Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 10 of Boston Training: which makes this the longest training cycle in years.

At this point in my last few Marathon training cycles I have trained, tapered and raced. The fact that I am still in training, and hard training at that truly boggles the mind.
...And is SO AWESOME.
I fucking love Spring training, the weather has been right at that point between miserable and slightly better than miserable which is the best running weather out there.
*****I am not lying so quit scoffing******

This week was a real and legitimate ass kicker. Last week's suffering payed off in decent gains in fitness and general badassery.
Once again I compare running to riding, lots of structured work where you suffer a bit followed by some REALLY awesome runs/rides which remind you why you do what you do.

Monday: The typical Hill work in 37 degree temps and some of the highest winds I have run in all season.
Right from the start this was an incredible run. Fast, less effort, just KILLING it.
Next week will bring the same, or very similar route with a slightly easier pace.
This happened to be the best run I have ever had on this route- hello to my skillz. Don't leave.

Smirking about my hill skill
Tuesday: Some easy outdoor miles. It was still windy. What the hell....

Wednesday: Speed work. I had 5x1 mile repeats on the to do list with instructions to "run absurdly fast." Well, that I did. Yipes. It was also just freezing and for some reason I wore shorts. My legs were so damn cold that it was a little icky and I felt like a dodo.

It seems that all my repeats were very close to the same pace which puts them in the 7:10 range which is absolutely friggin ridiculous.

TOO FAST!! But not actually too fast...
I was putting in a concerted effort to go into the weekend tired, completely worn down. Hence, the ultra turbo hard workout.

Done. Happy. Cold. Old.
Thursday: 3 miles easy, 4 miles controlled base, 1 mile straight uphill back home. I expected my legs to be completely useless and smoked after the 10k pace mile repeats. I was wrong, they were just fine and dandy. As previously mentioned, this good week was just payback for last week being a bit gross and wretched. It's just how things work. And again, it was NOT warm.

Cold. And my car is like REALLY dusty. Gross.
An exciting thing happened. In addition to being back in the blog world Danielle also joined Strava which is so fun! It's like 2012 again back in the day when she was the queen of the internets. She is making a comeback and now we can compare training notes online and give each other "thumbs up" which are critical things in a good training cycle.

Lying, she actually runs a ton more than I do!

Friday: Off and good thing. I was finally tired and starving hungry and the weather was horrible and I had to go to the optometrist which isn't my favorite. So I rested while being busy....

Shit weather
Saturday: Eastern States 20, which I already yammered on and on about. Good times.

I like to rest cuddled up to an ice cream the size of my head. 

And kids, on the off chance that you missed the memo we are getting pretty damn close to race day. I, personally have one more week of hard work and then I taper. I have enjoyed training so much that this makes me a little sad but there's always more miles later! 

Miles: 53 and change, I don't remember the oh-point-whatevers
Favorite TV: NO TM RUNS!!! But in real life, Criminal Minds
Favorite beer: I had a terrible beer drinking week... I had nothing good or exciting!
Low temp: Ugh on Thursday it was 26 and then it stayed 26 all damn dayyyyyy
High temp- 50 on Saturday (which I missed, it was 43 on the coast)
Favorite food: I actually prepped some meals in advance so we had (well, I had) some steak and fresh kale from my Dad's garden. I also made peanut noodles which were soooooo good! My Mom made an incredible pizza and a whole turkey because she knows how I get.... And she still takes good care of me which I totally require because #helpless 


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Eastern States 20 Miler, the 2016 edition

It isn't too often that I run a race yearly. The ones that I do are fantastic for one reason or another. They are either the right distance at the right time, in a great location with nice things to look at or are so well run that you can't think of any reason not to attend.
Basically, the Eastern states 20 is all these things. I had a great time and a great run last year and I have been looking forward to another good 20 miler along the super pretty coast of Me/NH/MA.

I got lucky again and it was a perfect damn day. Chilly, about 43 degrees but with absolutely blazing sunshine. (Boston take note: if it's going to be a sunny day in Boston it better not be one degree over 43!!!)

We got there in plenty of time to find a super long porta potty line. I'm not sure what was going on this year but I have never seen such insane potty lines! Runners: poop at home!!
I am not going confirm or deny this but there *might* have been a building that *some* of us might just have peed behind. Beats standing in a 40 minute line, that's for sure.

After standing in line forever, almost there!!
They had also run out of pins which is no big because I have approximately 32,987 pins. I ran a whole business out of the trunk of the Corolla, selling pins to the masses of runners saving them from having to jerry rig their bibs. (I did no such thing but I imagined a similar scenario.)

Anywhoo, disasters averted I hoofed it to the start while cramming a sandwich in my face. The race starts at 11:00 so it's great Boston practice. I'm well versed in mid day long runs but when you are running right through lunchtime you need to plan ahead. Pre race I ate my normal breakfast of coffee and toast and then I had some turkey followed by a plain donut (no shit, I eat a plain donut prior to every race) followed by a pb&honey sandwich. I was not too hungry while running but I ate a clif bar.

At the start. Post sandwich.
My plan was to hold a very controlled pace. I had a hunch that I was going to peak this week and that was pretty accurate (full week training report coming soon) Since this was a big week of training and in NO way a taper I figured that I would be tired enough to hold back, not blow my load early on a 20 miler and subsequently wreck my legs for my last real training week. Smart planning.

There are a ton of super good runners at this race and a bunch of people just like me, getting in a really good pre Boston training run. (except for all the Hanson's people... I miss you guys!) What I'm saying is that it's easy to find people at your pace and to stick with them, which I did.

The first few miles are the hilliest and that's overselling it, they are more like little bumps. Once you're up and over those it is bone flat the rest of the way.
The day was nice, the sun was blinding (thank heavens I poured sunscreen all over my body) the wind was more from a sideways direction this year and all was well. There were lots of cardinals singing. Apparently, NH is literally RIFE with cardinals which makes me jealous.

Around mile 6 (they had painted mile markers on the road this year! yay!) I was like "what is that mysterious pinching feeling in my toe?" I decided that it was not serious or potentially debilitating so I put thoughts of my foot into my nothing box and I moseyed along.

One thing that was slightly out of the ordinary, and I blame the REALLY sunny day for is that I was pretty thirsty. I had pre-hydrated thoroughly but I needed water at every single station. I must have been sweating like a pig or something. Who knows.

Right. So I was running comfortably, apparently sweating my balls off, and (as I am wont to do) taking snapchat videos. I agree, this is completely annoying. But! When I have a long way to run and the pace is casual I need entertainment. The plus is that I can screen shot my videos and then have blog pics. #winning

Snapchat views #1
The course is so pretty so when I'm not being a snap chatting tool I can look out at the waves and think profound thoughts about nature. As one does.

Ohhhh Oceanfront views! #profoundthoughts

At mile 13 I found a BEST friend named Shelby and, no shit, we proceeded to talk to each other for the rest of the damn race. It was amazing because I am a hostile hag and rarely chit chat while running because I am so elite and serious. Obviously.
I love to talk to people before the race but once I'm running I'm all like "rawwww get out the way bitch!" I need to work on my people skills.

Get out the way BITCH!!!"
So yeah. the last 7 miles were friendship, magic and sparkle unicorns and they went by so fast that it was like *blink* finish line. Now why I didn't get that woman's twitter handle is a mystery but I appreciate our fleeting moment of best friend status.

Sparkle unicorn. So much more pleasant than a jabberwocky!
And that my friends, was that. I finished in 2:42:22 which is like an 8:08 pace. Solid. And I appreciate the BONE flat course for making this pace feel leisurely because, honestly, I think that's rather fast.

Such skill.....
Last year I had a great, life altering run at this race and ran far better than I thought I might. This year I did indeed have a great run and a super time but it was more in line with my training and less shocking. I'm thrilled to have such a decent run at the end of a legit ass kicking week. I definitely ran this to plan, I'm not all "hee hee oh oppsie daisy tooo fast tweeeee blahhhhh...." I ran a very controlled effort and finished on happy legs which felt healthy and still fairly fresh. No accidental "racing."

Excellent husband/athletic support system/driver/hot person
Oh Boston, why can't you be flat?! (because flat is for wimps that's why!!) Man, I'd be really good right now in a marathon that was flat, on a cold day, with a tailwind, and only 20 miles instead of 26.2! (wouldn't we all? yes we would!)

I examined my feet and saw what the mysterious pinching was.

Gross. Bloody foot.
Then we met my sister in Portland for a good beer and terrible food which seems par for course post race lately!
I also got to show her my sweet new tattoo which pays respect to my favorite birds in the world.
(which got me in as a Crow Athletics lifer which might be the coolest thing ever!)

A beautiful bird tattoo and a bird medal!
In conclusion. I had a good day, I felt good and as though I made the most of this as a Boston practice run. Yeah, we all know that Boston is a completely different beast but that's ok. Every little bit of good practice is good and fun, and an excuse to run in pretty places with nice people!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Boston training week 9. The wordy edition

The weeks are flying by at this point. I feel like it was about point two seconds ago that I did my long run last week and here I am, long run done again...

This week was a mixed bag.
I don't see that as a completely bad thing though. One does not wish to get bored with never ending stellar runs and ever speedier mile splits, right?!?

Monday: started out with a bang and the typical 10 miles of hill work.
I'm not going to lie, I felt like a bag of crap. I had not slept well in many days and was experiencing some female complaints. "Gross" was my basic description of this workout.
Gross doesn't mean I had to stop, or quit, or puke on my shoes and my legs felt good enough but the rest of me was like "whaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! gonna poop!!!! everywhere!!!!" Oh wow. No good. 
The weather was a bit more brisk than my previous weeks hill attempt. 37 degrees with some snow showers certainly kept me from getting too warm. #soblessed

Ugh all he hills
Imagine my surprise when I finished this run in just about the same time as last week. There was some astonishment. I  can only imagine that I was in a hustle to get home to the comfort of my own bathroom.
OK then, I'll take it
Tuesday: Boring slow easy treadmill run. Pouring rain so not going outdoors, thanks.
This run was hardly inspired but that is what recovery runs are for.
My Mom is super nice and she brought me a cinnamon bun the size of my face which I immediately stuffed IN my face with many shrieks of happiness. Easy miles call for huge snacks.

I had already had a few bites.

Wednesday: Speed work day! So much joy!
It was another warm one. 53 degrees and sunny so the short shorts ad tank got to come out and play again.
Today's workout involved 2 miles of warm up and 8 miles at slightly better than race pace with the final mile/ish being more effort based as there is a solid and significant hill.
This was tough, my legs were super dead which can only mean that I didn't run my recovery run slow enough. Annoying, since it was literally a death march. I had a couple minor technical issues (I had to stop and remove layers during mile one, which didn't change my tempo miles but was annoying, I had to re-tie my shoe in mile 9 which was a bother. Little things but since I wasn't feeling light footed and fleet to begin with, just a hassle.)

Post run exhaustion. So much drama.
 The good thing is that I just got shit done. I don't stop or cry (or, nobody sees me do such things!) I can tough it out and I try to assume that speedwork that feels like a bucket full of assholes will make me stronger and blah blah *insert bullshit line*

Putting on a brave face in my times of trouble.....
I had been feeling a little ouch from my toe for a couple days but had never thought to look a it (it was a minor ouch.) After this run I looked and found that my friend the Blister had made  return. Like any self respecting person would I grabbed my foot, took a pic and sent it to my Mom. Sorry Mah. It started little like it is in this pic, then it got way bigger and now it is turning into a little callus. GROSS. You're welcome.

Wow this is nice.
We all know a mid week rest day means that I work all day and am on my feet until like, 7PM but who's really paying attention. It was a nice Spring like week so that meant it was time for some nice Springtime beers! I drink IPA all year but I enjoy most of Bissell's beers and this was a favorite from the week. I find that a couple of their beers are so similar enough to be almost interchangeable, if you like Substance you will like Reciprocol. (and Bucolia, they are all very similar.)

Yum, beer is great!
Friday: After a few days of FINALLY sleeping again I was beginning to feel more like myself and less like an exhausted hell bitch. #gains
I had an 8 mile base pace run on the docket and despite the 56,098 MPH wind I went forth and got it done.
My legs, post rest day felt decent. The first 3 miles were straight into the aforementioned wind so I was like "urghhhhhhhh whoooooooohhhh this is harrrrrrrrd" (imagine how a really jowly dog looks when it sticks his face out a moving car window, that was me in the wind. cute, I know.)

LIKE THIS, no kidding.
It was a bit of work and when the wind let up I apparently kept working at the same effort without meaning too because my base miles ended up much, much closer to MP miles.
I don't approve of myself doing base runs at a greater effort but in the grand scheme of things it will make zero difference. I will be sure to calm down and dial it back a bit next week.
*Unless, of course a true miracle has happened and overnight I have become a person who runs fast. In this case I suppose I will just have to accept this and watch in awe as I literally crush all my current PR's.*

Windy AF. Seriously Maine, knock it off
Saturday was long run day and it was cold and windy. 35 isn't bad in the grand scheme of things but last weeks long run was a helluva a lot warmer, 53 I believe. So I was a little sad to need a warm shirt and full length tights.

I got off to quite a late start as some work issues had put me well behind schedule. Due to these work issues I didn't want to get too far away and then get called back to sort things out.

Basically, I spent 16 miles running back and forth along a couple roads near home, going no farther than 3 miles away. There were lots and lots of tight little turns as I reversed direction which I am sure is good practice for something (If I was running Great cranberry Island this year it would be!)

The run was decent enough and I didn't have any issues other than getting really cold hands and a little bored seeing the same things 300 times. My phones GPS got a little boggled at the end of my run (I assume because I was literally running back and forth) so it was like THIS mile was 9:45 and the NEXT one is 8:22 and the NEXT one is 9:55 but the FOLLOWING one is 8:08!!! I don't think any of that actually happened and I pay more attention to my overall pace but this kind of data always makes me laugh.

And another week of training comes to a close.
I did have one annoying TMI thing happen that I am going to share because I'm special like that. Somehow during this run my actual butt crack got chaffed. HOW does this happen?! I can picture my ass cheeks clapping away back there not giving a fuck and this baffles me. Anyhow, this kind of chaffage is no joke and I recommend somehow trapping the butt cheeks so that they can not do this! Ugh, the horror.

After running Eric and I went to grab a drink with my sister which then turned into dinner.
I was starving per the usual and I ordered a cannoli for dessert. Imagine my delight when there were TWO of them! I ate them both. This might or might not be playing a role in my butt cheeks smacking together but I honestly don't care.

"THERE ARE TWO" I yelled in joy!!!
So there you have it, week 9 is done. Next week will be loads more exciting because we are supposed to have some sort of storm, I'm super busy AND I have Eastern States on Saturday. Good times.

The weekly wrap up
Miles: 50.0
Favorite TV: Only one TM run, and I watched some old Dance Mom's. I'm lame.
Favorite beer: Bissell Brothers Reciprocal
Low temp: 17 glorious degrees on Saturday AM
High temp- 53 on Wednesday
Favorite food: A few things. My Mom (who I swear keeps me alive during marathon training because I run out of time to cook so I steal things from her *occasionally*) made Cheesecake (which was insane) and this lamb roast which was great and also some hard boiled eggs which I usually don't love but right now I do. Also, my Dad made fries which were sooooo good. I didn't make anything good this week except a Boboli pizza....


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Week 8 of Boston training. Where I get s**t done.

Once again I am very tardy for my weekly update. Silly things like work and SO MUCH running getting in the way! (although like running, working in last weeks weather was a DELIGHT!)

Week 8 was a big one and a good one. The weather was ridiculous, and not in the way that last year was. Every DAY I have been thankful for the weather both this winter and spring (not that it's really spring yet.)
I know we still have some yucky March days to contend with but the clear roads, mild temps and lack of an every other day blizzard have been incredible. I have enjoyed this training cycle immensely and I thank the conditions for that! This has been the kind of winter than makes all of us think that Spring races are a brilliant notion.....

Can't really complain about this.
We are almost to the home stretch here. I think I might speak for all of us when I observe that this is the time when you begin to notice results, but also notice fatigue. I am a little weirdo who, over the years, has learned to love the rigors of training and that's great and everything but I'm still a little tired!

Today was the day where our numbers and wave assignments were announced and YOU GUYS I WAS SO EXCITED!!!! Yeah, all my homies and I are in wave 3 and Hopkington is going to be a party! I always look forward to number assignment day, I like to know my bib number (18440) and I like to know when I'll be starting. I assume that this stems from years of waiting for, and being excited for horse show ride time assignments. Who knows. I'm a special flower.

OK, I find myself distracted by this weeks events. Let's recap last week, shall we?

Monday: I ran a 6 mile recovery run after zipping through the Hampton Half. My recovery pace is very gentle and easy. Basically nt one step faster than a 9:30 pace, sometimes closer to a 9:45. I'm pretty firm in my belief that recovery runs should help a person to recover.

My suggestion for a recovery beverage. After a few glasses of water maybe.
Tuesday: After all that recovery I got a rest day! Yay!!

I was also right in a (virtual) line to pre order my next pair of Hoka's, the Claytons. I have been promised big things and my hopes are high.

.....please be a good shoe.....
Wednesday: It was 65 magical degrees out which felt like summer. I legit put on tiny shorts and a little tank to run in and I still sweat out about 134,987 gallons of sweat. Gross.
This was hill day and since we are now in peak training time this meant a double dose of hills for a total of 10 sweaty miles. I felt fantastic (and warm) during this workout and finished with an 8:44 pace. This is a great route not only because of the uphills but the downs- great opportunity to thrash on the quads.

Thursday: Uh Oh, because of scheduling shenanigans this was speed work day.
Speed work day immediately after hill day can present some delightful problems but I toughed it out. The weather had gone to crap and it was pouring buckets (and I had to work until dark) so I pounded out 3x2 mile repeats at MP. Now, this is harder than it sounds. I'm always "this won't be too bad" and by the time I am done I'm a bit like "woof." Either way, I got it done.
After a week of falling asleep on the couch at 7:30 PM, on this day my body decided to take a different path and refuse to sleep much at all. Like, 4 hours tops which is NOT a good way for me to live.

Woof. Sweaty treadmill selfie.
Friday: Another gorgeous, but windy day. I happened to be in Bridgton for a Dr Appt so I decided to bring my running clothes and have fun running a different route. It was a great day for running and even though I had put some serious miles on my legs the previous two days I felt great. I ran 8 miles, over hills at base pace, which was 8:22. I consider base pace to be clearly easier than race pace and clearly harder than an easy run. I like to feel like I am "working" not "suffering". I enjoyed this run and seeing different things.

Nope, the ice isn't out yet!
Saturday: I was feeling a bit like a strugglebus. I knew that my lack of sleep was starting to be a problem and I recognized the fact that the warm weather and hard workouts were dehydrating me more than I was accounting for. By afternoon I was feeling a bit perkier so I headed out for my long run. I had settled on a pretty challenging route with an uphill section that stretches on for over 4 miles. After that you charge straight downhill for a mile and then are hit with aggressive rolling hills for the next 5. Did I mention that that is all in the second half of the run?
I was certainly feeling the mileage from the previous days and there was a brisk headwind for the first 8 miles or so that would have been most unpleasant had it not been 55 degrees out (for realz.)
At mile 11 or so I stopped for a quick 30 seconds to snap a pic of the cutest little donkeys ever! I love cute critters and these guys were fascinated by me and my foolish running.

OMG the donkeys! And a horse too obvs.
Unfortunately, at this point my strava decided that I must be done and quit recording my damn run. Which of course, makes us wonder if a non GPS recorded run EVEN COUNTS?? (It does.)

HAH! Yes, that is how I felt.
Luckily I knew that the mileage of the route was 20 miles so there was no problem there, but when I'm done running I like to critique my numbers and there were none to be found. I restarted the little bugger when I called Eric to come to our rendezvous point to get me but there were 7 miles lost in outer space somewhere. Whatever. It too me like, 3:03 which is just fine and dandy.
20 miles, done and done.
Sunday: Rest day!!

The weekly wrap up
Miles: 54.0
Favorite TV: House Hunters International, makes me want a fabulous home in a fabulous location.
Favorite beer: Bourbon this week!
Low temp: I'm trying to remember... I think it was 28 on Monday because it snowed a little.
High temp- 65 on Wednesday
Favorite food: Hmm. This wasn't a week of great excitement in the food department. I think it might have been the Bourbon brown butter ice cream I had- mmmmmmmm.....

So next week.... More work. The next two weeks will be quite similar to this week with the addition of Eastern States on the 26th. I'm hoping that the good weather sticks around and that my legs keep up the good work.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Boston Training week #7: the tardy edition

I'm a few days late with this post which means that I can't remember most of what I accomplished last week.

We all know that I wrapped the week up with a very successful 13.1 plus 3 miles at the Hampton Half. (thus far I can't find any mid race pics. this is a blessing in disguise!)

Backtracking a little, I started the week with a bang, hitting my hill work on Monday. With the up tempo long run that I had on Saturday I would not normally have made this choice. However, between work and weather it was really the only day to get it done.
I did one loop of my big hill route which is an honest to God ass kicker. It was a great weather day, 46 and sunny and the workout went extremely well.

Top of the hill. Really super pretty.
Tuesday was a rest day. Again, this was a last minute schedule change but I had some work issues that took up my entire day. No big deal, flexibility is key.

Wednesday was speedwork on the treadmill (it was a messy day with snow and rain and crap)
I did 8x800 at HM to 5K pace. Another solid effort.

Wednesday weather
Something confusing happened during my speed workout though. I check off repeats as I do them but I more or less lost count. I was quite sure I had done 8 but one got lost. So I did another one just to be on the safe side because I felt like finishing without being sure was cheating. *sigh* So yeah, I did 8 or maybe 9 but certainly not SEVEN repeats. That extra 800 is bound to pay off someday. 

Post speed work beer of the week. This is always a great choice.
Thursday and Friday were both good but also extremely uninteresting. Both workouts were 6 miles of warm up then base pace. Yawn. Fun to run, boring to read about. It was also chilly, temps were in the low 20's which isn't my favorite.

Saturday was a rest day with some stretching and yoga.

Sunday was race day and then the week was over!!

This was a very solid week of training. I felt that I had some clear fitness gains which is encouraging. Some tricky weather made climbing onto the treadmill inevitable but I'm ok with that, the treadmill has benefits and I had two key runs outside. Good stuff! 

The weekly wrap up
Miles: 46.1
Favorite TV:
Favorite beer: North Coast "Old Stock" 2016 edition
Low temp: 7 on Friday AM
High temp- 46 on Monday
Favorite food: I had amazing dinner with my BFF at 76 Pleasant St. This is our favorite restaurant and a real gem! I had some fabulous oysters and salmon and bourbon and it was incredible......


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Half At The Hamptons: the no snowbank edition.

The weather cooperated brilliantly last weekend and we were able to enjoy a super day of half marathoning in Hampton.

We all know that the weather for this race can be horrific! It was nothing short of a miracle to have a day with (mostly) glorious sun, (mostly) no wind and (mostly, actually- completely) perfect temps. It was about 35 degrees and in my opinion that's ideal. Sometimes you show up in for this race and it is -12 degrees with a 50 MPH wind and the snowbanks are about 30 feet high and it is awful. That was not the case on this day, and for that we were grateful.

We packed up in the kind of slacky way that you can for a one day race and off we went!

Slacker packing.
We got to the venue nice and early because I had to run a couple pre race miles and because Eric likes to get places early (like, hours early.) Parking was easy because for the first time in the history of this race there was nary a snowbank in sight. (miraculous)

We got our bibs, I ate a sandwich and went out to run a couple miles. (an actual couple. two. that's it.)

Sandwich 2 of 2 for the morning
I felt great during the warm up miles. There were pretty things to look at and for the first time in this training cycle I was going into a race/longish run day on fresh legs (meaning, they had a day off on Saturday.) All of my previous long runs have been after a heavy load of big workouts. It's just the way things are working out this time and I certainly noticed some extra pep in my step thanks to the day off.

Pretty beach
After finishing my warm up, and with loads of time in hand (3 minutes)  I dropped my warm up clothes off, ran to the bathroom and made it to the start in plenty of time (30 seconds.)

Last one to the start as usual!
Even though I was late (ish) I managed to find Eric and take a selfie which is VERY important.

My goal going into this race was simple. Run the best half marathon that I can at this time. No slower. No faster. Finish on tired legs. Don't finish throwing up or hurt. Easy, right?

 Actually, yeah... It was indeed.

This is a horrible blog. I need to start making stuff up just to be more interesting. 

I saw a cardinal at mile 6 and this made me very happy! Now THAT's interesting!

**this is the part where I try to add substance to a race recap**
The rest of the run was just so basic. I ran, I felt good, I made sure that I was running at a solid "working/hard" but not "suffering" pace and I tried to be as consistent in my effort as possible. There was a stretch of scary snowy road at mile 2, which was my slowest mile. (drama! that was the #struggle that I had to #digdeep to overcome!!) Other than that it was a very good race. There were some little hills at like miles 4/5/6 but no big deal.
This race has a strong pack of runners and I managed to position myself with other runners planning the same race/pace as I was. We were basically together the whole time. This was nice. I had fun, and many good miles!!  The end. I write quality, and thoughtful recaps.
**substance over**

With two miles to go I decided it was time to run as fast as I could to ensure that I met my goal of finishing good and tired. I got all excited, full of inspiration and desire to pass as many people as I could! Fueled by the kind of competitive attitude that only the most serious of mid pack runners can muster I cranked it up and literally flew past people for a full mile. Wow. Go me!!!

After that one fast mile I decided that my *big move* had come a bit early and I certainly could not maintain such a ridiculous pace. (please see mile "12" in pic below for evidence)  I laughed and laughed at myself, who makes a big bold move at mile 11? ME THAT'S WHO. Anyway, the good news is that I barely slowed down from my ridiculous 5K pace and nobody passed me (if anyone had they should have laughed at me and my aggressive behavior. Whatever, finishing a whole 10 places higher is worth running like an ass hat.)

Right. So the whole time I was running as fast as I could I was like "please have the clock at sub 1:43 please please have the clock at sub 1:43!!!!" (remember that I don't run with a watch so it's all a mystery!) The clock said 1:39:xx and you better believe that I scooted super fast to the finish before that damn clock clicked over to 1:40. Official finishing time: 1:39:18.

Mile 12 where I dropped the hammer. HAHA!!!!
Anyway I'm basically amazing and fast. That's like a 7:35 pace yo! That's stupid speedy! I haven't run such a fast half in over two years!
This is also most certainly NOT my marathon pace. However, I am going to claim this as fast because it really is. Watch the fuck out people, I'm about to win some races!!! (or... not. but that's cool.)

As I had hoped it was a very good and honest representation of where my current half marathon fitness is. I finished tired but not exhausted, a little sore but not hurt and not sick (which means I didn't race outside of my fitness ability.) Mission fucking accomplished! Time for a beer.

Pilsner... MEH.
So we had a beer like normal people and talked about our race experiences and it was a really good time. Both of us were completely happy with our results and there was no vomiting or aggressive pooping (on my part...) so that was awesome too.

Yay post race celebration!!
I like this race a lot, it's well run and the course is great. There is an abundance of free food (and beer so I will forgive the unoriginal pilsner choice...)  I'm very pleased to have run an age group PR and to have had a very drama free run.

We finished off the day with donuts as any good runner should.

I'll try to get it together with a weekly wrap up before the week is over. In short, I had another solid week of training and I am pleased with the way things are going. I'm also having fun which is important and am planning to keep it that way for the next 6 weeks!