Half Marathon Training Wrap Up!

 

push it

Spoiler Alert: We survived!

This last week of training was fairly straight forward. We had two runs scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday with the option of either 4 or 5 miles each of those days.  I decided to make them both 5 milers, while my hubby went with 5 on Tuesday and 4 on Thursday. My average pace Tuesday was 9:51 and Thursday was 9:41. I don’t know why one was a little faster than the other, it was the same course and same time of day. The only difference was that it was raining pretty hard on Tuesday with a decent wind to contend with, so perhaps that affected me more than I realized.

 

 

 

I have been so nervous about my back injury and this half marathon, that I have been really scaling back other activities. I did go climbing a couple times this week, but didn’t try anything too hard. When Saturday rolled around we made our way into Seattle to pick up our race packets at the runners expo.

run pick up

It was really starting to sink in that this was going to happen! We decided to sign up for the morning VIP package. This is a pre-race option that would allow us to park at the finish line, take a shuttle to the start and a continental breakfast would be available to us. We also would benefit from a private gear check and, most importantly, flush toilets just for the the VIP group. We have done this at other races and have never regretted spending the money for this perk. However, the start time for this year was 6:30am which meant that we had to catch the shuttle at 4:30am! Factoring the drive to the parking garage and getting ready for the run meant getting up at 3:30am! We were not sure that this was a brilliant idea this time.

Saturday evening, we decided to take a Yin Yoga and Gong Bath class. If you are not familiar, Yin yoga focuses on holding static poses for longer periods of time to allow for greater stretching of the muscles. A Gong Bath is effectively meditation with background music played on a variety of gongs and chimes. Our thought was that this would give our muscles a good stretch, before we made them work really hard the next day, and help relax us and wind down before the race on Sunday. Did it work? I think so. My back was less tight and we were happy to have the diversion from thinking about running 13 miles the next morning!

The big day finally came on Sunday. We got up at 3:30am (ugh) and made our way to the start at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington. We immediately saw the wisdom of the VIP package as the line for the honey buckets was the worst I have ever seen at any race in which we have participated. 20,000 people registered for the Seattle Rock n’ Roll and about 250 were in the VIP area. We had coffee (several cups), bagels and yogurt parfaits. Not to mention space heaters! Both my hubby and I made several trips to the bathrooms and the runners outside were lucky to get one. Yes, I will be sticking with the VIP option for future races!

The course this year was a little easier than last year, which I appreciated! My husband was in the fast wave and I started about 30 minutes later. I was nervous about my curtailed training the last few weeks, but it went just fine. Actually better than fine!

nike run map

I managed an average pace of 10:15 and had my fastest half marathon to date! This was my third half and the fastest as I finished in 2:16.  I was shocked as my only goal was to keep running the entire route and be able to walk, with my back intact, the next day.  I did a lot better than that-so grateful my body held together.

My husband absolutely crushed this course finishing in 1:38! That’s a 7:20ish pace and a PR for him! Not too shabby for only his second half marathon. Unfortunately, he really pushed it and was hobbling around for the rest of Father’s Day! He laid on the couch and watched the US Open and rehabilitated.

We are both happy and grateful to be healthy and active at this point in our lives. We are planning another half in the fall, but have a lot more to do before that! I want to really hit the climbing routes now that I don’t have to hold back anymore. I also want to start up golf lessons again, provided I keep healing!

Thanks to all of you who were supportive and for your words of encouragement, both on the blog and Instagram, I really appreciate your positivity!

half medals

SaveSave

Half Marathon Training, Week 15 Update!

This is it! My last update before we run the Seattle Rock n’ Roll half marathon on June 18th, Father’s Day. It is hard to believe that we are only a week away from the day. It seemed so far away when we began training 16 weeks ago.

This last week was really tough for me. My back is slowly, so slowly getting better, and I have been stressing over it. We got back from our Vegas trip on Monday and had a 12 mile run scheduled for Tuesday. It did not go well!

 

map of 10 mile run

I really struggled to get this 10 miles done and had hit the wall and could not go 2 more without possibly doing more damage to my back. At this point I was beginning to question if the half was a good idea. Sure, I could walk the rest but what is the point of that! Even with the struggle my time was not that hideous at 10:38 average pace. But I was in pain and dejected!

When Thursday rolled around, I hit my usual trail for the 4 mile assignment. Even though my pace was faster I still felt exhausted and it seemed like this was such a hard 4 miles-How was I going to do 13!

 

thursdays run

I was dreading the 6 mile run today. I have been so down and stressed about my injury and my pace. And then I decided to change my narrative. Today is a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. The type of day we all dream about here when it is dark and raining for 3 months straight. I took a look around and saw the kayakers gliding down the slough, the bikers dusting off their cycles and all the families out enjoying the sunshine. I decided I was going to relax and just run. The pace and mileage would take care of itself! I did not push myself or set a specific goal, just ran because I love to.  It turned out to be the break my mind and body needed. I had the most enjoyable run of the last two weeks since I hurt my back!

run today

My pace was 10:04/mile and that is not bad for me! We are heading into the taper week and have 4-5 mile runs on both Tuesday and Thursday and then the half on Sunday! We will be carb loading both Friday and Saturday night, and have booked a Gong yoga class Saturday night to relax and stretch our mind and body.

I am hoping to have a recap of the event to post as the wrap up to this project next week.

Wish us luck!

 

 

May 2017 June     2017 July 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 week 14

 

 

May 30

5 miles

1

4miles

2

 

3

Some run

4 miles

4

week 15

5

 

6

12miles

7

 

8

4miles

9

 

10

6miles

11

week of the race

12

 

13

4-5 miles

14

 

15

4-5 miles

16

carb load

17

carb load

18

13.1 miles!

19

 

20

 

21

 

22

 

23

 

24

 

25

 

26

 

27

 

28

 

29

 

30

Half Marathon Training, Week 14 Update!

This training week has been all about fitting in run time with a bad back and a mini vacation. In my last update I declared that I was not going to let me back stop me from running 5 miles on Tuesday, May 30th. That was true and I did run that day, however I went 6.27 miles, a little further than I was targeting originally. What happened? Well, when I started running that morning EVERYTHING hurt for the first 3 miles, then the numbness set in and I was feeling better, so I wanted to enjoy the run while I had the benefit of endorphins to dull my senses. I was pretty sure that when I stopped my back would be feeling it! And, it did! I did go slower, the run was at a 10:18 pace, but it felt great to exercise! I get so cranky when I am unable to hit the pavement.

Thursday morning we had the flight to Las Vegas and needed to leave for the airport by 9:30am so I was on the path by 6:00. Both my husband and I wanted to get these 4 miles in because we would be stuck in airports for awhile had no idea if we would be able to run in the hot desert! I was motivated to get this done quickly so I could shower, change and finish packing and ran at a slightly faster pace of 9:53/mile. And that is when it really hit me that my back is not 100% yet. Due to the running, and the sitting on the plane for a couple hours, it really was sore and was quite uncomfortable.

My husband plays in the WSOP poker events held in Vegas every June and I knew he would be at the Rio for most of Friday so I took that opportunity to have a message at the spa in the Aria Resort and Casino where we stayed. I am so glad I did this! The masseuse was able to loosen up the muscles and get me walking much more smoothly! I also used the jets in the hot tubs on the property to work on my back and that helped too!

Saturday was relax and recover time for my injury (also spent time at the pool, and then dinner and a show). By the time I went to bed Saturday night I was itching for some activity. I decided I would get up early to beat the heat and get some sort of run accomplished before spending the day at the pool again. My husband refused to run as he was on vacation, so I was on my own. I hit the strip a bit after 6am and it was already 81 degrees! At 6am!! If you have ever been to the strip then you know that often crossing the street means using pedestrian overpasses, so I had to run stairs (see the left bump in the picture below). That might look like a little flight of stairs, but it it not! I had not mentally accounted for that when I set off from the Aria!

 

dessert

You can see how my pace suffered from overpasses, waiting to cross the street at the crosswalks, and the heat!

 

desert running

 

I had wanted to run 5 or 6 miles, but felt like Clarke Grisswold toward the end of the first two miles, so I turned around and settled for 4 miles total.

 

 

My back is still sore but slowly improving. At home I can apply ice and heat regularly and am using Aleve, and Ibuprofen. The Seattle Rock and Roll half is only 12 days away! We have 22 miles for week 15 planned, I will have to see how it goes!

 

May 2017 June     2017 July 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
 week 14

 

 

May 30

5 miles

1

4miles

2

 

3

Some run

4 miles

4

week 15

5

 

6

12miles

7

 

8

4miles

9

 

10

6miles

11

week of the race

12

 

13

4-5 miles

14

 

15

4-5 miles

16

carb load

17

 

18

13.1 miles!

19

 

20

 

21

 

22

 

23

 

24

 

25

 

26

 

27

 

28

 

29

 

30

 

Half Marathon Training, Week 13 Update!

so true

This was not my best week. It started out great with a decent 5 mile run on Tuesday. I ran a 9:51 average pace, not my best but not too bad.  I followed that up with a faster 4 mile/9:37 average on Thursday.  I was feeling good about the week in general and really looking forward to our first warm Memorial Day Weekend since 1995 (no, I am not exaggerating that date!). When Friday rolled around I was really up for our 11 mile scheduled run the next day (Saturday) and it was glorious outside so my husband and I decided to hit the driving range early in the afternoon. I have just started swinging the driver and wanted to practice. I began to notice that my back was unhappy, and as I worked my way through the bucket of balls, it became more painful. I did end my practice early but didn’t really think too much about my back.

We usually go climbing on Friday nights so, of course, I wasn’t going to let a little pain stop me! I thought I was being careful by only climbing easier routes, but as the night went on it was clear that I had actually done something significant to my back. There was no way I would be able to run 11 miles the next morning, or even half that distance. My hubby went on without me, and I had to watch! I have spent the last three days icing, heating and alternating between Aleve, Ibuprofen and Tylenol. I have not climbed, run, golfed or done yoga for three days!!! ENOUGH. I am going crazy!! Just like the quote above says: once you are used to regular exercise it is impossible to quit!

conan crying

We leave for Vegas on Thursday and we need to change up our schedule to avoid running a 12 mile gauntlet in the desert in June! So, here is the new plan to survive week 14.

 

May 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule
This is a blank and printable May Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar.com

April 2017 May     2017 June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
week 10

1

 

2

5miles

3

 

4

4miles

5

 

6

9miles

7

week 11

8

 

9

6miles

10

 

11

5miles

12

 

13

10miles

14

week 12

15

6miles

16

 

17

10miles

18

 

19

 

20

5miles

21

week 13

22

 

23

5miles

24

 

25

4 miles

26

 

27

11miles

28

week 14

29

 

30

5miles

31

 

June 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule
This is a blank and printable June Calendar. Downloaded from WinCalendar.com

May 2017 June     2017 July 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1

4miles

2

 

3

Some run

4

week 15

5

 

6

12miles

7

 

8

4miles

9

 

10

6miles

11

week of the race

12

 

13

4-5 miles

14

 

15

4-5 miles

16

carb load

17

 

18

13.1 miles!

19

 

20

 

21

 

22

 

23

 

24

 

25

 

26

 

27

 

28

 

29

 

30

 

Notes:

I don’t care what my back thinks, tomorrow I am running and I hope to make it 5 miles. Then we will run  4 miles Thursday morning before our flight. I did miss the 11 mile run and want to do some mileage in Vegas, it may only be 4 miles but 5 or 6 would be wonderful. Then we will hit the 12 miles the day after we get back. At that point, we should be back to the regular week 15 schedule.

I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyed the long weekend! Summer is right around the corner!

A family vacation that really rocked!

IMG_1461

This is my daughter and I sitting on top of Red Wall in Smith Rocks State Park. We just finished the 3 pitch climb of Super Slab. What a view!

My husband and I are truly blessed to have these amazing kids who also happen to be very athletic and, apparently, fearless. Our son, Ryan, is only 21 but has been a rock instructor since he was 14. He recently began to acquire AMGA certifications and is now a professional guide. He is also a classically trained clarinetist, not sure how these two worlds will knit together yet, but as his parents have zero musical talent, we have chosen to join his climbing world.

This was the first trip to Smith for the parentals (as our daughter Alex calls us) but the kids have been numerous times. We stayed in a motel in Redmond Oregon, about 10 minutes from the park. We had never been to Central Oregon before and were impressed with its beauty. We live in Redmond Washington so the drive is about 6 hours, give or take. Warning: Lots of pictures in this post!

We were greeted by these yellow bellied marmots, which are like rabbits there.

Our first day in was all about Red Wall, and climbing a route called Super Slab. We had a small hike for the approach, but when you are carrying gear, ropes, a camera and its 70+°F, the hike is harder! It was mostly uphill of course!

IMG_1622

Our daughter at the very top of the last pitch

IMG_1625

A view of the wall as we approached

IMG_1420

Our trusty guide!

IMG_1630

Ryan did most of the leading and set the rope for me. Alex lead up for Dennis.

IMG_1661

IMG_1637

Once we finished all three pitches it was time to enjoy the view and some snacks

IMG_1652

The views were spectacular!

IMG_1657

I do like being as high as the birds

IMG_1646

This is the crooked river which runs through the entire park

IMG_1636

IMG_1655

IMG_1649

You can see why this is called the Red Wall

IMG_1666

IMG_1651

IMG_1659

Ryan was probably a mountain goat in a former life!

We rappelled down, reorganized the gear and headed off to another climb that the kids felt the parentals could handle. Ryan also had a project that he had been working on, that was impressive!

We made our way over to a route called “5 gallon Buckets” because the holds are huge-perfect for my husband and me! This was only rated a 5.8 but it was longer than most of our lead climbs, so the decision was made that I would lead up, set the anchor then hubby would top rope it. This was my first outdoor lead climb!

IMG_1669

me leading 1

Yep, that’s me up there!

me leading 4

me leading 3

The good news is that I got it done in one take! Then my husband climbed it and we all headed over to Ryan’s project- A very intimidating 11.c climb named “heresy”. It is only 4 bolts and the anchor and it is intense!

We did have a short wait in line while other climbers were on the wall so I took some shots of the surroundings.

IMG_1676

IMG_1671

IMG_1678

IMG_1677

There are climbers all over this rock like ants!

IMG_1683

A number of climbers here as well

IMG_1685

There were humans hanging all over the place!

Then it was Ryan’s turn to climb!

IMG_1688

IMG_1689IMG_1690IMG_1691IMG_1692IMG_1693IMG_1694

He got it in one try! At this point we were all tired and it had been a full day! We hiked out (no small thing) and drug ourselves to dinner in town. I was asleep by 9pm.

The next day was also to be a big one-the Marsupial Traverse which was a whopping 10 pitches total. We got up and out the door and were at the park by 9:30am. We had a nice long hike out to the site. Since this climb was longer and required more gear, I did not take my canon with me, just an iPhone, so less pictures this time!

view

This was one of the views on the way into the canyon

traverse

This is what we would look like in a few hours! I caught this group doing the traverse before we did!

Along the way, Alex decided to try a quick climb before we all started the traverse. She got up ok, but stuck on the way down (the rope drag was too much for her size). Fortunately, little brother knew what to do and brought her down safely!

The traverse took all day, as I said before we started at 9:30am and we finished the final, 200 foot rappel at 5:45pm. Another long day, but so worth it!

dennis

My hubby fighting his way up!

a and d

Amazing views from up here-notice my husband hunkered down and tied in at all times! He is not super excited about the height!

IMG_1430

He is feeling a little safer here!

guy

This climber is on an adjacent spire waiting to rappel

opposum

Look how joyful Ryan is! This is his “happy place” several hundred feet above the ground! 

We had an amazing time at Smith and will definitely do it again! The parentals did mange to get one half marathon training run done while the kids went for one last climb before we all piled in the car for the long ride home. We were dirty, tired, sun burned and very happy!

Half Marathon Training, Week 12 Update!

running

This was a crazy week as far as activity was concerned. We left on Thursday for a rock climbing trip (stay tuned for an upcoming post on that one!) so we had to rearrange our running schedule a bit to accommodate the travel time. Instead of  6 miles on Tuesday,  5 miles on Thursday and 10 miles on Saturday, I chose to run on 6 on Monday, the 10 on Wednesday and then we both ran together on Sunday. Since I shifted my days and mileage around, I wound up running 26 miles in a 5 day span-definetly a new record for me!

Monday’s 6 miles went well and I managed to stay at a 9:50 average, even though I had run 10 miles just two days prior. That is really good for me!

Wednesday I went into Seattle to run 10 around Green Lake. My hubby was at work that day and decided he didn’t need a 10 mile run this week. So, I was on my own.

tuesday 10

The first 5 miles I had pretty consistent splits varying between 10:04-10:08, but after that I steadily gained time to end with the 10:12 average. The next day we drove for 6 hours to central Oregon for our climbing trip-so fun! We climbed and hiked all day Friday and Saturday, so no time for running until Sunday morning. We looked for a path near our motel and found a paved trail that ran through a canyon. By this point in the trip we had seen a lot of sun, and were feeling the heat on our red skin, but we toughed it out! I ran a little over 5 and my husband went for 6 miles.

sunday 5

Then we went back to the motel, showered, picked up our kids at the climbing park and rode 7 hours back home. Whew! It was a crazy trip but we fit it all in! Next week we go back to our regular schedule and have a 5 mile, 4 mile and 11 mile plan. The runs are getting longer and harder, but we are getting closer to the big day!

May 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule
This is a blank and printable May Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar.com

April 2017 May 2017 June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
week 10

1

 

2

5miles

3

 

4

4miles

5

 

6

9miles

7

week 11

8

 

9

6miles

10

 

11

5miles

12

 

13

10miles

14

week 12

15

6miles

16

 

17

10miles

18

 

19

 

20

5miles

21

week 13

22

 

23

5miles

24

 

25

4 miles

26

 

27

11miles

28

week 14

29

 

30

5miles

31

 

 

Half Marathon Training, Week 11 update!

48e652a144fc32dcf951087dfe9f4407

This is my new motto!

It’s Monday and I am a little late with this update. Normally, I would post this weekly update on Sunday, or the rare Saturday posting, but this Sunday was Mother’s Day so I was busy being pampered and showered with gifts-it’s good to be me sometimes!

We had a 6 mile, 5 mile and 10 mile run scheduled this week. Tuesday’s 6 mile was a little slow for me, for some reason. Not sure why, I know I can’t blame the weather because is was 50°F and dry which is basically my sweet weather spot for running. But Thursday’s 5 mile was closer to my regular pace. It was also a really nice day here at 57°F and cloudy. I have finally been able to put my long running pants away!

When Saturday rolled around I was a little nervous. This was the first double digit run since last fall when we ran the Vancouver Rock n’ Roll half in October. I felt pretty good about the 9 mile run last week, but this is week 11 and I have only missed one 5 mile training run because I was having so much fun prepping for my colonoscopy. We have also been climbing a lot (more on that in a minute) and I am starting to feel a little tired. I am not injured (knock on wood) but it does start to add up for me. So, when we started the drive into Seattle to run 10 miles around Seward Park, I had some concerns about my endurance. Fortunately, everything worked out just fine.

10 mile run

It was a little cooler, and the breeze off the lake was noticeable to be sure, but overall I was pleased with my pace of 10:15 as an average. I will need to pick it up if I want to finish the 13 miles in under 2 hours, but I am hoping that I will get a little faster in the next few weeks. We have another 6, 5 & 10 set for next week, but here is the problem. All four of us leave on Thursday for Smith Rocks in Oregon. We will be climbing single and multi pitch routes all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week. That makes a 10 mile run tough to fit in, and did I mention it will be in the 80s in central Oregon? So, the current plan is to shift the schedule around to run 6 miles on Monday, 10 miles on Wednesday and then try to squeeze in a quick 5 miler sometime during the weekend. I have already run the 6 miles today (Monday) so we will see if I can do a quick turn around and hit the 10 mark in less than 48 hours! I hope I can! My husband is taking the more sensible approach of skipping the 10 mile all together, running 5 on Tuesday and doing “some run” on the weekend. For the record, he skips runs all the time and gets stronger and faster somehow-I guess it is good to be him sometimes too!

 

May 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule

This is a blank and printable May Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar.com

April 2017 May     2017 June 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
week 10

1

 

2

5miles

3

 

4

4miles

5

 

6

9miles

7

week 11

8

 

9

6miles

10

 

11

5miles

12

 

13

10miles

14

week 12

15

6miles

16

 

17

10miles

18

 

19

 

20

5miles

21

week 13

22

 

23

5miles

24

 

25

4 miles

26

 

27

11miles

28

week 14

29

 

30

5miles

31

 

 

We will have to see how this works out next week. Either way we should have a great time climbing as a family at Smith Rocks!