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A September to Remember

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September 2019 in Review

Total mileage for the month:  360.5

  • Sep. 2-8:  75.2
  • Sep. 9-15:  92.5
  • Sep. 16-22: 92.6
  • Sep. 23-30:  75.5


Runship - like friendship, but even better!


  • Sep. 8 - Plaza 10K in 36:52, which I was happy with in 71 degrees and humidity!  I was proud that I split 18:24 and 18:27 5Ks without ever looking at my watch.  I placed 6th overall female, and was 18 seconds off my PR, which I ran on the same course in 56 degrees.
  • Sep. 28 - Indy Women's Half Marathon in 1:20:29 for a new half PR, 3rd overall, and a really pleasant surprise in 74 humid degrees.  I was also pretty proud to average 6:10 for the first half of the race and 6:08 for the second half without looking at my watch.  Race recap coming!


I won this outfit from Runners Love Yoga & am in love with it!


  • Sep. 3:  2 mile tempo (5:53, 5:55), 0.5 jog recovery, 5 x 800 m (road) with 2:00 jog recoveries (2:49, 2:50, 2:54, 2:51, 2:49), 4 x 0:30 hill sprints (grade-adjusted paces of 4:46, 4:41, 4:39, 4:38 according to Strava - although I do not believe those) with jog down recoveries and 2.1 warm up, 2.5 cool down.  This was my first mixed system workout, and I enjoyed it!  I was also pleased with my times, although I felt like I could have time-trialed a 5K faster on this morning than I ran in the Brookhaven 5K which made me feel bad about that 5K.  It being 66 degrees helped (40 degrees will really help soon enough)!
  • Sep. 5:  6 x 1:00ish at 10Kish pace towards the end of a 6 mile run in 5:40, 5:48, 5:56, 5:44, 5:27, 5:52 with 1:00 jog recoveries.  During this run, the insects were chirping so loud that I couldn't hear my watch beep very well, so my second repeat was about 1:40 and some others I didn't get started right on time.  It was the first time I'd had that problem!  But it wasn't really a precise or long workout, just something to try to inject some pop into my legs.
  • Sep. 10:  2 mile tempo (6:14, 6:16), 0.5 jog recovery, 6 x 600ish m (track) in 2:16, 1:59, 2:03, 2:06, 2:00 with 2:00 jog recoveries, 6 x 100ish m with 100ish m jog recoveries (2.7 warm up, 1.7 cool down).  I was in the Kansas City area for work the morning of this workout, and went to a middle school track I'd run on in July on a KC work trip to find that the track had recently been resurfaced (winning!), but that it had no lines painted on it (losing!).  The 2 mile was easy enough to get an accurate time on, using my water bottle as a mark to see my lap splits, but the 600s were close although surely not perfect without the 200 m marks.  I struggled with getting warmed up on this workout, and 6:15 pace sure felt like 6:00 pace on the tempo - it was 77*, dew point 70*, so that might have had something to do with it, but I think the main thing was residual fatigue from the Plaza 10K + long run less than 48 hours before.  For my first 600 I was still in tempo mode, but then gave myself a pep talk about PUSHING it, and the rest were better.  The 100s may not have been any faster than the 600s, but I tried!
  • Sep. 14:  2 x 6 miles in 6:15, 6:08, 6:12, 6:09, 6:12, 6:04 (6:10 average) / 6:10, 6:14, 6:06, 6:12, 6:18, 6:11 (6:11 average), with 0.5 mile jog recovery (plus 0:58 fuel stop, so 4:53 total recovery) and 4.2 warm up and 5.7 cool down.  I thought my pace goal on this workout was going to be 6:15, but my coach surprised me with a 6:10 target and I surprised myself with coming super close to it, particularly based on how I felt!  I started a new lifting routine on Sep. 13, and my glutes and hamstrings sure reminded me of that throughout this workout.  It took me about 3 miles to get into a groove, then I finished the first rep feeling okay but also wondering how in the world I was going to do that again (I had to promise myself that I could do 2 x 3 mile with another 0.5 recovery in there if I needed to).  I normally never stop my watch during workouts and wouldn't during a hard portion, but I did briefly during my recovery jog in order to drink 8 oz of nuun energy and to take half a gel.  I looked at Strava to determine that I stopped for 0:58.  I felt really invigorated after the fuel, so I think being able to complete the workout was worth the minute, as much as I like my moving time and elapsed time to be identical (race clocks don't stop!)!  I really had to push the final 2.5 miles, and initially I was annoyed at myself for being unable to keep the second to last mile from drifting upward, but then I decided that if my fade is 6:18 it's a good day - and 12 miles total at 6:10.5 average is also a good day!  Then the 5.7 mile slllooow cool down was almost as hard as the workout - whew!  I did post-run yoga right after this workout, while drinking a smoothie (so cliche), because my glutes and hamstrings were so upset.  The yoga helped, but I was still sore/dead the rest of the day.
  • Sep. 18:  6 miles at MGP in 6:07, 6:15, 6:10, 6:13, 6:15, 6:10 (6:12 average), 2 x 1 mile at 10K in 5:55 & 5:52, with 4:00 jog recoveries (2 warm up, 3.2 cool down).  My friend Abby ran a fartlek workout while I ran this, and starting with someone for a road workout resulted in me getting out too fast; when she finished her first 3:00 push I looked down at my watch to see I was averaging 5:54 pace and told myself to reel it in!  It's rare I start out anything too fast, but I felt better on the 6 mile portion of this than I did on the Sep. 14 workout so I guess I thought 6:15 was going to feel much harder than it did, if that makes sense. I was aiming to run the 2 x 1 mile at 5:45-5:50, but didn't have that.  I guess being a few seconds too fast on MGP then a few seconds too slow on 10K pace evens out, eh?  It was 68 degrees for this workout but at this point any time the dew point is under 70 it feels great out.  I brought out a shaker cup of Generation UCAN to drink during this workout, but after I grabbed it off my mailbox while running my first recovery I realized that drinking out a shaker cup while running does not work, so that was a fail (it should have been obvious, I know)!  Better fueling practice next time I guess...
  • Sep. 21:  6 easy, 4 at 6:25 (6:25, 6:24, 6:24, 6:19), 3 at 6:15 (6:19, 6:18, 6:16), 2 at 6:05 (6:29, 6:27 #nope), 1 all out (6:21), cool down to 20, with 3:00 jogging recoveries.  I felt out of gas from the beginning of this workout, but during the 4 mile portion I kept telling myself I'd get warmed up and rolling and then be fine.  During the 3 mile section when I couldn't force it down to 6:15 I knew I was in trouble, and when I finished the 3 mile dying I considered throwing in the towel instead of finishing the 2-1, but instead decided to just give it what I had, which in the end meant fighting like heck to keep my pace in the 6:20s.  I'm not sure why I was running on empty, but in the end I got in 10 miles of work in the 6:20s during a 20 mile run, so it wasn't the end of the world.  I ran a similar workout in August, and ironically it was cooler for that one (71 degrees, dew point 70 for this one).  Abby and I started with the 6 easy together, then Abby and Rebecca ran workouts on the same course while I was running mine, which helped my morale when I was dying.  Then Abby and I did yoga right after!
  • Sep. 24:  3 x 1 mile in 5:35, 5:36, 5:45 with 2:00 jog recoveries (3.4 warm up, 3.6 cool down).  56 degrees is like a performance-enhancing drug!  After Sep. 21 didn't go as I hoped, I really hoped this one would go well and it did.  I'm not even upset that my third rep was slower, because they were all well under my goal of 5:50, and I had Derek with me on reps 1-2 but ran 3 alone and seem to always run about 10 seconds/mile faster with someone else (all of my PR 1-2 mile repeat workouts have been with Ben).  I began having some issues with benign positional paroxysmal vertigo the night before this workout and woke up very dizzy, but I was fine after I started warming up - at least until I put my head down in the shower to wrap my hair in a towel.  Once you have BPPV you're likely to have recurrences (scroll down to Nov. 26 here to read about the first time it happened to me).
  • Doubles:  Sep. 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 15, 17, 20, 24.
  • Strides:  Sep. 6, 7, 17, 27, and at least a couple before all workouts and races.  I also do drills before most workouts and races.
  • Strength work:  Weekly totals of 1:44, 1:40, 2:25, 0:51
  • Yoga:  Weekly totals of 1:06, 2:01 (this would be a PR!), 1:05, 1:20
  • Favorite workout:  On paper I'd say Sep. 21 because I love that workout, but it did not love me back this time, so in execution it's a tie between Sep. 3's mixed system and Sep. 18's MGP + 10K.


My husband said he came outside to cheer for me

on my Sep. 14 workout, but really he was mostly

trying to prevent our daughter from adopting a

stray kitten, hah!  He did take photos of me though.


Photo expression of weeks of mileage in the

80s-90s that end with a 12 mile recovery run

Long Runs:

  • Sep. 1:  15.2 miles (7:54).  I was glad this was an easy run the day after the Brookhaven 5K and in the midst of our Labor Day getaway.  My friend Andre was kind enough to meet me at 5 a.m. and give me a running tour of Oklahoma City (and also not to push the pace - he is faster than me)!
  • Sep. 8:  17.1 miles along with the Plaza 10K (3 warm up, 7.9 cool down).  It's pretty much tradition for me to run an excessively long cool down to make this one into a long run!
  • Sep. 15:  22.4 miles with a workout, described above.  This was one of the hardest long runs I'd ever done!  The long cool down felt about how I expected when I read "cool down to 22" on my schedule (I miscalculated my turn-around or I would not have run a step farther than 22 this day!).
  • Sep. 21:  20.1 miles with a workout, described above.  This wasn't my best day, but I did what I could!
  • Sep. 28:  20.8 miles, with the Indy Women's Half plus 3.2 warm up and 4.5 cool down.  I was only supposed to run 19, but had to do a "bonus" cool down to get back to our Bed and Breakfast in time to take a shower after the race awards, in lieu of walking back with my dad as planned (I also ran back to the BnB between the race and the awards in order to plate our breakfasts and put them in our room's fridge before breakfast closed!).
  • Sep. 29:  14.1 miles (7:55), and I'm including this because it was the day after a half and 20.8 - double long run weekend!  I actually felt great running it, which was not what I expected when I saw it on my training schedule.  September 20 I ran 12 miles the day after that 20 mile workout, and it was okay too.  The line is getting blurry on what runs I include in my long run list because some of my mid-week workouts are pretty long too.
  • Favorite long run:  The Sep. 15 workout - it was the longest and my strongest!


OKC long run


Dramatic depiction post-run on Sep. 29

Running highlights/thoughts/randomness:


Breakfast run on Labor Day!

Life highlights/randomness: 

  • Over Labor Day weekend we went to the Oklahoma City area for a Labor Day getaway and so I could run the Brookhaven 5K.  Some photos from the trip are in my August post, but some Sep. 1 zoo photos are below.
  • Jon and I celebrated our anniversary on Sep. 17.
  • Albani turned 12 on Sep. 18 and had her first slumber party to celebrate.  Everyone survived!
  • My dad and I traveled to Indy on Sep. 27-28 for the Indy Women's Half and a fantastic father-daughter trip.  My dad also spent a little time in Ozark with us before and afterwards (Thursday through Monday). 
  • A kitten randomly showed up in our yard, and became our foster kitten (we cannot keep it, though!).


These birds brought her a lot of joy!


These sheep seemed to like being brushed


Spreading our wings


Early birthday donuts & hot chocolate, & pinata


The adorable stray kitten that showed up in

our blackberry patch


Blowing out 12 candles


Pinata action shot


6th grade girls are LOUD


I didn't read as much as usual this month...I'm going to blame the additional yoga and all of the celebrations.

  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  • Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand
  • George by Alex Gino
  • Running Home: A Memoir by Katie Arnold 
  • Run to Overcome by Meb Keflezighi

Theme(s) of the month:

Race season is here!  Summer is still here.  Racing without looking at my watch is winning.  I can run better than I expect in the heat sometimes.

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What an amazing month! It's been so fun to see what you've accomplished in this training cycle.

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52 minutes ago, Dave said:

So, where's the kitten now?

Living on our deck, haha!  But luckily we found a home for her that is going to take her in a couple of weeks though.  We let it inside yesterday when it was cold and pouring, and both our cats were MAD.

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