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This weekend we will be running the race that started it all for us as Life is a Run…well, kinda.  We say kinda because they changed the name on us from White Rock Marathon to Dallas Marathon and the race course is very different.  Not to mention the starting line is no longer in Fair Park, but that’s been the case in years past since this race did start in 1971 and this wouldn’t be the first time the start is actually in downtown Dallas.

Excuse us while we steal a couple words from some of our frunners (stolen word #1 – credit to Mama C), but there’s one frunner in particular, Michelle, who just had her half-a-versary (stolen word #2) and we are about to have our’s!  Hearing that phrase from MK really puts this coming weekend into perspective.  Because really this weekend is kind of a big deal in our world or at least a reflection on where we started and just how far we have come since 2010.

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2010 when we became half marathoners!

We both had been runners in different times of our lives, but 2010 was when Teal asked Beth if she wanted to run a half with her, a distance neither one of us had come close to running.  It’s cute to think now how we use to run for time not for distance, you know like, long run this weekend is running for an hour and a half – oh my!  It’s also cute to think how neither one of us ran with a phone or any device with GPS.  We ran on feel alone. Ohhhh how the times have changed!  And who would have thought in 2011 we’d come back to run White Rock Marathon as our first marathon!? By the time we come back this year to toe the line at the half marathon distance it will be our 15th half marathon upon it’s completion.

In 2010, we had pretty much the perfect weather and little did we know that we were actually going to be spoiled by that.  We would like to pat ourselves on the pack for actually starting our first ever half in very appropriate running gear.  Yes, in the above picture we have fleeces on but we had Michael, Brent & Kate holding onto all of that for us while we ran.  Then 2011, for this very week leading up to the marathon we were both panicked.  WHAT?! Rain on marathon day??  What will we wear? What do we need?  Well, we learned lessons from that one. You could read about them here.

Teal finish photo

Teal becoming a Marathoner!

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Beth becoming a Marathoner!

It’s race week once again for White Rock/Dallas Marathon and per usual we have no idea what we are going to wear because we are pretty sure the projected forecast for Sunday has changed in some form or fashion each day this week. We mentioned in our weekend post how we’d hit a record high last Sunday in the 80’s. Well, we’ve had chances of a cold front coming through Sunday and we’ve had highs of 77 or something like that, so we’ll just have to see how it all plays out. As long as there isn’t rain we should be good! 🙂

In pre-race posts of the past we’ve given you a goal and we are going to kind of do that for you here.  Our individual thoughts, expectations and what not going into Dallas Marathon this weekend –

Teal: I am actually for the first time in a while nervous about a race. I usually just go and run and that is that. I know for a fact that I can make 13.1, clearly!  I haven’t set goals for a while because they started to have the opposite effect on me and they weren’t motivating. I am nervous because I do really want/need this race to go well. It is the last one before the Marathon… dun dun dun. AND I seriously, as dumb as it sounds, am still stuck on how completely and totally crappy last year was for this race (i know it was the full), but still and that has carried over into my marathon training. Sooo really if I was goal setting, my goal is to have an awesome race and to gain some confidence going into the Marathon, confidence that I pretty much do not have right now. I don’t even need a PR, I just want my race to feel good. How to make that happen?? I don’t know. So there goal set. Wish me luck.

Beth: White Rock Half 2010 holds my half marathon PR.  The closest I’ve come to my 1:56:39 PR was at Big D this past April, but I was still 34 seconds away from my PR.  I want so bad to beat that and I want to say that I could do it this weekend, but I just don’t know if I can. I’d like to run a smart race where I definitely do not start out too fast and have enough left in me to speed across that finish line.  I’m afraid of making “get a new PR this weekend” a goal because I’m not fully sure I can do it.  All year I though I’d come back to this race and conquer it with a new PR, but when I heard about them changing up the course it kind of changed things for me a little bit. So just like Teal is nervous, this goal I so want is making me nervous for race day Sunday.

So there you have it some of our reflections as we run our Half-a-versary race this weekend and what we think going into it.  Bring on half marathon no. 15 for #LiAR!  May the speed be with us!

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We had a good weekend full of lots of time together which included some fun, some productivity and some running! A little bit of everything and maybe a rare weekend of finding balance with it all?

Friday: 

We drove to Ft. Worth to hang out with our friend Mandy! For anyone who doesn’t live in the DFW area you might not know that these two places are not exactly as close and one would think. We left Brent & Beth’s house around 6 and after dealing with traffic the ENTIRE time, we finally made it to dinner around 7:30, but it was totally worth the wait.

We ate at Winslow’s Wine Café, which was an old gas station converted to a nursery, then later this awesome wine bar! If you ever go we recommend the pita bread and hummus. There is something secretly amazing about their pita! Just trust us and get it.

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We headed to Gingerman afterwards to hang out some more! Duh, plus why would we waste a trip to Ft. Worth to only staying like 2 hours?

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We closed that place down, well sorta, our oldness and the fact that we were up early, and just the fact that we were at the end of a long week, we left….around 1 a.m.!  We did last awhile considering we did have to make the trek back to the Dallas side of the metroplex upon leaving.

We decided to make a short stop by the Ft. Worth Museum of Modern art because this cool guy, Companion, is still displayed outside. What he is we aren’t really sure, Teal & Michael even went to the artist’s lecture about him and, yea not sure. Giant under 21 crazy Mickey Mouse? Perhaps we need Michael’s input on this one?

See Beth mimicking him!

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Saturday: Rest? Recover, Errands!

Teal headed to Luke’s Locker to solve her shoe crisis. The poor guy there had to suffer as she tried on like every shoe in the store. She ended up with these bad boys. Please God make them work better!

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Saucony Ride 5

 

 

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Beth finally got her birthday present! What’d she get? You guessed it! A bathroom cabinet, duh! Who doesn’t get one for these for their birthday?! We don’t have a picture of it,but it’s a lovely white cabinet that Brent and maybe his dad can put up over the master bathroom toilet. Hooray more storage space!

Sunday: Long Run

We headed to White Rock earlier than we have been lately. Last marathon training we got up early every Saturday and ran early. This time we have spoiled ourselves with later runs. Beth grabbed Teal at 7 and we headed to the lake. It was a nice day, overcast mostly, but still warm for Texas. We actually hit a record warm Sunday if that tells you anything.  This is a nice place to break up an 18 mile run since each lap is right at 9 miles.

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We actually saw a bunch of people we know to keep it entertaining. Katie (you might remember her from this blog or even from here), Catherine from North Texas Runners and The Kennemers a.k.a. #TeamK!!

We also have a PSA to all the bikers out there. We highly HIGHLY recommend that you steer clear of the white race kits. We got to experience the not so pretty butt crack of a rather larger biker. Trust us on this on bikers, stick to the darker colors.

The birds were seriously crazy! It was right at this part of the lake that Mr. K ran up behind Teal and was like “looks like a harbor” it was awesome. Huge white birds everywhere. This pictures doesn’t really do it justice but it was awesome.

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Teal decided to call it over at 15 and Beth made it the full 18! Then we headed for brunch at Campisi’s where we got to enjoy a couple of these!

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Mimosa reward!

I’d say we were super busy and productive! Next up? Week 10 of marathon training! And looking forward to Dallas Marathon (but just the half) this weekend!

How was YOUR weekend??

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Happy Monday, friends!  Thank you to everyone who is bearing with us as we are in the last couple of weeks before THE wedding and trying to get everything accomplished!  Speaking of the wedding…this weekend we kicked off our Saturday with a wedding shower for Beth thrown by her mom’s close friends.

photo courtesy of Kate O. Lynch

We don’t actually have a picture of us there together. Sad day! But there were mimosas there – yum!

In our Taco Run recap Teal mentioned that she’d strained her groin muscle and the reality of that strain was the potential need to take an entire week off from running.  BUT race 3 out of 4 in our four season challenge was scheduled for this Sunday!?  We discussed how this was possibly sign #2 that we weren’t meant to do this challenge right now.  The day before the Hottest Half in August Teal had a calf injury due to some fun tubing on the lake.  We both said that no matter what training for our marathon was more important than running Tyler Rose and to worsen the muscle strain on Teal was not an option for us.  Turns out she was getting back to normal by the end of the week, so we could run Tyler Rose!

BUT that didn’t mean we ready to spend the four hours in the car for the round trip out to Tyler.  We might have been a little ambitious back in March when we thought doing a race 21 days before Beth’s wedding would be a good idea.  Well, not just a race, but a race where we would be getting up at 4:00 a.m., driving two hours to the race, running two-ish hours and then driving back to Dallas for two hours.

Beth’s sister, Kate, made the executive decision for us (because neither one of us wanted to actually make it) that we would stay put in Dallas. Thank you,Kate! So Sunday morning we met up for our first long run of marathon training – 13.1 miles. We’re coming for you Louisiana Marathon!

We had a cold front come through Friday night so the chilly weather was still there Sunday morning.  For the first time in a long time we went outside to 48 degree weather!  Of course you know it’s always hard to remember what exactly you want to wear in that type of weather, but we were both content with our choices and neither one of us got overly hot out on the run.  Details you really wanted to know about, right??

Teal’s fancy new garmin!

Of course at this stage in the game a half is something we have done a lot of, so we both felt good out there.  This weekend does mark a first for us – DNS.  We’ve run a lot of races and had yet to DNS, but we did and we don’t regret it. We needed to for our own sanity.  We will still race the 4th half in our four seasons challenge come February, but we won’t actually receive that four seasons medal. 😦

 

A couple of the other benefits of us staying tight in Dallas instead of going to Tyler was Beth got to be on time to Birthday brunch for her dad, and we both had the opportunity to grocery shop and prepare for our 10 day cleanse.  That’s right – we are advocare cleansing again! 🙂  When we’ve done this in the past we have had quite a few questions about it which also includes Beth asking Teal eleventy billion questions each time, so we’ve decided to share more details of our cleanse throughout this week and maybe a little of next week with you too. 🙂  Hope at least one or two of you out there are interested in knowing more.

What was your first race DNS? Do you regret?

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Happy Monday, everyone! 🙂  We thought for at least this period of training limbo for the two of us we would start giving you weekly recaps of workouts, soooo let’s just get started with last week…

Monday

Teal: Trained with Will and Fire 60

Beth: Off

Tuesday

Teal: Off

Beth:  Trained with Johnny at Private Training Zone and 4 mile run

Wednesday

Teal:  Trained with Will

Beth: Off

Thursday

Teal:  3×1 miles speed on treadmill 7.5mpg – plus weights (lunges, dead lifts, squats, repeated between mile runs)

Beth: Trained with Johnny at Private Training Zone, 2.76 mile run (1 mile on pavement and 1.76 on trails), and 5.35 mile hill repeat run

Friday

Teal: 4.20 mile hill repeats on Windhaven

Beth: Stadium workout

Saturday

Teal:  Fire 60, weights and 2 mile speed work at the gym (3 arm exercises repeated between 800m intervals on treadmill at 8mph)

Beth:  Trained with Stephen at Private Training Zone

Sunday

Teal: Off

Beth: 6 mile run

Other than that we had a great weekend!  We even spent our Friday night together with both of our dudes!  After reading a blog post by Army Amy we decided we HAD to try a restaurant she had recently been to that we have never heard of before.  So Friday night the four of us went out to One 2 One and tried a ton of food!  Maybe we should have taken a picture of ALL the food we ordered so we could all try a little bit of something from the menu, but if we did we’d probably be too embarrassed to post it. 🙂 Believe us it was A LOT of food!

Teal & Michael

Brent & Beth

How was your weekend – did you race? Or put in some miles on your own?

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As you may or may not know in 2010 was when we began our training to run our first half-marathon.  Both of us had run in high school and/or college, but never to the distance we would hit in our half marathon training.  The two of us and probably like a lot of people who train for their first half marathon followed Hal Higdon‘s guide.

 
Hal Higdon’s guides are great and perhaps there are some people out there who work their way through a number of his different plans.  We, however, did not and kind of decided to start looking through different plans (one of which was definitely Hal Hidgon’s) and piecing them together.  After all what works for one person might not work for another and it never hurts to try something to see if it works for you!

Throughout the not quite two years of us running together we’ve learned to appreciate aspects of our training, realized some things that needed to be added and why, so we shall share with you!

Weight Training

Both of us got personal trainers at a point where we each wanted to lose weight (You can read about Beth’s story here and Teal’s story here).  Boy are we thankful to Will & Johnny for helping us to get into shape, get healthy and teaching us a lot!  Weight training is very important as you need to build a base for yourself.  If you only rely on running to build your muscles then you are missing out!  Not every single race you might run will you actually feel yourself digging deep and using that core strength or pumping those arms hard to get to that finish line, but those are important parts of your body to work on strength so you have it when you need it.   With that said it’s important to find a balance with your weight training and make sure you are working every part of your body.  Build that strong foundation so you can be a stronger runner!  It was well into us running together that we realized we were at an advantage by already having trainers and having those weekly weights session.  We didn’t know where we would be in our running if we didn’t have them!

While yes, a trainer makes it so much easier to get your weights session in you don’t neeed to have one! Grab a friend that’s knowledgeable about weights and ask them to show you the ropes a few times or look into one of the many apps that’s how there and available to guide you through a workout!

If you would like more of an explanation of the benefits weight training please see this post from Runner’s World.

Tempo Runs

We just recently started to incorporate these into our workouts.  What were we waiting for with these??

What? There is lots to read out there about tempo runs and sometimes it doesn’t seem to be written in layman’s terms, or is that just us?  Part of why we probably did NOT do tempo runs for awhile was because we did not truly understand them.  A tempo run normally consists of running at an easy pace to start, let’s say we are doing a 4 mile tempo run, so you may run your first mile at an easy pace then for miles 2 and 3 you kick it into a higher gear. This higher gear is a hard pace yet if you were rate levels of hard you might have comfortably hard, hard, and extremely hard.  You want this higher gear to be at a comfortably hard pace so that you can sustain this level of intensity for the entirety of your two miles.  Once you hit mile 4 take your speed back down to where you were in mile 1 for a nice recovery mile.

Importance.  The idea behind a tempo run is to raise your lactate threshold. If you are at a point in your running where you are able to run the mileage you want in a long run but are ready to work on speed this is a workout you’ll want to add into your training schedule once a week to build speed and strength.  The one thing that really helped us in determining how to do a tempo run was by using the McMillan Running Calculator not only did it help with tempo runs but also discovering what type of speed we needed for all sorts of runs.

Hill Workouts

What? While yes there are races out there that you might register that are flat, flat, flat!  But that is simply not going to be the case for each and every race that you will ever run.  Those hills in your runs/races continue to help challenge us as runners.  The best workout we have found to make sure a hill does not defeat us in a race are hill repeats.  We’ll be honest they aren’t the most fun type of workout, but believe us when you finish a race with hills you’ll be thankful for the time you spent on hill repeats.  For us a hill repeat workout consists of:

1.  Doing your homework and find a hill that will work.  You might want a hill that is somewhere between .1 – .2 of a mile.
2.  Get a little bit of mileage in before your hill repeats, i.e. run from your house out to the hill
3. When you reach your hill if it’s your first time maybe try 4 or 5 runs up the hill and back down (but have a goal of working up to 10 hill repeats)
4. Get in that last bit of mileage back to your house
Importance.  We’ve recently heard a couple people say this and it is the absolute truth, “the difference between me continuing to run and the people walking up the hill in that race are these workouts.”  Even if you are not specifically training for a race that has hills in them, this workout is beneficial! It’ll build muscle that running on a flat path does not, help with your endurance and help you to get faster!  Throw this type of running workout into your weekly mix as well and you’ll feel a difference at your next race!

Tangents
Just for good measure we are throwing this one in this post.  And no we aren’t taking you back to geometry class either! 🙂 Or is it basic algebra?? Ha, math is hard, y’all! 🙂 There were plenty of times that we can remember one of us saying “ugh! My Runkeeper says I ran 6.43 in that 10k race!” and there were times when we’d finish our long runs together that we were asked “why did Teal run a further distance than you Beth?” TANGENTS! It’s about tangents!  We can honestly say we were taught this very valuable piece of information from reading katieRUNSthis’ blog!

The majority of races we have run together have a certified course so it has been measured and is exactly the distance the course claims it to be.  When a course is measured it is done so on tangents, so when there is a curved portion of your course the person who measured it did so on the tangents.  This is also why for instance when we go run our long runs or even if we run side by side during a race our mileage for that long run or race could be different because neither one of us is running the curves the exact same.  For the visual people out there, let us show you the tangents in visual form.

 

While you might have learned about tangents today know that at your next race you might do your best to run the tangents but still find that you have some extra mileage at the end, well, it’s hard to run the tangents EXACTLY.  As you have to be looking ahead and plotting out exactly how to run the next curve not to mention that there are other runners out there with you on the course that might keep you from running that straight line exactly.  All we can do is do our best!

We are no experts by any means! We read articles, blogs, etc. online in an effort to try and learn how we can improve our running.  We wanted to share some information that opened up our eyes, helped us to understand running more and that we think everyone should have the benefit of knowing!

If you already knew all of this, well, thanks for bearing with us today!  If you didn’t know all of this – are you going to be making some changes now to your weekly running?  Glad to know why there is extra mileage on those races you’ve run before?

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We woke up yesterday morning and it was 28 degrees in Dallas. Brrrr!! Just a week and a half ago we were both getting in a run separately in what seemed like spring time weather – 70ish degrees.  Texas you are so fickle with your weather! Then last night there were snow flurries in different parts of the metroplex – snow flurries!

Ever since we spent four plus hours out in the cold and rain running our first ever marathon neither one of us has been super excited about going out and running in the cold.  Have you noticed a lot of treadmill runs out of us lately?  Of course we did go run the New Year’s Double races in colder temperatures, but it was racing that got us out of bed for that one.  Getting out of bed and running by ourselves in the cold – no way, Jose!

Back to yesterday morning – We were lucky to be able to have breakfast with our friend Rebekah who tagged along with her husband on his work weekend. So we got to spend time with Rebekah and baby Eliza again!

At breakfast we both said “I am NOT running outside today. TOO COLD.” And then basically discussed how we would work our time in on the dreadmill. Yuck! We left there intending to do treadmill runs. I am pretty sure we both got home and said – “Seriously?? Buck up!” Apparently we both decided to brave the cold at the same time and both reached for our phones to text the other –

B: I think I might brave the cold for hills and then run later tonight at the gym.

T: Haha, I literally picked up the phone to tell you the same!  I’m going to try and get 8? Hope I don’t freeze

Teal headed out for her 8 mile run dressed for snow!

She continues to have serious issues with being cold. For Christmas her mom had bought her Under Armour water proof gloves which very much remind her of the infamous OJ Simpson gloves, but who cares? They are super thick! Slapped those on, found her ear covers and had two shirt layers on as well as a jacket. Mind you it’s now about 40 degrees outside but whatever!

Thank god we don’t live anywhere further north. Teal’s 8 miles went very well. Ran a pretty hilly course at a fairly slow pace and felt great. Her foot, in case you were curious is doing much better!  It still reminds her that it is hurt in runs but is making great progress. Along with the foot Teal thinks that her post-marathon cold trauma is fading!  Well maybe…

Here is a picture of the course Teal ran –

Beth had not done her hill workout for the week or her long run so she decided Sunday would be a double run day.  Seeing as it was in the low 40’s that meant she should dress like it was in the low 60’s, so she figured it would be a good time to take her new lululemon shorts for a spin to test them out for the Princess Half.  And for good measure threw on a hat to keep warm!

As of late when Beth does hills she tries to get a little mileage in, the hills, and then some additional mileage and that’s exactly how today went.  A little over a mile out, ran the hill 10 times, and not quite 2.5 miles to finish it up for a 5.17 mile run.

We did it! We ran outside again and might not be so terrified of the low temperatures anymore!  Call us wimps all you like….but we live in Texas and have for pretty much forever!  We don’t know truly cold weather.

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What do you think? Suggestions?

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