Well, this week’s recap is short and sweet because it was also a recovery week! That’s right! I did the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon this past Sunday. It was a great experience AND I had a 15 minute PR! (my race review is on BibRave.com here).
[ week 23 / 6 weeks until 26.2 ]
Sunday – Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon! 13.13 miles, 1:51:18, 8:29 min/mile.
I did my first-ever half marathon earlier this year on a whim with no training at all – never having run any further than about 8 miles in my life with a time of 2:05. I am truly happy with improving that time by almost 15 minutes with my second-ever marathon time of 1:51. Training really does pay off! Mostly, having a coach really pays off. I truly thank Coach Simmons for all his hard work. Without following his training schedule that he lays out for me week after week, I wouldn’t be talking about a 15 minute PR right now.
The race was enjoyable. It was hot and muggy (of course this was the day before the cool weather hit Texas) AND started pouring rain but, lucky for me, I only dealt with the former because I finished just about 5 minutes before the downpour. So, I didn’t have to run in the rain, but most importantly, I had time to grab the hot post-run breakfast before high-tailing it out of there to get dry!
The race was really well-organized, plenty of porta-potties (this is important!) WITH hand sanitizer stations, plenty of pace groups (I aimed to stick with the 1:55 pace group), no traffic jams (hallelujah!) AND awesome post-run snacks (most important!). I ate some kind of squirtable applesauce that they had at one of the aid-stations and, though I spilled half of it on my crotch, I really liked it! Might be getting some for my long runs…
As for how the run went – in my journal I mostly went on about the hot breakfast – “eggs, bacon, hash browns, cinnamon rolls, yogurt, chocolate milk, bananas…” – just some of what I ate afterwards… I needed it ! I was starving. That applesauce mid-way through was really a life-safer (which reminds me, I need to have a better pre-run breakfast than 2 Eggo waffles).
Anyway, the run was tough – HILLS. So many hills. I had no idea there’d be hills. It’s just not a thing I worry about in Dallas. I mean, where did all these hills even come from? It was fine, though – I didn’t let them slow me down! The last few miles were mentally tough, and at the final stretch I felt like I was SPRINTING to the finish – the race photos aren’t quite what I pictured… I pictured myself majestically speeding over the finish line like some kind of Gazelle when in fast I looked as if I was lucky that my legs were moving while having a death grip on my handheld water bottle. In the end, I did it an that’s what matters! I felt extremely accomplished with my PR and completion of my second half marathon.
Monday – Rest day!
I felt fine today! Nothing hurt and the only thing that was sore was my left bicep (thanks to the water-bottle death grip).
Tuesday – Cycling, 45min.
So, I was going to swim today, but I showed up to the gym in my suit and flip flops and walked over to the pool area to find and empty pool! Yep, pretty hard to swim in a dry hole in the ground. They were doing some kind of construction on it, so I turned around and walked out. I wanted to get some kind of workout in, so I ran home and threw on some “real” workout clothes and signed up for a spin class. Gotta expect the unexpected! I had a great ride and worked up a nice sweat. It felt good to get the legs moving.
No run today – for the third day in a row! I’m not complaining, though. Even though I felt fine, I was happy to take a day. I looked ahead at my training for the next few weeks leading up to the marathon and, well, let’s just say I will look back and be happy I took the day to rest.
Thursday – Tempo run, 6.5 miles, 55:55, 8:36 min/mile.
It felt good to run today! It had been a while and the weather was AMAZING (only 75)! It was tough having the first 3 cool-weather days be the first time in forever that I didn’t have runs scheduled, so I was really happy to get out there today. At first I was just going and easy pace, happy as can be, and looked down at my watch to see that I was going at a 7:something pace! I slowed myself down, and though my legs felt heavy after a little while, they snapped out of it and felt better towards the end. A few parts of me were stiff but nothing to where I thought I’d have to cut the run short. I guess just normal stiffness from a long run. Happy run!
Saturday – Rest day again! Good Form Running class (some easy drills on the track).
So, a PR and lots of (much needed) rest this week! I’ll take it! Ready to get to work this week!
Miles for the week – 19.63
Miles for the month of September – 116.83
What’s your go-to/favorite pre-run breakfast/meal?
What, if anything, do you like to take along on long runs for fuel?