My Always-Changing Race Plans

Well, Hellooooo…..

You know when life gets crazy, and all the sudden you look up and 3 months have gone by without you even noticing? Yeah. That happened. Life lately has been crazy, stressful, and wonderful all at once.

Last time I blogged, I said I wanted to run the Air Force Half Marathon and I was going to use a training program by Run Smart Project. Well, long story short: that’s not happening anymore. I am terrible procrastinator, and I put off registering for the race. Then I forgot about it because I got swamped with the new job, new house, new city, etc. Next thing I knew, the race was sold out. Womp womp.

Honestly though, I’m not even upset about it. My training in May and June was mediocre. I was sick twice causing me to miss a week of training each time. I felt slow and sluggish on easy runs. I questioned my fitness weekly. I also tried a new approach to nutrition, which admittedly, probably wasn’t smart in the middle of ramping up mileage and didn’t help the sluggish feeling.

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Now, I have an even better race plan. I will be doing the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in Louisville on October 24th. Not only do I have more time to get my butt in gear, my (future) sister in law will be running it too! It will be her first half, and I’m super pumped to run with her. Plus, it only makes sense that I do a Kentucky-themed race while I’m living in Kentucky, and there is nothing more Kentucky than bourbon. I read there will be bourbon tastings at packet pick up and the finish line of the race. I mean…procrastination really worked out in my favor this time!

As far as training goes, I am still using the Run Smart Project training plan that I started with. I just modified it to reflect the new race date. I feel much stronger and much fitter right now than I did at this point in the Air Force Training cycle. I ran a 10 miler this past weekend and felt pretty strong the whole time.

I’ll be back to let you know more about training. I hope. 🙂

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Two Tone Herringbone Baby Quilt

I can finally share this quilt!

20150228_115424I spent most of February making this quilt for my best friend, Megan. Her baby was born a couple of weeks ago so I can finally show this off!

Megan gave me free rein to do whatever kind of design I wanted, but requested purples and grays. I searched for a while before I finally settled on a two-tone herringbone pattern made of half-square triangles.

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Stats…. 120 half square triangles that finish at 4″. The quilt measured 40″x48″ prewashed.

I quilted it on my home machine using straight lines at varying widths following a chevron pattern. I love dense quilting. I swore when I started this project that I would stitch in the ditch and leave it at that. But, when I actually sat down to quilt, I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

Bindings still aren’t my strength, but I’m getting better at them. I’ve finally found a technique that works for me. I would link back to it, but I don’t remember whose tutorial where I got the strategy.

One last picture for fun!

20150227_110008I have already started my next baby quilt! Can’t wait to share that one with y’all too!

2015 Race Plans!

It’s the end of May, and I am just now sharing my race plans for this year. In my defense, the spring was pretty up in the air not knowing the exact timeline of our Fort Knox move. I had to play the waiting game a bit. Now… I’m here, I’m settled (mostly…it’s not like we’ve unpacked or anything), and I’m ready to talk about my plans.

I don’t really feel like there is any need for further build up, so here it is: My goal race for 2015: the Air Force Half Marathon on September 19 in Dayton, Ohio. I’d love to throw some shorter races in the mix, but we’ll see what Kentucky has to offer…

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I’ve only got one race on the calendar because I want to PR. Not only do I want to PR [anything less than 2:07:49] I want to knock a couple minutes off. I’m officially telling the world (or the 6 of you who read my blog), that my goal for this race is a sub-2:05. I ran a 2:10 last October with Amy, so I feel like this goal is not to far out of reach. Do I have a sub-2 in me? I don’t know yet, it depends on how training goes. Speaking of training…

I’ve been running consistently for over 5 years now. During this time I’ve tried several different training plans with various success. I’ve run as little as 3 days a week and as much at 5 days a week. I’ve run only easy runs for a training cycle and only hard runs for a training cycle. I’ve done all that to discover my sweet spot for running is 4 days a week following an [easy, hard, easy, long] format each week.

Because I am training specifically to PR, I didn’t want to choose just any training plan. I researched for days, read my old blog posts on plans I’ve used previously, and talked Matt to death about it. Ultimately, I went a completely different direction. I purchased a training plan that was customized to me, my running history, and my current goals. I am using the Run S.M.A.R.T Project with programs developed by Jack Daniels and his elite runners.

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Pricey? Yes. Worth it? So far, yes.

I was super nervous about purchasing this plan because you can’t see what a typical week looks like beforehand. But, I went for it anyway. After filling out a questionnaire, it took about 4 days to get my training plan. At first glance, I was very intimidated. It looked so challenging, and I immediately doubted if I could handle the intensity.

My fears, while still rattling around in the back of my head, were mostly unfounded. I completed the first week today, and I’m happy to report I’m still in one piece and my legs haven’t fallen off. This week was all “easy” runs [2 miles, 5 miles, 3 miles, 7 miles], but next week the fun begins with some intervals and repetition work.

If I want to get faster, I have to run faster. Status quo isn’t going to cut it if my goals are to improve.

Sorry, not sorry.
Sorry, not sorry.

Wish me luck! I don’t know that I will do weekly recaps, but I will definitely be around to talk about my training!

Farewell, Fort Bliss!

Did I ever actually announce I was leaving El Paso? Well, Matt got stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. So here we are. We moved into our new house (that I love, by the way) on Monday, and I start my new  job this coming Monday. Exciting stuff.

But that’s not what this post is about. Whenever I would tell people we were at Fort Bliss, I would get a lot of side-eye and “oh, that’s too bad” comments. I liked our time in El Paso though. So, I am here to tell you all the reasons El Paso (and Fort Bliss) don’t suck (in no particular order).

1. Mexican Food. Living in a border town has its challenges, but eating the food there is not one of them. I love tacos, and El Paso had some good tacos. My favorite restaurant was L & J Cafe, but Leo’s was also delicious (and closer to our apartment).

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2. The local WB:R2R group. This group of people is amazing. Running with them on Saturday’s was something I looked forward to every week. From running 9 miles in the rain, marching through White Sands, handing out water at the El Paso Marathon, they were more than a running group, they became my friends. I sincerely hope I cross paths with them again.

Amy!
Amy!

3. My Friends. Making friends as an adult is hard. Making friends in a new place with new people is hard. It took longer than I would have liked, but eventually I made some great friends. I know I will see them again and we will text often, but they made El Paso a pretty good place to be. Specifically Amy. I credit my sanity for those couple years to her, our long runs, and coffee dates.

4. My Job. I know it’s been said that it is hard to find a job in El Paso if you don’t speak Spanish. I was lucky then because I found a great job that changed my life. (No, seriously). If you ever end up at Fort Bliss, don’t dismiss the job market before you even look. Two of my friends and myself all found work in our chosen fields.

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5. The Sunsets. I had views like this almost every night. It was (an unexpectedly) beautiful place to live.

6. It’s in Texas. El Paso isn’t real Texas. It’s vibe is more like New Mexico. But, it has all the Texas staples like Whataburger and Blue Bell Ice Cream. Win.

7. The Running. I know, I know. I complained all the time about the running in El Paso. BUT, if I left the west side and went to up to post where it is flat, the running was actually pretty nice!

My point is, El Paso was actually a pretty good place to be. I have so many fond memories, and I will miss it! I will miss the people more though. In interest of full disclosure, El Paso wasn’t all roses and butterflies. I will NOT miss the traffic, running on the hills, or how far away from everything it is.

Life in Kentucky starts in full swing on Monday. I’ve got running on the brain and I can’t wait to talk about my upcoming plans!

 

Post Bataan Running and Recovery

It’s been several weeks since Bataan. So I feel like I should be back to normal. Except, I’m not…

After Bataan, I took a full week off. I didn’t run, I didn’t workout, I did nothing but lay on the couch eating ice cream. Seriously.

After my week of heaven laziness, I headed out an easy, three miler with no real expectations or plans. It didn’t go well, and I only panicked a little that I had lost all the fitness I have ever had ever. I took some more time off running, and did at-home strength/cardio workouts instead.

Let’s be serious here, my body was in no way shape or form ready for Bataan, so it’s only natural it would need more time to recover. Right?

But, here I am, three weeks later, and my right hip still doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure how to describe it. It doesn’t hurt all the time. Actually, it doesn’t hurt at all. It just feels off. I guess I would describe it as a very vague ache that is deep enough I can’t palpate it.

At this point, running feels okay. I’m keeping it short and slow though. I’ve been working out with Matt, but I’ve stopped doing squats and burpees and things like that. I really hope my hip feels better soon because my poor arms can’t handle anymore push ups!

Walking the line between resting an injury and baby-ing a soreness is messing with my head. At what point, so I stop worrying about my damn hip and just resume activities like normal? Maybe I am prolonging the issue by making it an issue? So, really, this could all be in my head and I’m looking for excuses to be lazy.

What is your race recovery like? Do you take time off? How much? Do you think I’m making up this vague hip pain? I’m starting to think so….