Saturday, September 26, 2009

5K PR!

I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure 5K this morning. I got up at 6 and got ready. Headed out, stopped at Dunkin Donuts to bring the boyfriend coffee and breakfast since he was nice enough to drive me in. I went over to his house, dropped off my car and we headed into town. The drive took way less time than we thought, there was no traffic and there were no parking lines, score! Except we were there so early. But that's okay. It was chilly so I had sweatpants and a sweatshirt on over my race clothes. I got my bib number and put my timing chip on my shoe and then we walked around the expo. It was nice but emotional, I lost my grandmother two years ago to breast cancer and there were bibs that could be filled out 'In Memory of ...' so I did one of those for the back of my shirt and broke into tears as I was writing Meemom on it but the volunteers there were understanding of course. The the boyfriend and I took our stuff and walked it back to the car and then headed back and just walked around. I used the porta potties twice before the race, did a little jogging and stretching and then we lined up.

The starting line was emotional too as they had a breast cancer survivor speak then. I teared up a little and told myself I would push as hard as I could through this race since it isn't anything nearly as hard as what my Meemom went through or anyone else battling cancer.

The race route was a little weird and choppy, there were a lot of U turns. But it was soooo flat, which definitely contributed to my PR. It was great to see so many people out there in support of the cause, there were over 7,000 participants. The 3.1 miles went by very quickly and then the finish line was in site, and the clock said 23:xx, and I was so so happy. My gun time was 23:46 and my chip time was 23:34! My old 5K PR was 25:11! I had a huge smile on my face as I finished. I think it may have been my best race ever and even though the day was emotional, it was also great.

Here are some pictures:

The race started at the World Trade Center on the Seaport.

A runner's shirt that the boyfriend liked

Before the start of the race

Starting line

The boyfriend getting a picture of me running by. I have the Recovery socks on and bib on the back. (Wore the pink Recovery socks since they were pink and I wanted to be as pink as possible!)

Near the end

Finish line! Furthest to the left :)

Have a great Saturday and good luck to anyone racing this weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Injuries, Track and 5ks

I've been a little MIA the last few days. After my run on Saturday, I started having some sharp pain in my left foot. Ugh. So I rested it and iced it. The pain didn't go away so I went to my doctor on Tuesday, praying it wasn't a stress fracture.. And it wasn't! Just a ligament strain. My doctor is a triathlete so she understood my worrying but assured me I could run this week, which is good because I have the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k this weekend. I'm really excited for this race, since I'm doing it in memory of my Meemom (grandmother), who passed away 2 years ago after battling breast cancer. I'm really hoping I can PR.

So I didn't run Monday due to my foot. But yesterday after work, the boyfriend and I headed to the track. I wanted to see how fast I could run 1 mile. The first track we headed to is closed for repairs apparently, although there was someone on it. But the sign said closed and we didn't want to disobey so we headed to another track. I did a mile warmup, pretty slowly. Then stretched out before my fast mile. I just wanted a 7 minute mile even though in high school without training I was faster than that. So I ran my 1 mile in exactly 7:00, blah. I want to get faster. I know I said it was my goal but I really was hoping for faster. Oh well something to improve on. After my mile time trial, I did one cool down lap of walking and then 1 800, followed by 400 recovery and a mile cool down. It was a pretty good workout although the track was quite dark when we finished. There are lights that supposedly can be turned on but we couldn't get them to work. Luckily, my mom knows the Athletic Director, so we'll contact him and see if we can figure it out since the track is really nice, they recently redid it and I'd love to be able to use it more but I need some light. 

My foot didn't hurt too bad at all during the running and I iced it last night. Today it felt fine, so I think it's on the mend! I've actually been writing this blog post all day and it's taken me all day. I had a work conference today so the boyfriend dropped me off at the train at 7:20 and I headed to it. I got off the train and was crossing an intersection when my boss pulled up beside me in her car so I didn't have to walk the 10 blocks to the conference in heels at least. It was really good timing! The conference was good but very long. The food was excellent, which I appreciated. After the conference ended at 4, we had to head back to work since both my boss and I had class tonight and we work on campus. I just quickly checked in, changed and headed to my Epidemiology review session from 5-6, and then I had Epidemiology from 6-8:45. I kept updating the post throughout all of this on my phone and I'm finally getting around to tweaking it and posting it. I'm off to bed now. I've got 2-3 easy miles on the schedule tomorrow and then my 5k Saturday!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The boyfriend and I headed to a nearby state park this morning because he wanted to ride his bike not run and I wanted to get in some hill work, and there are some good hills there. We headed out and I did a little over one mile of warmup with him, some of it on trails which I really enjoyed. Usually, the boyfriend rides his road bike but today he wanted to do some trail riding so he rode the mountain bike. After our warmup, I went back out on to the main road to run this hill:

 I think this may actually be the downhill view of it. Here's the uphill, I think:

Anyway, it was a nice size hill even if the pictures don't necessarily show it. I did about 6 hill repeats.

After I was done with hill repeats, I met back up with the boyfriend and we did a cool down, which actually involved more hills. Fun! Did 4.75 miles total which is less than I originally planned but when I looked back at my schedule for the week, I had planned on 2 miles yesterday not 3.1 and 5 today so I ended up with more miles than planned anyway, so I'm all set. My garmin and training log are downstairs right now so I don't have all my stats and will have to edit later to add them. I'm having a little bit of arch pain, so I'm babying that right now, hopefully it will be better in time to run Monday but if not the day off won't hurt me.

I spent the rest of my day helping my mom clean (I'm living at home until January) and boy did we get a lot done. We completely reorganized both bathrooms, the kitchen cabinets and the fridge. I also did another little project, my dad is a magazine hoarder and has about a million golf magazines. Well about 100 of them resided in a wicked basket in our living room and it looked really messy, which drives me crazy so I went through them all and arranged them by year (some dated back to 1996!) and then by month and boxed them up for him. So now they're in a box in the basement and when he needs an article, he'll know where to find it and I'm happy because they're out of sight. I'm an organizational neat freak which is completely opposite of my parents so it felt really good to get some things organized today.

I also helped the boyfriend go through all of his clothes and clean his room since his family is selling their house soon and it needs to be clean for viewings.  

We did not get to go apple picking as planned :( but we will soon. Just too much going on today. I did however get my apple pie. I met up with one of my best friends from high school for dinner tonight and had apple pie for dessert after my clam chowder bread bowl, yummmm. It was so good to catch up with my friend too since we hadn't seen each other in a while and she just moved back to the area.

A busy but good day. Tomorrow will be a homework day so that I don't have to do my homework on lunch breaks like I did last week.

- Ashley

Friday, September 18, 2009

Running with my dog

My chocolate lab is one of my running partners. Or really, my only running partner right now except for the boyfriend who will run with me when he feels like it. And well, Remy, my chocolate lab, isn't the most consistent runner. She gets so excited when she realizes that we're going running that she takes off on the first mile. I basically just let her drag me until we get into a relatively steady rhythm. Then we hit our turnaround point at 1.3 miles and it's my turn to drag her home. She's got to learn about endurance, can't go out so fast.

When I run with Remy, we usually do a 2.6 mile out and back and then I drop her off at home. She gets to lay in the grass and catch her breath while I finish my run. I really do love her company on those 2.6 miles though. She stays by my side (well kind of), keeps me company and makes me feel safe. I hope I can get her up to about 4 mile runs eventually but we will see. For that, not only does she have to learn how to pace herself better but I have to try and find a slightly different route which is hard in my town which lacks consistent sidewalks to run on. I find it really unfortunate how many towns around here do not have sidewalks that make it safe for people to go out for a walk or run in their neighborhood. Although, I personally only run on sidewalks when I'm with Remy because I prefer the feel of the road but it's just not safe enough with her.

So Remy and I ran tonight. She did 2.6 miles and I did 3.1.

Miles - 3.1
Time - 26:36, avg 8:35 min/mile
Mile 1 - 8:29
Mile 2 - 8:40
Mile 3 - 8:37
Mile 3-3.10 - 8:15 min/mile pace
Calories - 326

I just iced my foot which I tweaked somehow on the run and now it's time to relax and watch the Red Sox.

Have a good night!

Busy weekend ahead

I get to go into work late today. Although, it's because I have to go to the dentist this morning. Ugh. I haven't been in way too long, bad I know. Hopefully my teeth are still in good shape but I have been having some issues with one tooth so I'm glad I got in this week. Hopefully I'll still be at work 12-5 and get enough done so that I don't feel stressed about what's waiting for me at work Monday.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to get 5-6 miles in with some hill repeats. The boyfriend and I are going to a state park near us and he can ride his bike while I run. I know I need hill training and there's this one huge hill so I'm going to do it .... ummm well I haven't decided how many times yet. But enough. After running, laundry and cleaning majorly needs to be done. Then we're going apple picking! And then the boyfriend's mom said she'd make apple pie, which I've been craving for weeks.

I'm also having dinner and drinks with an old friend tomorrow night. I haven't seen her in a year and I'm so excited. It will be so good to catch up.

I'm also trying to decide if I should go get a gait analysis and fitting for new shoes this weekend because I think I need to go up half a size in shoes. I've had trouble with some foot numbness during training and while I think some of it has been resolved if I salt before and during runs, I also think that my feet swell a lot and my shoes get too small, so a half size bigger may help. I just can't decide if I want to get fitted this weekend or wait until next weekend after my 5k.

Off to get ready for the day, I'll be back tomorrow with a report of my hill repeats and maybe some pictures.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Posting from my phone

Just have time for a quick post from my phone today since I have to do my Epidemiology homework during my lunch break. Don't worry, I take public transportation to work so I'm not driving and writing.

I ran for the first time this week last night. The boyfriend picked me up after work and we headed to the track. I did .75 miles warm up then 1x200, 1x300, 2x400, 1x300, 1x200, and then 2x100 with the boyfriend. Cool down was another .75, I had planned on a mile but it was getting dark and cold and he wanted to go. It felt so good to be running again and I wasn't sore at all. My blister from the race was still bothering me a little but it didn't get any worse, which is always good.

No running planned for today, I have class from 5 to 845 and my only goal is to stay awake.

Oh, and I got my training log from Runners World yesterday which was really exciting. I think it will be really helpful with my training.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mile splits from the half

Just posting my mile splits from Saturday's half.

Mile1: 8:34
Mile 2: 8:11
- went out a lot faster than I had planned on
Mile 3: 8:46
Mile 4: 9:49
- lots of stopping to retie and adjust this mile
Mile 5: 9:17
Mile 6: 8:57
Mile 7: 8:50
Mile 8: 8:56
- finally some consistency 
Mile 9: 8:31
Mile 10: 9:09
Mile 11: 9:14
Mile 12: 9:00
Mile 13: 8:32
Last .17(according to my Garmin it was .17 not .10): 7:23 pace

I really need to work on maintaining a steadier pace but I think the hills and stops really contributed to my inconsistency. I also need to work on starting a little slower but adrenaline makes that really hard.

Next up: back to running tomorrow night. I start Marathon training October 19th so until then it's speedwork and semi long runs. I'm doing a 5k September 26th and a 10k October 12th.

Have a good day!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Half Marathon Done

I just deleted all my previous posts from this blog. I'm starting over from scratch. I just ran a half marathon this weekend and in about 5 weeks, I will begin marathon training! Right now, all I'm doing is complaining about my sore legs though. Hopefully I'll go for a short run on Wednesday. I do have a 5k on September 26th that I'd like to PR at so I need to start training again.

Half Marathon Report

Dave and I had a nice pasta dinner at his parent's house on Friday night before the race. I went home relatively early and even went to bed early because the Red Sox were rained out, so I had nothing to watch. I slept surprisingly well on Friday night which I was not expecting at all. I woke up a few minutes before my alarm at 6:15 and it was raining still. At this point, I'd been debating whether to wear tights or shorts due to the rain. I wear compression socks when I run due to some calf and foot problems so I did not want them getting wet. I decided I'd go with running tights and a pink Saucony singlet. Got dressed and everything ready to go. I grabbed a Luna bar to eat on the way and my mom and I headed over to Dave's to pick up him and his mom. It was downpouring most of the ride down to the race. We get to the registration and it is not overly organized and we have to stand outside in the rain but luckily it didn't take too long.

We met up with Dave's friend at registration and after we got our numbers, we grabbed what we needed from the car and sent our moms off to breakfast. The race start was about 1/3 of a mile from registration so we walked there. There were a few bathrooms at the building there and the lines weren't too long. It had stopped raining now and luckily didn't rain for the whole race.

We got started about 15 minutes after we got to the starting line. Dave and his friend wanted to start closer to the back, so I did too. We headed out to a relatively fast first mile (8:33) and I felt pretty good. Sometime during the second mile, I separated from Dave and his friend which was fine as we planned to run separately. My second mile was 8:11. It started getting pretty hilly after those first two miles and I really regretted heading out so fast. I got water from a water station for the first time at mile 3 (8:40something). After mile 3 I started to have some problems with my foot. My left foot went numb, as it has sometimes in the past, and I could barely feel it strike the pavement anymore. I stopped to retie my shoe but that didn't help much. I did have salt in my tights pocket so I took that which helped except for the fact that I took it without water, gross! My fourth mile was like 9:55 or something. Not good. But the salt helped A LOT! My foot slowly regained feeling.

I took my first GU sometime between 5-6. I was also walking through every water station at this point. I had to stop and stretch and retie my shoes a few more times before mile 7. I don't have all my mile splits with me anymore so I'll add them in later when I'm at home and have my Garmin. But once I stopped to tie my shoes for the last time and check to see what was bothering my right foot I was pretty steady for the rest of the race. I got gatorade sometime and was still walking water stations and some parts of the bigger hills which I wasn't thrilled about but there were way more than I expected.

I did have a moment at Mile 10 when I wanted to stop. In training the furthest we had run was 10 miles, so I felt a little undertrained but once I got water, walked and GU-ed at Mile 10, I was off and running for the rest of the race. I needed 9:30 min/miles for the last 3 miles to finish under 2 hours which was my goal.

I hit mile 13 and was running down the homestretch. I saw my mom and Dave's mom taking pictures and my mom wanted a high 5 but there was no way I had any energy for that. I crossed the finish like around 1:57:20 according to the clock at the finish line. Goal accomplished!


I almost passed out as soon as I stopped and my whole body seized. I couldn't believe how hard it was to walk but I got over to my mom and gulped down some gatorade. I then stretched and walked around waiting for Dave and his friend to finish. They finished about 9 minutes later and we took some pictures. I took my shoes off at this point and the blister on my right foot was killing me. Ugh. Got some food from the tents but I wasn't too hungry.

So that's it. My first half marathon. My official posted time is 1:56:23 which is 8:53 min/mile. Not bad! Especially in the weather and hills.   

Marathon here I come!