Sunday, April 22, 2018

Marathon Training (WW # 142)

Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
Are you following the UPDATED RULES ?


I want to thank my friend Teresa who graciously filled in for me last week as co-host while I was out of town!  Also, a huge congratulations to my friend and co-host Wendy who knocked it out of the park at her race yesterday. 

Sunset on the Florida Panhandle -- [NO FILTER]

Marathon training continues.  I haven't gone into much detail this time around but suffice it to say, I'm in the thick of it.  Last week while in Florida,  I ran 16.5 miles for my long run and this weekend it was 17.  I certainly enjoyed the scenery and route better last weekend.  The loops around my neighborhood can get monotonous. 

I admit, the crankiness has started along with the sleepiness and eat-everything-ness.  I wish I'd bought stock in Justin's Maple Almond Butter and Nabisco 'Nilla Wafers. Wait!  Let's not forget Tru Moo chocolate milk.  Anyhoo, it's been more difficult this time around to fit it all in.  With a recent work merger, commitments, family activities, travel...some weeks, something has to give.  I didn't cross train for a few weeks, mostly because I was trying to rehab a cranky hip but also partly due to time constraints.  There are mornings when I simply can't get out of bed and I've become accustomed to evening runs.

My mid week runs have reached double digits.
Running in the evening has become rather enjoyable.

I'm still only running three times a week but I'm working hard to make sure each run counts.  This week's speed session was 3 x 2 miles on a hilly loop.  After warming up, my splits averaged 9:14. Given the hilly terrain, I was happy with that.  I'm still searching for that perfect downhill training route.  Hills I have, but I can't seem to find one long enough to feel as if it's doing me any good for my downhill marathon.  I'd like to run miles and miles of downhill grade without stopping.  Alas...

Short hills are better than no hills.
Another six miles in the evening!

After Saturday's 17 mile long run, I decided cross training would be a better option for Sunday.  It was a dreary day, so I hopped on the mag trainer for indoor cycling and caught up on Survivor.  They had to eat the gross stuff this week.  I'm lucky I didn't toss my 'Nilla Wafers just watching it.



3 Runs = 33.4 miles
1 Cycle = 16.4 miles
1 Strength Session
1 Yoga for Hips

And that's a wrap!

Racing is winding down in the south as we approach our summer heat.

Are you training or maintaining or resting?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

R and R (WW # 141)

Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
Are you following the UPDATED RULES ?


Thank you for linking on the Weekly Wrap!  As you can tell from my post title, I'm enjoying rest and relaxation right now.  Even so, my marathon training continues.  My good friend, century cycling partner, and soon to be canyon co-marathoner Teresa graciously agreed to fill in for me as host.  Be sure to show both Wendy and Teresa some love this week.

See you next week!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Centerpoint Half (WW # 140)

Wendy and I host this linkup for
the sole purpose of supporting active women.
Are you following the UPDATED RULES ?


Centerpoint Half Marathon
Prattville, AL
April 7, 2018
Half Marathon # 55

This half marathon holds a special place in my running journey.  It was the first "regular" half marathon I ran. You see, when I started on this crazy half marathon quest in 2010 I felt like my races needed to be huge extravaganzas.  Racecations.  I mean, how on earth could I run 13+ miles without fireworks, hot air balloons, costumed characters, DJs or bands?  Begrudgingly, I eventually signed up for this small town race -- knowing I'd hate it.  But I didn't!  The light bulb went off.  I realized I didn't need pomp and circumstance.   And my wallet thanked me.  I've run it most years since.

The weather was not looking good this year.  Strong thunderstorms were scheduled to move through overnight and on race morning.  Thankfully, we caught a break in the rain (although it started again after I finished)  But that meant one thing...humidity.  Memories of Mercedes played through my head.  Say it isn't so.

How's this for a race course?

I started out by feel, just checking my watch when it vibrated at each split.   The humidity was going to affect me eventually so maybe I could bank some time early on.  There are 62 turns in the race.  Sixty.Two!  The organizers do a wonderful job marking the turns and having each manned with a volunteer or two (that's a lot of volunteers!).   It keeps things interesting for sure. The route is strictly through neighborhoods.  With the popping spring green trees and the flowers in bloom, it was very pretty.  The streets were not closed but the traffic was quiet.   It is not a flat course, but most of the hills are small.

Just rolling on down the road...

At the halfway point, I calculated perhaps I could get a 2:05 finish time, even if I slowed a bit.  I stayed strong until mile 11 where I let my time creep up through the end.  I couldn't maintain my earlier paces. My official finish time was 2:06:32 and 9:40 pace.  Hey -- I think I'll call that my Humidity PR.  I was very grateful for no cramping this time.  So, a good day with no complaints.

Me, Kaye, and Tamika

This race is hosted by a church and there are always delicious homemade treats served afterwards.  I indulged.  I also admit to a huge post-race Starbucks on my way home.  It was good to see my friend Valerie and ladies from the weekend running group (which sadly I haven't been to in a while!).  Tamika and Kaye from the group placed 1st and 3rd in their 40-49 group.  I placed 2nd in my 50-59 group.  I've never been able to place at this race.  Finally I do...with my worst time.  Why is that always the case?

And that's a wrap!

Do you prefer extravaganzas or quieter races?

Do you like straight courses or those with a lot of turns?

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Bye, March (WW # 139)

The purpose of this linkup is to
support active women.
Have you read the UPDATED RULES ??


It seems like I blinked and March was over.  My mileage has increased steadily as I continue to prepare for my next marathon two months away.  I haven't run 100 miles since April 2017 so I was pleased to see my March totals.  I only ran three days a week in March, but they were all runs of effort and 6 miles at minimum.  I didn't get as much cross training on my bike as I normally would as those steep hikes through the Smoky Mountains left me pretty sore in the ol' left hip area.

This week's runs consisted of a Tuesday morning 8.7 at marathon pace, a Thursday morning tempo of 6.4 miles, and a weird disconnected run this morning.  I went out early, intending to run 16 miles before the heat switch flipped on.  But that cranky ol' hip I mentioned earlier had other ideas.  I called it quits after 4 miles, walked home and felt sorry for myself.  There may have been a few tears of frustration...and a few texts to friends {thank you!}

After drinking coffee on the back porch for a long while and deciding I'd tackle an hour or so of yard work, my hip had loosened up and I felt pretty good.  Should I try that run again?  In this heat?  Thinking I'd only run a few miles at best, I grabbed one bottle of Tailwind and one GU -- since I had not eaten after my first attempt -- and headed out.  My hip felt much better and ran 8 miles at marathon pace.  Had I taken more to drink and eat, I may have gone further.  It was definitely a hot run, but tacking on another 8 helped my feelings immensely.

Mailbox Greetings!
All of the trees are green now!

The only picture I took this week was from Thursday's run.  And who knew -- the other miles still happened even without photographic evidence {wink}.  My total mileage this week came out to 26.2 [how's that for marathon training?] with two strength sessions and a hike in the woods with PoPo and the three dogs.

Whether or not you celebrate Easter, I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Spring weekend with your family. 

And that's a wrap!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

I Have a Coonskin Cap (WW # 138)

The purpose of this linkup is to
support active women.
Have you read the UPDATED RULES ??


Raccoon Mountain Half Marathon
Chattanooga, TN
March 17, 2018
Half Marathon # 54

Our recent Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains hiking trip included the Raccoon Mountain Half Marathon.  It was a stormy morning and my son and I were drenched after walking to packet pickup. Everyone was instructed to stay in their vehicles due to lightning.  It was intense!  Thankfully, it passed quickly and the race start was only delayed about 20 minutes.  We were all given a rain poncho.  I thought that was a very nice touch.

My arm warmers are tucked into my top.
It was warm and steamy.
After two days and 17 miles on mountain hiking trails my quads were feeling every 5,505 foot of descending terrain I'd stepped (and the corresponding 5,505 ascending).  Even so, I pushed on the downhill portions of this race as I'm training for an upcoming downhill marathon.  I walked up the steepest hills.
This race bills itself on FUN.  It definitely had a laid back atmosphere.  The location was very pretty.  We ran around a large reservoir and there were scenic views off in the distance from atop the mountain.  The aid stations reminded me of the ones you find on Century Rides.  There were all types of food as well as themes and enthusiastic volunteers.  It's as if they wanted you to stop and hang out a while.

This view is from one of the aid stations.
This event historically has been run on a mix of trails and road.  This year they offered: marathon, double half marathon (morning and evening) half marathon, relay, 10k and the new "all road" half marathon.  I don't know if the volunteers directing runners were confused -- I certainly was -- or if they marked the course wrong, but my all road route came up short    Very short.  It wasn't just me as they apologized on their website. I think my official time was around 2:01 but I can no longer locate the results.  I have no idea how far I ran as my watch stopped a while during the race.  I'm guessing it wasn't even 12 miles.

They gave us a coonskin cap with a real tail (I'm serious), a moisture-wicking hat, a huge and heavy glass mug, and bib fasteners.  My son wanted a long sleeve T-shirt and they had a good variety of items for purchase.  I bought a tank top.  By the way, he walked/ran his correctly marked 10k at an awesome pace...but like I said, now I can't find the results.  They had grilled burgers, hotdogs, cupcakes, brownies and more at the finish.

Because we had on coonskin caps...

We continued with our adventures in Chattanooga at Rock City and Ruby Falls before heading home.


Monday -- Strength
Tuesday -- 8 Miles Evening Run
Wednesday -- 14 Miles Bike Trainer Ride
Thursday -- 6 Miles Evening Run
Friday -- REST
Saturday -- 15 Miles
Sunday -- Strength / Yoga

Total Ran = 29 Miles
Total Cycled = 14 Miles

Dark, evening greetings from the mailbox!
Marathon training is coming along well.  I'm dealing with minor health issues which have me struggling to get up early after nights of poor sleep.  So, my weekday runs were after work.  I enjoyed them immensely.  Maybe I'm getting the hang of this evening runner thing.  Saturday marked my longest run since December 2016.  I didn't get started until around 10 a.m. and it quickly became very hot in the abundant sunshine.   The two bottles I stashed around my 'hood were not enough for 15 miles in the heat. I can usually rely on the water fountain in our neighborhood park but the city has yet to turn the water back on.  {Hello, City?  It's 80 degrees.  I think Winter is over!}    

And that's a wrap!

What's the most unique item you've received at a race?

Are you training for any races?  Which ones?