Making Adjustments

So my training must be eating up my brain, because I’ve had several post ideas throughout the last few days. Now that I have time to sit at the computer to type it out, my brain is blank.

There’s been a lot of marathon excitement this month. I revisited this list.

My marathon wish list

My marathon wish list

But first, I need to graduate a child who has a crazy schedule during the fall thanks to marching band. Then I get a year off before the next child starts. So I’m going to enter all the lotteries for Fall 2016 – NYC, Marine Corps, and Chicago. Does anyone else have a list like this?

This is where my training is with less than 3 weeks to my next half marathon, 7 to go for the Dallas marathon, and then another 5 weeks after that for Houston.

I adjusted my training paces to match training for a 3:45 marathon. I previously planned to train for 3:40 which I hoped would help me land under the 3:45 needed to qualify for Boston. Since I haven’t seen the gains in speed from summer that I hoped (and we haven’t had much in the way of fall weather) I don’t want to set myself up for failure. Although 3:45 is still pretty ambitious. (My PR is 4:02:03 from Houston last year.)

I’m going to test my fitness at the half marathon, and move on from there. Last week, I nailed the prescribed paces for all three workouts, but my hardest run was the “easy” 7 miles the day after the tempo. How is it that my hardest run was one of the shortest?

This week didn’t get off to the best start though. I didn’t hit close enough to the pace to feel confident. I know the effort was there, but I think my legs were still tired from the 16 on Saturday. Last week was my highest mileage week so far. The cumulative fatigue in this plan is real. My legs are chronically sore, but I’m going to trust the training and keep pushing forward.

Meanwhile, I’m getting pretty tired of running in the dark.

By the light of the headlamp

By the light of the headlamp

I have been looking forward to my weekends runs for three reasons:

1) After solo miles, a group run on Saturday is the best.

2)Vitamin D – I get to run with the sunrise.

3)I get to sleep in.

Wait, when did 5:30 become sleeping in???

Also, after November 7th, marching band season is done and I get my early Friday night bedtime back. Yay!

Yes, I know. My life is so exciting.

On that note, tomorrow is rest day and I’m going to celebrate by going to bed.

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Halfway There!

This week starts the second half of my 18 week training cycle for the Dallas Marathon. I’m not going to lie; there have been a few rough patches. The humidity has been higher this year it seems, and most of my speed and tempo runs have been at 75-80 degrees with 80% humidity (or higher). I’ve had some sweat drenched running clothes and not so easy “easy” paced runs.

In addition to tough workouts, I seem to have become inept in the kitchen. I broke my own rule I set back in August. My sixteen year old needed to bring homemade chocolate chip cookies to school a few weeks ago (with night before notice). She was going to make them, but I thought I would be nice and help her out while she was taking a shower after band. Translation: I did all the mixing and baking. I must have been more tired than I thought because I misread the recipe. We didn’t realize until after the fact that the cookies were a little salty. Instead of 1/4 teaspoon, I put in 3/4 of salt. Oops. I guess with all the heat, I needed some extra sodium.

Training aside, my favorite thing so far this month was my first job as a pacer in a half marathon. The Showdown Half was this past Saturday, and I helped pace the 2:15 group. This gave me the chance to help give back to the running community, without changing my training around too much. I still had the benefit of motivation from a race.

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

This was a great race with so much energy. The skies were overcast, and temps were in the high 50s. There were a few minutes of misty rain, but it felt wonderful. There were a few hills especially in the second half, but a nice course. In our group there were at least two first time half marathoners, and a runner who set a 10 minute PR. At one point around mile 10, he told me he thought he shouldn’t be feeling this good running 10:15 miles. He expected to be running 11 minute miles at that point. When we got to the last quarter mile, I sent them on ahead to finish strong.

A friend of mine, who was running her second half, set a 15 minute PR! Awesome!

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I would love to have the chance to pace another half marathon. It was nice to take the focus off my own training and encourage someone else, to remember what it’s like to achieve new distances and paces that were thought impossible. It renewed my motivation.

Look at the size of that medal!

Look at the size of that medal!

Monday, I finally had cooler weather for a speed session. I headed to the track with 61 degrees and wind for 1600 meter repeats. My goal was 7:30 for each one. I ran 7:27, 7:29, and 7:33. The funny thing about the speed sessions is that whether I’m running 400 or 1600, the lap time is still the same. That should mean the shorter sessions were easier, right? Yeah, okay. I’m content with that portion of my training, and next week I’ll move into strength workouts – where the distances are longer.

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Now I’m off to bed for tomorrow’s early tempo run. So excited that it will be cool for 8 miles at race pace. Now, let’s see if I can get it. Don’t forget, you can follow my training at Daily Mile or connect on Instagram. The links are on the home page.

Have a great week!