BMW Dallas Half Marathon Recap!

Let’s start off with the good stuff, shall we, on this edition of the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Yes, I met my goal of a 2:10 half marathon! Specifically, I ran 2:10:45 with an avg 9:58 pace. I asked my feet to fly and they did what I’d trained for with an 8 min PR! It was a lovely 35° at the start line – I met the most awesome people! My 2:10 pace crew also seemed nice.

Now the bad. Allow me to be a bit dramatic. My pacers were pushing us 20-30 seconds faster than what we were told we’d be running. I was able to stay with them the first 5 miles, then I dropped back. I don’t train to run non-stop. In fact, only one time have I ever run an entire half marathon without walking. It’s just not me. I’m super proud for holding on for 5 miles! But that wasn’t the plan. After the race was over, I remembered hearing pacers talk about this course “running long”, no pun intended, which means in order for pacers to lead their runners across the finish line in their prescribed time, the pacers were going to have to run faster. My unofficial course time was 2:12, but Garmin showed I ran my 13.1 in 2:10. Thank you, Garmin! Finally! I reject the course time.

So here’s the ugly. Because I spent the first almost half of the race running faster than I had trained for, miles 6-11 were brutal. The walking increased, even though I was still mostly holding on to a 9:45 pace. I began to favor my left hip/leg/hamstring/knee which caused a lot of pain in my right foot. So glad I decided to put BCAAs in my CamelBak and fuel with jelly beans. Even then, those middle miles felt awful.

pre-race injury treatment – long story for another day

Overall, course support was amazing! There were people giving out donuts, beer, mixed drinks, extra energy bars, and who knows what else. The water stops – though I used my own hydration – were frequent and plentiful. The bands on nearly every other street corner were more entertaining than anything I’ve seen in a Rock n Roll event. And those events should be bursting with music! Finish line food was great: pizza, tacos, bananas, enrrgy bars, more Gatorade, tons of chocolate milk, sweets; it was all incredible!

Morgan from Oregon kicked butt out there! She, too, dealt with the disappointment of a long course and too-fast pacers, but I think she rocked it! She’s got an upcoming 15k event and we’ve discussed a late summer run nearer to her so we’ll see.

At this moment, I’m retiring from the half marathon. Remind me next time I tell you all I want to race again!

_________________________

I ask you –

How was your weekend? Anything exciting?

Runners, do you write motivational things on your pace band, arm, etc?

Chance I’ll stay “retired”: 60/40

It’s Race Week!

Disclaimer: I didn’t bring my laptop to edit posts so I’m sure the photos below are not centered and are probably so large everyone in space can see them. Apologies.

Garmin conveniently says I’m in Recovery mode, but on Monday, it felt like anything but. The wind was 90,000 mph with a wind chill of 30-something°. I opted out of the optional 10 mins on the end of the run which gave me a solid 2.48 miles.

the gloves in my reflection saved my life!

More “recovery” work, even at a tempo pace. Seriously, Garmin, I don’t understand you. I suppose working harder than what is expected during the race could be considered a recovery. In some worlds maybe.

Final run before race day was as expected…I don’t know what I mean by that because I had no expectations. My hamstring was really bothering me, even with the medicinal regimen, but my plan is to power through it all and reach my goal. I’ll keep you posted.

Beautiful day!!

Tomorrow morning is the big day! I didn’t sleep well last night due to a comedy of hotel errors but tonight my plan is to get to bed early and rest up. I’m excited about an actual, real life expo because I realized I haven’t been to one of those since Morgan from Oregon and I ran NOLA in 2019! Time flies when you’re having fun (that’s my mantra for tomorrow!)

Hotel life

Final call: You can track me using this link (find my name – Kelly Atwell):  https://rtrt.me/ulink/RRSA/RRS-DALLAS-2021/tracker/RBRE5GLH/focus

Hope you all have an amazing day!

This one? + She’s Home!

Holiday Half Marathon, circa 10 December, Portland, Oregon.

Oh elevation

It’s just an option. I’m really enjoying “training” during my “off season”. Sounds so professional! This is the time of year where I refuse to run a mile or commit to anything because it’s hot and I don’t fancy dying outdoors under the blazing sun. You really can’t blame me. So the fact I am actually committed to a training plan and – most importantly – STILL RUNNING should be celebrated. Preferably with ice cream!

Right now, I’m a few weeks in to a 10k plan feat. by Garmin. It includes hills and speed runs. Those are now dirty words in my vocabulary and I loathe them. BUT! Those hills and speed (cringe) workouts are going to come in handy when I run at elevation this winter. Provided I don’t freeze to death first.

Better get started on buying for real cold weather running gear. However, I did survive a few sub-zero runs during the February 2021 Texas Blizzard. I’ll be fine!

Speaking of weather acclimation, I stumbled across this great article about heat training, specifically in regards to the Olympic trials postponement the other day. You can read it here. There really are a lot of factors that make up our ability to either acclimate or suffer in hot weather. My fancy new watch tells me I’m now 18% acclimated! If I reach 20%, we’ll all be shocked.

my little love bug

Since mini got home, I haven’t had a ton of time…to myself, to run, to do much except focus on her. I’m not worried. Remember, I’m not training yet.

______________________

I ask you –

What’s next on your race calendar? Anyone running RnR VA Beach next month? My nemesis.

How does running in the heat affect you?

Favorite hot weather treat? Ice cream, hands down!

Old Age and such / Today is a Very Special Day!!

Trying to go to sleep many nights ago, I remembered when I feared I had a stress fracture. Because bedtime is the perfect time for your brain to think about…everything. At the time, I was routinely wearing steel-toed boots for my job as a government contractor. Those suckers are heavy! Pretty sure the boots hadn’t caused the possible injury, so I was looking for other reasons. Mileage and running were the culprits, in my mind.

Stretching with my shadow

Some weeks went by and as I was contemplating finally calling my doctor I realized the problem. As a right-side sleeper, I typically lay with my left leg over the top of my right with my left heel wedged firmly into the top of my right foot. Exactly where the pain was. Once I made a conscious decision to move my feet away from each other, the pain subsided within days.

So what exactly is the point of this jog down memory lane? Honestly, I don’t remember anymore but I’m sure there’s a lesson here somewhere.

Now it’s coming back to me! My coworker recently shared women should be getting their first mammogram around age 35. Wait. I’m 35. So now I need to remember to call my doctor. At least the coworker said colonoscopy screening is near age 40. Small favors. You can bet I’ll be sharing all those details.

Again, I digress. Seems the pulled ACL/MCL issue I’ve been toying with for many months now may be caused by none other than yours truly. Shocking, I know. When I’m sitting or have my legs up – which I do often – I tend to cross my feet at the ankles, left over right. This position places strain on my inner right knee which is exactly where I develop bruising and pain especially as training mileage increases. Coincidence? Ha!

1 of 5

So here we are to this point. I’m attempting to keep my legs in their proper places. Preferably not kicking anyone, although I did take a knee to the shin one night and considered it. Next thing you know I’ll forget where that bruise came from because middle 30s and all.

Final thought: speaking of old age – today is my sweet baby’s 5th birthday. It’s so hard to believe because I could never imagine this day. Everything about her pushes me to be a better person. Even when it’s not-so-sweet qualities. She knows my every button, my every weakness, my every desire for all good things in her life. Yet she tries me still. She tree, me apple.

________________________

I ask you –

Do you self diagnose or make an immediate appointment with professionals?

Be honest – how often do you forget things?

Coincidences don’t exist! I’ll say it.

When? What’s When?

Knowing when to say when is very important.

My De Facto Running Coach

But it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt your pride or your feelings.

Let me back up a little. I’d found myself so accustomed to weeks of great runs that it was bound to happen yet I still wasn’t ready. Who is ever really ready? Maybe the signs had been there all day. Kel, they were there. I took it easy, stayed off my feet, ate like I should, did all the things. Yet something felt ‘off’.

So a few steps into mile 1, when my calves cramped up and began to burn like hell’s firecrackers and my hamstrings didn’t dare let my calves have a party without them, I knew I was in trouble. May I remind you – this was only mile 1. Of 8!

Return of the jellybeans!

It’s not unusual (read: it happens more often than not) for mile 1 to give me issues. Rather I believe it’s my brain struggling to accept what I’m doing. I usually power through it, find my stride, and keep on moving. Somehow this was entirely different. When I began to hobble and parts of my body began to bounce that don’t normally bounce (that’s a picture, isn’t it), I knew it was time to make a big decision. A) Continue with an altered gait and possibly do damage or B) Call it and go home to cry.

In true dramatic fashion, I silently drove home and felt a few tears fall while I massaged, foam rolled, rehydrated, and rested my weary heart, I mean legs.

Ice cream is my cure all that ails me

Being able to say ‘when’ isn’t a lesson that comes naturally. It’s a struggle in humility. Or desperation. However, good things come of humbling yourself. Like re-working your schedule to add a missed run on the backend, just like you designed in case of situations like this because your brain knew sometimes… you’ll have to say when.

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I ask you –

How hard is it to admit your pride has been bruised?

Do you consider yourself to be a dramatic person? I’m only dramatic in story telling.

Tell me a situation where you had to say when.