Monday, October 30, 2017

Gearing up for Marathon #2

I am going to share an article that I have read many times to frame my mindset about running marathon #2. 

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap!
Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin

http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

I want to be clear I am not advocating running a race undertrained, or passing judgment on the way anyone trains, I am simply sharing my heart and decision making process that led to running a marathon on October 28th. 

Below is a clip from the article 

Written by Coach Jeff


The marathon long run is overrated.
In my experience, too many beginner runners (those training to run slower than 3:45) focus on trying to get in multiple 20 or 22 milers in their training segment at the expense of improving more critical physiological systems. More importantly, scientific research has shown that runs of over 3 hours offer little aerobic benefit compared to runs of 2 hours while significantly increasing injury risk.
As such, rather than cramming your marathon training schedule with multiple 20-22 milers that increase your injury risk and recovery time without decisive aerobic advantages, you should focus on improving your aerobic threshold, teaching your body to use fat as a fuel source, and building your overall tolerance for running on tired legs through accumulated fatigue.
Since the long run is such an ingrained element of marathon training, and suggesting they are overrated sounds blasphemous to many veterans, I am going to provide you with scientific research, relevant examples, and suggestions on how to better structure your training to help you run your next marathon faster.
The science of the long run
Most beginner runners training for the marathon are averaging anywhere from 9 minutes to 12 minutes per mile on their long runs (3:45 to 5-hour finishing time). At a pace of 10 minutes per mile, a runner will take roughly 3-hours and 40-minutes to finish a 21-mile run. While there is no doubt that a 21-mile run (or longer) can be a great confidence booster, from a training and physiological standpoint, they don’t make too much sense. Here’s why:
Research has shown that your body doesn’t see a significant increase in aerobic development, specifically mitochondrial development, when running over 90 minutes. The majority of physiological stimulus of long runs occurs between the 60 and 90 minute mark. This means that after running for 3 hours, aerobic benefits (capillary building, mitochondrial development) aren’t markedly better than when you run for only 2 hours. Therefore, a long run of over 3 hours builds about as much aerobic fitness as one lasting 2 hours.
Furthermore, running for longer than 3 hours significantly increases your chance of injury. Your form begins to break down, your major muscles become weak and susceptible to injury, and overuse injuries begin to take their toll. This risk is more prevalent for beginner runners whose aerobic capabilities (because of cross training and other activities), exceed their musculoskeletal readiness. Basically, their bodies aren’t ready to handle what their lungs can.
Not only are aerobic benefits diminished while injury risk rises, recovery time is significantly lengthened. The total amount of time on your feet during a 3-hour plus run adds considerable fatigue to the legs, which leads to a significant delay in recovery time. Credit 

I've read the words in red over and over as I have thought about running another marathon and I take them to heart. 💕 Am I trained to run 2 hours…Absolutely.  Is that enough training? I don’t know…Did I believe I could do it?  I felt confident I could meet the challenge mentally and physically in every other way than my feet...my feet are my thorn, but I was ready to test them. 

I put my name on the waitlist for this race during the summer kind of willy nilly and said, if it is meant to be I’ll get in. The course is advertised as a fast downhill course on unpaved road. It had been a little over three months when they contacted me (I had forgot about it!) and said I could have a spot! I was shocked…the wait list was huge when I threw my name up; I really didn’t believe it would happen.

There were a handful of reasons I threw my name on the waitlist.

My first marathon did not turn out as well as I hoped and I felt I needed to right some of the things that went wrong that day, and I was very curious if unpaved surface would make a difference for my feet.

I spent 8 months without the slightest desire to revisit 26.2 after the Richmond marathon in 2016. Something flipped after that and I was ready to create some new marathon memories. 

I had a lot go wrong race morning last year. I had sooooooooo much anxiety I could not even eat. I ran on empty and while doing a race close to home did allow me to sleep in my own bed, taking care of my animals in the morning, cleaning up messes, was all part of my undoing. Also trying to drive downtown and park at such a big event was a total stressor. I still get sad when I think about how the morning went; it wasn’t conducive for a great day. I could go on and on about how heartbreaking this was to me in so many ways, but the big lesson I learned, is that I need to remove those elements so I can have a clear head and happy heart when I get to the start line.

This race limited to 400 participants, with a parking area and shuttles to take you up the mountain and affordable accommodations nearby, and the promise of beautiful views made me want to be there!

Also, actually tackling the beastly 26.2 once before gave me experience with what to expect, and confidence that I could get it done. 26 miles seemed so unimaginable to me all during training last year, I am not sure I really believed I would finish until I ran my 20 miler. I have always known though I would not train the same way (if I ever decided to do it again) and I figured 16-17 would be about my longest run. 

When race organizers contacted me my initial gut reaction was go! Then the doubts and worries started to flood my mind…will I get hurt, will my feet explode, will it be miserable if I walk 10 miles of it, will Coach Holly be upset I am messing up my half goal???
I have been on a half training mission with Holly, and I didn’t want to flip from that goal, but my heart wanted to do this.

Honestly, it was just a few weeks ago I got pulled from the waitlist. Is that really enough time to make a big difference in my fitness level?? No! But, I did believe deep inside I was ready. I just had a sense of peace about it.  If I had a little more notice I would have trained up to 16 miles, but time wasn’t abundant so I just stuck with my normal plans. 

Remember, I put my name on the list and said if it is meant to be…

In the end, I decided to say thank you Lord for the opportunity; I am going to become a second time marathoner. My BIG race plan was to hopefully see some beautiful sights, run some intervals, and enjoy the journey.

I, of course, had been stalking the weather, which was great in NC and VA the week leading up the race, and of course the Thursday night before the event – rain 100% chance!!

If you saw my Instagram post you know I accomplished marathon #2 and it was a 5 minute PR and I am very happy I decided to go for it!

I’ll leave you here until I can get more details written out…but I did it! 💫
Thanks for stopping by!! Karen




Have you read this article about training and the long run before? Any thoughts about it? 
The importance of a 20 miler?? I believe I needed it for marathon #1!!
Have you run a race undertrained? 
Have you ever made a big decision on...if it was meant to be?? 
Does a rain forecast make you dread a race? UGH!!! 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Petersburg Halloween Half


I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap!
Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com












I ran half marathon #18 on Saturday hoping for a 2:15 or better finish and I fell a bit short, but I still had a pretty good day.



My goal was very reasonable, a 10:15 -10:20 pace should be very manageable for me, I really don't believe I am setting the bar too high or setting myself up for disappointment, I should be able to accomplish that mission. 

Here's the details:
I got all my working out done by Wednesday and rested till Saturday.
Monday - 3.55 mi (37:28) 90 minutes weights and core
Tuesday - walking w/Andrew
Wednesday - 3 mi (33:33)
Saturday - 13.1

walking w/Andrew

I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, drove 35 minutes, grabbed my bib, and ran 5 minutes to warm up. Boom! Ready for the 7 a.m. start.

It was 52 degrees and it felt dewy...not the crisp clear morning I hoped for, but there was a coolness in the air and usually at that temp I am fine in the morning humidity. It was 62 at the end of the race, so it was warming up, but not drastically. I had a 24 oz. throwaway bottle with two tablets of Nuun in it and 1 pack of honey stinger chews.

I used the restroom about 6 x's ...seriously, my badder is annoying. We heard a great rendition of the national anthem and off we went. I felt much less nervous than usual and I was confident that I could break 2:15 for the day.

I had created a workout in my Garmin. Run a warm up mile, because things are usually too bunched up in the beginning of race to interval, and then go 3 minutes running, 40 seconds walk break x 11 then switch to miles at a 9:45 - 10:20 pace to finish up the race. 
I hoped the small amount of intervals in the beginning would incorporate enough rest for my foot so it wouldn't throb by the end...and it worked well! 
The race was really small this year. It was much better attended the past few years and I wonder if it will survive for another year. 
They changed the course so it would be different from the spring race through the battlefields. However, a few sections were coned off but open to traffic, this became hazardous a few times around mile 8 and 10-11ish...which is usually about the time runners are really getting tired and not quite as alert. More about this in a minute. 

Those beginning miles were pretty peaceful as we ran through town, then back to a sports complex and looped out. Tranquil, shady, and people thinned out fast because the race was so small, 119 for the half distance. 
My intervals started during mile 2 and I knew they would carry me until around mile 5. I ate a chew during each walk break.
I tried to take it easy and let my legs warm up, they felt a little sluggish, not particularly heavy, just not super loose. I tried a few times to push and my legs and they would get that heavy feeling, but when I backed off they felt okay. I kept hoping my legs would warm up and come to life. 
On a quiet road I took a quick trot off course to pop a squat...dang bladder, but I was super fast. 

When my intervals ran out about 55 minutes in, I tried again to pick up the pace, but it didn't feel sustainable, as soon as I backed down a bit I felt fine...I ignored my pace cues and ran off effort. 
Steady run mile splits: 
10:14, 10:26, 10:28, 10:30, 10:44,10:22, 10:39, 10:24, last half mile at 9:30 

After we looped out from the sports complex we ran back through the city, and it got dicey at a few points. The cars were not staying outside the cones and one car in particular blew past me, and ran up fast on two girls who were ahead of me and honked the horn, I could hear them yelling to the driver about the cones and it being a race but I couldn't make it all out. A few more cars drove through very fast even though the speed limit was 35 on this road, all this was going on around mile 9.

There were a few good hills along the way too! 343 ft. of elevation gain total for the course. The car incident at mile 8/9 happened on a big hill and I do think it was a factor in people moving to the right slower because they were getting tired and focused on getting up the hill.

Everything after mile 9 was busy with traffic and around mile 10, cars were driving inside the cones here too. Police were at intersections stopping and directing traffic, but in between you were on your own. I ran on the rickety old sidewalk for a good long time between miles 10 and 11 because  the right lane was coned off and I didn't like cars coming up from behind me. Most runners stayed in traffic though. 
I only used two hydration stops for Gatorade because I sipped from my throwaway bottle most of the race. 
I did dump some water over my head at the last water stop because I was starting to feel warm. Even though it felt fairly cool I was still covered in a layer of salt...ewwww. I could tell at that point my right arm was chafed raw on the underside, so I guess I sweated my body glide off, but that seems to be the worst of it for this race. 
I didn't have my usual burst of speed toward the end, I knew I wasn't close to my goal so I just ran in steady. I felt pretty lack luster about my finish time, but the medal was cute 🎃


I felt a few twinges in my feet during the race, my glute had a few shots of pain, and a little soreness in my ankle at the end, but all that passed...just minor annoyances. Overall, it was a great long run, I just wasn't as speedy as I expected. 
I have zero excuses. I prepped well, had good weather, it just wasn't my day.  I tried a few times to pick up the pace, but my body was very stuck in the 10:30ish rhythm. 


I was hoping to make Coach HoHo proud and check off that goal race, maybe by Richmond half I'll feel ready to try again.
This happened because it was a small race! It is a cute award. 

 
Official time 2:19:43 - a 10:40 average pace

My last five races have all been very close to this time and it's funny because each race had very different circumstances, weather, and training behind it. The one exception of the last five was Glacier, I ran a 2:30:53 and I was thrilled with that because so much elevation was involved and I took my time to enjoy the views.

Hopefully before 2017 ends I will crack 2:15 again, but even if I don't I am still happy running all the miles 🙌💕 

How do you feel about races open to traffic? 
Any car/driver stories from a race? 
Relate to my bladders woes? 
Anyone pre-programming your Garmin yet? I am quite attached to this feature! 
Thanks for stopping by! 
Karen


Monday, October 16, 2017

Training Week #9

I took last Sunday and Monday totally off.  Not even a walk. After my fall last Friday and my 11 mile run on my road rash knee, I just wanted to let it heal up.

Monday - rest
Tuesday - Swampfest Four - 4.00 mi 0:44:05
Cool Down - 0:14:39
Wednesday - Swamp Stomp - 3.56 mi 0:38:21
Thursday - Wog - 3.09 mi 0:45:29
Arc - 2.00 mi 0:33:31
Upper and Core - 1:02:59
Friday - Cotton Mouthed 800's - 6.85 mi 1:11:45
Cool Down - 0:09:50
Saturday - rest
Sunday - Sticky Eight - 8.00 mi 1:25:18
Walking - 0.89 mi 0:18:58


Training week #9 with Coach Hoho

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap!

Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com


Monday it was so humid it was easy to stay in bed a little later.


Tuesday I ran in very hot humid conditions...when will it end??! 🎃 maybe by 🎅🎄


Wednesday
same oppressive conditions, except something weird happened…

My tree trunks were not feeling as heavy as they typically do in the humidity and I had a decent run. After 7 months of 70’s and 80’s maybe this elusive heat acclimation is happening?? Maybe it was because it was such a short run lol 😀maybe it was the lightning?! Right before mile three I saw a big flash of lightning in the sky and it started raining...I did run a bit faster that last half mile or so because I thought I better get my butt home 🏃 🏃 but the rain stopped before I even got there. However, in ode to my Coach’s Roll Tide, the cheer Swamp Stomp 🎉went up...seriously for me to be under an 11 minute pace - even if it is 10 seconds is a victory.  





Thursday morning I took a walk before work...whatttt?! I call it a Wog, because I will do a stride a mile just to get my heart rate up and make it the most effective walk I can. Those tiny 25 seconds of running are some happy endorphins…
I actually made enough endorphins flow to get my buttt to the gym after work. I have struggled the past few weeks making myself do any strength work and I needed to break the funk.

The past month or so I have been plagued with waking up and tossing and turning which makes me miserable…Thursday night going to the gym helped me to fall asleep much easier and I slept like a rock...till about 3:00 a.m. ugh...then it was touch and go, that lack of sound sleep is tough.


Friday morning, I was so thankful it wasn’t 75 flipping degrees anymore! 63 degrees and an actual breeze blew from time to time...HaaaaaEeeeeYY!

The problem was as soon as I started moving I was so freaking thirsty I could hardly stand it. Which is really odd! I drink a lot of water everyday and I didn't feel like I’ve been slacking and I haven't even enjoyed any cocktails lately lol I have a 24 oz water bottle I put a tablet of Nuun in every time I run. I emptied it by my 3rd 800...I had already decided I would be walking more of recoveries than usual so I could get my workout done. I nailed my 800’s but I was feeling thirsty the whole time. Walking more in between helped a whole bunch and I made sure to refill my water bottle several times throughout the day. I think I refilled at least  5 times. Someone at work said to me it was probably my blood pressure medication...hmmmm, I’ve been on it several months at this point and it hasn’t been an issue, does that happen?!

I was dripping sweat from everywhere.
4:25, 4:35, 4:35, 4:29, 4:23, 4:32
6.85 miles @10:29 avg I felt like I crushed it :)

Friday evening I got a very weird wave of nausea and a cramp that last about an hour. I was super fearful it was food poisoning, I was right on the edge, but I went to sleep and nothing else manifested from it, and I was so thankful. My kick butt work out was the highlight of my day. LOL

I did not sleep well though and I turned off my run alarm about 4 a.m.

Saturday
I did contemplate going for my run but I felt sluggish and the muscles in legs felt fatigued AND I was still thirsty. Arghhhhh, so I relaxed...all day. 🍷

Sunday
I ran my last long run before my race next week. It was super sticky...warm, and my son had another mishap and texted me, which resulted in a few pauses to talk. It was a tough run...hard to absorb all that was going on and run and try to hit my paces.
I flubbed it....but even with that I still feel like it was pretty solid training. I wanted to lay face down on the pavement and cry...for real... but I kept plugging away. My heavy feeling was back in the humidity so I guess my great run earlier in the week was a fluke lol
Attempted 2w/u 2c/d 4@10:20
Actual 10:28, 11:23, 10:13, 10:20, 10:47, 10:37, 10:13, 11:07

Mentionables -
My massage (40 min) and chiropractor adjustment this week felt really good. Friday during my higher intensity work my hand was not numb like it normally is. Tingling is still there but I'll take any improvement I can get.

My hubby has been sick over a week now and ran a fever all day Saturday. I have battled off a few colds already but it makes me nervous because it is taper week. I am still stuffy now, I can't seem to get all the way well.

Even though training has been up and down so far, I've had a few breakthrough moments and I do believe I can have a decent day...pending the weather cooperates.
I feel like this in heat and humidity🐂🐄🐌
It is not that I won't have rough days when the weather cools, because I know I will, but at least I have a shot at pushing myself if the heaviness lifts.

My race is Saturday and while it is a very fun event, the course is notoriously short. Even though they made a few minor adjustments to fix it in 2016, it was just shy of 13 miles.
It bugs me!! I would rather run longer, but I am still going to count it as #18 💖
Thanks for stopping by! 
How much water do you drink everyday? 
Ever felt strangely dehydrated but you weren't sure why?
How nuts does make it you to be shorted on a run?? 
Ever suffer from sleep deprivation? 
What do you normally do during taper?? 

Karen

Monday, October 9, 2017

Training Week #8

Training week #8 with Coach Hoho

A few weeks ago I was having such a confidence crisis because I couldn't tell if I was making progress because the heat and humidity were holding strong. I am sooooo thankful I had a few nice days so I could experience my progress!

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap!
Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com

Monday - Evening Ride - 10.92 mi 0:49:44
Tuesday - Pocahontas Trail run - 3.51 mi 0:38:58
Walking - 1.05 mi 0:23:09
Wednesday - 800 x 6 - 6.10 mi 1:02:44
Shaking out the legs - 0.51 mi 0:05:10
Thursday - rest
Friday - Free Falling - 3.01 mi 0:29:43

Saturday - 11 Instead of 12 - 11.00 mi 2:01:40
Walking - 1.44 mi 0:28:25
Walking - 1.01 mi 0:22:04
Sunday - lazy - it is so hot I don't want to go outside


This week started off like the week before, me trying to get rid of a nasty cold...

I took my bike out Monday because it was a lovely non humid Fall feeling kind of evening and I hoped it would help me to sleep better. 



Tuesday (3.5 mi easy) 

I took off work because I am over the amount of hours hours I are allowed to carry. I was going to use this time to go hiking, but my cold was making me feel blah. I woke up early planning to head to the Blue Ridge mountains, and within 15 minutes I decided I needed rest. I went back to sleep and snoooozed until 10:00 a.m. I headed to Pocahontas Park mid - day and ran on the trail. It has been about a year since I've been on a trail. I forgot how hard it is! Hilly and very challenging footing, but fairly shady. 

If you see me out mid day you know it is nice out LOL 70's are nice when there is no humidity.

Wednesday
6.5 mi 6 x 800 (500 recovery) 800= 4:40-4:50 
Wednesday morning was still a blissful delight...50 degrees and I got rolling on my 800's feeling strong throughout this session. I can tell my training is starting to have pay off and it feels great. 800's are my jam. 
4:31, 4:34, 4:41, 4:31, 4:30, 4:36
Kenny got my knuckle lights working again! I still ordered a new head lamp though...it is supposed to be really bright. I can't wait till it gets here. 




Friday (3 mi w/ 90 seconds speedy a mile)  I had a very frustrating morning and it resulted in me getting out of the house almost 10 minutes behind schedule for my run. Minutes are like gold in the morning and I don't have even one to squander away. I felt very annoyed during my first mile and I tried to breathe and calm down and the next thing I knew I was down...on the ground. Ouch! 
I had plenty of light, but I still scuffed my shoe on something and down I went. I landed mostly on my knee and I was sore for a few minutes and I walked a little trying to decide if I should run on it. 

According to my Garmin it took me 3 minutes and I was off and running again and I knew I was even more behind schedule so I couldn't even go super easy. It did sting and I knew I was going to feel bruised but I would survive. 


Did I mention Friday morning it was 14 degrees warmer than Wednesday morning. The heat and humidity was predicted to climb and it sure did. 


Saturday (12 mi @10:40-10:50 pace) It was really warm and humid feeling as the dew point continued to rise as I set out for 12 miles.

I had pre- programmed my target paces into my Garmin, but I knew I wasn't going to try too hard to hit them. It was a run at whatever pace you can manage kind of morning.

I did my thing and even though it was warm and my knee was definitely sore, I felt pretty strong and steady. I tried to eat a few bites of a Luna bar the first few miles. I rarely fuel on training runs and I can't say this was really helped, but I figured I'd try. 



My feet felt great until mile 10 and then at 10.4 miles my right foot started throbbing, especially my toes...which is what always happens the past two years. When things flip, they flip fast, and stopping is the best remedy, but walking will also calm the pain. I was VERY slow once the pain spiked and stopped at mile 11. When things start to feel swollen I am most susceptible to more damage so I have to stop.

My result 11 @ 2:01:40 (11:03 avg)  only 5 miles really in my target pace range, but I still feel good about the effort.

The biggest annoyance is..I can get THAT close, but when my foot goes, it goes. I walked a mile and started feeling much better. It's not like I can just switch to intervals and keep going, I need time for the foot to calm down.

If you have followed me for any length of time you know I've been experimenting trying to manage the pain several different ways. I tried during marathon training to only run three days a week, tried running no long distance for months, tried a few different types of inserts, tried to rest the feet ( and they hurt more). That two hour mark for me is very hard to get past with out intervals. Using intervals...it isn't a magical fix where I feel 100%, but if I start them early in a run it does seem to build in enough recovery so I can make it to the end. The question I have wrestled with and continue to wrestle is, should I just let the distance go. I do enjoy the challenge of finishing a half marathon, but the most important thing is being able to run several times a week for my sanity. My feet issues are much more manageable if I keep a run under two hours. I am going to finish out my race plans this year and think on it.

The only other fitness related thing I did last week was see a chiropractor for an evaluation (for the first time), and their massage expert. They felt they could help with most of those niggles I feel in my hammie and glute, and the numbness in my hand, but the hardest thing to treat was my feet. Neither of them wanted to give me false hope that I would see much improvement with the condition I have. It is not an injury that will just heal up...it is degenerative in nature.  I knew this because I've heard it from a few different doctors who have examined me, but each time it reminds me I should just be thankful I am running, and I just need to continue to manage it the best I can.

Even though I had a few setbacks, like falling and cutting my long run a mile short, I still feel like I had a strong week of training and I am sure I am making progress with my overall fitness level. What I can do with that is still in question, but that is okay, in many ways I feel the journey and the process hold more value and importance to my overall health than the outcome of one event. 


Do you see a chiropractor? Have they helped you? Tell me about it! 
Anyone else experience numbness and tingling in your hands when you run?? My weakness seems to be my neck. 
Do you love 800's?? 
Anyone have a Diamond sprinter head lamp? 
Is it still summer at your house?

Thanks for stopping by!! 
Happy running, 


Monday, October 2, 2017

Feeling the Love of Fall!

Training week #7 with Coach Hoho
http://hohoruns.blogspot.com
I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap!
Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin


Monday  
On the Mend - 3.00 mi 0:32:56
Cool Down - 0:15:04
Tuesday
Treadmill warm up - 1.20 mi 0:19:32
Upper and Core - 1:21:01
Wednesday
Summer 800's - 6.04 mi 1:04:05
Cool Down - 0:19:12
Thursday – rest!
Friday
Walking - 2.72 mi 0:51:40
Saturday
Feeling Fall for Ten - 10.00 mi 1:43:21
Walking - 1.85 mi 0:36:35
Sunday
Cool 3 - 3.01 mi 0:31:30
Cool Down - 0:09:28

First let me say, this is not a forum where I have chosen not to discuss current events much, but I do feel deeply for those impacted just as I do in every tragic event of which there seems to be an endless string of lately.  I am deeply disturbed that so many among the human race seem to be hell bent on death, chaos, and causing of destruction of innocent lives. It is deplorable.
To make a long post short, I had THAT week, that breakthrough I needed and it once again confirms I may be the most weather dependent person on the planet.
Wednesday it was still summer, it was a hot 72 and humid and I knocked out my speed work. While I felt pretty darn strong for my 800’s I just slogged through the recovery periods, but I really believed it was the heat. Here is the thing though; when you are slogging and feeling drained, you always have to wonder if the conditions were better could I have nailed it??!
Fortunately I did not have to wait long this week to find out!  
Friday was a beautiful day in Central VA finalllllly….after months of boiling, I was whistling and happy to take an evening walk and feeling excited to run the next morning.
Saturday I could not believe how amazing it felt, I haven’t felt anything this pleasant since Montana in June. In VA it has been since April. I did my warm up and off I went.  I had pre-programmed my pace miles into my Garmin so I had my cues. After a few warm up miles, my legs were feeling better than they have felt in a very long time. I decided to ignore my pace cues and push out a few miles and see what I could do before I felt fatigued.
It was such a good feeling to push again!!
I completely crushed this run, it felt a race day!
Planned 2 w/u 2 c/d 6@10:30
10:42, 10:35 10:25, 10:31, 10:21, 10:26, 9:54 9:52 10:17, 10:16
I know in the world of speedy, this isn’t breaking any records, but for me it is the fastest and strongest feeling effort I've had in a long time. To be truthful the pace isn’t what mattered so much, it was more the fact I felt capable and my body was meeting the challenge when I pushed myself and I could recover without stopping, completely different from how I feel in the heat. I am so weather dependent it is annoying, but I don't have much control over it. 
I wish I could have held this pace for my last race in early September, but I just wasn’t there yet.  A race day like this in a few weeks would sure be nice, but who knows, the heat and humidity could be back in an instant here and I could struggle just trying to maintain 11 minute miles! 
At least I do feel I am getting myself prepared to be ready to seize the opportunity of a great weather day!
You know what else was really strange, my legs felt pretty used up the rest of Saturday, but I woke up Sunday and they were surprisingly ready to run.  I went out to do a recovery run and kept expecting any minute to feel heavy legs, but I actually felt great.  My biggest issue was I started sneezing incessantly, and another cold quickly came on. UGH!! The hubs and I went to Bush Gardens and I sneezed all though the day. I took Allegra, cold medicine, and used nose spray several times, I was so dried up my lips were cracking LOL but I was still sneezing. I can’t stand being sick, but I still had a great time. I live for roller coasters days!

I started last Monday trying to get over being sick all last weekend, and I ended up sick again. Booo! Oh well, I am trying to shake it off. 
Scenes from my week.

After my Monday run I came home to a hurt BooBoo

 He is on the mend!! His bite is healing and I can tell (after a $$$ vet visit)  he feels much better!  He stays in our yard and very close to home when he goes out, but that is the risk of an outdoor cat. All my other cats stay inside but Boo was an adoptee from the neighborhood because of Hurricane Sandy. My hubby insisted on bringing him indoors to keep him safe during the storm and he never left :) 


               Dang heat!! I rocked my 800's anyway! I may have said  a few curse words though! 
Saturday was an amazing long run, amazing breakfast made by my hubby, and a beer and wine festival for the day!! 



Sunday recovery run! I love Fall and this cute shirt from Sara Marie Designs from Holly 💗💗 Thank you for the gift Coach!!  
 and then I was off to ride rollercoasters for the day! 



Had any breakthroughs lately? 
Have you been able to avoid the cold season?! 
When was your last strong endorphin flowing run? Tell me about it! 
Anyone want to challenge my title as the most weather dependent person on the planet?! LOL  maybe I can share it ;) 

Take care everyone!
 Karen