and it read 21:15. Somehow, even though I had literally felt my body start to shut down, that visual was what I needed to speed up for that last tenth of a mile. I kept my eyes on that clock THE WHOLE TIME just trying as hard as I could to get there before it reached 22:00. It almost felt like slow motion.

I had the wherewithall to stop my watch after I finished but I spent a solid minute crouched over trying to catch my breath. Melissa is is asking me what my time was and I am like dunno….can’t….breathe…..trying….not….to.. vomit but I lifted my wrist to see that it said 21:57. Not only that, but for a perfect 3.10 distance. I can speak more than one word at this point but am still mostly just trying to get some more oxygen to my brain so it still hadn’t really sunk in.

But then suddenly it did.

I had done it. Finally. FINALLY.20170325_094132

I ran a long cool down and made it back just in time for awards. Melissa of course won female overall (I mean if she had really seriously raced it she would have beat me by more than 2 minutes) but I came in second which won me a 15$ gift card to Fleet Feet and Road ID.

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After the awards we passed by the medal table and I stopped to look for my official time, which  I was pleasantly surprised to read was actually a 21:54!

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yes, I needed picture proof of this

I spent the rest of the day floating on a happy PR cloud. So it turns out a little slower may, in fact, win the race. Or at least get the PR. Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH MELISSA!

Results

Time21:54

Overall7/106

Gender: 2/73

I Have A Need for Speed (3/6-3/19)

I got behind again so its time for another combo post, but I haven’t done much exciting or much “formal” training since the Myrtle Beach Half.

March 6-12

Monday – cross. 45 minutes yoga. Only minimally sore (yay!) but still tired from the race.

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45 min of yoga and this is what happens in my family room

Tuesday easy run. 4.75 stroller miles @9:41 average. One advantage of not following a training plan is more runs with the twins, who now spend a good deal of the run asking for their turn.

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Wednesday easy-ish run. 6 miles @8:24 average. Some of the track group met to run some hills but I decided against it and ran the trail. It was a warm day, but I was pleasantly surprised that my pace didn’t feel awful, which gives me (some) hope about this summer.

Thursday cross. 30 minutes elliptical/25 minutes strength

Friday rest

Saturday long run 9 miles mostly easy with 2 5k miles for an 8:06 average. I had considered running the Shamrock Shuffle but decided I probably wouldn’t be sufficiently recovered, and I was right. The two 5k miles felt much more difficult than I’d anticipated.

Sunday cross. 55 minutes yoga. Still attempting to stretch out all my tight muscles.

 

March 13-19

Monday easy. 6 miles @8:19/mi The first part of this run was difficult thanks to my asthma acting up but a 2nd puff of my inhaler did the trick and then it was smooth sailing 🙂

Tuesday cross. 50 minutes yoga My hip started feeling achy sometime Monday night (yay), so I hoped some extra stretching would help.

Wednesday speed/easy. 5.5 miles total. Ran the Catch the Leprechaun 5k, and of course a warm up and cool down. 3.15 miles @ 7:06 pace, and the rest easy.

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Thursday cross 30 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes strength. 

Friday rest

Saturday long progression. 10 miles @ 8:05. I was unsure on how to go about this run, and wise man told me to run a progression if I felt like my body could handle it. I went out with a possible plan to start at 8:50, knocking 10 seconds off per mile for 10 miles, which would end at a 7:20. The first couple miles felt great so I went for it, hitting my paces in 8:47, 8:41, 8:29, 8:21, 8:09, 8:00, 7:50, 7:41, 7:31, 7:20. I actually really enjoyed that the first few miles were pretty easy but that it packed a challenge at the end and I’ll definitely be doing more runs like this in the future.

Sunday ride. 12.5 mile ride/16.5 mph. I thought maybe I should get back on my bike since it had been almost a month. Unfortunately I picked a VERY windy day.

Running “season”, for me, is rapidly reaching an end, and I really need to get in the pool and on the bike more. I have one more 5k race and 10k race (well, I’m using race loosely here as its the bridge run and I have no PR expectations) on the calendar and then its time to start trying to not drown and not get run over.

Catch the Leprechaun Race Recap

Catch the  Leprechaun is a popular race held each year around, you guessed it, St. Patricks Day. Since the race is on a weeknight and a 40 minute drive, though, I’ve never raced it before. Luckily, this years’ race happened to fall on speed work night it was easier to justify the evening away.

The weather was calling for about 47 degrees, but a check in the morning revealed that it was also going to be windy. Like,  14 mph gusts windy. So, just in case, I packed 3 sets of clothes. (Hey, can’t say I wasn’t prepared). I left work wearing long sleeves and running tights. I arrived about 5:20 to pick up my number, confident I had chosen the right outfit. Walking to get my bib I was freezing. But when I left my car again to use the restroom, the wind had died down a bit and I got warmer. I discussed my options with 4 different people, because I guess I thought maybe they’d know my typical exercise body temperature enough to tell me if I should change (they didn’t). Upon my return to the car I made a last minute decision to change into my capris and the only t-shirt I had, the race shirt.

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Melissa and I ran a quick warm up, threw our jackets into the car and headed for the start where we found John and hung out around the front with him. With 5 minutes to spare we posed for a picture. 17310749_10103652319793728_1681813024_o

But the sun was directly in our faces so we turned around and tried again.

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Not much better. I just needed to grow about a foot to block the sun. Or maybe I should have had John stand in the middle. Hindsight.

Catching the Leprechaun is a little mis named, because in reality the person dressed as the Leprechaun waits until most of the group starts running and works his way up to the front. So really you’re trying to avoid HIM catching YOU.

I overshot my abilities at the last 5k, running 2 quick miles and then hitting a 3rd that was more than 15 seconds longer than the first two. So this time I aimed to see if I could run a steady 7:05.

Mile 1 (7:04)

The horn went off and the group began running. As always, I shot out too fast, saw my pace was at a 6:45 and started to slow down. That’s me, in the blue, looking pained. Note how the girl in front of me looks amazing. I hate her a little for that, but I caught up to and passed her before the end of the race so TAKE THAT RANDOM NICE LOOKING RACE PICTURE GIRL!

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But I digress. The first quarter mile included a small hill, but overall I felt ok pace wise.

Mile 2 (7:05)

I stayed pretty consistent through most of this mile, and not much to report here. But I felt better than I did in Mile 2 of Charlie Post and hoped this was a good sign for the rest of the race.

Mile 3 (7:12)

Just kidding. I’m not sure what happens when I hit mile 3, but my body is like “sorry honey, this isn’t happening”. I actually started out the mile in the 7:20’s and slowly (and PAINFULLY) increased it to a 7:18, then a 7:18 – back down to a 7:18, and finally up to a 7:12. It was the LONGEST MILE EVER. It was also (dammit) windy.

Last .15 (6:52)

Lord knows where it came from but I was able to kick it a bit faster to the end. I’m sure the downhill helped.

I crossed the finish line in 22:25 – 13 seconds slower than my last 5k. My average pace was exactly the same, but since the course ran longer of course it added time. Sucks because I actually tried to run the tangents this time. Still, I wasn’t disappointed given the wind and wasn’t sure how I’d perform 10 days after the half anyway.

Melissa and I took a pic with the Leprechaun (who did not catch up to me!), where I took a particularly awesome picture with my eyes closed.

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On the plus side I won 2nd in my age group and a couple of my speed work friends won something too, so we stood around freezing to death waiting for awards.

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Results

Race Time: 22:25 (7:06 average)

Overall: 65/734

Gender: 10/447

Age: 2/61

Myrtle Beach Half Recap

There is something about taper week that just makes my body shut down.

Last year, a mere day before the Myrtle Beach Marathon, I woke up feeling tired, icky, and run down. Luckily, I was able to go home early and rest before we left, and rest in the car, and by the evening I felt better. I PR’ed the marathon distance the next day.

Not to be outdone, I woke up the Tuesday before the half feeling tired, icky, and congested.  Wednesday I felt slightly better, but had no voice. Thursday I felt better than Wednesday. By Friday, the day I hoped and expected to feel even better,  I battled a cough and felt tired and icky again. I took meds all week and rested as much as possible. No cancelations Friday so I couldn’t go home early, and to make matters worse, Bryan had taken a pain pill (he is still dealing with shoulder surgery recovery) and couldn’t drive. So, no resting in the car.

About 2:00 Friday afternoon I began mentally preparing myself to not “race” this race. I knew that as long as I didn’t wake up feeling worse the next morning I’d be able to run it but a PR was out of the question. I tried to focus on the fact that I was not injured (as two of my friends were) or so sick I couldn’t run at all (as another friend was), but of course I was still bummed.

I got home from work around 4 and Bryan and  I left around 4:30. My parents had agreed to take the kids for THE WHOLE WEEKEND, so I figured even if my run didn’t go as  planned, we still had that. It was a pretty uneventful ride out. We stopped at my favorite place ever for dinner (Chick-Fil-A) and arrived at packet pick up at around 7:15. Bryan waited in the car so I didn’t get the traditional pic holding my bib (though I guess I could have asked someone to do it for me) but I did get a couple fun items at the expo.

 

We got to the hotel around 8:30 and the rest of the evening was spent prepping (including meds) and resting.

That night, like every night before a race, I slept like crap. I swear I woke up every 30 minutes. More importantly though, I woke up feeling better! I got dressed, drank some coffee and hitched a ride to the start with a fellow speed work friend (Bronwen), looking to PR her marathon time.  Race morning was CHILLY (yes!) and we arrived at the start around 6am. We stood outside freezing for a few minutes while I ate my Clif bar and then we did a quick and easy warm up. I tried to get in touch with the rest of the group to meet them at the start, but never could find them, so I took a solo start photo.

We had quite big group racing this weekend, each with his/her own goals. John was aiming to BQ, Bronwen to finish in 3:30, Melissa to run the half in under 1:33 (sheesh). Amy had originally planned to aim for a 1:35 PR as well, but was sadly out due to injury. My goals were as follows:

Stretch goal: 1:42:30 (7:49 average – I liked the even finishing number)

A goal: 1:42:36 (7:50 average)

B goal: sub 1:44:48 (anything under 8:00 average)

C goal: finish and don’t die (always a good goal)

At 6:30 the gun went off and the race began.

Miles 1-3 (7:49, 7:49, 7:50)

I felt great the first mile, but typically do during the first mile of any run or race, until my heart rate catches up with me if I happen to be going too quickly. I actually got stuck behind some slower runners despite starting pretty close to the line, so started out at about an 8:30 and had to catch up. I saw Melissa ahead of me doing some of her own runner dodging, but kept myself from calling her because 1. it would be distracting and 2. I knew if I was going to do this I needed all my energy. She quickly disappeared from sight.Thankfully I completed mile 1 and still felt great into mile 2 and 3. I actually had to make myself slow down. I did stop for some gatorade at mile 2.

Miles 4-6 (7:52, 7:51, 7:55)

Slightly slower these three miles but this was partly due to the water stop at mile 4, and the part where I took my ear warmer off and dropped my sunglasses. I had to run backwards to get them, so I was pretty impressed that my 4th mile wasn’t slower between the two stops. Somewhere into mile 6 I started to feel a little wheezy ( I took one puff before the race which is usually enough but when I’m congested I need it more often) so I also lost time there at the water stop digging for my inhaler and my preventative ibproufen (that I only use during races to fend off soreness).

Miles 7-9 (7:41, 7:43, 7:52)

I pulled my headphones out for the second half of the race but was happy to realize I hadn’t really struggled without them. It gave me a boost of energy and  a couple faster miles, and I felt surprisingly strong. I saw John briefly, as he passed me. Mile 8 even included a water stop. Somewhere between 8 and 9 I passed Melissa, so I knew something was wrong, but I knew talking would wind me so I squeezed her shoulder as I went by. Mile 9 we made our way onto Ocean Blvd, and here is where I began to feel the wind. And actually, it wasn’t the wind that was so bad, but this pathetically slight but gradual incline through most of mile 9.

Miles 10-13.1 (7:50, 7:52, 7:53, 7:45, 7:02 last .1)

Y’all. That stupid wind and pathetic incline KILLED ME here. My paces weren’t far off my overall goal but considering where I was at mile 7 and 8 I could feel the difference. The last 3 miles took so much more effort. I thought I’d get a reprieve when we turned off Ocean Blvd but I was immediately greeted with a more legit hill. FFS. I skipped the last two water stops because I was nearing the point of feeling like stopping would just make it that much harder to get going again. I felt seriously ridiculous that the tiny inclines affected me that much, but all things considered, I was still very close to goal pace. The final mile was nothing but grit and determination. Seriously.

I crossed the finish clock almost exactly at 1:42:36, BUT, my official time was 1:42:17!!

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After finishing I collected my medal and tried not to puke. Then I found Amy, who had graciously come along as the Pit Crew even though she was injured. We chatted for awhile while following the rest of the group, mostly waiting for Melissa. Once we had confirmation she made it across we set out looking for her, and luckily she was well taken care of thanks to Wise Man and his wife. She had also been sick the week before, and thought she was feeling better but her body revolted. I hitched a ride back to my hotel with Amy (thanks Amy!), where I rested until mid afternoon, enjoying the nice beach view from the window. I asked Bryan to take a picture of me with medal and he tried to get all creative, telling me to sit on the ledge and look out the window. This picture is literally catching me asking him “why?!”, but turned out really cute.

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We spent the rest of the day walking around Broadway on the Beach, stopping in almost all the restaurants, deciding we didn’t want to eat there, and ended up at Applebees of all places.

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After all the crazy maybe illness/maybe allergies drama, I’m convinced this race ended up such a success because of all the rest I was forced to take. I ran less than 8 miles and swam once the whole week before, taking 3 full rest days. So I now have this documented so I can remind myself next time: MORE REST! REST REST REST!

Final Results

Chip Time: 1:42:17

Overall: 177/2511

Gender: 46/1509

Age: 12/167

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