Thursday, February 24, 2011

Austin Half Marathon 2011 Race Report - First Postpartum Half Marathon

Livestrong Austin Half Marathon was my first half marathon back from having my baby. She was born 11 weeks ago by C-section. Post-surgery recovery means 6 weeks no running, no exercise. Needless to say, that means I've hit the road hard the last 5 weeks to try to get back in shape and decided impulsively late one night to run Austin Half Marathon as my first half marathon back when I saw there were only a few hundred registration slots still open.

So February 20, I headed to the start line with my friend Elaine (@girlruns5K) who was also running. 

Elaine was wanting to try going for a pretty good speed, and since I'm kinda good at consistent pacing at races when I try (take a look at Houston Half last year and you'll see 13 miles of splits within 7 seconds of each other!), so I said I would try to keep her at that pace, which would be more difficult with the constant up and down hills. First couple miles felt good going out with the crowd and taking the rolling hills one at a time. I'd never paced someone and I was having fun doing this for Elaine since I had no goal for myself. It was faster than I had planned on running for the day, but figured I could afford to crash and burn the last handful of miles if it helped her and she could hold on to that on her own at that point.

I was on the lookout and at mile 2.5 saw some of my Twitter friends. Seeing how we'd never met, I'm amazed I could tell who they were, but I'll talk about these special folks when we see them again in this race report at mile 8.5.

Elaine hadn't realized how hilly the course was. After mile 3 we stopped for a short bit for her to retie her shoes and walk a little. Mile 4 stopped a little bit for her to stretch. I told her at any point we could stop and take a more relaxed pace. She is running a full marathon one week after this half, so it was up to her to determine her energy level. In mile 4, she said enough so we slowed down. We were in the middle of a long uphill climb so I don't blame her. 

But for the sake of consistency, I was pushing for a little faster than 12 for the first few miles, then slow to 12:15ish for the long uphill. Splits for first handful of miles? 11:44, 11:46, 11:52, 12:17 for half a mile before walk break.  All the mile splits are at the bottom of the report.

Mile 6 we started the gradual decline for 3 miles. At this point, the muscles-lost-due-to-pregnancy started to show themselves. My upper abs were burning. My hip adductor on the left side was getting really tight. But most of all during miles 6-9, I was noticing this awful pulling feeling at my C-section incision site. The site of the sutures, as with any surgical incision, is bound to have some adhesions on the inside of the fascia and some scar tissue buildup.  That pulling is the fascia and scar tissue ripping apart, which was particularly noticeable with the style of stride in a downhill. Ow. Note that the rest of the day any cough or sneeze would be agony, like a stabbing pain in that area. Double ow.

At mile 8.5, I spotted the sign "@libbyruns, this is @acokertx". It made me laugh so hard - non-twitter folks would not have a clue what's going on. This was Arlyne, @acokertx, a sweet twitter friend out cheering everyone along with Shannon (@hendy2point0) and Marie (@irongirl11).

I pulled up to them and stopped dead in my tracks, declaring, "I need to stretch". They were so nice, giving me encouraging words, and they snapped some pictures while I stretched. Between sore muscles and upset stomach, I was so thankful for the distraction of seeing them. And their attitude brightened my day!

Then I was off again, but that nagging nausea and upset stomach plagued me. I took my second Gu - like the first, I had a bad gag response to ripping the top of the Gu open with my teeth. By mile 9.5, my stomach had completed betrayed me. I must have just passed an aid station shortly before this, because it was a long time to the next one. I can only walk because every time I start to run, I feel just awful. I'm guessing the mile 11 aid station had portapotties but I had total tunnelvision and they must not have been right there by the path because I missed them completely. At mile 12.25, I hit the next aid station and saw the portapotties this time. So that was 2.75 miles of pure walking, including the "death" hill at Enfield (8 stories, 80 feet, uphill over only 1/4 mile).

After a 4 minute stop, I managed a 12 minute per mile pace from mi 12.25 to 13.1. Can you tell I was feeling better? I passed so many runners during this part, and I had quite the crowd reaction. They thought I was having this super strong finish and I'm laughing because they have no clue I just walked 3 miles before this.

I finished the race in 3:01:30. Yes, a finish time I haven't seen since mid-2008. While the race experience was a bit of an adventure, I'm still proud of the accomplishment of a quick return to distance running regardless of the time it took to cross the finish line. 

I felt sick the whole rest of the day. I'm annoyed and confused. I ate a usual pasta dinner the night before, ate my usual race day morning bagel at least an hour before the race, took my usual Gu 15 minutes before race start - I did it all "right". Note, ironically, that I had serious stomach problems the only other time I've run this race, in 2009.

So where do I go from here? Figure out solutions for the sometimes stomach problems I'm having at race days. And keep hitting the training hard.  After my muscles and body recover from this race, that is. I'm looking forward to getting my speed (which may be your snail's pace, and that's cool with me) back and then going beyond that!

Mile 1: 11:45
Mile 2: 11:46
Mile 3: 11:52
Mile 4: 13:35
Mile 5: 12:58
Mile 6: 13:01
Mile 7: 12:18
Mile 8: 12:24
Mile 9: 13:38
Mile 10: 15:12
Mile 11: 16:18
Mile 12: 17:53
Next 0.1 - includes potty stop - took 6 min, 55 seconds
Mile 12.1 - 13.1: 12:00

Next Race: Texas Independence Relay - captaining the all-female team "Mad-Dames"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Austin Half Marathon Looms Ahead - Part 1

I have my first half marathon post-baby, post-C-section, on Sunday in Austin at the Livestrong Austin Marathon.  Sophie just turned 11 weeks old yesterday. Even though I plan to run a slow easy pace, as I haven't done this many miles since last July due to the pregnancy, I still am a person who likes to prepare to run the best race I can. I study my old race reviews, the course maps, elevation charts, starting line corrals, the works! I like to memorize the course and prepare mantras to repeat to myself at different times on the course.

So here is my race review from 2009 (some course changes since then).

I tweeted my tips and mantras as I prepared today... about 2/3 of the way through the course, here's what I jotted down (excuse the shorthand since it was tweeted!)  Search #austinmarathon for tweets like these tomorrow.
  • ~18k runners w mass start, no waves. Line up early @ ur pace sign. Start corral map:
  • Cut ur race time - run the shortest possible course. Hint: Start 2 the right! 3 right turns before Mile 1!
Note this differs from some who think people get so pinched on the inside corner they prefer to go to the outside. I find it keeps me from going out too fast, is less of an issue generally at my back-of-the-pack pace, and tend to squeeze through runners pretty well.
  • At Mile 1 look left, u'll see the finish line structure a block away. Take a mental snapshot 2 carry u thru!
  • Don't go out too fast. Conserve energy, slow gradual uphill from miles 3-6 will be there b4 u know it
  • Miles 3-6, 200ft climb. I recall by mile 6 ur like "it won't end". Must remember down comes after up here, yay!
  • I'm ok if I lose a little time on mi 3-6 (uphill) bc I get it back in mi 6-9 (downhill).
More thoughts to come tomorrow! Since this is like my 20th half marathon I think, one mantra I'm using throughout is, "My body knows the distance." and "Trust the training".  Another favorite I often use is "Take what this race day has given me." meaning to do the best I can for the day's personal and environmental (weather as an example) conditions.

And yes, to those who just like to go out and run, this looks overly analytical. I'd love to know, informal survey, how do you prepare?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Getting Outside My Comfort Zone - Let Me Clarify

I posted this morning about my yearly goal of doing something physically outside my comfort zone. It doesn't have to be running-related - I count ziplining in 2009 and hot air ballooning in 2010 because heights make me nervous and I can be claustrophic (important when you are stuck in a balloon in the air!). But it can be running-related too, like doing my first 25K at 5 1/2 months pregnant, at midnight in July in Texas heat.

I was looking for suggestions for 2011. Great suggestions, guys, but not all in the realm of what I was thinking. The big thing is I'm a mom of two so it can't be a continuously time-consuming thing. I'm looking more for a one-time adventure. I've done yoga before and it would be really great for running to return to it (thanks, Michelle). And I've heard great things from those who do Crossfit, and in another life, I'd have the time to spend on it (thanks, Vishal). But I'm limited by somewhat my "running monogamy" (thanks, Sue). I have time for one sport only in my life at this point.

So I just want to clarify... I need an adventure that could be termed "uncomfortable". For example, in future years, as I don't foresee a vacation to a locale that would permit this, I would like to parasail (can't swim, deep water scares me, and heights issues), and do that thing where you wear a helmet and walk around on the sea floor (thanks, The Bachelor on ABC, for giving me the idea). And I really thought someone would suggest skydiving - which is a veto here. Uh uh, that one's never going to happen.

So keep them coming. I know I will accomplish the goal in one regard already because I am signed up for my first trail race, Hells Hills 25K on April 2, and of course it's also only my second time doing a 25K. But more suggestions, running and not running-related, are appreciated.

Rock-climbing as Vishal suggested, is intriguing, but do I need to "train up", or can I go somewhere pretty with assistance like a group and do it safely while still be fascinating?

Trapeze lessons, as Leah suggested, sounds crazy cool and fitting in the goal completely. But sounds like I should stipulate another requirement. Low likelihood of injury! Can't have the adventure mess up my ability to care for two small children or affect my running. I don't "fall well", seriously, so for now, trapeze is out. But high wire with a harness sounds fun.

Off to brainstorm. I can't wait to see what crazy fun ideas people come up with!

Yearly Goal To Get Outside My Physical Comfort Zone

I'm not an adventurous person - not really, and most who know me well will agree. Just like how I'm not an extroverted social person - and again, those who know me well know that I work hard to not be an introvert. I like to push occasionally to make sure I step outside my comfort zone. After my first adventure in trying to get outside my physical comfort zone in 2009, I've vowed to try to do something every year like that.

  • I ziplined in Hawaii. 8 ziplines without the frills, just hanging from a rope, flying hundreds of feet over the canopy of the trees. By the way, I've had a history of fear of heights.
  • Also in Hawaii, I explored a quarter-mile of pitch-black lava tubes with only a flashlight.
  • I did a running streak of 63 days in January & February. Me, the casual runner, running every day. Definitely outside my usual running routine and took quite the commitment.
  • I had my first hot-air balloon ride in March in Napa.
  • I did my first 25K race... in July... in Texas midnight (El Scorcho 25K)
So now it's 2011! What do I do this year to get outside my comfort zone? It can be running-related or something totally different. So with that, bring on the ideas and suggestions! You all have something you've done outside your physical comfort zone - so what is it?

( Please note that I can NOT swim so avoid those sorts of activities. And learning to swim is a time commitment I can not give with running and my family right now. )

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Whole World in My Hands: Spibelt Gear Review

A few days ago, I posted the dilemma with the size of smartphones: find a way to carry it on you or leave it at home. And there's reasons on both sides to take it or leave it.  I personally like to carry my blackberry with me, along with a $20 bill, occasionally a kleenex, and extra Gu at times, and my car or house key.  For quite a long time, I had used an Amphipod Micropack Landsport. But it's starting to look really worn out, and it was always a tight fit for my phone.

So putting out to the twitterverse, I received three recommendations:
  1. Spibelt - from @Gatito97, @Rocketjam, @Run4donuts, @turk_tab
  2. Amphipod Airflow Lite Waistpack - from @Livnstrong
  3. IFitness Pouch - from @UHS_Caren
I had been given a Spibelt recently but hadn't tried it yet. I have to admit I'm generally a runner with a "If it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality. I stick with my routine.  So after these recommendations, I pulled it out of where I'd stored it, and used it for my next run.

I could tell right away that the size was appropriate that it would hold the things I needed. I was able to put in my Blackberry, ID, a $20 bill, a Gu, and car keys without feeling like I really had to squeeze them in there, or subsequently have problems getting them out.

Before I tried it out, I could foresee two potential problems, and here's my feedback on those key items:
  • I'm kinda "hippy". It's definitely where I carry my extra weight. So I didn't know if it would even fit or sit at a level that was comfortable and flattering.  Let's put it this way: I'm a tight XL in a Fuel Belt unless I wear it way up high on my waist.  And I don't need the insult of a "one size fits all" belt with adjustable sections that has to be adjusted to its very largest for me to wear - I'm overweight, but I'm not very overweight - I'm just overweight for a lot of the runners I know.  But this belt adjusted well, there was room to spare, and that was at the level that would be most flattering, right below the top of the shorts.
  • It was going to jiggle around. With the weight of a smartphone, I was just predicting that a belt like this would. Of course the Spibelt advertises it doesn't "bounce, ride, or shift" to use their words, but I'm one who believes they are implying that to be the case if you are a very slim runner carrying a $20 bill and an ID only in the pouch. After several runs, I can confirm that this pouch stays in place! I was really surprised by this. Sorry, Spibelt, it's not you, it's just that things bouncing and riding up is a norm for my body shape/size. LOL. And on different runs I tried wearing the pouch side of the belt on the front and some runs I wore the pouch on the back, and the pouch still didn't bounce.
So now I'm a Spibelt wearer. :-)

Big Disclaimer Time: Please note that I am not affiliated with Spibelt, paid by Spibelt, given any considerations by Spibelt. This is a completely independent assessment. Unlike a lot of bloggers, I didn't ask Spibelt for a free belt to give a review with, and I also don't therefore have one for a giveaway. If you are looking for a belt, and this recommendation holds weight with you, then go buy one. :-)

Happy Running!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Training Schedule Week 1 Kickoff

I spent many hours last night putting together a training schedule to take me through the next several months of training and racing. As it's still so early postpartum in my running recovery, it will be interesting to find out if it's too aggressive and has to be adjusted.  The nice thing is that experience has taught me to avoid injury by remembering that training schedules are NOT set in stone.

I had a big blister from yesterday's long run but knew a run needed to happen per this new training schedule. So after consulting twitterverse because I've only had a handful of blisters in 5 years of running, I drained the blister, put a cushioned gel blister pad on it, and hit the road.

Note that when I will talk about a week of this training plan, I won't state certain workouts for certain days. In keeping with the fluidity, I just state seven days of workouts/rest that kick off with Monday.  Based on weather (now that I have a treadmill at home) and how I feel mentally and physically, I can move around the workouts in a week within reason. Within reason means it's probably silly to put my tempo run the day after my long run the day after speedwork. Anyway, I'm sure at some point I'll have a whole blog post on this treatment of training schedules, so I'll just move on.

This week:
  • 3 mile easy
  • 7 x 400m at 9:45 min/mi pace
  • 3 mile easy
  • 45 minute tempo run (goal 10:30 min/mi for tempo interval)
  • Rest
  • 3 mile at 10:45 min/mi
  • 90 minute long run

So tonight was speedwork I decided.  7 x 400m at 9:45 min/mi pace. This was the first time I used interval workouts on the Garmin. Have to get used to the warning beeps before the next interval. :-) But pretty cool functionality. :-)

2.65 miles total. Splits on each 400m: 9:56, 9:44, 9:58, 9:39, 9:50, 10:02, 9:40. Averages to a 9:50. Not bad, will work on consistency as my body gets comfortable to what each pace feels like.

In a week or so, I'll outline my full training schedule and some of the goals. But I want to first see how this week goes so I can tweak as needed before publishing.

Happy Running!

Questions for Runners Who Have Had C-Sections

As a runner recovering from a C-section from 8 weeks ago, I need some help from everyone. My doctor's not a runner. I have friends who have had C-sections who weren't runners when they had them.  I'm looking for those who ran through some part of the pregnancy, had their C-section, and then started running at 6 weeks when they were cleared to do so.

Here are the questions I'm putting out to the world:
1) Do you notice your C-section site during running? At certain mileage? At certain speeds? Did this go away with time?
2) Did you notice a lot of pulling when engaging core muscles? As I'm doing ab work to get that area stronger, I feel a lot of pulling on that incision site.
3) Are there any day-to-day actions where you notice pulling at the incision site? For example, a friend tells me for years she noticed her hysterectomy incision site pulled every time she stepped up into her SUV.
4) Did you have sudden stabbing pain at the site occasionally during exercise? Or notice a sharp pain when you suddenly sneeze sometimes?
5) I believe some pulling and occasional sharp pain is the result of adhesions of the muscle or fascia from the sutures. Has anyone seen someone to remedy these? Sports doc? Regular doc? Chiro? Massage therapist? Rolfing?

Basically, I'm trying to get a feel for what a C-section recovery for a regular runner (for me, that's like 15-25 miles a week) is like. I'm an idiot but thought I would magically just be all better at 6 weeks, when I was cleared to begin all normal activity. I realize how silly that was now, but don't have a lot of runners who had C-sections in my life to gauge how normal my experience is.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Last Long Run Before Austin Half

11 miles today with my friend Fiona (@theASGwifey). We met up at a nearby park close to home.  Icy patches on the sidewalk for first couple miles. Would jump on the grass to avoid but at one point hit a think layer of ice above a watery puddle. Soaked my feet. :-(

We had a few seconds of snow flakes in the first mile too, but instead of getting worse, over the run it turned into blue skies and fluffy white clouds!

Fiona had to drag me the final couple miles. Muscles were sore from not being used to this distance, C-section site uncomfortable (a topic I'll revisit on a future blog post, I need to put some questions out to the running community first), and feet were on fire. I assumed feet hurt so bad because I needed to toughen 'em up, get my calluses going again.  Turns out wet feet for most of 11 miles = blisters! Quarter size on each foot. :-(

Now I've done that last longest run before the Austin Half Marathon in two weeks.

After the run, I headed to Grapevine and bought a treadmill from a friend. Her baby is now 1 year old so easier for her to run outside. Meanwhile, with a newborn, I'm about to start running on a treadmill for the first time in years. I can count the number of times I've used a treadmill with my fingers and toes. Not a fan - I think they are hard on people biomechanically, but the ability to get a couple miles in here and there at odd hours is too good to pass up.
Splits from the 11-miler:

Mile 1 - 13:22
Mile 2 - 13:49
Mile 3 - 13:16
Mile 4 - 12:53
Mile 5 - 13:03
Mile 6 - 14:52
Mile 7 - 13:03
Mile 8 - 13:41
Mile 9 - 16:15
Mile 10 - 16:27
Mile 11 - 19:35

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Smartphone Size Raises Question: Carry It on a Run or Leave It at Home?

Smartphones aren't exactly tiny. They're kinda bulky really, at least they are if you are a runner looking down at yourself trying to find where to stow it.  I've been carrying mine more and more over time on runs, but didn't know if this was the norm.  So I was curious and put out to the twitterverse: "Do you carry your phone with you on training runs? At races? Why/why not?" The responses were great.

Those who did carry their phone had the popular answer of safety/emergency purposes (@RunnersRambles, @McGarityDotMe, @Livnstrong). @Livnstrong added that a lot of events are "Call 911 Only", which is true - unless you are at a larger road running event, those precious minutes trying to reach the next aid station and hoping they have a number for medical support a race director may or may not have in place, could be the difference in outcome for someone in distress.

Carrying your phone on training runs can help you if you get lost (@McGarityDotMe) and track your stats (@Dominiqueia).  @Dominiqueia also mentioned that her family can track where she's at using Glympse.  I'm not familiar with Glympse, but I'm definitely very curious now and will have to investigate it. Sounds like something my husband would love since most of my runs are at night outside, and that makes us both a little nervous.  Having your phone with you at a race has the added bonus of helping you find friends and family at the finish (@runningmom2boys), especially for a large race.

While running tweeps like @McGarityDotMe and @jacqialmond also wanted to be able to be reached by and to reach out to their spouse if necessary (note that both are parents), there is the question that can be raised, both about running and in general, about our new world of being "too reachable".  If we carry our phones on our runs, how disconnected can we get? @keeponrunning brought up a great point that "theres no one i need to talk to while running. its my "me" time." Good point, Andrew!

A funny comment but something to definitely consider for an individual was from @Spamrazz: "I sweat too much and scared I would short circuit my phone." LOL, never thought of that!

Shaped by Personal Experiences

@Run4donuts shared that she always carries her phone "since my child was seriously injured at school while I was on a long run." Oh my! That's scary.

Personally, I have carried my phone on training runs and at races for several different reasons. 
  1. Psychological safety net - I used to carry it at races as a safety net after having my first child. It was just good knowing that I could always decide to move off course and call my husband to beg him to come get me if I just couldn't do it. It was at a time I was regaining my confidence in running as I regained my running routine. Same applies to a long training run. "Oh, I'll do an out-and-back because once I make it out, I HAVE to come back." But with the phone, there's something about knowing I can again bother hubby and he'll come get me if I begged enough.
  2. Medical emergency in the general public - I ran with a friend through a Dallas intersection 30 seconds before two cars were involved in a crash. We both had our cell phones on us, and my friend Dana called 911. Scary, and glad we had them with us!
  3. Safety - Actually had an instance recently where I was out on a city trail in the middle of the day, but there was a section not near the road and in a wooded area. A creepy-looking guy was there off his commuter bike, just hanging out. Going past him was my only way to get back home.  I took a walk break, pulled out my phone, and actually dialed 911 and held my finger over the little green dial button. False alarm, nothing happened, but I was glad to have that phone on me in that moment.
What has me thinking about all this? I've had the same running Amphipod pocket for a couple years now and it was looking worn out. And then I wore running tights the other day with a decent-sized back zipper pouch, so I decided to forego the Amphipod pocket and put the phone in the running tights pouch. Bad idea - the pouch with the phone in it, chafed my low back.  So my next blog post will be about the recommended storage gear people use for their phones and a review of a Spibelt I had been given that I used on a recent run.

Any reasons I missed for why to run with your phone or leave it at home? What do YOU carry with you on a run?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Finally Time to Display Those Medals

After collecting finisher medals since 2005, I now have 22 medals for races I've run, and 7 medals for races I've produced. I've always kept them in the drawer that houses my running supplies - yes, I know, I have one nightstand drawer for all of my running supplies. It wasn't a huge deal to me, I didn't see the need to display them. But the other night I went looking for my headlamp, which I hadn't used since El Scorcho 25K in July, and I was digging through a pile of finisher medals and their neck ribbons for it. And I realized the medals were taking up a lot more space in the drawer than the supplies were.

So time for a change. I'm not a huge fan personally of the medal hanger racks because I don't really want to hang them on my wall. It doesn't exactly fit with the decor in our home. Last night it dawned on me what I could do instead. I have two jewelry pads - black velvet rectangular display pads in a black wood holder. They are perfect for letting me easily see all of my necklaces and other jewelry, although ironically I rarely rarely ever wear jewelry. So I have repurposed them now to hold finisher medals.

I made one of the displays my 2009 medals, and then other for 2010 medals. That means I still have 4 pre-2009 medals for races I ran, and I'd like to find a way to display together the 7 medals for half marathons I've produced (DRC Half 2007 & 2008, Heels and Hills Half 2009 & 2010, Heels and Hills and Him Half 2009 & 2010, and New Year's Day Half 2011).

Here's the 2009 - I ran 8 half marathons and completed the Texas Independence Relay...

And here's the 2010 - I ran 7 half marathons and completed the Texas Independence Relay for a second year and finished my first 25K at El Scorcho...

So now I have them on my dresser where I can get inspired by them every day and feel like they don't stand out from the dark wood and more traditional decor in my home!

Perfect timing for this change as I feel far enough along my post-baby recovery to start planning out 2011 races!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January 2011 Running Recap

January 12 was when I was supposed to be allowed to start running again - 6 weeks after the C-section that resulted in my beautiful baby girl Sophie.  I actually started running January 8, a few days early.  Over the month of January, I had 14 runs or walks.  I pushed it to the last minute to gather up the miles, accumulating almost 20 miles in the last 3 days of the month.  This has been a month of trying to get my pre-pregnancy fitness back!

  • 50.13 miles running
  • 95 minutes on the elliptical in cross-training (11.5 elliptical miles)
  • Produced the inaugural New Year's Day Half Marathon
  • Hosted a San Francisco Marathon Training Kickoff here in DFW on January 29 as one of the race's volunteer ambassadors
  • Sought out support to reach my fitness goals - running 9 miles with friends on 1/30 and using Facebook to find a friend to run with 1/31.

Progress Towards Fitness Goals
I set my 2011 goals at the start of the year.  I refused to set a year's worth of goals because I hadn't started my recovery yet and had no idea how slow or fast it would be.  So what I set was two goals that once I achieve them I'll have a better sense of my recovery and capabilities that I can set new goals. The two goals:

1) Complete a 50-mile month. DONE. I hadn't really expected to be able to do this the first month, but that's why we're going with incremental goals without firm deadlines, so I can explore my fitness recovery properly.

2) Finish a half marathon by or on March 27. That date was set because I was already registered for the Dallas Rock N Roll Half on March 27. But since I've been doing pretty well, I signed up for the Austin Half Marathon on February 20th. There are no time goals with this race. I'm just using it as motivation to get those long runs and get my long run base back to 13.1.

I look forward to completing this second goal so I can set some more goals. I have some thoughts in my head, but it would be premature to commit now. It's still so early to be back running. 

I'm excited to see what's next for me after Austin Half on February 20th!