Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thinking about my 2013 race schedule...

When I'm bored, I think about and research races. I do this A LOT. Which is one reason why I wind up  running a fair number of them.

Of course, marathon training is a VERY good excuse to sign up for races, as well. While I know the benefits of doing long runs without being in a race (and please don't misinterpret: I cherish those long runs and the time they give me for contemplation, catching up on podcasts, and proving to myself that I'm tough), it's fun to throw a few races in your schedule as well.

So, at the moment, I'm contemplating/signed up for:

No, I never get tired of this photo.
1. Disney Princess Half Marathon (Feb. 24/Week 8): Yup, registered for this one back in July. I'm so excited to return to the scene of my first half marathon with my best friend in the entire world. It remains to be seen whether we're racing this one, whether we're doing it purely for fun, or whether she'll be sacrificing and pacing me to a new PR. Lots of factors affect our plans & weather is a HUGE concern.

2. Lake Sammamish River Half Marathon (Mar. 9/Week 10): My running club is doing this. It's flat (FLAT!!!). But, it's only two weeks after Princess and I've got an 18 miler on the schedule. Frankly, if we're taking it easy at Princess, I want to run this one as my serious practice half. If we're running Princess hard, I don't particularly want to do it. The problem is that it sells out, so I feel like I should try to make a decision reasonably soon.

3. Birch Bay 30k (April 5/Week 14): I did this one last year and, once again, it's scheduled for the same day as my last long run before taper. It's a beautiful course, a well-organized race, and it's nice to be able to do your last long run with other people (admittedly, not very many of them) after so many months of solo runs. In fact, all those emotions I thought I'd have when I finished my first marathon - I actually had them at Birch Bay, because I knew that I'd done my training, stuck to my schedule the way I wanted to, and that I would be fine on race day. Yup. Cried quite a bit. Anyway, I definitely want to go back.

4. Something else?!? All or only some of the above???
TAPER TIME!!! (BB finish line last year)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Days 5 & 6

At this point, it's pretty clear that I need to stop pretending that I'm participating in a running "streak," considering that I also missed yesterday's run. (For the record, I ran 1.5 miles tonight before hitting the gym. It was cold but DRY outside and I had to give my brand new "I cashed in all of my Amazon points, so it was free" Garmin 610 a workout!)

I CAN, however, tell you that I was significantly more sore after the Seattle Half (or as my friend quite accurately described it, the "racewhereyourunupallthegoddamnhills") than I was after my first marathon! Those hills really pounded my legs: my hips and my right adductor, in particular, are unhappy puppies and I've been tottering around the office like an 80 year old. I may have had on my compression tights under my work trousers on Monday.... Word on the street (ok, facebook) from the rest of my running club is that everyone else is pretty much the same as I am.

Seattle 2:15:50
In a strange way, feeling this sore actually makes me feel better about my race on Saturday. I have desperately wanted to get under 2:15 for nearly a year (although, I should note that I haven't wanted this desperately enough to actually do any specific half marathon training). In fact, I'd really like to go sub 2:10 sometime soon...ish. I think my sub 1:30 15K really shows that I'm getting close to having the speed and the endurance to crank out some serious half marathon PBs. The fact that I'm still sore today signals to me that I really, really pushed for that 2:15 and that I should own it and be proud of what I accomplished.

ANYWAY, I can think of three major problems standing between me and a fabulous half marathon time:

  1. Lack of specific training - I'll be the first to admit that ever since I trained for the marathon, the half isn't such an intimidating distance anymore. I think that's super awesome. I love that I can kind of pull off a half decent half (ha!) on the spur of the moment. However, I know that I'd do a lot better if I actually did some consistent training to a plan. Thank goodness that I've been pretty good about going to track night and popping out a few longer runs here and there.
  2. Mental toughness - I hate it, but I think I really underestimate what I'm capable of doing as a runner. Sure, I'm not going to go to the Olympics or even run a BQ, but I suspect I could already be punching out faster times if I could fully commit and stop my brain from telling me why I can't. I need to push through and I don't seem to be able to do it. It might be a confidence issue.
  3. Columbia Gorge, 2:18:something
  4. THESE CRAZY HILLY COURSES THAT I KEEP CHOOSING. But, SRSLY Joyce: if you wanted to PR, you probably weren't going to do it at Columbia Gorge or Seattle. You didn't pick them because they're PR courses, you picked them because you love running in this part of the country, they sport stunningly beautiful scenery, you wanted to support locally-organized races, and so you could run with your friends. In fact, you should be incredibly proud of your performance on both of those incredibly hard, hilly courses! You were only 25 seconds off your PR on a course that involved 4x as much climbing (yes, I went and checked)!!
So, I guess those are all things I need to work on for next year...because that 2:15 just needs to go away!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

RW Days 2-4

Right, so, errrr, um, days 2 and 3 might got consolidated into a single 2 mile run on the treadmill. Oops. It's in the right spirit, right?

Day 4 was the Seattle Half Marathon! What an incredibly hard course that is: so many hills, so many hills! I think I paced it badly to boot: I had some lovely fast miles in there and a bit of a blowup in the second (hard, hilly) part of the race. I felt like my legs were moving as fast as they possibly could and was still barely running 11-minute miles. So, final time: 2:15:50. I'm glad I still got a 2:15, but MAN do I want to hit 2:14! Considering that I hadn't specifically trained for this race and it was a hella hard course, I REALLY, really want to find out whether I could crank out a good PR on an easier course!

BUT, I did love this race. I loved meeting up and starting with tons of my Seattle Green Lake Running Group friends. The medal is pretty awesome and I am happy to support my hometown race. Everything was well-organized and the course was very well supported.

SPEAKING of well-supported, my roommate came out to cheer! She made awesome signs and took some super adorable photos of me! She even stayed down there for over two hours cheering people (and got told off by some guy who said there was too much cowbell. HOW CAN THERE BE TOO MUCH COWBELL?!?!). Yay!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

RW Holiday Run Streak

With a one-mile run on the treadmill at the gym at 10pm, day one is complete. Happy Thanksgiving!!