Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trying Something New in 2011

One of the things I really want to do is try something new in 2011.  For a few months I thought 2011 was going to be the year of my first marathon, but it isn't going to be.  Then, I researched triathlons and as much as I want to do one it isn't going to be this year.  It was hard coming up with a list of races for 2011, but I finally did it and I am going to try something new...3 somethings to be exact.  Some of my previous races have fallen off the list.  They may make it back on but I need to be realistic: I just finished school, do not have a job, and (the kicker) my student loan payments start in January because I have already used my deferment.  ADP and I talked about it, the minute I get one of those full time job things (that are not available right now) the dropped races will probably be added back in.  But, enough on finances...

Without further delay, my 2011 races:

  • 1/1 Hangover Half, Winter Series #2  In 2 days I'll be undertaking another half marathon.  I did this race last year (it was the race that I couldn't get home from because I blew a tire in my car, RR here).  I'm ill prepared, but it is supposed to be a balmy 42F and I'm running it with Amanda so I know we'll have a great couple hours.  I'm going for 2:15 (my longest half ever, but I am starting the year out with a race!!).
  • 1/9 Winter Series #3  I volunteered at this race last year.  This year ADP and I will both run!  I'm planning on running the 3 mile version while ADP will tackle the 10K.
  • 1/23 Winter Series #4  ADP and I ran this race last year (RR here).  I have to decide between the 3 mile and 15K when the time comes.  If history says anything, I'll talk to Amanda and hopefully we can run another WS race together.
  • 2/6 Winter Series #5  The last of a series of 5 free races (free if you belong to the group that organizes the races).  I do not know what distances are involved in this one, but last year I did a 4 miler (RR here).  I have to go because it is free!
  • 2/20 3-Person Marathon Relay  The Pink Ladies are back!  Yes, Felice, Amanda and I are running the 3-Person Marathon Relay again this year.  I'm stoked and cannot wait.  We did it last year (RR here) and will have a blast again this year.  My goal this time:  no food poisoning prior to running!
  • 4/2 13.1 New York Half Marathon  Something new!  I've never traveled for a race nor has the family done a weekend in NYC, so we are combining the two and I'm running the 13.1 New York Half.  It looks like a flat course and the family should have the opportunity to see me a few times.  The cherry on top, Felice, Amanda and some of the group from last year's Freihofer's Run for Women will all be there running!  I'll practically be a party.
  • 6/4 Freihofer's Run for Women  I'm going back for another round of 4,000 women running a 5K on a looped course that has elite runners leading the way.  Last year was hot (RR here), other years it has been cold and raining.  What will 2011 bring?
  • October (date unknown) Squirrely Six  Another something new!  I'm going to run my first trail race.  I've never run trails, so I'll work on adding them in this summer.  It is a 6 mile course and if it goes well I'll up it to the half for 2012.  I'm getting ahead of myself though; one year at a time.
  • November (date unknown) Stockade-athon  Another something (sort-of) new!  I have never run this 15K.  Actually, I've never run a 15K at all, so new race and new distance.  Just last month I volunteered as a course marshal  (report here) and although there are some hills in this race, I plan on being ready and having a great time.
  • 11/20 HMRRC Turkey Raffle Hour Run  Another repeat here (RR here).  I can't wait to do it again.  Maybe I'll get more entries into the raffle in 2011.
  • 12/11 Winter Series Race #1  And another year of Winter Series Races begin!
It is going to be a marvelous year!  I am also going to go for 1,050 miles next year, which is more than this year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SofSole Review and Giveaway

Bound to stay warm

This morning I went out for a nice little 3-miler.  It was pretty cool and the wind was from the north, which made it feel cold.  I pulled my Yaktrax out for the first time ever because we had about 8” of snow yesterday and the roads are covered with a mix of ice, slush, puddles, and salt/sand.  I loved using them, especially on the molehills we have on my running route.  One thing I was really happy about was having a pair of Sof Sole inserts in my shoes!  The Yaktrax are great for traction, but I could tell exactly where the treads were because there was extra pressure on my feet at those points.  Speaking of the insoles…

I was very excited when Sof Sole offered to let me try some of their products!  We all know that our feet can take a beating when we are running as they take hit the ground over and over and over again.  I was pleased when a package arrived with Coolmax Trainer socks and Airr insoles. 

According to the Sof Sole website, “The Sof Sole® Airr® insole is the first insole to combine an air cushioning system with moisture control technology. The Airr features an encapsulated air chamber for maximum cushioning and Coolmax top cover to provide climate control for the surface of your foot. Simply put, the Sof Sole Airr is the best performance insole available.”  I put the insoles in my current shoes, Asics GT2130s, that had about 240 miles on them.  I’ve been running with the insoles all month and this I can say:  I don’t think I’ll ever run in shoes without something like the Airr insoles again!  Wow, what a difference they made.  The first couple runs I took I had to figure out how tight and loose to make my laces; the insoles are taller than the insoles that came with my shoes so my heels kept sliding up and down in my shoes.  Once I figured out how to tie my shoes it has been wonderful.  I think the insoles are heavier than the original Asics insoles, but it doesn’t bother me in the least.  I am looking forward to wearing them during my upcoming race on 1/1/11!  I think I’ll have happy feet at the end of the race.

Along with the insoles there was a 3-pack of socks for me to try and comment on.  The Coolmax Trainer Socks have been wonderful and they really do wick away moisture keeping my feet happy.  I have run with them on the treadmill and have worn them around the house, they keep my feet warm on these cold days we are having.  I have not worn them outside because they are short socks and my running pants only go down so far.  I fear windburn or just really cold skin on my ankles if I wear them when it is cold outside because my ankles won’t be covered.  They are comfortable and I really like the banded instep that provides a secure fit and the deep heel pocket.  The socks are not tight and yet they don’t move or slide around.  They do not bunch and I’ve never had a problem with them.  I would definitely buy them again, although I may try out some of their lighter Coolmax socks so I can wear them during the summer.

Questions that remain for me:
  • How long do the insoles last?
  • Will I get more life out of my shoes using insoles?
  • Will the socks ever come in colors other than white/blue?

The kind people at Sof Sole have offered to giveaway a package similar to what I received to one of my lucky readers.  There are many way to enter the giveaway, just remember to leave a separate comment for each entry otherwise you’ll only get one entry.

  • Become a fan of Sof Sole’s Facebook page (1 entry)
  • Follow Sof Sole on Twitter (1 entry)
  • Follow my blog (1 entry)
  • Spread the good news about this giveaway, tell a friend, blog about it, share it on Twitter or Facebook (1 entry each)

The winner will be picked on 1/4 and will need to be able to provide me their address and shoe size.
We all sit in the garage on a kids' bike to get ready, right?
Disclaimer:  I bought and purchased the Yaktrax with my own money.  Sof Sole provided the socks and insoles to me.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MileageGoal Met!

Thanks for all the well wishes on making it to 1,000 miles!  A couple more runs and I have now met my 2010 mileage goal:  1,010 miles!  Yippy Skippy!!

in my driveway waiting for my garmin to connect
This morning I was all alone in the house, exe pt Maddie, who never leaves without us.  Bugs had been home the last couple days with a fever, so today was the first day I was alone in a while.  Of course I had a run on the "schedule" for today.  I headed out in the nice 27F with a north breeze.  I went out and did a comfortable 2.4 miles and then stopped home to pick Maddie up.  She finished the last 1.2 miles with me.  Talk about a happy girl.  During my run I hit my goal.

I was running from this direction to my goal
Here I stand at the spot where garmin "chimed" the magical number (1.9 mi) needed to make my 2010 mileage 1,010

goal to keep on running

I did it!
I also learned that as much as the blue coat kept the wind from going through me, I cannot wear it when running very often.  When I got home and I took the coat off the inside was covered in moisture (a.k.a. sweat) and the outside was dry so it isn't a good running coat.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

4.26 miles to go

I passed the 1,000 mile mark today which means I only have 4.26 miles to go to reach my 1010 mile goal for 2010.  WOW!  This is the first time I've ever surpassed 1,000 in a year.  I did not take my camera with me today, but tomorrow I'll head out and take a picture at what I will forever call my 1,000 mile tree.  I'll post the picture, don't worry!

Today was my trial run.  My goal was to run 10-12 miles to see if I can pull off running the Hangover Half on 1/1/11.  I did it!  I made it 10 miles and was just too cold to keep going so I walked the last 1.65 miles home.  I was never far from my house so for a change I did not take my phone, but I was really wishing for my phone at the 10 mile marker because I would have called ADP to pick me up.  Instead, I booked it and walked the rest of the way home at (according to Garmin) a 12:22/mi pace.  Like I said, I was cold!

About being cold...  I was dressed just fine for the day and then the sun dipped behind the trees and I got cold.  Not only did I get cold, I had not run outdoors since before Thanksgiving so some muscles were working when they weren't used to so I just gave up at mile 10.  I am OK with the run.  I am surprised at how well it went considering I have not really had a long run outside in so long.

I leave you with this thought for tonight (even though I know we are underdogs):

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Healthy, Happy, and Busy

I am finally healthy!  I have no idea how it happened so fast, but it did.  Is it a coincidence that within a week of being done student teaching I can finally breath through my nose?  Doubtful, but I think the two are related.

I am finished with all my coursework and I have gone for a run every day since Saturday.  Talk about HAPPY!!  Tomorrow I am sleeping instead of running.  I am not sore or tight, but I don't want to risk injuring myself.  I am happy I can run again.  I am happy to be done with school.  I am happy that not only can I run again, I am running again.  Let's say it again...I'm happy!  It all fits in with the motto that I try to live by:  LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE!  I'm lovin' it.

I am very busy though.  I have no idea how I managed to do anything while I was student teaching.  I barely have time to sit down and relax (except for this morning when we had and all important girl's morning before I took Punky to afternoon kindergarten).  I'm so busy I have not even touched this thing called Christmas shopping.  At the rate I'm going I'll have to express all the gifts I plan on buying to family scattered across the USA.  Christmas shopping is not done, but this 150+ piece gingerbread house is glued to (little kid) perfection and on display for all to see.
I am working on choosing my 2011 races.  I'll post which races I am looking at another day.  I am still debating whether I'll tackle running greater than 13.1 this year.  Or, maybe I'll try a tri.  All decisions that will be made in due time.  Until that time comes, I'm planning on seeing if I can go longer than 10 miles this weekend.  If I can, then I'll plan on running the 1/1/11 half marathon.  If I can't pull it off, then I'll plan on running the 3.5 miler on 1/1/11.   I'll find a way to be HAPPY with either distance.

On another HAPPY note, only 10.56 miles to the 1,000 mile mark!!!!!  (yes, extra exclamation points are necessary on this one.)  My goal is to mark to occasion in pictures because you only have one first 1,000 mile year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Time to Run

Bittersweet is the best way to describe my last days of student teaching.  The kids were awesome and I happily ate entirely too much food the last two days of school.  I'm going to miss my cooperating teacher, she is a gem.  The good news, I only have one more class to go (tomorrow night) and then I'm officially done with school.  To celebrate I went shopping and finally got a RunningSkirts running skirt (thank goodness for their clearance sale):
Saturday morning I was up early to enjoy a short run on the treadmill before heading off to work.  The skirt was only fine, but it pulled in places it should not (my bum) and was loose in places it should not be (my waist).  I'm not sure what the huge deal is with these skirts.  Maybe my mind will change when I can wear it outdoors next spring.

This morning was supposed to be the first of five Winter Series Races.  While the midwest was getting dumped on our temps dropped and the rain turned to sleet and everything was frozen at my house this morning.  I am willing to run when it is cold and over icy patches (at a slow pace) and I'll even run when it is raining.  I will not drive on icy roads unless absolutely necessary so I missed my 15K this morning and ran on the treadmill instead.  To make it even easier to decide whether to stay home or to go was the fact that at 10am it was ~35F and raining; I've had some version of a cold for seven weeks and running in the rainy cold weather would not have helped me get better.  I did not make it all 15K, but considering I've done next to no running for the past seven weeks I'm happy with my 8 miler.

There are four more Winter Series Races, next up is the Hangover Half on 1/1/11.  I hope to be ready to run a S.L.O.W. half to start the new year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Quickie of a Post

I have not been ignoring everyone.  I have not been ignoring my running.  I just have not had time for either.  The last longer run I took was two weeks ago which makes me wonder if I should still do the 15K I am planning on this weekend.  I am not going for a PR, just a nice run in the cold weather with friends on a race course (unofficially timed).  I could do the 3 miler, but it just sounds so short these days.  I'll probably decide on Sunday morning which I want to do.

On another note, today is my last day of student teaching.  I have class and a lot of random things to get done next week and then I'll be done.  I have big plans for next week:  Monday I'll run, Tuesday I'll run, Wednesday I'll probably be ready to sleep, Thursday I'll run, and Friday I'll run!  I'm planning on getting a lot of two milers in next week.  I'll start at two and ease myself back into running more than one or two days a week.  I'm beyond excited to have time to run again!