Saturday, April 19, 2014

Who needs taper? Albuquerque Half RR

So 2 weeks ago I raced myself at a 10k and went a PR by 2 minutes.

I haven't run a half marathon race since August 2012.  (1:40:18)
In November I ran my best half during the first half of a full marathon (1:39ish)
Last weekend I had a long run with 14 miles at goal Marathon Pace (Colfax Marathon-Denver is in 4 weeks) and the 13.1 within was 1:38.
6 days later (TODAY) was Albuquerque Half Marathon.....

I am finishing many 60+ mile weeks in a row and have never felt so good. Taper starts in one more week and I am SO excited.

The race was great in so many ways.
I live 180 miles from Albuquerque but have spent quite a bit of time in this city.
On the way to the race, there were hot air balloons flying...if you don't know about Albuquerque's HUGE Balloon's amazing (in October every year).  But even on non-balloon fiesta weekends, the balloons fly.  Basically there are balloons flying on calm mornings all year around.  I loved seeing them as we arrived at the race site.
After being part of one of the STUPIDEST race starts ever (I won't go into the details of the ridiculous set-up), I kept looking at my watch thinking that I should be more tired, or breathing harder, or slowing down.  Kept holding in the 7:15 range without having to strain myself.  And let me just say that when I started running only 3 years ago, I NEVER thought I'd be holding under 8s for more than a mile, or two.  The last couple marathons have been JUST barely under (7:59 or 7:58 averages). I kept remembering the post about running in a tutu from Lady running relaxed and having fun is key and to "let it go".  I didn't have a tutu but I wore my cutest Athleta running skirt that has pleats in the back with a little ruffle (so kind of like a "tech" tutu).  I kept smiling and reminding myself that this is what I train for and that the race shouldn't be about pressure, it should be about doing my best today...whatever that is in the middle of all this training.  I had high expectations from the training runs I have been throwing down because Mr. Pfitzinger Advanced Marathon Training is AMAZING SPECTACULAR HARD-CORE THRILLING and FABULOUS.  It has me in the best shape ever and my endurance is more than I ever thought possible.  I finally "felt" like I'd had a 60 mile week when I got to mile 11, which was a 7:13 split so must have been mental.  I followed that up with another 7:13.

Finish time: 1:35:30.  So so so happy.  I had told my dad that I was going to be VERY happy to break 1:37 but that I'd be happy just breaking 1:38 since I just ran the 1:38 only 6 days I was SUPER thrilled to break 1:36.

Managed 1st place in my age group (35-39) and something like the 8th woman overall. (The results were hard to see).  AND I negative split.  So happy!

Who needs taper to PR?  Not me; thanks to Mr. Pfitzinger.
Although, I gotta say, I am ready for taper mentally.  And I'm sure my legs will enjoy it also.  One more week and then it begins.

I love the medal from today:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My Own 10k RR

This Pfitzinger Marathon training program has 3 tune-up races built-in to the program (2, 4 and 6 weeks before the marathon).  Each tune-up race is supposed to be between 8k-15k.  I found actual races for the 4 and 6 weeks out but for today I just couldn't find one.  So....I made my own.  I warmed up for 2 miles and headed to my favorite running spot.  I cleared Garmin Girl and restarted her and went for it. Best 10k time was 43:24 but it was .1 short so I'm thinking my best is more like 43 high or 44 low.

Mile 1: 6:55
Mile 2: 6:39
Pretty sure I was running in place around mile 2.5....didn't think I was going to be able to hold on.
Mile 3: 6:53
Mile 4: 6:51
Had one of my 8th grade violin students who runs track set-up to meet me for the last 2.2 miles.  He is a 5:45 miler so I figured he could hang on under 7s for 2 miles.
Mile 5: 6:50
Mile 6: 6:42
Last .2: 1:20
Holy toledo. So happy that these tired legs held on!  65 miles last week and 34 so far this week (43 including the 9 today) and I have 18 on the plan for tomorrow.
Boy, oh boy, what fun to run a PR on a Saturday morning 10k....I even made myself nervous.  I love racing the clock.  Take that Garmin Girl!

Happy Saturday!!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

3 year Runiversary

Totals logged so far:
2011: 546 miles (logged maybe a few hundred more before that but didn't have a garmin)
2012: 2136 miles
2013: 2013 miles (no coincidence there)
2014: 743 so far....gonna be a big year

My life has changed so drastically in the last 3 years. I have so much more focus and passion for everything I do. I am not one to half-a$$ anything so this running thing has really taken off.  It gives me an escape from my life full of teaching children to play violin and from all the playing gigs. Running also has given me the ability to handle my nerves when I perform and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that.  I struggled for a long time to play in performance like I do in rehearsal or in the practice I perform even better. All I do is make sure and go for a long run the day of a performance and then I'm so exhausted that all I can do is focus on the music and play.  I have no energy for nerves and no adrenaline in my body. I'm calm and can portray the music in the way I planned. Sorry...that was a little off-topic but definitely a benefit of running in my life.

The last 3 years has been full of many great races:
1-mile: I have never raced one but in my last 5k I went out in 6:18.  I want to break 6:00...thinking of setting up an old-fashioned foot race with some friends and some students to give me the chance.
5k: numerous of these....haven't managed to break 20:00 yet but I want to so bad!!  Since it seems I'm always training for a marathon I don't quite have the "speed" to do it.  Maybe this year.... for now, I'm stuck at 20:32.
10k: I've run 4.  Best is 43:24 but the course was .1 short so probably more like 44 and change. 
Half Marathon: I've only done time was actually the first half of my last marathon 1:39:17.  Almost broke this a few weeks ago on a MP run.  I am signed up for the Albuquerque Half on April 18 and hope to PR with an official Half time.
Marathon:  FIVE.  I have run FIVE marathons in three years of being a runner. 3 years ago I had not run more than 4-5 miles at a time and that only happened when my whole family decided to sign up for the BolderBoulder 10k so I needed to "train" by going out and jogging a few times before race day.  Ya. I was one of "those" people. After reading Born to Run and really decided to be a "runner", the goal was on the marathon and we immediately started a training program.  7 months later I ran my first full at Rimrock Marathon in Grand Junction, CO.  I managed a 3rd place finish in the women (it's a small race) and wanted to break 4 hours. I know....everyone says not have a time goal on your first marathon (especially one with over 2000 feet of climb in the first half and that much drop in the second half) but I'm a competitor. I'm hard on myself. I have to have a goal. I have difficulty functioning without structure. I embrace the pain. And I love training hard. So I had a time goal....and I broke it by 20 minutes. I managed a 3:40 and made Boston....funny thing is I didn't even know what the Boston time was until later that evening when it finally settled in how fast I'd gone in my first race and that maybe I should look up the qualification time.  I had made it by 16 seconds (these were the old times where anything under 3:40:59 made it in).  Marathon #2 was Colfax Marathon in Denver 7 months later.  3:30.  Marathon #3 was PFChangs Phoenix Rock n Roll 3:28.  Marathon #4 was Shiprock New Mexico 3:26.  Marathon #5 was Santa Clarita, CA 3:26.  #6 is right around the corner...6 1/2 weeks to go. Heading back to Denver for Colfax again.  Looking forward to running the same course for a second time and feel like I might benefit from knowing what's ahead.

Running is something that Ryan and I discovered together. We both read Born to Run and we both fell in love with the sport together. It's "our" thing and I love it.

Thank you Loopsters for everything.  The support and kindness I feel here is overwhelming. I love talking running with people who understand. I love having a place to come with questions and for advice. I love sharing in your victories and losses.  Thank you for 3 wonderful years....and many more to come.