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Everything posted by SIbbetson

  1. I am so jealous of your winters. I'm glad to hear your daughter is doing well!
  2. The short: My finishing time of 2:54:XX (I have a few different finishing times at this point, but they all begin with 2:54) was nearly 10 minutes slower than the big dream goal time I went to Houston to chase, but I finished the race at peace with that. My attempt at double-peaking failed, which I knew was a risk, but I don't regret taking the chance; I had to try. I executed my race plan well, but simply didn't have enough in reserves. At mile 16 I knew that I could run 10 more miles, but I also knew it was going to be nowhere near 6:15 pace. I then went on to provide a fantastic example of how NOT to pace a marathon! With no chance at accomplishing my time goal, I ran those final 10 miles with all I had in me, with a big smile of my face, and while thanking God that I was out there. 2:54 is still my third best marathon (behind 2:47:14 and 2:49:20), and my fifth consecutive sub-3:00, so I am proud that I accomplished that on a day that I didn't have gas in the tank, even though of course I wish my risk has paid a better reward. Taking no chances means wasting your dreams, and I'm certainly not doing that! "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 The actual finish wasn't quite like this The details: After running a 2:47:14 at the California International Marathon while on the tail-end of vertigo, I felt that 2:45:00 was within the realm of possibility off of my fitness if everything went perfectly, and decided to try another marathon mostly off of the same training cycle 6 weeks later. I've had good luck running two marathons close together several times, and often run slightly better in the second. Houston is known as a pancake flat fast course, and I was accepted into their Athlete Development Program way back in September when I decided that having a Plan B marathon would be nice. Because the winter dealt very cold temperatures to most of the country, the Houston race day weather ended up being ideal for fast racing, with a start time temperature of 34 degrees. Even though I had a lot of ups and downs (also detailed here and here) during the 6 weeks between my two marathons, I knew I'd always wonder "what if?" I didn't try Houston, so I went for it. Such an amazing field and race ambassadors I had a tentative pace plan for the race, but I also went into it with no expectations except to get the best 26.2 miles that I could get out of myself on that day. After chatting with several friendly runners while waiting and warming up in the ADP corral, I took off from just behind the amazing elite field that included Molly Huddle and Jordan Hasay, among many others in both the half and full distances. Unfortunately I could never see any of them, because my corral was brought up behind the invited elites at the last second before the gun. My plan was to run a tad slower at the beginning of the race than I did at CIM, starting with a 6:30 mile, keeping the rest of the first 5K at 6:25 pace, then dropping to 6:20 through the half (targeting 1:23 or slightly over for the half). For the second half I planned to target 6:15s. It was still mostly dark at the start! Jumping for joy (or to stay warm) pre-race Everything went according to plan for the first 14 miles (except for dropping half of a gel, which didn't phase me because I carry an extra; I also dropped my headband and arm warmers, intentionally). The course was very flat except for a few overpasses and underpasses, the pace felt easy, the miles clipped away, and I had people to run with. The field was not nearly as thick as at CIM, but I could always see others and ran with a few different groups. My Garmin was beeping right at the course mile markers, which was nice because I'd been worried about the tall buildings messing with it. There were also clocks at each mile marker, which I loved. I came through the half at 1:23:27, exactly 30 seconds slower than my first half at CIM, but I wanted to err on the side of being a little more conservative early on to see if that helped me finish stronger, so I was happy with that. However, unlike at CIM I did not feel confident about dropping to 6:15 pace, so I decided to stay at 6:20, figuring that it might not be my day for the 2:45 but maybe I could sit at 6:20 and come in for a PR of 2:46. We also turned into the wind just after the half, and those next few miles were pretty windy ones. At mile 15 I began feeling more unsure of myself, and by mile 16 I knew that it wasn't my day. I knew I could run 10 more miles, but that it was not going to be at 6:15-6:20 pace or anywhere close to it. My mile 15 split was the last one I looked at during the race, because I knew seeing my pace climb would hurt me more than it would help me. With my big time goal out of reach, I set a new goal: run the final 10 miles with joy and thankfulness, and with all my body could give. I put a big smile on my face and thanked God for the opportunity to run another marathon. After the race, several people commented that I was tough for sticking it out and that it must have been a rough final 8-10 miles. The funny thing is though, it wasn't. I was fine running 7:00ish pace for those final 8 miles. I sure as heck couldn't move any faster, but I wasn't breathing hard or in oxygen debt, and I never thought I was going to need to drop out, nor did I want to stop running. My pace did not show the progressive decline that I'd had before with a marathon bonk, and the miles still went by relatively quickly (unlike the final 3.5 miles of CIM, which seemed to take longer than the first 22.7 miles of it!). The best way I can describe it is that I simply didn't have gas in the tank to finish it fast, but my endurance allowed me to finish it consistently at around my long run training pace. Perhaps my glycogen stores weren't replenished fully, but I could operate in fat-burning mode? I really have no idea, but it was just different. I'm glad it wasn't a death march, but also perplexed as to why I couldn't for the life of me pick it up. For the first 15 miles of the race, my Garmin was beeping pretty much right at the mile markers and I made a very strong effort to run the tangents, but during the final 8 miles especially, I had a difficult time figuring out the tangents because of how the road curved and weaved, and my Garmin's distance kept creeping further and further off the course markers -- not that it really mattered, but if I run this race again I need to know the last long stretch of the course better and make a better effort to run the shortest route. A man around mile 24 even told me, "Run on the other side of the road, girl, it's shorter", which made me laugh. Many spectators told me that I was looking strong, maybe because of the smile on my face instead of my pace. It was a much different end compared to CIM. Mile 25 was a little slower because I stopped for a bit to check on and encourage a girl who was walking and crying (to be completely honest, this is something I would not have done had I been on PR pace), but otherwise I hovered right around 7:00 pace and then mustered a 6:20 pace kick at the end. The video my dad took of my finish is here. I laughed at the announcer saying that I was coming in with a "strong finish", but I guess did get back on pace for the final bit! Final stretch Finishing on the right (half marathoners are on the left) Finishers medal Prior to the race, if someone had asked me how I would feel about running 2:54 in it, I would have said that I'd be terribly disappointed, but in the end I wasn't. I was joyous to have run another marathon! Of course I would rather have had everything go perfectly and have run the 2:45:00, but it wasn't in me in this race. I didn't do anything wrong in regards to what I could control, and any day you can finish a marathon is a good one. The event, course, and weather were ideal; I simply didn't have the gas in the tank, which was a risk I knew I was taking going in. God is good all the time, and His plans are better than mine! Plus, being mad at yourself when you gave your all doesn't make you any faster next time (it has taken me many years to learn this!). Having my dad on the trip was a blessing Meeting up with Halley after her big half PR was also a blessing! In addition to providing a fantastic example of how NOT to pace a marathon, I learned several things. I will run two marathons mostly off of one cycle again, but I won't do it with a power-packed vacation (which we took in conjunction with CIM) and the holidays between. It was all just too much (not to mention all of the 10-12 hour work days I had between). It is probably also preferable to run one of the marathons close to home, as I have always done before. I liked the Houston course and if I run it again I'll be familiar with it and the area, which would reduce a lot of stress -- navigating the area in an unfamiliar huge city was no easy task in regards to parking, getting to the expo, finding restaurants, getting to the start, etc. (plus our map of and specified entrance for the ADP corral were not correct!). The entire experience was full of lessons that will help me in the future. This was also the first time I ran a marathon with an average pace in the 6:30s, as my other 4 sub-3:00's were average paces of 6:22, 6:27, 6:47, and 6:49. A year ago, my marathon PR was 2:58:53 and my big dream goal was to run under 2:55 (that was revised to 2:52 a few weeks before the Phoenix Marathon in February 2017 though). At Houston, I ran a 2:54 on a day when I had no gas in the tank. Maybe there is some chance that eventually I will be able to run 2:44:59 on a bad day. However, right now I am going to keep chasing it on a perfect day! Even if I never accomplish it, I will never regret trying. I don't regret running Houston, and I know that the results were a step for me in one way or another. Staying positive doesn't always mean things will turn out great; it's knowing that you will be great no matter how things turn out! Results can be found here, and mine are summarized below too. How NOT to pace a marathon! Additional details on how NOT to pace a marathon!
  3. I agree - the wind makes such a huge difference!
  4. #5 is a LIFESAVER when it's super windy!
  5. Good for you for getting it in! I think snow/ice/sleet/freezing rain in the most difficult weather to predict, so it's hard to know how it will pan out.
  6. Winter running can be hard. It's frigid outside, the days are short (plus we all know any given temperature feels colder in the dark!), and races are far and few between. Then there are also the ice and snow factors! I run outdoors as long as the roads are safe, no matter how cold it is. In Missouri we rarely get below -10* for our lows, so it's nowhere as extreme as Northerners have it, but it's still quite cold! I start nearly all of my weekday runs at 5:30 a.m., so I am usually running in the coldest part of the day. It's rare I can tell you the forecasted highs, but I always know what overnight lows to expect for the upcoming week (this is the case year-round though)! Just -1*/feels like -8* My biggest reason for staying outdoors is because I enjoy it much more than treadmill running, but I also got injured from running on the treadmill at the beginning of 2016, so I have since completely refused to run on it. This winter if it becomes unsafe to run outdoors I will either run on my YMCA's indoor 1/7 mile track or cross-train instead of risking the treadmill. Thus far I've been outside every day, and since I only have a week until the Houston Marathon I feel like I've pretty much made it, since the worst weather we get should fall within my marathon recovery phase. My best cold weather attire Out of necessity, I've learned a thing or two about cold weather running gear. All tights are not created equal! Glove and mittens - also not equal! I could go on, but you get the picture. My top winter weather gear picks are pictured above. I have no affiliation with any of these companies, but am just trying to help out fellow winter weather warriors. They include: Nike Fit Dry fleece-line turtleneck. Truth be told, I've been wearing this every single day since it's been single digits or below zero out! I've had it since 2009, so it's clearly also very durable, considering I do the same thing every cold winter as far as wearing it every day. Nike doesn't make this top anymore or I would buy another! It's warm enough by itself down to about 5-10*, and colder than that I add a jacket. Mizuno Breath Thermo tights. These are the only tights that keep my legs warm enough when it's under about 20*. I am comfortable in them alone down to about -5*, and colder than that I'll add a pair of long underwear under them or tapered warm-up pants on top of them. Newzill compression socks. These are thicker than any other sock brand I own, and I don't even have to double layer with them. Mittens: I have a pair of little girls XL Champion brand ski mittens from Target that I found on clearance, and my hands often even get hot in them. This is major because in any other mittens I have, my hands freeze when it's under 10* or so (gloves are far worse!), and painfully cold hands used to be my limiting factor on running outside in the stupid cold. You can add single use hand-warmers to gloves/mittens, but with these I haven't needed those yet (tested down to -8*)! Balaclava. I have two really good ones, but I don't know where I got either of them or what brands they are....but cover your face! Screw shoes (for snow). Put several screws into the soles of an old pair of running shoes, and you have traction! There are also shoes made for snow running that I'm sure are worth the investment if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow that sticks around (here in Missouri it typically doesn't because our weather is so bipolar). My other winter running tips are: Use single use hand warmers and foot warmers if your extremities get cold, especially on long runs. Get dressed with a space heater in your bathroom. It's really hard to get out on the cold if you're already cold in your house! You can also toss your running clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes before putting them on so they are nice and toasty. Warm up before you got out. I do some planks, glute activation, and/or plyometrics indoors before going out into the cold. I get to the point where I am too hot (but not yet sweating) in all of my winter gear so I'm dying to get out of my heated house. Run into the wind first and come back with it behind you. There is nothing worse than getting several miles out and being nice and sweaty, then turning back into the bitter wind. Even better than #4, if it's windy and this is possible, have someone drive you out the distance you plan to run, then run back with the wind behind you. This makes a HUGE difference on very windy days, when the windchill may be 20* colder than the air temperature. Wear fabrics that keep you warm with your own body heat and sweat. I find that I'm either drenched in sweat under my gear or too cold; there is no in between. I have no problem being drenched in sweat as long as I'm not cold from it, and the gear shown above does the trick for me on that. Change out of your sweaty gear as soon as possible when you finish - it gets cold quick! A warm drink right after running is a great way to re-hydrate and warm back up. Don't be afraid to move workouts around. I hate this just as much as (or more than!) anyone else, but it's worth it to do your tempo a day early or a day late if the temperature difference is going to be 20*! I ran a key tempo a day early last winter because it was around 30* in the morning, and the day the tempo was actually scheduled was going to be around 5*. Although my legs weren't quite as recovered from my long run as they ideally would have been, I still have no doubt I performed much better than I would have at 5*! Switching long runs back and forth between Saturday and Sunday is also a possibility I leave open if one day is going to be a lot warmer. Here is Missouri we have extreme weather changes often, so I try to arrange my runs accordingly. Run at lunch from work if you can. I can usually get in 4-5 miles pretty easily at lunch if I plan ahead, and more than that is a trick but can be done occasionally if I really plan ahead. I know that not everyone has this flexibility, but if you do, take advantage of it to run in the sunlight and warmer temps. Split up mileage into two runs. It's not ideal to do this all of the time, but occasionally if it's just too cold to be out for more than a half hour or so, run two 4 milers instead of one 8 miler, for example. If you're okay with the treadmill you can also do part of your run outside and the rest on the treadmill; I recommend starting outside and finishing on the treadmill due to the sweat factor if you do this. Don't stress about pace. I run my easy runs by feel and have noticed that when it's very cold they are 20-30 seconds/mile slower. When it's extremely cold our bodies make adjustments, and we won't run as fast because of this...not to mention we are wearing 15 lbs of clothing! This is really hard for me to accept, but it's just like running in heat/humidity in that we won't be as fast, but the effort and benefit is there. Accept that something is better than nothing. This is also hard for me, but if, for example, you're scheduled for 10 miles and only run 5 due to it being too cold to stay out for longer, you did 5 miles more than 0! Give yourself grace on your training this time of year. Finally, if all else fails, move south! My husband and I definitely plan on retiring south. But seriously, remember that in just 6 months we will be complaining about the heat and humidity...at least I know I will! What did I miss? What cold weather running tips do you have to share?
  7. SIbbetson

    MIA but Found

    I am so impressed about your city clearing the snow off the sidewalks! Check the goal of "moving the a winter runner's dream town" off your list.
  8. SIbbetson

    A Look Back, and Ahead

    Great yearly mileage graph, and congrats on the PRs!
  9. SIbbetson

    2017 roundup

    Well, if Bangle approves it I guess it's a win! When are we running the same event again?
  10. I'm still scared of the offending toaster oven! Thanks for the Baconator shout-out, but my long long runs (18 and 21 milers) were in single digit wind chills (8* and 6* I believe), not sub-zero, so I'm not as tough as it sounds. Almost every other run I've done recently has been in -1* to -10* though! No snow in Missouri, however.
  11. SIbbetson

    2017 roundup

    You also got a lot of great photos in 2017! I'm honored to be included here, although I really should have stopped stretching my hip flexors for that shot, haha!
  12. SIbbetson

    This is the End

    I love the pictures! Also like seeing a glimpse of Houston, selfishly. Wish you were going to be there next weekend though!
  13. SIbbetson

    Back at it

    Beautiful snow pictures, and wishing you a fun and 100% healthy marathon!
  14. Sending good healing vibes! I also remember Kudos granola bars - yum.
  15. SIbbetson

    Hi There!

    Happy New Year and Happy Injury-Free running!
  16. Impressive streak! Is the half in St. Louis in January the Frostbite series one?
  17. I normally hate switching runs around in a training schedule, but I'm a big proponent of it in the winter in situations like this. I'm glad you had a great run!
  18. SIbbetson

    2018. NBD.

    When I read that you were contemplating cross-training I started worrying that your account was hacked!
  19. SIbbetson

    Top 5 of 2017

    It was pretty easy for me to choose my top 5 of 2017, although some might say I double dipped on #1-3! Running two marathons in the 2:40s. It boggles my mind to think that I ran 2:47:14 and 2:49:20 marathons. Many women have run many more marathons much faster, but I never thought I would do this or anything close! I thought I was doing good in 2016 with two sub-3:00s. I haven't run a marathon over 3:00 since 2015 (darn you, 3:01). My mind hasn't caught up with my body because it seems like some sort of fluke, but on the other hand faster paces have become the new normal...it's hard to explain. I am extremely thankful for both of these races and even if I don't run another fast marathon for the rest of my life, I ran 2:47 and 2:49! 2:49 2:47 PRs. Thanks to my running club's Runner of the Year competition summary, I realized I ran 8 PRs in 2017. It's not as good as it sounds, because some were bettering the same distance PR (e.g., 2 marathon PRs, 2 half PRs, track 10K + road 10K) and one was the first time I ever raced the distance so a PR was a given (12K). My PR races were the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon, the BMO Mesa-Phoenix Marathon, the Big 12 12K, the Wash U Distance Carnival 10,000 m., the Bradleyville Scholarship Run 5K, the Plaza 10K, the Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon, and the California International Marathon. Half PR in Indy Racing trips. I was blessed to able to travel to several races this year, and that contributed to highlight #2 because I've learned that it's typically better not to run marathons in the Midwest -- our weather is often not conducive to fast racing! Not to mention that generally races in my immediate area are not competitive and not certified/not the correct distance. I traveled to Arizona twice (Phoenix/Mesa/Tempe area), Des Moines, Indianapolis, and Sacramento, along with shorter trips to Kansas City and St. Louis. Exceeding 3,000 miles for the year. I have only tracked my yearly mileage since 2010, and I've never done it with a yearly goal in mind (this year I just followed my coach's plan and this is where I landed). I'm confident that I never ran more mileage than this before I began tracking it, because I have never before done mileage like I did during my CIM build, nor have I ever had a year that I didn't have some time off with injuries between 1999 and 2016! (!!!!!) 2017 - 3043 2016 - 2294 2015 - 1942 2014 - 972 2013 - 595 2012 - 1373 2011 - 1539 2010 - 2106 No injuries. I had a niggle here and there, but never anything I had to miss a single day of running for. I received ART three times for a hamstring niggle, and also had a little tendon niggle I was able to work through with rolling and eccentric calf raises. This is HUGE for me and is the first time since my first injury between high school and college (1999) that I have had zero time-off injuries in a year! Wahoo! This is clearly linked to all of the other highlights so should probably be #1. 2017 will be hard to top, and maybe I'll never top it and that is okay. But I'm ready to give it a try - bring on 2018! God's plan for 2018 is the best plan, which means my main goal should be to trust Him always. Here's hoping!
  20. December 2017 in review! The title refers to my marathon PR on December 3 followed by the slowest mile I ran all year on December 4. :-) Total mileage for the month: 255 --- in comparison: January - 261, February - 212, March - 203, April - 219, May - 249, June - 205, July - 275, August - 301, September - 271, October - 323, November - 267...that makes 3043 for 2017!) Nov. 27-Dec. 3: 53.6 - 26.2 of this being CIM! Dec. 4-10: 28.6 - recovery week Dec. 11-17: 58.3 - yes, I wanted to go back out for 1.7 Dec. 18-24: 70.9 - peak mileage week for Houston Dec. 25-31: 65 - how convenient that 2017 ended at the end of a training week Ibbetson Christmas card Races: Dec. 3: California International Marathon in a new PR of 2:47:14. I wrote 8 posts about this race (the post linked contains links to the 7 others), so I'm not sure I can add much here, but I'm both beyond thankful and hungry for more. Dec. 16: Ugly Sweater "5K". I don't have anything to add about this one either, for different reasons! I loved racing in Christmas attire, though (Christmas compression socks were also involved) Workouts: Dec. 13: 2 progressive fast finish miles on the tail end of a 9 miler, to ease back into some faster running. I was supposed to drop 10-15 seconds/mile, something like 6:45, 6:30, but I ended up doing 6:36, 6:16. It felt nice to reintroduce some faster running, and clearly I wasn't 100% recovered 1.5 weeks after the marathon, but recovery seemed to be going smoothly. The last mile did make me question how I ever ran 26.2 miles at an average pace of only 6 seconds slower than that one, though. Dec. 16: 16.1 miles with 5 x 1:00 pick-ups to marathon goal pace at the beginning of miles 8-12, again, just to ease back into some faster running. I had a hard time finding 6:17 pace, and these were: 5:55, 6:11, 6:03, 6:02, 6:15. I hit the sweet spot on pace at the end (the second one appears close but it was uphill), but otherwise I kept going either too slow and then overcompensating, or too fast throughout. Dec. 20: Flipping fartlek (2.9 warm-up, 6' on, 1' off, 5' on, 2' off, 4' on, 3' off, 3' on, 4' off, 2' on, 5' off, 1' on, 2.5 cool-down for 11 miles total). When discussing this workout with others who've done it, we always call it the flippin' fartlek and laugh. It can be a beast, but my chief complaint about it is that the way the pushes and recoveries are inverse makes you run positive mile splits. My push paces were 5:54, 5:52, 5:41, 5;42, 5:43, 5:41, which I was pleased with (my average pace for all 5.61 miles I covered during the workout was 6:25, with 21:00 total hard and 15:00 total recoveries). The 6:00 hard/1:00 recovery/5:00 hard sequence is in theory the hardest, but I also like that part a lot because it's almost like a 2 mile repeat! Dec. 23: 18.1 miles with a 5 mile progression (6:42 for all 18.1; progression miles of 6:37, 6:32, 6:37, 6:17, 6:08). I ended up running a bit different than this workout was written, because I joined a men's group in Wichita while visiting my parents for Christmas. They were generous enough to oblige on the progression, but it was done on the fly once I realized that we were putting down 6:30s mid-run (they also stopped at 14 miles, so I'm glad we ran it how we did). I was supposed to do 12 miles steady (7:00ish), then a 5 mile progression of 6:50, 6:40, 6:30, 6:20, 6:10, but ended up doing miles 1-8 steady (between 6:41-6:57, except mile 1 was 7:22), then miles 9-13 progression, then miles 14-18 steady (between 6:35-6:49). This long run as a whole was the fastest 18 I've ever done in training, so yay (and only twice have I run faster 18's in races, in my 2:47 and 2:49 marathons). It was also the flattest long run I've done, which was perfect because Houston is pancake flat. Dec. 25: Short 90"/90" fartlek (2 warm-up, 2 fartlek, 1 cool-down, 1 with 6 x strides). My coach gave me a little workout for Christmas! My push paces were 6:08, 5:59, 5:44, 5:44, 5:46. It took me two of them to fully warm up since it was 20*. I felt a bit off on this workout due to holiday travel, holiday eating, and sleep deprivation, but it was nice to get in a little run before Christmas morning got too crazy. Dec. 27: 8 x 0.25 hill repeats (3ish warm-up and 3ish cool-down to 10 miles total). I set a personal record by completing my first ever double digit run in sub-zero conditions (feels like -3*)...this is a PR I wouldn't mind going the rest of my life without improving! This workout was pretty much a struggle, mentally and physically, the entire way, but I got it done. My hill repeat splits were the slowest I've ever run on this hill (grade adjusted paces were 6:01-6:28, whereas I usually keep them 5:30-5:45), but I had on about 10 lbs of clothing in addition to the 10 lbs I feel like I gained over Christmas, and I just couldn't move in the conditions (the upside is that I was warm enough the whole time, though!). I remembered why I take speed work to the treadmill when it gets this cold out. Although my performance sucked, I was proud of myself for simply doing this one at all -- I am pretty sure normal people would have stayed in bed this morning. This run also put me over 3,000 miles for 2017. Doubles on Dec. 19 and 21. Strides on Dec. 1, 2, 11, 14, 18, 21, and 25. Bootcamp or full body strength workouts on Dec. 11, 18, and 25 (yes, I managed it on Christmas, albeit a shorter one) -- plus enough additional strength work to get to at least 90 minutes total per week starting back the week of Dec. 11. During the final 2 weeks of the month I ended up doing 120 min.+ per week because I was focusing on strengthening my weaker glute with daily exercises. Our Dec. 18 bootcamp did a 12 days of Christmas workout, going through the following repeatedly just like the song, and it was one of my favorite bootcamps ever: 1 burpee, 2 walk-outs, 3 push-ups, 4 single-leg dead lifts (on each leg), 5 squats with overhead press, 6 mountain climbers (counting 1 leg only, so really 12), 7 renegade rows (on each arm), 8 lunges (on each leg), 9 single leg balances (dead lifts without weights, on each leg), 10 forward/backwards runs, 11 jumping jacks, 12 consecutive 5 second wall-sits (which was just a 60 second wall-sit, but had to be made into 12 somehow). Favorite workout: The progression run within the 18 miler on Dec. 23 is the clear winner! The hill repeats on Dec. 27 is the clear last place! Long Runs: Dec. 16: 16.1 miles including 5 x 1:00 pick-ups to marathon goal pace, described above. Dec. 23: 18.1 miles with 1-8 relaxed, 9-13 progression, 14-18 relaxed, also described above. Dec. 30: 21.1 miles (6:42). With the race director's permission, I ran the first 21 miles of a small local marathon with a friend who was gunning for his first sub-3:00 (he did it with a 2:58:04!). This was my fastest 20+ ever in training, and also a cold weather PR because it was feels like 6*. I have never done a long run when it was quite that cold! I was so thankful to have someone to run this with, because it's tricky to get out for that many miles in that cold of weather. I felt good overall but I was sure happy to stop at 21. It was one of those days where I thought, "Well, on one hand that was super solid, but on the other hand how will I ever run 5 more miles all at 25 sec/mile faster??!" One thing is for certain: I don't plan to try for that at 6*! Favorite long run: I was really happy with both the 18 and 21, but I'll go with the 18 because I felt better at the end! Highlights/thoughts/randomness: I'll be a nuunbassador again in 2018! Non-running life events: We vacationed in San Francisco during our trip to California after CIM. Highlights included Fisherman's Wharf, Muir Woods, the Golden Gate Bridge, Piers 31-39, Lands End Look-Out, Twin Peaks Look-Out, and Alcatraz. I have never walked to much post-marathon! Christmas, of course. We hosted family in the 2 days after Christmas, for a few Springfield/Branson adventures. This was a challenge for me because I went back to work on Dec. 27 -- probably a challenge for my husband for the same reason, but it was his idea and his family, haha! This is probably also related to my crap run before work on Dec. 27. It was hard to narrow down photos to include below! Looking out from Pier 39 to Alcatraz On the beach with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge Muir Woods Twin Peaks Look Out Alcatraz More gifts than tree at my parents' Major family Christmas For our 2018 Christmas card! Some were more excited about the hats than others Jon tired of photos before we did Grandma love Stockings Cousin love Ibbetson Christmas More cousin love
  21. 2 weeks IS forever when you haven't run, but you've sure done a lot of other things!
  22. Yep...and that is the only reason for going to Houston. It kind of sucks because I'm planning on it and focusing on it, but if the weather is like last year I don't think we will go either. So basically I need temperatures in the 40s and 100% health! I am going to plan on both.
  23. SIbbetson

    To Sub3 Or Not To Sub3

    I'm glad I got to meet you, and I am sad I missed those cupcakes at the finish (I missed the food completely except for a banana they handed me with my finishers jacket thing). The answer is -- always sub-3:00! Congrats again on an amazing performance.
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