Last Week’s Training

Because it’s peak week (and life is hitting hard today), here is my synopsis of last week’s marathon training – in pictures.

Finishing a run with this beautiful backdrop:

IMG_6753

Cooler temperatures have arrived (some days):

IMG_6755

Which means long sleeves (and compression socks for tired legs):

IMG_6766

Maybe a hint that we should turn on the heater. For reference, she sleeps with her ceiling fan on and likes her room cold:

IMG_6767

Perfect weather for a long run, which equates to faster paces:

IMG_6771

Lots of chocolate milk on hand:

IMG_6773

On Saturday afternoon, we went to a seminar at Trishop in Dallas. They were celebrating their 4th anniversary all weekend with events, giveaways, and sales. Both of us won a prize and ended up with all this stuff:

IMG_6780

I’ll try out the chews probably after Dallas, since it’s less than a month away. The session was informative – about Ironman – and geared toward first-timers.  Yes, that’s a someday goal that will take me a while to get to. But I wanted to see what kind of info I could come away with. It was time well spent and I’m putting a timeline in place.

 

 

Advertisements

Goal Check

With just under five weeks to go until the Dallas Marathon, it’s time for me to do a “goal check” to see how things are shaping up.

Earlier last week, I read an article – and I wish I could remember where I found it – about your goal race time and good indicators to meet it. There were five or six items on the list. As I read through them, I took an honest look at how my training has been going. It seems like everything is rolling along pretty good, but I have one main issue to fix. My brain. Oh, and more sleep couldn’t hurt. So, maybe two.

My mental game is not strong. Over the past year my training and racing has been filled with doubt in my abilities. I’ve given up on time goals, and had pity parties because of an injury.  I have had times where I thought my fastest days were behind me.

That changed this week.

On Saturday, I ran my second 20 miler of the season. The weather was great! All 20 miles were completed with my friend who was doing her first 20 ever. It was the most consistently paced long run I’ve had for a while. The first five miles, we had the company of our group. Then we ran another loop, where one of the runners in the group asked if he could tag along with us. Well, of course. Then my husband, out riding his bike, joined us along the way. Thanks to the Road ID app, he was able to locate me. So for our last 6 mile loop, the four of us trekked along. There were a few stops along the way: refill bottles, take gels, pit stops, etc…But it’s all about the miles, right? This run was about 8 seconds per mile faster than my last one.

IMG_6746

 

Recovery went well. I swam on Sunday, and was just a little sore for Monday’s six miler. It was more of a marathon training fatigue though.

Today, I attempted speed work and it went fine. My legs were like jelly toward the end, but with 12 x 1/4 mile repeats, I wouldn’t expect anything else. I found an extra bit of motivation in my paces today. On my last repeat, I reminded myself that hard work is going to get the job done. I pushed harder, and it was my fastest. It reminded me that I can meet goals, and still run fast. It’s there. I’ve just got to do a little more digging to get to it. Like my husband said, “hard work brings things closer.”

My plan is to keep training my brain. I can break four hours – with consistent hard work, and a belief that I can. So I’ll keep at it.

My biggest challenge has been food at work. Ever since I wrote this post, there has been someone bringing in food at least twice a week. Just last week there was sausage biscuits one day and donuts the next. Let’s not forget the bowl of leftover Halloween candy either. Today, someone brought in breakfast burritos and another person brought a peanut butter cheesecake, with a brownie crust, and peanut butter cups on top. I only have so much willpower! They sure timed it right, because I have hit the portion of training where I’m hungry most of the day. It sure is a challenge. But I’ll keep on, because I’ll get this reminder in my messages from my husband whenever I voice a struggle:

IMG_8596

 

Sometimes you just have to laugh about it.

Feel free to share any mental training tips and have a great week!

Monster Tri Recap

Oh, hey there! Yes, I’m still around. I’ve had a devil of a time trying to get to this race recap. The whole marathon training, being mom, senior year, marching band season kind of takes over sometimes. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to make sure the utilities are paid up and there is food in the house to eat. The latter part of that statement is getting harder to do. One day last week, my oldest daughter told me we were out of “lunch stuff.” My reply was, “That’s because we have enough food for dinner. Apparently I can’t keep up with both.” True story.

So here I am, ready to write my race recap and the time change has me ready to fall asleep by 7:30 pm.

I digress.

The Monster Tri was on the Sunday before Halloween. This was my second triathlon, and I was feeling better about my swim this time around.

The day before the race it was rainy. The forecast called for more rain. The good thing about the rain was that it moved the Area marching contest to Monday instead of the day before the race. The bad thing about the rain was that I’m inexperienced riding in the rain. We bought new tires for my bike (which still had the original ones) so that my tread would be better on the wet roads. I also bought elastic laces to put through my running shoes to save time in transition.

Just so you know, it’s not the most relaxing thing to change tires and shoelaces the day before a race and practice transition. But, you do what you have to! My main goal for the race was to gain more experience – not speed.

Also, if you thought runners got up super early for races, triathlon is a whole other ballgame. Transition area opened at 6:15, and the race was supposed to start at 7:15. Body marking, laying out gear, getting organized, checking tire pressure, etc. I also have a tendency to stress over being late. Fortunately, my #1 fan gets me there on time (early).  That’s his military background, but I’m not complaining.

I wasn’t as nervous for this race. My running friend was doing it too. We did a warm up in the pool, which was smaller than the first race, and I felt okay about it. They delayed the start by about 10 minutes because of cloud cover.

IMG_0259

The swim went okay. I started off fine for the first few lanes, but swimming under the rope into the next lane threw me off. I finally found my groove in the last two lanes. It wasn’t great, but it was better than my first race when I couldn’t keep my head in the water.

IMG_6409

Better, but still lots of room for improvement!

Out of the water and outside to the transition was a shock to my system. Wet and then cold. Temps were in the 50s and a slight north wind. But I decided not to throw on a jacket.

I survived the bike mount. Read: I didn’t fall trying to clip in.

The bike was an out and back 16 mile ride of rolling hills. The toughest part for me was the wind. On the way out I saw several people changing tires along the way, so I figured a flat was in my future. Thankfully, I made it to the turnaround with no issues. I have noticed that one of my strengths is climbing, because that’s when I pass people. It must be my running legs. But I’m still a chicken on the downhills. Coming in to dismount, I was ecstatic that I made it on and off the bike with no falls.

My legs were wobbly to start the run. I wore my Garmin, planning to turn it on for the run, but it couldn’t locate GPS. I ran by feel and felt strong on the run, just like in the last race. I only remember being passed by one person, and she was 29, so I’m ok with that. I kind of like being able to see everyone’s age. It gives me a competitive push.

By the time I finished the 5k run, I was ready to eat! Thanks to marathon training, a later start, and forgetting my prerace fuel, I grabbed some pancakes and ate like I ran a marathon. I also managed to eat pretty much all day long. I couldn’t believe how hungry I was! Later, it hit me that I didn’t get my chocolate milk recovery. I bet that’s a big part of why I was hungry all day.

I was surprised (ok, maybe giddy is a better term) when I found out I placed 3rd in my age group. It was a smaller field, but when I looked at all the times I feel pretty good about my race. My swim had improved from 10:27 (300meters) to 7:25 (250 yards). I survived my first time clipped in on the bike, and the run was strong. All this in the middle of marathon training made it that much sweeter.

IMG_6679

I’m looking forward to planning out a triathlon race schedule for next spring/summer. I’m enjoying the challenge.

Here’s a quick recap from the last week in pictures, because it was just a blur of band/mom stuff/training:

Cheering on the band at Area:IMG_6683IMG_6687IMG_6696

A two part Saturday long run, because life:IMG_6704 IMG_6705Halloween:IMG_6708
Next up – 2nd 20 miler of the training cycle on Saturday after the last football game Friday.

Enjoy your weekend!