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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Countdown to Vegas: Week 1

Team #MoHills - Pic by Brandi Nicole
Before I get into the wrap-up of training for Vegas, and some rambly thoughts that ran through my head this week, I first want to say thank you to everyone who's stopped by to read our blog.  We've been at it for a little over three years now, and I'm really humbled by the fact that so many of you are interested in what I have to say.  My most recent post - Independence Day - has vaulted over 2014's  Treadmills: Maybe They're Not That Bad to become our third most read post ever.  Wow.  So thank you to everyone who reads or even skims these rambly thoughts of mine.  You really have no idea what your support means to me.


In November the #FBG and I will be heading out run to Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas.  There's a whole weekend of races of different distances, and I am planning to run the full marathon there.  It will be my second full and my first destination race.  Also my first time visiting Vegas.  I'm super excited about it.  I'm also trying to train for it a little better than I did for my first marathon.

When I trained for the Carmel Marathon last year, I basically took a half marathon training plan and bumped up the weekend long runs.  So while I got the long runs in, I did not increase the rest of my weekly mileage.  I didn't even realize I should be doing that until well into my taper week.  I also didn't do any speed work, even though I knew I should include that.  So, this time I am following a real marathon training plan and I'm going to do a better job of tracking my weekly mileage as well.  Even on those runs where I don't wear my watch, I will stick to routes I know pretty well so I have a good estimate.

I'm documenting each day's training on Instagram (I'm @thazel411) using the hashtag #CountdownToVegas, so follow me there if you are interested.  Occasionally I will cross-post to Facebook or Twitter if I think my picture is especially cute or I amuse myself with the caption.  You can also check back here every Sunday for a weekly wrap-up.

Monday - Hills

#MoHillsMonday with Black Girls Run Indianapolis: Brandi worked us hard!  We ran up and down Soap Box Derby Hill a total of seven times, with some squats and skips and other fun stuff in-between.  Tired Legs indeed!  Total miles: 3.6

Tuesday - Cross Train

My normal Tuesday schedule is a three mile run after work, followed by #LFBootCamp at 7pm.  This week, though, I had a fundraiser after work, so I had to come up with an alternate.  I really don't like working out in the morning.  I can manage it for a race because of the nerves and excitement, but in general I prefer to workout later in the day.  Lunchtime workouts are convenient for me since my gym - the Boner Fitness and Learning Center - is just a little over a mile from my office.  What I decided to do was drive to the gym in the morning and leave my car there, run to the office and work until lunch, run back to the gym and do the rowing machine, then shower and get dressed and ready for the evening.  It worked out well, and I'm going to workout this way anytime I have plans after work.  Totals: 2.5 miles running, 1600 meters rowing.

Wednesday - Yoga/Recovery

Downtown Indy and Invoke Studio are sponsoring free Sunrise Yoga on the Canal every Wednesday morning from June through August.  I was dragging a bit from being out so late at the fundraiser the night before, but I still made it down to the Canal in time, and I was glad I did.  I've been several times over the last few weeks, and it's always great.  Yoga gives me a chance to tune in to how my body is feeling, restore balance if I'm overworking one area, and loosen up any tight spots.  I've actually been practicing yoga for much longer than I've been running.  Since Wednesday was also Embrace Your Geekness Day, I wore my Starfleet uniform to yoga and to work.  Total miles: 0.

Thursday - Speed Work

I had plans after work again, so I left my car at the gym and ran to work in the morning, then ran back at lunch and did my first ever speed workout on the track.  And I didn't hate it like I thought I would.  I did a ladder workout: 800 meters, 2 minute recovery, 2 x 400 meters, 90 seconds recovery, 4 x 200 meters, 60 seconds recovery, 2 x 400 meters, 90 seconds recovery, 800 meters.  Here's the crazy thing: I figured my target paces for each interval based on my 5K PR, but every single interval I was way faster than what I figured I should go for.  So, clearly I should be faster in the 5K and the barrier here is mental, not physical.  Total miles: 4.5.

Pic by Penny Robertson
Bonus cross training: after work I went to the Athletic Annex Summer Block Party, where I got lots of cardio work dancing to My Yellow Rickshaw.  So much fun!  I had not been dancing since 2003.  Kevin didn't dance, and didn't believe in girls' night out (or guys' night out).  We went out together or we didn't go.  So, it was kind of a bittersweet thing for me to find myself having fun doing something I wouldn't be doing if Kevin was still here.  It's hard to explain.  Of course I miss him and I will always miss him and the life we planned to have together.  But this is the life I am living now, even though I didn't choose it, and there are new and happy things here too.  It's like how the sea salt on your chocolate makes it taste even sweeter.  

Friday - Recovery Run

IBE Twilight Run with Black Girls Run Indianapolis: we met at the War Memorial and ran three miles around downtown, including a delightful moment running through some sprinklers going on the grass at the north end of the Canal, and ended by running up the steps of the War Memorial to touch the door.  This was one of the most fun group runs I've ever been a part of, and I'm very much enjoying getting to know the ladies in this group.  Total miles: 3.25

Saturday - Long Run

Saturday's run was six miles, and since the weather was supposed to be a bit cooler, I decided to sleep in and run on my own instead of joining one of the early morning group runs.  I'd done a lot of social runs this week anyway and I was craving a solo run alone with my thoughts and prayers.  I was surprised when I woke up Saturday morning and realized it was 11:00!  I don't think I've slept that late since I was a teenager.  And no nightmares, just good restorative sleep.  I got up, had some cereal and coffee, and headed out for my run.  I have a good six mile route through my subdivision and two neighboring ones.  It includes two decent hills, some stairs, a couple of dirt trail portions, and a nice amount of shade.  I ran an easy pace and felt strong and energetic the whole time.  Total miles: 6.2.

Sunday - Rest Day

Rest days are an important part of any training schedule.  Physically your body uses rest time to repair and rebuild muscles.  Mentally I believe rest days help prevent burnout.  We are created in God's image, and God took a rest day, so it makes sense to follow His example.

I went to church, I baked some brownies, I painted my nails, and I spent some quality time on my front porch with a good book.  And I wrote this blog post!  Total miles: 0.

Weekly total miles: 20.05


One thing I hear from a lot of you is that you think I'm brave.  I'm brave for sharing the things I share here.  I'm brave for being so open in real life.  I'm brave for trying new things, meeting new people, going new places.  I had the chance to self-examine that this week.  I don't really think of what I do as brave.  It's just the way I am, and have been for most of my adult life.  If I want to go somewhere, I go.  If I think or feel something, I'm going to say it.  I don't think it's brave to put myself out there and tell someone I enjoy knowing them if I do.  I say it because think it's something they probably want to know.  If I say something, I mean it.  And the reverse of that is that if someone says something to me, then I believe they mean it too.

Sometimes they don't, and that hurts.  But when I look at myself and think: do I want to share a little less and risk a little less to avoid things like that, the answer is still no.  This is the way God created me, and trying to be otherwise doesn't feel right.  I like myself this way, even if it means I get hurt sometimes.  And the good news is that since I can still get hurt, it means my heart still works the way it should.

Up Next

Thursday: Run (317) Mass Ave!  It's my favorite race of my favorite race series!  It's sold out, but if you haven't already signed up you don't have to miss out.  They still need volunteers and you'll get to enjoy the fun after-party.  There are two more Run (317) races this year: Carmel Arts District on 9/1, and the original Fountain Square race on 10/20.  If you aren't signed up yet, don't wait as these will likely sell out too.  Go to to register today.

Your Turn

I had to get a lot of groceries this weekend because I felt this week like I wasn't eating enough and that's why I was so tired.  What are some of your favorite foods to eat when you need some healthy energy?  Any fun recipes you want to share?


  1. I just really like you and love reading your posts. You are special.

    1. Thank you Sarah! You are such a sweet friend. I hope to see you soon!

  2. Thank you for sharing! I really enjoy your blog and am happy we get to run together from time to time. xoxo

    1. Thank you Mecca - I'm glad we get to run together too!