Monday, February 26, 2018

Austin Marathon - Complete!

The marathon of my nightmares, the race I had been dreading all season was finally here.  ATX marathon weekend had arrived and I was ready.  It was a good thing my bestie Jenn made us run the new course 2x's as part of our 17 & 21 mile training runs, that really helped mentally and physically prepare us for the hills and course.  But let me back up, how did we get to marathon #3 after having such an amazing #2 that could not be topped???  Well, it was on Jenn's bucket list to run the Austin marathon for her 40th birthday, so of course I was going to support that initiative and I figured I at least had to run the marathon in my home town. We also managed to rope in a lot of the Pfelly's (our neighborhood running group of friends).  7 of us signed up for the marathon and 9 for the half.  My goals were to finish in under 5 hrs with a stretch goal of 4:30, oh and of course not die a horrible death.  Let's do this!!

The beginning of the week was nice and cold, in the high 30s/low 40s for morning runs.  However by Thursday temps had jumped up to 64 degrees in the morning!  The forecast was also calling for rain and high humidity, I kept having flash backs to our horrible weather conditions for 3M .  We were all praying for better weather.  At least all of our runs this week were only 3 & 4 miles, we had some amazing quick short runs and loved that it didn't consume our entire morning.  PLUS it was carb loading week!!!  I made a ton of waffles on Sunday which I ate every morning with sausage links.  I also made chicken and rice for dinner several nights, on Valentine's day I ate drunk noodles (pasta from Thai Spoon) and plenty of bread throughout the week.  Saturday evening was our #teambeef dinner.  We had a very similar meal as our 3M dinner, except this time the beef tenderloin was served warm.  I only had 1 alcoholic drink all week, 1 glass of red wine on Valentine's day.  I was going to try abstaining from alcohol for 2 weeks before the marathon but that didn't happen.

Side note, I realized 4 days after the race that I totally forgot to do my runner nails!  Oh well.

The Expo:
Several of us headed down to the Expo on Friday after lunch.  This year it was at the Palmer Events Center instead of the Austin Convention Center so we couldn't take the metro-rail.  The Expo was OK, unfortunately I didn't find any cheap shoes for me but I did find my marathon coffee mug and an awesome Wonder Woman running tank top!

ATX Marathon runners unite!

We found Ashley!  Crush it!
Expo swag, the marathon bag even came with a pair of running socks!

Saturday was really busy with kids sports in the morning, a baby shower early afternoon, later we dropped Ry off at a friends for a sleep over and took Carsyn to my parents house for the night, then we headed to the Team Beef dinner at 6:30pm.  Dinner consisted of fancy salad, mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, angle food cake & berries for dessert and beef tenderloin slices which were served warm instead of cold.  Everything tasted great!  I totally stuffed myself and went back for seconds.  As we were leaving I grabbed a couple of Team Beef signs for the littles to hold up during my race.  We got back home around 8pm so I had plenty of time to get all my race gear ready.  For the first time ever I decided to wear a skirt for a long race.  The Dona Jo skirts are amazing and stay in place so I wasn't concerned about chafing.  I also packed a bag with a change of clothes afterwards since we'd be going straight to lunch after the race.  I packed a couple new Gu's as well, toasted marshmallow and Campfire S'mores (which were awesome by the way!).

I finally hit the hey around 10:30 pm but I guess I was so anxious that I couldn't sleep.  I ended up taking 3 Advil PMs and 2 melatonin pills.  I still woke up every hour starting at 1 am.  My alarm went off at 4:45 am.  Despite the lack of sleep I got up no problem and felt wide awake.  First thing I did was check the weather: 52 degrees, cloudy/overcast, misting the entire time (5-15% change of rain), 93% humidity which dropped to 88% around 11 am, 1-3 mph winds.  This actually made me happy as it was 10 degrees cooler than 3M!  I made myself half a mini bagel with peanut butter for breakfast then drove over to the FP clubhouse to meet the rest of the ladies for our carpool downtown.

Day's husband was nice enough to drive us downtown so we didn't have to worry about parking.  We left the hood around 5:30 am and arrived at the start line around 6 am.  Plenty of time for stretching, pictures and potties.  My body knew it was a race day and I went to the bathroom 2x's before even leaving my house, then again when we got downtown.  After pictures we headed to the corrals and lined up with the 4:25 pacer, I ate my 1st Gu and waited for the race to start.  The gun sounded and we started to make our way to the start line, it took us 10 mins to finally cross the start line.  The start line had some awesome colored lights and smoke displays.  So exciting!! I couldn't believe race day was actually here and we were gonna do this!

Pfelly's running ATX!  4/18/2018

In the start line, Ready or Not here we go!

Our strategy was to go slow...running between a 9:50/10 pace the entire race.  The first 3 miles were at an incline and we had to painfully force ourselves to slow down and fight our starting adrenaline to prevent burn out.  Miles 4 & 5 were down hill and we ended up going a little faster, I had to keep telling ourselves to slow down.  At mile 6 we passed the team beef cheer station, GO BEEF.  When we hit mile 8 we mentally reset as that is where we started both training runs in preparation for the marathon.  We were feeling good and knew we could finish it!

Mile 1 - 9:57, M2 - 9:46, M3 - 9:36, M4 - 9:24, M5 - 9:26, M6 - 9:35, M7 - 9:42, M8 - 9:49

At mile 6, waving on #TeamBeef!

Miles 8 & 9 took us up Lake Austin Blvd, past Hula Hut, and then we turned onto Enfield for miles 10-12.  Enfield is very hilly and I was concerned how'd I do since I didn't have fresh legs.  Amazingly enough the hills didn't even bother us, we were ready for them!  We took that final King of the Hill on Enfield like a boss and passed the half marathoners split off and continued left onto Guadalupe.  It was at this point Jenn spend up a little and pushed ahead of me, I stayed at my 9:50 pace but always had her in my sights.  At this point I put my headphones on and listened to music while trying to spot our family and friends cheering for us.  Guadalupe was a nice straight away to 45th street.  I loved that I could recognize my surrounds and knew what to expect out of the course.  Somewhere around mile 17th was my first sighting of my family!  The hubby came out with the littles and my dad to cheer me on with their home made signs.  I saw them again around mile 18.5 and gave them high fives, no stopping for me!

M9 - 9:46, M10 - 9:47, M11 - 9:41, M12 - 9:45, M13 - 10:05 (recovery from that last hill), M14 - 9:46, M15 - 9:51, M16 - 9:50, M17 - 10:01, M18 - 10:01, M19 - 10:08

The signs my family held up for me during the race.

Somewhere around mile 18/19 I think

Having a grand ol' time

Usually around mile 17/18 my hips start to burn, however this time I noticed everything still felt pretty good.  No hip issues, lungs felt great, breathing was easy.  The only thing that hurt was the bottoms of my feet from slapping the ground and of course my knees were aching/sore (fairly typical for this distance).  At mile 20 we passed another water stop and I saw my previous boss passing out water, I was able to get his attention in time for him to wish me good luck before I was gone.  Miles 21-22 was another straight away, then we had a short stint on 5th street before turning onto Cesar Chavez.  I had been waiting for this road!  I knew the end was near as we only had about 3 miles to go.  I can do this, there's only a 5K left!!  I caught up and passed Michelle just after mile marker 23, close to the gas station.  Around mile 24 I saw Jason, he ran with me for a bit and tried to get a video but it didn't save.  I was in such a good mood, giving 2 thumbs up and super excited to almost be done.  FINALLY we hit Waller street/mile 25, those 2 miles to that street felt like forever!  At this point I briefly caught up with Jenn and gave her some encouragement before she sped up, I also skipped my last Gu.  We were within a few seconds of each other as we were winding ourselves through the last few turns.  Then came 11th street and the final doozy of a hill (how mean to put this hill right before the finish!).  I realized once we hit the incline that I still had energy to burn!  I turned it on and kicked it up that hill, the rush of knowing the finish was only 0.4 miles away had my adrenaline soaring and increased my speed,  Jenn was only 20 seconds behind me.  I turned the corner and there was my family!! I could see them right in front of the finish.  I sped over for a quick high five and flew across that finish line.  OMG!!!!  I was done, I felt great, we had survive and I had beaten all the goals I set for myself.  🏃 

M20 - 9:58, M21 - 10:05, M22 - 10:18, M23 - 10:25, M24 - 10:15, M25 - 10:24, M26 - 10:15, Last 0.36 miles - 3:36 (9:56 pace)

My official race time was 4:21:11 (9:58 pace), I was so close to beating my Houston PR of 4:18:51 (9:52 pace) and Austin was a tougher course by far!  
My Garmin said I ran 26.36 miles in 4:21:13 (9:55 pace).

feelin good

Coming in hot and happy!

Excited to cross the finish line!

We did it!  ATX marathoners!!!
The 3 amigos
Worked my butt off for this medal!

tracking results

Splits from my Garmin

Jenn and I downed a couple bottles of water as we worked our way out of the finishers  corral.  Our families were waiting for us at the very end.  I was so happy to see my littles and excited that they were able to witness me run this race.  Since this event was sponsored by High Five they had a beer garden at the end!  I had 4 free beers to drink, which I shared with the hubby and my dad.  I did manage to grab 2 snack bags at the end of the race which I gave to the littles as they were hungry.  By this point I was starting to shiver from the cold and my right knee briefly locked up for about 5 mins.  It was still around 55 degrees and overcast and my body temp was dropping rapidly.  Thankfully the hubby brought my change of clothes with him so I went into a nearby restaurant to change.  We met up with Day and Shelley in the beer garden and finished our beers while Malek went to get the car.  He picked us up not too far from the finish and we headed to Pint House Pizza for a celebratory drink(s) and food with everyone.
Celebratory lunch at Pint House Pizza

The medal is also a belt buckle!
I'm super stocked with my time and performance. The weather was awesome!! 52 degrees, overcast and misting the entire time. I even had energy at the end to kick it up that last hill and finish strong!! I couldn't have done it without my training partners Jennifer and Michelle. And big kudos to my hubby for navigating traffic and road blocks to bring my dad and the littles out to see me race! I loved seeing the signs they made for me.  All the support from my friends on the course made this race an amazing experience.

the day after - coffee in my race mug
My thighs were sore for 4 days after the race.  By Thursday I could finally get up and down without groaning and felt mostly normal.  My inner most toe on my right foot was a little tender, it had obviously been rubbing up against my toe box.  However thankfully I didn't get any blisters or black toenails.  AND I had almost zero chafing and none of it was on my inner thighs!!!  I only chafed a tiny bit on the inside of my right arm from rubbing on my pack, and then a little on my backside where I think my pack rubbed on my skirt tag.  Other than that I was practically unscathed!

I did go for a run on Friday, but it was horrible and my knees protested the entire 2 miles.  I ran again on Sunday and am happy to report everything felt back to normal. 

Race prep:
What I ate:  I carb loaded 7 days before the marathon and tried not to drink any alcohol 1 week before (I caved and had 1 drink on Valentine's day).  I ate lots of waffles and syrup for breakfast, pasta and chicken & rice.  The day before the race I drank lots of water and tea. Saturday evening was the Team Beef dinner, we had salad, bread, beef tenderloin slices, grilled veggies, mashed potatoes and angel food cake with berries for dessert.  Breakfast the day of the race was 1/2 a mini bagel with peanut butter and water.  I ate a Gu every 5 miles during the race and one Gu 10 mins before the race started, I did skip my last Gu which would have been at mile 25.  I had my hydration vest so I didn't have to stop at any water stops.
What I wore:  Dona Jo skirt w/ side pockets, beef tank top, stuff your bra (more pockets!), hat, Garmin Vivoactive HR watch, hydration vest, Brooks Glycerin shoes (sz 10), spenco earthbound insoles and wrightsocks double layer socks.  I went up another 1/2 size in my shoes from a 9.5 to size 10.
Other items I carried:  Cell phone, 6 Gu's, mp3 player, sun glasses, chapstick.

Monday, January 22, 2018

3M Half Marathon 2018

The last time I ran 3M was back in 2015 and I PR'd with a 1:55:21 chip time.  I didn't run in 2016 as I had completed the Houston Marathon the weekend before with a PR of 4:18.  I was supposed to run 3M last year but I was recovering from my hip injury and couldn't run any of the ADC.  3 years later I finally got to run 3M again, though I wasn't sure if I'd be able to PR.  A few of us Pfelly's are training for Austin Full in Feb, so speed was not our goal.  I should have followed my plan and run a more consistent pace, but instead I tried to go out at that PR pace from 3 years ago and it was not meant to be.  Nasty weather conditions and little speed/track work quickly squashed those dreams.

The weather all week was excellent!  Super cold, in the 20's every morning, making for great runs.  However by the time we got to Saturday the weather changed!  It was muggy, 100% humidity, rainy, 7-8 mph winds and it was already 60 degrees at 4am!  This did not bode well for my race, my pace is drastically affected by heat and humidity.  The only nice thing about the weather was that it was overcast instead of clear.

Saturday night we ate at the Team Beef Headquarters, #fuledbybeef!  I don't remember who catered the food but it was really good!  Fancy salad, mashed potatoes, bread, grilled veggies, these amazing cold beef tenderloin slices (rare, just the way I like it!) and for dessert they had angel food cake with berries/sauce and whipped cream.  I was stuffed!  After dinner I came home and got everything ready for my race before heading to bed at 10:30 pm.

My alarm went off at 5:25 am and the 1st thing I did was check the weather.  The rain had pushed out, so no longer thunderstorms during the race, but the temp was now 62 degrees with 99% humidity.  UGH!  I did not eat my normal toast with PB as I was still full from the beef dinner.  I met the rest of the Pfelly's at the FP clubhouse at 6:15 am and then we all carpooled to the gateway theater which was right next to the starting line.  Thankfully I didn't need to use the potty as the lines were crazy long.  We took some group pics, I ate my Gu, and then headed to the start line at 7:15 am.  This year the race started at 7:30 am instead of 7.  I lined up around the 1:50 pace group, delusions of grandeur.

Per-race group shot 1/21/2018

Ready to run!

I felt strong when we started, going out at an 8:30 pace, it rained on us about 1/2 a mile in but it didn't last long.  I was able to keep a sub 9 pace for the first 5 miles.  However by mile 4 I felt like puking, the humidity was getting to me, so I started to slow down.  By mile 8 the 2 hr pacer group passed me and I realized I had to give up my goal of breaking 2 hours and just focus on finishing.  Mile 10 was my slowest mile as that was uphill.  Normally I would have had my 3rd Gu at this time but nothing sounded good and I was worried I'd puke if I ate it, so I skipped it.  I was able to pick up my pace a bit the last 3 miles as I just wanted the race to be over.  They changed the course a little at the end and I liked the last mile to the finish, it was a flat straight away vs the turn and incline to the finish it had been in past years.

By the ADC tent - thank goodness we are done!

My official chip time was 2:02:09 at a 9:19 pace.  My Garmin said I ran 13.2 miles in 2:02:10 for a 9:15 pace.  I felt miserable but at least it was over and I got my medal.  We waited until 10 am for the rest of the runners before heading to the buses at which point it began to rain on us.  Once back at our cars we changed clothes and headed over to NXNW for brunch at 11 am.  NXNW gave us a free drink with our bibs!  My favorite thing about this day was the brunch and bloody Mary's.  😀

Next up, Austin Full.  Finger's crossed for better weather...I'm dreading this marathon.

capitol pic

Avg pace - 9:15 (going off 13.2 miles, Garmin)
Mile 1 - 8:24, Mile 2 - 8:35, Mile 3 - 8:43, Mile 4 - 8:48, Mile 5 - 8:57, Mile 6 - 9:11, Mile 7 - 9:16, Mile 8 - 9:22, Mile 9 - 9:35, Mile 10 - 10:01 (incline), Mile 11 - 9:55, Mile 12 - 9:52 Mile 13 - 9:35, last 0.2 - 1:46 (8:48 pace)


Race prep:
What I ate:  Team Beef dinner at Beef Council Headquarters; cold beef tenderloin, bread, mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, angel food cake w/ berries.  I skipped my traditional race breakfast this time.  I wore my hydration vest so I didn't have to stop at any water stops, 3 Gu's total throughout the race (1 at start, mile 5 and I skipped mile 10).
What I wore:  My lulu speed track shorts, team beef tank, hat, Garmin watch, hydration vest, Brooks Glycerin shoes (size 10), Sof Sole running socks.  I did not gear check anything.
Other items I carried:  3 Gu's, mp3 player, phone.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Running Review

I didn't post a running review for 2016 because I injured my hip and had to sell off all my ADC bibs.  By the very end of Dec last year I was just starting to run maybe 20 mins every other day.  To help with my recovery I joined a neighborhood bootcamp.  Bootcamp helped me to strengthen my core and hips and reboot my fitness and health.  I had gained a lot of weight due to my injury and hit an all time weight high.  Bootcamp and my meal plan helped me to lose 20-25 lbs and strengthen my body again so that I could run!

I was able to run the Texas Independence Relay in March and Deutschen Pfest 5K in May.  I had a couple set backs and residual pain but after June that disappeared all together.  

Then my friend Jenn decided she wanted to run Austin Full for her 40th bday so I begrudgingly agreed to run it with her.  Hence began my training for marathon #3!  So far training has gone really well.  I had one set back in Sept when I broke my right baby toe and couldn't run for a good 3 weeks.  However by the 1st week of Oct I was back at it and was able to run the 80's 8K for my birthday.   ;)  Talk about being lucky!  I've heard some people couldn't run for over 2 months after breaking a toe.  Who would have ever thought a baby toe could be so bloody painful!?!?!

In November I decided to try the Shiner half marathon.  OMG this race is so much fun!.  :)  I will totally do this again next year.  I even got the hubby to come out and run the 10K.  They throw an amazing after party where you get 2 free sausages and 4 free beers!  BEST RACE EVER!

To end the year we signed up for the Austin Rockin' Resolution Race 20 miler.  We had to run a 20 miler anyways for training so why not do a race and get a medal!!  We braved the bitter cold 38-36 degree temps (yes it got colder as we ran), 13 mph winds, oh and misty/overcast conditions for an overall great run!  I took 3rd place in my age group!

Total miles ran in 2017:  744 miles according to Garmin.  Not bad considering my hip injury at the beginning of the year and a broken pinky toe!

3/25-26 - Texas Independence Relay, ran 13.5 miles total
5/21 - Deutschen Pfest 5K - 26:02, 8:21 pace
10/8 - 80's 8K - 42:32 (garmin), 8:33 pace
11/18 - Shiner Half -  2:02:36, 9:22 pace
12/31 - Rockin' Resolution 20 miler - 3:13:34, 9:41 pace, 3rd place in age group.

Upcoming races for 2018:
1/21 - 3M Half
2/18 - Austin Full
3/24-25 - TIR
April - Cap10K
May 20th - Deutschen pfest 5K 
Sept 30th - 80s 8K (ADC)
Nov - Run for the Water 10 miler (ADC) and Shiner
Dec - Decker half (ADC)
Jan 2019 - 3M (ADC)
Feb 2019 - Austin Half (ADC)

I plan to run the Austin Distance Challenge in 2018-2019.

Race Recaps 2017 - 80s 8K, Shiner Half, NYE Resolution Run

I've been bad about blogging my runs this year and have missed 3 races!  Recaps below.

80's 8K in October (my bday run!) followed by birthday brunch.
It was a great morning for a race!  68 degrees, 66% humidity and clear.  My toe did great (broke it Sept 2nd) and didn't bother me at all.  I finished in 42:32 (garmin) with an 8:33 pace!  Official chip time was 42:30.

Shiner Half in November.
This race was so much fun!!!  Totally running this again next year.  We arrived Friday night in Gonzales, the race and after party was Saturday morning, then we had a late dinner and spent the night to recover, heading back home Sunday morning.  An awesome weekend for sure!  Official time 2:02:36 with a 9:22 pace.  Malek ran the 10K in 1:04:44 with a 10:26 pace.  Thankfully it was overcast for the race as it was warm!  71-76 degrees and overcast with 16 mph winds.  The half course reminded me of Decker, but not quite as bad.  There was even about 1 mile where the course was loose gravel!  After finishing the race the sun came out which made for an amazing day partying in front of the Shiner brewery!  Couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Arriving at the race grounds

Celebrating after the run with free beer and sausage!

haha Beef vs no meat athlete!

dinner and come and take it bar & grill
official race photo

official race photo

official race photo

NYE Austin Rockn' Resolution Race - 20 miler (training run for Austin Full).
Closed out 2017 with a 20 miler race!  Braved the bitter cold 38-36 degree temps (yes it got colder as we ran), 13 mph winds, oh and misty/overcast conditions for an overall great run!  I even managed to snag 3rd place for my age group.  I loved that we had RR donuts and champagne at the finish line.  Thank goodness for my partner in crime (Jenn C) who ran with me.  I wore a lulu long sleeve half zip, team beef tank, tights, rulu ear warmers (which I took off at mile 8), gloves (which I took off at mile 3) and hydration vest.  I ate 4 gu's the entire race as well.  The course was a bit short at 19.6 miles, so after we crossed the finish line we finished the last 0.4 in the parking lot.  Official time 3:09:34 with a 9:29 pace.  My Garmin had me at 3:13:34 for 20 miles with a 9:41 avg pace.

7:30am start, the warmest part of the day (38 degrees)
Feeling good at the finish!

official results

Garmin results

the medal

Monday, October 30, 2017

Spooktacular BOO-ze Bash! 2017

Another successful Spooktacular party in the books!  We had another excellent turn out and we rose the dead and partied til dawn (or kinda close to it) until 1am with returning and new friends.  This year the theme in our formal dining room was Hell's gym!  We had a skeleton on the treadmill, one lifting weights and another doing push-ups.  There was also a muscle milk/juice bar in the back.

This year for my costume I paid tribute to Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia (who passed away in Dec 2016).

  Happy Halloween!

The ladies

Princess Leia and Jabba the Hutt

Your ghoulish (g)hosts!

Hell's gym

Carsyn's 4th Birthday

Happy 4th Birthday to our precious baby girl Carsyn.  You are full of spunk and life with a lovely, quirky sense of humor.  You brighten up our lives with your generous nature, amazing hugs and lovable kisses.

Carsyn was the happiest princess on the block for her royal celebration.  She was beyond ecstatic when Princess Belle arrived to socialize with the birthday girl and entertain her guests.  I was concerned about the weather as a cold front came through that weekend accompanied by 20 mph winds!  Luckily it warmed up to a comfortable 68 degrees just in time for her party, albeit a bit windy.  This year we hosted her party at our neighborhood pavilion and as she's all about Hello Kitty and Princess Belle, so we combined them both as her theme!  

We found Princess Belle at Princess Parties and More and booked the Glass Slipper package.  Carsyn and all the other kids reactions were priceless, totally worth it!  They played games, read books, had their faces painted and took pictures with the Princess.  The night before her party, Princess Belle called Carsyn to tell her how excited she was to be invited to her celebration.  She even sent Carsyn a thank you note with a picture of the two of them after the party.  

A huge thank you to everyone that was able to join us and celebrate Carsyn's royal 4th birthday! 

Head over to mymomsmemos for the full recap

The evite:

Be Our Guest
for an Enchanted Royal Celebration!

Princess Carsyn is turning 4!

All Princesses, Princes and Pirates from across the land
are gathering for an event that's sure to be grand!

Royal attire encouraged. (Any storybook character will do!)
Carsyn is all about Hello Kitty, so it's a Princess Hello Kitty party!

We will have a visit from Princess Belle for storytelling, games, magic and so much more!

Royal Snacks, drinks and cake will be served.

Happy Birthday Carsyn!

Princess Belle and Birthday girl

Make a wish!

The setup
The royal setup, complete with costumes!

Princess Belle attended the party!

pirate coins

my little lady