Half Marathon PR X2!!

Hey!!!  A month has past since I have met with the ole blogster.

I keep a running list of topics I want to blog about so that I don't forget to document them on this little space of mine.  Most of my time goes into life/work and my spare-ish time goes into running.  I've been active on my running Instagram which has turned out to be fun because it has opened some fun doors for me and I've met a lot of awesome people and friends who are also running insane.  :)

Recently we had the Mesa-Phoenix 1/2 Marathon!  And three weeks prior was the Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon!
I went into the Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 hoping to break 1:50 but was incredibly nervous and doubtful of my ability.  Running confidence has never been my forte, and running an 8:20 pace in my training runs felt harder than I though it should!
Well we got to race day and by mile two I was in the 7:xx pace.  I was shocked because it felt do-able.  Typically I slow myself down to save some for the end, but this race my coach told me not to be afraid to push it and GIVE IT YOUR ALL.  I have had a great training season and my base was so good that I knew it would get hard by the end of the race, but there's no way 7:xx should cause me to bonk in a 1/2.  So I kept going!
This race is a slight incline with a bigger hill at mile 9, then back down to the finish.  Not the fastest course, but I blew my goal out of the water with a 1:44:07!!  That is a 7:57 pace!  Beat my goal pace by close to 30 seconds a MILE.
Who AM I!?
So fast forward three weeks of no rest but just diving back into training despite feeling like I was NOT RECOVERED AT ALL, and finally a couple days before Mesa-Phoenix 1/2, I was starting to feel a little more normal/looser.  Just in time to do it again!

After a hard race I get little "niggles" of tightness/pain that I always freak out about.  I think because after my PR marathon I ended up sidelined a couple weeks later, and I think that injury stemmed from the marathon which is really hard on the bod.  I always text my coach about these niggles and he tells me STAY OFF GOOGLE.  lol  They usually subside to a 1/10 after a couple of weeks.  They do say it takes a day for each mile raced, to fully recover (even while continuing to run).  So some funk can be expected after hard racing.

My family came into town for the Mesa-Phoenix race, which they do each year.  My step-mom watches the boys at home (my dad/step-mom have a house down here now) which allows both Ben and I to race with the family which we are so grateful for!

I was a race ambassador for Mesa-Phoenix so I went and volunteered at the Expo the day before which was pretty fun.  They brought us Rubio burritos and snacks and I handed out 1/2 marathon bibs.  YAY.
My original goal for Mesa-Phoenix was a 1:45.  I set this goal last summer and thought it was ridiculously ambitious, but why not dream big?

Well I beat that at Rock N Roll!  My new goal was kind of in the air.  I was thinking 1:42, my coach thought I could maybe run a 1:39 if the stars aligned.  The plan was a 1:42 and if I was feeling awesomer, kick it up a notch.

Race morning was cold (PERFECT) and we were off!  I was so worried about going out too fast that I went out TOO SLOW.  I hit mile one at 8:17!!!  A 1:39 is a 7:37 pace so I immediately panicked and it messed with my head big time.  Getting up to race pace fast is not my forte and my head was filled with so many negative thoughts for many miles.  Which is stupid.  I need to work on that.
I kept dropping my pace and eventually ran a 1:41:28!!  7:44 pace!  It was a great race, I was uncomfortable for probably more than half of it, and the last couple of miles my legs were on auto pilot and I was losing control over them.  But my lungs felt good.  I actually think my lungs could get me to a BQ today, but probably not my legs.  YET.
But still...WHO HAS TAKEN OVER MY BODY AND STARTED RUNNING FAST??  It's awesome.  I am running my easier paced long runs faster than I was running marathon paced "sets" in my training leading up to my marathon PR:  3:56.

Meanwhile Ben had a goal to run under a 1:30 and Charlie (coach) encouraged him to push harder and have a little more ambitious goal.  His PR is 1:25 on a downhill course, and this day he was within 30-45 seconds of that and he ran a 1:26!  That is like a 6:33 average pace or something bonkers.

And the rest of the crew had great races.  They ran the 10k this year, and my sister is like 25 weeks pregnant.
 
For Ben's BQ he'll need around a 7:00 pace, I'll need around an 8:00.  Cray.  We have 9.5 weeks of injury paranoia to live through, -2 weeks for taper, maybe 3, depending on what our coach does leading up to the race.  But still,  6.5 to 7.5 weeks of staying healthy.  I am surprised (not really) how stressful staying healthy can be.  Last year Ben was sidelined completely just three weeks before this marathon.  I think that's increasing my anxiety, but really I need to just take it day by day, week by week, and not stress about that (or the weather...).

So far so good.  Ish.  ;)

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