Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oh Me, Oh My

Yesterday I was complaining (in the most positive voice I could muster) about my back.  It still hurts and thus my IT bands hurt which makes my left ankle hurt.  I know not to worry about the pain in my legs because if I can loosen my back up the pain will pretty much go away.

Today I ignored my back (though I did stop and stretch as needed) and I ignored my training plan.  It was amazing.  Yes my back is a tight ball of messy muscles but my legs feel much better after running 9 miles.  I have happy legs again.

Thoughts have been dancing in my head...thoughts about VFF.  Anyone else curious beyond belief about these?  I may have to hit up Fleet Feet to satisfy my curiosity.
Thanks for the birthday wishes for Maddie's 4th birthday yesterday.
Here she is with a birthday present.
And no, I'm not crazy...but this is the first birthday we've had with her so we had to celebrate.
And knowing me, we'll celebrate her birthday next year, and the year after, and the year after...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Back is at it Again

I did not sleep well last week.  When I don't sleep well I turn onto my stomach and I am guaranteed at least a couple hours of good sleep but at a price:  back pain.  My lower back is hurting, a lot.  A sore lower back makes the miles painful.  So, I have little to share except for the I am's...

  • I am still trying to get a good night of sleep (last night was good).  
  • I am trying to get my lower back to loosen up so I am not in pain.  
  • I am trying to run comfortably.  
  • I am trying to enjoy running while my back hurts.  
  • I am trying to stick with my runs so I get four miles in a run.
  • I am just trying...
Like everything else, this too shall pass.  It just sucks while I am here and in pain.  

On a happy note, my furry one, Maddie, turns 4 today.  It is raining again, so we won't get out for a birthday run.  Maybe this year I'll increase her mileage (she's at ~1.5 miles/run) and she can run a 5K with me.  My birthday present to her!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Have a Problem

I will probably run another official half marathon again this year.  Whether I do or do not isn't the problem. On January 1 at 12 p.m. for the past two years I have run the Hangover Half; I plan on doing it to kick off 2012 as well.  Here is the problem:

The NFL obviously did not take this into consideration when planning the schedule.  They have my beloved Green Bay Packers at the Detroit Lions at 1 p.m. on January 1.  This is a major problem for me.  I love running, but I will skip a race so that I can watch the Packers play on TV (even against the Lions).

What to do?  What to do?  Thankfully, I have 256 days left to come up with a solution that will allow me to run the half marathon and watch the Packers at the same time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lesson Learned Today

Do not eat Lays potato chips while running.  They may be simple, but they are definitely not advised.

Despite my ill attempt at getting enough salt in me, I did manage to finish 7.77 miles today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I've Never Done That Before

I love my treadmill but I still try to balance my treadmill and outdoor running.  I do most of my long runs outside, some of my easy runs and some of my tempo runs as well.  I have never done speed work outside.  I have not been on a track since my sophomore year of high school when they made me run a mile.  Yeah, it's been that long!

So, when I saw it was 52F today and I had 1000's on tap I figured I would try it out.  I wrote my time goals on my arm
translation:  8:25/mi so each 1000 should be 5:14 long
I did some quick (and rough) calculations and figured 4 x 0.62mi (about 1000 m) with .25 rest interval (about 400 m).  I ran a mile there nice and slow and then went at it.  Oh my!  1000's are much harder outside as opposed to on the treadmill.  My legs were fine, my lungs were working hard, but mentally it was a lot of work.  Slow down. speed up.  Breath, in-out-in-out.  Slow down.  Repeat as needed.  I walked the first tenth of the rest interval and then jogged the rest.  Even with everything to keep straight, I think I did ok.

  • warm up, ~1 mile
  • .62 mi in 5:09 (8:17/mi), too fast; .18 mi rest interval (RI)
  • .62 mi in 5:07 (8:16/mi), too fast again; .19 mi RI
  • .62 mi in 5:09 (8:18/mi), I see a 'too fast' trend; .24 mi RI
  • .62 mi in 5:09 (8:18/mi)
  • cool down, ~1 mi
So I went too fast.  I was pretty consistent though.  Thank goodness I only had to do four of them; I don't know how many more I could have pulled off.  I ended up running 5.18 miles today.  Not bad for a Tuesday afternoon.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Operation: Enjoy the Run

What's next for me?  I've put a lot of thought into this over the past week.  What to do, what to do...  I finally figured it out so I won't keep you in suspense any longer!  I'm starting 'Operation:  Enjoy the Run.'  I was looking back over the past year and I have been training for half-marathons since July.  I have run three official halves in six month (I ran one 10/10, 1/1, and 4/2).  It is time for a break from training plans.  

Don't worry, I have a training plan that starts tomorrow.  But, the difference is that if I want to take a day or a week off I will.  If I want to skip doing speed work, I will.  If I want to run my favorite 5-mile loop every run, I will.  And the best part, I won't feel guilty about it AT ALL!  I love running, but with all the training I have not had enough time to just enjoy the run and my time to myself.

So, this morning I was up early and I snapped some photos while I was out running.

the sun will come up eventually...

my shirt is glowing and I'm (gasp) running with music

1.3 miles later...there is the sun!

my least favorite part of the path...the road is about at shoulder level and it is a big turn
Never fear.  I have not completely lost all my senses.  I do have some goals over the next two-ish months.

  1. Enjoy the running
  2. Run as much as I want while the kids are at school (hence the two-ish month time frame)
  3. Get ready for two 5K's, both fun runs for me:
    1. Freihofer's Run for Women on June 4...I've run this quite a few times in the past
    2. Mud Mania on June 18...mud, mud and more mud!
  4. Learn to tackle these hills:

I was part way down one side when I took this picture.  When I was at the bottom I found a reference point, the circled pine tree, and ran up the other side, which is out of sight because of the curve in the road.  The pine tree is a normal sized pine tree (for these areas) and when I was at the top of the other side of the hill I could just see over the top of it.  One side of the hill is slow and steady and the other is much steeper.  I plan on running them and figuring out how to get up both sides without gasping for breath by the end of the summer.  Until then, I'll just enjoy my runs and keep on plugging along.

Next up:  Who knows!!  Isn't it wonderful?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Race Pix

It is unplug week here so I am sneaking on the computer before the kids get up.  The schools follow the 'no TV' week but since my kids really don't watch TV we are unplugging.  Do you know how hard it is not to look things up on your phone when it is with you most of the time?  We'll be unplugged (during child-being-awake hours) through the weekend.  Then I'll be catching up because  it looks like my google reader is bursting at the seams.

Race photos were released yesterday.  I actually had some good ones this time...and some not so good ones.

and we're off (Amanda is on the right)

all about...ME
no wonder I got tired, it looks like I ran with my hands up the whole time

Not flattering

I see the finish and it is not moving my direction fast enough!

I was spent and across the line
next up:  What's next?

Monday, April 4, 2011

The In-Between Race, 13.1 RR

Once upon a time there was a girl who decided to run half marathons and she was blissfully ignorant going into her first race.  I am no longer that girl.  

We went to NYC a day early because of a Nor'easter that was supposed to dump 12" of snow on us (we only got a dusting).  ADP, the kids and I spent Friday walking around a museum and NYC in the rain before heading to get my packet.  When we got back to the hotel I had to try on the tech shirt for the family.  I was not sure about the green, but it fits well so who cares!
Once I dried out and cleaned up a little the family met up with some of the other ladies who headed down to Queens for the races.  We all went out for Italian and we had a great time!  
Bridget, Me, Janis, Amanda, Jen
After dinner I got my race things ready and crashed for the night!
too much race stuff
Saturday morning dawned bright and early.  I was up before the family and headed down to the hotel breakfast and had some fruit and oatmeal before heading back up to get read for the race.
First bib with my name on it!
We headed to the race and caught up with the rest of the group before the race.   Jen ran the 5K and the rest of us waited for the half marathon to start.  
Bridget, Felice, Amanda, Me, Janis
Amanda and Me...waiting for the race to start
The race started just about on time and I had a plan.  I was going to follow "the" plan.
And we're off
Amanda and I decided before the race that we would start together but if one wanted to go ahead or stay behind it was fine.  We stuck it out for ~6 miles.  Amanda was doing awesome and I was struggling so I pulled back and she went on (to an amazing PR).
Finally warm enough to drop the long sleeve shirt...mile who knows what
The problem is that:

  • I started too fast
  • My heart rate was much higher than should be by mile 2
  • My legs were tired from all the walking
  • I never got into a groove or found a pace I could stick with
  • I felt like I was going to toss my cookies more than once
  • It was a race and not a training run 

oooh camera, I'll wave even though it isn't going my way
It was not my race.  I gave up on myself more than once, like I usually do during races (does not matter if it is a 5K or a half).  Once I knew I was not going to PR I walked more and more.  It was not pretty.  I'm disappointed in myself and my performance.  I know I can do much better, but I cannot seem to do it on a race day.

When I got closer to the finish I knew I would see my family.  I did not know where they would be so I tried my best to just keep moving forward.
My cheering committee, Punky and Bugs, waiting for me at the finish
yes spectators, please walk right in front of me 

almost there
A friend took the picture of me running in (above) and said I looked determined.  Yes, I was determined to be finished with the race.  I was also determined to keep all the gel and water in my stomach.  Not my best race.
there is the finish!
Done, done and done!  Done with the race.  Done crying.  Just plain done.
Time and some real food in my belly helped me gain perspective:  it's an awesome medal
The in-between race:
In-between because of my four races my times are 2:14:48 (10/2009), 2:14:54 (1/2010), and 2:12:41 (10/2010).  My fastest and slowest times are only 2:13 apart and I split the difference with a 2:13:37 this time.  It makes me wonder if I am meant to run this pace.  ADP (who has been an awesome cheerleader since the race) assured me that I will break 2:10.  Only time will tell...

The others all did amazing.  Felice ran the race of her life!  Amanda had a huge PR!  Bridget and Janis finished their first half marathon and crossed the finish line holding hands.