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A Quick Race Report: The Snake River Half

V__3584(1)I do not like to make excuses for a race but going into this half marathon, I did not feel prepared. Let me tell you, I had quite a few reasons not to:

  1. When I signed up for this race, I thought it was in April not March. I realized in January that it was in March.
  2. I did two runs over six miles total for the training segment.
  3. I started teaching an online course this semester (so day job plus extra job) and well my free time got even smaller.

So going into this race, I had lowered my exceptions.  My A goal was sub 2 with my B goal being sub 10 min miles (so sub 2:10). As we pulled up to the starting line, I thought about also doing a C goal but was confident enough that I would hit my B. I knew too, not to put too much pressure on myself.  The first five miles felt great and I stayed relaxed just picking off other runners. The weather was interesting switching between rain and chilly to humid.  I was able to maintain pace through mile eight and then I went off the rails.   I tried to remain calm and starting making up mantras the rest of the way.

 

So I repeated the following:

Mile 9: “This pace is great, this pace is great”

Mile 10: “Mile 11 will be heaven, Mile 11 will be heaven”

Mile 11: “Mile 12 won’t be hell, Mile 12 won’t be hell”

Mile 12: “Almost done, Almost done”

I’m not sure why I was trying to rhythm but it kept my mind focused.

When I passed through the finish, I looked down and my watch read 2:06.

My splits were as follows:

Mile 1: 8:58

Mile 2: 8:49

Mile 3: 8:49

Mile 4: 9:17

Mile 5: 8:35

Mile 6: 8:48

Mile 7: 9:11

Mile 8: 9:43

Mile 9: 9:59

Mile 10: 10:17

Mile 11: 10:15

Mile 12: 12: 19

Mile 13: 10:00

Finish: 2:06

I was glad to make my B goal but I’m super pumped to get to shorter distances the rest of the summer.

 

Cara
@Carabyrd

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A short ode to hill repeats

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Hill repeats are speedwork in disguise
Driving knees and long strides
Make for quick feet and strong thighs
Over pavement the runner glides
Taking on harder climbs

I have always felt like summer and hill repeats pair perfectly together. I am sure this stems from training for cross country for eight summers and hill repeats are the perfect way to slowly edge into speedwork. Running hills will develop the leg muscles – particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles – which ultimately get your body ready for the intensity of speedwork. My fondest memory of this work-out was my high school coach having to load us up on a bus and drive 15-2o minutes out to find a hill. One of our favorites was Cowman’s which is a hill in a middle of cow pasture on the outskirts of my hometown. It was a sharp climb that made your calf muscles burn but we knew that we would never see a climb like that in a race.

Even in the flattest areas, you can find a hill. Another favorite hill repeat place of my high school coach was an underside of an overpass. Into college, I would do hill repeats in the summer on that overpass blaring Red Hot Chili Peppers the whole way.

Most recently, I had an urge to find a hill and climb. I relied on an old favorite 10x 30 seconds hill repeats with a jog down. I was able to go a bit further each time and afterwards, I knew I deserved my beer.

Where is your favorite hill? Do you incorporate hill work into your training plan?

Cara
@carabyrd

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Race Report: CDA Half Marathon

WP_20150523_13_59_56_ProCouer d’ Alene is a resort town in the panhandle of Idaho and is unexpectedly breath-taking. Last December, when it was cold and icy, it seemed like the perfect place to run a half-marathon. On Sunday, I was very happy that I had picked it. The weather was perfect, the course not too hilly (a little uneven) and not too big of a crowd. It felt very comfortable.

It has been such a long time since I have walked away from a race satisfied. This lack of satisfaction is due mostly, I believe, to having my PRs five years in the past. I approached this race differently, I really just wanted sub 10:00 minute pace then I trained. Setting reasonable goals and holding myself accountable for the work led to a 2:07.44 for 13.2 miles  I’m still striving for that sub 2:00 but this was a good starting point.

I have to give my sister quite a bit of credit for this time. She is great at keeping pace and frequently warned me when I cda mara3started to push pace a bit too much in the earlier miles. I had not originally thought we would run together but having someone to laugh with for most the race helps.  I had long forgotten how much fun it is to race with someone else. She did allude this is likely her first and last half marathon but I might be able to convince her to run a 10k.

cdamarathon2I wish I had my splits for this half but I had a button on my Garmin jam on the way back from CDA and the splits were deleted.  I did hit halfway in 55:27.34. You can tell I slowed on the second half. I think a few more long runs over 11 miles could help. I know my 11th mile was slow clocking in at 11:12 before bouncing back. Next up in 10k in 2 weeks.

-Cara Hawkins-Jedlicka
@carabyrd

 

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Baby, its cold outside

Happy 2015! If you are like me, you are likely still asleep (you have to love a good scheduling tool). Typically, blog posts around this time do one of two things; talk about goals or reflect about the previous year but I’m not going to either of those. I have already written a blog about goals and this past year was a bit of a mix bagged.
Instead, let us talk a little bit of subject that has been hitting me hard this week that is running in the cold. By hitting hard, I mean the high was 14 degrees yesterday. I know many of you would scoff and consider this warm but I was born and raised below the Mason Dixon line. Let me put it this way, I own only four pairs of tights. I had no idea fleece lined tights existed until this year.

ColdoutsideWith that being said, cold weather has a negative effect on my running. Mainly, I don’t hydrate enough and I don’t want to run in the cold. I’ve been able to tackle the hydration issue pretty easily but drinking lots of tea. There is nothing quite like a warm cup of tea after a cold run or even during the day. I have also discovered the NUUN makes a pretty warm drink. I stick to the caffeine free teas. I have found that I drink more tea than I did water.

The issue of going out to run in the cold hasn’t exactly been resolved. For Christmas, I asked for lots of layers and warm athletic gear which helps. I also purchased a cheap (like $3.00) drawstring toboggan that allows me to wear it around my nose (see pic). I also received a white reflective vest and a head lamp that helps me navigate night run (will also make Beer Chasers Wednesday night group run heck of a lot nicer). If I’m really not motivated, I stick a few dollars in my pocket to purchase a hot drink on the way home. I will admit I do wimp out sometimes and use the indoor track at the gym. Miles are miles.

What do you do to help your running in the cold months?
I hope everyone is having a great new year! I’m looking forward to getting married and running my first half with a new last name in May.
Cara

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When you aren’t the only runner in the family anymore

10659286_10202905677592246_4323240366889049457_nI am the oldest of three girls and we have always been competitive. My sisters are more gifted in the hand-eye coordination area and I was the only long distance runner in the family ( my youngest sister was a sprinter in high school in the soccer off-season).

That changed recently, my middle sister has joined me in those ranks. I started getting pictures of her Garmin and every present has become a request for running clothes. She has slowly built her mileage and plans how to run everyday. She is getting her master’s degree and works in a lab the majority of the day. Running has become the way she gets outdoors. The greenway is right behind her apartment and she tries to go farther on it. It makes me happy that she enjoys it so much. I am so over joyed to be able to share it with her

. “Bring your running clothes and shoes” was the text I received the morning the SO and I left for Thanksgiving with my family. I laughed a little bit for we had already been on the road for two hours (we had to drive to Seattle to fly to Nashville) but assured her they were packed. Thanksgiving this year was her birthday, and before the relatives diverged on the house we went on the run. We ran through the neighborhoods and noticed the changes, we talked about life and explored my old running haunt of the VA. Before I knew it, she was kicking my butt. While I have been trying to get into a routine,  she has been building fitness and speed.

We have decided to run a half marathon in May and it will be fun to share her first half marathon experience. I’ll be training so she doesn’t have to wait too long at the finish line for me.   -Cara

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My first half marathon experience

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I did it! I ran my first half marathon! The Detroit International! The weather was perfect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and barely any wind. The perfect combination for a runner.
Let me give you a little background prior to running the race of the year. Over the summer my training was pretty intense at times. At other times it wasn’t where I wished it could be. In the beginning it started rough when I started to increase my mileage. My left leg would hurt after every run and into the next where it would hurt to walk. After researching different things of what it could be I finally went to the chiropractor. I found out my hip was out align and my leg was compensating for the length difference. I could also tell on the bottom of my shoe, the tread wear was different between the two. After I went to a few chiropractic visits everything went much smoother. I still need to go every once in awhile to get things realigned. (Running sure does take a toll on your body) I had another set back about 4 weeks before the big day and needed to take a week off from running. It was very difficult to relax and take it easy. But I listened to my body and let it heal. I couldn’t risk making it worse and pushing mself back farther. Throughout my training I ran quite a few 5 and 10ks. I’ve also done some cross training to work on my core and not neglect other areas. It’s said that if you focus on one area too much you are more likely to cause injury. I’ve used the Nikeplus app on my phone which has been great to guide me. I started to follow a great Facebook group called run haven that post great articles everyday.
The last week leading up to the big day had to be the most nerve racking. I had this awful fear that I would catch a cold preventing me from running the race at my full potential. Anytime someone would ask me about the race or wish me good luck I would instantly get this wave of anxiety. I would get that pit in my stomach feeling and my heart would skip a beat. Throughout that last week I really focused on what I was eating. I didn’t introduce anything new to my diet and I tried to load up on calories. The day before the big race my nerves were at an all time high. The anticipation for this race was bottling up inside.

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I surprisingly got a good nights rest and woke up at 4am energized and ready to go. I couldn’t wait to line up in that starting line. Once the race started I focused on taking in all the scenery and tried to enjoy the race rather than think about time. (Never mind trying not to trip over the mile of clothes thrown over the course) The first milestone was the ambassador bridge. Watching the sunrise was something to behold. Everyone around me was stopping to take pictures and I couldn’t blame them. Once to Canada I was feeling very strong. When I got to the tunnel I felt a surge of energy which I knew I probably would regret later. (But it was a sauna in there, the sooner out of there the better) Out of the tunnel I saw co-workers holding a sign and cheering me on. I was really feeling good, and this was over half way done. Throughout the course I was so motivated by all the creative signs and random strangers cheering us on. Around mile 9.5 I hit my wall. At the next water stop I grabbed some Gatorade and played kick the cup.

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With 3 miles left I heard someone say “only a 5k left.” (I needed to hear that) I was really starting to struggle but I kept telling myself ‘if I stop I won’t start again.’ ‘I’ll be mad at myself if I stop.’ ‘i didn’t train all summer to stop.’ I turned one last corner and then I saw it. The finish line. I was almost there. I can do this. After what seemed like an eternity I crossed the finish line with my arms in the air. Thank you to the volunteers who placed the medal around my neck and wrapped me in foil. I completed my goals of running the whole thing and in the time I was expecting. It was unforgettable experience.

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Will I do it again? Without a doubt!

Onto the next goal, whatever that may be…

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Fall Goal Setting

I ran my first and only marathon in Chicago on Oct. 10 2014 (10/10/10). I was 23. I told myself, I would run one again at 25 but life got busy. I graduated with my M.A. in advertising that year, moved to Colorado Springs and started a new job. I was just trying to get a handle on life.

Four years later, here I am again thinking and plotting about running a marathon. I’ve moved to Washington, took a new job and getting married next year. I am contemplating another go at the marathon. The goal is to do another and PR by the time I’m 30.

It is really weird to see the number 30 and I know I am referring to myself. So much can happen between now and 30 and I’m nervous I will get side tracked. I know that even my upcoming nuptials will be a large roadblock. So I know I need to be deliberate in setting my goals.
Goal Setting
I’m not a motivational speaker or accredited in any way with setting goals. But, I have a nice way of thinking of them:
• Define
• Plan
• Do

So I have defined my goal pretty well-marathon before 30 under 3:59. The next steps are harder. I have read up on training cycles and consulted my online coaches (I do use an online training program). I am going to focus on short races building up to a half marathon next August or September. I am going to add in core work and cross training. Finally, I need to follow-up and stick to the plan. I know the next few months are going to be hard with the holidays, wedding and just adapting to a new place. I am going to continue to make sure to interact with my online group of runners and luckily, I’m joining up with a running group or two here. It is time to set myself up for success.

How do you set yourself up for success?

-Cara
@carabyrd

Detroit Free Press Half Marathon

UR Tribe – Kimberly Holstine
Racing – Half  Marathon
Goal – PR

“There are so many things that make running Detroit unique and exciting – crossing international borders twice, running an “underwater mile”, the large crowds and entertainers posted every few miles. The sights on Belle Isle are scenic and views of the city from the riverfront will make you wish you had your camera. This race has something for everyone and we look forward to seeing you on October 19, 2014 at the Start Line.” – Excerpt from webpage