Weekly Update – 11/17

Monday

Yoga with Jaye.  I skipped yoga all last week, which made this class feel really good.  Lots of stretching and popping and cracking.  She tends to go over the class time (its already a 75 minute class!) and then people start leaving during shavasana.

Tuesday

Danny night.  This felt pretty good.

First Round (3x):

A. 5 – I don’t know what they are called or how to even explain them.

B. 5 backward lunge (each side)

Second Round (3x):

A. 8 hex bar deadlifts (95 lbs)

B. 12 (each side) TRX SA row

Wednesday

Yoga with Jaye.  We did a bit more of a restorative class.  Not a true restorative class, but MUCH slower and simpler than normal. We did some restorative poses with the block that helped my back feel really good – something that has been a challenge!

Thursday

OMG. Insert fan girl scream here:

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1!!!!

Michael and I went to the 8pm showing.  Apparently midnight showings were so popular, now they are doing 8pm showings the day before it officially comes out.  I’m a huge Hunger Games fan and loved the film – even though its a bit darker than the others. (Side note: I’m such a big fan, I’m watching the Hunger Games as I’m writing this). Its nice to have a date night on weeknight.

Friday

Rest for the weekend since the half marathon was on Sunday. Michael and I just spent some time relaxing 🙂

Saturday

Got up and went to the expo to pick up the race packed for Sunday.  The expo was small but efficient.  Afterwards, we went to Running Etc and I got fitted for some new shoes.  A really nice woman helped me, and go figure, she knew Hollie!  I’ve been saying for sometimes that I think the updated model of my Saucony Guides are causing my feet issues.  After a few different shoes, I settled on the Asics Kayano.  The Brooks Ravenna were a close runner up, but just didn’t have the stability of the Asics.  We’ll see how they do!

Sunday

Harbor Lights Half Marathon – recap to come!

Half Marathons, supporting a friend + challenging yourself

I felt compelled to write something about how I feel about the half marathon I have this weekend, but honestly, as I’m trying to write it, my thoughts are completely all over the place.  This may not make any sense, but I need to get the thoughts out of my head.

Before I start my whining/complaining/pity party, etc, I wanted to thank you guys for coming along with me on my journey.  Thank you for all of the encouragement along the way.  You have given me valuable advice that I really cherish and you have been a support when I choose not to follow your advice 🙂

So the Harbor Lights Half Marathon is this Sunday.  I’d be lying if I said I felt prepared.

My friend Diane is running it too – its her first half marathon.  She is going to do AWESOME.  She had logged some really solid training runs and I bet she’ll finish under 2:45.  She wants to start with the 2:45 pace group – yay for slow(ish) paces groups! I told her that she should attempt to stay ahead of them.  I will start with her and the 2:45 pace group, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull away from me, and that’s ok.  I want to try my hardest to keep up with them, if only for her.

I knew after my performance at Crawlin Crab and with all my silly feet issues that Harbor Lights was not going to be a stellar race for me.  I’d like to finish faster than I did at Crawlin Crab.

However, my goal is to finish and to finish healthy.  A few posts ago I talked about refocusing my running goals for next year. I really feel that half marathons should be a rare race distance for me, something that I do maybe once a year.  I have to recommit to the training for that distance. I’m very much looking forward to next year.

But I need to finish what I started this year.  I have contemplated not running Harbor Lights, but I know for me…I have to do it.  I told you guys about a really encouraging conversation I had with Danny about my “why.”  Why do I run? I run because its a challenge.  I want to do what I never used to be able to do.

Harbor Lights represents that “why” for me.  Its a challenge because I haven’t trained like I should (but don’t worry, my fitness level is safe for me to run it), its a challenge because I’m having feet issues, its a challenge because its a new race course…I will not be satisfied with myself if I don’t accept this challenge.

Most of all, I want to have FUN! I want to enjoy the course, I want to enjoy the weather (why is it going to be in the 60s, I want cold!!!!), I want to high-five every little kid on the course, and I want to thank and smile at every volunteer.  Races are about community – and running is one of the best communities I’ve ever been a part of.

Why do you run? What is your favorite part of a race?

Do you have any advice I can share with my friend Diane for her first half?

Is it too early for New Year’s Resolutions?

Thanks for letting me whine the past few days.  This community is so wonderful and so supportive.  After much counseling from you all and from my trainer, I think I’ve got a game plan for next year that’ll make me happy, not burn me out, and hopefully keep me injury free.

So, I’ve been doing some reflecting on the races that I choose.  I’ve come to learn that as much as I love the challenge of a half-marathon, I don’t know that I’m meant to do a lot of them (at least at this time).  I remember a post from my friend Lee when he talked about being a 5k-er.  That is HIS distance.  Sure, he can do half marathons and marathons (and is a total beast at them!) but in his heart of hearts, he loves a 5k.

I don’t know that I feel a strong pull toward any one distance, but I do know that I’m not defined by the distance that I do/do not run.  Any distance at all makes me a runner.  I just have to decide what keeps me happy AND healthy.

So, I think my strategy at this time will be to do no more than 2 half-marathon’s a year, and stick with shorter distances.  I’d like to do a spring half and a fall half.  But if I only want to do one, it’ll be the spring half (Shamrock!).  It was my first half, I love it, and I’ve already signed up for it 🙂 There are so many good short distance races in the fall, and I’d like to be able to do more of them.

This is what a dream schedule (not necessarily actual) would look like for me:

March: Shamrock Dolphin Challenge (8k and Half) *signed up already

May: Chickfila 5k or 10k

Maybe something in June/July/August?

September: Rock N Roll 5k

Early October: Crawlin Crab 5k

Late October: Wicked 10k

Early November: CNU Alumni 5k

Late November: Harbor Lights 5k or Half

Early December: ChristmasTown 8k

Late December: Surfin Santa 5 miler

I think I’d like to stick with 10k or under.  I want to end up with more quality races than quantity. I think I can do 5k’s more frequently if I’m doing far fewer long distance races.  My fall would be pretty race heavy, but if I drop the half and just do the shorter distances, I think I’ll be ok.

Realistically, if I need to cut down, I’ll just do the J&A Races: Shamrock, Crawlin Crab, Wicked, Surfin Santa.

I want to enjoy the run.  I want to stay healthy.  I want to do the races I love and not have the training kill me.  If I’m honest, I want to get back to my faster times.  The only way I’m going to get there (speaking for me personally) is if I stick with shorter distances.

Also, I want to try to keep some more consistent weekly mileage, even if its relatively low mileage.  I’m really enjoying all the other activities I’m doing, so I want to keep room for them.

I’m starting to have a sense of peace about this plan.  Its given me direction and focus to push through the end of the year with the promise of a new start.

Thank you guys for being so awesome.

Are you already thinking about new year’s resolutions? What race distances do you love? How do you find balance when planning a race schedule?

Adjusting Goals and Fall Half Marathons

I want to preface this post with a disclaimer: I am a runner, but I run for FUN. That being said, all decisions I make regarding training/races are to allow me to have fun and stay injury free.  Other than being competitive with myself on times(who isn’t?), I do these races for fun.  There is no goal for a  race important enough to supersede the focus on my health.

So after I completed the Shamrock 1/2 marathon, I decided to make the Crawlin Crab 1/2 Marathon my next goal race.  A goal race for me means trying to improve my times, possibly PR.  I foolishly signed up for the Shell Yeah Challenge; I will run the 5k on Saturday of race weekend and the half-marathon on Sunday. The races are the first weekend in October.

Well – my goals have changed.

Due to a complete lack of motivation and training, I know I will not be adequately prepared for Crawlin Crab.  Furthermore, if race day is as hot as it was last year, it will be a struggle.  I’m not making excuses here, I’m attempting to make a smart, calculated decision.

Sometimes things don’t go as we plan, and it is ok.

My new goal race is the Harbor Lights Half Marathon in November. By switching goals, it will allow my half-marathon in October become more of a training run.  I plan on employing a walk/run interval strategy.  I haven’t decided what that will look like yet, but that’s the plan.

It would be easy for me to get discouraged, to abandon the (Crawlin Crab) race or defer to next year.  However, I want to use this as a learning experience while making smart decisions and not force myself to do something that will result in an injury.  That being said, I really want to do this race – its FUN.  So I’m going to treat it like it’s fun.  I’m going to commit to working hard the next few weeks so that I can successfully run/walk it.

After that, I’ll have 7 weeks to  finish preparing for the Harbor Lights half. I think this plan is do-able.  I’m excited about this new plan and I think (and hope!) it will rejuvenate my training.

Thank you all for your advice over the past few weeks as I sought inspiration for motivation and struggled with decisions about races.

I know that some of you have had some changes in your race schedules recently, or have been dealing with injuries, and I’m hoping this is encouraging to you.

How do you handle changing goals? Do you get discouraged or rejuvenated?

 

Harbor Lights Race Series & a big decision

O.M.G! New J&A Race coming this fall and I cannot control my excitement!!!

Just today, they announced a new race series for the November 21-23rd weekend.  This will be a very beautiful run, taking place along the historic downtown Norfolk waterfront.

Races it will feature:

– Blue Moon Harbor Lights 5k

-Harbor Lights Final Mile

-Harbor Lights Half Marathon

-Get Lit Challenge (5k and Half Marathon)

Check out more information here: http://harborlightshalf.com.

Of course, you know I’m a sucker for a challenge, and I want to do the Get Lit Challenge.  However, I also know that I cannot push it, and I’ve pushed that idea out of my mind.  I am considering the half though.

This is what my current race schedule for the fall looks like:

October 4-5: Crawlin Crab Shell Yeah Challenge (5k and Half Marathon)

October 25: Wicked 10k

December 6: Surfin Santa 10 Miler

I”m not sure that inserting a half marathon into that schedule in late November is the best of ideas, but I really really want to do it.  November is such a great month for a half marathon.  I know for sure I could do the 5k, no problem.

If I were to do it, I would use the Crawlin Crab weekend as my tune up race – getting back into the swing of things, and make Harbor Lights my goal race for the the fall.  I’m not in as great shape as a lot of you guys are, and I tend to be injury/niggle prone.  I would love to be one of those people that can race 1/2 marathons back to back weekends, or even in the same month, but I’m not there.

If I were to do this, I’d have a 7 week window between the two.  I think it’s do-able, I just don’t know how smart it is.  Or maybe I chose to defer Crawlin Crab till next year (which I really don’t want to do).

I know that none of you can tell me what to do, I definitely don’t expect you to; I’m just trying to work out my thoughts about it.

How much time do you like to leave between half marathons?