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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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Philadelphia Rock n’ Roll 1/2 – Race Recap!

Sunday’s 1/2 marathon splits (7:54/pace): 7:49, 7:54, 7:58, 7:49, 8:01, 7:40, 7:40, 7:45, 7:57, 7:24, 7:36, 7:45, 7:59 

1:43:25 Overall place 2065 out of all 18,074 runners. Division 25-29 female age group 176 out of 2406

This was a race full of firsts. This was my first time traveling for a race, staying in a hotel and eating at a restaurant for my pre-race meal. All of which I was scared of. All of which turned out really fun and totally in my favor. For the first time I actually slept a full 8 hours before my race. Woke up and had peanut butter on half a bagel, a banana, a water with grape Nuun and a Starbucks coffee.  I got to eat and take care of business in the comfy hotel room. I ended up leaving the hotel at 7:25 for the 8:00am start. I did a proper warm up run to the corrals, and did some dynamic stretching.

The first 4 miles of the race were through the city streets and it was gorgeous. I felt good, really good. Like, kept looking at my Garmin tick off sub-8 miles in disbelief and tried to slow myself down. When I hit my 5th mile at an 8:01 pace, I thought what the hell, let’s run fast today! So I took my Jet Blackberry 2x caffeinated GU and sped up for the remainder of the run along the river.

downtown heading toward the parkway

downtown heading toward Kelly Drive

My legs were hanging in there, my arms were relaxed, head was up and form was good. I focused on my effort to keep pace, more so than my watch. I only checked the Garmin at mile splits. The race finally got hard 8.5 miles in. I panicked and thought I went out too fast, my sub 8s were too good to be true, questioned the last time I ran over 10 miles?? This was the time of the race when my head decided to tell me it was tired. My body wasn’t though, so I shut up my brain and pushed on.

Taking my 2nd GU, Mandarin Orange w/caffeine.

Taking my 2nd GU, Mandarin Orange w/caffeine at Mile 8.7

The last 3 miles were torture, the hardest of any race i’ve done by far. The sun was hot, my legs were getting heavy and my breathing wasn’t calm anymore. I kept telling myself the last 5k is supposed to be difficult. This is where it matters, one foot in front of the other, take shorter quicker steps and pump your arms. I kept moving, my times slowed slightly, but i wasn’t letting it get me down. I wanted to push until my body quit. Luckily I only had to stop once in the final mile to catch my breath and shake out my legs. I finished with a PR, almost 4 minutes off my last time from 6 months ago and ran a great race.

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done. and getting blinded by the sun.

This wasn’t my ‘A’ goal. I wanted 1:40 so bad, but with my training it was a stretch. I haven’t hit numbers like that to even come close to that time, which is why I’m not upset about it. Coming off of an injury and an abbreviated training cycle (only 8 weeks), I’m really excited about my next races to see what I can really do with a healthy body and full training plan completed. Sidenote–can a girl get a sponsorship from a beer company? or Starbucks?

free beer!

free beer!

The real fun was after the race when we had a celebratory brunch at Marathon. Seriously. We stumbled upon this gem and I couldn’t believe the name or that it sits kitty-corner to Philadelphia Runner store.

Marathon Grill

Marathon Grill

Delicious. Everything was grass-fed, organic and yummy. $5 drink specials on mimosas and bloody mary’s, and you bet we took advantage.  I got eggs benedict & Cameron got the Philly Cheesesteak.

menu

menu

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New blogger alert…I guess I’m supposed to take the pictures before we eat.. haha

My favorite way to explore a city is by running it. And maybe I’m on a big high from my PR, either way, I liked the city and would definitely recommend this race to everyone. It was flat, fast and very pretty. I will be back for sure.

I have nothing on the roster as far as races go and this week is a relaxing zero running week. Okay, not relaxing, I’m sore and already missing my morning runs. 😦