Sunday, November 8, 2009

3 Half Marathons in 3 Weekends

Fort Worth Half Marathon – Run Like a Cheetah

Official finish time: 13.29 miles = 2:17:07
Unofficial finish time: 13.10 miles = 2:15:23

I am okay with my official finish time and will record it in my log book. There were minor course adjustments due to the recent rain and my theory is we all ran the same course, long or short, so the official finish time is official. I marked my Garmin at 13.1 then again at the finish line. Everyone I talked with had almost .20 more on their Garmin. My reason for including my unofficial finish time is that the Honored Hero course was 13.1 on my Garmin, today’s course and weather were almost identical and today’s run was a 7 second PR from Honored Hero.

I ran both half marathons without ever stopping one single time, but today I took water from each of the aid stations. This was a challenge as plastic cups do not crease as easily as paper cups. Thankfully I never choked or drowned myself!

There were at least 10 Heels and Hills and several Love the Half runners at today’s event. Two ladies wore their classic black Heels and Hills shirts. Around mile 10 a lady commented on how strong I was running then started a small conversation. Her legs, feet, etc were hurting and she concerned about the last four miles. I was thrilled to let her know the mile markers were off by one and we were actually at mile 10, not mile 9. While chatting I learned that she ran Heels and Hills and Him. We had run near each other the entire race and decided to stay together for motivation and pacing in the final miles. She was on a super PR pace so I encouraged her go ahead and run strong once we completed mile 13.

Another strong run and I am very happy to not be running a half marathon next week end! I am still overwhelmed when I think about the fact that my "new" pace really is consistent and a sub 2:00 half marathon is within reach.

Race Plan/ Race Results
A: Run strong with intensity, but don’t race – Ran every step of the race, again
B: Run an avg pace consistent with the past two weekends – 10:20, 09:54, 10:19

Mile splits (10:19 avg pace)
M1: 10:16
M2: 10:14
M3: 10:16
M4: 10:15
M5: 10:12
M6: 10:14
M7: 10:12
M8: 10:29
M9: 10:23
M10: 10:29
M11: 10:28
M12: 10:29
M13: 10:08

Next Up - Confirmed
11.22.09 – Mote in Motion Half Marathon
12.13.09 – White Rock Half Marathon

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

I really, really, really wanted to run a half marathon on my birthday. Imagine my surprise last Sunday when I was discovered the Bud E. Bee Boo! Run on the Love the Half website. Yes, I am aware LTH is my website, but Libby is the webmaster… Todd went to the golf course for less than one hour and when he returned I promptly said “I know what I want for my birthday. We are boarding the dogs, you can play golf at Lake Whitney on Friday and Saturday, we will spend Friday night in Cleburne and I will run a half marathon on Saturday”. Like the good husband he always is he replied with “Sounds like a great plan”.

I immediately consulted my October running log to confirm the mileage I would need to run MON – FRI to ensure I hit my monthly goal of 100 miles and allow my legs to recover from this morning’s PR half marathon. Then I waited several more days before registering to confirm that my legs had fully recovered.

When I picked up my packet the lady said “Are you Heels and Hills? We are so thrilled you are running our new half marathon”. I learned the registration numbers were approximately 40 runners. Wow, maybe I’ll place in my age group! Since there wasn’t much to do in Cleburne I thought I would drive the course. Upon arriving at the hotel I called the Race Director to get more details about the course. While talking with him I learned there were approximately 15 runners in the half marathon. The 40 runners included the 5K and 10K. Wow, maybe I’ll win the Master Division! (the awards were only Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female). The course included several hills, but all appeared very doable and the weather forecast was absolutely perfect. I knew this race was going to be the best birthday present ever.

We had already decided to postpone my birthday dinner until post race and I did not want to eat anywhere “new” so we picked Chili’s. I decided carbo loading is overrated and had my all time favorite – a rib eye. Of course Todd insisted on his all time favorite -- dessert. We enjoyed a nice relaxing “non-puppies” evening then got to bed early. Todd had to leave by 7:00 to make his tee time and I got to sleep until 7:00 as the start line was less than 5 miles from the hotel.

The temperature was 43 degrees at the start then 62 degrees at the finish with 5mph winds. There appeared to be approximately 20 half marathoners at the start. I passed a few runners in the first mile then held my position for the remainder of the race. I will be curious to find out where I placed in the results as I passed approximately 5 runners while I driving back to the hotel. It was a two loop course so I seldom saw any other runners. Running alone gave me a lot of time to reflect on how much running has changed my life. I am blessed to have the opportunity to share the journey and this half marathon was the perfect birthday present!

Race Plan/ Race Results
A: Run strong with intensity, but don’t race – I ran the pace my body was giving me
B: Run a consistent pace – I didn’t realize I was strong enough to maintain a sub 10:00 pace. I chose to take one walk break then slow the pace for lap 2. I need to save my legs since I ran a half marathon 6 days ago and will run another half marathon in 8 days.
C: Run for a Personal Record – New PR by 4 minute – 2:11:12. A total 8 min PR in one week!!!

Mile splits (09:54 avg pace)
M1: 10:04 – might be a little fast as there are a several hills and gradual inclines
M2: 09:51 – maybe this pace isn’t too fast. hill #1 completed
M3: 09:39
M4: 09:38 – sun is coming out so off with the long sleeved shirt
M5: 09:42 – hill #2 completed
M6: 09:45 – 10K = 59:58 = 4 min PR!
First Lap = 01:04 = 09:46 avg pace!

M7: 09:40 – feeling great, but chose not to keep a fast pace and simply enjoy the run
M8: 10:42 –walk break + gel; hill #3 completed
M9: 09:59 -- new goal is to have fun knowing sub 10:00 min miles equal another 4 min PR
M10: 09:59
M11: 09:56 – hill #4 completed
M12: 09:54
M13: 09:56

Next Up:
11.08.09 -- Fort Worth Half Marathon
11.22.09 – Mote in Motion Half Marathon
12.13.09 – White Rock Half Marathon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Honored Hero Half Marathon

Today, I ran my first half marathon!

I have completed over 30 half marathons, but I have never run EVERY single step. Nor have I ever run 2 hours and 15 minutes without stopping! I ate my gels while running and carried my own water, which I always do, so I would not have to stop at any of the aid stations.

In my Cowtown Ultra Marathon blog post, Feb 2009, I asked “Will I ever like running in Trinity Park?” The answer is “yes”. Today’s course was 6.5 miles out and back along the Trinity River. It was windy the entire race, but the temperature was perfect. The sun came out for a little while then it became overcast.

I went to Ft Worth alone and saw a few people that I knew. There were ladies behind me at mile 2 talking about Heels and Hills and I saw a Love the Half shirt at the turn around point. I did a shout out to Angie (TIR teammate) and Lolita (Mellew Run Team) around mile 7 or 8.

Race Plan/ Race Results
A: Run strong with intensity, but don’t race – Ran every step of the race
B: Run a consistent pace of 10:19 – Ran a 10:20 average
C: Run for a Personal Record – New PR by 4 minutes – 2:15:30

Mile splits (10:20 avg pace)
M1: 10:21
M2: 10:16
M3: 10:17
M4: 10:23
M5: 10:23
M6: 10:19
M7: 10:13
M8: 10:26
M9: 10:20
M10: 10:25
M11: 10:30
M12: 10:16
M13: 10:20

Next Up - Confirmed

10.31.09 -- Bed E. Bee Boo Half Marathon
11.08.09 -- Fort Worth Half Marathon

11.22.09 -- Mote in Motion Half Marathon
12.13.09 – White Rock Half Marathon

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ending the Streak?

Today was the first day that would have been a good day to end my running streak…

I did not want to get up and run this morning. So I didn’t.

I did not want to run on the treadmill after work. So I didn’t.

All I had to do to keep the streak alive was run was ONE mile. I decided to run outside in hopes I would get in the groove. Unfortunately, that never did happen. The first mile lasted forever and was a 10:51.

How was I ever going to run 100 miles this month? I ran one mile out so I would have to run one mile back. Two miles is an acceptable run. Then I had a heart to heart about digging deep and going for my sub 10:30 goal. It was at that point I took a detour which would be one half mile “out” to finish mile two with a 10:32.

Mile three was an uneventful 10:30 as I knew was on the “back” of both out and back segments and would finish up with 3.1 miles.

While it was a good day to end my running streak – I didn't! And the alarm is already set for tomorrow morning’s run…

Total Miles 3.1 Total Time 32:55 Average Pace 10:37
M1 10:51
M2 10:32
M3 10:30
L4 01:00

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Streak Days 25 - 26

Saturday morning was a bright and early 5.6 miles walk as Libby and I marked the 5K, 10K and 15K courses for the “A Dollar a K” race in the morning. Our original plan was to run, but we quickly discovered we could not run holding 15 orange utility flags, the course map AND watch our Garmin for mileage markings. Not to mention we couldn’t talk either!

The rest of the day was spent purchasing supplies, getting the water station supplies ready, putting mile marker signs in order (note: the return signs for three overlapping distances is a challenge), cutting bagels then finally loading the car. I also spent all afternoon following hubby online as he playing in his first Amateur golf tournament. He was in the lead then lost by one stroke :) He supports me and I support him. I always say “golf and running make our marriage very happy”.

Oddly enough, I felt guilty all day because I had not run my daily 5K. As soon as hubby got home I headed out the door to run three miles in the neighborhood. He brought the dogs out for a walk and they immediately tracked me down. I stopped at two miles, but all guilt was gone as I was being loved by my happy little family and we had much to celebrate.

Sunday was a whole different story! I was up at 4:30 am to set up the Heels and Hills course. Two of our volunteers had cancelled at the last minute so I was scrambling to put out all of the markers and set up the water stations. Did I mention the race started 30 minutes earlier than normal? Earlier in the week I had naively thought I might have time check out the course during the event by running from the 15K turn around to the 10K turn around and back for my 5K. That never happened and all I did was drive, drive, drive during the entire event and saw almost none of the participants. I just smiled as this is the life of an "Operations" Race Director. Libby is "Technology" Race Director and we make a great team!!

Although I was completely exhausted when I returned home and it was already 90 degrees I knew I had better run my 5K immediately or it would never happen. It was pure adrenaline that kept the streak alive, including negative splits and sub 11 avg pace.

Sat walked 5.6 miles to mark the H&H 5K, 10K, 15K course
Sat 21:29 – 11:10, 10:28 (Avg 10:49)
Sun 33:35 – 11:12, 10:47, 10:37, 00:58 (Avg 10:50)