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November: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart




Note:  I realized that I forgot to post this, but I still have time before December's recap goes up, so...  I didn't edit this from what I originally wrote in November, but my December wasn't what I was planning.

November 2019 in Review

Total mileage for the month: 271.7

  • Oct. 28-Nov. 3:   60.3
  • Nov. 4- 10:  58.7
  • Nov. 11-17:  47.8
  • Nov. 18-24:  82.6
  • Nov. 25-Dec. 1:  68.1




  • Nov. 9:  CNO Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in 2:46:08 for a marathon PR in windy conditions - 68 seconds off my goal, but 66 seconds closer than I've ever been before.  There is no way to sum this race up concisely, but my full recap and posts linked in it might do it! 
  • Nov. 23:  White River Half Marathon in 1:20:18 for a small half PR.  They say you can never be unhappy with a PR, and I'm adding "especially when it comes 2 weeks after a marathon and you run the entire race alone".  Although I'm counting my official time as my PR, I'm counting my Strava half time of 1:19:37 for confidence purposes because I think the turnaround cone was placed a bit too far out this year.


It's always nice to get mail


  • Nov. 5:  4 x 1200 m at tempo with full recoveries in 4:24, 4:21, 4:22, 4:21 (paces of 5:54, 5:50, 5:52, 5:50), 2.2 warm up, 2.5 cool down. My coach said not to run these any faster than 5:55 pace, so I tried to run 5:54 exactly to be a brat. I felt unmotivated and somewhat sluggish, which is very normal for tapering for me. Why is it easier to keep going at 90 mile weeks with doubles and double digit workouts, than to run 6-8 mile singles?  I may never know!
  • Nov. 18:  4 x 1 mile at tempo with 0:45 recoveries in 5:56, 5:56, 5:55, 5:59 (3.2 warm up, 2.2 cool down). I haven't done too many workouts this soon off of a marathon, so I was a little nervous about how my body would respond and was really happy to hit my goal range of 5:55-6:00 on all repeats!  It was harder than it would have been if I hadn't been 9 days off a marathon, but it was doable, which felt like a victory!  I felt out of gas on the last repeat, but also 100% healthy so it was a win.
  • Nov. 20:  3 x 0.5 pick-ups to tempo, with 3:00 jogs between, starting around 5.25 into an 8 mile run at 5:50, 5:50, 5:51 pace.  My goal pace was 5:55, but there were some declines in each segment (I could not have planned this had I tried!), and my grade-adjusted pace averaged exactly 5:55...winning!  I had company on this one; our group's high school cross-country prodigy Jack is between seasons and was the only person on the group run that day who thought the pick ups sounded fun.
  • Nov. 23:  13.1 miles at tempo (6:04), a.k.a., the White River Half Marathon as my big push workout between marathons (2.9 warm up, 4.7 cool down for a 20.7 mile day).
  • Nov. 26:  3 x 2 miles at marathon pace to a bit faster, with 0.5 floats 15% slower (2.9 warm up, 1.2 cool down) in 6:14, 6:10 (float 6:54), 6:10, 6:11 (float 7:00), 6:08, 6:09.  I was supposed to drop the third set a little faster, but since we were in a wind advisory I counted this workout as a success.  My friend Missy ran a different workout on the same course, and when we started our warm up together into the 19 mph wind I said, "No wonder I couldn't get my time at Indy, this is terrible!"
  • Nov. 30:  5 miles at marathon pace with 1:00 pick-up to tempo every mile, at 6:09 average via 6:07, 6:16, 6:13, 6:08, 5:58 - the MP/tempo paces were 6:15/5:50, 6:18/5:59, 6:22/6:11, 6:18/5:37, 6:10/5:40 (1.8 warm up, 1.6 cool down).  I got this one done but it was not pretty!  Marathon pace never feels easy to me in training, but in this workout it felt more like a sprint.  I finished wondering how in the world I ran 13.1 miles at 6:04 pace just a week previously, but I usually have these type of days at some point during my marathon taper, so it doesn't worry me as much as it makes me laugh.  I think it was supposed to be more of a light stimulus day, but it pretty much felt like a 5 mile race!  I was in Cherryvale, Kansas at my in-law's house, and I've actually never had a good workout there, which I blame on me being SO routine, and by nature holidays and travel are out of routine.  The weather was perfect and the course I ran flat, which was the only reason I mostly hit my goal splits!
  • Doubles:  Nov. 18, 19, 20, 25, 28.
  • Strides:  Nov. 4, 8, 13, 22, and at least a few before all workouts and races.
  • Strength work:  Weekly totals of 1:16, 0:36, 1:32, 1:25, 2:00.
  • Yoga:  Weekly totals of 1:20, 1:30, 2:20, 2:25, 1:55.
  • Favorite workout:  Nov. 18, because it showed me that marathon recovery was progressing nicely and gave me the confidence to try the White River Half.


Hip flexor flexibility

Long Runs:

  • Nov. 2:  12.5 miles easy (7:37) for my final little "long" run before Indy!  My ultra runner friend Derek ran this with me the day before he paced the Bass Pro Marathon; no one else ran because it was the day before the Bass Pro Marathon.
  • Nov. 9:  Indy Monumental Marathon, plus warm up for 27.4 total miles.
  • Nov. 16:  13.5 miles easy with 1 mile fast finish (7:31 for all, 6:25 fast finish mile). My coach told me to do the final mile sub-7:00, which I interpreted as 6:15 (hah), but moving any faster caused my hamstrings too much strain.  I'll settle for this for 1 week post-marathon though!  This was a beautiful morning run with Abby and Ashley, including highlights such as everyone digging in the back pocket of my tights for their key fobs!
  • Nov. 23:  The White River Half Marathon, plus warm up and cool down for 20.7 total miles.
  • My final "long" run before CIM fell on Dec. 1, one week before the race, so that's it for November!
  • Favorite long run:  With only two to chose from, I'll go with Nov. 16 because it a great girls' run (sorry, Derek)!


Easy like Sunday morning

Running highlights/thoughts/randomness:

  • I loved spectating at the Bass Pro Marathon!  Jon, Albani, and I drove around on the marathon course cheering for my friends running.  My training partners Abby and Rebecca went 1-2 overall females in the marathon, which was SO EXCITING to watch!  My throat was sore from cheering so hard.  Albani and I also helped at the race expo, and I came very close to signing up for the 5K but restrained myself (it was 6 days before Indy).
  • We had some stupid cold mornings, including Nov. 11 when the windchill was -2 degrees (I had a scheduled day off post-Indy) and Nov. 12 when it was 5 degrees (that was not a "warm" welcome back to running after Indy).
  • I really enjoyed this podcast, featuring a woman who tried for the OTQ at Indy.  It also showed me how different the same race experience could be for two people, although I related to her comments about the elite bathrooms being poorly regulated (the difference was I just peed behind a bush and made it to the start with plenty of time!).  For me, the elite start experience was very well organized and easy to navigate (more details here).  She struggled with hypothermia during the race, while I didn't think the cold bothered me (she hated the wind like me too though).
  • This piece about being a Christian competitive athlete hit the nail on the head. 
  • Look who is in the CIM elite field!


Some of my running buddies at the Bass Pro expo


Not a warm welcome back to running post-marathon


Indy is behind me, CIM is ahead


I've been stretching my hip flexors for years, but this stretch

is next level & I love it!

Life highlights/randomness: 

  • Our foster cat Biscuit went to her forever home and is thriving.  Jon was much more distraught about her leaving than Albani was.
  • I had an amazingly fun trip with Amy to the White River Marathon.
  • We spent three days at my in-laws for Thanksgiving, including our traditional cutting of our Christmas trees at their farm.


Bass Pro spectating


Biscuit went to her forever home


Nugget's feelings about the neighbor's dog running onto our deck


I'm beyond excited she is still allowing

matching dresses for church!


Bandit is against the use of scales in women's



We decorated for Christmas & a deer went down

in the wind advisory while I was running a



Lazy snugly on Thanksgiving Eve morning


We put a lot of work into planning this route


Black Friday Christmas tree cutting on a misty day


  • Mercy by Jodi Picoult
  • How Bad Do You Want It? by Matt Fitzgerald
  • Strong by Kara Goucher
  • The Happy Runner by David Roche and Megan Roche
  • Double Cross by Jackson Pearce 
  • Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller
  • Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins (I highly recommend this one!)

Themes of the month:

Marathon madness, thankfulness, and grace.  Also appreciating the difference a year makes - my first outside run "back" post-injury was on Black Friday 2018.

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You fit so much into every month! Not just running, but wifing, mothering, reading, kitty fostering and of course, working. Not sure how you do it. 

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7 hours ago, CompulsiveRunner said:

You fit so much into every month! Not just running, but wifing, mothering, reading, kitty fostering and of course, working. Not sure how you do it. 

I think the secrets is OCD scheduling/planning, haha!  Also I don't watch TV so that really boosts my reading.  :-)  But I'm just a normal person, so I believe anyone can do anything I do and more, no doubt.

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