Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

5 weeks from RnR NOLA....just a log

Monday: 70 minutes  - very easy (hamstring very tight from running along hwy 389 for 13.1 miles)
Tuesday: AM - 20 minutes very easy PM - 70 minutes (hamstring)
Wednesday - 80 minutes @ 7:10 pace
Thursday: 2m w/u, 3 miles hilly tempo @ 5:54, 5X800m at 5:40pace w/ 60-90 rest (On the road, alone at 4:45...legs still pretty dead..bathroom break after number 2 ) 3 mile c/d
Friday - 78 minutes w/ M and D
Saturday : 20 miles w/ 11 @ 6:49 avg, next 9 @ 6:36 avg. Felt great, relaxed the first half. I had many 6:20ish miles in there. I forgot to set my watch up to auto lap so I don't have splits except for when accidentally hit the lap button.
Sunday: 1 hour easy

My legs are starting to cooperate. I really thinking I'm capable of running a good one....if I do...we will see. I've got 5 weeks to make mistakes. Or not.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Frostbite Half-Marathon Race Recap

Frostbite Half-Marathon Results: 1:20:07 for 1st female (course record!)
3 mile w/u + 30 min c/d

I know this race was a week ago but its better late than never.

Frostbite Half-Marathon starts 13.1 miles from Oktibbeha County Hospital, in the “blink and you miss it” town of Pheba, Mississippi.  My husband graciously agreed to drive me and my running pals out to the start about 20 minutes before the buses were leaving so we all got our 3 miles in.
Stretching before the race. Photo by Rod Simmons.

The temps were great, but I was a little unsure of my legs.  I had done a lot of work in the last few weeks and I was running this thing tired.  I did not intend to run a PR, although breaking 80 was in the back of my mind.

Quickly after the buses arrived, the 400 or so Mississippians (and one Canadian - me) positioned ourselves behind the spray painted start line.  It was time to get started

The group I was running with went out way too hard the first half mile, something like 5:38 pace.  One of the local high school stars was being sucked in, Joseph; I told him we should stick together.  After all, he was just doing frostbite as a training run.  Our pace slowed and we went through the first mile at 6:05, perfect.  I felt good at this point; there was still a possibility that this would be a good day.

Frostbite is not what I would call a flat and fast course.  If anything, I would say it is the exact opposite.  It is a straight shot, with rollers that I swear do not go down at all.  The entire way I felt like we were just climbing.  Right when you start to feel like you want to fall out on the side of the road, you hit a hill/mountain and climb for a good 1000m.  After that hill, you hit another one, and another one.  The final mile you climb a good 250 meters before turning onto hospital road to head for the finish.
Frostbite is hard.

After running with Joseph for the first 5 miles at just under 6:05 pace, my hip cramped up and he dropped me.  I spent the next few miles trying to loosen up and get back on pace.

Once we hit the half waypoint, Joseph had caught those running the relay and was over a minute ahead of me.  I wanted to quit, not because I was hurting but because y hip was so tight.  My husband, God bless him, had made it to every mile marker trying to offer words of encouragement.  I had stopped looking at my watch because I could not get back to 6:02 or faster, I think I dropped a 6:12 during mile 7.  I was slipping.
Somewhere around the half way. Photo by Joe MacGown
My hip loosened up during mile 8 and I split a 6:03 – great.  Houston was now making every half mile and I could tell I was gaining on the relay group in front.  I started racing.

I hit the hill and heard Houston say, “You can still get the course record.”  I guess this was his way of saying, “it’s not your best, but it will be solid.”  I took this to heart.

I really started closing the on the hill.  Even though this was my slowest mile (6:26) it was a steep up-hill climb and I felt strong.  The next two ups I split 6:10 and I caught two relay teams.
Getting back into the race.

Houston started yelling…I mean really SCREAMING.  I tried my best to turn it over, I felt like I was sprinting the last mile of a 10k. My last mile was 5:52 and it included a 250m climb.
Once I turned the corner to enter the finish line area, I saw 1:19:57 on the clock and realized why Houston was screaming at me.

I had stopped looking at my watch and missed breaking 80 by 8 seconds. Damn.

I felt good during the last 3 miles. I think I am more impressed that I really raced.  My closing miles on the hills felt amazing.
This is me looking at the clock ..MAD because I didn't know how close I was to breaking 80.

I didn’t go into this race intending to PR but I will take it.  It was a good day.

What about the coach?

I'm always going to be close to coaching. My husband is a coach, I coach, my friends coach. I'll never get away from it.

As an athlete I don't think we always think about the coach. We don't think about the time, effort, faith that our coach often puts into us. When we give up or stop trying, we also give up on our coach. We forget about them, we forget that it is not always about US.

I think the hardest thing for a coach to accept is when athletes don't want to try, don't care, otherwise give up before their coach gives up on then. All that time and effort that they have invested in that athlete is completely wasted.

Running is a very selfish sport. My husband works very hard to make sure I get my runs in, but he also enjoys coaching. When I ask him for training advice he drops everything. It is his passion, he was made to be a coach. 

My job as an athlete is to give back in performance. If I can't preform to the best of my ability, I can show I care by putting in the effort, by doing the right things, by being a good athlete.

If you have a coach, make sure you are being a good athlete and don't forget to thank your coach once in a while.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Just this weeks log...

Monday: 13.55 miles in 1:33 (treadmill, starting out relaxed and working down to 6:40pace for the last half)
Tuesday: 67 minutes ( 9 miles)
Wednesday: 2 mile w/u, 4X2 mile on treadmill, 3 jog recovery
1st segment- 5:56 pace
2nd segment - 5:52 pace
3rd segment - 5:49 pace
4th segment - 5:46 pace
2.5 mile c/d (12.5-13 miles)
Thursday: 10-11 miles with Kelly
Friday: 7 miles + strides
Saturday: 3 mile w/u, race half marathon in 1:20:07 (course record!), 30 min c/d (19-20 miles)
Sunday: Recovery run

Good week for me. Race recap coming tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Suck it up.Get it done...Rant.

Warning...this is just a rant.

Maddy was rearranging our book shelf last night when she happened to pull out one of my training diaries from college. It was nice and neat, pretty detailed. Maddy took a pen and started scribbling in it. I happened to glance at the page she was on...the week before conference, senior year.

My worst track season ever leading up to the conference. Curious, I made a trade (I gave her a copy of THE ZONE by Barry Sears). I wanted to revisit those last few weeks before "that race".

"That race"..... All spring I dealt with major back/hamstring/hip problems. I flipped through a few weeks...a good run...3 days of "can't run: bike"...can't run: elliptical...tried to run: failed.

The week before that race, I was successful in completing 8x1min on for a total of 35 minutes of running, a few 15 minute jogs. The day before my race I limped through 20 minutes.

I'm not saying that I'm the standard of what is considered "having heart". 90% of my teammates that year would have done the same thing. I stepped on the track, I ran, I went for it, I finished 7th. I got it done that day with what I had. I did my job for my team because they were counting on me.

Running is a job for a lot of people. If you are an elite, its your job. If you run in college, its a 4 year job. If you have a sponsor, its a job.

If it's your job, DO IT. Do it well. If you can't "run" make sure you are doing something that will eventually help you in running. If you aren't going to do your job, then do something else.

I've enjoyed reading up on many of the American's that ran the Olympic Trials. Things I noticed in many interviews and from the American OTQs I follow: I sleep a lot, I manage my time well, I eat well, I focus on the little things, I have a strict schedule.

Most importantly, ATTITUDE. They are all positive about there running, dedicated, passionate. I feel for the gals and the guys out there that are struggling. Those that are passionate about something that they cannot do. They are often left injured, still they get up and try again, again, and AGAIN.

I'm tired of the complainers. I'm tired of the "bringing everyone else down" folks. I'm very out spoken when it comes to running, sometimes I say to much. I am done with bad attitudes. I'm done with lack of effort.

If running is in anyway your job, GET IT DONE. It's your job. It's YOUR JOB.


I've got to run in the morning.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Olympic Trials Shout Out (and a training update)!

I’ve been waiting on Olympic Trials results all morning like everyone else (even though I’m not American, this is still exciting).  My training is obviously not the exciting thing right now, but I have got to post!

Before that, a few shout outs!

In American Marathon Olympic Trials news, my friend Robert Scribner (Hanson-Brooks) ran 2:18. He went for it, suffered just a bit the last 3 miles…but a PR in the end. Robert will be 2:15 next time…so proud of my former teammate!

Meagan Nedlo ending up scoring a HUGE PR, running just a tad over 2:41. She has an awesome blog for those that don’t know, you can check it out here.

If you have not seen the results, you can find them here.


I felt good on Monday even though I had gone 20 miles the Saturday before (with 15 at my friends marathon pace).  The pace work Tuesday was not difficult, the 300’s were probably faster than they really needed to be, but I was really not confident in my ability to run 5k at anything faster than 17:45 right now.

Still, I stuck with the plans I had made late last week, and at 8:10pm Thursday I toed the line against 14-16 young ladies in bum huggers and spikes (me- shorts, flats), and trudged my way through 3 bad miles on an indoor track.

It was awkward, slow and very boring.

We started out a bit faster than I wanted, but the pace slowed quickly, and soon I was run 41’s. Being that I had no real goal going into this race, I figured 5:30 or so would be a good first mile. Typically, I do mile repeats at this pace so it shouldn’t have been a problem. By the time we hit the first mile I was already tired, and I doubted I would be able to go 15 more laps.  I started to get bored, I was lapping people early and running in lane 3.  I felt crappy, I was alone. It was harder than it should have been.

Basically, I gave up early and just started using athletes I was lapping as a reason to keep running. Houston stopped yelling splits, I was thankful.  I just wanted it to end.

At about 1.5 laps to go, someone made a move to the front and finally for the first time since the beginning, I had someone to run with. She gapped me by a second or two, and going into the last lap I was trying to find my kick, excitement started to build, this could actually end up interesting…and.. BANG…it was over.  Unfortunately the girl that passed me suffered a very unfortunate accident about 180 meters from the finish (I’m going to leave it at that), and the excitement I felt immediately passed. The race was over.

I won in 17:51. Not a true showing of my current fitness, but enough to get the rust out and come back a day later for 8 miles at half marathon pace. 

After 10 quick miles on Friday, I woke up Saturday morning tired and tight and doubted my ability to run 8 miles at sub 80 half-marathon pace.  But after 3 miles with Houston to stretch out the legs, I ran garmin-less for the first few miles and gradually warmed up into it.

I never took a single split. I felt good. Like tempo should feel ; good, easy, relaxed, fast.

Hitting 8 miles in 48:59 I was disappointed.
Me - “ What? That sucks!”
Houston – “Are you kidding me?  You went through the first two miles in 12:50! Do you not realize the work you have put in the last 8 days?  If you are disappointed in that, you are a moron.”
Me – (Ignoring the last part) “I went through the first two miles in 12:50??  Well gees, that is 6 miles at like 6:02 pace!  Shoot, as good as I felt that was awesome!”
Houston – “There you go.”

So the 5k and the speed work on the track, as much as it sucked, it did its job. I am finally finding my legs, and if I can survive the next week, I will be set.

Monday: 92 minutes
Tuesday: AM: 30 minutes PM: 2 mile w/u, 2 mile c/d, 2X300m @54-55, 2X1000m @3:19, 4X300m @ 54-56
Wednesday:  AM: 10+ miles in 73 minutes
Thursday: AM: 20 minute shake out run, PM: 2-3 mile w/u, 5K race in 17:51, a few minutes jog cool down
Friday: 10 miles in 72 minutes
Saturday: 3 mile w/u, 8 mile tempo in 48:59 (going through first 2 miles in 12:50, so avg of 6:02 for the last 6) (2+ miles c/d) (13 + miles)
Sunday: Two runs up to 10 miles

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Maddy and I are going to spend our Saturday watching movies and taking naps. There is nothing like a lazy day with my baby girl!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Progress. (8 weeks from RnR marathon.)

Monday: 84 minutes
Tuesday: 78 minutes
Wednesday: 2.5 mile w/u, 5x1 mile in 5:32, (2 rest), 3 mile c/d
Thursday: AM 40 minutes, PM: 30 minutes
Friday: 80 minutes
Saturday: M,K & D's marathon simulator run.
2.5 mile w/u, 15 miles with first 7 miles @6:48, next 8@ 6:28, 2.5 mile c/d (20 miles total)
Sunday:planned 60-70 min run for 80~ miles
Good week for me. I'm still having some tightness in my hip and my calves are super tight but I'm probably exactly where I should be. I still have 5 weeks of hard training to accomplish before my legs start feeling really good.
2012 is going to be about over coming fears, branching out, and taking chances. My first step...I'm running a 5k on the track next week in Birmingham. I have not raced on the track since my senior year of college...May 2006. That's a long time ago.
To add to the excitement, I ordered a new pair of spikes. More than likely I will not end up racing in them Thursday....but I will at least once this year.
I'm not sure what my goals are for NOLA, I'm going to wait a few weeks and see how my training unfolds. So far, I think I'm on track

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Feature on Marathon Olympic Trials Qualifier: Ariana Hilborn

In June 2008, Ariana Hilborn completed her very first marathon (Grandma's) in a respectable time of 4:36. This Saturday she hopes to complete her eleventh (11th) 26.2 mile race as one of the best female marathoners in American.

A member of the Brooks Inspire Daily Program, Ariana Hilborn is a 31-year-old teacher living in Scottsdale, AZ (originally from Greendale, WI).
When Ariana qualified for the Olympic Trials in January of this past year (2:45:35) she decided to take a year off teaching to train. Currently, she works part-time at Sole Sports (a local running store).

With the help of her support team, husband (Matt) and black lab (Tank), she set a huge personal best at Grandma's marathon (6/11) of 2:37:29, well under the trials standard of 2:46:00.

Ariana is from a family of aspiring runners. The day after she toes the line at the USA Marathon Olympic Trials, her sister, brother, and father will all be running their first marathons at the Houston Marathon. What a fabulous way to finish of an already exciting weekend!
Ariana Hilborn after the 2011 America's Finest City Half marathon in San Diego.

Good luck Ariana!

Reach Ariana at http://arianahilborn.com/

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feature on Marathon Olympic Trials Qualifier: Rachel Jaten

Entering my third year with the Inspire Daily program, I am trying to reach out to other athletes in the program and read/hear their stories.

One thing I have recently realized, there will be a large number of IDs toeing the line for the Olympic Trials next week in Houston. One of these athletes is Rachel Jaten.

Rachel is a 36 year old marathoner out of Spokane, WA with a PR of 2:45:47 (Dec, 11). When she is not logging miles, she works as a UPS Driver.

Rachel was one of almost 30 women that qualified for the Olympic Trials at the California International Marathon (CIM) in December, leaving her with just a little over a month to get prepared. Clearly CIM is her most memorable race for many reasons, including perfect weather, running in a huge pack through 21 miles, and getting to the line in OT qualifying time.

Rachel Jaten of Spokane, WA
That day did not go "perfectly", however. There was a point at mile 25 where a volunteer shouted out to her that she still had an "outside shot" of qualifying. Obviously, she found another gear!

Rachel started running as a kid, probably 5-6 yrs old with her father. He was a runner and triathlete. Rachel ran through high school and most of college before getting burnt out....that was 1997. It took winning a marathon coaching package in late 2010 to get her running consistently again. She still wanted to get back into it, but needed guidance. She knew she still had not seen her potential.

Rachel's goal for the trials is to "run smart" and, if everything goes well, hit her goal time of 2:44!

Good luck Rachel Jaten!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Change of plans. Racing NOLA instead.

Ok, so I changed my mind. I never had a good feeling about Snickers. NOLA is not as far away, it seems like it is a better time...it feels SAFE....less stress. It does not have the hills I want but it is close to me!
I'm excited.
Monday: 85 minutes w/ M&D, good pace
Tuesday: 78 minutes w/ K
Wednesday: 2.5 mile w/u, 5X a mile at 5:32 avg, 3 mile c/d
Legs are feeling a bit better but I'm still being careful.