Thursday, March 31, 2011

More/Official Race Photos

This picture had potential to be cool. I may try to play with lighting in Photoshop and see if I can improve it. This was at the 5k mark. I ditched the jacket early on but kept my gloves for most of the race. I think they add a nice touch. LOL.

See the guy in the orange in the freaking middle of the finish line? Yeah. He's in all of my finish line photos and the video. I'm a nurse, I did the right thing and looked to make sure he was alive, but still... if you're not dead, get up jackhole.

Official Post-Race Photo... I only included it because I felt I "should". Blah. Next time I'll get in line with a female photographer instead of a young guy. I'm certain a woman would have made sure I looked better.

First Run Post Half

I got up this morning and did the social run at the running store closest to our house. I ended up running with just one other girl. She just started working at the running store, was a sprinter in college, and is just getting back into running (as in today was her 3rd run back). Maybe that's a career I can consider- working at the running store. I'm pretty sure it doesn't pay as well as being a nurse but maybe the discount could be figured into net salary. We ran 2.71 miles in 28:07. It was a slow, easy run. My foot felt best while I was running (no pain and I was just barely aware that it didn't feel 100% at the very end). I think that must make me a real runner- when I feel better running than walking. Right?

I posted something on my family blog (which I keep private but if you're reading this and I "know" you and you want to read it, let me know and I'll send you an invite- it's almost entirely about the kids, but I posted a couple of family pics post race... trying to keep the kids off this blog) and a friend who I don't get to talk to often saw it. She texted me yesterday and we had a back and forth convo about running. She's running her first full marathon in Dallas on 4/10 so I'm going to take the kids and go cheer for her somewhere after mile 20. She's a total badass... goal of sub 4:00, wants to run 2 fulls and 2 halfs this year, get into triathlons, and ultimate goal is to qualify for Boston. Yay for having another running partner!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Recovery is going OK. The night of the race it felt like every muscle in my legs was about 2 inches long. Very stiff and tight. Monday was quite a bit better, but I started having some pain in my right foot that got worse throughout the day. By bedtime it hurt pretty bad. This morning it didn't hurt when I woke up but as I was on my feet getting myself and the kids ready for the day the pain returned. I made an appointment with a podiatrist because I had myself scared it was a stress fracture. The x-ray was clean, but the doctor cautioned me that a stress fracture can take a couple weeks to show up on x-ray. He said I could run some short distances but needed to stop if I have pain. If the pain gets worse or isn't better in 2 weeks I need to go back for another x-ray and possibly CT. Right now he's calling it peroneal tendonitis. This picture shows where that tendon is, but that's not where the pain is. It's along the fifth metatarsal (the long bone where that tendon connects, on the side of my foot with the pinky toe). There's no pain when I'm not bearing weight, though. I don't know if that's what it is or not, but I at least feel better knowing there isn't an obvious fracture. I'll be good and take care of myself because tonight I created my training plan from now(ish) through my 10k in June. I feel the need for speed! Now, cooperate feet!!!

Official Race Pictures

Today I received an email link to the official race pictures. I think I made a rookie mistake by pre-ordering the package that would allow me to download all of my race pics. I should have just waited to see if there was anything worth buying. I can't download anything yet, but it doesn't look like there's anything better than the picture Jake took. There might be a decent picture of me at the 5k mark, we'll see once I can enlarge it. There were quite a few photographers along the first 2-3 miles but I never seemed to be on the edge of the side they were on. It doesn't help that a dude fell at the finish line right before I crossed so I had to run to the side of him and he's in all of my finish line pictures.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Text Updates

These are the text updates that were sent to friends/family throughout the race:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

In my corral, waiting to start:
And we're off!:
Jake took this picture from his spot near the finish line:

Unofficial time was 2:08:50. Goal achieved! I'll blog the rest after food, shower, and sleep.

All of the above needs have been met. We went to Blue Mesa for brunch and it was delicious! I sucked it up and took an ice bath once we got home. Here's my story:

I woke up at 5 this morning, downed a bottle of water, took a warm bath, and got dressed. I managed to choke down half a bagel with some peanut butter on it. I felt like I was a contestant on Survivor having to eat a bug. Food is a challenge pre and mid race. Jake and I left home at 6 and picked up my friend Victoria on the way. We got downtown around 6:45 which gave us plenty of time to use porta potties (I got to use the VIP Brooks potties and they were a nice treat) and scope out the corrals. It was cold- maybe 45 degrees. I wore a running skirt and turquoise tank, but kept the jacket on for the start.

I didn't do any warming up. Maybe that's me being new to racing, but I felt like I needed to be in my corral. It didn't bother me, though, since I really don't stretch before I run most of the time. I just start slowly. The 2:15 pace group really did start in corral 8 (still doesn't make sense to me!) so that's where I started. Jake stayed with me until my corral was off and running! The corrals were let go every 2-3 minutes so there wasn't a big lag and the course really never felt crowded.

The first mile went quickly. I ditched the jacket after the first half mile. It was kinda funny because each time we neared a mile marker you would hear a bunch of Garmins beeping. The pace leader would give some cues like "pull with your arms", "knees up", or "head up" when we ascended hills so that was nice. But I ended up inching ahead of them somewhere in mile 3 and never looked back. I watched my pace closely through the race.

I seriously think I run on the hypoxic side because I can never remember where to go/where I've been. I saw family for the first time right around mile 5. Jake, his parents, his sister and her husband, and my niece and nephew were all there. The kids had signs but I don't know what they said. I'll have to find out and get pictures. Jake ran with me for a minute while I traded out the Amphipod for the SPIbelt. I also took my first mini bottle of Ozarka. That hydration plan worked really well. It didn't bother me to carry those little bottles, yet they were easy for me to drink from and I got new ones at perfect intervals. I saw my mom and kids at about mile 6.5. My friend Erin was around mile 7 and my brother and his wife were around mile 9. I missed seeing them. I saw Jake again just after the 15k marker and his parents again somewhere between miles 10 and 11. My mom and the kids didn't make it to the finish line but I saw them after the race. I think my favorite thing to see on the course (aside from family) were the 2 fire trucks that had their aerial ladders extended over the course with an American flag hanging down.

At the sign for mile 9 somebody said, "Just a 5k left" and several people quickly corrected him. Wishful thinking! My left hip really started hurting at about mile 11.5 but there was no way I was going to walk at that point. I never did walk. The end of the course wound through the grounds of the State Fair. I just wanted to see the finish line! I knew at that point that I could make my sub 2:10 goal. I saw Jake and he yelled that I could make my goal. From there I could see the finish! I was so happy to cross in under 2:10!!! My now official time was 2:08:50.

I have a few small blisters on my right foot and my legs are stiff, but not too bad. MUCH better than after my 15k.

Here are my splits and overall stats:
mile 1- 10:08
mile 2- 10:15
mile 3- 9:57
mile 4- 9:43
mile 5- 10:15
mile 6- 10:00
mile 7- 9:46
mile 8- 9:42
mile 9- 9:27
mile 10- 9:28
mile 11- 9:33
mile 12- 9:36
mile 13- 9:24

According to my Garmin I ran 13.21 miles in 2:08:56 with an average pace of 9:46.

4395 overall (out of 10969)
2006 woman (out of 6810)
424 age group (out of 1316)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Game Plan

I'm so ready to race! I have almost everything planned and pulled together. We're expecting cooler weather overnight so tomorrow morning will be cooler than it has been in the past week or two. It's probably perfect weather for a lot of runners (and it's good for me, too, except I might have some trouble with my fingers at that temperature)- at race time it'll be about 48-50 degrees with a NNE wind of 10mph (perfect for the course because the back half is running south and slightly downhill). I feel like I should get a certificate in meteorology the way I've been checking the weather this week. I realize that I'm spoiled because we have pretty decent weather in Texas compared to the rest of the country, but of course I'm hoping for 55 degrees, very little wind, and no rain. Weather looks like it'll be fine, if not great. I have 2 outfits picked out and will decide when I walk outside just after my 5am wake up tomorrow morning. I'm wearing a skirt. No. Matter. What. But depending on how really cold I feel I'll either wear a sleeveless shirt (with a throwaway jacket) or a long sleeve shirt. I'm leaning toward the sleeveless/jacket combo. It's easier to get rid of the jacket and I'm not taking off the l/s shirt to run in my sports bra.

I decided to run the first part of the race with my Amphpod hydration belt. It's what I'm most comfortable with since I used it on every long run in training. I plan to hydrate well over the first half of the course when my pace will be at it's slowest because when I see family around mile 6(ish) I'm going to hand off the belt. From there I'll take a little 8oz Ozarka bottle with a sport top. I can easily drink from that and toss it when I finish it or get tired of holding it. Maybe I'll get 2 of those along the course and hit one water station toward the end of the course. That should cover hydration. I'll eat my orange blossom Honey Stinger chews for energy.

My goal time is under 2:10. I plan to accomplish that by starting with the 2:15 pace group. The pace leader who I talked to at the expo said they will consistently hit 10:18 splits. That's a pretty comfortable race pace for me but I think it'll keep me from running too fast in the beginning and having my splits drop off at the end. My plan is to stick with them until around mile 6, then pick up my pace to about 9:36, which is still sustainable for the last 6-7 miles. I figure by that point I'll know how strong I feel for the back half of the race. If I feel stronger, I'll run faster.

I spent most of the afternoon sitting on my hiney resting my legs and plan to continue that until my early bedtime.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Race Weekend is Here!

We went to the expo this afternoon to pick up my race bib and other goodies. I really liked a t-shirt but couldn't see myself wearing it in public so I didn't buy it.

Dear Running,

Thank you for giving me such a nice ass.

Love you

The only thing I bought was a headband that matches what I'll wear for the race. I tried on a couple of running skirts and some shorts. I think I'll stick to my "no shorts" rule. They just don't feel right! The finishers medal looks really cool. I can't wait to earn mine. There seemed to be some confusion over corral assignments. I talked to one of the girls who will lead my pace group and she's a corral behind where I think that pace group should be, but they didn't have anything officially laid out as to where each pace group could be found on race day. Then they said it doesn't even matter what corral you're assigned to. I changed mine just to be safe.

Brooks shoes was offering a free gait analysis. They had you run barefoot on a treadmill while they videoed your feet. Then they played it back in slow motion and measured the degree to which you pronate. I was happy to hear that the Brooks Adrenaline shoes I'm running in are perfect for me. They feel great to me!

I saw one friend at the expo and at the gym this morning ran into a mom from our preschool. Her little guy is in my little guy's class. It turns out she's also a runner and will be running this race, too. She's faster- has a goal of under 2:00. We chatted in the locker room for too long, then continued our conversation on the treadmills. I just did 30 minutes of 2.5min intervals. Nice and easy...

I need to try and get a good night's sleep tonight. I may not sleep well tomorrow night!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Awesome Surprise

Last week (or so) I commented on another blog to earn entry into a giveaway for a Sony W-Series Walkman MP3 player. It's basically an ipod built into the wireless headphones. This morning I had a comment from Kim on my blog and when I went back to her blog I saw that I won the MP3 player. I'm so excited- this is the first time I've ever won anything through a blog. When I read about this product I knew Jake would want it. He had some bluetooth headphones that were great when they worked, but they didn't hold up to sweat. He got some birthday money and is going to look for it at the race expo tomorrow. Now we'll each have one, though!
Thank you Kim at ilaxSTUDIO for offering this giveaway. I can't wait to load my running music onto these and go for a run!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Easy Run

After I took the kids to school this morning I stopped at the park to run. I forgot my Garmin in the car, started to go back and get it, then decided against it. I have no idea how long I ran, what distance, or what pace (it wasn't *that* far or long). No music, either. Just an easy run with minimal "stuff." I used my new handheld water bottle. It's OK. I don't love it, but it might be my best option during the half, at least for the first several miles.

I'm really excited for the race. I just don't want to get nervous. Excited = positive vibes. Nervous = negative vibes. I have no reason to be nervous. I've trained for the distance. My goal time is challenging but attainable. I'm ready!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Week To Go!

I've been training since Christmas for this race and now it's just one week away. I'm starting to get nervous! When I get nervous I try to compensate by planning. I'm likely to have everything laid out for race day by Wednesday (and that's only because I work on Tuesday). I've started checking the weather forecast. Like, hourly. When I see rain predicted I tell myself the forecast this far out isn't accurate anyway. So why do I keep checking???

My legs are still not right. There's not one specific spot that hurts, so I don't think I'm injured. I'm still hoping they're just tired from racing the 15k and running 10 miles a few days later. The only running I've done was during the Gorilla Challenge. It didn't hurt but it was kinda stop/start so I never really fell into a rhythm. I scheduled a massage for tomorrow so hopefully that will help. I'm unsure of what to do this week. Should I walk, just to get my legs moving? Should I do some short easy runs? I felt like I had a well thought out plan for the past 3 months and with one week to go I don't know what to do.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another Kind of Race

Today is Jake's birthday so we started out the morning with presents. The kids got him a book (The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete) and I got him a Garmin watch so he can start training for the 5ks and 10k I have planned for us in the next few months (and the half marathon(s) beyond that).

After that, we headed to downtown Dallas for our race- The Gorilla Challenge . It's like the tv show Amazing Race, but on a small scale... just a few miles within downtown Dallas. We were given 12 clues, of which we had to complete 10. Once we solved the clue, we plotted it's location on a map. We tried to plot a course that made the best use of time. At each location we had to have somebody else take our picture to document completion. We finished 10 clues, then raced back to the starting point. And yes, we ran almost the entire time... Jake thinks 3-4 miles. I should have worn my Garmin or used MapMyRun so I could post where all we went! We finished in about 1 hour and 10 minutes and were actually the third team back. The first team successfully competed their clues, the second team messed one up, but so did we. Bummer! So close!!! Second place would have paid $250...

The picture I posted is my favorite from the challenge. We were striking "a European pose" by the Pacific Ave. street sign!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Let the Love/Hate Relationship Begin

Didn't do the social run this morning. Sore legs. Bought a foam roller instead.

I've tried using a foam roller once, back in January when I was using a trainer. I wasn't having any pain and that thing gave me bruises. I couldn't understand why anyone would willingly use it. But the more I read about running the more I read about people swearing by their foam roller. So now that I'm sore (when I haven't been sore after a run in a long time) along with the fact that I felt small knots in my hamstrings last week, I decided to give it a try.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Last Long Run

This morning Victoria and I met to run our last long run before the half. I planned to do 9 or 10 miles, she planned to do 10. So we did 10. She's still nursing an injury that started just before her half several weeks ago, so we followed her program of walking for a minute after each mile. I might be spoiled now. It sure was nice to know a walk was coming! I normally run earlier in the day, but it's already getting warm (even for March). I think it was just above 70 degrees when we finished and it was pretty humid. I've never sweat like I did today (well, not since I started running, but of course I've sweat before). Gross, but I could feel the dried salt on my skin before I showered. As much as I like a margarita I couldn't convince myself it was the same. Our time was 1:52:54, with an average pace of 11:17... just where I should be for a long run, and that's even with the walking. I'm ready for the race. I'll probably try to run 3 more times before next Sunday. I'd like to do the social run at the running store tomorrow morning (call me crazy- I actually WANT to get up at 5:15 to go run in the dark- when the kids are at Nana's and wouldn't wake me up) even though I normally rest the day after a long run. If my legs are sore I'll skip. Promise. Other than that, I'm thinking a couple of 2-3 mile runs at race pace or with bursts of speed.

Thanks for running with me, V! You totally pulled me through that last mile. ;)

I Like Yoga!

I attended my second yoga class yesterday. I liked it the first time and truly intended to make it a weekly thing, but I just haven't made it a priority to go back. After the half I'm truly going to get back into the gym for some strength training and yoga. I know I need to balance the running. I'll be doing speed work, too, in preparation for the 5k and 10k races I have planned from April-June. I can't believe I might be training for another half as soon as July/August.

Anyway, so I really enjoyed yoga. I still haven't met the "real" instructor for this session because it's been a sub both times. But I liked how this girl reminded us several times that THIS hour was for us to practice yoga and not think about our to-do lists or sort out other issues in our heads. Because I SO do that. I also liked how, at one point, she told us to move the "fleshy parts" away from our sit bones. I think that's the nice way to say push your fat ass out from under your real butt.

So yoga felt great while I was doing it and about 6 hours later I felt my neck and shoulders tightening up. This wouldn't really be a problem had I not asked Victoria if we could run our last long run together tomorrow- 10 miles. I'm sure I'll feel fine once we get going. I'm so excited to have somebody to run with for a long run.

The kids will be with my parents for the next couple of days so I got to spend *the entire day* shopping. Like 9 hours. I bought a new sports bra at Lululemon. I decided to go with the Ta Ta Tamer. I felt like a total dork when I read the tag and it explained that you can unhook the straps and criss-cross them for tanks that need a different bra outline. I've had my other Lululemon bra for probably 2 months and never realized that, even thought the straps have come unhooked and I wondered why the heck they would make straps that unhook. Duh.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thinking about the half

I feel surprisingly good today. No belly pain and no soreness in my legs. That really just makes me want to push myself for the half... since I'm not dying today and all. My splits were dropping off at miles 8 and 9, so I don't think I could have continued around that average pace of 9:30. But then again that 15k course is hilly and that had to have taken a toll on me. I read a review for the race today and somebody else commented that they had never run a race with so many hills in Texas. My half is supposed to be pretty flat, or at least that's what they're advertising... "fast and flat." I'll be the judge of that! I compared elevation charts for both courses and the biggest climb in the 15k rose 100 feet in 2 miles while the half rises 150 feet over 8 miles- then is downhill 'till the end. Who knows... I just want to analyze everything and sometimes I can't!

I used that new SPIBelt instead of my Amphipod belt to see how I liked it before the half. I liked the new belt better even though I had to push it back down to my hips a few times in the beginning. By mid-race I think I just didn't care anymore. I just really don't want to wear the bulky belt for the half. I've come up with 2 solutions. A- I can have family hand me bottles with sport tops throughout the course or B- I can try a handheld bottle. I don't want to walk through water stations and I can't seem to coordinate drinking from a cup and running at the same time. I just know I need to drink more water next time. Maybe I even need to down a bottle of water (or two) the second I wake up. As long as I give my body plenty of time to deal with that water, it couldn't hurt anything to do it.

I think I'll be a running geek tomorrow and go hang out at the running store to try on water bottles and ask questions. I need some more of those Honey Stinger chews anyway.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Kicked Ass- Then Got My Ass Kicked

It was almost perfect weather this morning, just a tad windy but not bad. I did a few minutes of very light jogging to warm up and the race started at 8:10. I ran this course in January when I did the 10k, so I knew how to tackle the hills and they weren't so bad. My play list was largely the same as my 10k but I added a few new songs last night. One that I stumbled on was a cadence from the Navy called "Easy Run." I loved hearing that and will totally put it in my play list for the half at regular intervals. I'm also going to see if I can find more. It's sort of funny because cadence reminds me of running in fire academy, which I hated every single second. Maybe it's like pregnancy and childbirth- you get far enough past it in life that you look back on it and think it wasn't so bad. Don't get me wrong, though, I have no desire to revisit fire academy, pregnancy, or childbirth. Back to the race... There was a water station just after mile marker 2. I tried to drink a few sips but it's really difficult to drink while running. Keep running. Really the first 5 miles was pretty easy and enjoyable. By the time I was in my sixth mile I was wishing this was a 10k race. The last third of the race was new to me and most of it took place through a neighborhood. I was completely disoriented but thankfully the course was well marked and there was always somebody in front of me to follow. I walked through the water station around mile 7 so I could actually drink the water and again for 30 seconds at the mile marker 8 sign. I picked up my pace just a little for the last 0.1-0.2 miles, but I didn't have a sprint in me at that point.

This was my first race for Jake to get to come to and I loved having him there for support. He saw me off at the starting line, around miles 3 and 6, and again at the finish. He said it inspired him to see me run and I think he's ready to start his training. I picked out our races for the next 3 months- a 5k in April and May, but a 10k (with a time limit!) in June.

After I cooled down, we checked my official time. I was shocked to see my name third for my age group! They award medals for the top 3 finishers in each age group, so I was presented with a bronze medal. How cool is that? Now that official results are posted online, they are showing me in 4th place. I'm not sure if somebody was just placed in an incorrect age bracket initially or if the official results have an error.

My goal was 1:34:07, the time the pace predictor gave related to finishing the half in under 2:15. My time today was 1:28:04!!! I seriously smoked my goal. By 6 minutes and 3 seconds. My average pace was 9:28.

Here are the splits:
Mile 1- 9:20
Mile 2- 9:31
Mile 3- 9:32
Mile 4- 9:09
Mile 5- 9:09
Mile 6- 9:33
Mile 7- 9:08
Mile 8- 9:41
Mile 9- 9:52

I punched today's time into the pace predictor to see what it would give for the half marathon.


Wow. There's only one problem with that. I made a mistake during the race (I think, anyway) that reared it's head a couple hours after the race. I've never been a big drinker while I run, but I can say with certainty that I had less than 8oz today during the race. About 2 hours after the race my stomach started cramping and I couldn't eat or drink anything. I was in so much pain that I went to the ER for an IV and some medications. I feel a lot better now (not great, but more in line with how I expected to feel after a long and hard race). The doctor doesn't think my symptoms can be attributed 100% to the race, but I do. I think I ran harder and longer than I ever have before and didn't drink enough during the race. I'll change that during the half by either wearing my belt that carries water or waking through water stations so I can actually swallow the water. As for my half marathon goal, it stands at 2:15, though I'd love to be under that by as much as I'm capable. The next pace team is 2:00 so that's not realistic. I'll have a chance to talk to the pace leaders at the expo before the race, so I'll do that, but right now I'm thinking that I'll run with them for at least the first half of the race. If I'm feeling strong I can always pull away.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Plan/Goal for 15k Tomorrow

Tomorrow I'm running a 15k (my first). My original goal was to use this race as a taper run and not worry about pace at all. This club doesn't have big turnout for races and I don't expect this 15k to be big at all, but I figured at least seeing other runners (even if I'm not actually running alongside anyone) would be better than running alone. But my plan has changed! What's a race if you're not racing???

I read an article in this month's Runners World that talked about benchmark runs a couple weeks out from a goal race. Perfect! I have "permission" to race. I just don't want to get injured or push too hard and not be able to run the half to the best of my ability. The RW article recommended what type of run to do for each race distance. I'm not going to stick to what they recommend for a half marathon (10 to 15 x 1000 meters at race pace with 60 seconds recovery- I don't speak running fluently and don't even know what that means), but for a full marathon they recommend 16 miles at race pace. If I put those numbers into a ratio, my benchmark run for a half marathon would be 8 miles at race pace. What's an extra 1.3 miles for good measure?

Some boring math that probably only matters to me:
  • Half marathon goal 2:14:59 = 10:18/mile
  • If I run the 15k at race pace of 10:18/mile, my goal time will be 1:35:47
  • But according to the pace prediction calculator, I'd have to run the 15k in 1:34:07 to make my goal of sub 2:15 in the half. This would be a pace of 10:06/mile
Seems like a lot of splitting hairs, for what's all just a bunch of prediction anyway.

I've run 8, 9, and 10 miles right around the 10:40/mile pace and I've never pushed the pace on my my long runs. The goal has always been completion.

I read a blog entry several weeks ago about women setting goals for running. I tried finding it so I could link to it, but I can't find it again. The general idea of it was that women tend to set easy goals so they won't fail. But then you never really push yourself. So I'm going big. My goal for this race is 1:34:07. If I can do that, it will be pretty predictive of my half marathon pace.

According to WeatherBug, the temperature at race time should be around 57 degrees, but with a 10-15mph south wind. I'm not exactly sure what I'll wear. I'm going to try running with my new SPIBelt instead of the bulky amphipod since water will be provided on the course. I bought an iPod Shuffle last night so I can carry it instead of my phone. I'm just trying to make myself lighter on race days. I'm not sure it matters a lot, but maybe it will be more comfortable.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My First Social Run

Luke's Locker is the closest running store to our house and they offer a free social run on Thursday mornings. Because of Jake's work schedule I can only go every 3rd week and today is that week. I got up at 5am and was there early. Everyone met inside the store where we discussed distance/pace and split into groups accordingly. I started out with a group of 6 who intended to run 4 miles at 10 minute pace, but after the first mile my group of 4 pulled away from the other 2. Running with a group is SO much more enjoyable. All 3 of the women currently work at Luke's or have in the past so I was the new one in the group. I led, but maybe it was because I was new and they just let me pick the pace. But, they invited me on their Sunday runs which I may do sometime. It feels really good to have already done my run for the day. Our total distance was 4.00 miles in 37:52. Average pace was 9:28.

mile 1- 10:00
mile 2- 9:44
mile 3- 9:06
mile 4- 9:00

I get to go back next week because the kids will be at the lakehouse for spring break.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vegas, Baby!

Registration is open for the next 48 hours at "the lowest price of the year" for Rock N Roll Vegas. The race will be at night, along the strip. I already declared that as a race I want to run and Jake has decided to train with me. If this video doesn't make you want to run, nothing will. Shall we call it "runner's porn"??? I watched it more than once. And I'll be back for more. Sign me up!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Longest Long Run

I planned today's run a few days ago- there's a trail in Plano that is just over 6 miles long and since I needed to run 12 miles it was easy math to plan an out-and-back run. Voila! 12 straight miles, one turn around, no getting lost.

I knew it was going to be windy, so I looked up the direction of the wind to be sure I ran against it at the beginning when I was fresh. South wind. Perfect. I started on the north end. I drove to the trail, got out, walked to the starting point, did a couple of light stretches before deciding the wind sucked and I walked back to my car. I wanted to postpone the run until a nicer day, but I have a 15k on Saturday and I knew my legs needed as much rest between this long run and the race. So, I grabbed my jacket out of the car (I was wearing a running skirt and short sleeve tee in 50 degree weather with a 20 mph wind) and headed back to the start. The wind was brutal! For much of those first 6 miles I told myself I HAD to run the 6 miles and if the run back toward the north was just as miserable I could call Jake to pick me up. When I wasn't thinking about the wind, I was thinking about porta potties. I know my map showed several bathrooms along this trail! There was one at 4.5 miles, so I stopped there on the way "out" and "back". I've never had to stop for a potty break and this run got me twice. The run back was better up until about mile 9.5. At 9.5 I told myself I could walk once I made it to 10. At 10 I told myself I was fine and could walk once I made it to 10.5. I ended up walking a tenth of a mile at 10.5. I walked a lot more than I would have liked in that last mile. My total time was 2:20. Average pace was 11:38. This was my slowest long run (I think) but some of that time was spent in the bathroom and walking. The good news is that hopefully I run the half in less time. The bad news is that I have to squeeze another mile into that time. The best news is that today was my longest scheduled run as part of my training for the half marathon. My 15k will count as a taper run for next week and I'll do another 9ish miler the following week. I was pretty tired and sore for most of the day but I'm feeling pretty decent now.

After picking the kids up from preschool, we went to Run On. Jake got new running shoes which earned me a sticker to the VIP Porta Potties at my half. Pretty fabulous, right? I bought 2 new pairs of socks (new brand for me so maybe they'll prevent the blisters I've been getting), a slimmer running belt for when I don't want to carry water (I'll try it for the 15k but I anticipate using it at the half if all goes well), a new kind of snack to try while I'm running, and some fancy detergent that's supposed to remove all of the fabric softener from my workout gear. Apparently fabric softener blocks the pores that helps that fancy sweat wicking fabric do it's thing. I like shopping at competitor running stores. I get different opinions and information. We're lucky and have 3 in the area.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I'm a Number Person

Today was Race Day- The Allen Eagle 5k. I've been sweating the weather for a few days because rain was in the forecast, but I got lucky... no rain. It was, however, 40 degrees with a 20mph north wind. The kids were supposed to go with me and stay with Doug, Lindsay, and George while Katy and I ran but they backed out because of the weather. They kept the kids anyway, which was very sweet. I figured a cold and windy run with other people was still far better than a treadmill run at the gym. Either way I needed to run.

I got there about 30 minutes early, in time to see the fun run participants take off. Then I started jogging at a super slow pace around the area. It kept me warm and I think it helped when the race started. I'm admittedly bad at actually doing a warm up. I figure my slow pace allows the first mile to be a warm up. I wore 2 pairs of gloves and didn't have any problems with my fingers until after the race, even though I dropped one glove (cheap $1 gloves so I didn't stop to get it) at the starting line. I thought I hit the button to start my Garmin but apparently I missed it. I checked my pace frequently to make sure I was staying right around 9 minute miles, but didn't realize the timer wasn't running until I looked for my time at the 1 mile marker. Oh well, at the least the pace part worked! The first mile was fine, but that pace really makes a difference. I started hurting in mile 2 but kept pushing. I missed the 2 mile sign, but I know this course pretty well so it wasn't a big deal. I knew I was probably at about mile 2.5 when I really wanted to walk. My pace during that last mile was frequently around 8:30, so instead of walking I'd allow myself to slow back down to 9 minute pace. I didn't feel like I could sprint when I saw the 3 mile sign, but maybe 50 yards from the finish there was a lady in front of me within passing distance. I gave it all I had and passed her just before crossing the finish line. I was so intent on passing her that I didn't even see the clock- had no idea what time I had. And as soon as I crossed the finish line I was scanning for the best place to throw up. I really thought I was going to lose it, but I managed to keep it together. Nice, huh?

I waited around a few minutes for them to post times. I got 27:56, which beat my previous 5k PR (last month) by 8.7 seconds. Awesome!!!

I just looked at the official results and not only did I get a new PR, I placed 5th in my age group! The winner in my group was 2 minutes faster than me. Judging by the times of the next age group, I'd better look for my 1st place finish in my age bracket while I'm in this group. The next bracket is stiff competition.

I don't put a lot of faith in the pace prediction calculators when I'm entering a 5k time for a race that's 5k PLUS 10 miles, but it's just another number game that I like to play. 2:08:22??? That's a nice vote of confidence so surely I can finish under 2:15.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Thank you, God, for a great run today. This is what I needed. I needed to remember that feeling of running being good, not just good when it's over. The weather was perfect- started at about 55 degrees with just a light wind and finished at about 67 degrees. I wore capris and a tank, but could have easily worn my running skirt (just a note on clothing so I can pick what I'll wear on race day). I ran what I've seen referred to as a "lasso" route. It kinda looks like a lasso on a map- The beginning and end are the same, but there's a big loop that makes up the middle portion of the run. I even ran into another city. It should have been 11.2 miles but ended up being 10.7 when I made it back to my car so I had to run past "the end" and come back. It's not an 11 miler unless the Garmin shows 11.00 or more! ;)

The first 7 miles were great. Lungs and legs felt good, and it was easy to run. I set the training zones on my Garmin so it would alarm if I was running too fast or too slow. I didn't let myself get faster than 9:45/mile or slower than 12:20/mile. It only beeped at me a few times during the run so I was pacing myself pretty well. I was struggling when I got to 8.75 miles and walked a few times between there and the end- just 30 second or less each time. My total time was 2 hours and just under 3 minutes. Average pace was 11:09. That's my first run to take me past the 2 hour mark. I think that was more beneficial than the actual mileage. My goal for the half is under 2:15, so mentally I know that I'll only have to run another 12 minutes on race day (assuming my pace is faster than today, which I'm sure it will be). I'll basically have to be 1 minute/mile faster to make that goal.

New Running Shirt

That's not me, by the way. It was just easier to borrow the image from the website than to take a pic of my shirt. If you haven't read the book, you should. It's, well, badass... Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving-- and Not Lose your Family, Job, or Sanity