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SIbbetson

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SIbbetson last won the day on November 5

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About SIbbetson

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  1. A better course and lower humidity will get you to that sub-20!
  2. "That was the easy part. The hard part was NOT running for six weeks." - Preach!
  3. Does pacing involve a free trip to Bermuda?? If so, sign us all up!
  4. SIbbetson

    It is what it is

    Hear, hear - I also hate that phrase. Take care!
  5. The Short: It's no secret that I went to Indy with the goal of running 2:45:00 or better. I truly felt like my fitness was there, whereas before my past OTQ attempts I've always felt more comfortable with 6:20ish but tried anyway since that is so close to the 6:17 average needed. My pace plan was 6:20 for the first 10K, then 6:15 from there on, dropping lower towards the end if I was up for it - and although I never looked at my watch I averaged 6:19 for the first 10K and 6:14 from there to the half. Mother Nature dealt a brutal south wind, which we turned into around 13.5 miles of the mostly north-south course. I kept telling myself that I was strong enough to run 2:44 even with the wind, but it turns out I wasn't; I finished in a PR of 2:46:08, 68 seconds shy of what I need to be able to run in Atlanta on 2/29/20. God has different plans for me, and I know they are better than mine, but that doesn't lessen my heartbreak over this. Official results are here. My dad's finishing video is here. You can read more about my training cycle and philosophy for this race here. Final stretch The Less Short (truly long is to come, as usual): The elite field at Indy Monumental on 11/9/19 was by far the largest it had ever been, with the timing being great for runners to notch an Olympic Trials Qualifying time, recover, and rebuild towards the Trials on Leap Day 2020. The course is known for being flat and the weather cold, and this year the race had 2:45 pacers and performance bonuses for any athletes hitting the standards. For me another major draw was that it was a drive-able distance away (about 7 hours), and it fit better with my work and family schedules than other race options. While I think the California International Marathon course is faster, I figured less travel stress would even things out. During the week before the race, I talked to a few women about pacing together. I hypothesized that the 2:45 pace group would go out too fast, because pace groups almost always do, especially when you have people amped up about a very specific time standard. I wanted to start at 6:20 for the first 10K, then drop to steady 6:15s for the rest of the race. I hoped I could drop to 6:10 or under for the final 10K, but staying at 6:15 would get me under 2:45:00. My coach trained me for 6:10-6:15 goal pace, so 6:17 wasn't nearly as intimidating as it has been in the past for me. There were 4 other women who expressed interest in the "conservative start 2:45 group" as we called ourselves, and we figured we'd pick some more up along the way. I think nearly every one of the 62 women in the elite field was aiming for 2:45 or under! I'll write another post about the wonderful elite hospitality at this race. Race morning was cold - 28 degrees with a windchill of 19 at the 8 a.m. start. I'd spent most of my season worried that it would be too warm for this race, but it was cold enough I wore a full singlet, arm warmers, an ear warmer headband, and gloves for the whole race. There was also a significant south wind that increased throughout the morning. I started the race calm, confident, and ready to execute, telling myself "you are a sub-2:45 marathoner". I started with 3 of the women I planned to work with, Tawny, Sam, and Stella (we could never find our 4th, Jen, but I later learned she dropped out with a calf injury). Tawny's husband Dustin ran with us and told us every turn in advance, helping us navigate the tangents well. With the size of the event (19,000) and the half and full marathons starting together, the first 5 miles were more crowded than I'm used to, but for the most part I could stride out and keep a steady tempo. Before the race, I'd decided that I would work with my group, use the 2:45 pace group as a gauge, and run by effort. Several people told me that Garmins would be wonky for the first 6-7 miles due to the many long underpasses we ran under and the downtown buildings, so taking manual mile splits was recommended. I decided against doing so because I didn't want to mess with my watch, which was the best decision for me, but I don't have my actual mile splits because of that (only the splits from the course mats). The course had clocks at every mile marker, and while I missed a lot of the markers early on, I saw all of the important check points. The miles rolled by quickly, and I focused on staying relaxed, running the tangents, and working with those around me. Our first elite bottle station was around 10K, and I easily grabbed my Generation UCAN. I started the race with 3 gels in my shorts for peace of mind, so that even if I missed all of my bottles I'd be fine with what I had plus water from the course aid stations. Shortly after the 10K mark, the half marathoners split off and we had more room to run. Power of the pack (pacer is in orange) I can't tell you much about the course, except that it was flat. I just focused and executed. It felt like a pace I could do all day. Our group was solid and the large 2:45 pace group was 30-45 seconds ahead of us. A man running with us kept telling us at each mile marker some rendition of "we're on 2:44:30 pace", and it wasn't until mile 8-10ish that we learned he was one of the 2:45 pacers! He'd gone out more conservatively while the main group with the sign had gone out fast. We all laughed when we collectively figured it out, and I told him, "I thought you were just a very helpful guy...well, you are a very helpful guy, but you're official too!" Our second bottle station was around 20K, and I picked up my nuun energy plus a gel there. I ended up giving half of that bottle to a man running with us, because I really wasn't sweating and didn't need much fluid. Before I knew it we were at the half, in 1:22:05ish. I thought something like, "that was the easiest 1:22 half I've ever run, I feel so fresh, I bet I can run 1:21:50 for the second half and come in at 2:43!" Endorphins were flowing and the power of the pack was real. At some points my hands got numb and cold, but overall my body temperature was ideal. Halfway there The course is a large loop, starting out going north, going a bit west, then coming back south. Around mile 13.5 we turned south and into the wind. The 18+ mph headwind was tough, but I tried to draft off others and not stress about it since I couldn't do anything to change it. I was planning to take my second gel with my 30K bottle, but around mile 17 I decided I was ready for some calories and used one from my shorts pocket. Our group had slowly been both losing and picking up people, and between 17-18 it really dismantled and I never saw the 2:45 pacer who'd been with us again (the pacers were planned to run to mile 20 so I assume he stopped there). I'd been following just behind Tawny for several miles, and she looked so strong. I kept telling myself to just stay with her and we were going to do it together. At mile 18, she abruptly slowed. I went past her, encouraging her to come with me (I later learned she suffered with a lot of cramping in the final 8 miles). I felt like a million bucks at 18, and was comparing how I felt to that point in the Phoenix Marathon in my head ("only 8 miles to go - I'm doing this!"). At mile 20, I thought about how much better I felt at that point than at 20 in Grandma's Marathon, with almost exactly the same 20 mile split (2:05:3X). I felt confident that on my fourth try, I could actually do this thing. The wind was relentless, but I just kept telling myself that I was strong enough to do it anyway. Doubt creeped in at times, but I pushed it away - positive thinking is so powerful and is something I think I have down. I didn't run with anyone from 18 on; I was blowing past people who were struggling, and people who were finishing at 6:00 pace were blowing past me. I slowly sucked down the gel I'd pulled off my 30K bottle between 18-22ish, mainly for the caffeine boost and distraction. At mile 22 I told myself that there were only 3 miles left, since the last mile takes care of itself. I was feeling fatigued and started pulling out every mental trick in my play book: running the mile I was in, looking ahead and pretending a rope was pulling me towards the next person ahead of me, thinking about my dad and Jon at the finish line, thinking about how I wanted to give my dad a plane ticket to Atlanta for his birthday, remembering my whys, and thinking about what felt good instead of what hurt (my hamstrings were screaming but my calves and quads felt strong). I had Hebrews 12:1 written on my arm, and for a good portion of the final miles I just repeated "Hebrews 12:1, Hebrews 12:1, Hebrews 12:1" over and over to myself. My arm sleeves covered this, but I knew it was there I got to 23 knowing I had to keep moving. I threw every ounce of energy I had in me into fighting the wind. The long straight stretch running south to the finish was something I'd looked forward to from the course map (no turns! lock in and go!), but in reality it was the worst part of the race. I did everything I could think of to make it feel better; I pushed down my arm sleeves and pulled my ear warmer off my head. I told myself that the man passing me was 2:44:50 and I had to go with him. I tried to latch on to anyone who passed me. I used the energy of the crowd. I told myself that I was a sub-2:45 marathoner. At the mile 24 clock, I got worried. By my shaky (but distracting!) math I needed to run 6:10-6:15 for the final 2.2 to make it, and I was struggling. Before the race, I'd had grand plans to finish the final 10K at 6:05-6:10, but I didn't have it in me. The wind just ate me up, and I was too worn down to pick up my pace; instead I was slowing. People all around were yelling at the women coming by, "You can get the 2:45, but you've gotta move! You've gotta move now!" I kept trading off positions with another women I'd run much of the race with (and who is pictured below finishing steps behind me), and a man was running on the sidewalk encouraging her, "Amy, no one closes like you, you can do this!" I pretended he was talking to me and I fought to stay with her. I fought with everything I had, but when I saw the mile 25 clock I knew it would take a miracle, or a 5:45ish final 1.2 miles. I refused to give up, but all I had was a 6:43 final mile and only a 6:42 pace final 0.24 (this is how I truly know I physically gave it all - I could not pick it up at all at the end; generally we have a little extra gear because our minds are stopping us but our bodies have a little left in reserve). I passed the mile 26 clock around 2:44:50, knowing that I had only fit 26 miles into the time I needed to fit 26.2 into, and it stung so hard. I ran with all my heart for the final 0.2, although my heart was a little broken at that point. However, I crossed the line joyfully and thankfully in a PR of 2:46:08. 68 seconds away, but 66 seconds closer than I've ever been before. Clock shot The obvious is that I gained a PR from this race. I bettered my previous marathon best, which I ran in perfect weather on a net downhill course at CIM, on a flat loop course in brutal cold wind. I gained a greater appreciation for training and the every day process during this training cycle; that was the best part. I gained new friendships and bonds with amazing women. I gained the guts to go for it on an imperfect day; previously I always thought everything had to be just right to even try, but now I think I'm strong enough that things just need to be pretty good, and that's a big step. So many people told me that my race was a sub-2:45 performance, and I truly believe it was, but the USATF doesn't wind-grade times, so... Sometimes I feel like a broken record saying that I'm going to keep trying, but after my fourth try for it at Indy, I know even more that a 2:45:00 is in me. Should've adjusted the arm sleeves & headband, but was barely able to function! Stay tuned for more race details! "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. - Hebrews 12:1
  6. SIbbetson

    Wake Me up When October Ends

    Praying for healing! I can’t even begin to understand or imagine what you’ve gone through. Hugs.
  7. SIbbetson

    Taking a Breather

    The keep running and ignore it approach is a popular one, alright.
  8. SIbbetson

    Must. Keep. Writing.

    People don't have the attention-span for blogs anymore; Instagram and Strava scrolling have taken over! I vote Atlanta for you.
  9. I agree about Vogue! I've really enjoyed this training cycle, so no matter how Indy goes I'm happy. 🙂
  10. Ironically, I've spent most of the cycle worried about it being too hot, and now I am worried about it being too cold, bahaha!
  11. October 2019 in Review Total mileage for the month: 376.4 - a monthly mileage PR, barely! Sep. 30-Oct. 6: 88 Oct. 7-13: 91.7 - but on the Sunday through Saturday week of Oct. 6-12 I ran 100 for the first time ever! Oct. 14-20: 92.1 Oct. 21-27: 80.4 Oct. 28-Nov. 3: projected at 60 It was too cold for this! Races: Oct. 5 - Panther Run 5K as a "bonus" race that my coach added at the last minute in 17:52 for first female and my first 5K in the 17s! Winter arrived, some days Workouts: Oct. 2: 10 miles moderate (1 warm up, 1 cool down), which was slated at 5-10% slower than goal marathon pace, or 6:29-6:48. My coach noted on my schedule that I'd "win" this workout by keeping all of my miles within that range, so I won with 6:35, 6:45, 6:38, 6:46, 6:42, 6:39, 6:41, 6:47, 6:38, 6:33. My grade-adjusted paces were a little more even, because I ran a rolling route (480 ft of gain). Oct. 5: After the Panther Run 5K and as part of a 16 mile day, I had a 30 minute progression run, starting at 8:00 and finishing at 6:00. I set my watch to take half mile splits and aimed to drop 15 seconds off my pace each half mile. The half mile split paces were: 8:04, 7:30ish (I messed this one up by hitting lap and splitting it into 2), 7:19, 7:02, 6:51, 6:43, 6:34, 6:08, 5:53. I was happy to feel strong on this; when I saw it on my schedule I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it after the race! Daniel and Michael ran this with me, which was quite helpful (every other workout I ran this month was solo). Oct. 8: 10 x 1K with 1:00 recovery jog in 3:37, 3:37, 3:34, 3:33, 3:38, 3:39, 3:36, 3:38, 3:35, 3:35 (that is 5:43-5:54 pace), 3.2 warm up plus drills and strides, 2.1 cool down. My coach told me "5:50-5:55 pace and no faster", but 5:50 effort is sure different in 42 degrees than it is in 70 degrees, so I kept having to reel myself in! It looked like a long workout on paper but it went by quickly. Oct. 12: During my 24.5 miler I had 10 x 1:00 pick ups to marathon pace-ish at the beginnings of miles 12-21. My paces were: 6:03, 5:58 (decline), 6:01, 6:28 (incline), 6:17, 6:06, 6:03, 6:17, 6:36 (uphill), 6:17. I liked doing this in lieu of 24 all easy, because it broke up the run and got my legs turning over, but it was just a light stimulus so didn't leave me any more fatigued than 24 easy pace miles. Oct. 15: 10 x 4:00 at tempo/2:00 at MGP (that's 60 minutes total alternating 5:55/6:15) - I ended up with 10 miles at 6:01 average with 4:00/2:00 split paces of: 5:53, 6:11, 5:55, 6:06, 5:54, 6:04, 5:53, 6:24, 5:54, 6:11, 5:51, 6:12, 5:56, 6:09, 6:02, 6:20, 5:57, 6:24, 5:58, 6:18, 3.2 warm up, 3 cool down. The workout was technically over 11 seconds before I stopped, but I wanted to run to 10 to see what my 10 mile time was. I had no idea I was going to be so close to 10 miles in an hour; while I exceeded expectations with my paces, after seeing 6:01 average I wished I'd have run 2 seconds/mile faster! I had a much harder time finding 6:15 pace than 5:55 pace, which is evident in my splits. I know tempo effort well but marathon pace in training (especially coming off tempo pace) is something I am not good at settling into! I was pretty excited to run an unofficial 10 mile PR and 15K PR, the hard way (uneven pacing) by myself in the dark. Oct. 22: 12 x 1K with 1:00 recovery jog in 3:37, 3:37, 3:39, 3:40, 3:40, 3:42, 3:44, 3:38, 3:37, 3:39, 3:47, 3:40 (2.1 warm up, 2.5 cool down). My goal was 3:35-3:40, so 9 of the reps were on target and 3 were not, so I'd call it a mediocre day. It was windy, and at the beginning of the workout it seemed "not that bad" whereas at the end it seemed "terribly windy." I think hitting the pace early on took more out of me than it would have without the wind, making hitting it later more difficult. I took 1:00 standing recoveries instead of jogging after reps 7 and 11 to try to get back on pace. 1Ks were easier on Oct. 8! Oct. 26: 10 miles at 6:10, which ended up being 6:02 average via 6:07, 6:02, 6:04, 6:07, 6:04, 6:01, 6:00, 6:04, 6:02, 5:53 (3.2 warm up, 3.6 cool down). I was a little nervous for this workout, I think since it was my last long run workout before my marathon so I wanted it to go really well. I kept telling myself that 10 steady at 6:10 shouldn't be an issue since I'd done 10 at 6:01 alternating 5:55/6:15 on Oct. 15 - but in my head 6:10 is still really hard. Once I got started I felt great, and my pace kept drifting more towards 6:00. I started the workout in a short sleeve shirt, arm warmers, and gloves (it was 44*, wind chill 38*), but around mile 3 I peeled off my shirt and tossed it in the ditch - also a good skill to practice before race day at a fast pace. Around mile 6, it started raining! Cold rain is my least favorite, and luckily it was a light to moderate rain, but the portions running into the wind were pretty cold. Weather.com had told me the rain that wasn't going to start until after I finished the run - although the day before it had 90% change of rain from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m., so I'm not sure why I trusted it. When I saw my average pace at mile 9 I really wanted to continue to 13.11 for an unofficial half PR, but I made myself stick to the distance my coach had given me, although I did try for that sub-6:00 final mile. Oct. 29: 6 miles with 5 at MP and 1 hard, full recovery, 4 x 800 at 5K effort with 2:00 recovery in 6:15, 6:14, 6:10, 6:08, 6:18, 5:59 / 2:55, 2:55, 2:53, 2:52 (2.1 warm up, 2.2 cool down). I felt alright on the marathon pace work, but then my legs did not want to turn over any faster. I think I could have used another easy day between the Oct. 26 workout and this one, and I mostly accomplished the workout but had to really work for it (and 5K effort was not 5K pace!). I also walked for a few minutes on my full recovery, and milked the 2:00 jogs for all I could between the 800s. On my warm up, I'd told Abby that it didn't even matter how this workout went, because my cycle had been solid, and I stand by that, although I wish mile 6 and the 800s had been a little faster and come easier! Doubles: Oct. 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, (a tiny 1.1 miler on Oct. 12 in order to hit 100 miles), 14, 17, 21, 25, 27, 31. Strength work: Weekly totals of 2:36, 1:50, 2:09, 2:25. Yoga: Weekly totals of 1:20, 1:52, 1:41, 1:37. Favorite workout: The Oct. 5 Panther Run plus progression and the Oct. 15 workouts really showed me that I'm stronger than I think I am, but Oct. 8 and Oct. 26 exceeded expectations too - so I'll just say I am feeling very blessed this month! I said "Vogue" pose & this is what happened (they are too young to understand!) It's the days of sports bra & gloves workouts! Long Runs: Oct. 5: 16 miles via 3.5 warm up, Panther Run 5K, 30 min. progression run, 5 mile cool down. This didn't feel like a 16 mile morning since it was so split up! Oct. 12: 24.5 miles (7:42) - The Big One, with some pick ups as described above. Due to some route miscalculations, I ran a half mile over the scheduled 24, and it was really hard to restrain myself from going to 25! It was 28 degrees at the start of this run, which was a bit shocking considering I hadn't done any other long runs this season in weather cool enough to even wear a shirt. Missy and Rebecca ran the first 12 miles of this with me, and then Rebecca was with me off and on for most of the remainder. I stopped to pee during mile 15 and didn't get my Garmin stopped, so my average pace was a little faster than this, but it was still an easy run - actually the slowest pace I've run a 24 miler at ever in training, but that was by design (it's taken me a week to recover from most 24s in the past, plus this was tons of time on feet). Oct. 19: 22.4 miles (7:44), with heart rate caps of 132 for the first 10 and 140 for the next 10 (then easier final 2). My HR monitor wasn't working so I went by paces that these HRs usually correspond with, with 8:00ish for the first 10 and 7:30ish for the second 10. Earlier in the week I'd tried to talk my coach into adding a 2 mile fast finish, but she said no, and when I had 2 miles left I was sure glad she'd said no! I really enjoyed this run, and Missy and Rebecca ran 16 of it with me (I did 3 from my house to our meeting spot and 3 back home after they finished), but around mile 19 I started feeling pretty out of gas. I'd been traveling for work in the 3 days before this run, returning home the evening before, and that always tires me out. I also didn't fuel very well (just water before, and one scoop of UCAN in water during), which I am sure didn't help. Oct. 26: 16.8 miles, described in workouts above. Favorite long run: The 22 on Oct. 19, because I had so much fun with my friends during that run! Missy took 3 videos and several photos of us while running. She is a good multi-tasker! Missy took this of Rebecca & me on Oct. 19 Running highlights/thoughts/randomness: I really enjoyed this podcast with Sarah Hall. She is my favorite professional runner and I am really pulling for her at the Trials in Atlanta 2020! I got podcast mentions at 1:59 here and 1:38 here. I ran my first ever 100 mile week! The weather was pretty bipolar this month - one morning I'd be in shorts and a sports bra, and the next in tights, long sleeves, gloves, and an ear warmer! On Halloween morning there were snow flurries. I got 3 new pairs of running shoes that are pink! It is so dark even at the end of our runs again... Pink power! The New Balance have a bright pink sole. Life highlights/randomness: We continued to foster the stray kitten we found last month, which we named Biscuit - she goes to her permanent home on Nov. 2. My cousin Bill visited from Colorado. We took our annual pumpkin patch visit. My birthday fell on a Saturday. Albani went to her first ever school dance - isn't 6th grade too early for these?! Halloween results in excessive amounts of sugar at our house, as per usual. Stand off on our deck So much cuteness Catching throwed rolls at Lambert's You have to take visitors from out of state to Lambert's Halloween Wars would be impressed This was in my hotel room when I was traveling for work - I was impressed Pumpkin patch fun Jon is the world's greatest farmer We all painted pumpkins Foster siblings (I wish Nugget & Bandit would do this!) Bandit We love Skip-Bo! I can barely handle this cuteness - I just wish Bandit would participate Our church's fall fest Gotham City Ready for her first school dance Books: Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett Roar by Stacey Sims Theme of the month: Ready or not! My next 26.2 is right around the corner, and I am ready to run with joy the race set out for me, no matter if it takes me 2:44 or 3:44!
  12. You need to get a headlamp for those pre-dawn runs!
  13. Just keep showing up! 😁
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