Marathon Training Week 7 Re-Cap

I gave a my mini re-cap of my runs Sunday-Thursday in my blog link up with Salt, so I’ll update you on my Friday and Saturday run.

Friday, I stuck to my easy one mile streak run. If you remember from my Streak Re-cap post, I had been sticking to only a mile this week to rest my leg. I definitely feel that with only running a mile and continuing to stretch and ice, that is has done a lot of good.

My training plan had me running 12 miles on Saturday but I decided to do 10 again. I had plans to do two runs, one with my run club and another with some fellow Swirlgear girls (<—re-cap on that soon!). So, I decided to run 6 with my club group and then 4 with my Swirl girls. The 6 miler felt great! I was worried that after not having ran farther than a mile that I’d be a little rusty but I felt good the entire way. Each mile was faster than the previous and I ended up with a 9:34 avg. I am veeery happy with that!

My second run was with my Swirl sisters and we took it easy. I’m glad we did as I didn’t want to push it with my leg. We started the first two miles at a jog and then walked/jogged the last two. It was a great easy run after my previous six miles.

All in all, this week’s total mileage was: 14.8 miles, my lowest mileage to date but I’m glad I took some time to rest.

Next up is a 5K on New Year’s Day. It’ll be on a very similar, almost identical, route as my last 5K where I was thisclose to breaking 25:00 so you know what my goal will be 😉

Commitment Day

–How was your running week?

–What are you New Year’s plans?

Fiesta Bowl 5K Recap and 12 Days of Fitmas-Day 5

Wow. All I gotta say is wow.

These past 4 months that I’ve been running has just been amazing. I ran my last race of the year on Sunday and it. was. awesome.

When I previewed the course, I saw that it was a flat one in the city. Phoenix roads are structured like a grid so the roads are pretty much all straight. This course was basically a rectangle.

My previous 5K PR was 25:44 at my hometown’s Turkey Trot. I was hoping that maaaaybe I could set a new PR with the Fiesta Bowl seeing that it was relatively flat and I had a few more weeks of training under my belt.

25:05!!!!

My goal of course was to PR, but I had a secret sub 25 goal way back in my head (Do you ever do that? Have goal you don’t tell anyone because it might be slightly unrealistic and you don’t want anyone to laugh at you?) Anyway, you better believe I was still thrilled with my time (and my splits!!)

Mile 1: 8:04
Mile 2: 7:59
Mile 3: 8:06
Mile 4: 0:57

The morning was cold (again, Arizona cold) and I was decked out and covered head to toe. About 20 minutes before the race, I ditched the gloves and jacket.

The race was a 5K and ½ marathon and had two different start lines for each with only 5 minutes separating the gun. There were quite a few people confused and standing at the 5K line when they should have been at the ½. I let people I saw in the wrong place know they better get a move on to their correct spot.

The Fiesta Bowl race coordinators had partnered with Girls On The Run because their race had been flooded the month before; this made the start line particularly crowded and there were no corrals. I tried to shimmy my way close to the front as best I could but I still had to dodge around some people at the beginning. It worried me because there were a lot of children in the race and I could see people brushing them as they ran past.

Once I was able to navigate the crowd, I was on it. I looked at my watch to check out my pace and made sure to stay at 8:15 and under. At the time, I couldn’t believe that I was even saying that to myself!! “Helly, stay at an 8:15 pace.” Seriously, I never thought that would be possible for me!

After the first mile, I felt warmed up and told myself to push a little harder. I had that lofty goal of sub 25 in my head. 7:59. Yes!!

Mile 3. Okay, I was starting to get a little winded. Considering I had never ran this fast in my life, I was hanging in there but I really really wanted to finish strong. It became a mental challenge for sure to keep pace and I managed at 8:06 but I knew that my under 25 goal was likely not going to happen at that point. I ran towards the finish line like a madwoman. It took me a second to pause my Garmin (literally, my official time was 25:05) and I walked towards my run club’s tent wanting to collapse.

I looked down at my watch and saw 25:06—soooo close!!! I had to really talk to myself about not getting down on not reaching my secret goal. I was disappointed I was so close and hadn’t reached but I kept telling myself, “Helly, you freaking PR’d!!!”

Right in front of my run club’s tent were screens with the finisher’s times (I think this is pretty cool race feature btw). I kept a close eye to find my name and there I was—48/331, 10th woman overall, and 2nd place in my age group!! That news definitely helped alleviate any sadness I had over not finishing under 25.

It was the perfect ending to the year and leaves me with so much motivation for 2014. You bet I’ve got a 24 something 5K on my to-do list!! : )

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The 12 Days of Fitmas

On the 5th day of Fitmas…

DON’T NEGLECT YOUR CORE

One thing I keep hearing throughout my training is that if you wanted to improve as a runner, you gotta work on your core.

Confession: In my recaps to you, I haven’t been completely thorough.

I run and you know that because I write about it but I’ve also been doing ab videos at home. My buddy Salt, whom I’ve mentioned before and will again and again, referred me to Blogilates on YouTube for good ab workouts. There is no way I can repay Salt for introducing me to this awesome person that we call Crazy Cassey. (She’s the one heading the videos.) They’re short, intense, awesome workouts. I’m obsessed. You heard me. I’m obsessed with working out my abs. (Who says that?!?) But seriously, these videos are actually fun, mainly because Crazy Cassey is hilariously entertaining. She has quite an abundance of ab workouts but she also has videos targeting all areas. Do a quick search of Blogilates legs and you’ll find a number of options. Same thing for arms.

I’m not too familiar with YouTube and what it has to offer as far as workout videos are concerned, but I do know that these are working for me. I’ve seen a significant improvement in my running since I’ve made my core a priority. I know that by continuing to include core work, along with diet and consistency in my training, I’ll continue to improve. It’s worked for Salt too—check out her abs!!

5k Turkey Trot Recap

Wahooooooooo!!!! Okay, I just needed to let that out : )

Yesterday’s 5k went way better than expected.

I woke up and got ready for what was going to be my coldest race to date.

Snapshot 2013-11-29 18-05-57

I was glad that I had run an easy two miles the day before to get acclimated to the weather because holy freezing temps!

The race actually started pretty late, 9:00 a.m., giving it a chance to warm up. At go time it must have been around 35 degrees which I know isn’t technically cold, but for this girl it certainly is.

I went out with the mentality that I wanted to hang out in the 8 minute range throughout the race. I knew there was an almost mile long incline starting around mile 2 so I also wanted to make sure I had stamina to get through that.

The gun shot and we were off! There was the usual speedster crowd at the start and around the half mile it began to dissipate. I was feeling pretty good when my watch beeped the first mile complete and showed me 8:09. Yes! That was great news knowing that in about a half mile the incline would start. I turned the corner and there it was. I picked it up a little to adjust and kept trucking along. Mile two, 8:49. Yay! I was on cloud nine seeing that despite the long incline I had maintained an 8 something pace. I rode that high into the end of the race finishing at 25:44 (official time). Yes, 25:44, a new PR for me!!! I was in total shock. I had majorly surpassed my goal of finishing under 27:00.

5kturk1 5k watch time

My husband, who had finished earlier, was at the finish line with a look of astonishment. Once I crossed, he met me saying, “You are amazing!! Do you know what your time is? Under 26:00!!” I was so exhausted but thrilled I couldn’t even talk, I just let him envelope his arms around me.

Once I was able to catch my breath, we went to the racing station to check out where I had placed overall and if I would have a chance to place in my age group. I saw the 14-19 group and then mine, 20-29. I was a little bummed they hadn’t split my group as it had been the largest show and I ended up placing 4th, 8th overall for women, and 28th overall for the race. I was sad for maybe 2 seconds and then I remembered 25:44!!!!

On the car ride home, I told my husband of a funny thing that happened around mile two. After the crowd dissipated at the beginning, I found myself running alongside an older gentleman. We were running at the same pace and stayed together for about a mile when I passed him to adjust for the incline. He was still at earshot behind me (I was running with no music!) when I heard him say to another runner, “Don’t let her beat you.”

Was that “you” he was referring to me?

A few seconds later a tall blonde teen began to surge past me. My instincts reacted and I could feel my legs start to quicken but I immediately said to myself, “Helly, this is your race, your pace. Don’t ruin what you’ve got going on to try and show up someone else.”

I went back to my pace and let the blonde go. It wasn’t worth it.

Overall, I am beyond thrilled with the results of yesterday’s race. Not only did I get a better time than I expected, I feel like I’ve grown as a runner these past few months. My training has taught me so much. I very easily could have attempted to pass that girl but I knew that I would be risking burning myself out at the end. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have cared. Now, I know that the race wasn’t against her.

5kturkeytrot

–What are some things you’ve learned as a runner?