Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

I forked over $278.06 this morning, but Jake & I are officially registered to run the 1/2 in Vegas!!! I have no idea what Jake's goal is for Vegas (and he probably doesn't either, especially since he'll run St. Louis first, so my bet would be that he creates a goal after that race) so on the registration form when it asked for expected finish times I entered 1:55. I don't know that 1:55 is within reach but I'm going to bust my ass to make sure I get a sub-2 this year. Being that St. Louis is not flat and Vegas is, that'll be my best shot!

I worked out with my trainer this morning. He still owed me a session from back when I was using him so we finally made that happen. I asked him to try and stick to the machines because I feel silly doing "crazy trainer stuff" without a trainer standing beside me. He mostly followed directions. His workouts are super tough and between those and my all-clean diet, the weight fell off last winter.I'm going to stick to this plan for a month and see what happens.

I think I'm going to try and run Saturday's 10k with my brother. He's by far a faster runner, but he's been having trouble with shin splints and knee pain, so he hasn't run more than 3 miles in 6 weeks. His goal is between 56 and 57 minutes. I punched my 5k PR into a pace predictor and it suggested 57:15 for a 10k. I punched yesterday's 5k into the pace predictor and it suggested 59:40. Ick. I have to be realistic and know that heat will be a factor in my pace, but I'm hoping that having a running buddy/brother to push me and pace me will weigh heavier.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Stonebridge Memorial Day 5k Race Recap

All 4 family members raced this one! My mom came in town to watch the kids race and since she would already be there, Jake and I decided to go ahead and run the 5k. Watching the kids was by far the most enjoyable part! They were both so excited. Peanut lined up right up front at the start and I gently suggested she move back a little. I was afraid the big kids would trample her! She's almost 5, but she's pretty small and Shankopotamus isn't far behind her (and he's 2 years younger). Jake ran with Shankopotamus, but Peanut didn't want anyone to run with her. I just acted as her paparazzi and she didn't seem to mind that. Even the 1k course was challenging! The first 1/3 or so was downhill but the rest was uphill. She walked a couple times and I tried to get her to "chick" another kid at the end. As soon as she crossed the finish line and got her medal, I ran back up the course to take pictures of Jake and Shankopotamus. He was having fun and smiling, too. They both love their medals.

As soon as their race was over it was time to line up for the 5k. My first mile was fine and right on target for where I wanted to be. There's a very short downhill portion at the beginning of the course and the next half mile is completely uphill, not to be confused with a gradual uphill. Maybe I'm being a pansy? Is 46 ft over a 1/2 mile not a reasonable hill? I walked a few times during mile 2, which was comprised of several rolling hills. At the water station I took a few sips and poured the rest down my shirt. It was cloudy with a breeze, but still hot. Mile 2 ended with the 2nd biggest hill of the course- 35 ft over 0.4 miles. I picked it up a little for mile 3 (which finally plateaued), but it wasn't enough to recover. It kinda sucked but every time a woman passed me I wondered if she was the one who would place ahead of me in my AG. I finished in 28:39, with an average pace of 9:15. I finished 5th out of 16 in my AG. That's my slowest 5k of the year but I'm OK with it. It's hot and times aren't going to get any better until it cools off.

There was a serviceman in uniform who also did the 5k, wearing a backpack. The race director pointed him out at the start line and everyone cheered when he crossed the finish line. Thank you to all the men and women who have served or still serve our country, and also to their families.

Right now I'm kinda thinking about laying off the racing and training until August when it's really effing hot when it's time to start training for St. Louis. I'll keep up a decent long run each week because those are my favorite.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Racing in Costume

I'm so excited for my first race in costume! I'm going to run the Firefly 10k next weekend. It's a night race and they give you LED lights with reflective material and glow in the dark bracelets. They encourage extra "lighting decoration" and costumes. I've had an idea for a costume for several weeks and finally bought the basics for it today. I can't wait to put it all together and show it off! I've always admired costumes and tutus but I haven't ventured into dressing up myself. It's not that I take myself too seriously can't have fun, but I worry about a costume interfering with my racing. And I've never run a race "for fun." I'm already paying money to run on public roads... I'm in it to do my best! Sorry, though, no pics until the race recap! It probably won't be finished until that day night anyway.

Aside from the costume, I'm really looking forward to that race. My first race since I started running was a 10k (in January). I had only run 6 or 7 miles once- the week before the race. So that PR has stared at me every time I pull up my blog and it needs to be replaced! I'm hoping to seriously smash it. I'm sure I'll write about it later this week, though.

And I'm probably going to race that 5k on Monday. I don't think I can resist the temptation of being at a race with the kids and not running myself.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three Things Thursday

  1. I ran with Peanut today. She (and likely Shankopotamus) will run a 1k on Monday. She looked so cute in her running skirt, tank, and shoes! One lap around our block is 0.4 miles and we did 2 laps. She had to walk a few times but overall I thought she did really well. Shankopotamus doesn't like running enough to practice but I think he'll have a meltdown if Sis gets a medal and he doesn't.
  2. After I finished running with her I went for my own run. I almost always run mid-morning, so running at 4pm was different. It was "only" 79 degrees but very sunny and it just felt hard! I almost feel like I'm starting over with running as the temperatures climb. I wonder if it'll feel like I'm starting over when it gets cold. 
  3. I ran topless for the first time today. Not totally topless of course (because I'm not training for one of those nude 5ks), but in a sports bra and skirt. I'm not at my skinniest and didn't feel completely comfortable but having less fabric on my hot & sweaty skin was a nice feeling... definitely motivation to watch the diet so I can feel good about doing that again. Oh, and it was a constant reminder to engage my core!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wishy Washy Wednesday

I'm having second thoughts about a marathon this fall/winter. There are just so many half marathons I'd like to run (and already verbally if not financially committed to in a couple cases). I think I would rather focus on improving my half time (SUB 2!!!) rather than half-ass run a couple half marathons and one marathon. Plus I suspect half marathons are more fun and I'm certain training and recovery won't be as hard on my body. I still want to run a marathon, but focusing on the half distance this year would allow me to run my first full at home... White Rock 2012

So here's what all I'm interested in running:
  1. Heels and Hills and Him - September 25
  2. Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis - October 23 ***
  3. Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio - November 13
  4. Rock 'n' Roll Vegas - December 4 ***
  5. New Years Day - January 1***
  6. Galveston - February 5
  7. Cowtown - February 26
  8. Rock 'n' Roll Dallas - March 25 ***
Now I'm sure I won't run all of these, but I'm interested in all of them!
*** means I'm committed or super duper interested

Monday, May 23, 2011


The massage helped! My legs feel so much better. I think I'm going to look into one of those membership places where you get a massage every month or at least every other month.

I set out to run 9 miles this morning and felt fine for the first 3 before I started to tank. The humidity is just killing me. I can't believe how much faster I tire. I tried wearing the HR monitor that goes with my Garmin just to get an idea of where I'm at but I don't think it recorded accurately. I hardly believe my average HR was 96. My resting HR is in the 50's but it still doesn't take much to get it high. I also decided at the beginning of the run that I would not look at my watch for the entire run- I wanted to run by feeling instead of relying on my watch to tell me how I "should feel." But, I forgot to change it back to the setting where it records every mile so all I have is one set of numbers. Bummer, since I'm curious if I ran those first 3 miles too fast and that's why I felt tired or if it was just something else.  I hit my turn around point at just over 4 miles and planned to run home a different way to add a little extra distance. But between feeling tired and the dark clouds to the south I decided to just take the most direct route home. I pulled up the weather radar on my iPhone and saw this:

I still had time, but I didn't want to get caught in that, for sure! It started raining before I'd finished showering, so I might not have made it if I stuck to the original plan for 9. I ended up doing 7.4 miles.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Hope This Works!

My legs have felt like lead since running 9 on Monday and it dawned on me as I lay away at 3am this morning that it might be lactic acid buildup. When they felt so heavy right before my half marathon in March I got a massage and the therapist told me that's what lactic acid does/feels like. So I have an appointment at 4:30 and I hope it works. I've been mentally off this week, too. Sometimes if the mind is off but the body is good I can push through and vice versa, but not when both are off!

On another note, I was prepared for my speed workout with run club yesterday when I got to childcare and they told me we can't use childcare to go to run club anymore. I get it because we leave the building (and run as far as 3 miles from the gym before turning back) but still... an email would have been nice so I didn't plan my runs this week around that option.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Four

1- Eating clean is going well. I cheated just a tiny bit yesterday (had like 3 bites each of banana pudding and chocolate parfait at lunch) but otherwise no sugar and no food out of a box. I've already lost 3 pounds (clearly all in my tummy) which I take as proof that my body hates junk carbs.

2- I confess I haven't been a good worker-outer this week. My 9 miles on Monday was my shining moment. I cut short my strength training on Tuesday, cut short my run on Thursday, and totally skipped out on strength training today. Tomorrow morning is speedwork at run club, so I will do that and I'll make up my strength training on Sunday morning.

3- I took Peanut shopping for running shoes today. She's going to run a 1k on Memorial Day and the Vans she ran in last time aren't going to cut it again. Like mother, like daughter... she needed a wide in running shoes even though she doesn't wear a wide in any other shoe style. I also picked up a running skirt and tank from Target this week so she'd have something more athletic to wear. She is in love with the running skirt but she's so little that the smallest size (4/5) is huge on her. I used a safety pin to pinch together the excess fabric in the back. She wants running skirts for play clothes this summer. 

4- The pictures from my 5k last weekend are posted. Much better and I think I'll buy one (I think the bottom one is my favorite). The first one is kinda funny because we were waiting for awards when they announced that this guy right in front of us played football for the St. Louis Rams. Poor guy was just standing there minding his own business one minute, and the next he was getting hounded for autographs by all the kids.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to Basics

I've been wanting to go back to eating clean for awhile, but just haven't had the willpower or motivation to do it. I remember how good I felt when I was eating clean from the end of October through the winter. More energy and a flatter tummy were among the perks. I won't talk specific numbers, because nobody wants to hear a "skinny" person bitch about weight, but I'm up a little and I don't like how it looks. So, yes, I want to lose some weight but I won't put a number on it. I want to look and feel better mostly. I want to run as topless as I can legally get away with. :)

This afternoon we went to the pool at the gym after strength training and I was talking to Jake about this. He says I'm crazy and, "Ripped like Jesus' girlfriend." (Ripped like Jesus is a common phrase for us, so I guess we're making the assumption that Jesus had a ripped girlfriend at some point). I almost fell over laughing with that one. But that's on the top 10 list for why I married him- he's a funny one.

So, after I finish my beer tonight, I'm back to eating clean. I'm actually looking forward to it. Mostly. Maybe my running will improve if I'm using better fuel. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Great Day for a Long Run!

I trained for a half marathon in Dallas and didn't do one single training run at White Rock lake. That's probably some sort of violation of runners code when you live in this area.This morning I changed that! I can see why that trail is a favorite in Dallas. Even on a weekday there were plenty of people on it, mostly cyclists. I thought it was very nice when they approached me from behind (that's what she said) and said, "Rider on your left". I didn't wear music so I could usually hear them approaching anyway. I ran 9 miles in 1:34:55 (average pace 10:33). I was pretty consistent. Fastest mile was 10:12 and other than my last mile where I walked off and on several times, my slowest mile was 10:37. It was getting pretty warm by then and I was ready to be finished.

I learned a lesson in this run. I am not immune to chafing. I've never had that problem but about 4 or 5 miles in I noticed that the seam on my purple tank from Target was rubbing under my left arm. I tried pulling it up. I tried pushing it down. I tried to rip the seam. I considered taking it off entirely- but decided my hydration belt might chafe worse than the shirt. So now there's a nice little red spot under my arm. It could be worse... at least it wasn't my skirt. And that's why they say not to try anything new on race day. A shirt didn't keep me from running but I could see how chafing on your legs would!

Now I need a nap. I want to keep my long run somewhere around this 8-10 mile range so I won't ever be far from half marathon shape, but I wonder when that distance will quit making me so tired for the rest of the day.
Surely the more I do it, the more accustomed to it my body will become.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Test Yourself 5k: Race Recap

This morning I raced the Test Yourself 5k in Plano with Jake and my marathoner friend. The only request I could have made for better weather would have been less wind, but the temperature was perfect for my running taste- low 50's (which is about 20 degrees cooler than it has been in the mornings for the past month). It was sunny and just beautiful. The running gods were smiling upon all of us! We got there in time to meet up with my friend and take a couple warm up laps before lining up at the start. My goal was to PR, of course, with goal "A" being under 27:20 and goal "B" being under 27:30. I can't remember if I already said it, but the run club leader was talking about PRs last week and said that a 5k PR of 10-15 seconds in a one month period is great, so I basically went with his numbers. If you don't wanna read through my long-winded recap at least skip to the pics at the bottom... it was a good race for me. ;)

I was careful to hold my pace back in the first mile, aiming for 9:00. I wanted to get faster, not slower, for miles 2 and 3. And no stinkin' walking this time! I was off to a good start, finishing the first mile in 8:54. I felt really good here- not uncomfortable at all. Mile 2 was a gradual downhill to the turn around point and it was fun to see the leaders coming back toward the finish line. Apparently the 2 guys in the (way) lead were led off course- Jake wasn't far behind me and he saw that. I saw my friend at this point, too. I figured she was the 5th or 6th woman at that point (she ended up finishing 6th). As soon as I made the turn around I realized that gradual downhill had turned into a long, gradual uphill. Against the wind. Ugh. I made it through that and the end of mile 2 with a pace of 8:43. Somewhere around this point I heard a girl younger than me telling herself, or maybe the girl next to her, "Don't be afraid." Interesting thing to say during a 5k but for whatever reason it became my mantra for the next mile. Don't be afraid... to keep running when it hurts, to push harder, to die. Whatever. It kept me going and I didn't walk when it started to hurt. I didn't quit running when I knew we were near the end but we turned onto a street with yet another hill. I wasn't afraid. I finished mile 3 with a pace of 8:55. I didn't have much sprint left in me at the finish line but I gave it what I had. Enough to ceremoniously dry heave after crossing the finish line. That's becoming pretty routine. I stopped my Garmin at 27:30 (which I hoped was a second later than it should have been stopped so I could make my "B" goal- and I was pretty sure it was because I didn't want any finish line photos to be of me stopping the watch). Yay for a PR!!!

We stuck around for the awards because we were almost certain my friend placed and I wanted her to have pictures. Sure enough she did- she WON her age group with a PR of 23:20 (I'm so not telling her where I'm racing when she turns 30 and joins my age group... she kicked my ass by over 4 minutes!!!).  I got some pics of her just in time for the announcement of my age group winners. 3rd place- not me, 2nd place- not me... OK, guess I didn't place because there's no way I won. Then the guy said, "and with a time of 27:29-" WHAT?!? Hey! That's MY time!!! I WON MY AGE GROUP!!! I was shocked. But so freaking excited. 1st out of 33 for age 30-34, 24th female, 98th overall out of 385.


 Wanna see my medal?
Then we went and bought a new car. I wore my medal to the bank and the dealership. That's probably dorky but I don't care. Always earned, never given.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Three Things Thursday

  1. Jake and I ran together yesterday. He planned to run 6 miles and I planned to run 7. We stuck together the entire time. When his 6 were done he walked for a few seconds as I ran on, then he decided to run my last mile with me- making that 7 mile run the farthest he's ever gone! I'm so proud of him. I'm not sure he enjoys running the same way I do at this point, but if we can do long runs together like that, it's going to be a good half marathon/marathon training cycle. 7 miles, total time 1:19:09, average pace 11:18. Like Goldilocks, it was just right!
  2. We saw this "little" guy on the trail when we were almost back to the car. This is the same trail we run in the dark for the social run on Thursday mornings from the running store. I may need to buy a light sooner than later. What the hell was I thinking when I ran those unpaved trails at Arbor Hills on Monday??? Like this guy's friends weren't hanging out there just waiting to take a strike at my sexy unprotected legs! I bet I was moving slow enough that I looked like the perfect prey, too.
  3. It's race week! 

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Visions of a Marathon

    I want to run one and I'm going to run one. I hate uncertainty and it's probably silly to pressure myself into choosing a goal marathon in May, but well, that's just me.

    We've already paid for our trip to Vegas to run the Rock n Roll half marathon there on 12/4/11, so that rules out the obvious choice of White Rock in Dallas on 12/4.

    My other criteria is that I want it to be in Texas becase
    1- I don't want to have to travel too far before or after.
    2- I'd like as much friend/family support as possible, even if that's just my mom (who has already said she must be there) and Jake (who I'm hoping will run... nudge, nudge... but I know would be there no matter what).

    My options as I see them are:
    1. Rock n Roll San Antonio (roughly 5.5 hour drive)- November 13, 2011
    2. Houston (which is a lottery and roughly 4.5 hour drive)- January 15, 2012
    3. Galveston (roughly 5.5 hour drive)- February 5, 2012
    On second thought, it's not silly to be thinking now. If I choose San Antonio and go with Hal Higdon's 18 week plan I start training in a month!

    Please give me your input (on which marathon, how to choose, training, anything you have)!

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Hot, Hilly, & Hard

    After taking the kids to preschool this morning, Jake and I drove to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano to run. He planned to run 6 miles and I planned to run 7. Neither of us has ever been to Arbor Hills or we would have known not to plan those kind of miles there (duh- the name of the place should have been a clue)! It's beautiful and at first the trails distracted me from the hills but it didn't take long for the heat to get to me. I was dripping sweat after a mile. Once I was hot the hills just felt tougher. I took one of the natural unpaved trails for my first lap and ended up catching up to Jake on his second lap (he didn't venture off the paved trails). His shorter run this week was 4 miles so we agreed to call it a day once he hit 4 on his Garmin. We'll both reschedule long runs for Wednesday morning. My total distance was a slow 4.39 in 49:28 (average pace 11:16). That included plenty of walking but also slower than usual running on the unpaved trails. I liked the trails and I'll go back... when I need to train on some hills and it's not 80 degrees.

    On Saturday I ran with the gym run club again. There were only 6 of us (3 of the Fast Four from Wednesday) plus the leader chick and a new runner. The girls stuck together until the new girl wanted to walk after 1.7 miles so the leader chick stayed with her and I ran ahead. I don't mind slowing my pace but I'm not going to walk on a short run. So by going ahead I chose to run alone. No big deal, though. Total distance 4.32 miles in 44:19 (average pace 10:15). It was hot then, too. I can probably stop mentioning the heat because it's not going to get any better until about October. I do wonder how long it'll take to acclimate to the heat.

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    A Running Mom's Mother's Day

    Today is my 1,770th day as a mom (but who's counting) and this is my Mother's Day present:
     It's from Allied Medal Displays if you want your own. I think those 2 medals need some friends, though!

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Three Things Thursday

    1- Vanity Things...
    • I will be wearing a running skirt whenever possible from now on. These white legs need some sun.
    • It's only in the 70's and I'm hot. I'm gonna have to clean up my diet and do some core work so I can run without a shirt this summer. That will also require a sports bra that doesn't look like my grandmother picked it out.
    2- Toe Blisters...
    • I need to figure out how to prevent the blisters I'm getting on my right 4th toe (the one next to the baby toe). They're on the tip of the toe and that just seems weird. I asked at the running store and they said it's probably just the toe box that's a little too narrow. I'm wearing Brooks Adrenaline and I love them aside from this little issue (and maybe it's the shoe maybe it's not). I already size up half a size and wear a wide. I wear Thorlo socks.  Any ideas?
    3- Race pics from last weekend... No Thanks.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Run Club "Long Run"

    Tonight I ran with the run club at my gym. The schedule said long run: 4.5-6 miles. I was hoping they would do 6 and I'd just run 1 more by myself since I have a 7 mile long run scheduled for this week. No such luck, the leader called for 4.5. It was a small group, just 8 of us... and they freaking TOOK OFF! 4 guys (including the leader) were way out front and I lost sight of them quickly. Another guy and girl were only about 10 feet ahead of me. And I fell to the back with the girl who sometimes leads. I think she just fell back with me so I wouldn't be alone. I don't get the feeling that's her pace. Kinda crazy though when an 8:33 first mile puts you dead last in a group.

    The girl who was just ahead of me decided to turn back at 1.5 miles so the leader chick went with her. I was close enough behind the guy still to see where he was going. I've sorta kinda run this route before but I didn't know exactly where they turned around. We got to the end of a neighborhood and the Fast Four were waiting. They started back toward the gym as we approached. The other guy turned out of the neighborhood and took a different route back to the gym. At that point I figured I was all alone and really running pretty well so I'd just go ahead and do my own thing and get my 7 miles in.

    I had literally just hit a 10k PR (58:40) when I saw the leader chick and 2 members of the Fast Four running toward me. One yelled out, "We found you!" I told them I didn't know I was lost. I guess they got worried when I didn't show back up and somehow it's a gym liability thing if something happens to a runner during a planned run. It was nice of them to come back looking for me, but really I thought it was kinda crappy to not somewhat run as a group (or at least buddies) in the first place. I'm not a rock star, but I'm not a slow beginner either. Run Club is advertised for members of all levels and I can only imagine that somebody who runs (gasp!) a less than 10 minute mile might be really discouraged in a situation like that. It didn't really bother me because I've run all but a handful of times by myself anyway.

    Anyway, I had a great run. I knew that 8:33 first mile could not be sustained for 7 miles (and probably not even the planned 4.5- but if I did keep it up I would have paid whoever stuck with me to pace me for my next 5k!!!). I slowed down to the 9's once I was on my own but it still wasn't all that uncomfortable. I ended up running 6.67 miles in 1:03:05 (average pace 9:27). I planned to get all 7 miles in, but when the other runners came back for me I felt like I should finish with them, so I came up a little short on distance.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Working on Speed

    Today I did a tempo run. It was cold and rainy so I hit the treadmill at the gym. Like a lot of runners, I prefer running outside, but I think the treadmill may be the way to go for my tempo runs. There's probably something to be learned from making myself run the prescribed tempo pace outside but I have a really hard time with pace consistency. The treadmill solves that problem for me. Punch in the speed, cover the little screen with a towel, and run. I warmed up for 10 minutes at 5 mph (12:00 pace), kicked it up to 6.5 mph (9:13 pace) for 20 minutes, and cooled down for 5 minutes at 5 mph. I think the pace was right for me. It wasn't comfortable and I was happy for it to be over, but I wasn't dying. I think that's the definition of "tempo", right?

    I have a 10k 5 weeks from this Saturday and I'd like to have a 5 mile tempo run at that pace under my belt by then.