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Monday, January 31, 2011

1 Week and Counting

It feels like ages ago I was busy doing my student teaching and finishing up my master's degree.  It still seems strange to say "I'm finished."  My diploma is waiting for me to pick it up.  My certification will be official tomorrow.  I'm done. I'm done and I do not have a job.  In one week (yes, I'm counting the days), my stay-at-home-mom, SAHM, status is being reinstated and I cannot wait!

I was a SAHM from the time Bugs was born until doing my student teaching this fall.  It is not a stretch for me to be home with my kids because I absolutely love it!  This year is different than most because Bugs is in first grade so he is no longer here during the majority of the day.  Punky, being in kindergarten, will be with me all morning and we have big plans!

This change of schedule means I no longer need to get up at 4:30 to get my runs in before getting ready for the day.  I will have three hours every single weekday when my kids are at school to do my errands and run.  Let me tell you, I plan on running and running.  I used to feel rushed to get my run done (I gave myself 42 mins on the treadmill), stretch, and ready before the kids woke up.  I tried out my new schedule last week on two occasions and both times I had to remind myself after an hour that I should probably stop running and do something else.  I have a feeling the miles are going to fly by until it is gardening season when I plan on spending quality time getting dirty moving plants and possibly putting in a new garden.

One more little thing:  I am still looking for a job, so this schedule may not last.  So, if you happen to know of a school that is hiring a high school chemistry teacher within about 45 minutes of my house please let me know.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm Honored

Last year I noticed different blogs commenting about the "Best Running Blogs - 2010" list so I checked it out.  Some of my favorite blogs have come from last year's list.  Well, it was brought to my attention the 2011 version was posted last week and all I can say is that I am honored to be on the list.  I have no words other than utterly honored.  #29 is this lil' old blog that I love so much.

I can write as much as I want, but it wouldn't be anything without the comments and followers.  Thanks to all of you who take the time to visit my blog, read and comment.  Running on My Time is on the list because of you!

I raise my glass to all the other blogs on the list.  There are many exceptional blogs listed, many I visit regularly, and some I am sure will be come new favorites as I take time to visit all the blogs on the list I do not currently read.  Thanks to Jake who took the time to put the list together.

My Exercise Room

When we bought our house there was a finished room in the basement where the previous owner had his office.  The room has mainly served as a storage area for all the extra things we have.  We never did anything to the room other than think about what it could be...play room, toy room, storage room... I never thought it would be an exercise room.  When we bought a treadmill a few years ago we put it in the room and my idea for the room started forming.  It took a while, but I finally painted the room.  I used left-over paint from the hallway upstairs and paint I bought for the family room and never used.

All fun exercise type torture items (I used my non-used pilates rings to keep the balls in place)
We still have storage in the room.  Take a look at the shelves above, they are full of wedding things (yes, it's been 10 years and I still have my to-do lists) and chemistry books.  The ironing board and extra vacuum are stored next to the TV.  There are other things hidden here and there in the room as well.
The best addition:  a shelf next to the treadmill
While I love my treadmill, it has stupid cup holders.  I have never found a bottle that would stay in them once I started running because they are short and angled cup holders.  Every time I wanted to take a drink for the past few years, I would have to get off the treadmill to get my water or hold a water bottle while I ran.  Now I have a shelf!
All kinds of fun!
This past year ADP and I bought a TV and blue ray player for the basement so we wouldn't have to take the computer down to watch movies or shows while we exercised.  The TV is huge compared to the computer screen, but looks so small with the new red wall.  We also use our old TV cabinet wisely:  once the hangers are moved the old TV area is filled with yoga mats, a foam roller, Ralph the dog, and Gym in a Bag.

There is more to do in the room, but it took a few years to get here so I am in no hurry to get things up on the walls.  There is a little window that I need to cover as well.  I tried out my new exercise room twice this week and was inspired to run 6 and then 7 miles down there.  I already love it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Home Exercise Room Necessities?

I am in my own little dream world right now, dreaming of my perfect home gym.  Oh, the amenities and open space it would have!  There would be windows for natural lighting, plenty of room for all the equipment ADP and I use on a regular basis (I can't list those off because I don't know what equipment ADP uses at the gym), a sink, a fridge, a never ending fresh supply of towels, room for yoga and stretching plus more.

My current exercise room is not my dream room, but it is mine.  I am working on painting it while I'm sidelined these few days.  I have a want and a need list for my exercise room and a lot of the needs have been met.  I have a treadmill.  ADP and I bought a TV and Blue-ray disc player for the room for Christmas instead of exchanging gifts.  We have basic weights, two exercise balls, and a few yoga mats.  I have a two gallon jug of water on the shelf because there is no running water.  I also have a bucket full of running gear...you know the stuff I'm talking about:  fuel belt, various water bottles, gloves, hats, and more.  I have the basics and I am ready for more.  The question is, with the limited space what should I get next?  ADP wants me to get a bike this summer, so I have a feeling a trainer will grace the exercise room soon enough.

I do have questions for you.  The exercise balls roll around, how can I keep them in one place?  Do you spray your treadmill display down with anything special to keep it clean?  What do you do with all your old running shoes?  Next up:  I am going to buy a shelf to go next to the treadmill this afternoon so I can keep water within reach when I run.  Once I am done painting I'll put my exercise room back together and it will be wonderful.  What would you want in an exercise room?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Slow Quickie

Thanks for all the get well wishes.  My fever appears to be gone so I got on the treadmill this morning.  It was a quickie:  2 miles.  It was slow though, the slowest I've run since last February.  I can now breathe through my nose but my throat hurts a ton from the deeper breathing needed during running.  Is it possible to feel better and worse at the same time?  I think so because I do.

I love my running journal.  I don't use the on-line trackers that so many use.  I have my Monet book that I've been tracking in since 2008 (I didn't track before that).  I usually take a line or two to write what is going on or how I'm feeling and then a goal for the run (distance or otherwise).  Some entries take up more space and some only have the distance I ran and where it was.  I don't worry about punctuation, spelling, or even complete sentences in my entries so they are not always coherent when I go back and read them.  It is fun to look back and read about the running and what was going on in life.

I mentioned that I haven't run this slow since February.  It was Tuesday, 2/23 to be exact and according to the entry I was still weak/sluggish from the food poisoning I had the weekend before.  Here is today's entry:

"Sa 1/22  Have Icky cold, anvil landed on head, body hurts - but fever gone.  goal:  be able to breathe through nose (aka: clear gunk out) 940AM
2.18 mi, 25 min, 1% inc 2mi @ 5.4mph & cool @ 4mph"

Nothing fancy, but it works for me!  When I started running today it really felt like an anvil had landed on my head.  Now, it is only on half my head.  And, I can breathe through my nose.  I consider that progress!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Things Friday, 1.21


  1. I'm not going to the 15K I had planned on this weekend.  It is going to be cold outside.  I have nothing against running when it is cold.  I love winter and snow and running and the combination of all three.  My bottom limit is about 20F for the distance I'm running...and Sunday's race temp is supposed to be between 0 and 5F.
  2. I haven't run in 48+ hours and I'm going a little stir crazy.  I have a low grade fever and when I try to take a deep breath it feels like I'm going to hack up a lung.  So, running is sidelined until I can breath without fear of loosing a lung.
  3. I signed up for another 5K.  It is in June and with be an absolute blast!  A race named Mud Mania! has to be fun.  It looks like everyone ends up covered in mud by the end of the race.  My running buddy Amanda is doing it too...and I think we're in the same wave.
  4. I may not have been running, but we are having an actual winter here so I have been shoveling snow, scraping ice, and trying to keep the driveway somewhat clear for the last couple weeks.  I can feel it in my shoulders and arms because I'm not used to shoveling  (and snow blowing) so much snow.
  5. I think that one of the best parts about not feeling great is taking naps.  I love napping!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Really Was There

I found some pictures from the Winter Series Races I have been running.  It took a while, but I weeded through them all and now have photographic proof I was at the Hangover Half.  Here is the original picture:
Can you see me?  Probably not, but I had to ask.

Now can you see me?  Upper right in the blue vest & white hat.  Amanda to my left and Bridget to my right.
Ah, now I feel better!  I was really there.  I kept digging and found two pictures from last weekend's race.
I'm here!!!  I didn't even photoshop my thighs to look that big.  (I now know where those 4 pounds ended up.)

ADP rocking the 10K

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wintery Fun Run

Today was one of those days.  We all have them and I don't think anyone enjoys them.  I needed to go for a run!  Thanks to some friends and their advice, I skipped my tempo run (which was bound to happen on a treadmill) and headed out for a run in the fresh snow.  I bundled up for my run.  It was not particularly cold outside, but the wind was wicked and made the windchill about 5F.  

Thankfully the roads were pretty clear!
I took my time and had a good run.  I kept reminding myself to slow down, I was not in a hurry at all.  Finally I came to this sign:
I really don't like this stop sign.  It is only .2 away from my house if I turn right.  My runs are never done here though so I always turn left.  Oh, how I wish I could turn right.  Maybe next time...

Today:  3.07 mi in 31:22 (ave 10:13/mi)
Tomorrow:  5 miles at 9:40/mi - or at least that is the plan

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Looking at Time

The "official" results are up from the supposed 3-miler on Sunday.  This is at the top of the results page:

***A course marshal sent nearly all the runners the wrong way; actual distances run vary; almost no one actually ran 3 miles.***

Thankfully I had my trusty garmin on and I did not run 3 miles, I ran 3.11 miles.  I know I mentioned it, the other day but I have to again:  I got a PR.  I was entering the time into my race page and not only was it a PR, it was a 59 second PR.  That means I cut almost 20 seconds/mile off my time!  Go me!

ADP and I cannot remember if his 10K time is a PR or not.  He does not enter races very often and the 10K distance is hard to find.  He ran one 10K in 2002 and repeated the same race in 2003.  I am sure his time in 2002 was 44:xx or 45:xx.  I was not there for the 2003 race and I do not know what his time was.  It is not on-line, but ADP is pretty sure it was less than 40:00.  In thinking back about ADP's races made me think back to my first 5K.  

My first 5K was not pretty.  It was my first outdoor run of the spring (I guess I've always loved the treadmill).  It was hilly.  It felt like I was running a marathon.  I sat down on the curb and debating giving up about half way through.  I kept going and it took me 41 or 42 minutes to finish the race.  It was an experience I did not want to go through again so I did not enter another race until 2006 when I tried my second 5K.  A lot changed between 2002 and 2006 and my second 5K was better.  While I've run for almost 13 years now, I did not start entering races with regularity until 2009.  It does not mean the previous 11 years do not count, they just count in a different way.  I was a treadmill runner, a gym goer, and three miles was the longest I would run.  I was a runner, but not a racer.  Now I am both and I love it.

source
This runner and racer is gearing up for my next half marathon.  I did not hit my time goal in October.  I had a relaxing half last week.  I have the mileage built up for this race.  The next few months will be spent on "speed" (the Suzy version of speed) so that I can do my best in April.  This is going to be my half!  It all starts later today when I hit the pavement for a 5 mile tempo run.  I can't wait to see what I can run 13.1 miles in.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Warmers: Hand, Body, Foot & Toe Review

What are some of your winter running necessities?  I never knew it, but hand warmers are a necessity.  I ran all last winter with freezing hands and rarely thought twice about it once my hands were warm.  I was contacted by Hand Warmers and Foot Warmers before the temperatures turned cold and they were wondering if I wanted to try some of their products.  I was curious so I said yes.  It was not too long and this arrived in the mail:

My thoughts when I opened the box:  "I'll never use all those this year!"  Since receiving them the temperatures outdoors have been all over the place so I haven't been able to use them as much as hoped. I was all set to try them out on a long run on 1/1/11 for my half marathon and then the temps were in the upper 40's.  Yesterday, however, it was down right cold with the cool temps and wicked wind.  ADP and I both tried the Hand Warmers out and they saved both of us!
I put one hand warmer in each mitten and each hand in a glove and mitten.  It may have been a little overkill because with the hand warmer, technical glove, and fleece mitten my hands were hot after my 5K.  ADP put his warmers on the backs of his hands inside his gloves and his hands never got cold!

In addition to using them running, I tried them out when I had to shovel out our driveway.  OK, so I used the snowblower, but I was still outside in the cold!  My hands were perfectly warm.  I will not run outside in the winter without these in my gloves again.  I have a new cold weather necessity on my list:  hand warmers.  Just remember to open them up 10-20 minutes before you need them so they are toasty warm when it is time to go outside!

The hand warmers I used can be purchased at http://www.handwarmers.net/ where you can buy hand warmers by the pair or case.  You can also get body warmers, 4" x 5", there too. They are great to keep your body warm when you are outside a little longer.  The foot warmers can be purchased at http://www.footwarmers.org/ and there is a whole variety of ways to keep your feet warm:  foot warm-ups, toasti toes, insole foot warmer.  You can buy by the pair or case for any of these.  The customer service is wonderful!

Disclaimer:  I was provided the warmers free of charge.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Series #3 Race Report

When you sign up for a race in January in Upstate NY you are never quite sure what the weather will be.  Yes, it is winter, but that doesn't mean much (look at last weekend - it was 45F!!).  Today we were not quite so lucky.  I checked the weather before we headed out and here is what I saw:  25F, 12 mph winds, feel like temp of 15F.  Hmmm, it'll be cool with a wicked wind for part of the race.
Suzy & ADP before the race
ADP and I bundled the kids up and headed down to the start of the race.  Thankfully we both pre-registered for this free race so all we had to do was initial we were there.  We signed the kids in to the kid activity/care table and were off to stretch (ADP) and find friends (me).  We found my winter running buddy right away.

Amanda and Yours Truly
The fog horn blew at 10 a.m. and we were off and running.  There were 3 races all starting at the same time, 3 miles, 10K and 25K.  I ran 3 miles and ADP was running the 10K so we started at the same time but going two different directions.  ADP is much faster than me so I knew when the 10K and 25K people caught up with me that ADP would pass me.  I my mind he was either going to fly past me and basically ignore me or I was going to get a butt tap.  It did not take long and my butt was being tapped as he passed me.  He also graced me with a smile as he took off running.

Field House...the start and end of the race
We had one of the same problems as last week:  WRONG DIRECTIONS!!  Thankfully, I've run this race before and I knew the way to go.  I was going along just fine and then there was a course marshall saying "5K this way (right), 10K and 25K this way (left)."  I went right and in short order was told to turn around because I was going the wrong direction.  All the people before me ran ~2.7 miles, instead of the 3 miles the race was supposed to be.  I kept going the way the map said I was supposed to and I was running all alone.  The rest of the people who were told to turn around ran the first part of the race again so they ended up with ~4 miles.  With my little detour, I ran 3.11 miles instead of 3 miles.  Not bad considering my garmin measured this race as 3.05 miles last year.  

DONE!
I'm not big on shorter races, but give me some cold weather and this is what I get:  5K PR!  I wasn't trying for one, I just wanted to come in under 30 minutes.  I know the race was supposed to be 3 miles, but since the distances ranged from 2.7 to 4 miles I'm taking my garmin distance of 3.11 miles and calling it a 5K.
Total:  3.11 miles in 28:00 min (9:00/mi pace)
mile 1:  8:58
mile 2:  9:06 (walked to get rid of my side ache)
mile 3:  9:04
0.11 mi:  :52

When I finished I had to turn in my time (free = low key) and then I went back outside to catch ADP finishing his 10K.
ADP coming down the final straight away

Congrats.  Now fill out this yellow card with your information
I mentioned low key.  When you finish you get an index card with a number and you are supposed to fill in your name, age, time...which you have to get off the clock, and city.  Then hand it in and someone will enter the information in the computer during the day.  ADP's race according to his garmin:  6.2 miles, 40:40 (clock in the picture says 40:45), 6:34/mi, 7th place overall.  ADP's last 10K was when I was pregnant with Bugs back in 2003 and we have no idea what his time was so I'm calling this a 10K PR for his 30's!

We're doing well:  2 PRs in one day.  Now all we need is a PACKER VICTORY and the day will be as close to perfect as possible.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Felt Like It & A Winner

The life of a substitute teacher is still new to me.  Today I took a chance and slept in instead of exercising this morning.  Since I have only been called  to sub once this week I have been busy getting things done around the house and getting all my errands done.  This morning I was at Sam's Club and decided I really wanted to go for a run today.  When I got home I laced up my shoes (literally) and got on my beloved treadmill.

I tried out two new things on my run.  The first I got in my Christmas stocking, ibungee stretch laces!  So, before my run I had to lace up my NEW shoes.  Yes, new shoes arrived in the mail earlier this week and I was dying to try them out.  I laced up my GT-2150's and got on the treadmill.  I had a great run.  My shoes are by no means broken in, but they still felt great.  I couldn't tell I had stretch laces in my shoes instead of regular laces.

Congratulations to Paula who won the Sof Sole giveaway!  Please e-mail me (runningonmytimemail (at) gmail dot com) your address and shoe size.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Giveaway Ends Tomorrow!

Get your entries in so you can win the Sof Sole products!  Go HERE to enter.

And, a quick update from yesterday's race report.  I contacted the group that put on the half marathon.  I did not mention the food (nothing can be done at this point), but I did ask for them to go back and look at the finishing times.  They fixed my time (Amanda's time too)!  So, half marathon #4 was fun, exciting, and slow:

Time:  2:21:53 (ave pace of 10:50)
Place:  273 of 289
AG place:  12 of 12

Last year there were 233 finishers so the warm weather really brought a lot of (faster) people out for the race.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hangover Half Marathon RR

I honestly do not know where to start for this race report.  I didn't specifically train for it, but I did keep my mileage up in the months leading up to 1/1/11.  Life at home had been nothing less than stellar leading up to the race (Punky had strep throat and then a reaction to the antibiotics so we were awake more than asleep the night before the race).  Those things happened and then some more happened...

The Hangover Half Marathon is run at the same time as the Bill Hogan 3.5 miler and is part of the free Winter Series races I do during the winter.  The half started at noon and when I arrived to check-in I was shocked at the line and the number of people waiting to sign up for the races.  Thankfully, I had pre-registered this year so all I had to do was skip past the line (YEAH!!), initial that I was there, and get my bib.  New this year:  bibs!  Have I mentioned the Winter Series are low key?  Well, they are so getting a bib was a huge deal.  Amanda and I were pinned and ready to go so we headed outside to get our garmins connected and ready to go (it never fails, one of us has troubles with our garmin).  Thankfully there were no garmin technical issues this race.

It was a perfect race day:  partly cloudy, 45F with a very light breeze.  We were off and running and did the first ~3 miles with a friend who was running the 3.5 mile race.  Right around mile 3 those running the shorter race veered off and we kept going straight.  It may have been a perfect day for a race, but it is a boring race.  You can see below the loop we ran.  We started to the left of the map.  First we ran the outside loop.  Second we ran the inside loop.  Third we ran the outside loop.  Then we repeated the inside and outside loops.  Finally we headed back to the starting area.
garmin shows the way

picture this with no leaves and add snow brims

one of the more interesting parts of the course...a turn
I was there to start the year with a good run and to have fun.  Amanda was thinking about a 2:15 PR, but due to this and that and lack of training it wasn't happening yesterday.   I did have a good time and my fourth half marathon is now done.  The best parts:  I got to run with someone the whole time!  And, I did it pain free.  My last two halves have been painful (calf cramp in Oct 2010 and ITB pain for the 2010 Hangover Half).  I have a few tired muscles today and no pain so I am one happy camper in those regards.

Here is my problem with yesterday's race...well, problems as there were multiple.  We were directed the correct way but a friend of a friend was told to go the wrong way and we also saw some course marshals forget to tell a runner to turn so she had to backtrack and find her way again.  Then there was the food.  I read some other blogs and talked to some people who ran yesterday.  I KNOW WE RUN SLOW, but save some for us.  People who finished before us had bread, drinks (coffee, hot chocolate, water), orange slices, pizza, soup, cookies, and more.  When we finished there was only 1.5 pans of picked over bread and some peanut butter & jelly left when we finished (some means the jars should have been tossed because they you would need a spatula to get the little bit of food out of them).  Please do not start a race right when I am usually eating lunch and then have no food after.  It makes for a very grumpy Suzy.

Now the kicker:  our times are completely different than what our garmins said.  Let me explain.  When I said Amanda and I ran together, I mean the whole entire race.  If one of us needed to stretch or walk, we both did.  If one of us wanted to walk through the water stops, we both walked.  We crossed the start and finish lines TOGETHER.  It is my assumption that when two people cross the finish line together they should have the same time (no chip timing, just people writing times and bibs down).  Our finishing times are 2 minutes apart.  Timing started when the horn blew, so every single person running had the same start time.  To make it more interesting, my so-called finish time is 2 minutes slower than my garmin and Amanda's is about 2 minutes slower than my finish time.  Amanda and I have both written to the race people and we hope to have this settled soon.  So, for now I'm going with my garmin time of 2:21:52.  Yes, it is my slowest half but I had a great time and wasn't out there to PR or even try to PR so I'm happy with how the race went.

This ended up much longer than I wanted it to be.  If you made it this far, thanks for reading.  Next race I'll remember to take a camera along so I'll at least have some pictures to share.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Test post with a picture

I am hoping I have this figured out. Forgive my test post, but how else can I find out if I have this right.

A benefit is that I have a picture of the bib I wore for my half marathon today (RR to come).

Posting Pictures?

Can anyone help me figure out how to post pictures to my blog from my iPhone? I can post but canny get pictures into my posts. Thanks!