Author: See Becca Try to Tri

Mountains to the Beach Marathon 2018

Short version: I ran 3:38:47 and qualified for Boston. Garmin data can be found here.

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Long version:

I pulled my calf back in February of 2017 and it took me out for the whole year. I missed my chance to run Boston and I was pretty bummed.  You can go back through my blog to read about the injury and my recovery if you want (please do!). But I had decided that once I qualified for Boston again, #beccasreturntorunning would be complete.

Mission accomplished!!! Here is how the race went down.

After a terrible night of sleep (my dog had an anxiety attack at 12:45) and then I accidentally went to the half-marathon start, I was finally lined up with one of my athletes with the 3:40 pacer. We were both shooting for the exact some time so we decided to start with the pacer and see how things shook out.

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Found my Coeur Sports teammate Christine for our twin pic!

Our pacers were AMAZING!!!! Seriously, they paced us for the best marathon I have ever run! They took it easy on the uphill in the beginning, pushed the pace on the downhill in the middle, and dragged us along on the final uphill near the end. They told us stories and jokes and honestly the miles just clicked off! I wrote more about how I used my watch in the race here so check that out.

My husband and kid followed us down the hill all the way from Ojai to Ventura. Stuart met me specifically at miles 9 and 17 with a bottle of Red Bull (you can see why it is served in a can!) and an extra gel. Other than that I managed with a few Cliff Gels and the hydration on course (Fluid). Keep it simple people!

 

 

They were everywhere! The race was going great and it wasn’t until mile 23 that I was finally getting a bit tired.

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Smiling on the outside but not on the inside!

After this we had a couple of hard miles up a long hill but my athlete, Sara, and I were just in a new gear. We powered up the hill and finally left the pacers by around mile 24. Once we got to the final mile Sara took off and cruised into the finish. I was about 30 seconds behind her. Now we are BOTH #BostonBound!

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The next day I was laying in be reflecting on the race and wrote a quick post for my Coeur Sports Team.  I think this sums up my day the best.

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GO for it people!!! Really really go for it! That is the only way to make it happen!

 

 

 

 

 

Shameless plug for myself… I coached two women for this race. Each had PRs here and one qualified for Boston. Please let me know if you are interested in coaching. I am excited to help you get a PR! Check out my coaching site, Head Down, Do Work Coaching.

Successful Build Up

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Well I did it! I qualified for Boston again! I will write a race report once I get the free pics from the race (best thing ever!). I just wanted to share what my build looked like over the last year. Thanks SportTracks for giving me and easy way to look at this data. And thanks Coach Jen for designing a plan that got me to the finish line successfully!

Race Week – Work That!

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Race week is here!!! I am happy to report I am running pain free (except for the normal running aches and pain). No calf pain. No knee pain. No neck pain. NADA! I have done my training. I have run more leading up to this race than any other races in the last 4 years I think!

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I know I am capable of the goal of a 3:40 marathon. Unfortunately, I am not totally sure I have the speed in my legs right now. I am not trying to make an excuse for a possible goal failure on Sunday. I am just being honest that this is going to be really hard.

So  this week I am doing everything I know will help me on race day.

  • Stating my goal and intentions very publicly. I find that when I say it out loud, it makes it much harder to hide from your goal. So my goals are:
    • “A” Goal – sub 3:40 marathon – pretty much a guaranteed qualification for Boston
    • “B” Goal – 3:40-3:41:59 marathon – still a really good chance at getting into Boston, but not as guaranteed.
    • “C” Goal – 3:42-3:45 marathon – qualifying time but might not make the cut off.
    • “D” Goal – finishing the marathon
  • Using positive self talk and reminding myself of my past success. I have done this before. I can do it again. Click here to see my results last time I ran this race.
  • Eating well and making sure I get good sleep! Ice cream can wait for Sunday night!
  • Reviewing all the race details to make sure I know all the important information.
  • Making a killer play list! The song below is giving some extra motivation. The lyric, “Work what you got!” It really speaking to me right now! That is all I can do!

 

and if all else fails…

Recovery does a body good!

5 weeks until the Mountains to the Beach Marathon. I have been struggling with two things. First, running downhill. This has been going of for several weeks and it seems to be getting better but it isn’t 100% better yet. I have been using the COMPEX  machine, extra exercises to isolate the weak muscle, and running in areas that don’t have a lot of downhill. I am still not 100% sure I will be able to run M12B  because of all the downhill so San Diego is still a possibility.

Second, I have been struggling during my long runs (anything over 2 hours) and not recovering quickly. So this weekend my coach gave me a run of 3:20  (total running time this week was 7+ hours, that is HUGE for me). She rarely gives me a run that long but she knew I needed a bit of a confidence booster. I had told myself if I couldn’t run at least 3 hours successfully, then the marathon was out for this year.

After this I managed to run the last 20 minutes with no issues! BOOM!!! During the run I was totally on top of my nutrition, hydration, AND salts. I had a protein shake immediately after running. And after I took a shower, I spent 30 minutes in my Rapid Reboot recovery boots followed by a nap!

I feel AMAZING today!!! You have to plan your runs AND recovery!!! It is so important!

 

 

2 steps forward, 1 step back

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Graphs by SportTracks

This is encouraging… You can see that I am increasing my total miles each month but also decreasing my pace. This is exactly what I need to do to meet my goal of Boston Qualifying in May.

But we have an issue… running downhill hurts. CRAP! The race I am signed up for is mostly downhill.

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Mountains to Beach Marathon

So if I can’t run downhill we may have big problem on our hands (left knee to be more specific). I saw the doctor yesterday and he confirmed what my coach thought was the issue, a weak VMO. So the plan is:

  1. Stay off downhill running for now
  2. Work on strengthening the VMO
  3. If downhill still hurts in 3-4 weeks, change race to Rock-N-Roll San Diego
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San Diego Marathon

 

Pacific Half Marathon 2018 Race Report

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Wow… I am actually writing a race report. This means I actually finished a race that involved me running. YAY!!!

The Pacific Half Marathon is a relatively local race that is fairly challenging due to the hills. This was the first time I had run the course but I had re-run some of it and I was fairly familiar with the whole course. My expectation for the race was to hopefully run under 2 hours due to the hills. My race plan was to run to feel, run even, run hard, and not walk any of the hills. I conveniently covered up my watch so I wasn’t able to see my splits or HR data and I just ran to feel. Below are the details.

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I am THRILLED with the race! I ran 1:52:12, 8:33 min/mile, even with all the hills! That pace is less than 10 seconds off the pace I need for Mountains to the Beach at the end of May. It was a hard race but I was never working outside of myself. This was the confidence boost I needed! Only issue I had was a small amount of knee pain when running down one of the hills later in the race. That has me a little bit concerned since the upcoming marathon is mostly downhill, but not as steep as the section that hurt.

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Best part of the day was having a stranger come up to me at the end complimenting me on running a good race (he couldn’t catch me). My run was good enough for 10/124 for my age group, 38/676 for women, and 168/1381 overall!

I’m Still Here!

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I am still here! I promise!!! Life has been busy so here is an update on all things Becca.

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My training is humming along. My fist big race of the year is coming up in May. I am running the Mountains to the Beach marathon in Ojai/Ventura and I am hoping to qualify for Boston again. I have to say, I am not totally sure it will happen this time. I am still working on my speed and endurance. I was thinking during my long run this last weekend that as long as I only have to really suffer during the race for 60 minutes I think I can manage that. Luckily I still have 11 weeks to prepare so there is time! The road to recovery has been slow!

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I am starting a coaching business. I have some long term goals to transition from my normal 9-5 line of work to work that is full of my passion, endurance sport! If you are interested in working with me head over to Head Down, Do Work coaching. I will have my USAT Level 1 certification complete by the end of this month! I already have a few clients and I am really enjoying it!

That is what has been keeping me the busiest lately! As always, my Instagram is probably the best place to see what I am up to on a daily basis since my blogging is seriously lacking!

 

 

2017 Summary – The year that wasn’t

Not gonna lie, I had big plans for 2017. Unfortunately, blowing out my calf in February took me out of every race after that. No Boston Marathon and no Ironman Wisconsin. It was quite a bummer. 2017 totals are below and my race schedule for 2018 is updated on the blog here.

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I am happy that I managed to finish the last couple of months of 2017 very strong and I think I have set myself up to hit 2018 running, not walking. Graphic by SportTracks, my source of truth for all my activity data.

The case for a Kickr

Smart trainers are all the rage right now. Cyclists and Triathletes are usually willing to shell out money for anything that may help raise the beloved FTP (Functional Threshold Power). I am typically a late adopter to new tech. I like to KISS (keep it simple, stupid). I just want to do my workout and not have to mess with a bunch of stuff!

Well, Black Friday came and my darling husband couldn’t help but get me a Wahoo Kickr of my own (he already has one). I am a HUGE fan of TrainerRoad to run my cycling workouts. I either use their training plans or when I am working with my coach she will prescribe or even write me workouts in TrainerRoad. I have been very happy using my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine for the last three years and was very resistant to change. Anyway, I finally set up the trainer and have spent the last two weeks on it WITH a new higher FTP…. aaaand I love it!!! I truly think this will help me become a better cyclist for three reasons.

  1. There is no hiding from the watts, ever. When you use the Kickr in erg mode, TrainerRoad controls the resistance, as in how many watts you are pushing. There is no escaping the effort.
  2. Higher cadences are encouraged. For some reason, pedaling faster makes the watts feel easier. I was usually comfy at a cadence between 85-90. On the Kickr I am happier around 95.
  3. Recovery intervals are finally done right. I had a bad habit of over-riding my recovery intervals. With the Kickr, there is no way to over-ride them!

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#Operation200 continues

OK. I survived! I used the TrainerRoad 6 week Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume I training plan to work on increasing my FTP and it was super successful!

I did an FTP test when starting the plan and tested at 175 watts. I was pretty sure I just had a bad test (I am new to the 2 X 8 minute test) so I trained at my previous FTP of 185. There was only one workout I had to dial back and I only traded one workout for an outdoor ride sue to travel. Essentially I rode my bike 5 days a week as prescribed!

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I did my FTP test yesterday and NAILED IT! New FTP of 194! I am getting closer to 200!

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I am moving on to the next phase for the next 6 weeks. After that it is back to working with my coach to fine tune things for my upcoming races. First big one will be Mountains to the Beach Marathon where I hope to punch my Boston ticket!