Monday, March 23, 2015

Volition America Half Marathon

Volition America Half Marathon, Boise Idaho Half Marathon, Military Runner Boise Idaho

This past Saturday, March 21, I finished my very first competitive half marathon! It was the Volition America Half Marathon & 5K Series that is touring the United States. They kicked off their inaugural race in our hometown of Boise—what an honor for us!

Going into the race, my goal had been to run a 1:35 (I've run several half marathons before, but this was my first "competitive" half). I ended up having a better race than expected and set a new personal record for myself with a 1:33:09! I was so excited. My fastest half prior to that was a 1:48 in 2009, so I was stoked to test my legs and see what they could do! My splits averaged 7:08/mile, though the breakdown was much more varied. My fastest mile was a 6:28 (mile 1) and my slowest was a 7:37 (mile 10). But I finished strong with a 6:49 on mile 13.

I ended up finishing 12th overall, 4th overall female, 1st overall military member, and 1st in my age group (25-29). I was very happy with those placings and my time.

The race was harder than I expected—I'm used to running those splits for 10k training runs but hadn't truly trained for more than an hour at a time for this race, so after mile 8, it was pretty painful. I think with a dedicated training plan I could significantly improve this time! We'll see what the future holds for half marathon races.

See more photos of the race below!

Volition America Half Marathon, Boise Idaho Half Marathon, Military Runner Boise IdahoStarting out strong!
Feeling great and waving to the volunteers around mile 6.
Running along the greenbelt at mile 6—check out my neon 124th Fighter Wing Squadron PT Shirt!
Having a "Why am I doing this moment?" from miles 8-10. The man behind me is a colleague out at the Air National Guard. It was awesome seeing so many Air Guard members at this event! 
Volition America Half Marathon, Boise Idaho Half Marathon, Military Runner Boise Idaho
I was so excited to finish with a new PR of 1:33:09!
Volition America Half Marathon, Boise Idaho Half Marathon, Military Runner Boise Idaho
Totally experiencing a runner's high!
I'm a lucky wife! His encouragement was what kept me feeling strong and motivated!

I was so grateful that Daniel came out to support me during this race. He drove the course and was on the sidelines about every 3-4 miles. The only thing I looked forward to more than each new mile marker was his smiling, loving face! I mean, when you have a handsome man cheering you on and saying, "Finish strong, sweetie! You're doing so well!" how do you NOT go all out and finish strong? His support made all the difference!

I have several more races planned for this year at varying distances. Can't wait to see what else 2015 holds and where my feet will run me to next!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

All About That Pace, 'Bout That Pace

Aunie Sauce fitness update, Air Force 1.5 mile run, BMT Fastest Female, BMT Top PT

If you've been following my fitness journey since the beginning, you know I'm a runner—it's that spark that fuels my fire! If you've been following me since I joined the Air Force, you've seen some big fitness changes happen—and some big goals get set (and achieved!). The Air Force has seriously re-ignited my love for running.

When I joined the Air National Guard in November of 2013, my 1.5-mile time was a 10:53—which I determined by jogging circles around my neighborhood on a snowy day, just to see my starting point. I made it my goal to achieve Warhawk (the highest PT standard) at BMT and earn the title of Top PT (given to one male and one female in each graduating class). In June of 2014 when I graduated Air Force Basic Training, I ran an 8:47, BMT's 5th fastest female run time in history, awarding me those coveted titles of "Warhawk" and "Top PT Female." I had done it!

Fast forward to almost a year later (how did that happen so fast?), and I'm now back to my civilian job at the hospital and working at the Idaho Air Guard one weekend per month. My annual PT test is coming up in June, so I'm beginning to train for it. This morning, I decided on a whim to put myself through the Air Force PT Test of a 1.5-mile run, 1-minute of push-ups and 1-minute of sit-ups. While my push-ups and sit-ups need some work (47 and 58, respectively), I finished my 1.5-mile run in 8:33. Eight thirty-three! When I graduated BMT, I thought I'd never beat that run time, but here we are, almost a year later, and I'm feeling like I'm in the best shape of my life. It feels darn good!

In addition to training for my PT test, I'm also focusing on speed and distance work and learning how to run fast for longer distances—like more than 6-miles. I'm trying to figure out which distance I like best—5K's, 10K's (I've never competed at this distance but run it for practice often), half marathons, and full marathons. Full disclosure? I don't have any desire to do another full marathon anytime soon. Yuck. But the other distances are open for discussion. I have one half marathon coming up next week, in which I'll try to PR (my best is a 1:48—I know I can beat it), the Famous Idaho Potato Half Marathon scheduled for May, and the Sawtooth Relay in June.

I know a running update might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's super-exciting for me lately. I'm enjoying challenging myself and pushing my legs to the limit. I'm not sure where they'll take me next, but I can guarantee that wherever they're going, they'll be running there!