Marathon Training Recap Week 14 and Esprit de She 10k

Taper, taper, bo baper, fee fi, fo faper…taaaaaper!!!!!

I’m in good spirits and let me tell you why…

I DID MY 20 MILER THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!

Remember, I cried about how I wasn’t going to be able to and that I was worried I’d have to do it 2 weeks out? Crisis averted.

So my husband’s away on business and I’ve been solo-parenting. This was why I wasn’t going to be able to squeeze it in. But, my mother-in-law pulled through and spent the weekend with us, thus allowing me to long run on Sunday. Yay!!!

And it wasn’t just about being able to do it, I was able to do it and be happy with the results. SUPER yay!!!

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Yes, please direct your eyes to the last four miles. I finished so strong and that made me so freaking happy.

I started off with a slower pace than usual but I didn’t mind as I really wanted to last the entire way. The beginning pace was around the 10:45/mile range. That was about the first 7 miles.

Mile 10 I pulled a 10:10 from out of nowhere and then miles 13 on, my pace was steady around 10:30. Right where I wanted.

And I don’t know what the heck happened the last four miles lol! I might’ve wanted the run to be over with jajaja!!

So that was my long run 😀

The previous Thursday I ran the Esprit de She 10k. I had been looking forward to this race because it’s an all women’s race known for it’s awesome post-race festivities. But, because my husband was out of town, I wasn’t going to be able to partake in them 😦 It really did look like a lot of fun too as they had chili for post race yumminess and a bubbly bar (where you’d get a free wine cup/glass)!

Anyway, the race was a double 5k loop (boo!!!) on pavement with a brief stint on grass (boo!!!). It was also a short course with my watch stopping at 5.79 (boo!!!)

It was also a horribly run race on my part (super boo!!!)

One of the things I’ve been working on throughout this training are consistent splits and I’d been doing really good at getting them how I’d like, even sometimes negative splitting.

But holy shit, did I royally eff this one up.

First thing I did wrong? Thinking I could keep up with a girl in my run club. She’s someone who I’ve always “shadowed”, someone who is juuuust faster than me, enough that I can somewhat keep up with extra effort. (Although lately she’s been killing her training and is become almost impossible to shadow.)

Yeeeeah, so  she pretty much blew me away.

The first mile beeped 7:3o-something and I was done after that. Talk about a perfect way of burning out.

My goal had been to maintain an 8:30 pace then entire way and hope to finish strong. What the hell was I thinking starting out so fast? I wasn’t thinking. Clearly.

I was able to hit 8:30 the next two miles but then the second 5k was just an inconsistent hot mess.

You live run and you learn.

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On a super cool bright note, this was my high school BRF’s first 10k and she pulled out a 4th place overall finish! Badass status!

Prior to Thursday, I had run on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 miles respectively

 

which brought my total mileage for last week (Monday-Sunday) to: 35.8

Soda count: I lost count 😦

–Anyone else excited it’s Oc-freaking-tober??!!

–How’s your running going? Who’s got fall races?

–P.S. Salt‘s back! ❤

Friday Five: Fave Race Memories

Hooking up again today with the DC Trifecta girls Mar on the Run, You Signed Up For What!?, and Eat Pray Run DC for this week’s topic of “Favorite Races”.

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This is a tough one.

But, if I had to narrow things down, here are my top 5 so far:

1. Bisbee 1000

My husband and I did the Bisbee 1000 Ultimate Stairclimb race a couple of Octobers ago. Bisbee is 25 minutes away from where we grew up and we actually had never heard of the race til a few months prior! Once we did, we knew we had to do it. It was actually my husbands first race ever!! What a way to start–with a 1000 stairs to climb lol! The steps weren’t consecutive, but they totaled 1000 once all was said and done. The course ended up being a little over 4 miles and it was definitely a challenge but sooo much fun.

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2. Rock n Roll Arizona 2014

This was my first big race post baby #2 and I had the ambitious goal of getting a 1/2 marathon sub 2 hour finish.

And I did it!!!

I trained so hard for this race and knew that I was putting maybe too much pressure on myself considering I had given birth to my second child 6 months prior. But I really wanted to challenge myself and I really wanted to work towards something. My husband also ran this race and the feeling I had when I finished and fell into his arms is something I’ll never forget. 1:58:11!!!

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3. Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon–Madrid, Spain

It’s Spain, need I say more? 🙂 This was another fun race my husband and I did. Actually, I’m noticing a trend. All my faves so far I’ve run with my husband 🙂
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Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 10.25.47 PMIt was a hilly couse and definitley different in a lot of ways compared to American races but I was extremely pleased with my 2:08 finish.

4. Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim

Doing R2R2R is something I will NEVER forget. By far the most challenging and most exciting thing I’ve ever done.

Over 45 miles in two days. 100+ degree temps. Insane elevation changes.

It was simply amazing.

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at the finish line of the Canyon :)

at the finish line of the Canyon 🙂

5. Phoenix Marathon

My first. You’ll never forget your first.

Again, I was ambitous attempting this 7 months after having my son, but I wanted to do it. I didn’t have any “real” goals. I had a time I was shooting for but wouldn’t be devastated not getting (I didn’t get it)–I just wanted to cross that finish line.

And I did in 4:44:12 🙂

My husband didn’t officially run the race but he might as well have as he carried my the last 6.2 miles. When I hit the wall, I thought I was done and I was frustrated I couldn’t keep going. He kept pushing me  though and ran/walked with me those last miles. And I’ll never forget his words when we saw the “final mile” sign: “This is the last mile of the first marathon of your life. Finish strong.” I ran that entire last mile.

Crossing that finish line=best feeling ever

Crossing that finish line=best feeling ever (my husband took this pick 🙂 )

Yep, I'm a finisher!

Yep, I’m a finisher!

–What would say is your favorite race or race memory?

Have a great weekend amigos!!

Adrenaline 27k Night Trail Race {Recap}

I’m alive!!

Let me tell you something, that. was. brutal.

I’ll start at the beginning.

We didn’t do much on Saturday so I wasn’t exhausted by the day thankfully. I was planning on leaving my house early as I didn’t get my bib the two days prior so I was out the door by 5 p.m. Bib pick-up started at 6 and the race location was almost an hour away–yes, an hour!! Game time was 7:30 so I wanted to make sure I got there with plenty of time.

I drove the 45+ minutes to get to the middle of nowhere aka: McDowell Mountain Park. I had never been there before so I had no clue what to expect. I also hadn’t looked at the course map or elevation chart before (<–um yeah, that would’ve been smart).

Started with the 10 mile loop followed by the 10k loop (see mountain).

Started with the Long Loop 10 mile (bottom) followed by the  Short Loop 10k (top–see mountain).

After glancing at the elevation chart(wha??!!),  I picked up my bib and shirt (love!) and then headed over to my running group’s tent. There were about 40 of us that had signed up for the 10k and 27k. (Btw, there’s been much talk amongst my blogging friends on how cool running groups are. Mine is pretty amazing and will write soon on how I found them.)

AZTNT at Adrenaline :)

AZTNT at Adrenaline 🙂

As we all chatted, we said how nice it was that it had gotten below 100 degrees. It actually felt pretty good out lol!

Pre-race pic!

Pre-race pic!

Go time was right before sunset:

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And we were off!

I started the race having absolutely no idea what to expect. I had never done a trail race and I had never raced at night. I figured I’d just go and see how it went.

I began with three teammates who are pretty fast. I knew I wasn’t going to stay with them long at all but it was nice to be around familiar faces at the start. After the first mile beeped though, I knew I was going too fast: 9:48. With my personal experience trail running, my easy comfort zone is way slower than that so I immediately slowed down.

I was looking around taking the scenery in. It was pretty cool to be out there in the desert watching the sun set and hearing nature. I think I got caught up with all of it because what I was hoping wouldn’t happen happened a lot earlier than expected. I flew into the air and almost fell flat on my face! I had tripped over a rock, hard, but was able to catch my balance mid air to escape disaster. Then, not just a few minutes later, I slipped and tweaked my ankle! Luckily, it wasn’t anything serious–but this was barely mile 2!!

Wouldn't this distract you too?? Photo Cred: B. Swanson

Wouldn’t this distract you too??
Photo Cred: B. S (AZTNT)

I told myself to get it together; I still had 14 miles to go.

I slowed down considerably and was battling the up, down, up, down portion of the course. It finally settled into just up and I took my time as I climbed the hills.

A little after mile 5 was the first water station. I had heard from my running group that the stations were well stocked–as in, they had an assortment of candy, chips, watermelon, soda, water, gatorade. It was pretty cool! One of the volunteers even refilled my hydration pack for me!

I gobbled a watermelon slice, took a salt tablet, and got going.

Finally, I was at the downhill part of the first loop and it was nice because the trail was finally clear. No more jumping rocks 🙂 I settled in and cruised the next couple of miles. By this time, it was dark and my head lamp was on. It did a good job of lighting the path and it also helped that I had other runners around me. Like the guy in front running barefoot.

My watch beeped mile 8 and I was so glad to know that I was halfway done. I absolutely love trail running but it’s definitely a different type of running. A lot more concentration is involved–i.e. not tripping, twisting your ankle, getting lost–which i don’t mind but  I learned that’s doubled when you’re trail running at night. I was already so exhausted!

We had to turn off the trail to start the second loop and this was SO confusing. I, along with several others, had missed it and had to turn back. We had to get on a trail that took us to the start line where we would get on a the 10k trail. It meant that for about a mile, those in front were running back and those still going were on the same trail. Not cool and this would be the only black spot I’d have on the race.

Plus, having to pass the start/finish line made me want to stop. Knowing I still had 6 miles left was tough. But, it was nice to hear the cheers from everyone.

The 10k loop was absolutely awful. From the very beginning you were climbing a mountain. The trail had gotten rocky again; I didn’t mind walking but I did wish I knew how long I had to the top– it seemed never ending. I started Lebronning (cramping) around mile 11 and I never fully recovered. My legs were so tight and I was fighting some serious pain.

It was around this time too that the crowd had really dissipated. I was alone for a long time with the exception of one girl who I’d pass and who’d catch up–we went like this for a while until I passed her and didn’t see her again.

It was very dark out. The moon provided some light but out there in the mountains it was difficult to navigate. Several times I had to stop and look around to make sure I was on the right path. I’d taken an extra hand flashlight (thank goodness) and that helped provide me with extra light to figure out where I was going.

Everything was hurting. My legs continued to cramp off and on and my feet hurt so bad. I was concentrating so hard on the trail but even then I found myself sailing forward again! I was able to catch myself for the second time and avoid any battle wounds.

I did a lot of jog and then walk, jog and then walk until I saw mile 15 and then I just told myself to try my hardest to keep running. Not seeing the end anywhere near was tough but when I was at halfway through the mile I finally heard life. I was close! I picked up it up (ja!! I was limping at this point) and tried to finish strong. With whatever strength I had, I lifted my arms up in celebration as I crossed the finish line 3 hours and 19 minutes later–I was finally done!

SO happy to be done! :)

SO happy! 🙂

This was a great race put on my awesome people. If you’re ever in Arizona, definitely check out Aravaipa Running. I had so much fun although I do think I was ambitious in attempting the 27k as my first trail race (at night). Two days later, I’m still really sore and with marathon training 10 days away, it was poor planning on my part.

But all in all, it was a great experience and something I can cross off my list–and I love doing that 🙂

–Have you tripped during a race?

–What race exhausted you the most?