Half Marathons

Post-Zion Observations

Hi everyone!  I’m back in Alaska and feeling pretty good about it.  And honestly, I feel kind of strange not writing my usual Monday Zion training recap!  I am so sad the race is over and want to do it all over again.  So I think I’m going to keep up with a weekly workout recap because it just feels normal now.  Here was my week:

Monday:  Angels Landing AKA like 3u4829340382 workouts in one – 5 miles

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Tuesday:  Hiking to Emerald Pools and along the Virgin River in Zion – 3 miles

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Wednesday:  Hiking in The Narrows – 6 miles

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Thursday:  We spent the day in Vegas before flying home at midnight and I had a pretty bad stomach bug and was seriously borderline narcoleptic (I even fell asleep at Panera while sipping chicken broth).  I think I was sick 😦  But I managed to still try to enjoy my time in the sunshine.  Does outlet shopping count as a workout?   I bought new running shoes if that counts!  TJ Maxx had the exact pair of ASICS Gel-Exalt 2s that I was thinking about buying online for way less money!

Friday:  We got in at 4:00 am AST and I was definitely worn out.  Although our flight was pretty sweet because I got to see the aurora for half of it!  I had to work and had no energy left once I got home, so it was a rest day

Saturday:  My first post-Zion run was 2 miles in only 20:05!  I decided to be as fast as I could and it was awesome!

Sunday:  We took a 2 mile walk around University Lake since it was so warm and sunny.  We’ve never been out there before and had no idea that it would still be super icy from snow melt in a few areas and the non-icy areas were crazy muddy!  It was also an off-leash area for dogs and they were EVERYWHERE.  Like coming out of the woods and scaring us to death.  But it was pretty, and I got to try out my new shoes too!

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Now that the Zion Half is over, I’m feeling pretty good about life and also mildly depressed that it’s over.  Some other observations after half #5:

  • I can’t believe how well it went!  I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for weeks just hoping I’d make it through in one piece (and wouldn’t need to see Mr. Stupid Orthopedic Doctor again) and I feel so incredibly lucky to be okay.  It was such a beautiful race and I had a blast running it.  I’ve never finished a race feeling that happy before, and I know it was because of the scenery and the vibe!
  • I can’t stop thinking about how beautiful that race was, and how much I want to do another Vacation Races half marathon ASAP.  I’m wondering if I can squeeze the Lake Powell Half into my race schedule (and my vacation days at work) because that race manages to look even more beautiful!
  • My official race pictures are so amazing that I think I need to buy them.  You all know about my usual Garmin finish line pictures so this was an unexpected surprise!  Here’s the proofs for now:

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  • I reached the 100 mile marker of 2015 during the Zion Half!  I’m so excited.  I’m over 1/5 of the way to my goal for the year!
  • I neeeeeeeeeed to start doing better cross training that works on getting my leg, hip, and core muscles stronger.  Even just for helping me hike all summer long.
  • I also need to step up my shoe game.  Now that I know that my crazy pink ASICS Gel-Kayano 20s are not going to ruin my life like my stupid Adidas shoes from hell, I’m all about them.  But I know that I need more than one pair of wearable shoes, so I’m pumped about my new ASICS Gel-Exalt 2s.  And after trying out the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s one more time, I think I’m going to order a pair of those too!

IMG_4658They’re still bright, but not as crazy as my pink ones!

  • After all of that hiking, I realized that I definitely want to get into trail running.  Any tips on that?
  • This was my first vacation after moving to Alaska (going home to Philly doesn’t count) and I was strangely so excited to come back.  Utah was beautiful, but not as beautiful as Alaska!  And I was so excited to come back to temps in the 40s and not have to wear sunscreen constantly.  Also, sea level is where it’s at  🙂  It really solidified how happy I am here and how lucky I am to live in the most beautiful place on earth!  I used to cry every time I had to go home from vacation when I lived in Philly and would dream of living somewhere better.  And now I am!!!

Now that it’s officially spring, my workouts will be changing and I’m so excited.  I’m hoping for some speedy runs, hill repeats, and no more treadmill runs.  I felt pretty bad for all my east coast friends and family when I saw that they got snow on the first day of spring because they were all so sad about it.  I was kind of jealous – we haven’t had snow in months!

IMG_4647Our ground situation in Alaska.  Let’s hope the grass starts growing earlier than June!

And now that it’s spring I also need to try out some new Alaskan cross training.  I put all of my unused winter stuff in our storage unit today (snow shoes, ice skates, and our shovel – we didn’t get enough snow to use that thing once all winter!) and I’m hoping to replace them with a bike this summer!

Any tips on getting stronger and faster as a runner, learning how to trail run (especially in bear country), and fitting in as many racecations as possible?  And how was your first day of spring?

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19 thoughts on “Post-Zion Observations

  1. Your pictures are amazing, your race ones and your river ones! Speed workouts have definitely been the key for me getting faster. Each training cycle, I start with fartleks, and then make my way to longer and longer tempos.

    1. How did you know how to do that? I’m so overwhelmed with how many workouts/tips are out there and if they’re not in my training plan I don’t know what to do. Or how fast to run and how long to run those fast speeds. I’m probably overthinking it haha. But I don’t want to get injured again doing something too crazy!

  2. Wow, sounds like a fantastic race. Definitely buy the pictures — such a good experience and good pictures don’t happen every time. I strength train 2-3 x/week, Runners World always has articles with “essential strength moves for runners.” When I’ve been injured, my PT has had me start with core and glutes.

  3. you definitely need to get those race pictures! the scenery looks beautiful and you look like you are having a blast! i would love to do racecations, especially since it snowed again here in chicago. i need to run in the sunshine!

    1. Oh man, so much snow! I loved having a racecation planned for March – it was the perfect timing for a vacation! Hopefully you get some sunshine soon!

    1. Haha I knew I could count on you guys to help me out 🙂 And my gun is too big to carry on a run! PS great news – my manager’s husband took pity on us and gave us a tiny box of ammo. I’m so excited!

  4. Those race pictures are awesome! Even better that you’re not surrounded by a bunch of other runners like in most race pics.
    So happy to hear Alaska is feeling like home and you were excited to return from vacation. I think that’s when you know you’ve really found somewhere you love 🙂
    I did a trail race last year, and just signed up for my second this fall (up Pike’s Peak in CO!!), and am so exited! I hardly ever practice on the trails though, so unfortunately I don’t have a tip. Just wanted to express how much fun I find it as well 😀

    1. Haha I somehow got lucky on that! I swear there were tons of people around me. Those trail races sound amazing! I’ll try to see if I can find one here in Alaska to try out – most go straight up crazy mountains so I’ll see if I can find a flat one!

  5. I am so behind! But I just wanted to say congrats on the race and I’m glad that you enjoyed your time in Utah. I’ve hiked Angel’s Landing once and I never want to do it again (I’m terrified of heights), and I still have do do the Narrows.

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