Saturday, April 23, 2016

Long OverDue Update!

Opps!  It's been awhile.  I won't say that I forgot, it just kept moving down the cue on the "to do" list  :)

Coming back has been really fun.  If I am honest I was completely burnt out at the end of 2015 - 4 years of working my tail off, all to crescendo (#bigword) in injury, and then there was this race against the clock to try and get healthy and make it happen, and it was exhausting - mentally and physically.  So I was not sure how 2016 would pan out, would I even feel like doing this again, the commitment, the early mornings, the focus, the attention to detail, etc?  So I decided to just let it happen.  I read this poem every morning and it helps me stay right in the moment and not constantly freak out that I should or shouldn't be here or there.

So we wanted the 1st race back to be a) super low key b) local and c) one where Justin could come. I ran the IrishAZ 17K  - it was a weekend Justin could come, I had never raced a 17K - instant PR!, and it was right here in Phoenix.  It was pretty much a perfect weekend.  Justin calms me down completely; in fact I was so calm he was fixing my shoe lace when the gun went off (NOT my normal mojo).  I didn't even freak out, just had to have a little giddy up in my step to start off :)  After talking to coach we didn't taper for this or anything, it was more like a training run.  I don't think either of us knew what I would do as we had not done any speedwork yet.  So I guessed with a "A" goal of 6:45 pace throughout?  I ended up getting 6:28 pace for the 10.5 miles, good for 3rd overall female, 1st in my age group for what that's worth - which really I didn't care about - I cared about how I felt -  - AMAZING.  I have never felt like that in a race, it felt like a tempo run?  Granted the pace was nothing to write home about, but it was very encouraging and a huge confidence boost.  The rest of the weekend was even better, we went to some swanky Arts Festival and acted like we knew a lot about Art, ate a ton, did some wedding stuff, hung out with a lot of my buddies, and slept in.  Pretty Perfect :)

I love this picture, it was right after and just a spur of the moment kodak moment :)  Although Kodak not in business anymore, so maybe iphone moment?

Classic Awards ceremony picture, he was weird not going to lie.
I like this one too- One of Justin's classics - he's actually really legit at photography, it's pretty cool :)
So then, that gave us data to work off of and we started to work against that.  Wednesdays are still track/tempo work and Sundays the long effort.  We do strides on Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday, I like those, kind of fun - he makes them a game sort of, keeps me occupied :)  Things I am doing differently?

  • Religious about my hip routine - 3x a week
  • Working with Becky on strengthening my Back so my arm doesn't swing out to Utah, which we think jacks up my hips  -- this has been a slow burn but I think we are getting somewhere (Lord knows what would I do without Becky)
  • Preventative massage/chiro work
  • Nutrition Tinkering
  • Pre and Post Run routine I NEVER skip (Becky created them, and they are working really well)

So then, for fun I was asked to do this elite relay for the Tri for the Cure here in Phoenix.  I was paired with a pro swimmer and cyclist - which was just plain sweet to see them in action.  And they were hard core - - I am sure when they saw I was their "runner"  they were like "you're kidding".  Ha.  I dont blame em,  I was nervous as hell, not to goof that up.  But what a cool experience.  Swimmer comes out of the water a tad behind, cyclist gets it and I couldn't see her but she made up some SERIOUS ground on the bike, and handed off to me, and said "Don't lose it sister"  GULP.  So I ran like I stole something - - first time I have seen 5's on my watch in years for mile splits.  We ended up eeking out the win, and it was FUN.  I think the best part of that day though was hanging with my  teammates  - I don't get to spend a lot of time with Amy, and we got to talk a ton while we warmed up and cooled down.  I got some great wedding advice that's not your standard "OMG, you will love it, what does your dress look like, etc".   Solid heart to heart that I needed.  She's a good egg :)  And then I got to run 14 miles with Camper - - which was nothing short of BRUTAL b/c we were both spent after racing.  I hope no one saw us!!!! But we too had a great conversation about how you always feel like you are never doing enough in life.  Anyways, sometimes I think the beauty of this awesome sport is the journey to where you are headed via the conversation & friendships along the way.
Camper, Me, & Amy

And then back to work, started really building mileage and hitting some key workouts.  I started coaching, which will definitely be a blog in itself!  And then real work, which has been nutty busy, but good - always some drama to keep it interesting :)-

This picture deserves a WHOLE blog post, which it will get!  (Soon I promise!)

Which all led to, Hawaii!  Huge Bucket List item - - I would need a whole 'nother blog post to explain how this came to be, but just trust me - it was meant to be ;)  It all just kind of fell into my lap.  Anyways, if you are looking for a bucket list race to do - The Hapalua (which means the half in Hawaiian) is AMAZING.  I have never been treated so well, from start to finish, a great experience!  The course itself is not a PR course, it's rather hilly, with one HUGEEEE hill - Diamond Head.  But despite that I ran a 1:22:43 (3 seconds off my PR), so we were pretty excited!!!  I got 2nd overall female, 1st in age group - and again I didn't even feel like I raced?  It was like a tempo run.  It's very odd.  But I had a blast, and at the top of Diamond Head I literally had to take my hand and close my mouth b/c  the view was astonishing!  It is also rather humid there (75% compared to my 5% here!!!) so that took some getting used to; but nothing that bothered me really.  Overall just an amazing weekend!  I slacked a little on my recovery routine - and I paid for it - but back on track now, and learned my lesson.
standard race picture - looks like I'm struggling, but I swear I wasn't :)

Awards Ceremony with this 94 year old Hawaiian Lady who was asst. race director and ridiculously nice!
And to now....spending a lot of time training with "W"- we are a good match in personality (extreme introverts, our runs can be done in silence :), pace, and goals.  I am just happy - - love where I am right now, and at peace.  And that is a feeling that you can never take for granted, because you never know what tomorrow holds.   xooxox
W and me on our Sunday 17 miler....maybe we said 20 words the whole run, yet I think we still had an entire conversation in the silence.