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Posts tagged ‘half marathon’

Goal Reversal

My friend Tania got me thinking about running goals a little differently a few weeks ago. She commented on one of my posts that for the elite Kenyan runners, if they were  to run 7:15 min/mile for an easy workout, but instead ran 7:00 min/mile, they would view that as a goal not met. They would view it as a failure.

Well that’s a different way to look at things…

For so long I have looked at my running goals in terms of faster times. Never slower times. If I was suppose to run easy and ran 7:30 min/mile, then I exceeded my goal. Right? Well at least in my stubborn runner’s brain I did. I never looked at it as missing my goal. Now, as I’m slowly coming back from my injury, I’m focusing even more on those easier runs and  slower miles. Today I ran one of my slowest long runs in a long time and I feel like I just ran a 1:25 half marathon. I am that proud of my pace and that proud of the fact that I had the discipline to take it down a notch. Not to mention physically, my body feels great. I didn’t stress it out and I didn’t push it too hard. My legs say thank you. 🙂

There is a time and place for everything. There is a time to run fast and a time to run slow. If the goal is to run 8:30 min/mile then we should strive to meet that. Not to exceed it by 30 seconds. After all, isn’t there a reason we had an easy run scheduled in the first place? Of course, there are always exceptions but for me right now, my goal is to get healthy. My goal is consistency and the easy runs help get me there.

Happy Trails & Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: I made a new running friend this morning and absolutely loved running with her. She was really awesome and made the miles go by quickly. We ran a total of 8 miles, which is my longest run since February. I feel great and stats are here. And don’t you love my pic of the beautiful sunshine this morning?

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My First Race as a Spectator

As cliché as it sounds, I honestly believe everything happens for a reason. Although it isn’t always easy to see or understand, there is a reason for our ups and downs. A little over one year ago, I ran my last 20 miler before Boston and had big hopes for my upcoming marathon. There was no way to know it then, but I’ve since had my first DNF, my best marathon, a half marathon PR that resulted in pretty bad injury, and my first experience as a race spectator.

Sunday morning was suppose to be the marathon where I proved to myself who I am as a runner. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I had the opportunity to be a part of everyone else’s excitement. It was a bittersweet moment that I believe was meant for me to experience. I learned a lot of things sitting along the sidelines and I found a new appreciation for what exactly a race represents.

As Mario and the many other runners headed off for their race, I decided to walk around and observe all of the other things going on. After seeing the beer garden being set up, one really big truck being unloaded with water, a band setting up their equipment, and cutest toddler ever walking around with her mom, I decided to sit and meditate.  It was a beautiful morning and I needed to find it within myself to be happy with where I was – a spectator cheering on my husband, my friends, and a lot of strangers.

Having my quiet time

Having my quiet time

After my much needed quiet time, I headed back to the finish line to watch the runners as they started to cross the finish line. I wanted to be right there from the time the first runner crossed the finish line to the time all of our friends crossed the finish line. I’m not exactly sure why, but it was actually an emotional experience for me. Words can’t even express how excited I was when that first runner crossed the finish line in 1:08:49. Can you imagine all of the hard work, miles, obstacles, workouts, ice baths, and foam rolling that man did? And then to win a race? What an amazing feeling!

Check out the winner!

Then as more and more runners crossed the finish line, I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster with every single person, mainly because I could relate to what they were going through. Some people puked, one guy fell to the ground, and one lady, who looked like she may have been 60 years old, crossed the finish line in less than 1:30:00 and looked like she had hardly broken a sweat. Some were first time racers and others were achieving new goals.

Runners congratulating one another

Runners congratulating one another

But perhaps the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that the race director was there congratulating every single runner as he or she crossed the finish line. And in addition, all of the other runners were congratulating each other. It didn’t matter the time on the clock and it didn’t matter who beat who. What mattered was that everyone had shared an experience, whether good or bad, and they had all survived.

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

This, I know, was something I was meant to witness.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Recovery Update: I am feeling so much stronger than I have in the past few weeks. The yoga, strength training, and interval workouts are amazing and are helping me to keep my sanity. My hip is in less pain than it was yesterday and I know tomorrow will be even better.

And for your amusement, here is a pic of us riding home in a car seat. It was too much effort to take them out. Thanks Jessica and Charlie for the lift!!

Riding with Bill in the car seats

Riding with Bill in the car seats

Half Marathon Recap

This past weekend was a great time with great friends and family. There were a few new PRs, a lot of good food, and I was able to chat with my local running hero. If my hip were not a factor, I’d say it was a perfect weekend. However, I’m walking on crutches and hurt A LOT. But on the plus side, I know if I had been healthy, I could have nailed a sub 1:30.

Saturday morning started out as a typical race morning. I had four alarm clocks go off at 4:00 am, started the coffee pot, and took a hot shower to loosen up my hip. The race started at 6:30 and I wanted to leave the house by 5:00. Granted, we were only 10 minutes away but in my mind, traffic is going to be horrible and we are going to have to park a mile away. We ended  up leaving around 5:15 and were parked by 5:30 (only 2 minutes from the start line). I did a lot of warming up. Strides, jogging, stretches – anything I could to help my hip. I knew my hip was sore but I was certain after a few miles, it would be okay. Wrong.

When the race started, I felt fine. Not perfect but I was okay. I held back at first, just to give myself time to warm up. Then I started to pick up the pace. The first few miles were around 6:50/mile. Aerobically, I felt okay but because I had missed so many runs training at that pace, I didn’t know if I would be able to sustain that pace. I kept looking at my watch and getting frustrated. I was frustrated because I wasn’t hitting the pace I had in mind a month ago, 6:45/mile. I was frustrated because my hip started to bother me. I was frustrated because people were passing me and I couldn’t keep up.

The first six miles went by pretty quickly. I hit the six mile mark right at 42 minutes. Then the race started to take a lot of turns through a shopping area. The turns really slowed me down and made my hip hurt even more. Around mile 8, I gave up on the 1:30 time and realized no running miracle was coming my way. I told myself, just run your race and don’t overdo it. I turned up my music and tried to get away from the other people. Running in a group stresses me out for some reason. I need my own space. 

At mile 10, I stopped to stretch. Maybe if I could just have a second to stretch, I would be a little better. Yea, that didn’t happen. Maybe my 2nd Surge with 100mg of caffeine would get me to the finish line a little faster. That didn’t happen either. I’m pretty sure the 2nd Surge is what caused my intense side stich at mile 12. I wanted to walk. Then I heard people screaming. The finish line was so close. I knew my family would be at the finish line and I didn’t want them to see me walking. My cousin already saw me not finish Boston when he toughed it out and finished the race, despite the heat. I did not want to give in to the pain again. I crossed the finish line in 1:33:38. Yes, I was happy with a PR but it was not my race. I was not super excited like maybe I should I have been. I hurt and I was cold. Perhaps the highlight of yesterday was talking to Kelcey Carslon, who has been my running inspiration for years. Other than that, I’m not sure the pain I am suffering today was worth the PR.

My proactive plan of getting back to a healthy hip includes anti-inflammatory foods, icing, Advil, crutches (yes, it’s that bad), and rest. I don’t want to hurt anymore and now that the race has come and gone, I just want to get back to being healthy. I’ll get this running thing figured out one day.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

With Emily and Hamburger Joe's after the race.

With Emily and Hamburger Joe’s after the race.

At the race, one hour early thanks to me :)

At the race, one hour early thanks to me 🙂

Race stats are here.

Myrtle Beach Half Quick Update

I made it across the finish line. It wasn’t in the time I wanted but I really started to hurt at mile 6. Official time is 1:33:38, a 7:09 average pace. I was able to run around 6:50/mile for the first half but then I started to slow quite a bit.

A beautiful course and I’m happy I made it to the start (and finish) line. Mario ran a PR, Emily ran an awesome race and her husband Tyler also ran a PR. A great time with friends!!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

(The second pic is with my local running hero, Kelcey Carlson)

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Failure

I’ve always been afraid of failure. It hurts, it sucks, and I can’t stand the thought of someone judging me because I didn’t do what I set out to do. Last April, I set out to run the Boston Marathon. I failed. This past November I started training to run a sub 1:30 half marathon. Two weeks of missed training and sickness have brought me to the conclusion that I will also fail at that tomorrow. But through these “failures,” I have learned that I will be okay. And even more so, I have learned that I am a fast runner. When it’s my time to do so, I will run sub 1:30 and I will run a sub 3:15 for the full. I’m learning, I’m making mistakes, and I now know that I don’t care if people judge me for my failures. At least I tried.

This Michael Jordan video inspires me:

 

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Well tomorrow is race day. I had a dream last night that I didn’t run because of my leg. It’s still bothering me. It still hurts. I think I’ll make my decision on whether or not to cross that start line tomorrow morning at 4:30am.

Racing Weight

What if I lost a few pounds? How much faster could I run?

I never think of myself as needing to lose a few pounds. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty small person. At work if I don’t wear heels, I am easily mistaken for a student. (Maybe I’ll appreciate this when I’m 40.) But I am curious… what if I could give up my chocolate habit and sweet potato fries just until the marathon in March? How  much faster could I potentially run? According to one of my running books by Bob Glover, my ideal racing weight is 108 lbs. That is 3 lbs less than what I weigh now and for someone who is 5’2, that’s kind of a lot. Read more

The Power of Suggestion

Anna Mikulak, Association for Psychological Science

Across many studies, research has shown that deliberate suggestion can influence how people perform on learning and memory tasks, which products they prefer, and how they respond to supplements and medicines, which accounts for the well-known placebo effect.

But what can explain the powerful and pervasive effect that suggestion has in our lives? The answer lies in our ‘response expectancies,’ or the ways in which we anticipate our responses in various situations. These expectancies set us up for automatic responses that actively influence how we get to the outcome we expect. Once we anticipate a specific outcome will occur, our subsequent thoughts and behaviors will actually help to bring that outcome to fruition.

Today my workout was 6X1200 meter repeats at half marathon pace (6:51/mile) with one minute rest in between. Compared to intervals at 5K pace, this seemed like a walk in the park and as with all of my track workouts to date, I was faster than what I should be doing. But in my mind, it’s what feels right so I go with it. During my second interval I started to wonder if my coach was getting mad that I wouldn’t stick to goal pace. So during my minute break, I asked Is it bad that I’m running 6:40 pace? He told me no since I wasn’t really working that hard to maintain the pace. Then his next few statements kind of changed what I thought I was capable of as a runner. Read more

Running on Christmas Day

Last night Mario and I met my coach and his wife for a few cervezas. For me, it was hours of free running wisdom and I loved it. However, I had to call him out on my Christmas day workout – 6×800 @ 5K pace… seriously? Not to mention the warm up and cool down miles. He laughed and said that when he made the schedule, he didn’t realize it was Christmas day. According to Gavin, I could move the workout to another day if I needed to. At first, I was considering my alternatives. Then I thought to myself, somebody else will be out there running their 800 meter repeats and that is the person I want to beat. So my response to switching up my workouts: not going to happen. Read more

Why You Should Never Give Up

Today someone asked me don’t you ever want to go home and watch tv? Or even just skip a workout? Honestly, yes. Especially today. I’ve been running a lot more than usual and my days seem to be getting longer and longer. My legs and body feel tired.

Today’s workout had me nervous. A 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at half marathon pace (6:51/mile), and a 2 mile cool down. I was tired, hungry, and not in the mood. In an effort to get in the mood for a hard workout, I spent about 10 minutes trying to get my mind right. If I could just get through the next hour, life would be fabulous. I had to remind myself why I shouldn’t give up and why some couch time may be what I want at that moment, but it’s clearly not what I want in the future. My goal is a 1:30 half marathon and a sub 3:20 marathon, and I have to work for that. It’s all about what you really want. Read more

Accountability

During the day, I like to dedicate certain times to thinking about certain things. For example, while driving to work, I think about how I’m going to tackle my day and while driving home from work, I start mentally prepping myself for my workout. During these last few days, I’ve been gradually prepping myself for the hard work I will have to put forth these next few months if I want to achieve my goals. Today on my way home I realized just how excited I am to work towards these goals. I feel like this training season is going to be different. I really think I have a shot at making this happen and I think it’s possible because I am going to be held accountable by my coach. Read more