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Everything posted by SIbbetson

  1. Gotta appreciate these when they come, but also gotta do it again on a fast road course!
  2. 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.
  3. SIbbetson

    Amazing April

    It IS the first time. I don't read a lot of running books normally (this month I did); I obsess about running enough as is, bahaha!
  4. SIbbetson

    Amazing April

    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!
  5. Can't wait to run #2. 🙂
  6. SIbbetson

    Tidewater 26.2

    Very nicely done!
  7. I love the socks and the medal!
  8. Something like that! Des ran her 50k on April 13 and mine was on April 24, so I don't know why hers isn't listed on the website and mine is, but I'm not asking questions at this point, haha!
  9. Hey, a Strava segment is a Strava segment - be proud! And funny story, the website has now updated to include my time but Des's is not on there. So I'm listed as #1 and took numerous screenshots, haha!
  10. 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.
  11. SIbbetson

    Just like running.

    I love the bathroom update!
  12. 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. Celebrating 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! Winnings
  13. SIbbetson

    The project that never ends.

    This seems just as fun as The Song that Never Ends.
  14. SIbbetson

    March Madness

    She did not get it from her momma. 😉
  15. SIbbetson

    March Madness

    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.
  16. SIbbetson

    Tiny progress

    That's a wonderful feeling - yay!
  17. That was NOT something I'd ever expected to do.
  18. Thank you! It's not unexpected for smaller races to have hiccups, and smaller races are the only ones happening right now, so I'll take what I can get. Definitely work on race excitement - it makes the whole experience even better, and I'll be your run better (vs. when fearful) too. Get out there and enjoy your victory lap after all of your training!
  19. 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!
  20. I have now learned a lot about white squirrels.
  21. Yup, I can only do that by completely disregarding my watch. And, yes, it was nice that the awards were inside!
  22. There are! We even saw one during our warm up. They are albino, and apparently Marionville, MO is one of the top 5 places in the U.S. for them: https://untamedscience.com/biodiversity/white-squirrel/
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