Race Weekend!

In 12 hours, I get to go pick up Carrie at the airport and our fabulous race weekend in Williamsburg begins!  Six girls, two races, and one amazing historical location.

Run for the Dream is one of my favorite races.  I’ve been running it since the inaugural year in 2011 and it gets better every year.  And of course, when they announced the Patriot’s Challenge last year (Saturday 8K, Sunday Half), I signed up for that too.

Also, they feed you delicious sandwiches after the race.  You can’t go wrong with delicious sandwiches.

The forecast is not awesome.  It’s going to be hot and sticky.  It was hot and sticky last year, so this isn’t a surprise.  And as I keep telling myself, hot is good.  Because while it will make this weekend’s races a little rough, it will greatly improve the swim portion of next weekend’s tri.

My plan this year is to take things nice and slow.  I don’t do well in the heat to begin with, and I don’t want to do anything to risk injury before next weekend’s triathlon.  So I plan to take my time and enjoy the sights.  No rush here.

However, I also need to not do what I did last year.  Talk about improper fueling.  While a giant dinner at Cracker Barrel is delicious, it’s really not the best pre-race meal.  I’m lucky in that I almost never have GI issues while running, but this made for a very sluggish race.

This is my last half marathon til September, and it’s a perfect way to end the spring racing season.  This race makes for a fabulous girls’ trip and I am counting the hours til we leave!

 

 

Strength Training… Or Lack Thereof

Last week, I had a massage, which was equally relaxing and excruciating.  This, in my eyes, is the perfect massage.  My legs were a mess.  I stretch.  I foam roll.  But sometimes, there are knots that only a trained massage therapist can work out.

My massage therapist pointed out something I already knew.

“How much do you strength train?”

“Not enough.”

“Well, if you don’t do anything else, work on your adductors.  Your other thighs are strong from the running, but your inner thighs are weak and this imbalance will lead to knee pain.”

He isn’t wrong.

I used to be very good about strength training.  I own and love ChaLEAN Extreme.  I own weights from 2 pounds all the way up to 25 pounds.  But once I started triathlon training, strength training sort of went out the window.

But I need to bring it back.  The question is when.

My workout schedule is already crazy in the non-athlete’s eyes.  Swim Tuesday morning, brick Wednesday, Team Fight swim Thursday, run Friday (well, usually), and long bike and long run workouts flip flop between Saturday and Sunday.

“Well, obviously, you have Monday free.  Strength train then.”

And that’s probably what I am going to do for the summer.  One day of strength probably isn’t enough, but it’s better than nothing to start out.  Once the summer ends though, Monday nights are choir rehearsal nights.  So I’ll have to figure something out then.  Of course, triathlon training will also be over and I will be into marathon training again.  A whole new kind of pain.

I know that once I get back into it, I will love the strength training.  But sometimes, I love just having a day off to relax.  And by relax, I mean run around the house getting things done that didn’t get done over the weekend.

Race training is insane.  But I guess there are worse hobbies to have.

Summer Running

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photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

Now I have the song from Grease stuck in my head.  “Summer running, had me a blaaaaast…”

Except summer running is decidedly not a blast.  Not for me, anyway.  I hate running in the heat.  A lot of that has to do with my heart issues (the warmer it is, the harder it is for me to keep my heart rate down).  But in general, I just don’t like to be hot.  I don’t know how you people in warm climates do it.  I joke about moving to Florida, but I could never live there.  Too hot.

So that means I’ll be relaxing this summer, right?

Yeah, no.  Though I won’t be doing as many crazy long runs.  Or races, for that matter.  After this weekend’s half, my next half marathon isn’t until September.  Last summer, I also did the Women’s Distance Festival, which meant running 4 5ks over the summer.  I have decided to not do that either.

That means my only summer races are two triathlons – one in less than two weeks and my “big” one in August (which is still “just” a sprint, but that sprint seems really far).  Triathlons in the summer have one advantage – warm weather means warmer water.  So that’s a plus.  And I don’t have the same heat issues with biking.  The run… well, I’ll just have to deal.

It definitely means a change in my training focus though.  I think I’m going to try to keep my “long” runs at about 8 miles, maybe occasionally throwing in a 10 if there’s an overcast day or I happen to wake up extra super early (I don’t run until the sun comes out because the raccoons will eat me).

And of course, June and July are going to be about training for my triathlon, and what that means is much more time on my bike.  I’m getting comfortable with the swim.  I’ve covered the distance many times.  Now it’s just about keeping my stamina up.  Biking though, that’s still a learning experience.  The pedals are definitely what’s throwing me, but I’m getting better.

But I will never be able to give up my first love, running.  Half marathons are incredible.  Even the bad ones are good.  So I have to keep up my summer running to keep my body into shape for the 4 (I think) half marathons I’m running this fall.

Oh yes, and then there’s that pesky marathon in January…

Motivation Monday – Memorial Day

443070101_edcccc9371Photo by Jasen Miller

For many people, Memorial Day marks the start of the summer.  It’s a glorious long weekend where people do everything in their power to be outside enjoying the day.  But while you do that, take a moment to remember the meaning of Memorial Day and to honor all those we have lost in military service.  We owe them a debt of gratitude.

Race Wishlist

So many races, so little time.  But I’m always coming up with new races that I want to run (or tri).  I should do an official list that I keep updated, but for now, here are some races on my mind.

Some of these are definite “bucket list” races that will require considerable expense/training/time, but others are races that I simply haven’t done yet.

  • Nike Women’s Half in Washington, DC
  • Flying Pig Half
  • Bermuda Triangle Challenge
  • San Francisco First Half and Second Half
  • Mayor’s Half in Anchorage, AK
  • Diva’s Half in Puerto Rico
  • Run Woodstock Hippie Half
  • Something in Texas so Jenny and Carrie can stop hounding me
  • UCF REV3 Half Full Tri – Olympic Distance
  • Columbia Tri

What’s on your bucket list?  Do you have a bucket list?  More importantly, what should I add to my bucket list?