Saturday, April 26, 2014

Garmin half marathon (heartland series number 2 half) recap

Am fighting trying to stay awake so I thought I would write my recap or try to at least.  Training went well this past two weeks although I had to go in for a deep tissue torture massage on Tuesday.   I actually begged to get in because he was booked and I was kind of scared.  For some unknown reason, my back starting tweaking down low which I now know is due to my hip, not really my back per se.  Anyway, that was causing lots of issues all up and down my legs both left and right so I was a bit panicked about running.  After he tortured me, I took a few days off and then finished my week with a nice tempo run.  For the first time in probably three weeks, i saw 8s again on my watch.  It made so soar literally.  I did more of a progression run of sorts than a tempo where I just made each mile a little bit quicker.  I was consistenly in the low 9s which made me so confident going in to the weekend.  I decided to cap the week with just two runs and the half.  

I had decided to take friday off to clean the house and catch up on laundry.  I had been away thursday night doing some stuff with my BRF so was a little behind.  I also have a cleaning fetish so i love to scrub the house so that I leave it in the best possible shape so that maybe it won't be so bad when I get back.  I headed out to Olathe around noon so i could get to the expo and check into the hotel.  I didn't know but the hotel was literally 2 minutes from the garmin headquarters.  I met up with my agility trainer after some shopping where I bought andrew way to much stuff as usual.  I also hit up a whole foods and took some samples of pre work out and post work out products from Vega.  I have heard really wonderful stuff about them so I decided to spend some dough and try them out.  Not sure what I am going to do if I love them since the nearest is in KC.  Oh well.  We met at an all you can eat pasta place.  It was HEAVEN!  We finished the night talking and talking and talking.  I miss seeing her on a daily basis.  She is kind of like a sister/best friend/coach and I am so glad she is making a living in KC but secretly wish she would come home so I could have her back.  The only problem with the night was my favorite pasta had onions in it and onions and me don't get along.  I had eaten quite a bit of it before I realized what the onions actually where.  Once again, I should always have my zantac in my purse but once again it wasn't there.  I should have also gotten some on my way home but I usually am immediately affected and I wasn't.  I just wanted to chill out in my huge hotel room with my whirlpool tub and couch.  
I have to admit, I am use to staying in super cheap hotel rooms.  This one was SO nice and so big. I had booked a king size room for andrew, tony and I but they bailed and I am so glad they did.  The weather was not ideal for andrew and tony to be sitting out in at all.  

Saturday morning, I woke up around 5 am ready to carb load and um, clean out the system.  I am pretty clock work when it comes to dog shows and races but for whatever reason I couldn't, um, produce which is odd.  I got nervous about this fact and caused my self to puke.  Yes, I am weird.  I get nervous about not being nervous.  I figured by the time I got to the start line and got parked that it would hit me.  I was still kind of pukey although nothing was really coming up.  I parked across from a quick trip so went over and tried to go yet again, got nothing, but bought some zantac and promised myself I wouldn't puke anymore.  Got a coke and sipped on that till time to head over to the start line.  Immediately got in line to the porta potties.  Still nothing.  Really, really nervous.  This race was unique in that there was no staring corrals.  Yes, it was a smaller race but still getting 2 K runners organized without corrals was a bit much.  I lined up with the 2:15 pacer but could see the 2:10 pacer.  The first 8 miles were great.  Splits were in the 9s.  I hit several significant hills and stayed in the lower 10s which made me happy.  I did start to think I needed to stop and potty but not number 2, just pee.  I stopped at one bank of potties on the course but waited almost a minute and no one came out so I continued on.  Around mile 7 I saw an empty porta potty so stopped real quick and then got back out.  I am sure if I didn't stop twice I would of had a 2:10 but I digress.  About mile 8ish, we headed off the road and into a forrest with a paved trail.  I so felt like the wizard of oz then.  I knew flying monkeys would appear at any minute.  This was when the storm started.  We had seen the storm clouds to our left the whole way and now we were headed directly into them. I had wondered why they were handing out ziploc bags and then it hit me, to protect your phone/ipod.  I had my phone in my belt but water still got in and got into my otterbox.  It could have been bad but as soon as I was done, I stripped it out and dried everything off.  It was a pouring driving rain.  I could barely see and the roads quickly flooded.  My feet felt like they were carrying 10 pounds on them.  The hail was small but it stung and the lightening/thunder was kind of scary as well.  I was SOAKED to the bone and my pace suffered.  I think mentally i was not handling the cold rain very well.  My 13th mile was my worst. I  had been high 9s the whole time and that mile was high 10s.  I was mentally and physcially done.  I finished in 2:13:29 which is a PR but i was disappointed I didn't get my 2:10. I had kept up for so long and 8-13 was not uphill or hard.  I just mentally bonked.  I went straight back to my van and changed into any dry clothes i had in my bag including my jacket, new shirt and compression socks. I made it back in time to catch up with my buddies and see them finishing.  We all were tired and cold and spent.  On the way home I couldn't stop shaking so had to find a starbucks and get a coffee to try and heat myself from the inside out.  

My overall impression of this race was well organized, tons of volunteers, beautiful YET HILLY course (advertised and flat and fast which was highly inaccurate, see above hill picture).  After stuff was nice but I was too cold to participate.  They had beer and chicken sandwhiches which did not sound good at all at the time.  They also ran out of my beloved chocolate milk.  Not only did I get a PR on my half time but I had a PR on my 10 K time.  I was under an hour FINALLY.  I so am ready to run a 10 K.  Bring it on 6 miles.  I am being proactive this time and getting a massage on tuesday and taking it easy like I did last time.  One more half and my heartland series is over.  I will 100% do it again next year, hands down!  I also guess i need to order a medal hanger as I am amassing several really nice medals I would like to display.  Now off to bed and rest, rest, rest!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Taper week again

Was wondering how this week was going to go.  Last time I did a half, i took a full week off and did nothing.  This time, I didn't have that luxury of taking time off because my next half is next saturday.  I did four miles on monday and my legs felt like full LEAD.  I was struggling to keep up with an 11 minute mile and miss stella was pulling me most the way.  I had decided not to care about pace but I still was looking.  Need to learn to not even carry my watch because I can't not look at it.  My legs felt pretty tired and sore so I decided to knock back my repeats for wednesday to 6 versus 8.  I have been trying to stretch and hydrate as much as possible to help with my recovery and I don't think i could do anything any differently.

 Wednesday was extremely windy.  I am not joking, it was sustained winds out of the SSW at 34 with gusts up to 41 MPH!  I had weird day in that my blinkers has gone out on my van monday and I had taken in to the auto parts store in wamego to see if I could get a fuse and they had said, oh we work on vehicles, let us take a look at it.  Well, I had taken it back in on wednesday and had decided to hang out while they figured out the issue, thinking it was just a fuse.  They called me about 11 and told me that it was just a fuse so i picked it up and headed in to manhattan to work, only for them to go back out.  Turned around, took it back and they worked on it all day so I decided to get my run in during the day.  Because of this, the track was being used and I couldn't run in the industrial park due to traffic.  Stella and I headed out to the nearest gravel to try and reduce the amount of traffic yet still be close enough for a mile warm up and cool down.  I made sure to go into the wind for recovery and with the wind at my back for running.  I wanted to keep an 8 minute pace on my repeats and I am happy to say that was well under that for each.  Even had one lap that was 1:48:) I was so happy because my legs felt great and my pace was easy.  Even though the wind was howling on my way back, I felt like I was floating.  Hello fitness, glad to see you are back!  I am so ready to do more speedwork now!  I have a shorter long run that I am hoping to run tonight since this weekend will be so busy with the easter holiday.  Next week is also pretty light as we get ready for The Garmin marathon!

Free pics from the Rock the Parkway Race!

My new finish line pose.  Rock on!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rock the Parkway half, Half number one for the Heartland Series

I have always liked a challenge.  I think that is why I signed up for the Heartland series.  The Heartland series is a series of three half marathons all in the matter of five weeks.  This forces me to keep training, even though I am doing the hospital hill half in June.  This is how the weekend went down:

Friday afternoon we headed to the expo to pick up my bib and to pick up my shirt for the Heartland Series.  I was a bit disappointed in how small the expo was even though they had claimed that they moved it to accommodate more vendors.  I did get some nice very light weight, polarized sun glasses that I now dearly love so I guess there is that.  There were a few vendors that had running gear but mostly all the booths were for races that were upcoming.  I think it is a great way to get your race out there but not being from KC, I can't come up every weekend for a race.  Maybe we should move to KC?  Probably wouldn't have trouble finding a job and i would be back close to my agility trainer and to all of the agility shows.  Hmmm.....Anyway, we found our hotel after getting lost a few times thanks to having both paper directions and very different directions on my phone.  Lesson learned, pick one and stick to it.  The hotel was super nice and we were down in the area called the Plaza.
   Even though we have lived here for years, we have never been on the plaza.  It is a really nice area with tons of cute little quaint (aka expensive) shops and places to eat and big pretty fountains that andrew loved.  Lucky for us, there was a cheesecake factory right near our hotel.  We had pasta and cheesecake for dinner.  I had banana cream cheesecake so according to my BRF, I killed two birds with one stone by eating carbs and fruit.  
I should give a update here.  Tony got the crud that i have had for a month a week or so ago.  He hasn't been dealing with it very well since he has been under a ton of stress at work with the possible promotion.  Long story short, he is a man, he is dying from this cold and he didn't bring any cough medicine because much like the crud I had, it didn't respond to cough meds anyway.  We were up most the night dealing with him hacking, spitting up snot and the fan on the AC not working. I am one of those that has to have a constant noise, especially if someone is snoring, hacking or dying next to me.  I know I got some sleep but not much.  Maybe a couple of hours total.  I was lucky in that I had a friend picking me up to take me to the start line so tony could get some sleep.  Andrew was out at 9ish so he got tons of sleep compared to us two.  I was up at 5:30 am to eat and carb up and then out the door with my friend at 5:50.  We had to round up another friend and then head to the start line.   This was a pretty big race, about 6 K runners all running the half.  
It was very well organized with there being tons of porta potties and tons of places to get ready.  We had to be in the corrals about 7:15 for the 7:30 start.  I had decided to stick with the 2:20 pacer at first and go from there.  Unfortunately the next pacer, the 2:15 pacer, was in the wave ahead of me so I never did catch up to them.  The course was very pretty although a bit hillier than I had expected.  I never walked, even though I really wanted to on the hill from mile 7 to mile 8.  It was a mind game though, my body was fine but seeing so many walk really did a mind trick on me.  It was super hot.  Way hotter than any of my training runs thus far.  It was at least 70 if not hotter when we started.  I am use to cold.  I had luckily decided to wear short and a technical T shirt with arm warmers.  
The first few miles I kept looking at my watch and seeing high 9s.  I kept telling myself to reel it in and stop trying to go so fast but my body felt good so I just kept going.  I never could find anyone to pace with really so it was hard to stick to a consistent pace.  I did have to weave a ton in and out of traffic but positioned myself on the inside of the roadway and hoped that I could pass people there and not take too much effort.  I tend to always see longer mileages on my watch that what is marked, meaning I weave too much so tried to stick to a line and stay there.  If I saw a turn the other way, I made myself get over to that side and stay.  I did my GU at miles 4.5 and 8.5 roughly.  I didn't bring my own water so had to take water at the aid stations.  I would take one big gulp for myself and then pour the rest down my shirt.  I was sweating big time and also was getting super salty.  I was kind of worried about dehydration.  I had tried to down as much water the night before but still felt like I needed more.  Yet, I didn't want to have to stop to potty so one gulp was all I was giving myself.  I also had to play mind games with myself because I have become so dependent on miss stella being with me every run, even when my BRF can't be there.  Even though she doesn't say a word, something about her being present helps so much.  I also hit a mental wall around 10 miles.  I kept telling myself that i had run longer than this in training so why was I so mentally done but my mind was really wanting to be done.  I never look at my watch during a long run but I bet i gazed at it every few minutes from mile 10 till I could see the finish line.  I ended up setting a new PR at 2:15:47, finishing 2642 out of 6000 runners and finishing 316 out of 651 in my age group.  Pretty proud of that time since I had basically had a month of zero speedwork and I still had enough juice to do my final miles in under 10 minutes.  
The finisher's medals are huge!  They would even engrave them for you if you wanted.  I was ready to be done and get to the Easter train.  We had gotten tickets to ride the easter train with the easter bunny in a little town called baldwin.  We had 1:00 tickets so we had to hustle out to make it.  I was so excited because it was going to be andrew's first time on the train and he had been such a trooper putting up with the whole weekend.  
I don't think he ever understood he was on the train making the noise.  It was a hot, 45 minute ride in reverse out to a field where they had easter eggs everywhere.  He probably collected 10 or so eggs which of course were all filled with candy.  Then we rode 45 minutes back while eating candy.  At least this time we were going forward.  It was hot, I stunk from the run earlier and we had neglected to bring water.  We will know next time.  We also had the chance to meet the easter bunny but after the santa clause debacle, we passed.   We were super lucky in that andrew slept the whole way down to the train and then the whole way home AND bonus, went to bed early last night because mommy and daddy were spent.  

All in all, I thought it was a good race.  I think i could have done better if I had had speed work this last month.  I had really upped my pace and I think I could have been closer to 2:10. I would like to get down to 2:10 for the next race but will have to see how my legs adapt to two weeks of races.  I can't wait for the next one and being one step closer to finishing my first series!!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A weekend catch up!

Is it already tuesday?  Wow.  This week is already flying by.  So big confession. I only ran three times last week.  I did get a 12 miler in but I was due to do another 4 and I started feeling sick yet again.  This time sore throat and lots of congestion but so far nothing more than that.  This time I am really listening to my body and not letting it get out of control.  I have to run all three half races to get my series medal and I am getting that medal one way or another.  I opted to not run saturday because I had gotten up at 4 am to drive up to wichita and i was just plain exhausted.  The sicklies came on sunday morning so decided to take it easy sunday too and then of course it was raining and cold yesterday and i can do one or the other but not both.
So much to talk about because of a very busy weekend so here goes!

First the weekend started actually on friday.  My plan was to long run, then drive down to wichita but we won tickets to see the royals play on friday afternoon so I decided to drive down to wichita early saturday morning.  I actually am enjoying more just doing two days as long as I have at least three runs.  Two runs is not worth it but three makes it a little better.  It was a nice morning to run and I felt great.  Had planned on checking in at 10 but felt good at the 5 mile turn around so did one more mile and got my 12.  I finished in 2:03 so if you add an extra mile, I will be below my 2:20. If i can't PR, it won't be the end of the world but i would like to push hard and try.  After Stella and I finished, I hurriedly went and picked up andrew from preschool and waited for the hubby to get home so we could head out.  The problem was it had become very overcast and gray outside and the wind was whipping.  My gut instinct said it was a bad idea to go to KC and that it was too cold for andrew but I hated to give up on free, awesome seat tickets.  We literally walked into the stadium right as the game started.  Here are our seats.
They were amazing and the two innings we suffered through were awesome. However, it was just too cold for andrew and he didn't get the fact that he needed to sit still.  He wanted to run around and the amount of drunk people who had been tail gaiting since early that day prevented that.  The crowd was super thick and they had sold standing room tickets as well so people were up and down the steps and all behind us.  We decided it was worth heading over to cabelas while we were in KC.  You never know what you might need there and Andrew could run around and look at the fish and the stuffed creatures.  It was fun but he was still high on life and hungry and they don't have that much food choices there so we found a chick fil a.  He had his first chicken nuggets.  Awe.  I am so proud.  He devoured them which is cool because he HATES mcdonald's chicken nuggets.  Still didn't like the fries.  What kid doesn't like french fries?  Guess I should be happy.  After eating we headed over to the Legend's mall to check out the old navy outlet and SCORE, they had a carter's outlet.  For those of you whom are reading my blog that don't have kids or buy for relatives that are kiddos, carter's is a kick ass kids brand of clothing that is true to size and actually fits my kid.  I may or may not have spent way to much money there:)  We headed back just in time for andrew to basically take a two hour nap and then be wide awake till almost 11.  Of course I had to get up at 4 am to head out so why not be exhausted while driving down the interstate in the dark, right?

I had entered this show because stella's sister's owner was coming up from Texas.  Last year I got to meet 7 at this show and 7's mom but she didn't do any agility with her so i didn't get to see her run.  I really do adore this picture so much.  I love red aussies and I can not lie.  This is always my favorite show because there is so much to do.  All breed conformation is going on next to obedience and rally with us in agility and herding and lure coursing as well.  This year they had barn hunt too which was interesting to watch.  My main goal was to have a good time and I sure did meet that goal.  Stella did the instinct herding test on saturday and got her two scores for her title.  She worked the first time so smoothly and so efficiently that I was shocked.  The judge even marked her down as a medium eye dog.  She fetched and drove and didn't chase and separate much like deuce did the first time. I had no clue what I was doing but tried to listen to the judge.  The second time wasn't as fun because the judge insisted that she wear a collar and a drag line which she didn't have to do with the first judge.  She is always in a harness so stupid me didn't even have a collar.  I borrowed one from someone in the crowd and then she was freaked out the whole time about it so didn't work as well.  She passed after doing more what i would call chasing and separating.  I am suppose to get a video emailed to me of her "runs" but haven't received anything yet.  

My runs with Deuce weren't really great or  really bad, just okay.  His T2B runs were weird.  It was like he needed time for his brain to wake up every morning.  He had weird mistakes in both, one day it was bars and the second day it was running past obstacles.  Who knows.  His standard and JWW runs were nice on saturday, just bars in both.  I think each had two.  His JWW run on sunday was smoking and I crossed too close to the jump, didn't get the collection I was asking for and somehow sent him to the back side of the next jump in the 180.  Whoops.  My bad.  His standard run was okay, he knocked the bar before the weaves even though I was saying nothing and then got the entry but popped out.  When I put him back in, he had some issues and started to stress so I just went on.  The rest of the run was smoking. He did leave the table early, for what reason I do not know but I put his little fuzzy but back on it so i guess I got some good training in.  All in all, I felt like the weekend was a huge improvement over the last.  He did break one start line stay, which lead to a bar when I corrected him verbally, but that happens once in a blue moon. I was fully prepared to pull him for any other busted stays but he must have gotten the memo.  His dog walks were good but his a-frame, well let's just say he had a running a-frame all weekend, pretty much.  I am so going to hate myself next show.  I drove home happy, both from the purchases I made (got new seat covers for the van that have sheep on them) and the fun I had with friends and new friends.  It was so nice to hang out with someone who exclusively runs aussies (like my friend ami) and just trouble shoot issues and get some good training advice.  The surface was nice, a bit dusty saturday morning but fine sunday.  Crating was ample and miss stella was for the most part a little angel. I got to camp and drink beer with my bestie and catch up with everyone returning from nationals.  I will take that. It's the little things these days that make me happy and should make me happy.

 Like this little guy.  Love him so much,even if his train obsession is driving everyone nuts:)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A four run week:)

Hello.  Yes, i am back to running.  YIPEEE!  It's going to be a weird week because I am out of town to a dog show this weekend so I will have to run two runs back to back with a one day break and then two runs back to back with my long run being on friday morning.    So far, on my first run back, I just did straight mileage.  My second run back, I tried to push it but I could only push to about 9:40 before my body said you so crazy and started making me cough.  I am going to try and pace it again and see what I can get on thursday and then I will have to think about my long run.  My doctor said a shorter long run but my coach says try 12.  I think I will just go out and let my body be the judge.  I do like doing a 12 miler before my first half of the year for confidence, yet I don't want to hamper my recovery and not be able to ever try it.  Then there is this.  My son is sick yet again.  On monday when I delivered him to daycare, I heard hacking coughs yet again.  Great.  Sure enough he started coughing monday night and has been coughing ever since.  I am downing the zicam in hopes of not catching the latest round of coughing.   I will keep you updated:)

Here are your random weekly pics of my red headed munchkin.  He has become obsessed with his mickey mouse slippers.  He wears them or wants to wear them ALL the time.  Also this picture shows his addiction to trains.  Yes, he sleeps with those. Yes, they hurt when I roll over them in the middle of the night.  He pretty much walks around with those trains in his hands/arms all the time.  If i leave the windows open at night and the 1 am train goes by, he will sit up in the middle of the night ouy of a dead sleep and say CHOO CHOO.    The second pictures is andrew enjoying his daddy's toys.  Makes me a little nervous to have him play in a rusty toy but i can't find any sharp edges so we should be okay:)