Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Road to Big Sur: Week One

It's hard to believe, but my first week of training for the Big Sur Marathon is complete. Thanks to a relaxed vacation schedule, I was able to ramp up my mileage (from the paltry amount I'd been doing) without taxing my daily routine. Now, I just have to keep it up!

We went to Michigan for Christmas, and I did my first week of training in the balmy 33-45 degree weather there. It rained a bit, but not while I was running thankfully. No snow, which I much prefer to rain.

I started the week off with 11 miles on Sunday, did a 5 miler with Neil, a 6 miler alone, a 3 miler with Neil on Christmas, and capped the week off with another 11 miles the day after Christmas.

Everything went well, but my hip is still not too keen on me running more than 3 miles, two days in a row. I'll have to work on that.

I'm excited to be on the road to Big Sur!!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Proud member of 2016 #nuunbassador team!

Just in time for my Big Sur Marathon training which begins Monday, I received the official notification that I am a Nuunbassador for 2016! This will be my second year helping spread the #nuunlove, helping others find a tasty hydration beverage without added sugar. I am a big fan of Nuun, and honestly can't manage marathon training without it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jumping In

It has been a long time, but I am cautiously optimistic that I am ready to jump into a real training schedule. Three years of building up and falling down are behind me, and it is time to put myself to the test.

I didn't necessarily plan on taking a few months off from running, but I ended up taking off the late summer. Travel, my hip feeling worse before it felt better after my PT visits, and general busyness/laziness equaled a lot of sub-10 mile weeks.

After March or so, I didn't run more than 5 miles at a time. After the past few years, I started to doubt whether I'd ever be good at running again. Guys, running is hard. And it seems so much harder when you remember how fun long runs used to be, and how terrible even short ones are now.

The Bull City Race Fest Half Marathon approached, and I made the call to switch down to the 5 miler. I doubted that I could even do that without embarrassing myself. If stopped going to group runs because I felt too slow. Not a real runner, my inner doubter would say.

Well, the Race Fest went well. I held a sub-8:00 pace for the race, without a watch, which was a nice surprise. It wasn't difficult. I was tired later, but the race reinstalled my faith that I am not incapable. Just untrained.

With a few months of PT under my belt, and a pretty solid adherence to my exercise regimen, I decided to start a schedule after I returned from my trip to California. I ran an easy 15-20 mile a week plan on Smart Coach, ending when I am supposed to start training for the Big Sur Marathon in December. With pretty much no base, this will be key to not immediately failing at the first few weeks of marathon training.

I've finished my first week of consistent running, topped off with a well-paced 8 miles alone on Sunday. (I didn't bail!) I have a few weeks to pick a training plan for Big Sur, and then I'll be off on my 18 week journey to my 7th marathon! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Best Run in Durham: American Tobacco Trail

Credit: Briana Brough, Durham Magazine
A while ago, I dutifully voted in a few local "best of" surveys, which I tend to do every year. Some time later, I received an email about one of my votes, a vote for the American Tobacco trail as the Best Place to Run for the Durham Magazine Best of Durham issue. They'd seen that I kept a running blog and tweeted a lot about running, so they asked me to write about my perfect day on the trail for the upcoming issue. You can read what I wrote here.

Check out Durham Magazine on the web, Twitter, and Instagram!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bull City Race Fest UnstoppaBULLS!

This lucky lady was picked to represent the Quintiles Bull City Race Fest Half Marathon as an ambassador with Team UnstoppaBULLS! I'm excited to share my enthusiasm about this super-fun race through central Durham, as well as gratuitous pictures of training and eating along the way! 

Source: http://bullcityracefest.com/ 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Race Report: Charleston Half Marathon

As you may remember, I registered for the Charleston Marathon quite some time ago, around the same time I registered for the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon. Eleven weeks apart was no problem to this non-planning, sometimes injured runner. Well, Raleigh came and went, and I limped away with a sore hip that just won't quit. I decided to step it back and run the half at Charleston, and try not to make things worse.

Switching down to the half allowed me to not feel so bad when my runs around the holidays were less consistent, and when I took a few extra days off after driving 12 hours to/from Michigan (wow, did that make my hip sore!). It also allowed me to not make a real plan, and arrive at the starting line with a vague idea of what I wanted to do that day.

My initial thought was, of course, to run fast. I knew close to my PR (1:39) wasn't happening, but maybe 1:45? Luckily, I thought better of that plan, and settled on something closer to 1:50.

Amy, Lara and I before the race.
Searching the crowd Saturday morning, I found Lara and Amy, ready to run Amy to a new PR. The goal was a few comfortable minutes past my 1:50 idea, so I decided running a 1:55 with friends would be a much more fun time than potentially struggling through a 1:50 alone.

The first few miles of the course were very pretty, along the waterfront and historic section of Charleston. We ran through the shopping district on King Street, where I started in envy at the latte-clutching spectators. Someday, I'd like to have a coffee mug that I can run with.

After maybe mile 6, the course gets not so scenic, which may have contributed to Lara backing off a bit. Amy and I chugged along, hitting or exceeding the pace for a 1:55 finish every mile.

But... we noticed that our miles were not matching up with the course markers... at all. After about mile two, our watched beeped exactly .3 miles before the mile marker was posted. And so did everyone else's. Since I wasn't going for a PR, I didn't think much of it, and chalked it up to someone putting the signs in the wrong place. But the mistakes continued all the way through the finish line, where we hit 13.4. Let's just say Amy was not pleased.

We finished just under 1:55, for an average of around 8:33 per mile for the 13.4 distance. Shiny PR for Amy, frothy beer for Kendra! Lara came in soon after, and we found our guys up to no good cheering us on at the finish.

As for the extra distance, lo and behold, the lead car took us down the wrong street in the first few miles, adding distance. To the race's credit, they are certifying the course we ran and adjusting our times soon. I know Amy will be happy with an even shinier new PR!

We had a great weekend in Charleston, and I had a fun time running a race with friends! Cheers!