Whew! What week is this anyway?
Our Dopey training has kicked into high gear, and it’s a good thing since we just so happened to be signed up for two half marathons… in a span of seven days!
Since I have gotten kind of behind on updates, I am gonna make this a quick rundown of our Dopey training weeks 12-14. In the next few days, I will catch us up to the current weeks’ training (is it really Week 17 already?)
Week 12 was a pretty light week as we were preparing to hit the road for our two half marathons. We did get to take in a social run/walk with our friends from TeamRWB. We also tried our hands at kayaking (for my birthday), which led us to become the proud owners of two new kayaks (stay tuned for more on that).
Week 13 we were on the road to Plano, TX to run our first half marathon at the Plano Balloon Festival. We did their Sky High Challenge which consists of running the 5k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. My race went well. I actually felt pretty strong and though I didn’t get the fast POT that I was shooting for (for Dopey of course) I was happy with my time and cut about 40 minutes off my previous unofficial time for that distance. You can read my full review of the event here.
On to week 14, and back on the road to our second half marathon. The drive to our next race destination in Joplin, MO included some roadside attractions along historic Route 66, and a stop in Tulsa, OK where we did our 45-minute training run on the cool Riverparks Eastbank Trail. If you are in the Tulsa area, I definitely recommend this one!
We arrived in Joplin in time to do our Thursday workout on the Frisco Greenway Trail, another project of the Rails to Trails Conservancy. Love these trails and love this project (check them out if you haven’t already). We had a good workout and even met some nice ladies with a flat MTB tire. I made a gallant effort to help them fix it, to no avail. We did stay with them until the help they had called for arrived.
On to our second half marathon… The Mother Road (Half) Marathon. Lots of cool factor on this one, that you can read about in my full review here. For the purpose of this post, I will say that this race was a little tougher/slower for me. The course was billed as “flat and fast”, which might have been the case if you were from say, Colorado!?! But for this flatlander, the 10 mile, gradual hill (yes, the last 10 miles) was a killer. I (we) finished about 5 minutes off our pace from the previous week, but hey, we finished!
And that brings us to the end of week 14. Yes, we tweaked our Dopey training to work around our race schedule, but so far this has worked for us. Our goal is to keep adding mileage/time on our feet. Speaking of time on our feet. I have gone to my Hoka Bondi 5 exclusively, for all of my long runs (10k or more). Loving these shoes! A perfect balance of cushioning and low energy loss. For the trail, my Altra Lone Peak 3.0 has become my go-to. Lightweight, with nice cushioning without feeling muddy or unstable on the trail.
A final thought… one thing I have drawn from the last several weeks’ runs/races is that being on the road, and not spending at least a few days a week in the gym has definitely begun to show up in my endurance, and the onset of pain/cramping in my legs. So, if I take one thing from these experiences it’s this… Don’t skip the strength training! (Yes Brea, time for me to come whimpering back. haha!)