RnR NOLA: RACE WEEK!

And just like that! I’m on to RACE WEEK! I just want to give a huge shout out and THANK YOU to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me through to each Start line and helping me run smart, stay healthy and injury-free, and just do what’s best for my goals – and most of all for keeping it fun! THANK YOU!

And thank all of YOU for your support and encouragement! You are all so amazing and inspire me every. single. day.

Let’s see how last week went taking me into race week!

Monday

Plan: 4 miles easy

Ran: 4.10 miles/39:49/9:42 min/mile

Quite honestly this run did not feel good. I felt stiff and my legs felt heavy.

Tuesday

Plan: 6 miles – 2 miles easy, 8 x 1:00 @ 5K pace, 1:00 easy, 2 miles easy

Ran: 0.0 miles

Yes. I skipped my run. I NEVER skip my run. I just didn’t have it in me. The energy or the desire.I think my sleep really effects how I feel and I’ve been adjusting to the new job – lately I’ve been waking up at 4:50 instead of 6:00 am, so hoping I’ll adjust soon!

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 6.10 miles/53:58/8:51 min/mile

Rainy run! I was excited to run again (yay!) and this one felt good! It was cold and windy – I got “wind burn” for the first time on my legs! It didn’t last long but was a totally new thing for this Texan. I was happy that I was happy to run.

Thursday

Plan: 5 miles easy + 5 x 100m strides

Ran: 6.02 miles/57:32/9:34 min/mile

Early morning run – felt pretty nice! The rain held off for me! Maybe because today was my BIRTHDAY! 🙂 Fun fact: 2/22 is (was) also George Washington’s birthday and was originally Bicycle Day!

Friday

Plan: 6 miles – 2 miles easy 30:00 tempo, 2 miles easy

Ran: 7.72 miles/1:08:43/8:54 min/mile {splits: 9:40, 9:35, 8:19, 8:06, 7:56, 8:33, 9:37, 9:36}

Another early run! It ended up being a little longer than 6 miles since I went by the description (30:00 tempo was 3+ miles). It feels good to get it done before the day starts. I almost got caught in the rain but just managed to dodge it. I did not manage to dodge all the puddles, however. Puddles – 1, Jenna – 0.

Saturday

Plan: 10 miles easy

Ran: 10.02 miles/1:33:41/9:21 min/mile

I ran solo because of the storms – it was hard to plan anything. So once I noticed the rain stop, I just went for it. It was actually quite peaceful. I ran right in between two storms. It was actually pretty warm, but still felt OK! My hips are pretty stiff lately but otherwise all good!

Sunday

REST! No. I did not make up Tuesday’s missed run. I thought about it. I really thought about it. Then I remembered Coach saying we move on. I also realized that if I ran today, I would have 0 rest days until my races. I think this rest day will make all the difference. I also got a TON of stuff done – grocery shopping, meal prepping, laundry, and my birthday dinner with my amazing family!

I will be running the 5K this Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday. My AWESOME dad is also running the 5K (we will fun run together) and the 10K on Sunday!

Me and my birthday pie!

Are you running any Rock n Roll Marathon series races this year?

Have you ever been to New Orleans? Any must do/see/eat recommendations?

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RnR NOLA Countdown: 2 WEEKS!

The countdown is on! Less than two weeks until I travel to New Orleans, Louisiana with my dad and my rescue Greyhound, Derby, to visit my cousin and her puppy and run a few races!!! I am really excited to see where my cousin lives and have her show me around NOLA (I’ve never been!) – she absolutely loves it and I’m sure it’ll be a great time.

This weekend is 100% dedicated to having fun, being with family, and enjoying the city so no pressure on myself. I plan to run the 5K (Saturday) with my dad at his pace and will do my best on the Half Marathon (Sunday)!

Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for always coaching me through to each Start line and keeping me healthy and strong!

Monday

Plan: 4 miles easy

Ran: 4.11 miles/40:25/9:50 min/mile

It was 25 degrees! Twenty-five! That is COLD for Texas. In fact, this may have been my coldest run. Ever. It was tougher than I thought! I didn’t “warm up” until my watch hit 3.48 miles. So, there was a nice half mile in there somewhere!

Tuesday

Plan: 8 miles – 2 miles easy, 4 miles @ 90 seconds @ 7:30-7:15, 90 seconds @ 9:15/easy, 2 miles easy

Ran: 8.02 miles/1:10:57/8:51 min/mile

This one felt good! It was 39 degrees and just perfect running weather. It felt really good other than being chased by two big dogs, which turns out is way more terrifying in the dark. I’ve had my fair share of dog scares, but usually in the day light.

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 5.2 miles/49:11/9:27 min/mile

This one felt pretty good – another early morning run – I’m loving getting my runs in before work and having the evening to cook and lounge! I also did a Gold’s Fit (think Crossfit) class and it kicked my BUTT. I need to do that more often! I’m also ready to transition to lighter shoes already. Since the Turf Toe debacle, I’ve been hesitant to transition to any other new shoes so I’ve been doing ALL runs in my heavy (butt tried and true) Asics Nimbus. I’m slowly adjusting the the New Balance 1500’s and love them so far!

Thursday

Plan: 5 miles + 5 x 100m strides

Ran: 5.45 miles/49:39/9:07 min/mile

I was really tired at first – I opted for a little extra sleep and did an evening run and my energy dwindles throughout the day so  I felt a bit “blah.” Plus it was 82 degrees! Yes, 82 degrees in February. That’s Texas for you! I switched into the NB 1500 on the last mile (to get the legs used to them) and boy… I felt like I was FLYING! Shoes make such a difference! I can’t wait to really run in them.

Friday

Plan: 5 miles – 3 miles easy, 2 miles @ fun tempo!

Ran: 5.35 miles/47:58/8:58 min/mile

I was tired again but it wasn’t bad. Nothing spectacular.

Saturday

Plan: 12 miles – 3 miles easy, 4 miles @ 90 seconds “on” (8:15) 90 seconds “off” (9:30), 3 miles cool down, 2 miles hard like a race

Ran: 12.02 miles/1:48:53/9:03 min/mile

OK y’all. I’m super proud of this run. It was POURING rain. Thankfully I ran with a group or I would have been tempted to take cover. We were literally drenched from head to toe. Sloshing through puddles (or shall I say rivers) of water. The first 10 miles went as planned, then we were so cold and soaking wet, that we just agreed to get the miles in. At this point the rain felt like rocks against our faces. So, the last two miles were not “hard like a race” – but I tried to pick it up a bit (which is difficult when your shoes weigh 20 lb each) but was just happy with the miles. I’d never been happier to take a hot shower and put on dry clothes!

Sunday

Rest!

There you have it! On to the next week then it’ll be race week!

Anyone else running RnR NOLA?

What do you do when it’s raining? Run through it? Treadmill? Skip it?

Medal Monday!

Happy MOTIVATION and MEDAL Monday! I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas last weekend, so I have a (really sweet) medal to share and have been having some nice early morning CHILLY runs this week for a little motivation!

Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for always keeping my running fun and helping me avoid injury by coaching me and guiding me towards big goals! Run happy!

Post-run watch & medal shot after last weekend’s Hot Chocolate 15K! My chocolate goodies are waiting for me down there!

Now for the good stuff! Hot chocolate and chocolate dipping & dippers!

I finally got indoors and got my bag with my warm clothes (and more snacks!!!) and sat there to collect myself. 🙂

Chocolate!

I did it! Now I’m ready for a hot shower!

A few from this week’s runs – this was my long run in rapidly dropping temps!

Fortunately I had some amazing friends keeping me going. IT WAS COLD. Especially for a bunch of Texans. But we got our 11 miles in and it was actually one of the best runs I’ve had in a while.

It’s been a long-sleeves and headlamp kind of week!

I survived a week of cold weather running AND MY FIRST WEEK AT MY NEW JOB, WHICH I LOVE! Life isn’t always about running so I had to share! 🙂

There you have it! Medals and motivation this fine Monday. Here’s to a great start to the week!

How was your weekend of racing, running, or non-running?

Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Hot Chocoate 15K Dallas as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The Hot Chocolate 15K is a well known race for good reasons. #1: Chocolate. But my personal favorite, the SWAG. The Hot Chocolate races always have the best swag. This year, a super soft and nice quarter zip pullover and free race photos!

So, naturally, I was interested in running this one. I’ve run it before and knew it was sure to be well-organized and, most importantly, super fun. I knew a lot of friends that were running too, so it was like a big runner meet up!

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So, how was the race?! Well, race morning I get up and brew my usual coffee (I put extra coffee ground in on race day), sat and sipped while puppy-snuggling and Insta-scrolling. This is my usual pre-run routine. I give myself an hour to wake up, feed my pup, drink my coffee, and get out the door.

I’d already planned on what I’d wear but last minute decided to do a tank and arm sleeves vs. a long sleeve. It’d be 40 degrees, which from previous running experiences, didn’t quite warrant for a long sleeve for racing. Although I probably would’ve been comfortable in a thin long sleeve as well.

Anyway, I get geared up and ready to go. I made a bowl of oatmeal and brought a banana to eat in the car. I left for Downtown Dallas with plenty of time, which is good, because although i thought I’d be way TOO early, I made it just in time (traffic! everyone and their mother is at this race!)

I met up with the BibRave Pros and a few other friends and said hi and hung out in the big gear-check indoor area until it was time to get into corrals. I was in “L” because my projected time required verification, which I never provided. I don’t believe I’ve really raced a 15K before, so I was just guessing my time based on my previous Half Marathon time.

A few days before the run, I decided I’d try for a 1:10. My goal pace for the Half Marathon distance has been 7:40 lately, so I thought 7:30 was reasonable. Holy hills I was wrong. The hills and the wind were really tough. I felt OK but not incredibly strong that morning (though my Garmin was convinced my Performance Level was a “+10!!!”) so, anyway, I felt like it was a miracle to see a sub-8 pace on my watch after the run. I felt like I really struggled. But I managed! My pace was just barely in the 7’s (7:58/mile per the official time of 1:14). This was good for 6th in my Age Group! I’ll take it! One day I’ll be up there…

Anyway, time wasn’t the most important thing for me this race. I got to see so many run buddies!!! Before the race, after, and even during! Even though I REALLY, REALLY wanted to quit at the sight of each hill, knowing that my friends were there really motivated me. It was a tough one for me – physically and mentally. But totally worth the good time and meet up with friends!

Afterwards, I got my hot chocolate goodie mug (a bowl of pure deliciuosness) and talked to a few people. It was cold and the run was DONE! Hot chocolate never tasted so good in my life. This is my favorite part of this race. Warming up with sweet hot chocolate.

All in all, this race was such a great time! For a full in-detail review of the race itself, check out my review on BibRave, and to see time results, check out my Athlinks page (and friend me!)

Huge thank you to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me towards becoming a stronger runner!

Review on BibRave.com: https://www.bibrave.com/races/hot-chocolate-dallas/9247#.WnnC6ahKtaQ

Athlinks: https://www.athlinks.com/event/19259/results/Event/618731/Course/945049/Bib/51469

Have you run a Hot Chocolate 5K/15K race in your city (or somewhere fun)?

Do you have Athlinks? What are your thoughts?