To Run the Half or The Full – A Monumental Decision

indecisive

I’m sill waffling back and forth as to whether I should run the full or the half at the Monumental Marathon. If I don’t decide within the week, I’ll be stuck with a marathon bib.

I can still back out in the middle of the race—the half-marathoners go their own way around mile 6. But then I’ll be the person with the marathon bib that all the volunteers are yelling at to go the other way. And then I have to yell back, “I changed my mind! I’m running the half instead!”

I’ve obviously been there before.

I’m struggling to decide what to do, so I figure the best way to decide is to lay out the reasons for and against running the full.

Reason to Run the Full #1

I want to redeem myself.

 The Indianapolis Marathon on October 17th did not pan out how I would have liked it to. I believe that I have a 3:4x:xx somewhere in me.

Reason to Not Run the Full #1

Redeeming myself may not be physically possible.

Realistically, it’s going to be tough to pull out a PR 3 weeks after another marathon. I have done these races back to back before, but I was not going for a time goal. I ran them both fairly easy and my times were only a few minutes apart. BUT, in 2010 and in 2011, I ran the first marathon faster. I remember my legs feel weird at the Monumental both times.

Reason to Run the Full #2

I love running full marathons.

I just do. I’m probably more equipped and better built for half marathons, but fulls are my jam. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with running 26.2 miles. I can’t really explain it.

Reason to Not Run the Full #2

Extra time with little man. 

I am taking the day before the Monumental off and I have the entire following week off, so I will definitely be getting lots of time with him. But hey, ANYTIME with him is awesome. If I run the half, I get home to him a couple of hours earlier. Plus, I will be able to actually chase him around and play with him, instead of hobbling like a zombie.

Reason to Run the Full #3

I will want to race the half, and may not be ready for racing just yet.

If I choose to run the half, I’m really going to want to race it. It’s hard to keep that competitive drive down. My body may not be ready for the hard effort.

Reason to Not Run the Full #3

I might be able to pull out a big half PR.

On the other hand, after lots of long runs and a recent full, I might be able to pull out a nice half PR. I tested out a few more faster miles this morning, and it felt pretty good:

Tuesday

What this really boils down to is that I want to run another full marathon and have a good race. And by good race, I don’t mean that I have to run the time I’m shooting for or even PR, but I want to HAVE FUN. I did not have fun at the Indianapolis Marathon. I had put to much pressure on myself to enjoy it.

I also have the secret hope that my speed and endurance are still there from this training cycle, and that I will be able to run a PR race. This may just be wishful thinking.

I will continue to change my mind 50 times this week. Indecision is one of my strongest character traits.

It wouldn't be one of my blog posts without a picture of Max!
It wouldn’t be one of my blog posts without a picture of Max!

Have you ever run goal races in the span of a few weeks? How did it go? Would you do it again?

What would you do if you were me?

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Moving On

We’re halfway through the week people. That’s cause for a celebration

Parks and Rec gifs make my life complete
Parks and Rec gifs make my life complete

This week has been chugging along and I’m feeling good. After Saturday’s Race, I was sore and tired. I took the day off and had some good times with the little dude I never, ever talk about here 😉

Maxblocks

We went to the new Hot Wheels exhibit at the Children’s Musuem, which was basically like heaven for my car-obsessed kid. There’s also a cool area at the museum that is specifically for younger kids that Max adores. He let out his inner monkey and climbed all the way to the top of this climbing-thing (that’s not the official name).

max2

max1

max3

We also went to my parent’s house for my brother’s dinner and had more baby time. Max spent a significant portion of the evening sitting on a chair reading. He’s doing that more and more and I can’t be more proud. From as far back as I can remember, I had my nose in a book. He’s definitely taking after his mommy in that respect!

So it was a busy rest of the weekend after my half marathon. I didn’t have a lot of time to reflect, but when I did, I realized I was being kind of silly. So it didn’t make some arbitrary time goal I had set for myself. Who cares? I PR’d by 2 minutes on a somewhat hilly—by Indiana standards—course. I got to run with a thousand of my fellow runners, see some friends I hadn’t seen in years, and run on roads I’ve known since childhood. Yes, I struggled because I went too fast, but it will just make me a smarter racer for the next one. Maybe 😉

Speaking of the next one, there will be no redemption race in the next few weeks. I can tell just on the few runs I’ve done this week that my body certainly needs a break. I’d rather just set racing aside for a few months and focus on getting stronger and faster for my fall marathon. Training starts the second week of June– let the games begin!!

Also, thank you all for your advice and encouragement after my race. It’s amazing to have a sounding board of fellow runners out there. You all rock!

Oh hey – I also forgot to mention that Hanna set up a blog roll of amazing running bloggers who are all training for fall marathons (and there are some on there running other distances as well!) Check it out here and follow along as we all get ready to crush our races this fall!

Stick To The Plan… A Cautionary Tale

Well, I ran my first race of 2015 on Saturday.

Ready to race! Though, I ditched the headband for a hat when it started raining right before the start
Ready to race! Though, I ditched the headband for a hat when it started raining right before the start

 

1:46:39.

results

A 2-minute PR. I’m happy with that, but I really had my sights set on 1:44 or better. I think I was prepared for it and I was trained for it.

Yes, it was humid. Yes, I had an unwelcome visitor with me (Aunt Flo). Yes, the roads were very slick.

You can kind of see the start line - my photography skills are on point!
You can kind of see the start line – my photography skills are on point!

Did any of those factors keep me from hitting the time I wanted? NO. I’ve raced under all those conditions before. The outside factors had nothing to do it. It was ME. I can’t blame the weather or anything else.

So what happened? In a nutshell: I went out too fast.

Way too fast. Like WTF was I thinking fast?

You would think someone who has run 7 half marathons and 7 full marathons would have this stuff figured out. And in my head, I did have it figured out. I had a solid plan.

I just didn’t follow it 🙂 Oops…

The plan to hit 1:44 (7:47 pace) was to run the first half or so in the upper 7’s and then let ‘er rip in the last half.

If you’re ready for a good laugh, here’s what I actually did:

splits

Not sure what this missing data business is, but here are the missing splits from my Garmin. *Note: I started my watch late, which is why the time is behind my official time*

garmin

Miles 10, 11 and 12 were ROUGH!

 

If anyone is looking for lessons on how to positive split like a boss, hit me up. I have plenty of valuable tips, such as:

  • Go out at your 5K pace in the first mile
  • Know you can’t hang on, but get so caught up in the crowds and the fasties around you that you keep trying
  • Realize you’re CRAZY and you need to get back on track around mile 3ish and think maybe it’s not too late to get it together
  • Start to lose your wheels around mile 7
  • Keep it together until mile 10ish, when you essentially give-up
  • Walk some – Hey, why not?
  • Finish strong, when it’s too little too late

Now, seriously, I am happy with my PR. For real. But, I am also just a little disappointed about not hitting 1:44 like I wanted.

geist5

And, crazily enough, I’m also a little bit glad. I needed to have a shitty race. I haven’t had a bad race since before I had Max. Racing since my comeback after Max in 2013 has been going well. I’ve PR’d both the half and the full, and I’ve ran some fun races. I’ve been smart, but conservative.

I didn’t run conservative today. I ran the exact OPPOSITE. And it sucked, and I slogged through it those last few miles.

But, I finished. I toughed it out. I seriously wanted to peel off the course and call my husband to come pick me up.

And I learned a valuable lesson: DON’T GO OUT TOO FAST.

Plus, this gem: STICK TO THE PLAN.

I could give you a blow-by-blow of the miles, but I think the splits above speak for themselves 🙂

So, now I’m in this position where I know I could have done so much better if I had followed my initial plan—I think. So, do I run another half in the next few weeks to redeem myself? There are a number of them in my area in the next few weeks. Namely, one in a nearby city on a Sunday—husband doesn’t work until 4 Sundays—so it’s kind of perfect. Or do I just enjoy the PR and chill until marathon training starts mid-June and run a half during training (probably in September)?

I’m not really sure what I want to do. Racing too soon could result in injury, just for the sake of redeeming myself to myself. That’s kind of silly.

I’ll figure it out. In the meantime, I’ll be recovering from the race with plenty of sweets and wine. And hopefully I’ll have some hilariously awful official race photos soon to share that we can all laugh at.

Any advice on whether I should squeeze in a redemption race soon? Anyone else ever done it? 

Tell me about your weekend! Did you race? I hope it went better than mine 🙂

When Life Hands You Lemons and 24 Hours To Go

When life hands you lemons…

Eat them!

  

  


Thanks for the life wisdom, Max.

Did you know I’m running a race tomorrow? I haven’t talked about it at all 😉

I’m pretty excited and a lot less nervous than I thought I would be. After my meltdown the other night, I’m feeling ready to run out my stress. There’s nothing like a good run to clear out the clutter and put things into perspective. I NEED tomorrow’s run for my mental health!

My goal is to run a 1:44. 

I could possibly run 1:42 if it’s an amazing day.

A PR (better than 1:48) is my fallback goal. 

Overall though, I just want to enjoy myself. Shake off my stress, negative feelings and doubts and enjoy the sport that has given me so much these last 12+ years.  

And then come home to this guy:  

  

What are you up to this weekend? Anyone racing?

Taper Week Exhaustion

My little family
My little family and no, I’m not naked. Just wearing a strapless dress 🙂

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all!!! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend and got to celebrate the moms in their life—or be celebrated!

I love my mom and my MIL, but I'm not sharing my Diet Coke with anyone. Nice try.
I love my mom and my MIL, but I’m not sharing my Diet Coke with anyone. Nice try.

We had a great day. My in-laws came over and we enjoyed a yummy breakfast that my husband cooked. I slipped out right after we were done eating and went to my nephew’s dedication ceremony at my sister’s church.

My nephew getting dedicated. He looked like he was really into it!
My nephew getting dedicated. He looked like he was really into it!

I dashed out after it was over and rejoined our celebration at my house. It was pretty low key, but so much fun. I’m not sure I tell my mother-in-law how much she means to me and how much I appreciate all she does for us, so it was nice to have that opportunity.

I slept a little late, so only managed to squeeze a couple of miles in Sunday morning. So I went back out during Max’s nap and ran a few miles. I came home to find my husband rocking and singing to him—my heart always melts when my husband sings to Max—trying to get him back to sleep. I ended up changing quickly and taking him from my husband (who needed to get ready for work) and cuddled him on the couch. It was actually a nice Mother’s Day present to get some extra cuddles with my favorite little guy.

Poor Max had to snuggle with a greasy, post-run mommy!
Poor Max had to snuggle with a greasy, post-run mommy!
Another pic with my favorite guy from this weekend
Another pic with my favorite guy from this weekend

Overall, it was a great day. I didn’t get to see my mom until last night (Monday night) when we celebrated with my family. We had a fun get together at my parents house that included Chinese food and lots of babies—my sister and her husband have a 6-month old and my brother and his wife have 6-month old twins(and a 4-year-old!)—and I forgot to take any pictures. FAIL.

NOT from yesterday - Family pics a few months ago so you can see all the BABIES! And of course Max, who looks thrilled to be in the picture, and my nephew Rory down in front :)
NOT from yesterday – Family pics a few months ago so you can see all the BABIES! And of course Max, who looks thrilled to be in the picture, and my nephew Rory down in front 🙂

Changing tracks, my running last week was decent. I need to start writing down my mileage because, yeah, I’m not really sure how many miles I ran. I know I can use my watch to figure it out, but I don’t always wear it when I run with the stroller or when I run on the treadmill. One of my top goals for marathon training this summer is to keep a running log and stick to it.

Running selfie from last week. I'm way too excited to be on the treadmill at 11 PM. Also, don't mind all the toys behind the treadmill!
Running selfie from last week. I’m way too excited to be on the treadmill at 11 PM. Also, don’t mind all the toys behind the treadmill!

So yeah, if I scrape my fuzzy memory, I think I ran somewhere in the low to mid 30s for mileage—definitely a jump down from the week before. I felt very sluggish during most of last week’s runs. I think the few doubles and one triple I ran the week before that, plus a 12-miler with speed incorporated, kicked my buns. My body has been screaming at me for rest, and I’m trying to oblige.

Resting and drinking lots of juice! This is my current favorite!
Resting and drinking lots of juice! This is my current favorite!

Last week was a cut-back week and now this week (race week!), I’ll be focusing on less mileage and easy paces. I took yesterday completely off and I definitely needed it. This morning I ran 4 miles and focused on keeping my pace in the low 9s. My average pace this morning was a 9:05.

Foam rolling while little man plays
Foam rolling while little man plays

I’m still feeling tired and a bit sluggish, though not as sore as I had been for the past few weeks. I’ve been foam rolling like it’s my job, so that’s helping! The plan this week is to eat well, rest well and get ready to race my heart out on Saturday!

Max isn't sure why he hangs out with these two goofballs...
Max isn’t sure why he hangs out with these two goofballs..

 Do you like tapering?

Not usually, but this time I needed it! I’m excited to see how my training and tapering will pay off this weekend!

Are you a juice-lover?

I’m becoming one. Carrot juice is my new obsession.

Have a great Tuesday!

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday!

Our weekend was busy and so much fun. We went to the Indianapolis Zoo on Saturday, then on Sunday we celebrated Max’s birthday with our families. To say I’m exhausted would be an understatement. But it was a blast. Here’s a snippet of our weekend in pics:

Watching the Giraffes
Watching the Giraffes
He ran up this "wobbly bridge" roughly 10 times
He ran up this “wobbly bridge” roughly 10 times

lizard2

Lizard obsessed
Lizard obsessed

zool1 zoo4 zoo3maxselfie lawn mower family eting cake playing cake carscake max&momcake

sleepy
Someone had too much fun!

On the running front I had a pretty good week. I ran 41 miles total, with a fast-for-me 9-miler Sunday after the party. Daily mileage breakdown:

Monday- 5 miles at lunch

Tuesday – 2 miles w/ the jogging stroller

Wednesday – 7 miles AM, 2 miles PM w/ the stroller

Thursday – 3.5 miles AM, PM – 2.5 miles

Friday – 4 miles AM, 4 miles afternoon, 2 miles PM w/ jogging stroller

Saturday – OFF

Sunday – 9 miles

Total = 41 miles

My half mary is less than 2 weeks away. Wooohooo!

Have a great week!

What did you do this weekend?

What’s your favorite animal to see at the zoo? 

Max loved the Gibbons – they are in the ape family. They kept swinging around and Max was so excited he squealed. It was ADORABLE. 

How was your running/cross-training/cycling or whatever last week?

Pretty good – Feeling strong and ready to race

 

 

 

 

Trail Running Is Hard

I ventured out to the trails on Tuesday. They kicked my butt.

I usually stick to the neighborhoods around my house, or if I hit up Ft. Harrison (where I usually #runch—run at lunch—once a week or so) I stick to the paved trail. It’s very hilly, but since it is paved it’s not technical at all.

I’ve convinced myself that the reason I stay on the paved trail is because it’s safer. The dirt trails through the woods are certainly more secluded, and I always worry at lunchtime, especially in the winter, that I’m putting myself in danger by running alone in such an isolated spot. So, I stick to the pavement where there are far more people and it’s not so heavily wooded.

But, let’s be honest here. I skip the trails because I know they’ll eat this road runner alive, not because I’m scared of psychos who might jump me (OK, I am a little scared of this, especially now that I’m typing it). I know my running would benefit from switching it up and heading to a new surface, but man I get stuck in running ruts and it’s hard to break out.

Anyway, on Tuesday I decided to suck it up and hit the real trails. I was feeling a little left out I guess, after watching my sister’s marathon this weekend and Boston on Monday. Feeling like I need to up my game and put in a harder effort. I have a kid-free morning Friday (tomorrow!) so I’ll be doing my weekly long run then, so I didn’t want to do another long run on Tuesday, but I needed to do something more challenging than my standard 5-8miler in the neighborhoods or on the treadmill. So I headed to the trails at Fort Harrison State Park after work—and my ass is still sore.

The trail I chose isn’t too bad, it’s a good mix of smaller ups and downs and larger ups and downs. There are a fair amount of rocks, roots and streams you have to watch out for, but by far the greatest challenge is the boardwalk section. It’s maybe a quarter- to a half-mile of uphill stairs that lead to lookout areas over the park. It’s tough to walk, but running was brutal. I was reminded of doing stadiums—running up and down the stadium stairs a bajillion times—during high school track practice. I had to pay careful attention to my feet, something that’s not really a concern when you’re running on a treadmill.

The Boardwalk at Fort Ben. Source
The Boardwalk at Fort Harrison. Source

It was tough, and made worse by some brutal winds—making me respect those Boston Marathoners even more than I already do. I ended up doing a little over 6 miles in just under 54 minutes—I’ll take it.

Obligatory Garmin shot
Obligatory Garmin shot

My booty was on fire yesterday! I secretly love being sore. I feel like I must have really pushed myself if my muscles are still screaming at me two days later. If I can incorporate the trails into my training once a week or so, maybe that BQ this fall isn’t so far out of reach?

I’m off to work where something exciting is happening today! I’ll be celebrating at lunchtime with some Orange Leaf.

Plus, we have a date night tonight—that’s 2 in 2 weeks! Last week was a last minute, special circumstance for the Pacer’s game. We usually get one every month and a half or so. I can hear the wine and adult conversation calling my name…

Do prefer trails or roads? Ever switch it up?

If you’re a parent, do you ever get date nights?

My MIL very graciously takes the kiddo once a month or so. Instead of her waiting up late for us to get home, he stays the night with her. He loves it, and we can stay out as late as we want! I miss the nighttime snuggles and bed time routine, but I think it’s good for him to spend time with another person who loves him a lot 🙂

What’s your workout today?

Short run this morning – that’s all I’ll have time for. Long run tomorrow morning!