Week in Review: April 17-23

I still can’t believe I ran Gazelle on Sunday! It’s very unlike me to do anything last minute – and registering 4 days before is last minute to me. Pretty happy with my time, especially considering I technically had only trained up to 11 miles. It might be taking me a while, but I am slowly knocking some time off the clock.

Sunday – Gazelle Girl Half Marathon! I am pretty much in the middle of the photo blue/lime green top and white visor (…I zoomed in and I’ve got my determination face on lol). Official time: 2:14:01. AG finish: 183 of 352. Overall: 909 of 2045.gazellegirlgroup.jpg

Monday – Rest day. I ran a bunch of errands and ended up joining my mom for a walk to and through a local park (a little over 3 miles). I also planted some succulents that my sister gave me…we refer to her as the crazy plant lady 😂. 

Tuesday – Rest day. Lower calf hurt has been hurting, especially first thing in the morning getting out of bed. I was hobbling on it for a bit in the morning. It hurts if I sit and then stand up to walk. I had my husband help me apply some kinesiology tape to help the pain. I walked 3.1 miles on the treadmill to get some steps in.

Wednesday – 3 mile walk with my dog in the afternoon + 30 minute easy bike in the evening with my hubby.

Thursday – 3.1 mile run + 2 mile walk with my dog. Nearly pain free! So happy my calf is feeling much better. I love the flowering trees that have recently bloomed. So pretty! My husband and I closed on our construction loan today also. I’m SOOO excited about that! Looking forward to watching some progress being made out there. 
Friday – Rest day. Calf feels 100% better now! My right knee that was sore during the race is sore again since my run on Thursday. But, otherwise I feel good now. I took my dog for a 2 mile walk. She is LOVING that we’re back at our daily walk routine. She definitely missed it this winter! It looked like it was going to rain so I walked a mile on the treadmill at home when we got back to get my step count up a bit more.

Saturday – Ran 8 miles with my mom. Love that blue sky and sunshine! I decided to stick with my mom for the race next weekend, so I came out to join her on our taper long run. We ran one big hill and a few little rolling ones. I thought I was going to die on the big one (I didn’t stop though!)…perhaps my legs haven’t fully recovered from last weekend. No knee or calf pain on the run though, so that’s great! I felt pretty good when we finished, so hopefully taking it just a little slower than I normally go will mean I’ll feel good at the finish and I’ll be a little bit more ready for my 25k that’s 2 weeks after.I had a big ol’ plate of yummies after I got home and cleaned up. Quinoa, kale, cabbage, peppers, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, and one of the organic guac containers from Costco. Sprinkled it with a little s/p + tumeric…’cause this girl needs all the anti-inflammatory help she can get!

That’s a wrap! It’s hard to believe it’s race week (again! haha). What a crazy couple weeks I’m having. These 3 races in 27 days! It’ll be good to cool it for a little bit after the 25k and slowly transition over to fall marathon training (insert anxiety here 😬).

When is your next race? What one are you most looking forward to this year?

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Race Recap: Gazelle Girl Half Marathon

One of my recent posts about my “Bucket List Races” actually included the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon in one of the drafts I had. Then 4 days before the race, I decided to register for it so I updated my list ;). Really happy I got a chance to finally run this one. The course was more entertaining than River Bank Run since you got to run over a bunch of bridges of all different sizes (I think it has a lot of similarities to the GR Bridge Run). One of the main reasons I had never done Gazelle Girl before is because the weather for the race is always AWFUL. So, everything kind of fell into place here for me this year. GORGEOUS weather and I was already scheduled to run the distance that weekend….might as well get some bling for it, right?! 😉 Sorry in advance, this post is kind of all over the place with thoughts haha!

Saturday, I joined a fellow Team Nuun teammate for packet pick-up. We didn’t really look around in there, but there was a bit of clothing and it looked like some various vendor booths set up too. The shirts were nike brand and wicking fabric. I’m not in love with the color, but they fit better than most race shirts in my collection :). (Sorry it’s sideways!) 

I set out all my stuff ahead of time, as I always do. If I don’t, I’m bound to forget something! I had packed “The Gluten Free Bar” in my bag for post-race and was really happy to see they actually had them at the finish line! They are made right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan and love to support local when possible. I buy them at Meijer in the GF section. Definitely check them out if you’re looking for a Non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan protein bar (12 g in the one I grabbed – but they vary 10-12g depending on flavor ) — they ship too! I enjoyed that and an orange and some water after finishing (Nuun once I got back to my car). They also had muffins (not gluten free), bananas, and chocolate milk available.

Getting into the race…thanks to the wonderful world of social media, I was able to find a friend to ride downtown with and a running partner from the local running club I sometimes join (but haven’t in forever! Hopefully I can get out there more often when we finally move). We ran about the first 8 miles together and then I lost her going through a water station. But, it was great sticking together for most of the race!DCIM100GOPROGOPR0971.This was us a few minutes before the race started.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0972.There was great crowd support at the starting line, and at a few places on the course. This was just a little past the starting line.

I was right on target to be in the 9’s for pace all the way up to mile 11, and then it all fell apart. I’m so used to running in the 9’s, but I always take a short break to refuel or stretch a few times (and I stop/re-start my watch every time) when I do long runs. So, it’s tough to see an average pace in the 10’s when my watch usually says 9 something’s. That being said, I’m still very proud of what I did! It was a 2 minute PR over my Disney Princess Half race, and 144ft. more elevation gain! That shows just how flat Disney was lol.DCIM100GOPROGOPR0975.Here’s one of the two of us during the race.

I’ve basically come to the conclusion that I’m always going to have some aches and pains during and after a long race. I had side stitches pretty early on in the race, but they subsided after a mile or two. I felt ok for most of the race, besides the obvious fatigue. I did have knee pain start around the mid-way point and didn’t go away, but my knees felt ok in the days after the race. My hip flexors hurt after the race for 2 days, and my left calf has been cramping/tight feeling since the race. It’s currently taped up in kinesiology tape for good measure ;). Worth all the pain though! I wore compression socks for a solid 2 days, been foam rolling, stretching, icing, and now have the tape on. So hopefully I recover soon and feel good for Nashville.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0979.This was my “yeaaaaaah just over a mile to go!” face 🙂 As you can see, the crowds really thinned out as I neared the finish. I had eaten most of the dates I was using as my ‘fuel’ by this point, and ended up throwing the last 2 I had left in the bag away a bit before this photo. Still hard to tell if they did anything for me, but for now I’m going to keep using them for my distance runs.

There were water stations about once every two miles throughout the race, so I opted to just use those instead of wearing belt or hydration pack and then refuel with Nuun post-race. It was so crowded the first several miles that I almost missed getting water a few times. I’m really thinking about wearing the hydration pack for River Bank so I can get Nuun along the course and so I don’t have to worry about darting off to the sides for water table stops. It’ll be good practice wearing it for that long since I’ll probably be wearing it for the fall marathon too.

I looked for one of the finisher banner things to get a picture by and somehow missed it. So bummed about that!I’m awful about running the tangents.  I’m always quite a bit over the 13.1 distance, so my official pace is always slower (booo!). I also forgot to stop my watch for a few seconds (which is pretty much the norm for me lol!). Official time: 2:14:01 (10:14 pace).

Here’s the “charm” the finishers received. 

I think I’d do this one again. I hate registering so late and paying so much more for it, but I think if I ever did it again I’d late register to make sure the weather was going to be good. I remember one year it was snowing/hailing lol. Being guaranteed good weather is worth the extra cash I think.

The race photos are not free, but they did post some proofs.

gazelleproof1.png gazelleproof2gazelleproof3

Crossing the finish line is the best feeling ever! It makes the ‘I think I’m dying’ feeling during a race so worth it…and keeps me coming back for more. 😉

What is your favorite half marathon? I think I have the best memories of my first half (Country Music Half Marathon — now called Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville). I’ve never been so happy on a course, which I still can’t believe because it was no cake walk! My least favorite was the Laker Loop Half, where I got lost a few times on the course haha (for real).

Week in Review: April 3-9

Training never goes 100% to plan…at least for me. Something always happens. If anything, it’s taught me to roll with the punches. You’ll see why below, but between injury and sickness one of the two is bound to happen during a training cycle. And it seems it’s always pretty close to the end of training. This week started fine, but ended pretty weak. But, I know stuff happens. This time I have a bit of time to recover, but I definitely don’t want to miss anymore of my long runs.

Sunday – Rest day.

Monday – Biked 30 minutes of intervals + some fun forearm stand practice. I was practicing getting into the pose without wall support. So much more tricky! Lots of falling over lol.

Tuesday – Ran 4 miles in the afternoon. Thanks to my mom for watching my daughter so I could do this one outside :).

Wednesday – Biked 60 minutes (mostly moderate effort with a few hard efforts sprinkled in there). I got a new hydration pack with lots of storage for my century ride this summer. There are some fueling stops along the course, but limited gluten free choices. So, this will come in handy! I also would like to try to use it one some long runs as an alternative to my belt. I like that I can carry food/energy gels, water and still have room for my phone and keys. When I use my hydration belt, I have to use my go-belt also to store phone and keys because they don’t fit in the pouch. So I really hope this is good for running too. And no, I didn’t wear this during my indoor ride haha. 😉

Thursday – Ran 2 miles on the treadmill. I planned on more mileage, but I just wasn’t feeling great so opted to cut it short. Handstand fun for photo op ;).

Friday – Rest day.

Saturday – The original plan was to join a local running club, but the weather didn’t cooperate. 16 degree real feel temps and my once frostbitten toes certainly don’t go together.Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 10.28.06 PM I then thought I’d treadmill the 12 miles. I had it all planned out to watch a Nashville episode online that I had missed, and listen to music for the rest of it. Well, the bug I had that I couldn’t tell if it was allergies or a cold turned out to be a cold…I just felt so miserable that I decided to completely skip my long run.

I can’t believe I’m moving on to PEAK WEEK for the half! That came up so fast! I am really hopeful my health will return quickly and I can end my training on a high note. It seems training never really goes completely according to plan, which is always a bugger for someone like me who likes to schedule things and know what’s happening when. But, I’m slowly learning to just let it go and trust my training up until now. I’ve had some decent long runs lately, so I’m really not worried about having to miss this weeks. Onward and upward! I got an email with a preview of some of the merch available at the expo. I hope they still have some good stuff left by the time we arrive! 🙂

rnrnashvillemerch

Do you agree? When you’re training for months for a race, something is bound to happen…injury or sickness. Right? I can’t be alone here ;).