Archive | September, 2013

Lessons Learned Through 1,000 Miles

25 Sep

Today on my run, I hit 1,000 miles for the year 2013.

For me, this is a huge milestone. Up until last year, I had not ever thought I would be able to run this much in one year. I mean, 1,000 miles is A LOT when you think about it!!

As I ran this morning, I watched and waited for my Garmin to click 6 miles. At 6 miles into the run, I would hit my 1,000th mile for year. As soon as I saw it click over, I did a little dance and had a silent celebration (dancing was also due to finishing my tempo miles on my run!!)

I have been through a lot these 1,000 miles, and definitely learned some things during them as well.

Run for you.

With the sport of running, it is so easy to compare ourselves to other people. We constantly strike ourselves down with self doubt and negative comments.

“She is so much faster than me”
“I’ll never be as good as her”
“I wish I could as fast as other people”
“I am so freaking slow”

Those things above are just some of the negative self talk comments I have said to myself.

But why?

When we run, we are running to make ourselves healthier, happier and all around better people. It shouldn’t matter what other people are doing. What matters is ourselves. We should be proud of our accomplishments, not ashamed of them because they aren’t as fast as your best friend can run. Or your random instagram/twitter/facebook/daily mile freakishly fast fake friend can run.

Be proud of yourself. Whether you’re running 5 minute miles, or 12 minute miles, be proud of the fact that you are out there doing it. And that you are setting goals and achieving them.

Don’t take a mile for granted.

Probably the biggest lesson I have learned this year is to never take a single step for granted. Running is a gift, and we should all be thankful that we are capable of doing it.

You never know the day you could get a freak injury, like Kara Goucher recently encountered during her NYC Marathon training.

And you never know what tomorrow could bring.

Because of that, we should be thankful for every step, and especially every mile our body gives us.

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Have you hit any major milestones lately?

What are the biggest lessons you have learned this year?

xoxo,

Ali

Some of my favorite adventures. Conquering the hardest half marathon EVER, Running with my GOTR girls, Crossing the Boston Marathon Finish line, and deciding to take the plunge and dive into NYC training.

Some of my most memorable adventures this year: Conquering the hardest half marathon EVER, Running with my GOTR girls, Crossing the Boston Marathon Finish line, and deciding to take the plunge and dive into NYC training.

Aside for the blog I am terrible at updating, we can also chat at the following places:

 

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NYC Training Update #2 + Post Run Selfies

24 Sep

Hi friends!!

Well, it has been 3 weeks since my last training update….so I guess it is time for another little recap!

Training continues to go better than I could imagine. I am staying focused, motivated, and continuing to run faster times and higher mileage weeks than ever before.

The last few weeks have looked like this:

Week of September 2nd…

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 10 miles at 8:05 pace. Ran hard on the hills. Didn’t count how many hills I hit, but it felt like a lot!

Wednesday: 7 miles at 8:50 pace. Post work run, which felt really hard. Ran with Ramsey, which was really nice!

Thursday: 5.2 miles at 8:02 pace. 2 mile warm up, 8x1min interval sprints, with 1min rest in between each. This run was SUPER hard because I am not used to running at a sprint. Crazy how “slow” your speed can feel during marathon training!

Friday: 5 miles at recovery pace – 9:30.

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Broadway Bridge Half Marathon! 13.1 miles at 7:52 pace. Read the recap here.

Total mileage: 40.2

This was a “recovery” week due to the half marathon on Sunday. This was also one of my lowest mileage weeks during training.

So thankful we can run together!

So thankful we can run together!

Week of September 9th…

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 5.25 miles at 9:08 pace. Recovery run following the Broadway Bridge Half.

Wednesday: 10 miles at 8:11 pace. Ran 6 miles hard, with hill sprints and half mile tempos. This was a really hard run, but still felt like a really great workout!

Thursday: Long Run! 16 miles at 8:26 overall pace. Ran about 8 miles at Marathon Goal pace. The rest around 9 minute miles.

Friday: 5 miles at 9:30 pace. Recovery run with Ramsey. Best way to start the day!

Saturday: 8 miles at 8:15 pace.

Sunday: Plaza 10k!! PR ALERT! 6.2 miles at 6:45 pace. Plus 1.5 mile warm up.

Total Mileage: 52

I knew I would be running the Plaza 10k hard on Sunday, so I adjusted the week accordingly. Overall, it was a pretty intense week and I continued to feel the effects of the half marathon for most of it.

Post long run bliss!

Post long run bliss!

Week of September 16th…

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 10.5 miles in the rain, at 8:11 pace. 2 mile warm up, 3×2 miles hard with one mile cool down in between each set. Mile splits for my hard miles: 7:37,7:39,7:39,7:29,7:31,7:36. Plan said my splits should be 7:30, but I was struggling to hit that…I was happy with what I was able to pull off though, considering my legs were pretty tired from Plaza 10k.

Wednesday: 7 miles recovery at 9:17 pace.

Thursday: Long Run! 18.2 miles at 8:37 pace. Plan called for all miles at 8:30 pace. I ran 11 miles around 8:15, and 7 miles around 8:45 pace. Even though my overall pace wasn’t exactly what I needed, I still think this was overall a great run.

Friday: Off

Saturday: 4.2 miles at 9:00 pace. Super relaxed run, and one of those days when I was thinking the entire time – “I love to run” 🙂

Sunday: 11.33 miles at 8:01 pace. Got up and ran with my friend, Krista. She was doing her long run for the week, so I joined her for the last 11 miles. Gorgeous morning with some really great hills and solid paced miles.

Total Mileage: 51.3 miles

This week was supposed to be a 60 mile week, but it just didn’t really work out with my “life” schedule. Sometimes life will get in the way of marathon training!

Rainy run. I was SOAKED!!

Rainy run. I was SOAKED!!

How is your training going?? Please, tell me about it!!

xo,

Ali

{Yowza} Broadway Bridge Half Marathon Recap

16 Sep

About a month ago, I made a last minute decision to run the Broadway Bridge Half Marathon in Kansas City. I had a few other friends running, and thought it would be a perfect way to get my long run in for the week while getting in some “race pace” miles (anything at 8:00 or right under). I also thought it would be a great way to trick myself into running 13.1 miles hard! (Is it just me, or do races always seem easier than if you would just go out to run hard??)

In the days leading up to this race, I kept hearing how hilly this course was. I am not a wimp when it comes to hills, and sometimes I really like hills. So I considered this fact an added bonus of running the half. Now I will get hills, race pace and a long run in! Could it get any better?!?!

Answer: Yes it could get better! Add the insanely humid 85 degree weather to the mix and we had the perfect race to test me physically AND mentally!

My attitude about this race stayed extremely positive, and I was actually really excited to run it. I love hometown races, and this race was one going through quite a few places I had never ventured to before (including the downtown airport). Even when I walked outside the morning of the race and felt the weather, I remained excited. Call me crazy, but I was totally ready for the torture to come and knew it would do nothing but help me in NYC.

Pre-race photo with Sally and Amanda!

Pre-race photo with Sally and Amanda!

The first few miles were semi flat, with a few rolling hills. The bad thing about these miles was the sun beating down on us. I think I was sweating 3 minutes into the thing, and I don’t usually start sweating until at least a mile or two in!

Mile 6 was the first BIG hill. I remember thinking “one step in front of the other” all the way up that hill. And when I finally made it to the top, we were blessed with a mile of all downhill. I cruised through the mile and knew I had to use it to my advantage, as one of the biggest hills in Kansas City was waiting (I ended up running a 7:37 split!).

Chatting with Candace!

Chatting with Candace!

All smiles on the broadway bridge!

All smiles on the broadway bridge!

Mile 8, we hit the monster hill. I decided I would try to run this hill like a hill sprint and hang on to a solid pace for as long as I could. It was my goal to run under 8 minutes this mile, and it took all of my guts to make that happen! When the Garmin beeped a 7:54 mile, I had a BIG smile on my face!

Right after conquering the big ass hill.

Right after conquering the big ass hill.

The last 5 miles of the race were all about survival. This hills were brutal, the sun was HOT and my legs were getting VERY heavy. I just kept trying to hit under an 8 minute mile, which would result in my “goal time” of 1:45.

For Mile 13, I decided to put all my energy into it and see if I could make it my fastest. My old bootcamp teacher would always tell us that the workouts we did when we were the most tired made the biggest difference. So I figured I might as well try to run my last mile the hardest I possibly could!! There were a couple BIG hills that last mile, and when the watch beeped 7:28 on mile 13, there might have been a tear in my eye from being so proud of conquering them!

I ended up finishing in 1:44, which was a 7:52 overall pace. If I want to PR NYC, I need to run this pace for 26.2 miles…so I would say this was VERY good practice.

This was by far the hardest half marathon I have ever done, yet I would consider it my second best half marathon ever completed. Not because of the time, but because of the mental toughness I was able to fight through. The heat sucked and the hills were never ending. But my attitude remained extremely positive the entire time. Sure, I would’ve loved to run closer to 1:42 or 1:43, but I can’t be anything but proud of how I ended up.

I strongly believe that your time does not always dictate your performance. Sometimes it is your mental strength that will determine how well the race went. While a 1:44 will show up on paper as my time and won’t look that great comparative to some of my other half’s, it does not make me feel less of my performance. That thing was freakin’ HARD. And anyone that made it through all 13.22 miles (yes, adding on the extra .12!!!) is a rockstar in my book!! No matter what your time was, you should be proud of that finish 🙂

DEG runners.

DEG runners.

Congrats to my friend Noreen on her first half!!! (red shorts)

Congrats to my friend Noreen on her first half!!! (red shorts)

Stacy and Di were there too!

Stacy and Di were there too!

3rd in my age group!

3rd in my age group!

Splits:

  1. 7:49
  2. 8:06
  3. 8:29
  4. 8:07
  5. 7:48
  6. 8:14
  7. 7:37
  8. 7:54
  9. 7:53
  10. 7:40
  11. 8:06
  12. 7:41
  13. 7:28 (.22 1:44)

Have you ever done a race that was not your best time, but made you so proud?

Did you run Broadway Bridge???? And did you survive??

xo,

Ali

NYC Training Update

3 Sep

Hello!!!! Wow, it has been WAY too long since I updated the blog…

Last year, I would report weekly on my training progress for NYC, and I am going to try to start doing that again going forward.

I am now on week 7 of NYC Marathon training, and I cannot believe it. I was dreading this training so much, but to my surprise, it has gone amazingly well.

During this training, I have run some of my fastest times ever, along with my highest mileage month ever (214 miles!!!!!!!!). I have learned to love running in my new neighborhood, met new running friends, and reunited with old friends I had not seen in awhile.

Overall, this training has been awesome. And as long as I don’t lose my momentum, get injured, or have a natural disaster get in my way, I should be able to run a kick ass race on November 3rd. And I am pretty excited about the idea of that!

Below is a snapshot of some training highlights so far…

First long run of training.

First long run of training.

An insanely hot and sweaty 8 miler in the afternoon. This is one of the only workouts I have slept through so far, and that is because of weather.

An insanely hot and sweaty 8 miler in the afternoon. This is one of the only workouts I have slept through so far, and that is because of weather.

12 miles with my BFF visiting from Cali!

12 miles with my BFF visiting from Cali!

Race for the Cure with Stacy! Ran a 22:07.

Race for the Cure with Stacy! Ran a 22:07.

A KILLER track workout. 8 800's, one at 3:10, the rest under. Shocked that my overall pace for this run was 7:05!

A KILLER track workout. 8 800’s, one at 3:10, the rest under. Shocked that my overall pace for this run was 7:05!

Another rockin track workout! 4 1600 repeats, all under 6:25.

Another rockin track workout! 4 1600 repeats, all under 6:25.

My fastest 20 miler EVER. 7:55 overall pace. I was one happy girl after this run.

My fastest 20 miler EVER. 7:55 overall pace. I was one happy girl after this run.

And today's run! 2 months until the race. So freaking excited!!!!

And today’s run! 2 months until the race. So freaking excited!!!!

(All of these photos were posted to my Instagram account)

Thank you to everyone who supported me through my whining on the last few posts! Looking forward to sharing my progress over the next few weeks, and I would love to hear about yours too!!

xo,

Ali

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