Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hogeye marathon relay recap

The Hogeye marathon relay was a first for me.  As I mentioned in my weekly recap, I've run Ragnar, but I think an overnight relay with multiple legs is a little different from a marathon relay.

I love the Hogeye because it's a local non-profit race that is made possible by volunteers and all proceeds go back into the community.   It's also offers a marathon, half-marathon, 4-person relay, 5K, and a kid's marathon.

Our team was all female and consisted of runners with a range of experience.  We had a girl who has run a 50K and does a lot of trail running, a girl who is a beginner, and everything in between.   We did this for fun and no one cared about our time, we didn't even talk about what paces everyone expected to run till the day before when we were figuring out the logistics for each leg and planning when each of us would start.  Yet, I was competitive with myself and still felt a self-imposed pressure not to let everyone else down.  I had planned this leg into my training and was treating it as one of my speed workouts for the week.  My leg was 7.8 miles (I clocked 7.7) and my goal was to run an average pace between 7:50-8:00.

Our outfits came together really easily.  One of the girls on our team (fun fact - I actually met her through my blog!) is crafty and followed this DIY guide for sparkle skirts and made all of our skirts for $5.00.  I contacted the Etsy shop owner who Elizabeth and I bought our iron on decals from for Little Rock and she made a flying pig iron on decal for us.

We came in 5th out of 17 female teams, 17th out of 68 teams overall with a finish time of 3:53:10.  I ran my leg 1:01:28 with an average pace of 7:59.  Overall, I'm happy with that...but it took a little pep talk from Brian before I realized I should be happy.  Even though I crossed within my goal range,  I had really expected to run closer to 7:50.   I also really didn't feel as well as I had hoped out there, I didn't feel as if I had 'race legs' under me at all and that shook me up.

Looking back, I realized I made several rookie errors.  I think since we kept saying we were running "for fun" and were focused on the relay logistics, I never really got into the race mentality and didn't think through my personal plan.   I ate breakfast early and made my way down to the start to meet up with my team and then took the shuttle to my exchange after our first runner took off.  I ran the 3rd leg so, in retrospect, I should've brought something small to eat in between my breakfast and when I ran.

I also didn't get to warm-up.  I had about a 15 minute range of when I expected to start my leg and wasn't sure when to warm-up.  While I was waiting, I saw a friend who had come up from Little Rock who was running the same leg and I was talking with her.  Then Brian showed up with the boys to see us off.  It was definitely more of a social scene and I didn't get a warm-up and then I just took off mid-sentence when I saw my runner coming up.   And I started too fast and that took some steam out of me (my first two miles were 7:48 and 7:35).

As I mentioned earlier, it was a hilly route......but it's Fayetteville and I'm used to it, I'm especially used to this route because it's what I run most of the time.  We also had 15mph winds and that made the hills harder.  I had one long downhill stretch and I couldn't open up as much as I would've like to there because I was running straight into the wind.

However, I was treating it like a tempo run and I haven't run an 8 mile tempo run at that pace before, so looking back now, I realize it was a good day for me and I (re-)learned some good lessons so I can avoid making the same mistakes next time!

Do you like relays?

Is it harder for you to get into a race mindset if you are running with friends or running for fun?  

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Bayshore marathon: week 8

This past week was a cut-back week, but I got outside for almost all of my runs, got back to the track for the first time in forever, and ran in the Hogeye marathon relay on Sunday.  This was our first spring break in awhile where we stayed home and it was great - we Brian painted our bedroom, we got in lots of family time, played outside with the boys, and it was just a fun week.

This is a before picture of the color of the room when we moved in.... 

Monday: off

Tuesday: 4 easy @ 9:23 on the treadmill; core and hip exercises

Brian found out Monday afternoon that he had to go into school on Tuesday, so I did this run on the treadmill before the boys woke up.

Wednesday: 6 easy @ 9:27 average pace

This was a nice easy run on my favorite route.  It was just nice to be outside :)

Thursday: warm-up, 6x800 @ goal of 3:25-3:35 w/ 400 recovery, cool-down; 8 miles total

In short, this workout was amazing.  My last track workout was 2/4 and I did 4x800 with splits of 3:21, 3:30, 3:29, 3:40.  Most of my track workouts in January and February looked like that - I would start strong, show some consistency, and then drop off at the end.  This time, I wanted to do the opposite.  I started a bit conservatively, picked it up, and then dropped the hammer at the end and it worked:  3:34, 3:36, 3:27, 3:24, 3:20, 3:12.

That night we used our fire pit for the first time in a long time and the first time in our new home.  It was a little on the cold side, but a sign that spring is on its way!

Friday: 12 miles easy @ 9:33 average pace

Since I had the Hogeye marathon relay on Sunday, I moved my long run to Friday so my legs would ready to go on Sunday.  It was a cut-back week, so it was a shorter long run with all easy miles.  I specifically chose a hilly route to make a little more challenging and had a total elevation gain of 394 feet. 

Filters added :)
Saturday: core and hip exercises

I took the boys to the expo and met up with my relay team there so we could exchange parts of our race outfit and coordinate the logistics.  

Sunday: Hogeye marathon relay - leg 3, 7.7 miles @ average pace of 7:59

Aside from doing Ragnar last year, I had never done a relay....and Ragnar isn't really the same thing as a marathon relay :)   The runners on our team had a mix of running experience and we were doing it for fun; however, I wanted to be competitive with myself and was shooting for a goal of 7:50-8:00 average pace.  Obviously I came in at the high end of that, but am happy with it overall.  It was hilly and windy and I definitely learned some lessons to apply if I ever do another relay.  I'll post a recap soon!

Then we spent a chunk of time outside with the boys, it was such a nice day to be outside!

Total mileage: 35.7  

Did you get a spring break, did you go anywhere?

Have you ever run a relay?  

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Bayshore marathon: week 7

9 weeks out!  Last week was another challenging week in terms of lots of changes to the workouts I had planned...remaining flexible was the theme and it worked - I got in all of the mileage I had planned and I had two great runs over the weekend.

Monday: off

Tuesday: unplanned off day

I got a text that morning that the boys' babysitter woke up with pink eye.  It was too early to try to find someone else and I didn't have enough time to run before the boys woke up, so I planned on running on the treadmill during their nap....but the boys decided not to nap that day and I never got a chance.  I would love to bring them into the gym with me, but I am too worried about them getting too close to the treadmill when it's on.

Wednesday: 3.5 miles @ 9:23-9:14

I got up to run before the boys woke up and had a good start...but the boys woke up early and I had to cut my run short.

Thursday: 6 miles on the treadmill @ 9:23-9:14

I had a sitter lined up again, but this time I had to cancel because I had to take one of the boys to the doctor.  I ended up getting 2 miles in during their afternoon nap and then they started to wake up.  Brian was working from home and offered to get them up and let me get a few more I took him up on that and got 4 more miles before it was time to get going for dinner.

Friday: 7.5 mile stroller run, core and hip work

Third time's a charm, right?  Apparently not!  I had a sitter lined up for the morning, but she wasn't able to make it.  I had planned on going to the track and had really been looking forward to it since it had been awhile since I had a track workout.  So I took the boys on stroller run.  I was going to go for 8, but I wanted to end on a half mile to even out the .5 from Wednesday and I wasn't sure I could make it for 8.5 miles!  While stroller running is always a humbling experience, it's even more humbling when you haven't been in awhile :)

Saturday:  8 miles with 7 @ goal pace of 8:15 (8:16, 8:10, 8:18, 7:52, 8:06, 8:24, 8:07)

I ran this on rolling hills (hence the wide range of paces) and it felt comfortably hard.  I planned to only do 6 at 8:15, but I always end up adding another mile on because the second to the last mile is mostly uphill and I hate feeling like I faded at the end of the goal pace miles.  And the last mile is a combination of downhills and flat stretches :)

Sunday:  20 miles easy @ 9:24 average pace

I am still giddy over this run.  I felt better during this run than on any other 20 miler.  Don't get me wrong, I felt the 20 miles....but I felt pretty good, my paces were pretty consistent, and I had (unintentional) negative splits overall.

Total mileage: 45
Core and hip work: 1
Strength training: 0

Overall I am happy I got the mileage I got and I had such a great long run, so I can't complain much.  I didn't do much core and hip work or any strength training and I didn't get as much speed work in as I would like.  However, it is spring break this week and Brian is home, so we shouldn't have many last minute changes!

Does anyone have any good suggestions on a gate or something to put around a treadmill to keep kids safe?

Do you find it hard to adjust your training plan when things change last minute?  

Do you care if your weekly mileage ends on a whole number or not?

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