Saturday, March 24, 2012

How I plan on accomplishing my goal of a Sub-2hr 1/2 marathon

I have now done 6 1/2 marathons {its actually the distance I race most frequently} and it's time to really focus on picking up my pace and accomplishing my ULTIMATE goal of doing a sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon.
So here is how I plan to do it...

1. FOLLOW MY TRAINING PLAN: For those of you who know me, I am a planner, so I always sit down and write out a training calendar for all of my races.  However, I don't always stick to it. This time around I WILL stick to it...and not just run the distances, but focus on maintaining the appropriate paces.   I am using the  Run Less, Run Faster plan {which I have used one other time}...the plan calls for speed work {deffinitely a LOVE/HATE relationship}, pace work, and a long run {only 3 runs a week}.  

2.  FOCUS ON PROPER HYDRATION: I don't know why, but recently I have been struggling with getting enough now I "drink with a purpose."  While training for my marathon, I realized even more that proper hydration {and fueling} was necessary all week long, NOT just during the long runs. I'm a huge fan of drinking NUUN {my favorite flavor is lemon + lime} and coconut water to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes. My new "rule" is that I drink 12oz of water before I have my morning coffee :) 

3.  FOAM ROLL DAILY: I notice come Saturday for my longs runs, my legs are TIGHT {especially my hammies}, as a result of my runs from the week & my Crossfit WODs.  I WILL foam roll and use "The Stick" daily to maximize my runs and prevent injury.

5. ICE BATH: Since training for my first marathon last summer, I have become a huge advocate of the ice bath.  So I plan on taking an ice bath after every long run to help save the legs.

6. CONTINUE READING "THE RUNNER'S DEVOTIONAL" : I have really enjoyed reading this has enhanced both my physical and spiritual training. It has also served as a great tool to stay in touch with and encourage my "long distance running partners" who will be joining me for the Seattle Rock N Roll marathon in June! 

On May 20th I will be doing my {lucky number} 7th 1/2 marathon and plan on taking my PR from 2:07.23 to anything that starts with a 1!!!  {This will be a 20 min PR from my first half marathon in 2009}

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shamrock Run Portland

On March 18th, I joined 32,499 runners and walkers in downtown Portland for the 34th annual Shamrock Run.  I did this race 2 years ago, and loved I decided to add it to my marathon training plan {the races keep me motivated} and signed up for the {hilly} 15K race.  This was the first race that I had signed up for, and raced, solo.  I've got to be honest, I actually really liked it. 

On Saturday, being that it was St. Patrick's Day, I hydrated with my green drink of choice, Green Beer Lemon-Lime Nuun

I went into this race a little nervous, not because mile 3-6.5 was uphill, but because my legs were trashed from 150 wall balls on Thursday night.  I did as much foam rolling as I could, but I was still waddling, especially down stairs.  I woke up Sunday morning feeling really good about the race, and I was going to give it my all, no matter how my legs felt {It's normally not a good sign, when you are waddling your way to the start line}.  In my mind, I was going to break it up into 3-5Ks...The first 5k would be a nice steady pace to warm-up {pushing the pace, but not over doing it}, the second 5k I would push the hill, and the last 5k I would kick it into gear to the finish.  I have never does this before, but I dedicated each mile to someone who positively influences me and my running:
-Mile 1: Megan...Megan is a wonderful running partner, and always pushes and challenges me, especially on the hills
-Mile 2: Heather....My best friend, and amazingly inspirational.  She will be doing her first marathon with my in June
-Mile 3: Heidi....Heather's sister, a very dear friend, and great motivator. I kept hearing Heidi say, "Keep going! Slow and steady runs the race." I kept picturing Heidi's huge smile as I made my way up the hill
-Mile 4: Jenny...Jenny is my running partner who is so consistent and really pushes me.  I knew she would not let me give up going up the hill
-Mile 5: Heidi...Heidi has recently joined Jenny and I on our morning runs, and she LOVES hills, and always challenges and encourages me up them
-Mile 6: Rosie...This was about the point that we peaked at the top of the hill and began our decent to the finish, and I knew I was going to have to kick it into high gear.  Rosie is my "fast" running friend and always challenges me to push my pace
-Mile 7: My dad...My dad is a HUGE inspiration for why I run, and continue to do so.  I can't put into words how excited I am that he too will be running his first marathon with me in June. He constantly pushes and challenges me, and I could hear him telling me to kick it in.
-Mile 8: Phil...Phil ran his first half marathon with me a little over a year ago, and will also be joining us for the marathon in June.  I would love to run be able to run with him in Seattle, but know I will need to pick up my pace a little, so I really pushed myself that mile
-Mile 9: My mom...although my mom isn't a runner, she is THE BEST cheerleader for running and life in general.  She constantly encourages, motivates and supports me in all that I set out to do. 

I had a fabulous run and felt strong the entire race...a little Portland rain & a Crossfit Games WOD couldn't slow the sparkle down! {My cousin Whitney did the 5K with her friends from work}

It's only appropriate that that you get a "finisher" beer opener at a Shamrock Run {a great incentive to do the 15K}
I love everything about a race, especially visiting the expo the day before.  I got some great swag this year!
Although I didn't run this race with anyone, I had 9 people encouraging me the entire way.  I truly felt strong the entire way, and finished with a huge smile on my face and a 2 1/2 min PR! 

My lyrics {and motivation} of the day: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Crossfit Games WODs 12.2 and 12.3

I'm going to cover two WODs in one's an understatement to say that I was disappointed in my performance for WOD 12.1 {but slightly redeemed myself when I did the WOD over again on Sunday and improved my score by 9 reps}.  I was happy to see that 12.2 was SNATCHES, and thus a chance to redeem myself even more {I do pretty well at the heavier lifting}.  The WOD was 30 snatches at 45#, 30 snatches at 75#, 30 snatches at 100# and then as many as possible at 120#; and you had 10 minutes to do it.   My goal was to get through the first two sets of 30, and if I did that I would be done {I wasn't even going to attempt the 100#, because it was too heavy} OK, OK, OK...looking back, I know that was NOT the right attitude to have...but 100# scared me! And once again, I don't want to get hurt! {I need to get over my fear of being injured from heavy lifting}.  Ok, so the workout started and the first 30 were fairly easy {relatively speaking}, and then I started the 30 at 75#, and too be honest, I surprised myself at how well I did.  I started off with 8 or 9 straight, and then broke it down into sets of 7 minutes I had finished the first 60 {and I had the BIGGEST smile on my face as I powered through 25-26-27-28-29-30 at 75#}.  To be honest, I was done with the workout; I had accomplished what I set out to do, and that was good enough. Well, it wasn't good enough for everyone that was cheering for me {my brother kept yelling, "come on Holly, you can do it!} I put 100 lbs on the bar and gave it a few attempts {with no luck}.  I really need to work on my CONFIDENCE when it comes to Olympic lifting...becuase I know I CAN do 100 #.  I will continue to work on my snatches and I WILL do 100#.  Overall I was completely satisfied with my score for 12.2.


WOD 12.3 was an 18 minute AMRAP: 15 box jumps (20"), 12 push press (75#) and 9 Toes to Bars.  My goal was 6 rounds, and I ended up 9 toes-to-bars short of finishing my 6th round.  I started off strong, and did my first two rounds unbroken on all 3 of the exercises. Round 3 I still felt pretty strong, but round 4, 5 & 6 were TOUGH.  My shoulders, forearms, and triceps were SCREAMING!!! Last year, the WOD that included toes-to-bars {along with wall balls and I think a power clean}, was by far the toughest WOD for me {I remember feeling SO weak!!}, so I was pleasantly surprised by how well I persevered through the WOD this year.  The 90 box jumps I did in the workout definitely adversely affected my run on Saturday was the LONGEST and HARDEST 12 miles I have done {my legs were jello by the end}.  I know the pain  is only making me a stronger runner, which is what I want and need.

In preparation for WOD 12.4, I plan to really focus on clean eating, hydrating all week {not just chugging water all day on Thursday & Friday} and getting good rest throughout the week.  I'm also going to be practicing my double unders, because I KNOW I will have a battle with them before the open is over.