Allstate 13.1

Early Sunday morning, I met my running peeps from Moms Run This Town and Atlanta Southside Runners at Walmart to carpool to Brookhaven for the Allstate 13.1.  We arrived a little before 6AM with our crew which gave us plenty of time to meet up with some people who were meeting us there and to hit the porta potties, take photos, check bags, and just hang out with each other for a little while.  Everyone seemed overly relaxed for this race.  For many, it was a training run in preparation for their upcoming full marathons, and for me, it was a training run for my upcoming half in Savannah, which would hopefully translate into a great race for everyone.  Not having the pressure of a time looming over my head is often when I run my best races.

Around 6:50AM, we headed to our starting corrals.  A few people with us were in the A, B, & C corrals which were the only actual corrals.  The rest of us lined up by the pace team signs in one huge corral, but since it was a smaller race, this wasn’t an issue.  My plan was not to PR this race since I still haven’t worked up to running over 10 miles since my injuries, so I headed towards the 2:20 finish time with Dani, Jeneen, and Keri.  On the way, Jeneen was questioning whether she needed to line up at 2:20 or 2:15 because she wanted to PR, but she sometimes underestimates herself, so she was thinking 2:20 would be a PR (which it would be), but 2:20 for a PR for her was aiming pretty low considering how she’s been running lately, so I piped up and told her she had to beat my PR which was 2:17, so she had to get in the 2:15 corral.  I had all the confidence in the world that she’d have no problem crushing it.  A quick fist bump, and we left her at 2:15.

MRTT McDonough/Stockbridge  https://www.facebook.com/groups/mcdonough.ga.mrtt/

Left to right
Keri, Dani, Me, Jeneen, & Joy

The corrals started to move, and Dani and I started walking forward.  We were about 1/10th of a mile from the start and everyone was starting to run, but I didn’t want any added distance since I was already worried about hitting the wall at mile 10, so I walked to the start.  At the end of mile 1, Dani told me we were ahead of our planned pace, and we were, so we slowed down, but that lasted until about the end of mile 2 for me.  At that point, I got tired of trying to “watch” my watch, so I just decided to run a comfortable pace for me.  I was still using the run:walk method that I’ve been using, and I kept it at the 2:30 run to 1:00 walk that I’ve trained with, but I ran the speed I felt like running.  This might not have been the best plan for a “training” run, but I had initially thought I’d try to run 8 miles or so at tempo, so just running what was comfortable was a good gauge for me to determine where I was in my quest for a PR in Savannah.  Looking back at my splits, my flat, rolling hills, and downhill miles were pretty close to the pace I need in Savannah, but I definitely struggled on the long uphills.  Somewhere around mile 8 or 9, I decided to add an extra 10-15 seconds into my run portion of my interval, so I’d simply run while I continued to count to 10 or 15 after my watch beeped to start my walk.  By doing this,  it was also taking 10-15 seconds off of my walk break.  I did this for 3-4 miles other than around 10.5 miles where I had to walk a little extra up a hill.  The extra run time didn’t seem too difficult, and I have 4 weeks until Savannah, so I plan to play around a little with a 2:45 to :45 ratio between now and then.  My last 2 miles ended up being my fastest which seems to be a typical pattern for me.  I think when I get a certain distance from the finish adrenaline takes over, but by the time I reached the finish line after those last 2 miles, I was out of breath and felt slightly nauseated.  I think I can speed up the rest of my half, but I won’t have that much left in my tank at the end.  I had more reserves left for those last two miles than I’d want if I were trying for a PR.  It’d definitely make me wonder if I had really given my all if my last 2 miles at Savannah are that much faster.

My Garmin data from Allstate http://connect.garmin.com/activity/386840209

I’m still liking the Galloway run:walk method, and I can honestly say that I don’t think I’d be doing as well coming back from injury if I was trying to just run the entire way.  I still feel some twinges in my hip when I do long distances, but the walk breaks seem to be just enough to keep the twinge at bay.  I’d probably have re-injured myself by now if I wasn’t using the run:walk method, so I plan to stick with it for a while.  Part of it is curiosity too I think.  I almost feel like I’m doing speed work using it, so I’m curious to see if I can continue to hold the running speeds that I’m hitting while gradually lowering my walk speed and/or time and increasing my run times.  It’s not something I’m planning to do quickly, and it would obviously start with only short runs, and maybe the last couple of miles of long runs, but it’s something that has peaked my interest to try.

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line
Official time 2:22:58

Allstate 13.1

2 medals because I entered the Atl Challenge by completing the Allstate and Publix half marathons

Excitement is off the charts….

….for my upcoming race schedule that is!

After my injection in my neck last week, most of the numbness in my arm seems to be gone.  I’ve only had mild numbness once or twice since the day after the injection.  I still haven’t attempted to get back on my bike, but my focus has now moved onto my upcoming running race schedule.

This Sunday, I will be running the Allstate 13.1 in Atlanta, but it is simply a training run for the Savannah Rock N Roll Half which I want to try to PR.  My plan for Allstate is to run part of it as a tempo run.  I’m thinking 8-9 miles. I then have the Monster Dash on Oct. 20th before the Savannah RnR on November 9th.

My current PR for a half is 2:17:07.  I’m still using the run:walk method, but I’m optimistic that I may be able to PR using it at Savannah. I just need to either speed up my walk or change up my ratio.  Yesterday, I was able to average a leisurely 11 minutes a mile on a 7.7 mile run using a 2:1 ratio.  When I got home and looked at my Garmin numbers, my run pace was usually around the low 9’s or high 8’s, but my walk was really slow, so I’m hoping to work on this over the next 4 weeks, and see if I can get my overall pace down for Savannah.  I’ve really been enjoying using the run:walk method, and I feel like my recovery time from day to day is much better.  I am no longer reaching the end of my long run feeling exhausted like I couldn’t run any further.

My Garmin data from Sunday

After Savannah, my race schedule is going to get a little crazy!  I have the Serenbe Hill Country 15K on Nov. 23rd.  I ran it last year the week after my very first half, and it KICKED my butt!  I’m hoping for some redemption this year.  It’s an awesome race, but it’s a trail run, and I haven’t ran many trails.  My biggest concern is whether I need to stick with the 15K or drop to the 5K because after Serenbe, I just registered for the Rome 30K on December 7th because of peer pressure and due to being temporarily insane.  I’ll be running it with one of my BRF’s Jeneen.  It’s a big jump to try 30K for me, but I need to test the waters of farther distances.  Right now, I just want to finish the 30K and not die at the end. 😉  If the 30K goes well, then I will be moving up my timeline on my first marathon to run Albany on March 1st, but no commitments yet!

For next year, I am registered for the Red Nose Half, Albany, Publix, and the Ragnar Trail Relay in Conyers, GA.  I’m looking forward to getting a Ragnar Relay, marathon, and Half Ironman checked off my running bucket list sometime in the next year provided I can stay injury free, so stay tuned for updates on my journey towards these goals!

 

Iron Horse 15K

Rocking the horns for Amber at the finish.

Rocking the horns for Amber at the finish.

There’s no better way to train and prep for a race than to forget that you registered for it.  Yes folks, that’s right, I forgot I registered for a 15K race.  About a month and a half ago my running buddy, Jeneen, asked me if I was still doing the Iron Horse 15K, and I told her that I never registered for it because of my injuries.  I even looked back at my old emails to see if I had a confirmation for it, but I couldn’t find one, so I went on my merry little way under the assumption that I didn’t register due to my recent injuries.

And then, Friday the 13th came.  A little after 8AM, I got an email informing me about packet pickup for the Iron Horse 15K.  Say what?  Time for panic to set in.  I had no clue what time the race was on Sunday or how I was going to get there.  I sent a quick text to Jeneen in a bit of a panic.  She said that she was sure someone would take the bib.  Uh, nope, not going to happen.  If I registered, then I’m going to run it.  I had 9 miles on the books for Sunday anyway, so I’d just make it a training run.  Jeneen said she’d pick me up Sunday at 5:20AM, and she, Veronica, and I could all ride together to Kennesaw.  After getting travel arrangements made, I was still dumbfounded as to how I could have missed the email confirmation a month earlier, and honestly, I was still hoping that it was a mistake, and I hadn’t really registered, so I searched my email again.  This time, I found the email in my vacation folder instead of my running folder.  Oops, I really did register.

Bright and early Sunday morning Jeneen showed up at my house, then we picked up Veronica at her house.  The ride to Kennesaw was a little under an hour, so it wasn’t a bad drive.  As we arrived, the packet pick up was well organized, so we got our packets quickly and stowed our stuff in the car.  About 7:00AM, the line for the porta potties was getting pretty long, so we briefly discussed driving to a gas station, but opted to stand in line.  With only a few minutes to spare, we finished our business and made it to the start.

Just before the gun fired, we found Joy, another running buddy, said hello, and then we were off.  I caught myself chatting with Jeneen for a minute and realized that I was starting too fast, but the course started downhill, and typically I run faster downhill.  I figured it’d probably even out quickly.  By the end of the first mile, I had settled in pretty well to my average pace, but I was still a little fast.  I lost Jeneen and Veronica around 4 minutes as I broke to a walk for my run:walk ratio of 4:1.  I knew I was going to be running the race by myself, but it’s hard to stick to your plan when you want to run with your friends.  I broke to my walk at 4 minutes knowing that if I didn’t I could be risking another injury, and I’d be dying by mile 3 if I tried to keep their pace.  They were aiming to finish in 1:30, and there’s no way I could hang with that.

The course was pretty neat for me since it took me back by my old stomping grounds.  There were lots of old memories as we ran by my Alma Mater, Kennesaw State University, and my old apartment complex.  I haven’t been back on campus in forever, so I hadn’t had a chance to see the new football stadium.  The course took us by the Home of the Owls on the way out and back, so I got a good view of it.  I knew the area by looking at the road names, but as I ran, I couldn’t actually recognize much of it at all due to the changes.  I guess a lot changes over 12 years.  Needless to say, I was pretty distracted by the sights.

The course was well marked.  Police were at all the intersections blocking traffic and letting cars through at some points around Town Center Mall, but they did a great job and never disrupted the runners to let the cars across.  At one point, there was a break between me and the girl ahead, and an officer tried to wave a car through.  The driver wasn’t watching, and the car finally noticed the officer.  He made the car wait because I was too close by then.  Just after I passed, he apparently tried to wave them across again, and the driver was once again not paying attention.  The officer yelled at the driver about not watching.  It provided me with a little giggle around mile 7.5 where I was struggling due to a rather long hill. The officer was not happy with that driver.

Mile 8-9 was my fastest mile at 10:05.  It was downhill which was a nice relief after the previous mile.  I knew I still had an uphill somewhere up ahead, but I couldn’t remember how far ahead.  Luckily, it was only the last 3/10ths of a mile on the course.  As I headed up the last hill, I saw Veronica and Jeneen standing on the side cheering for me to keep going, which sucked and was great at the same time because I really wanted to break to a walk by this point since I had skipped my last walk break trying to finish at a run.  There was no way I could break to a walk with them cheering for me though, so I topped the hill feeling like I was going to hurl as I turned the corner towards the photographer and finish line.  I really thought he was going to get a great photo there for a minute, but I regained my composure, smiled, and rocked the horns as I specifically thought about my friend & running buddy Amber who now lives in Kansas.  She always throws the horns at the camera, and for some reason she was on my mind, so I had to do it for her.  😉

They gave all the finishers a pretty cool medal as we crossed the finish line, and there were several sponsors with pasta, pizza, muscle milk, and other food in the finish area.  The race had great support, and it’s definitely one that I’d recommend to others.  My finish time was 1:42:08 on my Garmin which I’m happy with considering all that I’ve been dealing with injury wise lately.  My goal is to try to PR my half at the Savannah Rock n Roll, so I have to keep my eye on the prize and take it easy.

Next up, Allstate 13.1 will be another training run.  I’m sticking to the plan.

Post race with Jeneen & Veronica

Post race with Jeneen & Veronica

Just suck it up!

I had planned on getting up and riding at Trek this morning with the group ride, but my bed was calling my name, and I gave myself every excuse as to why I could skip.  Of course, the bed won out, and I ended up sleeping until after 10AM.  As the day went on, the guilt set in.  I hadn’t hurt anyone else and no one was putting this guilt on me other than myself, but I felt like a slug all morning after skipping.  Now, I needed to figure out how to get out of this funk.

My son had a cub scout event at the skating rink, so my husband took him and my daughter, so I had the afternoon to get my lazy butt going.  Not having anyone to ride with and knowing that I’d be doing a long ride tomorrow morning early, I opted to head to the gym to get a swim in.

Even as I walked into the gym, I was trying to talk myself out of my workout.  I’m not sure what’s going on lately, but I think this whole DBS has me in a bit of a funk since I’m not running.  I fought the urge, and I got in the pool and swam the 800 meters that I’d set out to do.  My swimming is definitely improving with the freestyle.  I’ve totally given up the breaststroke due to my hip pain, and I think the freestyle is starting to really pay off.  The added bonus is that the freestyle also works the glute muscles that I need to strengthen, so they are getting the work with the PT exercises as well as the extra swimming now.  After my swim, I decided to ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes to get some more cardio in.  Again, it took everything I had to finish the entire 30 minutes without stopping early.  I haven’t been on a stationary bike in FOREVER, and it sucked!

Knowing that I have a 10K on Labor Day and the Allstate 13.1 in October, I decided when I got home that I’ve got to try to start training again, so tomorrow morning I will be attempting a walk/run for 40 minutes with some supportive friends of mine who have graciously agreed to meet at 6AM.  I’m hoping it goes well because I really don’t have time to put my training off anymore without starting to drop races.  A lot depends on tomorrow morning’s walk/run for me, so I’m off to bed with sweet dreams in my head.