Tuesday, February 9, 2016

21 again.

Let's be honest, it's been a long time since I've seen 21. I believe the last time was 2014. Oh you thought I meant years? I meant miles.
I believe I ran a 20 while training for Grandma's Marathon last year but since I DNF'd, I never saw that 20+ mile struggle. That puts the last time I ran over 20 miles back to 2014 at the ironman. I will say I missed the really long runs. There's something super gratifying about pushing yourself to distances you haven't run in a while (or ever).
So yes. I ran 21 miles on Sunday! I was ready for it. I ate a good dinner, got to bed early (even though I was on my feet most of the morning Saturday handing out medals at Best Damn Race), and got up nice and early to eat and mentally prepare. Mentally prepare means read EOnline and think about how early it is.
I had put out a social media request for run buddies the week of, so that I could have friendly faces to run with. Twenty-one miles can be so boring when you aren't in race mode. Fortunately, my friend Michelle had 18 and another friend, Eva, was kind enough to get up at 5 AM to meet me for her first three of five miles. Other friends Dow, Michael, and Jamie met us somewhere along the way so I didn't run a single mile alone. It. Was. Fantastic.
Know what else was fantastic? Oh, just those may-jah negative splits I hit. I'm thrilled to have had such a great long run. I really needed this confidence boost heading into the home stretch of marathon training. I haven't quite decided on a goal yet. I'm still of two minds on this. Do I want to go all in or do I want to be more conservative? I'm going to have a good long chat with Coach Mason on Sunday and see what we can come up with.
I got my bib and corral number and there's only 18 days to go until Rock N Roll New Orleans! Let's hope this cold weather hangs around until then. Happy Fat Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Celebration Half Marathon Race Report

Last week I realized I'd be in Orlando the same weekend as the Celebration Marathon and Half Marathon. I knew I had a 15 mile run on my plan, so of course, I started thinking.... Maybe I can ask Coach Mason about hopping in that half? Now, I know I've said I don't believe in doing a bunch of races during a training cycle and I definitely still hold to that philosophy. However, I do believe that if you have the opportunity to get a medal for a training run, then why not? The key is not over doing it during said "medal" training run so that the following week you are still able to get in your workouts. And guess what? Coach Mason agreed. Score!
I was in Orlando for the US Masters Swimming Coach Certification on Saturday, so I checked to see if I could find a bib for Sunday. And if I did find one, could I legally get it transferred through the race? Being the girlfriend to a race director means I see the chaos that is created by folks who run under other people's names and/or bandit races. It's a big no no. Thus, I was super stoked that Celebration would let me transfer a bib from someone else. I posted to the facebook page and found a bib really quickly. And as a final bonus, I had friends racing who offered me a place to stay the night. Double score!
US Masters Swimming coach certification was fantastic, btw. It was paced really well and I passed the final exams for Level 1 and Level 2 coaching. Tada!

"Swim faster!"
Now I did pick up my packet and was thrilled with not only a Raw Threads shirt, but also a sweet beach towel, gear check bag, and a headband! Packet pick up and getting the bib transferred over to my name was a breeze. I didn't have time to peruse the whole expo but it looked small. However, the shirt and towel more than make up for an expo on the smaller side. I did see running booths so I'm sure they offered anything a runner would need pre race.
This picture doesn't do the shirt justice. It's adorable.
I headed to meet up with some Tribal buddies who were also racing. We had a delicious meal at Bonefish and then headed to the hotel to get to bed. I was pretty happy to have zero race anxiety and did my best to help my friend Kelly relax before her full. I know I'm going to be my normal anxious self before Nola.
Race morning came early and with only a little hiccup in finding our car in the hotel lot. Our driver's key fob wasn't working so we wound up driving around the parking lot in my car looking for hers. It was pretty funny and we've all been there. We were relieved when it wasn't stolen and we made it to the race with plenty of time to spare. I even got to drop my gear bag and get in about a two mile pre-race run.
Before the race started I was happy to see a lot of friendly faces from my old stomping grounds/running group, the BRA (Brandon Running Association)! I loved my time with them and it was so nice to see them! Caribbean Steve of course had me cracking up within a minute by telling me how ashy my legs were (lotion wasn't high on my race day priority list, apparently). And I had a pretty fantastic bear hug with Coach EK and Dr. Pepper Josh. *waves hi*
Ok, back to the race.
This race is flat, flat, flat. The only sections that would possibly slow you down a little are the narrow and winding boardwalks. There were several sections of this and after getting boxed in on one section, I learned to run in front of folks as we headed toward the next one. I took my time easing into the miles and chatting with folks along the way. The marathoners do the looped course twice. I don't know if I'd like the course for a full, but as I said - flat, flat, flat!
So, the first couple of miles smelled like poop. I had read this on someone else's blog review and I heard a runner nearby say it was the fertilizer that they were using on the golf course. Mystery solved! It was gone as soon as we left that area though so NBD.
Since I didn't really have a pace goal per se, I just ran how I felt. I wound up going a hair fast in the middle miles as I chatted with some large (like tall and muscular) dudes who were running the full. I told them it would have been fantastic to run with them if it was windy out. Heh. It was about this point I ran into my Tribal buddy Kelly. We chatted for a bit and then I had to let her go on as I desperately needed a potty stop. My uber relaxed self had forgotten my gels in my gear check bag (see why nerves are good?) so I ate some chomps they had on the course. Apparently they didn't quite agree with my stomach. Oh well.
I finally neared the finish line and my legs were more than ready to be done. I think I got dehydrated and paid for it the last four miles, even though I still picked it up at the end.
Me & Janette
I finished with an official time of 2:00:51. I'll take that for a training run any day of the week! Post race featured mimosas and pizza and beans and rice and lots of other goodies we skipped. I wanted a full meal so Janette and I headed to the hotel to shower and go out for a very large breakfast. By the time we got to Cracker Barrel I was famished!
Overall I'd say this race is really, really well done. It's not too big, not too small. There was ample parking for both the expo and race day. The swag is fantastic. Instead of post race space blankets we got those sweet zip up paper hoodies. I love to use them for throw downs at other cold races. Plus, the town of Celebration is just adorable and convenient to Orlando attractions if you're into that. I'd do this race again in a heartbeat.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Stats/Recap

Happy birth month to me! #BethMonth has arrived and I'm so stoked to toe the line for a marathon this month. Plus, I'll get to see my nephews in Nola. I plan to run straight to the beignets.

Run 148 miles. Holy big miles! My legs are a wee bit tired...

Bike Ok so I promise this is the last month with no bike miles. I have to prepare for our trip to see Le Tour. 

Swim 7 miles. After the Frogman got canceled I lost my swim mojo a bit. I'll be hitting the pool again this month for more great crosstraining. And guess what? I'm now a certified US Masters Swimming Coach!

Strength 3 sessions with the Tribe.

Yoga Namastayinbed.

Races I was pretty happy to get the green light from Coach Mason to hop in a half marathon for a long run. I ran the Celebration Half Marathon yesterday (plus a couple of mile beforehand). I'll post a recap tomorrow.

Current Reads I finished Americanah and Reconstructing Amelia. I enjoyed both, but I think I like Americnah a bit more. Reconstructing Amelia made a little sad. Kids can be cruel. I started The Handmaid's Tale. It's super intriguing so far.

Current Obsession Running. And marathons. And more running. All the running!  

Current Song I am loving the Beibs song Love Yourself. It's shameful, but I can't help it. "My mama don't like you and she likes everyone..." 

Current Need I need a few new go-to easy recipes. I feel like the S.O. and I cook the same four meals over and over. Please share some with me!

Current Triumph 18 mile run last Tuesday and 15 mile run on Sunday. Whoa. 

Current Bain of My Existence Nothing much. Life is good.

Current Goal Rock N Roll Nola Marathon...crush it!

Current Indulgence I may have gone a bit crazy on my drive home post half marathon/long run yesterday. Road trips are tough on me because I always want candy and snacks. I got sour gummy bears and a heath bar. Ok fine AND a small rice crispy treat. Ha! (Yeah, not on the Advocare 24 day challenge plan...)

Current Blessings Getting to another healthy year! My birthday month has arrived!

Current Excitement Marathon number eight! This is my second attempt at number eight and IT IS HAPPENING. Come hell or high water, I shall hit number eight!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Confessions

Hi again! Blogging slacker here. I didn't post this week as the J-O-B has been bananas again. I'm super glad it's Friday. And since it's Friday, I figured a little Friday Confessions post was in order. Here we go.

1. After my run this morning, I went home and showered. And then got back in bed for another 45 minutes. I didn't even eat, I know - the horror! It. Was. Worth it.

2. I've been doing the 24 day challenge with Advocare. I have kept it on the DL (do people still say that?) because I know SO many health and nutrition experts that I didn't want to hear alllllllll the opinions. Rude? Maybe. But worth my sanity? Definitely. I may or may not report more on this.

3. Part of that challenge includes cutting dairy and alcohol. Guess which one I'm missing more?

4. ICYMI means In Case You Missed It. I had to look that up this week. #nolongerhip

5. ICYMI, Kanye West and Wiz Kalifa got into a twitter fight and it was one of the highlights of my week. Wiz DOES wear cool pants.

6. I sat at the bar at my favorite spot for post strength training breakfast while none other than John Cena sat at a booth behind me. He was drinking a chocolate milk with lots of whipped cream. It was adorable. (And yes ladies, he's super cute IRL. No, I didn't snap a pic with him. Poor guy was just trying to get his breakfast gains on.)

7. I think Steve Avery is guilty. I'm sorry! I can't help it. I think he did some real questionable stuff and maybe the evidence was planted. But maybe it was planted because it needed to be planted. Does that even make sense?

8. I've been invited to speak in front of a Girl Scout troop and I'm more nervous for this than I am coaching the adults I work with.

9. I'm craving mozzarella sticks like it's nobody's business.

10. But I'm afraid of what is going to happen if I do eat cheese again. (I will say that my stomach has felt a lot better recently...)

11. I just read that odd numbered lists were better than even numbered lists. Is this a real confession? Probably not but I felt like sharing.

Have a great weekend! Best of luck if to those of you who are toeing start lines. Embrace the suck!