Twenty Six Point Two

run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Comeback Week ?

So, I kinda of merged Week 11, Week 12, and Week 13 of the plan. (obviously, they number by weeks out from the race). Technically, last week was 12 weeks out.

The best thing about the week, was that after probably 1 and half years or so, Running Partner Steve and I finally got back into a running routine! We met twice last week for runs and since we both have new jobs that are less stressful and less busy, I think we will easily be able to keep up a running routine. YAY for running partners and accountability!

So, that being said, I roped him into doing two of my workouts together:

As a reminder: I'm hoping to run a 3:59 in Oklahoma City in April. That pace is 9:07.

Workout #1:
Was supposed to be 5x1000 m. Steve and I meet at 5:30am, it is DARK out at that time and while I'm still new to the Garmin 105 and it's button placements, I opted to run the Workout 1 from Week 13 which was:3x1600m with 3 minute recoveries (we did 400 recoveries. Again. It's Dark!).

So, I wore my trusty timex, because the quarter miles are marked where we run. And of course, the light is out on the watch. So, I had no idea about my time or if I was getting the intervals marked off right on the watch. I will say that it felt hard. Very hard. I almost quit after the first one, but I was like... ohhh... I can do two more and then I almost quit after the second one, but I was like... ohhhh there's only one more. It was rough.

When we finished the run, I realized that I had recorded our warm up mile: 9:21 and our first interval at 8:21 (I was shooting for 8:40). And then I had one time for the rest of our run that included the last two intervals, two recoveries, and two miles of cool down and that total time was:  40:32 which is 9:00 pace, so, I'm going to assume that my other two intervals were fast and that's why they felt like poop. Oh well. Did it.

Workout #2
From Week 12: 1 mile easy, 4 miles Tempo, 1 mile cool down. Again, I did this with Steve and my plan was to run it at around 8:40 pace, too. (I need to re-assess my paces on my workouts methinks), and we averaged 9:00 instead. So, I guess in the end, it ended up being a Marathon Pace Run, which, I'll take.

Workout #3
From Week 11: 13 miles @ :15 seconds over planned marathon pace. Since I was running a half marathon on Saturday, I figured this long run from week 11 was perfect. And it would have been, except, I never got a mile that was 9:22 pace. I started off with a couple of miles at planned marathon pace, but after those first two miles, it was a shit show. I finished in something like 2:18. With walk breaks, and miles where I vowed that I was quitting running forever.



So, here's the deal. I haven't been as diligent with the training plan as I should be. So, I think that doing 2 of the weekly workouts and then attempting an aggressive long run is just assuming that I'm wayyyyy more fit than I am. So, I think, moving forward, I'm going to try and make sure that I hit my long run goals and that means, maybe scaling back for a week or two on the weekly workout paces. Still pushing them, but, staying away from 8:21 miles.

I'm not too concerned, there are still 11 weeks till the marathon and if I can string together some good solid weeks till then, I think I can put myself in position to attempt the 3:59(and lose a little weight. YES, still working on that. Failed for awhile. Trying to get back on track).

But, my focus for the next 2-3 weeks is going to be the long run. That's always been my weakest link in training, and so, I want to make sure that I'm focusing on that part of improving.

So, not a great week. Not a terrible week. One foot in front of the other.



Monday, February 8, 2016

The problem with getting back into shape...

So, I ran a half marathon as a training run on Saturday. I had expectations that I'd be able to use the run as my long run workout for the week (aka.. 13 miles at :15 seconds over projected marathon pace, which for me is 9:22). That didn't exactly happen.

What did happen is that I became so dejected and angry when I couldn't hit my paces on the hilly course, that I essentially gave up and started taking walk breaks. I mean, I couldn't even jog it and enjoy it. And I think that is what really got me down.

The problem with getting back into shape is that just when you think you might be there.... you realize you're not. And it's so hard to keep your head in the game after a set-back like that. But, I am just going to try to forget about it and keep my head down and working through my training plan. At some point, I'm bound to have my breakthrough long run. But, at this rate, it feels like it won't be till April.

Ugh. Words of wisdom: NEVER LET YOURSELF GET SO OUT OF SHAPE.



Run Less, Run Faster weekly re-cap coming up on Wednesday.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Long Runs and Bonking

Saturday I met Liz and the Nashville Striders for their first group training run of the season. The group targets the Country Music St. Jude Rock n Roll Marathon (or whatever the hell they are calling it these days), so every other weekend till April 30th they will have a supported long run. Since I'm running Oklahoma City Marathon the weekend before that, I will likely be doing most of these training runs.

This first one was 14 miles  (7 miles out and back). I've done this route/training run so many times, and its never one of my favorites. I think that has more to do with the fact that it's the first long training run of every cycle, so, everytime I'm running it, I'm just barely in shape enough to muster 14 miles.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

The run started off okay. Not great, but okay. Liz and I had a lot of catching up to do.... She just got back from her honeymoon and I had a couple weeks of a new job to chatter about. I really needed those conversations for this run. It was a good distraction.

But, by the time we hit a pretty big uphill around mile 12 or so, I was toast. 

 Figuratively speaking, of course.
I bonked pretty hard those last two miles. I urged Liz to go on without me, and after a mile or so of me pussyfooting around, she finally heeded my advice. I felt terrible and I chalked it up to just being a tough training run. But, then, I remembered that I didn't have my usual energy bar for breakfast. In fact, I didn't have anything, except coffee. 

Now, that's not to say that it wasn't a tough training run or that my fitness level isn't where it should be right now. But, I think running 14 miles on an empty stomach definitely didn't help matters. It's funny. I used to never eat breakfast before runs, but now that I've gotten accustomed to eating a couple hundred calories before running for over 90 minutes, it's become a total crutch. (And, I think I have much better runs when I've eaten something).

At the end of the day, I got the run done and I think mentally, that run is one that I'm glad to have over with. With that first training run of the season out of way, it feels like I'm really training for something again. And that feels damn good.

 Literally, obvi.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Race Report: Mississippi Blues Marathon

Once I finished The Monkey back in November, I knew I was good to go with knocking off some states again. Even if I had to hobbyjog or walk part of them. So, The KoB and I signed up for a marathon in Jackson, MS.

It was a 5 hour drive from Nashville and we scooted into Jackson and the marathon expo with about 5 minutes to spare (although, they did have extended packet pick-up hours that lasted till 9pm. GREATLY APPRECIATED).

I think that was a sign of things to come.

Saturday morning we woke up and it was raining. Hard. We drove into town and ended up getting to park RIGHT AT THE START LINE. I mean, seriously, it took us less than 20 seconds to walk to the start line. So, we were able to chill in the car until right at start time. That is a huge bonus particularly when it's raining outside.

By the time the starting gun went off, the rain has slacked off a lot and by a mile in, it wasn't raining anymore.

The race started and wound it's way out of downtown and through some seedier parts of town. After about a mile or so of this, I started thinking... GOOD FOR YOU, JACKSON!!!! I have been guilty in the past of making comments like.... "why can't they avoid the bad parts of town, etc?" And I decided in those first few miles that I need to stop being so obtuse about life and communities. We need to stop further marginalizing "bad parts of town" by just avoiding them and pretending they don't exist. Not only is that just making the problem worse... it's pulling the wool over our eyes. The poor/commercial/industrial/boarded up parts of town are just as much of a city as the beautiful/wealthy/tree lined boulevards.

I loved the fact that this marathon was embracing that and showcasing that their city has communities and areas that have fallen on hard times. 

And then after mile 7, we spent the next 19 miles running through some of the most affluent neighborhoods I've ever seen. So.... okay. I got a little too excited, too quick.

I would describe the race course as rolling. There weren't really too many long, steep climbs, but there were lots of gently rolling hills. I loved the elevation profile of the course.

The marathon and the half total were capped at 5,000 participates, so that kept the course spread out well enough, but there were also plenty of people always around, which I definitely appreciated.

I thoroughly enjoyed the race, the course, and most of all, the volunteers. The volunteers were spectacularly gracious and there was at least one smiling volunteer at every single road that intersected with the course. Even random neighborhood roads where it was VERY clear that the course didn't turn there, there was a volunteer. And when you thanked the volunteer, most of them said... "Thank YOU for running!" Like, seriously??? How amazing is that? It's like they were getting paid or something.

Even when it the rain started pouring (around mile 18 for me), the volunteers were still cheerful and gracious. JACKSON, YOU ROCK!

I ran straight through till mile 16, thinking... well, I'll at least get a good 16 mile training run out of it. From mile 17 onward, I played a game with myself that helped me mentally and physically finish the race with a smile on my face. The entire course was lined with orange cones. I made a couple of rules for myself:
1. If I was going to walk, I would only allow myself to walk the length of one cone to the next.
2. As soon as I got to the next cone, I had to start running again.
3. Before I could walk again, I had to run at least the distance of 2 cones. (Most of the time, I found myself running much more than that, but that was the bare minimum).

This ensured that I was still running double the amount that I was walking. It gave my mind something to focus on and I found myself even contemplating which cones to walk between (trying to run to the two that had the most distance between them).

 It was really coming down for miles 18-25 for me.

I finished the race in just over 5 hours and was thrilled with the whole experience. I highly recommend this race and could easily be convinced to go back there and run it again.

Swag: A long sleeve half zip top, a BB King CD, and a harmonica. Haha.

Mississippi: Another state crossed off the list! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016

Happy New Year, Bitches!


Hope everyone had a nice New Year's Holiday! The KoB and were thrilled to celebrate our good friends Liz and Chris's wedding on New Year's Eve. I am such a sucker for weddings and Liz is one of my favorite people, so, celebrating her and Chris was the perfect way to ring in the new year. (Open bar, live band, hopping dance floor, and fantastic view of midnight fireworks didn't hurt)! 

I'm still in job transition mode, so, posts are going to sporadic for another week or so... but after that, I promise to catch up here. 

See you soon!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Changes

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

I have some exciting news... For the past 11.5 years I have worked for my dad. It has been wonderful. My dad has become one of my best friends and of course, my mentor during that time. I so appreciate the opportunities and the knowledge he's given me over the years. It is only because of that, that I can move on into a slightly different direction.

So, with that said... I've taken a new job! I am getting out of public accounting and am moving to a Controller position with a local company. I am beyond thrilled to start this new chapter of my career. It's going to be challenging, but, it's exactly the type of job that I've been dreaming of and gearing up for.


I've got a few weeks left at my dad's company, and there are a TON of loose ends to tie up. So, I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be able to do between now and then. But, I'm sure you understand. I just wanted to pop in and let you guys know what's going on with me.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 Year in Review Photo Card


 Furbabies.

 Some Photos from a Christmas Party this weekend:

 Me, My Mom, and My Sister-in-Law.

 I think I'm going to get me a pair of those glasses to wear all the time.


 I like to stay incognito. 

Yes, KoB, your bowtie on a stick is straight.
How's my miniature top hat on a stick?

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!!!