Runderful: Houston Marathon Training Wk 3

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Believe it or not, we had a chilly week here in TX as much of the rest of the country. The “deep freeze” as they called it in the local paper was one day of temps in the 30s overnight. Brrrr. Yes, I am officially a cold wimp. Hard to believe that after 40+ years of¬†East Coast winters, I shiver when it’s in the 50s. ūüôā But, it’s been fun to un-earth all my cold weather running gear that just a month ago I thought I would have to donate.

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I also registered for another half in February. They had bonanza registration open up at 6 am on Friday starting at $1. So….yes, I had to jump on that. I got in for a $1!!!!

Around here it’s Christmas central as I finally got my holiday decorations up both inside and outside with the hubby’s help. It’s the most wonderful time of year. The kids are excited about the holiday and all my family is coming to visit.

My week of running was pretty good as well. After my 20 miler last Sunday, I woke up on Monday with two sore feet. My PF has been acting up on one foot (same foot as before), and my other foot has developed some tendonitis. I decided to take the day off, and I felt better. I’m still feeling sore with both feet, but it’s manageable. I’m just hoping to get to the Houston marathon in January healthy.

Here’s my week of running:

Monday: off

Tuesday: 1000 m intervals. Was able to hit 6:45/min for some of these, and 7:00 for the others.

Wednesday: yoga

Thursday: 6 miles

Friday: 5 miles

Saturday: 3~ish miles

Sunday: BCS Half marathon

Total miles: 37.5

Sunday was the highlight of my week. The BCS (Bryan College Station) Marathon and Half Marathon is the local race in town that benefits a couple of charities including Mercy Project, an organization that rescues children from slavery in Ghana. Racers get a tech shirt at packet pickup and a finisher’s jacket this year (specific to half or full) plus a nice spread of food (tacos, pizza rolls, strawberry pastries, frozen margaritas, local craft beer, chocolate milk, Gatorade, and more). I really wasn’t that excited about it at first because I’ve been so focused on Houston and how my miles have not been what they should.

But, I got more excited as the week went on about running my last half of the year (#6 this year) and because there were several people in my running group running their first marathon.

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Here’s my BRF and I at the start!
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These are some of the people in my group! A bunch of awesome dedicated runners.

I saw a couple of my friends out on the course cheering for their relatives. I love this picture.

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Temps started in the 50s with a slight breeze and a little drizzle. Not bad at all.¬†My BRF and I weren’t running together because she ran 5 miles before the race to get a long run done. But I ran the race with another friend (above in yellow) who is usually much, MUCH¬†faster than me but is coming back from being injured. We agreed that although a PR would be nice for me, we were just going to have fun. We talked and laughed the whole race.

I had a pretty good¬†race. ¬†I ended with a 1:47. A few minutes off a PR, which I was really hoping for, but it didn’t come together. I still managed to get 2nd place AG.

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After the half marathoners finished, we freshened up a bit and jumped in the car to find our full marathoners we could cheer for. We had a great time and ran with them along various parts of the course. There’s not a lot of cheer support on this course, so every single person cheering helps!

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It was so much fun! Getting to see people reach their goals after all their hard work is the best feeling. I got teary eyed several times just watching all these amazing people.

How are you getting ready for the holidays?

I’m linking with¬†Holly¬†and¬†Tricia¬†for the Weekly Wrap-up!

NYC Marathon Training Week #9

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“The journey isn’t always perfect, but always worth taking.”¬†Kara Goucher

This quote has been oh-so-true this marathon training season. I went into the season with some good goals, a solid base of fitness, a plan for training, and got started with getting it done.

Then, I started the season off with touch of PF, added a dash of tendonitis, stirred in¬†some hip flexor inflammation¬†for good measure, and then seasoned it all with a generous helping of summer heat¬†and humidity. LOL. Sounds delicious? We’ve also had a lot of travel this summer, which threw my running schedule off quite a bit more than I had planned, and then the hubs has had a lot of travel (he’s finishing a 10-day trip tomorrow), which has made for creative scheduling of running. So,¬†this training season hasn’t been perfect, and Kara’s¬†words hit home.¬†It’s not perfect, and that’s ok. I wouldn’t trade a thing…ok, maybe the hip flexor stuff, but other than that…I’m learning a lot.

  • Life will always get in the way. It’s a long training season and something’s interesting and frustrating are bound to happen. Travel, injury, too much margaritas. ūüôā
  • Even the best laid plans can and will¬†sometimes unravel.

Watching the track and field events this past week was so exciting, but it really hit home the fact that you can train and prepare so well and work so hard, all to see it crumble in a split second. The women’s 4×100 relay baton exchange? Wow. The men relay baton exchange that resulted in a DQ. The men’s 5000m that resulted in some DQs. One misstep, push or lane shift can spell doom. But the journey is still worth taking, right?

  • Expect the unexpected. I’m trying to shift my expectations. Like with last week’s disastrous long run that I didn’t think I could finish. I tried to move on quickly instead of focusing on the negative.
  • I¬†will lose a toenail. Blisters + blood blisters = black toenail. Thankful¬†for purple nail polish!

Not to be Debbie Downer!

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Because I would say this week’s training was solid. I’m thankful that although I didn’t hit some of my paces, consistency and getting out there to finish the mileage is going to help me on race day. We’ve had a LOT of rain, which cooled things off by just a few degrees, but honestly, it felt wonderful. I ended the week with 48 miles total. I finished Saturday with a 16-mile run, and I actually felt good. It was still hot (77 degrees) ¬†and humid (98%) but I prepared better in the morning with a good¬†breakfast, coffee, and a much better hydration plan. I packed my fuel belt with two water bottles and brought my hand-held filled with Skratch for the run. I also brought two water bottles for afterward, so that I wouldn’t crawl into the water cooler. A woman has to have SOME dignity, right?

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I ran¬†9:09 average pace–finishing in less time than my 15-miler last week! ¬†This time, I ran with my bestie, Lesley, and coerced¬† persuaded her to start an hour earlier with me. The run went SO much better than last week–I was so relieved. It worked perfectly, and I even had a little bit of water left in my water bottles, but felt perfectly hydrated while running. AND, I didn’t even have any Gatorade at the store (nor did I climb into the cooler).

It was worth celebrating with a bacon, egg, cheese and potato taco. ūüôā

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Tomorrow is the first day of school! I’ve been a little giddy getting them ready.

Needless to say, the kids didn’t appreciate MY enthusiasm about the first day of school.

I’m linking up with¬†Holly¬†and¬†Tricia¬†for the Weekly Wrap-up! Check out their cool blogs!

Date Coconut Energy Balls

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I’m crazy about coconut and have been trying to perfect an energy ball recipe to quell my coconut urge. Several energy ball and bar recipes I tried were great, but sometimes I’m not in the mood for chocolate or peanut butter. Yes, it’s true. This recipe satisfies my coconutty craving with all the nutrition I need after a run or as a quick pick-me-up.

Date Coconut Energy Balls

makes about 1 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, or other nut of choice
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp¬†coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp¬†sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp¬†pure vanilla extract

Directions:

In a food processor fitted with an ‚ÄúS‚ÄĚ blade, process the dates and walnuts until chopped fine. Add the remaining ingredients until well blended. Rolls¬†into balls. Chill. Enjoy! Keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Mo’ Problems?

Today’s Wednesday Word link-up is hosted by Deb¬†and the word is dilemma.

I’ve got some dilemmas lately, don’t we all? Mine are mostly¬†small…and some slightly bigger.
Flapjacks

Recently, I’ve been trying not to eat all the food everywhere all the time and doing arm exercises and burpees. On my last two runs, in particular, I felt pretty good, had fun and finished strong. Yea! These workouts are finally paying off!! In the shower, I discovered some chafing–aided by the hot water hitting said chafed area (howl!) and brought on by¬†the latest humidity-filled heat front that’s moved in to our neck of the woods. Well, low and behold, I’ve been harboring¬†Sister Schubert’s rolls in my underarm area, so yea…Vaseline to the rescue…but that first shower and the realization that arm exercises are not doing it. Yikes. So, do I keep doing the exercises or give into the tricep flapjacks?

 

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photo: ZITS comics
Nacho Problem
After a long run or
if it’s a Friday night after a long week or
it’s Saturday and I don’t feel like cooking or
or it’s Mother’s Day and no one planned anything for dinner or
it’s Cinco de Mayo or
it’s the day after Cinco de Mayo and I didn’t get to properly celebrate on Cinco de Mayo with a margarita because the restaurant was “out” of classic margaritas on the rocks (it really happened),
I like to celebrate with tacos and I’m thinking…how MANY¬†tacos can I get so I’m not eating my hand in the car on the way home and still¬†salvage my dignity? Dilemma.
The chips and queso come to the table and I get comfortable and dive into the bowl with glorious beams of light emanating from the golden cheese dip. And, the kids are like, are you going to eat all those?
And I’m like:

It’s ok to ignore the pleading¬†stares of your babies and stuff your face with chips and tacos, right? Right?? They didn’t run any miles…

Make It Rain

My friends tell me about the latest race they’re thinking of running, and I’m like oooooh¬†that sounds fun…and then I look at the calendar and realize these races hit a bit too close to other races to be called tune-up races and that because I’ve already paid for races in 2017 because of early bird registration and I can’t really justify another couple of races… How many races¬†is too much?

tumblr_o1yaagFfe01qiuiebo1_540Except insert Races and Running Clothes in there instead of books. eek.

 

My biggest problem, which is not really a BIG problem and one that we all probably struggle with at times (ya know?), is knowing when to balance the right amount of training to stay fit and keep the crazy at bay, while  pushing enough to reach my marathon goal of getting a BQ either this year or next (I need to shave 3 minutes to get my BQ qualifying time of 3:45 but in reality I need to cut closer to 6 minutes off to actually be able to register) and not getting injured or letting this tendonitis/PF worsen.

What dilemmas are you wrestling with lately?

 

Deb Runs

Diva Half Marathon Race Recap

Last week, we had a lot of rain, as I’m sure you’ve heard. Houston got 18 inches of rain in 24 hours. The flooding was awful, and 8 people died, mostly after getting trapped in their cars when they drove into roads that were submerged. Thankfully, our area got a lot of rain, but not enough to flood. I had to cancel our Monday workout because of the huge storm.¬†I ran 28 miles this week and took it easy with my ankle.

Yesterday, was the Diva Half Marathon in Galveston, my last half of the season (and half #9 overall). We left early on Saturday morning to spend a little more time in Galveston relaxing. I went with my two runner friends, L and B, who are the same people I went with last year.

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We had a nice Italian lunch when we first arrived. I couldn’t resist this picture.

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We picked up our packets and saw some interesting things at the expo, including this runningluv product. What will they think of next? It’s basically a band that wraps around your wrist with a small microfiber towel that is attached. The towel comes in a ton of different patterns. ¬†I don’t think there were as many vendors this year, but I did score a good deal on¬†some cute running singlets for our little running group of 4.

After that, we went to the beach. Since Hurricane Ike several years ago, the beach has been populated by large granite rocks that the city put there. I’m not sure why, but we used that for a little sunbathing spot. It was nice and relaxing, the weather was gorgeous in the 70s, and the sea breeze felt great.

After that, we went to the historic downtown section of Galveston called the Strand. There are a ¬†lot of cute shops and restaurants. We went to this classic 1920’s style candy shop. It was really hard to resist buying a little bit of everything. I bought a little bit of chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter chocolate fudge for the kids. Seriously, for the kids.

 

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We had a lovely dinner at a Greek restaurant on the Pier. It was a beautiful sunset and the food was delicious. I had grilled shrimp with rice pilaf. The unfortunate thing about Galveston is that a lot of oil production/refineries are¬†right there on the water, so the waterfront is not as pretty as you would like, but it’s not a big deal.

I made sure, despite walking around a lot, to drink a lot of water and eat plenty, something I didn’t do last year when I ran this race.

We went to our hotel and got ready to race. This is the race t-shirt and tutu I got at pickup. My bib is black because of my reported previous half marathon time (there were about 50 people with black bibs). The other bibs were pink, and 5k bibs were purple.

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I raced in the tutu last year, but it was breezy so it was bouncing up and down, which I didn’t like. So, I opted for a different outfit.

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When we woke up at 4 am, it was 70 degrees. At start time it was 66 degrees with 75% humidity and a little breeze. As soon as the sun is up, it feels warmer pretty quickly, especially as you’re running! I love the atmosphere of women (and men) before the race. It’s hard not to smile with all the tutus and cute running outfits around. We met a 79-year-old woman walking her first 5 k. She told us stories of working in the 1950s as a reporter and a political writer. She was so charming. She went on to win the 5 K in her age group.

I did manage to capture the sunrise between mile 3 and 4. I was pretty proud of myself for running and taking this shot. However, I dropped the phone on the ground when I tried to put it back into my skirt. Oops! No cracks or anything.

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The course starts and ends in the historic section of Galveston, past some historic mansions and other houses that harken back to the turn of the last century. Then, the course goes along the ocean and into a quieter residential area with condos along the water.

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My plan was to enjoy the scenery and the race. My ankle bothered me a little on Friday, so I took Saturday off of running. I knew I would still be active with the walking, so I wasn’t worried. Sunday morning, it didn’t bother me, though, so I felt good.

I ran a fast three miles and then slowed down gradually. The warmth got to me quickly, and I took my time through the course. I got water at every stop (which was every mile or two) and Gatorade at the last two stops.

I was happy to finish the race in 1:54. By the end, I was hot! Nowhere near my fastest time, but not my slowest. I’ll take it. They had firefighters distributing the medals. My hubby wasn’t pleased with this pic. ūüôā They also had champagne in champagne flutes and gingerale. I opted for the soda. The post race snacks were fruit, cookies, tart cherries, and almonds, plus water.

My friend, B, placed second overall, and my run bestie placed first in her age group. Woohoo!

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We also met this woman, J, when we asked her to take our pic. She was very sweet. I love the camaraderie at this race.

I took today off of running too because now with no races on the horizon, I wanted to give my ankle a little break. 13.1 is 13.1!

And that’s a wrap! I’m linking up with¬†Holly from¬†HoHo Runs¬†and Tricia¬†at¬†MissSippiPiddlin¬†for the Weekly Wrap-up!

 

Energetic

Here’s a little rhyme

On how I’m energetic

It won’t take too much time

Cuz’ I‚Äôm not that poetic

When I’m trying to be athletic

Sometimes, I look plain pathetic

But I’m not apathetic

My aim is to be kinetic.

Sometimes frenetic

Never apologetic

I try not to panic

When workouts seem manic

The key to energetic

Is to be dynamic

These miles, they’re prolific

These paces, they’re terrific

These races they’re epic

So, I hope you’re sympathetic

To this little rhyme.

I’m joining Deb on Wednesday Word linkup.

Deb Runs

5 Texas Halfs I Want to Run

There’s so many¬†races to choose from, so it’s hard to narrow things down. I’m fairly new to Texas, being here just over a year and a half, so¬†I haven’t gotten the chance to see and explore as many places as I would¬†like, so what better way to revisit a favorite place or see a new one than to sign up for race?? These are a few of my bucket list halfs.
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Alamo 13.1 in San Antonio
A race through historic San Antonio and the Alamo would be awesome. The race medals have¬†little canons. I wanted to run this one badly this year, but it didn’t work out. They also have a Krispy Kreme Doughnut Dash 5K and 10K. Yes, I said donuts. Done.
3M Half, Austin
Austin’s a cool quirky city. Period. AND, this is the course elevation chart for the race. PR, anyone?
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Run a race with hundreds of hot air balloons launched in the sky? Um, yea! This race coincides with the ballon launch on one day of the festival and would be a gorgeous way to start the race and the day!
Cowtown Half, Fort Worth
This running festival offers distances from 5K to the marathon. It’s a fun race in Fort Worth, home of the old stockyards and meat packing plants now turned into entertainment and shopping.
Did you know that Tyler is THE¬†rose capital of the country?? I know! Most of the roses shipped all over the country come from Tyler. This race happens during the annual Rose Festival complete with a queen. The course is notoriously hilly and…challenging…so I’ll stick with the half.
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(Half) Marathon to Marathon, Marathon
In a tiny, teeny town in West Texas called Marathon, there’s a little (less than 500 runners) marathon (and a half). With a gradual downhill course, the race is a BQ-qualifier. I’ve never run in the desert, and this scenery is breathtaking. The race fees¬†pay for public services like the school, library and fire department.
Any of these races sound appealing? Have any local bucket list races you’d like to run?¬†
Linking up with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia and Jill. Thanks for hosting, ladies!