Life After Ironman

It might seem like I’ve fallen off the training wagon coming off of Ironman Canada, but …

I really just fell off the blogging wagon.  #oopsie

I’m pleased to report, however, I have been training again and LOVING IT!  I decided to change my focus for the next few months to running in hopes of getting some of my speed back.  Here’s a glimpse at my last several weeks post Ironman:

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My awesome coach, Daryl, has me running 6 days a week, swimming on Mondays, and one bike on Wednesdays.  I’m loving this schedule!  I’ve only had one set back and it was last week.  I came down with a nasty cough, body aches, and stuffy head, which all ended up in my chest.  I physically was so tired and decided not to push it with training and instead, REST.  I finished up this week with two solid runs.  So YAY for that.

So, you might be wondering why I changed up my training.  Well, I have a few running races on the horizon.  My key race being the Las Vegas Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon on November 17, 2013.  I’m shooting for a new PR!

I also have several other 1/2 marathons that I’m doing for training purposes.  I completed one of them two weekends ago, thanks to my friends at FurtherFasterForever, with a free entry!  And, surprise!  Although I ran it for training only, I ended up with my second fastest 1/2 marathon time!

After Las Vegas, I have my sights set on an EPIC endurance running event:  The Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge!!

…. so, cheers my friends! To running in the rain, running on the road, running on the treadmill, running on the trails, running with friends, running solo, running early, running late, running without pain, running with sore muscles, …. running ANYWAY I can.

But most importantly:  RUNNING HAPPY!

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Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Race Report

I flew into Vegas on Friday, December 1st, and promptly checked in to my hotel — The MGM Grand.  I couldn’t wait to get over to the Expo – located at the Sands Convention Center, inside the Venetian, so I unpacked and organized my clothes as quickly and neatly as humanly type A possible, and then made my way to catch a taxi.

I forgot how expensive taxi’s are in Vegas.  Ridiculous!!  At any rate, I made my way over to the Expo and found it to be well organized.  A huge open space to pick up race numbers according to your corral (I was in corral 2), then onto picking up my tech T — by Brooks!  Finally, the swag bag, full of mostly brochures, but I like them empty so I can fill it with goodies from the expo.

check in

Race Bib:

Race Bib

First stop, Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities!

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Have I mentioned how much I love Brooks? I won a t-shirt and tried my hand a new pair of shoes (I didn’t win the shoes).

I made my way through the expo, had a few healthy protein nibbles and was back at the hotel and ready for bed by 8:30 pm.  Exciting for Las Vegas right?! But hey – I had a race to run!!

The next morning, I met my friend from Virginia and we made our way to the Expo so she could get her race packet. I chilled all day in this attire (not very Vegasy, I know):

run happy cupcake

(I love this Brooks Run Happy Cupcake Tech T — so soft and comfortable.  I also wore my CEP compression socks all day!)

RACE DAY:

So the race didn’t start until 4:30 pm.  I knew I didn’t want to eat much of anything, so my last meal was around 10 am and consisted of eggs, ham, and an english muffin.  Nothing more until after the race.

Brooks race kitRace ready!!

yellow shoesResting my legs before the start.

So … the start::

I almost missed my corral.  I was in the longest porto-potty line EVER! By the time I got out, they had just started Corral 1.  I sprinted nearly 1/2 mile, dodging and weaving and about 100 “excuse me’s” through the masses of other runners and spectators.  By the time I made it to the start, Corral 2 had already taken off and the runners were at least 300 feet down the road …. ACK!!  So, I started … SOLO …. as Corral 3 was still being held back at the start line.  hee hee … 🙂 Why not?

I quickly found my pace and held stead fast.

WHOA — wait …. what’s this?

WIND?!!!

Sideways, hard, pushing.  UGH.  This is not going to be fun.  Stay focused I told myself.  Get in behind others and keep moving forward.  So, that’s what I did. I felt good during the entire race and enjoyed seeing the STRIP AT NIGHT! At about mile 8, I had 1/2 a gel, and I only took in a few sips of water.  At mile nine, I was coming into the back side of Freemont and saw a spinning stiletto heel.  ….. LOVE!

Turning back towards the Bellagio, total headwind, HARD, for the final 3 + miles.  Everyone I tried to get behind was slowing way down, so I just pushed harder to catch someone else to run behind.  I found a skinny dude and followed him for about 2 miles, until he stopped to walk.  WHAT?! We are almost done!!  I kept at it, pushing, knowing that I would PR.  And, a PR, I did!!

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Now for the nitty-gritty:

Yes – I did PR … but, I almost started crying when I finished.  I looked down at my GARMIN, which showed I had an average pace of 7:45 and 13.23 miles in 1:42:44.  How is my time not closer to a 1:40:00 ???  I was shooting for a 1:40:00.  A 7:51 average pace should have given me a 1:40:00.  What the heck?

garmin results

I asked other runners what their Garmin’s read.  Everyone I talked to said their Garmin’s showed 13.2 something.  That’s it — the course was long!

Wait — it could haven’t been another 2 minutes.  Still dumbfounded — I just couldn’t get past why I didn’t come closer to a 1:40:00, especially after running a solid 7:45 average pace.  DANG!

I tried to brush it off as best as I could and feel great about my performance and my PR, but still …..

I met up with my old high school buddy, Eric, and his wife, Sharon, for a night of fun.  Here is our after race photo:

after race photo

It wasn’t until the next day that I found my training mistake ….

For whatever reason, my last few runs were at marathon pace, not at 1/2 marathon pace.  So I had 7:51 stuck in my head, not 7:36 …

This, my friends, is what I call my DUMB ASS training moment #537

Overall — this was a fantastic race and I’m glad it was a solid effort and performance.  No injuries – great running – and awesome friends to train with.

This is what I call SUCCESS!

Three Things Thursday

***ACK!  It’s been a week and I missed my blogging.  To my credit, I was in Vegas Friday through Tuesday and follow that with two 10 hour days of work and you have one tired girl!

Here are my Three Things Thursday to get me back on track:

1.  I ran a race on Sunday!!  Not just any race, I ran the Vegas Rock ‘n Roll 1/2 Marathon!!  A race re-cap will be forthcoming (I promise)!  For now, here’s a sneak-a-peek:

results

2.  YES! This was a PR (Personal Record) for me!! WOOT!  My previous best was a 1:44:37 in 2008 at the Holualoa Tucson 1/2 Marathon.

ASIDE from the PR, my biggest achievement was coaching two athletes to their very first 1/2 marathon!! One was from Virginia (who I had never met until Saturday) AND the other was a co-worker of the hubs that had no real plan until I sent him one.  BOTH of these athletes did fantastic during their training and nailed the 1/2 marathon on Sunday despite the EPIC headwinds.  I’m so excited for their next races and am grateful to have been a part of their very first 1/2 marathon experience.  Thank you Rebecca and Jeff!

3.  A special shout out to Brooks Running for selecting me the last 4 years to be a part of the Inspire Daily team.  I wore their race kit proudly Sunday!

Brooks race kit

Three Things Thursday

1. I’ve been addicted to Frosty the Finger Puppet since Black Friday. He’s taken over my Instagram and has his own hashtag: #frostythefingerpuppet

I also thought it would be fun to share the love of Frosty with a couple of IG friends. One of which is @emysue — she just got Frosty today and began snapping up her own fun pics!! I love it!

The next person to get Frosty is a surprise! I will let you know soon!

Here one of my favorite Frosty pics from this week:

I called this one: Glamour Shots

2. I leave for Vegas tomorrow!! ACK!! I’m not even packed yet — well, sort of packed. I have my running clothes ready to go, if that counts. I think it does — I mean, really — the most important thing is my race attire, if you ask me. I narrowed it down to four outfits and posted to my IG friends for their input.

Here are the choices:

My IG friends are mostly split between the top RIGHT and the bottom RIGHT.

Do you spy #frostythefingerpuppet in each photo? 😉

ALSO — Which outfit do you like best?

3. I got a package from the Fed-Ex man tonight! Here’s my loot:

3 pairs of Injinji Socks and an assortment of GU Energy Gels and GuBrews!

Where did I get all this cool loot? Well, my Twitter Friend @milelonglegs was having a giveaway on her blog (which I entered and won!)

Thank you @milelonglegs!

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ps …. I must to go to bed now … alarm is set for 4:30 am – one more run before I leave for VEGAS! Woot!

pps … What are your Three Things Thursday?

Tempo Tuesday in the Dark

Alarm – 3:50 am

***Yawn***

Decked out in my Brooks Running Nightlife apparel – I set off to pick up Jess for our tempo run.

Today’s workout:

1 mile warm-up

2 x 1 mile at 10K pace with 3:00 min recovery in between

1 mile cool down

I was shooting for somewhere in the neighborhood of a 7:15 to 7:30 pace for my one mile repeats.  Since it was dark pitch black outside, I didn’t worry about watching my pace, rather I went by feel – so I could keep my eyes on the barely lit road illuminating from my tiny headlamp that probably needs new batteries.

 Jess and I finished and I checked our splits.  To my surprise, my first interval was right on and the second one was way faster than I intended.

I felt pumped by this performance!!

Today’s totals:

Interval times:

1st – 1 mile:  7:23 pace

2nd – 1 mile: 6:46 pace

WOOT!

5 more days until Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll 1/2!!

3 more training runs!

Alarm is set for 3:50 am …. another early morning run is calling. Night all! xo

Monday Funday with Frosty

I have to admit I didn’t really want to go to work this morning – especially after a four day break, but I did make the most of it …

In fact, I brought my new ‘Black Friday’ friend along for the ride.

I aptly named him #Frostythefingerpuppet

Clever, I know.

#Frostythefingerpuppet went everywhere with me today:

Frosty goes to coffee

Frosty types reports

Frosty eats a healthy lunch

and …

 … Frosty spins:

Tonight was 30 minutes of cross training  — and, as you can see, I chose my bike! I love biking!! Almost as much as running (not quite – but almost).

Six days left until the Vegas 1/2 marathon and four more training runs in between!

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***Anyone else take crazy pics like me?!***

Taper Ten

This morning marked my last “long” run before my 1/2 marathon next weekend.

It’s taper time — so doubts are starting to creep in …

Did I do enough mileage?

Can I actually PR?

I hope I don’t get sick….

….these are just a few of the thoughts swirling about my taper head.

I decide to push these thoughts aside for the time being and focus on something really important.  Like, what I’m going to wear on race day.

I’m pretty sure I’m wearing these gems:

Brooks PureConnect

Jess and I set off for our usual 10 mile loop around Ferndale — although today we did the loop backwards (or the other way from which we normally go).  It was a chilly 40 something degrees and the fog was keeping us company.  About 1/2 way through, the sun was peeking out from the clouds and it looked to be shaping up to be an awesome sunny/chilly day.  Our run went well and actually a little faster than we intended on running.

Total mileage: 10.31

Total time: 1:30

Average pace: 8:43

Thank you Jess – for another great run!

8 days to go!

Tempo Track Tuesday

Tonight’s tempo track workout:

2 miles warm up

2 x 6 min at 5k pace with 4 min active recovery between sets

1 mile cool down

***I set off tonight with Meghan and Marti from the Sehome HS parking lot to the WWU track.  They were each doing mile repeats, so I was on my own once we got there.  I started right away.  We had a huge headwind on one side of the track, which meant a tailwind (I think) on the other. 😉

After I finished my run, I checked my split times for each 6 minute set.  I was so thrilled with my times:

1st – 6 min tempo:  6:49

and

2nd – 6 min tempo:  6:53

Total mileage: 5.35 ~~~ Total time: 45:29:02 ~~~ Average pace: 8:30

VEGAS in 12 DAYS!!

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ps… since you all know how I love pictures::

~~Me and Meghan on HER 30th bday~~

pps ~~GOOD LUCK this Sunday Meghan ~ Running the Seattle 1/2 Marathon!

Reunited! And, it Feels so Good!

Hooray for a X-Train night on my schedule!

Oh – how I missed my Maddie.  If you haven’t met Maddie, she is my awesome first road bike, a TREK MADONE.  She is my go to road bike for the trainer and for most rides outdoors.

Tonight’s schedule called for 30 minutes of cross training …

Saddle up!

30 minutes went by in a flash and I wanted to keep going, but I have another big running week ahead of me with only one rest day.  Best to stick to my plan!

However, 30 minutes was enough to work up a great sweat!

Stay motivated this week. Keep training.  Fuel right. Be thankful for everything you have worked hard to achieve!

Fabulous Friday 11 Mile Run

On deck:

11 miles.  2 warm-up miles, 8 at marathon goal pace (7:51), 1 mile cool down.

First things first:

Today’s running clothes brought to you by Brooks Running! Well isn’t every day a Brooks Running day? Why yes, it is!

Brooks Running Shoes:  Pure Connects

Next up:

Out the door I go for my run.  After a couple of warm up miles, I hit my stride.  Here are my totals and splits:

::brought to you by Strava

Overall, I’m very happy with my splits (except mile 8, where I was a titch off). The Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon is right around the corner and I’m feeling pumped for a PR!

Post Run Reward?

Have a wonderful weekend friends!! Run Happy!