Friday, March 29, 2013

Proceed With Caution

Style/Workout: 1/3 of my Long Run
Setting/Route: Broadway and Wahana
Mileage: 6 miles/ 10:00"
Progress: (running mileage): 6 today/64.99 this month/ 194.91 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)

So...let's start with the good, shall we?

Well I managed 6 miles today, and I'm super close to my goal! That is a great feeling! The weather was great, my cardiovascular health felt great. I have ran more miles this week than last, so that is a plus.'s run did not go as planned. I was headed for 18 miles of Long Run but my ankle had a sharp pain in it for the first 4 miles. It is a feeling I have had before that lingers for about a mile or so then goes away. It's usually no big deal and I successfully wait it out. Today that was just not the case. I tried and tried, I even walked and stretched and it just kept hurting during the run. The "coach" in me and the "mom" in me both agreed, better to be safe than sorry...better to cut it short than hurt yourself. I am right to do that, but it isn't any less a bummer. (By the way, my theory is that it is due to ankle pronation...I think the stress of it is finally taking a toll and I'm going to have to get some custom insoles to properly support my arch and ankle).

I know I can finish this marathon. I know it. I have a half marathon in 2 weeks that I am going to run my heart out in. I really want to P.R. (1:57:04) In order to do that however, I need to be uninjured. And now I proceed with caution to YouTube to learn how to use K-Tape ;)

Only 2 more days in the month of April! Can I squeak out 5.01 miles and meet my goal? Stay tuned to find out...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Mile With My Boy

After my "flop" I grabbed a snack then got out with my boy while I was still in my running clothes. It was so fun! I loved going at his pace, and sharing a run together. He's got some form issues we are working on (he's a bobble-head and his arms were all over the place), but I love helping him! He is 7 miles into the 26 he wants to complete prior to the Duck Dash during Eugene Marathon weekend in April. I'm planning on ordering a medal just for him. Love that boy :)

Style/Workout: Family Mile 
Setting/Route: Neighborhood Loop
Mileage: 1 Mile
Progress: (running mileage): 1 today/59.99 this month/ 189.91 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles

Me and My Boy (a different day)

Progress is progress

Style/Workout: Kind of a flop 
Setting/Route: 24th and the high school track
Mileage: 3.22 miles/ 30:04 / 9.20/mi averages
Progress: (running mileage): 3.22 today/58.99 this month/ 188.91 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)

Well today's workout did not turn out the way I had planned. I don't know what it is but it was another flop. I think maybe my diet may be to blame (again)? We have been home for spring break so it is entirely possible that I have been grazing more than usual and probably on nutrient-thin items. Although, we don't really have a lot of junk in the house and I have been eating a lot of fruit. I'm so thankful some yummy choices are in season finally :)

So the run started out ok, but from the get-to my legs just felt weak. I figured maybe once they warmed up more I would feel the strength surge into them. Nope. And today I had to finally admit it...I HATE running laps on the track! Unless I am doing something dynamic like intervals, running on the track plain sucks.

I have to make a confession...I have not been warming up. I have no excuse, I have just been lazy. So I need to do some kind of warm-up, even if it is just 5 minutes of brisk walking. I know that will improve my performance.

Since today's run was kind of lame-o, I'm going to ride my bike around town today for our various activities and do strength moves at home. Hopefully that will help me feel like I'm still making positive efforts towards progress.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Congrats, I'm a Champ :)

...That was according to Kara Goucher at the end of my run so I guess it's true (Nike+ GPS app)  :) Thanks to marathon training, I have again set a personal record...longest and farthest run ever! And I guess since this is the first time I have ran this distance, I can tack P. R. to that list of records too! ;) I have finished marathon training week 11 too. I can't believe there are only 5 weeks until I run this marathon-wow!

Style/Workout: Long Run 
Setting/Route: Prom and The Cove hill and back
Mileage: 16  miles/ 2:30:56/ 9.25/mi averages
Progress: (running mileage): 16 today/55.77 this month/ 185.69 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)

Tough run today! I felt so great though, which was a relief. I was nervous to attempt running so far. I was smarter this time though than last because I can't stand those runs were I bonk because of improper hydration or fuel. So I hydrated all day yesterday and last night we went out for mexican where I ate all of the rice and beans (and other stuff) that I could stuff myself with. I did have a margarita and I was a little bit nervous about that, but figured the sugar would be good on the other hand. I even drank a whole glass of water when I woke up in the middle of the night, then I took my time eating breakfast and drank 2 glasses of water early this morning. Breakfast was a cup of coffee, two mini bagels with peanut butter and two hard-boiled egg whites. Not much glucose with breakfast, but I packed a Squiggles to take on my run, along with my water-filled Amphipod running water bottle.

Miles 1-3: (My House down the Prom to The Cove) were cold and I was surprised how long it took my body to warm up. I wore a long-sleeved tech shirt with a regular short sleeved t-shirt over it. Then for bottoms I wore my addidas running capris with my U of O running shorts on top. I also wore my running ball cap and some black gloves. I thought I was pretty set for clothing. I was for a long run like this, but the first couple of miles it took a while for my fingers and toes to warm up. I constantly underestimate how cold it is on the coast of Oregon. Last run I warmed my hands and feet up in a sink filled with hot water. I might do that more often. Great thing was that I managed not to go too fast on the first miles...finally!

Miles 4-6 (The rest of The Cove, then doubled back through the neighborhood to add mileage. Then I went back down The Prom): My extremities had finally warmed up and I was feeling good. It's the start of Spring Break for most folks in NW Oregon so Seaside was busier than normal which I actually like. My body had caught onto a rhythm of it's own and I was surprised at how easy 9:20-9:20 felt. The sun came out and while it wasn't "warmer" per say, it was a very pleasant day to run! At Mile 6, I tried not to, but in my head I was saying sarcastically, "Only 10 miles left!" I ate some Squiggles and stayed hydrated. Negative Splits Miles 4, 5, and 6 (fastest mile)

Miles 7-9 I headed N on Holladay then across Hwy 101 and toward Wahanna, taking the backwards version of what I normally do. That's one thing about my long runs, I have to tweak my runs and do things differently or I get B-O-R-E-D. This part of the run went pretty well. I enjoy the parts that are near an estuary area, and then it makes a down-and-back through a pretty RV park area. I was really encouraged when I hit around 8-9 miles and my legs were still feeling pretty strong. It was tough, don't get me wrong and it took a lot of mental oomph to keep going, but I could tell that I felt better at this point than when I have ran longer distances the last few weeks. It was progress in my mind and that felt good. Around Mile 8,  I got the "Halfway Point" from my Nike+ and I let out a "WOOP!" That is one thing I did more this run, I coached myself. When it was tough, I'd audibly say something encouraging to myself. "You got this. You can do this. Only X miles left, piece of cake." And lastly, what I loved about today's app tracker was that after the halfway point, it began counting down the miles. I love that! So instead of saying, "9 Miles" it would say, "5 Miles Left to Go". I would fist pump each time :) I'm such a dork, but it kept me going.

Miles 10-13 took me the rest of the way down Wahanna, and then I took a short jaunt on Hwy 101 until I reached Avenue U, where I turned and headed back to the Cove. I figured in my head that if I went down that way, all I would have to do were a few loops in the neighborhoods then I could head back down The Prom to my finish line. These miles were tough. I ate the rest of my squiggles and sipped water along the way. My left little toe developed a blister so I was trying not to think of that and my ankles and knees were feeling sore. I used my arms a long to get me to the end. If you pump your arms, your legs follow so that is what I did when my legs felt tired.

Miles 14-16: I had circled through the neighborhoods twice and hit the "2 Miles to Go" point so I headed back for The Prom. I wondered if I had seen any of these people earlier in the day when my run first brought me down here. I wondered if I looked like a nutso running for as long as I was. But I didn't care. I pushed and pushed. It takes such mental toughness to push past your discomfort. My body was feeling stiffer and tired so I just focused on keeping going and not stopping because I had to keep running just to get back to my house. Miles 15 and 16 were decent negative splits as I really gave it all I had. I kept thinking in my head "Finish Strong...Finish Strong." At one point I thought about how great it was going to feel to finish at Hayward Field after the actual marathon and got a little misty-eyed.

At the stop point, I quickly tapped my app as I was not running one more step than I needed to. I was beat! The great thing was that it stopped me right at the street that leads to our house so I went ahead and took that right. I was walking like an old lady :-P I had Goyte on my iPod singing "Somebody That I Used to Know" and alternated between a bouncy non-jog and a stretching-type of walk. It was a tough walk back to the house but I knew I was going to thank myself for keeping the circulation going. I have made the mistake of not properly cooling-down before and at this point in training it is actually kind of dangerous and dumb not to cool-down and walk it out at the end.

I had stashed Gatorade, two peeled and sectioned mandarin oranges in a baggy and another fruit twist on my porch as a sort of "Aid Station" but I had never passed by along my route so at this point I got to enjoy them. That Gatorade tasted like the nectar of the gods and the mandarin was like a burst of delicious sunshine in my mouth. It was perfect. I hung out there a few minutes and stretched and munched before attempting the stairs to go upstairs.

I skipped any type of ice bath because those have not been a good idea with my weird circulation issues. Instead I stood around chatting with my husband (who was amazed at my 16 miles). I am pretty sure I ate something too but I don't remember. After a while I jumped in the shower and got dressed for the day. He and I buzzed around running errands before he had to be at the baseball field for a game his team has this evening. I'm excited that I get to watch them play and watch my man coach. But before we have to go over there, I took a nice Epsom salts bath soak followed by some foam rolling and I'm going to lay in bed a while and read my spring break book, The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. It's pretty good so far though I haven't gotten very far yet.

All in all, I'm happy. I'm proud. I'm amazed at what my body can do. I feel like I can really run this marathon. I'd like to do it in under 4:00 but that isn't always a goal people reach on their first try. I'd have to run under a 9:09 average for 26.2 miles! A more realistic goal I think is just to finish in one piece. I don't want to feel injured or sick at the end. I want to feel like I conquered the marathon, not just survived it. That doesn't mean I have to have a stellar time. If I ran the marathon based on today's pace, I would run a 4:05 which would be pretty amazing! I guess we will see when the time comes :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

10K Total Suckfest

Today was a horrible 6-miler. Yep I'm not gonna mince words, it sucked pretty bad. I blame it on last nights moscato (which I didn't even like) and salty popcorn. I was not properly hydrated and I felt it! My legs had no energy! I ended up walking more than I like, but that's ok.

It was so cold today too, and I was not looking forward to getting out in it to run. At one point I literally had to say, "Oh quit being a baby and just go." And that is what I did! I didn't give myself one more chance to talk myself out of going.

Style/Workout: 10K Tempo Run 
Setting/Route: Prom and The Cove hill and back
Mileage: 6.2 Miles/ 58.40/ 9.26 averages
Progress: (running mileage): 6.2 today/39.77 this month/ 169.69 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)

The good:

- I finished (I didn't quit!)
- My hair felt great, I'm loving the shorter length
- The rain held off until I was done running (SO THANKFUL for that...the rain is freezing!)
- Miles 4, 5, and 6 were negative splits
- 6.2 miles to add to my log!

- Not running related, but I'm done with finals! Winter term-check! I am freed up to do more running this week which is going to be so nice :)
- Planning ahead, I booked an hour-long massage for the day after I run the marathon :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Taking Care of Oneself

"In order to best take care of others, you must first take care of yourself"...a friend of mine once told me this when I was in the thick of raising very little ones as an exclusive stay-at-home-mom, spit-up on my shoulder and kids learning to wipe themselves after going potty. I have never forgotten this.

Sometimes "taking care of oneself" simply means sleeping in for an extra half hour, or finally shaving my legs or buffing my fingernails. Sometimes it is more about taking the time to make a giant salad so that we have it to draw from over the busy workweek. Sometimes it means taking a half an hour to walk my little dog on the beach, stopping to smell the ocean air along the way. It always means going for my runs. I guess that is why running has always "stuck" for me. It is that one thing I never stray far from, because when I run, I am taking care of myself. I feel better, perform better and improve my health.

Lately I haven't been taking care of myself. None of my classmates have either so I'm not alone. It is just a super stressful and busy season where there is more to do and learn than there is time to do it. Sometimes that level of busy-ness can be good because it makes the time pass more swiftly, but usually I loathe it because it means I have less time for everything besides school. After school comes time with my husband and my kids and their activities, then housework like laundry that is essential. After that (or somewhere mixed in) is running and trying to eat well. Way down the list would be anything extra to spruce myself up. Lately I was lucky if I got a shower at all.

It's funny how our priorities end up like that every time. It is good, don't get me wrong, to always keep certain things top of the list. The loved ones in our lives are important and worth our time, and especially the kids, they grow up so fast. It is a challenge not to miss things before they are gone. And don't discount your spouse. Your marriage relationship is one that is meant for life and needs to be nurtured all along the way too

I don't really know where I was going with this blog post except to say that this week I have finally been taking measures to take care of myself, which made me realize how little I had been taking care of myself! I got a haircut (well that was last week). I got a little bit of new makeup. Bought some new running shoes. Yesterday after class I went to Ross to see if I couldn't find something unique (post-final exam retail therapy).  Today I booked a heavenly facial for Thursday and I cannot express how much I am looking forward to it! I have actually never gotten a facial because I've always been so weird about letting people touch my face. But now that my acne is pretty much gone (finally!!) I'm hoping to continue to bring my skin back to health. I have been trying to consciously make healthier food choices and I have been faithfully doing strength moves every day to help tone up. You've gotta be proactive (even when you have so little time)!

You know, it's amazing how things like these have made me feel like a new who is a bit more ready to take on the world...or just my own household. :)

Four Miles with an "Old Friend"

Today I got to revisit an "old friend" 4-miler hill route in Astoria. I'll admit, I was a little bit nervous coming back to a route with lots of hills (around 8). I haven't been running a ton of hills, just a few that happen to be along my longer routes. My body felt so awesome today. Again...maybe it was because I had a week off! *note sarcastic joy here* Or maybe I'm in better shape than I thought and I need to give myself credit. My legs felt light as a feather, and at times it felt as though my legs had a mind of their own, just flying along with me as their passenger. I didn't hold a super fast pace (9:45 is nothing to write home about) but it just felt great. It really was like my legs were reuniting with an old friend and it was a really nice change from my typical routes lately.

Style/Workout: Hills 
Setting/Route: Irving St out-and-back
Mileage: 4 Miles
Progress: (running mileage): 4 today/33.57 this month/ 163.49 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)

Other: My new shoes feel awesome! They are the perfect combination of lightweight, fits-like-a-glove, and cushion.

Also, this run was not planned! I just packed a bag and decided to revisit the hills for fun :) I might have to revisit the Riverwalk tomorrow!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Little Low on Run Days

I have had a super busy week and still have 3 final exams left this week so I haven't ran in a week. I am not going to freak out and get all panicky because my training isn't going the way I planned it (again). I'm just going to get through these exams and then enjoy all of the running I will get to do the last part of this week and into next week (spring break!). The thing is that today I will take my exam, then spend hours studying for tomorrow's exam, then after that one spend hours studying for Wednesday's exam. There's no getting around that really. I'd be an idiot not to do that, at least just to seal the deal that I'm passing my classes this term. Nursing school is no joke! And I promised myself something good after my last exam...I haven't decided yet. I'm thinking I will finally get a facial!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quick Log

Style/Workout: Intervals  
Setting/Route: Treadmill
Mileage: 5.45 Miles
Progress: (running mileage): 5.45 today/29.57 this month/ 159.49 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)


Total:.............5.45 miles

Ok, I didn't do the full workout. I wasn't feeling it! But when I added up the miles and saw 5.45, somehow it felt perfect ;) I also did some at-home strength training moves (lunges, push-ups, tricep-dips, abs...)

Love This!

This is so timely for me!! My long run on Saturday was tough, so I had been chatting with friends, getting their marathon training tips and encouragement. Ultimately, it boils down to this:

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Longest and Farthest Run of All Time

Style/Workout: LONG run  
Setting/Route: A few out-and-backs on my normal route
Mileage: 14.5 Miles
Progress: (running mileage): 14.5 today/24.12 this month/ 154.04 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)

It's amazing how a 14.5 miler can add to my monthly/yearly totals!

Today's run was a real challenge. It was the longest I have ran-EVER! It went pretty well but I guess not as well as I had hoped. Here are the cliff notes:

My first half I spent on Wahana Rd. It is a portion of my regular long run loop that today I did an out-and-back on so that I could have a break in my run at my house. I had stashed some fruit and extra water on my back porch. I blew it and didn't bring my water with me initially and underestimated my first leg. I had made it to about 7 miles before I had sipped any water. That is a no-no. Well I recovered pretty well and had some water, fruit and Sport Beans. And let me say, I thought that maybe the mandarins and grapes that I had prepped might give me a stomach ache but they went down easily. It was like my body burned them up! The whole rest of the run I munched on them every half a mile or so, along with the water. The last half was an out-and-back on the Prom and the Cove where I run the first half of my longer loops. I added Holladay to the end, just to try to get to 15 miles. Around mile 10 I was still feeling pretty good, but I was starting to feel the fatigue. From there on it got harder and harder. At the half marathon mark I still had my whits about me but for the last 1.5 miles I could barely lift my feet! I just kept telling myself not to worry about time, just to keep running (good thing too, because my paces were awful!). I took a few walk breaks. I kept a positive attitude. The sun was shining!

I knew this was going to be a tough run. Any new distance is going to be a challenge. I am a bit behind on my training plan so last night I sat down with my calendar and adjusted a few things so that I could catch up within 2 weeks or so. Today I was expected to do 14, I was aiming for 15, and I fell right smack dab in the middle. I am pleased :) I just hope my body recovers well and it adjusts to these longer distances. Otherwise, this training process is going to be pure torture and you'd better bet that this will be the only full marathon I ever run.

One thing I did learn was related to ice (water) baths. Ever since I hit 12 miles or so I have been braving the chilly water to sit for a few minutes right after my runs to soothe my tired, worked muscles. I have a condition called Raynaud's Syndrome, which causes some mysterious variations with peripheral circulation Experts don't really know what causes just causes a heightened, irregular response to cold at the extremities. Today as soon as I hit the cold water (and my top half was all bundled as usual) I started shivering more than usual, and I had wrapped my arms in front of me tightly to alleviate some of it. When I looked at my hands though, my fingers were deathly white and my palms were purple. Um...not good. So I got out of the bath and took a hot shower instead and my normal circulation returned. Anything related to circulation I am very careful with. I guess ice baths probably aren't my thing.I can always use ice packs throughout the day in various spots.

One thing I kept thinking while running today was how nuts I was to be out there running for as long as I was...2 hours, 22 minutes and 56 seconds worth of running! It kind of felt psycho! Well, I'll be doing it next week too :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Sneaks!

Woop! I found these for 55 bones at the Nike Outlet here in town. Have I mentioned how much I love having the outlet here? Well I had an inkling that I could be needing some new shoes for no particular reason except my shoes are looking and feeling pretty worn down. It was confirmed when I tried on the new pair. It always amazes me the difference a new pair makes! And better yet, for once they are bright and colorful :)


So I mentioned that I chopped my hair off last weekend. It feels awesome running!! Here are a few pictures from before:

After the Disneyland Half Marathon in September...VERY long...

My "horsetail"
And now after:

And today on my run:

I also bought this vest recently that is GREAT for running! If it is drizzly or windy, I can throw this on over a long-sleeved shirt and not have to feel overloaded with layers! And it keeps me dry and has a hood for those "in-case" moments.
Love my bob-tail! It is so effortless! I was up at 4:30am this morning for clinicals and all I did all day with my hair is pull it back. Even after changing into my running clothes, I didn't have to touch it.

And right after this pic, I was off to run in the sunshine!

A Lovely 3-Mile Jog

Style/Workout: Easy 3-Miler
Setting/Route: Out and back on the Prom
Mileage: 3.42 Miles
Progress: (running mileage): 3.42 today/9.62 this month/ 139.54 year-to-date
(For March I'm aiming for...70 miles)

Today was so beautiful and somewhat warm! The sun was out, bright and shining and if I haven't said it before, where I live is the most gorgeous place when it is sunny. I had clinicals today but the day went really smoothly, and wasn't too hectic. I enjoyed my sunny drive home and I immediately got changed and went for a run. Actually that is not true...I almost talked myself out of it and I even changed from my scrubs into jeans and such. But something in me said, "Don't waste this awesome day!" and I threw on my running clothes and before I could miss out, I went for my run. I took it slow and just enjoyed it. After all this run wasn't on my schedule and there was no particular goal for it...just to enjoy the sunshine by doing something I love.

Gorgeous views!

I have run this route too many times to count. I am very thankful!

Besides enjoying the day, the run was really beneficial because my hamstrings and calves were pretty sore from yesterdays hard run. My legs felt pretty heavy but I just considered today a "shake it out" day and I might try to do these runs more often. I have found in the past that they really help alleviate the soreness.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snapping Out of it! (In More Ways Than One)

Today was a good day! And I am happy to say I have snapped out of my 8-day slump I have been in. Man I hate those! Today I finally had a day off, finally didn't have anything pulling me away from my planned run. FINALLY!!! Sheesh! If it hasn't been one thing lately, it's been another. So you can't even imagine how GOOD it felt out there today! And it was raining but I didn't even notice it ;)

Style/Workout: Tempo Run
Setting/Route: Prom to the top of Sunset Cove hill and back
Mileage: 6.2 miles (10K)
Progress: (running mileage): 6.2 today/6.2 this month/ 136.12 year-to-date
(Yay for a new month! That means new goals! So for March I'm aiming for...70 miles! Too bad I got a late start, but I'm still going to aim high!)

53:57, my best 10K time this year...and negative splits! Woop!
So here's the story...after getting the kids off to school (thank the Lord!) I grabbed a quick bite (1 hard-boiled egg, white only, a few bites of steel-cut oatmeal and a banana + water) and changed, I picked up and got my whits about me while I let my food settle. I threw my hair into a ponytail (less hair by the way...I went from a horse's tail to a cute little bob tail...more on that story maybe later. Let's just say it felt awesome!). Then that was it, I couldn't wait, I was off!

My first mile was a bit quick as usual but I did great keeping with negative splits for the remaining miles. Between miles 2-3 I passed this 50-something Hispanic man who I see out running often. There area always smiles and pleasantries between us...kindred running spirits. I was so glad to keep a steady pace, even going up the big hill. When I got to the top, there he was! He was gaining on me and flying up the hill! So somewhere between 3-4 miles he even passed me! I was totally ok with it, I was so impressed! He waved and such. Then for the remaining miles, I kept up with him and really pushed it. It felt so good to just leave it all on the course :) And as he turned back and passed me, he smiled and waved again and I told him "Good Job!!" It was fun.

When I got to my finish, I jogged a bit then stopped to stretch. Just then, Francesca Battistelli came on with 'Strangely Dim', my favorite song right now. As I soaked in the lyrics:

"I'm gonna fix my eyes
on all that You are
til every doubt I feel
deep in my heart
goes strangely dim...
Let all my worries fade
and fall to the ground,
'cause when I seek Your face
and don't look around,
any place I'm in...
goes strangely dim..."

I'm not gonna lie, I started sobbing...right then and there...on Necanicum Dr in front of my house. And I put the song on repeat and just let myself cry and cry. Apparently I have been carrying a heavy load, and it felt so great to just give it back to God. After all, I truly could not do all of this (marriage, motherhood, nursing school, family, friendships, running, LIFE) without Him.

So I snapped out of it in more ways than one :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What a Lame Week!

Seriously...I did not run even ONCE this week! Lame, lame, lame! I have just had so little time, and the days that I have had a smidgen of time, I was beyond exhuasted. So this week was a bust. Next week is a new chance to start over (well not over, but you know get back on track).

One positive note from this week...I registered for the Race for the Roses Half Marathon taking place April 14th in Portland, OR. Most likely unless a random running friend decides to register, I will be driving up early this day solo, picking up my packet race morning solo, running the race solo, maybe checking out Lululemon or something else in Portland, then heading home. It's not my favorite thing to participate in a race absolutely solo, but there is a first time for everything! This race is meant to get me ready for the marathon (and to be honest, to earn a medal!) and I think it might be a good way to get alone, clear my head, focus and get a good race under my belt.