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. 🙂 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!

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Fall Race Schedule

Tuesdays on the Run

It’s still August, but I’m excited about my upcoming fall race schedule! I’m doing a few less races this year than last, which is good for my sanity with all of the kids’ athletics this year.

Oct 16: Nutrabolt Half Marathon: Different course from last year’s inaugural run of this race with a finish line inside the A&M football stadium. There won’t be many times I’ll have a chance to run into a stadium…without the roaring crowd, but still. It’s right here in town, so I couldn’t pass this up.

Oct 22: M2M Half Marathon: I signed up for this race to cheer on my bestie Lesley who’s doing the full marathon. The scenery is so different from anything else I’ve run for a race, so I’m excited.

Nov 6: TCS NYC Marathon!!!!

Dec 11: BCS Half Marathon: This will be my third year running this race. The first year, I did the half, and last year, this race was my first marathon. I opted for the half this time to be ready for Houston just 5 weeks later because last year having two full marathons 5 weeks apart was just silly.

What races are you most looking forward to?

I’m linking up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesday’s on the Run. Be sure to check out their blogs!

To Marathon or Not…

I’ve been a runner since high school, but all those many years ago, I was a sprinter. One mile was my longest distance ever. And I hated it. Maybe it was because I had to do it around a track, which classifies as low-level torture in my book, but nonetheless, when I ran my first 5K, I was ecstatic. I ran more than two miles…in a row…on purpose. And I got a free gigantic cotton shirt!

The first time my husband signed up for a half, soon after we had our first baby, I remember telling him, “Why would you want to do that?” (haha!) The longest I had run at that point was a couple of 10-milers, and I enjoyed that distance. Fast forward a few years…staring down the barrel of 40 years old, I had just been diagnosed with rare type of blood cancer. With my health still good and the cancer very slow-growing, I thought, who knows what the future holds? Why not run while I still can??

A college friend signed up for a half and I thought it would be fun to run with her and a good excuse to see her. She ended up not running the race, but I ran it. And, after I crossed the finish line, I just kept thinking, I bet I can run it faster. Maybe it’s the sprinter in me, but I like to go fast. I’m not fast, I just like to imagine it. 🙂

After a few halfs, the question EVERYONE would ask was, “Will you run a marath–?” Before they could even finish the word, I would say no. Non. Nein. Nyet. Never. No way.

Here’s why:

  • Training for a marathon is looooooong. And time consuming.
  • Running a race for 4+ hours is mind-numbing and sickening.
  • One word: Chafing.
  • Two words: Black toenails.
  • Gels=blech.

And, finally, many friends who ran marathons to get in shape ended up the exact same weight as before or even heavier (now I know why). I was stubbornly trying to get rid of the five-ish mid-life post-baby pounds that were clinging for dear life around my waistline.

Then, with a couple more halfs under my belt and feeling like I had gotten a good grasp of the distance, the marathon questions still came. I couldn’t kick this perception of that “half finished” mentality people like to joke about. I don’t do things halfway…hahaha. Half crazy, etc. Except I’m not half crazy. I am full-on crazy. Just ask my husband. 🙂

I signed up for the 2,015 mileage challenge last year, and about a month into it I thought, well, I’m running so many freaking miles, maybe I should put these miles toward something, right? For Declare It Day 2015, my running friends gathered around cups of coffee after a chilly Saturday run and wrote down what our goals were for the year. Palms sweaty. Heart beating in my ears. I wrote down my goal.

I will run a marathon.

Gulp. So, I signed up for the Chevron Houston Marathon for January 2016. I really wanted my husband and kids to see my first marathon, but, because the logistics of staying with a husband and three kids in a hotel room in Houston would not be….ideal for me or my pre-race jitters. So, I signed up for our hometown BCS Marathon for December 2015 so they could cheer me on. I trained. I worried. I had black toenails. I chafed. And this was only during training.

And then, on a rainy, windy 50 degree day in December, I ran it. And I actually had fun. My husband and kids cheered for me every 4 miles in the cold rain. They high-fived, they waved, they held signs as they almost blew away. I cracked jokes. I people watched. I laughed. I choked down gels.

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And then I did it again.

Here’s 5 reasons why I’ll do it again this year:

  • Marathon training is long and challenges me in ways I never dreamed and ways I really enjoyed.
  • Running a marathon was exhilarating, exciting, joyous, painful, difficult and incredible. The experience strengthened my faith in God. Period.
  • One word: Vaseline.
  • Two words: nail polish.
  • Gels= I made friends with the chocolate Huma.

And then people asked when I would do an ultra. ugh.

Linking up with the Friday Five with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia. Thanks for hosting, ladies!