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1812 Challenge (2:09.40/7:09 pace)

1812 Challenge (2:09.40/7:09 pace)

18.12 Challenge

My husband and I decided to fly to the 1812 Challenge. We’ve never done anything like that before, and truthfully I didn’t know how it would affect my race wise. We rarely get a long span of days together, so the weekend was more about having fun. It wasn’t about the flight or the race but having an enjoyable weekend together.

The flight to Watertown went without issue. We arrived the day before and picked up our packets for the 1812 Challenge around 3 pm. There is a half marathon, 18.12 Challenge, and 5k.

I wanted to use the 18.12 Challenge is my last long run before the Big Cottonwood Marathon. I haven’t felt that confident with running the previous 16 months, and I didn’t know what to expect.

Why was it called the 1812 Challenge Race? The 1812 challenge is a nod to the War of 1812 and the significant military presence in Fort Drum.  Runners can choose to run either 18.12 miles, 13.1, or a 5k. There is something for everyone.

The morning of, I arrived at the race around 7, walked around a bit and before I knew it we were off. I didn’t feel the need to warm up because 18 miles is a long way to go. I planned to run by feel but make sure I didn’t take it out too fast. The ultimate goal was to feel strong at the end, which I thought would be around 7:30 pace.

The half marathon and 18.12 challenge go off together. I found myself in a pack of 7 women and also a few men. Out of the first pack, I was 7 out of 7.

The first four miles all head out together. During the first mile, two of my gels fell out of my pocket.

My first lesson of the day: don’t stuff my gels in my pockets. I’ve done it before in other shorts, but these are the shorts for that.

The second lesson of the day: is with the new updates on the Coros watch. I didn’t start it properly and ended up running about a mile without a watch. I pressed the manual button and got on track after the first mile.

Better to get that out of the way now, than the marathon.

We hit the second mile in 7:18. I thought it was probably too fast for my current fitness but I just kind of plugged along. I wasn’t sure who was running the half marathon and who was running the 18.12 challenge. The six women in front of me could have done either. My goal wasn’t to win, and I didn’t even know it was in the cards. (Last year the race was won by a woman running 6:24 pace).

I hit mile 3 in 7:33, which felt doable. I grabbed Gatorade at the water stop. I take Gatorade/electrolytes at every stop that I don’t have a gel (for any race 10 miles and above).

Around mile 5, the half marathons and 18.12 challengers split. To my surprise, only one other woman went towards the 18.12 challenge race.  Like anyone, I know the importance of not judging any racer, but I was shocked. The other woman was slightly in front of me, and we just proceeded on. I hit mile 5 in 7:40, which was slower than I was hoping. I thought, is the end? Am I fading? I took one gel (the only one that didn’t fall out) and just continued.

Around mile 6, I found myself in a mini pack of myself, the other women, and a male. It was windy, and there were a few small elevation gains, but it was beautiful.

The next three miles of the 18.12 challenge were just me, focused on getting to mile 9 where they said there were be Gu packets. After 2 of mine falling out of my pocket, I knew it was a stop I shouldn’t miss. Could I finish 18.12 race miles without any more fuel? Probably. Would it be pleasant? No. I hit mile 6-9 all in 7:22.

We ran on several quiet main roads just looking at (and smelling LOL) the farmland. At mile 9, there was a stop, and I thought it was where we would find gels. When I asked, they said that was a different stop. Immediately, I began to worry there might not be a a stop with gels. Would I be out of luck?

The next mile of the 18.12 challenge race felt like it took forever. We had a slight headwind, and all I could think about was: would there be gels? I felt regret for not going back and picking mine up.

Around mile 10-11, we met back up with half marathoners. I quickly realized we would be on the same roads for most of the rest of the race. I didn’t mind, but it would be congested at water stations.  At the next water stop, they had gels. Wahoo! I have never been more excited for an aid station. I grabbed two and a cup of water.

I looked down like I had drawn lottery cards: which flavors did I get? Strawberry banana and cameral? The caramel had caffeine, so I decided that would be my next gel. Unfortunately, my hands were slightly sticky, and I couldn’t get it open. So I just decided to take the strawberry banana and worry about the other gel later.

It was also around mile 10, I realized I didn’t really “feel that bad,” and the race was going by fast. I was surprised because I was already halfway done. I was still running with the mini-pack of three people.

The next few miles of the 18.12 challenge race went by faster. I didn’t feel like I picked it up, but around mile 13, I realized it was just myself and the other male. The female wasn’t with us anymore. I thought to myself: there might be someone far ahead or I might be winning.  I have no idea, but it would be so cool to win. I’ve won several races but not many in the last year and it’s always a fun experience.

I know one thing about my running, is I don’t have a kick. If I was going to win, I had to be pretty far ahead in the last mile. There have been many times someone has outkicked me. If you are next to me in the last mile, you will probably outkick me.

Around mile 14, I found myself running alone. I was weaving around half marathoners, but the roads were open and there was plenty of space. At mile 15, we had a few small inclines, and I just focused on climbing. I still had energy in the tank, which is exactly how I wanted to feel.

I took what was left of the last gel and just focused on the end. I told myself: a 5k to go. You have done this many times. I saw one of my college teammates around 17 which was awesome.

I made the mistake of glancing back behind me and seeing a woman in all black gaining on me. The woman I was previously running with was also wearing all black. I thought for sure it was the same woman. I thought to myself: Hollie you’ve been doing well if you are winning you don’t want to let someone outkick you in the final mile.

That’s when I found another gear. I was already hurting, but man did I hurt more the last mile. I was just focused on the end. When I passed my husband, he said later; he had never seen me look that determined in a race. My last mile was 6:50, and I crossed in 2:09.40.

me running winning 18.12 challenge

We crossed with the half marathoners, and I had no idea if I had won or not. The volunteers weren’t even sure. About 15 minutes later, I looked at results, and it had me as the first woman. Then later, I realized the woman I “thought I saw” was someone else. Nothing like that, to light a fire under your butt. HA!

The 18.12 Challenge Race was my best race of this training cycle. My goal was to finish strong and not make it a positive split, for positive people race. I did that and finished stronger than I thought possible.  I’m happy we decided to come up and run.

me running winning 18.12 challenge

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.  This week is all about fueling. 

Questions for you:

Do you have a good kick?

Have you ever done an obscure race distance? 

 

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August Training

August Training

My oh my, where did August go?

But seriously, I guess the fastest way to get through the summer is training for a marathon. I think the 2019 summer flew by faster than any other. Technically, summer doesn’t end up late September, and I’m running a “summer” marathon next week. But unofficially, it’s pumpkin spice time.

Anyway-

Miles Run: Around 220 
Range of Paces: 6:07-11:15-timed
Rest Days: 5
Longest Run: 20 miles (Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon+7).
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Swimming: 3X (6000 meters total)

Races:

Philly 10k (42:15)

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

Thoughts:

I had a solid month or training. I finally feel as though I gained “some sort of fitness.” Of any of my marathon training months, this was the best. That being said, I’m not anywhere close to where my previous fitness level was. I feel like I’m ready to run my marathon. I don’t know what the day will bring. It’s a downhill course, (my PR at NYCM is hilly), but I also ran the Pheonix Marathon (which was downhill), and my legs didn’t love that.

I’ve done more downhill miles in preparation. I’m also not in as good of shape as NYCM. So whatever happens, happens. My goal has always been to make it to the start and finish line healthy. I don’t have a time goal but a goal to finish healthy.

I wanted to swim more, but I didn’t have the time nor the energy. After my marathon, I’m looking forward to resting and getting in the pool more.

Other then that, it was a good month of both life and running. I might not be running close to PRs, but I’m healthy and injury-free, which is a lot more than I can say for several Augusts.

Hiking:

Exploring Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)

Exploring Ridgway State Park (Colorado)

Hiking Cheesequake State Park

Shoe Reviews:

Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Shoe Review

Brooks Ghost 12 Shoe Review

Hoka One One Rincon Shoe Review

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.  This week is all about fueling. 

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

Do you have a goal race this fall? 

Big Cottonwood Week 14: Peak Week and 18.12 Races

Big Cottonwood Week 14: Peak Week and 18.12 Races

Big Cottonwood Marathon Training Week 14:

Week 14 was the last “big week” before simmering down to taper and the Big Cottonwood Marathon. I can’t believe it’s already been three months of training and getting ready for the race.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 70 minutes
Wednesday: AM: 5X1000 meters averaging 6:40 pace, Total mileage 10
PM: 6 miles easy downhill (treadmill)
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: 18.12 Race
Total:

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets 56 MPW
Week 8: It’s Very Hot 58 MPW
Week 9: Tetris Runner 56 MPW
Week 10: Long Week and Personal 5ks 54 MPW
Week 11:: Quality Miles
Week 12:  Altitude and Half Marathons
Week 13: Cutback Week and Philly 10k
Week 14: Peak Week and 18.12 Race

Thoughts:

This week flew by, and it’s nice to get a rhythm and routine back. I mentioned last week, I missed swimming, and I’m looking forward to getting back to it when I’m not running high mileage and exhausted.

Workout Wednesday: 5X1000 6:40 pace

I didn’t feel good at all during this workout. My legs were stiff, and I couldn’t seem to loosen them up. We all have those workouts, and I was glad to get it done and move on.

 

 

1812 Challenge:

I went into the 1812 Challenge, hoping to run roughly 7:30 miles for 18.12 miles and finish strong. I wanted to use the race as my last long run before the marathon. I did that and even better.

All of my miles after 14 were around 7: 00-minute pace and my last mile was 6:51.  I was not expecting to win, so it was a great feeling. The race itself was far from perfect, and I forgot to stop my watch, and 2 (out of 3) of my gels fell out of my pocket.

Next week begins slowly cutting down miles and relaxing before Big Cottonwood in 2 weeks.

Posts from the Week:

Hoka Clifton 6 Shoe Review

Exploring Ridgway State Park (Colorado)

Philly 10k (42:15)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.  This week is all about fueling. 

Questions for you:

What’s your favorite workout?

Philly 10k (42:15)

Philly 10k (42:15)

Last weekend I ran the Philly 10k. I’ve never run the Philly 10k before. I’ve always wanted to but the race sells out quickly and you have to sign up months in advance. The Philadephia running community is great and together with the Broad Street 10 miler, RnR Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia and Full marathon, we have plenty of great races.

This year most of my coworkers decided to run so it made it more exciting.

Coming back after my trip to Colorado has been difficult. I’m struggling with adjusting back to the time zone and I’ve been tired most of the time. The Philly 10k starts at 7:30 am so it’s an early wake up.

When my alarm went off at 5:30, I mumbled ugh what am I doing. I was excited to do the Philly 10k but my body felt stiff and I was tired.

I got to center city around 6:30, warmed up for about a mile and then headed to the start. I chatted with my coworkers and by the time I knew it, we were off.  The Philly 10k is one of the few races that runs in South Philly. If you are looking for a unique and fun course in Philadelphia, the Philly 10k is a good option. Plus it gives a competitive  6.2 mile tour of the South Philly.

Me Running Philly 10k

Thanks November Project Philly…even though I photobombed this shot at the Philly 10k 😉

One of my coworkers and I decided we were going to try and run together. We probably started a little further back and we were boxed in most of the first mile. We ran a 6:37 which I was pleased with.

Around mile 2, the race started to spread out and I found some space. Throughout the entire race, I never had a lot of space but I had more as the Philly 10k progressed.

I knew I would not be able to run 6:30s for the entire race. Around mile 3, my coworker motioned to go with her and I didn’t have the leg speed.

I hit the halfway right at 21 minutes. I hoped I would be able to maintain and run around 42 minutes.

During the second half of the Philly 10k, I just put my head down and went. We went down long straight roads. There were several parts that we were running into the headwind. I tried to tuck in behind people but couldn’t really get my groove. I hit the fourth mile in 6:50 and told myself 15 minutes to go.

The next mile was just a countdown to the finish. I ran a 6:58 fifth mile and there wasn’t much of note. I thought for sure my last mile would be over 7 but I seemed to have motivation knowing the race was almost done.

Me Running Philly 10k

We went through a few more turns and all of a sudden I hit mile 6 in 6:50. I just powered to the finish line and crossed in 42:15 chip time.

I think it’s the most amount of time between chip and gun time (nearly 30 seconds). Next time I’ll start a little further up.

Overall Thoughts:

I’m happy with my efforts at the Philly 10k. I didn’t feel great after taking most of the week off and adjusting back from vacation.

Questions for you: 

What is your favorite race distance? 

Have you been to Philadelphia before? 

Big Cottonwood Week 12: Rest and Philly 10k

Big Cottonwood Week 12: Rest and Philly 10k

Last week was the week I didn’t realize I needed to catch up on sleep and rest…until I realized it. My body told me it wanted to sleep and so I said: ok.  I’ve gone out west a few times, and typically I don’t have an issue readjusting back to East Coast time. This time coming back home was different, and I found myself wanting and needing sleep. I could have run later at night, but I chose not too.

Monday: 10 miles with Angela
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: Philly 10k: 42:15 Total mileage 15
Total Mileage: 33.5 miles

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets 56 MPW
Week 8: It’s Very Hot 58 MPW
Week 9: Tetris Runner 56 MPW
Week 10: Long Week and Personal 5ks 54 MPW
Week 11:: Quality Miles
Week 12:  Altitude and Half Marathons

Week 13: Cutback Week and Philly 10k

Thoughts:

Well, this wasn’t exactly the week I planned, but my body clearly needed it. Truthfully, I’m wondering how I’m supposed to run a marathon in a few weeks, but I know I’ll make it through.

I don’t have any regrets with taking time off. We need that sometimes. Due to running three times, there isn’t much to say. Running with Angela on Monday was tough. She lives at altitude in Colorado, but there were no flat areas to run at all. We climbed nearly 900 feet, including a mile-long climb. It was a lot of fun, but all I wanted to do was sleep afterward.

Philly 10k: 42:15

I’ve always wanted to do this race, but the timing has never worked out for me. This year, my coworkers and I decided to sign up and race the Philly 10k together.

Sometimes after a lot of rest, you feel great. This particular time, I did not, and I feel like I’m still catching up on sleep. Race morning came early, and I woke up, “not feeling it.” I raced the best for the day, and at the Philly 10k, it was a 42:15.  That is actually one of my faster 5ks recently, so I have no complaints.

I’m happy for the day, and it was fun to hang out with my workers. This training cycle has been adjusting to my right now normal. It’s been frustrating after 4 minutes faster about two years ago, but I know I’ll get back eventually.

Next week will be my last long run before the Big Cottonwood Marathon, then off to taper. There have been a lot of challenging days, training for a marathon through the summer but I’m looking forward to it.

Posts from the Week:

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)
Exploring Box Canyon Falls (Ouray, Co)
Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 Shoe Review

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

When was your last cutback week?

What is the race you’ve always wanted to run? 

 

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