Friday, August 30, 2013

Running Naked

After a difficult speed session on Tuesday, my coach told me I should do my next run without my Garmin and just take it easy and not worry about pace.

Since I am a slave to numbers, the idea of running sans watch had me kinda freaking out. So I decided to bend the rules but stay within the parameters of the assignment.  The pink tape even goes with the pink on my watch! 

During my run, I felt almost... Free. I never really thought that looking at my watch during a run had any effect on me at all, but now I'm wondering.  While I generally run by how I'm feeling, I also tend to think "Ugh, so slow" if I see a particular number on my watch. Last night I didn't have any negative thoughts whatsoever, because I was feeling good during my run and had no idea if I was maintaining a "good" pace or not. I just knew it felt easy-breezy, which is what it was supposed to be.

When I got home, I peeled the tape off.

Roughly 13 min mile pace overall. Huh. Not sure that's what I would have guessed, but right on track for how I'm "supposed" to be running my easy/recovery runs.

And even better than that, it just felt good. Physically and mentally. 

Do you run without a watch (or naked, as we say)? How important is pace to you on your daily runs?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bullets (not the kind that hurt!)

Oh, my.  I am beyond exhausted and have entirely too much to do now that we're home again, so this will be an odd post.

For starters, I'll just say that Disney was ah-mah-zing!

The kids had a fabulous time, I had a fabulous time, and I'll assume hubby had a fabulous time, too.  Not 100% sure on that one, since he's still cringing over how much money we spent, but whatever.  It is what it is.  

As for everything else, well, let's see: 

  • Finished Week 6 of GMM Half marathon training, though I skipped one of the runs because, hey, Disney.  
  • Week 7 of training wraps up today and thus far, I have run........ 0 miles.  See above excuse.  (Though I will be running 3 miles later today. I promise!) 
  • My son starts FIRST GRADE tomorrow.  FIRST GRADE!  How is that even possible? 
  • I am only half unpacked from our trip and we've been home a day and a half.  In my defense, I'm not exactly getting any help from anyone.  Plus, I have a week's worth of t.v. to catch up on! LOL 
  • Did I mention school starts tomorrow? I'm still in denial.  
  • Um....... what else?  
I don't even know.  I am so brain dead right now.  But at least things are slowly getting back to normal.  I think.  

Oh! The results from the 5K I ran before our vacation were posted, and I ended up with an official time of 35:23, which I believe is about 3 seconds slower than what I'd originally reported.  It's still a 33 second PR, so I'm ok with that.  Once I'm finished with all these silly Half Marathons, though, I'm going to work on getting faster.  I was in the bottom 50% in that race - I've never been in the top 50% in any race.  Just once, I'd like to see it happen.  Oh, well.  

Oh! Another bullet point! 

  • Fantasy football draft is tonight.  I have done no research and will likely be picking players based on whether or not I like their teams.  Not exactly the smartest approach.  Oh, well.  At least I have my trash talking down pat.  And I have nacho fixin's.  No margarita mix, though.  Can't have everything in life. 

Happy Sunday, people. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Drive-by Post

If I were a better blogger, there would be stories and pictures and all kinds of fun stuff.

Instead, this week I'm being a bad blogger and a bad runner, but an awesome mom.  My kids (and my husband and I!) are having a blast at Disney.  When we get home I'll post pictres. For now, I have a princess dress to buy for my daughter!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Busy Bee

For the longest time, it seemed like the days and weeks were dragging, and all of a sudden, poof, the summer is over and we're two days away from our trip to Disney.  My head is spinning.

Today my son turned six.  SIX!  I still have no idea how that happened.  If you ask his four year old sister, though, she'll tell you.  "He had birthdays, momma."  Oh.  Right.

This morning I got up at 5 a.m. so that I could get my long run in for the week.  I actually woke up at 4:50 and spent a solid 8 minutes debating with myself as to how I could stay in bed and not hate myself later.  By 5:20 I'd eaten a little breakfast and was dressed and out the door, so obviously I lost that debate.  Or won it.  I'm still not sure.

It was cold when I started out this morning.  Cold!  August 15th and I was shivering as I started out.  It was glorious.  I'm looking forward to fall so that all of my runs can feel so awesome.

I've decided that after the New Orleans Rock N Roll Half  Marathon in February, I'm done with races for a good long while.  I need to be able to skip runs every now and then.  Until then, though, I'm following coach's orders and being a good girl.

Well, mostly.

Tomorrow, packing.  Saturday, Disney.  For now, though, "Olivia" with my daughter until the boys are done playing XBox and it's bedtime for my munchkins (which was supposed to be 45 minutes ago, but hey, it's a special day).  

Six.  My "baby" is SIX!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 5 Recap

Didn't I just write a Week 4 Recap?  How can it possibly be the beginning of Week 6 of training already? Time is FLYING by lately!

GMM Half Marathon Week 5 Training Schedule:

  • Monday - Rest
  • Tuesday - 3 miles speedwork
  • Wednesday - Cross Train/Rest
  • Thursday - 2 miles easy
  • Friday - Cross Train/Rest
  • Saturday - 5K
  • Sunday - 2 miles recovery

How it actually went: 

  • Monday - Rest
  • Tuesday - 3 miles speedwork (on the treadmill at the gym, hit my paces well, had the machine on a 1.0 incline, etc - good run)
  • Wednesday - Rest (too scared to go back to my trainer, but I should have done SOMETHING.)
  • Thursday - 2 miles easy
  • Friday - Rest (lazy girl!) 
  • Saturday - 5K (PR! Whoo!) 
  • Sunday - 2 miles easy (super slow, but felt really great)

It may be cheesy, but I have to say I'm very proud of myself for sticking with my training this far.  In the past, I've skipped runs or cut things short, but in the past 5 weeks, I've done everything I'm supposed to - except the cross training, but since my coach always puts "slash rest," I don't feel too guilty about that. 

This week's runs are going to be a little wonky since my son's birthday is on Thursday, and we leave for DISNEY!!! on Saturday, but I'll make it work.  

Have you ever followed a specific race training plan?  Did you like it, or do you prefer to "wing it" when training? 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Frederick Women's Distance Festival 5K

I used to sleep in on Saturdays.  I miss it.

Today I woke up at 5 a.m. in order to get myself together and in the car by 6 to head to the Frederick Women's Distance Festival 5K. The race was about an hour away, and I wanted to get there in time to pick up my packet, use the facilities, and do my warm-up.  I got there with plenty of time, so I decided to take a pic for my Facebook cheerleaders.

Bathroom selfies.  I still don't get it. 

Remind me not to do that again.   Moving on....... 

I did a little random warming up, and checked out the crowd.  There were about 300 women in the race, and a ton of male volunteers wearing bright pink shirts that said "She's The Boss."  I spied a woman that I've seen at two other races (well, one other race, two different years).  I jokingly call her my "nemesis."   She's 70 and we finished within seconds of each other the last two times.  I could not let that happen today.  

Someone announced that we should all move towards the starting line (we were all in the wrong place) so we trudged up a hill and lined up.  I lined up near the back of the pack, like I normally do.  Today that was a bad idea.  The gun went off, I hit my Garmin, and.... nothing.  Everyone in front of me WALKED to the starting line.  Lovely.  Except this was not a chip timed race, and every second counted!    We finally started moving and I was feeling good, though I was getting a little frustrated at having to dodge around people.  Now I know how people feel when I'm in their way! 

The race looped around the campus of a community college, so we were alternating between being in the street, and on paths.  The paths were just bigger than two people wide, and sometimes it was difficult to pass.  I held back for the first mile, but then decided that it wasn't really being rude to pass, this was a RACE after all, so I started being a bit more aggressive with getting around people.  

I was really starting to feel tired around 2.5 miles.  I thought maybe I wasn't going to PR and I started to feel a little defeated.  I let myself have about 5 seconds of a pity party, then just kept chugging.  When I hit the 3 mile mark, I told myself to just hold on and I started picking people off.  Just steadily increasing my speed, I passed a few ladies, including one woman just before the finish line.  I smiled for the photographer, tore off the bottom of my bib, grabbed my water, and got out of the chute.  

Time on my Garmin read 35:20 - a 36 second PR!  My splits looked like this: 

Overall, it was a great race.  I am very happy with my time, because I feel like I did my best.  Of course, the next few days will be spent like this: 

But that's ok. 

Now..... chocolate.  =) 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Learnin'

I love to read.  I read for pleasure every day, and sometimes stay up entirely too late because I'm reading and I can't put the book down.

With the advent of the "e-reader," I read even more - and all kinds of things that I probably wouldn't read otherwise.   Since I started running, I've been reading books on - you guessed it - running!  I actually started my running journey with a book called Run Your Butt Off.   It's similar in concept to the "Couch to 5K" plans that are everywhere, but it also focuses on nutrition, and has a more personal approach, IMO.

Other books that I've read (in no particular order) are:

Holy cow, when I write them all down like that, it seems insane.  But, I told you that I like to read. 

A lot of them I got to read for free (thank you, Amazon Prime!!), others I paid for.  A lot of them were repetitive, and some of them were written so long ago that it's actually amusing to see how much has changed.  All of them, though, were interesting in some way, and helpful in feeding my insatiable appetite for all things running related.    I think "Run to Overcome" was my favorite of the story/novel types - if any of you are Meb fans, you should check it out.  Of the "this is how to run" books....  I'm not sure which is my favorite.  I do know that I am not partial to Kara Goucher's writing (sorry, girl!) or Jeff Galloway's.  Other than that, they were all decent.  It just depends on what you're looking to get out of them, I guess. 

Have you read any running books? Do you think I'm crazy because I have?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Week 4 Recap

I can't believe it! I'm already finished with a whole month of training.  How is that even possible?  I think it's going pretty well so far, but nothing in life is perfect!

Here's how Week 4 was supposed to go:

  • Monday - Rest
  • Tuesday - 3 miles speed
  • Wednesday - Rest/Cross Train
  • Thursday - 2 miles easy
  • Friday - Rest/Cross Train
  • Saturday - 7 miles
  • Sunday - 2 miles easy

Here's how Week 4 actually went: 
  • Monday - Rest (really, is it any surprise that I'm super good at this one?)
  • Tuesday - 3 miles speed (hit the paces for my mile repeats, though the second one was a bit of a struggle)
  • Wednesday - Hour long gym session (that I'm STILL sore from, nearly a week later. Ugh)
  • Thursday - 2 miles easy (super slow, was pretty darn sore)
  • Friday - Rest
  • Saturday - 7 miles (this run went ok.  really slowly, and the humidity was terrible, but it was ok.) 
  • Sunday - 2 miles easy (this felt super easy)

All in all, not bad.  But that hour long training session on Wednesday pretty much killed me.   This was supposed to be my week of getting into strength training, and instead I have been popping pills and laying with a heating pad for the past 5 days.  NOT pretty.  I cancelled the appts I had scheduled for this week - no way am I risking feeling like this for another week.  Lord have mercy.  Ugh.  I guess I'm going to have to workout on my own for awhile - in short, easy bursts - until I'm a bit stronger, then I can go back to seeing Aaron again.  Blah.  

Saturday is the 5K I signed up for, and my coach seems excited for me - she said she'll be sending me a "race plan" in a couple days.  I've never had a race plan before! LOL  I guess I won't be winging it after all. 

What are you up to this week? Anything fun?  12 days till Disney! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Runners and Walkers and Bikers, Oh My!

This morning I rolled my lazy self out of bed and hit the streets for my long run of the week.  7 miles on the schedule, and I was feeling tired and sluggish and just kind of blah.  It took me a solid three miles to start warming up, and even then I wasn't feeling great.   It was humid.  I was tired.  Blah, blah, blah.

Then I passed a guy who smiled and said "Good morning, again!"  (we'd crossed paths earlier) and I smiled back and said good morning, and just started to kind of magically feel better.  There were so many people out this morning - biking, walking, running - and I started to have this feeling of "This is my tribe.  These are my people."

Running is a solitary sport.  Even if you run with others, or in races, you are still on your own.  There are no "assists" in running.  You can't pass off the ball to someone else and have them score.  You are responsible for every step, every mile.  You and you alone are crossing the finish line.  (Ok, there are relays, but still.  You know what I'm saying!)   Yet there is such a great community among runners, an understanding between us - whether we're running to stay in shape, stay sane, or to bring home a trophy and a check.  We are all out there, pounding the pavement when others are still asleep.  We're sweating during long runs in weather that would keep most people in a chair drinking lemonade all day.  We seek each other out and have long conversations about Vo2Max or which is better, Gu or Shot Blocks.

My community of runners is mostly online.  I have found a home in the virtual world of running, and while I'm comfortable there and love the people that I've met, I've often wished for someone to run with or to sit and talk with without the assistance of a computer.

Today, my wish was granted when I discovered that a local running store is opening a new location practically in my backyard, and that they are holding weekly Saturday runs on the very same path/trail that I run on.  I am beyond thrilled, and can't wait.  Had I heard about this yesterday, I would have gone this morning, but of course I found out about it AFTER my run.  Next week I have the 5K and then I'm in DisneyWorld, but the weekend after THAT, I will be there.  Waiting in the morning sun for my tribe.

This isn't exactly my "happy dance," but it's close. LOL 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sore Feelings

I left the gym yesterday sweaty but happy.  An hour long session with my trainer was tough, but I actually felt like I was doing something good for my body.  Around 1 a.m. this morning, when I tried to roll over in bed and was met with pain and overwhelming soreness, I was immediately reminded that runner =/= physically fit.   Holy moly.

I've been so sore all day that I have literally done nothing.  As of this writing, I have managed less than 2,500 steps according to my Fitbit.  It's 6 pm, people.  I'm also still in my pj's.  

My abs hurt.  My chest hurts.  My neck hurts.  I am one big ball of sore.   Yet as soon as my husband gets home, I'm going for my scheduled recovery run - and as I look over the list of exercises I did with Aaron yesterday, I can't help but grin a little.   

I am not a "gym rat."  I do not enjoy "working out."  At all.  I'd rather run and do nothing else, but I know that doing other things will benefit my running (not to mention my overall health), so I'm giving it a go.  

For the record, here's what I did yesterday: 

60 raised leg crunches w/10 lb weight
60 (each leg) 1 legged Jack Knives
30 leg raises
60 cross body mt climbers

60 dumbell rows (20 lbs)
60 deadlifts (20 lbs)
1 set (12) Smith Push Ups 
45 seated rows (35 lbs)
30 reps knee raises on Power Tower 
45 reps row twist (25 lbs)

Hardest for me were the leg raises and the jack knives.  The last set of knee raises were hard, too. My core is so weak that I was pulling with my neck during the jack knives, and by the end, I was near tears (out of frustration).  

I'm hoping that this will get easier as I go, but for now..... owie.    Someone pass me the Tylenol, please!

Not just running, but exercise and a healthy lifestyle, too!