4:23 PM

Houston Half Marathon

I am officially obsessing over 2 minutes and 30 seconds (truthfully, maybe about 4 minutes). My plan was to run the race at marathon pace; however, after a difficult run on Wednesday, I was questioning my ability to run at the necessary 9:45 pace. To quickly explain, for some reason, on Wednesday I was struggled to run a 30:30 three miler. I was breathing hard and almost drenched with sweat - I was seriously working hard and thought that I was at least running 9 minute miles (if not better). When I hit the three mile mark, I was shocked to see 30:30 staring back at me.

Fast forward to Sunday, I didn't think that I could even maintain a 10:00/mile pace in the race. I decided to just give it a go and see what happened. I was hoping that I could at least finish in 2:10 or less and I think that the math was there but something was off. The trusty Garmin said that I ran 13.3 miles - which, if that is correct, explains my 2 minutes. But, I don't think that it was off this much. Throughout the race, I could never get the miles markers to match with the Garmin. Could not running some of the tangents have made me this off?

I also realized that I run much better whenever I'm running with someone - especially, if I think that they are relying on me to pace them. For the first two loops, I had a partner. I ended up leaving her a bit on the last loop and boy was it hard. I then tried to pick people off - but then, that got discouraging as a few people blew past me.

Mentally, I was in this race. I walked the water stops and not really anything else. It was interesting to see just how many people were walking that last loop and I was determined not to walk. I wanted to finish in under 2:10 - just didn't quite make it.

Now, after doing a bit of math and looking at the computer generated pace charts, I need to run the Turkey Trot 10k in 54:00 minutes to be on track for my marathon goal. Anyone up for some 8:30s at the Turkey Trot? I think I'll need a bit of help.

9:16 AM

Take that Pudge!

I've reclaimed my favorite black pants!
Score 1 for me.

10:06 PM

Tuesday Night Fun

At some point, I've gotten slow. I don't really know how it happened; however, I just don't move as fast as I did a few years ago. I'm sure that somehow that the 'real' job, the husband and the house all have something to do with it. That said, I somehow seem to try to run the old paces. Tonight was no exception with track work. Warning: I haven't done track workouts in a while -- thus, the workout wasn't that impressive - but I did it - that's the important thing. But, I was actually surprised at what I ran.
Prior to starting, I was told that I should probably be running 9:30s, based on my recent run times in my sprint tris. Apparently, if I can run 9:30s at the end of a sprint tri, I should be able to pull those off for a half (not too sure about that one).
Either way, I'll take those numbers. Now, I think that I'm committed to doing the Houston Half on Sunday. I'd like to see if I can pull off my goal marathon pace.

9:19 AM

Note to Self

Never start a 21 Day Challenge before going to the grocery store and when day 1 is the same day as a friend's housewarming...
I'm restarting the challenge and today is day 1 for me. I finally went to the store on Sunday and have what is necessary to cook dinner at night and bring my lunch to work - gotta stay out of the tunnels with their crap food.

On Saturday, I accidentally ran 8.5 miles. Really, it was an accident. I ran into Kelsey on the loop and ended up running with her. Kelsey is a former non-runner who decided to run the half this year with TNT. It was good to catch up with her a bit. Since it was a recovery week, I was able to run slower; however, I was really feeling the miles towards the end of the run. Maybe thats why I should've stuck with the original plan. Either way, it was fun!

3:16 PM

21 Day Challenge

We all know it takes 21 days to form a habit. I've been slacking a bit and need to get back on track. My goal: use the next 21 days to find my schedule and improve my eating habits. Starting tomorrow there will be no alcohol, sugar, caffiene or flour for the next 21 days. I will also be sure to get some form of exercise in each day - even if it is only taking the dogs for a walk.
I will keep you posted. If I'm not blogging, there is a problem...

2:27 PM

Longhorn 70.3 (Or How I Learned How to Train for a HIM)

I finished! That is all that matters. Looking back, I realize exactly how far I've come in only a few short months. In mid-April, I accidentally did my first 20 mile bike ride. Then on April 27, despite my fears of not being capable, I did my first 30 mile ride. Then, on June 22, I did my first triathlon. During that race, I flipped out on the 300m pool swim. Around that same time, I went out to Twin Lakes for the first time. I was terrified of the open water. Heather and Kim stayed near me the entire swim so that I would be comfortable. Looking back, I've done a lot in a very short time. Seriously, in less than four months I move from my first sprint tri to completing a HIM. I'm pretty darn pleased with myself.

The Swim

So, there's talk about the swim course being short. I'm not going to entertain this talk. This was an official/branded event. The big names couldn't have possibly allowed for a short course.
I didn't look at my watch at all during the swim. I just made a point of sighting well and staying near the bouys. My goal was to stay calm and swim as strong as possible. As I got passed by the waves behind me, I remained calm. I will note that I could quickly tell the sex of the wave by how they grabbed at my feet/legs. When women touched you, they quickly backed off; the men just kept coming - they did move over a bit. After rounding the final bouy, I took a pretty hard hit to the head from a man in a green swim cap. Surprisingly, he apologized.
Coming out of the water, I glanced at my watch for the first time. I know that I was grinning from ear to ear. It was great seeing Ingrid, Jeff, Larry, and James (my husband) right after the swim. Whenever I saw Ingrid, I just yelled for joy "46 minutes!" Later, James told me that all his race day fears for me ended whenever he saw me after the swim. He knew that I was most worried about that but, when he saw the smile (which was pretty freakin' huge), he knew that everything would be fine.

The Bike
13.9 mph

I was pretty much on target for the bike; however, this did not feel like the same course that we rode last weekend. On some of the small hills (and even the flats), I was in my spinning gears and thinking that it was pretty ridiculous. There was just this terrible headwind for most of the course. It was just a bit frustrating to deal with the wind and the hills. I followed my nutritional plan; however, at around mile 30, I realized that I would be a bit short on calories. I have problems taking in much of anything on the run and thought that I'd do better if I took in more on the bike. At that time, I decided to risk it and take the a gu from an aid station. Surprisingly, it did the trick. I was able to take in almost 2 gus without getting sick. This was what I needed to get me through the bike.
At around mile 40, Black Betty came into existence. I'd not yet named the bike and for some reason, I started calling her that. For the rest of the course, the song "Black Betty" kept going through my mind.

The Run

By far, this was my worst run ever. My goal was to just make it through. The first mile or so was fine, then everything just got worse. This section of the course was open - no shade - and I was hot and getting sunburned. (should've used more sunblock). By the time I made it back into the park, I was already in a walking mode and had rationalized the walk. So, I mostly walked it in. During the last loop, James walked with me for a few minutes. He just encouraged me to keep going (not that quitting was ever an option) and reminded me of how close I was to the finish. Along the way, it was great seeing everyone that was their cheering and those that had already finished.
The last tenth of a mile made the entire day worth it. Seeing my friends, seeing my husband and hearing my name (which was pronounced correctly). This was the most amazing feeling. As James saw me finish, he ran to the other side of the finish line and just hugged me (careful to miss the sunburned areas). I've never cried at the end of a race before. I did on Sunday. It was wonderful to see how happy, proud and excited James was. He was just as happy as I was.

Final time: 8:04:34


Many lessons were learned during the run and I then understood everything that Lisa had told me during training. Any (and all) deficiencies in training will show up in the run. This was exactly what happened to me. I trained for three separate events - not one long race. I didn't do enough bricks and my legs just weren't used to running after that much biking. To a certain extent, I let my tiredness take hold of me. I wasn't as focused as I could have been during the run; but, it was always about having fun. At many points during the day, I just smiled because that was where I wanted to be.
I'm now looking forward to Lonestar in April. I now know how to train and know what I need to do. And, I'm setting a goal. As we get closer, I may share it; however, for now, it will be my motivation.

1:16 PM

Its Working.

RICE is working; life will be good.