Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pictures and Miles

I had a busy Thanksgiving and while I did not log a lot of miles, I did run almost every day.  Most of the time I kept my runs under 3.5 miles for various reasons.  Today I went out and ran 5 miles.  It was a cloudy 50F and I needed to take advantage of the weather!  It isn't this warm at the end of November very often.  I set off on my favorite 5 mile loop and ran it backwards.  This meant I hit my hill at the beginning of mile 2 instead of during mile 5.  :)  Miles 1 & 2 were right on and then I hit mile 3.  Oh My!!!  I got a side ache and couldn't catch my breath and had to walk.  I have no idea what was going on, but it all happened during that one mile.  I did run the rest of my loop and finished stronger than I thought was possible with the miserable middle mile.

Over Thanksgiving break we also went and took our Christmas picture.  It is November and the leaves have fallen, the sun was out and there was a light breeze.  It was nothing less than a perfect day.  No, this isn't the picture we picked...but I wanted to share it because I think it is a great picture of my kiddos.

Back in August, I took some pictures from the same spot when I was on a 19 mile training run.  It looks a bit different:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Strange Footing

I just found this photo from my marathon and I have no idea what is going on with my footing.  I've seen other pictures of myself running I don't usually look like I'm trying to cross my legs.  This was at the best water stop of the course!  One of the high school teams was all decked out in Hawaiian gear handing out water, gatorade.  Plus, one kid even asked if I wanted any H2O (music to this chemistry teacher's ears)!

ADP on the other hand was uber focused as he turned one of the corners in the cemetery during his 15K.  I think this would have been about mile 6.5:

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Scale Lied

I weigh myself once a week just to keep tabs on my weight.  The scale let me know I was up a little so I was expecting it when I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday to weigh in and work.  Well, my scale at home LIED!  Apparently it is two pounds light.  That is not acceptable in my world (both the scale being that far off and my weight being up by more than a little...and those two 'extra' pounds put me over 'a little').

When I finished working at WW I did some thinking and calculating and more thinking.  Yes, I've been enjoying a peanut butter and honey sandwich after dinner most nights.  But that alone shouldn't do it.  So I figured out how much I've been running.  In the first 21 days of November I have racked up a grand total of 33.7 miles.  And, 23 of those miles have been in the last 9 days.

Just call me a running slacker*!!

I have a plan.  It includes getting out and running more (I really miss running daily), walking the dog, and hitting the gym.  I'll do something every day.  I'm also cutting out those evening sandwiches.  It will take time, but these pounds will be gone before the new year.

*In my defense, I have been having a very hard time figuring out when to run with my work schedule.  ADP and I talk about it almost weekly.  I need to let go of something to fit it all in, I just don't know what is going so I can still do everything I want.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

rafFal Run, or race?

This morning was the local rafFal run.  It is called a run, but I'm sure some consider it a race.  Here's the gist:

  1. run the one mile loop and get a raffle ticket
  2. repeat
  3. stop when the clock hits 60 minutes, or before if you cannot finish another lap in the time allotted

It was a lot smaller than last year (291 runners & walkers this year compared to 415 last year).  Just like last year Amanda and I ran it together.  This year Darlene joined us and it was nice to catch up with her.  I realize that Amanda and I ran the first hour of the 15K together last week, but we still had plenty to talk about this morning.

thanks to Lisa for taking the picture
We ran the mile loop getting passed again and again by all the various high school cross country kids.  And the fast college runners.  And the fast runners.  The thing is, it just gave us more to talk about.  I ran 4 laps with Amanda and Darlene and then opted to walk/run the last lap.  Today I wanted to try running without my IT-band strap and I was fine for ~4 miles and then there was an oddly familiar discomfort in my left leg.  I knew what it was so I played it safe and started walking.

In the end I ran 5.3 miles and earned 5 rafFal tickets plus the one that I found on the ground.  With three of us we had 15 raffle tickets and did not win a single thing.  :(  Maybe next year!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grace and Stability

One of the benefits of my job is that it is part-time so I have time to go to the gym again.  When I started this position at the beginning of the school year I did not want to go to the gym and try new things for the sole reason that I had a marathon coming up.  Well, my marathon has come and gone so I have been visiting the gym and hitting up some classes.

Lucky for me, I have had a string of Mondays off which is one of two days the gym offers yoga in the morning.  Yay!  I like yoga and how it stretches the muscles at the same time I have to work hard to hold certain poses.  The past few Mondays have not been too bad and I walked out happy, tired, and wanting more.  We did some great stretches and lengthening poses.

Yesterday I went to yoga again.  I had run a 15K the day before and was more sore than I expected to be considering I did not especially push during the race.  Yoga was going along fine (with the few poses I couldn't do properly because of my ankle and calf...but I made due) and then once we were warmed up the instructor says we are going to work on 'grace and stability.'

My first thoughts were 'Huh?  What?'  Then she explained and my thoughts changed more toward a line of swearing.  I am a go with the flow person and I don't swear out loud, but that doesn't mean a word or two slips through in my thoughts on occasion.  Here's what she explained using my words:
You are going to get into a pose that is near impossible to hold and your legs will be shaking uncontrollably in a very short amount of time.  Once you get into the pose you have to hold it for what will feel like 20 or 30 minutes before moving onto the next pose.
OK, so we didn't really hold poses for 30 minutes, but each one was at least a minute long (some as long as two minutes) with little rest between the poses.  It felt great, but not recommended for the day after a race.  I'm a bit sore and tired today.

One thing I learned yesterday:  the planks that I've been doing at home after running, well apparently I don't hold them for nearly long enough.  The 75 year old next to me was smiling and having a great time while I was panting and dripping sweat.  

Next up is probably spinning.  It's been a long time and I'm sure to have a numb butt and a smile on my face when I'm finished with it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My First 15K

I finally ran a 15K.  Yes, I've run a few half marathons and even a full marathon, but I've never run a 15K.  I didn't just pick any old 15K for my first.  I picked the Stockade-athon, which is recognized as the oldest "major" 15K road race in the USA.  The best part, it was ADP's first 15K as well.

Yesterday we went and picked up our packets.  In years past the shirts have been long sleeve so I was quite surprised when the shirts were short sleeve.  It isn't short sleeve weather around here, but it is a nice shirt that will sit in my drawer until next April when it is warm enough to wear it.
ADP's name is before mine in the ABC's so he had number 1229
Yesterday we were busy with life, taking care of the neighbor kids and getting things done around the house.   This didn't leave a lot of time to think about the 15K, which is a good thing because I may have changed my mind about running the race (as opposed to pushing myself and racing it).
ADP and Suzy pre-race

This morning dawned bright and early.  We got ready, dropped the kids off at the neighbors (we had their kids yesterday, they have ours today!!), and were off to the race.

We were there plenty early, which is good because I only had to wait a few minutes to use the bathroom.  Closer to race time the bathroom and port-a-pottie lines were horribly long.  There was a record turn out of ~1,800 so they really needed more port-a-potties.

ADP gave me a quick kiss (awwwww!) and was off to line up.  I stuck around with a group of local runners. Most are moms and all are amazing women.  We had a couple quick pictures taken and then we were off to the start.  Of course, getting to the starting line isn't a straight path because I saw some USA Fit runners and had to say hi to them as well. It is great to have a local race with so many familiar faces.

Strong Running Mamas
My plan for the race was to take it easy, walk up the hills (if need be) and finish the race.  Even though that was my plan, I had a time in mind as well...what runner wouldn't??  I really wanted to finish under 1:45 because I didn't know how I'd handle it mentally if I went longer.  My 'I don't know if I can do it because it'll be hard work and I'll have to push' goal was 1:40.  I really didn't think I'd have a chance to break 1:40.

Amanda and I lined up with a lot of the group and we stuck together for the first ~5.5 miles.  We needed some time to catch up as it had been way to long.  I was surprised when I saw my splits coming up for the first five miles (10:11, 9:56, 9:54, 9:33, 10:28).  Happily surprised.  Here's the thing:  we were running mainly downhill.  A race where the start and finish lines are close to one another and is downhill for the first half means only one thing for the second half:  UPHILL!  And then I saw "the hill" and made it part way and then walked.  I'm glad I walked because my calf is a little tender now.  I walked when it was uphill and ran when it was flat  for the next three miles (11:21, 10:26, 11:26).

Then I turned the corner and saw ADP.  My first question was whether he hit his goal (he did!!!).  He ran with me for about 1.5 miles.  It was great to have ADP running along with me and talking!  He ran me almost to the finish line and didn't even say a word when I had to walk for a few seconds here and there.  My final splits were 10:49 and 9:24 equiv.  What does that add up to?  Garmin says 9.39 miles in 1:37:46.  WAY faster than I could have hoped for!

ADP did amazing!  He finished in 58:30!  His prize:  he got a sticker for finishing the 15K in under 60 minutes.

My official numbers:
90 of 126 in my AG
#1344 of 1603 finishers
5K:  33:28
10K:  1:04:32
Finish:  1:37:35 net (1:37:59 gun)
10:29/mi average

ADP's official numbers:
7 of 98 in AG
#62 of 1603 finishers
5K:  20:02
10K: 38:36
Finish:  58:30 net (58:37 gun)
6:17/mi average

Friday, November 11, 2011

Five Things Friday, 11/11

1.  Happy Veteran's Day!  Today we honor the almost 25 million military veterans in the USA.

2.  I am working on my race list for 2012.  This year was completely different than I thought it would be, so I'm leaving the second half of the year open because you never know what will happen.

3.  It was 64F the other day when I went out and ran.  It is not supposed to be anywhere close to 64F in November where I live.  I was drenched when I was done with my two miles.  Thankfully, everything is back to normal and it is a nice 41F this morning.

4.  I'm floundering with my running....and with my exercising....and with my eating.  Thus, I haven't been blogging much.  I'll figure it out; I always do.

5.  I have a 15K on Sunday that I'm planning on running.  My legs feel good and are finally back after my marathon.  My calf doesn't hurt when I run or walk or skip anymore!  I still don't think it would be a good idea to push too much in this race because my plan has always been to run this to keep myself moving after my marathon and I'm going to stick to my plan.  It is supposed to be dry and ~40F at the start.  Perfect weather for a nice Sunday morning run.  The best part, ADP is running too...although I think he's got a time goal in mind.  As always, he'll beat me to the finish line and I know I'll see him there cheering me on when I finish.

Friday, November 4, 2011

One of the benefits of finishing at the end of the race is that when you see the finish line video you will have no problem figuring out which one you are crossing the finish line.  Why?  Because you are the only one finishing!

(I do have to say that holding hands with two kids and running is not the easiest.  But it is the best!)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October by the Numbers

October was quite a month for me!  Wow!!!

October miles run: 104.564.39
October races:  1 (Mohawk Hudson River Marathon)
October days run:  10 (32%)
Shortest run:  2.15 miles 
Longest run:  26.25 miles (marathon day)
Pain: Yes, there was pain.  I trained to run a marathon and then walked the majority of the second half.  My left calf is almost back to 100%.  I had peroneal tendonitis in my left ankle previously and the marathon inflamed the tendon a little so the pain was back.  All better now!

Looking forward:  In November I have two "races" planned.  The first is a 15K and I am not racing it.  Frankly, I am not 100% sure I'm even going to try to run the whole thing (see "pain" above...calf hurts going up hills and this races has some hills).  The purpose of signing up for the 15K was to keep me moving after the marathon and it worked!  The second is an hour rafFal run.  Last year they announced that the course record was an hour.  I intend on going for the record this year.  I think my winter running buddy Amanda is going to be there too so we'll have plenty of time to catch up.