Sunday, January 26, 2014

3M Half Marathon Race Report

All athletes hear that at some point in their life they will peak, and then due to age, their times will start decreasing after that. Where that point is for each athlete is different I guess, but I always wondered when mine might come. And while there are still a lot of very fast athletes in their 40s, 50s and even beyond, I suspect those athletes were the ones who ran track when they were younger.,/P.

As for me, I never ran track. I never considered myself fast. I still don’t. But do I have what it takes to get fastER at my age, in my early 40s.

When I trained for my first Ironman triathlon, I hit several PRs that year. Just the sheer volume of training helped I believe. That year was the first time I broke the two-hour mark for the half-marathon distance. And that was huge for me. I had worked for years to bring my time down so I could go under two-hours and I had finally done it. So the next year when I ran the same race and came in just OVER two-hours, I was a bit disappointed. I wondered if, now that I was in my 40s, I had finally hit my peak and if I would ever get under two-hours again.

Well, let me just say that with hard work, anything is possible.

This past Sunday I ran the 3M Half Marathon again. That very race where for years I fought to get under two-hours and finally did in 2010. This year was a little different for me though. I started a run group at my church to train them for this very race. I got up on Saturday mornings to lead them through their long runs and then got up on Sunday mornings to do MY long runs. In training I did multiple runs of 12 miles leading up to the race. I did hill repeats and some speed work as well. I had done the work and I knew I would cover the distance in a decent time, but since I was there primarily for my runners, I had no time expectations whatsoever.

Leading up to the race I had told my runners (some of which had never even done a race of any distance before) to be careful and not get caught up in the excitement at the start and go out too fast. That could be detrimental to them in the end and is a classic mistake of new runners. So, imagine my surprise when I hit my split button on my garmin at mile 1 and saw a 9:02. Ok, so it’s not smoking fast, but it was faster than I expected for me. I told myself to slow down and settle in. So then I was really surprised when, at mile 2, I saw an 8:47 on the garmin. Hmmm. Had I really had a great training season and could I really keep up with that pace? I had nothing to lose. I knew even if I blew up I would still finish and could still finish in a respectable time. So I went with it.

The day was a perfect race day. Temps were in the 40s and there was very little wind. If I was going to run fast (for me), today was the day to do it. I just kept running and hitting my splits at every mile. I would kind of glance at them, but didn’t really pay much attention to them least the mind tell the body that it can’t do that. I felt good, and as long as I felt good I was just going to keep going.

I hit the halfway mark still averaging 8:51 miles and in all likelihood, unofficially set a new 10K PR as well (but I won’t count it since it wasn’t official). I got a small cramp at one point from the shot blocks and had to remind myself to drink a little more water with them, but other than that my body was not slowing down. It was a great feeling to know that I had in me what it would take and that I could keep going. There was one slight uphill during the 10th mile that slowed me down a few seconds, but I just kept pushing through.

As I got closer to the finish, I knew I would break the two-hour mark again. But then I also realized something else. Not only was I going to break two-hours, I was going to set a new PR. I was not “past my prime” and with hard work, I CAN still get faster and set some PRs. Which for me is good news, because I have a plan to set a new PR at the Half-Ironman distance in April. Game on.

Race Results and Splits

Official Time: 1:55:52 for an 8:51 pace

1600 out of 4613 overall

615 out of 2656 women

110 out of 471 in my division

6 mile time of 53:08 for an 8:51 pace

7.1 mile time of 1:02:44 for an 8:50 pace

Mile 1: 9:02

Mile 2: 8:47

Mile 3: 8:39

Mile 4: 8:57

Mile 5: 8:50

Mile 6: 8:51

Mile 7: 8:47

Mile 8: 8:42

Mile 9: 8:49

Mile 10: 9:04

Mile 11: 8:53

Mile 12: 8:39

Mile 13: 8:51

Last .1: 0:59

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

*Note: I apologize in advance for the lack of spacing. Some setting has changed and I cannot figure it out and how to get the spaces in. They appear when I type the content, but not when I post.* Wow! What a year 2013 was. Some was good and some was not so good, but we made it through. So what did I accomplish in 2013? I set out a goal to obtain many certifications in 2013 and I did just that, plus some. In January I started my Yoga certification journey with YogaFit. As of now I have completed the following through them: Level I, Level II, Anatomy, YogaFit for Warriors, Prenatal, Kids, Props, and YogaFit Sweat. I was also able to obtain my RRCA Run Coach Certification as well as my USA Triathlon Level I certification. Both of these have been put to use. I had a new triathlon client this summer and helped her finish her first Olympic distance race. I also started a run group at my church and later this month will see several members cross the finish line of a half marathon. What a journey this has been. Some are seeking PRs and others are doing a half for the first time. Obtaining my ACE Personal Trainer Certification (along with the lay off from the job) propelled me to become a personal trainer for Texas Fit Chicks and start my own boot camp for women. While it has not grown yet to the level I'd like it to be, I really enjoy leading it and helping women accomplish their goals. While my goal for eating was to try a new recipe every week, I didn't quite get there. I did, however, probably try 25-30 new recipes, some of which have now been incorporated into my lunches and dinners on a normal basis. The one goal I did not reach that will go once again on my goal list for the year was to be able to do a pull up. I didn't really focus on that with everything else going on, but with my boot camp and all, I have gotten stronger and can get a little further than I could last year. I will continue to work on this and hope to be able to do a pullup by the end of 2014. 2013 Races Accomplished Houston 5K - 29:48 Houston Half Marathon with my Aunt - 3:19:30 Texas Independence Relay Cap 10K - 58:58 Ants in Your Pants 5K - 26:05 The Tri Doc's Wacky Costume 5K - 26:44 (1st in age group) Lake Pflugerville Triathlon - 1:27:34 Foam Fest 5K Workout Data for 2013 Swim - 79,370 yards in 28:47:55 Bike - 488.23 miles in 32:25:03 Run - 761.6 miles in 130:46:16 Strength Training - 7hr 50 min Boot Camp - 9hr 45 min Yoga - 120:53:25 (thats a lot of yoga!) Race Volunteering - 9 hours I also tried Zumba and TRX for the first time and did a little bowling and jump rope. Looking Ahead to 2014 With the loss of my job in 2013, I am still focused on finding a job in 2014. What that job looks like is still a mystery. Will it be full-time, part-time, back in the business world or in the fitness world? Only time will tell. I will be attending more YogaFit training this year and would love to fulfill my 200 hour RYT requirements. Whether that can happen or not will, in part, depend on the job situation and whether I have the money to afford it or not. I will of course continue my fitness education to help fulfill my CEU requirements and look forward to learning more things that can help my clients. I would also love to add another out-of-state marathon to my list and continue my journey to completing a marathon in each of the 50 states. Again, that will depend on the job situation and money. And yes, being able to do a pull up will be added back to the list. Must. Work. On. That. I will be doing a few races for sure and have others on the list of hopefuls, but not much planned at this point: 3M Half Marathon, 70.3 in Galveston and Lake Pflugerville Triathlon always make my list. I have a few other goals that I want to accomplish, but need to think about them in more detail and how I want to go about doing them, so I'm not ready to share just yet on those. One thing I will share is that I plan to move forward with my coaching business through Seigga Multisport, LLC. I hope to gain more clients and help people reach their fitness goals, whether it be doing a first race of any distance or reaching new PRs. Be on the look out for Seigga in the social media world - on a blog, facebook, instagram and twitter. I hope that 2014 brings each of you the hopes and dreams that you desire. Set a goal, make a plan, and step by step work toward it. Even if you don't quite get there, you will be further along in your journey and will have become a better person because of it. Here's to 2014!