Weekend recap…

So…Saturday…I played support crew for my buddy who was making an attempt at 50 miles. He’s a road runner like I am (and a damn good one) venturing into the land of trail running because he had a free entry. I’ve done a little more trail than he has, and KNEW he needed someone there (friends and family were to come see him finish, but not for the whole 14+ hour day) so I offered to come crew for him and (if needed and desired) pace him for the last few laps. It was a lap race (unlike my husband’s trail races which are usually point to point) so I was going to be kind of useful and get to see him every lap without driving all over creation–and in between I could read my book completely guilt-free. Long story short, largely because it’s not my story to tell and from my vantage point there’s not much story anyway, the day didn’t go as we’d hoped for a number of reasons, and he ended up dropping out about halfway through–he felt good enough to have continued, but he knew he wasn’t going to make the time cut off and was starting to get in the way of the faster trail runners, so he made the respectable decision to exit with grace. Overall, I am so proud of him for attempting it. He confirmed what he already thought–he does NOT like trail running–and is in overall good spirits about the DNF (it took him 6 years and 50 races to get a DNF, I think that’s a pretty awesome record).

Since I didn’t run Saturday, I was going to do my scheduled 6-mile “long” run on Sunday. It was a perfect day for running, and I set out to do it before I ran some errands, but my left knee was twinging like crazy in that way it does when my IT band is irritated. So I called it–there is no point in forcing 6 miles this early in marathon training when I’ve been running half marathons with fair regularity. I’m already ‘ahead’ of where I should be, so it was better to scratch the run and try again later. I’m gonna go out for the scheduled 3ish today after work, so we’ll see what happens.

More to come. Happy Monday, friends.

Marathon Training: Week 1

Technically this first week isn’t over yet, but there’s something about doing these on a Friday that I like, so here we are. Haven’t followed the plan to the letter, but so far I’ve been pretty damn close. Switched up my cross training on Tuesday, didn’t get to do track workout on Wednesday because the group is on hiatus for a couple of weeks so I did a little bit of hill work instead, got my 3 miles in yesterday. Cross training today and tomorrow…who knows. I’m scheduled for 6, but will (hopefully…) be pacing a friend for the last few loops of a 50-miler, so I might get as much as 18 (again).

I was worried that this was going to be too much, but honestly, right now it just feels good. My runs have not been great, but I’m confident they’ll get better. Also, new shift at work, so I’m getting out earlier, which is nice for the days I’m flat running, and rough when I’m doing a class or group something or other. But I don’t care. I get an hour of my day back and I can find something to do with that ‘wait’ time.

More on Monday. Happy weekend, friends.

Run Between the Suns

Run Between the Suns is a 12-hour trail endurance event.  It’s a 5k trail loop and you do as much as you want/can during the 12-hour window. I’m a road runner, I am not a trail girl, but I LOVE this event. The trail is real–small stream crossings, roots, mud–but friendly and not intimidating for someone who doesn’t do a lot on it. It’s a great friendly atmosphere with everyone smiling and waving and saying “good job” as you pass each other. Fantastic aid station with pretty much everything you could want to eat or drink while you’re pounding the trails. It’s always a good time. At the beginning of the year I had big goals for this event, and I was training accordingly. Then somewhere along the way things shifted–doing more races and stuff like that became more important than the goals I had set for this event and I didn’t work on distance the way I really needed to to hit my goals. So I let them go and I just went out and had a good time. I got 18.6 miles in in about 6 hours. Husband decided he was done and we opted to call it a day and head out.

This week starts fall marathon training. My calves are still a little stiff and sore from Saturday, but running sometimes helps loosen them up so I’m gonna plan to do my short, easy run today on schedule. More on Friday.

Happy Monday, friends.

Recap: All of the Things

So, last week I ran the Youngstown Half Marathon, which kicked off a week of stuff–at least in theory. I rested on Monday. Tuesday I had KB class. Wednesday was originally supposed to be my first speed workout, but it was cancelled for The Big Run for Global Running Day, which I was going to do with some SCRR East Enders. BUT…due to GPS issues (I’m directionally challenged) and traffic, I didn’t end up making it. So I went to Monroeville Community Park for 3 miles. Thursday I went to Y-OWL-ga at Humane Animal Rescue–which was really cool.  Outside on their deck, the weather was perfect, the class was really good–I’m not a big yoga fan, I’m very type A and in my admittedly limited experience, I don’t usually feel like I’m working ‘hard’ enough when I do yoga (I’m sure this is a matter of finding the right class and teacher, but it’s my truth)–but it was a positive experience even though I would’ve preferred a tougher workout. And we were with these two beauties:

On the left we have Mellie, a screech owl, and on the right is Martha, a great horned owl. They both have wing injuries that prevent them from being released back to the wild, so they live at the rescue. Martha fosters baby owls, so they joked this was her night off.

Friday I had KB class, Saturday I “rested” (errands and domestic stuff, but no workout), and yesterday I “ran” (using the term loosely) the RSD Awareness Half Marathon. It did not go well for me. I can’t even blame the heat, my head just wasn’t in the right place with it–I strictly signed up because I needed one more race to ‘moon up’ in Half Fanatics so I wanted to do it. It was tough going for me, largely because it’s a smaller race and I do better with crowd energy and positive peer pressure from other runners–it was difficult to keep pushing when I was mostly by myself. But hey, I finished, so I mooned up, and I’m happy. I love racing, I love it, and I would’ve raced this past weekend for sure, but I probably would’ve done a 5k or 10k instead of a half had I not wanted to moon up.

This week is Shaun week on Beachbody On Demand–brand new workouts from Shaun T–the man behind my beloved Insanity. I cannot wait! It will be a good challenge before marathon training starts. Capping this week off with my 12-hour endurance event. I had big goals for it at the outset of the year, but I care less about that now. I just want to go out, have fun, and see what happens.

Happy Monday, friends.

Race Recap: Youngstown Half Marathon

I love racing. I love it. Even when I’m not pushing for time, I love the environment, the atmosphere, the thrill of the event, the bling at the end (can’t forget that now!). So no one should be surprised that I finished the Ogden (did I mention how amazing that was?) and pretty much immediately signed up for the inaugural Youngstown Half Marathon–because who doesn’t want to race every weekend?  That said, and I actually emailed the RD to make sure we could do it–race day pickup was my deal breaker. I was already making two trips to Ohio that week, a third was fine, but a fourth to pick up race packets was a non-starter. Fortunately, they said race day pickup was fine so the hubs and I signed up. A group from my running club was going, it was gonna be a good day.

Sunday morning we got up stupid early–really stupid early, like 3:30 AM–to get ready so we could head to Youngstown. Mind you the drive takes an hour 15 to an hour and a half, wanted to get there around 6 for packet pickup, race started at 7. So we left at 4:30. Which was slight overkill, but hey, live and learn. Got there, got our packets, got warmed up and ready, got the group photo for the running club, and soon we were in the street ready to start.

Great course, great great course. The half is mostly through Mill Creek park, which I have run before, though man, did I forget about the hills. Like I knew that hills were a thing, but after the Ogden last weekend I kind of brushed them off. MISTAKE. I struggled on this course, much more than I did at Ogden, largely because I underestimated the hills. Admittedly my nutrition has also been off balance lately, and I suffered for that as well. Plenty of good moments during this race, though. I flew on the downhills (that’s always been a strength of mine). And this bridge, in the middle of the park, which I LOVE:

It was the first year for this event and it was really well done–well organized, well executed, and I was overall pleased with the experience. The problems I had had zero to do with the race itself, and I would definitely consider this race again. Also…check out this medal! The photo does not do the glitter justice:


And in other news, when I went to update my stats on the Half Fanatics website I realized that I was soooo close to mooning up…I just needed one more race within a week. Sooooo I signed up for another half marathon this weekend. Closer to home on the GAP trail, a smaller event but it will still be nice and will get me that last race (4 half marathons in 37 days) I need to moon up.

Lots going on as I prepare for a round of full marathon training, but more on that later. Happy Monday, friends.