Race Reviews

ROCK N ROLL AZ 1/2 2015

I am going to try and be very fast on the turnaround for race reviews, because it is best to reflect right away, as to remember what you did/didn't do so you can learn and move forward.

This past weekend a few of us kicked off the 2015 season at the Rock N Roll AZ 1/2 marathon/marathon.  Honestly, I did not know what to expect.  On the one hand I feel like a had a bit of a "breakthrough" at a Thanksgiving race - a mental tweak my sister actually helped me with - and since then I have been training well, loving my new teammates and support, getting back into some track work consistently, so all in all a good block of training.  On the other hand, Sunday my grandma passed away, and so I flew to Chicago for the wake/funeral, an emotional low.  And then right to Cincy for an inspirational meeting, emotional high.  I got home Thursday night after midnight.  Net, not great on the body, and had done most of my key pre-race workouts via treadmill. But we talked through the race plan; and I felt good about it.  Life is never perfect anyway, it is what you do with what it hands you that determines your success.  So I set out the gear for the morning excited to get after it!
Running this year for Nuun, Swiftwick, Soleus Running, Sweaty Bands, Skechers, P&G, and  Sonoran Distance Project!

I feel like I have found a morning race routine that is working for me; my close friend is a health/nutrition coach and we found the perfect combo in the hours before the race that is really working.  Her paleo bread and almond butter plus 1 bottle of Nuun.  I eat a lot of carbs in  general so this kind of just tops the tank I think and keeps me full (protein).  Then I do my hip routine and hit the car to get there.

Driving in...I knew it....I felt it, I was like - "I am stoked, not nervous, just frikkin stoked to run".  And as soon as I arrived and saw my teammate Natalie I felt at home; some people just have that gift and she is one of them.  We warmed up 2 miles, did some drills and headed to the start.
Natalie and I standing by a fire pit in the elite tent area, yes it was 60 degrees, but I have learned your blood thins fast after living here!

At the start I really didn't have my BRUTAL mental issues I usually have, I mean I am not going to say I was singing Annie, but I was pretty calm.  Gun went off, and we went out a tad fast then the desired pace; but not too bad (my usual issue).  And it was FRIKKIN FUN.  The cool thing is we ran in silence together for about 9 miles, yet it was like we were conversing the whole time.  The sound of each other breathing....was words.  You could hear the training, the common understanding, the emotions you go through...all through breath.  At 9 you go straight up a hill and that is where the race plan became a bit more unknown.  Some days you have it, and those are the moments you cherish, because it feels so special.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I didn't really lose pace and one of my last miles was actually 6:04.  I felt like I could run forever.  PR 1:22:40 (previous 1:24:34).

Running can be a brutal sport. You work so hard, day after day, and nothing, nothing, nothing to show for it. Then finally a breakthrough.  This has literally been 4 years in the making since illness/injury.  I have made some strides, progress all the way for sure, but very small PRs.  This was a 2 minute PR - on a WAY tougher course.  So I am not declaring victory, trust me the work ahead is daunting; but it was what I NEEDED, I prayed for this, a sign to believe in the training, don't let go, keep hanging on.
One of our sponsors, Pantene,  rallies around an amazing campaign, Stronger Together and this race was the perfect example of that.  
So net, right after you cross the line recovery begins; and I am pretty anal about recovery. I have a whole routine that could be a post in itself, so I won't bore you the details!  But, now it's back to work; something as sick as it sounds is very comforting for me, I enjoy the journey.  And as my mom said, my grandma FINALLY got to see me race, and she saw a good one :)

I always have this ridiculous glazed over look when I finish racing....embarrassing.

Best seat in the house to watch is on the road itself :)

Pancakes Anyone?

Runner's Den Pancake 10K Race Review

Following through on the promise for quick race recaps, here is a short one on my 2nd race this year as this is one of those times when work (why did I raise my hand to do that?), running (how many miles this week...even after a race?  Ok,  I'll stop asking), life (yes that wedding planning is happening, no Facebook I do not want a t-shirt that says "Stay Calm and Wedding Plan"...p.s. who does buy that crap?) all are colliding at once.

This one was less a focus race and more of a planned workout within a long run, it's tough to take time out to taper "right" for a race because when you do you essentially can take 3 weeks out of your training block.  So unless it's a must for you - you plug right through.  However, I was pretty amped for this one because 5 of us were in this, and would be able to work together to SWEEP top 5 (which we did - #SDPStrongerTogether).    Anyways, as a result I went ahead with a normal week of training and did pretty hard descending ladder mile repeats on Wednesday and another semi-hard effort Friday that left my legs a tad tired.

But, it was good because it gave me another chance to refine my pre-race routine, which I am so pysched about! I have found the perfect fueling and hydration combo that is really working for me.  I am lasting a lot longer in races before I run out of calories.

I think my favorite part of moving to new cities is learning their unique and big races, this Pancake one seemed to be one, lots of history, and sold out - always a good sign.  In fact my only critique is it started at 9:15, I mean when you wake up when I do that's like lunch time :)  As a result, I struggled a bit on the warm-up timing, I did 4 miles beforehand, but I think I did it too early.  I was anxious to just get rolling.

Gun went off, and honestly I can say race strategy went a little south - plan was to race conservative, and 1st mile was 5:50 -epic fail.  After that I evened it out though and finished in 37:55, 4th overall....6:07 pace.  So now I just need to keep that for 20 more miles, with room for a little explosion if needed....right?  No, honestly I felt like I legitimately gained some serious fitness from the 1/2 (6:19 pace) to now, so I am hoping my next half pulls in between these two races in regards to pace, and that will be a very good indicator of progress.
PANCAKE SWEEP #SDPStrongerTogether!

Things that I liked about this race:
1.   Teammates:  it was awesome sweeping and running next to some serious talent.. it's inspiring
2.   New racing Flats:  I love my new Skechers Go Meb's -and speaking of which, today I got my whole shipment and I am in running heaven :)
3.   Pre-race routine is getting tight - and that has been a journey!
#LikeaGirl (with new racing flats!! #GOlikeneverbefore)
Me and amazing Holli who does wonders for Girls on the Run, #youknowyouarejealousofmypancakemugIwon.

Most girls get excited for shoes....but probably not these kind of shoes!?  Got my new Skechers Performance Shipment!
Net, back to work today with a 9 mile recovery run, minimal damage left behind except a small monster grabbing my hamstrings tightly, but that is what Mr. Foam Roller is for! #GOlikeneverbefore #SDPStrongerTogether #LikeaGirl #BeSwift #TeamNuun

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