Monday, December 22, 2014

LVTC Holiday Half Marathon 2014 Edition

I'm really grateful that I got to scratch that itch over the weekend.  It wasn't my fastest half but, I'm really glad that I showed up to race on Saturday Morning.  This really was a last minute thing...

They had the same shirt from last year, but for a
$40.00 half marathon I'm not complaining

Nothing is more fun to me,than toeing the line and seeing what you are made of, Yes we race against the clock, but I have a ton of fun racing and hopefully out kicking my peers.

Before the race
On Friday morning I got a quick workout in before work.  I ran two miles at tempo pace, with some form drills thrown in (A-Skips and butt kicks).  I was trying to prepare for speed work in the upcoming weeks.  I also did some weight training.  The day before I  received an invitation to a birthday party for my son's BFF.  The party was the same day as the upcoming LVTC Championship series 10K, and the party started at 10am, early but not super early...

I went to the packet pick-up for the Holiday Half Marathon on my lunch break. It was at the local running store that is really close to my work,  I found out that the upcoming 10k starts at 9am and is on the opposite end of town, and even if I hurried home after the race, my son would end up missing about half of the party...

I talked to the president of the track club and I started to think,"maybe I can swing this one".  My husband is pretty patient with me and my running.  But, I would hate for him to feel like I'm taking advantage of him as a babysitter on the weekends, when we have pretty limited time and resources for races compared to before we had children...

That night while I was making dinner, I casually brought up the race, and I surprised at how easily I got the green light...

Signing up for races at the last minute has one huge advantage.... No pre-race freak outs!!!!  It is so hard when I have a big race looming on the calendar for two months, then six weeks, or one month out.  I tend to obsess over performing to my best.  After I tucked the kids into bed, I laid out my clothes for the morning, watched TV, and tried not to stay up too late.

Morning of the race

I woke up at 5am and I made pancakes, bacon, and coffee.  While the breakfast was cooking, I wrote a short blog post.  After breakfast I got dressed and left the house at 7am.  I was trying to remember last year's race, and I remember the course being a doozy...
1100 feet of decent, and 1100 feet of climbing! Yay!!
When I got to the race site, I ran into fellow members of the Las Vegas Track Club,  I only get to see my runner friends a few times a year, so I really enjoyed chit-chatting and catching up.

I was really excited to race, and I was just happy to be there.
Can you tell how excited I am?

My strategy was to hold back during the first two miles, and try not to fly down the downhill section of the race.... 
Mile 1-8:10
Mile 2-8:07

This didn't go quite how I planned.  I brought my phone with me because I really like the Slacker music app.  I paid for the subscription service when I was training for the RNRLV Marathon.   I normally race half's with my ipod nano circa 2010. (same ipod and music since 2010).  During the 3rd mile of the race, I started screwing around with my phone and I lost any signal that I had (Goodbye Slacker Radio)...  Derp... I ended up going with my old play list on my phone (circa 2011), and then later on in the race I tried to pick up a signal again with no luck...  The moral of the story is to leave the phone in your car if you are racing in the boonies.

The 1st place female was way ahead of me and I knew that I wouldn't catch her.  She is way faster, and it is what it is. However, the 2nd place female came right up on me while I was dicking around with my phone.  I'm a competitve jerk, if you pass me during a race you better mean it.  Don't hang on to my shoulder or try to run with me....  I felt like that was happening so I  threw it into another gear to create another gap between us.  This probably wasn't the best idea.

Mile 3-7:03
Mile 4-6:50 

The straight downhill turned into a series of rolling downhill climbs, we were still running down the hill, but you also had to run up a few steep inclines,
This picture is from last year's race, courtesy of the LVTC

Around this time I pulled out my Gatorade energy chews (Blue Crush) and I ate a few.
Mile 5-7:46
Mile 6-7:29

We were heading back down a steep decline, and the 2nd place female passed me like she meant it this time.  I was impressed with her speed going down the hill.  I didn't recognize her as a local runner and I think I underestimated her.     We were nearing the bottom of the trail head and I told myself to be patient, there is still the second half of the race.  I began to head back up the steep decent/rolling downhills in reverse.

Mile 7-7:53
Mile 8-9:48

I had been playing hopscotch with two male runners, and another runner went flying by all three of us. It was James Alejandro.  He is notorious for holding back and killing the second half of races. Around this time I also ate a few more Gatorade chews.  

Mile 9-8:39

I was able to shake the two guys that I was running with, and then I was in no man's land.  The second place female was no longer in my sights. After the rolling climbs were over, we were treated to a straight uphill climb for the next two miles. I didn't event want to look at my Garmin because I knew that  I was slowing down.  Not much you can do at this point- Just endure the pain and try to look forward to the last two miles that are downhill.

Mile 10-9:07
Mile 11-9:25
I look like I'm having the time of my life here (sarcasm)

I was so happy to finally be running back downhill.  I knew there were only two miles left until the finish. My legs were toast, but I wanted to finish hard.

Mile 12-7:38
Mile 13-7:38
        .1-1:05 (7:12 pace)

Official Time 1:46:37
Garmin Time  1:46:38 (13.15 miles)

I'm happy that I ran the tangents pretty close.  I'm also happy that I didn't get picked off during the last 4 miles.

After the race I hung out for a few minutes, but I didn't stick around for the awards.  I had so much fun, but I knew that I had to hurry home.
Me, Toshie (she was right on my heels), Christina  (She got there late, so I got lucky lol)
Debbie, and 1st woman overall Erica S. She smoked that course with a 1:35!!

This morning I went for a short two mile run, to get some of the stiffness out of my legs, I'm not as sore as I thought I would be.  I have to take the next two weeks easy.. I want to give my legs a chance to recover.  Then I have about four weeks of training with some speed work in the mix. My next race is the Big Game 10k.  This race will have some pretty good swag to attract the local runners.  I'm looking forward to racing hard again. :)

Thank you to the LVTC for the photos and for hosting a great event!

As always thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Just call me a frosted flake.

In my last post I said that I know that I didn't want to race the LVTC Holiday Half Marathon....

Well it turns out that the first 10k that I had planned on racing on January 10th, I won't be able to race due to a scheduling conflict., and the next 10k isn't until February 1st.

I don't want to wait six weeks until my next race, so...

It looks like I'm racing a half this morning... No pressure. Id like to go under 1:40, but this is a hard course. I will be satisfied if I beat my time from last year. Its going to be a more competitve race than last year too..

See you on the othe side.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Strep Throat, New Shoes, & My Latest Workouts

Last week was pretty rough.  I had a really killer run on Monday, and then the rest of the week went off the rails running wise.  I wasn't able to run a single step until Sunday and as of yesterday (Wednesday) I am finally starting to feel like my old self.  I know for sure that I do not want to run the LVTC Holiday Half marathon.   I'm not ready to race a half marathon, and being the competitive person that I am, I don't want to toe the line if I'm not 100%.

I think I have finally found my writing style for this blog, and I enjoy laying it out in chronological order via my training updates.  It's a way to keep track  of my training and share a few details with you along the way.  The only downside to this, is that I need to blog at least once a week or I will be throwing up runs from many weeks ago, and then the details become fuzzy...

My Latest Workouts

Week of December 7-13
Sunday 12/7- I ran 6 miles around the neighborhood in the foothills, I ran these at lunchtime, and I didn't take my Garmin with me.  I ended up talking to my mom on the phone for about 30 minutes.  It was nice to catch up with her, and it was kind of like having a running buddy to talk to along the way.

Monday 12/8-Lunchtime 10k- I'm loving the cooler weather, and I felt like doing a tempo progression run.   The first mile was flat, followed by  two miles uphill, and then the last three miles were downhill, it's pretty easy to run tempo progression with a downhill at the end, Here's my Garmin data:
That night I noticed a slight tickle in my throat.  I thought it was allergies, because I had been dusting some furniture.

Tuesday 12/9- Rest, I woke up late and didn't have time to workout before work.  I also had a few errands to run at lunchtime.  That tickle in my throat was also accompanied by a sluggish tired feeling. Uh oh.

Wednesday 12/10-  Rest- I left work at 10AM and felt like garbage.  I thought I was coming down with the flu.  That night I was having a lot of trouble swallowing, and it didn't feel like just the flu.

Thursday 12/11- I went to work... We were having our holiday party/White Elephant gift exchange.  I was in charge of organizing the party, so I felt like I couldn't not show up.  I also made it to the Dr.'s office that day.  My diagnosis was Strep Throat. EWWWWW.   I haven't had that sickness since I was a teenager.  I was given a prescription for antibiotics, and I also asked for some syrup with Tylenol/codeine.  Oh I was such a happy camper once I came home and was able to drink some medicine....
Eating and drinking had been so painful, that I wasn't really eating or drinking much fluids.

Friday 12/12-Rest,  I had a serious case of mommy guilt when I dropped my kids off at day care in the morning.
I took this picture that morning.  They were being really cute.

I felt rotten, but I figured that I was still really contagious and I didn't want to get them sick.  I also knew that sleeping would be next to impossible with them at home with me.

Saturday 12/13-Rest, (sort of)  I took the kids to the park and did a little bit of Christmas shopping. The antibiotics had started to kick in, and I was feeling more normal.  I also finally got my appetite back too.

Week of December 14-18
Sunday 12/14-  Almost 5 miles,   I tied up the laces and headed outside.  It was pretty cold for Las Vegas (41 degrees)  I felt stiff and tired.  I thought that an hour run would be a smart idea....    The first mile or two I was considering flipping a u-turn back home, but once I warmed up the endorphins kicked in and i ended up running 4.9 miles.   It honestly felt like I had ran twice as far.

Monday 12/15- I ran 4 miles on my lunch break, and again I felt really sluggish.  I ran two miles up the hill and two miles back down the hill.  Here's the Garmin data:
I noticed that my shoes were feeling old, and the pair that I was wearing are going on 6 months old.   I found a really good deal online, and I purchased a pair of ASICS GEL- Kayano 20's.

The new Kayano 21's are coming out so this is the older model, but originally these shoes cost $160.00 before tax.  I found these online at and after tax I paid $90.00.  This will be an upgrade from my GT-2000's. I didn't get a chance to try these on first, so I hope they are a good fit.  Kohl's.  has a pretty good return policy if they don't work out.

Tuesday 12/16-  I ran two miles before work No Garmin, I ran these at recovery pace., and lifted some weights.  I did flat bench chest presses with a 45lb bar to work on my form, one arm dumbbell rows, cable flys, lat pull downs, and some Roman chair leg lifts.
Wednesday 12/17-Lunchtime 10k.   I headed out at lunchtime and I chose a route that was pretty flat.  I didn't expect my legs to feel fresh, but they were ready to go.  I ran this at Tempo pace and just tried to keep the miles consistent.  Here's the data.

After my run, I went to the office gym and did a few exercises.  I did cable shoulder lifts, bicep curls, and a few burpees.

Thursday 12/18- Today will probably be a rest day, I have to head out at lunchtime to try to knock out some more Christmas shopping.

Next week, I'm hoping to do some more structured workouts/speed work.  I have two upcoming 10k's that I want to race.  I"m not sure if I'm PR ready, but I would like to give it really good try.

As always thanks for reading.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Year of Running 2014

This is a first time thing for me, But, I thought it would be fun to follow along with Misszippy and do a Year of Running post.  Join in on her page.

Best Race Experience:  That would have to be the Mustang 50th Anniversary Half Marathon.  I had a great training cycle, and I feel that I executed this race perfectly.  I ran a negative split half marathon and I also placed in the top three women overall, It was a large race, so I was pretty stoked.  The only bummer, was that there was no podium, and the organizers didn't really care about the overall winners of the race.  They didn't receive the awards in enough time, so I got my plaque in the mail about a month after the race. Womp Womp.,,  Also no swag either. No gift card to the local running store, no free GU, nada, nothing, bubkus..Wait this was supposed to be the best race experience right... The Tech T shirt and finishers medal were very nice...

Best Run:  Hmmmm... It's hard to chose-  I went for a run on a Friday evening in October-  I did the evening run to practice training for Rock n Roll Las Vegas, I didn't wear a watch or a radio, I was just running for fun.  I was kind of sad though,  I lost a dear friend to suicide in October of 2012, and we were getting close to the anniversary of his passing.   I was running in my favorite area to run, a hilly section that provides sweet views of the valley and when I got  to the top of the overlook, I was treated to a beautiful sunset.   I honestly felt like my friend was saying "hello" to me, and telling me to not be sad, that there is still so much beauty here on this earth.

Best new piece of gear:  HEED Energy Gel.  I'm not a big fan of GU, I like that HEED is made of natural ingredients and is easy to digest.  I had to learn how to eat on the run this year.

Best piece of running advice you received:  I've been kind of a lone wolf this year,

 I miss running with a buddy and or club....  So I'm going with Hal Higdon's advice that it's really important to stretch and warm up before doing speed work.  Earlier this year, I had a minnor groin strain from doing speed work without warming up / cooling down properly.

Most Inspirational Runner: The obvious answers for me were Meb Keflezighi/Deena Kastor, becuase they make me look forward to becoming a Master's runner.  They make getting older look phenomenal.   But, when I really think about it, There is one guy who I admire, and I don't know his name.  He's the every day runner that is out running like the post man every day at 5:30pm.   He lives in my old neighborhood-and he wears a cotton T-shirt in the summer, a cotton sweatshirt in the winter, basket ball shorts, and basic running shoes. I've never seen a radio, or Garmin, or any other fancy gear.  But,  I can tell that running brings him peace.  I hadn't seen him in a year or two after I moved out of the neighborhood.  But recently I have been changing up my commute and I pass though that area, I'm always happy when I see him pounding the pavement. I"m jealous that he is enjoying his run in the purest form..

ETA: I forgot to add the last question
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? :  Nothing beats the feeling of the sun on my face and the wind in my hair as the miles tick by.

Friday, December 5, 2014

What's Next? and My Latest Workouts.

Yeah, I was really hoping to run the Hoover Dam Marathon next weekend.  But, the only reason why, would be to stroke my own ego, and try to erase my disappointment over running a 3:49 marathon when in my heart I had hoped to run a 3:29:59 at Rock n Roll Las Vegas.  I have been thinking about all of the little things that went wrong that day.

I have come to the decision that racing next weekend will be a bad idea.  I'm strapped for cash, I'm not sure if my body is fully recovered to race 26.2 miles again, and with juggling a full time job with family responsibilities; something has to give.

 I love to race and I was thinking of ways to make it work, but for me to put myself ahead of everyone else just so I can feel good about racing again, is pretty damn selfish.

I'm thinking of running the Las Vegas Track Club Holiday Half Marathon in  a little over two weeks, this race will be way more low key, a lot cheaper, and easier to handle.  But, even this race I'm feeling "meh".

I know for sure that I want to run the Las Vegas Track Club Championship 10k in January.  This race attracts a lot of local runners and is a competitive race.   I haven't raced a 10k in close to three years.  I'm kind of looking forward to working on shorter harder paces again.

One of my regrets from marathon training was, that during the last month of training I focused on mileage and I didn't do much speed work.  I also think I  was pretty lazy during my taper.  I didn't run very much during the 10 days leading up to the race, I think I was pretty surprised when it was go-time, because I was honestly shocked at how hard 8 minute miles felt from the start of the marathon.

During my previous half marathon tapers, there was a speed workout the week of the race, it was like a final tune up.  I didn't realize how helpful these were to keep the legs feeling "fresh"

I promise from here on out. I won't bitch about the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon again....

My Latest Workouts

After the race I didn't run for about 4-5 days, I wasn't that sore compared to other races.  But, I was really pissed off at running so I didn't feel like tying up the laces.

Week of November 17-23

Monday 11/17-  Rest
Tuesday 11/18-  Rest
Wednesday 11/19 Rest
Thursday 11/20 Rest

Friday  11/21-  I ran three miles, and I remember why I still like to run.  It feels pretty damn good! And the endorphins make me feel so alive!

Saturday 11/22 - Rest

Sunday  11/23-  I ran a 10k (6.2 miles ) around my neighborhood. It turned into a tempo progression run. I was still sulking over the race, and in my head I was running the final 6 miles of the marathon again.  Here's the splits:
(9:06, 8:53, 7:47, 7:56, 7:49, 7:38, 1:32 for the .21)

Week of November 24-30

Monday 11/24-  I went to my office gym on my lunch break and I did some circuit training, it had been awhile, and lifting weights felt good.
Tuesday 11/25 -Rest day, I got a surprise invitation to lunch from my husband, we tried out a new kabob place.
Wednesday 11/26 - I ran three miles around the neighborhood, no watch or Garmin

Thursday 11/27  On Thanksgiving I had a killer run, I ran 7 miles and I think I was trying to sell myself on training for the Hoover Dam Marathon and I treated this like a Tempo run.  It was also a hilly route.
Add caption
Here are the splits (8:52, 8:35, 9:14, 8:29, 8:02, 7:33, 7:35)

Friday 11/28 - The next day I was greedy and I ran 9 more hilly miles.  I will never stop being amazed by this view of the Las Vegas valley & skyline.
I take shitty pictures.

Saturday 11/29 I ran 6 miles, my mother-in-law, was in town for the holiday weekend, and it's always nice to have extra help with the kiddos.  But,  I think my legs were getting a little pissed because during this run, my right calf was starting to act up a little bit.

Sunday 11/30 Rest, my calf was feeling really sore.

Week of December 1-5

Monday 12/1 - I did some circuit training- two minute jog, roman chair leg lifts, push ups, bicep curls with E-Z curl bar, shoulder presses with E-Z Curl bar, lat pull downs, kettle bell squats, sit ups,  then start the cycle over again. I did this for a total of four cycles.  It's a total body smoker.

Tuesday 12/2 - Speed work... I wanted to run some mile repeats.  Again I was in a funk over the marathon.  My calf was feeling okay, and I promised myself that if I felt any niggles or if anything felt off- that I would stop immediately.  I ran a one mile warm up,did some strides, stretched, and I put on my Brooks Pure flows for the first time in a few months.

I ended up running two mile repeats and two 800's.  Here's the data: (6:33, 6:36, 3:16, 3:23)  I think my Garmin is a bit off....  I honestly don't think I ran those miles that fast..  I'll give myself credit for running two sub 7 minute miles but, I know that there can be some variance depending on which direction I run the repeats in.

After this workout I was over the moon happy, and I felt like I had my mojo back...

Wednesday 12/3- I ran 5.5 miles on my lunch break and it was drizzling rain.  It was really nice outside.  I ran these at a recovery pace.

Thursday 12/4 -Rest

Friday 12/5- Today I am headed to a memorial-celebration of life service.  A high school classmate lost her little boy to cancer last month.  I am absolutely heartbroken for her and her family.  I ran 4 miles tempo this morning, to calm my nerves.  We love you TEAM MASON....


I promise from here on out. I won't bitch about the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon again....

As always thank you for reading.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The whiny self indulgent post that I was too chicken to write last week.

I'm eight days post marathon, and I'm still trying to process what happened....Yes I'm a naturally positive blogger so I'm trying to find the life lesson involved in blowing a big race.  I hope I can snap out of this mode of feeling sorry for myself...No me gusta!

There were two moments in time that I wish I could have done differently the night of the race.  The first one was when I was checking my gear bag.  I wish I would have taken off my long sleeve top and checked it with my gear bag.

I could have probably done without
the long sleeve top, calf sleeves,
and the skull cap underneath my other hat.
The other moment was around mile 10.  I wonder if I'm making this part up,  But, I could have sworn that for a split second I was thinking of ditching my long sleeve top and throwing it into the bushes and then picking it up on the way back in.  I had decided against doing that because I thought it would have been too hard to untangle my headphones and take off my vest, to take off my long sleeve top.  I also thought I would freeze my ass off without the extra gear.  So stupid!!

The irrational side of my brain is wanting redemption.  I want to erase the mental anguish of running a bad race.  And the only way to do this is to run another race!!!  A 5k would be fun,  a half marathon would be nice,  But, the stupid irrational brain wants another marathon!! ASAP!!!

I'm actually eyeballing the Hoover Dam Marathon next month.

But, this race makes no sense for a PR.  It's a tougher course. I think because I'm not really sore anymore, and because I see other bloggers that can race marathons once or even twice a month, this idea is starting to grow legs....  I know I'm being an idiot.  But, I feel like I wasted the fall training for a marathon.  I might as well run one more before I let my running go to seed.....

The one thing that's standing in the way is money.  Like the majority of my readers, I don't receive any freebies.  My blog isn't big enough for comped races or free NUUN.  I also haven't told my husband that I'm considering the race.  Maybe I can swing it as an early Christmas present.

I don't talk about my husband much on the blog.  He's actually really supportive of my running, and he understood how bad I felt after not meeting my race goal.  He's let me talk his ear off all week on all the little details from the marathon.

I do know for sure that I want a rematch with the RNRLV marathon.  It is my home course.  I will run another PR on that bitch one day.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon 2014 Race Report

I didn't even come close to my expected finish time.  I will try to keep this from turning into a whine fest.  I'm still really happy that I finished a marathon.
I can't seem to flip this picture over.

From the get go, 8:00 minute miles were harder than I expected them to be.  I stayed positive throughout the race.  I went into this race knowing that I would hit a low point or two  and that I should push through them because they will eventually pass. This ended up becoming the theme of the day....

Before the Race

I was driving myself nuts during the week trying  to decide what to wear.  I ended up wearing a tank top (base layer), a long sleeve top, a vest, shorts and calf compression sleeves.  The starting temp was 50 degrees and when we finished temps were in the high 30's I had been worried about the cold. I ran the Las Vegas Marathon in 2007 and I under dressed and I froze my butt off.  I didn't want that to happen again.
Vegas 2007-Windy and Cold that day.

I didn't have any trouble eating or fueling before the race.  Here's what I ate that day.

Breakfast (5:30 AM)- One small slice of pizza two eggs over medium, and a banana 30 minutes later

Lunch- (10:30 AM) Burrito bowl-Spanish rice,  a little shredded chicken, a little cheddar cheese, and a flour tortilla

Snack (2:00 PM)- One slice white toast  with peanut butter, 1/2 of a banana.  I also had a few bites of a cliff bar.

I also drank a bottle of Powerade Zero, 2 liters of water, a diet coke, and 16oz of Fruit Punch Gatorade throughout the day of the race.

I really liked how organized the race was, from the starting village, but I had to walk almost two miles to get from the monorail station to my starting corral.

The Race
I lined up in corral 5,  I think I should have asked to be moved to corral 3-4 because  it seemed like I got stuck behind a few half marathoners during the early miles.  The first mile was really clogged, and I had to run around several walkers.

During the 2nd mile of the race. Meb Keflezighi ran by me.  I realized that it was the pace group for the 1:45's  I thought of trying to hold on them, but, I didn't feel warmed up yet, and I wanted to ease into faster miles, later in the race.

I got really pissed off when I saw a runner run right up on Meb to take a freakin selfie... Who does that?!  If you want a picture with Meb, you should have taken one with him at the expo.  I think it was really dangerous move, and what would have happened if they would have tripped him?

I opened up my first gel between miles 3-4 and I nursed it over the next mile.Running along the strip was pretty neat, but after 4 miles my feet and legs were still feeling sluggish and at mile 5 I decided to turn on my music (I had wanted to hold off until mile 10).
Mile 1-8:54
Mile 2-8:08
Mile 3-8:04
Mile 4-8:16
Mile 5-8:00

The music was a welcome distraction.  I began to hit my goal marathon pace and  I told myself to be patient.  I was confident that I would be able to pick it up on the way back. I had a few Gatorade Energy Chews and some water around mile 7. We kept on running on Las Vegas Blvd. and we were headed towards the Fremont Street experience and the older downtown section of Las Vegas.  At mile 9 I pulled out another energy gel.  I wasn't feeling the greatest and when we passed the turn around point for the half marathoners to split off, I toyed with the idea of running just the half....
Mile 6-8:02
Mile 7-8:06
Mile 8-8:02
Mile 9-8:03
Mile 10-8:26

It was actually a welcome relief to split off from the half marathoners, the course was a lot less crowded and I felt like I finally found my rhythm We were now headed up MLK blvd.  I was already trying to divide the race up into chunks.  I kept telling myself that I would feel stronger and open up on the way back in.  My calves were starting to burn, and my feet were hurting too.  But, I still had wild fantasies of catching the 3:30 pace group during the final miles.  They weren't too far ahead of me at this point.

Mile 11-8:12
Mile 12-8:09
Mile 13-8:18
Mile 14-8:32
Mile 15-8:19

We were heading up Carey and that road has a slight incline (105 feet over two miles). I thought this was going to be NBD and where I would be able to let my calves relax a little because my stride would change a little running up the grade.  I kept feeling like I had to pee, I was looking along the road for bushes but, I didn't want to get arrested for flashing my butt, so I used a port-a-potty at mile 16.  When I went inside the porta-a-potty I noticed that my upper body was soaked in sweat and peeing was very difficult.  I realized that I was dehydrated and I started drinking a lot more fluids...

My Friend Pam, who I met at the Saints and Sinners Half marathon in September went flying by me with her brother along this stretch of road.  She looked so strong...

I tried to eat another Gel around  mile 18, but the texture and the sugar was making me gag.  I stopped to walk through the aid stations starting at mile 18...   We were headed back down the grade and I told myself to just hang on, at mile 20 we will try to pick up the pace.
Mile 16-9:39
Mile 17-8:59
Mile 18-8:40
Mile 19-8:58
Mile 20-9:01

Around mile 19 we were back on MLK Blvd and I could see the downtown area.. I was getting excited because I could finally try to hustle and make up some time.  Well right around that time my left calve seized up on me.  It hurt so bad that I stopped to stretch and I told myself,  "Just make it to the next aid station and you can walk through it while you drink some water and Gatorade".
Rinse and Repeat.  I had that strategy for the last 6-7 miles just survive and run your ass off to the next aid station.  I was actually grateful that it was dark and I couldn't obsess over slow Garmin data.
Mile 21-9:05
Mile 22-9:12
Mile 23-9:23

Where the hell are the mile markers?  We were running through the downtown arts district with a whole bunch of 90 degree turns. I kept turning the corner hoping for a fresh mile marker.  But, I didn't see any mile markers except Mile 21 and mile 25.  During this point of the marathon.  I appreciate every last mile marker and this really messed with my head.

I felt like I was picking up the pace,  I was back on the Las Vegas strip, I had started passing people but, I kept having to stop to stretch my stupid calves.  The marathon ended in front of the Mirage hotel and casino, and it seemed like an optical illusion, I could see the hotel from two miles away and it never seemed to get any closer.
Mile 24-9:48
Mile 25-9:45
Mile 26- 9:44

It's crazy how bad I imploded those last three miles.... They didn't seem like they were that slow.  I felt like I was working hard, and I was passing people...  My calves were just so knotted up.

Garmin Time 3:49:13
Official Time 3:49:06 avg 8:45 pace
103rd woman overall (out of 1265)
19th in my age group (out of 229)
507th finisher (out of 3208)

I crossed the finish line and I was in a world of hurt.  I was honestly close to tears, my calves hurt so bad.  I'm guessing that I became dehydrated from sweating so much during the race.  I never felt cold, which is good. But now that it's Monday afternoon. I'm wondering about all of  the things I could have done differently or executed better.

There will not be a redemption race for me.  I'm looking forward to not training for a marathon for awhile.  I don't have the extra money or time in my budget to try to find another race.  I'm almost second guessing if I want to run another marathon.  I can kick some ass at the half marathon distance and it doesn't seem to be as emotionally draining/taxing on myself or family.

I know that's crazy post marathon talk.  But I know that I don't want to run another marathon anytime soon....

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Marathon Strategy and Goals Post- and a Little Marathon Pontification

It's race week!!  I am so excited I could dance.  I'm so nervous I could drive myself batty.  This is the moment that I have been waiting for and I'm shooting for a PR.

Marathon Strategy
I would like to run as smart of a race as possible.  I have run a total or 16 marathons, and I don't think I have ever finished one thinking, "Shit yeah, I did it!!"  I usually finish holding on for dear life and vowing never again..... It's been four and a half years since my last marathon and I think I have learned a few lessons on patience and fueling.

My ultimate running dream is to run a negative split marathon.  I want to run the first 20 miles at 8 minute pace, drop down to 7:45 pace for the next 5k, and then 7:30 pace for the last 5k.  

My biggest challenge is being greedy..... I know that I might see a 7:50 mile early on and think,  "This feels good.  Let's bank some time"....  I know that I can run 15-16 miles at 7:30 pace,  but then I will hit the wall so hard at mile 17 and then have to shuffle the remaining 9 miles. 

I think racing with a Garmin (my first marathon with one) will keep me from going out too fast,  I also plan to race without music for the first 10 miles.

Eating on the run is something I am sort of new at.   When I was younger I would race marathons without music or food.  I don't know how I managed to do that.
My second marathon, and first BQ.
Venice, Italy 1999

 I think I was a lot tougher and more stubborn back then.  It's also probably why I hit the wall during so many marathons.  I never ate anything during the race.

For Sunday's race I plan on eating a Heed energy gel at miles 5, 10, 15, 20, and also eating some Gatorade energy chews along the way.

To Pace Group or Not

Positive Experience
I have mixed feeling about pace groups.....  I had one of my best marathons ever at RNR Phoenix in January 2008.   I had missed qualifying for Boston in December of 2007, on a whim I decided to race RNRAZ five weeks later.  My friend convinced me to run with a pace group, and it worked out perfectly.  I ran the whole way with the 3:40 group, and I joked that it was like riding a bus.  We all worked together to finish.  The pacer was excellent about hitting even splits.  I remember hitting a low point at mile 23 and the "bus" began to pull away from me.  I had a cheesy but good song come on my MP3 player and I fought like hell to catch up to the bus.   I ended up pulling away from the bus at mile 25 and running the last mile a little ahead of the bus.

Negative Experience

I ran the St. George Marathon in 2009 with the hopes of breaking 3:20.  I felt that I was pretty well prepared.   I planned on riding the "bus" again with my fellow runners and hoping to hang with them.
I didn't anticipate the pace group to be so large.  It seemed like I was elbow to elbow and shoulder to shoulder with quite a few runners.  The road was a bit more narrow and I kept getting jostled.
At mile 5ish  we ran through an aid station, and the runner in front of me stopped to grab a drink, and I crashed right into him.  He didn't just slow down, he stopped in front of the aid station.  I was rattled by the experience, and I just couldn't hold on to the pace group after mile 11.   I ended up hitting the wall pretty bad that day.  But, I don't think it was entirely the pace groups fault either.

I also ran the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon with the 3:30 pace group.  I think I was able to hold on the the pace group for about half of the race.  I had spent the night before, drinking my face off because I thought drinking beer would be the best way to carb load.  I look back at that race and wonder, "WTF was I thinking?"  I was in pretty great racing shape and I was serious enough to train for the race, but not serious enough to turn down celebration beers before the race.......Again this wasn't the pace groups' fault....

I don't drink beer or any other alcohol anymore.  I don't know if that will make a difference in my athletic performance.  However, I do know that it will not be able to hinder my performance.

Marathon Goals

A goal- 3:29:59
B goal   Beat my old PR 3:31:49
C goal- 3:34:59

I would also love to finish in the top 100 women's finishers and top 10 local women's marathon finishers.  I have no idea who else is racing on Sunday night, and this is something that I can not control.  I only hope that I am able to execute the best possible race to my athletic ability.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Latest Workouts, Weather Talk, And a Summary of this training cycle.

I'm in the middle of the taper and I wanted to do some navel gazing and talk about my race goals. But, I think I will save the goals post for next week.

I would like to run a sub 3:30 marathon but, I think it's still to early to talk about race goals and strategy.  I think it would be cocky of me to say that it will be a given and that I have trained enough to meet my goal.  When in reality I'm second guessing my training and wondering if I have what it takes to break 3:30.

My Latest Workouts
 I live in the Las Vegas Valley and it has been warmer than usual.  On Halloween the daytime high was 88 degrees.  The very next day in typical Las Vegas (We have two seasons hot and cold) the temps dropped almost 30 degrees and the daytime high was only 62.  The mornings have also dropped into the high 40's.  I have about a week and a half to get acclimatized to running in colder weather.

Saturday 11/1-  Rest

Sunday 11/2  9 miles with some Tempo pace.   I had planned on running between 10-12 miles, but I got pretty excited watching the NYC marathon pre-race and the start of the women's race.  I left the house really pumped up and I wanted to hurry up to come back and watch the race unfold. The first mile felt a little sluggish but, once I warmed up I felt great and the last mile I kind of eased off a little bit...  I ran a route that was pretty flat. Here's the data.
I ended up stopping my watch at a long stop light
I normally try to cross when I can, but there was
too much traffic to do it safely

Monday 11/3  3 miles @ recovery pace. I feel like I have so much extra time in the morning because of the time change earlier this week.

Tuesday 11/4   3.5  miles- Tempo Progression Run. Here are the split times 8:56, 8:25,8:02, 4:02 for the .5)
This week I'm trying on different outfits trying to figure out WTF to wear for the marathon.  I've always been a, "I don't race in capris / tights person", but temps in the high 40's are making me question my judgement.

Wednesday 11/5  4 miles.- I could have ran 6 miles on my lunch break, but I really don't want the cold weather to be a complete shock to me next weekend.  For the past few mornings I notice during the first mile of my run, that my stomach cramps up a little from breathing in the colder air.  After the first mile or two I'm okay.  At first I didn't know if it was my breakfast bothering my stomach, but I usually have no probably running in the heat with food in my belly.  Then I realized that it's the cold air.

Summary of this training cycle

I can honestly say that I started training for this marathon around July 2nd.   I spent the month of June doing speed work and weight training for a 1600 meter race.  That race didn't go as well as I hoped and I began to ramp up my mileage for the fall half marathon season.

I didn't really tell my husband that I was going to do a marathon until after I raced the Saints and Sinners Half Marathon.   I have been married to my husband for a very long time.  He has been very supportive of my running over the years but, we now have two small kids to take care of, and my running can cut into some of that family time.

I've done my best so that my running doesn't take away from them too much on the weekends.  I did most of long runs by taking some vacation hours at my work and by dropping off my kids at daycare.

I can't imagine trying to race more than  two marathons a year....

Mileage by the months:

July-           124  -Approx 28 miles per week
August-    137.5  Approx. 31 miles per week
September   120  (This month included a taper for a half marathon)
October       139.5  Approx  31.5 miles per week...

Some weeks had higher mileage than others, Like one week would be 28 miles and the next week would be around 36. etc...

Each week included two days of rest.  Each week included at least a 10 mile long run.  During the months of August and September I did quite a bit of speed work and tempo runs.   The month of October was all about adding in some long runs.

My monthly  averages are kind of low for marathon training and that worries me.  But,   I couldn't realistically fit any more training into my schedule, without giving my family the shaft, or without driving myself to the point of injury.

I was looking over some of my past training logs of past marathons and I have realized that I really am not a high mileage runner.   I usually top out in the low to mid 40's and it has seemed to work for me in the past.

I hope that training  through the hot Las Vegas Summer has given me some mental toughness.  The hardest part of a marathon is the last six miles.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Marathon is in 16 days!!

I made through my 20 miler last week.  It hurt, but I was well prepared and I'm hoping that only one twenty miler will be enough for this upcoming marathon.

I'm going to analyse the hell out of my training up until the race.  It's all part of the taper madness.

My Latest Workouts

Wednesday 10/22- I left my Garmin at home,  I ran a route that was approximately 6.4 miles and it took me 53:29.  I barley remember this run.  The weather is still warm.

Thursday 10/23 REST

Friday 10/24- 20 miles...  I could write another long novel about my run.   I took the day off from work today,  I don't share much of my personal life on this blog.... But, my grandfather (Mom's dad)  passed away earlier this week and I was granted bereavement leave.   I wasn't able to attend the funeral and I wasn't very close with my grandfather over the last few years.  Grief is an emotion that I'm not familiar writing about.. And I don't want  to over share. I was also very  worried about my parents and the very long trip they had to take.... I had a lot to think about during my run.

I chose a route that was close to home and away from busy traffic.  I ran the first 4-5 miles around the neighborhood and then I ended up on the bike trail headed out to the Sunrise Picnic Area.
Flashback to when I was pregnant with my daughter.

The trade off to having no traffic, is that there wasn't much shade on the bike trail and it was getting warm fast.  I took off at 8AM and by 10AM the temps were in the mid 70's.... Around mile 14  I ended up swinging by my house to drop off my vest, grab my running belt, and to grab a bottle of water.   
I did another loop around the neighborhood and my Garmin was running low on juice.  I got to the park near my house with perfect timing.  I figured if my Garmin died I could run loops around the half mile track at the park to round out the 20 miler.

My Garmin died at  exactly 19.5 miles. I ran one last loop around the track and then I walked slowly home.   I didn't stop my Garrmin once, even when I went home to drop my gear.  Here's the data.
I wanted to finish with some tempo miles, But, once I hit two
hours and started running up an inlcine that idea went out
the window.  

During the run I ate 3 Heed energy Gels. Peanut Butter at mile 4, Vanilla at mile 8, and Raspberry at mile 14. I also ate some Gatorade energy chews.  By the end of the run my mouth was tired of all of that sugar...

After I got done running I stuck my legs in the pool, kind of like an ice bath.  I have been doing that lately after some of my runs and I think it is helping with my recovery.

Saturday 10/25 -REST

Sunday 10/26 8 mile progression run.  I thought I would be exhausted but,  I felt good enough to run some tempo pace at the end of my run.  Here are the split times.
That first mile is always the hardest.

After this run, I soaked my legs in cold water. I'm going to try to work my way up to an actual ice bath.

Monday  10/27- I ran a a little over 3.5 miles at recovery pace.  I went to Cornerstone park and ran around the dirt track. I also did some push-ups, and burpees at the park.

Tuesday 10/28-REST- It was picture day at my work, so I decided to take a rest day

Wednesday 10/29 Two a days.  I wanted to run 8 miles, I ran almost three miles before work, and then I ran 5 more miles on my lunch break.

Thursday 10/30-  I ran just a little over 4 miles on my lunch break.  It was 78 degrees outside!!! I am so tired of this heat.  I'm wearing my Garmin, but I'm trying not to pay attention to my splits.  They are slower than usual. But, this is par for the course during the taper.  I feel tired and sluggish, but I know I still have to keep doing these maintenance runs.  

In other news I got my flu shot.  I figured this would be  a good time to get it.  I'd hate to catch a cold or flu before the race.  

Friday 10/31 Two a days.  I ran close to three miles (2.96) this morning before work.  The first mile felt like crap, the second one felt better, and the last mile I ran it as hard as I could (within reason).  Here are split times: (9:56, 8:17, 7:21)

I thought I was going to head out for a run before I finish this blog post, but I decided to not run on my lunch break today.  It's 82 degrees and windy. I'm going to take the rest of the day off and probably tomorrow too.    I hope I can hit 10-12 miles on Sunday.  With the training program I am using I have 16 miles on the schedule.  I don't think it would be wise for me to run a 16 miler two weeks before the race.  

Doubt is starting to mess with me.  Have I done enough?  I can't heap on too much more mileage without feeling wiped out.  I only gave this race 6 weeks of attention, but I did come off of strong summer of running and base building.  I also bridged this race off my training from the Saints and Sinners half.  I wanted to give that race the attention it deserved as well, so speed work was necessary.    
I haven't been doing much speed work lately, because I am just trying to store miles away like chestnuts for the winter.   

16 more days to go.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Nitty Gritty Details of My 18 Mile Run and the Rest of My Latest Workouts

I was really nervous about my 16 mile long run last week.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to run the whole way and that it would hurt really bad.  Well I ended up running 18 miles and it did hurt pretty bad.  But, this run was a confidence booster and I want to share all of the wonderful (and unpleasant) details with my readers.

My Latest Workouts

Wednesday 10/15- I ran 18 miles.  I used a vacation day because my parents were heading into town later on that afternoon.  I dropped my kids off at daycare and I headed out to run. I didn't have an exact route picked out, and  I wore a brand new long sleeve shirt.
I loved the kangaroo pocket in the front.
I regretted wearing long sleeves about 5 miles into the run.  It got warm really fast.  I also forgot to wear any body glide and I chaffed up so bad!!  Between the sweat and the long seam running down the back of the shirt it made for a really painful shower after my run.

I made a point of not stopping my watch whatsoever.  I got pretty lucky and I hit most of the green lights during my run.  I didn't even stop my watch when I ran into convince stores to buy water.  At mile 10 (?) I got a phone call and I started fumbling around with my phone and without thinking about it I stopped my watch.  I quickly remembered and stopped messing with my phone and I started my watch again. I also ran the first 11 miles without music.  Here's the Garmin data

Even though the Las Vegas Strip is pancake flat,
the rest of the valley is either on an incline or a decline.
I started my run by going four miles up hill, then some gradual downhill,  I was hoping to finish the last four or five miles at Tempo pace.  With the downhill I was able to pick up the pace, but at mile 14 I had to run three miles back up the hill to the starting point and they kicked my ass.  It was definitely mental because I ran  miles 13-17  all on the same street, and from mile 13 I could see the big ass hill that I had to climb starting at mile 15.  I'm  happy that I didn't stop to walk up the hill.

For food, I ate some Gatorade energy gel chews between miles 4-5, at mile 12 I had a Heed orange energy gel.  This flavor was gross, it didn't really taste like orange at all.  But, my stomach handled it fine and that's a good thing.  I think I could have eaten another gel during the last part of the run.

The last mile was down hill and I was feeling pretty loopy by then,  I crossed the street without paying attention and I almost got nailed by a car.  Pretty idiot thinking on my part...  For my upcoming 20 miler I'm going to chose a route that is a little bit more isolated.  I chose to do this run during the morning commute and it finished around 10:45am.  I ran on very busy streets and it's not a wise thing to do if you can't pay attention to the road. I'm grateful another driver honked their horn at me and got me to notice the car headed in my direction.

I've ripped on distracted drivers before, but in this case I was a distracted runner and that makes me feel shitty.  I promise to be more careful when I am out on the roads.

Thursday 10/16  REST- I took my kids to the pumpkin patch

Friday 10/17  I ran almost 5 miles at recovery pace around my neighborhood.  (4.87 miles @ 9:12 pace)  My legs felt tired. This run felt like a chore.

Saturday 10/18   I ran a little over 7 miles.  My legs felt a little better, At this point I feel like I am just logging the miles in.  I would like to run faster tempo paces but, my legs are also getting used to running longer distances.   The second half I tried to pick it up the last two miles.  I also ate a Heed vanilla energy gel halfway through the run.  I really liked the flavor.  Here's the data.

Sunday 10/19 REST

Monday 10/20  Two a day's.  I didn't have time to run 5 miles before work.  I ran just under three before work (2.89 miles @ 8:42 pace) and then just a little over three (3.18 miles @ 8:55 pace) on my lunch break.  On my lunch break I went to Cornerstone park for the change of scenery.  The park has a few different jogging paths.

How can you be in a bad mood after running around this?

 I usually stay on the outer paved loop but, today I ran on the inner loop which has  a dirt trail.  The trail felt nice under my feet.  It was also a nice toasty 80 degrees.

Tuesday 10/21-  I ran 6 miles and I took it easy during the first half which had a gradual uphill climb, and then for the last two miles were downhill with a tailwind. I ran those at tempo pace.  It had been awhile since I had seen 7:30 pace show up on my Garmin.  Here's the data

Today I accidentally left my Garmin at home.  I plan on running six miles on my lunch break, tomorrow will be a rest day, and, then I have 20 miles on the calendar for Friday.  Bring on the carbs!!!  Then it's time to taper and freak out.  

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Latest Workouts and WIAWR

We are about one month away from the Las Vegas Marathon and I'm going to run hopefully 16 miles tomorrow morning.  My legs are feeling the mileage but, in a good way.  I'm tired but, I don't feel overworked (yet).  While I'm out running I'm also trying to practice things like eating on the run and running the first half of some of my longer runs without music.  26.2 miles is a long race and I don't want to be trying to figure this stuff out during the race....

My Latest Workouts and What I Ate While Running

Tuesday 10/7- I ran 5 hilly miles on my lunch break and my legs felt so much better than the day before.  The weather is starting to cool off and I am able to leave my handheld bottle behind (finally).  I ran 5.23 miles in 44:53 (8:35 average).  This route also climbed 310 feet.

Wednesday 10/8 1 ran 12 miles.  I was hoping to run anywhere between 10-13, so I was pleased with how this run went.  I didn't have time to buy any energy gels so I just grabbed some food from the pantry.  During my run I ate two Golden Oreos; the first one between miles 4 and 5.  It tasted great and I didn't need any water for the first cookie.   At mile 8 I ate the second cookie and it was a little harder going down without water. Shortly after that I ran inside a store to buy a bottle of water.    I also carried a piece of fruit leather with me but, I didn't end up eating it. Here is the Garmin data.

There were quite a few stops between red lights and one
bathroom pit stop.  I know that the clock will keep on running
during the marathon.  I need to be mindful of the total time spent

The first mile climbed 126 feet.

 I ran the first 8-9  miles without music.   I sometimes speedup unintentionally if a good song comes on the radio.  I really want to focus on holding back and negative splitting during the marathon.

Thursday 10/9  Rest-  I thought I was going to be sore but, my legs were just tired.  I stopped by the local running store and I picked up a few energy gels and chews to try out.

Friday 10/10  I ran a little over 5 miles, and they were hilly.  I did this run on Friday evening because I wanted to practice running at night.  The Rock n Roll Marathon starts at 430 in the afternoon. When  I took off it  was breezy and close to dusk.  I ran without music or a Garmin.  I ran the same route that I ran last weekend...  I wish I would have brought my phone because I got to watch the sunset behind the mountains on the other side of the valley.
Now imagine the sun setting....

Saturday 10/11 Rest

Sunday 10/12 I ran 9 miles with some tempo pace in the later miles.  It was a chilly morning.  I wore my black fleece vest... I'm hoping to buy a new running vest before the marathon.  One that is moisture wicking/ more breathable.   When I run I wear a Nathan running belt.  I love that thing to death but, I hate racing with it.

I ran the first 5 miles without music, and at mile 6 I ran inside a convenience store to buy a bottle of water.  I also tried a Peanut Butter Heed Energy Gel.  It wasn't sweet at all, which was a pleasant surprise.  It went down easy and I didn't have any trouble digesting it either.  It gave me some energy so I sped up a little during the later miles.  Here's the data.

I stopped my watch when I bought the bottle of water

Monday 10/13- On my lunch break I did some strength training and I ran 4 miles.  I haven't been in the gym in almost a month.  I didn't want to workout, but working out my upper body makes me a stronger runner...  I did some Roman chair leg lifts, push ups, bicep curls, shoulder raises, shoulder presses, lat pull downs, and cable press downs.   Then I ran close to 4 miles (3.99 miles) in 33:18 (total and elapsed time were the same) @ 8:21 average pace.

Tuesday 10/14-  I ran 3.99 miles before work.  I ran yesterday's route again.  It took me 33:46 (total and elapsed time were the same)....

Tomorrow  I have 16 miles on the schedule.  I'm nervous... But, once I'm out there running it doesn't seem so bad.

Monday, October 6, 2014

What my recovery week looks like, and on to the next race

It's been a little over a week since the half marathon, My legs are still feeling a little rubbery and sluggish.  I'm going to attempt my first long run later on this week.  I hope to run somewhere between 10-13 miles.  I don't want to push myself too hard too soon and wind up injured.

Recovery Week

After a big race, I will usually be so sore that I have to take  the next day or two off from running. This was the same for Saints and Sinners.  I was shuffling the day after the race and walking up and down the stairs was painful.

Sunday 9/28-  REST

Monday 9/29- REST--  I'm also a big believer in true rest days... Not 45 minutes of cross training on the elliptical because I'm not running or a hot yoga class.  Rest means rest.

Tuesday  9/30- 4 miles at lunch time.  I was really ambitious and wanted to run 5 miles.  I ended up running only 4 miles.  I wore my Garmin to try to gauge my fitness/recovery pace.  My legs were very sore but, I'm glad I ran to get some of the lactic acid and soreness out of them.  I ran 4 miles in 37:34 (9:21 average pace)

Wednesday 10/1 Five miles at lunch time.  Again I wanted to run 6 miles but, my legs aren't ready yet.  I ran 5.42 miles in 49:13 (9:05 average pace)

Thursday 10/2-  Rest

Friday 10/3  Three miles on the treadmill at recovery pace.

Saturday 10/4 Rest

Sunday 10/5  One hour run...  I wore my Garmin to keep track of the distance and time.  I tried really hard not to look at my pace... I chose a hilly route....
Up the hill to Sunrise Mountain

I kind of like running hills when my legs are tired/sore.  I can't really run at a Tempo pace yet so I feel like I'm still working out my legs with out forcing them to run faster...  It took me about an hour to run 6.5 miles.  I also stopped at the  top of the hill to  take in the view of the Las Vegas strip
I think I finally figured out the zoom function on my camera phone. 
Monday- Today I forgot my Garmin at home,  I ran close to 40 minutes on my lunch break.  I drove over to Cornerstone Park for some change of scenery... My legs are still feeling sluggish... 

My Next Race is in 6 weeks!!!
Earlier this year I was on the fence about training for a marathon.... I made it through the Summer with a pretty good running base and I have decided to enter the Marathon distance for the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon.   I haven't raced a full in over four years and I am really excited to go for it this year!!

It was always in the back of my head while I was training for Saints and Sinners Half Marathon, and depending on how that race went, that would be where I would set my race goals....

I'm throwing it out there because I want to be held accountable.... I would like to run a sub 3:30 marathon....

This will be the first time that I will be racing with a Garmin.  I think this will help me to not crash and burn like I have in so many of my other marathon PR attempts.  

I have about three weeks to get some big runs in.  I'm happy that I at least got a 14 mile run in before Saints and Sinners... This week I plan on doing a long run of 10-13 miles.  Next week I am jumping up to a 16 mile long run, and then the following week (about 10 days later)  I will either do an 18-20 mile training run....  Then I have three weeks to taper.... 

I also need to figure out my nutrition and fueling strategy.  This is the weakest point in my game plan right now.... I really did a shitty job of fueling during the Saints and Sinners Half and I bonked so hard during the last two miles... 

Photo of me barfing after last weeks half marathon.

For a half marathon I can get by with just drinking Gatorade and carbing up really good the night before.   I'm going to start practicing eating during these long runs.  

I'm scared but, ridiculously happy that I get to race a marathon later on this year.