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.

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One Month One Hundred Miles

I can’t deny it, 2012 is starting pretty good for me running wise.

I’m still learning my body limits: how fast I can push without feeling my hamstrings, how hormones affect my ability to run, how  shin splint are never quite as far as one thinks.  I’m still learning what my body needs to be fueled right and work at its best, or how long it really take me from the time I get up to the time I hit the pavement.

But the training is going well so far (I need to do a recap to be honest). And I feel good. My shins were borderline two weeks ago so I eased a little bit on the pace, rolled the legs and did more yoga. It worked, it feels like it never happened.

I reached a milestone for me this month: 100 miles in a month. Until then I had never gone above 86 (that was back in August). I would have had 96 but I threw in an easy run with my husband this week, just because. It felt right and I was happy to run by his side.
It hasn’t been all rainbows: I’ve had some crappy runs, but I’ve also had some can’t wipe the smile away from my face kind of runs too.

Bring it on 2012, I like the way you’re starting.

2011 Running Review

My goals when I started 2011 where based on a 101 in 1001 list.

I wanted to run a 10k and a 15k. I did not run the 10k, instead I ran a trail 12k race, I did run a 15k and to top it off I ran my first Half Marathon.

I wanted to run more on trails and I did. So I can say that I went beyond my goals.

I ran a 774  miles in 2011. I went from running twice a week to thrice a week.

January

I got the flu and really picked up running right after that. Technically I ran when I still had the flu and I feel that it helped me recover faster.

February

I discover Shin Splints and the 10% rule when it comes to increasing mileage. I scale back and up it slowly.

March

I run 6 miles for the first time ever. I remember being so proud of myself. It’s funny now to think that a 6 mile run is a normal thing. I also run over an hour for the first time and run my first trail run: the Dupont State Forest 12k. The rain made for some not so fun condition (aka risks of hypothermia). But I loved the race and hope to do it again. This year my husband also wants to do it. I also start running with the Diamond Brand running group.

April

I decide to start a running specif blog instead of having it take over my expat/immigrant/life blog. I learn about speedwork and scare hikers on the trail.

May

I hurt my knee by starting too fast. I had to scale back on the running, it was hard. I realized that I hate not running. I also make the decision to sign up for a Half Marathon in September and start training as soon as my knee improves. I run my first 15k and love every minute of it. Given how much trail running has taken over, I splurge on some new trail running shoes and fall in love with the Saucony Xodus 2.0. At the end of the month I take a 3 day running break to go hike on the highest summits of our state instead with my husband.

June

I run the Asheville Chamber Challenge for the 2nd time and pull a PR in a hot day. I also have a really hard run in 91 degree whether and while I tell myself I won’t run in such temperatures again, truth is my body got used to it over the summer. I run Hickory Top in Bent Creek for the first time, I was proud to reach the top, to this day it’s my favorite loop in Bent Creek with 9.3 mi.

July

I train for the Half Marathon, reach 13 miles and realize I will have no problem finishing. A friend gets dehydrated on a run.

August

I make compromises when it comes to running and spending time with family. In return my SIL introduces me to Lululemon and I get my first running skirt. I decided to do a Detox week-end, cutting off most carbs, soy and sugar. To top off the month we get to run in Alaska and on a Cruise ship.

September

I get to run my first Half Marathon and pull a sub 2hour time. The rest of the month is followed by health issues unrelated to running and blogging becomes more difficult.

October.

Due to the health issues I am not allowed to run for two weeks. It seems like an eternity at a time when running would have been my escape. As a result I DNS a 5k I really wanted to do at the airport.  I ease back into running once cleared and run a virtual race to make up for it. It was a really had month for me mentally.

November

I run in the ice for the first time of the season. I skip the traditional Turkey Trot but go enjoy a nice relaxing trail run in Bent Creek instead. My goal was mainly to get my legs back but also train for a 5k to see how I improved.

December

I run the Jingle Bells 5k and get a new PR, jingling all the way which may or may not have cost me the 1st female place. Mid month my husband and I fly to Europe to spend Christmas with my family. We escape to Barcelona, Spain where we get two beautiful runs. I run in beautiful Toulouse, France; in my grand-parents town and on the trails at my Dad’s. While I cut back on the mileage to enjoy my family I feel very happy about finishing the year in such beautiful places. I end with one last run on the 31st, to get over the long flight back home.

Did you achieved your goals this year?

I Credit Trail Running To My Improvement

Je Crédite La Course Sur Sentier Pour Mon Amélioration

I’ve been running on trails for the majority of my runs since January. I don’t aim for a specific pace. I just go with my gut feeling and check on my watch to estimate the average at the end. No speeword for me, I still need to find a track where I can go practice and figure out how to do speedwork anyway.
So I was shocked this morning when I compared my stats on a 3.1 miles run I do around my neighborhood.
01/19 29:00 (note:recovering from the flu). I had been running a 3.07 course in 27:48 early January.
01/26 26:56
03/09 25:37
04/20 25:09

So I’ve improved my (easy course) 5K by a good 2 minutes and a half. Crazy. I knew those hills were doing something good to me, but I didn’t think it was that much. I really don’t feel that I pushed it yesterday, I went with what felt right.
So I’m really excited to see what I’ll do in my next official 5K in June!

Je cours sur sentier la majorité du temps depuis janvier. Je ne vise pas un rythme particulier, je vais avec ce qui me semble juste et je ne regarde ma montre qu’une fois arrivée pour connaitre mon rythme. Pas d’exercices de vitesse pour moi, il me faut de toute facon trouver une piste pour ca et je ne sais pas encore comment m’entrainer en vitesse.
Du coup j’étais choqué ce matin quand j’ai comparé mes stats de course sur une boucle de 3.1 miles dans le quartier.
19/01 29:00 (fin de grippe). Je pouvais faire 3.07 miles en 27:48 début Janvier.
26/01 26:56
09/03 25/37
20/04 25:09

Donc sur un parcours (facile) de 5km j’ai progressé de deux minutes et demi. C’est fou! Je savais que les pentes étaient utiles, mais je ne pensais pas à ce point là. Surtout que je n’ai pas l’impression d’avoir poussé le rythme hier, j’ai juste courru comme je le sentais.
Du coup il me tarde de voir de quoi je suis capable pour la prochaine course de 5km en Juin!