Chasing 13.1-Fall Races and Celebrating Autumn!

13.1 – Half marathon-Not just half of anything.  This is the distance that challenges me and pushes me to my limits.  This distance is a combination of speed and stamina over a period of 13.1 miles.  

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2016 Navy Air Force Half Marathon 

13.1 – Goals-  Since this past spring (2016), I have been building base mileage, increasing my weekend long runs and working on my mental stamina and speed for this distance.  Last fall of 2015, I ran my 7th half marathon-back in November (Annapolis Classic Half Marathon)  and prior to that, the Navy Air Force half marathon, last September.   Both half marathons were sub 2 hours.  Earlier this summer, I ran the Portland Maine Shipyard Half marathon-an early July race that was cool and cloudy-very hilly course (1:59xx)

Break Down -Navy Air Force Half (2015, 2016) September races

  • 1:55:31:31-  cool morning, low humidity
  • 1:58:18- warm morning, extremely humid

Break Down-Annapolis Classic Half Marathon (hilly course)  Early December and Late November Race (2013 and 2015)

  • 1:57 in early December of 2013-cold start
  • 1:56:46 in late November of 2015-chilly start

Looking back on my last several fall marathons- I see consistency, steady pace and overall strengths.  Looking back at my individual splits for these races, I see that I go out strong in the first 6-7 miles, then slowly my pace declines and I “sputter”.  I feel that I am still working on and training for that combination of sustained endurance and maintaining speed.

Training this past summer and early fall- I have been focused on “long runs” of 10+ miles every week.  Also, adding some tempo runs of 6-7 miles, along with breaking up my 3-4 mile runs with 400s and 800s for speed.

Two More Half Marathons for Fall 2016

I have two more half marathons on the schedule for this fall racing season.  A very hilly, new to me race in Vermont-Leaf Peeper Half Marathon which I am running as part of the Rise Run Retreat weekend, hosted/created by Sarah of RunFarGirl and Jessica of RunLadyLike !  Vermont is going to be another strong, tune up race!! Some good hills to work in that race!  Vermont Half is next weekend-October 2nd!!

Then, I have the Annapolis Classic Half Marathon in mid/late November.  This will be my “goal race”!!  This will be my third time running the Annapolis Classic Half Marathon!!  I feel ready to shave off 3 minutes-(aiming for 1:53xx)  Join me on November 19th in Annapolis for this awesome race!  1 dozen oysters and beer at the finish line!  CODE MAINEGIRL2RUNS16 for a discount at REGISTRATION  

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Image Credit: Found Here

Okay!!  Time to celebrate fall weather, autumn related activities and cooler, less humid weather!!  Fall is my absolute my favorite time of year!!  I love the 70 degree days and the 50 degree nights!!  I am a jeans and sweater kind-of-girl!!  Hoping for one more trip north, to Maine, before the end of October! I am looking forward to –

  • apple picking
  • bonfires
  • wine on the deck
  • wearing all my Ll Bean Sweaters!!
  • A/C off-windows open and fresh air in
  • Enjoying those gorgeous fall colors in the trees

And-this time next week, I will be spending time with some amazing women!!  SO excited to meet some fellow runners/bloggers in person, for the first time!!  I am attending Rise Run Retreat  in beautiful Waterbury, Vermont!  Even though I grew up in Maine, I have never been to Vermont!  This retreat is going to be the highlight of my fall season!  Running has brought me the incredible gift of –experiences, meeting other women, and creating lasting memories.  I am looking forward to a long weekend of running, laughter, sharing life stories and learning so much from this experience!!  The retreat is hosting some great guest speakers/companies that will be presenting on topics related to nutrition, recovery and overall wellness! The Sponsors at RiseRunRetreat are amazing companies/brands!!  A few months ago, I posted about my blood work analysis –Training, Nutrition and A Blood Test  and so I am really “pumped” to meet the faces behind Inside Tracker at this retreat!

 

So-there you have it!!  Happy Friday!  What’s on your fall race schedule?  What are you celebrating?  

Running is Both Solitary and Social

 I have always felt that running has been both solitary and social.  Solitary in that sense that many runners train during the days, weeks and months leading up to races, alone-out there on the roads and trails, putting in the miles in solitude.  Whether it is solitary by choice or just circumstance.  The social aspects of running bring with it many benefits and rewards.  It is a sport that thrives on encouragement, motivation and the celebration of hard training. 

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Solitary miles can be soul searching and therapeutic.  Out there on the roads, trails or track-hearing just the sound of your own breathing and your stride hitting the pavement.  This is where you are not just strengthening your body, but your mind as well.  Willing yourself, motivating yourself to put in the work, even when no one else is around to push you through the workout.  Getting up in the early dark hours or getting out there in the late evening hours, no one but yourself to push and motivate.

It is in these singular/solitary moments, that you remind yourself that there are others out there at this very moment, training and putting in the early morning or late evening runs.

Running is a social sport, in the sense that it brings camaraderie and  common goals together through training programs and on race day.  Social Media has also made running a social sport, virtual cheers along the way during training and race day.  Runners sharing their ups and downs with training and celebrating their accomplishments on various social media outlets.    Even in those dark, solitary hours during training-thoughts of other runners motivate you to keep going.  Running can can connect people. Running grows friendships among individuals, through training, blogging and racing.  

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A celebration of hard training on race day

On race day, runners celebrate together.  It is a social event of ‘cheers and high fives’ along the course, everyone moving towards the finish line.  Out on the course. runners giving each other words of encouragement.  The sense of belonging-every runner out there for the same reasons-to be strong, trust their training, and be the best of themselves.  We are all out there-feeding off the energy of each other on race day! 

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That moment when all runners toe the line on race day.  All of us waiting to give our best. 

Whether you train alone on a regular basis or meet up for regular training runs with a partner/group, running straddles the line of both solitary and social.  There are those common threads that connect and motivate us through the training miles and on race day.  Miles of sweat, moments of doubt and trusting our training.  Knowing that we are all out there giving our best effort and sharing the celebrations of hard training, connects us.

 

A Quick Look Back, Update and Summer Memories

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Geez!  I totally fell off the blogging wagon this summer!  Summers are usually my best blogging months too, because I am not teaching!

Okay, so here it is in a nut shell!   I ended up in Maine for the entire summer!  I rented a house on Peaks Island, Maine for two weeks in July, then stayed at my parents’ new beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  (OOB)

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Peaks Island, Maine

Backstory-  I was born and raised in Maine until the age of 13.  My parents are from New Jersey, but met up in Maine during College.  They raised my brother and I in Alfred, Portland, and Gorham, Maine until January of 1988!  Then, we moved to Upstate New York, along the Hudson River.  A year later, my parents bought a second home, a condo in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  So we would spend summers and holidays at the condo in Maine through my high school years. (End of June through Labor Day, because my mom was a teacher)  Maine was always our second home, but first in our hearts.  My parents would own that condo in Maine, until the fall of 2003.  Life happens, things change and my parents sold the condo in Maine, just after my daughter turned two years old.

My parents eventually ended up living in southern New Jersey.  I ended up going to college in Baltimore, Maryland where I met my husband-he is from southern Maryland!  I have taught in an elementary school in southern Maryland for the last 18 years.  My Redhead (Daughter) is now 15 years old and a sophomore in high school.

Fast Forward- My parents are now retired, well my mom is definitely retired from teaching, but my dad still works, for now.  As of right now, southern New Jersey is still their permanent residence, but this past July 4th –they bought a seasonal beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.(six months out of the year)!!  So. . . I spent 6 weeks in Maine this summer!  Excited that once again, Maine is home-at least 6 months out of the year for my parents!!

Summer Was. . . magical. relaxing, and rejuvenating!

  • two weeks at a beach house on Peaks Island, Maine-then headed to my parents’ house in Old Orchard Beach
  • tons of days spent on the beaches
  • evenings sipping wine and watching the Olympics with my mom
  • running my favorite roads and beaches that I grew up on
  • seeing old friends and new friends in Maine
  • Running two Races
  • Simply unplugging and enjoying the salty sea air
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Took my mom back to Peaks Island by ferry for a day!

So many times, I wanted to type a blog post-a ton of thoughts swirling through my head, but in the end it just didn’t happen this past summer.  I was just enjoying so much “down time” and honestly living out a dream, that just a year ago seemed unlikely.  I had wished for so long for my parents to own back in Maine again.  I know it’s only 6 months out of the year (May through end of October) but, it’s ‘one foot back in the state of Maine’-my happy place.

Here are my summer memories in pictures!

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Lobstah Supper on the Beach
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Cuddling goats at Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook, Maine
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Evenings included Wine at my Parents House
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Sunrise Runs -Old Orchard Beach, Maine
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Paddling out to sea-Pine Point Beach, Maine

Running Update-

I had a good, solid summer of running.  Running to stay in racing shape for 10ks and half marathons.  Logging weekly mileage of 25 to 30 miles a week.  Some good hilly running through the Cape Elizabeth, Maine-near Portland Headlight and sandy beach runs!  In July I had run the Old Port Shipyard Half through hilly Portland, Maine.  In August I ran Beach2Beacon for the 5th time/year in a row! I haven’t really put in the time to write race recaps for both of those Maine summer races.

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Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon-Portland, Maine
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5th Time Running Beach2Beacon -Cape Elizabeth, Maine

My weekly training looked like this-

  • weekly long run 10-12 miles
  • easy 6 miles runs twice a week
  • 8 mile progression run 1x a week

Upcoming Fall Races: 13.1 is the Lucky Number!

So excited for Rise Run Retreat in Waterbury, Vermont!  An amazing weekend of running with some awesome running/blogger women at a lodge overlooking picturesque mountains in Vermont!  Stay tuned for more on this event!!

Share your summer highlights!  What fall races are on your schedule?