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SIbbetson last won the day on July 9

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About SIbbetson

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  1. SIbbetson

    I've Been Running

    I was just thinking about your fostering situation the other day, so glad to see the update! You'll do what's right for you. I think you can get the sub-6:00!
  2. SIbbetson

    Guitar, trails, ankles, PR, heat

    I look forward to hearing about your Route 66 training and race!
  3. SIbbetson

    Canada Day! In Canada!

    Every step is a step! Not running always messed with my writing mojo too.
  4. SIbbetson

    What I Ran in June

    June 2018 Total mileage for the month: 231.9 (in comparison: January - 207, February - 254, March - 298, April - 307, May - 355). My marathon taper and recovery stole some June miles, but that's the nature of marathoning! May 28-June 3: 73.2 June 4-10: 61.7 June 11-17: 57 (race week) June 18-24: 37 (recovery/vacation week) June 25-July 1: 58.1 (unstructured training, and I was surprised to end up with this many) Races: June 16: Grandma's Marathon in 2:49:08 (6:27 average pace). I was pleased to dip into the 2:40s off of this training cycle, and proud of how I executed the race. This was my second ever fastest marathon, and my third time in the 2:40s on course less fast than the other courses I’ve broken 2:50 on. Of course, 2:45:00 is still my Big Dream Goal, but I really believe I got the best 26.2 miles out of myself that I could have on this day, and that was a great feeling! You can read more about my race here. June 30: Sertoma Duck Waddle 5K in 18:11, but probably more like 18:26-18:31 and 5:58ish average pace. This was a for-fun local race that I've now run 3 years in a row, and that I had no expectations for not only because I was 2 weeks post-marathon, but also because we were in a heat advisory on race morning. I was plenty happy with how it ended up. The course was not certified, and I believe it was a tad short, so my official time of 18:11 wasn't legit, unfortunately! Final stretch at Grandma's Workouts: June 2: 10 x 0.5 mile repeats (0.25 recoveries, 2.1 warm up, 1.8 cool down) in 2:55, 2:57, 2:58, 2:56, 2:59, 2:56, 3:03, 3:01, 3:04, 2:52 - average of 2:58 which is like a 2:56 800 m. This was supposed to be 10 x 800 m on the track (a.k.a. Yasso 800s), but we arrived at the track to find it under construction. The day before I'd told my coach that if he wanted to change my workout to something like 10 miles at marathon pace I wouldn't be mad, and the torn up track situation made me further feel like the universe was begging me not to run this workout, but I, alas, I made it through. My average was pretty much the same as I ran for this workout before CIM (which was very unsatisfactory to me at that time!), but I was happy with it for this one because it was 78 degrees with dew point of 73 degrees, i.e., terrible weather conditions for running performance. Also I historically bomb every Yasso workout I ever run, so I've stopped worrying about how they translate to my marathons. It IS possible for me to run 2:47-2:49 marathons off of 2:55-2:56 Yasso averages, and I figured heat/humidity-graded this one was more like 2:52 (dew points at this level = "expect pace to suffer greatly"), so it seemed like winning to me! My coach ran the same workout so I had someone to chase, and his super speedy wife ran 4 repeats with us as part of her workout, and she was kind enough to slow down on the last one to help me finish strong...that's how I got the 2:52 when I was clearly dying, you know, just running with the 8th female in the 2018 Boston Marathon. All in all, this was just another data point for me indicating that 2:56 Yassos = 2:49 marathon. June 6: 20 x 400 m repeats (200 m recoveries between reps, 400 m recoveries between sets of 4, 2.3 warm up, 2 cool down). My goal was to run faster each set, aiming for 89, 88, 87, 86, 85 on the sets of 4 reps. This workout is interesting due to the pace control it takes and the sheer volume of repeats. As far as speed workouts go, it is more suited to my strengths because I am good at negative splitting and volume (I am not good with raw speed). But it is a lot of 400s and a long time to be on the track, especially alone! My splits were: 89, 88, 89, 89 / 87, 88, 88, 87 / 87, 86, 88, 86 / 87, 87, 87, 86 / 86, 86, ??, 85 (average 87). I missed my watch on rep 19 and it took me a bit to notice it, but I suspect it was 85-86. I was either exactly on my target times or 1 second off for every rep, so I accomplished the exercise in pacing and leg turn-over. This was not the fastest I've ever run this workout (I have averaged 85-86), but it actually was the fastest 400s I'd run in 2018, which was humorous since it was double the reps of the other 400 workouts I'd done. I didn't exactly set the bar very high in my other 400 repeats this year, but I always say that I can't go any faster but I can keep going, and this workout proved that! This workout also really illustrated where one of my weaknesses is with speed work, and that is getting going. I never came through my first 200 any faster than 44, and on most of the reps I came through at 45, meaning that when I was running 86 I was splitting them 45/41. I've told my coach that I'm flummoxed that I can finish a half marathon with a 5:52-6:02 mile, but I struggle with dropping into the high-5:00's on speed work, and he said it's probably because I have a hard time getting going but once I'm running I can ramp it up, and after this workout I realized he is 100% right on that. Just another reason I'm better at longer races! June 9: 10 miles with 2 fast finish at marathon goal pace-ish (pick up miles in 6:17 and 6:09; 6:52 for all 10). I started this run feeling sluggish and blah, but finished it feeling great. I always have a time period during my taper when I feel awful, and this run was the turning point to feeling better again. The fast finish miles felt more like half marathon effort, probably because they were. June 12: Final tiny tune-up workout of 2 miles at dream marathon goal pace: 6:21, 6:14 for an average of exactly 6:17 (2 warm up, 2.5 cool down). Like always, this workout inspired NO confidence that I could maintain this pace for much farther than 2 miles. It was rainy for this run, and at the time the Grandma's race day forecast included heavy rain and a 80% chance for it (that forecast actually didn't change until race morning!). Double on June 7...this list is very sad. Strides on June 14 and 15, 27, and at least a few before all workouts and the 5K. Full body strength workouts on June 2, 6, 9 (abbreviated), 27 (abbreviated), 30, and 5-10 minutes of core work most days, with the exception of a 7-day span right before and right after the marathon. Favorite workout: Err...the choice is really between two speed workouts, so...I choose the marathon, haha! If it's on the Internet it must be true God telling me not to run a track workout Long Runs: June 3: 15.3 miles (7:05). This was the first run in weeks that I finished with some of my clothing still dry! It was in the high 60s and the dew point was 57*, in sharp contrast to the heavy humidity we'd been experiencing (plus I did not over-dress, which clearly helped!). I could feel the previous day's 10 x half mile repeats and strength workout on my legs, but the shorter distance and nicer weather evened it all out! Rebecca ran the first 10 with me and then I was nearly finished! June 9: 10 miles (6:52), described above and really not long. Favorite long run: Well, there was really only one, which makes me even more sad than the list of my doubles above. Again, I choose the marathon! Highlights/thoughts/randomness: My running streak lives on - my last day off was January 26. I didn't take the week after Grandma's off because I love running on vacation, and also because I didn't want to! My last days off were after Houston, when I was feeling burned out both physically and mentally, and I wasn't afraid to do that again, but I didn't want it this time and was excited for my short recovery runs. After CIM I ran on vacation in the same manner. I don't plan to streak long-term, because I'll take the time when I need it, but it's been fun to count since I've started running 7 days a week in June 2017 -- within the 13 months since then, I've taken 5 days off, all after Houston. This arrived (I'd completely forgotten it was coming)! Life events: Albani has been losing teeth like crazy! She is onto us about the non-existence of the Tooth Fairy, but still gladly accepts her dollars. Albani was in her school district's newsletter, reading. We vacationed after Grandma's Marathon, in Grand Marais, Minnesota, Grand Portage, Minnesota, and in Thunder Bay Canada. You can read more about our vacation here. 2 teeth lost within 10 minutes! Half of my department at our ABA BBQ Photo from the district newsletter
  5. SIbbetson

    Storm Before the Storm

    Most of life's best ideas come while marathon training, so...
  6. SIbbetson

    Mt Washington run 2018

    That race sounds brutal! Stress takes a major toll on performance (as does wind!), so don't beat yourself up about not getting to show your fitness. Onto the next!
  7. I love your patriotic outfit! Kudos to you for getting back out there. Try not to compare to where you used to be, especially in the sweltering summer temps. Keep loving the process, and the results will come!
  8. See you at CIM!
  9. SIbbetson

    "Chris is the girl that runs a lot..."

    This is a fantastic post! I am really in awe that you have a 1998 race on your Athlinks account.
  10. Every marathon is a different adventure, and the person who starts the race is never the same person who finishes it. Anyone looking to maximize personal growth within a few hours should race a marathon! Grandma’s Marathon was a 2 hour 49 minute 8 second finale to a training block that made me a more thankful person. Almost there! Race morning brought nearly perfect running weather, with temperatures in the 50s and overcast skies. The much lower than expected temperatures made it impossible to complain about 100% humidity. I wrote the verse “With God all things are possible - Matthew 19:26” on my arm; only because of Him did I even make it to this marathon after a rocky start to the training block. On the bus ride to the starting line I was thankful that it wasn’t hot or a deluge, both of which had been forecasted at some points. I was thankful for the amazing perks I received as an elite athlete in this event, which included a nice bus from our hotel to the start, an elite tent/staging area (Kellyn Taylor was in there too!), separate porta-potties and bag checks, and the ability to have my own bottles placed on the course (more elite details coming in later posts). I was also thankful to share the bus ride with my friend Michelle, just like we had before the Bill Snyder Half four weeks prior. My race verse I stuck to my typical pre-race warm up and routines, found Nichole who I planned to pace with at the beginning, and felt ready to go on the starting line. Although anytime I line up for a marathon, the 2:45 standard is on my mind, I knew it would be a huge stretch off of the training cycle I’d had, and we planned to start at 6:30 pace. I am pretty good at gauging what I have to give, so I knew that once I got rolling I’d know if I should stay at that pace or drop. I started with Nichole and her friend Craig (you can read Nichole's race report here). The pace felt perfect as a marathon effort and the crowds thinned out. I looked at my first 4 mile splits and then switched to effort-based racing. I suspected my pace would drop a little as I got more warmed up and into a groove, but I didn’t want to force it down in an effort to hit certain splits and have that come back to haunt me later in the race like happened at Houston. One thing I’ve learned about marathoning is that just because you’re in shape to run a certain pace doesn’t mean you’ll be able to run that pace on race day, and forcing it early sure doesn’t do you any favors! Plus I wasn't actually at a fitness level to run 6:17 pace; I just had a small outside hope that race day magic would happen, but knew 6:20-6:30 was more realistic. I wrote additional posts with the details of each section of the races (links below), but overall the miles flowed and I felt like I was running at the correct effort-level for me that day. I was thankful to be out there feeling good, although like any long race some parts were easier and some were rougher. I saw course clocks at the 10K, 10 mile, half, and mile 20, so I knew about where I was at based on those. After pulling away from Nichole and Craig during mile 5, I never ran with anyone for more than a mile or so, but I kept focusing on the runners ahead of me and working towards them. I'm pretty good at getting stuck in no man's land no matter how large the race, and the faster you're running the more likely that is to occur! At mile 20, I felt like I had more left than I’d had at that point at CIM, which I was thankful for -- I was also about 2:40 slower so that probably had a lot to do with it! Although I loved the Grandma’s course (especially the straightness of it!) and would describe it as flat, the first half is a net downhill and from the half to about 23 is a net uphill. It’s not enough that you notice it racing, but it influences pace, especially when you're getting nit picky about seconds. I wasn’t sure how my body would respond in the final 10K, but I tried to focus and to catch and pass as many people as I could. Elevation profile The closer I got to the finish line, the thicker the spectators became, and the more confident I became about having a strong finish. I drank my entire 8 oz bottle of nuun energy at mile 22, mainly for the caffeine, and shortly after I developed a terrible side cramp. It persisted from about 22.5-24.5, and I was able to keep running but wow it hurt. I’d kind of accepted that I’d have it through the end, so was extremely thankful when it abated and I was really able to cruise in. It also rained for awhile starting around 23 and Lemon Drop "hill". I developed some neck pain in the final few miles, which I've experienced at the end of my last 3 marathons now, and although it makes me lean back a bit and tilt my head upward, it was nothing major (at CIM it was debilitating, but at Houston was also fairly minor). Around mile 25 I heard a spectator say “You’ve gotta move if you want under 2:50” to someone, and I thought “I sure want under 2:50!” and moved with all I could, which meant a 6:12 final mile and 5:55 pace final 0.2. After 25 miles with only 4 turns (all added to the course they've run in the past, due to construction, and all after mile 20), the final mile of the course had 5 turns, but I thought it was almost helpful at that point because it made it easier to lie to myself about how close I was to the finish line! There were also 2 clocks in the last mile, although they weren’t marked with distances so weren’t actually helpful; it never occurred to me that I could look at my watch to check the distance, but it didn't really matter at that point. I remember running over this, I think in mile 24 or 25 As I came down the final straight, I was again filled with thankfulness for making it to the finish line, for making it through my training cycle, for being 100% healthy, for my third marathon in the 2:40s, and for my second fastest marathon ever. My smile in this photograph that was taken just after I finished (and was immediately handed my gear bag - another wonderful elite perk) says it all! Few things match the thrill of the marathon! Results & official course splits My official results, along with a lot of fun stats and two finishing videos, are here. I was 43rd female (I was ranked 42 so finished very close) and 9th in the 35-39 age group. 2:35 won my age group! My family found me from the sidelines (Jon and Albani got to sit in a special section of bleachers with my elite pass!), and I think I surprised them with how elated I was. Sure, I was 4:08 off of my Big Dream time, but I met all of my realistic goals for the race. Those were to pace within myself and evenly (not by my watch), to negative split, to finish strong, to finish in the 2:40s, and to be thankful no matter what. I truly believe I got the best marathon I could have gotten out of myself on that course in that field on 6/16/18, and that’s a fantastic feeling! Before the race I’d been stuck on 2:48 as a realistic ideal day finishing time, so I was very close in my prediction. One big lesson I learned this training cycle is not to have 2:45 as my singular goal, because while I certainly want to hit that time standard, it can’t be the only way to success if I want to maintain the pure love I have for the marathon and the joy I find in racing it. I’m thankful for my passion for this hobby, and wouldn’t trade that for any marathon finishing time. Post-race celebration with most of my cheer crew (Jon took the photo) On the other hand, I like to believe I’m improving, even though my time progression isn’t linear. I give a lot of myself to this pursuit. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I truly love marathon training, but I dedicate a lot to it in a life where I don’t have a surplus of time, plus traveling to ideal races is an investment each time. I am thankful that findmymarathon.com told me that based on course differences, I am improving! I've said it 1 million times: Too bad you can't OTQ at Phoenix With God all things ARE possible, and I am most thankful for that. Run Superior! Garmin splits 1 Garmin splits 2 More about my Grandma's experience can be found: Elite excitement and expo Race morning anticipation Opening 10K 6.2 to halfway there Half to 20 Closing 10K Post-race feels The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race Caffeine taper, pre-race meals, & race day nutrition Minnesota Vacation (how to family vacation along with Grandma's) - coming soon!
  11. SIbbetson

    Table Rock Trail Challenge

    Although it's already been said many times, I agree that this is a fantastic unique idea for a race!
  12. SIbbetson


    Keep on inspiring!
  13. SIbbetson

    Thelma & Louise 13.1 RR

    So much excitement here! Congrats on the engagement and PR. This was so much better than Hospital Hill! :-)
  14. SIbbetson

    I’ll Happily Take This PW

    Nailed it! I really like the forced negative split concept of that race.
  15. SIbbetson

    Mt. Evans Ascent Race Report

    Wow! Also, secret pre-race bathrooms are the best.