Let’s go about this in 4-week increments so that the post doesn’t get too long.
This was a fun week. We started off with hill repeats up 50th Ave, a long steep hill that leads up to the zoo in Green Lake. I had a great time practicing some fast downhill strategy even though my marathon doesn’t have that much climb. Wednesday’s tempo (8 miles, averaging around 7:05) was probably one of two that I struggled on during this training cycle. I remember losing distance on Alison and Eileen in Fremont and just not having the next gear to stay with them. It was a good struggle and still felt early enough to not worry too much about. I had a goal of reaching up to 38 miles this week and ended up with 44, not a bad problem to have. I ran an early 16 Rise and Shine with a bunch of sweet friends who were willing to get it done early and we were rewarded with this view. This was one of my favorite long runs on the cycle as well, we were all just chitchatting and having a fun run.
The most notable thing about week 8 was that I raced the Tunnel to Viaduct 8k. Leading up to the race I stayed on schedule so my legs weren’t fresh going into it. I also was on the fence about racing since I had my New Zealand half on the schedule for the following week, so I kept telling myself I’d run this hard but not all out. I struggled with realizing that I was going all out and it wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be place-wise. I ended up as the 27th female, 8th in my age group (I wanted to be in the top 20). Running an average of 6:39s felt rewarding, it would have been interesting to see if I could have held onto that through a 10k, I think I could have. 48 miles total for the week.
Seattle snowpocalypse hit in Week 9 of my training, and I was incredibly lucky to have booked our travel for the end of this week. Since the Coatesville Half Marathon was on Sunday, I made it into town just in time to make it work for our travel schedule. The snow actually ended up being kind of fortuitous in this way since I got a mini taper. I had an incredibly frustrating “track” workout on the treadmill on Monday and because we lost a day to travel there was not much I could do about running this week. The race itself was great. The difference in weather was a bit shocking. The course was hard. I should run Mercer Island again to see how it compares to the hills of this particular race. Things that stood out: overlooking farmland from one of the many hills and seeing Auckland in the distance, getting passed almost immediately at the halfway point where the smart women had saved themselves for the run back up the hill we had just come down, the cicadas were deafening at different times through this race, I didn’t expect that to bother me as much as it did. The overall elevation was 955 ft! Most importantly I made a friend in New Zealand from this race! Naomi was so kind to give me a ride from downtown Auckland to the race. We hung out after to find out if we’d win a “spot prize” (kind of like a raffle) and just enjoyed the sun and being done with the race. The atmosphere was really fantastic surrounding the whole event, I’d 100% recommend this race. Total mileage: 28. Bringing my average down, but whatevs.
While my poor buds at home suffered through the snow, I got to run in the summer of NZ. I did not take that for granted. My biggest issue with running while traveling is how tired some of the runs would make me and how to figure out routes on my own. Most places we were staying had something scenic and easy to find/ not get lost in navigating out and backs, so I took advantage of that. I wish I had more confidence and had run two days in Rotorua, the trails there were really beautiful and I got to run in some redwoods, perfect early preparation for my marathon! The lake in Hamilton was perfect, even if I got a little lost getting there, and my tempo on the very flat beach road near Mount Maunganui was tough mentally but easy on my body, I ended up running sub 7s for most of this tempo. My long run was lonely, but again, I was running next to a beach with a rising sunset, boohoo for me. Total miles 49, back on track and feeling proud of that post half marathon.
Traveling, momming and running can happen only if you have a partner who is willing to sleep in and do the morning routine with the kiddo. I was lucky that I would usually come back and they’d still be asleep. Timing is everything. Another week of New Zealand training and then back home to the cold in the next blog post.