Becoming My Own Coach

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Finishing a marathon was no small feat and I couldn’t have done it without my friends and family. I also had the help of my run coach,  Kyle. We started working together in May to get me up to Ultra mileage. Using his training helped get me to a marathon. Now I feel confident that I can run a 50k and beyond. I had planned on keeping him on as my coach till I had completed my 50k. Though after redoing our budget and accounting for Christmas expenses and holiday travel, having a run coach just wasn’t feasible anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having a coach, it is so much better than a paper plan. You can read my thoughts on coaches vs. regular plans here! Kyle has awesome prices and is really great at working with your skill level and goals. I definitely recommend contacting him if you’re in the market for a run coach. So I emailed him the other day to let him know and since then I’ve been on my own in my training. Though I’ve just been resting my body after Saturday, my mind has been going crazy with writing out my own schedule. The thing I loved most about having a coach was the accountability. There are days, we all have them, when I would rather do anything but run. Those are the days when I remembered that I had someone who had taken the time to make are schedule specifically for me. Normally that got me up and running. Now I am the one who wrote the schedule and I am the one holding me accountable. See, the thing is, I’m awful at letting myself down. Luckily,  I am less than 2 months away from my 50k and I realize how important this time is to my training. Definitely important enough to not be a slacker!

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I sat down the other night with Excel and got to work. Every day is scheduled out till race day, all I have to do is follow it and I’ll be as ready as possible. Haha. I may make some changes here and there, but I think it is a pretty solid plan. I also have Shantele to help keep me on track, she will yell at me till I do my run. She may even drag me out of the house. And of course,  I have my wonderful husband,  he knows how important my running is to me and will help me stick to my plan. 52 days till my 50k!!

Keep running y’all!

Race Recap: Chase the Sun 6 Hour Event

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Getting up at 0445 isn’t something I like to do, but as soon as my alarm went off my feet hit the floor. I had one goal for the day, and that was to run a marathon!! I put my stuff out the night before, like any sane runner would do, so getting dressed was definitely the easiest part of my day.

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After getting dressed I made some coffee and waited for Shantele and her hubby. We were riding together so little man didn’t have to wake up ridiculously early. I knew he would be in a horrible mood all morning if he had to wake up that early. On the way to Whitemarsh Island the weather forecast proved it’s validity when it began to rain and continued, off and on, throughout the morning. We made it to the race area, went to the bathroom, pinned our bibs on, got nutrition ready and started waiting. After the National Anthem at 0700, we got started at 0705 with an end time of 1305. The trail was a 1.87 mile loop that was super flat but had lots of protruding roots. Since it was a small loop there was only one aid station at the start/finish area. As the morning went on the rain kept coming and going, soaking all the runners.

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Running in rain soaked clothes resulted in some pretty awful chafing for me! For the first time ever, my shoulder got chaffed from my vest.

Starting out I had a great attitude and felt great. Around mile 7 or so my digestive system decided to rebel against me. Slowing to a walk several times and having to make port a potty stops every lap made for a very unhappy runner. I persevered until my hubby showed up with some Imodium. Haha. Once I got that into my system I was feeling so much better. It also became a lot easier to make myself eat. If you get the chance to eat a pb&j from an aid station, do it! Seriously the best pb&j I have ever had. 😉

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Shantele was amazing through the entire run! She helped me stay on track, made me eat when I didn’t want to, and was the best friend that I needed. We talked a lot but we both get into our own grooves when not talking is just as good, which is one of the things I love about running with her. 🙂 One of the greatest parts about this run was accomplishing my goal with her by my side. She has run a marathon before and was only doing this to get her training done and help me get to my  26.2! At the end of the 6 hours I had done 13 laps, putting me just over 24 miles. Even though my time was over I continued to run, I was too close to 26.2 to quit. As I came around on my very last lap I knew that I would have to run past my supporter group and then come back to get my mileage. Shantele’s hubby jumped in and ran with me for the last little bit and “ran me in” to my finish. No huge cheering crowd, no medal immediately around my neck, just my some amazing friends and my wonderful family! I am so blessed and now I’m a marathoner!!!

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Preparing for Saturday

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Preparing for Saturday

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Yum! I found these cute little panda cookies filled with chocolate while we were in Savannah yesterday. Target had them for $1 each so I grabbed a bunch, along with some gummy snacks. Bite sized and won’t get gross in the heat, score! We will probably keep the gummies in a cooler that our husbands will have at our personal aid station, just in case. Shantele and I are also going to hit up Game Changers this week to get some Nuun and any other little things we may need. If you are in the Savannah/Hinesville/Richmond Hill area you should definitely check them out, they have some of the best employees ever! Packet pick up for Chase the Sun is on Friday and Saturday morning, we aren’t sure when we are going to go yet.

I do however, have a game plan for the run itself! Coach Kyle and I have talked a good bit about it and he thinks that a walk break every lap would be greatly beneficial. My goal is to get to at least a marathon and I think a 2-3 minute walk break through the aid station will be good at preserving enough fuel in my tank to finish! cts

How cool would it be to get more than a marathon though? The medal says Ultra because it is completely doable to run a 50k or more in 6 hours. I hope I get there one day! Maybe even in January at the next super flat 50k that I am doing because I know it will probably take me 7-8 hours at the Tortoise and the Hare 50k in Blue Ridge. Haha! Anyway, the run should be great with my family and friends by my side. We will be under the shade of the trees for the majority of the course (I hope) because the heat nearly killed me on my 14 miler this two days ago! Which, by the way, was my longest run to date! I updated about it on facebook but long story short, it sucked. I cried, I wanted to puke and I had to stop at a gas station to refill my hydration pack. As horrible as it was during the run, I felt very accomplished after and not even sore the next day!

Today I am getting in 5 miles on the mill and dreaming of the trails I will get to run on Saturday!

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Keep running y’all!

My Upcoming Adventure!!

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This will, hopefully, be posted while I am out on my longest training run ever. A big 14 miles! Huge! Even though I just killed my last half marathon, haha. I’m very excited to tackle my longest distance to date. I am even more excited for next weekend, when I will be taking on the Chase the Sun Ultra event!! I am doing the 6 hour option and gunning for at least a marathon anything after that is icing on the cake. The course is a 1.87 mile loop on the Whitemarsh Island Preserve with mostly unpaved trail but a partial paved spot. I’ve been told that there are good amount of roots on the path that left some feet quite beat up last year! I’ve already talked to Kyle (my run coach) and we have set up an attack plan to get me to a full marathon!! I’m elated to be doing this run with my best running buddy! She rocks and always pushes me when we run together. She has already told me that she will get me to a marathon so I am stoked!

I leave you with a look at the medals!

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Tortoise and the Hare Half Marathon Recap

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Tortoise and the Hare Half Marathon Recap

On Saturday I ran the best event of my life! The inaugural Tortoise and the Hare half marathon was absolutely everything I could have wanted for my first trail race. Toni and Jeremy, the race directors did a fantastic job and I look forward to doing this run for many years to come! The run took the classic tortoise and the hare story and brought it to life. Tortoises, like myself, started between 8 and 9 then the hares started at 10 and tried to catch up so that we would all finish around noon! For awards they obviously used chip timing to get the results since there was such a huge difference in start times. One of the coolest parts for me was being one of the faster tortoises and being the 7th or 8th person to cross the finish! Plus I had a bunch of people commenting on how speedy I was, totally blew me away. Haha!

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The end result of the different start times was that everyone finished very close to the same time. I love their finishing concept because it allows the slower runners to get the same support as those faster ones who always get to the finish line first. Everyone being there at the finish together just embodies the spirit and community of running, and I love it! Gives me the warm fuzzies. Haha. Even more exciting, this is the same company who is putting on my first 50k in November! They are just such great people and their events are beautifully orchestrated. The run went flawlessly and the finish was stocked with all kinds of goodies to eat after, biscuits from Mcdonalds, pizza, cookies, fruit and Larabars. Oh, they also had a free massage table, man do I wish I had taken advantage of that! So if you are ever able, definitely check out their events!

So now that I’ve filled you in on the wonderful company and events, let me tell you about my first trail half!

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I started at the 8:00 wave, I didn’t think it would take 4 hours to finish but I wanted a little extra time just in case. The trails were single track to start off with and I was behind a group of women who were going just a little slower than my pace, so it was a pretty good start. I eventually passed most of those in front of me and was able to get into a good groove by mile 2.5 or 3. From then on it was smooth sailing with lots of up hills, that I walked most of, and a few water crossings. I had to fight the temptation to lay down in the water a few times! 😉 For the last mile we came out of the woods and onto a dirt/gravel track to the finish and let me tell you, it was hot without the tree cover! Worst part was running out of water in my hydration vest for that last mile. I kept struggling between wanting to go slow due to thirst and wanting to go fast just to get it over with and get water at the finish! The struggle is real y’all. Haha. Now onto the swag, the shirt has the awesome Tortoise and the Hare graphic and is wonderfully soft, Tortoises got green shirts and Hares were given red. The medals are very colorful and have a super cool spinner in the middle, that my kid loved! They also had water bottles, pictured below, that were given out to age group placers but after all the awards were done and they had extras and I was able to score one! I’ve been taking it everywhere like a child with a security blanket, it’s safe to say I love it! I had a fantastic experience and I will definitely be coming back next year, hopefully as a hare! Thanks again Toni and Jeremy!! See you in November!

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Now for a photo dump!!

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Keep running y’all!

Stress, Ultras, and IIFYM

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Today has been a bad day. End of story. But of course there is more. My dear sweet child didn’t want me to run this morning. Being optimistic, I turned on the Sworkit app and did 15 minutes worth of circuits with little man. Then I headed out for a mile to see if I had any pain while running. 

But I am getting ahead of myself…this week has been awful mileage wise. I have only run 4 miles out of my 19 scheduled so far. I ran yesterday fully intending to run my 8 miles, until my left knee and hip started aching pretty badly. I pushed past it to get to a measly 3 miles but the pain kept getting worse. Took it easy the rest of the day and did some flexibility work.

Fast forward back to today…circuits, a pain free mile and a good breakfast. Great start to my day right?! Well my initial plan was to run during nap time, even though it would be the hottest part of the day. I didn’t anticipate 96 degrees. And humid. So nap time run didn’t happen. After that my mindset just went downhill. I was tired of people other than my husband trying to be a parent to little man, tired of my kid not listening, and very tired of not getting my miles in. Speaking of the mister, I am also tired of being alone, this training can’t come to an end soon enough! Back to my run today, it never happened. I’m mad but I knew that it wouldn’t happen. I was in such a bad mood. Normally a run will help my mood but today didn’t feel like one of those days. Sounds like a load of crap, I know. I’m trying to shake the mood and get in bed at a good time tonight so I can wake up and get it done tomorrow! 

In other news my dreams of running the Marine Corps Marathon may be crashing down around me. I was very fortunate to get a fundraising spot for Team Red, White, and Blue. The fundraising goal is very low for MCM, at $300. That is what gets my bib and some RWB perks. I have the majority of my fundraising goal, $235, but I am coming to terms with just how much the trip will be. Hotel with parking, $400 for 2 nights, plus gas to and from and meals. And anything I would want from the expo like a jacket or hat. So probably close to $900? I have these thoughts in the back of my mind and it has been slowly eating away at me. I want this so badly and it not coming to fruition, well it just sucks. I’ve considered setting up an Indiegogo page for loving family and friends, or even strangers, to donate to my dreams. 

Another thought in the back of my mind is how the hills in Blue Ridge are going to chew me up and spit me out. I am beyond excited to become an ultra marathoner. The Blue Ridge trip is much less expensive and way more low key. I’m getting off track again. Anyway, those hills…I live on the coast so maybe 31 miles on the Appalachian Trail was a bad idea for my first Ultra. Too late now! I am all signed up and just need to book the hotel. Since it is my first, my main goal is just to finish, which I know I will. I’m just scared.

Whew…lots going on in my mind. I guess I need to blog more so my posts aren’t so lengthy. Kudos to y’all who have stuck with me. 

As I approach my HUGE races this fall I am trying to drop some weight to get into prime performance mode. Listen to me sounding like an actual athlete. 😉 Well I have jumped head first into, If It Fits Your Macros, affectionately, IIFYM. I have just finished out my second day of it and I am loving it. I bought a kitchen scale to weigh my foods and it is super easy to get all my macros in by the end of the day. The end of the day is actually the best, whatever macros I haven’t used I get to use in a tasty dessert. Greek yogurt, chocolate and cookies. Or something like that. Seriously awesome. I’m very excited to see the changes in my body over the next few weeks. I’m going to update on it when I have been following it for a while!

High Mileage & Training Plans vs. Run Coach

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This year I have run 276 miles, 174 of that was done in the last two months (May and June). I don’t think I have ever felt more accomplished, well maybe after giving birth, haha. Seriously though, I ran 100 miles in June! I never thought a triple digit month would be possible for me but marathon/ultra training has really started to show me what I am made of. My training has definitely had it’s ups and downs, I’ve even had some breakdowns.

The past two months I have been coached by a friend that I met through SKORA. Since I was almost starting over and didn’t have a good running base I knew that would need help to get to Ultra marathon distances. There are tons of running plans out there that are great for so many people, I used one for my half and there is absolutely nothing wrong with those training plans. The problem I have with an online plan is that I am the only person holding myself accountable and in the past I haven’t been so great with getting all my runs in. Too many times I have let life get in the way and used that as a way out. Kyle, my coach, actually sits down and makes my weekly schedules for me, runs, strength training and rest days. I love the personal touch of a coach, I get emails when I have a great week, “good job” and “nice run” comments and when life does get in the way I can just send him and email and he will work with me to make sure I get my miles done! I really try to stick to my schedule as much as possible because I don’t want to make Coach mad. Haha. It sounds funny but when someone actually takes the time to write out a personalized training plan for you. It is also motivating know that they put the work in and now you need to follow through with the runs! 

 

If you are interested in getting a run coach check out Kyle!