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


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


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!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Apparently Consistent Training Helps

Think winter is over? The weather has other plans.

We're supposed to get another 3-5 inches of snow tomorrow. And it was almost all melted off too! On the bright side, it's not supposed to stick around. 

Today's run was a tempo. I started off watching netflix and ended up playing angry music (think Linkin Park) instead. I needed loud music to keep me going. This is how it played out: 1 mile warm up, 4 miles @ 7:54, 1 mile cool down. I was definitely ready to stop when I hit my miles, but I was still feeling strong

I spent some time looking at my training plans from my races last year, and I can't get over how much faster my average pace is! My tempos were 9:30-10:00 miles - it's amazing what consistent training can do!

Something about this week is making me constantly hungry. It's not like I suddenly increased my mileage or anything, but I'm just hungry ALL. THE. TIME.

Since my mom complained about the lack of Buddy pictures yesterday, here's a picture of him surveying the yard in the sunshine.

And then he got tangled in his leash.

10 days until the West Point Half Marathon! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Traffic and New Shoes

This is from yesterday afternoon, but I forgot to post it. 

It was a pretty afternoon. Apparently most of the neighborhood down the hill from us lost power from the wind last night - guess we lucked out!

Traffic around here is so unpredictable. If I leave with what I think is "plenty of time" then I'm almost always a few minutes late. And if I leave super early, I hit no traffic and end up sitting in my car for 15 minutes. I mean, there are spots where there's always traffic (why is merging so hard for people?), but in general it's really hit and miss.

I have been really good about not buying more running shoes lately, but several of my favorites are reaching their mileage limit. Since I've been doing plenty of research (aka endlessly perusing shoe websites), I found a good deal and gave myself the go ahead to get a new pair.

They got here this afternoon!

They're Altra Superior 1.5s, and they're really cute.

They're my first pair of Altras, so I'm excited to try them out. They are zero drop and have a foot shaped toe box - so much freedom for your toes!

They're technically trail shoes, so I'll definitely have to take them outside soon :)

I went against their nature and ran an easy 4 miles on the treadmill this afternoon - I like them so far, new shoes are one of my favorite things!

Have you tried Altras before? Are you loyal to a certain brand of shoes?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Two for One

I meant to post last night, and then it didn't happen, so you get two days in one post - a great value! Speaking of great values, our grocery store keeps having buy ONE get TWO free english muffins. It's pretty exciting. I'm all stocked up :)


I finally tackled the dishes that we have been ignoring for days. Dishes are my least favorite part of eating.

The order is eating - cooking - dishes, in case you were wondering.

Buddy is pretty excited that the snow is finally almost gone - there are so many new smells to smell!

 I did laundry and then I pulled everything out of my drawer of running stuff. It turns out that if I fold everything (and put away my heavy duty winter gear) it all actually fits in the drawer. It closes and everything!

So fancy!

Buddy tried to get me to nap in the afternoon, but I still can't nap. Any nap tips would be greatly appreciated.


My run today was 4 easy miles with some Gilmore Girls. I came upstairs to find his highness in my spot on the couch.


We're having some seriously strong wind gusts tonight - the power has flickered once so far and I keep hearing various sirens going off outside. Fingers crossed that it sticks around.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Run that Wouldn't End

Today was long run day. In hindsight, I probably should have braved the trails rather than hitting the treadmill, but I opted for netflix instead.

I don't know if it's because I've been running outside more lately or what, but this was the run that wouldn't end. I wanted to stop pretty much the entire time, and took a million water breaks.

I started out watching the Silver Linings Playbook. I tried watching it once before and lasted about 15 minutes before I turned it off. Today I made it 45 minutes before I decided I just didn't care about what was happening in the movie. It's very rare that I don't like a movie enough to turn it off, in fact I actually like a lot of bad movies. Switched it over to Gilmore Girls and was much happier.

All my favorite running shorts were in the laundry, so I wore a backup pair that I don't normally wear. About 7 miles in I had an unpleasant chafing situation and stopped to scrounge around in my drawer of running gear for a skort to change into. Things were better after that.

Eventually I made it to 12 miles and kicked the speed up for the last mile.

I ended up running 13.1 miles in 2:06:18, a 9:38 pace. I have one more long run before the West Point Half - the last few weeks before a race always go by so quickly!

Buddy made himself a nest while I was running.

Ridiculous dog.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mile Repeats and More Mud

I've been all over the place the last few days.  

Thursday's speedwork got pushed to Friday, and I almost didn't run at all. But, as usual, I'm glad I did. I ran 6 miles total, including a 1 mile warm-up, 3 x 1600 @ 7:54 with 800m jogs and a 1 mile cool down. 

I was pretty psyched to get my repeats under an 8:00 pace - as an added bonus, I didn't even want to die at the end! :)

Buddy was a little sleepy and napped while I ran.

This morning I was up dark and early to meet up with the group to run. I started off with some coffee and toast with peanut butter and banana.

It was 38 degrees and raining for our run, but compared to the negative wind chills we've gotten used to, it wasn't too bad out. Plus, there's something fun about running in the mud and rain, once you just commit to being drenched.

We ran a slightly shorter loop than usual, since a lot of the trails are still covered in ice/snow. 5.8 muddy miles at a 9:18 pace.

Buddy is enjoying the fact that some of the snow is finally gone.

With the snow melting we can finally see the damage the plow guy did over the winter. Looks like we need some new curbs.

This afternoon I helped assemble swag bags for the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon. I'm not running it this year, but since my running club (Rivertown Runners) puts it on, I wanted to help out. We had a bunch of people show up, so stuffing 1,000 bags went pretty quickly. Plus we got to have pizza. There's nothing like carbs to get runners to show up!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Muddy Buddy

Buddy and I had to be out of the house for 2 hours today for more house selling shenanigans. Lucky for us, the weather has gotten better, and it was in the upper 40s this afternoon.

This is the look I got when I made him sit in the snow.

We headed to Rockefeller for a while. The paths were either still snow-covered and slushy, or really muddy. We walked the slushy parts and ran the muddy parts. Buddy was having a blast!

Sometimes we run home from the mailbox or the dumpster and when I tell Buddy to "go, go, go!" he spins around and grabs the leash to drag me back to the house. I told him to "go, go, go!" during a particularly muddy part of the path today so he would go faster.

Instead I ended up standing in the mud cracking up at my crazy dog.

We were a little muddy by the time we got back to the car.

 And Buddy was a little tired.

We had a couple of bananas just begging to be turned into banana bread, and some mini chocolate chips may have made their way into the batter.

Don't mind if I do!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Pictures of Buddy Sleeping

It was a pretty low-key weekend around here. A sore throat snuck up on me on Friday, so I didn't end up meeting up with the group to run on Saturday morning. I hated to miss the run, but with the West Point Half coming up in a few weeks, I would rather miss out now rather than later.

I still wasn't 100% on Sunday, so I decided to take a pass on my long run for the week. I ran 3.1 miles instead - better than nothing. I ran 13 last week, so I'm not worried about being under trained. Worst-case scenario I will be slower than I want to be come race day, and that's ok.

We finally watched Mockingjay: Part 1 - it was pretty good, though I really don't think they needed to split the last book into two movies. Parts of it really felt unnecessarily stretched out, but money's gotta be made I suppose.

Since I don't have anything else terribly exciting to talk about, please enjoy some pictures of Buddy sleeping.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...