Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Fun

Yes, I dressed up in a completely ridiculous outfit to celebrate the holidays. Only one other person in my training group participated, but I forgot to get a picture. So, hubby to the rescue for a photo of just me when I got home. I love my new Target socks.

I take myself way too seriously at work, and in general for life. My morning was made when my son saw my getup and said "Mommy, your running group if going to love your outfit." The smile on his face was perfect.

Sometimes, you just need to lighten up and say "Merry Christmas."


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Trot 5k 2012

Since we were headed to my hometown for Thanksgiving, I wanted to find a race for the weekend. The Turkey Strut was the perfect option. It was managed by Setup Events, and was well run.

The packet pickup was a breeze Wednesday night. A shirt, a bib, some pins, and a disposable timing chip. Simple and to the point.

Hubby brought me over to the race for the 9 am turkey day start. Parking was easy and we walked across a parking lot to the start. There were two negatives to the overall experience. I lost hubby when I went to the bathroom, and couldn't find him when I wanted to hand him my pullover. Since parking was close, I jogged over to drop my pullover at the car. I didn't see him until the end of the race. He kept looking for teal and I was now in yellow.

Since I didn't know anyone racing, my plan was to run it fast, have a little fun, and get back home to start cooking. I started closer to the front of the pack than I normally do, but was mindful of those around me. There ended up being almost 1200 people running, so a nice size crowd.

The first mile went fast and downhill, 7:56, and I started wondering how long I could keep that pace up. And my heart was also slamming. I must have beginning race jitters. I finally got my HR under control about the time we started uphill. My Garmin says it was only a 211 foot climb, but it felt a whole lot worse than that. Hence the slow down for miles 2 and 3. I even walked a few steps during the third mile because I knew the finish was up hill and my hands were tingling from poor breathing.

I was able to kick it a little at the end and finish strong ... uphill. Who thought that was a good idea? Definite negative for me.

Hubby was waiting for me at the finish (looking for teal) but did manage to snap a photo. My race photo stunk because there was someone in front of me.

Yes, I think that is a heel strike I see. Ughhh!
Overall, I was happy with anew 5k PR by 3 minutes. 25:41 official time. Good for 12th in my age group and 75th woman. Why does the 35-39 age group have to be so competitive? I would have been in the top ten in the AG either direction. I guess us 35-39ers realize we need to get our act together.

After some water and a banana, we roamed around Fleet Feet so I could ogle expensive running clothes. I did buy a tube of Citrus Fruit Nuun to try (okay, but wouldn't buy again). I'm a grape, strawberry lemonade and fruit punch fan.

I did see this awesome sign in the store.

Mission accomplished on a tough course. Now wish I didn't spend the next 5 hours standing in the kitchen cooking and washing. Oh well. Another successful Turkey Day completed.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekly Recap

I have to admit that I was still on a bit of a runner's high after last week's great race. This week was crazy busy with work and fundraising commitments so I only got in one run, and of course it had to be on the treadmill. But one run is better than no run.

Courtesy of One More Mile.
The longer the week went, the more I felt those around me were insane. It was one crazy thing to work through after another. It does give me one more reason to enjoy running.

This also made me smile, but now I can't find where I got it from. Facebook I think.

To shake things up a bit, and because I still wasn't sure race was next on the plan, I did a speed interval run on the treadmill. 3 miles in 30' with 6 30 second sprints midway through. I felt good during and after, until the next day. My quads were sore for two days, which made me very happy.

On Saturday, I stalked another training team (found them on FB) and ran 5ish chilly miles with a half training team. There were about 35 people there and most had just finished training for the Richmond Half. I fell right in with a girl running 9:40 and it felt comfortable. We came across a gorgeous landmark I had never seen, the Virginia House.

The crazy thing was the first 3 miles were all 9:38. I am never that consistent, and I was explaining this to a friend exactly at 9:38 am. Should have bought a lottery ticket. Ended up with 4.72 miles in 45 minutes. I will definitely be joining this group again.

I did finally jump in and sign up for my first half, the Anthem Half at Virginia Beach over St. Patrick's weekend. It's a flat course, I have access to an easy training group, and it just felt like the right one to pick for my first.

I spent a little time with my girlfriends and James Bond on Saturday night. I highly recommend Skyfall for the suspense and drool factor. Watching Daniel Craig for 2+ hours doesn't really have a downside (glad hubby doesn't read the blog ;)).

Because of early darkness, a commuting hubby, and signing up for the half, it looks like I will be running a long run on Saturday and a shorter one on Sunday. This will make the week more doable. Still ironing out the training plan, so feedback is always welcome.

I did run a speedy 3.1 tonight (28:42). My fastest 5k time yet, but I'm going to attribute part of it due to the need to pee. But it did feel easy. Still can't believe I have a little speed in my legs.

Well this got longer than I wanted. As I have been in pjs since my shower at 6, it's off to bed. Nighty nite.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

HCA 8K Race Report

I could sum this race up with one word for me = AWESOME!

I was ready and excited after last week's great run where I knew I had a little speed in my legs.

The weatherman was calling for 32 at the start on Thursday, but thankfully changed to 40 by Friday night. I hate the cold, and it takes me forever to warm up.

Of course, I tossed and turned trying to sleep. We had guests coming in for the weekend and they wouldn't be getting to our house until close to midnight. Thanks to hubby for staying up to greet them. Then I was afraid I would oversleep, so I woke up early.

So once I was up, temps looked promising. I quickly dressed and downed a slice of PB bread and some coffee before heading out. The race starts three blocks from my office, so I had a plan for parking which can be a little crazy for the race. As I headed outside, I saw a person walking down the street in a short dress and flip flops. I kept looking and realized it was my best friend (who lives across the street) to come wish me luck. She is AWESOME, and she snapped this picture for me.

I am crazy conservative and wore this wild outfit. I love how running has done that to me.

I met up with the Mother Runners for a group photo.

K and I are standing in the back. K is so cute and she was nervous about the race, but I knew she would do great. The plan was for me to stay with her as long as I could, but not hold her back because she is speedy for a new runner.

We jumped into the back of the first corral (never thought that would be the right place for me, but it was perfect). And we were off. The course takes you right down Broad Street through the VCU campus (go Rams). I was hanging with K as we zig-zagged through slower runners. And my Garmin started yelling at me for a heart rate alert ... way too high. I think I was super amped trying to figure out if I could stay with K (we were running 8:40) and I was panicking if I could run 5 miles at that crazy pace. It felt tough but good, but I had never done that for more than a mile.

So, I let K go and my HR dropped. Good decision because then it was just me doing what felt right for me and not worrying about holding her back.

Now my secret goal time was 44 but I told everyone I was hoping for 45. The course is an out and almost back with a strong downhill finish, and I am always slower on the downhill due to my ITB. So I started planning that if I could keep up with mid 8s, I could bank time to slow at the end (I know, most people speed up but I'm weird).

I turned on my iPod at about 1.5 miles to go and it was the perfect mix of songs to pep me up. I kept checking my cadence and I was hitting 90 or above, AWESOME. And then we hit the downhill. I checked my time, and wondered what in the heck was going on because I was way faster than I planned. Note to self: train on more downhills. This course led you right down to the river, and I was afraid I would fall (and tear the knees on my wild pants).

I actually got faster with my pace and turnover on the downhill.

What the heck, I couldn't believe this time as I was crossing the finish line. And I could see K just ahead of me. My official time was 42:34 (26th in my age group), and I couldn't have been happier.

And I can't believe I didn't take a single picture at the end. I think I was too surprised to think clearly. And I had NO knee pain = AWESOME.

I cheered on some other runners from my group and wondered around a bit with some friends before finally heading to the car and in search of a Starbucks. I was ready for coffee and my spinach wrap.

And what does any obsessed runner do when they get home? Upload the Garmin to over analyze my running and start planning for the next race. An almost 15 minute improvement from last year. I am so ready to tackle that half marathon. Now, which one do I pick?

And just because (one more time) AWESOME.

Why do I run?

Zooma Run challenged Mother Runners to explain why they run

I run because it gives me something that is just for me.  Time on the road or time on the treadmill, hopefully with friends close by to make the miles go fast.  When I tackle a long or hard run, I love how strong it makes me feel at the end.  I'm ready to tackle anything.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

HCA Richmond 8K Training Thanks and Expo

I have to first thank my running coaches and team for providing a great supportive network for moms to run. Mother Runner Training is what got me started running three years ago. And this is the first time I have been able to run with an intermediate group due to a finally healthy ITB. So thanks to Rachel, Grace, Cathleen, Stephanie and Jessica for coaching our groups.

So onto the review. The 8k is done in conjunction with the Richmond Marathon and Half-Marathon. Due to the cancellation of the New York Marathon the week before, we had a larger than expected marathon field. I was happy that this was a good option for those unable to run from Sandy's aftermath.

I normally head to the expo on Thursday night for Richmond races because they are so big and many people come Friday from out of town. Due to Little Dude's birthday on Thursday, that wasn't an option this year. I was able to get there before 5 on Friday with two friends. This expo always seems smaller to me with less vendors than the Monument 10k, but still so crowded. Packet and shirt pickup are always easy and fast for both races. The only downside was that they were out of all the smaller sizes in shirts that I liked, and iFitness was out of hydration add-on bottles that my friend wanted. Note to self, find a way to go the first day. I did get a cool shirt for my cycling hubby. We had a great dinner at Kitchen 64. Spinach, jalapeno, cilantro hummus is amazing.

I was so excited to get this race under my belt. I felt strong, ready, and injury-free to tackle those 5 miles. Stay tuned.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

I can do this

When: Saturday morning

Distance: 5 mile out and back course through downtown

Temperature: 36 degrees at 7:30

Clothes: I wore an awesome new cold weather shirt from Reebok (but forgot to take a picture), Asics tights, New Balance shoes, new Brooks gloves in pink of course

Goal: Run it fast to see what I can do it next week's 8k. I know it's not the smartest move the week before a race, but I wanted to give it a shot.

I had to stop at a few intersections on the last part, hopefully that explains some of the 6-7 minute pace spurts. But I did it, and felt great.

An 8:33 mile. (Insert super big smile here 😃) After being injured for so long with that crazy ITB, I didn't think I would see a mile that fast.

I am so ready for this race next week.

Run Jilly Bean 👍


Monday, October 15, 2012

Things I love on or about a run

Janet Jackson old school music

2 black cats crossing my path (or maybe I don't really love that one)

Trees turning color

Amazing clouds

Finishing a run before it's dark

Ear buds that stay in place. Love the new Inspire by Yurbuds. (more detail later on those)

No rain

Husband whose first thought is for me to run

3.5/34:41/9:54 pace

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Say it ain't so and longest run yet

I started to feel it Sunday night, but kept thinking no. This isn't happening. My ITB isn't hurting.

And then I woke up Monday morning unable to walk normally down the stairs. I had to side-step because bending my knee was painful. I started the cycle of icing, stretching, Advil, and wearing my ITB strap.

And magic happened. It worked and my knee felt fine for Tuesday. I decided to try for a run with knowing I needed to stop with the least bit of a twinge. And absolutely NO twinge, pain, or otherwise.

3.5/34:41/10:35 pace

Whew, I am so glad I didn't set my knee off. I was afraid to even think it, but crisis averted. Stay smart and healthy has to be the plan.

My best bud ran with me on Thursday for a meandering path through the neighborhood, but we started a little late and ended up in the dark. Which did not bode well for my bud as an acorn tripped her up and she flew through the air. She landed hard, but escaped without injury.


4.51/48:20/10:42 pace

So then I was on for my longest run EVER, 6.5 miles. It ended up being with my running group, but a solo mission because there wasn't anyone at my pace. I was prepared for this, and have started waiting to turn my iPod after the first couple of miles. The run went better than expected.

And no pain!

6.53/1:06:57/10:15 pace

14.54 total miles


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Recap of Sep 29 - Oct 7

Please excuse the catch up but pardon the pun, but I am having trouble catching up.

We knew this was going to be a crazy week because we were heading out of town over the weekend.

Saturday's run of 5.5 flew by because I had a partner with the same pace. Easy run after last week's struggle.

5.5/1:01:54/11:15 pace

Monday was a little time on the treadmill. It looked like it was going to pour before my run, but of course didn't since I ran inside. I needed this run to work on my cadence, so it was a good reset.


Wed - Sweaty run. I thought Fall was coming. I was happy with the slower pace.


Sat - We headed down to Chapel Hill to watch the Tar Heels beat up on VA Tech. It was the little guy's first trip to the Hill. It was a gorgeous, but hot day (83 degrees). When we woke up the next day, it was 30 degrees colder and rainy. We did a little more sight-seeing before heading back home. But oh boy, my glut was sore from all the hill walking.

I did finally make it out the door to get in 6 miles (hopefully before it got dark). I scoped out a zigzag route through the neighborhood so I wouldn't be too far from home depending on the darkness. The first 4 miles were fairly good, the fifth was tough, and the sixth was miserable. I should have stopped at 5 if I had known how my ITB was going to feel Monday morning.

6/1:00:05/10:00 (Maybe that too fast pace had something to do with my pain)

Stay tuned for the Monday report.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh week, where have you gone?

This week has flown by because I was in a training class all week for work. I spent most of last weekend prepping for a crazy week. Luckily hubby was in town more this week, and could help juggle the pick-up and drop-off of Little Dude. Instead of my usual 3 mile commute (I know, whine, whine, whine), I had to travel to the other side of town in morning traffic. I can't imagine traveling in traffic every day. My hubby has to drive 90 miles each way every day, often in heavy traffic. I have no idea how he manages that. I would go ape crazy.

So, now back to the week recap.

Last Saturday's group run was a mentally tough run. I was looking forward to 5 miles with the ladies. I wasn't worried about the mileage, and was looking forward to the company since I normally run alone during the week. When I got there, it was only a group of 5 runners with 1 coach. One speedy runner that is normally 30 seconds to a minute faster pace per mile than me, me, then the rest of the pack who are normally 1-2 minutes/mile slower than me. I refer to the first girl as jack rabbit. She is so sweet, but I knew it would not be smart to stick with her. I have a healthy ITB and want to keep it that way. But, I couldn't go as slow as the rest of the pack and keep my cadence where I wanted it to be. So, solo it was.

The course had some strategically placed inclines (hills when you are tired or struggling). I think running it on my own when I thought I was going to have others to chat with just made it tougher.

5 miles/50:15/Pretty consistent pacing ranging from 9:53-10:17 minute miles.

I wish I hadn't volunteered to push mow our lawn because my legs were toast after the run and the mowing.

The rest of the week went like this.

Great run with BF AK on Monday while I vented about hubby.
3 miles/30:57

Horrible, terrible, awful, solo run on Thursday. It was 86 degrees (so hotter than the last several runs). I picked a hillier route than normal to get the mileage, forgot to start my watch at in intersection (so probably added on 1/2 mile), & was racing to finish in time to pick up Little Dude. I ended up taking several walk breaks to drink. My heart rate was soaring and I couldn't get my pace slower. I was tempted to stop at 2.5 and switch runs with the next day. I decided to push through because I wasn't sure if I would have time for 4 on Thursday. Glad I pushed through because the 2nd half was better than the 1st.

4 miles/40:44/Just glad it was done.

Had time for one more run on Thursday. Quick run with AK, definitely better than Wednesday's run, but not awesome. I spent more time stretching and foam rolling that running, but made me feel good afterwards.

2.5 miles/26:01

At least I'm consistent with my pace, but I need to slow down on long runs? Any advice on how to accomplish this?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pace, push-ups and planks

It was one of those days that started early and ended late at work, but I knew it was coming and planned for it. Little dude was dropped off early at school, hubby was ready to pick him up at the end of the day, all so I could head straight to the gym since the forecast was rain.

After this day, I NEEDED this run. It was only 2.5 miles, and just under 26 minute. The longer I was on the treadmill, the more I wished I was outside. Rain or not.

So I finished up with some push-ups and planks since I chickened out of running outside. And I added some clamshells and side leg lifts after dinner. Gotta strengthen those gluts. No better way to end on a strong note.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Long run with crazy GPS

So I set off Saturday morning with my running group to knock off 4.5 miles. Since it's only my second week running with this group, I'm still trying to figure out which part of the pack to be in. With all my ITB issues, I have really tried to stay away from the front because I know I am my worst own enemy with keeping up with others. I started off with the same girl from last week and we slowly cruised along for the first two miles. Then she told me to go ahead and catch up with the group just ahead of us because she wanted to drop back a little. I was feeling great, so I sped up a little to join them. We were chatting and easily making progress. We hit a stoplight at mile 3 and I paused my Garmin.


And then it went haywire when the light quickly changed and I tried to start it again. No luck, it was paused and it wasn't budging. It's done this one other time and the only thing that I found to reset it was to wait a few minutes and try to hold two of the buttons at the same time. Since this was my long run (and I'm so OCD), I pulled out my phone to use one of the running apps on it. It was fast to start and I put it back in my pocket for the rest of the run.


And then we missed a turn because most of the roads on our route are some version of Place, Drive, Way, Trail. You get the idea. We got to where we thought we should turn but it didn't match the queue sheet, so we went ahead. And then realized we should have turned already. Luckily, we just missed a loop, so we did an estimated out and back on that road to make up the mileage. We were all laughing as we headed back to the start.


I was a little afraid to be running without my Garmin to tell me my cadence or pace. Everything is feeling so well right now, I don't want to screw anything up by trying to keep up with speedy ladies. But the end of the run came, and I felt great. No pain, just some tight quads later in the day. Just a sign of a good workout. :)

So, I finally got the Garmin to reset and this is what it said.


Okay, so it kept the mileage in memory and just kept tracking time before I got it to reset. So when I clicked on the activity, this is the craziness I got.

So, I now biked 3337 miles in 149 hours. I wonder what cosmos the satellite pinged off to get this reading. What's even crazier is that is still kept some of my lap data.

I told you were slowly cruising for the first mile or so. When I added up the numbers I remembers from my Garmin + the other app, I ended up with around 4.8 miles in 47 minutes. Oh my Lord. I went way too fast the last mile and a half, but it felt great.

Here's hoping for less Garmin craziness the next time.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

So tonight was supposed to be ...

a 2.5 mile walk or slow jog, but I just couldn't convince my legs or my brain. I was able to sneak out a few minutes early so I could squeeze in a run before needing to pick up Little Dude.

2.5 miles in 23:47. My fastest pace I think I've recorded yet. I finished right at Little Dude's school, so I picked him up and we walked home.

Love that kid's energy. But I gotta slow down.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 Things About My Running

1. Best run ever: 2012 Monument Avenue 10k, this was my first run after retraining myself how to run after ITBS (see #7). My cadence was perfect for the entire run. I felt awesome through the entire run. Everything just went right. I was due for this run after two previous attempts.

2. Three words that describe my running: Renewing, fun, and strong

3. My go-to running outfit is: My Lululemon tank and skirt in porcelain blue, until it gets cold. Then I will bundle up in Brooks tights, Under Armor cold gear tank, and gloves/ear band/6 other layers as needed. J/k ... well maybe not.

4. Quirky habit while running: I can't finish running unless I hit a full or half-mile.

5. Morning, midday, evening: Usually evening due to hubby's schedule, but morning when I can.

6. I won’t run outside when it’s: Too hot is usually the problem in the South, but I have been known to avoid the rain, the cold, snow, and ice. I'm a running wimp.

7. Worst injury—and how I got over it: ITB Syndrome 3 times in a row - cortisone shots, anti-inflammatories, icing, foam rolling, stretching, glut and ab strengthening, and finally retraining myself to increase my cadence and decrease my stride length with the help of my Garmin 610.

8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: a longer run feels easy.

9. Next race is: Richmond HCA 8K in November

10. Potential running goal for 2013: My first half-marathon, trying to decide which one.


Check out other posts at Another Mother Runner.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Longer run

Today's schedule called for 4 miles with "my ladies." Well that's what my 4 year old calls them. This was my first run with my running group for this training cycle.

It was a smaller group than normal and we quickly spread out across our different paces. One speedy girl took off with a coach on her heels. I fell in with a girl normally in our half-marathon group, but she has been out sick for over a week so she scaled back this week.

The pace was a little slower than I am used to, and it was good for me a little bit but I couldn't keep my cadence up at this pace. The first two miles were a minute slower than my regular pace.

One of the coaches caught up with my partner who was struggling at over two miles with a stuffy head. I went ahead at that point to get my cadence back on track. I finished strong with an uphill, and then some zig-zagging through the parking lot to get 4 miles (somehow the course was short or maybe I missed a turn). Wish I wasn't so OCD about exact mileage.

After some stretching and chit chat with the ladies, I headed to Starbucks to redeem my birthday drink. I splurged on an iced salted caramel mocha (skim milk with no whipped cream because even I couldn't take that much). Yum, but too sweet overall.

Then, my bestie took me to redeem a groupon for a massage (more delayed birthday celebrations). The massage was relaxing, but wish they room was warmer and he did more trigger point work. Next time!

We ended the morning/early afternoon with a pedicure. Spoiled, I know. Meanwhile, my boys were out on the trail. Hubby took little dude on his first mountain biking ride, and they had a blast.

I raced home to grab some fish tacos and watch some football. Unfortunately, both of my teams lost. Better luck next week for the Tar Heels and the Auburn Tigers. Hubby then sent me upstairs for a little nap during the rainstorm. Overall, a great low key day with lots of pampering.

And one more day in the weekend. Yay!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Best run yet

Tonight I was supposed to walk or jog 2 miles. My running buddy bailed on me again (something about stomach issues). She really was sick, but I like to give her a hard time.

My Little Dude learned to ride a bike in the last week. I thought this would be a good time to get him on the bike and we could do some loops around the neighborhood. He hasn't mastered the brake yet, so I knew it might be a little nerve-wracking for me.

That kid is a speed demon. I had to run to keep up with him. He isn't even 5 years old yet. My garmin didn't pick up for the first 1/3 of a mile. We ended up with 2.42 miles (adding in the .33) in 26 minutes. So much for an easy walk/jog for me, but it was AWESOME.

I loved having him by my side. He didn't want to stop. Before he went to sleep tonight, he asked if we could do it again soon. ABSOLUTELY!