Fall Racing: Schedule and Goals

Welp, it’s officially Fall.

I’ve lamented the end of Summer, but I am excited for Fall running! It also doesn’t hurt that I just ordered myself some fun new cold-weather gear and am excited to wear it.

With the first race of the season behind me, I’m starting to look at my calendar and get excited about all the awesome races I have coming up in the next couple of months! I’ve never raced so much in a short amount of time. In the past I’ve kept it to a half marathon weeks and then eventually a full marathon, and that’s all I do in a calendar year.

I wanted to do something different this year though. I wanted to race more, race differently, and have a lot of fun doing it!

Coming up I’ve got the following:

  • Soulstice Mountain Trail Race, October 10th. (11 miles with some insane climbs) Another trail race, with some intense elevation change, I don’t have too  much in mind for this other than to enjoy it. Soulstice is a huge event for the trail running community in Flag, and I’m really excited to be a part of it this year!
  • Ragnar McDowell Mountain. (November 6&7, 15ish miles total). I’ve never done a Ragnar and I’m really looking forward to my first and have it be a trail race as well. I’ve heard great things about it from people on my team that have done it before.
  • Girls on the Run 5k. (November 21) This isn’t actually a race, but I’m including it anyway. The AZ Oiselle gals are meeting up to run with a girl from Girls on the Run and help her finish her 5k. I’m really excited to do this. Right before I started working at the gallery, I had been looking into becoming a coach for Girls on the Run, but unfortunately didn’t have the time then. I’m excited to meet the Oiselle ladies and help out at such an awesome event. I’ll probably do a longer training run beforehand to get some marathon-training worthy miles in.
  • Tucson Half Marathon (Tentative. December 6). I haven’t registered for this yet, but I am seriously contemplating it. J and I would make a weekend out of it–my best friend and younger brother are in Tucson, so we could go and spend time with them, and I could run a half and have a solid test of my fitness with 10 weeks to go before the marathon. It’s a net downhill course and I got it in my mind that it would be fun to shoot for my sub-1:40 there.

Since marathon training will officially kickstart in November, I’m trying to figure out how I want to balance my training for a goal race, while also racing quite a bit. The thing I’m really quite excited for, is I’m going to have quite the base already built up before marathon training starts. I want to keep my long runs at about 10-13 miles for the next few weeks. I was considering “tapering” for the Soulstice Mountain run in a few weeks, but since I am taking this week very easy, I’ll treat the next few weeks as training, and include Soulstice as a harder effort long run.

With some of these things in mind, here are my goals for this training season.

  1. Stay Healthy. Run Smart. First and foremost, treat my body with love and care. I’m taking it easy this week after my back really started to hurt on Monday’s run. Since then, I’ve done a barre workout and a vinyasa yoga session. This morning, I put the treadmill at a 10% incline and walked uphill for 2 miles (good practice for Soulstice!) and then did 2 easy miles to test out the back. It felt much better and I’m confident that I’ll be back at it next week. The important thing was, however, that I realized I needed to let it rest, and that’s what I did. It’s no sprained ankle, but it did cost me a few miles, and that’s okay. I have plenty of time to run all the miles. I want to let my body rest when it needs to rest and be okay skipping a workout here and there. Maybe that’ll be an extra easy run one week, or an extra rest day completely. I’m not going to make myself stick to a hard and fast schedule with such a long season ahead of me. Keeping myself healthy and feeling good–avoiding the burnout–will be imperative to reaching my ultimate goal.
  2. Speedwork! I’ve neglected any kind of regimented speedwork for almost 7 months now, and I can tell. I’ve hit a few sub-8’s on runs, but overall an 8 min/mile pace still feels like a lot of effort–and that’s gotta change. Since my endurance is built and I’ve got a solid base to work with, the next few weeks are going to see an introduction to speed workouts. Eventually, I’d like to get one track-like workout in, a fartlek/tempo/progression run, and fast miles during my long run each week. My biggest barrier during a marathon is falling apart once I start to feel fatigued. I’m hoping that by incorporating more speedwork (and sticking to it!), will help me in the last few miles of the marathon.
  3. Stretch/yoga/roll: Again, something I always say I need to do and never do it. I recently signed up for a trial subscription to Jasyoga. It’s only $4.99/month and she’s got several short “reset” yoga videos (I’m talkin 10-15 min). It’s completely doable and will be hard to justify my way out of NOT doing them. If I can incorporate them after a hard run/longer run and give my body more TLC during training, I’m pretty confident I’ll stay more fresh and enjoy myself a whole lot more.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say no. I’m working full time, going to school, and training for a 3:30 marathon. If all I want to do is come home after work, crash on the couch and watch TV, I’m going to. I am not going to be afraid to tell anybody no, if I don’t feel like being social.
  5. Maintain balance. On the other hand of that though, I don’t want to completely become a hermit until February 14th. I do want to ensure that I’m spending time with the people I love, and enjoying myself. It’s all about balance people!
  6. Pay attention to nutrition. It happens every cycle. I get busy, my days get long and crazy and I start to eat like crap. I want to be better about meal planning/prepping on the weekends so Jeff AND myself are still eating well during the next few months.
  7. HAVE FUN! I want to enjoy every second of this. I want to work hard and see the results. I want to enjoy every race. I want to meet new people and maybe find friends to run cold, winter miles with. I want to toe the start line in February, after months of work, and feel excited for the 26.2 ahead of me. I don’t want to feel dread and burnt out from it!

    So there you have it! Bring it on fall! Let’s see what you’ve got!

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Race Report: Flagstaff Half Marathon

Hello there! I thought I’d write about this race when it was nice and fresh in my mind. I didn’t run much during the week before it–about 9 miles total and nothing too special–so you’re getting this instead of a training log. Without further ado, here’s my experience at the Flagstaff Half.

The Flagstaff Half Marathon was held this past Saturday, September 19, at the Nordic Center, just north of Flagstaff. The race, all on hiking trails, boasted 1120 feet of elevation gain and was just shy of an actual half marathon distance, clocking in at 12.54 miles.

The start time was set for 9am, and my friend Jamie was coming to with to spectate. When I registered for the race, I had planned to do it for fun since it was here in town, and told Jeff not to plan on coming. He, therefore, made other plans and I was excited to have a friend come to watch me race! I told Jamie to be at our place around 7:45 since I wasn’t sure how long it would take us to get out there and I treat races much like I treat being at the airport: I want LOTS of time to use the bathroom and no chance of missing the start.

I climbed into bed around 9:30 Friday night, set my alarm for 7 and had a great night’s sleep. I’ll say one thing, I LOVE being able to sleep in my bed the night before a race. It happens so rarely for me that it’s a real treat! I woke up Saturday morning not sure how much time I had until my alarm went off. I went to check my phone and…it was off! Before going to bed the night before, I had had the grand idea of installing the new system upgrade. Turns out, when you do that, you have to walk through the set up before your phone turns on. Frantically, I started going through while screaming inside “WHAT TIME IS IT?!?!” (nevermind my perfectly charged iPad was laying right next to me). Relief flooded me when I saw it was only 7:15.

I hopped up, got dressed, put on the coffee and started making my toast with PB and banana. Luckily, since this was a fun run, I wasn’t terribly stressed. I ate and drank my coffee, chatted with Jeff and waited for Jamie. True to form she was there right at 7:45. I filled her cup with coffee, said goodbye to the man, and we headed for the race.

We got there in plenty of time. It was kind of chilly at the beginning which was nice. I was worried about it being so hot at by 9 am, but I was able to keep my sweatshirt on for a while before the race. I hit the porta potties a few times, drank some water, and enjoyed hanging around chatting before the start.

At about 8:55 we all started lining up, and the race director went over how the trail was marked and what to look for.

164 runners

Can you spy my orange Rogas?

(Sidebar: I’m due to receive my Oiselle singlet Monday. I was a weeee bit disappointed not to have it to run in on Saturday)

I made sure I had my picky bar in the my back pocket and tried to think of a game plan. I figured I’d take it easy on the uphills and try to gain some time back on the downhills. I didn’t want to go out too fast, so I decided to run completely on feel.

At 9:00 on the nose, we were off!

Heyoooo!

As soon as we were off and running, I felt the heat of the day. There was a nice breeze at the start line, but once we were in the woods, that was blocked and there were several patches that were exposed and in the hot sun. Despite that, I settled in, running at a pace that felt good and enjoyed the scenery.

A quarter of a mile into it, we started climbing. I settled into what I felt was a maintainable pace. Pretty soon, I looked up and realized I was sitting in second place for females. I got super excited and was all “holy shit. Maybe I’ll place!” Not too shortly after that though, a girl passed me. We then started to head downhill, I opened up my stride and passed her again.

My watch beeped for the first mile (yes. We hadn’t even hit the first mile and I was dreaming of placing. Not good) and I looked down and saw 8:18. Yikes. Way too fast. I realized then that I was pushing way too hard and my wheels were going to fall off quick if I kept that up. I reigned it in as we hit the next climb, said goodbye to the dream of placing and settled into a more comfortable pace: 9:33.

I stopped to run/walk on most of the inclines, since I knew that trying to run them all would only make me a mess by the end. The whole first half of the race just went up. Around mile 3, I started running next to a girl and we started chatting. She was great and it helped the miles fly past! Before I knew it we were coming out of the first loop at 6.5 and starting on toward the second.

The course was made up of two loops, that intersected each other at several points. The marathoners, that had started an hour before us, had to do the loops twice, and the 10k, which started half an hour after us, did the second loop once. At times the course was really confusing, and you weren’t sure who to follow, since you’d see marathon and 10k bibs. Overall, they did their best to make it as clear as possible, but I heard a lot of people complaining about getting lost on the trail.

By the time we started the second loop, the heat was getting to me a bit. It was nearing 80* and I was starting to feel a bit lightheaded. Tess and I were running at a pretty good speed, maintaining about an 8:40 pace and chatting away. My legs were feeling good, but I don’t think I had taken in enough water. My stomach and head were starting to feel a bit iffy.

Just shy of mile 9 we started to hit the incline for the last BIG hill. It lasted almost 3 miles and I knew I was going to slow way down. I told Tess to go on without me and slowed to a walk to try to get my head and stomach feeling better before the big climb. When I started running again, I still had Tess in my eyeline and was going to try to catch back up to her. As I was looking ahead of me, I hit a rock and was suddenly facedown on the trail.

I hopped back up and immediately looked around to see if anyone had seen me fall, but luckily I was alone. I started running again and then figured I should stop to inspect the damage. My wrists were a little tender from breaking my fall, my legs were filthy and scratched up, but other than that I seemed to be in tact.

I started running again chuckling at myself when a pain shot through my back. (I should mention here that the Saturday before the race some friends had taken me out for a belated birthday celebration. I woke up Sunday morning terribly hungover and with a sore back. I knew I must have rammed into something, but I didn’t remember and none of my friends noticed. Over the week it got progressively better, so I felt confident it wasn’t a broken rib or anything like that, and figured it was just a deep muscle bruise. I had felt it a little during the early miles of the race, but nothing noteworthy.) I realized my fall must have tweaked whatever I had hurt the week before.

I took the next couple of miles extremely easy. It was hot, my back was hurting more significantly and we were heading up and up and up. It felt like it was neverending. I ran as much as I could, and walked the rest. By this point, I wasn’t terribly concerned with my finish time, I just wanted to finish. Finally, at mile 11 we reached the crest of the climb and the trail started to move back down the mountain. I opened up my stride, hoping to catch a few people that had passed me by, when I realized all too quickly that wasn’t going to work. Each step jostled my back, and the pain had started to move into my rib cage and it was getting painful to breathe.

I pulled back, ran as softly as I could and it was better. I knew I didn’t want to walk it in, and running was tolerable, if a little uncomfortable. I kept the pace easy coming into the finish, with my last two miles at an 8:30 and 8:10 pace.

I came into the finish area at 2:00:48. 2 hours on the nose! I was really surprised and happy about it, since I didn’t think I was going to finish anywhere near my goal time.

Finished

Final stats: 21st overall, 8th female, 1st in Age Group.

They didn’t do Age Group prizes, so that is completely moot, but I’m pretty damn proud of that since this race did not go as well as I had hoped.

This was a really hard race. There’s lots of things that went wrong during this race…my fall and my back slowed me down for the last few miles, my fueling and hydration was off, it was HOT. In spite of all of these things, I am so damn proud of this race. This was, by far, the most challenging course I have ever run. I didn’t have the best training behind me, and I went in with really low expectations for myself.

I’m proud of where I finished, in the shape that I was in. If I hadn’t of fallen, I’m sure I would have come in under that two hour mark, but I wasn’t going to place in this race regardless. And 21 out of 164 people is pretty damn awesome. It was so challenging, but I had such a great time. Everyone I met out on the course was so great and fun to talk to. Despite how I was feeling, I had so much fun!

I walked away Saturday saying I was glad to have done it, but I wouldn’t do it again. But, after having some time to think it over, I think I would like to run it again next year. Especially now that I know what to expect.

Best sign ever

Jamie made the best sign ever.

If you ever manage to make it up to Flagstaff in September, I highly recommend this race. Yes it was brutal and tough, but man was it fun. Aid stations were well stocked and the volunteers were fantastic! The crowd was great and the course was BEAUTIFUL! Full of Aspens and incredible mountain views. I didn’t bring my phone with me, but I’m tempted to go back out and run it again for those views. Man, it was beautiful.

Filth

You’re welcome for this incredible photo.

Plus, anytime when you get to come home four shades darker because of all the dirt you’re covered in is a good time.

Colorado Trip, Part 2

Saturday morning after my run, we headed out to tackle some trail running of a different kind.

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For those of you that are not aware, Jeff and I share the same fondness for trail running. My preferred version is in my running shoes, while his includes four wheels. One of Jeff’s stipulations for the trip was to explore some of the trails around the area we were staying. So, we met up with another friend to explore the wheeling situation in Colorado.

Travis took us on some really awesome trails. Nothing too technical, but it every single one had KILLER views.

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In his element

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Freezing my butt off at the summit of the first trail.

The second trail we ran–Kingston Summit–ended at 12,000 ft. At the very top is a little rock fort that visitors have built and continue to add to. Not to be left out, we also left our mark at the top of the summit.

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It was an exceptionally fantastic day. We finished around 5pm and headed back to the apartment to change and get ready for dinner. After dinner, we decided it was a good idea (with the help of a few margaritas) to go into Denver to get some more drinks and eventually make our way to Voodoo Donuts. Let me tell yah, an Ol’ Dirty Bastard at 1:00 in the morning was a decision I regretted in the morning. But! I am glad to have finally experienced Voodoo Donuts, and they were pretty good.

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Food photography at it’s finest. You’re welcome. This is the Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Yeast donut with chocolate frosting, oreos and peanut butter.

(Forgive me Internet, but I am no connoisseur of donuts and really they tasted like any other donut I’ve ever had. It was good, but I’m just as fine going to Dunkin Donuts and getting a regular ol’ chocolate donut).

Sunday we spent the day just driving around exploring. None of us felt particularly great after Saturday night’s adventuring, so we got a great breakfast in Boulder and spent the morning wandering around. I’m completely in love with that town.

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That right there is Flagstaff Mountain. Coincidence? I think not!

We ended up crashing pretty hard mid-afternoon, so we ordered pizza, visited Trader Joe’s (a must for whenever we’re somewhere that has a TJ’s), and got ready to head back home.

Our drive home was uneventful. We perfectly planned it so that we got into Breckenridge as the sun was starting to rise and it was absolutely breathtaking.

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Colorado, you did not disappoint. I hope to see you again very, very soon!

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Training Log 8.31.15-9.6.15

Happy Tuesday everybody!

I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day Holiday! Jeff and I had an absolutely ah-maz-ing time in Colorado. I’ll be back this week with a full update on that, but it’s safe to say I’m head over heels in love and hope to get back very, very soon for a longer visit.

In the meantime, let’s recap this past week of running. It was my last week of training for this half marathon I have coming up. Oh, that’s right. Had some of you forgotten? I’m running a half marathon in a week and a half. To say I didn’t train like I normally would for a race is an understatement, but honestly, I feel pretty okay going into this race. Okay as in, I’ll definitely finish it. It will by no means be a PR (but on a course that gains 1100ft how could it?), but I am actually excited to see what I’ll end up doing.

Monday – 4 miles, 2 treadmill + 2 w/Rudy

I woke up this particular Monday feeling like I was getting a cold. My stomach hurt, my nose was all clogged and my throat was awful scratchy. I wanted to run though, so I hopped on the treadmill to see how things went, figuring it would be easy to get off and get back into bed. Once I started running, I felt a ton better. So after two miles I got bored, grabbed the dog and headed outside for another couple of miles right as the sun was beginning to rise.

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Tuesday – 4 miles

Honestly. I can’t remember anything about this run. I think it was in the morning, and obviously, pretty uneventful. It was my first day of school, and I was already feeling incredibly crazed that week. So, it’s a miracle I got any miles in!

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Wednesday – 3 miles

I was SO tired. My alarm went off in the morning and I just went, NOPE. I headed home from work with every intention of running the six miles I had planned. When I got home, I sat on the bed for a while and tried to talk myself into running. Rudy was wiggling around asking desperately for a walk, so I figured I’d do that first as a warm up. When I got home, Jeff was home and we ended up talking about our days so when I finally went to go run, my friend was going to be over in an hour to get the low down on watching Rudy while we were gone. So, my six miles turned into three. And that’s okay. At least I got some miles in, rather than skipping them all.

Thursday – 6 miles

I rallied and was up at 5 am for 6 miles before 6 am. It was a great run, I felt strong and happy I got those miles in.

Friday – Rest day as we drove to Boulder

Saturday – 12 miles around Broomfield

This run was magical. I had googled Broomfield when we got in on Friday and found that they had an extensive trail system in the hills! Perfect. I headed out early Friday morning- 6 am – so that it wouldn’t infringe on our other plans for the day. I was nervous about how this run was going to go, since I didn’t do anything over 10 and my last 10 miler was a complete disaster.

I headed out into the beautiful morning as the sun was just beginning to rise.

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After running aimlessly looking for these trails, I finally asked a nice old man out walking his dogs and he pointed me in the direction of the trails. I found the dirt easily and settled in to explore this system for twelve miles. It was beautiful. It climbed in and around the hills in Broomfield giving me amazing views of the Flatirons in the distance.

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The first 7-8 miles of the run were great. I felt strong, I was running well and enjoying the hell out of myself. The fatigue started to set in around 9 and my legs got heavy goin up those hills. Overall, I felt really strong, and finished the run feeling good.

It made me excited about this race coming up. Even if it’s not the best race ever, I know I’ll have a great time running.

Sunday – Miles walking around Boulder and Longmont.

Total miles: 29

And now to “taper”! I’m going to try to keep my mileage kind of on the higher end of things this week–somewhere between 20-25 and then next week I’ll just run a few days before Saturday’s rest. I’m not tapering like I normally would since this isn’t a goal race and I’m just jumping back into training for Soulstice, which is just a few weeks later. Fall racing season is in full force!

Friday Things

Happy Friday everyone! 

Jeff and I are currently on our way to Colorado for the long weekend and I’m so pumped! I’ve had it in my head that I will love Colorado for about 6 years now, and I’m finally going to get to experience it’s glory! 

(Also, I’m writing this in the car on my phone. So apologies for any typos, formatting weirdness and the like.) 

-It’s been an insanely busy and hectic month! As looney as I felt for most of August, I’m sad to see it go. It’s headlamp season again for morning runs (blegh) and so chilly in the mornings! Long sleeves are being donned and rumors of a particularly nasty winter headed our way already has me missing summer days. While others are embracing pumpkin-flavored everything, I’m holding tightly onto the last bits of grilling and patio weather we’ll have for a while!

  
 
-I’ve started school! Bio 181 is in full swing and it feels SO weird to be back in a classroom. Particularly in a 100 level class. I haven’t taken anything biology related since I was a sophomore in high school, so I really feel like I’m starting from zero. But, after two lectures, I am happy to report I find it a heck of a lot more interesting than 15 year old me. 

-I kind of can’t believe I have a half marathon to run in 2 weeks. I plan on a 12 miler tomorrow morning, the first I’ve managed to get in this training cycle. While I don’t have any real goals for this race, I would like to have a good race. I’d prefer to run strong and well, I’m also really trying not to burn myself out. I’m acutely aware of the fact that I have races and goals to train for until February and that still seems like a long way away! 

-I’ve found myself transitioning to road running lately and it makes me happy and sad. It’s too dark in the mornings to venture onto the trails anymore, so my week day runs are currently on the roads. I’m getting some of my speed back, which is fun, but at the same time, I’ll be sad to say goodbye to these gorgeous views. 

   

-We’ll be in the Denver/Boulder area this weekend. Send me your recommendations for things to see, places to eat, and beer to drink. 

Have a happy long weekend everyone! Enjoy the last bit of summer lovin!

Training Log 8.24.15-8.30.15 + Catching Up

Hello hello!

Thank you all so much for your comments and encouragement on my last post! It’s definitely nice knowing I’m not the only one who felt lost and bounced around after graduation. I am VERY excited about starting this new chapter and pursuing this new goal. So much so, that I ended up going to the wrong class yesterday…

Ha! I thought the bio class I was taking was a Monday-Wednesday class, so I showed up yesterday ready to go. Turns out it’s a Tuesday-Thursday…guess I was just overly excited to get back into the swing of things!

I hope to keep blogging, and continue documenting this journey. I’m feeling pretty committed to running the full marathon, as planned in February, and it’ll be interesting how that goes with working and going to school. I’m anticipating a lot of coffee is in my future!

This past weekend was my birthday and a dear friend gifted Lauren Fleshman’s “Believe” journal to me, and I LOVE it. It’s got so many amazing tidbits, and it’s been really fun to handwrite all my runs and workouts again. I’ve only done it for a week (obviously, since I just got it), but I’m loving the documenting goals for the week and seeing how they’re met. I have a feeling it’ll get more and more handy the crazier things get!

So let’s get to last week’s workouts!

Monday – 3 easy miles w/ Rudy

I had run 10 miles the day before, so I wanted to just do a real easy shake out run. I knew if I took Rudy with me, I wouldn’t been tempted to run too quickly, so we did a nice and easy 3 miles after work. He did a lot of sniffing, I did a lot of stretching.

Tuesday – Cardio Barre Fusion workout- 60 min

I’ve been really lackluster in my strength training lately, so this was my attempt at getting back on the horse. And man! I forgot how great of a workout barre is. My quads were screaming by the end of it.

Wednesday – 6 miles, 4 solo, 2 w/Rudy

This was my first sub-8 min run in a loooooooong time. The first four miles I took by myself, and decided to run at a “comfortably uncomfortable” pace. I averaged 7:57/mile by the time I made it back home, and I was surprised by how well my body did it. I laced Rudy up and we set off for our normal hilly mile route. Our mile up the hill was about an 8:30, and we managed a 7:30 on our way back down. Getting these legs used to running fast again!

  
Thursday – 5 recovery miles

I was surprised by how springy my legs felt after my run on Wednesday. I purposely took it pretty slow, about 8:45’s and enjoyed the amazing weather.

  
Friday – 4 miles w/ Rudy

I’ve been loving taking Rudy with me on my runs lately. We did 4 easy miles together on Friday. A storm was rolling in, so I took him right when I got off work at around 2. By the end of it, the cloud cover we had was rolling out, and it got a little too warm out for him. But, he did great and came home and collapsed happily for the evening.

Saturday – 10 miles

I wanted to do 12 miles on Saturday, but I knew really quickly that wasn’t going to happen. Before I even left the house, I could tell my calves were sore and tired and this was going to be a struggle. By the time I made it to the trail head, it was 8:30 and HOT. This was not a good run. I bargained with myself the entire time. I tried to justify running 9 miles, then 8 miles and even 6 miles. I finally told myself to hit 10, make it to the double digits and save the 12 miler for next week in Colorado.

This was mostly a 10 mile hike with some running spurts thrown in there–I’m not going to lie. The trail was rough and much more technical than I was expecting and I’m just glad I managed to push myself through the 10 miles.

When I got home, Jeff suggested going to see the Man From U. N. C. L. E. And it was fantastic! I highly recommend it!

Sunday – 1.25 mile walk with the boys. Lots of wine. 

Sunday was my birthday, so after breakfast we went for a birthday walk and then headed down to Cottonwood for some wine tasting. If you’re ever in the area, I highly suggest hitting up Alcantara Vineyards. It’s beautiful and they have great wine. 

   
 
It was a great way to end the week and ring in 27! 

Total mileage: 28 

I seem to be stuck right under 30 miles. I’m not sure if that has to do with the fact I haven’t given myself a rest week or what, but it’s been a struggle. I’m hoping to finally nail that 30 mile week this week! 

Training Catch Up

Well hello there!

Sorry for playing quite the disappearing act the last few weeks. Things have been a bit crazy, and it was all I could do to keep running–writing about the running I was doing just kind of fell to the wayside.

I mentioned last week that I’m working on a post about the said craziness–and I am. It’s just not what I want it to be yet, and since this is near and dear to me, I want to make sure it’s great. Sorry for the cliff hanger, I promise to share it soon!

I’m not going to do a traditional training log post for either of these past two weeks. I typically do each post based on random notes, my garmin data and my memory, and I just can’t remember two weeks ago. I ran quite a bit of those runs naked, as well as this week, so my memory on specific runs is a bit foggy.

My mileage has sat nicely at 27.5 miles for the last two weeks. I actually think it’s kind of funny that it was exactly that two weeks in a row…but that’s how it played out. My legs were really tired at the beginning of this week, so I took it pretty easy, but wanted to make sure I hit my 10 mile long run over the weekend. The week before I had a drastic jump in mileage, so it makes sense my legs would be feeling that.

Midweek runs have been feeling okay lately. I definitely feel better in the mornings than I do the afternoon. It’s been hard getting up early lately. It’s dark again when I wake up and it’s getting much cooler. I’ve been opting to sleep and run after work, but my legs always feel dead and heavy after work. On the plus side, I’ve found a perfect 5.5 mile loop that includes a great number of climbs–both of the “oh man this is a climb” and rolling hill variety–that I won’t be able to run for much longer so I’m taking full advantage of it now. The main street the route is on doesn’t have street lamps, and then part of it is on trail, so once the sun stops coming up around the 5:20ish time, this route will probably be a no no.

hilly route

First time running said hilly route.

Speed work? No, not yet. Not formally anyway. I did have a 4 mile run this past Friday that was pretty hilly that I managed to do at a 8:10 pace. My speed is definitely coming back, and I hope to start incorporating some speed work in soon.

Long runs. My 9 miler last week was tough. My legs were heavy and didn’t want to move from the very beginning. And when you feel like crap at the beginning, there’s just no way to salvage that run. It was a mental battle from the get-go and I let it beat me. My brother was in town visiting and he wanted to go hiking after my run, so I didn’t want to do any gnarly trail climbs. I picked a nice, easy, flat run and it was really hard! Afterwards, my brother and I went and hiked part of the trail I’ll be racing in October….let’s just say THAT’LL be a doozy.

me and spence

At the top. It’s quite the view up there!

Yesterday, I ran my 10 miler for the week. It was the complete opposite of my 10 miler. It was fun, my legs felt great and I enjoyed some epically great single track. I had some major climbs that made my legs feel like jello, but I’ve got some major climbs in my next two races, so it’s good practice.

The next two weeks I’ll be trying to run 12 milers before tapering before this half marathon. I cannot believe it’s in 3 weeks! Where did the summer go?