Pregnancy Update: Weeks 14, 15, 16 and 17

I had big plans on catching up and doing weekly updates. Ah! Not happening. I am not starting my 5th month and barely starting my 2nd trimester updates. Oh well. Life matters more than blogging sometimes.

Week 14:

Symptoms: Some ligament pains as things are stretching and adapting to the growing uterus. Sometimes when running, sometimes randomly.

The Belly: Definitely feeling things changing. There is a tiny bulge showing which has nothing to do with bloating. Yeah!

Mood: Other than my fall scare last week, I’m in a pretty good mood. I feel very excited from sharing the news officially on and offline. Officially starting the 2nd trimester. This is exciting because it’s supposed to be the “honeymoon stage” of pregnancy but also because at this point the risks of miscarriage are way way lower.

Workout: So much for the easier running last week. I suddenly find that I need more time to warm up. I have to walk as a warm-up too now, sometimes it also takes me up to 10 minutes into the run to fall into the groove of it. I’m taking walking breaks when needed, especially with the sciatica acting up. However fueling has been helping. I learned my lesson and I now have a small snack even before my short runs. It makes a difference.

Sunday: 3.1 mi @8:38 pace, road +prenatal yoga
Tuesday: 3.1 mi @9:42pace, road
Wednesday: 5.5 @9:45 pace, road
Thursday: 3.1 @9:40 pace, road
Total: 14.8 mi

Week 15:

Symptoms: I’m pretty sure I’ve felt the first flutters. Amusingly two hours after seeing the mid-wife who said most first time Moms don’t feel anything until 18 weeks. Baby doesn’t like to be told there is a normal time line 🙂 I was sitting down when I felt this little flutter. It took me a second but I was like, “wait, this was not digestion! Hi Baby!!!”. Very excited to feel it, and felt it again the very next day. 🙂

Medical: Midwife appointment. Hubby got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time, his comment was “wow it’s fast”. Uterus is measuring a week ahead.

Weight gain: 4 pounds since the beginning of pregnancy.

Mood: Right after we took the picture above I was about to head out when the neighbor called us. There was a black bear on his deck! Crazy. A little scared at the idea to run into it.

Thrilled to feel the baby move and happy to be doing well. Hubby dealing with a lot of stress at work and taking some time off. Not good for him but I get to spend more time with him and he was able to come to the appointment.

Workout:  I realized I had somewhat skipped on of the training weeks and now had to pick between 11mi or 12mi. I went for a run in Bent Creek which turned out to be 11 miles with some good hills. It was a really good run which gave me back the confidence I needed to run the Half Marathon. My evening run in the park did not go so well. I had to cut it short due to a nasty side stitch and stomach cramps which I blame on the food I ate for lunch. The sciatica has been manageable thankfully.

Sunday: 4.25 mi @8:50 pace, road +pre-natal yoga.
Tuesday: 11.37 mi @11:03 pace, trail/dirt road
Thursday: 3.67 @10:21 pace, road
Saturday: 6.05 @9:33 pace, road
Total: 25.34mi

Week 16:

Symptoms: There are days when I don’t feel the baby still, but it’s getting more regular. On Saturday, we were at a Music Festival, Steve Martin came on stage and the baby gave a kick. It was unmistakable, not a flutter but a little kick. I had my hand on my belly and I felt it against my hand. Love it! Hubby can’t feel it yet.

The Belly: It popped! The difference between week 15 and 16 is crazy to me. Lil’One must have had a growth spurts this week or something. I cracked up after we came back from a Music Festival, here I was about to jump in the shower when my husband walked in and exclaimed “Hey Preggers!” I guess it’s now obvious.

Mood: Yeah for kicks and flutters! However I fell (again!) while running. I burned/cut my hand on the pavement (note: it took a long time to heal that one). It made me feel like a complete idiot more than anything else.

Workout: So as I mentioned, I fell on Monday. I was reaching a curve and heard a car behind me, I could tell they were about to turn too. It distracted me enough that I clipped the sidewalk and with my newly popped belly I couldn’t catch myself. The knee, elbow, hand and water bottle took the fall. It wasn’t as hard of a fall as when I fell in the forest, but it was painful because of the pavement (pine needles are much kinder on your skin I tell you!). It  sucks because I was actually having a really good run. I still finished it but it wasn’t the same with stinging wounds. This has made me rethink where I run in a serious manner. I can not risk putting myself into such situations again. Running on the roads is now going to be off limits unless I run in the nearby neighborhood avoiding roads with more traffic. My goal is now to stick to the park and the trails where I honestly feel a lot safer.

On the yeah side, I ran the Asheville Citizen Times Half-Marathon and I did way better than what I had expected. I was so proud of myself for finishing it.

Monday: 3.1 mi @9:07 pace, road
Wednesday: 5.74 @9:20 pace, road
Saturday: 13.1 @9.23 pace, road, Citizen-Times Half Marathon (technically 17 weeks)
Total: 21.94mi

Week 17:

Symptoms: The pressure in the lower belly is increasing, especially when I run. It means more pee breaks and sometimes walking breaks to let it relax. It mostly feel like it’s due to the weight of the belly and sometimes odd baby positions. Kicks are more regular, almost daily now already. Hubby felt the baby for the first time this week! It was priceless to see his face, that moment of realization that he had felt Our child move!

The belly: is growing. My manager took a look at me the other day and realized she had less time than she thought to get me into maternity clothes…

Mood: A little emotional. A year ago I was dealing with what turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy and unexplained bleeding. Yet this I crossed the same finish line of the Half Marathon with a healthy baby who kicked hard on the anniversary of my trip to the ER that my husband felt it. Overall I fell incredibly thankful in this journey, knowing where I am now.

Workout:  Easy week after the half-marathon. My body needed some time to recover. I”ve decided that I’m done with the double digits. No more long races until this Little One is here in person. I did have a great run in the forest without even a break needed. It felt quite wonderful. We went on a hiking/camping trip in the forest. Got lost a little but still had a lot of fun. However sleeping on a blow up camping mattress is not all that fun when you’re not supposed to lay on your back anymore. I woke up far too often.

Sunday: Prenatal yoga
Monday: 3.66mi @9.27 pace, road
Wednesday: 5.64mi @10:13 pace, trail
Thursday: 2mi hiking
Friday: 5.4mi hiking

Total: 9.3mi ran,  16.7 with hiking

13th Asheville Citizen-Times Half-Marathon

A Little Someone made an appearance on the picture 🙂

So race day came. I was ready. Mentally at least. I had not had to wake up that early in a long time. So I made myself get up at 5am to have breakfast then went back to bed for another 45 minutes. We did cut it a little close to the race and did not have time to use the port-potties prior to the start. This of course meant that I already had to pee by the time the gun went off. Oh well. At least the weather was perfect, foggy and cool in the mid 50’s.

I was planning on starting along with the 2:15 pacers but somehow found myself a little ahead of it while my Sister-in-Law went for the under 2 hour pacers. I didn’t have a true time goal in mind. I was thinking that I would finish somewhere between 2:15 and 2:30 but had no real expectations. I warmed-up and hugged my husband and off we were in the blasting music. I missed the silent communion of the running feet from last years start. It wasn’t as peaceful to my ears.

I knew I was likely going a little fast in the beginning, but I felt fine, and I knew I would have to take a potty break soon anyway. Well the first mile and port-potty came but there was a line. Same for the second one, right at the beginning of a heavy climb. I knew that hill, I walked it. This was no time for PR and uphill has been a lot harder on me since I got pregnant. I finally stopped at the 3 mile port-potty and stopped my watch during that time.

I went off again and within a mile I wanted to pee again. Seriously?! I held it until mile 5 and took another break. Thankfully things got better after that. On the steep hill before the Country Club Golf Course, I caught up with and passed the 2:10 pacers. I had been ahead of them before my first break and it was very comforting yet surprising to see that I could still catch up. As we went along the golf course (around mile 6) I felt the need to walk and questioned myself. Did I wanted to walk because I felt pregnancy tired or because my legs were not agreeing with the hill. I found that it was my legs so I kept on running. I ate a Cliff block around mile 6.

Around mile 7, a runner called my name. I finally got to meet Laura with whom we’ve exchange a few words over the last year or so on daily mile. It was nice to see her in person. I passed her then, but she caught up later.
Right before Beaverdam Lake someone else called me. My eyes caught sight of a fellow Diamond Brand running buddy. I screamed back that I was pregnant and she jumped up and down screamed “Run for Two! Run for Two!” That was a great confidence booster and I definitely had a big smile on my face after that.

I had to take one last pee break around mile 9. Then it was all about running. I felt that I could do then next 4 miles without a bathroom break and was happy about it. I met Laura again right before “The Hill” (as my SIL would later refer to it). Lookout road is a little over a mile of uphill, yet I don’t dread that section because it’s a smooth, “gentle” uphill full of nice curves. I did walk at one point however.

While last year we went down trough the university, this year they had us take an other route. One that few runners like: a “you feel you’re going to tumble down” steep downhill. Seriously it was steeper than anything I remember from the Blue Ridge Marathon. Thank God I’m used to run on trails and knew how to handle it. But I was fearful of a fall non the less. This was followed by a much longer run along Broadway. The most boring part of the race in my opinion. Slightly uphill and on a large road. Meeh! I saw a girl walking on the side, not looking too good and a policeman caught up with her to check on her well being. I took a walk break once more but still caught up with one of my co-workers.

Downtown Asheville came in sight. We went under the bridge and I smiled big time when I saw a sign saying “You were born to run Baby”. How appropriate! There was still one last hill to tackle though, my least favorite because after almost 13 miles my legs were ready to chill: Walnut St. A steep uphill followed by about two blocks to run to the finish line. I ran it last year, I walked half of it this year with no shame. I picked up running again and ran all the way to the end. Unlike last year I didn’t accelerate much at the end. I didn’t care if I was passing people. Instead I put my hand on y belly and dedicated my run to my Little One. To beating the odds. To getting pregnant after an ectopic pregnancy. I thought about the same run last year, I had been pregnant but didn’t know yet that it wasn’t a safe pregnancy. This year was a victory for me in many ways. I was still shocked when I saw that the clock read under 2:10. Really? With all my breaks I had still managed to make it that fast?

Thank you for a good race baby!

Well as my husband said, I had three times this year: the gun time of 2:09:38, the chip time of 2:08:30 and the watch time (dubbed Port-Potty time by Hubby) of 2:03:02. I finished 736/1366 overall and 60/131 in my age group. Not so bad for a pregnant girl.

Now I did have to take two short nap that afternoon, but weirdly enough I was actually less sore this year than I was last year. I’m not sure if it’s due to the easier pace, that I’m in better shape or both. In any case, my SIL said we’re going to have to put a 13.1 sticker on the jogging stroller we’re planning to get. After all this was baby’s first race 🙂

The Marathon Bump

It seems to be a tradition, every time I run a long distance for the first time I get a bumper sticker for the car. Or well, two really.

See the first time I ran a Half Marathon. I purchased a sticker at the expo, planning to put it on after the race. It turns out that my sister-in-law was also gifting me one, a magnet one. Well my car doesn’t seem to have as much metal as we thought, so the magnet is on the fridge and the sticker on the car.

As I mentioned, they were handing out stickers at the Packet Pick Up of the Blue Ridge Marathon. So I knew I had my 26.2 sticker. Well… I really have three. My husband handed me a little gift after the race, while I was recovering: a black and white 26.2 sticker. He wasn’t sure which one I would like best so he got them both. Needless to say that my car is now all decked up and showing my runner’s pride. Of course now it kinds of look like I ran two… I may need to work on that.

Do you have running bumper stickers on your car?

The Difference Between 6 months and 50 Degrees

Friday I ran 13.35 miles. My training called for a 13 mile long run. I’m now hitting the Half Marathon distance with longer runs to go 14, 16, 18 and 20 are looming in the distance. Scary. But I’m not there yet Right now I can bask in the thought that I ran an other Half Marathon distance.

I picked the same loop that I did for my 13 mile training run last summer. A non technical all Forest Road run called Hardtime/S. Ridge Loop. It may be non technical but it’s not flat. Well the first two miles are fairly flat then it’s all uphill for a mile and a half, a little downhill followed by a roller coaster of up and down that takes you all the way up to 2860 feet at mile 9. After that it’s a good downhill and then a flat/downhill back to the car.

My watch says the difference between 6 month ago and this week was 4 minutes. Well good. But to me the difference was more physical. I don’t think it’s all fitness. There is definitely something to account for on temperature, last summer’s temperature hit above 80 pretty much every day, which meant I was sweating a lot more. When I look at my log I started getting pains in my leg on the last three miles. This time? Nothing. Maybe just a twinge right around 1h50mns, and that was that. Temperatures were in the 30’s the whole time.

I also fueled differently: A GU last summer and an entire bottle of water. Gu Brew the entire run this time but I only drank half of my bottle.

I come a long way from my first 6 miler when I spent the rest of the day as a couch potato. Friday, I ran 13 miles in the morning, made lunch, helped my husband and his friend build our deck, saw some wood, made dinner and was ready for bed only around 10:30pm. No matter what the reason is, it’s nice to see progress.

12th Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon

I woke up bright and early at 5am. Lucky me to be running where I live. I wanted to make sure I had my breakfast early enough to have no problem during the run. I wasn’t exactly hungry, but I still ate.
A cup of green tea, half a toasted bagel with almond butter and half a banana.
Then I started getting ready and putting on my outfit, got my water bottle ready. The temperature was cool, in the low 50’s so I put on a long sleeve shirt to keep until warm up time.
I woke up my husband aka. my support team at 5:45am and we headed out to the race by 6:30am. Luckily his brother lives right down town and lets us use a prime parking space from which we just had a quick walk to the race start.
I was surprised that it didn’t seem that busy at that point, I guess most people were warming up and running around downtown.

Pre-race

At 6:45 I left my husband to go warmup. I ran just under 10mns. Enough to be hot and ditch the long sleeves. I was glad I had used the bathroom at home several times because the line at the port-potty was not inviting.
I did meet a few people from my Wednesday running group and hanged out with them first as we started lining up, until I saw some people from work. We never did a group picture, which I figured would happen, we were not organized.

I blew a kiss to my husband and then focused on the start. The gun went and… nothing happened. It took several minutes before people started moving forward. Walking on top of each other at first, light jogging passed the start line and then at last running once around the corner.
I loved that feeling, the silence of the morning only broken by the pounding of the shoes on the ground. The pounding of 1200 pairs of shoes at the same time is something powerful and that I love to be a part of.
We went down Patton Ave and I could see a sea or runners ahead of me.

Runners on Patton Ave by Colby Rabon

We went down, then up on the first uphill. The mile markers threw me off at first as the 5K and HM started in the same place. I saw the 1 Mile followed quickly by 2Mile as my watch read 10mns. There is no way I’m running a 5 minute mile I told myself, this has go to be wrong. Indeed, as we got to the next hard hill I saw an other 2 Mile sign, this time I was at 15mns which seemed far more accurate.
As expected I passed people on the hills, running on the trails in Bent Creek has definitely given me the stamina I needed for that.

Miles went by, several hills went by, some easier than other. We went by two Golf courses: the Grove Park Inn, and then the Asheville Country Club in North Asheville. At MM 7 we hit my favorite section, a little bit of trail along Beaverdam Lake. The dust was flying from all the runners.
I tried eating some of my Gu gel, but either the taste wasn’t working that day or I simply didn’t need it because I didn’t have more than a squirt or it.

At mile 8 a guy said behind me: “Ok, I’ve got to ask, is this a running skirt?” ” Well of course it is.” What did he think? That I was running a Half-Marthon with a regular mini-skirt?
Around Mile 9 and went by another girl with a skirt, I couldn’t help but say “go skirts” with a smile. She looked at me and smiled. Asked where I got mine and we chatted a bit on the downhill. She later said hi again at the finish line.
I didn’t see the mile markers until MM10. At that point we were going on the long but steady uphill of Lookout Road.

As we neared UNC-A we saw more and more signs. My absolute favorite, the one that I will take back with me from this race said “You should know that you are an inspiration”. It felt so good to read that and I gave the thumb-ups to its holder. Bet sign ever! Right after that I also saw a colleague from work cheering us. It’s so nice to see people you know.

Going by UNC-A I knew we had some downhill and then a bit of a straight line before getting back downtown to the tough finish. I started looking around me, passing and being passed by the same people. I felt like I was slowing down and I had to motivate myself to keep up the pace. There was only a little over a mile to go.

We went under I-240, we were now downtown. I knew there was one last hill to beat: Walnut St. A brutal uphill a few 10th of a mile before the finish. I powered run that one. I knew the end was near and I put all of my energy into it. I frankly thought I was going to throw up before I reached the top. But at last, it was Haywood Rd again, I only had to make it around the corner to be on the finish line. My husband was right there, he said he called me. I was too focused on the finish at that point to hear anything.

Nearing the finish line

At that point I decided to aim for the girl you see all the way to the right with pink writing on a black shirt. My sister-in-law taught me to set yourself on someone at the end and aim to pass them. So that’s what I did. I sprinted. I sprinted to the end and met with her at the finish line, we actually crossed at the exact same time, but it was enough to get me moving a little faster.

As I crossed the line, I realized thrilled, that the clock said 1h52… I was way, way under two hours. I cooled off a little, walking and jogging than gulped down two glasses of Gatorade. I hadn’t even used all my water during the course.  My husband joined me and we went by the finish line to greet fellow runners. Runner’s high much? Oh yeah, it was my people and I go to cheer them as they arrived and after that race. What a good moment.

A few minutes after the race

I cracked up when I saw my pictures later. I don’t really look like I just ran a Half Marathon. I just look happy.  What a difference it made to have temperatures in the 50’s. I had no muscle pain, no cramps, I just felt good. The only thing later that day would be a bit of knee soreness going up the stairs. Can’t complain.

My fake Tatoo to honor the Diamond Brand running group

While I ran the race with my work’s shirt as they paid for half the entry fee, I got one of those fake tatoo at the expo and told my Wednesday running group leader I would wear it for the race, and I did. I really wanted to honor the fact that I’ve training with them every Wednesday since the spring. That and the free gear I got thanks to the program too.

Post Run Stretch.

My husband had thankfully brought with him my long sleeves and fleece. It had rained a little at the end, just enough to cool me down very quickly once the race ended. I went to get some snacks on Runner’s Alley and quickly found myself shivering and my plate shaking. It was time to go get a shower and warm clean clothes at my brother-in-laws place. Meanwhile a colleague of mine had put our names down at a local restaurant. Timing was perfect, as I walked in warmed up from my shower into the restaurant, our table was opening up, what a perfect way to celebrate the race.

Well and now how about my time. Well… I finished in 1:52:09!!! Beating my goal of finishing under 2h by almost 8 minutes. I was thrilled. What a great way to finish my first Half Marathon. And what a good time considering all the hills too. I wonder what I would do on a flat course…

ACT 2011 Half Marathon Course

ACT 2011 Elevation

Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon Pre-Race

Tomorrow I’m running my first Half-Marathon.
Yesterday I made us of the local’s night to go pick up my shirt and bib at UNC-A.
The expo was frankly disappointing. Not that much going on. I signed up for a few raffles and bought the 13.1 sticker I’ve wanted to put on my car.
No treats nothing. I was more impressed with the Dupont State Forest 12K which while they didn’t have an expo had a goody bag with gourmet salt and a few good coupons.

The T-shirt however is really cool. I like the design. The XS women size fits me. At last a race shirt that really works with my petite size, and the sponsors are not that big in the back.

As far as my goals tomorrow.
My C goal: 2h10mns and under
My B goal: 2h05mns and under (my 13 mile training run was in 2h04)
My A goal: under 2h.

Running skirt and work’s running shirt are ready along with a post run outfit (I’m lucky to have my brother in law and therefore a shower at his appartement available super close to the race). Temperature is going to be in the high 40’s to low 50’s so I’ll warm up with a long sleeve shirt and probably hand it to the husband before lining up.
Breakfast tomorrow should be half of a bagel with almond butter, half a banana and some coconut water.

Hald Marathon Training Week 3-1

I’m still behind on my training so here is a quick version of the last weeks.

  • Week 3

Speedwork
Goal 2x3200m @ 8-34-8:39?

3200m sounded like a lot, but thankfully it was only two repeats.

1.65m warmup @9:10 pace in 15’09
3200m repeats @7:51 and 8:02 pace (in 15’37” and 15’59”)
1.17 @9:16 pace 10’51”

Tempo Run
Goal 5 miles @9:34 pace

I was not feeling that one. I felt crabby the first half of the course. So I turned around sooner than we were supposed to and I’m glad I did. On the way back there was a nasty uphill that I simply decided to walk. I was just happy to be done with that one.

Easy Run

It was going  to be a hot day, too hot for the long run in my opinion but good enough for a short easy run behind my husband. I have to admit, my legs wanted to run faster. In many ways I found it harder to stay at his rythm, but it forced me to have an easy run.

3.98 miles in 40 minutes @10:03 pace

5.44 miles @ 9:49 pace, in 53’25”

Long Run
Goal: 12 miles @9:59 pace

This was to be the last long run before the beginning of taper. I had made plans to go run on the trails but work got in the way. By the time I was home I realized I didn’t want to be in the forest when night falls. So as a back up I quickly planned a run in my neighborhood. It ended up being very pleasant with wonderful temperatures. I was crabby again at first, got some knee pain at some point. Stopped stretched out and then found my rythm and really enjoyed it.

12.08 miles @9:22 pace in 1h53’21”

  • Week 2

Speedwork at the park
Goal 5x1K @8:22-8:27 pace

1.57 miles @ 9:35 pace in 15’03
1K repeats @ 7:53, 7:43, 7:40, 7:35 & b7:37  in 4’54”, 4’48”, 4’46”, 4:43, 4:44
1.07 miles @9:57 pace in 10’39

Tempo Run
Goal: 2 miles easy, 3 miles @ Short Tempo pace,  1 mile easy

Fun run with the group. I forgot to take a left so I ran less than planned. Time goes by so fast when you’re chating with an other runner.

4.9 miles @08:58 pace in 43’57

Long Run
Goal: 8 miles @9:59 pace

Last long run. I put two loops  on the trails back to back so my husband could join me. I had a little side stich but managed to get it to go away. Part of it may be due that I started a little too fast.

8.39 miles @9:33 pace in 1h20’13”

  • Week 1

Speedwork
6x400m @8:19-8:24 pace

1.38 @ 8:27 in 11’40”
400m @ 6:42, 6:42, 6:42, 6:42, 6:22, 6:30 in 1’40” (x4), 1’35”, 1’37”
1.3 miles @8:07 in 10’34”

Tempo Run
Goal: 3 miles easy

I was going to try to run 3 miles, but then the group had several options and most of the people at my level (who are running the half too) went for the 4 mileish option. So I went for it. I got into my own rythm and ended up being up ahead. However I forgot to turn on my watch so my time is an estimate from when I started it as I finished and then someone else finished. It’s not very accurate because the first two people didn’t have a watch but I had still stopped my timer. Oh well doesn’t matter, the effort felt good.

4.58 miles @9:03 pace in 41’30”

Just a Few More Days

It’s hard to believe that in a few days only I’ll be running my first Half-Marathon. I know what I’ll wear and what I’ll have for breakfast although I still need to figure out dinner.

I do not look forward to waking up at 5am (race starts at 7:15am). Yes I know some people will have to wake up even earlier than that, but for me it’s still early.

I’m now tapering off, I did my last speedwork on Monday and tomorrow I’ll be doing an easy 3 miles run. I haven’t felt at my best in my last runs. I think the break from Alaska had more consequences than I thought, but in any case I’ll do my best and we’ll see.

I do look forward to Thursday’s locals night to pick up the packets and check out the expo. I want to get a 13.1 sticker to put on my car.

Half Marathon Training Week 4

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska

Running while on a cruise is not an easy thing. There are so many things to do, excursions, time to spend with family and I frankly don’t care for treadmills. The result was that I barely followed my training plan, but it didn’t stop me from having a blast.

Speedwork
Goal: 3x2000m

Simply put did not happen. I had plans on doing it on the cruise ship, but the last day the weather was crappy. We were to be at Hubbard Glacier that morning and while my goal had been to wake up early and go run, I was just too tired. Jet Lag and lack of sleep were catching up with me. So I slept in, chilled and had breakfast on our balcony while watching the Glacier with my husband. No regret there.

I ran 2 miles at 6:53 and 6:49 pace on the boat that afternoon. I attempted about .5 miles on the dreadmill because it was cold and rainy outside. But between my lack of treadmill understanding and the rocking of the boat it was not working. So I went outside. Sure the deck was slippery, sure it was wet and cold but I enjoyed it way more than the stuffy workout room. I don’t think I’ll ever bother with a gym membership at that point.

Tempo Run
Goal: 7 miles fartlek.

We picked the town of Hoonah, Ak for our outside run. A good choice because there was little to do but the cruise organized excursions there. I asked the guy at the docks how long it was to town, he said 1 mile. I asked again about a recommendation to go farther. He said continue until the road ends, but don’t go farther because there are bears and they see them in town sometimes.
So that’s what we did, my Husband joined me, we ran along the shore, saw several beautiful bald eagles along the way (the only wildlife I failed to photograph as I didn’t have my camera during my run). We ran through the small town, along the forest, and right passed the airport the road turned into gravel, which I took to be “the end of the road”, so I turned around and ran back. I took a break to pick up some maps at the National Forest center, passed a bald eagle nest and then caught up with my husband and back to the ship.

6.48 miles in 50’18” @7:45 Pace

Long run
Goal: 10mi @ 9:59 pace

Again did not happen. I was too tired from jet lag and simply lacked the time as we literally landed and I had to be at work 3 hours later. I did run 1.5 miles that day to stretch the legs but I had no energy on Sunday and just skipped it. We did hike 6 miles with 3000ft of positive elevation during the cruise to a beautiful glacier lake in Skagway, plus an other small hike in Juneau by Mendenhall Glacier, so didn’t feel bad about skipping.

Upper Dewey Lake in Skagway, AK

Alaska travel is told on my other blog.

Half Marathon Training Week 5

Sea Kayaking in Ketchikan's Orcas Cove

I had to reorganize the whole week as we were flying out to Alaska Thursday night and I had a 15 mile run planned that week. Had I run it on the week-end at usual I would have had to do it on the cruise ship (which meant the dreadmill), no thanks, or on a stop Sunday but I couldn’t because we had sea-kayaking planned in Ketchikan. So instead I did my long run at the beginning of the week and the speedwork on the boat. It was a good decision.

Long Run: Half Marathon Course +2 miles
Goal: 15 miles @10:09 pace

Being that it would be my last run of 13mi or above I decided to run the course for the HM. I made the mistake to print the directions too small which resulted in having to stop at intersection to check where I was going (and stop the watch) and taking a few wrong turns. I added an extra lap around Beaverdam Lake to get me to 15mi.
The course was a little harder than I expected, partly because of all the turns, but also because it’s a bit of a roller coaster. I made it through though and with temperatures in the 70’s it wasn’t the hardest run I did this summer.
I felt like I was going slow to be honest, but surprisingly I was going at a much faster pace than needed. I guess it’s all about the perceived effort isn’t it?
I do look forward to see if I can improve my pace with an early morning run or not.

15.24 miles in 2h20’42” @9:13 pace

Group Tempo
Goal: 5 miles @9:34 pace

We met in Bent Creek. The goal was to go up North Boundary Rd for 30mns and turnaround. I have no clue how far we went exactly because starting a certain point it all looked the same. But my guess is about 3 miles up? On the way down I ran with a long legged fast guy, we were chatting and I had fun attempting to keep up. To be honest he adjusted his pace so I could because he could have gone a lot faster. We hoped off the forest rd after that for a blissful stretch on a dirt trail before heading back to the parking lot. There everyone turned to me and said “you’re still alive?”. I guess they expected me to be beat after following him but I actually really enjoyed the challenge.
I only talked with him for so long though, once we were done with the downhill and on the trail I had to focus on my running and save my breath.
Rice Pinacle->North Boundary-> turned back around-> Ledford trail ->Wold Branch->Deer Lake Lodge

7.37 miles (give or take) in 1h01’18” @8:19 pace

Speedwork on a Cruise Ship
Goal 10-20mns warm-up, 10x400m @8:35-8:30 pace 10mn cool-off.

I woke up right before 6am thanks to jet lag. All I could think about was to go on a run on the deck, enjoy the scenery and feel the coolness.
I was told it was 6 laps to a mile so I based my run on that. I knew I wouldn’t be able to be accurate to 400m. I wore my running skirt and didn’t need any water. I did get quite a few comments from other runners which was kind of fun. Later that week I met a mom and her son in our hallway and she too commented how was I was going. It wasn’t until I computed the times that I realized how fast. Alaska is really good for me.

1mi @9:24 pace in 9’24
510m repeats @6:15,6:18, 6:40, 6:40, 6:28, 6:34, 6:31, 6:31, 6:37, 6:21
in 1’59”, 2:00″, 2’07”, 2’07”, 2’03”, 2’05”, 2’04”, 2’04”, 2’06”, 2’01”
1mi @ 11:50 pace in 11’50

I’ve never run under 7:00 pace that I can recall. Totally shocked, impressed and happy with that. I just felt like it.

Cross training included sea kayaking in Katchikan with the wonderful Southeast Sea Kayakwhere we saw a whale bubble feeding. Amazing!

Humpback Whale at Orcas Cove, Katchikan, AK