Embracing the Short Run

I consider myself to be more of a long distance runner. One of my favorite distance is 9 miles and I also took more satisfaction out of running a half-marathon and a marathon than I do running a 5k. Earlier this year, my shortest run was 5 miles. I was training for my first marathon, running thrice a week and pushing my body to where it had never been before. For a while I even looked down on anything shorter than 5 miles, it barely seemed like a run to me…

But then I stupidly hurt myself. IT Band injuries are no fun.  I first took some rest then eased back into running because I had a race coming up. I knew I wasn’t 100% but I wanted to do it. I ran a 15k and the IT Band flared up again. It was frustrating. So I took some rest again.

Then I did one of the best things I could have done for myself. It wasn’t not running. It was signing up for the RW running strike challenge. The goal was to run at least a mile every day between Memorial Day and July 4th. I can already tell you that I didn’t make it everyday. However it was exactly what I needed. The challenged allowed me to maintain weekly mileage without pushing too much and magically my IT Band issues went away. The short and easy runs seemed to be what my body needed. Just enough to stretch the muscles but not too much so as not to pull it. I was challenged to run daily and yet could decided however much or little to do.

I did pretty good the first two weeks but the combination of hot miserable weather and a slight burnt out feeling had me skip a few runs. Add on top of it a week of bronchitis where I had to totally stop and I find myself two month after my marathon with no run longer than 9 miles (and that way in May). I could be frustrated at myself. But I don’t think I failed my body. I needed the rest. I needed to find joy on the trails, I needed to be away from a training program with set mileage. Today I’m going to start to build back my long distance runs. But I’m not going to push it like crazy in the summer heat. I’m going to embrace every single short run. Because a short run is still a run and that’s all my body is asking for. Because this  has allowed me to have so many more joyful runs shared with my husband by my side.

What do you consider a short run?


20 Going on 22

When I look at the Blue Ridge Marathon elevation course, I feel lucky I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I don’t see how I would train for it if I lived in the flat lands!

I debated doing a 20 miles trail run for a while. But ultimately I realized it would end up being way harder than the marathon itself (at least the one I had in mind), and I need to keep my legs for the race. So my last really long run of the marathon training would be on road again. I decided to go up the same way I did my 20 miler but add an extra hill after it to simulate the Blue Ridge Marathon course. This is how it turned out:
The elevation gain isn’t as much, or as steep but I think it gives me a good feel on how I will feel on race day. Now I did not have 22 miles scheduled on my training plan, nor did I plan to run that long. I was thinking about running somewhere between 20 and 21 miles, especially since I had additional elevation. Well it turns out that the road mapmyrun was showing me going to Patton Mountain Rd was not one. Nope, it was a steep driveway, and it stopped. So I pretty much ran an insane uphill for nothing other than training purposes.

So I had to go around the mountain. Patton Mountain Rd played with me again. I was at a fork, to the left I could see a dirt road to the right a real road. Now mind you I was in a fancy million dollar residential area up the mountain so by logic I figured the dirt road was a driveway. Nope again. I ended up on town mountain road (not where I wanted to be) having to back track my steps and ask directions to a nice dude with a smartphone. Well that road was hard to find, but it was so worth it. It was gorgeous, lines with rhododendrons, pine trees and other trees and the dirt was a nice rest on my joints.

Because of the detour I rerouted my course and went straight to the next hill. Let me tell you. I walked! Not all of it, but I walked several sections. I’m glad for this run ultimately because it made me realize that in a marathon, there is a time for running and there is a time to walk and give a break to the legs. I plan to walk some parts of the marathon course with no shame.

Even with the detour my run turned out to be 22 miles. Am I glad I took extra water or what? I was pooped by the time I got home. As I started walking I could feel some painful cramps (or was it just the lactic acid build up) hitting my legs. I took just long enough to put some gatorade and ice cubes in a container and sipped it as I cooled off. I followed it by a cold leg bath and a recovery smoothie (banana, frozen blueberries, GU recovery powder, greek yogurt). And took the rest of the afternoon as an opportunity to sit on the deck and do absolutely nothing productive thank you very much.

Breakfast 2hours prior to running: sesame sprouted bagel, almond butter, banana, honey.

Run fueling: 1 GU Roctane, 1 handhelf waterbottle, 1 water amphipod, 1 Gu Brew amphipod

Stats: 22.05mi, 3h32’17”, 9:37 pace

Gear: Drymax trail socks, lululemon skirt, brooks shirt

Two Furry Bodyguards

I went on a nice long run yesterday. Week 10 of my training plan called for 14 miles. I wanted to do something different, more trails than the 13 miles of dirt road from last week. Something a little more challenging. If I am to run the Blue Ridge Marathon, I want to prepare my body and stamina for the several up and downs of the course.
So I tried a loop called Crazy Eight, and because the original loop is 12.82 mi I added extra to it meet my mileage goal. Since I didn’t read things right, I ended up running 14.76mi. In turn it made it my longest run time wise (2 hours and 26mns).

Crazy Eight goes up for 800 feet on a forest road, then down 400 on single track and back up 700 feet on a trail that is listed as “extreme” in my trail book. But here’s the thing, while I had to walk at one point, it actually didn’t feel so bad. I think part of it as to do with my furry bodyguards.

You see I don’t own any pets, nor have any plans to. I find dogs often annoying, I can’t stand their barking and the fact that a giant Pyrenees tried to bite me once doesn’t help. I can’t have cats because I’m allergic. So you’re not going to find me on a trail with any animal. Heck when I ran two weeks ago, someone’s dogs were running near me, playing with each other and almost made me trip.

But when I reached the bottom of Green’s Lick I met two little fellows. Two dogs without a collar. They didn’t bark, but one made some “give me your attention” yaps. I thought their owner was nearby and didn’t pay much attention, I knew I was getting into this 2 miles of hard uphills. The dogs started following me. Again I thought they were on their way to meet their owner. Well, not so much. I only met one biker on the way up and he didn’t seem to know the dogs any more than I did.

The dogs were well behaved, they only hit my legs twice during the entire 2 miles. At times they stayed behind me, at times one lead the trail. They stopped a few times to drink at the creeks, but they stayed close. I have to say, it made me feel safe. I was on a new trail and it was nice to have them with me. Not only that but I think it encouraged me to keep on going, their happy energy was communicative. Sometimes I felt as I was cheering them up and sometimes they were. As I hit the downhill they kept on following me.
I met a biker on a break at a crossroad, he commented on how happy the dogs seemed to be. I said yes and laughed adding I didn’t even knew them. At that point the dogs decided the biker was more interesting and we parted ways.

I don’t know if those two little fellows were lost or just enjoying the freedom of the trails. But I sure enjoyed their company. For a while I could understand why people enjoy having a dog with them on their run.

Do you run with a pet?

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.

Marathon Training Plan: Run by Effort

The FIRST program worked great with my half marathon so when came the time to think about how to train for a potential Marathon, there was no question in my mind. I downloaded their Marathon training plan. Like the Half, it only has 3 run workout a week unless one wants to add easy runs as cross-training. For now my cross-training plans include yoga, at home workout (a mix of push ups, pull ups, lunges and squats), and cycling for a few easy miles.

Now the plan is pretty precise on the pace, that’s what makes it work: speedwork, tempo and easy long run. The pace goals should be based on the last best 10k. Well I have not run a 10k race ever, my last 12k race goes back to March of last year and I’m not sure I can trust the changing paces on my 6 miles runs. So I’ve decided not to go by pace (gasp!). Let’s be honest, I took so much time calculating pace goals last time I training to find out that I was either faster or slower depending on the days. I’m also training for a hilly course and no 10k race pace around our area would give me an accurate feel for that.

So instead of building my training around numbers, I’m going to do it on feel. I know how it feels to make my body go faster or easier. So I’m not going to worry about a specific pace but run how it feels. Oh I will still record my pace afterward but I think that running by effort will benefit me ultimately since I don’t own a Garmin and will only run with my watch for the time being.

Do you run based on your pace goal or by effort?




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

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

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”

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.

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 Martahon Training Week 8

A Cairn at Skinny Dip Falls

Week 8? Already? Less than two months until the race and already half-way through training.
It was a great week for me, good interval, good tempo and cherry on the top my first time running 13 miles. Sure I could have done some biking in there but I’m happy with a little at home workout and some lovely hiking and swimming in a waterfall with my husband.

Monday Speedwork at the Park
Goal: 10-20 minute warm-up, 3 x (2 x 1200m) @ 8:34 pace, 10 minute cool-down

This was a rainy  speed work. I was very thankful that I had just gotten a Brooks running hat. It was perfect to protect me against the rain in my face while still enjoying the cooler air. There was a little lightning but nothing near so I just braved it out and I’m glad I did. Rain=lower temperature=happier me.

1.14 miles in 10’35” @9:17pace
1200m repeats 8:02, 7:38, 7:44, 7:34, 7:33, 7:40 (5’38”-6’00”)
.99 mile 10’17″@ 10:23 pace.

Wednesday Group Tempo
Goal: 6 miles @9:34 pace

It was another hot day, however we were running in Bent Creek which meant lovely forest and its shade so the temperature was really not so bad. Probably just in the high 80’s.
The three options with the group were 4.5, 5.5 and 7 miles. Knowing that I was attempting a 13 mile run that we I didn’t want to overdo it and picked the 5.
The first part was hard. We went up on the Shut in Trail. We were on it only for maybe 2 miles but there was some serious enough uphill that I had to walk in spots. The downhill went on one of my least favorite section, a steep knee killer one that made me feel I should have done the 7 miles one.
I was first to get back to the car and I really had a good run.

5.5 miles @ 9:41 pace

Forest Long Run
Goal 13 miles @10:09 pace

Detailed recap here: I can run a Half marathon.
It was a good run and I was really happy with my time. For some reason I often end up running my long runs faster than my tempo runs. Maybe because with the groups there is always a bit of shuffling at the beginning and also it’s in the hotter afternoons?

13.35 miles @9:30pace

Total miles:  25.45.
Super happy with my week and that’s all I have to say about it.

Semaine 8? Déjà? Moins de deux mois avant la course et déjà une moitié de l’entrainement derrière moi.
Ce fut une bonne semaine, bonne série de vitesse, bonne course tempo et pour couronner le tout 21km courus pour la première fois. Bon ça aurait été bien d’y ajouter un peu de vélo mais je suis satisfaire de quelques exercices à la maison et d’une jolie ballade ainsi qu’un plouf dans une cascade avec mon mari.

Series de Vitesse au Parc
Objectif: échauffementL 10-20mn, 3x(2x1200m) @ allure de 8:34, 10 minutes facile.

C’était une série sous la pluie. Heureusement je venais d’obtenir une casquette de course Brooks. Parfait pour me proteger de la pluie dans les yeux tout en profitant quand même de l’air frais. Il y avait quelques éclairs mais rien de proche, du coup j’ai bravé le temps et j’ai bien fait. Pluie=températures plus basses= je suis bien plus heureuse.

1.14 miles en 10’35, allure 9:17
série de 1200m, allure de : 8:02, 7:38, 7:34, 7:33, 7:40 (entre 5’38” et 6 minutes)
.99 miles en 10’17” allure de 10:23.

Course Tempo en Groupe
Objectif: 6 miles à une allure de 9:34

Encore une journée bien chaude. Heureusement nous sommes allés courir à Bent Creek ce qui veux dire à l’ombre de la forêt, du coup les temperatures étaient plus supportables, en dessous de 30°C.
Les trois options du groupe était 4,5; 5,5 et 7 miles. Sachant que j’allais tenter 13 miles cette semaine là je ne voulais pas en faire trop et j’ai choisi l’option 5 miles.
La première partie était la plus dure. Nous avons suivi le Shut in Trail. Nous y étions desus que pour deux miles, mais il y avait des montées suffisantes pour que je marche par endroit. La descente par contre était sur une section que je n’aime pas. Un descente casse-genoux qui m’a fait regretter le parcours de 7 miles.
J’étais la première à la voiture, une bonne course quoi.

5,5 miles à une allure de 9:41

Longue Course en Foret
Objectif: 13 miles à une allure de 10:09

Détails ici: Je peu courir un semi-marathon.
Une bonne course et j’étais trés contente de mon temps. Je ne sais pas pourquoi mais il semble que je vais plus vite pour mes courses longues que ltes temps. Peut-etre parce qu’avec le groupe il y a toujours un peu de pietinement au depart et qu’il fait plus chaud l’apres midi?

13.35 miles à une allure de 9:30

Miles total: 25,45.
Trés contente de ma semaine, rien de plus à dire.

Half Marathon Training, Week 9, Compromises

Entrainement du Semi-Marathon, Semaine 9, Compromis

Cúrate's Pan Con Tomato

There are weeks when things don’t go as planned. This was one of those. It wasn’t all that bad really, my monday speed work felt good and even with the heat I had a good group run on Wednesday. However with Hubby’s sister in town I had to skip the long run. On the good side did get to go eat twice at one of my new favorite downtown restaurants: Cúrate. A fantastic spanish tapas place that opened in March. My sister and brother-in-law liked it so much that they decided we should eat there twice in a row.

Monday Speed work
Goal: 10-20 minute warm-up
1 mile (400 RI), 2 miles (800 RI), 2 x 800m (400m RI)
10 mn cool off

First of all the training plan doesn’t really specify the pace for miles. Well 1 mile=1600 meters so that would be a 8:39 pace. But the 2 miles? I aimed for a somewhere around that.
I had some good intervals, if was warm but cloudy which helped.
So where did it go wrong? Well I ran out of space on my watch and most of the run did not save. Simply put it was stupid.

1.48 miles @10:29 pace in 15’32”
1 mile @7:59 pace in 7’59”
2 miles: that was somewhere around 16 minutes.
800m: I remember it to be around my usual time of 3’30-3’37”
1.07 easy, about 10mn.

Wednesday Tempo with the Running Group
Goal: 5 mile run @9:34 pace.

The race itself was good. We had a 4, a 5 and a 6 miles option. It was hot, 92°F, so I played it safe and went for 5 miles. It was actually not that bad, while it was hot in the sun we also had a good breeze. Also most of the course was in the shade in the pretty Montford area. I ended up going at a good pace. I was just feeling it. A fellow runner had a hard time keeping up with me, walked some and short-cut at the end.
So the run was great, the not fun stuff was an other runner getting dehydrated at the end of the run.
5.26 miles @9:17 pace

Long Run
Goal: 13 miles

Was to be replaced by two long hikes of 10-12 miles each.
However we underestimated that even though his family has been training for Mt Rainier, they live in Florida and they are not used to the elevation we have.
We ended up only doing an 8 miles hike that week-end… Oh well at least we got some good time with them.

Il y a des semaines qui ne se passent pas comme prévu. S’en était une.
Ce n’était pas si terrible que ça, les exercices de vitesses du lundi était bien, et malgré la chaleur j’ai eu une bonne course avec le groupe mercredi. Par contre la soeur d’Hubby nous rendait visite et j’ai du zapper ma longue course. Pour le bon coté de la chose on a quand même mangé deux fois à l’un des mes nouveaux restaurants préférés: Cúrate. Un super restaurant de tapas espagnols qui a ouvert en Mars. Ma belle-soeur et son mari ont tellement aimé qu’on y a mangé deux nuits d’affilé.

Vitesse du Lundi
Objectif: 10-20mn d’echauffement.
1 mile, 2 mile, 2x800m.
10mn facile.

Pour commencer le programme ne me donnait pas d’allure spécifique. Enfin 1 mile=1600m donc là le but était une allure de 8:39. Mais 2 miles? Tout ce que je pouvais faire c’est tabler dans cette zone là.
J’ai fait de bonnes séries, il faisait chaud mais les nuages ont aidé.
Donc où est le problème? J’étais a cour d’espace sur ma montre et du coup les données ne se sont pas enregistrée. Le truc vraiment bête.

1.48 mile @allure de 10:29 en 15mn32
1 mile @ allure de 7:59 en 7’59
2 miles: environ 16 mn.
800m: entre 3’30 et 3’37
1.07 facile, environ 10mn.

Tempo du Mercredi en Groupe
Objectif: 5 miles @allure de 9:34

La course même c’est bien passée. On avait le choix entre 4, 5 et 6 miles.
Il faisait chaud, 33°C, donc je l’ai joué raisonnable et j’ai choisi celle de 5 miles. En fait ce n’était pas si ma;, il faisait chaud au soleil mais il y avait une bonne petite brise. De plus une partie du parcours était à l’ombre, dans le quartier de Montford. Du coup j’ai couru à une bonne allure. Une autre coureuse a d’ailleurs eu un peu de mal à tenir le rythme avec moi, du coup elle a marché et raccourci la course sur la fin.
Donc courir ca allait. Ce qui etait moins bien c’est qu’une des coureuses c’est retrouvee deshydratée à la fin et qu’il a fallut appeller l’ambulance.

5.26 miles à une allure de 9:17

Longue course
Objectif: 13 miles.

Devait etre remplacee par deux randonnees de 10-12 miles chacune.
Sauf qu’on a sous-estime le fait que meme si ils s’entrainentn pour Mt. Rainier, sa famille n’a pas l’habitude de nos pentes.
Du coup nous n’avons fait qu’une rando de 8 miles seulement… Bon, au moins nous avons passé de bon moments avec eux.

I Can Run a Half Marathon

My husband’s brother in-law has 11 marathons under his belt. So while he is not a running guru I consider him to be well versed in running stuff. When they came to town I showed him my training plan and he was quite surprised.
He said he had never seen a Half-Marathon training plan that takes you above 13.1 miles. In fact most training plans tend to stop around 12 miles keep the magic 13.1 for the arrival line. The training plan I’m following takes me all the way up to 15 miles! And I’m ok with that, it’s giving me amazing confidence in my capacity to run.

According to the plan I should have run the 13 miles last week, but with his sis’ in town I had to reorganized things so I did it today instead of the 10 miles run.
I picked the course I had my eyes on since I got the running book and decided to run the Half: South Ridge Loop. 13.35 miles, 760 feet of elevation change, rated 14/20 on the difficulty level.

I had done part of South Ridge and Hardtimes, so I knew there would be a lot of uphill. There is a little downhill too in fact, this run is like a roller coaster, going up and down against the side of the mountain. I was so happy when I saw the lineup of cairns announcing the apex. And yes the 2 miles on Bent Creek Forest Rd seemed to take forever, but then again I was thankful for the slight downhill and the creek by my side. My left leg was hurting in the last three miles. Almost like a cramp, but more of a “your muscles just ran 9 miles, enough already” kind of feeling.

I am so proud of myself because I just ran at the pace that felt right to me and I finished in 2h07’02”. Which means that I ran the 13.1 in…. 2h04’41”!!!! My PHMP has me finishing in 2h06. I’m already under that goal.
I can’t help it, I think I’m going to aim for a sub 2h. It’s just too tempting, especially since the HM won’t go nearly as high up. According to the map it’s only about 250 feet of elevation change.

Breakfast: a white bread toast with almond butter and some coconut water.
I had half of a chocolate mint gu at 50:00, a Margarita Cliff Block (extra salt) at 1h20. I finished the Gu after then run and add a mini Luna bar too.

Le beau-frère de mon mari a déjà couru 11 marathons. Même si ce n’est pas un gourou de la course j’estime qu’il s’y connait du coup. Quand ils sont venu nous voir je lui ai montre mon programme d’entrainement et il était surpris.
Il m’a dit n’avoir jamais vu un entrainement pour un Semi-Marathon qui te fait aller au delà de 21km. De ce fait la plupart des entrainements s’arrêtent aux alentours de 19 et des poussières, gardent les 21km magiques pour le passage de l’arrivée. Le programme que je suit m’amène a 24km! ça me va, ça me donne une incroyable confiance quand a ma capacité de courir.

D’après le programme j’aurais du courir les 21km la semaine dernière, mais avec la visite de sa soeur il m’a fallu tout réorganiser et du coup je l’ai fait aujourd’hui a la place des 16km.
J’ai choisi un parcours que je zieutais depuis que j’ai mon livre de course et que j’ai décidé de faire le semi-marathon: la boucle de South Ridge. 21,48km; 230m de dénivelé, notée 14/20 en difficulté.

J’avais déjà fait une partie de South Ridge et Hardtimes, donc je savais qu’il y avait de la montée. Mais il y a aussi pas mal de descente, du coup c’est un peu comme les montagnes russes, monter et descendre a flan de montagne. J’étais contente quand j’ai vu l’alignement de cairns qui annonçaient le “sommet”. Et oui les 3km a suivre la route forestière de Bent Creek semblait durer une éternité, mais en même temps j’étais bien contente d’avoir une légère descente et le ruisseau a mes cotés. Les muscles de la jambe gauche tiraient sur les 3 derniers miles, presque comme une crampe, mais bon plutôt comme “tes muscles viennent de courir 15km, c’est pas un peu fini oui?”.

Je suis très fière de moi car j’ai couru a l’allure que je sentais et j’ai fini en 2h07’02”. Ce qui veux dire que j’ai couru les 21km en 2h04’41”!!! J’avais prévu de finir le semi-marathon en 2h06. J’ai déjà dépassé cet objectif.
Je ne peux pas m’empêcher du coup, je crois que je vais viser de finir en moins de 2h. C’est trop tentant, surtout que le semi-marathon n’ira certainement pas aussi haut. D’après la carte il n’y a que 68m de dénivelés (non cumule).

Petit-dej: une tartine de pain blanc avec du beurre d’amandes.
Durant la course: 1/2 Gu menthe-chocolat a 50mn, un block CLiff a la margarita (plus de sel) a 1h20. J’ai fini le Gu apres la course et mange une demie Luna Bar.