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Amazing April


April 2021 in review!  

Total mileage for the month: 307.1
  • March 29-April 4: 101.6
  • April 5-11:  92.0
  • April 12-18:  72.6
  • April 19-25:  52.5
  • April 26-May 2:  60.2
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I take my best professional
race photos in training races
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Though this one from mile 21 at
Frisco came out well #runhappy
Races:
  • April 17: Clinton Historic Half Marathon in 1:24:37 for 1st overall female, for a fun training race and $200!
  • April 24:  Frisco Railroad Run 50k in 3:34:41 for first overall person, the open female Missouri state record, the course record, the top female 50k time in North America in 2021 so far, and my ultra debut!
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Top right photo - Colin's urgent care bracelet the
day after a dog bit him on our 22 miler
Bottom right photo - Abby gave me a 24 pack of
my favorite discontinued gels - I was SO excited!
Workouts:
  • April 3:  4 mile progressive fast finish on the tail end of a 22 miler in 6:54, 6:34, 6:27, 6:02. This whole run felt great and flew by.  In December 2019, I did a 21 miler with a 3 mile fast finish at the end of a 100 mile week, and I could not hit my paces, so to have them come comfortably on this run when I'd seen 106 on my rolling 7 the day before was a nice confidence boost.  I wasn't aiming to run as fast as I did - I just planned to drop 10-15 seconds/mile from where we were at, so more like 7:10, 6:55, 6:40, 6:25 - but Christian pushed the first mile and then I wanted to keep progressing from there!  I decided I wanted to run the final mile at MGP (6:15), but Colin pushed me to go faster. It's good to have fast friends!
  • April 7:  15 x 1k with 1:00 recoveries in 3:37, 3:38, 3:35, 3:34, 3:40, 3:34, 3:37, 3:38, 3:42, 3:38, 3:44, 3:41, 3:41, 3:37, 3:42 (that's 5:45-6:00 pace, average was 5:52), 14.7 miles total with warm up and cool down.  It's been a long time since I've run a workout PR, and this was one so YAY!  At the end of February I did 12 x 1k and averaged 6:00 on a perfect weather day, so though initially my goal for this workout was to run the same pace or faster, when it was 64 degrees with 18 mph wind on workout morning, I was doubtful.  My stomach was also bothering me a bit and I nearly switched it with the 50k pace work I had scheduled for April 10, but Christian was running 6 x 1k and encouraged me to stick to the 1ks and I'm glad I did!  She ran the first 6 with me and got me out a little hot, then I really wanted to keep it under 6:00 for the remainder and I almost did (the 3:44 one - 6:00 pace exactly - had the most headwind and incline; I fought for it but couldn't quite do it).  I had the workout 12-15 x 1k about 2.5 weeks before I ran the Indy Monumental Marathon, and I stopped at 12 that day and averaged 5:54 pace, so to improve on that workout not only in pace but with more reps and in non-ideal conditions was really, really exciting to me (description of that workout on Oct. 22 here)!  I ran the same course both times, and it was windy both times, so it's very comparable.  Although, I called the 2019 workout mediocre and think this one was fantastic.  I was mad at the marathon for a bit, but after my recent workouts and what I ran at the T-Town Half under not ideal race conditions, I am salivating to run one because I think I could really nail one (i.e., PR) right now.
  • April 10:  18.2 mile long run alternating 1 mile easy/1 mile at 50k pace, on the Frisco trail (which my April 24 50k was on).  Splits were 8:10, 6:47, 7:29, 6:40, 7:21, 6:48, 7:31, 6:33, 7:21, 6:37, 7:29, 6:42, 7:27, 6:42, 7:23, 6:34, 7:37, 6:41, and the run felt great.  My heart rate was between 143-156 on the 50k pace miles, which seemed promising, and I was reminded that the Frisco trail has a lot of long inclines and is kind of a wind tunnel...not really the best characteristics for a race course, but aiming for 6:45 pace on it still seemed much less intimidating than trying to run 26.2 at 6:15 pace!
  • April 13:  6 mile wave tempo alternating 0.5 at marathon pace/0.5 at tempo (3 warm up, 3.1 cool down).  My goal paces were 6:15/5:55 and half mile splits were: 3:05, 2:58, 3:08, 2:52, 3:05, 2:57, 3:08, 2:58, 3:03, 3:00, 3:04, 2:52 (average pace 6:01 for the whole workout), so I was a little under target paces. I felt like I could have run several more miles of the 0.5/0.5, so I allowed myself to speed up on the final bit. It was great to finish this workout, which I consider 6 at 6:01 The Hard Way (uneven pacing), with some left in the tank.  My possible lifetime best workout was 10 miles alternating 4:00 tempo/2:00 marathon pace in 2019 (detailed under Oct. 15 here), and I think I could have matched it on this workout day if I'd have had more miles on tap. This workout was the icing on the cake of for this delicious training block.
  • April 17:  The Clinton Historic Half Marathon was kind of like a mystery workout where I didn't know what pace I was going to need to run until I was doing it!  It ended up being 13.2 at 6:24 average and a pretty negative split.
  • April 20:  Final little workout of 3 miles at 50k pace (6:43, 6:43, 6:38), 0.5 easy, 0.5 hard (2:49) (3 warm up, 3 cool down).  50k pace was much like running-easy-runs-too-fast pace; 5:38 pace felt good to stride out, which is how I know I'm tapered.
  • Strides:  April 6, 9, 12, 16, 23, 30.
  • Doubles:  April 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 29.
  • Strength Training: weekly totals of 3:01, 3:05, 2:00, 1:03, 2:30.
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Twinning + photobombers (Elise wore this
shirt a few days later, see photo collage above)
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Never a dull moment with this crew
Long Runs:
  • April 3:  22.2 miles (7:28), mostly easy plus a 4 mile fast finish, described above.  I ran a 9 mile loop then a 13 mile loop, so had several friends in and out (Rebecca, Derek, Casey, and Christian), and Colin did the whole 22.  I felt strong and smooth the whole way, and the progressive fast finish came pretty easily (vs. having to fight for it as I have many times in the past).  A dog bit Colin about halfway through this run, although none of us realized how bad it was until afterward, so that was the downside of the day!  We thought perhaps the dog had been mistreated by men, because it ran right past me and Christian and sunk its teeth into Colin's leg (at that point in the run it was just us 3).
  • April 4:  14.3 miles (7:56) that felt fantastic on Easter morning!  Casey and Colin did all 14 and Abby did 12 for another great group with great conversation.
  • April 10:  18.2 miles (7:07), with a workout described above.  Christian and Casey ran the first 14 miles with me, and I'm at the point where 18 feels short.
  • April 11:  12.2 miles (7:57), which wrapped up my back-to-back long runs for the season, which I was sad about because I loved them so!
  • April 17:  16.3 miles (13.2 at 6:24), which was probably both farther and faster than I should have run, but see race recap for rationale.
  • April 24:  31.1 miles at 6:54 pace!  I came through 13.1 in 1:29:19, through 26.2 in 2:58:10, felt good until 27, and then fought to keep moving (7:20-7:45 final 4 miles), but am still proud of this debut on a dirt trail.  Details and links to more details here.
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When you run farther you miss the official photo
 
Running Highlights:
  • I set a new rolling 7-day mileage PR of 106.1 miles from March 27-April 2.  I won't be bettering this record for awhile, but perhaps some day....
  • I learned a lot this season; details here.
  • Taper crazies hit in full effect during the final week before my 50k.  My fun race on April 17 helped me from going nuts that week, even though 72 miles felt pretty light.  During the final week I ended up with a steeper taper than planned, because on April 18 my right TFL (tensor fasciae latae) muscle started bothering me.  Long story short, it felt completely fine during my 50k so I think I made the right call by taking some extra rest before it...either that or the pain was caused by not running enough and the 50k fixed it, bahaha!  More details on this whole thing here.
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Really only 11 runs (2 days of splitting up warm
up, race or workout, cool down)
Life Highlights:
  • Jon and Albani gardened a lot; I helped a little.
  • Albani continued her track season, with her favorite event being the 100 m.  I loved going to meets!  She didn't get to run in many meets due to the size of her team though.
  • My parents visited for a long weekend, including my 50k and an extended family BBQ that afternoon.
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Each of these 2 just keeps growing!
 
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Nugget helping with plant starters
 
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It snowed on April 20th...
 
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Not amused
Books:
  • Bravey by Alexi Pappas
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  • Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness
  • The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
  • Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
  • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
  • She Believes: Embracing the Life You Were Created to Live by Debby Lindell
  • The Champion Mindset: An Athlete's Guide to Mental Toughness by Joanna Zeiger
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
 
Theme for the month:
Fitness and never taking it for granted.  This month I began matching or bettering PR workouts from 2019, which was beyond exciting.  I had a minor TFL issue during my 50k taper, which was a very acute reminder that nothing is guaranteed and if you're not healthy fitness doesn't matter!  I thank God for the reminder, for the progress, and for my health.
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This one's a great workout buddy!
 
 

Edited by SIbbetson

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Tell me this isn't the first time you've read Born to Run. I didn't buy into the barefoot/minimalist philosophy, but it was such a fun read.

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On 5/3/2021 at 7:15 AM, Dave said:

Tell me this isn't the first time you've read Born to Run. I didn't buy into the barefoot/minimalist philosophy, but it was such a fun read.

It IS the first time.  I don't read a lot of running books normally (this month I did); I obsess about running enough as is, bahaha!

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Congrats on a great month and your top race finishes.  Glad to hear you are back from your injury and hitting on all cyclinders.

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