It’s All About The Climb…

I actually like that Miley song…..

Anyway, last week was a pseudo recovery week from my very first Triathlon–I didn’t do a whole lot of running (two days) but I got in a tough trail run/hike at the end of the week.

Monday I headed to the gym and worked out with a buddy. She had me doing some crazy stuff that left me quite sore, lol! It was fun though, because they were workout drills I normally would never do–squats with weights and other fun things.

Tuesday had me running an easy 5 miler (8:53/m) with a friend and her pooch.

Wednesday I picked up the pace on a solo run, 4 miles at 8:04/m. I was really happy with this run because my splits were good–8:16, 8:04, 8:05, 7:51. 😀

Thursday consisted of a 20 minute stationary bike ride and core work and I took a complete rest day Friday.

Saturday was a big day.

I have a 4 year old <3

I have a 4 year old ❤

It’s crazy how time flies. When she was born, people would tell me that before I knew it, she’d grow up. Now it’s really happening.

We had a fun family day together and in the evening we had a few of her friends over for play. Her big party is this next weekend so there’ll be more pictures then 🙂

Sunday I met up with my run club for a new trail run. I always jump at the chance to run on a new trail because I love exploring where we live.

This particular hike was exactly that, a hike. It was about a 40 minute drive from where I live, but we were told it would be worth it.

Oh, boy.

The trail was labeled “expert” but I wasn’t sure what that meant. I’ve done some pretty tough climbs but this had been talked up as being a really, really tough one.

See those towers way up there? Let's climb up to them just for fun!

See those towers way up there? Let’s climb up to them just for fun!

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Yep, that was my Garmin read of that hike.

It was a 9+ miler that was basically UP. At the start, you had a few rolling hills, so you thought you’d be okay. But then around mile 2 and a halfish, the ridiculousness started. I was f bombing left and right at how not fun it was. At this point, the trail turned into concrete and there was no running; it was literally a climb.

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Pit stop to decide if we *really* want to go all the way to the top, lol!

The trail website describes it:

“The climb provides a serene feeling of ridge-line hiking, offering amazing views along the way as you quickly climb 2000 feet to the peak.”

I somehow missed the serenity feeling, lol!

Anway, I huffed and puffed (and swore) my way up all the way to the very top 🙂

Almost to the top. This was after quite a few Holy Fuckballs

Almost to the top. This was after quite a few Holy Fuckballs

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Amazing view of Phoenix

And when we got there, we saw a helipad!! I of course had to take a picture on it! 😀

Helly on a helipad :D

Helly on a helipad 😀

The way back down had to be done carefully. It was so steep there was no way you could run down that without falling. Once it leveled out a bit though, it was easier to pick up speed. Which I did because I wanted to get the hell out of there, lol!!

Shoefie!

Shoefie!

Protruding cactus at the start/end. I wanted to high five it

Protruding cactus at the start/end. I wanted to high five it

I was glad I did the hike though. As with most things in life, it’s good to try everything once (most things anyway 😉 )

–Have you hiked a rough trail before? What about it made it tough?

–Do you swear when you run? Or during your regular day?

 

 

Celebrate The Good Runs

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Oh man, I had the awesomest run on Tuesday. It deserves its own post/celebration.

Okay, so I knew I wanted to do this one a little on the faster side. I have my Tri on Saturday and knew I could get in one good hard run before I’d have to take it easy leading up to the big day.

But I had no idea it’d be as fast as it was.

Perspective: My 5k PR is 23:55 and that is a 7:48 pace.

My run on Tuesday was a 5 miler at 7:50! FIVE MILER. SEVEN FIFTY.12593841_1057580380972929_2390620470432119396_oI can’t explain it. I just started running with my friend Jackie–she’s a fast runner in our Tuesday group and I knew that going in. I knew she’d pace me for a fast run, what I wanted that day.

It was a windy evening and we chatted about that a little and then chatted the entire first mile. It was a fast mile and when I saw my watch beep 8:02, I worried I’d have a super positive split run. I really didn’t want that.

We continued chatting and then mile 2 beeped, faster than mile 1–7:54. We reached the 2.5 miler mark (where we turn around) and as soon as we started going the other direction, we felt the wind head on.

“No wonder I was flying!” I said to Jackie, laughing. I had had the wind behind me.

But I was determined to not let that be the reason why I was running so well, so I pushed on against the wind.

Mile 3–7:41

We were no longer chatting as we both knew this was a strong pace run we were doing and the wind was deterring any conversation.

Mile 4–7:50

At the one mile left mark, I knew I just had to bring it home and this would be the fastest I’d ever ran for that long of a distance.

Mile 5–7:44

I kept my composure in front of my run club but when I got home, you better believe there was some happy dancing happening in my kitchen.

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It was exactly as awkward as this ^

I honestly don’t know. I’m in shock. I’d like to think that I always had it in me to run fast but I’d be lying. I never thought I’d be able to run the way I did on Tuesday. It has me cautiously hopeful I can PR on my next 5k in May. I’d be in heaven if I could sub 23–which I can’t believe I’m even saying.

But really, I just want to nail a marathon. I want to run one they way I’ve run the past couple of races. I know I have a good marathon in me; I just need to execute. A 5k PR would be awesome, but long term goal, marathon PR 🙂

–How do you celebrate good runs? Do you happy dance? Eat? Drink? or D, all of the above?

Mid-Week Musings: What Has Changed

I’ve been asked recently what I attribute my newfound speed to and I can think of many things.

I quit my job. I cross train. I strength train. I respect the recovery. I eat better. I drink my vitamins. I drink a ton of water. I sleep.

But really, I think the biggest thing that has changed is my mentality.

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It’s not secret that running is hugely mental. And I feel like I’d had a mental block when it came to how fast I could run. My husband would tell me all the time that he knows I have an XX 5k and an XX half marathon in me if I just believed in myself and stopped being intimidated by fast paces.

Anytime I would see my husband’s splits and see all 8s, I would tell him to slow down, that he didn’t need to run fast all the time. He would tell me, “It’s perspective. Eight may seem fast for you, but it may not be for someone else.”

Then I got injured and didn’t run for a while. I cross trained and strength trained. In the midst of my injury, I quit my job. And before I knew it, my 6 week running hiatus was over.

I was ready to run again.

Maybe it was being reinvigorated after taking a break, maybe I was finally listening to my husband, but after a couple of weeks of being back to running, I went out for what I thought would be a regular 4 miler that turned into this:

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February 4th, 8:08/mile

My splits were–8:18, 8:07, 8:08, 7:59!

I remember running inside my house, freaking out, excited to show my husband. And all he said was, “I always knew you could.”

But I didn’t. In fact, the day before, I wrote this!

I don’t know but I feel like after that run, I truly started to believe that I could repeat those paces. I started to believe that I could improve as a runner when for so long, I thought maybe I had “peaked”.

When I ran FroYo 10k, I ran it believing in myself that I could do 2 more miles at the breakthrough 4 miler pace I had done 10 days before. And I did, averaging an 8:02 pace for that race and snagging a new PR.

It made me reevaluate my 1/2 marathon goal for Phoenix. I am not lying when I say that I NEVER thought I’d break 1:50. But I let myself think crazy thoughts, lol! I let myself believe that yeah, 8 minutes per mile is fast, BUT I can do it.

I’m not saying other factors aren’t instrumental–I do think cross/strength training has helped immensely–but I can say with certainty that the first step in improving, in anything, is believing that you can.

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–Do find yourself thinking you can’t do things? What do you to help yourself break through?