Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy Rock n' Rollin'!

This picture pretty much sums up how I'd like to feel at the end of every 13.1 I run...
Happy to be running.
to have perfect weather conditions for a race (even though I wasn't racing).
Happy for a FUN and favorite course that took me through the neighborhoods of my beautiful city.
to feel strong and healthy!

Happy that using this 13.1 race as a workout and not a race meant holding back way more than I thought I would have to hold back. Happy that the paces I was supposed to hit came with ease and that finishing felt like I was just getting started. A promise of good things yet to come.  

Happy for 
First-Time Half Marathoners that remind me what its all about!  

I know that even though I didn't hit all the paces exactly like I was trying to hit, I still practiced restraint and control. I spent the first half of the run kind of beating myself up for not being able to nail my mile splits exactly as my coach had asked me. My first two miles seemed almost impossible to keep over 8 min pace even though I should know better about how hard it is to keep the first miles slow.  By mile three I found myself slowing way down in parts so that my split would have an 8 in front of it and look like I followed instructions better. It is important to me to show my coach that I can listen and I was getting kind of down on myself for doing such a poor job at holding back.  Then I made a deal with myself to just run by effort, stop looking at my watch so much, and to keep my speed in check and my breathing under control.  I found that if I tried too hard to keep the exact paces that I was going for, it got in the way of enjoying the run, experiencing the course and going by effort since there were so many hills...what felt like a large amount of downhills.  I went with the uphills and downhills, holding back the effort that I will be able to use soon enough.  Some of my miles were too fast according to plan and some a little slower....
but in the end, I finished knowing that I tried to run a good workout where I gave just enough for what it was meant to be. It was a learning experience and I'm not going to be too hard on myself for being a little off. 

The Plan                  The Paces I Hit 
1:43:45                     1:42:11 unofficial Garmin time 13.26
8:30                          7:43 Too fast.  Unexpectedly hard to hold back.
8:30                          7:46 Again, struggling to hold back.  Felt SO Slow
8:30                          7:59 Really tried to get over 8 with this one and still not look at my                  
                                       watch the entire time!
8:15                          8:02  Better
8:00                          8:20  Hills help slow you down if you're keeping the effort even.
7:45                          7:41  Yes...better!
7:45                          8:00  More hills
7:45                          7:28  Where there are uphills, there are downhills
7:45                          7:44  
7:45                          7:40
7:30                          7:31
7:30                          7:18 down hills effort still more like 7:30
7:30                          7:19 same as above
                                Last .26 on garmin was 7:07 pace but felt like I was sticking with 

Overall, I'm happy with my workout today. I know it wasn't perfect in hitting my paces. I know that I could have done things a bit differently here and there but it is another learning experience.  It is harder than it seems to run specific paces on a hilly course so I did the best I could to run by effort.  

Some Highlights:

  • I loved the Portland Rock n' Roll Half Marathon course!  Perfect mix of hills IMO.
  • I loved the efficiency of how it was all run and I enjoyed seeing friends. 
  •  The weather even turned out to be PERFECT racing/long run conditions.  It was cool, cloudy, and just a bit of rain to keep us cooled off. 
  • There were a few of you ladies who came up to me at the end of the race to introduce yourselves and it was so nice to meet you.  Thank you for your kind words.  
  • The best part about today was being there to see my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew finish their very first half marathon!  It was very inspiring!! I couldn't be MORE PROUD of them!! This is only the beginning!  

  • My leg felt strong!  My KT tape might have helped...I think I've mastered the Hammy Tape Job!  It was funny that several people stopped me at the end of the race and said that my leg was their focal point.  Ha!  
Yay!  Second weekend in a row that I get to see Tasha from Healthy Diva.  Love this girl!

So proud of my sister-in-law and nephew!! This is just the beginning.  They've caught the bug!  And Debbie from The Run Home, she loved her necklace!  She's wearing it in the picture.  

Seeing my brother-in-law finish was one of the most inspirational moments of my life.  So Proud!  He realized that there was more in him than he ever knew!  
Proof that I was icing my leg right after the race!

Now off to roll, ice, rest, and gear up for a good week of training.  Hoping that my leg keeps feeling good.  So thankful!!  

Oh, and I really must register for Portland Rock n' Roll 2013!  Wouldn't want to miss out. And maybe next year I'll get the green light to race it! 

Who was there today??  What did you think of the course, weather, etc.?  How did you do?  



  1. Looks like a good day to me! Isn't it nice when 8:00 minute miles feel like shuffling?? I'll take that as a good sign.

    Looks like R&R keeps putting together better and better races! Now, go roll:)

  2. Yay Amanda! Wish I would've seen you. Had an amazing time running with my buddy Marianne. We've had a goal to go under the 2 hour mark, and we did it by 4 minutes! For me it was a PR by almost 15 minutes! :-) LOVED the course, even the hills, and the rain was much appreciated.

  3. Ice that thing! I truly love races as long runs. You feel so pumped up by everyone racing, running their first race, cheering for family - can't beat that atmosphere. It's definitely better than a lonely levee!
    Sounds like your leg is doing a lot, lot better - if your only comment on hills is how they change your speed, they can't be hurting your hamstring.

    Good running today!

    I wonder if I should do RNR Portland next year?! It would certainly extend my marathon "season" a little. Hm. Tempted.

  4. Well, I didn't race Portland RnR (if I had, you'd be the first to know I was coming ;))...but I did pace a friend to get her first sub-2 hour half. I had a hard time pulling back at the start too and I thought she was going to shoot me, but in the end my legs were dead and I couldn't have sped up if I wanted to. Oh well, we/she made it - yay! Glad you had a great time, sounds like a ton of fun! I love to use races as training runs, really helps pump you up and gets you excited for what lies ahead.

  5. Sounds like a fun day and you looked super cute too. Your smiling race happy dance picture is awesome!!

    Just wondering- which Brooks did you race in?

  6. I love how you always take something positive from each race, regardless of outcome. Even though you didn't hit your paces how you wanted, you still made an effort to hold back :)

  7. I love how you always take something positive from each race, regardless of outcome. Even though you didn't hit your paces how you wanted, you still made an effort to hold back :)

  8. I was there! I liked the course, but the hills were tough. I had to run/walk since I'm coming back from injury so I was pretty far back. It was frustrating how many times we got stopped for traffic though. Overall I liked the race and would do it again.

    Glad you had a good race!

  9. OK, this will be short comment #1 as I just sent you a mammoth email and my hubby is wondering where he ranks on my list of priorities here-ha! OK-first, awesome to see this actually spelled out!

    Oh gosh-pressure removed I totally understand how hard it it to keep pace in check to start!!! Screw your perfection in hitting paces. You ran a great progression race. You felt strong. Definitely takes some adjusting to run to an exact pace plan when this is not what you're used to! Oh-I'm a taping perfectionist too!!!

    I want to run this next year:) I'm claiming your couch!! Being in Duluth this weekend made me think of how awesome the Grandma's race is. Just because I had a meltdown experience there shouldn't take away from the race. This is really a super race and atmosphere. Not very hilly and a great place for a PR and party after. Join me:P)

    I am encouraged as YOU should be by the way you felt but of course you know I expected this:)

    OK- back to the couch;)

  10. I love your first photo. That says it all. Glad to hear you had a stong, healthy race. Way to go!

  11. A great, family event by the sounds of things. It's so cool when the family decide to bite the bullet. And it's so great that you were in the same event. Good to hear that your leg behaved itself.

  12. Possitive attitude is key! It´s great, that you enjoy it... nice report! Congrats!!!

  13. Congrats on having such a fabulous half :)

    Aw love how your brother in law raced!!

  14. Nice work following your coaches plan! Yor time was really close to your planned time. Now I am wishing I ran Portland while I was on the West Coast. Sounds like a fun one! Great pics!

  15. Great job! I love how you always get so much joy out of running. It's a great reminder that it's supposed to be fun, not a hardship. Thanks for helping me to remember that.

  16. Looks like a great day to me. Well done - as always. :)

  17. GREAT JOB! That has to be one of the best finish line photos ever!

  18. Looks like you had a really great time, and your pigtails are too cute! Saw on FB that you said you'd rather run in the heat then the rain...and I think you're crazy!!! Ran in the heat yesterday where the conditions were probably fairly similar to your Boston conditions and it was BRUTAL, would gladly take rain over that any day! You did an awesome job and hills are tricky.

    Love all the pics!

    1. Oh girl, I read your report...just haven't commented brutal. And such a bummer. Totally get it. NO, i would choose rain over HEAT any day. heat like that is BRUTAL. Boston ripped me up, spit me out, and left me in bad shape. racing in heat is awful.

  19. Congrats Amanda! It sounds like you are well on your way to recovery from your injury. Great to hear you so happy!

  20. Great job, Amanda!! You did great! I love the picture of you at the finish line!

  21. Great job Amanda! That picture alone says it all! You clearly had a blast!! Congrats to your family as well! I love seeing people finish a race they never thought they could do!!

  22. So nice to see you at the finish Amanda! Love your smile and happy energy! I too loved this race! I did not beat my PR but I felt like I ran the best race I could and had a fabulous time. Just happy to be running! I also have a hammy injury so I'd love your input on taping. I really appreciate your butt rolling video. Thanks so much for sharing your running know how and your inspiring love for the run!

  23. Well, friend, you did a fantastic job following directions!! What a great run and fun place to do it. And a bonus that your family was able to run it too. That does make it special :)

    Sounds like the course was great- a good workout, but certainly race-able. I will have to arrange things to do this race for sure next year. Missed being there with you and everyone else.

    So glad your leg is getting better! I like to see that big SMILE.

  24. Sounds like a great race! Sticking to a plan those first miles in a race situation are always tough - but you got on plan by the end - great job!

  25. Great job! So glad you had a good/fun day and are feeling so good. Love hearing about your family members. That is the best! And fun pics as always. :)

  26. That sounds like such a fun race! Nice work sticking to your paces, and having a fun run. And yay for your family members catching the bug-- how exciting! Hope your leg continues to stay strong as you ramp up your training.

  27. Sounds like such a fun day and race and you ran perfectly! I love the finish photo wow you look like an ELITE ATHLETE Amanda. Seriously you are such a great runner and it truly shows in your character.

    My friends Julia and Heather ran it and they said the hills were crazy.

  28. Since I ran the Hippie Chick last weekend, I opted out for the R&R and as I was cheering runners along yesterday I was bummed I didn't sign up. The weather was GREAT for 1/2 marathon! But it was also good for my insane cowbell ringing! Plus - getting to see Kara run by was pretty darn cool too!

  29. Yay! So glad you felt good the entire time! Also I loved your note about the people watching your leg when they were running. I have definitely focused on the person in front of me's butt/legs/shoes/hat...whatever you need to keep you going! And I've had people come up to me and tell me after the race that they were following me the entire time!

  30. I am so happy for you dear!!! I loved that race picture, it is one of the best I have seen. I am glad that your body is healing and that you are running so strong right now. Big, big things are in store for you and I can't wait for it! I think you having a coach is going to take your running to next level and I am thrilled for you. I am going to ask my doctor about KT tape tomorrow to see if it might help my dumb butt/leg. We shall see.
    I also loved that I got to see you TWO weekends in a row. :-)

  31. Great job Amanda! Sounds like the hammy recovery is going well! And congrats to your family members on their first half marathons!!!

  32. Great race! Hope your leg keeps feeling better.

  33. You look SO incredibly happy in these pictures! Congratulations on the race - sounds like a great day for everyone.

  34. So cool that the family joined you in the race! Congrats!

  35. Congrats on the race! I loved it. Weather, hills, family, all of it! My 2nd fastest half.

  36. I'm just starting to read your blog for the first time. I'm a mom/runner in Hillsboro of 3 kids too! I love your posts! Congrats on the awesome finish time in the RnR!

    Anyway, I love reading your blog. Maybe I'll catch you at a race sometime! :)

  37. I really enjoy your blog. Especially the section about your running story. I thin it;s fantastic. Nice meeting you mama:)