Surprise! It. Is. Hot.

Posted July 17, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

Now is the time of year that we Phoenicians cannot brag about our weather, not only are we hitting the triple digits every day and the lows are warmer than most of the country’s highs, we are officially amidst “monsoon season”, which means the humidity jumps up to 60-70%. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much but when it is normally 10-15%…let’s just say that while I declare myself “not a heavy sweater”, I am pretty much drenched most hours of the day. When my knees sweat, ya know it is toasty!

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My best tip: run through every sprinkler you come across during your run!

The smart thing to do would be to take the summer as a time to reduce mileage a little and maybe just run short races, if race at all. Maybe I am not that smart…I am hip deep into marathon training as I eluded to in my previous post; the Quad Cities Marathon in September. I trained hard through the summer last year so I know what to do and what to expect, not that makes it any easier. The challenging part is getting a true gauge on my fitness because my heart rate runs a lot higher as my body is working just to cool off and running just takes more effort in general. Surprisingly, I am completing my workouts as planned and at my goal paces.

Pete and I ran a local 4th of July 4 miler. I say ran because we both used it as a workout rather than an all out PR kind of effort. My goal was around 6:30 pace and I finished in 26:10 (6:32 pace). This gave me 4th female and 1st in my age group and looking back, was actually faster than a couple of years ago when I raced it. It was also nice to mix up the training like this in the middle of the week.

Two days before this race, I raced a x-country style 3k at a local park. It is a series of 3 races put on by my former coach, Flash. I ran a little slower than I wanted but I have two more chances. This race is so hard for me because I just have to completely red-line from the get-go. I placed 2nd and am going after the “W” next time!

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Then almost two weeks ago, Pete and I hosted an elite runner, Neely Gracey. She flew in for a quick visit to see the famous Dr. Ball and needed a place for one night. I have been following Neely for a couple of years and also met her at Rock n Roll AZ in January. It was so fun to have her, we had a chance to run together and get a peak at what being a pro is all about. She is such a great gal, very positive and talented. She is one to watch in the near future in the marathon! I received a boost in motivation from her visit and am thankful how the running community brings amazing and inspiring people together!

That’s about all to report. If you are looking for some new recipes, I am creating and uploading on a more consistent basis on my business website: http://nourishedbodyandsoul.com/apps/recipe/

Happy running and if you live in AZ, only 2 more months of this (ok, maybe 3)!

 

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Dam(n)!

Posted June 15, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

Looks like my half marathon PR must wait for another shot…back to work work work.

Before I go into the details of that dam(n) race, let me back up and report another failed attempt at sub-6:00 in a true mile around the track. It was hot but not windy and I ran 6:00 exactly, seriously? BUT, I negative split each lap AND one more shot at the end of June.

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Then Pete and I ran a night 5k in Tucson, Meet Me Downtown 5k Memorial weekend. The race was Saturday night, so after I got home from work, we drove down. Another hot race but I decided to go out hard and hang on as long as I could. First mile was 6:01 (so what is my deal with the mile time trail on the track?!) and then I slowed down a little to finish in 19:38. This is a competitive race so I placed 9th female but snagged 1st in my age group.

Next up was the race I had actually been training for: Dam to Dam Half Marathon in Des Moines, IA. Seems like an odd place to go? Well, I’m from Iowa so it was time to go home and visit my parents who still live near Dubuque. Surprisingly, also a very competitive race (prize money for top 10) and I was accepted as an elite athlete. I felt good going into the race (as in PR ready), actually zero physical complaints for several months now! My mileage had peaked at 85 per week and I even tapered. My goal and plan was to just start out just under PR pace (6:25-6:29) and stay there until mile 11 where I would finish hard. If I had a really great day I could even squeeze into the top 10!
Mother Nature, Iowa humidity, God, made other plans…the race was Saturday and the forecast for Fri, Sat, & Sun was hot & humid. And not just a little humid…Pete and I flew in late Thursday and ran a 4 mile shake-out Friday morning. Definitely uncomfortable but didn’t seem all that bad. I decided to stick to my race plan, I am used to the heat. We picked p our packet Friday afternoon and spent some time in the invited athlete room, Pete got to join me!
Next morning, charter buses picked us up at the hotel since the course is point-to-point. I always feel a little out of place with other elite runners but it was also exciting. Once again, they allowed Pete to join me. We sat near my IG friend Sara, I can say we are in person friends now since we have run 3 of the same races this year. She is from MO, such a small world! We finally remembered to get a picture together!

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As promised, the temperature was in the low 70s and the humidity beat that with somewhere over 80%! I cut my warmup down to just one mile with a few strides. The start was beautiful, on the Sayerville Dam and everything is so green this time of year. Not a cloud in the sky 😉 The announcer was recommending people run 1-2 minutes slower per mile and of course, stay hydrated. I lined up just behind the fastest ladies and off we went!
First mile contained a good downhill and I ran through in 6:06. Okay no worries, just settle in. Next 2 miles: 6:30, 6:27. Then, with the same and much more effort, the miles were slower and slower and slower. I did not feel overheated, I just couldn’t get enough air, kind of like running in high elevation. The next 7 miles became hang in there, this too shall pass. Thank goodness this was not a full marathon! I was not sure what place I was in but focused on trying to at least pass a few women the final 5k. I grabbed water at every water station which is something I never need for this distance. Finally I reached the nice path that led us into downtown Des Moines. It was shaded and a little downhill. I recognized some landmarks and rallied a little the final 2 miles. My parents and friends of theirs had driven to watch and I heard my mom shout my name the final 100m, I smiled and gave what little I had left to cross in 1:31:15.

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Dam(n)! 7 minutes slower than my goal. But thankful to run nonetheless! I talked to my mom briefly and then jogged back out to run Pete in a little. He was struggling like everyone but I got him to move a bit faster.

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We found my parents and friends again and I talked to a few of the elites who also finished 4-10 minutes slower than expected. My overall place was 15th and I placed 3rd in my age group which was awarded with a really nice Brooks pullover.
I learned that taking risks is not always the best idea but overall, I really enjoyed the course and race, the race director and elite coordinator were fantastic, and I may just go bad for a little redemption next year!

My parents drove us back to their house and we spent the next 5 days running easy, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, eating radishes from said garden, and escaping reality! The weather returned to perfect- 50s for the low, 70s for highs, low humidity. I ran with a good friend of mine from high school and we realized just how similar we are.

So it is back to work as my next marathon is in September!

A Hodgepodge of Running & Racing

Posted May 4, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

Hi! Well, I am happy to report that I recovered well from the marathon in February and after a few weeks of either not running or just running for pure pleasure, I returned to training and racing.

I have been running different races/distances and still think that I can somehow pull off some speed in the shorter ones, ha!

First up: the race director from the Tri for the Cure was looking to put together an elite relay so I accepted the run leg. I had participated in this event 2 years ago, and it was fun so I was excited. This was my first speed test so I had no idea how my legs would feel. The swimmer and cyclist are amazing and created a huge lead so when I took off for my 2.4 mile run, I just had to run solo and rely on some self-motivation. I was happy with my 6:10ish pace and brought my team to the victory.

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Next, at the end of March, I decided to challenge myself and run a true mile on the track (1609 meters, so just over 4 laps). A local running coach, David Allison, holds these “time trial Tuesdays” at the track near my house, so I thought, what the heck! Well, it turns out that my mile time on the track needs some work, I ran a disappointing 6:02 and it felt horrible! I have run faster mile times in races. Boo!

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Then my parents flew in for a visit in early April. Pete and I ran a 5k so they could come watch. I knew going into the race that the competition could be sparse so I made the race as a workout within my long by running 9 miles to Kiwanis Park where the race was held and met Pete and my parents there. Races at Kiwanis can be challenging because of the grass and hills, almost like cross-country. I led the race for about half a mile until a high school kid passed me. He stayed a few seconds ahead and I thought this would be perfect pacing until the end when I would try to blow by him. Then in the final mile we climb a big hill on the grass, and he completely stops! Ok…and I continue on to the finish and win overall! My parents were there cheering and Pete sprinted in not too long after. Sometimes these smaller races are the best as I walked away with a nice prize and we all grabbed lots of food and drinks!

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Another mile time trial on the track at the end of April…ok, Carrie, you can certainly run sub-6:00. Probably not the greatest idea, in retrospect, to run a track workout in the morning and then run the time trial in the evening…and of course, 20-30 mph winds would not help. My nephew Owen hopped in and I planned on running behind him. He took off a little faster than I wanted. I was on pace through 800 but that 3rd lap is where I lost it. Owen ran 5:49, me 6:07. Boo again! Excuses aside, I think the track just intimidates me and I don’t really know how to run a fast mile on it. Give me a marathon any day! But I have another chance in a few weeks! This time I am going to treat it like a race, I am not going to do a workout before, and I am going to make it hurt!

A few days later, I lined up for a half marathon! See what I mean about a hodgepodge? I feel like I might be in PR shape, although it has been a little hard to gauge with my workouts. This race was all women, SHE Power half and 5k. I also had that inkling that it may not be very competitive but you just never know. Thankfully, it had cooled down and the wind abated (a couple of days earlier it was hot and very windy!). And I was feeling really good! We took off and within the first half mile, no one was with me…Pete saw me at mile 2ish and said, “this is how it’s gonna be”. I felt like I got into a little groove and went through 5 miles on PR pace (6:20-25), surprisingly. Then suddenly the road ahead of me looked long and all I could see was…nothing! Very few spectators and my pace slowed. I had a nice motorcycle cop that drove up and back to make sure I was on course and watching for traffic. I wish I had asked him to drive about 10 mph so I could chase him! Once that mental fatigue set it, my body jumped on board, and it got hard! I threw my time goal out and focused on winning. It was one of the longest feeling and slower half marathons, but when I approached the finish line and made the final turn, the crowd went crazy! It. Was. Awesome. Someone even threw rose petals and I had to smile and laugh!

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Overall, the race directors were great, the Chandler police were great, it was a fun event, and I am just happy to do what I love. My sister-in-law and a few friends also ran which adds to the enjoyment! I just need to work on that darn mental piece when I am out there on my own!

Up next are some competitive races! I am excited to see the difference!

Pete and I are running a 5k in Tucson at the end of May, a half marathon in Iowa in early June, and I registered for the Quad Cities Marathon in September! Let the marathon training begin, but first, let me conquer that mile on the track 🙂

How do you manage the mental aspect running races or workouts solo?

P.S. I have been wearing headbands (MaviBandz) that I love, they don’t slip, they don’t give you a headache, and they have lots of styles and colors and designs! You can get 20% off here with the code: cweldyrunner20

 

Phoenix Marathon Recap

Posted March 3, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

My marathon training cycles/outcomes look a little like this:
1. Work, work, work.
2. Consistency, consistency, consistency.
3. Small breakthrough.
4. Repeat steps 1 & 2.
5. Disappointment, feeling of failure.
6. Repeat 1 & 2 but work harder and also do more little things (strength training, yoga, daily foam rolling/exercises, regular bodywork).
7. Patience.
8. Small breakthrough ( I did have one big breakthrough when I went from 3:08 down to 2:59).
9. Repeat 1-7.
10. Disappointment, feeling of failure, learn from each race.
11. Repeat 1-10.
12. Add mental training, more attainable goals (at least mentally), enjoy the journey, run my own race.
13. Small breakthrough, etc, etc.

The Phoenix Marathon…small breakthrough; and I am pretty darn happy with my 2:56:48, a fifty second PR!!! This is kinda how it all went down:

My training was a bit different in the fact that I did most of it solo. This is good and bad because it makes me completely comfortable running by myself but I know that I do not push myself quite as hard during track workouts and tempo runs. My friends, Kara and Kerry joined me on some early morning runs and long runs and Pete joined me for quite a few long days as well. The two races I ran in January and early February indicated that I was fit and ready!

This time around, I also decided that it is best for me to chip away at my time minute or two by minute, rather than huge 5-7 minute jumps. I felt a sense of relief, increased confidence, and zero pressure. The calmness carried through taper week and all the way up to the starting line. Sure I experienced butterflies but I was ready to celebrate my weeks of training!

There is also something to be said for sleeping in your own bed, avoiding travel, eating your own food, that comes with a home-field race. But it was an early wake-up call  to catch the bus for the 6:30 start. The weather was looking perfect, a tad cool, but sunny and calm. Pete dropped me off without incident and I spent the bus ride in my zone.

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See ya soon!

They allowed us to stay inside the bus as long as we wanted. I sat there until about 5:50am, then stepped out into the cold. The lines for the bathroom where horrendous but I found a shorter line. Literally had 7 minutes until the start once I quickly relieved myself, so I trotted to the gear check, then trotted to the starting line. Going into the race, I thought I had a chance at placing in the top 3-5, but when I lined up, it appeared some pros had shown up with the same idea. I threw that goal out the window as the fireworks went off and people took off as if we were racing a 5k! Yikes!

I let them go and stuck to my plan of running 6:40s. I knew the course started downhill and fast and the marathon is a looooong race so I wanted to run my own race and not get caught up in the excitement, plus I knew I would eventually pass a few that blew up later. We started just before sunrise and it was beautiful as the sky started to light up. I saw a few people I know and then just settled in. The first 2 miles ticked off at exactly 6:40! And it felt like a nice training run. There is a fairly long climb from around 4.5-6 so my splits were up and down accordingly. I chose not to check the course out prior to the race, I just like to see it during the actual race.

The miles continued to pass by and also continued to feel almost easy! I maintained control of the pace and put it on cruise control. Today was a PR day. Pete saw me at miles 8 and 11 and shouted that I was spot on, I smiled and got a little boost each time I saw him. Other friends were also spectating and cheering and giving me words of advice/encouragement. With most races, I stay in my zone, and couldn’t really tell you that much about the course or what was going on around me. However, I did happen upon a running buddy from the beginning. The halfway point clocked in at 1:27:xx (officially 1:27:18) and I could hardly believe it.  This guy and I never exchanged a word but we were certainly helping each other. I saw Pete again at mile 15 and for the last time at 20.5.

I went through 20 still on pace, my plan was to then just a bit faster and negative split. Well…always easier said than done. My running buddy hit the wall and fell back, and then I came upon the tail-end of the half-marathoners who were walking and not exactly making it easy to pass so there was more zigzagging than necessary. I was thrown off a little and also thought I was running faster than actuality. Ultimately I slowed down miles 21-24, I passed a few marathoners (2 of them women) but it was difficult to tell at his point. Then I saw my friend Kerry. I am calling her my angel because she jumped in and ran with me. Immediately I sped up and she talked me through the little rough patch and took me to about a half mile or less to go. THANK YOU KERRY!

I had a big fan club the final tenth and literally felt like rock star. My pace increased a tad more and I could finally see the clock and hear Pete screaming. Emotions flooded me as they always do. 2:56:48 baby!

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Finally stretch, cannot believe both feet are still off the ground!

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I wanted to vomit just a little and the volunteer walked with me until that passed. But other than that, I felt great! Post race included probably the best short massage I have ever had, seriously, getting some fluids (yay for NUUN (I had Pete bring me a bottle), and talking to about 30 of my friends who pretty much all PR’d.  As I was waiting for my gear bag, lo and behold, my running buddy showed up and we exchanged names and chatted for a bit. He knew my name because it was being yelled every few miles of the course 🙂

What a great day, what a great community, what a great sport!

So sure I wish I had pushed just a little harder and held on to my pace, but now I know exactly what to work on for the next cycle.

After a little downtime and recovery, it will be back to work, work, work and doing all the little things and hopefully another small breakthrough! But mostly enjoying every step I take!

THANK YOU to all who make this possible!!!

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Making it through the Taper

Posted February 16, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

I am currently in flow-blown taper mode! Yay, but also, blah. Since my 15th marathon is in 10 days, I decided to share some tips and ideas that I have learned over the years to get through these final weeks of training. Whether you taper for 4 weeks or just one week, you may find the taper period the most challenging part of training, I know I do…and taper-tantrums are no joke!

Disclaimer: I am NOT a Dr. or a coach, this is strictly my opinion based on my experiences. These tips may or may not be applicable to you, but I can almost guarantee that you will be at least be entertained!

  1. Continue to run! If you peak at XX/XXX number of miles per week and then completely stop running, your body will hate you. The people around you will hate you. Gradually decrease mileage.
  2. Keep a similar routine. Run at the same time of day. If you run doubles, consider maintaining this schedule. Wake up/go to bed at similar times (maybe get a little extra sleep, but try not to over do it). This will also keep you from going bat-s*%t crazy.
  3. Run on familiar surfaces. Now is not the time to head for the trails and act like a billy-goat. I fall on trails. Without a doubt. 20160826_063917_resizedSo no trails for me. However, if you are used to them and sure-footed, go for it.
  4. Continue to run speed workouts, keep the intensity while reducing the volume (i.e 3 x mile at MP instead of 6 x mile). This helps keep that pep in your step and if you peaked at the right time, these workouts are confidence boosters.      20161121_073013_1479746724885
  5. Expect lethargy. This is a tough one for me…I. Feel. Exhausted. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was pounding out high mileage weeks and now I can barely force myself out of bed.
  6. Expect an emotional roller coaster. Mostly cranky, sometimes weepy, joyous during/just after running, maybe angry. Warn your significant other and those within striking distance.
  7. Skip the cross-training unless it has been integral throughout your entire cycle. If your pretty road bike has been collecting dust, another couple of weeks won’t hurt it.
  8. Discontinue strength training, I usually stop 10-12 days out, except for core. If yoga has been part of your weekly routine, it’s probably ok. Just try not to impress anyone with back-bends and headstands.

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    Don’t try this. And that is my bike collecting dust.

  9. But keep foam rolling and doing all your pre-hab exercises…you do those everyday, right…? img_20160601_073100_resized
  10. Don’t visit a new massage therapist and think deep tissue work is the way to go. Continue to see your regular bodywork team and they should know what you need.
  11. Expect to feel what I will call “phantom pains”. Why do I have that random sudden pain in my knee? What’s up with my little toe?
  12. Skip the post run/workout shenanigans (as my friend/training partner CB calls them).

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    CB and I pretending to be long-jumpers. We are not. You are not either.

  13. Eat like you have been eating, regardless of what that looks like…Now is not the time to start juicing or to become fat adapted or give up gluten. Same goes with the supplements, it is too late to boost your vitamin D or increase your Ferritin level.
  14. Don’t get sick! Ha. Not much advice here except to eat nutrient dense foods, get enough sleep, and hydrate enough from the onset (like 16 weeks ago) of training.
  15. Avoid making major life decisions during these few weeks. Remember you are an emotional mess (revisit #6)!
  16. Reduce other stressors in your life. Pick your battles with your family members, friends, co-workers. I mostly just smile and nod.
  17. Stick with the same/similar shoes and attire. It is one thing to develop blisters and chafing during the marathon, it is another thing to walk to the starting line with them.
  18. Expect some self-doubt and nervousness. Can I really run 26.2 miles at that pace? YES, YOU CAN!
  19. Trust your coach, trust yourself.
  20. Reflect on the entire journey and your months of training. Look at what you’ve already accomplished!
  21. Use your extra time for some mental training. Read books (I like the Champion’s Mind and How Bad Do You Want It?), come up with mantras, mediate, visualize the race, look over your favorite quotes, listen to podcasts, watch inspirational movies (McFarland USA, Spirit of the Marathon). Be grateful. img_20161001_183149
  22. Remember: the marathon is a CELEBRATION!!!

I am purposely providing 22 tips because once I make it past mile 22, I let my heart take over. And I just run because that is what I love to do.

I hope these tips and thoughts help, motivate, or just make you smile!

What are you taper tips? Do you get taper-tantrums?

Batting 1000 (so far)…and a Discount!

Posted February 10, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

2017 is off to a great racing start for me as I have actually gotten the “w” in 2 out of 2 races! If you have read my blog or know me, I have had my fair share of disappointing races so I am going to just ride this wave for as long as I can… 🙂

To recap the most recent, Runner’s Den Pancake Run in which I ran both the 5k & 10k, aka “doublestack.”: I. Love. This. Race. It is well-organized, it is well attended (lots of running friends), the course is flat and fast (for real), the weather is usually perfect, it is pretty competitive, and I seem to do well. I usually run this race as sort of a “see where I am” fitness test because in the past few years, I was coming off of a December or January marathon. This year, it fell right at my peak in marathon training so I decided to use it as a long workout and chance to push it on very tired legs. It would also serve as a long run.I also wanted to take back my title as the doublestack champion (last year I placed 2nd, in 2014 I won).

My plan involved racing the 5k (which was first) and then run the 10k at goal marathon pace (6:40) and pick up the pace if I could. Unfortunately Pete’s uncle passed away earlier in the week so Pete was out of town. It felt a little strange heading out to a race without him…

I did a long warm-up, it felt a little chilly but perfect for racing. I changed into my racing flats, decided to keep my arm sleeves on, and headed to the start where I exchanged a few words with some friends. Then we were off!

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It seemed like some fast peeps had shown up because boy did they take off. I ran hard and my legs not being used to 5k pace had to wake up a little but I ran through mile one in 6:03. I held on as the next miles where 6:08, 6:05. The final half mile seems so long as you make a final turn and can see the finish wayyyyy down. I forced myself to run faster and was actually sprinting as I came in at 18:59. Not too shabby! I can’t remember running a 5k this fast on “marathon legs”! After checking the results board, I saw I finished 5th and was in 1st for the doublestack (with about a minute cushion).

I have found the best thing to do when racing back to back is to keep moving between races. So I ran a couple more miles with my friend Kristi and cheered on those finishing the 5k. Then it was time to line up again.

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It always sounds good to run the double when you register…

As soon as I jumped out of the gates for the 10k, my legs flooded with fatigue…uh-oh. But I tapped into some mental tricks and stayed with it. I wanted keep it under control a little so I could finish strong. 6:30 through the first mile, a tad fast but I felt good once I got over that initial shock. Then 6:26, 6:21, 6:16 and my breathing was hard but not and I started reeling people in. 6:14, I could hardly believe it! Just hang on and maybe catch one more gal…6:16, then go! Again, gave it what I had and then pushed even more that final stretch for 39:49 (only 10 seconds from a PR) and 3rd in the 10k.

Adding the two times gave the win for the double. And I raced smart and strong despite the end of a 100 mile week. This was just the confidence boost for my upcoming marathon. If you had asked me to run this “workout” by myself, I would have laughed. That’s why I think racing shorter races is critical in marathon training!

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A plaque, a mug, and a gallon of water (or laundry detergent as my friend Tricia thought!).

So now it is taper time with the Phoenix Marathon in only 2 weeks! My feeling for this race is pure excitement!!!

Like many runners, I am not great at tapering so I expect a roller coaster of emotions and to feel blah and lethargic. But as they say: “the hay is on the barn” so let’s do this!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 more things:

  1. Do you like the headband I am wearing? It is made by a company called MaviBandz and is AWESOME! I found out yesterday that I am a new brand ambassador! More details coming soon!
  2. Are you a Nuun lover or want to try it! Well if you go to their website and place an order through Feb. 14, 2017 and use the code: NUUNLOVE25, you will save 25%!!! Some of their new flavors are great!

all-day-3-tubes

A Setback = Success? Plus an Exciting Announcement

Posted January 21, 2017 by Carrie Weldy
Categories: Uncategorized

Look at me, my 2nd blog-post of 2017 already! Since the title of my previous one was “Consistent Carrie”, I may as well be more consistent in writing.

Training for the Phoenix Marathon finally started to feel as if I was getting fitter and stronger as I completed some longer, harder track workouts at my goal splits or slightly faster. Part of this is due to switching the workouts to the afternoon, having Pete out there calling out splits, and sharing the track with the high-school track team (so I like to show off a little, ok? :)). My weekly mileage gradually hit the 90s and I enjoyed some of my long runs with my friends Kara and Kerry.

Rock n Roll AZ half marathon was on the calendar as a marathon pace (about 6:40) run but I still felt excited about getting out there because I know so people who run it too. My body had another plan: about a week before the race, my left Achilles felt “different”, I guess I would say tight. Then the tightness turned to discomfort, then pain…the me a few years ago would have just plowed through and ran the race anyways. I went to see Dr. Khavari (my chiro who I see pretty much on a weekly basis). He assured me that we caught it early enough but it might be wise to take some non-running days. He scraped the crap out of it (wow, that is excruciating!), flushed out my calves with the Marc Pro, and gave me some exercises to do – specifically eccentric calf raises.
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This was Wednesday before the race. I cross-trained Thurs and Fri. At packet pick-up on Friday, I made the decision to drop down to the 10k even though my Achilles was making significant progress already. This was not my A race and I did not want to risk further damage with my marathon so close. I felt immediate relief mentally! I always tell others to listen to their bodies so I had to do the same! Be a little flexible with your training plan! This is why I am not a “streaker” (run streaker that is…haha) nor must run a certain # of miles per year/week.

I ran easy on Saturday just to make sure I should run at all the next day! It felt good! I felt excited for the 10k! I adjusted my goals and mindset with the shorter distance: run faster (6:20 or so and place in the top 3…maybe win it…).

Race day weather was perfect for racing. Low 50s, overcast, no wind. I found my friend, Kerry who was also racing the 10k, and we warmed up together. We headed over to the start pretty early with Pete, our personal drop-bag service. The half and 10k started together and we lined up just behind the elites, many of whom are friends.

I took off and tried to get settled as soon as possible. I found myself next to some gals running the half but also running 6:20 pace. The first mile ticked by in 6:16 and felt really comfortable. I was just on cruise control until mile 2.5 when the 10k splits from the half. Then I found myself very lonely…I was pretty sure I was the first female so I stuck to my 6:20 pace until the hill on Curry Rd. I tried to make up those few seconds on the downhill but inevitably I did not. As I made the final turn, I kicked it in and knew I was going to break the tape. And literally, I did (this was the first time I ran through tape). I finished in 39:52 pretty close to a PR (darn it).

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Coming down the homestretch!

Kerry finished 3rd! I found Pete and then we cheered at the finish of the half where so many friends had great finishes. Kerry and I got access to the VIP tent where we got massages and then met Neely Gracey, the half champion and pro distance runner, and then took the stage for the awards ceremony. Oh, and zero Achilles pain or even tightness.

Sure a little part of me wondered how I would have done in the half but I KNOW I made the correct choice. So a minor setback can = success! I saw Dr. K. the day after the race for a little more torture and have since resumed (cautiously) training with an Achilles back to 100%!

In other EXCITING news: I am an ambassador for Nuun for 2017 (aka Nuunbassador)!
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I started using Nuun this past year since they upgraded their recipe to certified vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, non-GMO and deliver clean, healthy ingredients such as monk fruit extract, beet juice powder and avocado oil. Nuun is also committed to clean sport and clean planet. Yay! These electrolyte tabs got me through the brutal summer and just help me stay hydrated on a daily basis when I prefer something other than plain water. They have new flavors and products I am anxious to try but right now my go-to flavors are grape (active) and lemon-lime (active).
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So until next time: listen to your body and #makeyourwatercount !