Saturday, February 23, 2013

1/2 Marathon Race Dress Rehearsal

 After running the Houston Marathon on January 13, I've been taking it easy, mostly just trying to slowly get more miles in before the next race. My next race is The Woodlands Half Marathon on March 2. It's close to home and it's a new race for me. 

I drove part of the course this week. The flatness made me happy. I noticed that it looks like the scenery is pretty, but it may seem monotonous after miles of only tall trees on either side of the road. It's good to be prepared for things like that.

Before yesterday's run, I had a banana and some homemade banana bread. During the run, I ate a Clif Shot mocha gel (they'll hand it out at the race). I wore the shorts, top, and hat that I plan to race in. My stomach and clothes did well during my race dress rehearsal.

Yesterday I ran 10 miles at 9:34 pace with mile 9 at 8:40 pace. That 9th mile nearly did me in! For a PR, I'd need to get better than 1:50:57 (8:27 pace). I'm not counting on a PR, though. Yesterday I saw some old snake oil medicine bottles at an antique store. I wonder if they ever peddled anything that could make a runner faster!

We have out-of-town family visiting us this week and in addition to antiquing, we took them to Houston where we saw these big heads. It'll be hard to ever top this tourist destination! ; ) 

What's your favorite spot for taking your out-of-town guests (and your location)? 

Friday, February 15, 2013

11 Mile Run / 5 Links for Friday

My Backyard Gate: Where My Running Begins

I ran 11.4 miles today. I stayed at around 9:30 pace after the warm-up. My legs didn't have that tired, heavy feeling today (maybe because I only ran a total of 20 miles this week). That makes me more hopeful for The Woodlands Half Marathon that I'm running in two weeks.

Pre-run: oatmeal with a banana and toast with honey (filled me up so that I wasn't hungry)
During: Mint Chocolate GU gel (yum!) at mile 5
Post-run: Chocolate Milk

Race Training - 12 Mistakes (Even Experienced) Runners Make. This article is packed with helpful information like, "Don't leave your race in your workout." That's something I didn't want to do today so even though it might have been fun to try to run faster because it's more of a challenge, I kept it on the easy side. I want to be patient with my body after running the Houston Marathon only a month ago.

Is Your GPS Watch Accurate? Certified race courses are usually accurate, and are more accurate than your watch, so don't worry that you've gone too long or too short. I know I've done this. However, in Denver one year, the marathon was truly marked incorrectly. They decreased my time by about a minute.

Increasing Mileage to Avoid Injury - This article examines a variety of ways to increase mileage. Usually, I increase my miles for 3 weeks and then I take a break with a week of lesser mileage.

5 Myths About Ultra Marathons - Tips for pacing yourself, eating, and drinking during an ultra. Even if you don't run ultras, you might find it helpful.

Specificity: Trail vs. Road - For ultras, you could run one 20-28 mile run every two weeks and increase mileage for two weeks. Then, other workouts are 1-2 hours long and include speed and hills.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Half Marathon Training Update

Seeing the Great Blue Heron on my run was not quite as exciting as seeing the two deer while I was waiting for my Garmin to find satellites or even the Cardinals who almost stood still long enough for a good photo, but it's a better photo than the last deer photo that I posted. Progress!  

I'm running The Woodlands Half Marathon in about 3 weeks. I've felt low on energy lately and my pace shows it. I have minor aches, too, so I'm keeping my miles low and hoping my body will finally recover from the Houston Marathon that I ran in mid-January, if that's the problem. I ran an easy five miles this morning. Recently, my long runs have been 7 and 9 miles long and I hope to run 11 miles for my next long run. 

Something that I did today that made me feel better on my run was to eat first. I wasn't hungry on the run, like I have been lately, so that's a step in the right direction.

What kind of wildlife do you see when you run?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Will Stop (Running) for Deer!

I Spy Two Deer!

Monday (2/4) - When I was out running in the park, I looked up to find three deer running in the same direction that I was running. When they saw me, they stopped to stare and I grabbed my phone to take pictures. I followed them over to the creek area on the side of the park to get the photo. 5 miles with miles 2, 3, and 4 at 9:07, 8:53, 8:53/mi. pace. Goal pace was 9:09 or better.

Tuesday- strength training/core work

Wednesday- 5 miles with 4 x 800 m. with 90 second rests. My 800's weren't as fast as I wanted: 9:15, 9:07, 9:10, and 8:53/mile. A 4 hour marathon pace is 9:09/mile, to give this some perspective.

Thursday- I saw another deer! Wow, you might think I live in the woods with all of the deer I've seen this week! 4 miles and strength training/core work.

Friday (2/8) - 9 miles. I ate some oatmeal topped with cinnamon and raisins before I ran, but at mile 2, all that I could think about was my empty stomach and my heavy legs. I told myself that I'd feel better after I stopped for a drink of water, only half believing myself, but I really did feel better!

My Weimaraner ran 7.5 miles with me. I dropped her off at home and then I picked up the speed: 9:34 (1 mile) and 9:07 (last 1/2 mile). Overall pace: 10:01.

Last 5 Days: 4 runs, 23 miles of running, 2 days strength/core work, 18 peanut M&M's, and 4 deer!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

When 7 Miles is Long

This is the park that backs up to our new backyard. That's my dog, Zoe, sitting in front of the waterfall that flows into one of the lakes. It's fun to run in a new place. It's much more quiet at this park in the mornings than I'm used to, but I like the peacefulness. I especially like stepping out of my backyard into the park where I can run.

I've been slowly adding on miles this week after running the Houston Marathon three weeks ago. This week my miles were: 4, 3.3, 4, 4, rest, and 7 today - my longest run of the week. The weather has been anywhere from 40-70 degrees in the mornings - quite a variation in one week. Only four weeks until the Woodlands Half Marathon!

Our Box Mountain

My husband and I have lived in our new house for a week. My hands are sore from cutting open the taped boxes. Fortunately, I'm almost finished unpacking. What a relief!
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