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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/10/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    “When ya know, ya know... ya know?" That was Crush, the sea turtle, in Finding Nemo. And that’s me, veering into a whole new career choice. Most of you know my background, growing up in what is a glorified (by some) cult. For the first 24 years of my life, few of my decisions were my own. As an Amish person, first, which took away most of the experiences and choices of what we consider normal coming-of-age, and secondly, as a woman, which limited or eliminated them further. What you wore, where you went, who you could hang out with, whether you got an education or not (8th grade), what you did for a career (you don’t have one), who you marry (almost completely the choice of the males, ie the boy/man who “chose” you and your father’s consent). I always laugh a little when people ask if our marriage was arranged... 'My friend, your whole life in that culture is arranged.' Mostly I’m okay with how it all went because there’s nothing I can do to change it. Play the cards you're dealt and all that. Occasionally I mourn a bit the life I didn’t get to live or choose for those years, years that are so important to who you are and what you become. But in the end, I can only be what I am going forward. Years ago, when my babies were little, I thought of going into the emergency medical field. It appealed to me to then. But the schedule of classes seemed almost impossible; at the time, my husband was working overtime plus attending classes of his own to become a volunteer firefighter. I was taking classes online to get an associates degree and, you know, babies. Once said babies were both in school, I stepped into the working world and got a job. For two years, I worked at a bank. Which I enjoyed, but the pay was crappy and the hours (every Saturday) even crappier. When an opportunity came up for better hours and pay came up at the beginning of this year, I took it. Except that almost immediately after being hired I was asked to work 8 hours more per week than I’d agreed to. And though I like the people around me and have no complaints about my actual workplace, I simply hate the work. I'm chained (figuratively) to a desk answering phone calls and fielding complaints/problems. It’s mindless, it’s numbing, it’s absolutely NOT what I want to do for the remainder of the month, much less the remainder of the year. And certainly not my life. After 3 months of it, I was confiding to a friend how I felt: hating my job, dreading Mondays, feeling generally stuck and unmotivated in my life. She said, “Peg, if you’re feeling like that only 3 months in, it’s not the right fit.” So I thought hard about what it is I might want to do, talked with people around me and my husband said, you always wanted to be an EMT, why not do that? And something in me said, YES, WHY NOT?! I made some calls, paid some money, squeaked into an already-full class by impulsively calling the instructor and pleading my case, and voila! A week later I was an EMT student. The schedule is tough. On the class days of Tuesday/Thursday, I leave my house at 8:30 for work and I leave work at 5:00 in order to make the class on the other side of town. I have about a 30 minute cushion to grab something to eat, or study, or grab a nap in the car (I’ve chosen that over dinner), and then class begins at 6:00. It runs to 9:30-10:00, after which I make the trek back home, usually getting in the door around 10:20 or so. Home from my day, no shower, often no dinner, and exhausted. Every other Saturday I have a weekend class that runs 9:00am to 3:00-4:00pm or whenever the material is covered. Yesterday was the first Saturday. Last night I was online doing lecture modules and practice quizzes for over 3 hours- after the day of class. The written material is a 1500 page textbook, divided in 40 chapters, with online tests, quizzes, etc. that go toward your final score. About half of the time in class also includes hands on practicals, which will soon increase to almost all of the classtime going forward. A big final showdown of testing in both on-field practicals and a written test comes at the very end, and if I pass in mid-August, I’ll be a state and nationally certified EMT. There’s a high demand for this in our area (and maybe everywhere), so I was assured getting a job is no problem. From there, who knows? I have a long-term goal of becoming a paramedic (1000 hours/1 year of training). Maybe a flight medic, or an EMT instructor? All I know is that despite the challenge of an additional 8-16 hours of class per week on top of working 30 hours and caring for a family and trying to get some runs/workouts in, it’s what I want. As opposed to what I do now… after 24 hours out of the 150 required for the course, I am loving this stuff. They say you know fairly quickly if you’re cut out for it or not. I guess I haven’t yet seen blood and gore and limbs breaking and babies being born and using an AED to shock someone’s heart (though I did it on a mannequin!) but if hearing about it and learning about it indicates anything, well, I’m cut out for this. It grabs me. It’s interesting. It feels like purpose. Like I’m doing something that means something, not just to me, but to the greater world around me. I need that sense of purpose like I need to breathe. We just covered anatomy, which was my favorite. Specifically, heart stuff. Holy cow, the heart is an amazing little muscle-pump-of-never-ending-beast-mode. And all that running, including the injuries!- came in handy at last. ‘Skeletal structure of the lower extremities? Got it. Difference between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism? Yessir.’ Medical terminology, ughhhh, not so much. Pages and pages. All those suffixes and prefixes that you can attach onto words to make a whole new medical term? *holds head in hands* And don’t even get me started on mnemonics. THEY ARE MANY. The increased workload will mean no ultras for me this summer, and probably no marathons until at least late fall, if any. Boston is still out there, but for now I need this more. I’m okay with running for fun… doing some 5ks and actually training for one?... using running as a way to alleviate the stress of sitting at work and sitting (again) through class. Currently, I need running to be a supportive friend, not another obligation/job. I tell myself, when it gets chaotic and tough and there aren’t enough hours in a day and I feel like a bad mom and wife and I’m trying to stay awake long enough to shower and eat at 11:00pm… this is like a marathon. A summer of hard work, a lot of sacrifices, maybe not as much sweat but definitely a few tears. The finish line is worth it. And like the marathon, the finish line is seldom just a finish. Instead, it can be the door to a world of new possibilities.
  2. 2 points
    RunDisney races- always early, well-organized and IMO Super-fun! This weekend was Star Wars themed. Now, I used to be a huge Star Wars fan. I nerded-out reading all the published books that expanded on the original three movies and loved it. Then the new movies came out, and, of course none of them followed the books I read, so the world I envisioned was destroyed, and although I was happy to see the new movies, I never became a huge fan. However, I couldn’t object to a trip to Disney for a race, and the original movies are a big focus of the races. Plus, the course should be the same as the last 10K I raced prior to the baby adventure (I thought the course would be the same in August when I signed up for the race – it was not). Dark and early wake-up at 2:30am I usually can get ready in 15 minutes for a race, but this time. I needed time to pump milk and get completely dressed before my brother arrived at 3:15am to watch DD sleep during the race. Everything went smoothly and I was on the bus to the start by 3:30. I like to arrive early to avoid any stress and get in the corral when they open so I can start towards the front without too much of an issue. The 10K doesn’t require proof of time for getting in the first corral, so there is small amount of people that provide the wrong estimated finish time, and then force their way to be on the line at the start. I’m not about to get in the middle of that trampling-pushing-mess, but I like to start in the first wave (where I should with my predicted pace). 5:30 start time – right on time and with a beautiful firework sendoff, and obligatory StarWars music. I started a little farther back than other times I’ve run Disney, about 15 seconds off the start, but in the first wave, so not a big deal. I didn’t want to waste energy, so I tried to keep an even pace and avoid weaving around people too much, and there were a lot of people to weave around. However, it only took less than an 8th of a mile to get by the mess and settle into a comfortable pace. My plan was to pick a “comfortable hard” pace and only look at my watch when the mile buzzed. Mile 1- nothing much to note after finding my place and comfortable pace. It felt like a sufficiently easy pace that I could probably maintain. BUZZ BUZZ- my watch read 7:06 – Well, that’s faster than I thought -cool! I wonder if/when I will crash. Just keep going until you can’t. Mile 2- This is a completely straight road and feels maybe slightly downhill, but probably is just perfectly flat. There was some video screen entertainment and remixed StarWars music, nice to keep you moving along. I kept moving at what felt like a consistent effort, maybe I felt a little more strained, but still “comfortably hard.” BUZZ BUZZ – 6:55 – huh, that’s even faster, and I don’t feel like crap – maybe my watch isn’t working right, but the mile markers are matching up. Just keep going until you can’t. Miles 3 and 4- This is where the hills were located. Florida hills (i.e. overpasses), but still- hills. I felt powerful on the up hills and cruised to recover my breath on the downhills. I guess pushing approx. 50 pounds up slight hills during training was useful! I passed 2 women on the hills but was starting to feel like I was working some by the end of mile 4. BUZZ BUZZ – 7:06 then BUZZ BUZZ – 7:00. Still holding pace, I’m probably going to slow, but maybe 45 is going to happen! Just keep going until you can’t. Just keep going until you can’t. Just keep going until you can’t. Mile 5 – You enter EPCOT and there are a lot of turns through this mile. I was feeling it now. It was starting to hurt, and 1 of the 2 women I passed on the hills was able to pass me back on the flat. I kept her in my sight, but knew I couldn’t reel her in, at least not the way I was starting to feel. BUZZ BUZZ – 7:30. Crap- that was a lot slower but felt even slower than that. If I hold this pace, I will be under 45!!!! Just keep going until you can’t. There’s only 1 mile left…Give it all you got. You can push through pain…do it now! Go, go, go! Mile 6 – Around the world of EPCOT – I’ve run this numerous times. A nice curved loop of 5 - 10 foot slight hills. I could push it-I KNOW THIS LOOP-JUST GOOOO!. It was a new sensation, and a wonderful one at that. Like never happened before in a race for me, I was able to pick up the pace in the final mile. I could feel the increase in speed- So much fun! One-two-three-four, One-two-three-four, One-two-three-four- Just keep going until you can’t. I like to count to 4 over and over and over again when I want to distract my brain. It also serves to keep my step cadence up and regulates my breathing. These were the only thoughts in my head for the last 1.2 miles – Even the loud remixed Starwars music couldn’t distract me. BUZZ BUZZ – 7:14!!!! Only 0.2ish left – PUSHHHHHHH ITTTT!!!! My tangent running isn’t too bad, but I know it’s always going to be more than 0.2. The finish line – I could see the woman in front of me – about 10 - 15 seconds. There was no catching her in less than a quarter mile, and I wasn’t concerned about that – I just wanted under 45 at this point. You can see the line with about 30 seconds left of running. The announcers call out the finisher’s names at this point since there are not too many, unlike later in the race, when there are so many finishers they could never keep up. I heard them announce the woman in front of me – followed by “she’s a top-ten finisher.” The clock is well under 45, and I was off the start…45 minute 10K here I come! Wait – what? Did he just say she was in the top ten? She was probably 10th – still 11th would be awesome. Yay! - “My Name” was announced! Two male names - sprint! Don’t let them pass! Well under 45 minutes now! Did he say anything after my name – I don’t remember – oh well. Across the line YESSS– the clock is STILL well under 45!! I DID IT!! Wait, I just heard the next woman coming down the home stretch’s name, and she’s in the top ten too… That means I must be in the top ten! Is that right?? Could I be in the top ten finishers?? At this point, I was stopped by an official writing my number down – I guess I am in the top ten – nobody has ever cared about my number before. TOP TEN!!!! Weeeeeeee! Cue the tears and overly large stupid grin on my face. Final official time was 44:28 - I couldn’t believe that I crushed my “A” goal AND came in 7th overall woman (8th by net time) and 2nd I my age group! It was my fastest 10K in over 5 years, and my 3rd fastest ever – less than a minute off my PR! Watch out PR – I’m coming for you! Plus, on the bus and back to the hotel before DD woke up for the day! Now I can’t go to a RunDisney weekend without doing the “challenge” of the 10K on Saturday and the Half marathon on Sunday… stay tuned to see if I “blew up” on the Half or not! Last time with the same training plan but on the treadmill, I ran a 45:32 10K and had a “super-happy” half marathon finishing in 1:44. My goal for the Half was to “run happy” again, and see what time that resulted in. In the back of my mind I was hoping that would result in under a 1:45 since I had done several 10 mile runs during training at around 8:15 min/mile.
  3. 2 points
    At least, I feel the worst on Wednesdays lately. Since Tempo Tuesday is my only real tough workout each week, I've noticed that I really feel it the next day. To make things doubly interesting, I've also inserted a long-ish weekday run on Wednesday, so, tired for a long run. Last Wednesday was just OK. But what really kicked me in the gut was the shingles shot. Mrs. Dave and I are the age where we need to get a pair of vaccines for it. The first one (back in February) wasn't bad, but this time she had a fever the next day and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. That was on top of the Wednesday post-tempo hangover, so those 11 miles were a real struggle. On Thursday I laid on the couch after work and watched two movies - Small Soldiers, and something else equally bad that I can't even remember. But I was in absolutely no shape for a run of any kind. By Friday I was back to normal, though, and thought about stretching the miles to make up for it. Then I remember what a bad idea it is to try to make up miles, so I just went the 8 I had planned. They were pretty great - most of them at or near 8:00 mm. Not easy pace, but felt strong. Saturday's long was another debate about catching up for the 16 I'd missed the week before (did 10 after FIL's funeral), but discretion won again. 11 was the plan this week, and it also went pretty well. A little too fast at the end and a little too slow at the end. This was after seeing Endgame. I'm not happy with Marvel right now. No spoilers, but I disagree with what happened to ... nevermind. A careful, easy 6 on Monday, setting up for the longest tempo of this training cycle. 8 miles with a miles w/u and c/d, 10 total. I've been starting most of these too fast and dragging my tail on the second half. My solution was to run this as a cut-down, or a progression. Really careful at the start and as fast as possible at the end. In my head, the plan was to split it up into two miles segments, with a pair at 8:15, a pair at 8:00, then 7:45, and whatever was left for the last two. It ended up being an almost perfect progression. 8:12, 8:11, 7:58, 7:53, 7:48, 7:39, 7:36, 7:27. It was hard to hold back those first few - 8+ felt SO SLOW! - but glad I did. Those last two were tough. Then I mowed the lawn because with all the rain we had in April it was pretty out of hand. Really green but extra long. Anyway, it looked like that was the only time I'd be able to get to it and with more rain coming it was only going to get worse. Finished just before it got dark. This is the last big week. 60 miles. Looks like I'm going to make it.
  4. 2 points
    Since I have a 10 miler coming up this weekend (Colorado Women’s Classic – my May race!), I thought I’d share this enthusiastic race report. I’ve been under the weather this week, and have been dealing with some heavy stress (which is probably why I’ve been sick), so I’m not expecting this weekend’s race to be quite as awesome as this one was. Nonetheless, I get to JFR around a bunch of awesome, inspiring women on Mother's Day! Raven Rock Rumble 10 miler – Lillington, NC November 20, 2010 The weather was absolutely perfect for the run on Saturday. It wasn’t too chilly (upper 40’s) and the sun was blaring. My friend Erin and I drove the 1:15 to the race location and walked the 1/4 mile to the sign-in table. It was a nice warm up! I decided to run in shorts and a sleeveless shirt because I knew I’d warm up after the first mile. Everyone else was all bundled up with their gloves and beanies looking at me like I was nuts. I started off kind of fast and knew that I should slow down. I couldn’t get myself to do it because I feel like a gazelle when I’m running on trails! Plus, right from the beginning it was single track and we were running single file. I would dart out and around someone the first chance I got. The trails were magnificent and covered with wet leaves. The wet leaves made it hard to see the roots that were sticking up in the path. Many people ate it, more than once, including Erin! There were some crazy hills and one even included some steps; the ones that take two steps per stair. That hill kept going and going and going! I actually ended up passing a lot of people on the hills. I couldn’t get myself to walk up them knowing I was in a race. I’m too competitive! At the turnaround I saw that I was the 8th female and knew I could catch a few of them. I passed several of them on the hills and just kept going. Throughout, I stumbled about four times, the last one being the almost fall but I never fell. Luckily! I did tell Erin that she was “officially” a trail runner because she fell and had blood Erin’s trail rash! The last hill was kicking my butt and I ended up walking for about 10 seconds. I had to keep going though because I knew if I walked for too long, it would be hard to start back up again. I finished in 1:26:47 – 1/6 in the 25-29 age group, and 3rd woman!!! They jacked up the results and left me out somehow. They recorded my time and are in the process of getting it sorted out I did get a beanie and a cool Montrail T-shirt I had a great race and am so proud of myself!! Yay me!
  5. 2 points
    Turns out grad school takes up a lot of time. I haven’t written since January (when I was between class periods) and have barely been able to even visit the loop. I feel out of touch. Ultimately it will be worth it, but it’s going to be busy until late 2020 at least. My training has gone relatively well even with working full time and taking classes. All I do is run, go to work, study, eat and sleep. (More or less) It’s a good thing running feels mostly like a break to me and I never had any social life. Otherwise this would never work. After a good training season, I thought shooting not only for a PR but that big 4:30 goal might be a possibility. If the weather was good at least. I ran my spring half at GO St. Louis at goal pace and I ran nearly all my workouts as planned. I think most missed workouts happened due to weather. Travel to NJ went smoothly. My friend Rachel picked me up at the airport on Friday. We went back to her house to have lunch – we considered going into NYC for the afternoon/evening but decided it was better to stick to closer things. Instead we went to Patterson Great Falls National Park. It has the second highest volume of water in any waterfall east of the Mississippi. We spotted a skunk (WAY to close for comfort, but luckily we were way more alarmed than he was – didn’t get a picture because he went into the bushes and I wasn’t going to try and get close again!) Then drove around and looked at some of the beautiful, (and EXPENSIVE) houses in the area and did a little shopping. I got a present for my mom for mother’s day and a gift for my sister for her birthday. Then we had dinner at a Lebanese restaurant (Uncle Momo Bistro). We had a falafel salad and beef shawarma which we split. SO GOOD. (Not pictured is the giant, fresh pita bread that was inflated like a balloon on the beef shawarma plate.) Saturday after we ran a couple miles as a quick shake out run and had breakfast Rachel drove me down to Ashbury Park where we walked along the boardwalk. Friday had been very rainy and Saturday was SUPER windy. Rachel headed home and I headed to the expo. There wasn’t a lot to see there but I got some pictures, and chatted with the Team in Training people and the guy at the table trying to sign people up for triathlons including the Chicago triathlon. I’d like to try a tri (ha) someday, but there is no way that is going to happen until I’m done with school. Soon it was time for the Team in Training inspiration dinner. I found a few other solo travelers to sit with and as always was truly inspired by the stories of just what our fundraising has done – and how much still needs to be done in the fight against blood cancers and other cancers (many treatments originally developed from research funded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has also gone on to benefit people with other cancers). I failed to meet up with any loopsters on Saturday but I was hoping to catch up with some on Sunday. My alarm went off at 4:45 am (3:45 central time!) but I was already awake. Not sure why this hotel has such hard beds – but it didn’t make getting prerace sleep any easier. TNT met up in the lobby and we rode buses together to the starting area. I walked over to the farthest bank of POPs and got in without waiting. At first the sun was shinning but then it clouded over and got a little colder. I was keeping an eye peeled for loopsters, especially Gwen and Greg, because we had talked on facebook about running together until the half broke off and I knew what they said they were going to wear. I had about given up when I spotted them in line for the coral and called their names. They joined me in the corral and after waiting what seemed like a really long time we were off. We ran together for a few miles before Greg stopped for a bathroom break and fell behind. Gwen and I chatted and ran for the full 11ish miles before she turned and went on to the half finish. Up to this point I was pretty close to on pace for the 4:30 I’ve wanted for so long. However I was already beginning to fade a little. The weather was perfect. I felt ok, but it quickly became clear this was not going to be the day for 4:30. I’m just not there yet. The full course felt a lot less empty that it does sometimes. I felt like there were more people around than when I did Austin last year. We started on the long, long out and back. Except for a couple of quick places where the “out” branches off everything from mile 10 or so on is part of the out and back, although not all of it is quite along the same road. We ran past beautiful houses, and houses that were less beautiful but still huge and expensive looking. Some of the fancy houses we ran past (picture taken on Saturday) Part of the boardwalk I ran along, picture taken Sunday evening. (The race route was going toward the camera) I never got off course but missed the moment when I actually turned around and started on the return part of the course. Just after that point the 4:45 pacers caught up with me. I held on and ran with them for a mile or two but when I slowed at a water stop they didn’t and then they were gone. The chance at 4:30 had disappeared miles ago, but now I knew there could be no PR either (PR is 4:43). My C goal became no walking outside the water stops. I just kept plugging along, my pace had really slowed, but I was still running (and somehow passing people). The ocean was to my right and a nice distraction. I thought of all the people I run for who are battling cancer, and those whose battle had ended. I was not feeling great, but it was still way better than what people undergoing cancer treatment deal with, and that kept me running. Team and Training coaches would join me for a short time every once in a while, which is also one of the great benefits of being a part of this group. Finally, the end was in sight. But I had no kick. So I just kept up my slow pace. I managed to smile and do my “trademark” thumbs up as I crossed the finish line of marathon #8. Again, this one was a long time coming. I need to work harder at cross-training and hopefully avoid getting hurt. Stepping up to the beer table I realized I had lost my beer ticket along the way. So, no free beer for me. I signed out at the TNT table and then headed to the shuttle (provided by TNT) back to the hotel. I showered and was lounging around thinking about lunch (at about 2:30 pm) when I checked facebook and saw that I had an invite to join the loopsters still in town for lunch at the Robinson Ale House that was basically across the street. Yes, please! It was so great to meet everyone. I’m glad I got the chance. After we all left lunch I went down and put my feet in the ocean. It wasn’t as cold as I expected, and no colder than when I did it in Ireland. This trip was the first time I’d seen the Atlantic from the US side. After that I was pretty done for the day. I went looking for ice cream about 7, but wasn’t able to find any place that was open. (I think I should have tried harder, but I went back and ate some of the snacks I had in my room). On the way to the train station, shortly before I tripped and fell down (but long enough before that it wasn't because I took this picture - it was because I was rushing). Monday morning I got up early for the long travel day home. I walked a mile to the nearest commuter train station – tripping and falling along the way, ripping a hole in my sweatshirt, and my NJ marathon long sleeve t-shirt, scrapping my wrist and elbow and bruising my knees. Then I took the train to Newark International Airport, which required switching trains twice. Luckily people were very helpful, and I didn’t have to go down any steps! Then at the airport I took the airport tram to my terminal, got through security relatively easily, bought a sandwich for lunch and waited for my flight. It was delayed and I began to worry about making my next flight. My first flight landed just as my second flight was supposed to be boarding! But I made it, and when I got home I saw my luggage had too thankfully! It was a long day of travel, but I was glad to be home. I didn’t run or workout at all until today. I always take 6-7 days completely off. Today’s run/walk felt really good, though I was glad to take walk breaks. I was sore through Wednesday, but I’ve felt worse. I’m not sure what I’m running next. I’m off classes until the 14th and intend on soaking up the break.
  6. 1 point
    Dude, that is a super fast time on trails!!
  7. 1 point
    And I thought I was the only one who had progression runs that spiraled out of control. 😉
  8. 1 point
    Such much happy!! Congrats on a stellar race and a fun weekend to boot!
  9. 1 point
    April 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 333.0 April 1-7: 68.3 (strength training 2:07) April 8-14: 78.6 (strength training 2:05) April 15-21: 67.0 (strength training 2:15) April 22-28: 93.4 (strength training 1:56) - new weekly mileage PR! April 29-May 5: projected at 86 Airplane April Miles of smiles Races: April 13: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in 1:23:35 for 4th overall female, a state of Missouri single age state record for age 38, and a good step in what I hope I will someday look back on as a comeback. An area trail I rarely make it to has a lot of new artwork since I last ran there! Workouts: April 3: 3 mile fartlek of 2' on/1' off/1' on/30" off/30" on/30" off (3 miles warm up, 3 miles cool down). My push paces (GAP in abbreviations) were 5:46 (5:52), 5:52 (5:43), 5:31 (5:15), 5:57 (5:56), 6:01 (5:47), 5:22 (5:29), 5:51 (5:53), 5:49 (5:40), 5:52 (5:49), 5:57 (5:51). I ran the flattest route I can from my house, but the run still had 356 feet elevation gain - the story of living in the Ozarks! I tried to really milk the recoveries since they were so short, and I felt like I was going 9:00 pace on them, but almost all of them were 7:20-7:40, which actually makes me doubt the accuracy of any of these splits, haha! But! What matters is that this was a fast workout to get my legs turning over without fatiguing me. I have never done anything with only 30 seconds recovery before - even when running strides I do 20 second strides then 40 seconds walk - and 30 seconds is quite short! Anything sub-6:00 is also quite fast for this marathoner. April 9: 5 x 800 m + 4 x 200 m in 2:57, 2:56, 2:55, 2:55, 2:58 + all 0:40, with 2:00 jog recoveries (3.1 warm up, 3 cool down). Back to the track after over 6 months apart! I would have been really happy with the 800s if I could have run the last one in 2:54, but I faded a bit. My paces on the 2:00 jogs also got progressively slower, which doesn't matter but was humorous. I was pleasantly surprised to average 2:56 on these since I hadn't run anything sub-6:00 in ages, except the fartlek the previous week. They also felt good, which was even more exciting (I've had many speed workouts where I felt like I was dying every step!). Speed is certainly not my strength, but I supposed it's better to work on your weaknesses than to ignore them. :-) April 16: 2 x 2.5 mile tempo + 1 x 1.5 mile tempo with 6:00 recoveries in 6:11, 6:12, 3:05 / 6:12, 6:09, 3:02 / 6:04, 2:56 (2 warm up, 1 cool down). Every single mile of this workout was the fastest I'd done for a mile in training post-injury, so to say I was happy with this workout is an understatement! When I saw this on my schedule the week prior, I thought I'd aim to start at 6:30 pace and work down, but after Rock the Parkway my coach and I decided that 6:10-6:15 was a better target, and that ended up being perfect! It's crazy what a difference a week can make in perception; one week before this workout I would not have believed I could do it. I felt strong and smooth throughout. This is my kind of workout! April 24: 2 x 3.25 mile tempos with 1 mile recoveries in 6:12, 6:10, 6:04, 1:32 / 6:15, 6:09, 6:07, 1:30 (3.1 mile warm up, 3.2 mile cool down). After my tempo workout the previous week went well I was ready for this one! The 3.25 distance seems somewhat random, I know, but it was supposed to be 2 x 20:00. I did it this way so I'd have my miles splits and because I'm really used to running tempos by miles. They were almost 20:00 exactly though! I hoped to do about 6:15, 6:10, 6:05 for paces for each segment, making them slightly progressive, and I was close to that. I'm not used to having a full mile of recovery, and the first mile after the recovery was definitely the hardest of the workout - getting back into the tempo groove after slowing down for 7:40 was challenging. I loved this workout, and with the volume of it plus a double I had an 18 mile day on a work day - also the biggest mileage day I've ever had on a day that wasn't my long run! April 30: 6 x 1,000 m descending with 2:00 recoveries in 3:48, 3:47, 3:46, 3:43, 3:39, 3:38. (3 warm up, 4.7 cool down). The goal of this workout was to start around 3:50 and drop to 3:40 or below, and I executed it well. I really liked it (for a track workout) because the first 4 reps felt more like a tempo run. I had to dig for the final 2 but they were do-able! It was 66 degrees with 90% humidity for this workout, and I worried that would affect me but it didn't seem to. I had to cool down to 12 miles total, and the area that we park and run to the track from is quite hilly, so I was really ready to stop climbing hills by the end of that (then I had to do plyos, oy!). Rebecca, Missy, and Danielle all came out to the track with me, and ran similar workouts to what I did, which was very helpful! I feel so blessed to have friends who will meet me at 5:15 a.m. and run a track workout that's been written for me. All of my other workouts were solo this month. Doubles on April 1, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 22, 24, 25, 28, 30 Strides on April 12, 15 Surges on April 18 Hill Sprints on April 5 Favorite workout: I loved both the tempo workouts - those are my kind of workouts! After my first fartlek in forever! Long Runs: April 6: 15.5 miles (7:35). This was just a nice solo long run! I ran a 12 mile loop I run often, planning to add on a little 1.5 mile "tail" to make it a 15 mile course. I ended up finding a road I'd never run down before instead of the originally planned tail, and it ended up taking me into the outskirts of a nearby town. I could see the Taco Bell on the edge of town that my husband always goes to when he works out that way, so I ran to the Taco Bell before turning around just so I could tell him I ran to the Rogersville Taco Bell, making it a half mile longer than planned. My daughter was disappointed I did not bring home any tacos! April 13: 17.3 miles total, with Rock the Parkway Half Marathon plus warm up and cool down. April 20: 18.2 miles of hills, with the first 9 around 7:45 pace and the second 9 around 7:15 pace (7:29 average). I ran several roads that I usually avoid due to the elevation, and came away with 1024 ft gain. I was supposed to run this by heart rate, but this was the first run I wore a (borrowed) heart rate chest strap for, and after 3 miles of pretty much staring at my watch trying to hit my heart rate goal (130 for the first 9, 140-148 for the second 9), I just gave up and ran the paces that my coach and I had discussed before I borrowed the chest strap. I learned that I am much better at zeroing in on a specific pace than zoning in on a heart rate, which is really no surprise since I've never trained by heart rate! The plus of the chest strap was that my readings from it were consistent with my wrist heart rate, with data from both landing on 143 average heart rate for the entire run, so maybe I don't need the chest strap to get accurate data after all - which is my hope since it chafed. I ran this alone and it went by very quickly! April 27: 22 miles (7:30). I paced a friend in a local marathon, with the race director's permission. I jumped in around mile 2 on the out-and-back course, and finished around mile 24. My friend requested 7:30 pace with a negative split and I delivered precisely! The race started late due to a storm delay, so it was almost 11:00 a.m. by the time I finished this run. The temperature had climbed to 73 degrees, which is a rude awakening when you're used to running in 50 degree temps and finishing runs before 7:00 a.m.! I felt fine (although quite thirsty!) running easy, but I was sure glad I wasn't racing or running a workout, and I could tell the run took more out of me than it would have in cooler weather. I enjoy pacing so it was a fun way to get in this long one! The race was on a smooth gravel trail, so it was also a softer surface that was probably good for me to run on. Favorite long run: I felt the best on the hilly 18, but 22 is 22 so it's a tie! Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I had a coaching change. After coaching myself (not very successfully, I might add!) for most of my running career, I worked with Marshall from July 2015 through my my injury in September 2018. I have nothing but great things to say about him, and he took me from a 3:03 to a 2:47 marathoner, and from a 1:27 to 1:20 half marathoner. However, I needed some time away from being coached during and post-injury. I self-coached again in October through December 2018 and in February through March 2019, with a one month return to Marshall in January 2019. I planned to continue self-coaching for my next marathon build for Grandma's Marathon in June, but me asking my friend Nichole to look at my self-made plan led (thorough a series of steps) to her writing my Grandma's plan! In a way, things are coming full circle, as she and I ran the first 5 miles of Grandma's together in 2018 - she is mentioned in my race report here, and I am in her's here. I think Marshall is a fantastic coach, and I learned a great deal from him and really grew as a runner while working with him, but at this point I think I need a female coach. Nicole is also chasing a 2:45:00 marathon before the mid-January cut-off! I plan to do another post about how my training has changed and how it has stayed the same since starting with her. I recovered well from the Chisholm Trail Marathon. Nicole held me back from doing too much mileage the second week back, which I needed (left to my own devices I would have probably run an 80+ mile week with a long workout). I could still feel the marathon on my legs during my April 6 long run, but by the week of April 8-14 I was feeling pretty much back to normal. I tested my wrist heart rate monitor vs. a chest strap heart rate monitor on several runs this month. I expected the wrist to be completely inaccurate, but I learned that if it is tight and I keep the sensor clean, it is quite consistent with the chest strap measure! This was really good news for me, because I hated wearing the chest strap. The wrist would sometimes record higher "blips" that the chest strap didn't, but the averages were often exactly the same and never more than 2 beats per minute different. I ran my second ever week in the 90s for mileage! I hope to see my third in a couple of weeks. Technically I ran exactly the same mileage (93.5) on a rolling 7 days in March; I didn't think to look at that total until the following day (whomp whomp), but this was my highest Monday through Sunday total ever. I'll make sure to do 93.6 next time! I am also now confident in my ability to do a 100 mile week; I could simply run 1 more mile each day in a week like this, or run the same week with a 24 mile long run and another 5 mile double. I hope to make that happen in the fall! The evening of Rock the Parkway, I read on my friend Liz's blog that Strava was doing an April challenge called The Last Mile where they would donate $10 to charity if you finished the final mile of your half or full marathon with the fastest split of your race. Since I'd done that at Rock the Parkway, I immediately signed up for the challenge. I wasn't sure if I was actually signed up since I'd already run the race and because I didn't take the free trial of Strava Summit that was tied to it, but towards the end of the month I got an email telling me I completed it! April 1 and 2 were my final two morning runs in temperatures in the 20s - & the sun came up during my runs again! Chest strap on right, wrist HR on left, post split tempo workout New weekly mileage PR! The Last Mile for Strava Life events: We did lots of garden prep! We took a day trip to Barnett, Missouri (tiny town with a garden/farm store Jon was dying to visit) and Lake of the Ozarks (tourist town). I got to watch my 16-year-old niece run the 1600 m in Kansas City the evening before Rock the Parkway! I also got to visit my sister and her family between working in Kansas City and the race. We stayed home for Easter this year, and did several family fun activities with just us 3, and Easter Sunday services at our home church. He has risen! Not everywhere you go offers horse & buggy parking spots Lake of the Ozarks My niece finishing the 1600 m. This duck was great I find most Easter bunnies creepy, & this one was no exception We both wore running gear to this event Easter kitty Outtakes Egg project (I ate all of these color hard-boiled eggs the next week) Love this! Gardening She ate all of this, plus a carton of cherry tomatoes! Books this month: I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby There are No Grown-Ups by Pamela Druckerman Us Against You by Fredrick Backman The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - this is a must-read! The Fever by Megan Abbott Theme of the month: Building. I am building back to fitness (I think!), and building a little confidence.
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    NICE race! Congrats! AND you finished before your little one even woke up, now THAT'S awesome
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    That was awesome! That stroller training certainly makes you stronger. Way to hang on through the tough miles. Congrats!
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    Haven't had this much excitement around here for awhile. No doubt the stroller training was the difference.
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    Back in October I was up to running about 10 miles per week, and basically running two runs at “as fast I could” speed for up to 4 miles. Every run felt hard, but I wanted to make some progress, and I had no idea how to judge speed while running with a stroller. My trusty Garmin was saying I was running around 9:30s, which felt very difficult (7:30s used to feel easy). At the beginning on November I ran a 10K I ended up somewhere between 50 and 51 minutes. I was thrilled with this time, but was burnt out. I had no desire to keep running the way I was doing it. It was just too much work every day and it wasn’t fun. Plus, my feet were hurting, and the weather was getting nasty. So, I backed off running and maybe logged 10 miles total all of December. January was filled with walking every day at lunch, but still not much running. During this time, I lost a steady 2-3lbs per month, and by the time February came, I was feeling better, and the weather was starting to turn around a bit. The first week of February I decided to try the training plan for a 10K that I did right before getting pregnant. So I set up the schedule for on my Garmin for an April 27th 10K race. If anyone remembers, I did the entire training cycle on the treadmill with a hope of an under 45 min 10K, and I ran 45:32 in very hot and humid conditions. This time I was going to run the entire plan outside while pushing a stroller (I have a semi-running stroller, and still use the car seat insert so that DD can see me, and I her, the entire time). This set-up, stroller +baby, weighs about 50 pounds, which adds a nice “something extra” to intervals run on a slight incline 😉. My muscles were in a little shock after the first few runs, but it was a nice soreness. Having easy runs and working hard with specific workouts felt good! The times were not comparable to what I ran on the treadmill, but with pushing the stroller and running hills I could feel strength building! With about 3 weeks left until race day, I could feel the training clicking!! There were even a couple of training runs calling for 10K and 5K paces that I ran faster paces than I did on the treadmill! One of the best parts of the training cycle was the weekend long run. I ran approximately 10 miles four weeks in a row. I would run the first 3-4 miles with DH pushing DD in the stroller and finish the last 6-7 miles on my own. These runs all felt amazing with the best company/distraction for the first part and nice “me time” for the remaining miles! Training was going well, but I made a calculation mistake. The race I thought was on April 27th was actually on April 7th. Oops, I realized this with about 4 weeks until the actual race day. I continued with the plan, skipping three weeks at the end, but making sure I did the final race week, so that a week of tapering with some little shakeout runs occurred. I went into the training hoping to better 48min for the 10K, but with those few awesome training runs, I started contemplating the possibility of that 45… So C Goal – 48 minutes (I would be disappointed if I run slower than that), B Goal – Under 47 (I would be happy with this result), and Absolutely ecstatic A Goal – beat 45:32 (my recent pre-pregnancy 10K time). Race report is written and coming soon!
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    Novo Nordisk New Jersey Half Marathon ~ Oceanport, NJ ~ April 28, 2019 Race 4/12 Jersey Shore! Fourth race of the year, COMPLETE! I have successfully ran a race each month for the year so far! It’s such a fun goal and I’m having so much fun completing it! That’s the point, right?! For this race, I would be meeting some great running pals and visiting/running in a new state! Post Race: Since I’m a pinny-pincher when it comes to travelling, I purchased an $89 round-trip redeye ticket from Denver to Philly. I landed in Philly at 5am on Friday and would then be waiting on Sara to arrive around 8:30. Gwen graciously agreed to pick us up at the airport and drive us to Asbury Park – thank you again, Gwen! Let me tell you something about the Philly airport, in case this might come in handy for you someday. When you leave the secure area and head to baggage claim, you’d better grab some coffee and food beforehand if you plan to hang around for a bit. There is NOTHING when you enter the unsecure area – vending machines, but that’s IT. Since I had checked a bag, I wanted to make sure I grabbed it right away, but didn’t know I was doing so without the chance of coffee. Sitting around for almost four hours was brutal, it being that early and having not slept at all. I totally signed up to be there that long which I am FINE with, but that liquid magic would have made it easier. Sara was AWESOME enough to grab me a coffee after she landed – thank you again, Sara! Sunset Park, close to the hotel Once we got to Asbury Park, the three of us had lunch at the Robinson Ale House (go there!) and then Sara and I checked into The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. Later, we met John and Greg to pick up our packets and then had dinner. Sara and I had talked about going up to NYC on Saturday, but I just didn’t feel like there was enough time to really make that trip worthwhile. I’d rather be able to spend several days there when I finally get to go – someday. We had brunch and walked around Asbury Park a bit, took naps, greeted Abby at the hotel and went back to the expo with her, then met everyone for beer and dinner. The Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten was awesome and we had fun there! I definitely recommend it. Sara, John, and Greg at dinner Friday night. This was my first time meeting Greg and he was OSOM! So, it is not unusual for me to have tummy issues post-race, but it isn’t the norm to have tummy issues the days before the race. I’ve been dealing with some very stressful things lately (that I will write about eventually) so I think that was the culprit. I didn’t feel well Friday and most of Saturday and was very worried that I was going to have a terrible race on Sunday. I also hadn’t been sleeping well the last couple weeks and also didn’t sleep well Friday or Saturday. Flat Chris, minus the long sleeve Race Day: We woke up at 4:45, got dressed (long shorts and compression socks, tank and really thin long-sleeved shirt) and headed out the door for coffee. I was feeling ok but wasn’t able to go to the bathroom before the race started. After sitting in traffic FOREVER (even though we were early), we got to the parking lot. We were funneled into a security checkpoint where they checked our gear check bags and made sure we weren’t carrying any other prohibited bags/items. There were cops everywhere! They made Sara take her purse back to the car! Once through security, we immediately saw the plentiful PoPs but the ENORMOUS lines of people waiting. Abby said this perfectly in her blog, but it seemed like everyone running the race was in line for the PoPs. There just wasn’t enough time to wait, and I really had to pee after the coffee and water I had. I finally ate a Nature Valley peanut butter ‘biscuit’ as my only pre-race food. I checked my bag (that had a change of clothes in it) and Abby and I headed to Corral 4. We were already unimpressed with the traffic/parking/PoP shit show, and then get in Corral 4 to see that we are BEHIND the 2 hour pacer! WTF? Corral 4 selfie with Abby My plan was to keep up with Abby as long as possible and then do my own thing when/if I needed to. John managed to find us in the corral and started with us as well. It was a little chilly/breezy at the start but manageable. I luckily thought to bring a small headband to cover my ears because I needed it (and then lost it during the race!). We headed off and were immediately in a cluster of people – it remained that way for quite a while. It still pisses me off that slower people end up in corrals that they shouldn’t be in. They have corrals for a reason, people. We had to weave in and out of people for more than a mile to even get a little bit of room. Abby and I still had to pee so when we saw some PoPs coming up at mile 2, we headed over to use them. After opening up the door on a guy who’d been unresponsive and forgot to lock the door, we were back in the race in no time. Miles 1-3: 8:52, 8:26, and 9:44. Got lucky with a successful in-motion selfie! This is my chinning photo, haha! So hot. We both felt so much better after using the PoP, and I was actually feeling really good – no tummy issues. We were able to maintain a little bit and stayed somewhat consistent. Miles 4-6: 8:23, 8:22, 8:35 (‘hill’). I think I took my first and only Huma+ gel around the 10K point. I could tell I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them for too much longer so I dropped back around mile. Miles 7-10: 8:33, 8:24, 8:38, 8:49. The course was super flat but I was just running out of steam. My feet were also getting sore from not running much lately. I think it was somewhere around mile 11 that Abby all of a sudden pops up from behind me! My first thought was, WTF are you doing here? – and then I knew she had to take a PoP break. Around here, we don’t call mid-run poops Code Abby’s for nothing! We ran together for about a mile and then I needed a walk break. She doesn’t know this yet, but I took that break so she would take off without me. If I hadn’t I knew she would stay back with me when I knew she could just finish strong, and I also knew that I didn’t have any kick left for the final mile. Most importantly, I had to fart and it was one of those you had to stop running to make happen, HAHA! Which actually didn’t even happen because I thought I might shit myself instead. You needed to know that, right?) It would have been great to finish with her, but I’m glad she was able to turn on the afterburners for the last mile! Miles 11-13: 9:00, 9:04, 8:54 (see, no kick). I ended with 13.27 miles at 1:56:07 – not bad for barely running lately AND a PoP stop! I will take it! It beats my February 13.1 time by almost a minute! It was cloudy like that the whole time! Post-Race: I grabbed a salty, soft pretzel and some Gatorade and immediately saw Abby and John. We walked over to the gear check area and changed into some dry clothes. However, I forgot the most important piece of dry clothing that I needed – UNDIES! UGH! Another weird logistical part of this race was having to leave your gear back in the changing area – you couldn’t take it and go back to where the beer was. You could only take it with you out the exit. After changing, we went over to the too small, gated off beer area. I already started feeling bad again and didn’t even want a beer. I was struggling because I was also starting to get cold. After waiting about an hour and a half for everyone to finish and have their beers, and not wanting to take the shuttle bus back to the start, we took an Uber back to the start area, and then drove back to the hotel. I took a hot shower and laid under the covers until I warmed up. We had lunch at the Robinson Ale House (third time eating there!) where I got a GIANT Vermont Cheddar grilled cheese with apple butter and bacon, and the best tomato bisque soup I’ve ever had (seriously). Oh and some fried calamari! After saying goodbye to everyone, we chilled out in the room for a bit and then went to Cookman Creamery (go there!) where I got some amazing honey lavender ice cream. I still wasn’t feeling great, and hadn’t even had a beer yet, but I was determined to get ice cream. Ice cream > beer I did finally have beers later that night All in all, it was a successful race, I got to hang out with some amazing people, visit and run in a new state, and had a blast despite feeling like crap a majority of the time! I doubt I’d run this race again, but the race shirt is probably my favorite one ever received and the medal was cool! The hotel Asbury Convention Center
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    2019 Goal: 12 races in 12 months It’s April and I thought I’d check in on my running goal for the year. I’ve run 3/12 races so far – one each month – and my next one is this weekend! This has turned into my only big goal for 2019 – the only other one that remains is PRing at the Rehoboth half marathon. I’m excited about this calendar! It’s not a complete calendar yet but I’m getting close! Here’s what it looks like: January: Resolve 10K (CO) – DONE! Fun run with Kelli and Amy! February: Ralston Creek 13.1 (CO) – DONE! 1st in the 35-39 Age Group! March: Dig Deep 5K Dirt Coffee (CO) – DONE! I was supposed to run the Behind the Rocks 30K but I [smartly] backed out. Since this is the second time I’ve signed up for and not ran this race, I won’t be registering again – I believe in signs from the universe! The DD5K was a great little race! April: New Jersey Half Marathon (NJ) – Registered! So excited for this one! To JFR and to hang out with some running friends in the NJ/NYC area! I might try to keep up with Abby…we’ll see. Race report will be posted next week. May: Colorado Women’s Classic 10 miler (CO) – Planning to register on Monday! I love 10 milers and I haven’t done one in a while. I also have never ran a women’s race either, and I think it’s time! Another thing that really reels me in is this description: “SO MUCH FOOD in the expo. No, seriously, SOOO MUCH FOOD…vegan, paleo, gluten free, sweet & sugary, carbs, proteins, electrolytes, dairy, fruit…..SO.VERY.MUCH.FOOD. I am hoping to meet up with some Oiselle Team Volee birds at this race since I’ll be going by myself. Oh yeah, I joined Team Volee! I should probably write about that sometime… June: Vertical Mile Challenge (NC) – Registered! This race is 15 minutes from where my family lives AND one of my best good running pals (Jenster) will be there, so I feel like this is a no-brainer. HOWEVER, I will be running eight 2.2 mile loops, totaling 16 miles, AND a vertical mile of elevation gain! It’s gonna hurt, but BRING ON THE PAIN! Oh, and it was $25! July: OPEN August: OPEN September: Hinson Lake 24 Hour (NC) – Waitlisted. This race is certainly a perfect atmosphere for JFRing, and I’ll have a lot of friends to cheer on! October: Runner’s World Festival (PA) – Registered! I’ll be doing the Grand Slam which is a 3.8 trail race on Friday, a 5K AND 10K on Saturday, and a 13.1 on Sunday! Who doesn’t want to run 26.2 within three days?! Since I won’t be running it in a single day, it won’t mess up my plans to JFR. I miiiiight know some other cool kids doing this one too November: OPEN December: Rehoboth Beach 13.1 (DE) – Registered (duh)! The open months will likely have to be a local race unless I happen to be traveling somewhere where I can also run a race. I won’t be able to travel quite as much as I had wanted since I’ve picked up a car payment again. Three open months out of the 12 isn’t bad though! If you have any races to suggest for the open months, let’s hear it!!
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