Zydeco Half Race Recap

My happy pace in the Zydeco half marathon.

My happy pace in the Zydeco half marathon.

I ran the Zydeco half marathon last Sunday and ended up finishing in 2:12 which happens to be my second best time for a half. This beat my time from last year by 5 minutes so all in all I’d say I had a good race. My PR for a half is 2:11 so not too far off from that.

It had been raining all week (especially Saturday) but thankfully the rains cleared out before Sunday morning. The temperatures were in the 70’s with humidity around 90 percent so not ideal weather but it worked for me! It also happened to be time to “spring forward” so I actually lost an hour of sleep. Normally I don’t get much sleep before the night before a race, but this time I did and felt well rested in the morning even with the time change.

For the first three miles I had shin splints but my legs eventually loosened up and I found a comfortable pace. Suprisingly, this pace remained around 10:10 consistently throughout the race which is a little quicker than the 10:30 I had been averaging during my training.

At the beginning of the race, I noticed my pace steady around 10:07 so I tried my best to stay around that time. A few miles I ended up slower but towards the end of the course I noticed that I was really close to my best time of 2:11 so stepped up the pace to 9:54 and 9:55 the last couple miles. My fastest pace was 8:45 for the final .2 – that does count right?! Didn’t make a PR but still happy with my results.

After a couple of beers, a bowl of jambalaya and visiting with a few friends, I headed home to rest and spend the rest of the day with my family!

After the race.

After the race.

The next thing on my racing calendar is the New York City Marathon in November! A friend of mine got her name selected in the lottery but I did not so I signed up to run the race through a charity. This seems like much fun and I’m so excited about running this marathon. Training begins in July – I’ll keep you posted!

 

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Week before Zydeco half marathon 2016

 

I had my last long run Saturday in preparation for the Zydeco half marathon I will be running Sunday. It was a beautiful day although it was a tad bit warm for running. I’m thinking I’m ready! I always get nervous about being well prepared before a race – no matter if it’s a 5k, 10k, half or a full.

Running Zydeco half marathon last year.

Running Zydeco half marathon last year.

I ran my 10 miles this past Saturday in 1:42. This is the breakdown:

Mile 1 – 10:18

Mile 2 – 10:05

Mile 3 – 10:04

Mile 4 – 10:04

Mile 5 – 10:01

Mile 6 – 10:06

Mile 7 – 10:27

Mile 8 – 10:05

Mile 9 – 10:21

Mile 10 – 10:13

 

This week will be a pretty easy week as far as training goes. When I train for a half, I use the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Novice 1 app and it’s always worked for me. I don’t always do the runs on the day of the week the app suggests and this week will be the same. I have to run 4 miles one day, 3 another and 2 on another day. I ran 4 Monday, and will do 3 Wednesday, 2 Thursday and get in two days of rest before running 13.1 Sunday.

I have my new Brooks Ghost running shoes, my favorite socks, my Garmin Forerunner watch and Jelly Belly sports beans all ready to go. I just need to decide on an outfit – running capris or shorts (depending on the temperature) – and get some vanilla flavored Clif gel shots then I’ll be all set.

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Looks like it will be a stormy week but supposed to be sunny Sunday for the Zydeco half marathon!

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Weekend in Biloxi

Whew, what a busy weekend! Kaitlin and I were in Biloxi for a dance convention/competition, and I managed to fit in a 10-mile run along the beach there also. We have gone to dance conventions every weekend this month. The first two weekends were in Houston, the third was in Baton Rouge, and this past weekend was Biloxi. My daughter loves it and I enjoy watching her do what she loves so in the end it is all worth it.

The competition/convention was at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and we stayed in a 2 bedroom condo at Legacy Towers in Gulfport. This high-rise complex is along Beach Boulevard across the highway from the beach. It has a nice pool area and gym for guests to use. I like that fact that there is full kitchen so I can cook breakfast and a balcony with a beach view to sit out and relax. I much prefer this setup to a hotel room.

Legacy Towers condos in Biloxi

Legacy Towers condos in Biloxi

I will be running the Zydeco half-marathon in Lafayette on March 13 so after I dropped Kaitlin off at her convention classes Saturday morning, I ran along the beachside sidewalk.  The weather was perfect for running – sunny and in the 50s. The ocean was a nice change of scenery from my regular runs through neighborhoods and the 10 miles were not so tough. I had an average pace of 10:20 with my best miles being 3 at 10:07 and 4 at 10:16. My goal is to average right at 10 minute miles but it’s not happening – 10:20 is my norm.

Here is a breakdown:

Mile 1 – 10:37

Mile 2 – 10:17

Mile 3 – 10:07

Mile 4 – 10:16

Mile 5 – 10:18

Mile 6 – 10:19

Mile 7 – 10:25

Mile 8 – 10:20

Mile 9 – 10:23

Mile – 10:27

I bought a new pair of Brooks Ghost tennis shoes last week (the only kind I wear!) and it felt as if I was running on air. I had been having my older shoes since October and had run a half with them, done 3 months worth of bootcamp and several training runs for my upcoming half with them. They had zero cushioning left and were done. It’s amazing the difference a good pair of running shoes can make!

Beach view.

Beach view.

After my run, I needed to bring Kaitlin some lunch so I quickly did that.  I considered going to either the outlet mall right off I-10 or the Edgewater Mall but my feet ached so I stayed and watch her classes instead.

On Sunday, she performed her solo in the dance competition and received a platinum ranking! After that, we drove back home to get ready for the week ahead. We had a full yet fun weekend in Biloxi!

Kaitlin after her performance.

Kaitlin after her performance.

Kaitlin with her tap scholarship award.

Kaitlin with her tap scholarship award.

Linking up this week with Marvelous in My Monday @ www.healthydivalife.com, LouLou Girls Fabulous Party at www.loulougirls.com, Totally Terrific Tuesday at www.liverandomlysimple.com, Wine’d down Wednesday, Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop party and The Pin Junkie pin party.

 

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Five finds Friday

Today I am linking up with Clare at www.fitting-in-all-in.com for “Five Things Friday.”Five Things Friday Link Up via Fitting It All InMy five things today will be five races I would like to do by next year at this time. These include:

1. Great Smoky Mountains half marathon on September 12. My birthday is September 15 and I think this would be a great way to celebrate. The course runs through the woods just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It begins near in the Hubbard Community outside Maryville and ends at the visitors center in Townsend. There is a 364 foot elevation gain on this course and that’s what concerns me!

2. Cajun Cup 10k in Lafayette, La. held annually either the first or second Saturday in November. I couldn’t find the date for this year’s race but this is one that I do every year since it’s local.

3. Kaiser Realty Coastal half marathon and 5k held on November 28 in Orange Beach, Al. I’m always up for a beach trip and this one is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving so it’s a great way to burn off those extra calories. My kids won’t have school so we can make it a long weekend for the family. This course winds along paved trails in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and the Gulf State Park “back-country.” All but one-third mile is along the back-country paved trail system.

4. I’m thinking of doing another marathon and the one I’m considering is the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 17, 2016. I’ve checked out their website and think you may need to qualify to register so might have to come up with a Plan B for a marathon. Definitely somewhere out of state.

5. Zydeco half in Lafayette, La. in March 2016 because I had such fun at the one I ran last Sunday.635616948535535845

 

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Zydeco half-marathon = mission accomplished

After all the obsessing I did over the weather last week, it turned out to be a great day for a race. It did not rain and the temperature was in the 50s. I liked the fact that there were aid stations and water stops at nearly every mile, plenty of bathroom stops and lots of people cheering along the course. For me, seeing people along the course is a great distraction!

For my pre-race dinner, I cooked shrimp scampi since it’s a light sauce but is still pasta. I was also concerned about having to wake up so early the morning of the time change so I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. I was actually tired and surprisingly slept until my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. (which was really 3:45 if the time had not changed).

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I got up, drank a half a cup of coffee then ate a banana and half of a bagel with peanut butter. I had picked out my outfit the night before and had even attached my race bib to my shirt, so getting dressed didn’t take much time. After I dressed, I decided my aqua and orange shirt did not match my red headband so I changed into a green shirt. I put on some sunscreen and a little bit of makeup (I wanted to look somewhat cute in my race pics!), used the bathroom, brushed my teeth and left home for 6 a.m.

Once I got to the starting area for the race, I met up with my Training Wheels boot camp group (there were about 50 of us!) and we took a quick picture before heading to our race corrals. Nicole (my friend I trained with for the half) and I decided we should use the bathroom before beginning the race so went to the back of a really long line – there were about 20 people ahead of us. We were still in line when they sang the national anthem and announced the start of the race. I was going into panic mode because I thought we were going to be late to the start, however, we were in the 10 to 11 minute group so made it to our corral in time.

2015-03-09 11.19.05

The energy we had was amazing and we just cruised along with no problem – talking, laughing and running. We actually started off quicker than I thought we would and I worried that we may have gone out too fast but it all worked out. Our breakdown each mile was:

Mile 1 – 9:59

Mile 2 – 10:08

Mile 3 – 10:08

Mile 4 – 9:55

Mile 5 – 9:54

Mile 6 – 12:46 (bathroom break and there was a line)

Mile 7 – 9:39 (had to make up time we lost for bathroom break!!)

Mile 8 – 10:08

Mile 9 – 10:11

Mile 10 – 10:18

Mile 11 – 10:29

Mile 12 – 10:31

Mile 13 to 13.1 – 10:36

Looking at those stats, I’m thinking next half I train for I would like to do a couple more longer runs to try and maintain a pace closer to a 10 minute mile.

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Smiling for the camera!

 

 

 

My husband was there around mile 7 to cheer for me along with other members of the Training Wheels group who were not running the race.

Crossing finish line - don't think I saw that camera!

Crossing finish line

Once I crossed the finish line and posed for a couple pics we headed to the after race party where I ate a bowl of jambalaya and drank a beer before heading home.

Me and Nicole right after finishing.

Me and Nicole right after finishing.

Another post race pic

Another post race pic

 

It was also my son’s 14th birthday so we took him to eat hibachi then had red velvet cake! Great ending to a great day!

 

Post race and birthday celebration

Post race and birthday celebration

Happy Birthday Justin!

Happy Birthday Justin!

 

 

 

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Zydeco half-marathon: The week before

This has been an easy week as far as my running is concerned. I’ve only run twice – 3.5 miles Monday and three miles Tuesday. I was only supposed to run two miles Tuesday, however I had really bad shin splints for those two miles. I was wearing a pair of shoes I bought a couple weeks ago so I decided to change into my older pair and run an extra mile to see how that would go. No problems with those shoes. Although they are both Brooks Ghost 7’s, I guess the newer ones are just not broken in yet. Therefore, I will be wearing my older pair Sunday.

I’ve also been obsessed with the weather forecast this week. To be honest, I’ve been checking it at least four or five times per day. And I started checking it Sunday! It’s gone from 100 percent chance of rain to 20 percent to 90 percent to 60 percent and now back to 20 percent. Temperatures will be anywhere between 40 and 60 degrees.

Just to be safe, I bought myself a windproof/waterproof jacket. I also researched tips for running in the rain and found some useful information. Just as when you sweat you will experience chafing and blistering, the same will happen with moisture from the rain.

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Some tips I found useful were:

1 – Coat your entire body in Aquaphor. This includes your feet, even between your toes, and anywhere else your clothing rubs and blisters you.  This could be the band of your sports bra or, if you’re wearing shorts, where your shorts end.

2 – Bring extra pairs of socks with you to change out of if your feet get too wet. This is helpful especially if the temperature is chilly.

3 – Protect your phone if you will be using it for music. Rain canget into the phone from the headphone opening even if it’s in a case. Wrap it in a Ziploc bag, seal it then place it in another Ziploc bag with the seal on the opposite side. Seal that bag and place it into your armband case. (Not sure if this works but I will try it).

4 – Bring dry clothes to change into after the race. This one seems most important to me.

So, I’ve got my new jacket, some Aquaphor lotion, a pack of sports beans and a new pair of socks! I think I’m ready. I’ll let you know next week how the race goes!

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Running with friends

This is the first post I write about my running so I’ll give you a little background. I’ve always exercised but did not start running until five years ago. Since that time I have run three half marathons, one full marathon and several 5k and 10k races. Presently, I am training to run the Zydeco Marathon in Lafayette, La., on March 8 (which is also my son’s 14th birthday!)

When I trained for the Disney marathon, which I ran in January 2014, I would meet up with two other friends that were also training for that race. We would start off together but none of us ran the same pace so we always ended up running alone. For the three half marathons, I trained totally solo. This time, I’ve found a group of running buddies to meet up with two or three days per week. One of these girls runs the same pace as me and can keep me company.

I’ve always enjoyed running alone. I listen to music, audiobooks, come up with interesting solutions to problems, contemplate life and brainstorm home improvement and home decorating projects. I get into the rhythm of the run and the road just carries me where I need to go.

I never realized how much I would enjoy the company of another person on a 10 mile run. It’s nice having someone toughing it out with you. Not that we can carry on a big conversation or anything, but a few comments here and there helps break up the monotony. When you’re running against the wind and feel like quitting, hearing the sigh of your running buddy reminds you that you’re not alone in this. If she can do it, I can too!

I couldn’t make the 10 mile run last weekend with the group since I was at a dance convention with Kaitlin in Houston. Yesterday, I headed out alone and began my long run. I enjoyed it but I missed the companionship and push when I could have used it.

I also ended up somehow hurting my leg near my hip and am hoping it’s better by next week so I can join my friends for an 11 miler!

 

002                                    This is a photo of my favorite road to run.

 

 

 

 

 

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