Pros and Cons of the Wildfire Half Marathon

What a weekend!  I drove up to Pinetop AZ for the Wildfire Half Marathon on Friday afternoon after like 0 planning or training! Let’s do this recap by the pros and cons.

CON:

I realized that driving long distances is an anxiety trigger for me!  I was able to kind of keep my anxiety in check but yeah, I’m not doing that drive for a while.

I was more than ready to be done driving by the time I got the hotel! When I went into the lobby, passing the ‘no vacancy’ sign and said I needed to check in, the manager said those dreaded words, “Could it be under any other name?”

Um… no! Not at all.

CON:

They didn’t have my reservation! I booked through Expedia (which normally is a breeze) but there’s was a problem with their system and long story short, the motel no longer partnered with them so they never got word of my res. It’s all Expedia’s fault and the manager was beyond helpful about it and they got me another room in a near by hotel. Problem was, this hotel didn’t have a microwave! So I couldn’t reheat the pre-race meal I prepped and packed! After scrambling for a new hotel room and checking in for the race and not knowing the area at all, I got the best meal I could think of fast. McDonalds Chicken Salad w/ Balsamic dressing.

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It’s been a while since I went to McD’s and they didn’t even have this on the menu. I probably sounded pretty dumb asking for it but oh well. Plus he called it a “Ranch Chicken salad” so I had to even further ask if they had other dressings. But if worked out enough. Luckily my room did have a coffee maker so I heated up some water in that in the A.M. to eat my oatmeal before the run.

CON:

I did not sleep well!  I think I woke up 4 times during my 6 hour sleep and had 1 dream that really shook me up. I was planning on waking up at 4 but when my eyes opened at 3 I decided I might as well get up and get moving.

PRO:

Pinetop is beautiful!! I loved loved loved running through the trees and part of it was even around a little lake. Ya’ll know how I feel about all bodies of water so that was my fav part.

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CON:

The course was rough, man! It was a trail run for the most part (maybe about 2 miles of pavement?) but lots of either loose dirt or either groovy, rained on then driven over dirt packed roads. Avoiding all the grooves and holes and ankle-twisting paths was definitely a challenge!

dirt

PRO:

The first 4 miles were downhill.

pinetop

CON:

The next 3 1/2 miles were uphill and I mean uphill! I didn’t see anyone run up those steep hills. I walked up a lot of this segment. Sometimes it was the kind of walking where you have to hunch over and keep your balance it was so steep. It would level off a little and I would try and catch my breath and then run the straight bits but they weren’t very long till it was uphill again.

 

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PRO:

I saw the mile 8 marker and next thing I know it was mile 10!  I love when this happens. 🙂

CON:

I am not used to running in high elevation. Where I live it sits at about 1,000 ft. This course got up to 7,300 ft! I could feel it for the first couple miles but luckily it wasn’t a big issue and I could breathe the whole time. But keeping this in mind (along with all the other things going on) I kept a very slow pace and put absolutely no pressure on myself time-wise. I knew I wasn’t going to PR so I just enjoyed being outdoors and looked at it like a long hike.

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PRO:
I finished! It may have took me barely under 3 hours but I did it and I didn’t give up. And now I have another medal to add to my collection.

PRO: (CON??)

I was CRAVING ice cream the entire last 5 miles! I knew there was a Burger King across the street from my hotel and so I set my mind to getting a Froot Loop Shake. And while I’m there and just exercised off 1000 calories, dammit I’m getting Mac n Cheetos!!

Both were satisfying as in they fulfilled what I was craving but neither tasted so spectacular that I’d 1) get them again 2) recommend them.

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CON:

By the time I finally got back to the hotel, I had just enough time to eat, take an bath and clean up before I had to check out. I peeled off my shoes and socks and laughed at my dirty self! I really did run through the dirt trails!

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CON:

Ice bath! enough said.

ice bath

CON:

Time to drive back home!

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PRO:

But the BIGGEST pro is really, just how freaking gorgeous this Earth is! The older I get the more I just want to be outside!! I love than running takes us all over the world and to such beautiful places and courses and we get to just do what we love in the sunshine (mostly…) and out in nature.

pt lake 2

Overall, even though I think there were more cons on this list than pros, I am happy with this weekend. Normally a 3 hour time would make me so miserably depressed but I just had the attitude from the start that I was going to enjoy the course. There were a few road blocks that definitely tried my anxiety and state of mind  but I’m proud of how I handled it all.

Sometimes races are way more mentally challenging than physically so even though I may not have pushed myself to be fastest or strongest or whatever there, I did push myself mentally to be positive and kind to myself so I still win!

Plus this was the inaugural Wildfire Half Marathon so who knows, maybe I’ll do it again next year!

 

It’s been so long!

Hello again!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated here. I sometimes feel so silly writing into the void of this little blog but I think it really does keep me somewhat accountable. And lately I’ve been holding myself accountable for well, nothing! So let me take up this little corner of the web and ramble. 🙂

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What have I been up to?

I joined a diet bet! I was so good for the first week and then so bad for the second. I have till 6/18 to lose 7lbs or I gotta pay up! Time to really buckle down. (how many times have I said that lately??)

I decided that every day in June I’m going to workout. I WILL work out for a mere 10 minutes every day. I can run, strength train, do yoga, anything for 10 minutes. I made this decision after I already got to work but didn’t want to let even 1 day go by so on my 1 and only break before the clock turned 12:00 I ran down to the gym and used the treadmill for 10 mins in my jeans and sandals. But hey, I got it done.

I have a half marathon this Saturday! The Wildfire Half in Pinetop. I really have not been training very hard and didn’t really let myself comprehend what I was getting myself into. I always think half marathons are like literal walks in the park but they are HARD. I have ZERO time expectations on this one. It’s a pretty small host and it’s up in the mountains with a high elevation so I’m just going to take it easy, go slow and my own pace, enjoy the scenery and run through the forest and hills. (that picture is from a couple weeks ago when I went up to Pinetop/Show Low for a hike. It’s so beautiful up there! Being outside, near the water. that’s all I need!!)

 

 

 

Getting back on the running horse

Guys, I’ve been terrible at posting here. Mainly because there hasn’t been much to post about. To say I’ve been slacking is an understatement! Everyday is a new day to make better choices and I really want to rock my next half and the NYCM! So I have no more time to goof off.

Lets rewind to last week when it got real hot real quick. I ran up north for a trail run but ended up just hiking/walking.

lake

I went around this lake that I fell in love with. It was a beautiful day and seriously being near any body of water makes me 235% happier!! It wasn’t long but it was a good little trip.

 

Then last Thursday, I ran the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run with my coworkers for the 2nd year in a row. It’s a really cool event but man, this year was ROUGH! It was the hottest day of the year so far (106*) and we started off WAY too fast for me and never slowed down. Last year we tried to keep it all together and went really slow. This year, not so much. It was very defeating.  But we made it to the end.

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But it made me really want to progress and reminded me how little room for slacking/error I have! Time to get busy marathon training!!!

I was talking out loud at work and said I have to get real about marathon training, work 50 hours a week, sleep 8 hours a day and have a social life. Then I turned to my friend and asked, “is that even physically possible?” The answer is no!

Sleep is always the first to go and second is working out. Hmm…Actually all chores/errands are the FIRST thing to go! I’m still trying to juggle it all. So far it involves a lot of naps.

Monday, when I woke up I went over to my parents’ house since my brother came to visit! I love my brother; he’s super hilarious and I sure don’t get to hang out with him enough. We all went to dinner (going out to dinner has really become a problem…especially w/ my social life picking up 😉 not that I’m complaining!) Luckily I think I burned off some calories just laughing at my family’s antics!

Then home for a quick nap and then off to work! I worked OT from 0200-0600 and then went straight out for my run. Almost 8 miles (hey when I circles back around and got to my car and the clock said 7.75 I figured that was good enough! haha)

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More water!! It’s just better! Plus it really cooled down this week and I could not be more thankful. The longer I can go without having to run double digit miles in the triple digit degree heat the happier I will be!!

ttl run

It was a slow one today and I feel fine about it! I galloway’d it and ran 5 min walked 30-45 seconds. over and over for 7.75 miles.

Okay, time to get serious and keep track of everything with these posts! I want to remember everything about the NYCM and that includes training!!

Just a quick 4.2 mile jog with 30,000 of my best friends on a beautiful Saturday morning! 

Pat’s Run weekend is here! For those of you who don’t know Pat’s Run is a kinda a big deal around these parts. It honor’s Pat Tillman who put his fancy Football Career ( on the ASU team and then went on to play for AZ Cardinals) to join the Army and was killed in Afghanistan. His jersey # was 42 so the race is 4.2 miles.

I (like always) had to work Friday night till 0600 on Saturday morning. The race started at 7 so I went straight from working my 10 hour shift. My friend was set to pick me up right at 6 so I asked my boss if on my lunch break at 0500 if I could change into workout gear to be ready to go. Ha. The things he puts up with.

Pats face

The lighting in the work bathroom is terrible! Yikes. But READY for Pat’s!

They changed the course up this year and it basically went backwards but there were a few more hills this go round.

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I just kept telling myself that these hills and bridges were training for the NYCM!! Everything is training for New York!

pr hill

Plus you can see how packed it is! There’s about 30,000 people running those 4.2 miles. It’s always a crowded crowded race.

I didn’t hit my goal… in fact I did 1:50 min worse than last year! Crossing the finish line at 41:50 minutes. Not awful but not my best. I really really want to work on my speed in the next few months. I have a 10K next Sunday so I’m hoping for a PR!

I met a lady walking to the expo booths and we started chatting and she actually knew Tillman. (He died in 2004.) She was a volleyball coach at ASU and knew him around the gym. She had some really fun stories and showed a side of him I’ve never heard before. Definitely sounded like an interesting guy…

Then it was time to meet up with my friends and hit the road!! I was lucky to start in an earlier corral than them (crucial when there’s a possibility of 30,000 runners/walkers in front of you) and I don’t think they minded too much that I ditched them. We all did really well and had fun! Plus this is the first year they gave out medals. Another on the pile… I just need a place to hang them…

finsih friends

How the numbers all shake out:

Again, I finished in 41:50. Bib 6558. I started my racekeeper a little too early so my number it has are a tad off but my splits:

pr splits

I KEPT telling myself that first half to hold back and to save some energy for the 2nd part but I wasn’t really listening to my own advice. I knew the steepest part of the race was right around mile 2 so I knew I wanted to conserve my energy and go slow over the hill. and go slow I did! I found myself shuffling so slowly I realized walking just would’ve been faster. So I walked. Then tried to recoup as much time on the downhills but what can I say. I was tried and knew another hill was coming! Haha.

Here’s the elevation:

pr elev

All I’m doing now is focusing on the future. We’ll see how the next 10K goes. And I have a year to beat my time! Haha. And of course, all my focus is prepping for NY!

I Hate Running. So of course I signed up for a Half Marathon!

I hate running. I’ve said it before on here and I’ve said it to my friends a million times. My runner friends get it and completely agree. My non-runner friends don’t quite understand.

la con

I was chatting with my sister who like for me is a runner and who, also like me, hates running sometimes and just wants to sit a run out every now and then! I keep telling myself that NYCM training has already started and yet… I find myself giving myself an excuse to not go workout more often than not.  In fact, I woke up the other day telling myself I didn’t want to get burned out on running so early into my training so I’m going to switch my focus to strength training and getting my legs strong for the next month. Well, that was the plan…

Then after I had THIS exact conversation my sister, I signed up for 2 runs! 1 is a short one.-3.5 miles. My work (I work w/ Police) is doing a Special Olympics Torch Run. I ran it last year with some coworkers and it was really fun. We all took turns running in the front of the pack holding the torch and then for the last mile the Special Olympians joined us and ran back to the Police Station. They were all so cute and fun. 1 little man took off like a bullet! Even the fastest officer could barely keep up with him. Then we all hung out and had a big BBQ in the courtyard. It was a real special run and I’m so excited to do it again this year!

And then I found out I got a vacation day off in June I requested but didn’t think I’d actually get the time. So since I did, I guess I better run a half! I signed up for the Wildfire Half Marathon in Pinetop. Only SIX weeks away! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a short window for training (and let’s be super honest. I haven’t been running at tip top shape lately) so I have absolutely no excuses now! Beast mode time!!

PLUS I already have 2 other races already on the books! Pat’s run that’s kinda a big deal around these parts. The race is crowded! but only 4.2 miles. And then the Hope 10K on April 30th.  That’s about a marathon worth of miles right there!

Another 5K in the books: 5K for Heroes Recap

On Wednesday, Admin at my work sent out an email asking if anyone wanted to participate in the 5K for Heroes that was that very Saturday. I think I was the only was that said, “I’m in!” So this is the first of 3 races (all small, 10K and under) of April and then another short one in the beginning of May.

It’s been pretty helpful using these as tempo runs. A major goal this training cycle is to get faster!

Plus the 5K for Heroes is a cause I can definitely get behind!

5k for heroes

Do you guys pick races for the charity they’re supporting?? I do sometimes but mainly I’m just looking for what works for my schedule!

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So after work on Friday night/Saturday morning, I drove on over to Papago park for a quick race. It was a pretty small crowd, which I never mind but when it’s small like this the course is never blocked off so we we’re running on the sidewalk for a bit and then through the park with a lot of other park-goers and cyclists and it got pretty crowded. I almost ran straight into this 2 year old who was on the left side of the sidewalk and right then his mother (who was oblivious!) decided it would be fun to “race” her kid who immediately ran to her cutting across to the right side of the sidewalk just as I was coming up behind. Pay attention to your surroundings, people.

But it has been fun getting out to new paths and seeing new places to train. Like this race was uphill for the first 1/4 mile or more so I definitely logged that course in my brain to come back again and train for all those bridges in the NYCM!

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Either way, it was a good race. It was a nice cool day, not too hot yet. Gotta get in as many races as I can in AZ while it’s still still bearable outside. I felt pretty good and didn’t have any stomach issues which is always plus. I went paddle boarding on Tuesday and ran hills on Wednesday and really taxed out my knees. I RICE’d as much as I could in the past few days and my legs felt fine for these 3 miles. I’m petrified of getting injured and really screwing up my training for New York! I’m going to be extra vigilant!!

splits

In the end, I was :46 seconds over my goal of finishing under 30 mins. Here’s how my splits shook out. Still no Speedy Gonzalez over here but I’m counting this as a negative split!

 

NYCM is 7 Months Away!

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Whoa that month went by quick! I knew when I got into the marathon that even though I had 8 months till the big day, time was going to fly by and I had no time to slack off.

But then I kind of slacked off… It’s been an interesting month full of ups and downs and I learned a lot about health and life.

In terms of vacation plans, I already spoke to my aunt and I’m all set to stay with them for the weekend. I have a hotel in the city for just a couple nights. I have my plane ticket and my ticket for an actual BROADWAY SHOW! Guys, I’m beyond excited! I picked Dear Evan Hansen (I tried to justify spending the $$ for Hamilton but… nope I couldn’t go it.)

Image result for dear evan hansen

I have all my workouts planned, now it’s just a matter of following through with them. And getting my eating back on track. I’ve been on vacation and even thought I stayed in town, I’ve had plenty of dinners out and really enjoying my time off. I always forget to take pictures but I did have a truly amazing dinner at Nobou at Teeter House in downtown Phoenix that was so indulgent and so worth it. But I did try and balance out my vacation with some outdoor activities and exercise.

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But I’m back in the swing of things at work and back at the comfort of a routine.

I have lots of goals! I’ve been running but it’s been a lot of easy runs and junk miles. I haven’t been pushing myself nearly enough and time if ticking away!

> I definitely want to work on my speed and get faster overall

> I want to get back into weights and strength training x2 a week

> I want to cross train x1 a week. Mostly yoga but cycling at least x1 a month

> I want to drop about 15 lbs before the marathon

7 months to go!!! I’m so so so excited for this race and I want to do it proud!