Thursday, April 17, 2014

Let's Talk Marathon Training...

I have not talked about it much here, but I am running my third marathon on April 27th. I officially registered for the Memorial Marathon a week ago. I never thought I would run the full in OKC again, after the first time, and then after I tried a second time. I was back out there for the half last year, and it was pretty full of disappointment for me. So with all of our history, why not sign up to run this race again.

I know, I know, there is a lot to be said about being able to sleep in your own bed the night before a race. And yes, I do realize that logistically the location of my office being smack in the center of the race start and finish, including real bathrooms and free parking is a major win. Even with all of that I am having a some anxiety about this race. What will the weather be like? (No hail, please!). Have I trained enough? Am I really stronger mentally than I was a year ago?

Is the third time really a charm?

You might be asking yourself, with all this anxiety, why would I sign up for this race? It's a valid question.

Can I claim peer pressure? Probably not. My fabulous friend Sarah was planning on running it. I had been running strong, and thought, why let all this strong running go to waste? Instead of junk miles, how about marathon training miles? There you have it. To the non-marathoner I do realize that this probably sounds insane. To be honest for this two time marathoner, it sounds insane.

So in nine days I will be lining up for marathon number three. I am nervous and excited to see what OKC has in store for me; I do love a good story. Lots of questions, and the answers will be here soon enough.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I signed up for marathon number four today? Now that sounds insane!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's Talk About Food...

I haven't done a WIAW post in a while. Who am I kidding really? I have seriously been neglecting my blog most of 2014. There has been stuff going on, running and baking and family stuff.

Let's talk about the food. I think I am a pretty boring food person. I eat the same things over and over again. No wonder Carson is like that, maybe it's hereditary? 

I have rediscovered my love for avocado egg salad sandwiches. It's a great post long run food. 

We have had a couple of recent trips to Blu for their fabulous blue cheese chips. They are the best!

I have switched up my soup of the week a couple of times and went with orzo with veggies the other week. Yum!

Back to my soup of the week last week with roasted red pepper and barley. Where have red peppers been all my life? Why would anyone waste their time with green bell peppers? Red peppers are the best!

I have not neglected my family in the cookie department. Even with all the sugar cookies and cakes lately, I have still made versions of my chocolate chip cookies pretty consistently for them for the last few months. Nothing says love like homemade cookies. One of my biggest compliments lately was a friend's son who said he wanted to come with her to stop by my house because I always have cookies. Cookies with wine? Even better. 

Do beverages count as food? After a 21 mile long run I think they do. This was my ice bath beverage bar. The Svelte protein shake was so good! So chocolatey and delicious. Hot tea to warm me up while sitting in the ice and a tall glass of Nuun to rehydrate. 

Last night while the meat eaters in my house had steak I had couscous with roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. I'm so glad I prepped these on Sunday. It was fast and filling. 

So there you have it. I have been eating a lot lately. Marathon training makes me hungry!

Strides of March Half Marathon...

Since it's been over a month, I should probably tell you about the half marathon I ran last month.

What could be better than a half marathon that is dirt cheap ($45!), well run, and practically down the street from your house? It's the trifecta of running, in my opinion!

We knew it was going to be a good race, when we went to packet pick up and the wonderful volunteers were more than happy to get us the size race shirt (technical!) that would fit us the best. The volunteers at packet pick up really set the tone for the event I think.

Woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning, met up with some of my favorite running peeps and we took the 15 minute drive to Draper. There was plenty of parking, though my only complaint of the day was that there were only five port-o-potties at the start of the race. While we were there in plenty of time, we missed our window and the lines were way to long by the time we got over to them. Note to self, use the bathroom as soon as you see it, especially if the line is not long.

It was a beautiful morning!

The race started right on time, and we were off on the rolling hills around the lake. While I was looking for a little half marathon redemption, I was not out to PR this race. After running strong in Tulsa, I was just looking to do the same but maybe do it a little faster this time.

Rochelle, Sarah and I settled into a comfortably hard pace. We chatted along, talked to a few other runners and the miles just ticked off. Before we knew it we were at the turn around. I loved the out and back course, and the route support was fantastic. They had water at about every mile or so and the volunteers did all they could to get it to everyone that wanted it. It was nice to cheer on the other runners after the turn around, and the guy that were pulling up the rear gave us a good laugh.

At the half my official split was 57:06. At about mile 10 we picked up the pace a little. Sarah and Ro headed off and I pulled out my iPod at mile 11 and pushed it to the finish line. The rolling hills were tough on the way back, but the downhill to the finish was a nice reward for the had work. I didn't look at my watch the entire race, and crossed the finish line in 1:52:37, well beyond my expectations for the day. It was not a PR, but it's my fastest and strongest half since I PR'd at Cowtown two years ago.

We didn't get pictures at the start, but we had plenty at the finish line.

Carrie, Sarah, me and Ro

My three speedy friends all finished top three in their age groups. I was fourth, and they had me in the right age group so no unexpected trophy for me like at the Sooner State Games. They were able to pick up their winnings quickly and we headed off to brunch.

I cannot say enough about how fantastic this race was. I almost hate to tell everyone how fantastic it was because I love the small local races and when word gets out this race will definitely get bigger. Well organized, fabulous volunteers, and plenty of food and water at the finish line. We will definitely be back next year.