Sunday, November 27, 2016

We Have Color! (WW # 69)

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My Week At A Glance:

M   Rest
T    Ran 6 @ MGP
W   Rest
T    Ran 16 Slow
F    Ran 5 Easy
S    Ran 5 Progressive
       [10:12 9:31 9:05 8:55 8:22]  
S    Ran 4 Easy

Total = 36

I was very excited to be named an ambassador for Legend Compression Wear.  I was really feeling the mileage this week and wore these calf sleeves several times for recovery purposes.  I'm already in love with this pretty turquoise pair.  They aren't too tight, which is an aggravating issue with the others I have. In fact -- when I take the others off, the name brand stays imprinted in my calf for hours...  Anyway, I'm sure you'll want to check out their holiday deals.

After last Sunday's 16 miler, I decided to do another on Thursday.  Uh-huh, just 4 days later.  I didn't want to wait until the weekend.  I have a half marathon coming up and decided I'd like a few extra days of cutting back.  By running long again Thanksgiving morning, I'd get 9 days before the half.   After that calorie burn, I feasted on everything and more at dinner that evening.    My MIL makes the best sweet potato casserole with crunchy pecan topping.   {Sigh}

My favorite neighborhood tree!

I runfessed Friday about always having a bad finish line picture and supplied the latest evidence from my recent Soldier Half Marathon.  But, something told me to go back and check again.  And, voila!  I found an acceptable race photo taken out on the course.  A rarity.  I typically don't even notice the photographers and usually look toothless and in need of dental intervention.  

Say cheese.... and don't forget your Jazz Hands.

Terrified to take my eyes off the Chicago pavement.  And see?  Toothless!

I felt tired enough to skip the local 5k I was planning to run Saturday as speed work.  I did go out later in the day for a productive 5 mile progression run.   At long last, we finally have our Fall color.  I couldn't resist running 5 times this week just to enjoy it.  Please forgive me for the extra pictures.  It's supposed to storm this week {YAY rain--finally!} and I know the leaves will be gone within days.

Next weekend I'll be on the coast along with several ladies that link right here every week.  We are running the Panama City Beach Half Marathon.  I'd like to have a respectable race, hence the reason I chose a 9 day recovery and scheduled a cut-back week on my marathon training plan.   My performance will be heavily dependent on the weather, specifically the humidity. The last time I ran this half, I could not see the ocean due to thick fog.  So, we will see!  Stay tuned.  I'm sure it will be fun to read the different perspectives from this event. 

And that's a wrap!

Did you run on Thanksgiving Day?

What was the best thing you ate this week?

Do you still have Fall color in your area?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Runfessions (November)

As November soon comes screeching to a halt,
it's time for a monthly dose of runfessions.

I runfess...

I simply can't do a runfession post without the obligatory cookie shot.  Isn't he festive?  Just please don't ask me how I know that his scarf comes in multiple colors.

I runfess...

I did it again.  I stuck a razor sharp GU pack in my bra.  When will I ever learn?   The wounds are quite extensive!  Maybe I could get rich by creating a super soft, comfy cottony [yet moisture-wicking] GU sleeve?  

I runfess...

Here it is -- more evidence that I take the worst finish line pictures.  What was I doing?  I'd like to boast and say trying not to puke from kicking it hard down the Avenue of Flags.  That sounds so much better than the truth.  But I runfess, I'm pretty certain I was trying to soak up the snot.  Be forewarned:  Do not high five my gloved hands at a cold weather race.    {See the offending GU pack?}

I runfess...

Starbucks {aka Six-Bucks}.
Too often.
Too many holiday flavors.
Too yummy.
Too convenient.
Too expensive.
Enough said.

Yes, I've decorated...
Yes, I've drank too much Starbucks...

I runfess...

I'm all about saving the bird, taking back Thanksgiving, not shopping on The Day (or Black Friday for that matter).  But -- when I looked at what was on my calendar  (plus travel coupled with peak marathon training) I realized I would have little free time to decorate after Thanksgiving.  I caved.  I decorated a couple of weeks.  And I further runfess...that opened the floodgates to Christmas music and hokey Hallmark Channel movies.   Forgive me Thomas Turkey, for I have sinned.

Tell me, what do you need to runfess?

I'm linking up with the lovely Marcia today from Marcia's Healthy Slice.
 Please stop by and join in with your own Runfessions!

I'm also joining on the new Friday Five 2.0 linkup
Stop by and see what everyone is talking about.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Burning Turkey (WW # 68)

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My Week At A Glance:

M   Rest
T    Ran 6 Easy
W   Ran 4 Progressive
T    Rest
F    Ran 4 Easy
S    Ran 3 (5k Turkey Burner @ 8:32)
S    Ran 16 Slow

Total = 33

I enjoyed a Super Moon six miler Tuesday morning:

Wednesday morning I ran four progressive miles in dense fog:

A lovely package of goodies arrived for winning Zenaida's birthday giveaway!

I enjoyed a few easy miles in the park on Friday morning:

I used Saturday's Turkey Burner 5k as my weekly speed session.
It was great to catch up with running buddies -- like Beth!

I was lucky enough to win first in my age group and
happy to improve a bit for my fastest pace this year:

Sunday's 16 miler was run in a bright new pair of shoes: 

I saw no reason to wait until Thursday for pumpkin pie!
There's nothing better fresh and warm from the oven.

Quickly, let me say a heartfelt thank you to my co-host Tricia who graciously allowed me to practice my RRCA Coaching skills on her over the last few months.  She gracefully tackled and overachieved everything I threw at her.  She handled interval training like a boss!  I couldn't be more proud of her performance at yesterday's half marathon.  She took a whopping 10 minutes off her previous time on that course -- in high winds -- and ran the last mile as her fastest.  Oh, did I mention the course had over 650 feet of elevation gain?  Congratulations to you, Tricia!

And that's a wrap (the down and dirty, quick and easy, picture version)!

How will you spend Thanksgiving?
What Thanksgiving dish are you looking forward to most?
Did you (or will you) run a Turkey Trot / Burner?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hullabaloo For You?

I've been singing Bare Necessities from Jungle Book since seeing this week's Wednesday Word. [Perhaps because of the character Baloo?]   Anyhoo... I'm probably the most un-hullabaloo-esque person you'll ever meet.  Got drama?  I don't want any!  Don't throw a kink into my perfectly tranquil life {...bahahaha...}.  My family will tell you I do not get dramatic, even when there is plenty of reason to do so.  I'm the calm in the storm.  It's my job to be the voice of reason amid the chaos.  I actually think this might irritate everyone slightly.  😉

When it comes to racing, I don't need the hullabaloo there either.  One of my favorite half marathons is held inside Callaway Gardens in the dead of winter.  Icy ponds.  Frosty breath.  Rolling hills.  Ribbons of curving pavement.  Not one spectator.  No after party.  {I surely wouldn't consider a Duplex Cookie and Gatorade mixed and served from old-school coolers anywhere close to a party.} No hype here -- just beautiful forested running.

Yes, hullabaloo sometimes has it's place.  I recently ran the Chicago Marathon.   With 1.2 million spectators along the route, the energy was electric.  At times, the noise was deafening.  While it's fun to experience that, it's definitely not a requirement.  I do not need the song and dance.  After all, I'll be performing my own when it's over. 

I guess Disney's over-the-topness would definitely be considered hullabaloo.  That's the next marathon I'll be experiencing (again).  I absolutely will enjoy every second of it too.  It's goose bump inducing to run down Main Street amidst all the fanfare.   But once it's over, I'll be craving my peaceful, quiet pre-dawn runs.   Seeking the calm after the storm.

Some Hullabaloo For You?

I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Soldier Half Marathon (WW # 67 )

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My Week At A Glance:

M   Rest
T    Ran 6 Tempo
       [1 w/u + 5 @ 9:16]
W   Ran 5 Easy
T    Rest
F    Rest
S    Ran 13 (Half Marathon)
S    Ran 6 Easy

Total = 30

I decided in my usual last minute way to run the Soldier Half Marathon in Fort Benning, GA.  I had heard nothing but good things about this race and its one big crazy hill known as "Drill Hill".  It would be half marathon #43 for me as I hope to complete 50 by Spring..  They offered packet pickup the morning of the race and any time I can sleep in my own bed is a huge plus.  However, with the difference in time zones it would make for an early start. 

The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center

In typical fashion, I expended too much energy deciding what to wear.  As a Veterans Day weekend race, I wanted to be patriotic.  The forecast was 48 at the start -- IDEAL -- but also to be windy {boo}.  After an obscene about of internal debate, I went with my typical tank and arm sleeves.  I made a throwaway out of an old cotton long sleeve race t-shirt that I split up the middle, like a jacket, so I could get it off easily.  

A very nice race poster depicting the Avenue of Flags

The race was held at the National Infantry Museum.  This is a beautiful property and we started and ended by running through its Avenue of Flags.  In our bag was a lovely poster, a nice printed race guide, a Brook's women's cut tech shirt and a moisture-wicking hat that I adore.  Soon enough, we were off. During the recent Capitol 10 Miler, I ran the first miles too fast and paid for it.  My goal was to run strong the whole way and practice my pacing strategy for the Disney Marathon.  

I ditched my throwaway about 1.5 miles in and soon saw DRILL HILL.  Oh yes, it looked intimidating and the legendary Drill Sergeants were lining the sides shouting various "encouraging" words to get runners to the top.  I.did.not.dare.walk.a.single.step.  I gave high fives to the sergeants on my side.  Once I crested that hill and allowed my heart rate to settle, I felt great.  I spent a few miles holding my pace in check.  I assumed the rest of the race was flat and was later floored to see the elevation gain of 443 recorded on my Garmin.  Other than the one hill, it didn't feel hilly.  I did the math at the halfway point, thinking I would finish around 2:06.  It's then I decide to speed up a little. 

The course was simply beautiful.  Except for a few miles through the base's living quarters, we ran mostly on wooded roads and a trail out toward the river.  The full marathoners continued beside the river while us halfers turned for home.  Other than a pain on the top of both shoulders during mile 11 (a stupid overwhelming need to burp -- I know, TMI )  I had no real issues.  Both feet threatened to cramp but never made it.  

The last mile was a straight shot and I could see where we would turn in for the finish.  It seemed to painfully last forever, as final miles do.  I kept my eyes on a lady ahead of me and tried to close the gap, not looking at my watch.  As we ran back through the Avenue of Flags, I checked my watch and realized I might end up with 2:02+.  I sprinted hard to not get a :03.  It worked!  My official time was 2:02:55.  Whew!  No, it's not a PR.  But it's my best half time in almost 3 years.  It gives me hope that maybe there is still a shiny PR for this aging, injury-plagued-of-late gal.  I was 9th out of 66 in my age group.  

I negative split this race and finished strong...the number one item that makes a great race for me.  In addition, it was a perfect Fall day and I was outside doing what I enjoy most!  I loved everything about this race.  The race direction was spot on.  There were plenty of volunteers, most of them soldiers. There was a nice party atmosphere with plenty of food and beverages.  I also saw massages, lots of vendors, and you could tour the museum.  I had to think hard for something negative and here's the one thing I came up with -- due to the marathon, the traffic was still being stopped and it took me forever to leave. There you go!  Next year I'll just run the marathon and it won't be a problem.  

And that's a wrap!

Do you have patriotic running clothes?

What makes a great race experience for you?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Hello, November (WW # 66)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women!
*** JOIN US ***
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My Week At A Glance:

M   Rest
T    Ran 6 Miles Easy
W   Ran 5 Miles Progressive
T    Rest
F    Ran 5 (w/u + 6 x 800's 8:24 avg)
S    Ran 14 Slow Miles
S    Cycled  24 Miles (14.0 mph 132 HR)

Total Ran = 30
Total Cycled = 24

I closed out the month of October with lower mileage due to my taper to and recovery from the Chicago Marathon.  However, I'm happily back in regular training mode now for the Disney Marathon in January.  There's also a half marathon (or two) before then.  I plan to incorporate more interval training this time.  Honestly, I prefer tempo runs but I feel that pushing outside of my comfort zone will be necessary.  With the time change, I hope I'll be able to see my watch.  I think I might push a little harder if I could.  It's too disruptive to constantly push the light button!  I'm always surprised to see how close my splits are at the end though.

Saturday's long run was pretty warm, partly because I waited until after 9 to get out the door.  I found several more pieces of dropped Halloween candy to add to my collection.  Sadly, most of them had already met their fate at the hands of someone's candy crushing tires.  We still have no fall color and with our ongoing drought, I'm not sure we'll get our typical peak around Thanksgiving.  

After watching the NYC marathon coverage Sunday morning {what an impressive first marathon for third place winner Molly Huddle!}, I rode my bike for 24 miles.  I did find just a wee bit of color on the trail I use to cut through the woods to reach favorite cycling route.  

Did you watch the NYC marathon or track any of your running friends?

So many people were racing this weekend.  I can't wait to hear all about it!

And that's a wrap!


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Coffee Talk (November)

It's Saturday morning and a perfect time for some coffee conversation!   Let's settle in a chat for a bit.

Over Coffee...

I'd remind you how I like to collect Christmas ornaments when I travel.  I sadly did not get one during my visit to Chicago.  Oh, I tried. I found a beautiful ornament with the nighttime skyline. But the salesclerk refused to take my credit card without my driver's license [although I had been whipping it out all day in other establishments].  The sadder thing is, I was so taken by surprise...I forgot I had tucked some cash in my pocket in case I needed it. {Heavy Sigh...}   So, no Chicago on my Christmas tree. 

Over Coffee...

I'd tell you how running or cycling in the days after Halloween is like a scavenger hunt.  I always look for dropped candy.  I just couldn't let this little fellow stay in the road all by his lonesome self.  I picked him up.  I didn't eat him.  Actually, I somehow managed to not eat a single piece of Halloween candy.  Period.  So I'm keeping him as my little reminder that I don't have to start now.  {Who am I kidding?  In a weak moment, I will inhale that little sucker!}

Over Coffee...

I'd ask if you are looking forward to the time change this weekend.  I have mixed emotions about it as I do enjoy running in the quiet, solace of a dark predawn morning.  But the sunrises have gotten so late, I am missing them altogether most days...well, except those days I just decide I'm going to be late for work.  I should fire myself...
Wednesday's sunrise and cause of tardiness...

Over Coffee...

I'd admit I'm in race overdrive mode.  I want to run everything I see.  Technically, I'm only registered for one December half marathon and one January full marathon.  But, there are many other things on the radar that I will likely sign up for at the last minute {possibly Soldier Half Marathon next weekend?}.  I'm keeping a list on my phone so I won't forget.  I'm itching to reach the milestone of running my 50th half marathon this winter.  Time's a wasting! 

What would you tell me over coffee?

I'm linking with Coco and Deborah for The Ultimate Coffee Date.  
Please stop by and see what everyone is chatting about.  Or better yet...join in!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Are You In My Esoteric Posse?

Esoteric:    intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number
 of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.

E veryone else may think it is
S uicide to sign up for another marathon
O nly three months from my last one.  But, I believe
T here is a esoteric group out there who completely
E mphathize with me and understand my desire to
R un another one.  After all, my body is currently healthy and
I njury free.  And hey, I'm not getting any younger here.
C an you understand?  Are you in my esoteric posse?

I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!