Monday, March 31, 2014

Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon Race Results

The short; PR BABY!! 

The longer version...

Sunday was the 4th annual Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon on Grosse Ile.  This was my first race of 2014.  I've run this race every year since its inaugural year in 2011.  This race holds a special place in my heart.  I PR-ed every year.  2012 I was 30 weeks pregnant when I ran it, so that was my half marathon pregnancy PR. 

Last year, I ran a 1:36:50. So this year I really wanted to see 1:35.  I would have been extremely happy with 1:35:59.  I wasn't so sure I could do it though.  This winter has been brutal for everyone training for spring events.  I didn't feel like I was in race shape to run a 7:20 pace for 13.1 miles.  I told myself that I would be happy with 1:40 or better. 

The morning was cold, with roughly 10mph winds for the first few miles.  I went out a bit fast with mile 1 being a 7:13 pace.  I felt good though.  I figured I would just run hard for as long as possible and then back off in the later miles if I needed to.  I ended up seeing a guy I met in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago and ran with him for most of the race from about mile 5.  He is a fast runner and my dad had told me that morning that "if you see Stuart, run with him for as long as you can". Stuart was just what I needed.  Even though we didn't really talk, it was nice knowing he was there.  The miles were tough, but I was able to keep pushing along.  The hardest part of the race was about mile 10.5 to 13.  The headwinds were stronger than the start, or they at least felt that way!  My pace dropped really low for mile 12.  it was my slowest mile of the day, but I was able to pick it back up for the last 1.1 miles.  Entering the GI high school track, running towards the finish line was one of the best feelings.  I could see the timing clock and knew I had crushed my previous PR.  I was pumping my fists in the air and could wipe the smile off my face.  I crossed the finish line in 1:34:03, 2:47 faster than my previous PR and well past the goal of 1:35:59!!  Stuart finished about 30 seconds ahead of me.  I thanked him and hugged him.  he didn't know it at the time, but he was a huge help in me pushing the pace for the entire run.  In fact, I think I hugged just about every person I saw and knew at the finish line.  I was (and still am) so happy!!  I really, really needed this run.  I most definitely feel as if I am ready to run Boston.  Not only run it, but hopefully PR!

Here are my splits.  They stayed pretty consistent.  I was really surprised with my middle miles!

Mile 1 7:14
Mile 2 7:17
Mile 3 7:13
Mile 4 7:10
Mile 5 7:09
Mile 6 7:08
Mile 7 7:04
Mile 8 7:03
Mile 9 7:03
Mile 10 7:08
Mile 11 7:13
Mile 12 7:22 - slowest mile of the day
Mile 13 7:13
Mile .10 7:09

Official Time: 1:34:03
Pace: 7:11
A/G Place: 1/99
Gender Place: 7/452
Overall Place: 58/855

The 2 Stephanie's post race.

Pre-Race Group Photo with the 5am runners & friends

So happy with my PR!  Best finish photo I have ever taken.
My PR face! :-)


Monday, March 24, 2014

Am I ready?

 I was feeling pretty discouraged all last week.  This winter has affected everyone's training.  I just don't feel like I've put in the work I need to be able to run the marathon I want to run.

Then Saturday happened, and I have a renewed sense of hope.

I headed out to Ann Arbor to run with my dad and some of my close running friends.  I live in the flat land and Ann Arbor offers tons of elevation.  Rob, of PR Fitness, maps out some great courses for their Saturday morning runs.  This weeks course was my favorite course to date.  Lots of gradual climbs, down hills, flat terrain, everything in one great 10 mile out and back course.  I knew going into this run, that I wanted to push the pace.  My Garmin was not working properly which was probably a good thing.  I wasn't able to look at my pace, just run by feeling.  I was hoping to finish the route with an average sub-8 minute miles.  We actually finished with an average pace of 8:02.  So close to sub-8's.  This was our fastest 20 mile training run to date. 

I felt great after the run too.  A little soreness, but nothing that didn't subside with some stretching and compression gear.  That is what really made me feel as if I may be ready for Boston.  If I can run 20.10 miles at an 8:02 pace and feel good enough to run the next day (I didn't run, but wanted to), then maybe I am ready to tackle the hills of Boston. 

I've got less than a month to go and intend to just keep most of my running easy.  I have the Rock CF Half Marathon on Sunday where I PR-ed last year.  I originally wanted to PR again this year, but I am not so sure I can.  And I am ok with that.  I'll run hard and whatever happens, happens. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Is anyone there?

Wow, it's been a long time since I have written on this blog.  Late October to be exact.  I toyed with the idea of just shutting it down all together.  It lacks content and it's boring.  But I also enjoy looking back from time to time at my various races, training, etc...  So for now, I will keep it.

Anyway, we are now 5 weeks & 3 days out from the Boston Marathon.  I don't feel ready at all.  Yesterday bib #'s, wave and corral information was posted on the BAA site.  Shit just got real.  I was pretty pumped to see that not only are my dad and I in the same wave and corral.  Not only that, but our bib#'s are only 2 numbers off.  Mine is 16191 and his is 16193. 

At the start of training, I had Plan A (sub-3:20), Plan B (sub-3:25) and Plan C (Sub-3:28).  This winter has really taken a toll on my training, as well as everyone else training for an upcoming race.  I am now just hoping to reach Plan C which would be a PR at Boston.  Plan A is out the window and moved to my fall marathon. I've put in some hard speed sessions, but not enough hard long runs.  With the way the roads have been with ice and snow, my paces have been slower than what I should be running. 

Last weekend I ran 21 miles.  18 was on the roads, but had to be cut short due to ice.  I finished off the run with 3.1 miles on the treadmill.  Not my ideal 21 miler, but I got it done. I had a good run for the 18 miles and it was great tackling the hills of Ann Arbor.

Angie, Dave, myself and Jeff - a few running friends, post 18 mile run

This weekend I plan to run 16-18 miles, but of course, our roads and paths are ice & snow covered.  I'd like to head out to Ann Arbor to run again, but that makes for a very long morning away from home. I was away on business this week, so I'd like to run close to home.  I need to push the pace but also find some elevation.  I live in the flat land, so finding elevation is tough. 

I don't know what to do.  I feel like a student cramming for an exam.

I'm nervous. I'm stressed out. I have not felt this way over a marathon in years!! I'm scared I will fail.

I know I can easily say "hey it's Boston, just go run and have fun".  But that is not me.  I am never one to just "go run and have fun".  I always have fun, but I always have a goal and I must reach that goal. Last year was such a successful running year for me and I want to continue that into 2014. 

I have Rock CF half marathon on March 30th.  Again, another race where I have to change my goals.  I originally hoped to run a sub-1:35.  Last year I finished it in 1:36:50.  I'd love to PR, but now I am not so sure I can even do that. 

I think once the weather breaks and I can get some good paces runs outside, then I will start to feel more confident in my ability to race.  Until then......