Sunday, November 28, 2010

Maddie, Miles, and More

Maddie was heartbroken that I did not take her running this weekend.  I had a long weekend because of Thanksgiving, so I took advantage of being home and ran four of five days.  I did all my running on my treadmill, so today when we went outside Maddie did her running in the yard.
one happy pup!
I think I am done running in November.  Once again, not a great mileage month, but I did better than October so I am happy.  I finished the month with 58.38 miles in a total of 10 days.  Here is what 2010 looks like as of today.
so very, very close to my 1010 mile goal
And more...  Thank you for the well wishes.  My solo week started well and continues for three more days this week.  It is so hard to believe that my journey to get my master's degree is almost done.  Yes, you will read more and more about this over the next few weeks as graduation approaches.  I have been working toward this for almost four years and it is huge for me.  When my student teaching is all done, in two more weeks, I will have more time to run.  The one thing I have not liked about student teaching is how little time I have to run.  I was running six days a week over the summer and now I only run two days a week.  It has been hard physically and emotionally.  I can't wait to get back out there more often!!  Until then, my blogging remains minimal.

It is Sunday afternoon so I will leave you with this thought:  GO PACKERS!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've Still Got It

First and foremost:  I am sorry I have not been by to comment on blogs.  I have no idea how some of you do it - full time job, family, life, and running?!?  It baffles me.  On top of those things, my solo week for student teaching starts on Monday (and goes through the next week due to Thanksgiving) so I have a lot of homework to do for my Supervising and Cooperating Teachers.  Until I'm done student teaching, I just don't have time to make it around to blogs.

After the hour run
I have lots to say, so I'll try to keep it as short as possible.  This morning I did the HMRRC hour RafFAL run.  I had nine miles planned and since I am no where close to finishing nine miles in an hour I got there early and did two miles before the hour run.  I was planning on between 3 and 4, but the respiratory virus I have just won't let go so I figured I should take care of myself and stay warm (a.k.a. be inside) instead of out in the 35F weather between my pre-run and the hour run.

I found Amanda before the race and we got to catch up!  It was good to hear all about her marathon and catch up on life since it seemed like it had been forever since we'd run together.  The race was $2 or a donation for the raffle.  I paid $2 and was set for a nice comfortable run.  My legs were still sore after Thursday's run for some reason, so slow and steady was the game plan.  The problem is that Amanda and I didn't quite do 'slow and steady' the whole time.  A few times we had to purposely slow down.  Once we talked about it and I let her know I needed to slow down but was trying to keep up with her.  The funny part is that she was trying to keep up with me.  I think we are well matched for running together.

The loot to be raffled off
The raffle details.  Run a 1 mile loop with about 1,000 other runners and a few walkers.  Every mile get a raffle ticket.  Run for one hour.  Challenge:  keep hold of all tickets during run and keep them somewhat dry because you have to write your name on it after the race.  Course record:  60 minutes.  (Ha, ha!)

Amanda and I each got 5 raffle tickets.  I'm happy to say that we both won something in the raffle.  In a few minutes the kids and I are going to have kettle corn while watching the Packer game (it's half-time so I'm typing fast).  Tomorrow morning ADP is going to enjoy some Dunkin Donuts coffee.  My family is benefitting from my morning run!

When the run was done, but before the raffle started I found out I've Still Got It.  I was in line to get some hot chocolate and the guy in front of me was wearing the same shirt as I was (from a previous race).  Well, I was holding my cup up and he wedding ring*...and then started talking.  I heard his running stats, how much he runs, how his 10K PR was at the race he was sporting the shirt from.  He was getting closer and closer (yes, it was cold, but most guys I know don't do an up-down look, check for a wedding ring, and then move closer just because).  He was a good 5-10 years my junior.  I left him mid-sentence saying something like 'nice talking to you' and just walked away.  ADP's response when I told him:  'Way to go.'  *I didn't know what the deal was with the tickets at the race.  Not knowing if I was going to be pulling my gloves off repeatedly I left my wedding ring home because I didn't want to accidentally loose my ring.*

Can you tell where the 1 mile loop was?  Look for the thick red line!
I won this!

I also won this!
7.32 miles
1:13:13 for an average of 10:00/mi

I know 7.32 isn't the 9 I had planned, but it is good enough for me today.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yoga Gear Review

America's Nutrition, a US company based in the midwest, contacted me to see if I wanted to do a review of any of their products.  I took a gander at their site and I was drawn to the yoga gear they have available.  While what I write about most on here is running, I do a variety of yoga moves after running to help stretch and strengthen my body.

The ZenZu Ball that arrived was perfect!  I have an stability ball from Target but I have to fill it up weekly because it kept losing air so I was interested to see how the ZenZu Ball would do.  My ball from Target is also flimsy.  I will admit that I did not use the hand pump that came with the ball, instead I used a low flow air compressor.  I filled it up and refilled it about two days later once the creases flattened out.  I haven't had to fill it again!  The ball also came with a little tool to help get the plug out so it is much easier to fill up.  The ball is perfect.  The ball came with a sheet of additional strengthening exercises that can be done with the ball.  I haven't tried them all, but the exercises I have done are working well at strengthening my arms, legs, and core.  The ball is available for $24.99 from Americas Nutrition and worth every penny!
America's Nutrition also sent me a Premium Yoga Mat by Zenzation.  You have no idea how much easier doing a mountain climber stretch is when you have a yoga mat!  One of the main stretches in the mountain climber is downward dog.  My hands no longer slip here and there!  Another benefit is that the mat is 1/4" thick.  I do most of my exercising in my basement on the poured cement floor and the 1/4" thickness is a life saver.  It is enough cushioning so that I am not hurting after I do my stretching and strengthening.  The dimensions and other details of the mat can be found here.  I have not taken the mat to a yoga class yet because of my current student teaching schedule, but I plan on trying it out as soon as I can.  This yoga mat can be purchased for $23.99 from Americas Nutrition.

I recommend you try out their site and if you have questions contact them.  They were very helpful when I was deciding what to try and always answered my questions in a timely manner.

*America's Nutrition provided these products to me free of charge.  The opinions are mine and mine alone.  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Things Thursday, 11.11

  1. Student teaching is wonderful, but I am behind on a lot of things.  I cleaned my pile of magazines off last night and recycled those I knew I wouldn't read.  What was I left with?  3 issues of Runner's World and 3 issues of Real Simple.  I am one of those people who devours Runner's World the day it arrives in my mailbox and I haven't read it in THREE months!  Maybe this weekend I'll try to carve out some time to read one.
  2. I ran again this morning.  I was not pain free.  Most of the pain was in my head.  Thankfully, between my run and typing this I made it to the doctor and am now on a course of abx for a sinus infection.  Now if the headache would go away I'd be a whole lot happier.  :)
  3. I've decided to take credit for ADP's weekend running habits.  Once upon a time it was ADP who got me to go to the gym on a regular basis.  Until earlier this summer ADP would run on the weekends, but he'd only run when it was warm and usually about 3.5 miles.  Since agreeing to run the half marathon with me on 10.10.10 he's realized that he likes running longer than 3 miles and he likes the cooler weather.  He runs every weekend and while I don't know how far he goes, I'm guessing around 6-7 miles based on the short amount of time he's gone.  I'm taking credit for his new found love of longer distances.  I'm a good wife for taking credit, right?!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Whoa Nellie!

This morning was a perfect morning for running.  I didn't run though.  I was here:
I know it doesn't look like much (especially from the inside of my car), but it was a big intersection.  A short 30 minutes after I took this photo the first runners went by and I had the joy of telling them to turn the corner by using my spiffy official bright orange flag.  You got it, I was a course marshal this morning.  This intersection was a busy one for the runners because it was just after mile 1 and then the runners came back through and mile 7 was just after the intersection.  I heard lots of garmins beeping during my time there.  It was great!  The cross road was large enough that I was working with a police officer...he directed traffic, I directed runners.  It was awesome.  When I was finished at my post I returned my official gear to the finish line and cheered in some friends as they completed their 15K.

This afternoon I did go for a run.  I started my training plan for my next half (1/1/11) and I took this past week to assess my running, where I was, and how far I had to go.  I decided today I'd start my training plan with a 7 mile run.  I did 6 by myself and then picked up my favorite running partner (for short runs); Maddie and I ran the last mile together.  I really don't think she could be happier than when she's running with me.  My favorite pup is out of practice because not even .5 miles in and I had to clean up after her.  While I love running with Maddie, I don't really like running with a bag of dog crap.  I'll take it though because it makes her so happy and I will always clean up after my dog.

Post run pic
For my run I had a long sleeve shirt on and didn't bother to pull the sleeve up over my garmin because I was out to run and enjoy the day.  However, I was running a familiar route so I knew about where the mile markers were.  I decided to stop about the half way point and do a quick stretch.  I pulled up my sleeve and looked at my garmin...3.05 I ran another .05 miles to get to a 5K.  WHOA NELLIE...if I had run a 5K this afternoon I would have a new PR of 28:22.  Once again, a PR during a run and not during a race.  I was surprised by my time and decided to slow down for the rest of my run because I knew I couldn't run another 3 + 1 at that pace.  My legs didn't agree with my mind and I finished 7.11 miles in 1:06 (9:17/mi average).  Whoa Nellie!  Not even 18 months ago I was gasping when I tried to maintain a 12 min mile and now I did 7 miles at 9:17.  WOO HOO!!!

Proof!  (My heart rate was still coming down when I took the picture.)
The best part about today's run:  no pain.  As in nothing painful anywhere!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Lost Memo

Team BAD did seriously well at the Ragnar Relay last year.  So when I got an e-mail about two weeks ago wondering if I would like to do it again I more-or-less told ADP I'd be gone for 48 hours for a race in May and that he'd have to take care of everything while I was away having a blast.  I was going to do the relay again and according to our fearless leader, we were going to be BADDER this year.

Fast-forward about one week and my school registration information arrived and while I am not taking any classes in the spring (DECEMBER GRADUATION!!!!), I needed to look at the calendar to find out when commencement ceremonies are scheduled.  The school only releases the school calendar one semester at a time, so I've been has my find out when I get to don a cap and gown again.  Apparently the memo got lost with the dates of Ragnar.

Ragnar and commencement are the same weekend.  

Nnnnoooooooooo!  I went back and forth for a few minutes and then came to my senses.  Ragnar Relays happen all over the place and happen annually.  I am only going to get my master's degree once.  Commencement this year (and Ragnar next year).  I have heard rumors that some or all of my family is planning on trekking to my corner of the world so they can watch me walk across a stage in a long, black cape-like outfit.  So, no - I do not think I can run Ragnar on Fri/Sat and still participate in commencement ceremonies if I have family visiting.

Next year I'll run Ragnar if there is a team that will have me...