Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bend Half Marathon. And Fall Marathon Chosen!

Definitely in my top 5 favorite race medals!  Add this race to your list of destination races! 

I've kind of fallen off the wagon again with this Project Begin Again.  I don't even know what day I'm on at this point.  Let me check... Ok, so today would be day 29.  I skipped days 27 and 28.  But who is counting besides me?  Nobody.  

I ran the Bend Half Marathon today.  I figured it was time to run a local race even if I wasn't specifically training for said race.  These kinds of races end up being good workouts as well as giving me a good idea of where I'm at fitness-wise (today was humbling).  Why did I even sign up for this?  Right before I registered, I had just come back from a trail run and decided to hop on the treadmill for some repeat 800's --one of my random attempts to get some sort of speed work into my non-plan for a 50k I'm running in two weeks (a non plan that will likely backfire).   When I started running on the treadmill, my incline was only at 1% so it felt pretty easy compared to the trail hills I was running moments before.  After 800, I didn't want to stop so I sped it up and kept going.  Each 800 felt great so I kept running and speeding up until I ran a 5k in 20:20 and still didn't want to stop!  In fact, it felt relatively easy! I've never had a 20:xx 5k feel easy.  Granted it was on a treadmill so not the same as a road 5k but still... This made me feel really happy considering I've never got my mind to cooperate to break 20 minutes in the 5k no matter how much I've trained and on this day I felt like I could no problem.  I took my excitement, bottled it up, and registered for a half marathon before I changed my mind.  My plan was to actually continue in weekly speed work and a more structured plan so that by the time I ran the half marathon, I'd be able to do more than hang in there. That kind of happened?  Maybe every other week.  As the weeks went by, I knew I'd be running this race for more of a fun workout.  Ok, after today, you can take out the word fun! Ha!  Or fun in a hard work kind of way.  I'll save the long wordy recap and switch to some bullet points:  
I'm not sure an elevation map ever really does a course justice.  All I know is that going from mile 3 to 4 was tough and got my heart beating quite hard.  Then miles 8 to 11 made me want to turn the wrong direction and run home. 
This picture makes me laugh!!  Corie caught a shot of nubby.  My broken Garmin that I held in my fingers the whole time. ha ha.  I did, however, order a new Garmin that will arrive in the mail before my 50k (HOPEFULLY).  Not that I will care about pace on my 50k but I will like knowing distance when I'm out there in middle of nowhere with miles to go! 
One of my favorite race shirts!  At first I thought it would be another tech shirt that I'd toss in a drawer or box never to wear again.  BUT... I love this one!  I love how unique to Bend it is.  And it's comfy because I ordered it in a medium instead of my usual small so it has more of a baggy fit...nice for a change.  

  • I pushed hard at the end.  
  • The first part felt good and easy enough even though the hills at mile 4ish were brutal IMO!  Seeing my friend Lori at mile 4ish made me happy.  What a beautiful smile she has and she's ALWAYS encouraging!  So glad she came into my life.  ;) 
  • This was a hard course!  It felt really hard by the end.  There were many women ahead of me and I know some of them were in darn good shape.  The winning woman didn't break 1:30.  This says something about the course for sure!  I don't remember the last time I ran a destination/popular (even though only second annual) half marathon like this where the winning woman wasn't in at least somewhere in the 1:2x range.  Considering this and where I'm at with running right now, I feel darn proud of my 1:43. In fact, at the start, my friend Corie and Shelley were there with me.  When we talked about what we wanted for this run considering our fitness,  I said I'd be happy with a sub 1:45. Last year at this time, I ran in a half marathon after Boston as part of my 50k training when I was actually following a plan.  I ran a 1:37 and it felt good.  Today, my 1:45 was way more work!
  • The end of the race was uphill for a bit.  The loooooongest .1 I have ever run.  But I out kicked a girl who was wearing a Oiselle shirt.  Ok, so it doesn't matter what shirt she was wearing but her bird and FLY on the back of her shirt was a good focal point.  Even though I got passed by at least 7 women in the second half of the race (totally bonking), passing this one girl in the last little bit made me feel like I pushed myself till the end.  I did.  No, it wasn't about racing but it was about doing my best today and meeting myself where I am right now. A hard workout that I will draw on in the months to come!  Having others in the race with us can be motivating in helping us dig deep.  I think we push and pull each other.  Even though I have no idea who she was, having her in sight for that last mile definitely kept me going.  
  • One of the things I kept reminding myself during this run was to run my own race.  To not let what others were running or what I've run in the past make me feel defeated or discouraged today.  I kept my talk positive even when I wanted to throw up and turn left at mile 10ish to run the 2 miles home to my house.  
  • My splits: 7:30, 7:15, 7:35, 7:50, 7:28, 7:49, 7:24, 7:46, 8:17, 8:22, 8:07, 7:51, 7:22.  If I really do see this as a training run like I had in mind (def not a goal race), then I feel really happy with my run today!  This was a solid threshold endurance run!  yes yes.  It makes me excited to start following a plan again. 
  • You know, a big part of following a plan or training for a marathon or half marathon or whatever... is the PROCESS  it takes to get to the race day.  I miss this.  It feels like a long time since I've had a plan on paper to hold me accountable.  
  • Next year if I do this again, I hope to get sleep.  I did't get more than 2 hours of sleep due to some unexpected events last night.  ARG! But I'm glad I went anyway.  
  • My pelvis aches right now!  Pretty sure my body was shocked to pound pavement for so long after mainly running on dirt trails at a much slower pace this last year! Also, pretty sure I need new shoes. 

  • My impromptu training partner and friend Corie.. so thankful of her!! Such a safe friend.  A friend who is always full of encouragement and understanding.  We are in very similar ranges when it comes to running so I think we make compatible partners when we do train together.  I think we are mentally compatible too.  She gets me.  She understands seasons with life and running and goals.  She knows what it feels like to be in a place with running (for her, biking and swimming too since she's an Ironman) that's different from the past.  And she knows those whiffs of desire to get back in the fitness we know we can be in and the work it will take to get there.  She's good for me like this.  Today, after the race, we chatted for a bit by the trash can I was sticking close to in case of hurling.  We both felt exhausted, happy for the strong workout, proud that we put ourselves out there, and mutually aware of where we are and where we want to be again on a fitness level.  I think having friends like this and goals to work towards makes the other parts of our lives more energized.  I also know that the seasons where we don't train for or work towards any big goals are good for us too!  I'm ready for a goal again.  :)  
  • Proud of my friend Shelley who busted out a 1:37 on this course after recovering from injury, wrist surgery and having so much travel that really hasn't allowed her to train.  She's in a good place to start again too!  She's got some wheels!  
  • My friend Angie had a goal to run sub 2 hours today.  She did it!  1:58 and on this course.  I'm proud of her.  And really glad she's going to be one of the gymnastics moms I will get to travel with this next year.  
  • Would I recommend this race?  Absolutely!  Very nicely done!  It was crap weather today but usually, I would expect this weekend to be gorgeous and not cold and rainy.  I blame all the people from Portland who came down  here.  It's a hard course but a well earned medal.  Best shirts and medals I've seen in awhile too!  Well done Bend Marathon.  

Fall Marathon

I've decided on a fall marathon.  My first Fall Marathon!  As I kind of mentioned above, after a stretch of very loosely training or willy nilly running, I'm ready to follow a more scheduled by-the-book plan again.  I'm not saying I necessarily need or want to go for a hefty time goal but I at least want to put in the work that it would take to run a faster time than I would if I tried to race a marathon today!  My last marathon was Boston 2015 in 3:28.  My PR doesn't really count anymore since it was in 2004 for my first marathon with a time of 3:22.  Other than that, I guess my PR would be 3:24.  If anything, I'd be happy to run in that range again.  

Long ramble shorter, after reading some less than stellar reviews of the Portland Marathon, I've decided to run Twin Cities Marathon on October 9th!  I'm so excited!!  Same day as Portland.  Same Price.  But way better reviews.  And a race I've wanted to run for awhile now.  The biggest reason of all?  My dear friend Jenn is running it too and I will get to see her again!  And what a great place to meet up for a girl weekend.  A beautiful time of year in cities I love with a friend who is truly family to me.

So much in this post.  I'm hoping to get back to an easy gratitude and intentions post next time because I miss the positive energy it gives my life!  In the meantime, I'm out of time!  

Happy Sunday!


  1. Good job, Amanda!, I was JUST thinking about Twin Cities. My brother lives in Minneapolis - he recently moved there - and I'd like to see my niece and nephew. So it's on my radar! And btw I just got another garmin 305. I got a used one on Ebay for $20, shipping included, and I hope it holds me until the 230 is affordable.

    1. You found one for $20?? You are so good at being thrifty! I bought a refurbished 230 but it was still $135. You should do Twin Cities! I hear so many good things!!

  2. I have heard so many good things about TCM! You will love it! I know they have great crowd support and the course is flat and fast. Have fun!

    1. Thanks Katie! It sounds like a great race. I'm not so sure it's flat but definitely a good mix of rolling hills and scenic course! yay!