Saturday, August 23, 2014

Indianapolis Monumental Half - Weeks 1 & 2

Three blog posts in a day! Don't call it a comeback! Call it a quiet afternoon at home. :)

I talked about my running goals for 2014. I will run 4 half-marathons and beat 1:50 on one of them. I've already done two and signed up for my 3rd on October 18th (Indianapolis Marathon) at which I did the full last year. Mom has signed up for this one too so I'm excited to run with her again!

I will be using this race as a training run for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (I'll do the half) which is two weeks later. This will be the race where my 2014 goals come to fruition. It will be my fourth half on the year and I'll be gunning for the 1:49:xx.

I am excited about this race for a few reasons. First, I always get excited when I think about new PR's. I think this is attainable - Tom had one last year at this race. Second, this is one race in Indy that I have never done. Third, this is the race I had registered for just before becoming pregnant with Jack and decided to back out. Finally, as I already mentioned, this is where I achieve my 2014 running goals.

This one won't come easy. I'll be leaving the country for two weeks in September and October. I am just guessing that my mileage during those two weeks will be low. It's entirely possible that I won't run at all. I have no idea what to expect. All I know to do is train hard for the weeks leading up to the trip and the weeks following the trip.

For this go round, I am using a half training plan I found in Runner's World. This article spotlighted the women in the Impala Running Club and related it to "amateur" runners like myself. While I do have some fast running friends, I usually run alone due to scheduling etc. However, I loved the plan that was printed along with the article. I knew that I would have to stack two races this fall to hit my 4 races, so this plan was perfect with a 13 mile run two weeks prior to the big race. This is the one I will do with mom at the Indianapolis Half.

The other thing I really like about the plan is that it has very easy Monday runs. I don't know about everyone else, but getting motivated to do anything on a Monday is tough. This plan calls for 30 easy minutes with 5 strides (run fast for a little while) on each Monday. That is one workout I can always do. It also focuses on when to run at goal half marathon pace along with some speed work. I think this plan will keep me interested.

I've done just OK so far. Last week, I got in 4 runs but my "long" run of 6 miles was only 4.5. The heat was unbearable! This week, I've done 3 runs with plans of a 6 miler tomorrow with 3 easy miles and 3 at goal half marathon pace. Next week is when the mileage really kicks in so we'll see how that goes! So far, I feel pretty good. Knees have warned me every once in a while so I'm trying not to push it too much.

The treadmills at the new gym displays stats after each treadmill workout. For the last 4 runs I've done there, I've ranked #1. I have no idea what that means or if there is actually any significance to it, but it always makes me feel pretty good. :)

Here are the stats so far...

Week 1 -  16.5 miles
Week 2 - 15 miles + 6 planned for Sunday

Feels good to be back in the saddle!

Dawes 5K 2014 Recap

I've said this every time I've posted, but man, I'm so behind on keeping this thing updated! I'm thinking I'll need to do the NoBloPoMo thing to catch up with life updates. More on that to follow... Maybe...

Well, we didn't get our PR at the Dawes 5K a few weeks back. But, the surprise was phenomenal! It was a very rainy morning and the boot camp group was huddled under a grove of trees. We snuck up on mom and Kathy said, "Diane, are you ready to meet your runner?" She said yes of course and turned around to find us. It was fantastic. Totally surprised!

Then, I proceeded to be surprised at the massive hills on the course. Wowzers. I know Indiana is flat, but you don't know how flat until you run in a hilly area I guess. After a 15 minute thunderstorm delay, we got started. My thought was that we would run 1:55 quarter miles. I had used a Sharpie to write out our 1/2 mile split times on my wrist.

Well, that was all for naught as neither of our watches would get a signal. I felt really bad after a little while and wondered how slow we were going. As we passed the 1 mile mark, someone was yelling out split times. "6:55, 6:56, 6:57" No wonder I was beat! At least I had my sub-7 mile! 

After the mile mark, things started going downhill... actually, they started going uphill. There were two long hills on this course. We walked for just a little while after the first big hill. Someone at the top was telling us no more big hills and we're almost done. If you ever spectate a course, don't do this unless it is literally downhill and the finish line is in sight. There was in fact, one more hill that was not much of an incline but certainly long. And, we had about a mile left.

I sent mom ahead as I was done. She finished with a 24:37. Wow. Totally impressive! Not the PR she was gunning for but a really great time for such a tough course. I just hope I didn't hold her back!

I rolled in at a 25:12, just 6 seconds away from a PR. While I was beat and exhausted, I haven't stopped thinking about those 6 little seconds and how I could have found those somewhere along the way.

Time for the award ceremony! Mom and dad were the honorary chairpeople for the event and so dad talked for a bit and then he and mom helped hand out awards. 

Mom and Tom both took 1st place for their age divisions! Tom had a PR with 22:47. This is even more crazy since he really wasn't able to run until just the week before this race due to a stress fracture.

So proud of these two! It was a very large crowd and mom was 1st out of 13 and Tom was also 1st out of 13 in their age divisions! 

Sour grapes time for Sara... If I was disappointed with my 6 seconds from PR, I was just plain mad when I found I lost my age division by 15 seconds to someone who passed me in the last 1/2 mile. I had that. I keep thinking if I had my watch working, I would have had it. Then, I think, nope. I gave up. Even though I felt like I didn't have anything left, I could have done more. Who knows. The optimist in me says that there is always next time. The pessimist asks why I didn't try harder. 

Good thing these times really just don't matter. The important thing is that we were there and we're running and we're fit and we had a lot of fun doing it. That being said, I'm ready to try again. I know it's within reach on a flatter course. I'll keep after it and I'm sure I'll get that sub 25 one of these days! 

Surprise! It's Race Week!

{I wrote this post forever ago and forgot to take it out of "draft" mode after the race. SPOILER ALERT: I didn't get a PR and neither did mom. There is always next year...}

Back in May, I received a Facebook message from a friend in Newark to contact one of my mom's running buddies, Kathy. I texted her right away and here's what she had for me...

Perhaps I said yes too soon. Here is what followed. 

Yes. It is fast. In fact, it is a 7:44:30 per mile pace. I'm not sure I had clocked a mile under 8 since high school. But, I was up for the challenge as I've never really done any training for a 5K and I wanted to see what I could do. 

At the beginning of June, I started working on a training plan I found online. I don't remember where I found it and it doesn't really matter anyway since I didn't really follow it. 

What I did do was run faster. 

To run faster... you have to run faster.

Every time I went out, I tried to stay under 9 minutes. Once a week, I would run two miles relatively fast (8:45/8:30 ish) and then run a progressively faster mile. Last week, I hit 7:16 on my third mile and was thrilled! 

Other than that, I didn't do too much. I just ran and ran faster. 

This week, I sent Kathy a text asking how mom was feeling and if she was thinking of doing anything better than 24:00. They agreed that much into the 23's wasn't super doable which made me feel a little better. I was glad to hear she wasn't thinking totally crazy thoughts.  I was heavily doubting my ability to string two miles under 8 together. Although, I know she can do it. She's a beast. :) She ran a 7:15 the day after I ran my 7:16. 

My guess is we will push each other through it on Saturday. And then, she will be beat me. 

By the time you all read this, we'll know the results. It's been fun training for a short race and learning to run faster and not longer. I think it will only help in my half training for the fall. If for no other reason, now I know I can run faster. Plus, I've had the pre-race butterflies just like every week but with less stress on my body.

Most importantly, it has motivated me to run this summer. I usually take the summer off or at least slack off. Mom has always set such good examples for me in so many areas of my life. This is no exception. 

If my mama can do it, so can I. :)