I am not going to lie, I (like most of you reading this blog) tend to dread the off-season; however, I think it's best to focus on the positives of taking some time off!
1. Holiday runs: These are always a blast! I am going to try to do at least 3 holiday-themed races this year and join in on some fun group runs.
2. New indoor workouts: Hot yoga, Orange Theory, Pure Barre, spin classes, on-line workout videos - there are so many options and now is the time to give them a try!
3. Rehab exercises: This is a great time embrace those PT and strength exercises in order to avoid injuries in 2017.
4. Trail Running: I am a huge fan of trail running. This is the perfect time of year to get out on the trails - explore new parks, challenge yourself with new courses, and enjoy the beautiful scenery!
5, Setting new goals for 2017
Marathon PR? Full and/or Half Ironman race(s)? Trail races? Maybe an ultra? So many fun choices! Now is a perfect time to figure out a fun race schedule for 2017.
6. Making time for all the recipes and crafts I have pinned on Pinterest, but never actually done
Now is the perfect time to discover new recipes, make race collages and medal signs (those race bibs have to go somewhere), bake holiday treats, and create gifts for family and friends.
7. Most importantly, enjoy the holidays and spend quality time with family and friends!
What a great day for a marathon! The Indy Monumental Marathon turned out to be one of my absolute favorite races.
I wasn't sure how to pace my run since my speed has been all over the place this summer with training for IM Chattanooga. I decided to start out conservatively behind the 3:45 pace group and see how I felt.
The first half of the race ended up flying by. I ran into a girl from Cincinnati, so we ran and chatted together for the first 13 miles.
After passing the 13 mile marker I decided to pick it up. Surprisingly, my leg started to feel good with the faster pace. I haven't run <8:00min/mi pace for several months, but somehow my legs started to pick up to a 7:40 pace. I was excited to feel good with the faster leg turnover.
Note: I forgot to start my watch so I missed the first 3 mile of the race (mile 10 on the pace chart is actually mile 13).
I was happy to end my 2016 season with a negative split 3:34:36. It wasn't my fastest marathon, but it was a fun race with wonderful friends and great memories.
Indy Training Update
First, a little update on my training the past few weeks. The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is only 1 week away (boy, time sure does fly by). I really have no idea what to expect. I have had some good runs and some not so good runs. My pace has picked up since Ironman training, but my long runs are still about 1:30min/mi slower than when I ran my last marathon (Boston 2015). I have been trying to stay consistent with strength workouts, but of course some weeks have been better than others. I have been feeling pretty healthy, but this past week my body has just been really tired (no clue why). My plan is to take it easy this last week and run the marathon at a very conservative pace; however, I am still unsure what a conservative pace is - 9:30min/mi? 9min/mi? 8:30min/mi?. I would love to qualify for Boston again, but I don't want to get my hopes up.
On another note, I have started reading the book below and I HIGHLY recommend it! I plan to do a blog post on it soon.
The Three C's in Life: Choice, Chance, and Change
This quote could not be more fitting. In 2 weeks I will be moving to Raleigh, North Carolina. This will be the 4th city I have lived in during my 20s: Williamsburg for college, Cleveland for graduate school (my hometown), Cincinnati for my first “real” job, and now Raleigh for work. I have learned that moving to a new city isn’t easy; in fact, it is one of the most difficult challenges I have faced.
These challenges, though, have made me who I am today. I have learned valuable life lessons, gained self-confidence, and made lasting friendships. When I moved to Cincinnati 4 years ago I was lost. I was no longer a Division 1 athlete or a student and my dreams of going to medical school were fading. Furthermore, I didn’t know anyone in Cincinnati, my job wasn’t challenging, and I didn’t have any hobbies. However, eventually things changed. I decided to join a running group and through this group I developed a wonderful group of friends and goals to work towards. I completed my first half marathon, marathon, triathlon, and eventually my first Ironman.
Looking back, moving to a new city was a challenge, but it was most definitely worth it. I am looking forward to new choices, chances, and changes in Raleigh :).
A few reasons why fall is my favorite season:
It has been three weeks since IM Chattanooga. Usually it takes me weeks to recover from a running race, but for some reason my recovery is always much better with triathlons. Since I was feeling good, I decided to jump on the fall-marathon bandwagon and sign up for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I have never done this race, but I have heard great things about it. During IM training I lost a lot of my speed; my focus was on building endurance with slow runs and staying injury free. So, I am going to approach Indy with no time goals or expectations.
In order to prep for Indy I have been trying make time for more strength training. This summer my strength, PT, and stretching really fell by the wayside (there is only so much time in a day). My goal for the next few weeks is to do core workouts at least 3x/week and strength training at least 2x/week.
One of my favorite plank routines:
I have found the Nike training app and some youtube channels to have some great workouts. Here is a great core workout:
1. Definitely use the porta potty one last time. I cannot pee while I am swimming.
2. Don't put my goggles on so tight that I have a headache. That darn headache lasted all day.
3. Pack advil in my bike aid bag, just in case I do put the goggles on too tight.
4. I cannot grab water bottles with my right hand.
5. Lots of people pee on the bike = another reason not to draft! I choose to use the porta potties and was happy with that decision. I could get off my bike for those few seconds and not have a gross tri suit for the rest of the race.
6. Power walk through the water stops. I tended to take my good old time - I had no idea I was doing so well in my age group.
7. It isn't necessary to change clothes. I wore my tri suit the entire time and I was happy I didn't have to worry about changing.
8. The volunteers are absolutely amazing.
9. Most importantly, I learned that I can push myself further than I ever thought possible.