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Blog Entries posted by SIbbetson

  1. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    May 2022 in review!
    Total mileage for the month:  340.6 May 2-8:  81.5 May 9-15:  80.5 May 16-22:  75.5 May 23-29:  75.7 May 30-June 4: projected at 75 #marvelousmay Races: May 21: Bill Snyder Highway Half in 1:30:40 for 1st masters female, 5th OAF, and a wonderful mini-racecation. The situation was that I could run my hardest and get 1st masters/5th OAF or I could run 1:30 and get 1st masters/5th OAF and potentially help a friend, and I chose the latter. It was hilarious if you were there Workouts:  May 3: Track work of 600 m (2:04), 500 m (1:44), 400 m (1:21), 300 m (1:01), 200 m (0:37), 100 m (0:17) with 300 m jog recoveries. This was a huge departure from recent workouts and seemed like it was good for me! I probably didn't have the strength back I would have needed to do a threshold workout or anything much longer at this point post-Boston. I usually struggle with speed work but I enjoyed this one. Four of my running buddies did the same workout, and we staggered our starts so we would all finish the rep at about the same time (e.g., starting in descending projected time order). May 6: 16.1 miles with 9 x 0:45 pick ups to ~5:45 in the second half. I love putting little pick ups in long runs; it seems to help me biomechanically but isn't tiring. May 10: 4 x 1 mile at threshold effort with 1:30 recoveries in 5:59, 5:59, 6:07, 6:12, with my annual reminder that it's very difficult to negative split anything in 72 degrees and 90% humidity! I kind of expected I'd run them all in 6:10-6:15, so I was still happy with this workout despite the regression. I gave myself 4-6 reps because I wasn't sure how I'd feel, with this being my first real workout post-Boston and not feeling full strength yet, and I was ready to stop at 4 but I think I'd have done 5-6 had it been 50 degrees. I'll get more used to it soon (though I'll definitely still complain about it!) but the first couple of warm humid workouts are really a shock to the system! May 13: 3 mile fartlek of 3:00 on/1:30 off/2:00 on/1:00 off/1:00 on/0:30 off within a 9 mile run. I just ran the ons hard and didn't look at my paces - I ran a hilly route and it was warm and humid, and I am learning that I sometimes feel better about workouts when I don't know exactly what I did. May 16: 2 x 1 mile at threshold + 2 x 0.5 faster in 5:56, 5:57, 2:54, 2:52 with 1:30 recovery jogs. I had great weather for this one so I looked at my splits afterward. My confidence is still wrecked from Boston but this one gave me a smidge of hope. I also did 4-6 x 0:20 strides, 4-6 x 150 m, and light unstructured pick ups several times this month, but didn't note those here. Doubles: May 2, 3, 5, 10, 12, 16, 17, 26. Favorite workout: Probably May 16 because it was relatively short, felt smooth, and went well. #marvelousmay post-workout Long Runs: May 6:  16.1 miles (7:31) for #fifteenonfriday plus one! May 14:  14 miles (7:57) with a great group on farm roads. I gave myself 12-15 for the day and amazingly stopped at 14 instead of the farthest option (I blame the humidity). Ironically I'd also given myself 12-15 on May 6. May 21:  18.2 miles, including the Bill Snyder Half Marathon. I didn't realize I ran this far until I uploaded my runs when I got home that evening. May 28: 17.3 miles (7:44) that felt really good with the group. Favorite long run: None of them were particularly noteworthy, but I'll go with May 28 because the weather was super nice for May 28 and I felt like I could run all day. "I don't know how to be marvelous" -
    Sean on #marvelousmay Running Highlights: Planning my races for the rest of 2022 has been fun! Mini-racecation to Manhattan with a couple of running buddies, plus my parents met us there. Miles from Mentor bonfire (occurred on 4/30 but
    didn't make it in my April post!) I found myself on the Hospital
    Hill Instagram ad Life Highlights: I got to spend Mother's Day weekend with both my mom and mother-in-law in southeast Kansas. We also did Ibbetson family photos, which required coordinating a lot of people. Albani graduated from 8th grade, meaning I have a high schooler. I wrapped up another semester of adjunct teaching at MSU, and have a little break before rolling into summer teaching. We took a mini-family vacation to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas over Memorial Day weekend. Family photos Last day of junior high Crater of Diamonds State Park   Ka-do-ha Indian Village   Wet sifting Books: Cold Wind (Alaska Wild #2) by Paige Shelton Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls Book Lover by Emily Henry Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee   Theme for the month: Resetting Lol Pink!    
  2. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    April 2022 in review!
    Total mileage for the month: 259.7 March 28-April 3: 80.0 April 4-10:  81.1 April 11-17:  45.5 April 18-24:  33.6 April 25-May 1: 71.7 I brought everyone rabbit ez tees back from Boston
    but forgot to bring mine for the post-run photo! Races: April 18: Boston Marathon in 3:13:01. When my choices were DNS, DNF, or a sickly struggle to finish almost a half hour slower than planned, I chose the latter and even though I'm sad about it I don't regret it. The Boston singlet that didn't pass
    uniform checks Workouts: April 3: 6 miles pacing Amy's MP workout (7:35-7:40) then 4 x 1 MP/1 easy. My MP miles were 6:42, 6:38, 6:04, 5:58 (average 6:20) - which appears to be total crap pacing and kind of was. But! The first two miles were more uphill and the second two more downhill, though it all rolled. I've run the course we were on enough to know I'm usually ~10 seconds slow on the miles the first two reps were on and ~10 seconds fast on the miles the last two were on - so 6:30 and 6:10 would have been more normal. I think residual fatigued from the 50k made the uphill harder than usual, or maybe I just needed some time to get going. The first two felt awful and the last two felt great, so who knows! Better to start slower and finish faster than the opposite. Colin and I ran this together, showing me that one scenario when I can actually keep up with him on workouts is when he has run a 50k 8 days prior. I am better than average at recovering from long races! April 6:  Wave tempo of 10 x 4:00 at 6:25-6:30 / 2:00 at sub-6:00 continuously. The time-based workout ended up being 9.72 miles at 6:10 pace total, with 4.3 warm up and 2.4 cool down for 16.5 total. My paces were: 6:20, 5:54, 6:25, 5:42, 6:27, 5:41, 6:17, 5:47, 6:24, 5:57, 6:15, 6:09, 6:24, 5:48, 6:32, 5:51, 6:30, 5:55, 6:24, 5:46. I planned the workout as 8-10 sets, so me choosing to do 10 shows that I was feeling really good! It was a weird workout because it started out fine for the first 2 rotations, then at 3-4 I was questioning if I was going to be able to hold pace for even 8 (and decided if I fell off I'd stop at 6), then once I got to about 6 I felt fantastic. I really felt stronger as the workout went on and finished feeling like I could do a few more rotations. I definitely could have finish a half marathon at 6:10 pace this day - or of course faster with even pacing. April 9: Light fartlek of 4 x 2:00, 1:30, 1:00 on with equal offs in an 11 mile run. I ran the ons moderate, which ended up averaging around MP, because I needed to do something besides slogging but not a hard workout. April 11: 4 miles at MP in the middle of a 12.2 mile run, in rain and wind on hills in 6:27, 6:33, 6:33, 6:15. My plan was to start at 6:30 and work down, but the first 2.5 miles of it felt terrible and I told Colin I was just staying at 6:30! The last 1.5 felt better but still a lot harder than it should have, which is pretty much always what happens to me a week out from marathon day, so now it's just expected and not discouraging...though in hindsight this was the start of me getting sick! April 14: While sick I attempted to run 3 miles turned 3 x 1 mile turned 1 single mile at MP instead of the scheduled workout, but could only manage a 6:40 and it killed me...which did not inspire confidence for Boston. Doubles: April 2, 5, 6, 10, 29. I'm in the lovely rabbit Boston long
    sleeve & Amy is in her Boston outfit   Long Runs: April 3:  14.2 miles (7:18) with a workout, described above. April 6: 16.5 miles with a workout, my main long run between the Prairie Spirit 50k and Boston Marathon. I couldn't decide whether to run 16 or 17 for this one so I split the difference! April 11: 12.2 miles (7:14) via 4 easy, 4 MP, 4.2 easy, a.k.a., The Last Long Run Workout That Always Feels Much Harder Than It Should, which felt even harder than usual. April 18: Boston Marathon (27.5 total for the day)! April 29: 14.2 miles (7:48), which was the first run post-Boston that I felt nearly normal on! I did 8 x 0:30 pick ups to sub-6, one about every mile, starting at mile 6, to put some pop back in my legs. Miles from Mentor fuels with UCAN!
      Girls' run Running Highlights: My first Boston Marathon, in the professional field, though it wasn't exactly what I'd dreamed of. My running group welcomed me back with
    champagne-less mimosas (yes, plain OJ)  Life Highlights: Boston-related travel and friends, which included Easter in Boston. Albani completed 8th grade ROTC. ROTC awards   Best buds looking at the garden Books: The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls Thin Ice (Alaska Wild #1) by Paige Shelton Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover The Book Thief by Markus Zusak The Whispers by Heidi Perks The Words We Keep by Erin Stewart   Theme for the month: No guarantees.
  3. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    March 2022 in review!
    Total mileage for the month: 388.0 Feb. 28-March 6: 110.3 March 7-13: 93.0 March 14-20: 88.0 March 21-27: 70.2 March 28-April 3: 80.0 Miles from Mentor Saturday long run crew of 11   Races: March 12:  Running of the Squirrels 3.25 mile 5k as part of a long run workout in 19:50 for 1st overall female and a white squirrel! March 19: Havin' a Crappie Weekend Outdoor Festival Crappie Challenge for fun, pacing, and prize money! I coasted through the 1 mile in 5:43, paced Abby to her second fastest 5k ever in 20:17, and ran an 8.5 mile technical trail race in 1:08. I laughed a lot about doing 3 events that I don't even run! March 26:  Prairie Spirit 50k in 3:37:05 for a new Kansas 50k overall female state record, a Prairie Spirit women's course record, 1st OAF, and an experience! DST took our morning weekday run
     daylight - this was post-run 😞 Workouts: March 2:  8 mile wave tempo on rolling hills in 6:44, 6:01, 6:42, 6:09, 6:50, 6:18, 6:39, 6:02. My goal was 6:00-6:10 alternating with 6:40-6:50 (MP-20 and MP+20), so everything was right where I wanted aside from mile 6, but that mile had about 60 ft of gain and I've run the route enough to know that 6:10 effort would yield a 6:20 split, so my goal was to stay under 6:20 there, which I did! Spencer ran this with me, which was very helpful. He hammered his last mile in 5:52 but otherwise we were stride-by-stride. He has Strava premium so I knew my grade-adjusted paces from his data, which took off 4 seconds on average (e.g., we averaged 6:27 pace but grade adjusted was 6:23). This workout is also known as Marathon Pace The Hard Way and I really enjoy it! March 5:  4-3-2-1 mile progressive tempos in a 22.6 mile run (5 easy to start, 0.5 recoveries between most but 1 mile between the 3 and 2 mile tempos due to my running buddy taking a bathroom stop, 5.6 easy to finish). My goal times were 6:30-6:20-6:10-6:00 per segment and splits were 6:31, 6:28, 6:30, 6:26 / 6:26, 6:38, 6:33 (this section was nearly all uphill and all into the 20-30 mph wind, so we decided it was worth 6:20 average) / 6:10, 6:11 / 6:03. I love this workout and my paces were pretty consistent with what I've done before on it, but I've never run such a hilly course so I was proud of myself. The 5 miles easy plus the workout portion was 17 miles total and had 1094 ft of gain per Strava. Spencer and I ran this together except for the last mile when he stomped me! March 9: The Michigan with 2 mile tempos all on the roads. My goal was to match or better the paces I hit for this workout on the same course in January with 1 mile tempos, and I did. It was about 25 degrees with no wind, which felt pretty perfect. Spencer ran with me which also helped! He was ahead of me on all of the 5k-10k pace stuff but we ran the threshold parts side-by-side. My splits were: 1 mile @ 10k in 5:43, 2 mile threshold in 6:01/6:00, 0.75 @ 10k at 5:53, 2 mile threshold in 6:02/6:00, 0.5 @ 5k at 5:30, 2 mile threshold in 6:05/6:02, 0.25 faster than 5k at 5:25. There was a 3:00 recovery jog after each threshold portion and 2:00 recovery jog after each 10k/5k pace portion. 6 total threshold miles at 6:00-6:05 was great for me, then throwing in the faster work really made this a fantastic workout. I don't think I could actually run a 10k at 5:43 pace or a 5k at 5:30 pace right now, but it felt good to press and didn't seem to hurt the rest of the workout! March 12: 5 easy, 3.2 miles at threshold (6:10, 6:12, 6:07), 0.5 jog, 3 miles at marathon pace (6:27, 6:23, 6:16), easy to 18.5. I did the very cold and slightly long Running of the Squirrels 5k for the threshold miles, which was fun - then did the course a second time for the marathon pace work. March 16: 3 x (1 mile @ MGP, 1:00 jog, 1 mile @ HMGP, 1:00 jog, 1 mile @ 10k GP, 3:00 jog) in 6:19, 6:03, 5:51 | 6:17, 6:00, 5:47 | 6:16, 6:00, 5:47. Perfect weather and fast friends made this a successful final big workout! I was happy with my times but even happier with how good I felt running this. The entire run (with warm up, cool down, and recovery jogs) was 14 miles, with 9 miles of work, but it flew by. I haven't really bombed any workouts this season, so I knew this could be the one, but looks like I dodged that bullet and that the Run with the Wind 25k was my worst workout of the season - worst meaning I ran pretty much my exact goal pace but found it much harder than I wanted it to be. Spencer ran the MP miles with me, and a shade faster than me on the HM and 10k pace work, so chasing him helped a lot. Also there is nothing like 10k pace to make MP feel easy! March 19 and 20: I did the Havin' a Crappie Weekend Challenge as my final tune up workout for my 50k. Saturday afternoon I ran 13.8 miles total (includes a 3 mile morning shake out) with the 1 mile and 5k events. Sunday morning I ran 12 miles total with an 8.5ish mile trail race. March 22:  The Race Week Workout That Everyone Runs Too Fast 4 x 1 mile at MP (6:10, 6:05, 6:06, 6:09) plus 0.5 mile hammer (2:48) with 1:30 recoveries. 6:10 or under is my dream MP, but not my current MP, so I held true to the workout's name! I added the 0.5 hammer to help me keep the miles under control, and thinking "I get to hammer at the end" helped but not enough for me to slow down to current MP, which I estimate to be around 6:25. March 31: 4 mile wave tempo alternating MP/threshold, 2:00 jog, 3 x 1:00 faster/1:00 off. My wave tempo half mile paces were 6:26, 6:06, 6:26, 6:08, 6:42, 6:07, 6:37, 6:10 and my 1:00 fasters were 5:26, 5:27, 5:38. I wasn't planning to workout until April 3, but I felt good enough to try one on the short side, plus I felt like I needed to stop slogging post-50k! I felt okay enough considering, but I couldn't dig and starting drifting on my paces towards the end of the wave tempo (I was targeting 6:25-6:35/6:05-6:10). Doubles: March 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 29, 31. Favorite workout: I really had fun with The Michigan with 2 mile tempos! Post-long run #2 for the weekend Those 2 nailed a workout on 3/6!   Long Runs: March 5:  22.6 miles, with a workout described above. March 6:  16.2 miles (8:20), for the last big double long run weekend of the season - which made me sad! March 12:  18.5 miles (7:12), with a workout described above. March 13: 12.5 miles (7:58) that felt a lot easier than the last few Sunday long runs I'd done. Turns out there is a big difference between running 18 miles on Saturday vs. 22-26! March 19: 13.8 miles total, although I did 3.3 in the morning then 10.5 kind of split in the afternoon at the Havin' a Crappie Weekend Outdoor Festival. March 20: 12 miles (8:12) total that included my first real trail race! March 26: 31.1 miles (6:58) at the Prairie Spirit 50k! Most mid-week workouts added up to long run mileage as well but I did not double-include them. Favorite long run: I am a huge fan of the long run workout I did on March 5. Our UCAN sample run! Running Highlights: I set a new rolling 7 day mileage PR of 116.1 from February 25 to March 3. I wrote about it here because who knows if this will ever happen again! My second ultra is in the books! I am 7 overall female wins in 7 races in 2022 so far. I'm celebrating this streak before it ends on April 18! My undefeated in the masters division in road racing streak is also going to end (the only race I haven't won masters in since I turned 40 was on the track). Hopefully Boston is worth it! I love this Strava graph more
    than one should love a graph Life Highlights: Spring break for Albani and MSU + more snow, then spring! Happy St. Pats!     Books: The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell Luster by Raven Leilani Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Katy Milkman A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager   Theme for the month: Keeping it fun. I greatly enjoyed this month of running!
  4. SIbbetson

    race recap
    The short:
    I now have two data points to tell me that the 50k is not "only" 5 more miles than a marathon! Prairie Spirit didn't go quite as I hoped, as I didn't better my debut time or negative split, but I set a Kansas overall female 50k state record and a new Prairie Spirit female course record with a 3:37:06 on the rails to trails gravel course. I loved this training cycle so much, so I stepped up to the starting line feeling like I'd already won. I couldn't execute as I wanted, even though I had great weather, a nice course, fantastic pacing buddies, and the best crew. Thankful but not satisfied...and I am definitely going to run a third 50k now, once I forget how the end of this one felt!
    Official results are here, including course records.
    Kansas state records are here (you have to click on 50k after following the link).
    Top 50k 2022 North American performances are here, and currently I sit at #5.
    My Strava activity is here.
    Race photos are here.
    Awards at the finish The long:
    I was more intimidated going into this race than going into my first 50k, because I remembered how agonizing the final 4 miles of the race felt last time! I think I benefitted a lot from the ignorance is bliss thing before I'd run a 50k - not only about how the race would feel but also about what performances were good. I ran fast in my debut but I didn't understand the implications until afterward, some not until days or weeks afterward (e.g., I ended up with the 4th best North American/3rd U.S. women's time of 2021 and was under the time standard of 3:35 needed to apply for the 2021 USATF World 50k team).
    This time I had higher goals and expectations based on all of that, namely to break 3:30, make it into the top 3 women's 2022 times (the U.S. 50k national champs took place a few weeks before this race so there were some fast times to beat), and net a time to apply for the 2023 USATF World team (under 3:33). Conflictingly, I also was really scared of the end-of-the race pain!
    Colin and I trained for the race together through some pretty brutal winter weather, including the two coldest races either of us had ever run, but race day gave us nearly perfect weather at 32 degrees at the start. The north wind was 8-10 mph by the time we were at midway, meaning we had a headwind from mile 17.3 to the finish, but considering the race was in Kansas I don't think we could have done any better! My biggest fear going into the race had been a 30+ mph headwind for half of the race.
    Sunrise start Colin and I planned to run together, and Andrew was joining at the mile 17.3 aid station, which was when 50k pacers were allowed. I was confident that Colin and I would be together at 17.3, so I knew I'd have someone to run with the whole time, which was comforting. It was also great knowing that Andrew would be with me during the hardest part of the race with 17.3 fewer miles on his legs than I had on mine! The rails to trails course wasn't very scenic and much like Frisco looked about the same the entire way - also much like Frisco it kind of felt uphill both ways. My race plan was to run the first 5 miles at about 7:00, the next 5 miles at about 6:50, then the next 21.1 [gulp] at 6:40-6:45, hoping to average 6:45ish. I positive split my first 50k and really wanted to negative split this one. I thought my fitness was similar to where it was for Frisco, so I hoped more conservative early pacing would yield an overall faster time.
    Colin and I were leading the race before mile 1, tailed by two men who we met shortly after. Hans was an experienced ultra runner and Logan was an Ironman triathlete running his first ultra. We bantered, laughed, and worked together for the first 20 miles of the race. At mile 10 I pointed out that we were 1/3 finished but it turned out I was the only one optimistic about that! The miles flew by, and I was trying to keep tabs on where we were so I could execute my fueling plan of a gel every 3 miles, but many times I'd look down and be further along than I thought, which is always a nice surprise. I stayed on my gels well though, and it felt like I was almost constantly taking one. The race required that you carry fluid so I ran with handhelds that I switched out at each manned aid station.
    The mile 10.8 aid station We picked up pacer Andrew at the turn around, which we ran past because there was just a timing mat on the ground - no cone or sign or other indication. I knew the turn around was supposed to be at that aid station so I asked "where do we turn around?" after we'd run well past the mat, then someone told us "there!" pointing back to the mat. Jon said he was yelling at us to turn around at the mat but we didn't hear him. He also said that aid station wasn't ready for us since runners from the longer distances had been coming through - they started earlier than us and continued on south to their turn arounds, plus they were more apt to stop vs. our turn and burn plan. We probably lost about 10 seconds there, which didn't seem to matter in a 50k but in the end it did (stay tuned!), especially since we'd also run a bit past the ~2 mile turn around for a similar reason.
    When we turned around, we also turned into a headwind. We went single file: Andrew, Colin, me, Hans, Logan. I was still in a good place but didn't feel like I should drop pace much, so I told Andrew 6:45-6:50 instead of the planned 6:40-6:45. He's a great pacer and also took the wind for us as much as he could. I could tell Logan was struggling to hang onto us, and I'm not exactly sure when he fell off but it was between the turn around and mile 20. He'd been hoping for a sub-3:00 marathon during the race, which would have been a PR for him, so my heart went out to him. 
    Mile 17.3 aid station bottle hand off Hans picked it up around mile 20, and after we clipped through a 6:39 mile I told Colin that he should go with Hans if he wanted to race for the overall win, but I didn't feel ready to pick it up. Colin didn't feel comfortable speeding up either, so we continued at 6:50ish. There was also a fast man who'd started late, so that was an X factor for the guys' placings; the race changed their start times from past years and some people had planned around the old start times so they allowed people to start late and use chip time. Hans knew who the other fast man was and thought he would be the one to beat (spoiler: Hans won, the other man was 2nd, and Colin 3rd).
    The final manned aid station was at 23.8, and I was looking forward to seeing my family one last time on the course and getting my gel with 100 mg caffeine. My bottle/gel hand off from Jon went seamlessly, as had the first two exchanges, but when I unzipped the pocket of my fresh handheld my gel wasn't in there! I almost asked Andrew to go back for it, but muling was against the rules. I asked Colin if he had an extra gel with caffeine, but he didn't have any with caffeine. I didn't think I needed the gel - I still had one on me to take between there and the finish - but I sure needed the caffeine!
    I tried to stay positive, and looked forward to seeing our marathon split. Our average pace for the entire race was hovering at 6:52-6:53, so I knew we wouldn't quite be sub-3:00, which was somewhat disappointing but finishing strong was more important to me in this race. I felt like at Frisco I was really concerned about keeping my marathon under 3 and not having any miles over 7:00, which may have hurt me in the final miles there. We passed the marathon in about 3:00:40 on our Garmins, but don't worry, I am not counting that against my sub-3:00 streak since it was in a 50k - although if I was under I'd have counted it, haha!
    I felt a little better than I had at Frisco at that point in the race, but also not as good as I'd have liked to have felt, meaning I didn't feel confident about finishing strong. Colin began pulling away from me. Before the race I kept telling him that it was going to be just like Run with the Wind, where he pulled away in the final miles at 6:15 while I stayed at 6:45. This time I didn't stay at 6:45, but he did pull away! I stopped looking at my watch at that point and just gave all I had to get in as fast as my legs would carry me. 
    Pain face final stretch I felt okay enough until a bit after mile 28. When my watch beeped 28 I told Andrew, "Only a 5k to go!" but I was losing steam quickly. I kind of knew where we were at since we'd run the opposite direction on the same trail early in the race. I kept willing us to get to the highway crossing, for my watch to beep 29 and 30, to get to the pavement for the final mile. I could see Colin in the distance ahead of me and I also kept willing him to turn left, because I knew when he did it was only about 200 m to the finish from there. In my mind, the last 5k took longer than the first 28 miles, and I gritted it out but it wasn't pretty, and the final mile was all gentle incline which sure didn't help. I was quite thankful to hit the finish line because I was beyond running on empty! My official time was 3:37:06 - the 5th fastest women's time in North America in 2022. The reason those little bits of lost time at the turn arounds mattered? The 4th fastest time is 3:36:58. I'm more frustrated with myself for my slow final mile, but at the time it was all I had.
    Clock shot   Kansas Record 5th in North America in 2022     Prairie Spirit top times After I took a couple of minutes to gather myself while holding onto the building, the race organizers continued to announce information about my race - course record and Kansas state open female record. I knew I'd hit those times because I'd looked them up beforehand; they were my C and D goals for this race (A was sub-3:30, B was PR...but E was finishing of course!). I celebrated with my family and friends, accepted my awards, and vowed to never do that again.
    But, of course I'll do it again! After all, I just know I've got a faster one in me! The agony of those final few miles and the pain for the remainder of the day will fade away, and I have very much fallen in love with 50k training. I'm still primarily a marathoner and this race was also my longest long run for the 2022 Boston Marathon on April 18, but there's something about those 5 extra miles that, God-willing, I am determined to solve.
    More race details are here.
    Miles from Mentor reps The race asked me to pose for a pic
    by the finish for their social & I wasn't
    wasn't quite sure what to do, but this
    is what they got from endophin-me!  
  5. SIbbetson
    February 2022 in review!
    Total mileage for the month: 402.6 Jan. 31-Feb. 6:  101.6 Feb. 7-13: 86.5 Feb. 14-20: 104.2 Feb. 21-27:  109.5 - new weekly mileage PR Feb. 28-March 6: projected at 100-110 S'no problem! Races: Feb. 12:  Cabin Fever Reliever 20k in 1:20:08 for 1st overall female, a new 20k state record for age 41, a PR for the coldest I've raced in (5 degree wind chill), and a decent rust-buster. Feb. 19:  Run With the Wind 25k as a workout targeting 50k goal pace, in 1:45:37 for 1st overall female, a new 25k state record for age 41, and a lot of humbling in regards to the difficulty of running half the race distance at goal pace during a 104 mile week. This was Feb. 1 but we really
    wanted to do one more jumping
    photo - & we are so in sync! Workouts: Feb. 1: 2 x 0.25 hill reps, 4 mile threshold (6:09, 6:10, 6:10, 6:04), 2 x 0.25 hill reps, with about 0.25 jog recoveries in a 13 mile run. I planned to run this workout Feb. 2 but due to 6-12" of snow in the forecast, everyone in my running group worked out a day early. I only had 1 easy day between a huge weekend (20 mile workout Saturday + 18 mile Sunday) so I wasn't sure how it would go, but I ended up feeling strong. The weather was ideal at 45 degrees, which definitely helped. My threshold miles were almost exactly the same as the previous week's, on the same course, but I was solo on them for this workout whereas I had Spencer pulling me along the previous week (plus I was more fatigued for this one), so I was pleased. My hills rep paces were 6:15, 6:12, 6:27, 6:33 (the 2 after the threshold really hurt!), which was the fastest I've run quarter miles on that specific hill by 11 seconds/mile pace, which also made me happy. Feb. 8: 6 x 0.25 hills + 2 mile tempo (6:17, 6:00) straight off hill rep #6. The goals for the hill reps were "hard", to keep them even, and not to ease up on #6. Those splits were all 1:32-1:35 (paces of 6:11-6:24, which Strava grade adjusted to about 5:11-5:24, though that seems awfully generous), and #6 was consistent with my other splits - which I haven't been able to do on this type of workout before. The first mile of the tempo had more incline and the second mile more decline, so the average pace of 6:08 was probably consistent with my effort across the board. The first half mile of the tempo on workouts like this is always spent trying to get my breathing down to tempo mode from hill rep mode, and does not feel the greatest. I know these workouts are beneficial for me! Feb. 16:  6 mile wave tempo alternating 0.5 at threshold/0.5 at 50k pace; half mile paces were: 6:40, 5:56, 6:33, 6:14, 6:38, 6:05, 6:35, 6:08, 6:46, 5:57, 6:38, 5:53. I was aiming for 6:45/6:05 so got a couple of them right, haha! The south wind was 19 mph so it made pace control very challenging on the loop course we did - though the loop course split up the wind so I was never running more than about 0.4 straight into it, which was nice. I'd be running 6:15 pace into the wind, then turn out of it and be running 5:55 at the same effort. It felt good to nail this workout even in those conditions though, and oddly my overall mile splits were pretty even at 6:17, 6:23, 6:21, 6:21, 6:21, 6:16. Feb. 19: Run with the Wind 25k at 50k goal pace - target of 6:45, actual average pace 6:44. This hilly race wasn't the most confidence-inspiring (i.e., 50k pace felt much harder than I expected towards the end and I couldn't have gone much farther at it), but then I remembered that I typically max out at 12-13 miles at MP in training, often with a little break (e.g., 2 x 6 miles at MP), and it always feels exponentially harder than the first 12-13 miles of the actual marathon. I can now confirm that the same is true of running a 25k at 50k goal pace during a 104 mile week! Feb. 23:  2 miles threshold (6:06, 6:09), 4 x 0.5 (3:05, 2:54, 2:57, 3:02), 2 miles threshold (6:08, 6:09), and a new PR for my coldest "feels like" workout, at 0 degrees (14 degrees air temp + bitter north wind). Overall this went better than I expected based on the temperature and residual fatigue from the weekend. My first 0.5 was against the wind, so that is why it was slow (not sure on #4). I was aiming for 2:55 on those, so I wasn't successful, but my threshold was right on. It's harder for me to shift gears during heavy mileage, plus the cold makes it harder to run fast! I kind of felt like just attempting this workout was a victory. I covered my face in Vaseline so I could take my neoprene mask off for the hard running. Feb. 26:  26 miles via 10 easy then 16 with 0:45 pick ups at the beginning of each. The pick ups were planned to be about tempo effort, and ranged anywhere from 5:40 to 7:02 because we were a hilly course (1365 feet of gain), but most were 6:00-6:15. Doubles: Feb. 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 28. Winter running vibes   #freezingfebruary Long Runs: Feb. 5: 22.3 easy (7:45) that felt fantastic with fabulous company! We had a lot of great conversations on this run, including how our running group would team up during the apocalypse. Colin did all 22 with me, Casey and Spencer did 18, and we had David, Abby, Claudio, and Christian for various distances too! Feb. 6:  15 easy (7:57) that felt surprisingly fantastic. I lifted the previous evening (after the 22 miler) and woke up a bit sore from that, but ended up feeling great. Last year the back-to-back long runs were intimidating, but now they have become normalized. Feb. 12: 20.3 miles, including the Cabin Fever Reliever 20k. Feb. 13: 12 miles (8:10), with some fatigue from Cabin Fever and the low-glycogen cool down that followed it! Feb. 19:  23.2 miles with 2.5 jog, Run with the Wind 25k, 5 jog. We are getting better at death marching after long races, maybe? Feb. 20:  15 miles (8:22) that was one of my least favorite runs of the month, because I had zero pep in my step! Great company made it possible. Feb. 26:  26 miles (7:37) with pick ups described above. I was planning to do 25, as was Colin, but he was a little late to the group run and we did a mile before he arrived, so I decided if I felt good I'd finish with him. Conveniently enough, I'd already been considering doing 26 if I felt good as this run approached, so it all worked out and I felt great! We had 11 people at this group run doing anywhere from 13 to 26. Feb. 27: 16 miles (8:26) for my biggest weekend ever! We kept this one easy enough that I think it could be considered a true recovery run, even though it was 2:15 on feet. I felt immensely better than I did on the Feb. 20 Sunday long run, I think mostly because my during and after run fueling on 2/26 was far superior to on 2/19 (due to the awards ceremony taking a really long time and there being no restaurants in Sarcoxie, I didn't get a full meal until several hours after Run with the Wind). My workout days were 13.2, 11.3, 13.6, and 14.3 so I guess those could also be considered long runs. Boston training   10 on Tuesday Running Highlights: My first two races of 2022 yielded two overall female titles and two state records...nowhere to go but down from here, bahaha! A new weekly mileage PR of 109.5, which improved upon my previous of 106 (I don't remember the tenths). I would have run a monthly mileage PR if February had been 31 days! I was most proud of this mileage because I did it during a crap weather week with my workout in "feels like" 0 and with 4 runs on sleet. Snow.   Rebecca trying to make a snow
    angel in ice cover Life Highlights: We had quite the winter storm hit on February 2-3! By being flexible and running 1.25 runs on the treadmill, I didn't miss anything except some strides. I do okay with easy running in the snow but strides on it don't really work (nor do they work on the treadmill for me!).  We then had crazy sleet on February 23-24, but I it was almost like sand so it was fine to run on wearing screw shoes, but made for some slow miles, and a few more missed strides. Albani participated in Science Olympiad which is a pretty great after school activity. She had a competition at MSU on February 26. Morning routines   Albani's JROTC uniform   Valentines Twosday! Books: The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell Interference by Brad Parks Daniel's Running Formula by Jack Daniels Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah No Exit by Taylor Adams Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews   Theme for the month: Freezing February! I am extremely thankful for my fantastic running buddies, who make it possible to get out the door every morning in terrible winter weather. I have a lot of pics to share this month!   The freak morning when it was 60* but dropped to
    30* & sleet by 10:00 a.m.   The world will never know who is
    holding this cake   MonYay run crew   Farm road distance    
  6. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    January 2022 in review!
    Total mileage for the month: 407.4 Dec. 27-Jan. 2:  92.9 Jan. 3-9:  94.6 Jan. 10-16:  80.2 Jan. 17-23:  97.2 Jan. 24-30: 101.1 Jan. 31-Feb. 6: projected at 100 rabbitELITE + Boston! #jumpingjanuary Races: None this month, but stay tuned for February racing! Wind chill of -8* & still this group run turn-out!   I think it was *just* -2 for this one, 
    but just David & I ran Workouts: Jan. 4:  8 x 800 m in 3:00, 2:58, 3:00, 3:00, 3:01, 3:00, 3:04, 3:05 with 400 m recoveries within a 12 mile run. My goal time was 3:00 or under, but I couldn't quite hang onto it at the end. I never run as fast when it's below 20 degrees (it was 16), and the wind didn't help, but it is also possible my mileage was a bit too high a little too soon in this speed meso-cycle. I'm sad this is the first workout chronologically, because it was my worst workout of the month. Jan. 8: Long run workout of 11 easy, 4 progression (6:43, 6:35, 6:27, 6:30 up a hill), 3 easy. I planned to finish the entire run with the 4 mile progression (i.e., 14 easy + 4 progression), but I had 2 friends who were running 15 miles and were up for the progression as well, so I did it a little earlier then finished up with a cool down. My goal was 6:50, 6:40, 6:30, 6:20 for the progression, so I was close. On the final mile I was averaging 6:20 exactly before I hit the half mile hill, so I'm elevation-grading that one to 6:20 and calling it beneficial for Boston hills! Jan. 12: The Michigan workout, but all on the road. I LOVED this one, and it was really nice out at 38 degrees and virtually no wind. It really reminded me of how much better I run when it's not under 20 degrees (this was one of two workouts this month which it was over 20 degrees for). The workout was 1 mile at 10k effort in 5:54, 1 mile at tempo effort in 6:05, 0.75 at 10k effort at 5:59, 1 mile tempo at tempo effort in 6:01, 0.5 at 5k effort at 5:38, 1 mile at tempo effort in 6:02, 0.25 faster than 5k at 5:28 - with 3:00 jogs after the 5k-10k pace work and 2:00 jogs after the tempo work. The 10k and 5k efforts made the tempos feel slow, and I just felt super strong throughout the workout. I finished feeling like I could do the whole thing again, which was an amazing feeling (and not common!). This workout reminded me that I am more fit than my 15 degree workout times show. Jan. 15: 10 x 0:30 hill sprints during a 10 mile run, just whenever we came to a decent hill. It was snowing during this run, and some roads were clear while others were slick, so paces were even more meaningless than usual and I just ran "hard". Casey was the only other person who braved the weather with me, and I was sure thankful she did! Jan. 19: 3 x (2 mile rolling hill tempo, 1:00 hard, 0:30 harder, 0:15 hardest) with 1:30 recoveries between each section. The first mile of each tempo was the easier direction on FR 209 with a tailwind, the second mile was the harder direction with a headwind (it's a 1 mile road that we love for 2 mile repeats). My tempo splits were 6:04, 6:22, 6:10, 6:28, 6:09, 6:13. My paces on the harder portions of the workout ranged from 5:06-5:35, though I like to think I ran the 15 seconds faster than that but Garmin isn't very accurate on intervals that short. I've run FR 209 enough to know that I generally average ~10 seconds/mile slower than I do on the flat workout loop, which was where I ran the Jan. 12 workout. Spencer and Casey ran 2 sets of the workout with me, and as always it was better together! I enjoyed the workout and thought it was a success. Because the powerful north wind was bringing in plummeting temperatures and sleet, ice, and snow, I ran a 7 mile cool down in lieu of an afternoon double, and that was a bit of a challenge. Jan. 22:  15 x 0:45 pick ups within a hilly 20 mile run, at the beginning of each mile starting at 5. The pace goal was 6:00ish and they were all right around there except a couple that were on decline and therefore faster. I love doing pick ups like this within an easy long run, because it doesn't make it any harder but I think it makes my form better and keeps me out of that easy run slog. The run had ~1100 ft of elevation gain. Jan. 25: Mixed system workout of 4 x 300 m at 5k effort with 100 m jog/1:00 recovery (3:00 jog from the track to the road after #4), 4 miles at threshold effort, jog to hill, 4 x 0:30 hill reps at hard. I didn't look at my 300 m times until after the workout and was pretty impressed with my consistency - they were all 1:01 (which is probably more like my 1 mile pace, lol). My threshold miles were 6:10, 6:10, 6:07, 6:01, and I felt really strong on them. It was 17 degrees/feels like 5 degrees for this workout so I was pleasantly surprised with my times. I expected my tempo pace would be more like 6:20 in that cold, so even though on paper this workout is fine, I thought it was excellent based on the weather. Jan. 29: 18 miles alternating ME/ME+1:00 each mile, after a 2 mile warm up. My splits were: (7:47, 7:50 for the warm up), 6:33, 7:18, 6:27, 7:28, 6:36, 7:28, 6:24, 7:26, 6:22, 7:21, 6:34, 7:21, 6:26, 7:18, 6:39, 7:25, 6:34, 7:28 - average of 6:30/7:24. We ran a route with ~800 ft of elevation gain, and it seemed like every faster mile was uphill! I hoped I could work down to 6:10-6:15, but instead I had to fight to keep it in the 6:30s toward the end. It was 15 degrees/feels like 5 degrees, the hills were harder on me than I planned for, I missed most of my nutrition because we changed route plans mid-run and didn't go back by the cars, and I was in a 101 mile week. I can do an easy 20 fine without any calories during the run, but I need a lot more when running faster and the one 70-calorie gel I had in my pocket was not sufficient! I figure I probably got great training adaptations from all of these factors, but my splits weren't as confidence-boosting as I'd have liked. But I also reminded myself that earlier the same week I'd expected to be ~15 seconds slow on my tempo, so I should be okay with this being 15 seconds slower than GMP. Strides: In addition to the 4-6 x strides I typically do twice a week, I started doing 2 x strides after almost every run beginning on Jan. 9. This inspiration came from listening to the Marcus and Magness podcast! Two strides is nothing from an exertion perspective, but it gives me more neuromuscular practice with faster running and puts a little pop in my legs. Doubles: Jan. 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31. Favorite workout: The Michigan on Jan. 12 - but I also really enjoyed the Jan. 19 and 25 workouts! #jumpingjanuary   UCAN fueling for Abby's Houston Marathon #jumpingjanuary Post-20 miler jumps, which
    Colin (back) clearly loves Long Runs: Jan. 1: 12 miles (7:53) with some of my favorite people in my least favorite weather (38* and rainy). We rain-delayed this group run several times and ended up going at noon, when it was exponentially better than most of the morning (light rain vs. monsoon pouring).  I did my longer long run of the weekend a day early on Dec. 31 since I was off work and on that schedule from the previous week with Christmas. Jan. 8:  18.1 miles (7:35) with a short progression, described above. It was terribly windy for this run, but we ran 7.5 miles into it first, so the second half was nice! Jan. 9:  13.4 miles (8:10) that felt great, although I again could have done without the powerful cold wind. Jan. 14: 16.1 miles (7:45) a day early due to an impending winter storm. I'll run 16 miles on snow if I have to, but it was definitely easier to run this a day early and I felt great. Casey and Spencer joined, and I made it to work by 8:05 a.m. (e.g., I was only 5 minutes late, which I think is impressive for a 16 mile morning, and my first appointment was at 8:30 a.m. so it was fine)! Jan. 15:  10 miles (8:03) in the snow! There was enough to make me thankful we ran 16 a day early and had a cut back week on the second day long run [really I don't count this as a long run, but I included it here for consistency]. Jan. 19: 16.5 miles (workout described above), because instead of doubling this day I ran all of my mileage in the morning, due to incoming winter weather. When it was sleeting/icing/snowing in the afternoon I had no regrets, though I did have to take a gel to make it through my 7 mile cool down! Jan. 22:  20.2 miles (7:37), with light pick-ups as described above. Colin also ran 20, and Casey and Spencer did 18. The run really flew by and felt great! I always love the first 20 of a training cycle.  Jan. 23: 10.4 (8:25) on hills and trails. My schedule got a bit rearranged due to winter weather, so I ran 10 this day instead of the originally planned 13. I'd already done 2 long runs this week and my next workout was planned for Jan. 25 (also slightly screwed up due to weather). Jan. 29: 20 miles (7:03), with a workout described above. This was a tough but beneficial one! Jan. 30: 14.1 miles (8:07). I felt pretty good on this one considering the previous day's work. Then I doubled with 4 later in the day, for one of our biggest 50k training weekends! Favorite long run: Both of the 20s were awesome, but if pressed to chose I'll go with Jan. 22 since Jan. 29 was more painful. #jumpingjanuary   Snow run 1 of ??   Another snow run Running Highlights: I was selected to be on the women's professional start of the Boston Marathon in April!  I received this news on December 16, but race organizers asked us to keep it confidential until the race announced the pro field on January 12.  It's been hard to do because I've been bursting with excitement about it since I found out!  Applying required a 2:48 for masters women, but whether or not you actually got on the pro start depended on what times the other women who applied had.  Lucky for me, my 2:46:08 was the last master's time they let in - i.e., I am seeded last in the pro field, which is obviously also extremely intimidating!  My entire reason for registering for Boston was because I had the time to potentially be on the pro start - Boston has always been a "someday" thing for me, but having the time for this lit a fire under me to try for 2022.  I'm glad after all my failed Trials qualifying attempts in 2017-2020, I qualified for something exclusive!  And now when people ask, "Have you run Boston?" (the most common question when someone learns that I run marathons), I can say, "Yes, actually I was on the Boston pro start".  When I was trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials, I realized that Boston has more cred with non-runners than the Trials; many non-runners asked me, "But have you qualified for Boston?" when they learned I was trying to OTQ.  Watch for me on TV in the back of the pro start on April 18! "Spectating" (via the live stream and live tracking) the Houston Marathon! How about those American records by Sara Hall (half) and Keira D'Amato (full)?! LOVED seeing those performances. My running buddy Abby also participated, and while she didn't have the day she hoped for, she checked another marathon off the list and the training cycle will help her in the future. I had a dream about the race about 10 days before it, and shared the dream on Instagram, which Keira D'Amato re-shared (screenshot below)! I was inducted into the Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners Hall of Fame on January 29. I'm going to do a separate post with more details on this! Someone has to be last!   Seems like a fluke that I made it in but I'm not complaining   I felt pretty psychic   Life Highlights: My parents visited us for the weekend of January 29-30, which was nice. OMRR Banquet Books: This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire by Nick Flynn Unthinkable by Brad Parks Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict Apples Never Fall by Liana Moriaty Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook by Nancy Clark The Devil Wears Black by L.J. Shen Win at All Costs: Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception by Matt Hart Say Nothing by Brad Parks The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa Bewilderment by Richard Powers The Science of Running by Steve Magness The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell   Theme for the month: Intimidating yet exciting! #jumpingjanuary on a cold morning   Boston bound buddies   If you look really hard, you can
    figure out who was most excited
    about this post-20 mile jumping!    
  7. SIbbetson
    I realized that I forgot to post my December recap and 2021 recap on here! December is linked in this post, so I'll leave it at that. Happy New Year to all, 22 days late!
    The quick stats:
    Miles run:  4168.2 Races run:  14 Race overall female podiums:  14 Race overall female wins:  7 (1 overall person win) PRs:  50k, with 3:34:41 in my debut 20k, with 1:19:41, though that's slower than my PR marathon pace Yearly mileage, with 4168.2 Monthly mileage, with 428.2 Weekly mileage, with 106.0 Records: 4th fastest overall female 50k time in North America in 2021 Missouri state road racing record for overall female 50k Frisco 50k female course record Oklahoma state road racing record for female masters and female age 40-44 half marathon Missouri state road racing record for marathon female age 41 Missouri state road racing record for 20k female age 40 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon masters record (2021 was the 40th year for the race) Hospital Hill Half Marathon course record (2021 was the first year for a new course though, so I got this by nature of winning the race, not by really running a record) Injuries: 0 Smiles in my first 50k   The overall impression:
    2021 was a good year!  While I didn't have any break-through times, I consistently ran well throughout the year in races and workouts.  I really found my stride with masters running and enjoyed the new opportunities it brought.  I can almost say I'm undefeated in the masters division, with the one exception being the 10,000 m at USATF masters track nationals (so, I am undefeated on the road!).  Most importantly, I had zero injuries, issues, or significant illnesses!
    I had a lot of fun chasing records, some of which I didn't even know I was chasing (I didn't know about the 50k North American list, the Oklahoma masters half record, or the Milwaukee Marathon masters record until after those races - nor Hospital Hill, but that really doesn't count).  I also had a lot of fun doing races that I've avoided in the past.  Most races I ran this year are races I wouldn't have run in 2017-2020 because they aren't fast courses or generally in good weather.  I didn't have any good weather + fast course combinations this year, which may also be why I didn't have any break-through race times - or at least that sounds like a good rationale.  I had a few great weather + mediocre course situations (Frisco, Tobacco Road, Bass Pro), two of which went well and the third which I was a tad overcooked for.
    I think my best performance of the year was the Tobacco Road Marathon; though not a PR, I ran a 2:48 on gravel in a race with around 900 ft of elevation gain and I paced pretty brilliantly, including the fastest final mile of any marathon I've ever run (6:07, as the first 2.5 and last 2.5 miles were on the road).  I think if I'd been on a flat paved course that day I'd have seen a PR, but as it was I was happier with this race than any of the other 2:4Xs I've run in the past few years.  It was liberating to feel like I ran a really good marathon instead of feeling like my time just wasn't good enough (re: 2:45).  I was also pleased with my 50k debut, though the final 4 miles weren't what I wanted and I know I can do better!  The Milwaukee Marathon, while a poorly paced race, was also one that I'm proud of in retrospect because my performance in the weather conditions we had was pretty solid - just significantly slower than I'd have run in 40 degrees.  The only race I was purely disappointed in this year was the masters national 10,000 m, but I walked away knowing that I should never again run a track race in 90 degrees! #themoreyouknow
    My other big running-related highlights for the year were being selected to join the rabbitELITE team and Team UCAN.  Nike is also supporting me with some great shoes for marathon training through 2024.  I've applied for several elite teams and programs over the years, and it's been exciting to find some good fits and to represent brands that I love!  I wrote a recent article for rabbit chatter here.
    I am heavily involved with my local running group, Miles from Mentor.  We have group runs every day, and I coach many of the regulars so I coordinate our workouts as much as possible given our varied race schedules and goals.  One of my athletes took her marathon PR from a high 2:57 to a mid-2:53 and ran two marathons off of one cycle for the first time this year.  Another ran a 4 minute PR at Chicago in the terrible heat (she was ready for about a 15 minute PR).  Another improved his half PR from 1:19 to 1:15 - to think, I recruited him to join our group because he was about my same pace before I started coaching him, hah!  Another of my athletes broke my 8k course record at Frisco and had a speedy half debut.  I have one running Houston in January 2022, ready for her first sub-3.
    I really enjoy coaching, and seeing my friends succeed was more exciting than anything I did this year.  When I retire from my full-time gig I'd love to do more official coaching, but currently I'm a volunteer, though I love when I get treats like brunch or UCAN from my athletes!
    I have big goals for 2022, but the most important is to maintain my zero injury streak so I can continue doing what I love every day!  Admittedly I did the math on what it would take to exceed 5000 miles for the year (average of 96.2/week), and it wouldn't be smart for me to do that yet, but maybe in a couple of years...
    From the rabbit elite website You can read my race reaps for 2021 here:
    2/6/21 - Cabin Fever Reliever 20K 3/13/21 - Running of the Squirrels 5K 3/27/21 - T-Town Half Marathon 4/17/21 - Clinton Historic Half Marathon 4/24/21 - Frisco Railroad Run 50K 5/15/21 - Tobacco Road Marathon 6/5/21 - Hospital Hill Half Marathon 7/3/21 - 3.1 on the 3rd 7/24/21 - USATF Masters Outdoor National Championship 10,000 m 8/28/21 - Rock the Parkway Half Marathon 9/13/21 - Plaza 10K 10/3/21 - Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 10/17/21 - Garmin Kansas City Half Marathon 11/7/21 - Bass Pro Marathon You can read my 2021 monthly recaps here:
    January February March April May June July August September October November December You can read my past yearly recaps here:
    2020 2019 2018 2017 2016  2015
  8. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    November 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month:  256.2 Nov. 1-7:  75.3 Nov. 8-14:  18.4 (I took 5 days off without an injury, believe it or not!) Nov. 15-21:  66.3 Nov. 22-28:  72.6 Nov. 29-Dec. 5: projected at 76 Meeting Des Linden Races: Nov. 7: Bass Pro Marathon in 2:54:26 for 2nd overall female and a new Missouri state marathon record for age 41. I was happy with this based on how I felt going into the race, though it was not really what I wanted.   Workouts:  Nov. 2:  3 mile tempo (6:09, 6:17, 5:58) on rolling hills (3 warm up, 3 cool down).  I tried to notch onto half marathon effort for this one, and was pleasantly surprised to go sub-6 for the final mile, especially because it felt so good.  I felt terrible on my last little workout before Milwaukee so it was nice to not repeat that! Nov. 30: 6 miles alternating paces every 0.5 (14.8 miles total on the morning).  I paced Abby's wave tempo for a rust-buster workout.  My confidence was super low going into this; I was worried I wouldn't be able to do her workout with goal paces of 6:30/7:10.  After getting her out too fast (i.e., I'm a crap pacer when I haven't worked out for a month), I was pleasantly surprised with how good those paces felt and I moved to the outside of the loop while she ran the tangents, so I could run a little faster but still help her.  About halfway through I decided that I wanted to feel out my own wave tempo paces for the final 2 miles, and since David was running with Abby I felt okay about going ahead at the end.  My paces each half-ish mile (I took manual splits so most were not exactly 0.50) were 6:11, 6:58, 6:29, 6:59, 6:31, 7:00, 6:34, 7:03, 5:50, 6:34, 5:53, 6:25, giving me 6.25 miles at 6:31 pace for the whole thing.  Since I wasn't even sure I could run 6:30 pace for a half mile before this workout, I was really happy with how it turned out, particularly the sub-6 pushes at the end.  This was a great illustration of happiness being reality minus expectations, because this is probably one of my slower workouts of the past several years, but I was absolutely thrilled with it because I expected 6:30 pace to feel like a sprint and it felt like marathon pace. Strides:  Nov. 1, 5, 6, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29. Doubles:  Nov. 1, 2, 13, 18. #nocluenovember Long Runs: Nov. 7:  The Marathon, and 27.7 miles total.   Nov. 21:  13 miles (7:41), followed by Rebecca's birthday celebration in the parking lot! Nov. 28: 16.1 easy (7:51), helping Abby to 21 miles as part of her Houston Marathon training. Ten on Thanksgiving Running Highlights: I set a new PR for the most days I've ever taken off running when not injured or super sick, at 5 days after Bass Pro.  The only one I actually wanted to take off was day 1, but I haven't taken any real breaks in 2021, and with running a 50k and 3 marathons (plus 6 other long races), I knew at some point I needed to fully recover before I can rebuild stronger.  Now that I'm on the other side I can say it was a good idea, but I wasn't in the best mood for those 5 days! I saw Des Linden at Missouri S&T in Rolla with my running group! We did a fun run (the reason for my Nov. 13 double), participated in a VIP meet-and-greet (thanks to Casey knowing the XC coach), and listed to an inspirational speech. 50k training started November 29, 16 weeks out! Des Linden run   Rebecca's birthday parking lot party post-run
      I saved this years ago & it is still true - also applies
    to the 50k, I know I have a faster one in me in March 🙂 Life Highlights: We spent Thanksgiving with my parents and Jon's parents, and cut our Christmas tree on the Ibbetson farm the following day. Albani made a pie from scratch while I was at work the day before Thanksgiving!  She did not get this skill from me. Thanksgiving   Thanksgiving Books: Genius the Game by Leopoldo Gout The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah The Light of Luna Park by Addison Armstrong Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand The End of Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel Send for Me by Lauran Fox The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura   Themes for the month: The heights of our joy are measured by the depths of our gratitude. Be thankful for what you have and you end up having more.
  9. SIbbetson
    October 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month:  347.1 Sep. 27-Oct. 3:  70.0 Oct. 4-10:  50.5 Oct. 11-17:  90.1 Oct. 18-24:  95.4 Oct. 25-31:  72.9 Tracking/cheering for our Chicago Marathon
    friends post Sunday run Races: Oct. 3: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in 2:53:46 for a masters course record, 3rd overall female, 1st masters female, RRCA masters state champion, and overall happiness with everything except the weather. Oct. 16:  Garmin Kansas City Half Marathon in 1:24:06 for 2nd overall female/1st masters female on the hilliest half course I've ever run. Lack of daylight is back in full force Workouts: Oct. 12:  Fartlek of 4 x 3:00 on/1:30 off/2:00 on/1:00 off/1:00 on/0:30 off.  My on paces were 5:36, 5:50, 5:23, 6:03, 6:02, 5:44, 5:58, 5:49, 5:59, 5:50, 6:03, 5:23 in that order.  Though this was an effort-based workout, you didn't think I could go without looking at my splits, did you?  I don't always workout 8 days post-marathon, and when I do I don't usually feel as good as I did on this one, so I considered it a huge success.  Rebecca ran the first half of the workout with me, which of course helped (see also, why I ran the first 3:00 at 5:36 pace), and it was 46 degrees with no wind, which of course REALLY helped!   Oct. 20:  Mixed system workout of 4 x 1:00 on/1:00 off, 3:00 jog, 4 mile tempo on rolling hills, jog to hill, 4 x 0:30 hill sprints.  My 1:00s on at faster than 5k effort were 5:33, 5:43, 5:35, 5:38, my tempo miles were 6:12, 6:12, 6:20, 6:08, and my hill sprints were 5:34, 5:32, 5:27, 5:22.  I was feeling the Kansas City Half in my legs on the hills, even with pushing this workout back a day because I didn't feel recovered enough to do it Oct. 19 as originally planned, but it went well enough considering. Oct. 24:  18 miles via 3 easy, 2 tempo (6:21, 6:17), 8 easy, 2 tempo (6:35, 6:34), 3 easy.  This workout also got pushed back one day, due to thunderstorms from about 2 a.m. until 4 p.m. on October 23 (I did get a run in the morning of Oct. 23, mostly between storms, but there wasn't actually time for 9 miles let alone 18).  I thought it might be a good thing to have an extra easy day between workouts, but this did not go as I'd have liked.  I felt like I was running on empty from the start of the first tempo, and it did not get any better, hah.  I again blamed the Kansas City half - although a friend pointed out that summer returned for this run (it was around 68 degrees with 100% humidity), so that was likely also a factor. Oct.  27:  Fartlek of 2:00/1:30/1:00 (equal duration recoveries) for 6 miles - push paces were 5:35-6:09 and pace for ons and offs together was 6:37 (3.5 warm up, 3 cool down).  This wasn't the marathon-specific workout I had originally planned for this day, but after how I felt in my previous 2 workouts I thought this was what I needed.  It was extremely windy, which confirmed to me that and effort-based workout was a winner, and it went well enough. Oct.  30:  2 miles at marathon pace-ish on the tail end of a 12 miler turned 13.5 miler in 6:31, 6:25.  We ran the Bass Pro half marathon course, which is also half of the Bass Pro marathon course (miles 1-10ish then 24ish to the end) Strides: Oct. 2, 8, 11, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29. Doubles:  Oct. 11, 12, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 26, 27. Gloves + short sleeves = perfect
    workout weather! Long Runs: Oct. 3:  The Marathon. Oct. 9:  14.1 miles (7:55), easy aside from 10 x 0:30 pick ups (5:41-6:01) at about the beginning of each mile from 3-12.  This was the first day following Milwaukee Lakefront that I felt like I could run a normal amount, which worked out nicely because I hoped to get in 12 miles.  It will surprise no one that I got in 14, hah!  I then did 11 on Oct. 10. Oct. 16:  20.2 miles, including the Garmin Kansas City Marathon with about 3 miles warm up and 4 cool down.  I wanted to get in 20 this day, and figured if I felt great I'd do 22.  The hills in the race really took it out of me so 20 it was! Oct. 24:  18.1 miles (7:41) described in workouts above.  Casey had to pull me along on this one! Oct. 30:  13.5 miles (7:34) on the Bass Pro Half Marathon course, plus one wrong turn and back to our cars from the finish.  I ran with Casey and threw in 2 fast miles towards the end. Oct. 23 monsoon run Running Highlights: I recovered well from my marathon, which I'm thankful for. A couple of my coaching athletes ran marathons at Chicago and Prairie Fire, and though the weather conditions didn't allow them to completely show their fitness, Elise still PRed in Chicago and I expect Colin will be notching a huge PR in the Bass Pro half next weekend. Hoppy Halloween! Life Highlights: My birthday on October 26 began with predawn buttercream, because my running buddies are awesome!  Overall it was a normal (work, teaching class, 2 runs, relaxing at home), but good day, reminding me of how many amazing people I have in my life. 8th grade Best way to start the day! Books: First Comes Love by Emily Giffin The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid Troublemaker by Linday Howard Vortex by Catherine Coulter The Hating Game by Sally Thorne Lethal by Sandra Brown   Theme for the month: Always learning!  I'm doing fine physically, but I am not in race-mode mentally, though I'm not exactly sure why.  At some points after Milwaukee I thought I'd try to run in the 2:40s or even try to PR at Bass Pro, but now I've settled on just having blast and aiming for sub-3, 2:59 being fine.  Then I will be making myself take a break from running for a week (which I don't want), and taking a break from racing for probably the rest of 2021 (which I do want).  I think this season was a little hard on me emotionally because I didn't really have any race times that matched my fitness; race after race I was happy with how I placed but weather conditions didn't line up for me to run the times my workouts showed I was capable of.  Perhaps it was great timing for that though, and onto 2022!
  10. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    September 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month:  360.3 August 30-Sep. 5:  97 Sep. 6-12:  90.4 Sep. 13-19:  90.8 Sep. 20-26:  78.1 Sep. 27-Oct. 3:  projected at 67 (marathon week) Deciding between #swoleseptember,
    #smallseptember, & #stuckupseptember   #speedyseptember Races: Sep. 12: Plaza 10k in 38:12 for 2nd overall female, making it both my worst Plaza 10k and best Plaza 10k. #celebratingseptember Workouts: Sep. 4:  23 miles via 3.3 easy, 4 x 5:00 tempos, 8 miles easy, 4 x 5:00 tempos, 2.7 cool down, with 2:00 jogs between tempo portions.  This was one of those workouts where I never felt great, but gritting through and hitting goal paces was possible.  My tempo paces were 5:58, 6:00, 5:54, 5:57, 5:57, 5:55, 5:59, 5:55 (goal 5:55-6:05), which I was very pleased with in 74*/dew point 73* and considering how I felt.  After I finished the first set of tempos, I thought there was no way I could run another set at that pace, and certainly not after running 8 more miles, but turns out I could.  I love workouts like this and think those tempos near the end really pay off!  Casey and Colin ran the same workout, and I got Colin to run on the outside of the loop (farthest path) while I ran on the inside (shortest path) and I was able to stay close enough to him that it helped pull me along. Sep. 7:  3 x 10:00 at tempo at 6:02, 6:00, 5:58 with 2:00 jog recoveries (3.6 warm up, 2.4 cool down). This was another one of those workouts where I never felt great, but I could grit through it.  Must be high mileage marathon training! Sep. 15:  20:00 tempo (6:05, 6:22, 6:22, 6:18), 4:00 jog, 10:00 tempo (6:26, 6:23), 3:00 jog, 5:00 tempo (6:12), in a 15.2 mile run.  Oof.  My body felt trashed on this run, and even though I didn't hit my goal pace on anything except the first mile, I was strangely satisfied that I stayed 6:12-6:26 when I had nothing.  Running the Plaza 10k and 20.2 miles total when not at all rested on Sep. 12 and being away from home longer than planned took its toll on me (I worked in Kansas City the two days after the race then stayed an extra night before going straight to SE Kansas for funerals).  Andrew and Josh ran this with me at the Downtown Kansas City Airport, and I was thankful because I needed all the help I could get! Sep. 19:  18.7 miles with 10 easy, 2 MP (6:20, 6:21), 0.5 easy, 1 MP (6:08), 3.7 easy, 1 MP (6:19). This workout could be titled Indecision!  I was scheduled to run 2 x 6 miles at MP in an 18 miler, but I didn't think I had it in me mentally or physically to hit that workout due to the week I'd had - plus I'd made Sep. 15 into a long run workout since I didn't think I'd have time to do a second run that day and ran all my miles in the morning.  I went back and forth a lot about what to do on Sep. 19, and settled on doing 18 easy, reminding myself that I hadn't missed or modified a single workout the whole training cycle, and cutting this one was better than trying it and digging myself into a hole 2 weeks before my marathon.  I felt okay during the run, and Casey was running 12 with a 2 mile fast finish, so I decided to do those fast finish miles with her.  Then I decided I'd do another MP mile so I'd have 3 at MP, or 25% of the original plan (it seemed sensible at the time!).  Then I ran into Colin towards the end of his 2 x 6 miles and ran one more MP mile with him to finish off my run, which was also why I ran 18.7 instead of 18.  I'm still not sure if I did the right thing, but it's done!  From the 4 miles at MP I did, I can say I wouldn't have hit the 2 x 6. Sep. 22:  2 x 6 miles at MP with 0.5 recovery, or Third Time's a Charm, because after missing this workout on Sep. 19 I was planning to run it on Sep. 21, but a severe thunderstorm delayed my run start by 45 minutes that day and I didn't have time to run a 15 mile workout before work at that point.  I was beginning to wonder if I was just not meant to run this workout, but I am glad I was able to.  After a poor workout on Sep. 15 and a reduced workout on Sep. 19, I really needed a confidence boost before racing, and this workout helped.  I ran the first 6 miles as I plan to run the first 6 miles of my marathon, aiming for 6:25 pace.  I averaged 6:23 via 6:30, 6:23, 6:29, 6:19, 6:28, 6:10 (1, 3, and 5 were into the wind and 2, 4, 6 had a tailwind).  I ran the second 6 miles at what I hope to run the final 6 miles of my marathon at, aiming for 6:10 pace.  I averaged 6:12 via 6:15, 6:11, 6:09, 6:20, 6:13, 6:06 (the 6:20 mile was mostly into the wind, the rest were a mix).  The first 6 miles were gently rolling and the second 6 relatively flat.  My average for the whole shebang was 6:17.5...who knows the significance of that?  Hah.  As much as I wanted my marathon pace to be 6:15 this cycle, this workout made me think that it is probably 6:20. Sep. 25:  4 miles at marathon effort within a 12.3 mile run.  I went by effort and not pace since we were on a hilly route and since that's best for me at this point in training.  My splits were 6:13, 6:21, 6:33, 6:19, with the first mile having more downhill and the third being mostly up. 6:21 average seemed about right, and that was also right were I was on miles 2 and 4 which were more equal with their rolling hills throughout.  I ran this with Colin, who then had 3-2-1 mile progressive tempos after the 4 at marathon pace.  My 12 miles with some pace work the week before a marathon never inspires confidence and this one was no different! Sep. 28:  3 x 1 mile at MP with 1:30 recovery in 6:12, 6:16, 6:12.  I don't think this is my marathon pace and because my sinuses were really stuffed up it sure didn't feel like it.  I've done this enough that a not-confidence inspiring taper week workout is just par for the course. Strides: Sep. 6, 11, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, and at least a couple before workouts/races. Doubles: Sep. 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16, 21, 23, 28. #sleeveseptember or #sleeverlessseptember   Long Runs: Sep. 4: 23.1 miles (7:27), with a workout described above.  I had 3 friends (Casey, Colin, and Christian) running 20+ this day too! Sep. 5:  12.3 miles (8:03) with Elise, David, Colin, Casey, and Zach. Sep. 8:  12.1 miles (8:06) with a big Wednesday morning crew! Sep. 12:  20.4 miles via 3.2 miles warm up, the Plaza 10k, and 11 miles addendum (too long to call a cool down)! Sep. 15:  15.2 miles, with a workout (described above), in lieu of running 11 miles in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. Sep. 18:  18.7 miles (7:31), with a little work (described above). Sep. 21:  15.1 miles, with a big workout, described above. Sep. 25:  12.3 miles (7:23) with 4 at marathon pace. Note: I defined 12 miles+ in a single run as a long run for the purposes of this section this month. Running Highlights: My mention in my niece's collegiate athlete bio pretty much made my month!  Read it here. I hit 104.3 miles on my rolling 7 for September 2-8, but didn't realize it until September 9 (e.g., was unable to add 1.8 miles that would have gotten me a new 7-day mileage PR).  I try not to be too obsessed with mileage numbers but I kind of am... This is more a low-light but needs mentioning.  My coach is taking a hiatus from coaching due to a new job and life stuff, so I'm back to self-coaching temporarily.  It went okay when I did it this spring, so I'm optimistic, but I also know I can't be 100% objective about my own training. My running buddy, who I also coach, Casey ran an awesome PR in Berlin with a 2:52:37.  I was so excited about this I felt like I'd PRed!  Seeing it all come together for her was thrilling! Life Highlights: Jon and I celebrated our anniversary on Sep. 17, and Albani's birthday on Sep. 18! School picture day for someone who
    currently hates photos   Birthday - she did not want photos   Celebrating   Also celebrating   I wouldn't let her eat cake until we
    took pictures   Anniversary! Books: All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin The Swallows by Lisa Lutz My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami True Colors by Kristin Hannah Mean Streak by Sandra Brown The Passenger by Lisa Lutz   Theme for the month: It's just running.  One of my friends lost her 24-year-old son and another lost her 40-year-old husband this month, which made running seem really unimportant.  In the midst of an unplanned trip to Kansas to attend their funerals, I trained as scheduled, but I was not emotionally invested in it then or really for the remainder of the month.  I'm running a marathon on October 3 but I can't seem to care about it like I usually do.
  11. SIbbetson
    The short:
    I nabbed my best ever overall placing with what was by far my slowest time at this race, with 2nd overall female in 38:15.  Due to various factors (the heat, peak marathon training, seeing two friends suffer devastating losses in the days before the race), my expectations for the race were not high.  In retrospect, I am quite happy with the place and quite meh about the time.
    Results are here.
    My Strava activity is here.
    Better together The long:
    I continued my hot weather racing streak at the Plaza 10k, with no clouds in the sky and 80 degrees on race morning.  Because the race fell 3 weeks before my season goal marathon, I planned to train right through it, and the forecast made me confident that was the right decision (i.e., I won't run a fast time at 80 degrees no matter how rested I am).  The week before the race I had workouts that never felt good but that I hit my paces on, which is typical for me in the throes of marathon training, and a few days before the race I saw 104 miles on my rolling 7.  I don't think racing without a taper necessarily hurts my performance, but I certainly don't feel as fresh; I just grit it out when feeling tired like I do in a lot of workouts during marathon training!
    Before things went downhill in the days leading up to the race, my goal was to place as high as I could.  The best I'd ever placed at the race previously was 6th overall female.  I also hoped to win overall masters female, and to break the Missouri age 40 state record of 38:04.  Race morning I warmed up with friends and tried to enjoy the moment, but had a really hard time getting my head in the game.  In the few days prior to the race, I had a friend who lost her son unexpectedly and another friend who lost her husband, so it was difficult to place importance on the race.  My heart wasn't in the race, it was with them.

    Race instinct took over to some degree, and I slowly upped the effort.  Like every Kansas City race, this isn't an even split course, though this is the flattest course I run in that area with about 170 feet of elevation gain.  Mile 2 was 6:03 and mile 3 6:11, though as usual I didn't look at my watch during the race.  Typically this race has a clock at the 5k but this year they didn't have a clock or timing mat, which I missed!  Sometime around the halfway point, Chandler and I pulled away from Amy.  I felt confident that I could hold onto 1 and 2 with Chandler; I had no pep but the pace also didn't feel that hard, and I knew Amy had to be feeling a lot worse than I was to let us gap her.I saw several fast Kansas City women on the starting line, and knew they would push me in the race.  From the gun a woman I didn't know was ahead for the first half mile or so, then me and the ladies I was running with (Chandler and Amy) passed into the top 3 female positions.  I knew both Chandler and Amy were talented runners, and I was hopeful for a top 3 finish because our start felt very conservative (6:13 on the flat first mile) and no other women were around.
    Running with Chandler is always a pleasure!  I really enjoyed sharing most of this race and most of Rock the Parkway with her.  She is kind, positive, and helps me get the best out of myself.  With where I was mentally and emotionally for this one, running with a friend beside me was extra helpful.
    Mile 4 is downhill and usually my favorite mile of this race, but this year they were doing road construction in that area and it was all rivety.  It was not ideal terrain for Next % shoes, that's for sure!  My friend Andrew, who went out faster than me, hopped up on the sidewalk for a moment to avoid the crappy road, and I considered following him but it cut a corner off the course slightly so I didn't because I sure wasn't getting disqualified in my one chance of a top 2 finish at this event!  He realized the situation soon and jumped back on the I'm-going-to-twist-an-ankle road, and shortly after that Chandler and I passed him.  I encouraged him to go with us, but his faster start had caught up with him a bit.  My 4th mile was 5:51.
    Laughing at Brent around mile 4 Mile 5 goes back up the incline the course goes down in mile 4, on the opposite side of the divided road.  Some years I have loathed that climb, but it was okay this time, possibly because I was running so much slower than I ever have at this race!  The split was 6:13, which is about even effort to our other miles with the elevation gain.  Chandler and I were still side-by-side.  Shortly after we passed mile 4, there was an aid station on the side I was on.  She mentioned she was going to get a water, telling me because she was going to have to cross either right in front of or behind me to grab it.  I told her I'd grab it for her since it was on my side.  I picked up a bottle and passed it to her, and it was caught on camera.  Despite the shot being unflattering of me, I absolutely love it!
    Team work makes the dream work! We passed mile 5 together, and right after Chandler began pulling away.  I tried to stay with her but I didn't have any get up and go.  She gradually extended her lead, and I tried not to give up but my heart really wasn't in it and I settled to some degree.  If I'd kept at it mentally, she'd have still gotten me, but not by as much - she finished 15 seconds ahead of me and my last mile was 6:02 and final kick 5:45 pace.
    Clock shot I ended up finishing in 38:15 gun time.  They didn't give chip times to the overall winners (i.e., results have chip and gun time as the same, since that is how overall prizes are awarded), but I figured since I started between Christian and Andrew, whose chip times were -10 seconds and -12 seconds respectively, my chip time would have been 38:04 (tying the state record).  State records go by gun time so gun time is all that matters there, but of course that would happen to me!  Much like in the half marathon, I know I can run significantly faster than the record time, but I cannot do it in 80 degrees.
    Post-race fist bump caught on film After the race, I headed out on the Trolley Trail for 11 more miles, which is too long to call a cool down.  I felt fine running very easy, and finished up my final 20+ mile day before my next marathon.  Andrew accompanied me for the whole addendum as part of his Chicago Marathon training, which was quite helpful.  
    I'm not sure what the future holds for my next race or for everything else in life, but I know who holds the future!  God's plan often doesn't make sense to us on earth, but it's always best.
    Miles from Mentor Splits
  12. SIbbetson
    The short:
    I ran my fifth Rock the Parkway half marathon on 8/28/21 - the first time the race took place in August! I placed 3rd overall female for the third time; I can't seem to move up in my placing at this race (I've also been 4th), but I'm not fading at age 40, so I'll consider that a win.  I didn't have a time goal since it was over 80 degrees at the start and nearly 90 by the finish.  However, based on my Hospital Hill performance I figured if I could run 1:25ish it would be a good day, so I was satisfied with my 1:24:19 finish time, though I missed the Missouri state record for age 40 by 34 seconds. This was also my first time running a half marathon during a 90 mile week, but I really don't think that hurt me and blame any and all difficulty on the heat and humidity.  Racing is always a blessing, and I enjoyed myself greatly, but I also didn't feel super stoked about this one before or after, which I of course blame on summer!
    Official results are here.
    My dad's video of the start is here (enjoy the race officials yelling that only waves AA and A were supposed to be in the chute or starting, and a lot of people ignoring it, hah!).
    My dad's video of the finish is here.
    My Strava activity with splits and elevation is here.
    Smiles for miles with Chandler
      Pain face near the finish The long: Rock the Parkway is one of the races I return to year after year.  2021 was my fifth time running it.  The April 2020 event was postponed to August 2020 and then cancelled.  When race organizers cancelled they noted they were rescheduling for August 2021 with the hopes that COVID would allow them to hold a normal event by then.  After my heat debacle at the USATF Masters National meet in July, I wasn't particularly excited to run an August half, but I really love this race and knew I would have fun no matter what!
    I'm loving my rabbit elite kit! This race was 5 weeks out from my first fall marathon, and there was no reason to "waste" a taper on an 80+ degree half, so I trained right through it, including a workout with almost 7 miles of sub-6:00 running on Tuesday, 13 miles on Thursday, and 90 miles total during race week.  I've run solid halves during 80-some mile weeks before so this part didn't worry me.  I tend to feel worse if I taper too much!
    I never expected the weather would be good, but when weather.com told me it was 79 degrees when I woke up on race morning, I knew things were going to be even worse than I'd expected by the 7:00 a.m. start.  My goal was to place as high as I could, and while I'd thought that I could probably just barely break the age 40 state record of 1:23:45 at 70-75 degrees, I knew it would be a stretch at 80-90 degrees.  I race by effort anyway, and this course is hilly in a way that you really need to run by effort instead of splits, so I figured I'd just start off about marathon effort and see what I got!
    Not the best temperature to 
    see at 4:44 a.m.! I warmed up for a little over 2 miles with my running buddies Casey, Christian, and Andrew, we all complained about the weather, and we lined up in the elite wave.  I greeted my fast friend Chandler in the corral, saw another fast Kansas City area runner Connie, and had a brief conversation about the course elevation profile with a runner I didn't know, Kristen (names were on our bibs).  I was open about my plan to go out very easy, since the heat sneaks up on me if I don't, and I also told the others that miles 2 and 3 of the course have a lot of elevation gain so it's best to keep things really in check for the first 3 miles.
    Miles from Mentor teammates After the start, Connie was quickly out front for the women, followed by Kristen.  Chandler, Casey, Christian, and I were all together, with Andrew and several other men around as well.  Chandler and I ran most of the 2019 Grandma's Marathon together, and she told me that she was going to stick with me in this race since she thought I was the best pacer (aww).  I shared my course strategy mile by mile with her, and after getting up the climbs in miles 2-3, we notched down the effort and started trying to chase down Kristen.  At that point we lost the others who'd been running with us.
    This must have been right after
    an aid station, because Chandler 
    was never behind me Running with Chandler was great.  We chatted a bit, I gave her a heads up on course hills and upcoming turns, and we encouraged each other that we could overtake the woman ahead of us.  We gained on her, but I could see she was also passing men who'd gone out fast so I didn't think she was dying.  I kept my eyes on her, and before a hill around mile 8, I told Chandler we should ease up the hill then really chase her down.  At this time we were 3rd and 4th females behind Connie and Kristen.
    Towards the end I've learned that in the heat, instead of a slow burn to fatigue, it often hits me all at once.  Instead of going from feeling good to feeling okay to feeling a little tired to feeling pretty beat, I go from feeling good to feeling pretty beat all at once!  This happened around mile 9.5 of this race.  I began struggling to stay with Chandler, and hung on for maybe a quarter mile but then she gapped me.  Shortly after,  I saw Connie standing on the side of the road, having dropped out due to overheating.  She'd gone out pretty fast for the conditions, and of course I'd hoped I could catch back up to her, but not like that!  At that point I was 3rd female, with Chandler looking strong.  I hoped that Chandler could catch the first woman, and better yet, that both Chandler and I could catch her.  She still had a significant lead on us, but heat is an X factor for everyone.  I felt myself fading but reminded myself that the heat could hit the others hard at any time so I should keep pressing.  Sometimes I wish I could try a run in someone else's body and see if it feels different!
    How the final 3.5 miles felt I'm pretty good at negative splitting long races in cool weather, but it's much more difficult for me to do in the heat.  I had a far weaker final 5k than I typically do in this race, but I fought with all I had and didn't let myself settle for 3rd until I saw Chandler crossing the finish line.  The final mile of the race is downhill, though you've earned it after climbing the same hill in mile 2, and normally it's a relatively smooth mile, but this year it felt like the longest mile ever!  I just kept thinking, "when am I going to see the finish line?!"  I'd looked at my watch at mile 11 to see if I had a chance at the state record to try to motivate my tired body and my mind that was telling me 3rd was just fine, and by my very loose calculations I thought I could get it if I ran the final 2 miles at about 6:00 pace.  I have done that on this course in 45 degree weather, but it wasn't to be on this day.  I know I can break the record significantly in decent conditions, but I don't have another half in Missouri planned before I turn 41 so it would have been nice to sneak by in this one!
    Clock shot! The announcer announced "another top female finisher coming in" as I crossed the line in 1:24:19.  After bending over for a moment and congratulating Chandler and Kristen, I turned around to watch for my friends coming in.  Andrew came through in 1:25:58 (I think he is in better shape than me but the heat bothers him more), and Casey in 1:28.  We snapped some pictures and I knew I'd better get moving pretty quickly or my 6.5 more miles for the day weren't going to happen!  Christian came through in 1:34 then I jogged to my car to change my shoes, drink multiple bottles, and grab a gel and chews.  I'd planned to take a gel in the race since I had a 22 mile day, but the thought of stomaching one was not appealing!  Generally I don't take a gel in a half, but I've learned that when I'm tacking on a lot of miles after the race I need to take one to stay on top of my fueling, and I later paid for not taking it.
    Casey showing how we all felt, Andrew staying on
    top of hydration, & my awesome parents Andrew ran the 6.5 additional miles with me, which was much appreciated!  We ran back on the course since the road was closed to traffic, and I ended up picking up water from two aid stations along the way, and when I started bonking I stopped and drank 3 cups of Gatorade, which saved the rest of the miles.  The extra miles were quite easy paced, but we successfully finished them off, another step towards our next 26.2s!
      Please refer to age percentages 😉 All in all, I'm content with this race.  I'm not super pumped or proud of it, but I'm also not disappointed.  I don't really think I could have done anything differently to improve my performance.  It's always a competitive event, and I'd love to move up to 1st or 2nd some day, but this wasn't my year for that.  The two women who beat me both competed in the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials and are currently training for fall marathons, so I had my work cut out for me.  I also think it was a take-what-you're-in-shape-for-and-add 5:00 kind of day for most!  Strava said this course had 525 ft of elevation gain, while it said Hospital Hill had 590 ft, but it was nearly 10 degrees warmer for this race so I think that means I ran better than at Hospital Hill - and I definitely ran better than at Masters Nationals with a non-flat middle 10k of about 38:30 in this race.  I also think I'll get some nice training gains from the race and from gutting through the miles afterwards.  And as always, any day we can run is certainly a God-given gift!
  13. SIbbetson

    race recap
    August 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month:  402  August 2-8:  86.3 August 9-15:  100.5 August 16-22:  85.1 August 23-29:  90.0 August 30-Sep. 5: projected at 92 We love our #augustangst photos! Races: August 28:  Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in 1:24:19 for 3rd overall female, which was about the best things could have gone when it was almost 90 degrees at the finish, but was hard to get too excited about.  Race recap coming soon! I was registered to run the Riverside 5000 on August 14, but it was cancelled due to increasing COVID cases in the Tulsa area.  I got a high mileage week in that week instead, which I preferred over a 5k anyway! Watching friends race post-long run Workouts: August 3:  3 x 1 mile with 0.25 recoveries in 5:42, 5:49, 5:53 (3.2 warm up, 3.5 cool down).  I really should have run these splits in the reverse order, with a progression instead of a positive split, but a regression is what happened!  I coordinated with Colin's tempo for the first two reps (his tempo pace being 5:40-5:45), which was really helpful, but I didn't have him to hang onto on the third rep and it was a grind (Christian ran the same workout and we started each rep together, which was also very helpful).  This is a pace zone that is hard for me, and my legs sure let me know they weren't the happiest with it, but it was good for me!  It was about 65 degrees for this workout, which felt amazing - and I knew I wouldn't be getting those conditions for my upcoming 5k race that this workout was targeted training for. August 6:  5 x 6:00 tempos with 1:00 recoveries at paces of 5:52, 5:51, 5:52, 5:50, 5:49 (2.8 warm up, 2 cool down).  I jogged the recoveries after reps 1-2 and stood for them after 3-4 because Christian made me run a bit too fast and I needed to get my heart rate down.  It was a great workout for both of us; goal pace was about 6:00 based on last week's tempo average of around 6:10 in warmer weather (it was 64 degrees for this one!).  We ran a flat fast course. August 10:  3 x (4 x 1k at MP, 1 x 800 m at tempo) with 1:00 recoveries between reps and 2:00 recoveries between sets - paces of 6:21, 6:26, 6:23, 6:23, 5:52 / 6:16, 6:19, 6:15, 6:20, 5:54 / 6:14, 6:18, 6:20, 6:16, 6:12.  The early morning weather was gross for this workout at 77* and 73* dew point, and my coach told me to use a heat calculator to adjust my paces.  It said to add 19 seconds/mile, so I added 10 seconds/mile to start, but worked down to about my original pace goals on everything but the final 800 m (decent weather pace targets were 6:15 MP and 5:50-6:00 tempo).  The first two sets felt pretty easy, then as per usual the heat hit me suddenly and on the final couple of 1k reps I really had to work, then on the last 800 m I didn't have much left.  I think having the recovery jogs in there really helped keep me from overheating until the end; a continuous marathon pace run or tempo would have been a lot harder in these weather conditions.  Christian ran the same workout, and although our paces didn't quite match, it was nice to have someone else grinding out 9 miles of work with me (we also warmed up with Colin and Elise before they did different awesome workouts on this morning)! August 14:  16 easy, 4 goal marathon pace (6:41, 6:32, 6:25, 6:15), 3.4 easy (23.4 total).  My average for the marathon pace miles was about right on with heat/humidity adjustment and I kept up with Colin so I considered it a success despite the pace average not actually being 6:15.  I felt strong but not fast on this run, which is pretty typical for me during peak mileage.  Christian and Colin did similar workouts, and David joined us for many miles of the run too.  I started this one at 4:52 a.m. (to run 1 mile before the others started at 5:00 a.m.).  I later realized that this was actually the fastest I've ever run this workout, just slightly bettering what I did in April in good weather.  It's just one of those workouts that makes it very difficult to wrap my head around ever running the pace for an actual marathon! August 17:  2 x 2 mile tempo at 6:08, 6:09 / 6:14, 6:07, 1 mile at 10k pace in 5:48, 6 x 0:25 hill sprints at average 5:39 (2.3 warm up, 2.8 cool down).  We ran a rolling hill route for this one, so I was thinking about 6:10 for tempo pace and 5:50 for 10k pace (though when the time came for that mile I decided I'd be happy with 5:59!). I was happy with the outcome, especially since I'd checked my rolling 7 day mileage the evening before and saw 105. I'm really happy that in 2021 I've been able to still hit workouts when my mileage has been 100+ (in 2020 I couldn't quite).  It was 69*, dew point 67*, which felt pretty good for August! August  21:  20.7 mile long run with 3.5 easy, 20:00 at tempo (6:31 average), 4:00 easy, 15:00 at tempo (6:19 average), 5 miles easy, 10:00 at tempo (6:23 average), 2:00 easy, 5:00 at tempo (6:14 average), easy to the finish.  This was definitely a effort-based and not paced-based day!  It was warm and humid (expected) then it monsooned during the first tempo effort (not expected).  We questioned whether we were running or aquajogging for awhile there, but even had the weather been great I don't think I'd have knocked this one out of the park based on how my legs felt.  I looked back at my training log and I hadn't had a day shorter than 9 miles for over 4 weeks, and only 5 runs of 9 miles (e.g., all of the other days were double digit mileage).  My coach had scheduled a day off for me on August 19 and I asked to switch it to August 22 due to travel plans, but I think I needed the original schedule to nail this workout (especially considering August 19 changed from a day off to 12 miles).  Christian, Colin, and Casey also ran this workout, and Casey hit her tempo paces with no weather adjustment (!!), but Colin and Christian suffered like me.  Any day we can run 20+ miles is a great one though! August 24:  7 x 5:00 at tempo with 1:00 recoveries in paces of 6:00, 5:51, 5:53, 5:52, 5:54, 5:55, 5:50 (2.2 warm up, 2.8 cool down).  Another sweltering workout, and recovery jogs that prevented me from overheating!  I was targeting 6:00-6:05, but Casey pushed me to run faster and it felt [mostly] good.  We had a great workout group on our flat fast workout room this morning - Casey, Christian, Rebecca, Elise, David, and Colin. August 31:  Mixed system workout of 20:00 at tempo, 1.5 miles at 10k, 1600 m at 5k, 4 x 300 m hard (3:00 recoveries between everything except 200 m jog between the 300s).  I ran this by effort, which ended up yielding paces slower than I'd have preferred, but I was able to get faster each section (vs. dying off, which would have happened had I pushed the pace to what I wanted it to be early on).  I averaged 6:14 for the tempo, 6:07 for the 10k work, and 5:56 for the 5k work, then my 300's were all 1:00-1:01 - couldn't quite crack 60 seconds!  It was 67 degrees, so felt cooler, but my legs were tired from my hot half with a long cool down.  Casey and Colin ran the same workout at different paces, but it was nice to have them to commiserate with!  Elise and David also did some tempo work on the road plus faster work on the track with us. Strength work: I was consistent with 2 full strength workouts and 3 core workouts a week, plus daily PT work/pre-run activation. Strides: 2, 5, 8, 9, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30. Doubles:  August 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 20, 23, 24, 26, 30, 31.   Long Runs: August 7:  20 miles easy (7:51) on legs that were fatigued from the August 6 morning workout plus evening strength workout.  20 miles passed quickly; Colin ran all of them with me, and Rebecca, Christian, and David did most. August 14:  23.4 miles (7:46) with 4 miles at marathon pace, described above.   I actually think the faster miles would have been easier if I'd have run the first 14 faster; I was with a group running 8:00-8:15 pace, but I felt like I was going to have a hard time dropping so much from there so I went on my own for miles 15-16 around 7:30 pace before the MP miles.  If I run this again I'll probably keep it closer to 7:45 for the first 16 so I'm not so into slog mode or on my feet as long.  This run took 3:02 so was hopefully my longest time on feet for the season. August 15:  13.1 miles (8:10). I love back-to-back long runs and get to do a few this marathon cycle!  I also had some Thursday 11-13 milers this month but I didn't include those here.  The line on at what distance long runs begin has become blurry yet again! August 21:  20.7 miles (7:26) with a very wet workout, described above. August 28:  22 miles, including Rock the Parkway.  The 6.5 miles I did after the race were slow and HOT! Running Highlights: Watching the Olympics, of course!  My running group watched the women's marathon together live on Friday and the women's 10,000 m followed by replays of every other distance race, after our Saturday morning run. I hit 105 on my rolling 7 day mileage for August 10-16.  I was telling Jon about my workout scheduled for August 17 and said, "plus I am going to do it with about 100 miles on my legs", and then looked at my total to clarify.  My highest ever on the rolling 7 is 106.1, so clearly I should have run 1.1 miles more, but I did not. Kitten Frisco kept jumping on my lap
    at the second Olympics watch party Life Highlights: We spent part of a weekend in Eureka Springs with my sister's family before school began for all of the kids (including my niece starting college!). Albani started 8th grade! Farmers Market selfie   OMRR picnic Beaver Lake fun   Beaver Lake dam   8th grade   She allowed me 1 take of this pose -
    oh, the pressure! My 4:45 a.m. buddies! Books: The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive by Jim Afremow Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner Bitter Orange by Clair Fuller Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman We were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter   Theme for the month: Heat advisories!  And I'm sure everyone is sick of hearing me complain about summer killing my paces.
  14. SIbbetson
    The Short:
    I ran in what I hope will be my first of many USATF Masters* Championship races!  I also hope it is the worst race performance I produce in a competition like this; though I was able to hang on for a 2nd place finish in age group 40-44 and 5th overall female in the race, my time was a huge underperformance in relation to my fitness.  I'm sure no one is surprised that it was hot and humid in Iowa on July 24.  I went to compete without expecting a fast time, but I didn't expect to suffer as much as I did, finishing in 39:39.  I think the heat slowed me down about 2:00, but my performance being equivalent to 37:39 in good weather doesn't really make me feel any better, especially because I couldn't dig to compete like I typically can.  I really enjoyed training for this race - the day-to-day training was awesome! - so I'm still glad I did it, but it's going to take some time for my ego to recover from it.   *I also learned that although masters division typically begins at age 40, USATF starts it at age 35, so I have missed 5 years of masters championship road racing. My medal was silver but my parents are gold The Long: As part of enjoying being a new masters runner, earlier this year I looked at the USATF masters championship race schedule.  As part of being crazy, I love racing 10,000 m on the track and thought doing it at the end of July in Iowa seemed like a great idea!   I didn't have a time goal going into this race, because I knew that weather and strategy could be big factors.  However, my speed block leading up to the race went well - the best speed block I've ever had actually - and I felt fit and tapered leading into the race.  The race day forecast was warmer every time I checked it, and by the time the race began at 8:45 a.m. the heat index was 90* with the sun radiating off the track.  I told myself that I die less than most in the heat, shoved ice into the crop and shorts of my new rabbitELITE race kit, and went to the starting line hunting a national masters win. Shorts with the elite logo came a few days later! My heat of the 10,000 m had 4 women's age groups and 2 men's age groups in it, so there was a crowd!  My plan was to run the first 2 miles conservatively to try to avoid overheating, then progress the pace downward from there.  While I didn't have specific time goals, I thought I was in shape for a 35:59 in ideal weather on a good day with good pacing, so I figured high-36/low-37 in the conditions we had.  I have been heat-adjusting my workout goal paces when it's been over 70* and humid, but by only 50-75% of the amount this heat calculator recommends.  I came through each of the first 8 laps right around 1:30 (I ran by feel but it's very difficult not to look at the clock when it's a huge display in front of your face each lap), and it didn't feel fast but it also didn't feel good.  I told myself I'd feel stronger as the race went on, and to reel in the women ahead of me.  At that point I was leading my age group, with two women ahead of me in the 35-39 division.   This is pretty much how the entire race felt Around 2 miles I started feeling worse, and a man who'd been running right behind me passed me.  I told myself to latch onto him, which I did briefly, but I couldn't maintain contact.  By the 5k I really started worrying, but I reminded myself that in most 10ks I've run I've passed the 5k thinking there was no way I could run that again, but I always did, often faster.  At some point another woman passed me, and I tried to stay with her even harder than I'd tried to stay with the man, but much like earlier, I just couldn't.  Our age groups were on our backs, so I knew she was in 45-49 and I was still leading age 40-44.  I knew I was slowing despite my best efforts not to, and at that point my goal became hanging on to win my age division.   I still kept telling myself I was going to feel better and speed up, and that everyone else was dying just as much.  I was trying to take 1600 m splits on my watch to look at later, but I missed one of them and then started really struggling to remember what lap I was on.  My brain felt foggy, my legs wouldn't move, and I just felt gassed.  At some point a woman with AG 40-44 on her back passed me and I really tried to hang onto her but my body felt felt shut down and I couldn't respond.  The possibility of a national championship slipped away and my goal mostly changed to just making it through, which is not a very inspiring race goal. About to get passed I was lapping people, some multiple times, plus two women and two men lapped me.  With the number of people in the race, the officials had their work cut out for them with telling people what lap they were on, and several times they didn't tell me my lap count when I passed.  My pace was so off what I'd expected to run and my brain was extremely cloudy, so the best I could do at times was "somewhere between 8 and 10 left" and "either 4 or 5 laps left!"  It started to not really matter, as the race began feeling more like a survival thing than a competition.  Finishing was a relief, though also a huge disappointment. New rabbit teammate! My official lap splits were:  1:29, 1:31, 1:29, 1:29, 1:30, 1:30, 1:31, 1:30, 1:32, 1:35, 1:36, 1:32, 1:36, 1:39, 1:39, 1:36, 1:35, 1:36, 1:40, 1:40, 1:38, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:33 (i.e., don't pace like this!).  I thought that starting at 6:00 pace was conservative, but clearly it wasn't adequate for me that day.  At the end of my 50k, I felt like it was the distance that got to me (not the pace), but in this race it felt completely like the pace!  Oddly, 25 laps on the track didn't seem very far. I am really not sure what happened.  Yes, 90 degrees and humid (dew point 72*) on a hot track is miserable, but surely that can't account for slowing down 37 seconds/mile from what my workouts indicated I could run; I am also generally really good at knowing what I'll realistically run in races.  Most of the field ran about 2:00 slower than their seed times, but I was 3:05 off of mine (my heat calculator also gives me about +20 seconds/mile in the conditions, which is 2:00 - but remember, for hot workouts I've been using only 50-75% of the calculation).  All of my track workouts and strength-based workouts this season were faster than when I ran 36:34 on the road, so even in the heat I thought I'd be in the 37s on the track; I also ran a 36:52 on the road in not ideal weather of 71*, dew point 68* when I was at similar fitness to what I am now (though now those conditions seem okay, haha!).  I couldn't respond in a competitive situation, plus I felt awful and not at all strong, which I think is what makes this particularly discouraging.  There was just nothing there.  Maybe it's just time to retire from summer racing! I'm trying not to dwell on this too much, because I am really thankful for the opportunity to compete in this event, and to take home the silver in my age group.  I'm thankful my parents came to the race with me, and for the vacationing we got to do along with it.  I'm thankful that my training for this race went so well, and that I'm 100% healthy.  But this was sure a hit to my confidence!  I also had to laugh about it; it was like my body said, "You think an 18:09 5k wasn't good enough, I'll show you a bad race!" Related note: my HR was higher during this 10k than it was during that 5k time trial, showing that I was right about that 5k effort being more like 10k-half effort.  This race was a 10k effort, it just wasn't the pace or place I thought that effort would produce!   But!  During my final tune up workout 4 days before the race, one of my running buddies was on a recovery when I was running a rep, and said "Go, coach!" (I coach several of my training buddies), which was the perfect reminder mid-400 that THAT was really what it's all about.  I love running and competing, but that is the selfish piece and surely not the primary reason God gave me a passion for running - though I believe He wants us to be happy, and running certainly makes me that way!  I love coaching, cheering for, supporting, and pacing others in this sport, and I really feel in my element when I'm doing those things.  I don't think I'll ever be anywhere near content with how this race went, but it doesn't change how much I love running and everything associated with it.   Now, onto a 5k, a half, a road 10k, and 26.2 between now and October 3!  
  15. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    July 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month: 320.8 June 28-July 4:  65.9 July 5-11:  86.2 July 12-18:  74.8 July 19-25:  51.3 July 26-August 1: 86.1 God Bless the USA! Races: July 3:  3.1 on the 3rd in 18:09 in an unofficial 5k race put on by my running group. I decided in advance that I wouldn't count this as a PR, though I was sure I was going to run faster than my 5k PR, but I didn't (whomp whomp) so that was a non-issue! But I did run my second best open 5k time running solo on rolling hills, so it wasn't The Worst. July 24:  USATF Masters Outdoor Track and Field National Championships 10,000 m in 39:39 for 2nd place in age group 40-44 and not nearly what I was hoping for! #jumpingjuly Workouts: July 3: 5k at race effort in 18:09 (3 warm up, 5.4 cool down). July 4:  9 easy, 3 progressive (6:16, 6:11, 6:12), 2.5 easy. I was aiming for 6:20, 6:10, 6:00, but I couldn't get the final mile down. This run in combination with the July 3 "race" showed me that I need to work on my power in regards to going uphill, but lucky for me all of my upcoming goal races are flat or close to it! July 6:  5 x 1600 m with 2:00 recoveries in 5:48, 5:59, 5:57, 5:55, 6:01 (2 warm up, 2 cool down). My goal pace for these was starting at 5:48 working down to 5:42, but the temperature/humidity adjustment was +13 seconds (5:55-6:01).  In my stubbornness I wanted to try the 5:48 working down thing anyway, but as you can see that was a mistake and I ended up hanging on the best I could, and just squeaked them all into the adjusted range.  My first rep was the most fun for a lot of reasons, the biggest being that I paced my friend Abby to a new mile PR of 5:49! Colin ran a 4:59 mile time trial, so clearly the two of them succeeded for the day. July 10:  3 x 2 mile progressive with 5:00 jogs in 12:25 (6:12, 6:13), 12:23 (6:09, 6:14), 12:23 (6:18, 6:05), 2.2 warm up, 3 cool down.  My original goal paces by rep were 6:00, 5:55, 5:50, but my coach had me use a temperature/humidity calculator to weather-grade them, and it said to add 18 seconds/mile, so I was aiming for 6:15, 6:10, 6:05 (yes, I do realize that was 15 seconds added).  The first rep felt easy, the first 1.5 miles of the second rep felt good, then all of a sudden it did not feel good anymore!  The humidity usually sneaks up on me like that.  I was happy to get the final mile back down to goal pace, but I really had to work for that.  We ran this workout on a rolling route (my Garmin said 246 ft of gain, Christian's said 571 ft, Colin's 387 ft - I'm guessing it was 300-something), so the hills also cut into the paces, but it was a better strength-builder that way...though to be honest, I wanted to run it on the fast loop but got outvoted, hah. July 14: 9 x 1000 m with 2:00ish recoveries in 3:39, 3:39, 3:36, 3:38, 3:38, 3:38, 3:38, 3:39, 3:35 - that's 5:46-5:52 pace (2.3 warm up, 2.4 cool down). My original pace goal was 5:42-5:48, but my coach said to use the temperature/humidity calculator, which said to add 13 seconds/mile. That seemed like too much, and I also didn't have time to convert mile paces to kilometer paces that morning, so I mostly just went by feel and after the first few decided that high-3:30s was a good goal. Although I felt somewhat "out of gas" going into this workout, I felt fine enough and was happy that I finished with my fastest rep, which is always more challenging for me in warm, humid conditions (73*, dew point 68* for this one). July 20:  2 mile threshold (road) + 8 x 400 m @ 10k pace (track) in 12:05 via 6:03, 6:02 and 1:26, 1:23, 1:24, 1:23, 1:23, 1:22, 1:23, 1:21 (2.3 warm up, 1.5 cool down). I seem to often run my final tune up workouts too fast, and this was no exception; my 10k pace target was 1:26 and my threshold target was 6:10-6:15 (threshold defined differently than tempo).  Every workout has a purpose and running them faster than written isn't necessarily advantageous, but running the 2 mile portion with Christian, testing out my race shoes, a morning that was cool for July (64 degrees), and reduced mileage on my legs made it happen.  About halfway through the 400s I just accepted that I had settled into 1:23ish and didn't try for anything different.  I felt controlled, like I had a lot still in the tank, and ready to race. July 27:  3 x (0:30, 0:45, 1:00) hill sprints within a 10 mile run.  "30 seconds feels like 30 minutes" was the quote of this workout, which I did with Christian and Colin.  Hills are a great way to make less than 7:00 total of effort feel really hard.  I also did plyometrics and lifted legs right after this workout, oof!  I was sore for 2 days. July 30:  Tempos of 15:00, 12:00, and 10:00 with 2:30 recovery jogs (2.7 warm up and 5.2 cool down for 14.2 miles total).  My instructions were to run the tempos by feel, and my paces were 6:07, 6:09, 6:06 / 6:08, 6:10 / 6:15, 6:11, which I was pleased with.  It was 72*, dew point 72*, but after my 10,000 m experience 6 days previously, the weather actually felt pretty good (though I finished extremely soaked in sweat).  I felt strong and like myself on this workout, which was also good for my ego after my sub-par race performance in Ames.  Colin, Christian, Claudio, and Casey also tempoed this morning, and though none of us are currently pace matches it's wonderful to start a 5:00 a.m. workout with others! Strides: July 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 13, 19, 23, 26, and at least a couple before workouts and races. Doubles: July 1, 5, 7, 8, 13, 15, 18, 19, 28 (scheduled for July 30 but I ran all of my mileage in the morning due to the afternoon heat advisory). Favorite workout: I loved the July 10 and 30 tempo workouts, but the easiest relative effort was the July 20 one. I'm pumped to move into more marathon-focused work! Long Runs: July 4:  14.5 miles (7:20) that included a 3 mile progression, referenced in workouts above. Colin and Casey ran this with me, though we separated on the progression, and the miles flew by and the 4th of July was good.  God bless the USA! July 11:  12 miles, with a workout, described above.  My running group's team singlets came in the afternoon before this run, which was exciting! July 12:  16.3 miles easy (8:07), which was a normal enjoyable group run with Elise, Casey, Colin, Austin, and Rebecca. July 17:  13.1 miles light progression (7:41). My coach said to start a 8:15 (MP+2:00) and gradually drop to 7:15 (MP+1:00), which is how I run about every easy long run anyway!  Christian is being coached by Nichole now as well, and had 10 miles of the same. Most of our workouts are coordinating partially right now.  After the run we celebrated Amy's 50th birthday with a Lululemon cake at 7:30 a.m.! July 24:  11.7 miles of warm up, 10k race, cool down (this barely counts, and I was going to do 12 but got back from my cool down a little early and was just done). July 31:  18 miles (7:53) that flew by!  We had a great group and my first 7 miles were supposed to be super easy (8:15+) then the rest were 7:30-7:50, which really didn't feel any faster. Favorite long run: July 31, since it was the longest!  All were very enjoyable aside from July 24. We celebrated Amy's 50th with Lululemon cake at 7:30 a.m.! Running Highlights: I got my new rabbitELITE race kit and my running group's Miles from Mentor singlet. C- photo of A+ singlets Life Highlights: We spent the 4th of July in SE Kansas at my in-laws.  Albani loves fireworks and cousin time!  My parents were able to join us as well, making it even better. My parents accompanied me to Iowa for the USATF Masters Outdoor Champs, and we had a great vacation along with the meh race. Albani is almost as tall as my mom now!   Ibbetson crew doing rock, paper, scissors for 
    firework lighting duties   ABA parties are hard to match!   Iowa State mascot + downtown Ames   Capitol building in Des Moines   Des Moines Art Museum   Pappajohn Sculpture Garden in Des Moines Books: The Martian by Andy Weir A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell Artemis by Andy Weir Hidden (Lost and Found #1) by Ferm Michaels The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg   Theme for the month: Summer of speed, continued...I mean, I raced a 5k and a 10k, plus look at all of those track workouts!
  16. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    June 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month: 332.4 (for 2093 miles for 2021 so far!) May 31-June 6:  68.8 June 7-13:  73.1 June 14-20:  82.4 June 21-27:  93.9 June 28-July 4:  projected at 70ish (cut back week) Fast friends! Races: June 5:  Hospital Hill Half Marathon in 1:25:27 for 1st overall female and tons of fun - not to mention heat and hills! Trevor is the master of on-the-run pics Workouts: June 8:  4 x 6:00 at tempo (paces of 5:54, 5:56, 5:58, 5:54) with 1:00 jog recoveries + 4 x 3:00 at 5k pace (paces of 5:38, 5:40, 5:42, 5:42) with 2:00 jogs recoveries.  My only complaint about this workout was that I'd rather it have been 4 x 1 mile at tempo because with the 6:00 my watch autolapped at 1 mile then lapped again a few seconds later at the 6:00 mark...or in other words, the workout went well!  Colin paced me on it, which is probably the only reason I was able to hit my coach's ambitious paces when the dew point was 69* (humidity 100%). I'm sure it comes as a surprise to no one that I would rather run 4 miles at tempo than run 3 minutes at 5k pace, hah!  My running group warmed up together then had 3 different workout groups going this morning with 2-3 people in each group, and as always it was better together! June 12:  16.2 miles that included 2 x (20:00 at MP + 5:00 at tempo) with 5:00 jog between. I went to Christian's and Colin's race in Branson and ran the lakefront path for this workout while they were racing.  The weather was pretty miserable, at 76-79* with a 72* dew point.  I was close on the marathon pace miles, which had a heat adjusted goal of 6:25, but I couldn't drop my pace below 6:15 for the life of me, so the 6:05 tempo heat adjusted pace did not happen (goal paces would have been 6:15 and 5:55 in good weather).  This time-based workout came out to about 8 miles of work, and my paces for the hard miles were: 6:24, 6:29, 6:31, 6:16 / 6:23, 6:35, 6:32, 6:21.  The course wasn't wonderful, with hills and on a curvy path, but the heat got me the most.  The weather was similar to the previous week's conditions at Hospital Hill, so I don't know why it bothered me a lot more on this run than at that race, but I have found that my performance is less predictable in humidity, so I'll credit that (also the air by the lake really smelled like fish so maybe that counts for something, hah!). But the effort was there and I know I'll get the benefits! June 15:  7 x 1,000 m at 10k pace with 2:00 recoveries in 3:34, 3:34, 3:36, 3:36, 3:36, 3:35, 3:33 (5:42-5:47 pace - goal is 5:45), (3 warm up, 3 cool down). On the recoveries I walked for a few seconds until the rest of my group finished, jogged 200 m, then stood for about 30 seconds before starting the next rep. Track workouts really intimidate me, but this one felt smooth and amazing, which was a nice way to start my speed block!  My coach texted me "We want this to be a good burn workout, not a balls to the wall workout", but beforehand I wasn't even sure I could hit it going balls to the wall (hahaha!).  Once I got started, it actually felt like 10k pace and not death, which was really, really nice.  It was 68* with 64* dew point, which certainly helped (as compared to the June 12 workout!), and I had 4 running buddies on the track with me, which definitely helped. June 22:  8 x 800 m at 5k pace with 200 m jog/2:00 recoveries in 2:47, 2:47, 2:47, 2:49, 2:50, 2:50, 2:50, 2:47 (2.3 warm up, 3 cool down).  This was definitely The Best 800 m Workout Of My Life, at age 40.  Enough said!  The unseasonably cool temps (56 degrees) and group workout helped, but I averaged 2:48 on my own (other group members were doing 2:40ish or 3:00+).  I know I "should" be able to run a workout like this based on my race times, but I sure never have, so a lot of yay here! June 26:  17.6 miles with a descending fartlek of 3 x 4' on/4' off, 4 x 3' on/3' off, 5 x 2' on/2' off, 6 x 1' on/1' off.  Colin and I ran this on a hilly course with 906 ft gain, so our paces varied based on the elevation, but my Garmin 745 tells me that on the ons (which added up to 40:00 total) I covered 6.63 miles and my average pace was 6:02.  The on paces ranged from 5:22-6:26 depending on if we were going up or downhill, but the 4:00 and 3:00 pushes were at half effort, the 2:00 at 10k effort, and the 1:00 at 5k effort.  After my June 12 long run workout was a struggle in the heat, I wasn't the most optimistic about this one in 75*/70* dew point (at 5 a.m.!), but it was cloudy and rained on us, which really helped (except for a couple of reps when it rained intensely). June 29:  3 x 1,000 m at 5k pace with 3:00 recoveries in 3:30, 3:31, 3:35, for a lighter race week workout!  My pace goal was 3:31-3:35, so I should have run these in the opposite order, but I am pretty good at positive splitting when the dew point is over 70*. I was good with this workout for what it was, and I tested my new race shoes, Adidas Audizero Pros, but they slipped on my heel so I need to re-lace them using a different set of holes (they have multiple lacing options). I don't think that necessarily slowed me down but it sure didn't help.  I was solo on these because Colin was blazing his at 3:15ish and the others were doing 3:45ish. Strides: June 3, 4, 7, 11, 14, 21, 25, 28, and a few before most workouts. Doubles: June 7, 10, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 24, 27, 29 Strength Training:  weekly totals of 1:55, 2:22, 2:55, 3:00 Track crew Another track day Long Runs: June 5:  18 miles total with 2.8 warm up, the Hospital Hill Half, and 2 cool down.  The warm up and cool down were also hilly... June 12:  16.2 miles with a workout, described above. June 19:  16.5 miles (7:44) that started at 5 a.m.! Summer is here and my husband wanted me to help him at the Farmer's Market as soon as I could get there after 7 a.m., so I started this run at the Farmer's Market location then immediately ran over to help when I finished.  Colin and Brad were kind enough to also start at 5 a.m., even though they knew I was going to talk excessively about the Shelby Houlihan doping conviction which I followed far too closely. June 26:  17.6 miles (7:10) with a workout, described above. I did 10 miles each Sunday this month, and I don't count 10 as a long run so didn't note those (trust me, you do not want me to note every day I run 10 miles), but as I work into more marathon-specific training it should be easy to up those to 12-14 milers if my coach so chooses.  I told her how much I loved back-to-back long runs during 50k training and how much I thought they helped my strength, but I trust whatever she writes for me. Sponsored by Ibbetson Farms Running Highlights: I was selected for the 2021-2022 rabbitELITE squad! Their pink crop hop is my absolute favorite race top, their community is awesome, and I am honored to represent.  It's my first time being selected for anything like this and I'm so excited for all of the rabbit gear. I made it over 2000 miles YTD this month.  I don't typically keep an eye on this but saw others posting that they were over 2000 and on track to exceed 4000 for the year, so I checked on mine.  It is best for me not to check my yearly mileage until December 31, though I think I've been doing much better recently about not being crazy about stuff like that and could handle it now. I started working with my awesome coach Nichole again on June 7.  I think I did really well self-coaching the last 6 months (miracles can happen!), but I can never be completely objective about my own training and believe I will run better with her guidance than without.  I wouldn't have taken a break from coaching if I hadn't had that hip issue in 2020, but I felt uncertain about my trajectory for awhile. I accompanied my friends Christian and Colin to a steamy half marathon on June 12, and they took home overall male and female wins so that was fun!   Find friends who will get in Table
    Rock Lake with you after long runs! Life Highlights: I attended my niece's high school graduation on June 2. Ibbetson Family Farm started back in full swing - please like and share our Facebook page if you have a moment! Jon and Albani are producing a plethora of fresh produce along with several sweet treat options this year. I met up with a group of my grad school friends in Pittsburg (my college town) on June 19, and it was wonderful to see everyone in person. My mom, niece, and sister   It's pretty clear what year this graduation
    occurred... Beyond cuteness   No one has aged since grad school, correct? Making sure to be an embarrassing
    mother at the fireworks stand Books: Love Story (The Baxter Family #1) by Karen Kingsbury Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab Fly Away (Firefly Lane #2) by Kristin Hannah The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger It looks as if my reading was down this month, but I think it's because most of these were pretty lengthy.   Theme for the month: Summer of Speed - as much as faster, shorter stuff intimidates me, it's been fun to get on the track for some work!  I've hit speed workout PRs, so I am going to use the hashtag #fasterasamaster now.  I have had big goals for many years, and this year it's not that I don't have ambitions, but that I'm enjoying whatever my best is versus trying to force anything specific or reach too far.  I have never felt so good about my running physically or emotionally - I love being 40 and the masters running opportunities it has opened for me.  I am running the 10,000 m in the USATF Masters Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Ames, Iowa next month and could not be more excited about that! 
  17. SIbbetson
    The short:
    I kept saying “it’s not a real race” before the Hospital Hill Half Marathon, but I am also well-aware that when I get into a race I will not run easy! Now, when it’s a sunny 74-80 degrees, the course is very hilly, I'm 3 weeks off a marathon, I am just off a rest phase, and I am 3 days off of a major vacation, that doesn't mean I am going to knock it out of the park, but I'll give it all I've got on the day.  That is exactly what I did at Hospital Hill, and I was very happy with my result all-considering.  I was first overall female in 1:25:27 and set a new women's course record (it's a relatively new course).  I also had a ton of fun in the process; running a race with no time expectations can be very freeing!  I came home with a great finishing banner, a lot of joy, and a tan.   Overall female results are here.   My activity on Strava is here - check out that split variation based on the elevation, hah!   My dad's video of the start is here.   My dad's video of me breaking the tape at the finish is here.   I love when races have & let you keep
    these finishing banners!   Athlinks says it was 87*...maybe in direct sun?   The long: I had no desire to run Hospital Hill this year until my friend Andrew started talking about pacing their 1:25 pace group.  We both thought that it was odd to offer a 1:25 group because anyone who could run that kind of time on that course in typical Missouri June weather probably didn't need any pacing assistance, and we also agreed that it would be about max for both of us to do it, but if we could get a free entry to pace then we should do it (follow this logic at all?).  I knew I could combine the race with a work trip, and my niece's high school graduation ceremony was 36 hours before the race in the same town, so it seemed like a no-brainer that I'd run it if I had a free entry.  Andrew ended up getting me that free entry, but with no pacing duties (the 1:25 group was axed), and although I briefly retracted my willingness to run it when we scheduled our family vacation right before the race, I felt fine enough when the time came so I lined up on race morning.   Missouri summers are very humid, and I was not yet heat adapted, so I knew race day with temperatures starting at 74 degrees and quickly rising was going to be uncomfortable.  The course is very hilly, including the infamous Hospital Hill climb, so I had zero expectations for time; I just wanted to work with Andrew and compete with the other women in the field.  My friend Laura was running the race, and I suspected she'd be my main competition (she'd won the race several times before).  I knew I'd have to have a good day to beat her, but also figured we could work together.  I wasn't in the mindset to throw down an extremely hard effort, but I knew I would if that's what it took.   I started off very conservatively, running easier than marathon effort for the first 5k, which included the 160ish ft Hospital Hill Climb.  I was with Andrew, his friend Josh, my friend Laura, and a man who wanted to break 1:30.  There were a couple of women ahead of us, and it was hard for me not to try to chase them down, but I kept it easy through the 5k then upped the effort a little, thinking, "it's just a 10 mile race".  Laura and I moved into the top two female positions around mile 4, and our group of 4 (Andrew, Josh, Laura, me) stayed pretty close, although we approached hills a bit differently.  I just aimed to maintain equal effort.  I don't race by my watch anymore regardless, but this race is definitely not one to run by split times because the elevation varies so much.  Our group chatted and laughed quite a bit and everyone seemed to be enjoying the race.  Laura and I got a lot of "go ladies" cheers, and Josh kept chiming in, "and men!" after them.  Andrew was very familiar with the course and kept narrating it for us, particularly emphasizing how sucky miles 11-12 were going to be.   Josh, Andrew, me   The saving grace on the hot sunny day was the amount of shade from large trees on the course.  If it had all been in open sun I am pretty sure I would have died!  I felt really good and like I was holding back, and around miles 7-8 I felt like others were easing off a little, so around mile 9 I started pushing more, then Josh and I gapped Andrew and Laura.  I knew that miles 11-12 were all uphill, then the last mile was downhill, so I gave effort accordingly.  I passed several men between mile 10 and the finish, which kept my momentum going.  At mile 11 I was definitely ready to get to mile 12 and the downhill, and Josh told me that I had a significant lead so I didn't plan to hammer the end, but the downhill propelled me to a 5:58 final mile.  I never felt like I was running that hard during the race, but the heat snuck up on me so I also don't think I could have run really any faster, so I'm glad I didn't try to early on (though mindset probably played into this)!  Overall I felt strong but not sharp, which is what I'd expect based on where I'm at right now.   Smiling as the announcer stated first female I had a lead cyclist with and around me from when Laura and I took the female lead to the end, and he was great.  We kept joking with him that he had to make sure I didn't cut the course.  As I was coming down the final stretch I saw him waving frantically at the finish line staff to hold up the overall female finishing banner.  It's always so fun to break a tape; I did so with a huge smile on my face and I even remembered not to stop my watch until I was through the line and stopped.  The only disadvantage to that was that I didn't capture how fast my finishing sprint was, but we all know I'm not setting any speed records in anything, so...  My parents said they announced that I set the female course record (the course has been changed since they used to give prize money), but I haven't found anything official about that anywhere yet.  I also completely forgot to pick up my overall award, but I'm pretty happy with the banner.
    Professional finishing photo sequence   Post-finish photos from race officials After I finished some of the race staff took my photo, my parents took pictures, and a race official asked me about the event and how easy the course was to follow (answer: it was great, except the runners behind us who were going out when we were coming back moved over to the shorter route lane of the road, so we ran the longer route going both out and back, which added a little distance).  I met back up with Josh and Andrew, who both finished right behind me.  Andrew was pleased to hit the 1:25 goal - pre-race we'd hypothesized that 1:25 on that course in the heat was like 1:20 on a good course in good weather, then post-race he determined that temperature calculators like this one give us 14-18 seconds/mile, and the course (based on Strava GAP) gives us 4 seconds/mile, so our performance probably is equivalent to a 1:19-1:20.  This premium Strava user finished not far behind me, so you can look at his grade adjusted paces.  I have enjoyed running races that I know I won't run super fast in this season though!  I love PR-chasing, but it's also a joy to just go compete and do my best given the conditions, without worrying about seconds here and there.  I also seem to also be doing well on long races with climbs towards the end (e.g., every single race I have run in 2021 aside from the Squirrel 5k), although I will not select courses like this for PR-chasing.
      The last mile was nice!   My parents took a bunch of pics with
    this banner while I ran my cool down Aren't they the cutest? This summer I will be doing a little less mileage and a little more speed work before transitioning into marathon training.  Speed stuff is not my forte but it will be good for me, and I am hoping to challenge my 5k PR.  My next long race (another half) will be August 28, which seems really far away even though it's not, so I'm extra glad I got this one in.  I continue to be amazed at the blessings God gives me through running, especially considering that a year ago I was highly skeptical that I would ever run well again.  That was probably dramatic, but us runners are likely to defer to that when off running or not performing well, so if you are in that situation, don't stop believing!  That time period has made me far less obsessive about times and finding "perfect" races, so I imagine that was part of the blessing in disguise.  I've loved every race I've run this year, but a few years ago I don't think I'd have selected any of them! I bought this great top for a 4th of July
    race, but since I'm not running one I
    decided to wear it for Hospital Hill!  
  18. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    May 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month: 289.8 April 26-May 2:  60.2 May 3-9:  77.7 May 10-16:  63.0 May 17-23:  41.5 May 24-30: 69.1 We made the May OMRR newsletter cover! Just a normal Thursday morning! Races: May 15: Tobacco Road Marathon (non-technical dirt trail) in 2:48:51 for 2nd overall female and exactly what I needed! Final workout before Tobacco Road First workout back after Tobacco Road Workouts: May 1: 3 x 1 mile at marathon pace/1 mile easy at the end of a 14 mile run.  I'd planned to do a 2 mile fast finish on my long run if I felt good, and I felt great but to coordinate with Christian's workout I did the 3 x 1 instead.  My MP miles were 6:14, 6:13, 6:14, so I was proud of the consistency and closeness to my goal pace of 6:15. May 5:  4, 3, 2, 1 mile progressive tempos with 0.5 recoveries (3.6 warm up, 1.1 cool down for a 16.2 mile day) in 6:21, 6:20, 6:17, 6:11 / 6:18, 6:15, 6:14 / 6:12, 6:21 / 6:06 (average 6:15). We ran this on our FR 209 rolling route that feels uphill both ways (463 ft of gain) for some additional strength building, and this was the best I've ever run this workout!  I usually do it on our fast loop course, which is about 10 seconds/mile faster than the route I did for this one - in September 2019  I averaged 6:20 and in August 2019 I averaged 6:14, both on the fast loop - so I felt really, really good about this workout.  It was also my first time running it 10 days after a 50k. 🙂 Christian ran the 4 mile and 2 miles of the 3 mile with me, and Colin ran the whole thing with me - I definitely needed pulling along towards the end, particularly on the second mile of the 2 mile bit, which was definitely uphill.  This was a confidence-booster, which was needed since it was my only real workout between my two big races! May 8:  12 miles with 11 x 0:30 pickups, one during each mile after mile 1 (supposed to be 10 but I missed one on my watch and ended up doing an extra). I'm always amazed at how much faster I end up running an entire easy run just by adding some pickups.  Improvements in efficiency for the win! May 11: 4 x 1 mile at MP with 1:30 jog recoveries, otherwise known as The Taper Workout Everyone Runs Too Fast, which I effectively did in 6:10, 6:10, 6:05, 6:05 on our rolling FR 209 route.  The weather was perfect, I was feeling the taper, I was running with Christian, and I was bursting with pre-race excitement! May 25:  Mixed system workout of 5 x 1:00 at 5k effort/1:00 off (2:00 jog after final 1:00 on), 3 miles at half effort (walk down hill after tempo), 5 x 0:30 hill sprints (walk down hill between each) - 1:00 pushes were 5:21-5:48 (average 5:38) and the half pace miles were 6:09, 6:19 (up Mentor hill), 6:11.  Christian is running a June half and this was her workout, and I thought it sounded very fun so jumped it for it and it did not disappoint!  Well, except for the hill sprints, those were not that fun and before each one I said I was going to stop after it but didn’t until the workout was over, bahaha!  This was definitely a reminder that I like half pace for several miles much better than 5k pace for a minute or sprinting up a hill for 30 seconds. #truemarathoner  We ran this on a rolling route so paces fluctuated based on elevations changes, and it was also my first workout in warmer, humid temps at 67* and 94% humidity.  Oh, also I'd just run a marathon 10 days before so there was that. May 28:  16 miles with 2 easy, 2 at Christian’s goal half pace (6:22, 6:20), then 12 easy.  We left on family vacation shortly after this run; the only reason I ran the May 25 workout or this one was because I planned to run only easy from May 26-June 4.  There was supposed to be another 2 mile tempo towards the end, but Christian wasn’t feeling up for it and there was no other reason for me to do it. Colin also ran this with us and I appreciated them both running long a day early for me!  May 31:  Fartlek of 3 x 3:00, 2:00, 1:00 ons and 1:30, 1:00, 0:30 offs (3 miles warm up, 3 miles cool down).  I was on family vacation, and I generally don't like running workouts when traveling, but I felt like doing something light this morning so I went with a short effort-based fartlek.  The Nashville route I ran was hilly, so my paces weren't very consistent, but most were 5:31-5:58 (one was 6:19 but I am pretty sure it was uphill because all of the pushes felt much harder than marathon pace). Strides:  May 4, 10, 13, 14, 24, 27. Doubles:  May 2, 3, 4, 6, 10. Strength Training:  weekly totals of 2:30, 2:14, 1:02, 1:36, 2:14. I did several days of
    overdressing/heat training   I didn't get the outfit memo before this run   On the run   Back from NC! Long Runs: May 1: 14.2 miles (7:28) that included 3 x 1 mile at marathon pace in 6:14, 6:13, 6:14.  This was one week after my 50k, which I came back really well from, but for the first couple of minutes of the first faster mile, my body was like, "whhhhaaaaat are we doing?"  Then it felt smooth and fun.  I overdressed a lot for heat adaptation on this run (a fleece lined long sleeve and ear warmer at a sunny 60 degrees). May 5:  16.2 miles, described above in workouts.  I did this one smack dab in the middle of the time between my 50k and marathon, so that I would have one real long runs and one real workout between them, which I probably needed more mentally than physically. May 8:  12.1 miles (7:40) with 11 x 0:30 pickups, one during each mile after the first.  I ran this on the Frisco trail with friends so entertaining that they prevented me from having flashbacks to miles 23-29 of my 50k! May 15:  27.7 miles (26.2 @ 6:25) with the Tobacco Road Marathon! May 22: 12 miles easy (7:59) on the Frisco Highline Trail (a.k.a, my 50k trail). Around mile 8 of this run, we found a stray kitten in the middle of nowhere, and Christian adopted her and named her Frisco!  This process included her jogging 4 miles carrying the kitten wrapped in her shirt. May 23:  12.1 miles easy (7:52), for what I guess was the return of back-to-back long runs, hah!  This may be why I need a schedule.  This weekend was also the start of heat/humidity adaptation. May 28:  16 miles (7:52) mostly easy, aside from 2 miles at Christian’s half pace, described above. I managed to run on the Frisco trail
    again 2 & 4 weeks after the 50k!   Introducing the kitten Frisco Wet long run Running Highlights: 4 days recovering, 8 days of training, and 9 days of tapering between my 50k and marathon! My marathon and post-race euphoria. I managed to take 4 days off after the marathon, which is a lot for me!  I am in the midst of 3 weeks with no specific training schedule, but it probably surprises no one that I have been running a decent amount and jumped into a couple of Christian's workouts. Sometimes our post-run photos are a stretch Life Highlights: I am beyond thankful for my race trip to North Carolina.  I was pleased with my race, but the girls' trip with Christian produced countless lifetime memories and so many laughs. We are currently on a family trip in Tennessee and Kentucky, so more details will be coming in a future post and my June update. I hadn't taken any time off work since before COVID, so I made up for some lost time with two vacations! Albani completed 7th grade on May 19!  She is now 5'2" and not a little girl anymore. My niece Story ran the 400 m and 4 x 400 m at state track (placing 13th and 5th, respectively) and completed high school!  In the fall she will be attending Barnard College, which is an extension of Columbia University, in New York.  She will run on Columbia's track team. My 4:45 a.m. companions before every run   Albani's 7th grade girls track team - the junior
    high team all together was huge! Nugget was not excited   Traditional pick up photo!   Books: Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain When I Hold You by Ashley Huffstutler The Midnight Library by Matt Haig The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty Wedding Cocktails: Cocktails for Three & The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson Here Is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan Rest and Be Thankful by Emma Glass How to Stop Time by Matt Haig Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline   Theme for the month: Endorphins!  This month basically consisted of post-race euphoria following the Frisco 50k, pre-race excitement for the Tobacco Road Marathon, race trip excitement, post-marathon euphoria, then family summer vacation joy.  I apologize to anyone who was around me this month for my uncontainable excitement!
  19. SIbbetson
    The Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, North Carolina was exactly what I needed!  When I initially decided to add a marathon to my season after my 50k, I wanted to PR-chase, but no options for that pursuit lined up (details here), which I now see as one of the biggest blessings God could have given me.  I went into this race with no time goal because I wasn't sure how much the gravel would slow me down.  My major goals were to enjoy it all, to be thankful, and to compete in the elite field.  What I ended up getting was what I think is the best marathon I've ever run!  While my time of 2:48:51 is nearly 3 minutes off my PR, based on the gravel course and elevation (including the climbing from mile 21-25), I think it was a stronger performance than the 2:46:08 I ran on a nearly perfect course with a pack of women.  I have also never felt so strong during the final miles of a marathon, which was a victory by itself.  I took home $1000 for placing 2nd overall female, so my hubby's happy too!
    The race spaced out starting times due to COVID restrictions, and I started at 5:58 a.m. with only the marathon elites, with the first wave of non-elites right behind at 6:00 a.m.  They started the elites together so we would know who we were racing, which only worked when those contending for top spots started in the elite wave (more on that later; it did not affect me).  I knew a woman with a low-2:30 marathon PR was entered, meaning I'd most likely be racing for 2nd at best, and when she went out at sub-6:00 pace that confirmed my suspicion.  For the first mile I was with two other women, who I met and talked goals with to see if we could work together - it was going to be very lonely for any female elites out there alone.  Lauren's goal was to break 2:50, and I told her I suspected I'd be in the high 2:40s if the gravel was what I expected, so we immediately teamed up.  She and I eased away from the other woman, and also eased our pace down gradually for the first few miles.
    This image represents most of the course;
    so thankful to run with others the whole
    way because it all looked the same! The first 2.5 miles of the the race are on the road, then there are two long out and backs on the American Tobacco Trail, a rails to trails gravel path, then back the same 2.5 miles of road to the finish.  Lauren and I ran side by side for about 21 miles of the race, and were joined by Gabe, a man who caught up to us from the 6:00 a.m. start, for a good portion of it.  I was really excited to help Lauren to her first sub-2:50 and she looked very strong.  Around mile 21 I pulled a few steps ahead as I worked towards a man ahead of us, using my 50k strength to power up a very long incline, and I continued to encourage her to stay on me; we "just" needed a 40 minute final 10k.  I went into the race without a time goal, although ironically I'd told Jon that if the gravel was okay I thought I could run 2:48, which he told me was too ambitious for gravel.  During the race, once I knew what to expect with the gravel, teamed up with Lauren, and saw our half split, my for-sure became sub-2:50, though I knew splits would fluctuate based on the elevation and I didn't use my watch aside from looking at my half and 20 mile elapsed times.  
    I sure have a knack for choosing races
    with climbs at the end this season! Around mile 22 I caught the man I'd been gradually chasing down, and he looked like he felt good for that point in the race.  I encouraged him to go with me and he did.  The road was a nice sight to see at 23.7ish, and I knew I was going to close well.  I ended up running a 6:07 final mile for a 2:48:51 and a second overall female finish, which the race announcer broadcast to a few spectators (spectators were discouraged with COVID protocols).  Lauren was just behind me for her first sub-2:50 marathon, and we were quickly in a sweaty hug.  It's amazing how much you can bond with someone you've never before met over shared miles!
    I thought my splits lined up well
    with the elevation changes It's rare to feel that a race really couldn't have gone any better, so I treasure that feeling about this one (although it would have been better for me if the overall female has slept in, hah!). I ran my 4th fastest marathon ever on a course that was far slower than anything I've run sub-3:00 on before (unless you count my marathon split of my 50k - Tobacco Road dirt was better maintained than Frisco dirt).  I spent so long chasing the perfect marathon day (fast course, deep competitive field, ideal weather) and a very specific marathon time, while feeling like anything short of that was a let-down, which made this experience very freeing.  I never stopped loving the marathon, I just didn't love feeling like a failure even when I ran (what I thought were) really good marathons of 2:46-2:49.  This marathon was just what I needed.
    In addition to the race, this was the first time I've taken time off work or traveled anywhere except to visit family in Kansas since before COVID.  I also really needed a vacation, and the Lord sure blessed me with this opportunity for an amazing girls' trip with Christian.
    My Strava activity is here.
    My official race results are here.
    Overall results are here.
    You can read about the overall female winner here.
  20. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    April 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month: 307.1 March 29-April 4: 101.6 April 5-11:  92.0 April 12-18:  72.6 April 19-25:  52.5 April 26-May 2:  60.2 I take my best professional
    race photos in training races Though this one from mile 21 at
    Frisco came out well #runhappy Races: April 17: Clinton Historic Half Marathon in 1:24:37 for 1st overall female, for a fun training race and $200! April 24:  Frisco Railroad Run 50k in 3:34:41 for first overall person, the open female Missouri state record, the course record, the top female 50k time in North America in 2021 so far, and my ultra debut! Top right photo - Colin's urgent care bracelet the
    day after a dog bit him on our 22 miler
    Bottom right photo - Abby gave me a 24 pack of
    my favorite discontinued gels - I was SO excited! Workouts: April 3:  4 mile progressive fast finish on the tail end of a 22 miler in 6:54, 6:34, 6:27, 6:02. This whole run felt great and flew by.  In December 2019, I did a 21 miler with a 3 mile fast finish at the end of a 100 mile week, and I could not hit my paces, so to have them come comfortably on this run when I'd seen 106 on my rolling 7 the day before was a nice confidence boost.  I wasn't aiming to run as fast as I did - I just planned to drop 10-15 seconds/mile from where we were at, so more like 7:10, 6:55, 6:40, 6:25 - but Christian pushed the first mile and then I wanted to keep progressing from there!  I decided I wanted to run the final mile at MGP (6:15), but Colin pushed me to go faster. It's good to have fast friends! April 7:  15 x 1k with 1:00 recoveries in 3:37, 3:38, 3:35, 3:34, 3:40, 3:34, 3:37, 3:38, 3:42, 3:38, 3:44, 3:41, 3:41, 3:37, 3:42 (that's 5:45-6:00 pace, average was 5:52), 14.7 miles total with warm up and cool down.  It's been a long time since I've run a workout PR, and this was one so YAY!  At the end of February I did 12 x 1k and averaged 6:00 on a perfect weather day, so though initially my goal for this workout was to run the same pace or faster, when it was 64 degrees with 18 mph wind on workout morning, I was doubtful.  My stomach was also bothering me a bit and I nearly switched it with the 50k pace work I had scheduled for April 10, but Christian was running 6 x 1k and encouraged me to stick to the 1ks and I'm glad I did!  She ran the first 6 with me and got me out a little hot, then I really wanted to keep it under 6:00 for the remainder and I almost did (the 3:44 one - 6:00 pace exactly - had the most headwind and incline; I fought for it but couldn't quite do it).  I had the workout 12-15 x 1k about 2.5 weeks before I ran the Indy Monumental Marathon, and I stopped at 12 that day and averaged 5:54 pace, so to improve on that workout not only in pace but with more reps and in non-ideal conditions was really, really exciting to me (description of that workout on Oct. 22 here)!  I ran the same course both times, and it was windy both times, so it's very comparable.  Although, I called the 2019 workout mediocre and think this one was fantastic.  I was mad at the marathon for a bit, but after my recent workouts and what I ran at the T-Town Half under not ideal race conditions, I am salivating to run one because I think I could really nail one (i.e., PR) right now. April 10:  18.2 mile long run alternating 1 mile easy/1 mile at 50k pace, on the Frisco trail (which my April 24 50k was on).  Splits were 8:10, 6:47, 7:29, 6:40, 7:21, 6:48, 7:31, 6:33, 7:21, 6:37, 7:29, 6:42, 7:27, 6:42, 7:23, 6:34, 7:37, 6:41, and the run felt great.  My heart rate was between 143-156 on the 50k pace miles, which seemed promising, and I was reminded that the Frisco trail has a lot of long inclines and is kind of a wind tunnel...not really the best characteristics for a race course, but aiming for 6:45 pace on it still seemed much less intimidating than trying to run 26.2 at 6:15 pace! April 13:  6 mile wave tempo alternating 0.5 at marathon pace/0.5 at tempo (3 warm up, 3.1 cool down).  My goal paces were 6:15/5:55 and half mile splits were: 3:05, 2:58, 3:08, 2:52, 3:05, 2:57, 3:08, 2:58, 3:03, 3:00, 3:04, 2:52 (average pace 6:01 for the whole workout), so I was a little under target paces. I felt like I could have run several more miles of the 0.5/0.5, so I allowed myself to speed up on the final bit. It was great to finish this workout, which I consider 6 at 6:01 The Hard Way (uneven pacing), with some left in the tank.  My possible lifetime best workout was 10 miles alternating 4:00 tempo/2:00 marathon pace in 2019 (detailed under Oct. 15 here), and I think I could have matched it on this workout day if I'd have had more miles on tap. This workout was the icing on the cake of for this delicious training block. April 17:  The Clinton Historic Half Marathon was kind of like a mystery workout where I didn't know what pace I was going to need to run until I was doing it!  It ended up being 13.2 at 6:24 average and a pretty negative split. April 20:  Final little workout of 3 miles at 50k pace (6:43, 6:43, 6:38), 0.5 easy, 0.5 hard (2:49) (3 warm up, 3 cool down).  50k pace was much like running-easy-runs-too-fast pace; 5:38 pace felt good to stride out, which is how I know I'm tapered. Strides:  April 6, 9, 12, 16, 23, 30. Doubles:  April 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 29. Strength Training: weekly totals of 3:01, 3:05, 2:00, 1:03, 2:30. Twinning + photobombers (Elise wore this
    shirt a few days later, see photo collage above) Never a dull moment with this crew Long Runs: April 3:  22.2 miles (7:28), mostly easy plus a 4 mile fast finish, described above.  I ran a 9 mile loop then a 13 mile loop, so had several friends in and out (Rebecca, Derek, Casey, and Christian), and Colin did the whole 22.  I felt strong and smooth the whole way, and the progressive fast finish came pretty easily (vs. having to fight for it as I have many times in the past).  A dog bit Colin about halfway through this run, although none of us realized how bad it was until afterward, so that was the downside of the day!  We thought perhaps the dog had been mistreated by men, because it ran right past me and Christian and sunk its teeth into Colin's leg (at that point in the run it was just us 3). April 4:  14.3 miles (7:56) that felt fantastic on Easter morning!  Casey and Colin did all 14 and Abby did 12 for another great group with great conversation. April 10:  18.2 miles (7:07), with a workout described above.  Christian and Casey ran the first 14 miles with me, and I'm at the point where 18 feels short. April 11:  12.2 miles (7:57), which wrapped up my back-to-back long runs for the season, which I was sad about because I loved them so! April 17:  16.3 miles (13.2 at 6:24), which was probably both farther and faster than I should have run, but see race recap for rationale. April 24:  31.1 miles at 6:54 pace!  I came through 13.1 in 1:29:19, through 26.2 in 2:58:10, felt good until 27, and then fought to keep moving (7:20-7:45 final 4 miles), but am still proud of this debut on a dirt trail.  Details and links to more details here. When you run farther you miss the official photo   Running Highlights: I set a new rolling 7-day mileage PR of 106.1 miles from March 27-April 2.  I won't be bettering this record for awhile, but perhaps some day.... I learned a lot this season; details here. Taper crazies hit in full effect during the final week before my 50k.  My fun race on April 17 helped me from going nuts that week, even though 72 miles felt pretty light.  During the final week I ended up with a steeper taper than planned, because on April 18 my right TFL (tensor fasciae latae) muscle started bothering me.  Long story short, it felt completely fine during my 50k so I think I made the right call by taking some extra rest before it...either that or the pain was caused by not running enough and the 50k fixed it, bahaha!  More details on this whole thing here. Really only 11 runs (2 days of splitting up warm
    up, race or workout, cool down) Life Highlights: Jon and Albani gardened a lot; I helped a little. Albani continued her track season, with her favorite event being the 100 m.  I loved going to meets!  She didn't get to run in many meets due to the size of her team though. My parents visited for a long weekend, including my 50k and an extended family BBQ that afternoon. Each of these 2 just keeps growing!   Nugget helping with plant starters   It snowed on April 20th...   Not amused Books: Bravey by Alexi Pappas Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey She Believes: Embracing the Life You Were Created to Live by Debby Lindell The Champion Mindset: An Athlete's Guide to Mental Toughness by Joanna Zeiger Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall   Theme for the month: Fitness and never taking it for granted.  This month I began matching or bettering PR workouts from 2019, which was beyond exciting.  I had a minor TFL issue during my 50k taper, which was a very acute reminder that nothing is guaranteed and if you're not healthy fitness doesn't matter!  I thank God for the reminder, for the progress, and for my health. This one's a great workout buddy!    
  21. SIbbetson
    The short-ish:
    I'm an ultra marathoner!  On April 24, I took on the 50k distance for the first time on a non-technical dirt trail in Willard, Missouri.  I knew I was fit, but I also knew how much could go wrong in a race of this distance!  Lucky for me, things went right for 27 miles and I fought through the final 4 miles well enough to land an overall person win, an overall women's Missouri state record, a course record (faster than the men's course record), and a killer runner's high.  My official time was 3:34:41, which is currently listed as the top 50k time by a North American female so far in 2021, so check out this website before they add Des Linden's time!
    Andrew & Colin both broke the previous men's
    course record & set single age state records! I ran most of the race with my friends Colin and Andrew, and I definitely couldn't had done it without them...the trail pretty much looks the same for the entire race.  Colin and I did months of back-to-back long runs together to prepare for this day, and Andrew was our mobile DJ with a very fun playlist (I mean, I was singing Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" at mile 14).  We got separated when I stopped to pee around mile 18, which only took me 14 seconds per Strava.  After that when I was trying to chase Colin back down before the next aid station (so that my family, who awesomely came to every aid station, didn't think I was fading) and trying to keep my pee stop mile under 7:00 (because at that point I was still naive enough to be confident that I was going to keep all my miles under 7:00), I lost Andrew.  I couldn't quite reel in Colin until he stopped at a porta potty, then when he did I suddenly found myself leading the race!
    27 miles of the race felt great, then I ran out of gas.  I will take nutrition differently the next time I run a 50k, because I had 1,000 calories lined up to take in but only managed about half of them; considering I take 400 during a marathon, 500 was not cutting it. I didn't have any stomach/GI upset, but I felt extremely full from so much liquid - like I'd just eaten Thanksgiving dinner! - and couldn't get any more in (I also started my period about 12 hours after the race finish, which likely contributed).  I passed 13.1 in 1:29:19 and 26.2 in 2:58:10, which were both ideal because I was aiming to average 6:45 pace for the whole shebang, but my final 4 miles were not so hot (7:25, 7:27, 7:45, 7:47 - although the final 3 are also all incline), so I lost my super-amazing-perfect-day goal of breaking 3:30 there, but I made it in!
    The course pretty much all looked like this, but I
    was well aware of what I was in for My verse for the race was: "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9.  Tackling 31 miles for the first time was scary even though I knew I was well trained!  I mostly tried not to think about the distance, or thought it was only 5 miles more than a marathon.
    Also I take back all the times leading up to this race that I said, "It's only 5 miles more than a marathon."  I am sure I have a lot to learn about the 50k, but from this one I think it's a very different race!  I thought 6:45 pace was very reasonable given that I only slow down about 15 seconds/mile from the half to full marathon and I think I'm in shape to run 6:15 pace for a road marathon right now (although this race was on dirt), but the final 4 miles sure taught me a lesson.  My body was like, "wait, we always stop running by now", lol!
    Multiple long recaps coming!
    Race results are here (type in "50K" under division).
    North American 50k top performances are here.
    State 50k records are here, although they aren't updated when I'm publishing this.
    Course records are here, although as per everything else they aren't updated in my overeagerness to post this.
    My Strava activity is here.
  22. SIbbetson
    The short:
    I added the Clinton Historic Half Marathon to my race schedule less than a week before the race.  With my 50k being a week after Clinton, I didn't want to run too hard, but I thought/hoped I could win it without running all out.  My running buddies Colin and Brad rode to the race with me, making for a fun trip, and I ended up cruising to 1st overall female in 1:24:37, which was faster than I thought I was going to need to run but still felt comfortable enough that I'm not worried I overdid it.  And since I won $200, my decision paid off!
    Official results are here.
    My Strava activity is here.
    Miles from Mentor crew The long:
    I've eyed the Clinton Historic Half Marathon for a few years, because it offers prize money and is about a 90 minute drive from my home.  The race date has never lined up for me before, and it didn't this year either (i.e., it was 1 week before my 50k), but I decided to do it anyway, and my kind of embarrassing goal was to do the least I could to win overall female.
    I drove up race morning with two men from my running group - lucky for me none of the women wanted to race.  Brad was racing hard, and Colin was aiming for a moderate run (6:30ish pace) since he is also running the 50k next weekend.  Based on past results, I was hoping I could run in the high 1:20's and win, but before the race I saw a couple in University of Central Missouri cross-country warm up gear, and told Brad they were probably our competition, then soon after saw the female of the pair in buns (buns = you mean business).  Then Colin spotted a girl in Alphaflys and a crop, so when the race delayed the start for 10 minutes I did a real warm up and prepared myself to run harder than I'd originally thought.  There was only prize money for first overall male and female, so second went home with $0, which made me a little nervous given the circumstances (e.g., I didn't want to kill myself but knew I would if that's what it took).
    Start Initially I got out in first female position, but quickly eased back and waited for someone else.  The woman in buns pulled up with me and I figured she was going to be my competition and settled in next to her.  The effort felt easier than marathon effort, so I felt comfortable with the situation.  Around mile 2 the woman in the crop and Alphaflys passed us, and I left the other woman to go with her.  I could tell the lady in the crop was picking up the pace and she looked strong, but I still felt very comfortable.  The next several miles I ran with or slightly behind her, with Colin a bit ahead of us.  It was nice having him to follow because the course wasn't the easiest to follow!  Around mile 5, the woman in the crop grabbed a water from an aid station and I pulled a few steps ahead and was willing to lead at that point, but she pulled back in front of me so I figured she liked leading.  Nothing too eventful happened; we followed the course arrows and talked here and there.  Several times I felt like she was surging to try to drop me, but I was that annoying girl who sticks on you.  I could tell we were gaining a bit on Colin, and around mile 8 we caught him, so then all 3 of us were running together.  
    Running happy early on Colin knew my race plan, and I knew he was running much slower than he was capable of, so I felt like we kind of had a secret as we were running with the other lady.  At about mile 9.5 she grabbed a water from an aid station and we got a few steps ahead, so I told Colin, "Now is the time to go" and we picked it up for what ended up being our fastest miles (10 in 6:13 and 11 in 6:03).  I then felt pretty comfortable with my lead so backed off to maintain but not push, and as per the courses I keep choosing this season, this one had a lot of uphill in the final two miles, but it was much more pleasant when not running all out (note: maybe don't run this one for a PR attempt)!  I told Colin I wasn't kicking and he didn't have any desire to either, so we finished together in 1:24:37, although the results have him edging me by 0.3, so he is the victor.  I told him if they held out a finishing tape for me he should sprint ahead and run through it, then I'd act mad, but, alas, no tape.  The announcer identified me as the first female finisher, and said my name and hometown.
    I sure know how to pick courses in 2021 😉 Once we finished and received our paper bags of snacks and finishers medals, we found out that Brad ran an awesome PR of 1:12 for second overall male!  The race director came over to me with my award and cash, and another race official took our photo.  It was the fastest award delivery I've ever had!  A lady in a lion costume (I am still not clear who she was) took of a photo of all 3 of us and sent it to us later that day.  We did a short cool down then had brunch at the Ben Franklin Bistro, a quaint cafe on the Clinton Square, before driving back to Springfield.  I was glad the guys came along; we had a fun drive both ways with lots of stories and laughs.
    Post-race mandatory photo
      Colin's dramatic reenactment of how
     it feels to get 4th when you could 
    have easily won an award This non-raced race was a nice confidence boost because it felt so comfortable and my average heart rate was lower than it runs in a marathon (which is good considering I like to think I'm in PR marathon shape right now!).  Now for a week of not running much, before I tackle the most running I've ever done in a day on April 24!
  23. SIbbetson

    monthly recap
    March 2021 in review!  
    Total mileage for the month: 428.2, which is a pretty significant new monthly mileage PR for me (my previous was 400.2 in Dec. 2019) March 1-7:  102.2 March 8-14:  91.9 March 15-21:  100.2 March 22-28:  90.3 March 29-April 4: projected at 100 Races: March 13:  Running of the Squirrels 5k in 18:36 (5:58 pace) for 1st overall female.  I accomplished the goals I had for this training race and really enjoyed the day, even with the constant rain for all 17.7 miles I ran! March 27:  T-Town Half Marathon in 1:21:52 (6:11 pace) for 1st overall female.  I pretty much had the time of my life on the trip to this race with my running buddies, and my half performance and state record in 60 degrees running solo on some tricky elevation was icing on the cake. Workouts: March 3:  4 x 0:30 hill sprints with full recoveries, 6 x 1 mile tempos with 1:00 recoveries, 4 x 0:30 hill sprints with full recoveries - tempo splits were 6:03, 6:02, 5:56, 6:01, 6:01, 5:57 and hill sprint paces averaged about 6:15 (I miss free GAP!), 3 warm up, 2 cool down.  I was really pleased with how this went, because it was my first time nailing a workout during/after a 100 mile week!  During the first bit of each mile tempo I felt fatigued, but then I felt stronger as the mile went by.  We had a great group for this workout (Casey, Colin, Rebecca, Elise), and although I didn't have a pace match it's so helpful to have others out there working.  March 6:  22 mile workout of 4 easy, 14 alternating 1 mile at marathon pace/1 mile at marathon pace + 1:00, 4 easy.  My goal for the marathon pace miles was to start at 6:30 and work down to 6:20, because I think my current marathon fitness is about 6:25.  My splits for the 14 alternating were 6:34, 7:32, 6:29, 7:23, 6:28, 7:27, 6:28, 7:16, 6:22, 7:27, 6:18, 7:19, 6:08, 7:40 - averaging 6:24 for the marathon pace miles, so perfect - although 6:08 is definitely not within my current marathon pace and I could sure feel that when running it.  Aside from that mile the workout felt really great and Colin ran every step of the way with me, which was helpful!  As with the March 3 workout, I was excited to hit this during such a high mileage week, and it gave me hope that maybe 100 mile weeks could be my marathon training sweet spot after all (I previously thought 90 was best because in 2019 I couldn't hit workouts during 100 mile weeks)... March 10:  4 x 1:00 at 5k effort/1:00 off (2:00 jog before tempo), 4 mile tempo, jog to hill (took 3:11), 4 x 0:30 hill sprints (3.1 warm up, 3.2 cool down) - 1:00 pushes were 5:44, 5:40, 5:43, 5:50 pace, the 4 mile tempo splits were 6:08, 6:14, 6:16, 6:05, and the hill sprints were 5:57-6:04 (on the same hill I averaged 6:15 on the previous week!).  I wanted to be a little faster on the tempo segment (6:00ish), but we were in a wind advisory with 20+ mph winds and 30+ mph gusts, so I think wind-graded I did okay.  I felt good but not fantastic; I had a lot of miles on my legs and felt strong but not that fast. Casey, Christian, Colin, and David all ran part/all of the workout, and although no one really matched on pace as always it was nice to be out there working together! March 13:  5k race in 18:36 via 5:57, 6:03, 5:57 (5:26 final 0.12), full recovery, 3 mile marathon effort in 6:26, 6:40, 6:20 (3.4 warm up and 8.2 cool down for 17.7 on the day).  You can read more about this in my race recap here, and all of these miles were wet! March 17 (St Pats!): 6 mile wave tempo (0.5 at tempo/0.5 at marathon pace) + 4 x 1:00 hard.  My half mile splits on the 12 segments of the wave tempo were 3:00, 3:08, 3:01, 3:12, 3:00, 3:08, 3:06, 3:09, 3:04, 3:11, 2:56, 3:09, and my paces on the 1:00s were messed up but averaged 5:11 for the final 3 (I didn't get the first on my watch at all - and full disclosure two of them were on declines).  I was aiming for 6:05 pace on the tempos and 6:25 on the marathon pace portions so was generally a shade under. For a few segments in the middle there wasn't as much pace differentiation as I wanted, but it seemed like those tempos were up inclines and against the wind while the marathon pace was down decline with the wind to my back, so the effort felt more differentiated than the splits showed.  This was a really good workout for me because I struggle with finding different gears, so I was especially happy to get the 1:00s hard clearly faster than tempo pace - they also felt like the longest minute ever! March 20:  Pushes of 0.2 at 6:03-6:15 pace alternating with 0.8 easy for the last 10 miles of my 23 mile long run. I was aiming for 6:15 pace on these and was a little under on most. I felt fantastic on this long run and it didn't feel long at all, which the pushes likely helped with since they broke it up. March 23: 3 x 1 mile at half pace (6:07, 5:58 aided, 6:05) with 1:30 jog recoveries + 4 x 0:30 hard with full standing recoveries (paces of 5:02, 5:02, 4:54, 4:52 - the final 2 were aided), 3 warm up, 3.1 cool down. The wind was 28 mph the morning of this run so we ran in a way that we didn't have any headwind on the fast portions of the run, which also made the second mile at half pace have 58 feet of elevation drop (it was probably more like 6:08 effort).  The final two 0:30 efforts only had 5 and 7 feet of drop respectively, but maybe that's a lot within 30 seconds? My goal was 6:05-6:10 and have it not feel too hard, and it was successful!  Had I run any efforts into the wind, it would have undoubtedly felt too hard. March 31:  6 mile light fartlek of 3:00 on/3:00 off on hills (3 warm up, 4 cool down).  Because I was still feeling a bit fatigued after my big weekend (25.7 miles including a half marathon race on Saturday + 15.3 miles on Sunday), I did this at a moderate instead of hard effort, aiming for the pushes to be about marathon pace.  They were 6:07-6:39, and I felt good aside from on the significant uphills.  We decided we would not run a pace-based workout on that route in the future! Strides: March 2, 9, 12, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 26, 27, 30 Doubles:  March 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31 Strength Training:  weekly totals of 3:12, 2:30, 3:05, 1:25 Long Runs: March 6:  22.2 miles (7:16), with a workout described above.  Colin and Casey also ran this workout and it's always ideal to have company for 22 milers! March 7:  15 miles (8:10), which didn't feel too long but I was glad it was an easy paced run!  Rebecca, Abby, Casey, Colin, and David  joined for 10-15 of this run, and friends make the miles fly. March 13:  17.7 miles, including 3.4 miles warm up, the Running of the Squirrels 5k, a 3 mile marathon pace effort, and 8.2 cool down. March 14:  14.5 miles (8:07), that was supposed to be 13 but my running group was misguided on the route, hah.  We had a solid group - Christian, Sean, David, Rebecca, Colin, and Casey - and everyone ran long since the March 13 group run was canceled due to the deluge. March 20:  23.3 miles (7:24), with 10 x 0.2 pushes, described above. Colin ran all of the miles with me and Casey did the first 13 with us.  I felt amazingly good on this run, and we ran it on the dirt trail that I will race on next month.  I didn't do a Sunday long run on March 21 since I was racing the following weekend! March 27:  25.7 miles, including 2.6 warm up, the T-Town Half Marathon, and 10 more miles.  I was proud to get this done, and also proud of my restraint for not going 0.5 farther. I'd planned 25 so was over my distance, but Colin was also running 25 and had warmed up 2 miles so I finished with him, which was a testament to how decent I felt (on my cool down after the Cabin Fever Reliever 20k I did not run one extra step). March 28:  15.3 miles (8:09), to complete my biggest weekend of 50k training!  I have no idea how I felt good doing this the day after running over 25 miles that included racing a hard half, but I did.  This weekend was my biggest weekend of 50k training and I feel ready!
      Running Highlights: Well, I raced more this month than I did in all of 2020, so there is that! I realized that every race I run right now is a masters PR, so cheers to two masters PRs this month. I ran my second and third 100+ mile weeks of 2021 (my first was the final week of February).  The last week of February + first week was of March was my first time running two 100+ mile weeks in a row.  I've now done 100 miles in a week 5 times so I guess I should stop writing about it, but it still feels like a milestone to me!  As this is published I'm working on my fourth one of 2021, before I begin a gradual 3 week taper. I won a Garmin 745 on an Instagram giveaway! I would have never splurged for this model on my own, but I'm planning to enjoy it now.  My 235 still works great so my husband is now using it, and I gave my 220 that he was using to a friend who needed one, so the benefits of this win were exponential. I heard about this running shoe review website on a podcast, and have bookmarked it for the next time I'm in the market for racing shoes. A friend mapped out the old Springfield Marathon course for me.  I ran this in 2004 when I lived in Kansas and didn't have a grasp on the area, but when we moved to our current home the farm roads looked very familiar and I knew the trail that made up part of the course, so I'd mostly put it together, but having the whole thing mapped was really exciting to me and I plan to run most of it on a 20+ miler soon (it is very not flat). Girl gang morning run fun Life Highlights Albani had spring break the week after daylight savings time began - a brilliant move on her school district's part.  She and Jon did some gardening, some television watching, and a lot of junk food eating together. Albani also had her first track meet, where she ran the 100 m dash and threw the shot put.  She'd never even practiced shot put so I don't know why she signed up for it, but we greatly enjoyed it.  My dad reminded me that I did long jump at my first track meet, which I also had never practiced, so... I road tripped with several of my running buddies to the T-Town Half in Tulsa and felt like I was in college again.  We had countless laughs and I will always treasure the experience. 100 m dash   Shot put   So much cuteness here   Books: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim She Prays: A 31-Day Journey to Confident Conversations with God by Debbie Lindell and Lisa Harper The Light of Christmas by Richard Paul Evans Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games by Lopez Lomong and Mark A. Tabb Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism by Catherine Maurice The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn   Theme for the month: Progress is not linear!  When I first started back to workouts after my November time off, my tempos were in the 6:40s.  Then in January they dropped to 6:20s with really no inbetween, and at the end of February they dropped to 6:00s without much inbetween, all at about 165ish HR.  The 6:00s now actually feel a lot better than the 6:40s previously did - like now I'm letting it flow vs. fighting for it back in December.  Currently my workouts are about 5-10 seconds/mile slower than when I was at my lifetime peak fitness in fall 2019, which I'm pretty pleased about.  I still have a beef with a particular marathon time, so hope to build to that in the fall; I have been very tempted to add a spring marathon, but I am not going to.
  24. SIbbetson
    The short:
    I won a half marathon and set the Oklahoma female masters state record! I had an amazing race trip with my friends! Runners are the best people ever!  Everything is wonderful!
    I didn't run quite as fast as I'd have liked at T-Town, but 60 degrees in March is much warmer than 60 degrees in September.  I was proud of my even pacing and solid performance running solo on a course with some tricky elevation.  As per usual, I'd have preferred a 30-40 degree day, pacing partners, and an easy course, but given the circumstances I don't really think this could have gone any better.  And, I got to break the tape!  Oh, also I ran 10 miles after the race for a 25.7 mile day (and had the restraint not to run 0.5 mile farther).
    Official results are here, with my details here.
    My Strava activity is here.
    My dad's video of my finish is here.
    The long:
    I hadn't raced a half since White River in November 2019, so to say I was incredibly excited about this one is an understatement.  After I raced the Cabin Fever 20k in February and my workout paces came down throughout February and March, my anticipation kept growing, and by race week I fully in race intoxication!
    Several members of my Miles from Mentor running group made the trip down to Tulsa, including Elise, Sean, Colin, Casey, Abby, and Brad, and my friend Andrew from Kansas City joined us in Oklahoma.  Several members of the crew were PR ready, which was extra exciting for me because I've been writing training schedules for several of them this season (proud "coaching" moments!).  I'm going to write a seperate post with trip stories, because the getaway was amazing and I kind of felt like I was in college again, including getting very little sleep on Friday night.
    Spring weather in the Midwest is pretty unpredictable but almost always windy, so leading up to the race I'd been worried we would have a 20+ mph headwind for half of the out-and-back course, since I'd had several recent workouts in high winds.  I didn't think about it being warm since we'd still been having cool overnight lows and the race started at 7:30 a.m., but somehow race morning managed to be the highest overnight low of the year so far at around 60 degrees.  60 degrees feels much warmer the first time you run hard in it each season, and even when I am used to it I never run as well in it as I do at 30-45, so I just decided to be thankful it wasn't windy.  I race by effort, and one of the many perks of changing to that approach has been that I don't have to think about how much to adjust my goal pace for weather conditions; actually I don't have to think about my goal pace at all, although based on my workouts I knew 6:00-6:10 should be where I was at on a good day.
    I warmed up with my friends then we lined up with some extra space and masks until the last minute due to COVID protocols.  After the gun, Brad was quick to take the lead, a few other men were out fast, a woman in buns took off, and Colin was following.  I settled into a comfortably hard pace with Andrew and had a pretty relaxed first couple of miles, although I told him I definitely wanted to chase down the woman ahead of us.  We caught up with her around mile 2, which was also when we moved from the road onto a running/bike trail, and then she hung onto us for maybe a quarter mile after that before I took the female lead.  I felt like I'd gone out conservatively and also felt very strong, so I was confident with leading.  I was hoping that Andrew and I could work together for most of the race, but he didn't have a good day and fell back by mile 4 (based on his recent workouts I fully expected him to beat me, but he had a little illness that cost him a good race).  I could see a man in black significantly ahead of me, but there were also a lot of non-racers on the trail and it was a little confusing; the trail split into two sides at parts, which I later learned were the bike portion and the run side, but I was unclear on where I should be so looked ahead to others.  I think the race assumed most entrants were local and knew what they should be doing, but everyone in our Missouri group was confused; our trails are nowhere near that advanced, hah!
    Me and Andrew on the bike path I mostly just focused on maintaining my effort and running the tangents on the curvy path.  I did the calculations and figured I'd see Brad about 0.25 from the turn around, so when he came back the other way I knew I was getting close.  I then saw Colin in second and two more men before I came upon an aid station.  There'd been one every couple of miles on the trail and this one was no different, so I thought the turn around must be a little farther up.  After I'd run maybe 10 seconds past, the lady at the aid station started yelling at me to turn around at the table.  I immediately turned back at that point, but I lost some time and nicely told her that she should let people know to turn around sooner since it wasn't marked (I later found out that she told Casey but Elise did exactly what I did).  I grabbed a water bottle off the table to take with a gel.  I usually don't take anything in halves, but since I was running so far on the day I knew I needed to stay on top of fueling, plus I always appreciate a mid-race caffeine boost.
    Once I turned around, the race became even more enjoyable.  A cyclist with the race began riding with me as I navigated the "back" against the rest of the racers.  I saw Andrew and encouraged him to come get me.  I saw Casey in second female position not far behind.  I saw Elise in fifth female rapidly gaining on fourth.  I then saw the rest of the field at some point between miles 6.5 and about 10.  So many people cheered for and encouraged me; it was amazing!  I had a huge grin on my face, which I think then made more people yell "first female", "you're moving!", etc.  Runners are really the most encouraging and supportive people on the earth.  The race didn't have mile markers so each time I heard my watch beep I made sure to mentally note where I was at, and I was doing a countdown on miles left to 12 (because the final mile takes care of itself).  I also budgeted my energy for the final 2.5 miles with a lot of climbing - it had been hard to enjoy the downhill at the beginning knowing I had to go back up it!
    This is not much elevation overall, but the
    way it was distributed was a bit of a trick Around mile 10 my lead cyclist handed me off to a police motorcycle escort.  Once we got off the trail I was really thankful for him, because the course was kind of confusing and not well-marked (Casey actually got off the course at that point because no one directed her, although she ended up getting back on the course in a different spot that was a little longer).  I was gaining on the man in front of me, and around mile 11.5 he turned around and asked my police escort where to go.  Trying to catch him kept me pushing in the final couple of miles in spite of the hills, and grade-adjusted the final mile was my fastest of the race.  Toward the end I continued to feel really strong, but not necessary speedy, which is unsurprising given I've been doing strength-based training and high mileage (that I probably didn't cut back as much as I should have for this race - it was a 90 mile week). 
    Police motorcycle escort (lights were
    flashing but you can't tell here) Coming down the finishing stretch with the motorcycle was fun, and as I got closer I saw a finishing ribbon held out for me to "break", which was great!  The announcer said my name, town, and overall female place while I raised my arms through the tape with a huge smile on my face.  I also saw 1:21 on the clock, which I was pleased with on the day.  Before the race I'd predicted 1:19-1:21 as my range, although if I'd have known how warm it was going to be I'd have changed that to 1:21-1:23.
    Finish! I smiled for some photos, found friends, changed shoes, and grabbed a lot of nutrition to tackle 10 more miles for the day (I've been calling it a "10 mile cool down", but that is a bit of a misnomer).  Colin is also 50k training and was in for the extra 10, Abby made the trip with us in order to visit and cheer so did this for her main run, and my friend Liz who lives in Tulsa joined us as part of her long run.  I wasn't quite sure how the extra distance would go, but I'd learned from my Cabin Fever cool down bonk that I needed a lot of nutrition so I felt like I was eating much of the run but that definitely helped (2 gels, a bottle of UCAN, a pack of chews).  I could have used more water and thought the fountains on the trail would work to refill the small bottle I had, but they were turned off (thanks, COVID).  I actually only needed 9.3 miles to hit 25 total, but Colin hadn't warmed up quite as long as I had and I felt great so I ran until he hit 25.  I was then of course tempted to just go to 26.2 since I was a half mile away, but there really wasn't any reason to. Amazing crew All in all, it was a wonderful experience.  My friends are amazing, and my race was my best on the day.  I'm proud of my 25.7 mile day and of my even pacing.  Everyone in the group was 2-4 minutes off the times expected, which I didn't like for anyone but made me feel like I'd have definitely run faster in different weather, since I'm 100% sure they all have faster times in them right now.  Finish times with predicted times in ( 😞 Brad was 1st overall male in 1:15 (1:12), Colin was 3rd overall male in 1:20 (1:17), Andrew won his age group with 1:24 (1:19), Casey was 2nd overall female in 1:27/really 1:26 (1:23), and Elise won her age group with 1:34 (1:31) - Sean was a bit injured so was more off but it was for a different reason.  I've been very guilty of chasing the perfect race and being unsatisfied with anything less, but I think I'm finally learning that I can be very happy with my race AND know that I have a faster one in me.  I also appreciate the running community more than words can express.
    Miles from Mentor group (minus Brad) The masters state record was a wonderful surprise, because it wasn't even on my radar...I kind of think I'm still 29, bahaha!  The man in charge of maintaining the records said they are working on updating the website - link coming soon - but he sent me the files of the records for age groups. Masters is 40+, so I'm including applicable age groups here - Joan Benoit Samuelson actually had the record at 1:21:57 before me, so it's sure a good thing that I didn't run any farther past that turn around!  This is definitely the first time I've broken a record held by a marathon Olympic gold medalist (1984 marathon), although her 1:21 at age 51 is astronomically more impressive.
    In regards to my pacing, Strava doesn't do grade-adjusted pace on free accounts any more, but my latest hack has been looking at the race on someone else's paid account and converting my own mile paces to GAP.  It takes a little effort, but it's worth my monthly Strava savings considering that's the only paid account feature I want.  Here are my splits:
    I could use a little work on miles 10-11 I am so thankful for the joy God brings me through the running community and racing.  And now I have a half master's PR to beat!
  25. SIbbetson

    race recap
    The short:
    I ran a 5k, you know, because those fit so well with half marathon and 50k training.  I actually did it for $100 cash and a cute porcelain squirrel trophy, although driving to the race in the pouring rain I had second thoughts.  Luckily it was 50 degrees so being soaked wasn't torturous, and I was able to win overall female for said cash and squirrel, with an 18:36 via splits of 5:57, 6:03, 5:57 (5:26 final 0.12).  I then ran the course again at marathon effort (6:28 average) and an 8.2 mile cool down, which along with a 3.4 mile warm up gave me a 17.7 mile long run.
    My race on Strava is here.
    I loved this prop! The long:
    Things that will get me to race a 5k:
    Prize money The ability to make the race part of a long run workout Porcelain squirrel trophies Running of the Squirrels on March 13 had all of the above, so I was in!  What I wasn't in for was the very rainy race morning, but I'd pre-registered so what was I to do but still run it?  Plus my running group canceled their run that morning due to heavy rain...
    I was excited for this race (because, a race!!), but I wasn't sure how much pep my legs would have with the miles they had on them; 2 days before the race my rolling 7 day mileage was 102 and the day before it was 97 (I was also coming off 3 days of work travel).  I only ran 4 miles plus strides the day before the race, so that had to help some but this obviously wasn't a goal race (because, 5k!) and I did not anticipate that it would be competitive (because, small town Missouri). My plan was just to run by effort and go for the win, and I also hoped I didn't have to go too deep since I wanted to get in many more miles after the race.
    It rained for over 24 hours straight before the race, and the hourly forecast showed 100% chance of rain each hour all race morning, so I knew there was no hope of staying dry but when Colin, Derek, and I ran the course for a warm up I also realized we were going to be running through a lot of standing water!  It turns out that Marionville doesn't have the best drainage... But, the rain stayed moderate (not heavy) while we were running, and it was 50 degrees so it could have been much worse!  We also saw a real white squirrel during our warm up.
    After our warm up, some drills, and strides, we lined up in a pretty small field.  I think the rain scared a lot of people away, because the last time I ran this race it was much bigger.  After the gun, 6 men took off ahead of me, and I settled into pace and began working on closing the gap to the closest.  I focused on giving a good effort for 3.1 miles, but leaving a little in the tank because I wanted to finish the rest of my running for the day without dying.  As is typical when I'm running high mileage, I felt strong but not fast.  I'd passed half of the men by the mile mark, and the next was fading so I focused on working up to him, which I did around halfway.  I then worked on reeling the second place male in, and I gained a lot of ground but ran out of time and he finished about 15 seconds in front of me (he had been with my running buddy Colin at the mile in 5:30ish).
    After I finished and looked at my splits, and I was really happy to see how well I paced.  I have learned that I typically do best when I don't look at my watch during races, and this race was no different.  Pre-race I thought I was in shape to run about 5:50 pace for a 5k, and I still think I am but I need no rain or water crossings to do it.  🙂 I am not quite in shape to break 18 right now, but I am also doing primarily strength-based training (tempos, hills, progressions - not straight speed), so I'm happy that I can run sub-6:00 in sub-par conditions.  My PR was 18:25 for a very long time, which also gives me perspective here.
    Splits I cheered a few friends in after I finished, then changed my shoes and Colin and I were off for another loop of the course at marathon effort.  I was aiming to run 6:25, and we averaged 6:28 via 6:26, 6:40, 6:20...I felt good but just lost focus and talked too much during mile 2.  We then went to check on the awards, which of course were supposed to start "any moment" but took 20 minutes to begin and then started with 10 and under, so we stood around waiting for longer than I'd have liked for our overall awards that were presented last.  I was also freezing since I was in soaking wet clothes!
    Colin was first male overall & Derek first masters male!
      Not my best photography, but good race stuff You can kind of tell how soaked I was here  
    Professional race photo, hah After getting a $100 bills and porcelain squirrels, Colin and I were off for 7.5-8 more miles that ended up being 8.2 and giving me 17.7 for the day (I was planning 17 so this was real close).  Those miles started draggy and slow (8:43 first), but after warming back up we were back to 7:30ish.  It rained the entire cool down too, so I got in a lot of very wet miles!  I wore 3 different shirts and 3 pairs of shoes during the course of the event, and my car's hatchback was filled with wet apparel by the end of it all.  I'm happy to report I had no chafing or blisters, which was perhaps the biggest victory of the day!
    I'm thankful to be back to racing, even 5ks (which we all know are not my forte)!  I ran this race in 2015 so now I have two porcelain squirrels, and Albani says I need to get a papa squirrel next year!
    They're so cute!
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