Category Archives: Run Carrie Run

Rock and Roll VA Beach Half Marathon

I also like to think of this as the WORST race experience ever. My performance wasn’t terrible, all things considered,  but I know I could have squeaked out another sub-2 considering my training. Anyways…the RNR VA Beach race actually took place over Labor Day weekend (so yeah…in September…3 months ago), but I think it’s worth recapping, especially since it played a roll in my training for the full.

I was pumped about the race because it was my first RNR race, and I had always wanted to run one. I’ve heard mixed things about RNR, that they’re kind of cookie-cutter-big-box type races, but I LOVE a race with a big crowd and a lot of support just as much as I love a small-I-can-place-in-my-age-group race (and that has to be SMALL for that to happen). I was planning to run the race with one of my Marathon Training Team (MTT) buds, Katie, since she and I both hoped for sub-2s. And my good friend Meredith was also running, despite not having much training. Just a fun run for her.

Meredith and I went to the expo together on Saturday and had a grand ole time looking around. We got TONS of free samples of stuff (and about 50 fortune cookies, thanks to PF Chang’s being a sponsor). I also loved the Brooks area (they’re the presenting sponsor), especially since they had my beloved Pure Cadence shoes on a very deserving pedestal.

Image

Read to ROCK.

Image

Pure beauty. I actually ended up buying ANOTHER pair of Pure Cadence at the expo…the blue/green pair was on ridiculous sale in my size, and I couldn’t pass them up. I love those shoes.

Image

Perfect.

Image

Free PEAS! Yum. And yes, I think it’s fair to say I’m often motivated by wine.

Image

I wish I ran a 2:03…

So after the expo we went back to our hotel, which was actually quite far from the starting line. It was almost impossible to find a room in VA Beach that weekend that wasn’t insanely expensive (like $250+ per night for a CRAPPY little place) or that required a 3 night minimum (because of the holiday weekend). But we were lucky to find the VA Beach Hotel and Conference Center, which is actually on the sound side of the water (I think it’s a sound??). It was a nice place on the waterfront, reasonably priced, and only about 15 minutes from the main strip of VA Beach.

The next morning we got up bright and early and very quickly got the fear of God in our eyes when we saw this…

ImageThis pic was taken right after the race, but it was 97% humidity the entire race too.

The humidity was out of control. When we woke up it was somewhere close to 92% humidity already, and in the high 70s. I knew at that moment that I was probably in trouble, despite having trained in the VA humidity for several months already. Running in the humidity is the WORST…there are only so many layers you can reasonably take off. At least in the bitter cold you can bundle up.

Bri dropped us off near the start with enough time for us to run into McDonald’s for a last minute bathroom stop. Then Meredith and I split ways to find our respective corrals and I met up with Katie.

Image

Me and Meredith. Scared but smiling. And it looks like I have a massive sock bun in my hair, but that’s actually just a tree.

The race started pretty normally and uneventfully. Katie and I managed to stay together for the first 3-4 miles, and were pacing conservatively so we didn’t burn out at the end of the race. We got separated at a water stop, and I waved for her to go ahead. I knew by mile 4 that a sub-2 was NOT going to happen unless I planned to pass out or die along the way, so I told myself to just keep pushing through and play each mile by ear.

By mile 8 I was already completely soaking wet with sweat. I had no idea my body was capable of such levels of sweat. It was gross. And I made sure I stopped at EVERY water stop (just for a short moment) to grab a cup of water to dump on my head and a cup of water to drink. I also drank Gatorade at every other stop. I figured it was foolish to pass up water in conditions like this.

Image

The race actually had a relay portion, so also around mile 8 there were a whole bunch of people who got to STOP and a whole bunch of people who got to start on fresh legs and only had 5 miles to do. This was a major downer for me and I really resented those people. The finish seemed SO far away and I was already feeling horribly tired.

I honestly have no idea how I managed to run the majority of the race. According to my Garmin, my moving time was actually pretty decent, somewhere in the 9:20s. The stopping at water stops sucked my time down quite a bit,  but I don’t think I would have been able to finish without them.

Around mile 10 I started to get an INSANE pain in my left foot. Like excruciating. The arch of my foot was stabbing me with pain and I was limping when I walked through the water stops. It was scary and horrible. However, I told myself to just keep going, and my foot actually felt BETTER when I was running. It started flaring up again around mile 12, but by that point I was pushing myself with my mind more than my body.

The race finishes on the VA Beach board walk which is nice and flat, but also cruel. You can SEE the finish line arch from just about a mile away, and it seems SO CLOSE. But my Garmin told me that I still had a ways to go, so I just put my head down and moved forward. I did manage to snap a happy photo though. This is the biggest BS smile I’ve ever given. I was hating life at that point…

Image

I ended up finishing in 2:07:32, which I think is pretty good all things considered. I threw the sub-2 dreams out the door early, and just focused on finishing. I was still faster than my first half marathon, so I’ll take that.

After crossing the finish line I knew my foot was in trouble. I couldn’t walk and it was SO painful. It felt very plantar fasciitis-esque. I got a bag of ice from the medical tent and then attempted to find Bri. When I did find him he took all my post-race stuff and we found a place to hang out while we waited for Meredith. Unfortunately we had to wait on the beach and I didn’t want to sit down…beach+soaking wet = incredible amounts of sand sticking everywhere. I ended up standing for a solid hour while we waited for Meredith. Turns out she also had incredible pain in her calves and could barely move forward. Poor thing!! But she did it!

ImageMeredith in pain.

On our way back to the hotel I couldn’t walk without a limp, and I felt like puking. It was horrible. The heat drained me of all energy and I was seriously worried about the foot. We went out to eat later and I couldn’t put any weight on the foot.

ImageHappy to be done, and totally favoring the left foot. Also, no idea why the heck I decided to wear jeans?? It was sweltering. But the race shirts are awesome.

All in all, I’d say the race was a good experience. I NEVER want to run it again for fear of the same terrible conditions, but at least the course was flat. I thought it was well managed and would have been a great race if the weather wasn’t so awful. Now I kind of want to run the Shamrock Half, also in VA Beach, but in MARCH, so the weather may actually cooperate.

Half marathon #4, success!

Advertisements

Marathon Training Team

I bit the bullet and signed up for the Sportsbacker’s Marathon Training team. I absolutely LOVED my experiences with the Half Marathon Training Team and figured I’d need the support system to get me through 26.2. It’s crazy that our first training run was yesterday and the race isn’t until NOVEMBER. Hard to imagine training for that amount of time, but I’m motivated and ready to do it. I’m sure it’s going to have major ups and downs, but I’m ready for the challenge regardless.

Yesterday we started with an “easy” 4 miler. It was the longest run I’ve done since the half in March. It’s really frustrating to basically be back at square one, but I’m hoping to bounce back quickly. I looked back at some of my Garmin reports from HMTT and I seem to always have a crappy run on the first day of training. Guess I just need to get it out of my system.

Fake smile, but still happy to embrace a new challenge. Photo from MTT week 1.

We also picked up our extensive training plan booklets and I’ve since coordinated the runs with my current schedule. It looks like I’m probably better off joining the Sunday long run group, otherwise I’ll end up having to do some of the really long runs alone (work stuff conflicts several times on Saturdays).

I finished the 4 miles at about a 9:55 pace. SO depressing after completing a half marathon in under 2 hours. I’m still amazed I was able to do that. The goal for this marathon is to FINISH, and not get injured during the training.

Only 159 days until I’m standing at the starting line!

Tobacco Road Half Marathon Recap

AKA, 2 hours or BUST.

It’s been two weeks since I finished this race. And I haven’t taken a SINGLE step in another run. My neck is still on the outs, and it could be another month before I can run again. Major bummer. My new goal is to be ready for the Marathon Training Team on June 2nd! Even if I can’t run a single step until that day, I want to be there bright and early and kick that run in the butt.

I digress. On to the best half marathon ever created…

Finish line. This photo sums up my race quite nicely.

I started race morning bright and early at 4:30am. Brian and I spent the night at my parents’ condo in Raleigh and didn’t arrive until late on Saturday evening (I had a work event all Friday and Saturday AM…needless to say I didn’t get much rest). There was a HUGE thunderstorm on Saturday night, and it ended up waking me up a few times. I actually ended up waking up before my alarm and started to prep.

I decided to go the neon/awesome/sparkle route in terms of race attire. It made me faster.

Love.

By 5:45 I had the rest of the family up and ready to rock and roll (sort of) and we made our way to the start. The race organizers had sent out COUNTLESS emails about pre-race transportation. Apparently in 2011 the transportation system was a major disaster and lots of people ended up missing the start of the race. I’m happy to report that we had NO problem with parking. My parents, brother and Brian dropped me off around 6:15am and I had 45 minutes to kill on my own. From there they made their way to a viewing location with no problem. I know some shuttle buses were running people back and forth to a remote lot, and it seemed to be going well.

After I was dropped off I moseyed around a little bit and then found a spot amongst the crowd in an attempt to stay warm. It wasn’t super chilly, but just enough to make we want to huddle up in a crowd of body heat. I ended up meeting a super nice girl who was also on her own. We chatted for a solid 30 minutes and she gave me piece of gum. I chewed it the entire race (it made me faster).

The gun went of promptly at 7:00am and we were off. My game plan was to PASS the 2hour pacer, and gain a nice lead on him for the first half of a race. Unfortunately I started about 1 minute BEHIND the pacer so I was instantly worried about my plan. The first half of the race had a nice overall downhill, with a few NICE downhill parts.

I literally had this elevation profile memorized. I knew that in order to break 2 hours I would need to maintain as close to a 9 minute pace as possible. Obviously that would be a whole lot easier between miles 3-5 and 7-9 than during the last 5k of the race. I actually PLANNED to start out fast and use the hills to my advantage, so I could comfortably coast up the hills.

I stuck to my plan and ended up passing the 2 hour pacer about 1 mile into the race. At the turn-around I knew I was about 1:30 ahead of them, but the worst was yet to come. I crossed the half way point just as the clock was hitting 1 hour (and I knew I was 1 minute behind the clock). 2 hours was within reach if I could hustle through the 2nd half. I knew I had about 2 minutes of wiggle room.

At mile 9, things got hard. I started to slow down a bit but was determined to push through. Thankfully the uphill was pretty gradual so I didn’t notice it much. However, at mile 11 I ended up semi hitting a wall. My legs felt like death. And the 2 hour pacer passed right by me. I knew I had a little wiggle room (thanks Garmin!) but I wasn’t totally sure how much.

The end of the race was torture for me. I hustled as hard as I could, but I never quite caught up with the pacer. It was killing me to see them in front of me. But those darn hills at the end felt so.much.worse than they actually were.

I gave it everything I had the last half mile. I knew I had to push it to reach my goal; according to my Garmin timer I had right around 5 minutes to complete the last half mile +.1. That .1 nugget was uphill and I busted my booty to make it up.

Sub 2 or BUST.

I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin at 1:59:32 but wasn’t exactly convinced that I had done it. For some reason I thought maybe I had over estimated how far behind I started from the 2 hour pacer, and how much time had passed between me starting my Garmin and the actual start time. All of these thoughts were crossing my mind and I could barely breathe. I vaguely remember getting my medal and silver blanket. Then I spotted my dad, brother and Brian (not sure where mom was?!) and immediately burst into tears and gasps of breath. It took a moment of convincing, but they were all sure I had achieved my goal. It was a REALLY freaking good feeling.

Eventually I composed myself, got some tasty bread and we hauled butt out of there! On the car ride home I checked my splits:

Exactly what I had planned. And it worked.

Later that afternoon I got my official results:

1:59:29

Epically happy with that. My first half marathon in 2010 was 2:20 something, so this is such an awesome accomplishment. I also really enjoyed this race. It’s well organized, the pre-event communications are top notch and the course is fun. It’s mostly along the American Tobacco Trail which is a nice change of pace from typical road races. I really liked running through the forest on the man-made trail. Two thumbs up!

Next up, getting healthy in order to do it all again!

Mission Accomplished.

The Best 8k of My Life. Probably Forever.

The Roanoke Canal 8k. My new favorite race. And possibly my new favorite distance.

Bri and I signed up to run this 8k two weeks ago completely on a whim. I needed to squeeze in another 5-6 miler before the half and we were on our way to NC for my mom’s birthday. The race was on our way and just happened to be the perfect distance.

We ended up leaving Richmond around 5:30am the morning of the race. The start was about a 1.5 hour drive and we weren’t sure how easy it would be to park, pick up packets, etc., so we wanted to allow plenty of time. We ended up making two pit stops…once at WaWa for gas and some pre-race fuel and once for a pre-race potty break for me (so utterly important). We ended up arriving at the start area with about an hour to spare before the race, and easily found parking and got our bibs.

The race really featured a half marathon and the 8k was kind of secondary. The halfers took off at 8 and we spent the next 20 minutes staying warm in the car. Around 8:20 we made our way to the start, which was in the middle of a forest. Basically the entire run was on trails! It was super cool.

Brian really hoped to place in his age group (or even place overall) during this race, so he started out in the front of the pack. I found a comfortable spot near the middle and told myself to think of it as a training run. But, of course, 3 steps into the thing I decided I wanted to race.

I didn’t know this at the beginning but the 8k only had 91 participants. Super small. I think I started out in a good place in the pack. I was cruising along but didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard, and no one was really passing me.

Mile 1  – 8:47

I ended up passing 1 girl about my age during mile 1. I was a little worried that I was pushing too hard, but this didn’t feel super hard. There was a nice downhill that probably helped (although it turned into a not-so-nice-uphill on the way back).

Mile 2 – 8:37

I was feeling pretty darn good. I wasn’t getting passed and I didn’t want the girl from earlier to pass me. As I approached the turn around I kept my eyes peeled for Brian and he looked to be in about 6th place overall. I didn’t really notice what sort of position I was in since I was so focused on trying to find Brian.

Mile 3 – 8:55

Starting to slow down. The rolling hills were starting to get to me and I ended up being passed by a lady, but she was definitely older than me. There was no way I was going to keep up with her.

Mile 4 – 9:09

Totally focused on NOT being passed by anyone else. I didn’t want to turn around to see how close the next runner might be, so I just told myself to push it. Again, rolling hills were so nice during the first two miles, but killer at this point.

Mile 5 – 9:17

The uphill of doom. It was all I had to make it up this hill. Thankfully everyone else was seriously struggling, and I actually ended up passing a guy. He was having a hard time and I tried to encourage him, but I could barely breathe. At the top of the hill I was sure no one else would pass me, so I hoofed it to the finish line.

Hill of Doom

I found Brian at the end of the race and he was confident that he placed in his age group so we decided to stick around for the awards. We grabbed some snacks and pretty much just sat on our butts for 45 minutes. I snapped a whopping two photos with my iPhone…

When they finally started announcing awards, they went by age group and gender. Youngest to oldest, and ladies first in each category. They got to my age group, 20-29, and announced the 3rd place runner and her time. And holy crap, her time was SLOWER THAN MINE. I about threw up. Then then announced 2nd place AND IT WAS ME. Little old me. I PLACED in my AGE GROUP!!! I won a pint glass!! I was so surprised and excited. I really didn’t expect it and am SO GLAD I pushed myself a little bit. Brian also got 2nd in his age group (see, I am just as good a runner as he is!). So now we have a pretty matching set of pint glasses.

So, not only did I PR, I also won an award for my age group. I highly doubt that will ever happen again, but man oh man was it awesome.

I’m seriously considering framing this:

So my time would not really be that impressive in a bigger race, but it is still super cool for me. I’m NOT fast but I still went out there and pushed myself and had a great time doing it. Now I’m totally on the hunt for super tiny races to run…they are so much fun and less stressful than those MASSIVE races I tend to do (ahem, Monument 10k).

We’ll be back next year!

10 and 11.

Time to recap my better-than-ever 10 and 11 mile runs. Then we can move on to bigger and better things!

After my CRAPTASTIC 9 miler, I knew I had to make a few changes before tackling 10 and 11 miles over the next two weeks. Mostly, that meant drinking a WHOLE lot more water, and treating those long runs with the respect they deserve. For me, running more than about 8 miles at a time is no joke, and I need to treat it as such.

So the 10 miler…

The first step I took in ensuring this run’s success was to run a brand new route. I think I was getting into a rut with my neighborhood, and needed to find a new place to keep things fresh. Yes, I cheated on my neighborhood, and I don’t even feel bad.

I also wore my fuel belt, despite the fact that it was only 53-ish degrees and SUPER windy.

Once again, these splits don’t lie. Mile 10 was actually my fastest mile, so I know I was doing something right. I felt pretty strong the entire time, but my legs did start to feel a little heavy around mile 8. I ran head first into the wind throughout much of miles 3 and 4, so I’m happy with those times. I also did this entire run music free.

Moving on to yesterday’s 11 miler. Since my 10 was pretty strong, I figured I could knock this one out of the park as well. What’s one more mile?! I decided to tackle this run on Sunday, instead of Saturday, since my half marathon in 2 weeks will take place on a Sunday morning. I PLANNED to wake up at the crack of dawn to mimic the race (and just get it over with), but my darling husband stayed out until 1:30am and I just couldn’t sleep. He said he’d walk home from the bar (like a 2 mile walk!) and I just got too worried. So I stayed up and picked his crazy butt up. Needless to say, I didn’t even bother setting an alarm and didn’t end up hitting the road until about 1:30pm (had to catch up on the Top Chef Finale…priorities!!).

Once again I planned this run around an entirely new route. However, of course, as soon as I parked my car the heavens opened up with a really random sleet downpour. Thankfully it passed by pretty quickly and I was able to get started. I tried to keep things steady and easy for the entire first half of the run, and then aimed to pick it up a bit on tired legs.

I felt strong for most of the run, but when mile 8 hit I started to feel it in my legs. They were just so heavy! One MAJOR change for me during this run was that I vowed to take ZERO walking/drinking breaks. Brian suggested that I try to just RUN the entire thing. Usually during my long runs I’ll pause for a minute or so to stretch and refuel. I’m not a very talented drinker-while-running, so I feel the need to stop so I don’t spill all over myself. Well, apparently this is a bad thing. I mean duh. Every second counts in a real race, and if I want to get a SUB 2, I won’t be able to stop. I’m pretty sure in my last half marathon I stopped 3-4 times (once to remove a layer and hand it off), so several of my mile were over 10 minutes.

But not this time. I did this run completely stop-free (minus a few pauses at intersections) and was even able to drink while running. Mind over matter.

My legs were killing me the last 2 miles, but I pushed through. I’m really, really happy with this run.

I’ve been reading online that my long runs should be done somewhere between 45 seconds and 1:15 slower than my race pace. So does that mean I should be able to race at a sub 9:00 pace?! It seems crazy to me. But it also seems crazy to me to think that I could run a whole half marathon a whole minute per mile faster than I ever trained for a long run?! I just don’t get it. I guess I’ll find out at the finish line in 2 weeks!!

Best feeling in the world?

Team Sparkle

I FINALLY got my act together and ordered two Team Sparkle skirts today.

I’m not sure when/how I initially found out about them, probably another blogger or on Twitter, but I knew I had to have one. However, it’s taken me a while to actually whip out the credit card and make the purchase. Soon these little babies will make my butt look super fast…

Sparkly red awesomeness

Turquoise sparkle amazingness

I’m not sure which I will wear for my upcoming half (March 18…so soon!!), but I know they’ll make me feel ready for a new PR, since a little sparkle never hurts!

Awesome runs, crappy runs and a haircut

Let’s start with awesome.

Bri and I took a much needed mini-trip to PA this past weekend. We left Richmond on Thursday evening and had a whole jam-packed 3 day weekend planned. It was BLISS.

Part one of the awesome weekend was an 8 mile run on Friday morning. Pretty much the ONLY time I can convince Brian to run with me is when we are up in PA. He likes to show me around his old stomping ground. We decided to tackle the 8 miles in Ridley Creek State Park, not to far from where Brian grew up. I really wasn’t expecting much going into this run, especially because of the hills. Richmond is just so darn flat compared to PA, so I didn’t set my expectations too high. I thought maybe a 9:45 pace was reasonable.

We ended up doing a 4 mile out and back, with the first 4 miles essentially uphill and the last 4 basically back down.

Despite the hills and the icy patches, we were able to kick some serious butt. I don’t know what it was, but once I was through the first 2 miles, I knew I had it in me to make this run GOOD. Having Brian by my side certainly helped, and I was happy to just keep up with him. He knows that course like the back of his hand, so he was constantly telling me that it was going to flatten out, or that we only had 1 more hill to go. Very motivating. In the end, we finished with an overall pace of 9:19. Seriously amazing for me considering the hills!!

I rode that runner’s high for a while after that run.

That is until today.

I attempted a 5 mile “Easy” run during lunch today. The sky was perfectly blue, the temps hovered around 55, I really couldn’t ask for better conditions. But man oh man did this run SUCK. I only got through 4 miles and that was a huge struggle. I have no idea why I felt so crappy. I’m not sick or anything?! My lungs felt OK but my legs just didn’t want to move. I couldn’t even mentally psych myself up. You would think this should have been easy considering the elevation…

But my splits say otherwise…

HOW did I do so well on Friday and then absolutely collapse on Monday?? Uggg.

In other news, I chopped off all my hair. I have a poor excuse for a ponytail now, but I’m making it work. It feels so FREEING!!

A New 5k PR!

Oh hey February.

Thanks to several working weekends I’ve had a hard time updating this baby. But I’m back and happy to report a brand spankin’ new 5k PR!!

I ran the Plunge 5k last Saturday and was determined to beat my Phillies 5k time of 26:36. The run takes place on the VA Beach boardwalk, so it’s utterly FLAT. I knew it’d be a great course for a PR, even if I was more tired than usual while running it. I was up late working the few nights leading up to the race, so I was a little nervous that a PR wouldn’t be in the cards for me. But when race morning rolled around, I was surprisingly relaxed and ready to make it happen. I’ve had a few speedy-for-me long runs in the past few weeks, so I thought maintaining an uncomfortable pace for 3 short miles would be relatively realistic.

This whole race was mental for me. I told myself that 3 miles was NOTHING and I could push it pretty hard. I definitely started out too fast, but still managed to maintain a healthy pace!

PR achieved! My official time was actually 26:02…so close to coming in under 26 minutes!

This was also a redemption race for me. Last year I had a horrible performance and didn’t even break 30 minutes. I was slow and groggy…my legs were like lead! I knew I had to truly take advantage of the FLATNESS and race. I’m super happy!!

PR HAPPY!!

BodyPump and Long Runs DO NOT MIX

At least not for me…I am SORE. And it’s already been two days since I did that.

I had a work event all day on Saturday and was on the go for 12 hours (including the drive there and back), so I saved my workouts for Sunday. Normally I like to do my run on Saturday so all I have to worry about on Sunday is BodyPump. It’s good to keep those things separate. However, this weekend I decided to do my normal Sunday BodyPump class at 2:15 followed by my 8 miler at 3:45 so I could fit everything in.

The new release of BodyPump is killer but I really like it. The music is good and the tracks have really made me feel the burn in new ways. The shoulder track is probably my favorite because the music is so darn weird. The lunge track HURTS and my legs were burning when I left the class. I should have known throwing 8 miles into the mix would be painful.

But I sucked it up and did it anyway. All things considered it was a great run, even though my fingers got a little frozen by the end. But I am STILL sore. Maybe I should learn to stretch…

I seriously hope this is putting me on a path to a sub-2 half marathon. I felt strong throughout the run and think I could have gone quite a bit faster. However I am NOT risking injury!!

After all this pumping and running I took Monday off since I could barely walk. My inner thighs were particularly mean. Today I did a nice and easy 5 miler to try and shake things out a bit.

I don’t think I could have run that first mile any faster. My legs were like lead!! Happy to get those miles in though..

As I was running I came across a major pet peeve of mine. FOUR women were walking side by side on the path in Bryan Park…they were taking up the ENTIRE thing! There was really no way for me to get around them without running off the path. They were so into their conversation that I don’t think they heard me coming. I even tried intentionally running on leaves and clearing my throat. I’m pretty sure I freaked them out as I ran past on the edge of the path. I hope they didn’t get hit by any bikers.

Path ladies.

They are kind of hard to see in that photo, but I had to document the moment. I decided to take a picture pretty far away so I wouldn’t completely freak them out if they turned around. Share the road!

Rawwwrrr!

Tomorrow’s supposed to be 70 and sunny. I’m crossing my fingers for the chance to run outside again! Let’s just hope my aching muscles can handle it…

Running Remix

This week I attempted to mix up my runs a bit. I REALLY want to run a sub-2 hour half in March, so speedwork and hills are on the agenda. Look at me…I sound like I know what I’m talking about. Ha.

Anyhizzle. Since I am the WORST morning person ever, I must reserve my runs for the evening. And thanks to mother nature/daylight savings, it’s usually dark by the time I want to run. So I take my booty to the gym most days. While the treadmill isn’t idea for speed and hills, I feel like I’m getting the job done. At a very minimum, I’m not running flat or steady, so it’s more than I did during past half marathon trainings.

Tuesday I planned my day around my run (an easy 4 miler). I saw that the weather was supposed to be ridiculously beautiful (sunny and highs of 65) so I told my boss I was going into work an hour early so I could leave an hour early. It was glorious to walk out at 4pm and see the sun still shining.

Look! A (blurry) tank top in January!

I whacked 4 miles out and it was SO NICE. And I was SO FAST. Nothin’ like a little sunshine and endorphins to make a girl happy as a clam.

Wednesday I jumped on the treadmill and attempted some speedwork. Thankfully I have a husband who used to run D1 track/cross country, so he told me what to do. I warmed up for 1 mile then ran .25 (400m) at a “fast” pace for me (8:20) then .15 at an “easy” pace for me (10:00). I repeated this process until I had finished 8 of the fast bits. This is called an 8×400 apparently. I covered 4 miles, including the warm up.

Thursday I went to BodyPump (the new release is killer…I especially love the shoulder track. The music is so weird) and then attempted a hill workout on the treadmill. I did a 5 minute easy warm up then set my pace at a steady 9:20 and upped the elevation every 2 minutes. After two minutes I’d take it back down to flat and run at the same speed for 2 minutes. Then I’d up the elevation for two minutes and repeat. I did this until I was done with 3 miles. I increased the elevation every other 2 minutes(that’s confusing, I know), so I ran at a 3.0 then a 3.5 then 4.0, etc all the way through 5.0.

All in all, an excellent running week! I’ve got 8 on the docket for the weekend…BRING IT.