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Rock N’ Roll DC 2017 Recap!

Monday: 40 min legs (back squats/deadlifts for volume), 5m easy 9:31/pace

This was a big one. Bigger than I expected or hoped, way beyond a time PR.

The week of the race was typical. I was antsy, nervous and my training log concerned me. Pacing was all over the place and some workouts were scaled down and adjusted. Extremely different from how marathon training went last fall, where I hit almost every running workout and every pace to the T.

So I started examining the log as a whole: I put in all the miles, 45-51 miles per week, and did each workout to the best of my ability, all while increasing strength training days from 2x to 3-4x weekly, which meant getting used to training 2x a day (or two-a-days as it’s called). The work was there. The power from lifting heavy should translate to the run as long as I tapered well.  And with that, I put the log away and told only two very close people what my goal was. 1:33.

The forecast was rough in the DC area that Saturday. Cold and 25 degrees at the start, and lots of NW winds 10-15+ mph. Fortunately nothing new to me. If you’ve been following my blog the past year, i can’t seem to get away from the wind.

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info from my Garmin that day

But the freezing cold on top of it lead to wearing a lot of layers and we were all so happy the sun was out. It was the only thing keeping the weather bearable. I hopped on the Metro with Brian & Betty, a few runner friends I met at my Gold’s Gym.

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Brian & Betty 

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We had plenty of time to use the bathrooms, get hydrated and get into our corrals. The first miles were flat, so the plan was to hold back until after the big hill between miles 6-7 and then start speeding up.

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The flat miles weren’t incredibly easy for me. My left shin was tight and i was hoping it would shake out in the first couple miles but it didn’t. I felt it tighten every step of the way. I felt good otherwise, almost bouncy in a way and had a ton of energy.  I was afraid of pushing too hard in the beginning in case the shin/calf muscle became more of an issue later in the race, so i was running on feel for the first half.

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The big hill came and went. Once I felt recovered enough to push a little I did just that. The grade change helped stretch my calf and loosen up my shin. The uphills actually felt better than the flats and I could almost relax a bit on the downhill portions. Almost. There was no time to relax, i had work to do.

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This half was not easy. Mentally I was having a great race, I was doing well going on effort while still keeping my goal time in mind. When it got tough and i felt like slowing down, and that happened several times, i just repeated a short piece of a pep talk I got that morning.

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You’re going to fly. Over and over I said that to myself. And you know what, it made me feel fast and weightless. And focusing on the finish kept me sharp.

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The last couple miles were hard. I don’t remember much because I was focused on a quick leg turnover, and pushing through muscle fatigue, especially while on a few short & steep hills that had my legs screaming. But when you only have a mile to go, you go. Proud of that last mile.

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official 1:33:47

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3 Big things happened for me in this race, which is why I said it was major and so much more than a time PR.

  1. I started in Corral #1. When i first ran the Rock n Roll DC 1/2 back in 2013, I believe i was in Corral 5 or 6. I made it a goal of mine 4 years ago to make it into #1. It was a special feeling having my bib read #1.
  2. I PR’d at my heaviest racing weight to date, in the coldest temps i’ve ever run in and the most clothes i’ve ever worn. I’m about 7lbs heavier than the marathon last November and 16lbs heavier than my first marathon. I’ve been consistently gaining muscle mass and running faster year after year. To PR with all that additional weight, on a windy, cold, hilly course reinforces that my training is on point and I’ve got faster times ahead.
  3. I broke into the top 100 females at a major half marathon. This was the big one. Bigger than the actual time I finished in. It has been a goal of mine to break into the top 100 of a major race for years. When i found out I was 67th, I got teary and overwhelmed with happiness. It’s been a long time since i’ve been able to let myself enjoy these victories and allow myself to be proud.

Til’ next time kids.

Last Week

Monday: 5m easy 9:05/pace

Tuesday: Crossfit, 6m easy 8:46/pace

Wednesday: 6m easy 8:41/pace

Thursday: 3m easy 9:22/pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 13.1m Race 7:10/pace 

Sunday: Rest

Total Miles: 33.1

What goals besides time goals have you set for yourself?

What are your current goals?

 

 

 


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Cutting Back

Monday: 7.5 tempo (2m warm up, 3 @ 6:53/pace, 4 x 2:00 @ 6:18/pace, 1m cool down)

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:45/pace + 2m walk w/LE

Wednesday: 6.9m easy 8:41/pace

I feel like every blog i’ve read this week have mentioned a cut back week in their training. A cutback week is when you cutdown your mileage as a way to recover from the constant increase of mileage and intensity from harder speed workouts. This training cycle has been going extremely well. One of my 2016 goals is to run 5 days per week and strength train without feeling burnt out or getting injured. As i’ve mentioned, running my easy days at a 9:00+ pace (much slower this cycle than in the past) I’ve been able to easily run 5 days per week and have had a healthy, happy and productive first few weeks.

Last Thursday was the first time a workout left me extremely fatigued. Granted the workout was HARD (2 x 3 miles at my goal half marathon pace -6:52). As tiring as this workout was, it was the first time i’ve been able to consistently hit my actual goal half marathon pace. <–this is a big deal. If I can do 3 miles at a time at a 6:50ish pace not once, but TWICE, i should be able to hit my 1:30 goal within this year. This workout left me mentally strong and is the type of quality workout that will carry me 13.1 miles at a fast-for-me-pace.

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With all the progress, I decided to take a cutback week. Not necessarily because I’m feeling the training (which i am) but because it’s supposed to be 70 degrees Saturday and I signed up for the Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2.

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You know me, i like doing a half marathon as a check-in to see how much work is left during training. I’m not planning on going full out since this is a very hilly course and I haven’t been training hills that much. I might attempt a course PR, but overall this is meant to be a tempo/hilly/long run that is accompanied by thousands of other runners and gatorade stations. 🙂

So that’s it! That’s the current news. Training is going well, the weather is beautiful and i’m out to run half marathon #14 in DC!

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Last Week

Monday: 3m easy 9:55/pace, 45min total body strength

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:56/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 7m MP tempo (1m warm up, 5 @ 8:00, 1m cool down), 30min TRX upper body + core

Friday: 9m tempo (2m warm up, 2 x 3 @ 6:53/pace, 1m cool down)

Saturday: 10.3 easy 9:30/pace

Sunday: 2m walk w/LE

Total Miles: 34.3

Anyone in DC running the Rock n’ Roll?

Who takes cutback weeks?

ALSO– If you want to register for the Zooma Annapolis race (June 4th!) use CORI16 for 10% off before the price increases on Saturday! Register HERE

zooma