Back on the Trail

It’s been one week since my first marathon and it’s crazy how soon you itch to run again.

I’ve forced myself to take it easy and probably should take it more easy–and I plan too.

This is what last week looked like:

Sunday: Rest and recovery
Monday: Rest and recover
Tuesday: 4 easy miles
Wednesday: Core work
Thursday: Hip, legs, and glute work
Friday: Rest and recovery
Saturday: 6 miles @ 9:30/mile
I made sure to ice, stretch and foam roll throughout the week as well.

Sunday, yesterday, I really wanted to head to the trails with my run club. There’s a place they like to frequent that has a 3 mile loop, a 7.5 mile loop, and a 10 mile loop. I figured if I was going to drive the 30 minutes to get there I should eliminate the 3 mile and do either the 7 or 10 to really enjoy it. Since it’d only been a week out from my marathon, I went with the 7.5.

The weather was absolutely beautiful. Perfect for a trail run. I was so excited!

All distances started together which I liked. A few of my buddies were doing the loop I was so I decided to hang out with them since I didn’t really know where I was going.

We took off and at about mile 3 reached this picturesque spot. Since it was my first time on this trail, I found it necessary to take a picture 🙂

and this is why I love trail running

and this is why I love trail running

We started to separate soon after this spot as people gained/lost speed. I hung around a friend with a similar pace for a while until we parted around mile 5.

I was on my own and just relishing the views and fresh air. There was a slight wind cooling me as I went and I couldn’t help but just soak everything in. No pressure about time, no pressure about anything.

20140309_073047
It made me really start to look forward for the Canyon in May.

It’d been years since I’d been trail running. In high school, a looong time ago, that was all we trained on. I’m from in-the-middle-of-nowhere Arizona, so we always ran in the desert. I loved it and when I moved to the city, didn’t make an effort to drive the distance to make it a trail.

But it was like I had never left. There is nothing like breathing in the fresh air and hearing the sounds of the desert 🙂

–Do you like trail running?
–Is there a place you especially like to run at?

 

The Next Big Thing

Well, there’s a few…

I’ve hinted at having some pretty awesome things coming up. My marathon was a big, big race but it was only the beginning 🙂

1. I’m finally going to see my family in Ohio. My mom, brother, and sister live in Ohio and it’s rare when we go visit them. Luckily, one of them manages to make it down here to Arizona–my sister not so often as she’s got her clan to travel with. My husband, Ben, was the one who suggested us making the trip up there this time and he had zero reservations from me 🙂 We’ll be heading out there in a few weeks and it just so happens to be right before my little girl’s 2nd birthday. So, she’ll be having her birthday party with her cousins; I’m we’re so excited!!

Of course, I thought about whether I could squeeze in a race while I was there. I found a local 5k close to my sister’s place and signed Ben and I up. My sister is a runner so it wasn’t too difficult to get her to join in as well. But guess what?? My non-running, 6’2, 280 lb brother signed up too!!!! This will be his first race and our first race all three of us have done together!! I’m so ridiculously pumped about this.

He texted me this yesterday: “3.5 mile fast walk done!”

I had the biggest smile all day from reading that.

hYlvhN1394205445

2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid, Spain anyone?

Ben and I were looking at spring/early summer races and considering Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego in June. We looked at the website at what other RnR races there were around the time frame we wanted and we saw Madrid. What if we did something crazy like that? We are not very spontaneous people and doing things like just isn’t normal for us. But, we were in a moment and we decided to go for it! We’ll be taking a week long trip to Europe late April starting in Spain, then going to Italy, and going home from France.  I don’t think it’s fully registered that we’re doing this.

Unknown

 

3. Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim

Living in Arizona, going to the Grand Canyon is a must. I went with my family when I was 6 and don’t remember a thing 😦 It’s been on my to-do list for quite some time and when my run club told me they do a yearly hike in the canyon I jumped at the chance. There was a pretty long waiting list but after a few months of waiting, I made it!

I’d be doing it alone with my club though and hiking the canyon was something I would have loved doing with my husband. But, this was an opportunity I wasn’t sure I’d get again. The dates to hike are mid to late May and since I’ll be going back to work (more about that another time), those days are blackout days. I couldn’t pass this up.

So on May 17th I’ll be making a 23 mile hike down the canyon and then making a 25 mile return back up. Sounds like fun, right? I’m so freaking excited about this!!!

Now that my marathon is over, I’ll be doing a lot more trail running and branching out a little from my usual pavement/treadmill runs. I’m looking forward to doing different things and can’t wait for this challenge.

Want more info on this? Go here to read about this awesomeness that is Rim to Rim.

So there you have it! I have other races sprinkled in between, but these are the next big things 🙂

–What’s on your race radar?

–What are some cool races you’d want to do? (I still have quite a few things on my wish list lol!)

 

 

Lost Dutchman 10k Race Recap

This race had been on my list for quite some time as I’ve always heard people rave about it. The race has uh-mazing views and an awesome atmosphere. The story behind it is that it’s the rumored site of the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Pre-race, there’s a campfire and racers get together and chat. I didn’t make it to that but I did get there pretty early. It’s a bit of a hike from where I live, about 30 minutes, but you’re driving to mountain views and that’s what you’re looking at when you run  :  )

Morning View Photo by: M. Kerschbaum

Morning View
Photo by: M. Kerschbaum

Photo by: M. Kerschbaum

Photo by: M. Kerschbaum

I arrived about an hour early than my start time. Quite a few members of my run club were set to run the 1/2 marathon which started before my 10k and I wanted to cheer them on.

After they were off, I was on my own and I just hung out and stretched. As go time neared, I made my wait to the corrals–there were no official set corrals, you kinda just chose your minute pace and hung out in that area. I was in the 8 minute corral when I found a friend–she’s the one that took those awesome pics ^. We talked all the way up to when they shot the gun; I had completely forgotten about the race because I was so caught up in catching up with her! lol!

Once I realized I had to get a move on, I started my Garmin and off I went. I had in my mind an 8:30 pace and wanted to try my hardest to maintain it. As I turned the first corner, I was met by Mr. Hill. Yep, a hill at the very beginning of the race. Of course I had looked at the race map but it’s still different when you see the hill in person. The race description read slight uphill the first half with a slight downhill the second. It was an out and back course which I actually like since that’s what I had trained doing.

Anyway, I battled that hill and then turned the second corner. Ahhh, once you turned that corner you were met with such a beautiful view. This is what you were running towards:

It truly was such a gorgeous thing to look at. It was about  a mile and a half of running towards that and then you had one last turn which led you to the turn around.

As I was approaching mile two, I hadn’t yet reached mile two, I already saw the first runner running back!! He was just hauling it! I could hear people around me murmur, “Wow!” “No way!” All I could muster was a shake of my head.

I kept going and was feeling okay. I could feel the uphill and knew this wasn’t going to be my best run. I definitely need to work more hills in my training. I didn’t feel like I was doing horribly; I felt good with my pace. I was getting closer to the turn around spot and could see people already coming from the other direction. I started counting off the women as they passed and then stopped at 15. I knew at my pace I wasn’t getting any overall awards but I was still crossing my fingers for an age group, but, after seeing so many girls pass me, I started to let that  go.

I reached the spot and turn the other direction. I started to see a few of my run club friends running towards the turn and we high fived. I love high fives : ) I also saw my starting line buddy and we shared a high five too.

I was hearing my Garmin beep the miles and my splits were all over the place. There was zero consistency in my pace and I was started to feel that in my body as I ran. I was just so tired. I started to think about how nice my bed sounded, how nice it’d be to stop and drink some cold water, how nice just not doing this sounded like. I even started to think about how I was looking forward to being done with training. It’s amazing what fatigue and struggle does to the mind.

Towards the back end of the race, you run through a “brick wall” where there are photogs. It makes for a pretty cool picture.

It was around this time I started to fall apart. Mile 5 was my worst mile at 8:47. I was just so tired. I was getting close to that downhill (where it was uphill at the very beginning) and I just let my body roll with it.

I turned the corner to start running towards the finish line and I told myself to finish strong. The last .2 I wanted to give whatever I had left. I crossed and stopped my Garmin at 53:01. I hoped to finish under that and crossed my fingers my official time would be a high 52 minuter. Either way, I saw my average pace was 8:32 and I was so happy!! For me that was a win since that was my goal. It didn’t feel like my best race but I was pleased nonetheless.

I made my way to my run club’s tent and saw that the screens with the rolling times were close by. I walked towards them and began looking for my name. Then I saw it: 52:57. YES!! I got it under 53 : ) Then I saw something else. THIRD PLACE in my age group!! I was in complete and total shock and disbelief. I seriously thought I had no chance considering how I felt during the race. I immediately called my husband and told him the news..

YAY!!

YAY!!

I’m so happy with how that race turned out. I had such negative thoughts as I was running and to still do well surprised me. I know that I need to work on my mental strength and add that to my training. It’s so easy to make sure you’re doing speed drills, tempo runs, hill work, that you eat right, get enough sleep, etc. etc. but it’s also so important to believe in yourself. That mental tug-of-war can trump any hard training you’ve done if you let it. I don’t want it to. Especially during my next race: My first marathon!!

–How do you deal with mental struggles during a race?

Don’t forget, the runningluv giveaway is still happening!! Click here to enter. The contest ends at midnight and tomorrow, a winner is announced!!