Rock & Roll Half Marathon Recap

 

Yesterday morning I put my kids on the bus for their first day of school and just like that, Summer is over. Not according to the calendar but according to my heart that loves to have the kids home all day, hanging on the sofa, by the pool, or roaming the neighborhood with friends. We had an amazing summer, that went by way too fast. The good news is my running always improves as Fall swings in. I have more time to rest and no one begging me to ride bikes or play soccer when my legs are already exhausted from a workout. I’d still trade the recovery for more kid time though 😉

With 9 weeks until my goal Fall race (NYCM) the mileage has reached into the 70’s and will continue to climb slowly. About a month ago, my phone blew up with messages.  Turns out the pro field for NYCM was released HERE and I’m on it.  omg.  Even still, this was not a surprise to me. I was kindly offered a spot months ago but the truth is, just like in the case of Boston, I didn’t really believe it and kept thinking I would politely be booted out. I mean, there are professional runners there and I’m a stay at home mom.  Needless to say, I am incredibly excited and grateful. Add in a huge amount of little  fear and the announcement was another kick in the tail that I need to keep up the hard work. I don’t think I’ve ever been more motivated to train well.

I am in my favorite stage of marathon training, where every day is a grind and every night I crash, falling asleep during the last half of an episode of Narcos. It’s okay, I read the book, I know what happens. Since I last wrote I have raced twice.  The first being a great execution on a 4 mile hilly course in Pennsylvania. I finished 3rd overall and first female and was really proud of myself. I never gave up trying to beat the guys leading. Not a PR but a great effort.

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The second race I have mixed feelings about. I went into Rock ‘n Roll Virginia Beach with a big training week and no taper. There was a hurricane on the way so I was worried the race would be cancelled as the 1 mile race was. My coach and I had talked about making this race a dress rehearsal for the second half of the New York City Marathon, using tired legs to simulate that final 13.1.  Here is what I did the 6 days prior-

Monday- 11 miles at an easy pace with 8 Striders. Core work.

Tuesday- 11 miles total averaging 6:50 pace with 8 by 3 mins hard (5:45-50 pace)/5 mins easy. Strength Work

Wednesday- 15 miles, low 7’s pace. Core Work

Thursday-  8 miles with 8 by 20 seconds hard after. Strength Work

Friday- 2 mile warm up, 20 X 2 minutes hard (5:40-45 pace), 2 minute easy, 2 mile cool down.

Saturday- Rest, Stretch, Hydrate.

Sunday was race day. The good news is weather was perfect.  Many deferred thinking it would be a mess but it was actually a beautiful day. My coach told me if I ran around 1:25 we should be pleased and it would mean I am on track to have a good day at NYCM (considering we have 9 weeks left and no taper). I was a little more stubborn and wanted to run 1:22-23.  I ended up running a 1:24:48 proving what we already knew, that my coach is much wiser than I. The effort was exactly how a second half of a marathon goes. Both the good and bad.  I felt confident and smooth up until I had 5 miles left even chatting a small bit with our great little group which included the top 3 ladies and a few guys I run with occasionally, then I mentally started falling into a negative place.  Our pack had split up and I was all alone on the back roads with hardly any spectators around. While my breathing was great my legs were so heavy that I started to feel sorry for myself. My pity party told myself that I had banked enough time in the beginning and that I was fine. Two things- 1.) Don’t listen to your pity party. 2.) Marathon Math never works! (or half marathon math in this case 😉  ) When people ask me for marathon advice I always say, you are going to fall into a dark place, take a gel, remind yourself that you love this sport, and pull yourself out of it.  I did  just that and was able to pick up the pace but still it’s hard not to kick myself for that complacency and lost time. I finished 2nd female feeling “Meh”. Mr. Law and my youngest surprised me at the finish line. I didn’t realize they would come because of other obligations and seeing them was fantastic, putting all meh feelings behind and replacing them with mimosas at brunch. It’s easy to say onward and upward with a belly full of bacon.

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I have another half marathon in 4 weeks and I am hoping that this past Sunday was my rust-buster  back into longer distance racing and that I will be ready to chase a PR (sub 1:20) at the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon. The training intensity is climbing for the next three weeks and then the timing could not be more perfect for a combined down week and taper.  Then just a few more weeks of pushing until taper for my marathon.

Now with the kids back in school, I hope to blog more often. Thanks to those of you who have stuck by me when I choose to only update once every two months.  Leaving you with  a gorgeous photo I took at a 5 am track workout earlier this month.  Wishing you an equally beautiful September!

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20 thoughts on “Rock & Roll Half Marathon Recap

  1. You had such an intense week before the half Kris, you should be so proud of your race. The weather was much better than normal but there still was a little bit of wind in the final miles. It eas great to see you.

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  2. Isn’t it funny when our coaches always know what’s best? I argue all the time with mine, and he is always right come race day! I did a 20K on beat up legs from a hard training week and HIIT workout the day before, and I know exactly how you’re feeling! Mine was a four mile loop, too, but I did it on purpose–for mental toughness. Looking forward to following the rest of your training for NYCM!

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  3. Congratulations on a great race and 2nd female OA. Your coach sounds like a smart guy and you had a good tactic going into this race to use it as a practice run.

    That’s a crazy hard week before a half! All those double-digit days, minus the 8 miler which was followed by strength training so still makes it a tough day. You ran a great race for tired legs and for the weather woes that everyone had before this one… I had some local friends who did it who were also worried about the race being cancelled but one of them set a new PR because of the temperatures being better than anticipated.

    BTW, love it when you do write- even if you don’t blog as often, it is fun to read when you do! Glad your training is going well for NYCM and can’t wait to see you race as a part of the elite field.

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  4. OMG congrats on being in the pro field for NYCM! That’s huge and so well deserved! I know I said this 1000 times already, but you’ll love NYCM and this will make the whole experience even more special for you. Good luck with the rest of your marathon training!

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  5. Such truth in those words. There is always a point in the marathon where we fall into a dark place… So excited for the rest of your training and wishing you lots of great running!! Congrats on the NYCM elite field – so awesome!!

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  6. Wow. What a beautiful sunrise!
    And I get it… Family time trumps recovery time, but it seems you’re balancing both well! Cool! And ha ha marathon math. I’ll calculate something and five minutes later find myself calculating it differently.

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  7. Super congrats on the Pro field of NYCM! Hopefully one day I can achieve that- silly baby making is getting in the way 😉 I need to keep your advice about the dark times in the marathon in my head. I’ve been having a hard time on my long runs- mainly bc of the heat/humidity- and I mentally struggle. I just need to look forward to that gel and picture my baby girl at the end of the race and push on! Congrats on BOTH your races. You’re running so strong, I know you’ll kill NYCM! Can’t wait to see what you do in the half 🙂

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  8. You are an incredibly strong runner!! That’s a tough week before a race. I took the week off to be a bit lazy before the half. Vacation! I really enjoyed reading this post because it’s so organic. I feel like you described exactly what was going through my head later in the race. I ended up running alone for a long while right into the wind. What a struggle! In hindsight I truly wish I hadn’t rested so much on vacation because it was a prime time to simulate the second half of a marathon like you did. But, when family is around (hello in-laws!) it makes things tough to say bye guys! I know we’re on vacation but I gotta go run for two hours ha. Keep writing when you can! I enjoy your words. 🙂

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  9. Huge congrats to you! I really love your advice about what happens when you go to a dark place and how to pull yourself out of it mentally. Sounds like your coach knows what he’s talking about and this is a great indicator of the progress you’re making toward NYC!

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  10. Congratulations on your race! The week leading up to your half is staggering to me, but then I guess that’s why you’re on the pro list (omg!) at the NYC marathon – because you can do that kind of work and then turn in a great half-marathon like this. BTW congratulations on that too – that musts be quite a feeling. I can’t wait to hear how that race goes as well.

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