Spoiler Alert: Half Marathon PR!

 

I’ll have a real race report up later this week but for now, enjoy the visual of my negative splits!

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Taper Time! Baltimore Half Edition

I can’t believe it’s race week! I’ve been signed up for this race for about…nine months? Ten? It’s part of the Maryland Double so you can register for the Frederick Half and Baltimore Races at the same time for a slightly discounted price. So it’s hard to believe that I’m finally at the end of this particular race series!

This week the temperatures dropped dramatically. Saturday I was at Virgin Freefest, rocking shorts and a tank top and then Sunday I bundled up in sweater, jacket, jeans for another fun day at the ski store.

Monday and Tuesday’s runs found me in long sleeved tees, bandana, hat and all that. It warmed up today but we got our first taste of winter! I am SO EXCITED.

Not so secret, secret: I LOVE WINTER. Winter means snow, which means snowboarding, which means  Happy Mallory. Last year was a disaster as far as winter is concerned–great for outdoor running and training but TERRIBLE for snowboarding. So, pray for snow!

Saturday was my 12 miler–it went pretty well, I think. Slow, steady pace and no crash which is great. It left me in a good mental place for the race.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday  felt great. I think partly because of the weather and partly because I had a pretty good sleep-eat-work cycle happening (it’s so interesting how all of these things tie together). I’m feeling really really good about Saturday. I’ll tellyou how it goes!

 

A week in the National(s) spotlight!

NATIONALS WIN! I’m not a huge baseball fan (or really, a baseball fan at all) but I am proud that DC can field a decent pro sports team these days.

Monday, I attended the Nats game with one of my best friends (whom I love, despite her Phillies shirt):

 

Tuesday, my crazy awesome ultramarathon running friend and I attended Diane Van Deren’s  speaking event! She’s an INSANE and awesome lady: she routinely competes in some of the world’s most challenging ultras. We’re talking Iditerod  (sans dogs), Yukon, Hard Rock 100…and she recently completed a 1000 mile trail through North Carolina.

 

Usually, this kinda stuff leaves me feeling inspired. I have to admit, though, I have NO URGE WHATSOEVER to do what Diane does. She’s insane. Awesome, but insane. I’ll stick to my can-be-done-in-a-few-hours distances.

Sidebar: this was my third North Face Speaker Event Series and I HIGHLY recommend them. Even if you aren’t familiar with the sport or athlete, it’s still interesting to listen and interact with people who live to push themselves. It’s always a fun time.

Of course, last night was the presidential debate. I tried watching but honestly don’t have the attention span for such things so spent most of my time reading the twitter reactions.

On the running front: it’s still happening? DC decided it missed summer and hit us with a dose of OMGHUMIDITY the past couple of days so I’ve been coming home covered in sweat and disgusting again.

Other than that…I’m tired, kids. Saturday has my last long run (12) scheduled and then we dial it back for a week until BALTIMORE!

Oh, and it’s been an epic fail on the no alcohol front. Nats stadium had DRAFT BLUE MOON PUMPKIN ALE. I can’t say no to that. I mean, I’ve had a lot less in the past couple of weeks and plan on continuing but the NO ALCOHOL plan is not going as…planned.

Goodbye September, Hellooooo October!

At the beginning and end of every month I think to myself “what the HELL happened to this month? I did absolutely NOTHING!” Looking at the beginning of this month, I am still thinking it.

Here’s to a new, clean, AWESOME October!

(Click for source)

September was mostly uneventful but ended rather hecticly and stressfully. I am not sorry to see it go. Most of my stress was work related–some of due to my own actions, some of it due to other mistakes. But I really really hope that this week goes more smoothly on that front. I also did not enjoy ending last week with a three day stretch at the ski store–I got 15.5 hours of work in there! On TOP of my 40 regular work hours. Heinous.

Miles Run: 128.62 mi (plus 5 because my Garmin DIED halfway thru one of my long runs. Laaaame.)

Goals Achieved: Two? (I had really stupid goals with no real plan–which is an amateur mistake in goal setting. I’m going to work on that below. ) I have been amping up the veggies and fresh foods in my diet while also trying to tone it down on the processed foods. I really need to work more on keeping a food diary because I believe I have some gaps in my nutrition. The problem is I eat a lot of homemade meals so trying to list every single component is very tiresome.

I also managed to stay injury free. There have been some hip flexor twinges and my knees protested a few steps here and there but nothing major.

Absolute, epic, speed/track work FAIL. It scares me and I have NO IDEA what to do with it! Also, in the mornings, I don’t want to think, I just want to go out and run.

Coming up in October is the Baltimore Half Marathon! I’m also taking the GRE at the end of the month. Those would be my two notables as far as events. There’s going to be some other fun sprinkled in, promise

October Goals: 

No alcohol. Whaaaat, you say? I know, I know. Okay…not for the WHOLE month maybe but I’m really trying to not drink until after my half marathon. It’s not because I fear addiction or even because I think it’s bad for you or unhealthy but…I’m curious to see if it affects my every day life in a certain way. Will I be faster on my runs? Less tired? MORE tired? Who knows. Also, taking a break from things is always a good idea.

CROSS TRAINING. I say this all the time but this month I MEAN IT. I am determined to do more regular physical activities than just running. I bought a deal for Earth Treks climbing gym and I WILL USE IT. It’s happening. I also really want to go to a few yoga classes. It’s not always my vibe but with everything getting crazy around me, I need something to help me take life down a notch.

Time to myself. Now, this is not a real firm goal but I need more time in my life where I’m not running around–whether it’s seeing people, things, errands, whatever. I am seriously considering cutting out one or two ski store work days just so I can have a Real Weekend again.

So what are YOU trying to achieve this month?

 

Faaaaall!

Fall is in the air. The temperatures have dropped, humidity has dissappeared, and leaves are beginning to change color. Basically, it’s AWESOME.

Despite my love for both summer at the beach and winter in the mountains, I think transition seasons (I just made this up, but it’s spring and fall) might be my favorite times of year. The air is crisper, the sun shines more, you don’t have to dress for extreme weather…aah I could just go on and on!

As such, I’m in running heaven. It’s so nice to not come back dripping in sweat and feeling like you want to die!

This has been a GOOD RUNNING WEEK. My ten miler last Saturday was positively pleasant–the kind of run where I just zone out and GO. The rest of the week has been comfortable but sadly rushed. I’ve had to skip all of my strength and stretching exercises because I’m going out on my runs waaay too late. It’s so dark when I wake up now that I feel like I should still be asleep! I’m also not sleeping very well so I’m tired when I get up.

In local news: Nationals are heading to the playoffs! I’m not a baseball fan but I do enjoy going to games for a bit just for the outdoors and usually to hang out with people. Last night I was invited to the game by someone I haven’t seen in over a year so it was nice to catch up!

Just a little bit of weekend inspiration:

I can’t remember where I found this! If you have the source, let me know!

August/September Round-Up

August was one hell of a ride–life wise and training wise. Since I spent 11 days in Europe, cycling and running almost every day there, I feel like the first half of the month was a success!

Coming back from Europe…a whole other story. I blame the ridiculous amounts of candy and chocolate I brought back.

I  found myself smack-dab in the middle of week four of half-marathon training. My mileage was fine, it’s everything else that was out of sorts. Being back in training means giving up my oh, I only feel like going out for five miles today (or three. Or just sleeping).  It means facing up to the race and figuring out what my goals for Baltimore will be (more on that later)

While I was on the boat, I also read Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run, which I highly recommend. The parts about his running are fascinating. I’m not a vegan or even a vegetarian and certainly not an ultramarathoner but it was really interesting and overall a good story. I of course, totally thought I was an awesome runner while I was reading it and then came quickly back to reality while struggling through some hot and humid runs.

So overall…August was a good month for my general fitness and gave me some good food for thought. Which brings us to…

September

OMG FALL. That’s what I feel about September. I can’t WAIT for those cooler temps to start coming in and take my runs down from dripping dog sweaty to just regular sweaty.

#1 Food consumption: This is already going badly. But I did one of those calorie counter thingies and discovered I eat WAY too much food:

I am going over my daily allowance by about 300 calories–BEFORE I entered my chocolate and wine consumption. So I’m going to be spending the month trying to eat  in a way that doesn’t leave me hungry but also doesn’t make me gain weight!

#2 Speed Training

My half marathon plan has speed training on it (track and tempo runs) and I just.don’t.get.it. Like…how does one do 100 meter intervals around a track? Where is there a track? How far is 100m exactly?

I’ve been avoiding it so far but really, really, REALLY need to get my act together and try it out. Much googling will be needed.

#3 Avoiding Injury!

Things have been…twinging of late. I believe it’s a lack of crosstraining + extra running (due to a heavier half marathon training schedule). I cannot get injured. Again. Because then I have to say goodbye to my marathon. So the goal here is really to spend September resting when I should be resting, doing more strength training, doing crosstraining. All those good things.

What are you all working on this month?