Saturday, March 24, 2012

More New Shoes

I love walking around barefoot all summer.  I love winter all except for the fact that I need socks and slippers to keep my feet warm.  When it comes down to it, I am a no-shoe person (who likes to keep her feet "pretty" so no barefoot running).  I decided it was time and I finally went shopping for new shoes and walked out with my first pair of Vibram KSO's.

The first place I wore them was to the bus stop and all the kids who got off the bus at the stop loved them.  The boys really loved the camo pattern on the bottoms:

I am not planning anything long or great with these new shoes, but I plan on having fun with them!  I took Maddie out on a run last weekend and wore them for a really, really slow 1.9 miles and it was amazing!  So stinkin' comfortable.  Maddie liked them too...but then she would like any shoes that get me out the door to take her for a walk or run.
And then it was Monday and I felt like I had put my calves through a huge workout.
And then it was Tuesday and my calves were tight.
And then it was Wednesday and I had an awesome mid-tempo run in my treadmill shoes.
And then it was Thursday and I didn't have any time to spare which was a bummer because I was ready to take these KSO's out for another run in the neighborhood.

I'm looking forward to Monday when I can take them out on a run again!

Friday, March 23, 2012

What a Race!

Last Saturday, which happened to be St. Patrick's Day for all of you who aren't Irish, I had a four mile race on tap.  I had only a general idea of where the race was so I set off from my house an hour earlier than I needed to for fear of getting lost.  No need to worry, my gps got me there just fine.

In honor of the day, the shirts were bright green!

Now, you might remember that a week before the race I mentioned something about choking on race day.  Apparently all I needed to do was blog about it because I couldn't have asked for a better race!

I saw a lot of running friends before the race as well as after the race.  It was great to know so many people there!  It doesn't hurt that this race is capped at 700 (or maybe 750) and closes out early so we all planned early on that we would be doing Runnin' of the Green (Island).  Side note:  the race was actually in a place called Green Island!

lining up for the race
The race started and I felt good.  I decided to bring music (an oddity for me) and just listened to my breathing while I ran.  I was wearing my new Mizunos for the 3rd time (they had all of 6 miles on them before the race!) and they were so comfortable!  

I was pushing myself, but I wasn't breathing too hard from it.  The first mile is the same as the last mile so it was good to know what I would be getting into at the end (a little uphill at mile ~3.25).  I never heard the starting horn (too busy talking) so I started my garmin when I started moving which worked just fine for me.

I had a glass of water at mile 2 which was what I needed.  As expected, I started to get a little light headed about mile 3, so I gave myself a break after the uphill and walked for a 5 seconds.  I booked it after I had my little water break.  I just knew I wanted to finish wasn't until later when I looked at my garmin that I realized what strong meant.

Garmin:  4.04 miles, 37:14 for a 9:14/mi ave, 166 ave heart rate
Shocking splits:  9:21, 9:22, 9:21, 8:59


and DONE!
I honestly don't know how I pulled out a sub-9 minute mile for the last mile.  I really didn't think I could do it if I ran just a mile and I did it at the end of the race.  In the end, I am ecstatic with my race!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Choking on Race Day

In school I knew the material (as long as it wasn't related to history) and could generally talk about it and do well.  Sit me down with a piece of paper and a pencil for a test and all the information disappeared and I'd generally do much worse than I should have on tests.

Race day is similar to test day.  I'm ready.  I've run the miles.  I'm relaxed and ready to go.  And then I toe the line and something happens, or to be correct - something doesn't happen.

Almost every distance I've run a race there has been a time prior to the race that I have had a faster and much better training run.  Not on purpose, but it happens for almost every distance.  The marathon is the exception because my longest run was definitely NOT 26.2 miles long.

So, with this weekend's race in a few short days I want to put this out there.  I am running 4 miles on Saturday morning.  It will be wonderful.  I've done the miles and I'm ready.  But, at some point on Saturday I will step up to the start line of the race and it will all go away.  It is me and I'm fine with it (this time).  Knowing what I do about me and racing I am hoping to hit 40 minutes for the race (10 min/mile).  It is a relatively small race (capped at ~750 people).  40 minutes.  40 minutes.

Last weekend I went out and ran 4 miles by feel.  I didn't look at my watch, though I did listen for the mile chimes so that I could stop it at the four mile mark.  I had an amazing run.  I only felt like I was working for the last 1/2 mile or so, and that 1/2 mile was right after an uphill I really don't like.
4 miles...most of it on a bike path
Imagine my surprise when I got home and downloaded the data from my garmin:
yeah, it's small but you can click on it for the deets 
Here's the part that really surprised me:
Does that say 9:19/mile????  SHOCKING!  And I felt great doing it.  I'm still hoping for 10/mi on Saturday regardless of what this 4 miles was like.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Shoes!

It is a great day! I went shopping and found new running shoes.
I've run in the Asics GT 2100 series for about 6 years and now they give me blisters. I've tried all kinds of preventive things and nothing seems to work so off to Fleet Feet I went. I have new shoes to try out tomorrow. New brand, new weight, and very purple! (Purple isn't important to me but Punky approved of the shoes as any pink & purple loving 1st grader would.). I canNOT wait to go running tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Putting on the Pounds

I have not been running outdoors this winter (despite the warm temps).  I have been fine with it and have put my miles in on my treadmill.  I found out a negative to all the indoor running this week:  putting on the pounds!
our small amount of snow
I'm happy to say that I haven't gained any weight, but Maddie has!  She had a bath on Monday and I was able to see some extra weight on her so I decided to skip the treadmill today and head outside.  The temp certainly helped.
52F!!  (Yes, it was only 61F inside when I got sense in turning the heat up when no one is in the house)
Our 'normal' runs go like this:  Maddie "pulls" me for a mile, she runs next to me for a mile, I "pull" her for the last mile.  Well, today was not the norm.  She was ahead* of me for the first half mile and then dropped back and ran beside me.  By 1.5 miles she was lagging behind me and looking longingly at all the walkers.  Just past mile 2 we passed another runner (who was doing great, but stopped for a moment so we could run by) and Maddie spent the next .5 miles looking back wanting to run with the guy.

Maddie's splits:  10:22, 10:04, 8:08 (for a 9:50 equiv).  She may not have wanted to go, but she did manage some negative splits.

I was encouraging and went slower than our 'normal' runs and yet Maddie wasn't up for our normal.  We cut our run short at 2.8 miles.  I dried her off...those puddles make a dog's belly dirty...and made sure she had lots of water before I cleaned up.  Maddie has spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping.  

I think I need to take my fuzzy one on more runs so we can get back up to 3 miles without me feeling like I'm pulling Maddie along.  And, running will help Maddie drop those pounds she has put on this winter.

*I run with Maddie on a leash and pulling is not literal pulling, rather one of us leading the other.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Changed My Mind

I had this great plan of not doing any longer races until next fall and I lasted all of 2 months.  I felt like I was spinning my wheels so I went and found myself a spring half marathon.  Not only did I find one, I'm registered and ready to go!

Well, not completely ready to go as my longest run in the past few months was yesterday at 8 miles.  Eight is a long way from 13.1, but I've got 14 weeks to get there!  I'll be running the Lake Placid Half Marathon in June.

According to their website, why pick this race?

The Lake Placid Marathon & Half was recently ranked by a Runner's World Magazine survey as the #2 "Best Destination" race in the United States!! (Runner's World Magazine, January 2010 Issue, page 71) The Lake Placid Marathon & Half Marathon is a high quality premier early season race held in the charming Olympic Village of Lake Placid, New York USA home of the 1932 & 1980 Winter Games.

Sounds good to me!  The downfall of this race is the hill "thing."
The most significant hills are near the ski jumps on Route 73 (once for the half marathon and twice for the full marathon) and leading up to the finish behind the Lake Placid High School (once for the half marathon and once for the full marathon). Each of these hills is approximately 3/10 of a mile long. Chuck Engles winning time of 2:34:39 from 2006 proves the course is reasonable and fair.
Um, time to find a hill to practice running on.

The most important thing:  I'm excited!!!  I will say it now:  I AM RUNNING THIS FOR FUN AND NOT FOR TIME.  I'll be happy with anything between 2:10 and 4 hrs.  (Yeah, that's quite a window but I dont' want to put any pressure on the fun I'm going to have.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February by the Numbers

February was a month of 'let's get in a running groove' again.  I didn't quite accomplish getting back in a groove, but I did much better than December and January so for that I am thankful.

February Mileage:  69.7 miles (had I only known in February I was so close to 70...)
February Days Run:  18 (62%)
2012 Mileage:  120.4 (10% to my goal)
February races:  1 (Winter Marathon Relay)

The part I do not like about my February runs is that there was only one outdoors and that was a race.  It has been wonderfully warm (for winter) and I've been keeping myself to the treadmill.  I hope to change this in the coming months.