Almost race time…

Yesterday’s run was very crappy. Since my half marathon is only a few days away I only had 3-4 pace miles on the docket, which I chose to run on the treadmill to make sure I kept pretty close to that pace. I didn’t want to push it, but wanted to make sure I committed the feeling of my goal pace to my legs. And this is how it went….

My right shoe lace it tied tighter than my left. — Stops to fix shoe laces — Now the left one’s tighter. — Fumbles with shoe laces again. Gets annoyed. Screw it.

My headphones sound like my heart was pumping from the headphone covers…thump thump thumping in my ears.

My shins hurt…do I have shin splints again???

Why can’t I breathe right…I’m still running my warm-up mile!

I am PMSing. I am grumpy. I don’t want to do this.

Just one more mile. You have to push it one more mile. At least do 3 miles. BUT don’t ACTUALLY push it…steady. You don’t want to burn out your legs this close to a race.

It was uncomfortable. I didn’t enjoy any of it, really. I have been eating perfectly. The run I had planned is usually easy for me. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get comfortable. Then I started reading this article from Runner’s World and this blog post about women’s running and menstruation cycles (sorry, guys). I’ve always noticed that my work outs (not just runs) lack the energy and intensity towards the end of my cycle as compared the beginning. I’m tired. I’m sluggish. My joints just don’t feel right. I’m bloated and my stomach is even more sensitive than usual.

I haven’t changed my goals for race day — I am still hoping to clock a time somewhere in the 2:00-2:05 range. But at the same time, I am allowing for this race to just “go as it will.” I know that I will be able to run it faster than I did last year. (My goal last year was just to finish. I ran slowly, stopped often, and clocked in at about 2:27. Not fast, but respectable for someone who had just started running less than a year earlier!) I really just wanted to run again with James. He hasn’t been training much on the running front, so he’s not sure at all how the race is going to go for him. Regardless of how it goes, I have learned a LOT this training season. I have learn more about fueling for long runs. I have learned what foods and fuels my body likes and what it HATES. I have learned about recovery runs and speed works and have accelerated my pace so that I have a range between the two (Last year all my runs were pretty much at an identical pace, regardless of the purpose of the run). I ran a sub-8:00 mile for the first time since I was a kid. I fell in love with running instead of it just being something I forced myself to do to prove something.

Cheers to another race — however it goes!

Anyone else running a race this weekend?

Other big fitness plans on the horizon?

What is your biggest frustration or technical difficulty when starting a run? I hate when my shoelaces don’t feel even or the bottom of my shirt rides up and bounces on my hips. I have a great lulu tank that stays put and a North Face jacket planned for race day!

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Welcome Fall!

Hello! How are you doing today? Has the weather started to resemble fall in your neck of the woods yet? I had a very fall-like 12-mile run on Saturday. It was my last long run prior to the half marathon on the 18th and my longest run of this training cycle. The weather was exactly what I’d expect from an Ohio fall day… cold, windy, and a bit wet. I drizzled the entire time. While that is definitely not my ideal version of running conditions, I was actually thankful for the bit of yuck. Most of my runs have been in warm, relatively perfect conditions and it is highly unlikely that race day will be warm and sunny. It was good to have an opportunity to test my legs and clothes in cooler weather.

Hooray for taper time!

IMG_2832[1]The run went pretty well, all things considered. My legs felt a little stiff, but I was able to make it through all 12 miles with only a couple little stops to re-tie/ adjust my shoes. One of the “joys” of new shoes is that breaking them in requires a lot of adjusting the laces until they feel just right – especially when you are as OCD about it as me. At the end of the run my average pace was 9:21, so about 11 seconds slower than the 9:10 average I’ll need to hit my goal on race day, but when you account for the shoe-tying stops, I think I am pretty close to on target. Bring on the race day adrenaline!