Weekly Workout Recap: 11/16-11/22

24 Nov

Hey there!

So, I decided to run the Philadelphia Half this past weekend afterall. and it was absolutely the right decision. I had a great time in the city with friends, and had a fun time running the race. No records were set but the course was amazing and the crowd support from the folks in the city was awesome. I already want to go back and run it again!  It was a great way to spend my last half marathon on 2015.

I’ll have a race recap soon but here’s how last weeks workouts shook out. You may remember that the week before that I was slammed with a horrible cold/dehydration combo and did nothing but lay in bed for a good week. As a result, last week I was just trying to run a little to keep my legs loose and see how I felt about running Philadelphia. I kept my runs easy and took plenty of rest days. I also got new running shoes (RIP Brooks PurCadences) and wanted to try them out since they were a completely new brand and model.

Monday – 2 miles easy in my new shoes!

Tuesday – 3 miles esay

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 3 miles easy on the treadmill

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 2 miles easy, speeding up at the end

Sunday – Philadelphia Half Marathon

Rock n Roll Savannah 5k

21 Nov

On November 8th I ran the Rock n Roll Savannah 5k. When my parents and I decided to travel to Savannah we figured we might as well get in two races if we were going to be down there. The Rock n Roll Series also has a special Remix Challenge medal that you get if you complete one race on each day of the weekend, and it was cheap, like $25. Getting to see a different area of a new city for cheap and getting additional bling for a good price? I was in.

The 5k started at 1pm which is a bit unusual, but it turned out to be really nice.

We slept in a bit on Sunday morning before getting a filling breakfast in the hotel. Then we hung out a little bit more before leaving to catch the shuttle around 11:30.

The race provided an optional shuttle (for $10) that you could sign up for at the expo. It picked us up just a few blocks from our hotel and drove us to Daffin Park. The shuttles were cute street cars that are used for tours around Savannah. It was well worth the $10 to not have to worry about finding (limited) parking at the park.Rock n Roll Savannah 5k (1)

The weather was considerably cooler. Low 60s and some drizzling rain. We kept saying we wished the weather had been swapped on the two days!

We checked our bags, that were filled with extra clothes to wear after the race, with no issues. No lines or anything.Rock n Roll Savannah 5k (2)

The 5k had no corrals, just lining up according to where you thought you were within the pack.  It was also much much smaller than the races on Saturday.

Shortly before the race started the national anthem was sung and there was a moment of silence for the individual that died on the race course the previous day.

Then we were off.

I planned to just run as hard and fast as I could the entire time. Might as well empty the tank!

The first mile left the park and went into a nearby neighborhood. I ran the first mile in 10:32 but noticed that the course said we hit the 1 mile mark when my watch was showing 0.8. Obviously Garmins aren’t 100% and I tend to trust race mileage markers but it seemed a bit weird.

From there the course went along a trail that was paved but thin. Surprisingly there wasn’t much of a problem with bottle necking. It was really pretty.  I did mile 2 10:56.

We left the trail and entered the park again before turning the corner and heading into Grayson stadium in the park. I didn’t realize the race ended in a baseball stadium so that was a pretty cool surprise!

Mile 3 was a little slower in 11:15.

I finished in 32:45. My Garmin measured it as 2.98, so who knows if it was the right distance, but it was a fun course!

Rock n Roll Savannah 5k (3)

And the medal was pretty awesome too!

My parents finished shortly after and we got in line to get our remix challenge medals. The line was long but moved very quickly.

Rock n Roll Savannah 5k (4)

I was thrilled to see in the results that I placed in the top 50% of my gender, age group and overall. Pretty cool.

Rock n Roll Savannah 5k (5)

My weekend of races in Savannah definitely had some highs and lows but it was a lot of fun and it is a great city to host runners!

Read my recap of the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon here.

Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon Race Recap

20 Nov

On November 7th I ran the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon.

My parents and I flew down to Savannah on Friday morning, and went to the packet pickup pretty easily on Friday afternoon. From the start I was shocked at how much more crowded it was than Rock n Roll Philly a week prior.  There were tons of runners at the expo and as we explored Savannah on Friday evening it seemed like we saw runners everywhere.

On Saturday morning the race started at 7am. We stayed at a hotel right on Bay street (where the starting line was) so we were able to easily leave our hotel around 6 to walk down the street to the corrals. There was plenty of time to walk around a bit but again I was shocked at the lines for the port-a-poties. They were SO long! I was glad I had taken care of things at the hotel.

As we waited in our corral the announcer kept saying that they would be closely monitoring the weather since the humidity was high and the temperatures were expected to rise. They would strictly enforce course cut off times (for the full marathon) and shut down the courses early if the conditions became unsafe.

RnR Savannah (1)

I have never been so glad to be running the half marathon. I also hope for now on it’s always necessary to wear throw-away clothes at the start due to lower temperatures. There was no exta layers needed while waiting for this race to start!

After the national anthem the race ended up actually starting around 7:20ish. Later the Competitor Group said it was due to fog and conditions on the course. It was unfortunate that it started late though since the temperature was already rising.

We slowly made our way to the start.

RnR Savannah (2)

See the thick air? and so many runners!

My plan for the race was to run the first mile, then start into my 1:30/0:30 run/walk intervals, as I have done through the past couple races. My dad planned to run with me.

I felt great for the first mile, passed a lot of people and managed to catch up and get a little bit ahead of the 2:30 pacers, who had somehow started in a corral ahead of me. From there I settled into my intervals.

When we got to the first water station around 1.5 I was shocked at the LINE of runners waiting to get water on each side of the road. There was no running in, grabbing a cup and cutting out of the way. It was a complete stand still. I have no idea what was going on but I decided to just keep going. The race course was still pretty crowded and people were constantly jockeying for position so I hoped that by continuing on it would start to thin out a bit.

It didn’t. Due to the humidity and rising temperatures I think many people were taking the race at an easier pace than normal, and it caused more crowding when things would normally thin out.

At mile 2.5 my dad told me his knee was acting up so he’d have to take longer breaks. He told me to go one ahead so I did.

I continued on with my run/walk intervals and got water at every water station from then on.

I hit the 5k mark at 33:59. I was feeling pretty good, despite everything.

However, about an hour in, my body suddenly felt like a ton of bricks. I overheard a runner saying that it takes about an hour for your body to feel the effects of the humidity and it seemed to be completely true for me.

I was sweating a ton, and my legs just felt heavy. I told myself that it was definitely not going to be a PR day but to keep moving forward and take in the gorgeous city around me.  It was really gorgeous – beautiful grassy squares with statues and fountains, moss covered trees arching over the streets and gorgeous houses. Savannah is a really beautiful city.

Every now and then I’d pass a runner who was down on the sides, always with another group of runners around them. At mile 6.5 I heard sirens behind us, and an ambulance came through, and the runners parted to each side. It was at that moment that I decided this race was absolutely not worth pushing myself beyond what was comfortable, because it could become dangerous.  My pace decreased every mile from then on.

It was around this time the 2:30 pace group passed me. I couldn’t have cared less.

I was soaked in sweat to the point where it looked like I took a shower with my clothes on. I contemplated tossing my tank top and just running in a sports bra – something I have never in my life thought to do, ha. My feet were sloshing because they were so wet.

But when I looked around I saw the most supportive community around me. Every single runner around me was, I’m sure, struggling with something. But everyone kept moving forward. Motivating each other. Helping each other.

The residents of city of Savannah was amazing, there was constant crowd support. Many folks that lived along the course brought out water, Gatorade, soda, oranges, beer and their garden hoses to cool us off.

I tried to make the best of a really crappy situation, because it really was completely out of my control.

I hit mile 10 I think around 2:00-2:05 – but I’m not sure because unfortunately I don’t have a split recorded for that.

Around mile 12 the marathon leader passed me. I was shocked that the leader was just then passing me, because at this point it was about 2:25-2:30 on the marathon clock – and though I could only dream of crossing a marathon finish line in 2:40 or whatever it is he did, I know that usually leaders come in faster than that.

I crossed the finish in 2:44:01. No complaints. The cold icy towels they gave us after were finished were the best.thing.ever.

RnR Savannah (3)

I found a grassy area in the park near the finish to sit down, rehydrate, listen to Rascall Flatts (cool right?) and waited for my parents to finish. Luckily, thanks to runner tracking I knew they had slowed down significantly, but could tell they were moving towards the finish line together (aww).

As I sat there waiting I started hearing people saying they had closed the marathon course. I saw a few marathoners sit down and they looked completely defeated. I didn’t pry and ask what happened but I could only assume they didn’t get to complete their full 26.2.

After my parents finished we walked to pick up our gear check bags (that had been bussed to the finish) and got a photo in front of the iconic statue in Forsyth Park.

RnR Savannah (4)

There were a lot of things that went wrong with this race, but despite that I had a really great time running in a city I may never run in again. Savannah is gorgeous. Its residents have huge hearts. And runners are great people always willing to help out a fellow runner in need. When it comes down to it, I think those are the most important things.

Rock n Roll Savannah and questioning what to do next

18 Nov

Hey there! It’s been a while, so I thought I’d pop in real quick and explain. :) A little over a week ago I flew down to Savannah Georgia to run the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon on Saturday and the 5k on Sunday.

In case you haven’t heard, Saturday’s races were a bit crazy. The humidity on Saturday for the half marathon and full marathon was crazy and out of control (I heard the locals say it was more humid than they had even trained in), and the temperatures were high. Some of the water stations ran out of cups at one point because runners took so much water. Many runners were on the side getting medical attention and at one point we had to move to the side of the course to let an ambulance through. Sirens were the common background noise in the later miles of the half. Sadly, there has been two deaths that occurred during and after the race. Ultimately both the half marathon and the marathon were cut short and many runners were diverted and unable to finish their races. Whether you think these things were preventable or not, or if the Competitor Group made the right call at closing down the courses or not, the fact is the conditions were not good. I finished the full 13.1 miles in a decent time and felt okay during the majority of the race. I also made the decision about half way through to not push myself and to walk as I needed and listen to my body. When I finished I chugged water and Gatorade and felt fine.

The next day the temperature dropped about 20 degrees and it was windy and rainy for the 5k. Luckily it was just a bit dark and dreary when we ran, but shortly after it started down-pouring. I was happy with my finishing time, but those were the conditions.

The next day I flew from Savannah to Chicago, and Chicago to back home.

You know where this is going right? Between two races with tough weather conditions and probably being exposed to plenty of germs in airports/airplanes, almost the second I got home I got sick. On my second day of missing work I went to the doctor and they diagnosed me with an electrolyte imbalance with a cold on top of it. Basically my immune system was dehydrated and compromised and though I tried to get it under control with hydration after the races, I caught a cold which further dehydrated me. ugh.

This week I am finally back at work (though still not feeling 100% if I’m being honest), and am running when I can because I was planning to run the Philadelphia Half this weekend.  I say planning because I’m honestly still not 100% sure that I want to run it. I feel a little demotivated – both physically and mentally. I’ve had a great fall season of races, and after Savannah part of me wants to be done with the longer races for the year. On the other hand, another part of me wants one last shot to run my little heart out for 13.1 miles in 2015.

So that’s where I’m at. And that’s also why you haven’t seen a proper recap of my Rock n Roll Savannah races yet either. I’ve got some great pictures to share and definitely some stories!

I’ll share them and what I decide to do this weekend soon, promise. :)

Delaware & Lehigh Heritage Half Marathon Race Recap (#2halfs1wknd Race 2)

5 Nov

Last we left off, we left Philadelphia and drove up to Slatington, Pennsylvania (near Jim Thorpe) to a local high school to pick up our bibs and shirts for half marathon number two of the weekend!

Packet pickup only went until 3pm but luckily we made it there with plenty of time, despite hitting some traffic leaving Philadelphia (typical, ha). My dad and I were starving so after we grabbed our bibs we went to a local pizza place to eat a few slices for a belated lunch. Then we went to the hotel and recovery/preparing for day two commenced. I spent the next couple of hours setting out my clothes for the next morning’s race, rolling my legs a ton with the stick and forcing myself to take an ice bath (and subsequent hot shower).

D L Half (1)

We ate a local italian place so we could get our pre-race pasta and then went back to the hotel and relax more. My dad and I were both asleep by probably 9:30 and with the time change we got a TON of sleep which was awesome.

The next morning we woke up around 6 and my dad told me he decided not to run the race. His knee was really bothering him and with a another race this month (Rock n Roll Savannah) and plans to do the Bermuda Triangle Challenge in January it wasn’t worth potentially injuring himself more for this race. Instead he promised me he would drive to various points on the race course to cheer me on.

The race started at a local high school at 8. We got there around 7:15 and had plenty of time to use the real(!) bathrooms before the race started.

D L Half (2)

I was honestly feeling pretty nervous for this race. Even though my legs were feeling pretty good thanks to all the stretching I did the previous day, I had no clue how it was going to feel to start running again.  I knew I would make it to the finish line, but with the faster times I’ve been finishing in I felt a whole new type of pressure. I didn’t want to completely give up and come in significantly slower than I have been.

Since this was a smaller race (about 900 people) that also had special accommodations for walkers (including walker-only awards) they provided pace groups and encouraged runners to line up accordingly. I lined up in between the 2:20 and 2:30 pacer. I don’t enjoy having to keep up with or chase someone – it makes it feel much tougher for me. But I figured I would stay ahead of the 2:30 pacer as long as freaking possible and then try to keep her in my sight if she eventually passed me. I also decided that I did NOT want to see that 2:45 pacer at all, so I would try my hardest to stay as far in front of her as possible.

The race started right at 8 and I took off, planning to run the first mile and then settle into my intervals – the same strategy I had the day before. Unfortunately for this race there was a huge steep hill towards the end of mile one. The RD had warned us about it and promised that it was the only hill on the entire course (the rest was flat or slightlight downhill). So when I felt myself pushing too hard up the hill, I slowed to a walk. Everyone around me did as well. My mile 1 spilt was 11:33.

Once we crested the hill and started heading down I sped up a lot, miles 2 and 3 were in the 10:30 range.  I was feeling good but also could tell that my legs were by no means feeling as fresh as they did during yesterdays race.

I saw my dad at mile 3 which was a nice boost.

From there we started on the D&L Heritage Trail. It goes right along the Delaware river, which is gorgeous, and it’s crushed limestone which felt nice on my legs, compared to asphalt.  My pace slowed a bit but I was feeling good. I took my gus at my planned times and tried to focus on running as fast as possible to stay ahead of the 2:30 pacer.

I opted to wear my Camelbak for this race because there were only four water stops, and I need to be able to drink more often than that. I was pretty impressed by the water stops they did have though – there was always water, gatorade and gus from the very first one on. The volunteers were very friendly too. There was a lot of crowd support for such a small race – a number of folks were driving to various points on the course to see their runners like my dad did.

Around mile 6.5 I heard the 2:30 pacer behind me. I was determined to stay ahead of her as long as possible, and I did. Until she passed me at mile 7.5.  Mentally that kind of hit me a bit – I saw my dad at mile 8 and remember saying to him “the pacer got ahead of me.”  But I also tried to focus on the fact that I was probably still in a great place to finish under 2:45, and 2 months ago I would have paid a million dollars to finish that quickly.

Miles 9 through 11 were pretty rough. My feet started hurting, I started to chafe on my arm, and mentally I was pretty shot. I kept reminding myself that I was basically on mile 23 of 26.2 in two days, and that in and of itself, was something to be proud of.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I saw my dad again around mile 11 and knew that we would soon be moving off of the trail and onto the road for the final stretch. I did the math and knew I would be well under 2:40 at this point.

Once we got off the trail and entered a neighborhood and then a park I knew we were close. I turned the corner and saw the finish I pushed myself as much as I could to completely empty all the energy I had left. I crossed the finish in 2:35:20. A mere 4 minutes and 30 seconds slower than RnR Philly the previous day! I was thrilled I managed to come in as fast as I did.

D L Half (3)

My #2halfs1wknd challenge was a complete success. I completed both races faster than I thought possible, managed to PR during race #1 and overall my body felt pretty good!

If you want to read my recap of day 1 at Rock n Roll Philadelphia, click here.


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