Back To Reality

A lot has happened since my last post!

On July 1, I ran my first trail half marathon.
Similar to the Cougar Mountain trail race, it was difficult and humbling. Lots of hills. This means a few things:

  • I was very slow. Trail running points out how terrible I am at hills. The race started on a long hill, and I was tired less than half a mile into it. Not a good feeling.
  • I was in the back of the pack. While I went on and on about how I’m not competitive when it comes to racing other people, I don’t like being one of the last to finish. I finished 37th out of 42 runners. I don’t care for those stats.
  • Running downhill = seriously sore quads. Week 3 ended up being a mostly recovery week since my quads were so tender from running down the mountain. This was very annoying and led to a lackluster week of training.

John and I had our engagement pictures taken!


I ran my first night race.
On July 3 at 11:55 p.m., Christina and I started the Firecracker 5000 and ran into the fourth of July. It was a silly run and I was still really sore from the trail half, so I didn’t wear my Garmin or try to push the pace. The start was stupidly crowded because people didn’t properly line up according to pace. As a result, the first half of the race was incredibly slow, but we were able to pick up the pace toward the end for a 27:50 finish. Far from a PR, but it made me realize how much I miss running fast.

Yes, I am wearing three shirts in this picture.

Staycation:
John and I had Wednesday off for the Fourth of July, so we decided to take Thursday and Friday off as well for a little staycation. I had hoped to be a little more productive, but we had a nice break. We went to the Redhook Brewery, attended a wine mixer at Columbia Winery, got some sun at Gasworks, looked at houses (and vetoed them all — house hunting is not fun), spent time with our families, and got some housework done. I also did a little running and yoga, but not as much as I probably should have.

Reality Check
This is my first time following a 12 week training plan and I definitely prefer 16 weeks. With only three weeks done, I’m already a quarter of my way through training, and I need more time. I have lost a lot of speed, and I’m worried that nine weeks isn’t enough time to get it back.

During a miserable and boring four mile recovery run/walk on Saturday, I thought a lot about this training cycle and realized I’m not having fun. I am slogging through miles just to get them done. No one is forcing me to train for and run this marathon. I signed up for it because I enjoy training and running long distances. So I should be having fun with it! To increase the fun factor, I’ve decided to revert back to the training plan that I used to train for Vancouver. It helped me shave 18 minutes off my PR, so I know it works. I also had a great training cycle, during which I was motivated and saw improvements on a regular basis.

I also need to stop slacking on the yoga front. I’ve only been going once a week for the last few weeks, which is not enough. I’ve lost strength in my upper body, and my hips and legs have become tighter. After my 10 pack of yoga is done, I’m going back to the morning package and committing to three classes a week.

My theme for the next nine weeks: No excuses. Play like a champion.

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