Murphy’s May

Can I just tell you how glad I am to be in a new month?

May was rough. Murphy’s Law hit us big time. It actually started late April with the dryer and washer breakdowns, then on Mother’s Day with the flooding under the house. The day after prom, when I was totally sleep deprived, I got this gem of a text from my 12 year-old (who is one tough wake-up on school mornings).

From the child who hates to get out of bed in the mornings.

Note the time of this text.

 

We had more flooding exactly two weeks after the first time. Apparently we are okay unless it rains hard all night long on an already saturated ground. But it sure does bring a family together when you’re working together to bail out water. The concern was to get it down enough so our entire first floor didn’t flood.

I started back on my Racing Weight guidelines to try to shed the 10 pounds that doesn’t seem to want to move. I set out for my 10k time trial – to get a base time – on Wednesday. I found out that I can’t run as fast as I thought I should be able to. I ended up calling it done at 4.5 miles. My legs were Jell-O. After my mile cool down, I got attacked by mosquitos on my walk back to the car. I was frustrated and disappointed in my pacing. Then I had to remind myself: patience, progress. I cannot pick back up where I left off almost 7-8 months ago (peak marathon training). I am still healing with the injury. I am trying to lose weight by eating higher protein and less carbs. Those three things will affect my speed, and I need to focus on what’s most important right now, and that’s to get my foot completely healed and drop the weight. The speed will come later. And that’s okay. Oh, and I have lost 3 1/2 pounds since March. Yay!

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So this is my base.

 

 

On Friday we had another heavy rain that lasted all night. I don’t know how much rain we got, but it poured for hours. I couldn’t sleep for fear of flooding again. I woke up every hour to check under the house and it seemed we were okay. Until 5 am when I planned to get on the treadmill. I learned how awesome my kids are, as they got up without complaint and helped me out. My husband was driving through that mess of a storm that stretched over 500 miles. He was worried about me. I was worried about him.

Thankfully, our heavy-duty sludge pump we ordered after the second incident came in that afternoon.

How many pair of running shoes could I get for the cost of this pump?

How many pair of running shoes could I get for the cost of this pump?

We were able to pump the rest of the water out in less than 5 minutes, and now the rain is out of the forecast for the next week. Of course.

Saturday long run was in the rain, but thankfully the lightning stayed at bay so we could get the miles in. 12 done to prepare for the Wounded Warrior half and I felt pretty tough splashing through puddles like a little kid. It did bring along some major Sunday soreness though. But I feel better going into this race with a couple of double-digit runs.

At least I feel I’m getting stronger, since I’ve been on the real-life cross-training/strength routine of dumping buckets of water, mowing and weed eating, dumping more buckets, and even more buckets of water. Whew!

I’ll be doing real push ups before I know it! 🙂

Bring it June!

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Blue Red Run Half Marathon

It’s been a little while since I’ve raced a half marathon – June actually with an overcast coolish summer day. After that race, I got a registration discount to sign up for the inaugural Blue Red Run. The timing (4 weeks) before the Dallas Marathon seemed to be a good fit to test my goals.

Like most of the country, North Texas was hit with a nice early cold snap. I kept my early morning runs outdoors except for the day when the wind chill felt like 15 degrees. I know my immune system is being tested with the higher mileage right now, and I didn’t want to push my limits any more than necessary. So I did my easy run on the treadmill that day and finished dripping in sweat.

Race day was cold and damp. There was a light drizzle that continued for the entire race. I was prepared with my new Target C9 hat.

37 degrees and rainy? No problem!

37 degrees and rainy? No problem!

It may not be the cutest, but I’m cheap, it was on sale, and it kept my head dry. If it had been colder or heavier wind, I would have gone with a fleece headband. My head doesn’t usually get too cold, but I like to keep cold wind out of my ears. Kudos to the guy around mile 4 who said to me “It’s beautiful out here.” At first I thought he said “flat hair” so you can see where my mind was. Ha! Seriously though, it was a great course, mostly paved and through a park. Nice for being in the middle of a city.

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Three cheers for outdoor heaters!

 

My goal was to break 1:50:00 which would give me a nice new PR and big boost of confidence. My pace needed to be 8:23. I planned to negative split and follow my usual plan of running 5 miles at one pace, dropping down for the next five, and knocking out the last 5k at a faster pace. This plan worked, with one minor exception. I forgot to account for GPS difference. Miles 1-5 averaged 8:28, 6-10 were at 8:20, mile 11 in 8:22, 12 in 8:35, and the last one was 8:19 for an overall pace of 8:24 for 13.19 miles on the Garmin. My official chip time was 1:50:47 (8:27 pace). I started to feel strong around mile four, but by 9 I was starting to hurt some. It became harder to hold my pace. I took a GU at miles 4, 8, and 11. Mile 12 was my problem though. We went up a hill and straight into the wind. Unfortunately I run like I drive – away from the pack – so there was no drafting. I turned my face downward since the rain had picked up a little, and pushed through. Then a turn and a small downhill took me to the finish.

Representing Team Chocolate Milk

Representing Team Chocolate Milk

Parking was close and I was wet and cold, so I headed straight to the car after I finished to get my jacket and chocolate milk. I had a guy stop me and say, “Hey, you were fast. I was trying to catch you!” I said thank you through my half-frozen lips. At this point, I still thought I had set a PR.

Mmmmm! Lowfat Chocolate Milk

Mmmmm! Lowfat Chocolate Milk

I started my recovery with chocolate milk (I love that carb to protein ratio) and headed back to the finish area. It wasn’t until I checked my time at the result tent that I realized I had missed my PR by five seconds. I’m not going to lie. I was upset with myself. Darn that mile 12 where I lost 10 seconds. My friend found me after she finished. She went to check her results while I was waiting for pancakes. When she came back, she told me she set a PR by one second after being sick all week. Awesome! Oh, and I was third in my age group. What?!?

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This was my first age group place in a half marathon, and I still can’t believe it. Instead of enjoying that little victory for what it was, I spent the afternoon second guessing myself and my goals. I feel like I’ve plateaued and am not getting faster at the shorter distances. It wasn’t until I looked at the official results on Monday that my perspective straightened out.

IMG_5346For a high school girl who was lapped in the 3200 meters on the track, I’d say I’ve made some progress. Of course it’s not always about my time or age group place, but for me to know that I pushed myself to do the best I could at that moment. I can look back at this race with no regrets. Maybe a drier day would’ve been different…but it’s time to move on. I’ve got a marathon in less than four weeks. My goal may still seem way out there, but I’m not going to change anything with my training. I’m just going to keep on moving.