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Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekly Review April 18-24

From Wednesday's run (best run of the week!)

Welcome to another Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. My next race is this weekend's Nashville Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon... but I'm not really training for it. 

Week of April 18-24

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles, 9:04 pace
Wednesday: 3.4 miles, 8:39 pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3 miles, 8:40 pace
Saturday: Earth Day volunteering + gardening at home
Sunday: 4.7 miles, 9:09 pace

Total: 15.2 miles
2016 total: 362.7 miles

New stuff (left) & a cute outfit using old stuff (right)
Another low milage week and it feels goooooood! (Actually I'm really sore. More about that later.)

I had some guilt about cutting runs short or scheduling rest days since RnR Nashville is this weekend, but then I thought about my strict training schedule from November - April and decided I needed a break. I can't completely stop running, so I chose to run by feel. I was about a mile or two short on every run and I dropped one day, but whatever. As I've mentioned, I'm not running Nashville for time, but I do have a race at the end of May (Medina) and would like to do better than last year, so I'll resume my normal plan in May. Gotta take advantage of the downtime!

Tuesday's sunset

I had two rest days in a row after last Saturday's 12 miler. I don't like multiple rest days because I get into a lazy spiral, so I knew I had to get out and run on Tuesday. I began the run at 7:56pm and fit in 4 miles before dark.

That's a recurring theme this week: Wednesday's run also started late... at 8:05pm. I stuck to well-lit roads and wore a hi-vis top, but still got home before it was too dark. Our neighborhood doesn't have streetlights or sidewalks, so the last .3 of every run is dicey if it's dark - which I like to avoid.

I took Thursday off in favor of happy hour dinner + drinks with Alex. Afterwards we re-watched the new Star Wars.

Star Wars!
On Friday I made a mistake and ate a big dinner before my run. I thought I had enough time to digest, but I suppose leaving work late (where I had small samples of 5 different beers) pushed dinner back... and even though I started my run at 7:43pm it wasn't enough time. I felt okay for the first mile or so, had to stop and wait at a crosswalk for what felt like eons, and then when I finally got on the bike path my stomach felt terrible. Like we're talking worst marathon-GI-issue-race-recap-you've-ever-read levels. Ugh. I've never felt that bad during a run. I headed home, attempted to make it to a nice, round 3 miles then raced home. I blame the food. I'm just thankful I was close to home and it wasn't during a race!

Earth Day! My back hurts just looking at this photo.

On Saturday we volunteered with OSU and the Sierra Club for an Earth Day Columbus site at the Olentangy Wetlands Research Center. It was a large group and we were divided by tasks: research digging, trash pickup, and honeysuckle removal. Because we're both able-bodied adults and Alex knows how to ID trees, we chose the last task. It was hard work. I lopped and chopped the branches with my clippers and Alex yanked out the stumps with his fancy root puller. I wish I would have taken a before an after photo of our section. We did a lot of work. By the way, honeysuckle is an invasive species that takes over the understory, so we were removing it to make way for native plants like Buckeye trees.

Part of the Earth Day party 

Afterwards I was beat, but after a stop at home to change we headed over to the official Earth Day celebration at the Columbus Commons (downtown park). There were food trucks, musicians (luckily good ones!), tons of informational booths and vendors, and a small collection of farm animals. Each volunteer got a voucher for a free bubble tea or Jeni's ice cream, so after lunch we grabbed ice cream. We were there for a few hours (the weather was great), then drove home. Alex got the lawn mower out (so much energy!) and since I'd made a pact with myself that every time he mows I should do some type of yard work, I changed into gardening clothes and joined him. I ended up pruning our boxwoods and pulling weeds in our front garden.

Taking pictures gave me an excuse to stop...
Alex did side work on Sunday so I was alone for most of the day. I decided to run when it was hot to prep for Nashville. I watched movies on Netflix while I cleaned the house, groomed Tobias, and made a tasty soup for dinner. After eating with Alex I went out at 6:40pm for my run. It was 73 degrees ("feels like 77") and only 31% humidity. I felt great for the first mile, but somewhere between miles 2 and 3 I started to feel icky, plus I was very sore from Earth Day and gardening! I stopped 7 times in the last 2.7 miles and started to doubt my ability to run far in heat. I'm sure the heat played a part, but I think my poor fueling and hydration were the true culprits.

Overall, this week was relaxed, but I think I was too relaxed with food and drink. I ate snacks instead of full meals and drank more often than normal. My last two runs of the week felt pretty gross. Live and learn!

P.S. I'm still sore from Saturday. My arms and back have some serious DOMs!

How far do you run when you don't have a training plan? 
Do you like running in the summer heat? 
Did you do anything fun for Earth Day?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Five: Random Stuff (Spring 2016)

Happy Earth Day! I'm back with another Friday Five with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia. This week is a Free Friday, so I thought I'd chat about some things I'm loving right now:

Spring Blooms
Spring is hit or miss in Ohio. The weather has a tendency to go from rainy 40s to hot-hot-hot 80s and skipping past the amazing 70-degree days, but we've gotten lucky this year. Minus a few snowy and cold days earlier this month, I've been able to get outside and take lots of photos of the blooming trees in my area. It's one of my favorite spring activities.

Calligraphy videos
Are you on Instagram? (I am.) Before bed I have a habit of scrolling through recommended posts. I usually get a bunch of runners, mountain vistas, and chihuahuas, but recently I've come across calligraphy clips. They are so soothing. I love watching these artistic women write one or two words in a quick clip. It's making me want to pull out my markers and give it a try...

Makeup clips
Somewhat related in artistry: makeup clips. I have NO IDEA how I came across my first contouring video, but they are mesmerizing (a word I keep using on twitter). I can't do makeup for crap. I mean, I've got the basics down and can look respectable for a night out, but I'm not good at it. Plus, my face sucks up all makeup and breaks out like crazy the week following. No bueno. But these women are masters! Sure, some of them look orange or a little fake after, but most of the time they look flawless. Three things: First, I can't believe how many layers they apply. Second, how do they look close up? And third, where did these brushes come from?! Regardless, I'm in awe! (Oh and I know: I'm late to the party.)

Walking to Work
I've been trying my hardest to walk to work every day. I failed today (it's raining), but Alex encouraged me to set a challenge (kind of like a run streak) to walk to work for a whole year. I asked about inclement weather and he suggested I use all of my waterproof layers from camping. haha We shall see. But I'd say I'm walking 75% of the time. By the way, I read a book as I walk. I'm a clumsy person and I trip more without a book!

Current pair, Papillio (top), leather Tevas (bottom)

In search of: comfy sandals 
Directly related to walking to work: my search for comfy strappy sandals. I have a pair (see above left), but I wore them too many times in the rain or on beaches and the inside leather sole is warping. I'll still keep them in rotation, but I need another pair to support my feet on the walk. I've tried walking in normal sandals, but it hurts my feet and as we know, happy feet are very important when you're a runner!

What are your favorite things these days?
Are you searching for the perfect _____ ?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Race Recap: Buck-i-Run 5k

Posing with Brutus Buckeye

Welcome to another Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. This past week was nuts, so I'm going to use my normal weekly wrap up space to recap my most recent race. 

The Buck-i-Run 5k took place on April 15, 2016 at 9:00pm on The Ohio State University campus. As always, I was waiting for official race photos, but I have no idea who the photographer was and where they will be posted! Too bad because we were in a ton! [Race Information]

Free photobooth!
Alex signed us up for this race after receiving an email with alumni pricing ($20-25 for signup). I just had one of my busiest, most stressful weeks (and Saturday and Sunday didn't let up), so I was looking forward to forced down time during the race. We live about a mile away from campus, so we decided to walk and showed up around 7:30pm for packet pickup. It was a nice walk, but my foot actually hurt from walking to work earlier in the day. (Funny how walking hurts me more than running these days!)

Packet pickup was super quick We pinned on our bibs and visited the glow stick table to get a glow bracelet and necklace. They also had body paint, but we skipped that. We got our swag bag, too. It was an OSU tote bag filled with a nice cotton shirt, water bottle, and cushy socks. We didn't have anywhere to put our bags, but one of the student volunteers let us stash them under the registration table. Most participants tossed the stuff in their car or went inside the OSU gym and used a locker (you need an ID to get in).

Packet pickup went so quickly that we had about an hour to kill. We used the indoor restrooms, got our photo taken at the photo booth, Alex stretched, and we sat on the grass and relaxed. The weather was really nice at 64 degrees, but it was big change from the 30 degree days last week.

I ran my PR half the Sunday before and went out for two tough miles Thursday, so I wasn't sure how this would go. Alex said he'd run with me. As we scanned the crowd, I asked if he was sure. I knew if he ran his best he could finish top 10. He said he wasn't feeling it and wanted to stick with me. On a perfect day I would have gunned for a 5k PR (under 24:53 - I really want a 7 in front of my pace!), but my legs were heavy so I figured I'd see how it went.

A portion of the OSU rec center (RPAC) before sunset
The Race
We lined up 10 minutes before 9:00pm and ended up in the very front. I tried to stay off to the side and let fast people filter in, but it never happened! So, there we were... on the front of the line.

Obviously, a bunch of people passed us at the beginning, but it wasn't more than 30 or so folks. They were going very quickly and I knew I wanted to conserve a little bit of energy and let those folks burn out. Coincidently, when the race started there were fireworks nearby. They lasted 5 minutes and I have no idea why, but it was pretty cool.

The course was lined with glow necklaces and there were taped arrows marking every turn. Every so often we'd come across volunteers who cheered loudly. Alex said he was super impressed by the course support from the volunteers.

The first mile had a sharp turn, then we headed down to the bike path along the river. We were going at a decent speed and passed some people, but I knew it wasn't going to be a PR day. Just before mile 1 we could see the leaders up on the hill above. There were three guys in the lead and Alex said they looked faster than him, so it was ok that he didn't go for the win. Ha. I said, "I can't believe you run a full minute and a half faster than we're going right now. This feels so fast." He did mention his legs hurt going so "slow," but I decided to ignore that comment. Our first mile clocked in at 8:04, even though it felt way faster (there were some hills). Once I saw that time I knew a PR wasn't going to happen.

Mile 2 took us up a hill and towards the central part of campus (The Oval). From the bike path to the Oval is a steady incline. We also did a switchback onto a 5% grade ramp next to the aquatic center. That felt tough, but at least it was short! After that, my speed went way down. Mile 2 is always hard in a 5k (for me), but it was particularly tough on Friday. I was hot and probably would have walked if Alex wasn't with me. So funny to go from a half the weekend before (at a not much faster pace, honestly!) to wanting to walk during a 5k. Ha!

Alex was cool and didn't try to convince me to go any faster. He probably knew I'd yell at him or something. ;) We just kept on and I was thankful for a short downhill near Mirror Lake toward the South Oval. We were also gaining on a guy in front of us. I think it helps to have a mark and successfully pass them. Even with that, I was simply trucking along. When my Garmin flashed 8:32 I was equal parts disappointed and happy it wasn't slower. (I would have killed for a pace like that last year, so it's all relative!)

We stuck behind two guys for the final mile. When we came around The Oval I looked at my watch and saw we had a half mile left. I asked Alex if there were any girls behind us and he said there was one in a tutu gaining on us. I hadn't seen another female since mile 1, but I knew there were at least 3 or 4 in front of us. I tried to dig deep, but lost speed after back to back sharp turns. Luckily, those turns led to the downhill finish. I kicked it up and sprinted in with Alex by my side. In the final .2 I took my speed from 9:25 (on the turn) to 6:38! I felt great. Tired, but awesome.

We crossed the line side-by-side and I looked at my watch. 24:11! Wow!! BUT then Alex brought me back to reality. "The course was short. No way we just ran a half mile after The Oval." He was right. My Garmin had us at 2.9 with an overall pace of 8:21. Whoops. My slowest 5k pace this year. (But still faster than my longstanding 2014/15 PR.)

Some automatic photos at the finish. Unfortunately, nighttime made them blurry. (Click to enlarge)

Post Race Goodies
After finishing, we retrieved our swag bags and got bananas, water, and granola bars. There was an after party at a bar in the Ohio student union (about a half mile away), so we started walking over there. Somehow we were the first to arrive! While we waited for food we redeemed our free drink tickets (we got tasty, local craft beers, but you could get wine or liquor. Pop and water were free.). Food started a bit later and included a nacho bar and pizza. Mmmm. Pretty sweet swag and after party for a race that cost $25. Shortly after, we walked home. I went to bed ASAP for my 6am wakeup for Saturday's long run...

Grub and swag

Stats and Thoughts
I wish I could have PRd this race because it was so well done. Of all our campus races, this was by far the best course. We went by many of the campus landmarks, but instead of running in the street we were able to run on the sidewalk which made the sections near The Oval and Mirror Lake much better. I also wish I would have PRd because look at these stats:

Overall: 28 / 489 (6%)
Gender: 5 / 326 (1.5%)
Age Group: 1 / 74 (!!!!!)

First off, my pace is totally off in the official results and ended up making me look more badass than I am. Someday... Second, obviously this was a casual event. (The top 5 guys were really fast, though. All under 19 minutes. Alex could have finished 6th or 7th.) I've never won my age group, but I'm sure it's down to the collection of student, alumni, and faculty participants. But whatever. It felt pretty awesome being in the front with a bunch of dudes!

This may never happen again!

Up Next: Rock 'n' Roll Nashville on April 30. I'm going with a 4 other ladies, so it should be a fun and relaxed race!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Race Recap: ORRRC Half Marathon

The ORRRC Half Marathon took place Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 8:30am in Xenia, Ohio. You can see my pre-race goals here. I was waiting for the free race photos, but they're taking too long!

Packet Pickup
Alex and I made the hour drive Saturday afternoon, checked into our cute hotel, then went to packet pickup at the YMCA. After pickup, we drove around Xenia (not much to see), got Chipotle, and went back to the hotel to binge-watch HGTV. Later, we went out for milkshakes (and Cheetos), met some locals, and retreated for the night to watch a movie while I organized my race crap. I overpacked, but I'm glad I had options.

Pre Race + Friends
When we arrived, parking was filling up so Alex dropped me off and I headed to the porta potties. Alex gave me his winter coat so I was nice and toasty as I visited the bathroom 2 or 3 times (hey, I get nervous). We went inside the YMCA for a bit, but I knew I needed to get used to the cold sooner or later. It was 30 degrees at the start with a "feels like" of 20. The wind was blowing, but I was layered and ready.

About 5 minutes before 8:30 the DJ told us to head to the start. I said goodbye to Alex and miraculously saw the only two people I knew at the race: Lisa and Jeff! Lisa is one of my running group coaches and Jeff is her fiancé and also in my 10:45 pace group.

After the national anthem (which I could barely hear), the race began. It was a stop-start situation, but I turned on my Garmin as soon as I crossed the timing strip, so I knew my time would be fairly accurate. I also turned on my podcast (BBC's The Archers). I don't listen to music or podcasts during races anymore, but I knew I'd need a distraction, and since I had a Buff over my ears I knew the headphones wouldn't slip out or bug me.

The Race
Overall elevation gain of 261 ft, but it could have been worse. 

Mile 1-3
Lisa stuck with me at the beginning. She was chatty and full of energy. I told her my plan: go slower for the first few miles (hills), then speed up for the rest. She knew I was trying for sub-2 and was super supportive. Throughout the race she kept saying she knew I'd do it. I have to admit, during mile 1 I was afraid she'd want to talk the whole time. Yes, it would be a nice distraction, but I cannot talk and run at a decent speed.

Mile 1 was slow, but mainly because I was trying not to dodge and weave. Some toes on my right foot were numb which is kind of an ongoing problem I should probably get checked out. Before mile 2 we circled back by the start line and I saw Alex. He hollered and I waved.

We left town and ran alongside a few farms and there was an emu hopping along beside us. That was pretty cool. A mile later we ran past some cows and miniature ponies that were showing off. Miles 2 and 3 included the bigger hills. The hills slowed me down, but I think they made the course interesting. I choo-choo'd up the hills and tried to make up speed on the downhills. I was already tired, but I never thought of stopping to walk because I always had a hill to concentrate on and they were never so steep I felt defeated. Just before mile 4 there was an old guy volunteer who said, "Just 22 miles to go!" I've never been so thankful to run a half!

Lisa didn't carry water so she would stop at the water stops and I'd keep running. She'd always catch back up. I enjoyed her company, but I also felt bad because I didn't want to talk. She had so much energy! It was hard for me to believe she doesn't always sub-2! (Side note: she's training for a half Ironman and after the race there was a general consensus that IM training suits her!)
Splits: 9:18, 8:58, 9:16

Miles 4-6
Just after mile 4 we got onto the bike path to begin the out and back portion. I don't remember as much from this race as I normally do. Maybe it was the repetitive nature of the bike path from mile 4 to 12 (which I like), perhaps I was really enjoying listening to The Archers (probably)... who knows. I know Lisa was there for part of it and she seemed to know everyone... I know I passed more people than normal... I know it always felt like we were going uphill... and I never considered walking.

I do remember a few random things: There were mile markers along the path, but I only noticed them for the return miles. I saw Mile 11 (around the 4.5 mile mark) and when I realized I wouldn't see that marker again for another 7 miles my mind was blown. "That's so far!" Ha! I also remember seeing a clock at mile 6. My time read 54:xx which was in line with my sub-2 goal. What a relief.
Splits: 8:59, 9:08, 9:07

Miles 7-9
There was a water stop just after mile 7. The fulls went straight and the halves turned left to do a short out and back. This was a tough section due to the wind. We no longer had trees as a buffer and the strong breeze kicked my butt. I took off my gloves somewhere around mile 4, but I had to put them back on and pull my sleeves down. I think the race got colder as we progressed.

I saw two Oiselle ladies on their way back from the turnaround (not sure who because we didn't meet after) and one yelled, "Yeah, BIRD!" It was really nice to see teammates, especially when I was starting to get tired. At this point I began to segment the rest of the race into chunks: get to the turnaround, get back to the main bike path, turn to the finish, etc. I saw Lisa when I turned around and a little later I saw Jeff. Somehow Lisa caught up with me around mile 9. She said she ran mile 8 at an 8 minute pace. She was on fire! I told her I was starting to get tired and eventually she started to pull away. I kept her in my sights for a while, but lost her near mile 10. In a perfect world I would have kept up, but my legs felt heavy.
Splits:  8:52, 8:47, 8:59

Miles 10-end
Finish line. (Look! I match the potties!)
I crossed mile 10 and the course clock read 1:29 or 1:30; right in line with my goal. I wasn't crushing it, which kind of bummed me out, but at least I wasn't too far from it. I knew if I ran the last 5k in 30 minutes I'd achieve my goal. Knowing this helped so much. I didn't feel defeated. I didn't have to make up any time. I just needed to keep a steady pace. Yes, I wanted to run the last three miles sub-9, but my legs were so tired. The elevation doesn't look crazy, but as I mentioned, it always felt like we were running uphill. I read a recap last week that said even the last three miles of downhill somehow feel uphill and I agree.

During miles 11 and 12 I tried to think about running the mile I was in, my old mantra "just keep running," and all that mumbo jumbo. I was tired and would have walked in a heartbeat if I didn't have the sub-2 within reach. I knew I was close. If I walked, I'd lose it. A few people passed me. I passed a few people. For the most part, I stuck with the same 5-10 folks. The last water stop was at 12.5, just before we turned off the trail and headed to the finish. It was weird being so close to the end, yet not being able to see nor hear the finish line.

We ran through a bit of grass and then it was a straight shot for the last .5. Uphill. It was only a 20ft incline, but it felt tough. My legs were shot. I looked down at my watch around 12.5 and saw 1:54. I knew I wouldn't finish before 1:56, but I knew sub-2 was going to happen. When I imagined this moment over the past few weeks I imagined tears of happiness and tons of emotion, but when the actual moment arrived I was just tired. I spotted Alex cheering, other spectators were yelling words of encouragement, and I finally saw the clock. I crossed the line at 1:58:xx and was so happy to be finished that I didn't even remember I was supposed to grab a medal.
Splits: 9:01, 9:05, 9:03, 8:53, 8:27 (final .1)

Jeff, Lisa, and me. A great day for all!
Post Race 
As soon as I finished Alex and Lisa came over (Lisa finished in 1:56; just shy of her PR. Oh, how I wish I could have stayed with her!). My mouth was dry, my lips were covered in a film, and I had to pee so bad. Lisa and I got a photo and I went over to the porta potties. (Luckily it had a mirror so I was able to make myself presentable.) When I came out, Jeff was coming across the line with a big PR. We got a photo, then Alex and I headed inside.

The ORRRC Half is apparently famous for their selection of 20+ sodas (along with water). I got a Dr. Pepper and it was fantastic...for a bit. We stood in line for the post-race food, which included three hot soups (veggie stew, tomato bisque, and cheesy potato), salad, bread, apples, bananas, and a variety of fresh baked cookies. It was a great spread and much appreciated. Afterwards I was pretty beat, but I was happy I achieved my goal.

After I had a chance to catch my breath
Stats and Thoughts
The field was full of legit runners and I feel like I held my own.

Time: 1:58:16 (9:01/mi) 
Overall: 306/911 (34%)
Gender: 119/515 (23%)
Age Group: 15/53 (28%)
Splits: 9:18, 8:58, 9:16, 8:59, 9:08, 9:07, 8:52, 8:47, 8:59, 9:01, 9:05, 9:03, 8:53

In addition to breaking sub-2 I also ran my fastest 10k (by 1 second-ha!) and 10 miler. For some reason, I'm not as happy as I expected and didn't celebrate afterwards. Alex, my family, friends, and online friends have all been great -- thank you! I was ecstatic about my 2:02 last fall because it was such a surprise. For some reason, I'm kind of ho-hum about this. I think I'm (stupidly) bummed my planned slow miles kept me from an overall pace with an 8 in front. (I didn't realize I'd be so close.)

Regardless, I've come a long way in 5 months. If you would have told me I'd be sub-2 a little less than two years after my first half marathon (or after my terrible second half) I wouldn't have believed you. Plus, now I've run three strong halves without walking and that's a huge confidence booster! For the time being, I'm going to enjoy being sub-2 and take advantage of the next few months of downtime before I set my next goal. ;)

Sunday munchies: Post race meal, chicken parm at lunch, and pancakes for dinner. A weird, but tasty food day.

Up Next: Alex signed us up for a glow run this Friday. My next big race is RnR Nashville on April 30, but I'm running it for fun so I don't have to worry about breaking any records. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

ORRRC Half Training Week 6

Despite the cold temps, the trees still bloomed

Welcome to another Weekly Review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. Last week, I was still training for the ORRRC Half, which was Sunday. I'll post my race recap soon but for now here's a look at the week leading up to the race:

Week of April 4-10

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 3 miles, 8:22 pace + arm exercises
Wednesday: 2 miles, 8:34 pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 2.1 miles, 9:02 pace
Sunday: ORRRC Half Marathon, 1:58:16 (!)

Total: 20.2 miles
2016 total: 330.6

Tobias helps with dinner
Monday's weather was cold and gross, so I stayed in and made dinner while Alex went fishing after work. It was also Tobias's birthday. He's 10!

I went out for a 3 miler on Tuesday and did two things wrong: I overdressed and chose a route full of traffic. My pace looks great, but it's because I could stop and catch my breath at intersections. I'm trying to do more arm work, so I did my favorite Tracy Anderson workout. It's only 8 minutes and I swear: if you do it 2-3 times a week you will see a difference within 2 weeks. I did it a lot in the spring of 2012 and I had nice arms.

On Wednesday Alex and I went to a nearby hilly neighborhood so I could get in some last minute hill training. The temperature was 59 (probably the warmest day of the week) and I felt great running in shorts and a light t-shirt. We ran down two big hills then back up. It was only 2 miles, but it was a quality workout. I had to stop for a breath at the top of both hills, but overall I felt strong. I plan to add more hill work before my next two (hilly) halves.

Tobias helps with chores. (Before shot)
Thursday and Friday were rest days. I also took off work and did a bunch of cleaning - the majority in my craft room / office space. There's still work to do, but it felt really good to go through piles I'd been ignoring for a long time. I also went to a late lunch with a high school friend on Thursday. It was so nice catching up. On Friday night Alex and I went to dinner, then came home and watched the first episode of Better Call Saul.

I woke up Saturday with a terrible migraine. I think it was weather related as the temperature dropped significantly. I took allergy meds (and migraine pills eventually), but it was a rough morning. Honestly, I was thankful I was getting it out of my system Saturday instead of race day! I waited until it warmed up to 30 degrees and got suited up for a 2 mile shakeout run. I added pace alerts to my Garmin to keep me between 8:40 and 9:15 to see if that was something I'd want to try Sunday (it wasn't. It was way too annoying). For some reason this run was tough. I felt gross, heated up too quickly, and on top of everything had lady cramps and my ankle hurt! I felt like walking and it was only 2 miles! Obviously, I was a bit nervous going in to Sunday. I wrapped and iced my ankle after and hoped for the best...

Hey guys, did I bring enough stuff? (I don't normally do this.)

We drove to Xenia for packet pickup on Saturday afternoon. After grabbing Chipotle, we went back to our hotel in Cedarville (a great place to stay) and binge-watched HGTV. We went out again for milkshakes, then returned and watched The Day After Tomorrow as I laid out my clothes for the race. It was really nice to sit around and not have plans.

Sunday was the race. I'll have a full recap in a day or two. I'm waiting to see if there are race photos. It was a cold morning and I never really warmed up during the race, but it was a well-run event. I don't know if I'll go back, but I highly recommend the ORRRC Half.

I achieved my goal of sub-2, which I'm very happy about. Of course, my overall pace was 9:01/mi and now I'm like, "Well if I would have shaved off a few more seconds I could have had a pace in the 8s...." Whatever! I plan to revise my sub-2 goal at my favorite race (Loveland Half), but that's not 'til October, so I have time to relax!

I know some people get taper madness, but not me. This was a good week and I am ready for a break from schedule-based running! I'm really looking forward to the upcoming week and running whatever I want, whenever I want! My next half is RnR Nashville, but as I'm running for fun I don't have to train too hard.

How was your week? 
Do you overpack for running trips? 
Do you have a quick (under 10 minute) non-running exercise you'd like to share? 

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