Monday, April 7, 2014

great bay half marathon

well... as usual im having difficulties sitting down to write this recap. yesterdays half marathon was my 19th half marathon, and my 100th lifetime race (well, official race anyway- i had thought i had done my 100th race sometime last year but looking back i had counted some races that werent really official races... so this one was it!) despite this being a huge milestone in that regards, and with all of the runs ive done, i still get nervous before races, and still have trouble finding the right words to say how it went. id love to be all "great bay half- i ran fast and took lots of pics. and they say "a picture says a thousand words" right? so rather than write out all the details, heres thousands and thousands of words about what a massive PR feels like. the end." buuuut i wont do that.... so heres how it all went down.

a few months ago when we registered for this race, ty and brayden had decided they wanted to train and do it also. this made me so happy... ty has been doing the beach 2 beacon 10k with me for a few years now but never anything more than that distance. they both trained well and i was excited they stuck with it (it helped that ty bought new shoes, compression socks, running clothes, gu... man this is already an expensive sport, now were doubling it as a running family!) anyway, along the way kristal also decided she would join us... making this her third half marathon, and three half marathons with ME! im clearly a great influence!

sadly brayden couldnt come back from his job in time to run with us, and i was worried ty wouldnt want to do the race without him, but he still did and even said he was excited! (not excited like im excited, but to know he was still wanting to do the race made me smile). kristal came over to my house just before 8am and we packed up and headed out. the race was about an hour or so away and had an 11am start time... this can be tough to figure out nutrition, but i liked that we were able to sleep in (and hen slept til almost 7am!) this also gave the day a little longer to warm up, which was nice. original weather report showed a high of 52 degrees, but when we got there it was certainly not warm, and the wind was brutal. lovely.

every year i do this race they change up some part of it, whether its the start, the course itself, or the finish. this year was no different, but it was by far the best overall situation we have had in all of my years racing it. the parking, packet pickup, start line and finish line were all in the same place! no more parking in one spot, getting the shuttle to the pick up, walking to the start, finishing in a different place.... it was great. we sat around and got ready in the car, went and picked up our bibs and tshirts (super easy), and hit up the port-a-pottys (no lines!) before getting in a warm up mile. i wanted to make sure what i was wearing would be ok (it was), that i picked the right shoes (i did, brooks launch), and i ran about a quarter mile at pace to feel the effort. i think im ready... (am i? nerves kicked in for sure).

lets do this!

ty wasnt so sure

after kristal finished her last half marathon, i had given her a fellow flower. she and i love to complain to each other about this and that, and i felt the "no excuses" purple flower really hit the nail on the head for her. i already had the "believe" flower, and we decided to wear them to the race. we got lots of comments on them! (and saw a bunch of other people wearing fellow flowers too!)

ok so anyway... onto the race! i lined up with the 7:30 pacer (what am i thinking?!), a girl sang the national anthem, and we were on our way. i had originally thought the start line was uphill, but we actually went the other way/downhill which was a nice surprise. i quickly found a good groove and settled in, staying close behind the pacer. i saw ahead of us that we were going to be taking a right hand turn (this first two miles were going to be new to me since they had changed up the course) so i headed to the right side of the road. a few small quick hills brought us out into a neighborhood, some turns here and there, and just like that we were at mile 1. another few turns and we were back out onto the main road like previous years, a steep hill, a sharp downhill, a turn onto the main road and then off into the woods after mile 2 where the 5k splits off from the half. 

mile 1: 7:31
mile 2: 7:35
mile 3: 7:27

seeing my mile 3 time surprised me, but i felt like i was running strong. i had set my watch to read overall pace, knowing i was trying to keep it under 7:45 ish. my original thought for the day was trying to get a 1:43... i knew this course well (and knew it was tough) but also knew that my training was going well and i felt like i could do fairly well. was 1:43 a lofty goal? maybe. but i was willing to give it a try, and if anything felt off or painful, i was ok to back down. this wasnt my ultimate A race, and i didnt want to compromise that with this run.

shortly after mile 3 i lost sight of the pacer. this got me a little worried but i thought it was odd since i was still seeing 7:34 overall pace on my watch. i didnt realize until about mile 10 that i had thought the pacer was a 7:35 pacer and not a 7:30 pacer. oops. mile 4 had a pretty good set of uphills, and right before mile 5 was a steep downhill that i flew down. i knew my heart rate was up but i felt great. the road had turned into a slightly damn/muddy pot hole filled road (as usual) but i just kept watching my footing and trucked along. back onto the road at mile 6 i felt really good, and happy to have cement back under my feet.

mile 4: 7:49
mile 5: 7:37
mile 6: 7:46

the first 7 miles are pretty much a steady uphill climb with rolling hills, and then two mega hills before mile 8. i had forgotten about the 2nd big hill that came, but i just maintained effort to get up, knowing the rest of the race was pretty flat (from what i felt like i remembered anyway... which was wrong, but oh well haha).

mile 7: 7:29
mile 8: 7:45
mile 9: 7:40

shortly before mile 9 i felt pretty barfy. i had taken a gu prior to the race, and felt like i needed one by mile 3 (this has never happened before, usually im ok til at least mile 4). i took another one at mile 6, thinking i would take a third around mile 10 or 11. i never ended up taking that third one and just continued to drink my water/gatorade mix in my handheld and eventually the feeling subsided. it was pretty warm out at this point, but the wind helped keep me cool. as we went through a water stop one of the volunteers told the woman in front of me that she was the 11th female overall. i looked around me and i was all alone, and thought well... then that would make me 12th female? i didnt think that was possible, but it kinda helped push me along through the next mile. around 9.5 you turn left onto a road that leads you out into an out and back neighborhood. usually when i get onto this road i see many of the first 100 or so runners coming back towards me to the finish... i almost got to mile 10 before i saw anyone. i assume the first two guys i saw were the race leaders. and i made it to almost mile 11 before seeing any women... so all of the top women were on the loop, which was only really about a mile long. wow.

mile 9-10 was tough and my time reflected that (the wind was relentless!!!), but when i got to the last 3 miles left, i wanted to give it all i had. sadly i think i started my push too soon (should have waited til mile 11 maybe)... mile 10-11, although fast, felt really tough, and mile 11-12 showed that. i grabbed a cup of water at the water stop before mile 12, and then pretty much told myself to suck it up and just go finish this damn thing. i knew i was going to go sub 1:48, knew i was most likely going to go sub 1:45 (i dont do math very well during races), and i wasnt about to give up now.

mile 10: 7:57
mile 11: 7:20
mile 12: 7:46

shortly before mile 12 i saw kristal on her way out to the turnaround. she looked great! as i turned off the road towards the finish, i looked up the road to see if i could see ty, but knew it was probably too soon. i thought about him a lot during my race, knowing he was probably cursing me at each hill (haha oops!) but really hoping he was doing ok. two final straight up hills towards the finish and i knew i was almost there. i saw 1:38 on my watch and for a second thought i might be going for a sub 1:40... is this really happening? there were times out on the road where i wasnt sure the legs i was running with were my own... a very surreal feeling throughout the day. with about a quarter mile to go i passed a girl ahead of me and never looked back.
mile 13: 7:30

downhill fast finish, and i felt strong, smiling through the finish line...

 0.16: :59.8 (6:16 pace)

ended up being 10th female finisher and 1st in my age group!! i think im still in shock... i know that i have been training hard for my marathon (5 more weeks! eeeeek!) but i really did not think 1:40 was a time i was capable of for a half marathon. am i surprised? kinda... but im starting to believe in myself a lot more and my confidence is building. this race was absolutely what i needed to jump start the next 2 weeks of training, and then im onto race prep/taper!

kristal came in right behind me with a blazing fast new PR, sub 1:50! so proud of her!!

and ty came in well ahead of his goal time, despite some major hamstring seizing issue and knee pain. ugh... lots of icing and foam rolling in his future (and we took a nice family walk this morning to shake things out). SO PROUD OF HIM for doing this race! and he said to me last night "ive always been proud of you and respected what you do with your running, but after today i definitely have a new found respect for what you do. i absolutely could not (and would not) get to the 13.1 mark and say "yay! i wanna go run that distance again!" hehe. overall the race was a huge success, and i really enjoyed the new course. maybe one of these years those two mega hills will just magically disappear.

i think this pic and his facebook status say it all about how ty feels about half marathons...

quite the comedian

happy finishers!

barf. and those down hills (all two of them) are no joke either!

lots of prizes for the age group win!

half marathon #19
lifetime race #100

official time: 1:40:11
1st in age group F30-34
10th female overall
65th out of 635 total runners

Sunday, March 30, 2014

turning the page

todays run marked the end of week 12 of my marathon training plan. with just 6 weeks left to go, i feel like things are starting to really click into place. this is the third time i have used this training program, and this time around ive really tried to stick to the exact workouts it has called for on the days it says to do them (oh, thats how a training plan works? interesting...). in the past i have shuffled workouts around to fit my schedule (i mean.... life!) and the "oh it calls for sprints?... naaaaah" "18 miles? 12 seems good" mentality reared its ugly head once or twenty times. the first go around with this plan failed miserably, but that wasnt my fault. well, i guess the second go around with this plan really wasnt my fault either (although who signs up for a marathon in the end of july?! at night! barf, literally). i carried this plan into another marathon just a few weeks after the barf fest and finally got the sub 4 hour goal i had been training for, barely (3:58:14).

but i crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, and at the time that was all that mattered to me. i look back and think if i had only.... this, and if only i had.... that. smuttynose marathon (sadly no longer going to be an event) was a day ill never forget for many reasons. but its in the past, and i am anxiously looking towards what the future holds for me, and hoping i can again cross the finish line with a smile.

after last weekends 20 mile run, i came to the end of the weeks on the first two pages of the plan...

(i decided not to write all over the book this go around, but you can see all my previous fails)

i needed to turn the page for the rest of the plan, but i knew what was coming on those next two pages....

the end.

for many reasons, i dread thinking about the end of the plan. i know its still 6 weeks away, but i get nervous. my head asks a bunch of questions. my legs yell at me. i constantly think "what in the world are you doing?" 18 weeks is a really, really long time. but its coming to an end soon and i question whether im really ready.

i know im not ready, yet. but...

i turned the page. and i can now see the last day of the plan. may 11th. 41 days 17 hours and counting...

todays run was no easier on paper than any of the others on this plan, and the stupid weather were having here in maine (winter is still here... rain, cold, ice pellets....) forced me to do this run inside. on the treadmill. im no newbie to the treadmill, 39 of the 55 runs ive done over the past 12 weeks have been on the treadmill (ugh), but i have never gone farther than 14 miles, and i dreaded even thinking about doing 17 (well it ended up being 18 with a cool down mile). but once i started i felt so good, and this ended up being by far the best run i think i have had this entire training. i gained a lot of confidence with heart rate and pace, and just overall felt really good. a lot of people will say "well its easier to run on the treadmill, it does a lot of the work for you", etc etc... ive found that my paces out on the road are easily matching the work i have been doing on the treadmill, and i challenge anyone to run 18 on the treadmill and tell me how easy it is... 

this isnt a supposed to be a blog post to brag about my stupidity or how insane i am (i think i make all of that pretty clear in person if you know me well enough). turning the page of this book... seeing the work i have put in, the progress i have made, and the work i have left, is a big point in the training plan. my head wasnt in it earlier this week, but good runs towards the end of the week and time on the road (outside!) with the bff helped clear my mind. whether or not my ultimate goal is reached at the end of these 18 weeks, i know that i have really worked hard to get to both the starting line and the finish line of the race. ive run over 500 miles so far this year, and 215 miles for the month of march (marks the highest month i have ever had... 200.13 miles in june 2012) and i feel like i am stronger than ever. (i should probably get my head checked...)

but, i turned the page. and i can see the end. and im excited.

(please excuse the swearing from a few years ago)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

henry: ten months!

at his check up a few weeks ago henry weighed 20lbs 3oz and was 29.5 inches tall!

healthy as can be! got his antibiotic dose upped at the last appointment. we head to the cardiologist and urologist in may for check ups.

i finally packed away the rest of the 6 month clothes (good thing since this is his 10 month update! so much denial). all 9-12 month clothing now.

hen is such a great sleeper... when he wants to be haha. now that teething has slowed down (why does it have to be so painful for them?!) he is napping much better. still naps at least twice a day, if not three times, and naps much better if mommy naps with him (no problem, kid!) goes to bed without a fight before 8pm, up around 430 or 5 (just fussing) and will most often fall back asleep with us in our bed until 6am (always sleeps in with daddy, never wants to sleep in with mommy. guess he makes up for that with all the mommy naps).

on 9 months and one day henry finally crawled forward! and now he is just crawling all over the place! (including following you to the bathroom, cant go anywhere alone!)

we also began brushing his five teeth... (another top one just popped through)

and yesterday i walked into his room to find him standing up on his own in his crib. after bringing him downstairs, he stood up against the coffee table and then the chair ottoman. were in trouble now. (and finally he did something the day before his monthly update instead of the day after!)

clearly so proud

he also had his first big boy bath... the little whale tub was getting, well, little.

baby gear love
still loving the walker. he cruises all over the house with that thing. he loves to play peek-a-boo around the corners, and even though you can kinda tell that he knows youre going to be hiding around the corner and jump out at him, he still acts surprised. its really cute. we also love the high chair... a simple thing but its great. hes very content sitting in it while we are preparing his food (he eats all meals in it). can i do a baby gear dislike here? anything with batteries (aka things that make noise. aka all the damn toys). babies would really suck with a hangover.

the usual... target, babies r us, dunkin donuts... but a major one was when i convinced kristal she would love to babysit while i ran on her treadmill in the basement! luckily kristal is an easy one to convince (coffee and a breakfast sandwich) and they had a blast together! (im kinda worried she might steal him!)

i finally bought size 5 diapers for him to wear at night (didnt make much of a difference), still wearing size 4 during the day.

this little man could eat all day long if we would let him. new foods he tried this month include turkey, grilled chicken with bbq sauce, veggie macaroni noodles, cheerios, pineapple, and grandmas homemade applesauce. he sucked on a french fry at a restaurant, and ty dipped one of his banana puffs in ketchup. kid loved it.


its a serious wrestling match to get his diaper changed. he dislikes sleeping in with mommy (4am? lets party!) we seriously think he communicates with duke about his socks... they are quickly taken off his feet and immediately in dukes mouth. and he haaaates sippy cups.

happy 10 months big guy!

Friday, March 14, 2014

PDF- phone dump friday



gross? or delicious. im not sure i want to find out.

7 pairs of brooks running shoes...

the next three pairs of brooks since that previous pic was taken...

and todays purchase. i have a PROBLEM.
seriously... brooks? sponsor me? please? im pretty awesome...

apparently shoes arent the only problem i have (no need for additional comments on this...)

note the minutes...

but i made it. funny how one simple word can cause 42 likes and 19 comments!

ridiculous. i think i might have been that 52 second person.

by far my most favorite screenshot of the week... 135% to my goal! amazing.