April 5, 2011

AR 50 Week Thirteen + March


Another taper week cutting back on miles to give my legs some rest. I finished March off with my highest mileage month ever (148.2!) and welcomed April along with some nicer weather. I did my first evening run of the season, struggled through a hot tempo run, and did my last "long" run before AR 50. Oh, and I also threw a huge surprise party on Saturday! So not a whole lot of running, but a busy week nonetheless. And let's not forget that AR 50 is now less than a week away!!!!

5 miles, 9:16 avg pace. It seems that spring is finally here, and that means one thing: evening runs! I am so not a morning person, but out of necessity I've been doing most of my running in the morning before work. But now that we have a little more light in the evening and warmer weather, I can finally start doing some runs after work! I used to always be an evening runner and I've really missed it. I always feel so much more energized as I'm enjoying the last rays of sunlight and can sort of decompress after a day of work or whatever. This was my first evening run since probably last summer, and it was great. I was tired after work and almost skipped it, but I made myself get out there and brought along my pup, with plans for an easy 4 miles. As usual, once I got going I was feeling good, so 4 miles became 5.


6 miles (4 tempo), 8:32 avg pace. Although spring means better weather, it also means warmer temps. And here in California Mother Nature like to jump from one extreme to the next, giving us day after day of rain and wind only to turnaround and give us temps in the 70s. I don't do very well running in the heat, and while I'll admit that mid 70s isn't exactly hot, my body is accustomed to far cooler temps and needs a little bit of time to acclimate to this new, warmer weather. Anyway, Wednesday was my day off so I set out around 6pm for a tempo run. I don't know if it was the weather or something else but my legs felt super heavy and this run ended up being a struggle. I had to take a short break every mile or so, and while I manage to stick pretty close to my goal pace (8:15/mi), I got slower on the last two tempo miles. Here are the deets:

mile 1 - 9:06
mile 2 - 8:08
mile 3 - 8:07
mile 4 - 8:13
mile 5 - 8:15
mile 6 - 9:21

When I finished my last tempo mile I actually stopped and sat down. My tempo pace really kicked my butt and I needed a minute to rest before cooling down. I managed to finish successfully though and was glad I pushed through it.


10 miles, 9:01 avg pace. This was my last "long" run for taper since AR 50 is this coming weekend (excuse me, ummm what?!). I wasn't going to have time to do it over the weekend so I took advantage of starting work later than usual and ran my usual 10 mile route there. I started out around 9am and it was already quite warm out. I managed to maintain a relatively consistent pace in the low 9s and even ran a few sub-9s, but the warm weather got to me and the run felt like more of a struggle than usual. Finished up right at the store and hurried to clean up, then it was on to an 8 hour shift...

4 miles, 9:17 avg pace. Squeezed in an easy run before a very busy day. I haven't been able to mention it on the blog until now, but for the past few months I was planning a surprise party for my parent's 30th anniversary and this was the big day! Everything came together perfectly and I ended up pulling it off. My folks had a great time celebrating with all their friends and family and I could finally breathe easy and enjoy the party : ) Stay tuned for a post with more details and pictures!
 perfect weather for a party!
 1981 ♥ 2011
the fam
Rest. Had thought about an easy run after work but I was exhausted from the party on Saturday. I figured I'm in taper and my legs could use the extra rest!

Total: 25 miles



Week Thirteen

Total: 148.2 miles

March was another month with some heavy mileage and the peak of my training. I ran my first ultra, Way Too Cool 50k, and had an amazing time, finished under my goal, with a smile on my face, and a little something left in the tank : ) At 31 miles, Cool marked my longest training run before AR 50, and was a great confidence booster. I took a couple days to rest then it was back to training, feeling surprisingly good. The following weekend I was back on the trails running the last 22 miles of the AR 50 course as part of an unofficial training run. Although the weather was ugly and the trails were a mess, it was great to experience this part of the course before race day.

I also bought myself a new toy I'd been eyeing for a while: the Garmin Forerunner 310xt! The watch still remains nameless but will be making it's big race debut at AR 50 (thanks to it's 20 hr battery life) and then getting a whole lot of use during my upcoming triathlon season! Meanwhile Mother Nature was having a bit of a tantrum here in California with seemingly endless storms that put a bit of a damper on the running community and made training a bit of a challenge. But I'm proud to say that I braved the weather, including hail and thunderstorms, to get my training in, only chickening out once to go to yoga instead ; ) I finished off the month with my first two weeks of taper for AR 50 and still managed to end up with my highest month of mileage ever!


  1. good work and great photo's. Keep it real!

  2. Good luck this weekend! You've put in a lot of hard work so I'm sure you are going to surprise yourself! Enjoy your last week of taper. :)

  3. Great work Rachel, all of your hard work will pay off for you in a great run this weekend. Can't wait to read all about it. You're an inspiration!

    By the way, I'll actually be running my longest training run of 22 miles this Sat (I know... ONLY 22 miles she says!). I'll be between Sunrise up around Lake Natoma & up to Beals Point and back. So if I see you out there I'll be sure to cheer you on! :) It'll be exciting to see the other AR 50'ers out there too :)