Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lake Houston 5k - Race Report

Holy cow!  Did I say race report???  Say it ain't so!
Racing in August in Southeast Texas is not always fun.  Despite the heat & humidity, I managed to have a little fun this past weekend at the Lake Houston 5k.
My expectations were appropriately managed going into this race.  I am not training how I used to and knew I wouldn’t be lighting too much on fire.  With it being August, I also knew full well I would not have a PR and I would certainly not touch my January 5k time and be under 25 minutes.  I was TOTALLY ok with that. 
Keith joined me at this race even though I told him he didn’t have to.  I wasn’t able to pick up my packet the day before because I had to work so we needed to arrive early to grab my packet.  We had about an hour to spare before it was time for the 5k start so we walked around and did a little people watching and then I warmed up for the race.  
There’s not too much to report given this was such a short race.  The 10k group went out 30 minutes before us so by the time we started, the speedy runners were on their way back.  I immediately thought about how happy I was NOT to be running the 10k.  I decided I was going to be smart and not get too crazy so I went out fast but not too fast.  There is no doubt I was holding back and not putting the pedal to the metal.  I started the race already sweaty thanks to my warm up so I wasn’t surprised that I was a Sweaty Betty before mile 1.  I wasn’t breathing too hard and everything felt good so I tried to just hold the pace I was at.  This was an out & back course so pretty soon, I saw the front 5k runners and knew I would get to turn around soon too.  Thank goodness!  As I hit the u-turn, I glanced at my watch and knew I was doing just fine.  I wanted to be under 30 minutes and that wasn’t looking to be a problem.  
I hit the mile 2 marker and decided to walk through it and get some water.  I dumped some on my head and then drank the other. I probably walked longer than I should’ve or needed too but I had started to hear some ringing in my ears and thought maybe I should just dial it back.  I started up again b/c come on, there’s only a mile left and I needed to not be a baby.  Before I knew it, I was hitting the bridge over Lake Houston and could see the finish line.  Man, I would like to be under 28 minutes so I picked it up but knew I didn’t have enough time left to shave off much time.  I finished nice and hard and felt good about my time.  I knew it wasn’t going to be good enough for a podium place but decided to wait around anyway. 
28:18 was good for 7th in a field of 71 which put me in the top 9.9% of my age group.  I was very happy about that and couldn’t complain one bit!  Out of all females, I was 27 out of 350ish which was good for top 7.8%.  Wowza!!!!   The goal of this race was to kind of give me a kick in the pants and get my competitive juices flowing again.  It felt wonderful to be out there and I really enjoyed pushing myself if only a little bit. Mission accomplished!
So from here, I’ve got Austin 70.3 8 weeks from this coming Saturday with 10 for Texas before then.  Time to buckle down and get moving!

Happy training!

Pre race smiles for the future Mr. & Mrs.  :)

Just trucking' along!

All smiles on the way home!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Adding to my race calendar!

Even though IMAZ is off the calendar, I'm not exactly resting on my laurels.  Wedding planning is actually kind of exhausting.  We thought about hiring a wedding planner to help with some logistics given our wedding will be out of town. Well, the quote I got was nearly $5,000.  I'm cheap and don't value my sanity all that much so I said no thanks!  My sisters, sister-in-law and Emily have all agreed to help me and I will take them up on it.  Each and every one of them.  :)

Before I get into the updates to my race calendar, lets talk about the other stuff in life that isn't wedding related.  Keith & I were in San Marcos last Friday for Emily's grad school graduation.  Yay!!  I think it's safe to say Emily was the only VERY prego graduate that day and looked super cute.  We had a really fun dinner the night before with some of her friends and then after graduation, Emily's mom treated us all to lunch at Los Cucos.  It was a great celebration and we're so excited for Emily!  Next up:  the debut of Miss Elena Paige Verhaalen!

Hannah was in Germany for a church conference.  Thousands of teens from around the world went to Muenster and she had an amazing time.  We got to see her last night and she told us all about her adventures and the way she and her friends were touched by God's presence.  She had a super amazing trip!

We saw Caitlin for just a short time at graduation and she's sporting a cute & sassy new haircut.  We were really hoping that at lunch, she & Daniel would get into a queso eating contest but no such luck. 

Keith & I got to FaceTime with Addie & Morgan yesterday.  Oh my gosh...they are absolutely adorable.  Addie was in a great mood and Morgan was sweet as she could be.  While we don't have any plans to go to San Diego before the year is over at the moment, Papa & Nana are probably going to need to book a flight (you hear that Heather & Michael?)!!!

On a sadder note, Annie is back in the hospital.  She hits 24 weeks later this week and has started bleeding again.  With her condition, placenta previa, this is going to be what she continues to experience the remainder of the pregnancy.  We keep hoping and praying that she can make it as long as possible. She's now been on bed rest for 7 weeks and is hanging in there. We love you Annie and baby!!

Ok, so now we can chat about racing!  I cancelled my hotel reservations in Mesa today so decided I need to cheer myself up by spending money on some races.  I'm going to do a 5k in a few weeks (I didn't ask my coach first so I hope Ana is ok with that). ;)  I thought I needed to do SOMETHING just to get my competitive juices flowing again.  I also signed up for a 5k in early February and 10 for Texas in October.  I've got a few other races I may try to do but need to see how wedding related "stuff" shakes out first. 

After I get through Austin 70.3, I think I'm going to spend a lot of next year focusing on running and then mixing in a few sprints here & there to keep me active and happy.  My half marathon count will be over 20 races in no time so I thought I would see if I couldn't hit 25 next year.  :)  Dream big or go home. 

With that, I hope you all have a great week. Look at me back at blogging a little more regularly!!!  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Delaying the inevitable.....

I can't believe I haven't blogged since February.  Oh my goodness!!!  I know I drafted a few blog posts but clearly I never got around to actually posting any of them.

So I got a promotion back in February.  After that, my work life literally blew the heck up.  I worked 75 hrs/week for months.  If I wasn't sleeping, commuting or working, I was trying to squeeze in whatever type of workout I could.  And to be honest with you, there wasn't much left to squeeze in.  I was still early in my training and was keeping my awesome coach looped in so I wan't too worried....yet.

Every time I thought work would get better, it got worse.  On top of my crazy work schedule, Keith & I bought a house and then had to start the process of packing and moving two households.  We had been talking about where we would live when it was time to retire so I'm still not exactly sure how it was that we decided to just go ahead and buy now but we did.  And I'm glad we did because I love this home we're making together!

As if I wasn't stressed enough, I learned my sister Annie was pregnant again.  She just had my beautiful niece Olivia back in December and is due once again in December.  Without sharing too much of Annie's business, she is having a very difficult pregnancy and has been on bedrest since she hit 17 weeks.  She's just over 22 weeks now and she remains on bedrest.  We also know that there is likely no way she will make it full term with this new little angel.  So we wait, hope & pray that she makes it as far as she can but at least to 24 weeks.  

On a brighter note, Keith proposed on July 4th and we'll be getting married early 2015.  Since this is a training blog, I'm going to spare you all the details but I mention this because obviously this has an impact on my free time.  

Before we got engaged, I was really struggling with my ability to do Ironman Arizona in November.  I had traded messages and talked to my coach and we agreed we could give it a little time before I had to make the call as to whether or not I could spend the time I needed to train for this race.  I would have a few good training days and think I was getting back on track and then something would happen.  Even though I'm not working 75 hrs/week anymore, I'm still working over 50hrs/week most weeks.  To put it in perspective, I worked more over time March - June than some people at my company work in a full year.  Seriously.  

Last week I finally made the toughest decision I've had to make in a long, long transfer my race registration for IMAZ to Austin 70.3.  I didn't want to do this.  I wanted (and still want) to do this race more than anything.  And especially on my 40th birthday.  But this year is not my year.  I've told so many people that had I known what this year would look like when I signed up, I never would've signed up.  Never.  I didn't have a crystal ball though so I signed up knowing I would have the time I needed to train for and kill this race.  

So yes, the decision is made and is final.  Instead of killing myself and stressing out over IMAZ, I will be able to focus my attention on training for Austin 70.3 and hopefully train to PR.  

I'm going to have to change the name of this blog.  I may even have to spend some time posting about my wedding planning.  Or just stick to blogging about training.  We'll see!!