Friday, May 13, 2016

RUNNING!!! Yes, I'm still running...a little

I have a feeling this is going to be a weird year for me.

I'm not planning to do any triathlons.

I don't have another race until October.

I'm kind of feeling like a lazy piece of crap.

But I still love running. It's my first love.

The husband and I celebrated our 17th anniversary (I know it's creepy just how young I was when I got married...I mean, sheesh, I'm only 28 *lies*). Most couples would plan a nice dinner out without kids, but us? Nope, we ran a trail race together. Greg had never done a trail race before, although he's run Lake Georgetown Goodwater Trail with me several times. The Wildflower Trail Half Marathon was in Bastrop State Park. (Correction: I totally forgot about Ragnar Trail Hill Country!!!)

It ended up being a beautiful day, and although I just felt a bit sluggish and really thirsty the whole time I totally enjoyed being out there, especially with Greg....despite the fact that for the first seven miles he kept getting really far ahead of me. I do love spending time with him in races....he's a good pacer and keeps the conversation going when I'm too tired to speak. It's our quality time together with nature.

I did much better than I thought I was doing in the race. I felt sluggish and walked most of the inclines, as I usually do in trail racing. The deep sand was a bit annoying as it took way too much energy to get through. But overall the trail was really great, not too technical, and to be able to see how much the park has improved since it was destroyed in an enormous wildfire five years ago was pretty spectacular.

Our sunrise

The race was a three loop course, so by the third loop basically we were experts. I wanted each of my loops to be about equal in time, but my first one ended up being a few minutes faster than loops 2 and 3. My splits were about 43, 47, and 47 minutes. With as tired as I was getting in the last loop I'm surprised I didn't slow down from loop 2. We finished in 2 hours, 17 minutes. And yes, it was a short course. I can't run trail half marathons THAT fast. 

I placed 75 out of 212 total finishers and 32 out of 129 women. Not bad considering I didn't kill myself during the race. I'm usually pretty far back in results in trail racing. Pleasant surprise to have held my own during this race. My friend Kalynn was 2nd overall women and was 21 minutes faster than basically she's not human.

So now what's up....

It's almost summertime and the temps have started to rise. Because I'm not technically starting marathon training for 2 more months, I'm taking it easy on the distance running front. My "long" run will only be about 6 miles instead of the usual 10+. My mileage will be relatively low. I will continue to focus on core and leg strength to prepare for the higher mileage of marathon training. My training plan for Louisiana Marathon is my most ambitious yet and I want to be prepared.

I'm signed up for one October half marathon, the Oktoberfest Half in College Station on October 16. I will be in California the weekend before and discovered that the City to Sea Half is that weekend, so I do plan to register for that race as well. That means two half marathons on consecutive weekends. One will be fast, one will not, but I haven't decided which will be which. My PR is 1:51:36 and I still think that is out of reach this year. never know. A sub-2 hour half will be just fine.

It's a pretty light racing season and I'm happy about that. Very little pressure on myself, time to continue to build a strong foundation for endurance. I'll have the right mental outlook for a marathon PR in January. Did I mention that badass friend of mine, Kalynn, will be running it with me? Of course if she hasn't gotten her BQ yet I will refuse to allow her to pace me. She WILL get that BQ come hell or high water and I'm not about to hold her back!

There are a lot of personal stressors in our life, and some days are better than others. But the stress is ever present. We as a family have been challenged more now than any other year. To have a few things to help with stress relief is always good, but not overburdening myself with expectations is vital right now. I know a lot of my training buddies want me to race more, but it's just not going to happen right now. I will miss it, but there is always next year. I hope to God we have been able to reduce the stress significantly by then.