May Running in Review

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May was a big month with both a new half marathon PR and the start of training for my first marathon so I wanted to do a little recap of the month. May Running in Review

 

I think the biggest accomplishment (outside of getting married) during May was my 2:10:51 half marathon PR. It was an amazing way to kick off the month and has given me a lot of excitement to take into marathon training. I didn't have any horrible runs besides the run that I had to cut short so it was a pretty good month focused on recovery and getting ready to take on 26.2.

May was a lighter month running wise since I took some time to rest after the half but I'll be up above 100 miles in June. My average pace dropped 45 seconds from April since I was done with heart rate training at the beginning of the month but I won't be surprised to see that go up as marathon training goes on since my race pace target is 11:00 minutes/mile.

Diet-wise, I've upped my macros to marathon training for the last week or so and I'm feeling really good. I'm up a little bit from my ideal 130-135 lb range but I'm guessing it's a combination of my salt and alcohol intake over the holiday weekend and I should be dropping back to normal pretty quickly. I'm still working on getting my carbs up enough since it comes down to having the right food around and wrapping my mind around eating more in general.

In what I listen to during my runs, I'm still working on An Echo in the Bone. Since I didn't run as much during May (and I didn't always listen to audiobooks), I'm only on chapter 47 of 115. But I'm loving the book (although there's more time/location jumping than the last book in the series) and hoping to finish it by the end of June.

 

 

 

April Running in Review

April was my last full month of training and it had a lot of ups and down so I wanted to do a quick recap of the month. April Running Review.jpg

I've been training since January 1 for this half so it's strange to say that it's almost race day. I haven't trained for a single race for this long since my first half marathon and I'm feeling like I was finally getting settled in with heart rate training . April was also the month that I finally committed to foam rolling after every run and it's made a huge difference in how I've been feeling.

I upped my calories back up to maintenance this month to fuel my running better and keep my weight around 135 lbs. I've had some days where I haven't eaten the best but I've been feeling really good during my runs and in day-to-day life.

In what I listen to during my runs, I finished reading Three Sisters, Three Queens and started An Echo in the Bone. Three Sisters, Three Queens was a great introduction to a part of the Tudor period I haven't read much about. And An Echo in the Bone just lets me slip back into the familiar Outlander series. I'm only on chapter 24 of 115 so I'm not expecting to finish it in May.

I think my best and worst runs were both long runs this month, not surprising to me as I look back over. And they weren't the best and worst physically but mentally. My worst run was my last long run before tapering, which you can read more about in a previous post. I was really having an off day and it showed in my run and how I felt the entire time. This was also the run that had me doubting if I could actually reach my goal of a sub 2:15 half.

But my best run turned around my doubts. It was the last long run before my race and I threw my training plan out the window to run on feel. As you might have read in my Taper Week Two Review post, it was an awesome 8 miles that I averaged a 9:36 pace. Something I've never done in a training run. My 10 mile PR is the closest I've gotten to that pace at a longer distance and that was a 9:40 average pace I wasn't expecting either.

I'm now 6 days out from my race and so glad that I did that last long run on feel so I'm not doubting myself when I line up to race on Sunday. It really showed me how effective this training was for improving my speed even though it was a lot of slow miles for the past four months.

Why I Decided to Run a Marathon

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I never started running thinking I'd want to run a marathon. I didn't even think I would run a race period. That didn't last long since I ran my first race 7 months after my first run. Then, about 14 months after I started running, I ran my first half and I was happy with that distance. It was challenging but not so long that I felt like it was a never-ending race. Still, I said I had no plans to do a marathon. I was listening to a couple of running podcasts (Two Gomers and Runner Girls) that had people tackling their first marathon but it wasn't interesting to me. Hearing about their training was interesting because I could apply that to my half training but running for 26.2 miles sounded absolutely loony to me.

And then I signed up for the Loony Challenge, 19.3 miles, three race, two days. And that was the beginning of me thinking "maybe I could do a marathon". It didn't help that Meagan (one of the Runner Girls) was training for her first marathon and both my fiance's sisters and about four of his cousins were running the Twin Cities marathon that year.

It was during the TC 10 mile, the last race of the Loony Challenge, that I did a lot of thinking about running a marathon in 2017. Specifically, the Twin Cities Marathon. Both races start an hour apart, from the same location, and the last part of the marathon lines up with the 10 mile. Which meant I saw the markers for miles 19-26 for the part of the 10 mile. And I saw the great crowd support, the literal wall at mile 20.

The TC 10 mile was a great for me, I was just running comfortably and not racing for a time (but still managed to set a PR). But as we crossed over into St. Paul, I started seeing the markers for the marathon. And, as one does when they are in a groove and just feeling great while running, I started thinking more about running a marathon. And as I got closer to the end, and the crowds got louder, I pretty much had convinced myself that I could train and run the Twin Cities marathon in 2017. One of the first things I said to my fiancé when I found him at the finish line was "What do you think about me running the marathon next year?"

Luckily, my fiancé is supportive of whatever running I want to do and is totally in support of my marathon training and helping me out in whatever ways he can. It's crazy that in a little over a month, I'll start training for my first marathon after saying I wouldn't be running one.

Who wears short shorts?

Back in late February, I decided to order new shorts for marathon training and went online. I knew what size I needed and I didn't feel like driving to the store and trying on clothes. Plus, I was going to get extra cashback via Ebates. What could be easier? I found these shorts from FILA and ordered two pairs. I have a couple of pairs of capris from FILA already so I knew the size would be fine. I saw the "5 inch inseam" and was like "that seems like long enough".

They came in the mail a week or so later. I put them on and they were short, like booty short short. Which is not normally my style at all. But, they were so comfortable and fit perfectly so I decided to keep them.

Fast forward a little bit over a month and spring has come to Minnesota. And I'm wearing my new short shorts with confidence. They've even become my preferred shorts for runs because they are perfect. (Yes, it's been warm enough that I've had multiple runs in shorts).

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This is a huge step for me because I haven't always been this confident in the way I look. Back in college, about eight years ago, I was my heaviest at over 210 lbs. Even when I started running in 2014, I was sitting around 160-170 lbs. I would have never worn booty shorts even if was a million degrees outside.

Since I've started running, I've developed a "fuck it" attitude when it comes to what people might think when I'm working out (with the exception of see-through leggings, I always make sure they are squat proof). Sports bra showing? Fuck it, there's a reason they come in fun colors. I'm pasty white? Fuck it, it's Minnesota and I spent the winter running outside. Neon colors in a sea of black? Fuck it, bright clothes are more fun.

Wearing these shorts has been one of the last things I've said "fuck it" to. Who should care if I'm wearing booty shorts while running? My legs are impressive, why shouldn't I show them off? They've carried me over 2,600 miles since 2014. They've gotten me through four half marathons and are going to get me through a marathon by the end of 2017. I've squatted 105 lbs and leg pressed 135 lbs (my body weight) for reps thanks to them. Fuck it, I'm going to show it off.

This post was inspired after re-listening to episode 32 of  The Run, Selfie,  Repeat podcast. If you aren't already listening, give it a try! Kelly is awesome and it's life, with a side of running.