Sunday, January 27, 2013

Long run catch up

My first 11 mile run weekend was a little chaotic thanks to a winter storm that blew through the mid-Atlantic. Thankfully the run was cancelled early Saturday morning due to snow and icy sidewalks. Very little off the beaten path gets cleared in our town. Not enough bad weather to need lots of snow equipment. Everyone usually waits for it to melt.

We the long run postponed until Sunday, a friend and I ventured out later on Saturday for our 4 mile recovery run a day early. The roads were fine, sidewalks were still iffy. The route was nuts, but good chatting time with a friend and 4 miles done. It takes out and back to a whole new level.

Fast forward to 9:30 on Sunday morning, and we were off to conquer 11 miles. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, it was a tough run. It was an out with a loop and back down a long road where we were on sidewalks (not my favorite surface). The loop was through a park which had a great frozen pond, but I didn't think my running partners would appreciate the photo stop. I also forgot to restart my watch after a brief map checking stop, so I lost about 0.4 mile. And I want that 0.4 on the record.

I wasn't worried about pace. I just wanted to get it done, so I was pleasantly surprised on how close I was to a consistent pace. And I finished strong at the end. When we stopped, my first thought was "Snapalicious" to describe how my hamstrings felt. Glad it was done, and I knew I could have gone longer.

The next week is a roll-back week so I could rest a bit before ramping up to 12. Tell me why I want to do this again.

Oh yeah, to accomplish something new. And to push myself out of a comfort zone. Definitely pushed on this one.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Frostbite 15k 2013

Why is it when you have actual content to blog about, you don't have time to blog? So, lets see what I can do to get back on track.

What does any sane person do when they are missing their long run due to be out of town? They sign up to hit a new long distance at a race. Why not? We headed down to Chapel Hill on Saturday to watch the TarHeels beat up on Maryland. Go Heels!

I talked my running buddy to sign up for this with me. She has already ran one half, so no new mileage milestones for her, but she is awesome for playing along. My other buddy picked up my race bib for me. Since the race was only a 9.3, I planned on meeting L a little early so we could warm-up and I could hit 0.7 miles. I AM OCD, but I really wanted to hit the magic 10.

Let's do this.

Warm-up 0.75 miles/7:36

It was chilly but not too cold and bonus for the gym being open so we could stay warm. The course is an out and back, and take note, not my favorite thing for a 9 mile course. Somehow I forgot some of the hills we ran down on the way out. How do you like that foreboding?

They were rolling little inclines, but were tougher than I thought. My goal was to run this closer to 10 min miles since I am inching up the mileage. Did I meet that goal? Fail.

I told L to go at the turn-around because I knew she was cruising along. I felt good, but didn't want to push this. With the exception of mile 6, I stayed pretty consistent in the 9:40s.

And a race picture I may actually buy, for a race that I didn't race. I love that big cheesy smile, because everything is clicking.

Overall results: 1:29:58

10 miles was tough, but I've got this. 11 for this weekend, if snow doesn't shut the city down.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Getting things done

I did something crazy today. Several weeks ago, I planned a day at home so I could study for a certification test for work. I needed to read a book and some scintillating government documents, and take a practice test.
Fascinating day, I know.
We started the day with blueberry overnight oats. It was not a hit with the 5 year old, but I thought it was a good change to the breakfast menu. I want to try the peanut butter banana version next. And I liked the chia seeds, my first experience with them. I guess back to regular oatmeal or yogurt for the little dude.
Then, this was my seat for most of the day. Not a bad spot to spend a rainy day, just wish it was a book of my choice. Maybe next time.

I did plan a mid-day break if I had a productive morning. I am the worst procrastinator, so I looked up fitness classes last night. I found a noon yoga class, and set that as my reward.

I headed out in the rain and got there early enough to walk half of a mile at 4%. And I spotted Neon Blonde Runner at the gym, so bonus celebrity sighting. :) This was first yoga class with this instructor, and it was a great gentle class with lots of good cues. I need to find a way to make it back to another noon class on a Monday or Wednesday. She did give one cue that Beth at Shut Up and Run loved.

I finished up with another half a mile to make a mile towards #TeamGiraffe in the #ChillyChallenge.

I did manage to have a good rest of the afternoon. Reading done and practice test completed. Now to sign-up and get this monkey off my back.

How was your rainy Monday?

Oh, and I did finally sign up for the local Frostbite 15k for this Sunday. I'm missing the 10 mile group run on Saturday for a surprise I will share later, so this is the next best thing. I will sneak in another 0.7 before so I can tackle my first 10 miler. Hope the shirt is frosty cool.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Amazing weather day & a new record

So what do you do on a cloudy but warm day? Head out for a 4 mile recovery run along a scenic riverside route. And what do you know, by the time we got there, the sun came out. 65 degrees in January. I will take this, especially after last week's run in the mid-20s.
Families were out walking, and we passed many smiling runners coming and going on this out and back course. They are replacing a bridge nearby, so we had to go off-road and a little mud sliding through a construction zone. But all in the name of fun.

Yes, I am that tall. ;) How is this for an amazing stretch spot, and with awesome views.

4.03 miles in 42:49. It's hard to slow down for these recovery runs, but getting better at it.

Which gives me a new record. 22.14 miles in a week. I'm not sure why Daily Mile is showing a week 54.

I am trusting the plan, and it is working. So excited to tackle 10 miles this next weekend.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

How did your week go? Foggy with a chance of ...

I definitely need to figure out a way to take more pictures. My blog posts are way too boring. Sorry, I will hopefully figure out something to break up the monotony.

After last week's 9 miler, I was worried about the knee. So when I'm worried, I don't post because I don't want to admit anything can be wrong.

Rather than run my scheduled 3 miler on Sunday, I took a pseudo rest day. I did end up walk/jogging a mile while chasing Little Dude around the block on his bike. The knee felt okay, but I kept up with foam rolling and icing. I spent almost the entire evening on my feet cooking 3 different meals: chili, lasagna, and taco meat. A few meals for the week and some for the freezer while the hubby was at the Redskins playoff game.

Since Sunday was a rest day, I could run on Monday and try to make it to yoga on Tuesday. Instead of 7, I backed off and did a conservative 6 miles. Knee felt okay, bonus.

Crazy,stressful day at work, check. Gentle yoga on Tuesday, check. Preschooler gets sent to the principal's office for saying threatening words to another student, check. Mommy needs a drink, check.

The rest of the week went as planned, 5 miles on Thursday. Rest days on Wednesday and Friday.

I'm trying to remember to do my plank a day with about a 50% success rate. I really need to set an alarm of something so I can remember to do this.

So, on to Saturday's long run. I was not feeling this run at all. My dear hubby (insert sarcasm) stayed up until 1:45, which means I slept fitfully because of the TV on downstairs, then woke up when he came to bed. Then he had the nerve to snore. Not a good's night sleep, and woke up before the alarm at 6:30. I really thought about bagging it but I had the route sheets for 3 other people. And it was foggy, and I couldn't decide what to wear because it was 50 degrees.

Thanks Run Pretty Far for summing it up for me.

So, with an extra shirt option in my bag, off I went. We rolled back this week to 7 miles. Now only if we hadn't gotten lost, and made it closer to 8 miles. I ended up with 7.63 miles in 1:16. Not bad, and there were Oreos at the SAG. Glad I went, and the knee felt fine.

Fingers crossed that I am back on track. I really need to not race during a training cycle to make sure I stay healthy.

And one more thing that made me laugh out loud.

And what tricks do you use to remember to plank? I need help.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Conquering a new distance

New longest run. Done.

9 miles. I'm not going to say that it was easy on the knee, but definitely better than the hilly option that I avoided like the plague. I have to say that I love how this group works. It was a small group today because several regulars were a Ragnar Relays. How cool is that? Everyone waits at the SAG so the group stays close together. And the leader circled back with about 2.5 left and ran in with us. Everyone was so nice and supportive of a newbie hitting a new distance.

After some coffee and breakfast, I spent some time on the foam roller and an ice pack. Thank goodness I had some errands to run so I could keep these legs moving. And the hubby was left to take down the outside decorations. Shhh! Don't tell him this was the plan all along. He is getting me back by being gone all day tomorrow for the Redskins game.

Well off to sit my butt in a comfy chair with watching Les Miserables. Better not forget the tissues.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Plank a Day, etc.

I know I'm a little late to this challenge, but better late than never. I was also hoping to get hubby to join me, but no go so far.

So far, successful 3 out of 4 days. I completely forgot yesterday. Hopefully, the routine will kick in soon. I can do just over a minute (on my elbows). Practice makes perfect. Any other cliches I can throw into this post?

And tomorrow I am scheduled for my first 9 miler. The group I run with mapped out a run with one major hill in the first mile, and several rolling hills until mile 4. After stopping last nights's 6 mile run at 5.5 with a little knee pain, I was starting to get worried about Saturday. Luckily, there is another group that also meets nearby that is covering 9 non-hilly miles. Crisis averted, I hope. And as an added bonus, this group meets later so the temps should be a little warmer.

Wish me luck.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First Day 5k 2013

I talked my hubby and BF to run a 5k with me on New Year's Day. Lucky for them, it didn't start until 11:00 am. So we should have enough time to recover from the previous night's festivities.

I had no idea of a plan for this race. The 3 mile distance for the week was supposed to be sprints, so faster would be ideal. But how fast should I try. Now that I have been hit with a few PRs, I want to be careful to not aim for a new one every time I race. My last 5k was a PR at 25:40. Since I haven't run that fast in the last month, a new PR would be a challenge and I don't want to get hurt.

On the way there, hubby predicted 24 minutes to which I responded absolutely no way that would happen. It was in the mid 30s and the rain was holding, and the longer we waited, the more I bounced around.

I made my decision to run fast, but to try to stay comfortable. This course was relatively flat, where my last 5k was mostly downhill for the first half and almost all uphill for the second. So comfortable was the plan ... until the starter said go. My hubby said he saw me take off and start weaving through the crowd.

It ended up fast (for me) and not quite comfortable, but doable.

I stayed consistent with my speed and my cadence. Double win! And a new PR. My official race time (no chip) was 25:10. Good enough for 6th place in my age group.

Woohoo! Now to slow down and build up some miles.

And an added bonus #5bythe5th done and miles for #TeamGiraffe in the #chillychallenge.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Recap

  • Best race experience? Definitely the Richmond HCA 8k in November. I ran healthy and fast ... for me. My BF's text was "All I have to say is HOLY #%*#, you rocked it!!!"
  • Best run? Hitting 7 miles for the first time with my running coach and her husband in October. I was great to have her enthusiasm for hitting a new distance.
  • Best new piece of gear? I’m loving this Target top. Sleeves long enough for my arms, thumb holes, a little longer in the back, and a pop of pink-purple.
  • Best piece of running advice you received? Keep running my own pace. I averaged 172 steps per minute across all runs for 2012. A major improvement from 2010 and 2011.
  • Most inspirational runner? I have started following several running bloggers over the last year. I am amazed at their journeys and honesty. I am thankful to have people who are willing to share which helps me with my running and life balance.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Commitment to the plan.
I had a great running year.

4 5ks (2 virtual), 1 8k, and 1 10k. I also got partially over my fear of the bike. 227 miles completed on the bike. It was some great cross-training over the summer, and added perk was time spent with my husband while biking.

I also made the big plunge into half marathon distance. I know this is no big deal for many of you, but after battling ITB pain for almost 3 years, it is scary to ramp up the mileage. I have been doing it slowly and carefully, but have found my legs like to go a little faster. To compromise, I run once a week with a group that is a little slower than I would normally. I don't mind slowing down if I had good company to chat.

These stats have me thinking of a number for 2013. Should I aim for 1000? The Type A in me says yes, but the doesn't want to be injured part says no. I would like to make sure I include yoga, strength training, and biking. I should also learn to swim, so a triathlon could be a maybe down the road. 800 running miles is the goal.
Looks like it's going to be a great year. A new PR on day 1 (more on that later). And slowly increasing the mileage. I'm aiming to tackle a tough 9 miler this weekend. So excited for this year.