It’s all about the base…running update…

You’d never know he can actually be quite naughty…

Who do you think did this?

 I realized this weekend I’ve only got about another month of “base building” before I start to work towards a fall/ winter marathon.  I usually don’t love off seasons but this year I think I really needed it to try and get my pace up.  I also realized as you get older, even if you’re running,unless you work on some quicker runs, you get lose aerobic conditioning even if still running regularly.  Depressing for sure, but I’ve been trying to get back to a point where long runs don’t wear me out.  I’ve been doing one speed day a week, a 15 mile long run every other week, and working a pushing a mid week run up in distance.   I also did some really fun shorter races.  Loved that and will do it again next year!    The mid week run is the tricky one.  It’s so hard to get up any earlier, but I think to run a better marathon I need more than one double digit run a week.  I’ve pushed it to 8/9 miles though, so I’m on my way.  I’ve ordered the second edition of Advnaced Marathoning and plan to use it as my “coach”.  No really this time I swear……I am horrible, horrible, horrible at sticking to a plan, but this time I mean it!!!
I also have had the realization in the last couple months that I can do more for myself now.   Jasper is 6 and while he’s not one to self entertain, he’s not as needy as back in toddler days.  He is willing to go play video games while I nap a little after a long run.   This makes a HUGE difference.  I used to do 20 miles and go all day without any breaks, and now things aren’t quite as crazy.  He also is willing to play  video games a bit in the morning and let Mike sleep while I do a long run,  so the major guilt of disrupting the whole family isn’t there anymore.  I guess I can’t be anti-screen time and do marathons too. 😕.   Something has got to give….

Now about choosing a race.   I love to have a goal on my horizon.  I’m leaning towards the Dallas marathon again, but I’m going to consult with my running buddy, Nancy, who has run 17 Boston marathons and doesn’t seem to get slower.  Part of me says book two races so if weather/ health craps out on one I get a back up.  Last year I had crap weather at almost everything, and ended up booking a last minute replacement race.

So that’s my plan.   Plans don’t always happen, but I can try!

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Happy Marathon Monday…

 It’s marathon Monday….Happy Boston day to all the runners.   I had a marathon Monday of my own over the weekend.  Jasper and I traveled to Kansas City to visit Stephanie and her family and as a bonus she and I got to catch up while running the Garmin half marathon.  Did you know Garmin is headquartered in Olathe, KS?   Who knew, right?   The goal of the race was just to catch up and chat the whole way and collect the cool Wizard of Oz themed medal.   While we had a great time catching up, this is a pretty dull course.  But the race was very well done with great volunteers and a nice finish area.  And the best medal I have ever received.   So if you are a bling junkie, do this one.  If you want a fast course with lots of crowd support, maybe skip it.  

The rest of the trip was really a great time.   A huge thanks to Stephanie and her family of welcoming us and providing some childcare…which goes way above and beyond.   We did so many fun activities.  Jasper’s tears started the minute we hit the airport that he was so sad to go and leave his new friends.   

We had a couple small hiccups with cough and fever in day one, a hunger strike and a 4 hour delay coming home which meant a VERY late night for a 6 year old.   So you know if despite all that we still had a great time it had to be pretty good!

But…….a touch bittersweet.   I miss having Steph as a running buddy.  But at least it’s relatively easy to visit her.  We’ll be back.

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Austin 10/20 race…


This isn’t my favorite distance but this race is so close to me and so well done I had to do it again.   The day before I rested, only doing some walking.  Race didn’t start until 8:00 (wish it had started earlier) , but that gave me time for a true warm up.   I ran a couple miles at home, changed into race clothes, drove to the start and did another 1.5 miles.  I think it really helped.  I felt ready to roll, and no tightness the first couple miles.  I knew a couple people I met at the gym were doing it so I met up with their group right before the start.  I almost always go to races alone, so it was nice to have some people to hang out with.  One of the girls is a sub 8 min/ miler but we agreed to start together.  One of the coolest things about this race is there is prize money, so real professional runners show up.   Granted the prize purse isn’t huge, so these are probably the JV team of Kenyans, but watching these guys run in person is pretty incredible.   Like my experience in the Dallas marathon I was completely surprised at just how tiny these guys are.   They make even a very fit, thin person at the gym look bulky.   

Goal was 8:00/ miles which sadly in a race this competitive is midpack.   But it’s what I’ve got.   Right away my body felt good and I didn’t feel like it was an over reach.   Kept the first 5 miles at Sub 8:00.   The course isn’t really exciting or pretty but mostly flat.   There is a gradual incline at mile 8:00 and it ends on an incline, so my last two miles were my slowest. 😕. But overall, I was pleased.  It’s no where near what I used to be able to run, but 20 seconds a mile faster than last year, so it’s improvement which I have been working on!   

And now my overly picky critique of the race.   Not much to say, extremely organized.  Corrals worked great and I wonder why more races don’t use these.  So much better than weaving through people at the start.  Shirt is ugly, but I think most race shirts are ugly.  Medal is over the top.   Super nice, although personally I think a huge medal for a 10 mile race is a bit much, but maybe I’m just being old school and a grouch. 

Anyhow, a good morning of racing.   Perfect weather and good times. Up next is the OZ half marathon.  But Stephanie sets  the pace on this one….as long as she doesn’t make me run faster than I did today…not quite there yet!

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Easter sloths and another race week…

So I’m a little late getting Easter pictures out….I guess it was just a busy week.  Last week was a pretty good week of running including a 15 miler in perfect running weather.  This week I had a couple treadmill runs and a couple outside runs and then this weekend I have the Austin 10/20 race.  It’s my last “effort” until Texas racing season starts back up in the fall so I plan to push.   Weather is looking good, so no excuses.   I’m skipping my run with friends tomorrow to rest my legs even though it’s killing me not to meet them.

Easter already seems like forever ago, although I still seem to be eating plenty of candy.   Jasper is really into sloths lately, so he got an Easter sloth.   I love when he’s into something that we’ll do “research” on the internet about.  And not looking up video game stuff.   And baby sloths are pretty much the cutest thing ever.

This will be quick a post…I’ll get a race report up Sunday evening…hopefully a good one!

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Alamo 13.1 race report…

   Is this the nicest finisher’s medal for a half or what?

Getting his hands on a 5×5…

  All the cubes…

San Antonio was nice for spring break, except for a ton of other people had the same idea.   I won’t rehash the travel other than we hit the children’s museum and discovered they’d just opened an exhibit on Rubik’s cubes.   Jasper collects them and it was heaven to him.  It was a nice bonus to the trip.

So the Alamo 13.1…..I had a great pre race ramen dinner at a little Japanese counter place.   I didn’t have to get up too early since the race was close to my hotel.  The cold front meant long sleeves….it was 40, which is really cold for Texas in March. Pet peeve here…..the race started late for no apparent reason, and the website said there would be corrals and there weren’t so lining up was a free for all.  I got out pretty quick though and my plan was try and stay on 8:15 pace.   The course went through a ton of San Antonio landmarks so that was fun.   It was a full tour all on foot.   About halfway through the course wove through the zoo on some nearby bike paths, it was pretty but did slow the pacing….lots of twists and turns.   The last few miles went on the river walk, which was really neat but not fast running.   I ended up with 8:20 average pace (1:49 finish) which I was pleased with given the multiple turns and cobblestone parts.   I would say this is a good race to do if it’s accessible, but I wouldn’t make a special trip for it.  The shirt was nice, and the medal was one of the best I’ve ever gotten for any race.  The course was well marked, but it was a slow course and not spectator friendly.   The post race food wasn’t my thing, but they made a nice effort.   Local micro brew, donuts, and baked potatoes, and the one thing I did get was a nice fresh fruit cup.   Other the the late start, and a horrible packet pick up location, the race was well done.   Maybe a good one for a girls weekend or something.    For a fast one stick to the 3M here in Austin.  I felt like it was really good for me to race a half though.   If I can throw in an occasional race I think my marathon will really benefit.   Up next in two weeks the Austin 10 miler!

And now back to reality…..I just had 5 days off but did kid stuff continuously.  So maybe work won’t be so bad tomorrow…..

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1/2 Spring break!

  Skatepark for 2 hours on Wednesday!!!

Happy spring break.   This year I did what I always have wanted to do , but never seem to….take days off and leave!   I only worked the first half of the week and then tried to do some fun things with Jasp so he didn’t spend the whole break in child care.   

I ran on the treadmill a lot and yesterday I had a podiatrist appt that Jasp didn’t want to go to so he did a few hours of childcare while I did a few errands and threw in a yoga class.  It was the best kind, that was challenging but not to the point where I am sore for days.  Which is good since I am racing Sunday!   I have no idea what to expect.  I haven’t raced a half marathon in about three years.  Weather should be a little cold…..I swear we get a cold front every spring break.  I can’t say I tapered either other than taking tomorrow completely off anything.   The half marathon is honestly my best distance and if I were smart I’d focus on it and not marathons, but I love the training for marathons.   I tell myself that one year I won’t do any marathons except Austin, and focus on a few halves.    I can probably hit 40 total lifetime marathons in 2016, so maybe 2017.  Anyhow, I’d like to keep an 8:15-8:30 pace.  Dream pace is dip into low 8:00s.     We’ll see…..this half is mixed with a fun trip so I anticipate lots of good food and a beer or two.   I’m excited to run in San Antonio…it is much more historic than Austin with this race course going through mostly historical, nice areas, and I’m a sucker for a cool course without boring strip malls!

Update…..didn’t finish this post yesterday.  Slept in until 5:30 this morning and now I’m slamming coffee on the couch before a dog walk….about to be outta here!

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 We saw James and the Giant Peach at the local theater over the weekend.  I was super impressed with the quality of the production.   And we had great seats!

After a rainy week with outside running, this is a beautiful week with treadmill running.  Go figure.  I did get out Saturday for my longest run since the Austin marathon, 15 miles at brushy creek.  My friend, Dawn, joined me and it was a really nice run.   I just love running out there so much and it is such a recharge after the work week.    We just ran easy.  I’ve been doing my speed day during the week, and this weekend I’ll see if it did any good at the Alamo half marathon.

Spent my whole lunch break on  Crazy, but spring is when fall marathon plans get made.  I also realize I have a bucket list item to do one international marathon.  50 marathons and at least one of them not in the US before I retire from marathoning.   Dream international races:  Reykjavik, Lisbon, or London.   Also US dream marathon is Chicago.  Sounds like the big experience without the awful logistics of New York or Boston.  This is why smart phones and free time are dangerous.  If I’d had a margarita with lunch, I probably would have signed up for something today.  Good thing we don’t have margaritas at the hospital I work at.  😁🍸

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