Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Other Side of Marathon Training

If you follow my posts about Marathon training ZaoFit (FB)..Julie (FB)..twitter..instagram, you will see so many photos of runners looking happy out on training runs. We will run anywhere from five to twenty miles and look very happy in the photos.  We often run and end with beautiful food. We are all happy and enjoy every mile we run!  

The pictures are not fake, we do have many happy moments, and enjoy running for food! We also enjoy being together and training together.  There is lots you don't see in the photos!  Some ugly and sometimes very embarrassing stuff.  

Often I like to focus on the positive stuff going on it training.  A photo with my awesome running friends...a beautiful route we ran.  A funny goat or alpaca that wanted to run with us.  Some delicious food after a long run.  What's not to like about that?
The ugly stuff isn't always fun to talk about. But let's be real here!  Not every run is peaches-n-cream!  

I have seven-and-a-half weeks until I run Newport Marathon 2017. My eleventh full marathon.  I feel like I'm in a good place.  I know the course (I've ran it four times). My best times are on that course. I run better in the coastal air (allergies).  My training is going good. My hard sessions are on key.  My long runs seem easier and not so scary.  I also am having a lot of stiffness in my legs.  I am sore most of the time.  
I have spared myself extra racing during marathon training this time around.  In the past I would race more to try to keep motivated.  This time around, my efforts are going into training only.  If I race, it's slower and just to be with friends.  

I have had lots of good moments in training. I have also had many struggles in my training.  I will be the first to say, you can't train for a marathon without struggles!
There are things that happen most people don't like to talk about. Get ready for a good laugh friends. For you runners, a good cry, cause you know first hand!
That one hurt! 
  There are days I don't want to run!  I know...big shocker there! You all are thinking, no way!!! Julie LOVES to run, all the time!  Yes, I do, but often I have to actually talk myself into running.  It's true! I have never regretted a run after I get myself out the door though!  Oh, except when I sprained my ankle during an "easy" run.  
It's happened twice over the years, plus turning my ankle and falling down so many times I've lost count.  
That one hurt too!

Yet I love to run! 
For this season of training I mostly run after work.  I have to be at my job in the wee hours of the morning.  Once (during this season), I ran before work.  I had to get up at 3:00 am.  I only did that one time! I don't recommend it. 
 Tuesdays and Wednesdays I try not to think about it.  They are my two hardest days of training.  I'm off at 2:00 pm, change into running gear at work, then head to the local track.  If I go home, it's all over for the day, I will sit down and fall asleep.  I have to get my run in before going home!  I do a speed workout Tuesday and a ten mile tempo run on Wednesday.  Both with pacific time goals.  Most days I walk onto the track saying there is no way these tired legs can do this, but what do I have to lose?  I warm up and just do it!  It hurts, I sometimes feel like puking, sometimes it's pouring down rain. I have forgotten my water bottle and visor for some of these runs.  It sucks!  I also am alone for most of these harder runs.  It's all a battle against my own mind! But yet, when I get done, I feel amazing! Pushing my body to do what I don't think it can do makes me feel alive!
 I love to run! 
Three days a week are easy pace days.  I run three to six miles at a nice pleasant pace.  These days I'm usually shaking off a hard run.  I sometimes enjoy them because I can go slow. Sometimes I'm sore and it hurts.  I know these runs are necessary for proper recovery so I lace up and run. 
Saturdays are when the most interesting things happen. My running group usually meets up for a twelve to twenty mile long run.
These have come to be my favorite run of the week.  I finally get to catch up with my running friends.  These runs are also done first thing in the morning, not after work.  I would much rather run first thing in the morning!  Typically after about five miles, one runner will have to use the bathroom.  I won't tell any stories about my friends, that wouldn't be nice!  I will tell you some of my dirty secrets.  They are pretty gross! 

 Sometimes you gotta go!  Not a mile down the road where the mini mart is. Not a block down, where you can see a heavenly port-a-potty in the distance.  Yes, port-a-potties can be heavenly!!!! Sometimes you gotta go NOW!!!!!  More than once this happened to me on a long run.  Distance running isn't for babies! 
I have been only a block from my house and had to stop in my tracks and pray I would make it home.
I've had to walked down to small golf course to ask to use the bathrooms while my running group waited up on the road.  I told my friends to go on without me.  I had a feeling it would be a while before I could join back up with them.  I did what I needed to do and went to flush. To my horror the toilet wouldn't flush.  I found a plunger and plunged and plunged and it got slightly better but it was still bad. I had been in that bathroom for what seemed like an eternity. I knew I had to go out and face the man at the counter!  "I clogged your toilet" I told him in shame. I'm pretty sure he already knew...I was in there for an eternity.  "Happens all the time" he told me... I didn't believe him, but at least he was nice about it.
Good thing I stopped, I did feel better.  Now to catch up to my friends.  I knew I might not see them now till they turned around and headed back to town.  As I walked up the driveway, they were all there...staring at me! To say I was embarrassed was an understatement.  The cool thing about runners, we all got a good laugh and there is no judging.  The reason...they ALL understand! 

The bush as also been a friend to me! If you are a runner, it's always good to carry some toilet paper in your pocket, not to wipe your sweat or to blow your nose. Your sleeve will work fine for that!

 I still love to run!

Our photos are always together.  Truth is, we often separate during a long run.  We all run a slightly different pace.  Some will be having a good day, some, not so good.  We all start together and have meeting points along the way where we check on each other.  It's just not easy to all run in a big huddle down most roads either.  As much as we would all like to run together every time, it's not realistic.  
I still love group runs!
Sometimes I have to stop and walk for a minute or two.  Shocker I know!  I do have my own set of rules.  I will not stop during a tempo run (unless it's an emergency, an emergency includes lightheadedness or bathroom issues). I will not stop during a race unless I start having issues.  Yep, the truth is out, sometimes I stop for a breather! 
My favorite long runs are what my group calls a "destination run."   One of us will plan a route, ending with food.  Not just any food, good food.  We go into a restaurant all sweaty and eat together.  This is typically after a twenty mile run.  Sometimes a non-running spouse will join us, bring us a change of clothing and drive us home.  It's always best when we have a change of clothes and the company of someone who didn't run with us.  They are usually thinking more clear and can get us home the safest! 
 I smell after a run.  It not a "smell good" smell, it's a "rotten" smell and I do use deodorant.  
Sometimes I feel bad for the restaurants we go into, but I get over it because I'm so hungry.  You know what it's like to go into a restaurant and want to eat everything in on the menu while sitting in a pile of raunchy sweat???  It's pretty sweet!  All FOOD is good!!!!

The other side of this is when I run a horridly long amount of miles, ending with food and not being able to eat.  I am clearly famished, but I can't eat.  Sometimes a long run just is extra hard on me and food hurts my stomach and I want to die.  Once I was so so so hungry and had ordered food.  When the food came, I took one look at it, could smell it and about puked right then and there!  I of course cried and my husband took me home with my food in a to-go package.  
Over time, my food issues have gotten better.  Cutting out fried food and taking probiotics has really helped. 
My worst group memory would have to be one of the years I ran Hood to Coast Relay. All I will say about this memory was I don't drink chocolate milk anymore....NEVER! Don't even like to use the words chocolate and milk in the same sentence! 
Yet, I still love to run!
A week-and-a-half ago I ran a twenty miler with my running group.  We ran a flat easy out-n-back.  This season my twenty milers have been going really well, this week...this wasn't the case.  I did feel great for the first twelve-ish miles.  Somewhere on the way back, I started to cramp up and had to slow way down.  I made it home but as I walked in the door, I felt ill!  I wanted to lay down on the floor and sleep.  I was drenched in nasty foul sweat.  I knew I had to shower or the runners chill would set in.  I got in the shower, and felt like death.  I sat in my shower feeling sorry for myself because I felt too weak to stand.  I've never showered sitting before!
I then slept my Saturday afternoon away!  My son came in and brought me snacks and kept asking, "you ok Mom?"

The next week I ran another twenty, on hills!
Yes, I love running!
This marathon season, stretching and using the roller on my legs have become a must. Epsom salt has become my best friend.  The harder I train, the harder I beat my body up.  Guess that's what you have to do to get stronger.  

Will it be worth it?  Guess I'll find out on June 3rd! 

Sometimes running really does suck!  Sometimes all the horrible training does pay off.  When I hit a goal time for that next hard workout. When I PR that upcoming race, there's nothing like it!  A runner's high is a beautiful thing.  When I run, I see beauty.  I see beauty in the world around me and I see beauty in the people I run with.  Such amazing people, working together, to get the run done! We may have our issues out there.  We may not run every step of the way together, but we are all together and we get it done! The photos do have truth to them, even if you can't see the whole run in the photo! 
I am an Uberthons Ambassador!  Check out their upcoming races HERE!
 I would LOVE to meet you!
I am fueled by Umpqua Oats!  Check them out at Umpqua Oats

Use Promo Code "MYSOXYJULIE" for 10% off at mysoxyfeet.com

Check out Wiivv Insoles and get 20% off your order HERE!

Monday, March 20, 2017

My Soxy Feet Review and GIVEAWAY!

For the last two years, I have worn My Soxy Feet athletic socks for
 all my races and training runs. When I received my first pair, I wasn't sure I would like them all the time.  They are thicker than I was used to wearing.  I tend to get warm fast when I run!  I thought these might only work for me in the winter.  I was wrong! I wear My Soxy Feet athletic socks all year around, for my running and my HIIT classes!  They keep me warm in winter, yet they are breathable come summer time!
They are cute and keep me from getting blisters!
I am currently an ambassador for My Soxy Feet.  You can visit My Soxy Feet 
--->HERE!<--- Use promo code MYSOXYJULIE for 10% off your purchase! 

You can also enter to win a free pair of My Soxy Feet athletic socks!  Check out my giveaway going on over at ZaoFit on facebook, now...until Monday March 27th! 
Simply like, share, and tag a friend and follow the directions on the rafflecopter link below in this blog!

Each sock for sale at My Soxy Feet has inspiration in the description.   

My Soxy Athletic Socks are made from a tightly woven coolmax, ecomade fibers, to give a compression feel and the keep your feet from smelling sweaty!  The heel/toe cushion provides extra ankle support and protects the foot on impact.  A ribbed and elastic cuff secures the sock in place.  

My Soxy Feet athletic socks are made for multi sports: Crossfit, Soccer, Running, Volleyball, Basketball, Walking and More! 
Made in the U.S.A.

Giveaway is limited to U.S.A. only! I received no goods or money for this review. Contest ends Monday March 27th and winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize of one pair of My Soxy Feet low cut athletic socks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Umpqua Oats! Food Prep Ideas Using Umpqua Oatmeal!

    Happy Sunday friends! 
Sunday is the day I like to get my calendar up to date and my food prepping for the week done! It's a huge help in making marathon training and feeding my family/myself with proper nutrition! 
First off!  Getting my workouts up to date in my calendar! If I don't make a plan ahead of time, it's easy to get busy doing other things! Then my workouts get easy to skip! It only takes a few minutes a week to write in my workouts around my daily responsibilities! "Fail to plan, plan to fail" 

This weekend I made Umpqua Oat, grab-n-go cups!  Umpqua Oats are a great way to start your day, a great snack, and a great way to fuel a workout!  I always keep Umpqua Oats in my pantry!  My favorite way to eat them, is in a grab-n-go cup!  You can buy microwavable cups with "heat resistant lids" pretty cheap at Cash-n-Carry. I picked up Umpqua Oatmeal in bulk at Costco and also freeze dried fruit (no sugar added) and raw nuts, seeds and spices at a few other stores!  I came up with some recipes with the things I like. I will post my favorites in this blog but feel free to make up your own mixes.  It's easy and fun!

If you don't have time to run around and shop for these items and the extra time to put them together, simply go pick up already assembled grab-n-go Umpqua Oat cups.  They have cases for sale at Cash-n-Carry. They are also sold individually at most major grocery stores, Safeway/Wal-Mart/Etc. (I live in Oregon). They make a large variety of flavors, from "sweet" to "no added sugar mixes."
Check them out --->HERE!<---
You can also place a online order if you don't have time to shop or don't have Umpqua Oats in your neck of the woods! 

Strawberry Banana
1/2 cup Umpqua Oats
Freeze dried strawberries 
and bananas
Pinch of Salt
Extras: 1/2 scoop protein 
1-2 TBS Flaxseed
1-2 tea Chia Seeds
To cook: Add water to cover the mix.  Place lid back on and microwave for 1 minute.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and enjoy!

Mixed Berry-and-Mixed Nuts
1/2 cup Umpqua Oats
Freeze dried fruit (I used blueberries, bananas, and strawberries).
Mixed nuts (I used raw almond slices and raw walnuts).
Pinch of Salt
Extras: 1/2 scoop protein 
1-2 TBS Flaxseed
1-2 tea Chia Seeds
To cook: Add water to cover the mix.  Place lid back on and microwave for 1 minute.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and enjoy!

Monkey Mix
1/2 cup Umpqua Oats
Freeze dried bananas
Dried coconut (no sugar added)
2 tea. cocoa powder
Pinch of Salt
Extras: 1/2 scoop protein 
1-2 TBS Flaxseed
1-2 tea Chia Seeds
To cook: Add water to cover the mix.  Place lid back on and microwave for 1 minute.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and enjoy!

Comment below your favorite mix flavors!!!!

I am an Uberthons Runner!
 Get $5.00 off any event with promo code "ENJOYANEVENT" 
Check out their upcoming events --->HERE<---

I am a Soxy Feet Ambassador!
 Get 10% off your purchases with promo code "MYSOXYJULIE"
 Check out these fun, high quality athletic socks HERE

I am a Wiivv Ambassador.
 Use promo code "JulieM20" for 20% off your insole
 purchase --->HERE!<--- 

Happy Running!
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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Marathon Training! One Month going Strong!

Marathon Training 2017 (Newport Marathon) started with much intimidation to me. I knew I had a lot of work to do in order to get in shape for my 2017 goals and it honestly scared me!!!  I made a decision to stop
Track work!  I'm learning to like it more and more! #foundchange
making excuses to myself about not having time, being too tired, maybe "failing" again with my time goal and just do it! This was difficult. I had to make a plan.  I took a good look at my schedule and placed training runs in time slots that worked best.  I would wake up each morning knowing what I was going to do each day. Each day, I just give it my best and that's all I could do! 

I've had tired days! 
I've had grumpy days!
I've had days of "why am I doing this?"
I've had good days!
I've had days I was excited to run!
I've had days I wanted to run farther!
I've had days I wanted to quit!
I've had days I felt stronger!
I've had days of feeling very sore!
I've had days I DIDN'T want to run at all!!!
I always would remind myself...what if?  What if June 3rd is a success this year? Not just a marathon finish. What if I actually make my newest time goal...the time goal I once thought was impossible?  
I've had a great training month to kick off my 11th marathon season! 

The month of February I did some pretty hard workouts! I do a weekly speed session on the track, a fatigued ten mile tempo run, a long run, and three easy runs!  I also added HIIT workouts into my 2017 training schedule.  The first time I stepped onto the track to work on my speed I thought, "I don't even know if I can do this?"  I actually hate speed work.  It makes me want to vomit, and I have! 
Part of meal prep today! Healthy cookies.
1 ripe banana - 1 cup Umpqua Oats
1 tea. cinnamon
raw walnuts
dried cranberries
peanut butter powder
Protein powder
Bake at 350 for 10 mins.
Freezer friendly
I do have pace goals to hit for my speed sessions and tempo runs that work together with my marathon goal time!  It's all a big math problem I don't fully understand, but I know it works! As the weeks have gone by, I am hitting my times so far!  I can feel my legs getting stronger!  I am having better long runs than I ever remember having!  It's too early in training for me to get too excited, but I am excited to be off to a good start.  I have a wonderful group I do a lot of my runs with and we all support each other. Especially on long run days.  It's a wonderful thing! 
Group Runs...my favorite! #fueled by Umpqua Oats
Next week will be a "rest" week! Of course I will still run, but I will also give my body a break from some of the intense workouts. Then, it will be back to business! I need to up the speed sessions to a higher intensity.  I'm excited to see what the next three months of training brings! As much as I hate speed sessions, when I'm done...I feel so alive! It's a pretty amazing feeling! 

Sunday Funday! Had a beautiful snowy run! 
On March 11th I'll be running the Uberthons Luckython 10k! I'm going to run it without watching my Garmin!  I want to really test myself and that's hard to do when you are watching your Garmin every half mile!  Uberthons also has a 5k, 15k and a kids race! Check it out ----->HERE<------ Uberthons welcomes walkers and runners! I'll be helping with the kids race after the 10k.  Bring the kids out...it's a great event for the whole family! 

This week I will enjoy not having to work so hard! I will try to keep away from processed foods, white flour and sugar!  I will try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night!  I will keep meals prepped so I won't be tempted to grab a bad snack or meal.  

What are you training for? 
 I would love to hear from you!

 Find me over on facebook at ZaoFit
Fueled by Umpqua Oats ~ Fueling all my long runs for Marathon Training 
My Soxy Feet, keeping me blister free from 2017! Check out these high quality athletic socks a mysoxyfeet.com. Use Promo Code MYSOXYJULIE for 10% off.
Proud to be an UBERTHONS Runner and Blogger! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Week Two ~ Marathon Training and the Uberthons Chocolatathon!

Easy run day through Dallas City Park!
Week two of marathon training was a tough week! I wanted to up my track work and add two miles onto my tempo run. I also needed to get a 16 miler in and was going to enjoy the Chocolatathon 10k on Saturday.  My problem?  The 10k was the same day as my long run!  I had to do some adjusting to my week to make it work.

Monday ~ easy day
Tuesday ~ track work 4x800s/HIIT workout
Wednesday ~ 8 miles of tempo work
Thursday ~ easy day/HIIT workout
Friday ~ 16 miles after work 
Saturday ~ 10k
Sunday ~ off

Not gonna lie, by the end of the week I was TIRED! Working full time, and trying to get all my workouts in is a struggle. It's easy to come up with excuses not to run!  I don't do that now that marathon training has started.  After work, I dress down and get the workout done!  It's all a mindset!  It's still difficult, but I am trying not to allow the excuses right now! 

Track work and tempo work was harder this week, but manageable. Thursday it was oddly 61 degrees after work. It made for such an enjoyable easy run through the Dallas City Park. 

Long run (16 miles) through Salem! 
Friday was both good and bad.  I got off work and 2:00 and headed to Salem to run with a friend starting and ending in South Salem (HILLS). The sun was out and I was really excited to get going! The first 13 miles were very enjoyable.  We cruised along the roads of Salem and the miles were passing quickly! About mile 13 we hit South Salem again.  My watch went dead and all of a sudden my stomach wasn't feeling the best.  With only about 1.5 miles to go I had to stop and use a bathroom.  Ugh, the struggle to keep going was real!!!!  I was seriously bummed that such a good long run was ending rotten!  I felt better after stopping and made it back to Kristi's house just fine, but I really slowed down on those hills.  I was so tired!  I was thankful all my hard workouts were done so I could go just enjoy the 10k Saturday no matter the outcome.

Saturday morning I woke up very tired!  The lag of the 16 miler the night before was still there, but I was excited to go meet up with friends for a fun race! I've never ran long the night before a race so I knew this would be interesting! 

Fun morning with Uberthons! Photo Credit:Brian Hartwig Scott
The weather was great for running.  It was a nice 39 degrees at the start of the race.  Cold for standing, but great for running!  No wind and no rain.  I took off with the second group of runners.  The path was mostly paved and mostly wide enough to pass with no issues at the beginning.  There was water on the course, but I brought a small handheld and didn't stop at any water stations.  I felt great the first couple miles.  I had a good pace going the first two miles.  I was even thinking, no way...a PR???  Maybe? I came to the hill and that slowed me down slightly but I was still holding on!  The first 5k was done and I came back around to the start.  I had to do the loop again!  Running back by the start/finish line made me want to stop so badly (this always happens to me) but I knew I needed to finish the 10k!  I didn't sign up for the 5k today!  The lag of the 16 miles the night before definitely was taking a tole on my body.  I slowed down a bit and then a bit more on the second time around that hill loop.  A fellow Uberthons Ambassador Gregg came up behind me and ran with me for a half mile or so before passing me. He was very encouraging to me and others going by in the other direction for the out and back parts.  It really kept me going.  This is one of the things I love about running.  Seeing runners encourage each other!  There is a definite beauty to it! 

I came back around to the park area.  This time around many 5k people who were now done, were walking around.  This did make running difficult.  Many didn't move out of the runners way, so a lot of weaving had to be done.  As I headed out for the final out and back there were lots more people.  There were 5k walkers coming in and some gathering going on at the other end of the park. All of these people were also using parts of the running path.  I almost ran into a couple people and it wasn't because I was running fast!  It was simply crowded in some areas, going both ways! 

I was excited to see the finish line.  I totally didn't PR on these tired legs, but I ran hard.  It was an excellent training week ending with such a fun race with friends.  

I am very excited to get a rest day tomorrow! 

4th female finisher, 2nd in age group 50:28

Register for the upcoming
Luckython 5k, 10k, or 15k HERE!

Get 10% off high quality athletic socks using promo code "MYSOXYJULIE" HERE! 
Marathon Training
Fueled by Umpqua Oats!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Marathon Training ~ Week ONE!

Week one is done! 

I was seriously worried about week one!  I told a friend this the other day and she was surprised! I haven't been in "training" for over four months now.  In the four months I had an injury and really got out of "training" mode.  I still enjoyed running, but going out for a run versus training, are two different things.  I was scared to start training again.  What if I can't hit my times? What if I'm too tired after work? What if I just don't have it in me this go around? I was scared to start up again, but it is time to try!

I ran the Uberthons Winter Half as a warm-up for the season.  It proved I had work to do, but also helped me see where I'm at.  I feel like I'm in a slightly better stop starting than last year.  

I don't know why marathon season scares me but it does.  I think it scares me because I have been through it several times. I have goals and dreams in marathon running and I can't seem to hit the mark after all is done. I really believe I can do it, but so far, I haven't hit the mark I set for myself. Training's not only hard work, but it's a strain on the brain. There's a place you have to go mentally to get through some of the hard training sessions and to get through the marathon itself. Can I go there again???! Sometimes I doubt myself.  I can go there mentally for a training run, but the race ... that's much harder for me.  It's like a test I've studied for and prepared for and then fail!  I don't want to fail again this year. I will not fail this year!

Saturday long run group! 
I try to keep motivated by planning group runs!  I have an amazing group of running friends who keep me going every single week, and I love them! 

 I also run for Uberthons and My Soxy Feet.  I run Uberthons events and they keep me motivated to keep moving forward in my running goals and healthy eating habits.  I do all my running in My Soxy Feet athletic socks! They are high-quality, awesome, fun athletic socks that help keep my feet from getting blisters! 

This last week I received oatmeal from Umpqua Oats! They will be fueling all my long runs for marathon season. I'm really excited to represent them because their oatmeal is so amazingly good!  I can't wait to share with my group for our next long run! 

This week I will be adding on a little more hard work to my track session, tempo run and long run!  I am hoping for another great week of training, ending with a fun 10k on Saturday! The Uberthons Cha' co la' do thon!!!!  I have several friends meeting up with me at Cook Park to run or walk this one!  I can't wait! 

---->You can register HERE!<----

Use promo code "ENJOYANEVENT" for $5.00 off. 
 They are 90% full so don't delay! 

Use promo code "MYSOXYJULIE" for 10% off at mysoxyfeet.com

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Uberthons Winter Half 2017 and the Rambling in my Brain

Saturday January 21st I kicked off marathon training with the Uberthons Winter Half.  I didn't know what to expect.  I am coming off an injury. I have been able to run, but my milage has been down that last several months.  My milage has mostly been "easy pace" milage with no hard work.  It's been nice to just enjoy running but it's been frustrating to not be able to do more as my foot has healed up.

My goal for the Winter Half was to to simply run my marathon pace (8:20) for the first nine or ten miles, then pick up the pace for the last 5k if feeling good.  I had friends running too, and that makes races extra fun!

I didn't feel I was in very good shape to be racing.  I did feel like running the half was the perfect way for me to start off marathon training.

As we lined up, someone from Wisconsin recognized my My Soxy Feet team tank.  I am an ambassador for them but not used to being recognized with no stores in Oregon yet. That was fun and as I looked around I started seeing many running friends that I only see at races.  I said hello to several people then started up my Garmin, we were about to start!

The weather was good for this time of year. 41 degrees with no rain, fingers crossed!  The ground was wet and I knew we may get more rain, but for now...it was perfect race weather!

The bell rang and we were off.  I felt trapped behind a few other runners and slowly weaved around them trying to not trip anyone. The whole race was on a very soggy golf course.  It was definitely better to stay on the paved path.  The grass was a mess.  I quickly settled into a pace and realized I was feeling pretty good. As mile one and two passed I realized my pace was faster than it should be.  I knew this wasn't a good idea for my current shape.  I had over eleven miles left.  I tried to regroup and slow down into a smarter pace.  Things went through my mind like why not try to hold onto this pace...what if I can hold it?  What if I bonk and can't finish?  Why can't I settle into my tempo pace?

The ups and downs and twists and turns of the golf course made it hard for me to settle into my tempo (marathon) pace.  Slightly frustrated I just kept going, trying to stay positive.  I was just glad I wasn't behind pace.  I would rather go a little too fast, than too slow.  There were things I really liked about the course and things I really didn't like about the course.  I didn't like having to turn so much.  Lots of sharp turns and it was muddy in spots due to the rain and mud.  I almost fell in the mud a couple times.  There were a few bridges that were slick as well.  I like the safety of this course.  There are no cars at all. I like all the weaving because you can see runners ahead and behind you all the time.  This is a two loop course.  I don't mind a two loop course because the second time around I know what to expect and can mentally go into a good game plan to finish.  I don't like having to go by the "finish" line knowing that people who are running the quarter marathon get to stop and I have to keep going!  I like to see my split time on the clock and for something to do, try to give myself a goal time based on how I did for loop one!

1st half of the race, started too fast.
I know all of this may sound like a bore but I was running for a long time with not many people to talk too, so, many thoughts came to mind. Mile six was hard. There was an uphill, a big puddle, and a longer bridge to cross, causing my pace to slow down.  I got a little frustrated knowing this is going to be the last mile next time around.  I got past the halfway point and looked up at my split!  I was ok with it and thought it would be really great to hold on keep my current pace up.

As you can see from my slits, too fast!  I was suppose to run these miles at an 8:20 pace.

2nd half of the race...my pace slipped quite a bit.
I went on and started to struggle a little.  My pace was showing it! I was getting tired and my upper legs were started to ache.  I was actually thinking of ways to stop. I could walk and wait for one of my friends and run it in with them.  I could just end it all and go back to the starting line. What business do I have even racing right now?  This shouldn't be so hard! I haven't been training! Who's idea was this anyway! 
 These are not good thoughts to have out on the course when you have a good 6 miles left to run!

Olivia is gonna kill the course today!
Somehow I kept at it!  I knew if I stopped and walked it would be over.  I kept talking myself into not stopping and to keep going.  It was a battle in my own mind.  Around mile seven I heard, "JULIE."  It was my friend Olivia.  With all the twists and turns, there she was!  That quick hello encouraged me and I kept at it.  About mile eight my right foot started giving me some issues.  It was aching pretty bad.  It's been an ongoing thing over the last few weeks off and on. I didn't think the pain was going to cause any long term damage so I tried to keep up and keep moving forward.  I could now see, a couple people I had been running with for the last few miles were starting to struggle too. One of us would feel good and get going, then it would switch.  This went on for the last five mile with about three people!

Because Running is better with a friend!!!! 
I've done enough half marathons to not get too stressed about the countdown of miles to the finish line.  Early on in running the countdown to the finish line really stressed me out.  Now, it's not stressful, it's just a simple countdown and trying to hold on.  On a good day, these last miles are the best, it's when you speed up and finish strong!  Today that wasn't going to happen.  I was so tired and my foot was hurting really bad.  I was able to pass one person and another person passed me!  I finished with a course PR from last years same race, but far from a lifetime PR.

Uberthons Swag!
I did finish this race with my tempo goal as the overall pace!  The problem is, I didn't run this race very smart.  I started too fast and I knew today wasn't a good day for that.  I would of liked to have run this starting at an 8:20 and the last two miles between an 8:00 and 8:20.

I know a lot of this proably seems like nonsense babbling, but it is some of what goes on in the average runners head during a race!  I feel I'm ready to start marathon training strong!  I'm excited for marathon training and I'm excited to be more structured with my workouts and eating.
Uberthons Winter Half 1:49:10

Will I finally meet my goal in 2017?  Guess time will tell!  June will be here before I know it!  It's time to get serious!

Use promo code "ENJOYANEVENT"
 on a 2017 Uberthons event and save $5.00

For 10% off at My Soxy Feet use promo code "MYSOXYJULIE"

Next on the race list! Uberthons Cha' co lah' dah thon on Feb 11th.  There is a 5k and a 10k both starting at 8:45 at Cook Park.  I'm trying to decide what distance I should run, and leaning more towards the 10k.  There will be a Kidathon race at 10:15 so bring the kids out for this one!  The kids race is free and open to ages 2 to 11. Parents may purchase a Uberkids medal for $10.00.

-->Register for an Uberthons even HERE!<--