Weekly Training Review

Happy Marathon Monday!!  I had a fantastic time sneaking in some virtual spectating in between meetings.  I may or may not have shed a tear when Meb won and pretended that I was blowing my nose in case anyone walked by.

I’ve been lacking in the motivation department lately and so when inspiration strikes from unexpected places, I try to take advantage of it.  Case in point, last Monday, I got a snap chat from my BFF as she was stepping on the treadmill.  I couldn’t let her down so I hopped on the treadmill.  And get this – I actually RAN a whole mile.  No walk intervals.  It is good to push yourself every once in a while.

  • Monday – 10,070 steps (2-ish mile treadmill run)
  • Tuesday – 10,046 steps (2-ish mile treadmill run)
  • Wednesday – 8,785 steps (30 min on the elliptical)
  • Thursday – 7,368 steps (lots and lots of meetings so lots and lots of back and forth across the office)
  • Friday – who knows how many steps?  I forgot my Fit Bit!!
  • Saturday – 18,776 steps (4 mile walk and lots of walking around)
  • Sunday – 24,541 steps (10 mile run, including stairs!)

It was a beautiful weekend.  And the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a few more birthday cakes spotted!!

Happy Birthday St Louis

Happy Birthday St Louis

Happy Spring

Happy Spring

Mmm, crepes!

Mmm, crepes!

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Wish I Was Wednesday #56

It is the first year in a long time that I will not be making my annual pilgrimage to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.  So instead, we’ll gaze back to last year.

Skagit Valley 2013

Skagit Valley 2013

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Weekly Training Review

Just as it looks like spring has sprung, tomorrow’s forecast calls for snow.  Yes, snow.  I’m hoping they are lying.  Or at least mistaken.  Or reading off the weather of another city that isn’t St. Louis.  We shall see tomorrow.

Slowly, but surely I’m working more work outs in.  And my fit bit is definitely helping.  Case in point – I was really close to the 10,000 step mark, so I jumped on the treadmill at 10 PM for 10-ish minutes to hit my remaining step count.  Will I do that every time?  Probably not.  But the novelty has still not worn off.

  • Monday – 3,819 steps
  • Tuesday – 6.561 steps (including a late night stroll around the office to get over 5,000 steps)
  • Wednesday – 11,110 steps (2-ish mile treadmill run in the morning, with the extra treadmill walk at night to boost my step count)
  • Thursday – 10,078 steps (2-ish mile treadmill run)
  • Friday – 4,857 steps
  • Saturday – 14,738 steps (hot yoga, followed by a 5 mile walk)
  • Sunday – 19,569 steps (8 mile run)

I chose to do a long run on Sunday because of the two days, it seemed to have the better running weather (overcast, but very little chance of precipitation).   Silly me, I never did check to see if the forecast changed.

I was having a hard time motivating myself to get moving so I walked the first mile, which did wonders.  I was feeling strong with my first few run intervals.  I decided to veer off from my regular route, and take a different path, which led me into the middle of Forest Park.  Throughout the park were little signs of spring – daffodils, blooming trees, green grass – it definitely gave me hope that winter is really at an end.  This was before I heard there was snow on the horizon.

I have been complaining (because I do love to complain) about not doing enough strength training so when I saw a set of staircases, I knew I should pause and run the stairs a few times.  The staircase had about 50 steps.  I ended up running up it 3 times.  I probably could have pushed through another set, but seeing as I still had a way to run, I thought better of it.

Staircase repeats

Staircase repeats

However, the best part was at the top of the staircase was another birthday cake!!  I don’t know if I’m going to find all 250 of the cakes, but I am sure going to try!

World's Fair Pavilion Birthday Cake

World’s Fair Pavilion Birthday Cake

I stopped off at the bathroom and as I was going in, I overheard someone say that “it” should be here within the hour.  As the skies had become increasingly dark, I figured “it” had to be a storm.  The race to get back to my apartment before the storm hit was on!

I was less than a half a mile from my house when the lightning show started.  Fortunately, the rain was just sprinkling at this point.  Now, I’m not sure what exactly you are supposed to do in a lightning storm, but I figured getting indoors was probably the safest bet.  I ran home as fast as I could and made it inside!  Whew!

Signs of spring

Signs of spring

 

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2014 GO! St Louis Half

So while my training / cross-training isn’t quite where I’d want it to be, I’ve actually done more than normal the past couple of weeks.  It gave me a little bit of optimism going into the weekend.  Of course that was before I worked longer than expected on Saturday and then couldn’t fall asleep.

Which meant when my alarm went off Sunday morning, I really wanted to hit snooze.  But I didn’t.  Instead I turned off my alarm, and somehow forgot to actually get out of bed.  Oops!  It ended up only being 10 minutes, but I felt like was behind before I even got started.

Finally I was on the road and parked.  It was 6:25ish at this point and I heard the announcer saying they were closing the corrals at 6:40.

Pre-race selfie

Pre-race selfie

I hurried to gear check and the bathroom.  Of course the gear check was completely in the opposite direction.  I barely made it to the corral.

At the start line

At the start line

And then we were off!  We headed out of downtown through Soulard and the Anheuser Busch plant before turning back towards downtown and (dun dun dun) Holy Hill.

Miles 6 – 8 are known as Holy Hill, otherwise known as the race within a race.  It’s basically one long uphill (with a little bit of downhill or flat at a crest before climbing again).  I debated walking most of Holy Hill, but instead decided to flip my intervals and run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes, which definitely helped keep me moving.

The best part about Holy Hill was when we got to the top, the race was more than half over!

My name was on my bib and I loved hearing all the “Go Emily” an even a “Go Em” here and there.  But by far my favorite was the volunteer who told me I looked gorgeous.  Aw, you are making me blush!

It was probably around Mile 10 at this point and my familiar IT band / hip pain was making itself known.  I thought about taking a long walk break, but instead decided to flip intervals again, but eventually brought the interval back to 1:30 / 1:30.

The Arch finally came into view, way off into the distance.  And it kept getting closer and closer.

Seriously, what is this with races ending on a hill?  This one didn’t quite end on a hill, but there was a hill leading up to the flat where it ended.   I mustered up my finish line kick, which wasn’t much of a kick, and got across the finish line!!  Done!!

New Shiny!!

New Shiny!!

And my time?  Why 2:53.21!  After the last few have been 3 hours, I’ll take this one!!  Maybe with some consistent training I’ll be back on track for my secret goal of 2:45!!

Half No 4

Half No 4

But the best part?  Ice cream sandwiches from Ted Drewes at the finish line!!  Yum!!

Yum!!

Yum!!

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Wish I Was Wednesday #55

It’s been awhile, but let’s see if we can bring this back!  Paris is always a good idea (10 points if you can name that movie).

Paris Metro

Paris Metro

Posted in Wish I Was Wednesday | Tagged | 6 Comments

Weekly Training Review

While I’m not completely back on track, I’m heading there.

  • Thursday - 2 miles on the treadmill
  • Saturday - 60 min classic yoga class (a little slower than power)
  • Sunday  – 10 mile run followed by a 2 mile walk

I finally got a fit bit.  I seriously don’t know what took me so long.  And now I’m obsessed with how many steps I get in a day.  It also helps me get excited about going to meetings – because meeting rooms are on the opposite  side of the building and helps me get more steps in!

It’s about to get a little hectic (again!) at work.  Insert the “is it ever not hectic” thought…and well, there are varying degrees of hectic.  My new goal is to pick one day a week to try to go to yoga.  Although this new goal might need to wait for a week or two, unless I can squeeze one in this week before nights start getting too late.

The 10 miles this morning was not my best effort.  But I’m out there.  That is what I keep telling myself.  The sun was shining and I spotted several birthday cakes, celebrating St. Louis’s 250th birthday.  So I’m counting it as a win.

Happy Birthday St Louis

Happy Birthday St Louis

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2014 NYC Half Marathon

I don’t know why I decided this year would be the year I would run the NYC Half.  I think deep down I thought the strict time limit would motivate me to get faster.  That was before I began the January (and February) from, well we won’t say where it was from, but you get the picture.

Adding yet another wrinkle was I ended up going to NJ (for work) for about 2 weeks prior to the race.  Which meant I was packing for work plus a race with not much warning.  Fortunately I remembered everything except freezing cold weather clothing.  Good thing they have stores and expos!

After finishing work on Friday, we dropped the rental car off at the airport, and made our way to our hotel.  Since I had decided this was the year for NYC, I wasn’t taking any chances with the lottery.  I had gotten the travel package with the guaranteed entry.  Plus it meant I didn’t have to try to find a hotel!  The hotel (Millennium Hilton) ended up being across the street from the World Trade Center.

Saturday morning we made our way to the expo.  It was on the small and crowded side.  But that didn’t stop me from spending money, including picking up a pair of bright pink gloves.  I didn’t anticipate needing the gloves the entire race, but, spoiler alert, I did.  And that is how I ended up wearing bright pink gloves, while rest of me was in green and black.

I’ll save the rest of our day in NYC for another post and skip right to Sunday morning.

Ready for the morning

Ready for the morning

While not as early as a Disney race morning, it was still early because I wanted to take the shuttle bus from the hotel.  In hindsight, I should have taken the metro and slept in.  And stayed warm longer.

NYC Half

NYC Half

Overnight the temperatures had dropped significantly.  Back down to freezing and even colder when you factored in the windchill.  I was not really prepared for this weather.  I wandered around trying to keep warm until it was time to line up in the corrals.

Feet pic

Feet pic

I found Abby and we chatted waiting for the start.  She also clued me in to the ups and downs of Central Park, literally.  The elevation map had scared me a little but then I convinced myself it couldn’t be that bad.  Oh but it was.

Waiting for the start

Waiting for the start

Hillariffic!!  Running through Central Park is hillariffic.  But running through Central Park is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  It was a little hard to believe I was actually doing it!  Around the park we went.  It took the first mile for feeling to come back into my fingers and two miles before my feet lost that numb feeling.  Have I mentioned it was chilly brrr cold?!

The overriding theme throughout my race was don’t get swept.  I was seriously worried about the time limit.  Each mile I clocked under 13:45 I told myself I was banking for later (in hopes that I wouldn’t need it).  The first sweep point (I believe) was exiting Central Park.  As I left the park and headed down 7th, I felt a little bit of the pressure release.

Running down 7th towards Times Square was phenomenal!  (Side note: I didn’t stop for any pictures because I was that nervous about time.)  Times Square!  I kept looking around in amazement.  Honestly, one of the best ways to experience a city is to run through it.  The spectators were fantastic and there was so much energy (which I gratefully sucked up).

Times Square!!

Times Square!!

The wind met us as we turned onto 42nd street.  Hello, wind tunnel.  At times it felt like running into a wall of wind.

Amazingly, by the time we turned onto the West Side Highway, 8 miles had gone by.  As per usual, I had gone out fast and it was starting to catch up to me.  I found it easier to extend my walk intervals, while trying to talk myself out of it.

Soon the Freedom Tower came into sight.  Seeing the building rise up in the distance filled me with all sorts of emotions.

Freedom Tower

Freedom Tower

And then it was time for one of my favorite on-course entertainment – as I came on them, they were playing Backstreet Boys and as I ran past, *NSync came on.  Nineties boy bands?  Yes please!

While I was getting so close to the end, I was also losing the mental battle.  Going into this race I kept visualizing 2:55 as my time.  Partly because that’s about what I had been running before winter really set in, and partly because that would ensure I wouldn’t get swept.  However, as much I gritted my teeth, I could not seem to find any type of speed and instead kept plodding along.

It wasn’t until I got to the tunnel that I really believed that I wouldn’t get swept.

Out of the tunnel, across the 20K mat, a few more turns and finally the finish line came into sight!!  And that’s when I found that burst of speed that had been eluding me.  Done!  My time?  3:00.17 – so not under 3 hours, but not over by much.

Almost there!

Almost there (see the pink gloves?)

And then I heard my name.  It was Abby!!!  We found each other at the start line so it was only fitting we found each other at the finish line!

Yay!!  We finished!

Yay!! We finished!

All in all, this was a fantastic race.  Weather aside, which is always a wild card, I loved the course – Central Park, Times Square, and Freedom Tower.  I would love to do it again, hopefully when I’ve actually gotten faster, rather just thought about getting faster.

Done!

Done!

Knock New York off my “Race the States” list!

This picture cracks me up – and shows how windy it is!!

2014-03-16 11.58.24

Posted in New York, Race Report, Race the States | Tagged | 16 Comments