After work tomorrow I leave for Portland to run the Helvetia 1/2 marathon Saturday morning. Where have the past several weeks gone!? I signed up for Helvetia back in February and June 11th seemed so far away then.....time flys when you are having fun!
This will be my second year running Helvetia with Cassie, and I hope not the last. I already have a feeling that it will be a great weekend! I am really looking forward to my Helvetia burger after the race too...I can't remember the last time I had a hamburger-December??? January?????
Helvetia is a pretty challenging course- there are a lot of rolling hills! They seem never ending, but I have been running hills like crazy on all of my runs to try and be prepared. Luckily, it shouldn't be as hot as it was last year so I am hoping that I don't die on the course like I felt like I was going to last year. I have been tracking weather.com all week and it looks like Saturday will be a high somewhere between 65-70 degrees and partly cloudy. Perfect morning running weather.
After much thought over the last week I have decided against wearing my IPOD. I am hoping that this decision doesn't come back and bite me in the butt. I figure I need to really keep my pace in check and my music/IPOD might be distracting. I am also always in my "zone" and don't ever really pay that much attention to my music during a race like I would on a training run anyways. At Windermere I was so yucky and sweaty that the last couple of miles my ear buds wouldn't stay in place and it was annoying having to mess with them.
It has been almost 4 weeks since Windermere I am feeling fantastic. I have gotten in several solid runs and mixed up my cross training with class, spin, and TRX. I am pretty stubborn (SHOCKER!!!), but I am finding that by listening to Amy, I am actually making some great strides in my running. On my 10 mile run, I took 3 minutes off of my overall time and on a 5 mile tempo run I averaged a 7:04 pace (these runs were in the same week!!!). I don't think that I have ever ran a 5 mile tempo run that fast before. I was shocked, but mostly shocked that it felt awesome. Woo! Hoo! I am mildly obsessed with spin- it is incredibly addicting. I like to "compete" against myself to see how many miles I can get in. It is also some of the best cross training I have ever done.
I will admit that I have struggled a bit this last week. I only had 2 runs which felt weird- I have always struggled with tapering. On Monday I went to spin at 6 am and then I had a 5 mile tempo run after work. I was tired/crabby and it was cold outside, but I pushed through the run. I couldn't get my pace right so I was getting frustrated- first I was going too fast so I would slow and then I was going to slow. UGH! I finally got into a rhythm about mile 3 and pushed through with an average pace of 7:03. It was faster than the week before, but it didn't feel good because I was exhausted from running so late in the day and from spin class. If it hadn't started to rain on me I probably wouldn't have picked up the pace that last mile.
The last couple of weeks I have also been really focusing on what I eat. I was watching my food intake before, but now I am focused on eating a little more everyday 1300 calories or so and watching my % of fat, protein, and carbs more closely. I also have one day a week where I eat about 1500-1800 calories- that is usually on Saturday so that Cam and I can eat out. Currently I am trying to maintain my daily carb intake to 45%, protein to 30%, and fat to 25%. It took a couple of days to get into the swing of watching my %, but I think that I have gotten it down. I am finding that it helps to plan out my food the day before so that I can make sure that I am eating the correct amounts. I would usually plan out my lunch and snacks, but now I plan everything that I will eat the day before. I am telling you, this being healthy is time consuming- but so worth it.
After Helvetia I am just going to spend the summer focusing on getting stronger, faster and having solid runs to take me into CIM in December. I know that CIM is still months away, but I want to be as prepared as possible. I plan on running a couple more 1/2 marathons and some 10Ks prior to CIM. December will be here before I blink!
So much to be looking forward too in the coming months! :-)