Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Run Laughlin Race Day Goals & Strategy

I don't know if it's because of half marathon training, or if it's flown by quickly for everyone, but man, have these past couple months have flown by! I can hardly believe that Run Laughlin is already this Saturday.

If you've been following along, I've been posting my training recaps each Sunday, and I think that's really helped me to stay motivated and on track. This is the first half marathon that I've actually trained for in quite sometime, and I'm proud of how well it's gone.

Time to set some Goals and Strategize for Saturday!

#1 Have fun!

Because otherwise, what is the point? Whether I'm running hard or taking it easy, if I'm not enjoying the race, then that's just not cool.

#2 PR, baby!

Despite Sunday's disappointing run, I'm still going to try for a PR on Saturday. Sure, I didn't do much (read: any) hill training, but I'm going to go into the race confident! It's 90% mental, right?!

Comparing the elevation map from Sunday's run and the one of the race, the hills on race day aren't as steep, so I really think I'll be OK.

That's it! I'm only setting 2 goals for this race. If I don't end up getting a PR, I'll be OK with just having fun. If my strategies start to fall apart, or if I crash into a wall like I did on Sunday, I'll just fall back on my # 1 goal of having fun.

Read on to find out my race day strategies.

Pace Strategy

My previous PR is a 2:10:26 half marathon, which is a 9'57" pace.

Based on the elevation map and crunching some numbers, here's how I plan to break it down:

Mile 1    Set alerts for 10'15" slow and 9'30" fast.
It's a slight downhill, but I still don't want to start off too fast. Plus, it usually takes a bit for my legs to warm-up.

Miles 1-3.5    Set alert for 10'30" slow; turn off the fast alert.
This is the first uphill climb, so I'll slow down a bit to conserve some energy.

Miles 3.5-7    Set alert for 9'30" slow; no fast alert.
This is mostly downhill, so I'll speed up to make up some time lost on the first hill.

Miles 7-8.5    Set alert for 10'25" slow; no fast alert.
This is the 2nd uphill climb. Not as daunting as the first, but also rated a Cat 5 (the least difficult category). By this point in the race, hopefully, I'll be nice a warmed up, so I can conquer this hill a bit easier than the first.

Miles 8.5-Finish    Set alert for 9'45" slow; no fast alert.
There are some uphills sprinkled throughout the last few miles, but I'm hoping they won't be so bad since they are relatively short hills.

I crunched the numbers. 
If I can manage these paces, I'll barely squeak out a PR.
But a PR is a PR, right? Even if it is only a few seconds. 😂

Fuel and Hydration Strategy

I haven't really talked about it much throughout my training, but I'll continue with the same strategy on race day that I've done on all my long runs.

Hydration - I have an alert on my Garmin to drink every half mile. Just a sip or two. I find this really helps avoid sloshing and keeps me hydrated throughout the race. I'll carry my handheld and refill it at water stations as needed. There are 6 along the course, so I should be able to refill adequately.

Fuel - I'm all about the Garmin alerts! My Eat alert goes off every 45 minutes. I'll suck down a gel and swallow a salt tablet. I only started using salt tablets a few weeks ago but have found them helpful in training.

Music Strategy

I'm torn on using music. I usually skip music during a race, but I haven't done a long run without music in quite some time. I think I'll create a playlist just in case and decide on race morning if I want to listen to it while I run.

I feel like I have a pretty good strategy. Probably better than I've ever gone into a race. It feels good.

Who knows exactly what race day will bring, but I'm going to go into it with a positive mind and spirit. And a good plan.

At this point, that's really all I can do.

What kind of goals do you do set for a race?
Do you ever strategize to this extent?
Music or no music?

I'm linking up today with Erika, Marcia and Patty for Tuesday's on the Run.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Run Laughlin Half Marathon Training Week 9

After today's long run, I'm not quite as confident about Run Laughlin next weekend as I was after last weekend's long run. I'll go into more details down below, but I hit a wall today. HARD. I specifically chose a route today that started with a good sized hill, because Run Laughlin has some hills at the start. It became pretty evident that I didn't do enough hill training during this training cycle. :-(

Not all hope is lost, though. I know I'll still have a good race on Saturday. Come back on Tuesday to read about my race day strategy and goals.

Run Laughlin Half Marathon Training Recap

Training Recap Week 9: 11/20 - 11/26

Monday, November 20, 2017

Two Pumpkin Recipes. Great for Thanksgiving Week.

I know, I know. Pumpkin season is nearly over for the year. Thanksgiving is the last hurrah for this winter squash, so I wanted to share not one, but two easy pumpkin recipes for your breakfasts this week.

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Last weekend, I experimented with pumpkin french toast. It turned out so good! The pumpkin pie flavor is pretty subtle, so it's perfect for those who aren't super crazy about all things pumpkin spice.

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Serves 4.


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 8 slices of bread


  1. Preheat skillet or griddle to 375.
  2. In a small bowl combine almond milk, pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and flour until well combined. Transfer to a shallow dish that's big enough for a slice of bread.
  3. Dip both sides of a bread slice in the pumpkin mixture. Shake off any excess batter.
  4. Place coated bread on the hot skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  5. Enjoy with a dusting of powdered sugar and/or maple syrup.
I made this with sourdough bread, which was a bit overbearing. I would recommend a more subtle bread.

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are one of my favorite things! I wanted to try my hand at some pumpkin pie overnight oats for easy breakfasts this week.

Another winner! I would highly recommend heating this before eating. I know a lot of overnight oats recipes can be eaten cold right out of the fridge, but I think this is much better warmed up a bit.

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Serves 2-3.


  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • Almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (optional)


  1. Mix banana, pumpkin, and oats together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add enough almond milk to make it a soupy consistency. I didn't measure but probably 1-1 1/2 cups.
  3. Stir in the chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar (optional)./li>
  4. Pour into 2-3 mason jars, cover, and store in the fridge overnight.
  5. Warm in the microwave about 2 minutes before enjoying.

This made two servings for me, but could easily make 3 smaller servings. Making it into 2 is a pretty hearty breakfast.

What are you eating for breakfast this week?
Do you have a special breakfast on Thanksgiving or save room for a big meal later in the day?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Run Laughlin Half Marathon Training Week 8

I had a really fantastic week of training this week! Plus that pesky scale actually went down a tiny bit. Yay for the small victories, right?!

In addition to what I share below, I also did a bit of foam rolling before and after a few of my runs. I think that helped a lot. I did have a little knee/shin tweakiness, but I'm just chalking it up to the point in training when it's getting a little more intense and it manifests in my legs.

Less than two weeks until race day...

Run Laughlin Half Marathon Training Recap

Training Recap Week 8: 11/13 - 11/19

Friday, November 17, 2017

Staying Safe out on the Trails

Hey running friends! Do you know what November is? It's National Running Safety Month, of course!

Let's talk safety when hitting the trails.

I still very much describe myself as a newbie trail runner, so I turned to the experts in my local trail running group to get their best safety tips.

5 Safety Tips for Hitting the Trails

1. Skip the Headphones

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

How to Make the Perfect Mix for Your Thanksgiving Day Run

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Does the big day include running for you? Perhaps you're running a Turkey Trot or just going for a run around your neighborhood.

Whatever your plans, here's how to create the perfect playlist for your Thanksgiving Day Run in 3 easy steps.

Step One: Make a list of things you're thankful for this year.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Run Laughlin Half Marathon Training Week 7

Another week. Another 1.5 lb jump on the scale. :-( I know I said I was going to do better with my eating last week, but I didn't. I need to get it under control! Other than that, it was a pretty great week of training. I did have a few motivation issues, but I was able to get in all my workouts plus a few extras.

Run Laughlin Half Marathon Training Recap

Training Recap Week 7: 11/06 - 11/12

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

October Report Card

If you stopped by on Saturday for the Ultimate Coffee Date, you already know that October was a busy month for me. We managed to cram a whole lot of fun into the month. I also managed to stay pretty on-track with my goals.

October Report Card

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Run Laughlin Half Marathon Training Week 6

As far as workouts go, I had a great week! So, it was a little disappointing to step on the scale this morning to find a 2lb weight gain. :-( I wasn't so good in the eating department and it showed on the scale. I really hope to be better this week. I'm not letting it get me down though, it was still a great week!

Run Laughlin Half Marathon Training Recap

Training Recap Week 6: 10/30 - 11/05

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ultimate Coffee Date - November 2017

I feel like I say this every. single. month, but didn't October simply fly by?! I can hardly believe we are already in November. It's just crazy, but it is the first Saturday in November, which means it's time to catch up over coffee at the Ultimate Coffee Date! So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and let's chat. I'm sipping on some Starbucks pumpkin spice coffee that I brewed at home. It's pretty good.

Ultimate Coffee Date - November 2017

If we were having coffee, I'd start by telling you that I was a few days late to October's coffee date, so I missed linking up with all of you. I tried to pop over to most of your posts, but in case you missed mine, you can read it here.