Go! St. Louis Race Recap

As you know, Sunday I ran the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon with Team in Training. This is my recap of how the race went for me. Since I haven’t run the Go! in forever, and they’ve changed the course, I will probably do a review as well.

I spent a good portion of the weekend watching the weather, because it constantly bounced back and forth between “Hey, it’s going to pour buckets on you while running!” and “Nah, just playin’!”. I did know that it was going to be fairly cool so I opted to wear my CW-X full length tights and a lululemon Run Swiftly long-sleeve shirt under my TNT jersey. I asked for the tights for Christmas, because after doing a few halfs with compression sleeves/socks, I could tell a major difference in my soreness levels between my calves and the rest of my legs. I’m completely sold on compression wear after this half!

I got to the race with about an hour to spare, but sat in my car for 15-ish minutes before heading to the TNT tent to check in and hit up the rest rooms. I missed the group photo, but I’m not overly upset with that fact.

I’d been feeling pretty good with how things were going with my training and the paces I was managing for my long runs. I had 4 different goal levels (A, B, C, & D), which I did manage to get at least my D goal, which was to finish this race faster than my last half marathon. My A goal was to finish at 3 hours or under, my B goal was to hit 3:15 (which would have been a new PR), my C goal was to just hit a new PR (faster than 3:18), and then my D goal was to just improve my time.

I’d been working really hard during my runs to try to maintain a nice even pace, instead of starting out WAY too fast and then crashing, or constantly ping ponging back and forth with paces. I’m pretty happy to report that my strategy of taking 2 minute walk breaks at each mile worked well for me (until the end) and I did manage to hold a pretty decent pace.

So-back to the actual running part.

I was in the very last corral, which wasn’t a huge deal to me, and it took me about 10 minutes to cross the start line. I struggled a little bit with maintaining pace, because we were in the city and I think the tall buildings played with my Garmin a bit. I just kept telling myself to slow it down and take it easy, which worked, although I went a bit slow for my first mile (15:31), but picked it up on the second mile (13:55). We crossed the bridge to go into Illinois during the first 3.5 miles of the race, and the bridge coming out of Missouri wasn’t awful. But the incline for the bridge coming out of Illinois felt like it was never going to end. I chose to walk most of that, and I feel like that was a pretty smart move, and it didn’t affect my over-all time goal negatively, as I managed to maintain my pace and brought the third mile in at 14:13. So I was pretty close to my 5k PR for this race. I slowed down a bit for mile 4 (15:20), as it had a few steep uphills weaving through the landing and such to get back into the city part, but I was still feeling really good and had eaten my first gel. I hadn’t seen any of the TNT coaches, but I was trying to pull away from this girl who had her watch set for 30 second run/walk intervals. So not only was her watch chiming constantly, but she’d run as fast as she could, cut over directly in front of people, and then slow WAY down and walk. Which is really annoying. So I was pretty focused on getting the heck away from her, and didn’t encounter her again after mile 5 (14:25). I was on pace to hit my B goal (and technically C goal), but not going fast enough to hit my A, so at this time I decided to scrap it and focus on goal B. I kept pace for miles 6, 7, & 8 and saw the first TNT coach at mile 6.5 and she helped me pick it up a bit. (14:53, 14:36, & 14:37 respectively). I also saw the head coach around mile 7.5? I think. It was such a boost to see them out on the course!

Then came the slog into the brewery. Long, slow inclines are 10 times worse than any shorter, steeper hill. Because you don’t feel them at first. But then they bite you right in the ass! I was still feeling pretty good during mile 9 (15:56), but the climb into the brewery was taking it out of me pretty quickly, and I wasn’t feeling my second gel, although I tried to choke it down. It was still pretty overcast and cloudy, but not raining at this point, so I wasn’t feeling overly hot or anything like that. I was just starting to feel tired and really full feeling. I walked a little over half of mile 9, and probably a third of mile 10 (16:48), but managed to pick it back up a little bit a mile 11 (16:01). If I could have recovered, I probably could have made a new PR and would have been just over my B goal time. But miles 12 & 13 were just brutal for me. I walked a lot and was just feeling really tired and my left hip was starting to get quite cranky. And then the finish just felt like a total slog. I felt like had almost nothing left in the tank to give a good final push and there was a pretty stiff breeze blowing my face at this point. So I was just ready to be done.

I crossed this finish in 3:25:18, which wasn’t a new PR (about 7 minutes to slow), but I did shave 25 minutes off my previous half marathon time, so I am happy with that!

Overall I’m happy with how the race went. I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t rally and get back on pace for the end, but I did a much better job of pacing myself and pushing myself for the majority of the race. I do wish my training could have gone a little bit better, but that’s really my fault and no one can be blamed (except maybe working on group training days).

I’m more excited to do the Cowbell half in October and hopefully continue this trend in shaving time off my races! Perhaps my new PR will come in October:)

Almost Go! Time

When I thought of this title yesterday, it didn’t dawn on me at first that the half-marathon I’m doing on Sunday is the Go! St. Louis half. I was just thinking, “Oh, it’s almost time to do the damn thing.” Then driving home from work yesterday it hit me. What a coinky-dink.

Training went pretty good. I’m feeling pretty confident about it, and I had my last group training “long” run on Saturday in Forest Park. I’m pretty pleased with my paces, and I’m sure the energy of the race will help keep me moving. I met and exceeded my fundraising goal, so that’s exciting, too.

I’ve never ran around Forest Park, only going there for the Zoo 5k each year and that is on roads through the park. So I was a little nervous at first about possibly getting lost, but it’s pretty simple and I managed to make it around without much incident. Although some ass-hat decided to steal the Team in Training cooler with water and Gatorade in it. Lame as f*ck. Honestly, it wasn’t even a fancy cooler. But we lived.

I’m so glad that tax season is almost over. Basically two weeks left and then it’s back to to normal routine. I had to back off yoga since coming back from Italy because I was so busy trying to get caught up on things around the house and get my runs in and not feel like a terrible dog mom by never being home. So I am greatly looking forward to getting back on my mat and in the studio. I have kept up with a few poses and stretches here and there, especially yogi headstand now that I finally got that pose! Only four years in the making. So I’m hoping I haven’t lost too much in the way of yoga by missing a month or so of classes.

I like doing taxes, but there is just a certain point I hit during tax season where it’s just like, “No, I’m done with this and I’m over it.” I think it usually comes right as the weather is starting to get nice again. I need to get my bikes to the bike shop for their yearly maintenance. I’m looking forward to getting out there on my bike.

We’ve spent the past couple of weekends looking at, picking out, and talking to people about stuff for the new house. Hopefully here in the next week or so we will starting digging out the foundation and pouring concrete. Which seems crazy, but I can’t wait to be in the new house and have my own closet and room space just for my stuff. You never really appreciate those things until you have to live without them. So after 10+ years, I’m finally getting all those things! SO excited! All the exclamation points!!

My next post probably won’t be until after my half on Sunday, when I will give you a race update. Wish me luck!

Hello. It’s Me.

Oh Adele, thanks for making blog titles a little easier.

I’ve been a little MIA recently, mostly because I was busy getting ready for Italy and I would open up the new post page and it would just sit there blank. I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write and I didn’t want to completely phone it in, so I just didn’t write anything. Seemed like a good plan at the time.

So, what have I been up to since I last posted? Well, I went to Italy and checked that off my bucket list of things to do! It was amazing! I will have to post more in-detail about it soon. Training and running has been going well and I’m almost to my fundraising goal for Team in Training. Yoga has taken a bit of a backseat since my trip and I haven’t quite gotten back into the swing of things, but I am working on that as well.

I did sign up for Stitch Fix and am expecting my first box to ship next week so I am excited to see what that has in store for me.

I promise to not be such a lackadaisical blogger in the future and update a bit more frequently!

Ice, Ice Baby

It’s so freaking cold here! I’ve been totally spoiled by the super mild winter we’ve had, so now that real winter is here, I’m freezing! Half the time I wind up taking my rings off to type because they just spin and spin on my fingers and drive me crazy!

It’s supposed to start snowing soon, but I’m hoping it will take a while to actually accumulate anything because I want to make it to yoga class tonight since I have my Team in Training kick off meeting on Thursday and won’t be able to make that class.

I didn’t get any running in last week, and I didn’t get much accomplished over the weekend either! I did however attend a two hour Kundalini yoga workshop and it was pretty amazing! A slightly different version of the yoga I typically practice, it focused on shifting from lower chakras to higher chakras. Plus the dance party in the middle didn’t hurt either! It was like clubbing in Vegas (based on movies I’ve seen!) but without the sequins and body glitter.

After that, I picked up M and we headed to my local dockdogs club banquet and hung out and caught up with a few people before heading out to go catch a movie. We wound up watching 13 Hours and it was pretty good. Except for Caption Commentary who was sitting behind us. I get your political opinions dude, and you’re most certainly entitled to them, but you don’t need to say them loudly in the middle of the movie I’m trying to enjoy. And then you’re to chicken shit to stay around for the end of the movie and you rush off before the credits roll and the lights come on? Boo on you, sir.

Sunday I spent the day half ass cleaning and grocery shopping. Nothing to exciting. My calves were super sore,  I guess from all the dancing we did in the workshop. They’re actually still a little sore today, but I’m hoping to get to class tonight and get them nice and stretched out. And maybe foam roll a little bit more tonight!

Yoga Magic

I swear, someone has sprinkled some kind of voodoo magic all over the yoga studio and maybe even all over me because yoga is certainly starting to click for me way more than it has in the past three or so years.

I’m starting to get poses that were very hard for me to do and I’m thisclose to getting some of the arm balances and arm pressure poses that have been evading me for forever. Super exciting times!

I didn’t get a run in before class on Tuesday because I stayed at work later than usual to talk about travel insurance for my upcoming trip to Italy. My health insurance through work “covers” me, but I would have to pay for everything up front and then they would reimburse me when I got back and submitted everything correctly. Instead of dealing with that, on the off-chance that anything might happen, I am going with a separate policy to cover me for just this trip. I don’t travel very often, so finding one that will cover me for a short time period and isn’t going to break the bank was pretty important. I will post more about it later.

Back to yoga class-it was packed! Every year in January, the studio does a Yoga-palooza event with the chance to win prizes for completing so many days of yoga (30, 25, & 20 I think). So every class is jam-packed with maybe a few inches between your mat and your neighbors. But for the most part, everyone is pretty chill and understanding about that.

I even busted out some yoga moves last night for M because he had no clue what arm balances and such even were. It was pretty entertaining and slightly exciting to realize that I could bust out some of the poses at home without being in my magic yoga studio.

Speaking of last night, we went to my niece’s taekwondo class to watch her test for her next belt. It was boring for the most part, but there were a couple tiny tykes who slayed me with their adorable little ghee’s and moves! Then we headed to the Elk’s lodge for their chili dinner they were having. So all in all, not a bad few days.

I  meant to post yesterday, but didn’t get around to it. I was going to post about the delicious Chicken Stir-Fry recipe I found and made the other day, but I guess now I will have to prep it for next week!

Bizarre

I work some distance away from where I live, about an hour or so, but it still blows my mind to think about how the weather can be so completely different at work verses at home. For instance, at home on Saturday we got around 3 to 4 inches of snow. At work? Nada.

And there’s still quite a bit of snow and ice still left! And then it’s supposed to be in the 50’s in a few days? Welcome to the Midwest!

That being said, Saturday I woke up around 8 and got ready to head to yoga class. It was raining with a few snowflakes mixed in when I got to class around 9, but about halfway through class it changed to just snow. I had planned on going out on the trail for 3 miles after class, but once I walked past the window and saw how much snow was already covering the ground I decided to skip that and head home. It had only been snowing for MAYBE 40 minutes and there was already almost an inch on my car when I went to leave class. And it was the good, sticky kind of snow for making snowmen and snowballs. Not the dry shit that just blows around on the road.

So after I got home from class and got my grocery list all situated, M and I headed to the grocery store to get the stuff I needed to make dinner and lunch all week. Grocery shopping is such a struggle because I want to save money but I don’t want to sacrifice quality, you know? So I guess I need to start learning how to coupon? Or coupon better? I don’t know. But once we got home, we basically chilled for the rest of the day and continued watching the Star Wars  movies since we’ve never really watched them in correct order. And I made Chicken Stir-Fry with from scratch sauce. BOOM! It was pretty good, not going to lie.

Sunday we got up and headed for breakfast with everyone at the Lion’s Club and then went home and just cleaned up and watched more movies. I’ve read the book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Amazon link, not affiliated) several times and wanted to see the movie so we watched on via HBOgo on the Apple TV. I was surprised M watched it with me, but it was a pretty decent movie. It jumped around quite a bit, and I think that if you hadn’t read the book you might be a little confused by it all without that back story. There were several times where I had to reference the book for M because he wasn’t quite sure about something.

All in all it was a pretty successful weekend, even though I never got my three miles in. Tonight I am looking forward to getting a short run in before yoga class tonight and then having chicken nachos ready and waiting when I get home!