Hello! Happy Thanksgiving Week!
I am so excited to get to Thanksgiving, but I still am unable to believe that it is this week! It also means that AMSTERDAM is next week, but that’s another post :) And there’s a lot that stands between me and Amsterdam–like my Daddy’s turkey, my Mama’s dressing, and all the sides I have to cook (mac & cheese, collards, greenbeans, etc etc)!
I have to admit though, that weekends are SO LONG when you’re not marathon training. I swear, they zipped by so quickly when half of the days were spent running, preparing to run, and recovering from the run. I ran Saturday and Sunday, both outside and enjoyed every minute of it, and also enjoyed some nice, relaxing time at home!
Here’s what my week looked like:
- 4 runs
- 1 bike day
- not much cross training action (need to work this in)
Saturday I met up with my friend Charif to run 4 miles around Prospect Park. My “usual” now, Bike + Run (until snow comes, I guess). Ignorance is certainly bliss, because I accidentally left my gloves at home, and my fingers almost froze off! I got home and realized the weather was 38*! No wonder! Anyways, so my goal this past week has been to get my miles in without stopping or walking, which I am capable of doing, but mentally it’s a struggle. I enrolled Charif in my goal of 4 miles without stopping/walking and we were successful! I still managed to spend over an hour with him and forgot to get a photo, but he was there. And it is so nice to get to a point of running and talking again :) Also! Charif coached me up Prospect Park Hill without stopping so it was a good mental push I needed, especially for Sunday’s race in Hilly Central Park.
Sunday was Race Day! It was my first race since THE MARATHON (lol I feel like it always has to be in all caps), but also my last of 9 + 1 Qualifying races for 2015 Marathon! When I signed up for it, I had no idea what my legs were going to feel like on race day after the marathon, but I could walk 4 miles if I had to if it meant I could get my 9th race in!
Instead, it turned out to be a great race! And my legs have never felt stronger! (Well, 2014 strong) So I was hoping for a good race. C is injured and also didn’t sign up for this race but he came up to cheer me on! It was nice to have someone out there rooting for me! My coach was running Philly Half Marathon the same day and we talked about my goals for this race, and she said to “surprise yourself.” And if I was feeling really good in the last mile then I could push it.
The great thing and bad thing about weight loss is your fat clothes don’t fit you anymore. I found this out the hard way. On race day. I had been lazy about immediately washing my pants after runs this week and so were left with my all black old navy tights–with no drawstring. I put them on and they felt loose–yikes–but I didn’t have a choice. It was that, or capris, and I wasn’t prepared to have exposed skin today. So I went with the tights. Bad move.
Here’s us at the start:
We got to the start mad early (like 25 minutes early) and C lent me one of his jackets (haha) to stay warm with while we waited. It was also a small enough race that I wasn’t in the last corral (based on my 2012 10:22 pace), so I wanted to line up before they collapsed :) I got in line and tried to decide between music or no music for the race. Pros: If I landed on the right songs, I could be propelled pretty fast/my legs go into auto pilot. I don’t have to listen to my breath or feet. Cons: If I don’t get the right songs in enough time, I get frustrated and slow down. I didn’t really have any set goals for this run, but I did have a great run on Thursday that gave me hope for a great race. My legs were a little tight from Saturday’s Bike + Run, but not unbearable (I’ve run longer miles through much more pain), so I was just going to run and walk through the water stops.
When the race started, I turned on the music, and just went with whatever my legs were going to give me today—C caught a great shot near the beginning
And then I was off! Immediately upon running, I realized that my pants were going to be trouble. I pulled them up as much as possible, and they kept sliding down. I checked in back to make sure nothing was too low, and luckily my marathon vest comes down pretty low over the bum area that I would be covered. But up front! they kept sliding down and down and I kept pulling up and up. I found a decent friction point where they wouldn’t go past, and continued to run/only to walk through the water stops, and powered up Cat Hill. I was keeping a pretty good pace for the first mile–well within my comfortable pace that I’ve been keeping these past few runs.
Mile 2 was the flat East Drive section where I picked up some time, and a few downhill slopes turning into the 102 transverse. Mentally, I had to begin to prepare for the “rolling hills” of West Side Drive, and figure out my game plan. I had gotten into a groove, my aches were still there, but fading a little bit (i had walked them out), and my pants were going to be annoying, but they weren’t going to come all the way off, so I was just going to run with it (ha!).
When I turned unto the West Side, I had a quick walk break. This is what I mean when i say it’s mostly mental. Like, I didn’t *need* the walk break, but I felt better when I took it, and my legs were “begging me”.
Then started the slow rolling hills. I had to remind myself that I had done a 14, 16, and two 18 mile runs in Central Park this past season. I knew the hills before that, but I definitely got to know them then. And I also knew that I could make up time on the down hill. The first hill, I ran half-way up, and then walked to the crest, and then powered down the hill. When I made it to the bottom of the short downhill/foot of the next mountain/hill, I kept going at my power speed for more than half of the hill! I took a quick walk break to gather myself, and powered down the next hill, and half-way up the next. At this point, it was the last major incline of the race, I had passed the 3rd mile marker, and coach said if I was feeling good I could push it at the end.
And I did.
I sprinted down the hill (.5 mile downhill, which I knew was coming), and thanked my quads for making me fly. Even when it got to the flat part of the park before the slight downhill, I was still holding a generous clip, AND continued to push it lower and lower.
Honestly, my brain was like, let’s walk. Even though clearly my legs were like: we got this. And I almost walked, except, I saw C and wanted a good picture :)
And I got it. When I passed him I had less than .15 left, and was inching close to my fastest race mile of the season! I was in this weird pocket by myself, and people in front of me were just a little too far to speed past. But I still managed to push it at the end.
And then I was done! And I felt great! I finished my # 9
The bagel was a little hard, and the apple a little soft, so C and I just went to get breakfast and I basked in my glory. I had a season PR for average mile. I had a negative split the whole way (first mile was slowest, and kept going down to my fastest mile), and today was the first day that I felt like—I could get my old self back.
My coach texted me congrats! and we celebrated her speedy legs in Philly, and it’s going to be a great winter, y’all!
This week: TURKEYTURKEYTURKEY & DRESSINGDRESSINGDRESSING (or, stuffing) & MAC & CHEESEEE
To keep myself accountable, me and C signed up for a 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I also have to get a 3 mile run in.
I’m really digging this winter conditioning. It’s more fun than I thought it was going to be. :)Let’s hope it stays that way!