Monday, June 24, 2013

Franklin 1/2 Recap (Left calf revenge!)

Franklin 1/2 marathon
TN 1/2 # 8
Lifetime half # 51
13 in 13 progress 9/13
Finish time: 1:58:11
When this race was announced I wasn't all that hyped to run it. A half marathon in June in our hilly back yard---- HEAT, HILLS, HUMIDITY... YUCK! What did twist my arm to run was that many of my friends were testing out the waters in this new race and I didn't want to miss out. 

This was the first annual Frankin 1/2 held in Leipers Fork (which is actually not Franklin) Leiper's Fork is a small town right outside of Franklin, and fun fact, its where Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban live. 

Leah, Matt,  Michael, and myself all carpooled to the race in the morning since we knew traffic was going to be an issue on the 2 lane roads that lead to the start. 

Leah's goal was to get 2nd over all female since we knew our friend Ashley would win it. Matt's goal was to place in his age group. I had no goal. My left calf has been bothering me for over a month now. Tuesday it was starting to act up and when Wed rolled around I had a limp. I went to the emergency room to rule out a blood clot (it runs in my family) and when that came back clear Leah said she would do some manipulation. 

Thursday she did some dry needle therapy on my calf (think acupuncture except instead of leaving needle in. you move it around the muscle over and over) The idea behind this is to create an inflammatory response in the muscle to accelerate healing. Your muscle may spasm and feel achy. Luckily no spasm but I wasn't able to walk afterward so I took my gimp self to bed and walking returned in the morning. 

Fast forward to race morning and I was just appreciative that I could walk pain free despite calf being tight. 

B came prepared with hydration vest (and too prepared with the long sleeve) 

On to the highlights...
The Good 
  • Water / gatorade stops at every mile marker- so needed on this hot day
  • The size- I believe there were roughly 1000 runners. It was never crowded on course and was easy to cycle through bathrooms and get refreshments afterward
  • Course was a loop and extremely scenic 
  • Free peaches at the end.... I had 4 I was so hot
  • Between Leah and myself, we walked away with 12 jars of bischoff spread... lots of recipes have been researched on what we can do with this
  • The Bling--- adore it
  • Leah finished 2nd overall female- first in age group. Matt finished 3rd in his age group

The Bad
  • Race officials announced 5 min till race start (which was scheduled for 7am) that due to large amount of traffic still awaiting to park, they would delay the start 20 min to accommodate those runners. You don't delay race starts in the summer in the south--- every minute counts. 
  • Heat and humidity. IT.WAS.HOT- high for the day was 91 and pretty sure it reached it by 9am. I was sweating so much, that it was stinging my eyes that finally at mile 4 I took off my shirt so I could hold it and use it to wipe my sweat. I do not have the body to be running in a bra for a race, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. 
  • HILLS, HILLS, and more hills. There were approximately 2 'flat parts' in the course, both in the 2nd half of race- everything else was either up or down.... but mostly up.  I knew it was going to be tough, but the heat definitely exacerbated the suckiness. 
in no way does this photo do justice, but just an example of an extremely long gradual where you don't see the top of hill
  • A lot of people suggested to rename the half "Hot and Hilly Half" as it was that bad. (Matt's face says it all- unfortunately I did not get the make a bad face memo)

The Ugly
  • Within the first mile my left calf was bothering me. Since we were running uphill right out of the gate, I attributed it to that and didn't dwell too much on it. 
  • Right after the mile 5 marker my left calf started spasming which caused me to fall down. Luckily the folks at the water station had a walkie talkie and got a go cart person to come get me. I couldn't believe I was going to have my first ever DNF. 
  • The go cart man was nice enough to massage my calf to help loosen it up and after a bit I decided to give it another go and try to finish this beast of a race (Plus I wanted the medal)
  • I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I walked. Luckily I had a fast first 5 miles, so even though I sat out for a solid 10 min, I figured with my slower pace I could still finish under 2 hours. I knew Leah would be wondering where the heck I was since I told her I was aiming for a 1:45, so I texted Brian (he normally runs with his phone) to pass along I stopped running for 10 min but I'm back and that i'll finish around 2 hours... turns out he didn't have a great race too- had I not stopped I would have beat him given his time relative to mine. 
  • I have NEVER in all my races been as hot, or as COMPLETELY DRENCHED as I have for this race- it was disgusting. 
  • Race organizers waited pretty  much until the race was completely over before starting awards. Since both Leah and Matt received one, we had to still around till 11 for that to happen. We're all a bunch of tired, cranky runners who have been in the heat since 6:30am and just want to shower--- definitely a suggestion for next year to quicken things up a bit. 
  • For its inaugural year, The Franklin 1/2 put on a good race. Aide stations were spaced perfectly and having big water stations in the finisher's area was a nice touch as well to accommodate the heat. 
  • Medal was on point.
  • Loved how they had many computers set up to type in your bib number and get a print out to see official time and how you placed. 
  • My big suggestion would be to either start the race at 6am OR move the race to the fall. The entire course is surrounded by either trees (although there was no shade) or beautiful foilage. I think it would be breathtaking to run through while all the leaves are changing, plus it wouldn't be hot. 
  • Lastly they need to shorten the gap for awards. If someone wins an award its because they are fast- it is unnecessary and highly annoying to have to sit around 2 hours after you're done with the race just to receive a plaque. 
The company was good at this race, but the running part I hated. I knew this would be a tough course, I just had no idea it would be my hardest race this year- and the hottest I've ever felt. Unless they move the start time earlier or get some seriously awesome bling, I think this is a one and done for me. 

Garmin Stats-  whats hilarious is looking at strictly numbers, race was decent- just goes to show there is more to what a watch says. I felt like death the entire time, and had just switched my watch to total time mode since I didn't care about my splits. I felt like I was going WAY slower than I was. 
Mile 1: 7:28
Mile 2: 7:31
Mile 3: 7:42
Mile 4: 7:44
Mile 5: 8:34
10ish min break at 5 mile mark
Mile 6: 8:37
Mile 7: 8:57
Mile 8: 7:53
Mile 9: 8:37
Mile 10: 8:30
Mile 11: 8:41
Mile 12: 9:03
Mile 13: 8:49
Mile . 2: 6:06

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week in the OBX

Over the last week I took a break from blogging to enjoy our family vacation in the Outerbanks. A lot of eating, drinking, and soaking up the sun ensued.

Favorites from the last week:
  • Our house was amazing and the views from it were awesome:
"Pier Pleasure"
Photo: House for the week :)
View of Ocean from our top left balcony

View from back right of balcony

Our backyard
  • My nephews and niece are on the shy side, so I have to say that my favorite part was through them seeing me everyday, they warmed up to me :) 

Codyn (2.5 years) and Gweny (4mos) 

Joseph (will be 3 late Aug) and I 
  • Building things in the sand with my brothers and nephews

  • And although it was brutally hot and humid, I did manage to get in 21 miles of running while away. 6 miler, 7 miler, 8 miler... not as much as I wanted, but I've been resting my calf since its been super tight. Despite my nagging attempts, my brother never once joined me. Each run felt HARD, my pace was always in the 9:30s even though it was flat as a pancake. I did have some cool sights:

  •  Because I had blogged prior to my vacation that I was going to OBX, Abbie from Higher Miles reached out to me to see if I wanted to meet up for a run. For those that don't know, OBX is HUGE and it would easily take over an hour to go from one point to the next... Abbie's house was just over 2 miles from mine, insanely close. We met halfway at the DQ and toured some neighborhoods and got to know one another (we had never met). She's such a sweet heart and I am still wrapping my head around how she considers herself shy, yet she reached out to me, basically a stranger to meet up. I must have that "friendly look" :)

  • Even though I only ran 3x, each run finished by me stripping off shoes, socks, and shorts (by the time I got home I was only in a sportsbra) and jumping in the pool to cool down and finished with an ice cold coke... it was seriously bliss. I ran yesterday morning here in Nashville and it was strange to not have that routine down... afraid to say the kona kola nuun didn't do the trick and I had to go to store and get a coke. 
  • Last but not least it was just nice to spend time with my parents and brothers and their ladies
Never got the memo for white and khaki, so I'm the rebel wearing blue.

As great as it was to get away, not having a routine and being lazy was actually driving me crazy. I was getting anxious having a whole week off work and had to spend 2.5 hours yesterday responding to emails so I could be somewhat caught up for work today. I guess I have some work to do in just RELAXING- I have one month to figure it out because I have a week off for ALASKA in July :) 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Randoms for Friday

2 posts in 2 days, whoa that hasn't happened in Because I can land in a long time... guess I have a lot of random things in my head

  • Finally locked down a Vermont Half marathon that doesn't break the bank and that B agreed to join me in. Maple Leaf 1/2 on Sept 7th.  Let's ignore the fact that I'll have a race for 5 weeks in a row now, and just enjoy the fact that my quest is almost finalized!
  • Last state that needs to be planned is Virginia. I'd LIKE to do it near the DC area so I can stay with one of my best friends and also see DC (never been before) 
ANY SUGGESTIONS for Oct / Nov time frame?
  • Went trail running, like true technical trail running, last night for the first time in over a decade. There was an option of a 2.4 mile trail (white), or a super hard have to walk in spots 4.5 (red) mile trail. Since it had rained and it would be muddy, combined with no idea how I'd do, I opted for the shorter, easier route. 
  • The rain made parts super slippery so there was a lot more walking than I would have liked. First time ever I looked down and saw 12 min pace. I ran a little bit extra after trail to get in 2.5 miles in 29 min... Ballin'. Next time I go I'm opting for the longer route since less "walkers" tend to do those- let's hope I don't die ;) 
  • I broke down and registered for an inaugural half here- Franklin 1/2. Something about a half marathon in Tennessee in June just doesn't sound appealing. Heat, Hills, and Humidity anyone? Truth is most of my friends are running it, and since its the first year, why not. No goals for this race as I don't do well in heat and Nashville runners are FAST. 
  • I'm still getting adjusted to the iphone. I happened to come across the handy post from Myra @ My Best Life on the best downloabable phone apps. I've already tinkered around with a few and I'm super excited to take some great photos this next week at OBX... Tropical Storm Andrea will not damper this girls beach time!
Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tangents for Thursday - over the last week

  • Last week the roommate, myself, and her bf were able to score front row tickets to Dispatch at the Ryman. I was a BIG Dispath fan in college, but sadly by the time I 'discovered' them, they had already broken up. They just got back together within the last few years- oh happy day! 

  • My parents came into town to visit, help me move, shower me with gifts etc. I love when they come into town because it forces me to see what there is to do in this great city, and sometimes I find new places :)

Night time light exhibit at Cheekwood Conservatory

Discovering a new winery- Long Hollow Winery north of Nashville

and lots of shopping and drinking ensued.
  • Mom asked for my half race shirts so she can make them into one of those neat blankets. Unfortunately if the shirt is sucky or doesn't fit, I get rid of, so out of the 41 states I only had 29 to give
  • Bought my first BIG piece of furniture - guess next time I move it will have to a bigger truck
  • Monday night was my Fleet Feet running group's 4th year anniversary which meant HUGE turn out,  all you can eat quesadillas, fries, and chips and salsa after run, as well as prizes awarded out! 

  • Got an AWESOME new tank that night with our running crew logo on it- I promise I'm not pregnant despite the 'baby bump'- just lazy standing after 1 hour bootcamp, 1 hour kettlebells, and 1 hour run in 80+ degrees and humidity. 

  • As part of their anniversary anyone that is member of the run group from Tues- Thurs was able to buy $40+ worth of goods at Fleet Feet and get $20 off. I picked another one of my FAVORITE bras in purple, Handful bras. Note: wash before wearing and sweating for 3 hours. I have an awesome purple line where my bra ends on my cheset
  • Today kicks off the Thursday Fleet Feet Trail running series- naturally its been raining all day so i'm sure the pretty steep hills are full of mud, but I'm pretty excited as I haven't run on technical trails in quite some time
  • I leave on Saturday for 1 week long vacation with the family to Outer Banks. This will be our home for 7 days :) 

Anything new or exciting going on in your week?

Monday, June 3, 2013

May in Review

May was such an interesting month due to in a matter of 3 weeks living in 4 different places and really forcing me to get better about planning runs after a lower mileage first 1/2 of the month.

Total Mileage: Word on the street is that my fellow twin tower Kim ran 88 miles and I wanted to be just like her so that is what I ran. Truth is, it was hard to get in some runs with all the moving and living out of a suitcase for 3 weeks.
June Mileage: 100 miles is the goal again. I have my A race for summer in August, South Dakota, so I need to train seriously. I leave for a week-long family vacation on Saturday, but hopefully I can coax my brother into running with me for accountability purposes.

Highest Mileage week: 30- what hilarious is that week there was not a half marathon run, I was just more diligent about logging more days.
June: I'd actually like to see if I can do 2 weeks over 30 miles- June is crazy busy for me so I'm not sure if I can hit 40 or not, so we'll start there.

Races Planned / Completed: 3/4: I had a Tap n Run 4k planned that I no showed due to having to move that day, and a foam fest 5k that I ended up not doing due to it being cold and rainy--- at least I made up for it by doing an extra half marathon in there that I hadn't solidified.

June: There is a local half marathon that is in it's inaugural year later this month. I'm back and forth on doing it due to high heat + humidity + hills doesn't sound like fun. What keeps me interested is most of my running friends ARE doing it, so I need to decide soon. 

Accomplishments for May: 

  • Was able to live for 3 weeks with very minimal clothes, products, technology etc out of a suitcase- VERY proud of that.
  • Almost 2 minute half marathon PR- 1:40:59!!!
  • FINALLY found a new pair of shoes that I LOVE and can race the half marathon distance in- my Saucony Mirage 3s 
  • Earned my neon green 50 class attendance bootcamp shirt ( blue = 25, green = 50, yellow = 100) 

Current Book: Finishing up the Just A Little series on ebooks. I plan on reading a lot while at the beach, so suggestions are welcome :) 

Current Excitements/ Obsessions:
  • Family Vacation this weekend
  • Researching things to do in Alaska
  • Setting up our new apartment the way we want it
  • Getting to meet all our remote colleagues end of June that I've been working with for about a year- love putting faces to names. 
  • 2 states that I don't have solidified yet- VT and VA... must be a V thing. Trying to find what works best in my schedule / logistic and monetary friendly. 
Current Songs
  • Digging the entire Great Gatsby Soundtrack
Current Treat
  • Every Thursday and Friday the cafe makes double chocolate cookies with reece pieces mixed in... I ALWAYS purchase some on those days
  • I've also been doing more ice cream / fro yo then normal- I blame the warm weather. 
Current Goal (s):  
  • Consistent training each week between 20-30+ miles (last week I ran 6) 
  • condense and organize my stuff once I get it all in order
  • Find some local races to run just to keep me interest this summer. 
  • Blog more consistently- I've just been all over the place this month and haven't had the time to sit down and write all my riveting thoughts for you all. 
May Major takeaway:  After my body hit a complete wall in Maryland, I was reminded of another reason why to do speedwork. A lot of individuals think speedwork is just about getting faster (which obviously it does help with that), but its also about increasing your VO2 max so you can go at xyz speed for longer and have your muscles cooperate. While trying to chase the elusive sub 1:40, around mile 10 I just didn't have enough oxygen to supply to my muscles anymore and my quads were dead. My breathing was fine, but my body was just tapped out and I couldn't turnover at the pace I needed to hit that number. This is the first time this has happened to me, and I'd like for it to be the last. It looks like I will officially be joining speedwork sessions with Fleet Feet this summer :) 

How was your May?
May was an interesting month for me that involved a lot of "fly by the seat of my pants" decisions due to being in transition while my apartment was getting ready. I surprised myself by running a time I didn't think was possible, so now I have this renewed desire to see how much I'm able to push myself.
Any Major takeaways?
If you want something and are willing to push for it, you might actually surprise yourself.  (same as April's) Also now that the heat is in FULL effect, its more important that ever to plan my runs out to ensure they actually get done vs. getting skipped.