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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Scream and the End of a Bad Streak

I had several goals for this race...but I had one main goal and that was really my complete
focus...break the 2 hour mark.  That would fulfill another goal, a pr.  But I didn't want to just pr because I could do that and still be over 2.  My pr at the time was 2 hrs 3 minutes.  If I could break 2, my heart would be supremely happy if I could break the 9 minute mile average.
For those of you who know me, or have followed my scant blogs, know that the half marathon is my Achilles heel.  I've found my 5, 8 and 10k groove.  I'm happy with my 30k and marathon times.  But the haunts me.  My pr was actually the second half I ever ran, and Ive run over 10 so I've been frustrated.  Of course the trail halfs I've run I didn't expect to pr at, but I've been plagued with illness, injury, bonking, bad race conditions, or my head defeating me before I began.  Ive gotten to where I get nervous just thinking about running a half.
Yesterday my husband and I took on The Scream half marathon in Jonas Ridge, NC.  It is a mostly winding dirt road with a lot of downhill action, but believe me, its not all downhill.  And downhill is not all its cracked up to be.  Most of the downhill was gradual and the road was hair pin turns. It turns out no matter what the terrain,  13.1 miles is 13.1 miles, which is never easy to run..and once you hit the uphills or straight aways, they seemed like mountains and your legs would scream from having to work a different way.
All that being said, it was a beautiful race.  Too bad the weather wasn't.  Rain the whole time, at several times almost torrential, and this was under the cover of trees.  At least that blocked the wind.  It was also in the 50s the whole time.  During the race it was perfect, but before and after..brr.  The more it rained, the slicker the dirt and gravel became, and the mud, especially the last mile and a half, became hard to pick up your feet and keep any kind of pace going.
Gotta love my husband, he let me know the day before race that he planned on running with me, trying to help push me and keep my pace.  The plan was one warm up mile and then go for it.  I was going to find a pace I felt I could hold between 8:30 and 8:50 and he would help me hold it.  All was going good, holding at 8:40.  At about 5 miles, Mark needed to make a pit stop, always a plus of racing in the woods, and told me to hold my pace and he would catch u and wait for him to catch up.  A little uphill in the middle and then another crappier section between 9 and 11 ish, but I kept on pushing and pushing, barely slowing down at all.  Then my gps goes out and I had no idea of my pace anymore so I tried to keep up with my breathing and steps.  Then my biggest fear, after 11 miles it started evening out, which is really hard after everything else, and the mud was sticky and impossible.  Fatigue started to set in and I lost some of my pace.  Finally, at 12.5 Mark caught me and pushed me the last little bit,  When I came towards the finish and saw the clock I knew if I pushed it I could hit every goal.
Race time 1:56:45, but they only had gun time.  Watch time 1:55:58.  Because I'm so competitive with myself I briefly got annoyed I had lost it on the last mile.  Then I made myself realize, if you shoot for a pr, you are risking loosing it at the end, that's a risk and part of racing.  I made it longer than I ever had before loosing it, and.....I just ran 13.1 miles faster that I ever have.  Now how can I be disappointed in that.
So, lets celebrate with cookies and pie and fancy coffee drinks (so sue me, I crave sweets when I distance run)  and then lets hit it again Monday.  16 weeks from marathon number 2

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cons & Miles & Friends, Oh My! (Teresa's 2nd quarter review)

Half the year is done, so as we look forward to Christmas in July, it's also time to look at where I am in my goals for this year - celebrating accomplishments & adjusting plans if needed.  As of June 30, here's where I am on the goals I posted at the beginning of 2014:
  1. Run 451.25 miles.  So far I've run 342.4 miles, or 76% of my goal.  Perhaps I should've aimed a bit farther?
  2. Bike 345.80 miles.  Only 51.5 miles so far, 15% of my goal.  Time to get pedaling
  3. Play 2 rounds of golf with my handsome & patient husband.  Kevin, are you reading this?  When do you want to play?
  4.  Swim at least once a week from Memorial Day thru Labor Day, when our pool is open.  Polar Vortex anyone?  I've only been swimming once, and it was pretty chilly.  I really did enjoy swimming in last year's Month-Long Iron Man, so I need to get out there again once it warms back up.
  5.  Read the Bible through again.  I've kept up with the plan I chose on my Bible app, and was 50% through as of 6/30/14.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Patriot Challenge 2014

Awesome medal, great shirt, & our names on our bibs!
Last weekend I ran the Patriot Challenge obstacle course mud run.  This was my 2nd year running it, and it was even more fun this time around!  I am already signed up for next year, too. 

You can read my recap of last year's race here (which means we've been blogging for over a year now - yay!).  I was hopeful that I would have improved since I've been going to boot camp for several months, and I did!  I finished in 54:17:9, over 3 minutes faster than last year.  But more importantly to me, I didn't skip any of the obstacles!  Last year I was unable to do any that required upper arm strength.

I still had trouble with one this year - it involved a rope hanging over the back of the bleachers, with a tire at the end of it.  I had to pull the tire up until it reached a certain mark.  I really struggled and that slowed me way down, but I eventually got it done.  I am determined to keep working on my arm strength - some day I will be able to do a pull-up.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bicycle Tour of 10 East Biz District

Did you know you could find all this on E 10th St?

Last week, I went on a bicycle tour of some of the businesses in the 10 East Biz District.  The tour was held by the East 10th Street Civic Association, and highlighted both some of the newer businesses that have opened as part of the ongoing development of this district as well as some long-time businesses that contribute and give back to the neighborhood.  Much of this development was spurred by the 2012 Super Bowl Legacy Project, but that was not the end of it, as progress continues to be made with more homes being renovated, more people moving back, and more businesses starting or relocating here.  Some of the highlights of the tour for me were: