Sunday, May 31, 2015

On to Week 6 of Marathon training!

Tomorrow marks the start of June (how did that happen already?!), and I'm moving into week 6 of marathon training. And I have to say it's going amazingly well so far! I have had to mix up my run days during the week since I'm working with my church's Run For God group, but I'll be able to go back on plan in about 8 weeks. Luckily we're still at lower times for the weekday runs, so it's not interfering with the training. 

So far I've been able to do my weekend long runs with Christine, and that has been my saving grace. I've actually looked forward to getting up early on Saturdays, even on the days when it's been cold or threatening to pour at any second. The miles together have flown by, and leave me feeling ready to take on this challenge.

This week my plans had to change a bit, though. Matt (my 13 year old) and I signed up to run one of our favorite races - the Ozzie's 5K , held at the Kane County Cougars stadium. We've run it every year they've had it so far, and with the great perk of a free ticket to a game it's a win-win. Ok, so the free beer and brat doesn't hurt either...that Summer Shandy tastes pretty darn good after the race! Matt ended up shaving almost 10 minutes off his time from last year!! As for me, I took close to 2 minutes off my time, which I'm really happy with. The course was hillier this year, and was an out and back on a trail that was primarily gravel. 

Afterwards we hit Colonial for breakfast with the family, and I decided to go ahead and tackle the rest of the 8 miles I had to complete for my long run. It started off great, but by mile 1.5 the wind shifted to come barreling down from the north, and the sprinkles turned into a steady heavy drizzle. The temps dropped about 15 degrees while I was out there, and when the wind gusted it was downright cold! That probably explains why my splits were 12:29, 12:16, 11:51, and 10:57 - I just wanted to be done!

I still had one more run to complete this weekend, and that was the Answers for Emmett 5K. This race honors the memory of Emmett, and raises the awareness of sudden unexplained death in childhood. I can't even begin to imagine what this family went through, losing their son like that. I normally wouldn't do back to back races, but this was a great cause to support.

Amy and Chris were both there, and it made my day to see them again. It was pretty darn chilly, but that made for great racing weather. Luckily I wasn't sore from running yesterday, but I honestly didn't know what this race held for me. The plan was to give whatever I could, and finish upright. I felt great, so I just kept pushing. My official finish time is 34:09, and that was just 15 seconds slower than yesterday's race! My Garmin said I actually did 3.19 miles, so my pace was actually better. 

This year's marathon training is already off to such a better start than I've ever had. I'm focusing on strength training, and working on building a strong core. I can already tell this has helped, and it's pushing me to keep up with it. There is a whole lot more work to do, and I can't wait to keep pushing! Now on to 9 miles this weekend!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Let the training begin!

It's been a loooong time since I blogged, and mainly because there hasn't been a whole lot to tell. I guess I did do the Country Music Half in Nashville (which was just one tiny part of an amazing weekend!), but I've been very inconsistent with my running. Some due to coming back from an injury, and some due to lack of drive to go more than a few miles in a run. 

Luckily all that seemed to change a couple of weeks ago. Our church started a Run For God group, which is like a Couch to 5K program, and I've been mentoring the new runners in our group. It's opened up my eyes to see this whole running thing through their eyes, and the joy and love of running worked its way back into my heart. 

Then my awesome friend Christine commented that she wants to train for a Fox Valley race!! She and I have been running together on Saturday mornings with then DPA group, so I was beyond thrilled to hear this. All runs with her just fly by, so I can't wait to train with her. And thanks to her training plan, I am confident we'll both do amazing. 

I've started ramping up my miles, and had 7 on the schedule for today. But due to a family event, I didn't think I'd be able to get them done. Thank goodness Christine agreed to meet me at 6:00 this morning so we could actually get all 7 in. Of course, that idea sounded soooo much better Friday night. 

But meet at dawn we did! It had rained earlier, and it was still horribly humid when we started. We have been following a run/walk plan of 3 minutes running and 2 minutes walking. We settled in to our run, and knocked out three miles before making it back to Dick Pond. We got there before the run club took off, and I had a chance to try out Newton Motion shoes for the next four miles.

We had a hilly route for the rest of the run, and we managed to keep our pace right on target for the entire run. Our last full mile was actually our fastest! The rain started to come down pretty hard when we had a bit less than a mile to go, and it was so welcome at that point. We made it back to the store, and I really felt amazing. I know a big chunk of it was due to the fabulous company...I couldn't have done this without her with me for all those miles. 

This run was exactly what I needed. Yes, I'm a bit sore tonight, but a lot of that is due to being stuck in the car for 4+ hours. I feel ready to tackle the next four months of marathon training, and can't wait to see how incredible this will be.