Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Updates & Race Recaps

Wow, guys! It's been a long time since I could sit down and update you on the goings- on in my life. Sorry!!  Life has majorly gotten in the way and my blog has suffered terribly as a result. But, hopefully that will be changing in the near future!! The biggest reason for my lack of blogging is my job. I'm struggling with my work/life balance right now and it really sucks!!  I’ll spare you the gory details, but in a nut shell, I’m stuck in a monotonous, tedious job that often requires me to stay late, which is a huge issue for me. I have very little time and very limited access to the internet to write updates or stay up to date with social media as I would prefer. But, I’m hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel VERY soon!!  My boss has promised that I get to be the case manager on the palliative floor as soon as it opens, which should be the next 2-3 weeks. She’s made promises that she hasn’t kept before, therefore I’m cautiously optimistic. But I’m also working on a backup plan so with any luck, I’ll have a better work/life balance in the next 4-6 weeks!

In other news, I completed my 30 day heart monitor. The cardiologist said that although I do have some abnormal beats, they are not anything concerning or worrisome at this time. That's good news to hear!! We completed our winter session of Pathways a couple of weeks ago. The goal race for it was the Fleet Feet Sports Sweetheart run 10k. I did the 5k first and then the 10k. I got a PR on both the 10k time and the 15k or the "double" as FF calls it. Then we immediately started the spring session of Pathways. The goal race for the spring is the Aquarium run 10k. I've been grateful for the training through the winter as I was training for several half marathons.

The first on that was on my schedule was the 2015 LR Half Marathon. I ran it last year but it was a bad experience for me for multiple reasons. It was cold and wet, I was injured and in pain the whole time. I was unable to run for about a month afterward. I wasn't even sure that I would ever run again. So, when I talked to the race directors last November and they talked me into trying it again this year, some probably thought I was crazy. I had a decent finish time in 2014 but I never really felt good about that performance. I turned in my time off request to my boss in January and waited for her to approve it. I waited and waited and waited some more......    Meanwhile, online registration closed!!!  I was so afraid that I would drive all the way to Arkansas to register at the expo only to find out that it was sold out! Plus, the weather was shaping up to be a repeat of last year......ice, snow, bitter cold temps and rain was predicted the week leading up to the race and cold, rain was expected on race day. Those are 2 of my least favorite conditions. Additionally, I really felt a little undertrained and the famous LR medals didn't arrive. Did I really want to do this again??  I wavered all week and finally made the ultimate decision on Friday morning when I woke up. We were able to get a nice hotel not far from downtown and the finish line.

Saturday morning, we got up early to head to Little Rock. It had snowed & sleeted the night before. We weren’t sure what the roads would be like but they were clear for the most part. We were able to make good time and travel safely. There were still spots available for the half when we arrived at the expo so I registered and did a little shopping. Then we grabbed some lunch and headed for the hotel. There was a slight delay with check in, but the room was very nice so it was worth the wait. After dinner, it was time to lay out the race dummy and try to get some shut eye.

Sunday morning dawned gray, damp, and cold. I got dressed and grabbed some breakfast. The hotel had a shuttle that dropped us off downtown just a few blocks from the start line. They moved the start line this year, changed the course, and made changes to the corrals.  The starting corral was still crowded, I never found my friends, but at least we didn’t have to stand in the cold rain for 20 minutes waiting for the wave start like we did last year. All of these improvements made for a much better race. I approached that start line with fear and trepidation that morning. I doubted myself and my training. “Could I do this?” I kept asking myself.  But I ran those 13.1 miles, in the cold and rain and finished with a nearly 2 minute PR!! Official time was 2:22! That was just what I needed to overcome the negativity of Little Rock 2014. I am so proud of my plastic replica medal. I can’t wait for the real one to arrive!!

That run gave me the confidence I needed to be successful on my next 2 half marathons. I ran the Go Girl Run in Oklahoma City, OK on March 22. The course was hillier than I expected but the weather was fabulous! Finish time for this one was 2:25. Official time was 2:31 but 6 of those minutes I was standing in line for a portalet at mile 9. I enjoyed running with my fellow coach, Crystal. We had so much fun! We were encouraged to stay and help cheer in the last runner which was an awesome concept!!  This race was well organized with great swag! Emphasis was not about women competing with each other as much as it was about women supporting each other. They are all about celebrating finish lines, not finish times which is as it should be!!
Then, I turned around the following weekend and ran the Bentonville Half Marathon in Bentonville, AR. I wasn’t really feeling well and was a little ill prepared for this race. It was cold and lightly raining at the start. I didn’t have gloves or a trash bag. My husband had an extra pair of gloves and I just relied on my light windbreaker jacket. By mile 2, I had shed the jacket and was fairly comfortable for the remainder of the race. I was nervous because I knew it was an uphill finish, but I ended up doing much better than I expected! I survived the hill! I even finished upright and smiling in 2:24!!  I would highly recommend this well organized small town race!!  The water stops were abundant with amazing course support!! 

So, I have run 3 half marathons in March, the most I’ve run in 1 month since I started running. I’ll finish the month with about 85 miles, the highest mileage month I’ve ever had!
I haven’t been cross training as much as I should lately but that changes today. I’ve got to get back to weight training as I think that helps me be a stronger runner!!

Other than that, I’ve just been busy with the usual life things we all deal with. Hopefully work will settle back down soon and I can get back to posting on a more regular basis!
Until next time--get up, get out, and get moving!!  Whatever you do today, be awesome at it!!

Your friend,



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