Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Not Just Half Crazy Anymore

I'm not as sore as I thought I was going to be after the race. Don't get me wrong, I was plenty sore, but it wasn't as bad as I expected.

I hit the treadmill for an easy 3 miles on Tuesday afternoon and had no trouble at all. I'm taking this week easy, and next week I'll be back in training mode. My next half is in May, and I have a 10k trail race (just for fun) coming up on April 11th.

Buddy has been enjoying the snow-free yard and the occasional sunshine. It has still been pretty chilly, but it's finally starting to feel like spring!



This is his "please stop taking my picture" look.


And in exciting news - I'm not just half crazy anymore, I registered for my first full marathon today! I'm going to be running the Steamtown Marathon in October (out of habit, I totally just typed half marathon).

I'm really excited to take on this new challenge, and also a little freaked out about what I just signed up for!

Monday, March 30, 2015

West Point Half Marathon Recap

I survived the hills of West Point!


I somehow managed to get through the whole race without taking any pictures, before, during, or after. We didn't even get a group shot of me and my weekend running peoples. Blogger fail.


It's a shame, because West Point is beautiful!

Packet pickup was a breeze (we were early), but the race ended up starting 20 minutes late. A lot of other people weren't early and tons of people were still getting their bibs when the race was supposed to start. It was chip timed anyway, so the rest of us felt like we should have just started. But then, we were also really cold and just wanted to start running.

It was around 27 degrees at the start of the race, and it wasn't much warmer by the time I finished. It's the first time I've raced with a jacket and gloves on.

Before the race started, the West Point Parachute Team jumped into Michie Stadium (the West Point football stadium), which was really cool. They have amazing control of their speed and direction, very impressive!

We all started the race way too fast, most of the first 4 miles were downhill. And then, the hills started. There were some rolling hills, which weren't terrible, and a few very long, very steep ones, which were. The worst hill was at mile 12.5 (a cruel place for a hill) - almost everyone I saw walked at least part of it.

I don't really have an awesome mile-by-mile recap for you this time around. I cycled through feeling awful and wondering why on earth I thought running this race was a good idea, and being impressed with my pace (on the less hilly miles). I got to see Tom around mile 9.5 and at the end of the terrible hill near the end, which was a fun morale boost. :)

The race finished on the field at the stadium, and I passed 4 or 5 guys on my way to the finish line - apparently they don't know how fun it is to sprint after running 13 miles.

I wasn't sure what time to expect when I got to the finish line. I only checked my pace from time to time during the race. I never looked at the running time, so I was pretty happy to see 2:00:xx as I was approaching the line.

My official chip time was 2:00:55 - that's only 2:50 slower than my PR, and my second best half marathon time ever! If it weren't for all those hills, I probably could have set a new PR, which is pretty cool.

They give out what they call a "finishers coin" instead of medals, though I was a little bummed that it was more of a dog tag style than a coin. I'll probably put it on a ribbon so it can hang with the rest of my medals.


Running this race was a really fun way to get to see West Point, and even though I am seriously sore today, I would definitely think about running it again.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Oops

I missed my final run before the race.

I was supposed to have one last short mile repeat session on Thursday, but I ended up taking a nap instead. Kicking this cold seemed more important than getting that last run in. I decided that I wasn't going to make any huge gains with one more run anyway, but now I feel a little off. I haven't run since Wednesday, and I'm not going to run until tomorrow morning at the race. We'll see how that goes.

I can't even begin to set a time goal for tomorrow. It's the hilliest race I've ever run, and I haven't raced since October.

Our hope (a couple of my much faster weekend running buddies are also running) was that we wouldn't have to wear jackets for the race, but it's looking like it will be in the upper 20s when the gun goes off. Jackets and gloves it is.

Buddy loves when I sit on the floor.


Please ignore my half-closed eyes and focus on how cute this dog face is.


He's pretty sure he's a tiny little lap dog.


And some cool fog from the other day.


Now I'm off to finish some laundry, figure out what I'm wearing tomorrow and keep myself busy so I don't just sit here and think about the terrible, terrible hills.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Getting the Bad Run Out of the Way

I actually ran outside today!

It didn't go super well. It was muddy (which is sometimes fun, but wasn't today), Buddy came with me and was driving me completely insane, and either the weather (humidity?) or my cold made it so I felt like I couldn't get a deep breath.

We took a ridiculous number of walking breaks, but ran 3.55 miles at a 9:46 pace. Including the walking parts we probably covered close to 5 miles.

Buddy was so tired he didn't stand up at all during the drive home (he usually paces the back seat, especially when we stop at lights). And then he put himself to bed upstairs when we got home.


I decided this run means I got my bad run for the week out of the way before the race on Sunday. Hopefully.


On the bright side, my new trail shoes look more like trail shoes now.

I bought this crazy airborne today to see if it will help kick my cold down a notch. I'm not asking to be 100% on race day, but I'd like to not feel like I'm breathing with a pillow smashed into my face. That seems reasonable, right?


We tried a new recipe for dinner tonight. It was super easy and really delicious. Baked Sriracha Honey Chicken. How can you go wrong with that combination? Unless you're not a spicy food person, which is something I don't understand at all. Not liking spicy food is like not liking chocolate as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, and Buddy got a new collar the other day. He's very fancy.



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

That's a Lie

It's taper week! That means I have less miles to run and more fidgety energy to burn - a dangerous combination. I also have a cold, which isn't related, but it's still true.

Let's take a minute to review the absolute terror that is the West Point elevation chart.


Note that it is in meters. That means the course climb is actually 1,437 feet. Remind me why I signed up for this race?

I decided that since it is my first race of the year, and will most likely result in death by hills anyway, I'm going to run by feel and not worry too much about time.

That's a lie of course, I will care a little bit about time.

Today was an easy 3 miles on the treadmill. I know I need to get outside one of these days, but my laziness is pretty impressive.

Not as impressive as Buddy's, but still.


Things are getting springier around here. 


It's even supposed to hit 60 on Thursday! And it's supposed to rain. You win some, you lose some.

What's the hilliest race you've run?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Enabler

Today was long run day. It was the last one before the race next weekend, and I ran it inside. Again. One day soon the trails will be free of snow and ice again (they're always in shade, so it takes forever) and I will actually run long outside.

I ran 13.1 miles in 2:06:09, which gives me some hope that I won't end up being ridiculously slow on race day. There are a lot of hills, so I'm not sure what a reasonable time goal is going to be. I will probably come up with something the morning of and adjust throughout the race.


I have another new pair of shoes, Tom is an enabler. :) They're Mizuno Wave Rider 17s, and I was bad and wore them for my long run today. I know you shouldn't run long in new shoes, and I planned on swapping shoes partway through, but then I didn't. Luckily, they're awesome shoes and were super comfy the whole run.

Buddy found the sunshine this afternoon and I got this cute shot.


He got so warm he was laying there panting. Silly dog.


 Dinner tonight was BLTs with guacamole, and chips and salsa.


Not a bad way to end the weekend. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

More Snow and a Candy Jar

I had an easy 3 miles yesterday after my speedwork on Thursday. It wasn't terribly exciting, so I won't bore you with the details. What I will do is tell you about this:


That's right, an online candy store that delivers a candy jar to your front door! You get to pick the size of your candy jar and then pick what will be inside. My mom gave me a gift certificate so I could try it out - thanks Mom! :)



This is what I picked for my jar:


The candy is good too, not that cheap chocolate that tastes kind of waxy. Pretty fun!

We got several inches of snow yesterday, and it's already melting off. I didn't even bother to shovel the driveway because I knew it was going to warm up today (and because I'm lazy and I didn't want to shovel any more snow).


This was Friday afternoon, there's more out there now.


The Sleepy Hollow Half was this morning. I know the roads are pretty clear (and they changed the course so there weren't any trail portions this year), but I have to say, I'm glad I wasn't running this morning. It was cold when I ran it last year (you can read my recap HERE), but there wasn't any snow on the ground.

There wasn't a group run this morning because most of the group was at the race. I slept in instead. I have one last long run tomorrow and then next weekend is the West Point Half - I'm starting to get nervous/excited!
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