Friday, June 21, 2013

USA Half Marathon Championships!

In less than 11 hours from now I will have finished my 2nd Half Marathon. My 1st race in my new Saucony Hurricane Kit. And hopefully have a shiny, new PR!

New Race Kit with Sweet USA Bib
I have been anticipating this morning for over 4 months since before I decided to race the Tallahassee Half Marathon in February. All of my spring training has been focused on this race and I am quite happy to add that the weather here in Duluth has decided to help me out by being almost 20 degrees cooler than the typical Tallahassee morning. (Fingers crossed the thunderstorms don't get in the way of the start tomorrow morning!) So far I have been very impressed by Duluth, Grandma's Marathon, and everyone who helps put on this event (and the event hasn't even happened yet). I really like the course even though the fog got a bit in the way when we drove the first 6 miles of the course. Then over the past two days I have been able to do my runs on the last 7 miles of the course. Needless to say I am quite familiar with it. All of that considered I really hope my body hops on board with what I want to accomplish tomorrow.

My main goal is to run a new PR with my secondary goal to be top 25. Based on the results from last year accomplishing my secondary goal will mean I'll have to achieve my main goal. I also want to get out there and compete the entire 13 miles. In my first half I found myself alone after the half way point with over 2 minutes between myself and the man who finished ahead of me and another 2 minutes separating me from the man who finished behind me. Tomorrow that should not be the case. The race organizers have put together a sizable field and I can't wait to test myself to beat as many of my fellow female competitors as possible.
Not only do I want to push myself, but I also just want to have some fun! 
(Like I did Thursday with my mom riding Spongebob's Rock Bottom Plunge at the Mall of America)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Eugene Bound!

So as you may have guessed since I did not race at this morning's Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon my plans changed a bit in the last week. I found out the day after NCAA East Prelims that there would be a spot for me to travel with Florida State to help coach at NCAAs in Eugene! I am so excited to be there with our distance ladies as they finish off what has been a strong Outdoor 2013 campaign. Obviously with these new travel plans my own racing plans changed. Instead of racing this weekend I have been able to continue training and working with our four distance ladies who will be racing at NCAAs! I still hope to be able to run a destination races event in the future, but unfortunately when you're balancing so many things on your schedule you can't always fit everything in.

Ready for the Lady Noles to leave their mark at NCAAs! (Hayward Field)
So what's next for my training and racing?

Since January when I planned out my own training and racing goals for this spring the end goal has been to race well at the USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth, Minnesota on June 22nd. These plans have not changed even though there have been some highs and lows in training and racing over the past four months since my first half marathon. The month of April highlighting the 'low' category, but I am happy to say that the past month has been steadily working its way back up to the 'high' category. I have been able to get in some higher mileage weeks along with getting my long runs and workout days back up to 15+ miles.

Today's workout was just the confidence boost I needed to know that these few more weeks of consistent training since I didn't race today are a blessing that I definitely needed.

I am still undecided as to what time is a reasonable goal for when I race three weeks from today. All I know is that I am fit and I will be ready to go out there and compete. Also, I still haven't been able to race in my new Saucony Hurricanes' kit that unfortunately came right after my last race so that ads a little extra excitement for this race as well.

Additionally, I have been working out in my new Saucony Women's Type A5 flats
My new favorite flats for the track (Saucony Type A5)
and I have been loving them! I will have to decide if I want to try them for the half or save them for shorter road races and still go with my Saucony Kinvara for the half champs. My workouts the past few weeks have involved interval(s) on the track, up-tempo run off the track, and then interval(s) back on the track so I have been alternating between my two flats during my workouts. The Type A5s definitely have made me lighter for the track intervals; which has helped a lot (both mentally and physically...).

I wanted to close this entry with an inspirational quote and the one that best fits my year of training and racing is:

 “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”
        – Jack Canfield (Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series)

This quote is perfect for me. When training and racing on a full-time work schedule (that often involves travel) I have to stay motivated even through the bad workouts and races that are going to happen because my main focus can't be on eliminating everything that isn't ideal for my training and recovery.
I don't want to shy away from an opportunity to race just because my training hasn't gone perfectly. I'm going to put myself on the line and give myself the chance to compete. I can't wait to put this to the test again in three weeks when I toe the line in Duluth. 

 I'm going to get out there and Find My Strong.