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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Grandma's Recap - 5th year in a row

With both Marshall and I feeling down/sick prior to the big day, we thought this trip could possibly end up being a wash. It turned out to be a decent effort on my part, and Marshall still managed to break 3 hours (all though he was 15 minutes off what he usually runs) despite coughing all night the 2 days leading up to the race.

Goal 1: Top 10 finish
Goal 2 New PR (sub 1:15:43)
Goal 3: Sub 1:15 (1:14:59) - *prior to the 2 week sickness*

10th place

We both had a blast and are looking forward to next year! This was our 5th year in a row to head up there. The weekend kick started with a guest speaker at the expo. We got to listen to Kara Goucher talk about the ups/downs of her last 2 years of training. There was even a Q & A portion in which I (yours truly) got to ask my question. You are probably wondering what question that might be. . . "What was the last show you binged watched on Netflix?" 😜

The second interesting aspect was that there were quite a few Springfield peeps up for the big race. It took nearly 800 miles from home to get to know each other, but we got to spend quite a bit of time with Amy and her husband, Lance. There were 7 of us running, and I was the only one running the HALF marathon. . . the other 6 were running the FULL marathon. I'm not sure if that makes me a wimp or the only SANE one in the group 😉.

So the full marathon is the premier event, and it starts at 7:45 am. They want all/most of us running the half marathon off the course before the elite men cross the finish line, so my race started at 6:15am!!! Every year when I'm getting up at 4:00 am I start to question why I do this to myself. However, the nice thing is that I'm finished running before the marathoners even start their race. Then I have 2 hours to cool down to the hotel, shower, and take a nap (yay for naps!!) before heading out to look for the others. The hotel I get hooked up with is conveniently located at mile 25, so I have a nice spot around 24.5 miles into the race where I can look for Marshall, then can quickly cross the bridge and see him again at mile 26.

Marshall at mile 26, only .2 to go - his 5th Grandma's Marathon
My lofty expectations of a massive PR were deemed unrealistic after dropping 3-4 workouts and a long run. Overall, I'm pleased with how I did. I found a group of 2 other ladies and a guy that seemed to be the pacer for one of the ladies. He seemed to be clicking off about 5:45 the first half of the race so I assumed the goal was sub 1:16. I will refer to him a the new Marshall, and I hoped he was as good a pacer as my Marshall is. The new Marshall did well for almost the first half, but then before I knew it we had 3 miles that were 10- 15 seconds off pace. This unfortunately lost me 30-40 seconds, so I had to move on and look towards the next runner. After I left the small pack, I managed to pass 2 sketcher runners by mile 9-10. At mile 10, you start to enter Duluth. I worked my way up "lemon drop hill" and had caught another female by mile 11.5. I could then see one more lady that was possibly within reach. She had about a 20 second lead on me with 1.5 miles to go, but I could tell she was coming back to me rather quickly or at least had become content with her effort. I flew down the brick road, looped around the harbor and boot, then pulled stride to stride with her just past mile 13 (so less than .1 to go). Unfortunately, I had spent myself just to catch up (my last mile had to be 15 or so seconds faster than hers, and I dropped one that was around 5:40). When she realized it was a women that pulled up next to her, she was able to respond and finished 1 second ahead of me. I was disappointed I couldn't quite get her, but I felt great to finish strong and be competitive.

The famous lift bridge, near the finish line. View from the Enger Tower
I was a little disappointed that my time wasn't faster because I felt so much smoother than I had at the Championships in April and I was only about 10 seconds faster. I felt that I was running better than I acutally was I guess. Either way, I'm always pleased to be under 1:17 and I'm encouraged that I had a race that actually felt good. 2017 hasn't been the best year of racing. It was snowing during my first race, 20 mph winds for my second race, and humid/storms at the championships. It was a little humid at Grandma's, but nothing compared to what we've had here in Missouri the last 2 weeks.

Up next. . .hoping for a good Marathon in October. Going to run Chicago!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

I'm back!

After being sick for over 2 weeks, I've finally had a solid 2 weeks of training. I had to drop 3 workouts and 2 long runs, which really bummed me out. I've been bumming around thinking this sickness was going to ruin my run at Grandma's next weekend, but I have a little more confidence now that I've nailed some workouts. I've got fairly good speed right now, but I'm not sure if the endurance is there. It could feel like a really long 13.1 miles next weekend!

We went ahead and changed my schedule around a bit to compensate for the sickness. I haven't been on the track since before the Half champs (early April), and would usually have 2-3 more workouts on the track. I haven't done any of my "staple" workouts.

Unfortunately, I ended up with something that eventually got deep into my chest. After 9 days, I finally gave in and got some antibiotics - then it was another 5 days before I felt like I could even attempt a fast workout. However, I was able to still run some short, slow, easy miles. Call it fresh legs (or maybe I didn't loose as much fitness as I had thought) but I NAILED a 6 mile tempo last weekend. The was run solo with Marshall joining me via the bike for 5 miles of it.

Then, on Wednesday of this week, I attempted a 3 x 2 mile with Marshall in tow. It wasn't easy as I would  have liked it to feel, but managed to run all of them right at goal half pace to a couple seconds per mile faster than goal pace.

Throw back to last year when I ran my PR!!
Lastly, this morning I ran another solo workout that I call "mini (ice cream) sandwich". Basically a tempo, followed by a short fartlek, followed by another tempo. I just shortened the segments a bit since Grandma's is next week end! Again, I was gearing the tempo portion to be close to goal pace, but the last tempo ended up being a quite a bit faster (5:30 pace - oops!). Hopefully I didn't get too carried away. I did have what I now refer to as my MAGIC SHOES. They are my new racing flats, and I figured I should probably run a workout in them. I'd rather the first time I have them on my feet not be during a race. Haha :)

Now I just have a small tune-up workout early this coming week and then it's just time to get the legs fresh and hope for the best. Realistically, a PR is probably out of the question, but hopefully I can run similar to what I ran in April.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


USATF Half Marathon Recap:
Top 20 finish
PR (sub 1:15:42)

15th overall

Despite the fact that storms were threatening a late start (or cancel. . . eek) the weather wasn't too bad for this event. This happened last weekend and all those storms we had in Missouri that caused all the flooding were working their way east to Ohio. It was a fairly humid morning, and we did get rained on around mile 8 or 9. However, I managed the humidity fairly well and I think this is what helped me place so high.

My race started 5 minutes before the Capital City Half race started, so I didn't get to run with Marshall. I just knew I couldn't run 5 minutes slower than him or he'd catch me before the finish!

In typical fashion of a championship event, I started out a bit to fast for myself. This happened to me the past 2 years also at the 10 mile championships. In the future, I'm going to make a conscious effort to not get carried away in the first 2 miles. I need to just trust that some of the ladies will come back to me as I preserve through the race. It's just fairly demoralizing when you open up with a 5:30 mile and are really close to being in last place, but I need to just do what works for me.

I never really knew what place I was in. I felt like I started really far back and slowly reeled in runners ahead of me that had also started out a bit to fast. I saw a couple ladies drop out as well, I don't know if it was the humidity or just not running the pace they wanted, so this also helped move me up to a higher finish.

I had trailed a girl for about miles 5-11, maintaining about the same distance the entire way (20 or so seconds). By the time we got to mile 11, I noticed I was finally gaining some ground on her. By mile 12, I think I had made up another 10-12 seconds on her! Great! I was starting to get a bit more competitive now. Right past mile 12, we started on a fairly decent size downhill, I was running about 5:25 pace, hoping I didn't start to go for it too early. I passed another girl that was struggling, and continued to focus on the girl I had been chasing the entire race. We finally got to the bottom of the  hill, had a right hand turn and started to climb a decent hill into a head wind. Let's just say my pace slowed severely, and I was positive that this girl I was chasing down would EASILY pass me right back. As I crested the top, nearly crawling, I was surprised I hadn't been passed back. I didn't want to look behind me, so I tried really hard to pay attention to the crowd to see if they were just cheering my name, or if the cheers included the other girl as well. Either way, I didn't want to chance it, and I didn't want my time to slow even more, so I made it to the finish line as quickly as my little legs would carry me.

Apparently that hill had the same affect on all the runners. And the girl I had been chasing down the entire time, happened to be the girl that we had dinner with at the elite pasta party the night before! Overall, I'm pleased with my time and EXTREMELY happy to finally break into the top 20 at a championship event. I wished I could have ran a PR,. I don't think that time (1:16) is a testament to my fitness, but apparently the race was pretty slow overall. I'm not sure why, but maybe the humidity and rain affected us more than I give it credit for. I'm also happy that I managed not to get a side stitch and felt fairly strong the entirety of the race.

Soaking wet by the time we got back to the hotel

**on a side note - several of the runners in the Capital City Columbus Half got pulled of the course. They black flagged it when a thunder and lightening storm came through. I'm thankful that both Marshall and I got to finish. However, the USATF race follows NCAA rules. So as long as I started, I would have had the opportunity to finish.

World's largest golf tee. Apparently this little town in Illinois had a whole bunch of  "World's Largest" items. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

April is off to a good start

Racing season has officially begun! The Reed's have got 5 "races" in 6 weeks - April through early May. This makes me feel like I'm in college again, traveling and racing every weekend.

We kicked things the first weekend in April. We headed down to Stockton State Park Marina to run in the 8th annual Crappie Day 5k. This was a good opportunity, being the week before Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, to get out the racing flats and get some speed work in. We ran surprisingly well. I ran my fastest time on that course, 17:21, which was a couple seconds faster than last year. This course always has more hills than I remember. It's actually not that bad, I'm just used to running in flat Springfield. For a bit more speed work, we jogged about a  mile away, to the flattest part we could find, and added 4 x 400. This was tough on tired legs.

Race 1: Havin' A Crappie Day 5k
Goal A - 1st female
Goal B - sub 17:30
Actual - 1st female; tied Marshall for 2nd overall
Actual - 17:21, then added 4 x 400 (all sub 78)

I think this was just past 2 miles in

Race 2: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon
Goal A - Top 2 female
Goal B - Sub 1:17
Actual - First female (10th overall: men and women); 1:18:10

I fell a bit short of my goal time, 70 seconds off. However, I feel pretty good about this race. This is an out and back type course, so the way back was into a 15-20 mph head wind. It was just a bit too much for me to maintain pace. Also the race didn't seem as competitive up in front, so the top 12 runners were very spread out. The next person behind me was over 90 seconds back. Luckily I had Marshall with me through about 10 or so miles. He then proceeded to have an awesomely fast finish and catch the runner in front of us, so he finished in 8th place. This was his highest finish at this race, despite being probably one of his slowest times on this course. 

March in Review:
1 race - Big 12 12k run; first female
Kimi - 305 miles
Penny - 4 miles (21 yearly total)
1 day no running
Highest week - 72 miles

Penny slacked off a bit this month. . . better get her back into shape ;)

I'm feeling really fit right now. I got my body fat checked today and it's right around where I usually am for goal races. I've got 3 weeks until the Half Marathon Championships!! Let's hope the weather is wonderful and I can have some good workouts the next few weeks. The focus these next weeks are going to be practicing taking in nutrition with cups during long runs. I got a mild side stitch around mile 3-4 during the half marathon this past week, and I'm blaming my awful ability to take in water through cups. 

Big 12 run; Finish line photo - it snowed the entire morning!!
In other news, the upstairs room is just about finished. The room that we started fixing the Friday after Thanksgiving. The room that Marshall thought would take only 4 weeks and be done by Christmas. Here we are 4 months later and it is just about done. It looks great though! Probably the best room in the house. Each room we fix gets better and better as we learn from past mistakes. I'm thinking we should have started up there. Haha! Pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Februrary 2017 in Review

Kimi - 259 miles
Penny - 5 miles
Longest run - 17 miles
Highest week - 67 miles
Day's off - 0 days

February turned out to be quite a good month. My tempo runs are up to 4 miles, and I'm trying to run my shorter stuff at paces faster than last year. So far, this has been a success. I also had a good track workout last week.

This was my first time on track this year, and I haven't been on it since early November. Felt good to get some turn-over. I busted out some 400's, 300's, and 200's. It was harder than I thought it was going to be simply because I kept recovery to a minimum (between 30-60 seconds depending on the distance of which repeat I was on). It was meant to be a good workout though - because it was raining an yucky all day until I headed to Drury track after work. Then the sun was shining and weather was warm for February :)

Unfortunately, February is ending on a low note. I got sick AGAIN. I'm usually a pretty healthy person - never miss work, sick once per year, etc. Well, if you remember January's recap (Click Here) I was sick about 4 weeks ago. However, at that time I had to take off 3 days of running. This time I've been able to push through, but did drop a workout this past weekend. It was short lived because I'm really feeling a lot better only 4 days later. Apparently everybody has been sick off and on the past couple months.

Much to our surprise, this past Sunday Marshall and I got to run in a snow shower! Really big flakes also. And to think I was wearing shorts 3 days before this happened! This may be the only snow we get, so it definitely brought a smile to our faces. Marshall enjoyed it so much that he even decided to run an extra 2 miles and finish up with me :) Penny wasn't as thrilled with the snow as I was. She went out and turned right back around to come back inside.

Picture doesn't do it justice - it was beautiful
In other news, we are still working on the room above the garage. This past weekend, we took down the railing and are in the process of staining and painting. We also did a lot of other odds-n-ends and felt like we made good progress. We still have a long list of tasks, but most can be done in only a couple hours or so :)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

January in Review

The year started off great for me. I was rocking and rolling. The first three weeks I ran over 60 miles. Unfortunately, I got a cold and ended up taking 3 days off. I took a Monday off, tried to run Tuesday and felt fine, but then woke up the next morning with a scratchy throat again.

Luckily, these days off didn't hinder me too much. Our plans to run in Phoenix at the end of February fell through. I'm looking on the bright side though, this gave me a few weeks to simply put in some solid mileage with no workouts. It also gives Marshall time to ramp back up in his running. This is going to allow me to focus on the Half Marathon Championships at the end of April! I've only finished in the top 20 at a Championship race once, so I'm hoping to peak at this race and come away with a new PR! I think it is going to be very competitive, you have to run sub 1:18 just for a comped entry.

Cold and rain can't stop me!
January Review:
Kimi - 245 miles
Penny - 11 miles
Day's off - 4
0 races yet - Although, I did volunteer at Cabin Fever Reliever. I had the very important job of making sure all the 20k runners added on a little out/back section of the race. I got several comments that this was the worst part of the race ;) but mark my words. . . every runner ran down that stretch :) It was a good time and everyone was upbeat. Marshall even got some great pictures of everyone (click here to see pics).

In other news, we are STILL working on the attic. The boys got all the drywall up and sanded. Marshall and Dad textured all the walls and ceiling. Now the walls are painted a very pretty Beige. . . and I also talked Marshall into re-painting three of the walls in our bedroom!!! The master bedroom turned out nothing like what the picture/inspiration looked like. We have hated it for nearly 3 years, now I'm SO glad I talked him into changing it!! :)

I think she has been digging. . .

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Year in Review

3010 miles
12 races (some used as workouts)
4 PR's
 Highest weekly mileage - 77 (had several weeks at 75)

The Good:
What a great year it was for me and my running this year. I was very fortunate to PR in the half marathon twice this year. The first time was in April where I ran a 1:16:10 to shave a couple seconds off my prior PR of 1:16:26 (at the same race the year prior - Rock the Parkway). Then about 2-2.5 months later, I had a surprisingly high finish in Duluth, MN where I finished 3rd and ran a 1:15:43 (Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon)!!

Most surprisingly though, was that I had two really awesome 10k's this fall. I even beat my track time from college, (where I finished 4th at NCAA Division II Championships in 2010). Even if it was only by a second. I never thought I would beat my track time, but thought I could come close. Ended up with a 34:51 at Plaza 10k. This makes me wonder what I could do if I got back on a track?

The Not So Good:
I had a good marathon last year, and was planning on running a stellar PR in Los Angeles at the trials early in 2016, which would have left 10 months geared toward running faster at the shorter distances. Unfortunately, the trials didn't go as planned, but I proceeded forward with my plan of nailing some 10k's this past fall.

My favorites of 2016:

  • Best Race Experience - Seems like every year it always goes back to Duluth, MN and Grandma's Marathon/Gary Bjorklund half. This event is the kick-off to summer up there, and the entire town makes runners feel welcome and are genuinely excited for everyone to be there. Plus, the race is amazing: great course, great crowd support, usually great weather! Marshall ran a PR up there this year and finally broke 6:00/mile pace for his marathon (His recap here). 
  • Most Memorable Race - Olympic Marathon Trials. Enough said. 

  • Best Run/Workout - There were two I couldn't choose between. The first was 10 x 800 (w/2.5-3 min recovery). All were 2:37 or faster (okay. . . one was a 2:38) PLUS I ended with a 2:32. This was 2 weeks before the trials, and why I thought I would nail that race. 
The second was 5 x mile repeats on the track before Gary Bjorklund Half. Splits were 5:28, 5:25, 5:24, 5:25, 5:21. This was a weekday morning before work. . . really didn't see those splits coming!

  • Best New Piece of Gear - Saucony Kinvara 7. First shoe to run a marathon in with no blisters!
  • Most Inspirational Runner of 2016 - I'm gonna go with Meb Keflezighi. He's 41 years old and still made our Olympic team in the marathon. While I'm sure he would have liked to finish higher at the Rio Olympics, he has the heart of a champion. He even finished in true Meb fashion (doing push-ups after he slipped/fell right at the finish)

Goals for 2017:
  • Run a good half/possible PR. I'm going to have 2 really good opportunities for this. In 8 weeks I'm going to be in Phoenix. Then in April, I'm hoping to qualify for the USA Half marathon Championships in Ohio. I should be well under the qualifications with my 1:15 (I think it only requires sub 1:18 for an entry)
  • Run another Olympic Trials qualifying time in the marathon. Standards haven't been released yet, but I'm hoping they get released before we head to Chicago in October. Otherwise, I will have to run a standard next year. I'm guessing the B standard will remain somewhere around the 2:43-45 ish area.