A New Plan

So many people have asked me what my race plans are for this next year.

Ok fine, like three. And one is my boyfriend’s dad who probably just asked to make conversation.

Anyway, my answer was always the same.
“Oh, I don’t know… I may take this year off from the longer races….”13.1

And then my best friend Laura decides she wants to repeat our awesomeness from last year when we ran the Allstate 13.1 Chicago. I wasn’t really hot on the idea at first, but I do enjoy how it’s a reason for people to come visit me. So we signed up for this year’s Michelob Ultra 13.1 Chicago.

It is amazing the hoops you can get me to jump through with the promise of a visit: run 13.1 miles, put in 12 weeks of solid training, and drink less wine. I must REALLY miss my friends.

Anyway, instead of telling you all about this grand plan I’ve meticulously written out and will follow with no deviation whatsoever, I will present you with my “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of half marathon training. Because, let’s face it, I’m too-hard headed to have something (or someone?) tell me what to do.

Do
1. Take the strength and core training effort up a notch. It’s the core that gets you there, my friends. PLANKS FOR EVERYONE!
2. Progressively add a mile to each long run on the weekends. Since the mister and I are generally pretty lame on Fridays by staying in and having a threesome with Redbox, I think we’re ok here.
3. Eat less sugar. My snackage needs an overhaul. I work in the Loop and am within walking distance of no less than 4 cupcake shops. We also won’t even get started with my newfound love of gourmet donut shops.
4. Crosstrain more. I love me some treadmill action in the mornings before work. But perhaps it’s time to rekindle my relationship with the elliptical. Or stairs. Or the row machine. Groan.
5. Keep hydrated. Keeping hydrated does not include drinking more Diet Coke. Stop drinking Diet Coke, Amy. Stop it.

a-gallon-of-diet-coke-straight-to-the-dome

Don’t
1. Die. That’s my main goal of this race. Don’t die. No speed goals… just live to get through the finish line and to the beer station. Stay alive to have a happy day of shenanigans afterwards. Simple stuff.
2. Skip weekend runs. I have a couple of weekends out of town scheduled when my so-called training plan should start, so I may have to do some recruiting to get people to think it’s a good idea to join me on those days (don’t tell the boyfriend that it’s most definitely going to be him).
3. Stress out. From prior experience, I know that at about the 9-10 mile run days are where I start to lose it. Motivation starts to drop. Enjoyment goes out the window. You know… the most important things you need to get through the workout? I have to remember this is an activity I signed up for in hopes of having fun with my friend. We shall treat it as such.
4. Die. Oh, did I write that one down already? Well. Yeah. It’s an important one. We can mention it again.

So there you have it. My new half marathon training plan.

When will it start, you ask?

Um. March? ish?

Or maybe after one last slab of cake from Magnolia Bakery?

Yeah. Let’s go with that.

Hot Chocolate 15k 2011

Hello there!

Enjoying daylight savings? I’m not. My internal clock is all up in a tizzy.

However, I did find out TBS plays Saved by the Bell SUPER early on Sunday mornings. So there’s a win.

Another win? Finishing the Hot Chocolate 15k with a new PR!

Obviously, that makes me feel like this:Yay!

There were doubts. Because even after listing out all the things I knew to do better from last year’s disasterous run, there’s a pretty good chance I did not learn anything.

For example, there was only one long run done outside. And none in the colder(ish) weather. My bad…

That was ok, though. Going into the race, I really just wanted to have a good run with my friend. And it was a gorgeous day to do it:Not a cloud in the sky. And even though it was low to mid-40′s, the sun made the temps feel so much better.

Already better than last year.

What also made the race better? The bigger race course- it was ALL on the streets (unlike the narrow lake path last year). I only felt a little claustrophobic from race congestion for the first mile or two. As did the two girls who collided and ate serious asphalt around the second turn. It was a cringeworthy fall to watch.

My friend and I stayed together and kept a pretty good pace up until entering the 5th mile. That’s where he started to slow down and shooed me along. Little did he know, I was feeling the fatigue, too, but slowly crept ahead anyway.

The 6th mile is where I hit a major wall. The entire mile SUCKED. I wanted to walk. I was tired. My body was starting to ache.

It cannot be stressed enough- the 6th mile was AWFUL.

My stride came back in the 7th. My legs knew the end was near and picked up the pace to get this business over with.

From there on out, it was a breeze.

Wait, I take that back.

What genius makes the last .3 uphill?

And what genius lined that stretch with event photographers? There were 3. And I imagine those 3 pictures will look like this:

1. A pained expression because the hill started. Not realizing a picture of me is being taken.

2. An annoyed expression because the hill sucks and I cannot believe they are documenting this hot mess.

3. Me laughing at the ridiculousness of what is going down. This may also look like slight delusion.

Final stats:

1:19:08.
8:30 pace.
1133/9067 out of the females.
311/2324 out of my division.
2860/13430 overall.

Oh, and about a pound of chocolate was consumed after…Yes, I do run for chocolate.

Once again, I traded the apple and banana slices for extra pretzel rods. Fruit should not be allowed anywhere near my plate…

In summary, this race ended up being way better than my experience last year. The course was better, there was better overall organization, and I was much more prepared.

Oh happy day…Enjoy your Sunday! I shall be lounging. And after looking at the race pictures, I think I’ll also be repainting my nails. Word.

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