Settling with my Running Pace

Well, I’m still waiting on that routine to fall in place, but….it’s getting better. I had an emotional week last week. The first part of the week, I was struggling with different things with the kids. I was irritable, edgy, and ready to crash by 8:30 every night. By Thursday, things started to turn around. It started when I was notified of the races I’ll be able to register for sponsored by Team Chocolate Milk, and that night we found out my daughter was picked up for the Navy ROTC scholarship for her top school choice – the University of Texas. As you can imagine, that was a pretty emotional moment – with more to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, last week’s training went pretty well. It included a ride on the bike trainer, a weight session at the gym with a friend, and a swim. All that, and I still managed to get over 40 miles of running in.

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I also got my heavy medal from doing two Rock ‘n Roll races this year – as a part of Team Chocolate Milk.

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The only drawback was Saturday’s long run. I felt okay starting off, running with my friend (who also decided to do Cowtown), and we were running 9:30s up until about mile 6. I felt sluggish and blah. As the miles continued, we slowed. I wasn’t warming up much either. My friend was feeling as blah as I was. We (I) decided not to worry about pace and just get the miles done. This was harder for me than for her. I’m usually pretty pace oriented on my long runs. I know that every run can’t be great, but I tend to be a little hard on myself sometimes. Or so I’ve been told. At least the sun finally came out around mile 12 to warm us up a bit.

Mittens are still on so it must be cold!

Mittens are still on so it must be cold!

After bouncing some ideas off my husband later that day, I decided to quit being so worried about my running speed. I need to spend some time getting ready to train for the half ironman. It won’t hurt me to cut back a bit on the run miles to work on my weak areas. I’m not under the pretense that I can knock out a sub four hour marathon 10 weeks after a strong 4:17 – and I’m totally okay with that. In fact, the bike and swim will probably help me more at this point.

I’m trying to look at the big picture. Right now, this is what I see.

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Rock on!

Sunday I ran the Dallas Rock ‘n Roll half marathon. This was my second year to run this race and I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t have experience with any other Competitor races, but for a big local half marathon this is a great one to do.

Dallas skyline at 6 am

Dallas skyline at 6 am

UPS does gear check too?

UPS does gear check too?

The weather was a little cool and windy, but thankfully no rain.

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I was overdressed with a 1/4 zip pullover and capri tights. Usually my legs get warmer faster than my upper body, but this time the pullover had me sweating extra by mile 3. I unzipped and pulled the thumbholes back but it didn’t help much. The course was not as windy in the first half as I thought it would be. Combine that with the hills that dominate the first half, and I was struggling.

Going in to this race, I didn’t feel strong enough to run the time I thought I should be capable of (sub 1:50:00) but I managed to hold a pace around 8:23-24 for about the first 10 miles. I bumpedย it up for the last 5k telling myself to just hang on – “it’s not a marathon, it will be over soon.” The elevation drops in the second half helped out a lot.

The spectators were great and some signs made me laugh out loud. My favorite was a lady sitting on a couch with cold cream on her face, rollers in her hair, wearing a robe, and a sign that said: “You got me up for this? Go Trudy!”

The finish is in Fair Park, and I’ve done enough races there to recognize when I’m close. I stopped checking my Garmin and tried to focus on finishing strong, but several people ran past me in the last 1/4 mile. I think they had too much gas left in the tank, because surely I wasn’t slowing down. I was surprised my time was so close to hitting my “A” goal. I took almost two minutes off of last year’s time.

PR!

PR!

 

After the race, there was this nice bonus:

American Authors!

That would be American Authorsย on stage. My 16 year-old daughter is so jealous.

Thanks again for a great race, Dallas. Here’s to another 5 years!

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