Black & White & Color, Photo Challenge

I am going to break my tradition of never posting pictures of myself today. This was a shot I uploaded to Instagram on a day where I ran without goals. No pace, no distance and no time recorded. Just a path and some good music, and even better weather!

This was one of my last runs in Tucson before heading back to Seattle and I was feeling the future pain of training in the wind, rain and cold!

So which version captures the feeling of freedom of running without limits?

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The color version of the end of my run

or

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The Black and White version

Grab your camera or phone and join Linda from Everyone Else has the best titles and Take the “Black and White and Color” photo challenge!

Half Marathon Training, October Wrap Up!

So here it is, November 7th, and I am just now getting around to posting the results of our last half marathon! I have been a little preoccupied with some other things, but now I am ready to get some closure on this, my fourth half!

I am not going to post our training schedule from October because it was a joke! We did not stick to it at all. We started off ok. October 3rd and 5th went as planned.

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I got my 5 miles in amongst the swirling leaves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and October 5th was a gorgeous 4 miles on a sunny day!IMG_0087

That’s when the wheels pretty much came off the bus! We fly to Kauai and had a marvelous time, not running! Well, my hubby did manage a 4 mile run but the humidity and hiking knocked me out! So when we returned on the 12th, it was a tough 5 miles for me!

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Even though the run was hard the weather was stunning! Fall had made it’s way into Seattle while we were gone!

 

 

 

Now it was time to log some serious miles if we wanted to get ready for the half! We did 11 miles around Seward Park on a spectacular day! Mount Rainier was out big time 🙂

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It was tough! And with only two weeks to the half, I was getting worried!

I did three shorter runs on the 18th, 20th and 22nd, these would be the last in Seattle, and in the rain, before we hit the road for the 24 hour drive to Tucson.

We were trapped in the car until the 25th. This is when everything became real! We had a total of 5 days to get acclimated to the elevation, heat and hills (so many hills!).

I ran 5 miles on the 25th and 4 more on the 27th-just two days to the half!

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I have never felt so unprepared for a half marathon in my life! Training was not where I wanted it to be, I was not acclimated at all and nutrition? Forget about it! But the day came anyway!

Fortunately the organizer brilliantly had the start before sunrise, at 6:30am. The first 8-8.5 miles went really well. I was happy with the temperature and felt pretty good. Then mile 9 hit, like a brick wall! The temperature started to climb and the oxygen felt like it was gone from the atmosphere. My legs turned to lead, as they often do, and I began a strategy of walking up the hills and running the flats and downhills only. Interestingly, I was not that much slower than my worst time. I ran about the same this time as I did for my first half marathon. I did finish, and that was the goal. How did my hubby do? Only off by two minutes from his current PR!! I hate him-no I don’t-yes I do!

We were both happy to have survived! One of the cool things about the medals was that they linked up to make map of Tucson. Do you remember the 10k we ran last month? That is the medal from the 10k race on the right in the picture above. If you finished the half marathon in October, you received the medal on the left, and when you put them together you get a mountain scene. Kinda cool! We have not seen that before. There was a third medal to make the scene even larger, but that was for a 5k back in August and we were in Seattle at that time.

Since it was Sunday we got home, showered and headed out to celebrate our “victories” by watching the SeaHawks Game!

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Everything turned out great, we can still walk and the Hawks won the game! Now I am running to just enjoy it and really haven’t thought about the next race. It will be number 5 for me, so I want it to be a special location. Any suggestions??

Where Will We Run Next?

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Now that we have decided to buy a second home in Tucson, we can turn our attention to the next running challenge. I spent some time scouring the half marathon websites and it seems only fitting that we run in the “A Mountain half marathon”.

If you are not familiar with the University of Arizona, which is located in Tucson, then you might not know about “A” mountain.

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The large letter at the top stands for the University of Arizona and to get up there we will have to run a little over 700 feet from miles 5 to 7 1/2 during the 13.1 mile half marathon. Oh ya, did I mention that Tucson is 2,000 feet above sea level before the climb?

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This will be a tough run for us as the other half marathons have all been at sea level (Seattle and Vancouver BC) and in pretty much the same climate. This time we have to figure out how to run in warmer weather and at altitude. This will not be a PR for us, more of a “just survive it” mentality. I had to put together a training program that would get us ready for the end of October, so we started yesterday. Here is the plan:

August 2017

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 2 3 4 5 6
Run 4 Run 4 Run 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Run 5 Run 5 Run 7
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Run 5 Run 5 Run 7
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Run 6 Run 4 Run 8
28 29 30 31
Run 6 Run 4

I will not be doing weekly updates this time since we are traveling a lot and have followed a similar plan before, but I plan to have monthly posts about the progress we (hopefully) will be making on this schedule.

Wish me luck!

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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!

 

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

 

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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