Tag Archives: Training

Let the Re-Capping Begin!!

26 Sep

As I mentioned Friday in my ‘return to blogging” post, it’s is Fall Race Season. Or as I like to call it, “Sunrise Season” – on account of how many sunrises I’ll witness in the next few months!!

In my quest to stay on top of my race recaps (and get back in your good graces) I present to you – the 2016 Hogsback Half Marathon

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Kathy came over Friday night for an early morning drive up to northwestern CT – and it was an early, wine-free night of reality tv.

Got up dark and early to make my oatmeal and have time to digest it before hopping in the car. It’s really a pretty drive, once the sun comes up. I was aiming for good parking, if I can be honest! And, whaddayaknow, I got it! #Rockstarparking.

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Picked up bibs and shirts and got back in the car since it was chilly out! We had signed up for the early start (which is an awesome benefit to this race!) so didn’t have long to wait before we headed UP THE HILL to the start line. We picked up Kim and Tom on the way. Kim was starting early and I figured I’d see Tom later when he passed me  (spoiler, it was around mile 11.5!) It was a pretty decent group of early starters and we had our own pacers. 2:45 and 3:00. I was going to try to keep 2:45 in my sights but stick to my 30:30’s as long as I could hang in there.

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I managed to keep up my intervals and everything felt pretty good most of the way. I’m working on breaking in the shoes I plan to wear for Marine Corps but they are causing me some issues…so we’ll have to see what happens. If I need new shoes I need to get them pronto!

This is a beautiful ‘country’ course — an out and back of sorts along a river. This year for the first time there were a few families out in the yard cheering runners on. The run takes place on country highways but there isn’t a ton of traffic. The first finisher passed me around mile 5 – the next runners showed up when I stopped at mile 6 to take off my jacket! There was a HUGE gap between them – amazing!!

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Course elevation – first half is my favorite!!

Tom caught up with me about mile 11.5 and stayed with me a bit but he had a plan and took off after a few minutes. At some point, I had managed to let the 3 hour pacer catch me. Ruh-Roh!! Picked it up again but she passed me for good on “the hill” – about a quarter mile incline. That I walked up. I had given up on my goal apparently.

Heading across the dam to the finish line I passed Kathy! I don’t think I’ve ever beat her in a half!! Though, in her defense, she said her hamstrings were tightening up..whatevs, I still beat her!! haha And then I saw Kim and Tom waiting on the side of the bridge so stopped for a second – mainly to point out that I was beating Kathy! Then, ta-da!! The finish. And it turns out that I only missed my goal by 48 seconds.

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Small sample of the post race eats! Ziti, chicken, meatballs, cornbread muffin, TWO kinds of Rice Krispie Treats!!!

Post race is one of the best ones out there!!! LOTS of homemade food – chicken, pasta, cookies, muffins…NOMS. And great raffles. And time to hang with friends. And puppies. Did I forget to mention that there are puppies? The charity partner for this race is Running for Rescues and there were a few puppies visiting and hoping for a furever home. I don’t think I’m ready for 2 dogs yet…

And now I’m going to try something new for these recaps – maybe it will stick and maybe it won’t!

Welcome to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good
1. Early start ya’ll! When you register, there’s an option to register for an early start if you think you’ll take more than 3 hours. And it’s been a couple few years since I’ve finished under 3. The only caveat is that you get disqualified if you finish faster than 2:20 since this is the RRCA Championship event
2. The outfit. Please. (Tantrum Jette Skirt and Tantrum Lotta Love  top – converted to Eclipse Tank in Marine when I took off the jacket!)

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3. The post race party. The RD and her family do all the cooking and baking. Plus this year there was a new baby!! Congrats Kelly!
4. The medal.
5. The charity. Running for Rescues. Dogs dogs dogs. My house loves the dogs!!
6. My time – only missed my goal (per my MCM plan) by 48 seconds

The Bad
1. Newer shoes that I’m breaking in for Marine Corps. Found a bruise at the base of my Achilles tendon post-race. Need to figure out what to do
3. My time – missed my goal by 48 seconds.

The Ugly
1. This Hill. Mile 12.5 ya’ll.
2. Post-race crampy legs. Walking around helps
So, I really had to reach for the Bad and the Ugly cause this is really a well-run, fun, small race with a great family-like atmosphere

Except the Ugly. I really do hate that hill.

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Hello, It’s Me.

23 Sep

Once upon a time, I thought, “hey! I’ll write a blog! It’ll be great for accountability and I’ll meet new people and…it’ll be great!”

So here I am.

 

But haven’t been terribly consistently accountable.

I *think* I might be getting close to organized enough in the other areas of my life to jump right back in – and hopefully, to even eventually share some of the awesome things I’ve done so far this year but never posted. We’ll see. No promises, right?

And now it’s coming up on Fall Race Season – you know, that time of year when I spend several weekends either travelling somewhere to run or running at home (mostly the former though). Last year wasn’t completely disastrous. Until I got to the end of October and then beat myself up – privately of course – for my horrible performance at Marine Corps Marathon.  I swore that I would never again run a marathon without doing the training.

Well. For the last 2 months I HAVE been doing the training. Mostly. Yeah. I started late, missed a couple of the shorter long runs and more than a couple of the short mid-week runs.

But I’m hitting the road. And the treadmill. Ya’ll I did FOURTEEN miles on a treadmill when the temps were over 100 a few weeks ago. I ran nearly every day when I visited my dad at the end of August. Usually around noon. In Texas where, again, it was pretty darn hot. But it all felt good!!

Now I’m 36 days away from my redemption at MCM – and feeling confident that I won’t repeat last year’s mess. Because I’m spending a lot of time with hills. BIG hills

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Just an example of how things are running at home….this from my 18 miler turned 19.5 miler last week….

I’m kind of being helped along by a couple of changes being made by the Marines due to some logistical difficulties this year. The Guantlet and The Bridge have both been moved up by a couple of miles so SCORE! And, as I mentioned, I’ve actually done some training this year.

But before then, I have a few other things on my plate –

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Tomorrow is the Hogsback Half Marathon – I discovered this one on the Twitters when someone mentioned the great post-race feast and I’m glad I did. It’s a fairly small event, with a gorgeous course – seriously, no part of this course is ugly! – great post-race festivities. And, they offer an early start for us slower folks which is really nice because you’re finishing with #allthepeople and not straggling in

After that, starting in October, there is the Hartford Half Marathon – I did this one once before I moved to CT. A few years back they changed the course and this will be my second year running the new course. This is another fun post-race – particularly the Mile 27 Beer Garden (the Hartford Marathon Foundation also offers a full on the same day) and the longest drinking fountain ever! Instead of bottled water, you get a water bottle which is pretty awesome.

The following week I will be travelling to the Sweetest Place on Earth. That’s not a typo! I’m heading to Hershey PA for the Hershey Half Marathon. This will be my third time running this one and one that I plan to keep on my must-do list for as long as I can. I mean, great swag and fresh chocolate at mile 12? Yes please!  A few of my friends are planning to run this one as well which adds to the great weekend!

Then. Dun dun dun….it’ll be time to head down to DC and #runwiththeMarines. I’m not out to set records, but I am out to do the best I can. And again, lots of friends running this one as well but I will probably spend most of the 26.2 on my own. Laser like focus right? And I have a plan…

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My MCM Race Day plan – based on the original timing

My plan – for all of my events coming up but most especially for the Marathon – is to stick with the intervals I’m training with. No funny stuff!! And really work on not taking off so “fast” and holding back the first few…or first 10-15 miles.

Run my own race, work towards the goals I’ve written down. Trust myself. I’ve done it before and I can do it again, right?

Stepping Things Up!!

14 Aug

Since I last wrote, I’ve still been working on my motivation, but I have been able to step up my training game a bit – you know, actually doing the running part of it!

I missed a few runs, but figure I made up for it with my week at Walt Disney World.

That’s right – a week at Disney. With nary a half marathon or 10K insight! I took my nephews (14 and 17) and now I’m pretty sure they won’t fall for that again – there’s no sleeping in at Disney!

I’ve also joined a Step Bet – something like Diet Bet (which I’ve posted about in the past) but, ya know, with Steps 🙂 It’s an app that you download and connect to your FitBit (or other device) and then you walk. And walk. And walk.  The SB app uses past data from your device to determine your goals and each week if you can’t meet them, you get ELIMINATED! Kicked off the island. Voted out of the house. Which makes it different than DietBet.

My goals are pretty big – to me anyway. But, other than the warm-up week I’ve made it. Of course, I have only made it through 2 full weeks so far!

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And, I know I promise every single time I post to get better at posting, so I won’t promise that anymore – I’ll just have to show you! And I’ve actually done ‘stuff’ so there’s actually lots to tell you!

Plus, I actually will be more accountable with all of my training and other health efforts (which have been kind of lacking as I’m sure my doctor will tell me this week!)

So if you’re a parent ready for Back-to-School or …ya know, a non-human parent I hope you had a relaxing weekend and plans for a great week ahead!

See you soon.

Really.

Soon.

Yes 🙂

 

Sunday Means Weekly Wrap Up!!

2 Nov

And, yeah, I’ve missed a few of these!! Let’s just call this the October wrap-up.

And I can get it covered pretty quick — October would be more appropriately named Slacktober…

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Pretty much how I spent October…

I mean, sure, there were a couple of half marathons and the fantastically awesome Marine Corps Marathon but…all that in between, training stuff that is so important…a lot of that didn’t get done.

A LOT.

New leaf being turned over this week.

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But in the interest of full disclosure – I did a 4 miler (which was on the plan) and a 7.5 miler.

Yeah.

That 7.5’er was supposed to be a 10. But. I had to pee. REALLY. REALLY bad. Starting at about mile 4. So I immediately started figuring out where to cut my route to get home faster…

So, with runDisney Wine and Dine on the horizon there’s a busy week ahead. And let’s get back to that accountability thing I love so much.

Hal Higdon’s Plan for the week is:
Tuesday: 4 Miles
Wednesday:  7 Miles
Thursday: Rest (What??!! Rest?!)
Friday: 2 Miles (which I will try to fit in before I head to the airport or before I head to the parks once I get there!)
Saturday:  7 Miles
Sunday: 17 Miles
Now, figuring out the mileage for the weekend on top of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon shouldn’t be so hard…but I bet I make it really difficult!! 😉

I hope that everyone had a great race weekend – especially those who did the New York City Marathon! And if you didn’t race, I hope you had a great weekend doing whatever you did!

And, remember, next week starts tomorrow!!

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Race Recap – NU Hartford Half Marathon

14 Oct

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Ten years ago I moved to the East Coast. And about Nine years ago I ran the Hartford Half Marathon for the first time. It was (and is!) a great event, best known for the flat, fast course and the post-race Apple Crisp!

The first time I ran this, it was pouring rain at the start, but eventually that slowed to a drizzle and then by afternoon the sun managed to peek out sporadically.

So, since I’m in the middle of my training for #Dopey15, and seriously lacking in personal  motivation, I decided at the almost last minute to sign up for the half marathon that took place last Saturday. I headed to the expo Friday after work – got stuck in traffic and missed the One Miler  which made me feel:

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Headed directly to the expo then and after picking up my bib was greeted by the Skechers booth!! Now, I’m not sure I’ve adequately expressed my love for my Skecher performance shoes I got at the Houston Marathon expo last January — they’re light, they’re comfy and…they Glow. In The. DARK!

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I’ve been wanting to get a new pair and when I saw they would have a booth at this expo I was excited! I checked in the the folks in the booth and saw that they had the new, upgraded model available. And, yeah, these will glow too!! (They also come with an extra insert if you need the extra cushion!)

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On my way to grab my shirt I stopped by a couple of other booths — OohRah Hydration: Hydration products that support our armed forces and disaster relief efforts. The flavors and colors of the bottles reflect the branch of service being honored – so pretty cool! And the flavors I tried were nice (Chargin’ Blue -grape, and Fightin’ Green -lemonlime) and Generation UCAN: a great source of energy with a SuperStarch source of carbs which gives energy while helping stabilize blood sugars!

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The Shirt. My only issue is that the Half marathoners have to “share” a shirt with the 5K and the Relay people…:(

After picking up my shirt, and grabbing a new pair of Skechers, I got back in the car and headed home to rest up.

As expected, when I woke up Saturday morning, it was….well, drizzly…and a little chilly. You know the weather, the kind that makes you want to just stay in bed. But too many people knew I was planning on running this so…up and at ’em!!! When I went to bed I told myself “Don’t forget to wear your DryMax socks on account of the rain”…then I woke up and threw on my ProCompression socks. That are not my DryMax socks…and by then it was too late! 🙂 But I love my Compression socks for long runs so I was hoping to not run through any puddles …hahahaha

By the time I got to Downtown Hartford, it was actually raining, not just drizzling. And it was still kind of chilly. I had on a plastic rain poncho that I figured I would throw away when the rain stopped and the sun came out (spoiler — I wore it the whole time!). I dropped off my bag with a dry sweatshirt and some flipflops and tried to find a potty before the start. Success.

There wasn’t a long wait before the horn blew and we were off! Now, the last time I ran this, it was a completely different course. Not a bad course necessarily, but, there were some sketchy sections. This new course is fantastic!!! I love it!! Sure, there were hills…there will always be hills. But they weren’t unbearable! I was cruising to a return to my olden day times until mile 10. I saw a sign and had a delayed reaction and turned to go back and take a picture (which I ended up not doing after all!) and strained my calf a bit. So the last three were slower than I’d been going but I was still definitely going to beat my time from 2 weeks before!

The finish line snuck up on me!! I really was expecting to have to go around a block once we got back into downtown but nope! Turned a corner and we were there! With great support from the volunteers — including a mylar blanket and a new water bottle!!

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A water fountain nearly a block long!!!

 

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Pre-filled for us even!

And the bling!!

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I knocked 20 minutes off of my time from 2 weeks ago too — which was a bonus!!

Up next — Hershey Half Marathon! And the rest of my training week of course!

**My absolute favorite part of Saturday’s run was when we were passing one of the three fire stations on the route. From a couple of blocks back, I saw runners -almost every one of them! – turning up into the station driveway where there were 8-10 firefighters high-fiving every single runner! Amazing!!

 

 

Wrapping up 14 —

7 Oct

This one is short and to the point:

I bailed on 2 of my runs this week – and of course it was the 2 longest….

The Higdon plan was:
Tuesday – 3 miles
Wednesday – 6 miles (oh no! we’re stepping things up!!)
Thursday – 3 miles
Saturday – 8 miles

What actually happened was:
Tuesday – 3 miles. Slowish. But got them done
Wednesday – Now, I do love  “weather” but it was chilly and rainy and I wasn’t prepared so “I’ll do this one tomorrow when I get to Florida then do tomorrow’s on Friday”
Thursday – Um. Yeah. Got to Florida where it was hot and sticky and I’d been trapped in a middle seat for 5 hours.
Friday – Guilt kicked in so I got up and did my 3. It was quite nice to run on the flat streets of Celebration Florida. And there were views like this unexpectedly around a corner or two!

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Saturday – no miles, but a bit of walking. And standing. Volunteered at the runDisney Tower of Terror 10-miler and was on my feet for many many hours…which means
Sunday – After being out/up til 4 no one woke up until it was already pretty warm out. Or, at least it was very sunny, which was going to lead to very warm…

So, this was possibly my worst training week in this round. That’s why there’s a new one coming up!

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But I need to not beat myself up about it and move on to….

The Higdon plan for the week is:
Tuesday – 3 miles
Wednesday – 6 miles
Thursday – 3 miles
Saturday – 5 miles
Sunday – 15 miles

A really full one. An important one. So I should probably get out there and get it done!!

It Just Keeps Getting Bigger!!!

30 Sep

starting line

And no, I’m not talking about my rear view 😉 Note – if you are trying to find a picture of someone’s rear end, google will show you a lot of nekkid ones….

I’m talking about my list of upcoming races – or as I like to call them “events” (since I don’t actually race much other than my own self!). And since I’m doing all this training I thought a good reminder was in order.

So, in Order of Appearance, here we go:

Hartford Half Marathon – I’m actually also doing the new “One Mile Friday” which is, yep, a One mile run in Hartford followed by a beer 🙂 After the half I’ll get this beauty:

hartford half medal

Hershey Half Marathon – I’ll be doing this one with my friends Kathy and Jennifer. And, we will of course be headed to the park on Saturday before for Roller Coastering! And, I think for this one, we don’t know what the medal will be ahead of time so it will be a delicious surprise!!

Marine Corps Marathon – This is the ‘biggie’ for 2014! You know, the one you can show your support of my efforts by donating to the Tug McGraw Foundation! C’mon! It doesn’t hurt!!

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon – This one we do for “fun” — and the training miles 🙂 And after the miles and before the Food and Wine-ing I’ll get this around my neck (bonus – it spins!!):

2014 Wine Dine Half Marathon Medal

Santa Hustle Half Marathon –  This was a new add (like Hartford) since I’m getting to the point of having some really long weekend runs, I *know* it will be tons easier for me to get them in if I have an event. Not that I don’t love circling my town a few times to get my long runs in…Plus SANTA!!!

TXU Turkey Trot 10K – Everyone should do a Turkey Trot at least once!! This is a nice one – I’ve done the 5K before. And, really, it’s probably best to start the holiday eating season by moving a little!!

Then…after Thanksgiving I’m taking a ‘break’ – from organized events! That is, until I get to the Main Event:

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Dopey Challenge – 4 Races, 6 Medals (Okay, one of the ‘medals’ is a rubber medallion but still…) 4 Races? 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, Half Marathon on Saturday and Full Marathon on Sunday –  I had planned to do the Goofy Challenge this year since it’s an anniversary year and then they went and added that crazy 10K in there!

Aramco Houston Half Marathon  – I deferred this one in 2014 since I was having so many issues even walking! I’ve done this one a few times and it’s a nice course and a really great event! They’ve also added a 5K on the day before so of course I said “What the heck, why not?!

Publix Georgia Half Marathon – So now I’m entering “what was I thinking” territory! This one was registered for when I saw that I could get in for something like 34 or 40 dollars! Really. That’s it. Plus, it’s one I’ve often thought of doing so….there ya go!

The next Biggie — Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris – Another one where I entered a lottery on a whim, et voila! Making this into a fun trip with a friend. She’s even decided to do the Paris Breakfast Run the day before!

And then, my pal Jackie applied appropriate pressure to get me to sign up for the Brand New! runDisney Pixie Dust Challenge! So new it isn’t even up on the runDisney page yet!!

So there you have it. And all I can say is WHOA! If nothing else, I am definitely feeling way more motivated to train than I normally am. Which is to say, I am feeling motivated to train 🙂

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