November 8, 2014

From apprehensive to assertive

Please excuse my lack of blogging, as I've had my nose to the grindstone training hard for CIM, working lots, and traveling. This last month saw me race a half marathon at San Jose in early October, where I finished 6th in a PR of 1:16:19, feeling comfortable and strong. Then it was back to work, with longer runs and workouts than I'd ever done, prepping for my 26.2 debut.
Thankfully, Providence has blessed me with beautiful fall weather, making this training block go pretty smoothly. Of course, there have been a few challenging days, but I can honestly say that I've enjoyed this process -- this journey -- more than any other training segment I've done! Changing it up with a new event was just what I needed; combine that with the welcoming, wonderful running community in Providence -- sisters in sport -- and I'm doing pretty good!
Another change is that instead of being intimidated by workouts, I'm excited for them - I'm eager for each long run and hard effort, approaching them ready to get after it and see what I can do! This is a shift for me - away from the at times timid runner that I've been in the past, from apprehensive to assertive, a change toward dwelling in positivity and truly running joyfully!
So riding this wave of positivity, I'm racing the Pittsburgh 10-Miler tomorrow! A tune up for CIM that's a month away, this hilly 10-miler across Pittsburgh's 3 rivers should be an excellent opportunity to practice running assertively, competitively, and of course joyfully. Tune in to Twitter tomorrow morning at 8 am for live race coverage - follow @PGH10Miler or hashtag #PGH10Miler #PGHElite for updates!
Yes, this is a personalized ketchup bottle - awesome race gift from the PGH 10 Miler team!


October 4, 2014

From 3.1 to 13.1

Last month I raced a 5k at the USA 5k Road Championships at home in Providence. It'd been a while since raced a 5k on the roads, let alone done any 5k pace work, so the race was a bit of a shock to the system! But it was a good shock - it was nice to feel the pre-race butterflies in my stomach again, the rush as you sprint off the starting line,
and the burn in your legs as you press hard during the final 0.1 of the race.
I finished in 16:44, the 20th American and 22nd woman overall. Though not a road PR, I was happy with the effort on a hot, humid day, in the midst of marathon training. I'll be back for a road PR next year! 
Post-race with former NBSV teammate Steph
Now I transition from 3.1 to 13.1 - I've got the Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon on tap tomorrow! There's a talented field assembled and San Jose is a flat, fast course, so it should be a great day! I haven't yet given the half an honest effort, so tomorrow I'm eager to improve on my 1:18.15 from 2012. Here's to hoping for a faster time and good preparation for 26.2! 

September 27, 2014

26.2 Debut

Marathoning is a weird phenomenon... how did 26.2 miles catch on as a distance we aspire to complete? It's such a long way to go, so much farther than the rest of the races (5k, 10k) we normally compete in. How does one decide to move up from 10 kilometers to 42.2k? HELLO, that's a huge jump!
For this runner, the decision to tackle 26.2 came about after the 2012 Olympic Trials. I've long been told that the marathon would be my best event, but it's taken me some time to wrap my head around it. Like I said, it's FAR! That's a long time to focus, be alone with your thoughts, and combat those creeping feelings of self-doubt...

Plus, I love the track and I know it well. Each spring for 15 years, I've laced up my spikes. Tracks are the same, from Davis to San Francisco to Cleveland to Providence. With so much change in life and so many unknowns, there's a comfort in the consistency of the track. To me, the rhythm of 400s doesn't feel repetitive; rather, I gain strength from each steady lap. It's familiar territory, and therefore safe.
But it's time to venture outside my comfort zone on the track and tackle a new running challenge. After much thought and physical and mental preparation, I'm ready to take on 26.2!

I'm excited and happy to announce that I'll be making my marathon debut on December 7, at my "hometown" marathon, the California International Marathon in Sacramento!
I am thrilled to race back at home in California, on the roads where I've run many a mile, with family and friends from nearby Davis able to come watch and cheer. There's a lot of marathons to choose from, but deciding to run CIM back at home was an easy choice. I am SO excited!
We're 10 weeks away from the big day and marathon training is in full swing. I ran my farthest run ever (18 miles) this week and it's only getting longer from here! 
I'll be chasing an Olympic Trials qualifier at CIM (the Trials are coming up quick - February 13, 2016!) and can use your encouragement along the way! Follow the journey here on the blog and on Twitter (@runnerKG)! Thanks as always for your support!

Joyfully,
Kaitlin