Friday, September 17, 2010

slogging through six

so i had a 6 mile threshold run planned for this morning. but my long run has been moved from sunday to saturday and while both types of runs are important, right now quantity is more important to me than quality. so i decided that i would just do a 6 mile easy run this morning and that during tomorrow's 12 mile progression run, i'll try and hit the last two miles @ hmp.

it was gross when i woke up this morning, misting, grey and humid. not ideal conditions for any type of run. so i waited until the boyfriend headed out for work, and then set out for my easy 6 miles. easy? yeah right. my legs rebelled against me from the start. they were just tired and heavy. still, i decided i would do a hilly route today instead of just a blah flat one. yeah, definitely should have stuck with the flat, usual route. my first hill comes right after i hit one mile. it goes up, up, up for just over half a mile. i could feel it in my legs already. get to the top, it's flat and then downhill to round out the mile. i finish up mile 2, turn around and go up the previous downhill. not feeling it at all. make it up the hill and it's downhill again, yessss! i get back down to the main road and decide to not do the next hill i had planned and just finish up the remaining 3 miles if i can. and i barely could. seriously, wtf was up with my legs this morning. i was so sluggish and just couldn't move. but i made it back home. stretched and took an ice bath. yes, an ice bath after 6 measly miles. oh well, my legs needed it.

here's hoping that tomorrow's 12 miles go much better than today's 6 did. my boyfriend is joining me on the bike again which is always great support! we're having a houseguest this weekend so the rest of the weekend will be spent going to red sox games, watching the patriots and probably eating more than i should. i swear i'll try to keep the eating in control it's just so hard at all these sporting events and going out to dinner with people etc ... but i'm really focused on the weight loss goal right now so it's important for me to keep it in check. anyway ... maybe i'll take some pics or something this weekend to liven up the boringness.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Staying on Track

So, I had a crappy summer. I've written about it. I've thought about it. I can basically sum it up as lack of running, extreme tiredness and no motivation. Well, that's not going to carry over into fall. I've got some goal races coming up and it's time to dig deep, focus and stay on track.

So what have I done? I've rewritten my training plan for my upcoming Half Marathon (October 17). I've made myself get over Sunday's horrific 10K performance and I've recommitted. I love running but it isn't always easy and getting better and getting faster takes work and commitment. I'm extremely lucky at this stage in my life that my life is very simple: I work part-time, I don't have a husband or children and I can commit myself to training. I do have a boyfriend but as a professional athlete (so weird for that to be true), he understands that I'm all about running, eating right, sleeping and recovering until January 30, 2011. I'm waiting to see how I do at my upcoming half marathons (October and November) but if they go well, I'd really like to try to qualify for Boston in January. It seems unlikely right now but with hard work and some luck, maybe I can do it. If I go 1:44 for either half marathon, then I'll go for the BQ. If not, just sub 4 or sub 3:50. We will see.

So this week the plan is:
Monday: 6 mile recovery run, strength training - lower body
Tuesday: off, it was Dave's mom's birthday so we went out with them and I worked all day so didn't fit the workout in.
Wednesday: 6 miles easy, abs, strength training -upper body
Thursday: yoga and walk or recovery run
Friday: 6 mile tempo, abs
Saturday: bike ride and yoga
Sunday: 12 mile progression run

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 6-12 Review including an awful 10K race

Quick Recap of Last Week:

September 6: Easy day, went to the track with the boyfriend since he had a sprint workout to do and I did just a short recovery run (1.5 miles). Before going to the track, I did a 20 minute ab workout. Since it was Labor Day, we had a fun rest of the day, played 9 holes of golf with one of my friends and then had a cookout at the boy's family's house with some friends. It was a good, relaxing day after my progression run the day before.

September 7: Did an easy 3 miles (9:30 pace) and arms and abs. Nothing special about the day.

September 8: Did a track workout, 4x800 @ sub 5K pace (7:22) was the goal:
1 mile w/u
1st 800: 3:34 (7:07 pace)
400 recovery
2nd 800: 3:39 (7:18 pace)
400 recovery
3rd 800: 3:41 (7:22 pace)
400 recovery
and then I somehow messed up my Garmin so I only have the last 400 of the last 800 which was 1:45 (7:00 pace).
1.25 mile c/d

So it turned out to be a good workout, on pace and I felt good. 

Did an ab workout before the track workout.

September 9: Just a leg workout and a short walk. Nice easy rest day, which was good because I had a long workday.

September 10: I worked in the morning and then had to help my mom change a flat tire, so that took some time. I had dinner plans at 6, which meant leaving my apartment by 4:50. So I ate lunch at 2:10 and then had to head out for my planned 5 miles right away. I only managed 3.75 miles since my stomach rebelled the whole time. Oh well!

September 11: Complete rest day.

Sunday: 3.1 mile w/u, 10K race, short c/d. So going into the race, I didn't really have a time goal since I don't think I'm in as good of shape as I was at the time of my 10K PR in Feb 2010 (47:35), so I was hoping for sub 49ish. I head out really fast (6:20 pace) but settle in quickly and the first mile is 7:30ish, as is the second mile. I felt good, legs felt fine and then I was crippled by a side stitch. It was like 10 knives were stabbing me in the side at once and I couldn't stand up straight. This continued for the next 3 miles which turned the race into a major fail (53:30). Ughhhhh. Oh well at least I get another chance at a race in 2 weeks (5K) which will hopefully give me a better idea of my fitness for October's half marathon. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Progression Run

The boyfriend and I drove to our destination for this morning's run(me)/bike(him). First, we were going to go to Walden Pond but then about halfway there, I questioned whether bikes were allowed there. A quick look at the website (thanks blackberry) told us that no bikes were allowed. Ooops. So I went to the Mass DCR site and found a Rail Trail nearby that we headed too. 11 miles of paved trails. Glorious. And it was only 63 degrees at the start!!

I had an 8 mile progression run to do with the last 2 miles either moderate or hard, I'd decide when I got there.

Mile 1: 10:26, 147 avg. HR
Mile 2: 10:02, 151 avg. HR
Mile 3: 9:44, 156 avg. HR
Mile 4: 9:39, 159 avg. HR
Mile 5: 9:20, 1:64 avg. HR
Mile 6: 9:15, 163 avg. HR
I decided to run mile 7 moderate and mile 8 hard:
Mile 7: 8:40, 168 avg. HR
Mile 8: 7:43, 176 avg. HR

For the last mile, I gave the boyfriend my Garmin (he was riding alongside me) and told him that: 1. I'd like to run a sub 8 mile and that my heartrate should be between 176-180ish as that's my half marathon heartrate. So he stayed right beside me and paced me which worked out really well. I ran hard for that last mile and was very happy to see the 7:43 and the perfect average heart rate. Maybe all hope isn't gone for a half marathon PR in 5 weeks even though my running hasn't been consistent the past few weeks.

I hit 20.7 miles for the week, which is a good place to keep building from after coming back. I'll aim for 25 this coming week including either a 5K or 10K race on Sunday. I haven't decided which distance to race yet, probably doesn't matter since I doubt I'll PR at either distance.

Have a great holiday weekend to those of us in the US!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Trail Running

I did my first trail run this morning. It was a great new experience. OMG are there some hills in those trails and lots of roots! It was fun but hard especially as my first real run in a week. It ended up being a pretty short run since I just wanted to test my foot and see if the softer surface helped it. I'm happy to report that my foot was feeling fine and that I got a great workout in, with some nice views.

View overlooking the marsh.
Another body of water along the trail.

Next time I run this trail, I'll have to get some pictures of the hills! They really got my heartrate up today.

Run stats:
2.79 miles
30:00 min
10:46 min/mile
Average HR: 147bpm
Max HR: 176bpm

Sunday, August 29, 2010

a short run and some cross training

since i took the week off from running, i've been doing a decent amount of walking. this helped me judge if my foot was feeling okay and also helped me get some exercise in since i'm not a fan of the gym, especially mine with it's crappy ellipticals and only a recumbent bike which bother my knee. anyway, after a 2 mile walk yesterday, i decided my foot was feeling pretty good and i could try some running today.

so, my parent's chocolate lab, remy, and i headed out to a path behind my parent's house this morning and did some running. there's a nice wide dirt road back there and rarely anyone out there so it was a nice soft surface for me to test my foot out on and it allows remy to run freely and not have to stay right with me on her leash. we did about a mile back there and then i figured we would walk a mile but remy wanted to run so we did some running on the streets and my foot felt fine! i'm so excited. i'm going to do 2-4 miles on a different trail tomorrow and see how it goes. i'm crossing my fingers.

then tonight, i went out to the club to hit golf balls with my dad which is actually a pretty good workout. probably more of a workout for my brain though, since my dad (who teaches golf) kept instructing me and i had to focus but it helped a lot and i'm getting to the point where i'm hitting the balls much better and much more consistently which is fun. i'd like to get to the point where i can play 18 holes with dave since i know he'd enjoy that.

in other news, i got a new (to me) car this weekend! a 2005 toyota corolla with only 47K miles on it. i'm so excited. i have air conditioning again, thankfully. i've been so miserable in my old car this summer.

it was a pretty good weekend and this should be a great week since dave comes home in 2 days!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

summer's almost over!?!?!?!

i swear if i could think of things to blog about more and if i thought i was a good writer, i'd blog more. but my life is pretty boring and i'm not a very good or interesting writer. oh well.

anyway, i can't believe that labor day is less than 2 weeks away and that summer is about to come to a close. it's been a different type of summer for me. it's probably been my laziest summer ever to be honest. i quit my full time job on june 9th and have been working part time since then. very part time. which has been nice but it will be good when it picks up again soon. i'm enjoying my new job and it doesn't involve sitting in front of a computer all day as my old job did, which is so nice. i need to be more active in my workplace so that i don't get bored.

besides not having a full time job, it's also been a lackluster summer of training. first, it took me way longer than i expected to recover from my marathon. then i struggled to get used to running in the high temps and humidity, as this was my first real summer of training in that type of weather - last summer in new england was cold and dreary most of the time. and i just wasn't motivated for some reason. i didn't have a purpose and i was exhausted all of the time. i still need to get a medical work up too since i'm still having a lot of symptoms that can't be explained but my insurance/new pcp is taking forever to come together, so hopefully i'll get in this fall. and now that i am motivated again, i have a little injury. ughhhh i'm so injury prone. i managed to be a figure skater for 12+ years and only have 2 big injuries but in running i have little things pop up so often. this time it's from wearing my new saucony kinvara's too much too soon. i think (am crossing my fingers) that it's just a ligament strain, i had something similar last fall too. i don't think it's a stress fracture, as there's no bone that hurts to press on or tap. it's on the inside of my foot near the arch, same spot as last year. so i'm taking this week off and icing it a lot. i've also taken this week to refocus my diet and weight loss goals. i have 15 pounds to lose and i will do it by january 1st. i'm dedicating myself to it once and for all. i'm sick of people telling me i look fine and don't need to lose weight. numbers don't lie and i have weight to lose. plus it will make me faster, which is my real goal.

so after this mini training break, i'll be back at it. i have a half marathon october 17th and i'm just hoping to go sub 1:49:00 there now, whereas before i was looking for 1:45-1:47. oh well. then i will switch my focus to the houston marathon in january, where my mom will be running her first half marathon! goooo mom! she's come a long way quick with running.

the other biggest difference in my summer is that my boyfriend has been gone for most of it. he spent july playing in a baseball league in new york, he was able to come home a few weekends that month at least. but after that league ended he got picked up my an independent league on the west coast and has been out there playing since. it's been an adjustment, living alone and being in different time zones but my boyfriend can now say he is a professional baseball player, which is quite the accomplishment and i am so freaking proud of him. i can't wait until he is home next tuesday though!

anyway, that's my summer in a nutshell (there was a lot of fun in there too that i didn't touch on) and i'm hoping for onward and upward from here. i can't wait to have a great marathon training cycle and hopefully going sub 4 in houston!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Two Good Runs

Friday, I ran my first threshold run in forever. And it was hard. I did not hit the target's I set for the two ten minute intervals (HMP and 10K Pace). I ran 2 miles easy for warm up, then I was supposed to do 10 minutes at HMP. I set my Garmin for 8:00-8:20 pace for this part of the run and I ran it at 8:17, which was in the range but slower than I was hoping for. Then I ran 5 minutes easy before the next 10 minute interval of 10K pace (7:30-7:45 set on the Garmin), and I only managed 8:09. Then 2 mile cooldown for 7 miles total. I really need to work on my threshold runs. My plan for this week's threshold run is to run 2x10 minutes at HMP and to embrace the suffering during the run. My new mantra is "pain is good" and of course, "pain is weakness leaving the body". Of course, I mean good pain not injury pain.

So even though I didn't hit the paces, it was a good learning run and I still did push myself. I just need to get used to pushing it so that I can get faster this half marathon cycle.

I also played around with my Garmin before the run and I finally used Garmin Training Center to create a workout and transfer it to my Garmin. It was great to have the Garmin tell me when to run what segment of the run and it also beeped speed up when I was slow and beeped when I hit my target zone. I'll be using it a lot more!

Then I had my first double digit run since my marathon, meaning I hadn't run more than 9 miles in 2 months, eeek! I ran a 10.2 mile progression run with the last 15 minutes between moderate and hard. It felt good, I average 9:17 pace for the whole run which I'm happy with considering how slow I had been running due to the heat recently.

Total miles for the week: 34.3 miles
Total time spent running: 5:27:48
Average pace for the week: 9:33 min/mile
Number of runs: 5 - one easy with hill sprints, one recovery, one easy with fartlek intervals, one threshold and one medium long progression

Best week of training in a long time! Next week should be even better, I hope :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Catching Up

A busy weekend made me fall behind in the blogging world! My cousins were in town for the weekend and we had a lot of fun, although my running suffered and I ate way too much but family time trumps that in my books. Then my brother left to head back to Japan, which was hard but he's only there for a little while longer.

Anyway, check out Jodi's blog: She does Thumbs Up Thursday and this week, she asked to spotlight me! Thanks, Jodi!

As far as training goes this week:

Monday - ran 6 miles in 57:17 and then did 5x8 second hill sprints. Did the flexibility program from Advanced Marathoning afterwards.
Tuesday - set out to do 7 recovery miles but my stomach was not having it and I just felt off. So I did 4 slow, recovery miles in 41:48. Wish I could have managed more but it's all I had in me that day.
Wednesday - 35 minutes of a power yoga podcast.
Today - 7 miles in 66:15 - fartlek run, 8x20 seconds @3-5K pace. I did the first 4 20 second intervals at 5K pace (7:18 - I was on the treadmill so it was easy to be consistent) and the second 4 intervals at 7:08 pace. Felt really good during this run.

Miles for the week so far: 17 miles

Still need to get more cross training in. I'm working on it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The real workout of the day - cleaning!

Whew! I just cleaned my whole apartment - a nice deep clean. It took about 3 hours total. I clean weekly and daily but not as intense every time as I just did. It didn't help that I had laundry to do while cleaning, and to put away along with a full clean dishwasher to empty that I had been putting off. But I'm done! Now I can relax and enjoy the weekend. My aunt and cousins, plus another cousin are all coming into town this weekend and the two cousins my age are staying with me! Should be a fun but sad weekend. Sad because my brother has been home on leave for most of the month but he has to go back to his base in Japan on Monday :(. It'll be good to spend time with everyone though, I'm excited!

My other workout today was an easy 3 mile run:
Mile 1: 9:25
Mile 2: 9:39
Mile 3: 8:28

I had planned on more but I ate some chips that has wheat and dairy in them beforehand (stupid impulse) and my stomach wasn't feeling it. I hadn't run since Saturday as my ankle had been tweaky. No pain today though! I'm going to try and get out early tomorrow and do a 6-8 mile progression run. Then I'll try for a recovery 5-7 on Saturday and a 9 mile progression run Sunday. I'll need to get up early to get those in so that they don't cut into family time but I think I'll manage.

23 miles for the week at the least I'm hoping ... need to get back into the 30+ miles/week next week. Must start going to bed earlier and consistently doing my early morning runs. I need to figure out some tricks to make this happen ....

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Sub 7 Minute Mile ... Finally

Back in high school, I had to take PE for only one year ... I was a sophomore. So we had to run the mile for the National Fitness Test or whatever it is called. I can't remember. Anyway, I'm a pretty competitive person so despite the fact that I didn't run back then, I decided on the day of the mile that I'd just try and keep up with the fastest girl in the class. Now, most of my class didn't care how long it took them ... well mostly the girls. So it was basically just the two of us for the girls that really ran. I remember that I managed to run the mile in 6:53 that day. Then I didn't run again.

Since I've started running again, I've tried to run a mile all out only a few times ... but I haven't been able to break a 7 minute mile. I know, crazy that I did it in high school when it didn't matter that much to me and now that I care, I can't do it. So my boyfriend wanted to go to the track this weekend and I was like sure ... I could use a change in pace and scenery. So after my speedwork on Thursday, I did a slowwwww recovery run on Friday going by heartrate only. I've grown to realize how important these recovery runs are ... but that's another post for another day. Anyway, by doing that nice recovery run on Friday my body was ready for Saturday. So we get to the track around 9, it's HOT and HUMID and the sun is beating down. I start with a warm up mile (10:xx pace) and feel sluggish. I feel like I don't have it in me today but I'm going to try anyway. The boyfriend has always been able to run the mile faster than me, so he's going to pace me and I'm going to use him to draft so that I can hopefully get my sub 7 minute mile finally.

So we start out, I had put my Garmin on the opposite arm than I usually wear it and facing in so that it's harder for me to glance at constantly ... I don't want the distraction and I just want to push myself. So after one lap of the track, I finally look down and we're going 5:55 pace ... I yell up at the BF, you're going sub 6 pace ... and he gradually slows down a little. The next lap and a half slow a little and then I get fed up about 2/3s of the way through the mile and pass the boyfriend ... I just had more than him that day, which is unusual. It probably helped that he had been pacing me. So I run the next lap and a halfish by myself ... and I finish in 6:48!!! I was thrilled.

After the mile, we did some other sprints and hills, then cooled down. While I was cooling down, my boyfriend made friends with the kindest elderly man who had been doing laps, he is 87 and looks about 70! He walks the track to stay in shape and he was so nice and talkative. I told him I only want to live to 87 if I'm as active as he still was!

I haven't run since Saturday since I'm having some minor ankle pain that I'm babying. I had a massage today and I'll put arnica gel and ice on it tonight. I'm hoping for a good early morning progression run tomorrow.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nutrition and Running

I’m always interested to know how other runners eat. I know that there are runners, well people in general, that just eat whatever and either choose not to or don’t worry about nutrition. I wish that could be me. I actually am somewhat restricted in what I eat as I try to get healthier and lose weight and I wonder what it’s impact may be on my running.
I never eat: red meat, poultry, pork etc … the only meat I eat is fish
I try to rarely eat: gluten, dairy, things with artificial sweeteners and to rarely drink: alcohol, soda
I try to only occasionally eat: corn, white potatoes, vinegar, yeast and a few other random things based on a nutritional evaluation.
Now if I were to only ever eat things that I made for myself and to never go, this may be easy-ish but it’s not. I haven’t eaten any meat but fish since December 31, 2009 and that was hard for family and friends if I ate at their houses. Now that I rarely eat gluten or dairy it’s even harder for me. But because of how I feel after eating these two things, I’m trying to make the sacrifice. I know for a fact that both have negative impacts on my running. Gluten not only causes stomach distress for me but it also contributes to numbness in my calf and foot. And well, dairy just makes me feel like crap which sucks because it’s so tasty.
My biggest worry in my new diet was getting enough calories and protein for running. Now I’m not talking about huge amounts of protein because I tend to think we obsess about protein a wee bit too much in this country and most people consume too much not too little. Anyway, the calorie thing is kind of crazy to worry about since I am trying to lose weight after all but I find that even with meal planning some days I’m only reaching ~1200 calories, which in my mind isn’t enough during training. Maybe if I weren’t running 5-6 days a week in addition to lifting it would be okay for me but I am active. So I shoot for at least 1500 calories and I try to be on plan 85-90% of the time. I do give in and eat gluten or dairy if I don’t think it will affect training. I do drink when I go out with my friends. It’s all about balance.
It’s funny because I still wouldn’t be able to eat most of these things even if I didn’t run … they just don’t sit well with me and make me feel crappy.
Do you have any dietary restrictions? Are they for your training or for your general well-being?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Refocusing this blog - Running History ... And current goal - Qualify for Boston

Ahhh, yet another attempt to start blogging again! We'll see :) But I hope to be dedicated to not only blogging but commenting on other blogs actively. It's a big goal of mine. But below I'll talk about my current biggest goal:

My current goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. In order to do this, I need to shave 30 minutes off of my current Marathon time. Now I’ve only run one marathon and finished it in 4:10:47. I need to run a 3:40:59 to qualify for Boston. I’m aiming for 2012. I know I won’t be running Boston in 2011 because I’d need to run a qualifying time by October 2010 and that’s not going to happen since I’m not planning on running another marathon until January 2011. So I have some time but I need to get committed. I’m currently training for a half marathon in October and focusing on increasing my mileage and doing some speedwork.
I suppose I should start by describing my running history before I start blogging about training to qualifying for Boston because I will qualify, it’s just a matter of when. If I have a goal, I’m going to get there and it’s not like the Boston Marathon is going to cease to exist, so I have my whole life to get there. Although if I’m honest, my goal is to qualify for Boston before I have my first child. We’ll see though. Anyway, back to my running history.
I started attempting to run in 2007 as a sophomore in college. My boyfriend and I would run a loop by his house a few times a week at most. And I just used gmap pedometer to see the distance of the run since I never had before, it was a 2.5 mile loop. Now when I say we ran, I mean we attempted to run it and did walk sometimes. Anyway after a few months of that I did my first 5K in May 2007 and finished in 27:30. At this time I was also a figure skater and on a collegiate club team. Skating was my first love and my priority. That summer was to be spent training at my home rink with my long time coach. I was skating 4 days a week and working a lot so I pretty much stopped running at all except for occasional runs on the treadmill. Then I injured my back in late July 2007. Now I had hurt my back before and dealt with pain and physical therapy many times. But this was different, it just didn’t go away like I was used to. So I saw a specialist again and went through a myriad of tests. I was eventually diagnosed with spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis. Basically I have a chronic back problem with stress fractures that never seemed to heal. I was advised to stop skating and all impact activities. I’m stubborn though. When college started up again in the fall, I resumed skating on my team despite the pain. I was in physical therapy with a physical therapist who I had been seeing for awhile. He thought I could keep skating and when I mentioned starting to run again he was encouraging. At the same time, I saw another specialist that was highly recommended. After my appointments with him I was basically devastated. He told me that I shouldn’t skate, should never plan on running etc … He painted a very dim future for me, but I still would not give up. I decided to finish that season of skating and had an okay season despite the pain and inability to practice much. My team made it to Nationals that year and didn’t finish as high as we usually did but it was fun.I didn’t run often during this year as the doctor had advised against it.
The summer of 2008 I stayed at school to work and since I couldn’t skate I needed something to do that felt like a challenge and pushed me. I began doing couch to 5K on the treadmill at the gym. I learned that I shouldn’t try to run too fast just comfortably and to not push myself too much. I was finally able to run for real it seemed! Running wasn’t hurting my back at all either. I did a 4 mile race that September and finished in 34:30ish, I don’t remember for sure. Amazingly, I won my age group (it was a small race haha)! I was really into running now but still didn’t know too much about it. I just ran. So I decided I should work on building mileage up. I ran a lot of 3 mile runs that fall around a reservoir near me. I ran a 5K at Thanksgiving and finished in 25:37! I thought that was great and I wanted to do a 10K that spring. Unfortunately I injured my knee that winter and didn’t run again until May 2009. I consider May 2009 to be the real start of my running career since I had never really run consistently with a focus before then.
In May 2009, my boyfriend and I decided to do a half marathon in September 2009. We started training and we were using a Runners World Smart Coach plan but eventually switched to Hal Higdon’s Novice Half Marathon plan. The summer of training was definitely a new challenge but I learned to love running longer distances. I finished the half marathon in 1:56:23 and I was hooked. I wanted to started training for a marathon immediately but injuries stopped me (shin splints mostly – was tested for compartment syndrome since I was dealing with numbness too). I ran a few other races that fall (2 5Ks, a 10K). I worked on maintaining mileage that winter, going to PT for my shins and just focusing on getting better. Since I couldn’t run the marathon I had wanted to in February 2010 I began looking for others. I ended up training for and running the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon on May 30th. It was a challenge, mentally more than physically but now I’m ready for more. I know that I need to increase my mileage a lot and I don’t want to get injured again so I’m being smart and slow about it. I’m training for a half and then I will start another marathon cycle.
This blog will now chronicle my life, my training, my goal of losing 15-20lbs to help me become faster and hopefully eventually a BQ!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I needed that speed!

So I’ve had kind of a crappy few days. I was under the weather all day yesterday after consuming a bit too much red wine with a friend the night before. Anyway, I spent most of the day on the couch being lazy instead of getting a workout in which is what I should have done. And then I stayed up too late watching crappy TV.
Then when I woke up this morning I was in a bit of a funk and kept putting off my workout and just being lazy in general. I did some work and just putzed around. I finally made myself put on my workout clothes this afternoon but I didn’t go workout right away. I cleaned my bedroom and bathroom, then I did some laundry. I made crockpot bean, lentil and veggie soup. I did some more work. I still wasn’t motivated to go workout. I talked to my boss. I tried calling my boyfriend for motivation. He didn’t answer. Then I was like well whatever, I’m going for a run I have to. And when I went to go suddenly my back was tight and my stomach was bothering me … ugh. This is why I like to workout in the morning. Anyway, then I called my mom to complain. I decided not to workout and to continue to be lazy.
But then I got fed up with myself. Just go run, even if it’s only 2 miles. So I did. Since my stomach was bothering me, I decided to go to my gym rather than outside. So I get there, get on the treadmill and start running. During the first mile I decide I should do some speedwork. Originally I decide on 4×800 @ 10K pace working down to 5K pace. But then I decide I don’t want to do 4 800′s cause I’m like that. So I did:
1 mile warm up
800 @ a little over 10K pace
800 recovery
400 @ a little over 5K pace
400 recovery
200 @ just below 5K pace
200 recovery
100 @ 3K ish pace
a recovery between 200 and 400 length recovery
100 @ 3 K ish pace
100 recovery
200 @ 3 K ish pace
200 recovery
400 @ 5 K pace
400 recovery
800 @ 10 K pace
800 recovery
.62 cool down
5.63 miles, 52:18 minutes. I had to take a picture so I’d remember when I got back to my apartment:

I felt so much better after my run:
Sometimes you just have to get out there and do it even if you don’t feel like it. Believe me, I needed that workout and some speedwork to get me out of whatever funk I was in.
I have an 8 mile progression run scheduled for the morning, so I should start getting ready to hit the hay!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
- Aristotle

Motivation. Gosh, I wish I was always motivated but I'm not. Sometimes, I'm overly motivated and can't wait to get out there and run or lift etc ... Other days, I just want to lay around and do nothing. 

I've worked out for the last 12 days straight. But I'm seriously lacking any motivation these days. I'm making myself get out of bed in the morning and go. And still, I pushed back a run scheduled for this morning to tomorrow because I just could not go. I don't know what's going on but I feel like crap these days, I'm exhausted and my legs feel tired and heavy every time I run. I've been having to take walk breaks on even my short runs. 

But I'm still going, I'm still working out. I've done the 30 Day Shred for 11 days now and unlike pretty much everyone else who does it, I have no visible changes. Ugh ugh ugh. My body is just stuck. But I'm sticking with it, I'm going to give it everything I have for 30 days. 

After all it's the days we push through, we keep striving that will pay off and make us stronger. So I'll go to bed earlier to try and get some energy, keep eating healthy despite not seeing results, and keep pushing during my workouts because soon I'll have a good run, an easy rewarding run and I can't wait for that. And I'm sure that after that run, I'll be motivated to keep going each day. I just need to keep chipping away and be patient. My energy and love for running and working out will return. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Just another boring training plan post

I had a great week of training this past week. I ran five times, for a total of 17.6 miles as I slowly build the mileage back up after my marathon. I did the 30 Day Shred Level 1 everyday. I did my flexibility program once, and did extra core work twice.

My legs definitely are still tired from the marathon despite 3 weeks having passed. I have heard though that it takes a day per mile that you raced, so hopefully by June 25th, my legs will be peppy again. I started half marathon training next week so I need my legs to cooperate. I'm following Hudson's Level 2 Half Marathon training plan for the the Sun Half Marathon (accompanies the Bay State Marathon) on October 17th.

My training plan this week is as follows:

Monday - easy 3 miles, 30 Day Shred Level 1, core workout
Tuesday - easy 3 miles, 30 Day Shred Level 2
Wednesday - 30 Day Shred Level 2, core workout, flexibility program
Thursday - 7 miles total - possibly doing a 5 mile race, 30 Day Shred Level 2
Friday - easy 4 miles, 30 Day Shred Level 2
Saturday - bike ride, 30 Day Shred Level 2, maybe yoga
Sunday - easy 6 miles, 30 Day Shred Level 2, flexibility program.

Luckily, I have all this planned out in my Google Calendar as well as a spreadsheet so I'm keeping track of it pretty well.

I realized during my run this morning that I need to be getting up earlier since it's HOT out now. I mean it was only 3 miles but dang the heat definitely was noticeable. I left around 8:25 so I'm going to start aiming to leave between 7-7:30am. Plus, then I'll get started with my work for the day earlier too. I've started a new job working mostly from home this week, so I'm adjusting to a new routine right now. I'm loving the flexibility so far.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Training Plan for 6/13-6/19

Sunday - Easy 4 miles and Flexibility Program from Advanced Marathoning - Done
Monday - 30 Day Shred and Core - Done
Tuesday - Easy 3 miles and 30 Day Shred
Wednesday - Easy 4 miles, 30 Day Shred, Core and Flexibility Program
Thursday - Easy 3 miles and 30 Day Shred
Friday - Easy 4 miles and 30 Day Shred
Saturday - 60 minute bike ride, 30 Day Shred and Yoga

Total Miles Planned - 18
Total Core Workouts Planned - 2
Total Flexibility Workouts Planned - 2
6 Days of 30 Day Shred
1 Bike Ride
1 Yoga Session

Now we'll see what gets done.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Marathon Training Thoughts

I began training for my first Marathon on January 4, 2010. I originally planned on running a marathon on May 2, 3010. I followed a Higdon based plan with my own tweaks.

January: I was in physical therapy the majority of this month for shin splints. Luckily, I was able to run fine for the majority of my runs despite the shin and calf problems I was having. My long runs were 13 miles, 8 miles, 12 miles, 14 miles. I ran 126.6 total miles.

February: In February, I went gluten free for Lent and noticed an improvement in my running. I used to deal with numbness in my feet, mostly my left foot and it didn't happen while I was GF. I ran a 10K on February 7th and PRed by 3 minutes, in 47:35. I then ran a half marathon on February 28th and PRed with a 1:49:02 (previous PR was 1:56:23). I felt pretty good then and after my half I really began to focus on marathon training.

My long runs in February were: 7.2, 15, 11 and 13.1. My total mileage was 96 miles.

March: In March, I decided to push back my marathon from May 2, 2010 to May 30, 2010. My long runs this month were: 10, 16, 17, 11. I ran 133.6 miles in March which was a new mileage PR.

April: A big month of training. I dealt with one week of being injured this month too. I feared a stress fracture but luckily it was not. I'm still not sure what it was but it was definitely metatarsal pain that ended up just going away. It was close to a neuroma location, so that's possible too. My long runs were: 19, 20, 12 and 22. 155.9 total miles for the month.

May: May was an up and down month. I ran a 5K PR on May 8th - 22:53. But maybe I shouldn't have pushed it during the 5K because I paid for it the next few weeks. My long run the day after was my worst ever, it should have been 20 miles but ended up being 17.7 miles. I hurt all over and was so slow. Then the week after my knee started giving me fits and I had to basically take the week off, two weeks before my marathon. Ugh. Was not good but I pushed through. Ran 17.7 and 8 miles as the two long runs I managed for the month. Then it was time to taper. My taper was pretty extreme because of the knee. May mileage before the marathon was 73.1

Total mileage for the 5 months was: 585.2. I ran 85 times, for an average of 6.88 miles per run. It was a total of 22 weeks of training for the half marathon followed by the marathon. I averaged 26.6 miles a week for those 22 weeks.

What will I do different next time?

I'm running a goal half marathon in October 2010. Then I'm hoping to run the Houston Marathon in January 2010 but it's gone to a lottery system so hopefully I get in. For my half marathon cycle I'll be following a Hudson half marathon plan. I'm debating between Hudson or Pfitzinger for the marathon training cycle. I'll definitely be running more miles, more speedwork. I also plan on being more diligent with cross training (weights, core and stretching). I'm starting Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred today and will continue doing it when HM training starts. I'll also do the core and flexibility workouts from Advanced Marathoning 2x/week each. I'm also scheduling in yoga and bike rides. After 30 Day Shred, I'll do a strength training routine 2x/week.

Also, I'm going to be focusing on my nutrition and recovery for the upcoming cycles. I'd like to lose 10-15lbs and eat much healthier. I also need to get more sleep and spend more time focusing on recovery. Luckily I will only be working 25 hours a week and mostly from home, so I should be able to get more sleep than I was at my last job which required a commute and long hours.

So we will see how the next cycle goes!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2010 KeyBank Vermont City Marathon Race Report

It's taken me almost a week to sit down and write this report. I haven't been blogging recently but there's been some changes in my life recently (quit my job, will be working part time in my new job etc ...) that mean I will be able to blog more hopefully, which means that for my next marathon cycle, I'll have a good record of my training and such.

Anyway, on to my first Marathon race report.

We left for Burlington, VT on Saturday around 9:15 after I had run 2 easy miles that morning and packed basically my whole life. I have a major packing problem, it's bad. We got to VT around 1pm and headed to the expo. I picked up my race packet and then watched a video of the course with my boyfriend and mom. Then we walked around the expo for awhile, I got a very nice sweatshirt and a few other things. After the expo, my mom decided she wanted to figure out where to park the next day so we drove down to the start and played around with the best place to park, the easiest way to get there avoiding traffic etc ... I wasn't sure if they'd drive me in the morning or if I'd take the shuttle from the hotel but we wanted to figure things out. Headed to the hotel to check in after. They had an indoor pool and hot tub so after we got settled in, we headed down there for awhile until my aunt arrived from Canada. My aunt got there around 4ish and we headed over to the mall and did some shopping. My mom was worried about me walking too much but I was fine.

Next up was dinner at UNOs as they have a good gluten free menu and I had been eating gluten free leading up to the race. I got a salad, gluten free veggie pizza and mashed potatoes. It was very good and I ate a lot which is usually really hard for me.

After dinner we had to stop at Kmart as I had forgotten peanut butter for my brown rice toast in the morning and we needed a cooler since our hotel rooms didn't have fridges. Then it was back to the hotel to relax for the night. Just hung out watching the Red Sox, some lacrosse and Roy Halladay's perfect game. I started trying to sleep around 9:30 after having a little crying spell about being nervous. I slept restlessly for the first 2 hours as our room had 2 double beds and the boyfriend and I tried to share one but it sucked. We ended up separating and then later switching so that I would have the better bed. I finally slept continuously from about 11:30pm-5:45am which was good.

Sunday morning, I woke up, tried to force down 2 pieces of brown rice toast and peanut butter (I only managed about 1 piece) and then I got dressed, put sunscreen on, drank gatorade, body glided etc ... We left the hotel around 6:40, parked easily and got to the start area by 7ish. I immediately used a porta potty and then we walked around some, just trying to stay relaxed and focused. Took some pictures (I'm with my mom in the first one and my aunt in the second).

Around 7:30 I used the porta potty again and then headed to the start line around 7:45 and found the 4 hour pace group. I talked to some of the other runners hoping to run around 4 hours and then we were off!

Mile 1: 9:39 - A little slow but it was crowded at the beginning and slightly uphill to start. I felt good, was talking and relaxed.
Mile 2: 8:54 - Made up the time, still going through the town with people out cheering.
Mile 3: 9:05 - On pace, feeling good.
Mile 4: 8:53 - I think this was a downhill heading out of town to the beltway which was so boring.
Mile 5: 9:03 - Just running along
Mile 6: 8:46 - A little too fast, which will hurt me later on. Took a GU Roctane at the end of this mile. I was also carrying a water bottle with Nuun and a propel packet in it.
Mile 7: 8:52 - Still too fast, out on the beltway.
Mile 8: 9:00 - Slight uphill, still feeling good and relaxed.
Mile 9: 8:45 - Back into town, tons of cheering. My mom got a picture of me
I was waving and smiling when I saw them here. I felt good.
Mile 10: 9:32 - Started feeling not so good, I got goosebumps, was freezing, felt out of it and started freaking out. I also had to pee really badly. Lost the pace group on purpose this mile since we were banking a little too much time I thought and decided I'd just use my own pace band that I had made.
10 Mile split - 1:29:52
Mile 11: 9:45 - Finally saw a porta potty just as I was about to pee my pants, also took a salt packet during my pit stop thinking it would help me.
Mile 12: 9:26 - Things continued to go wrong and I walked a little up a hill. Feeling really worried about how I was feeling and if I could do it. I was playing a mental game with myself already! Ugh, the lessons I will learn from this.
Mile 13: 10:08. Still not getting back to where I needed to be. In the woods now I think, with less support. Throw my water bottle away and start using aid stations and walking through them. Trying to tell myself to man up here.
Half marathon split - 1:59:40 - still on pace for a 4 hour marathon but slowly losing it. I'd be happy with sub 4:30 the way I was feeling.
Mile 14: 10:08. I could just not get it together.
Mile 15: 10:42. Included a huge hill on which I spotted my boyfriend, mom and aunt and started crying since I was feeling so defeated (my mom took the picture below before she realized I was crying, it's hilarious to me now). I wanted my gatorade from my mom and she didn't have it. They just told me to go don't stop. Apparently they felt awful because they just pushed me away but I needed it and started to feel better soon although I was doing 4 min run, 1 min walk for awhile after.

Mile 16: 10:56. Feeling better although not great, this part was mostly neighborhoods.
Mile 17: 9:57. Same.
Mile 18: 9:56. Still through neighborhoods, feeling okay, know that I can push myself to finish now and that I'm going to do it.
Mile 19: 9:48.
Mile 20:10:07
20 mile split - 3:10:06. I tell myself now that I can run 6.2 in an hour and will finish sub 4:15 and I'm going to try to get sub 4:10. I also stop walking as much. My right piraformis is killing me but whatever.
Mile 21: 9:47 - hard downhill into the bike path during this mile I think. It killed my quads.
Mile 22: 9:46
Mile 23: 10:06 - ok only about 5K left, I can do this.
Mile 24: 9:52
Mile 25: 10:03
Mile 26: 9:12 - Trying to finish strong, come into the finish area with tons of spectators. See my mom and aunt and go crazy.
. 2 miles: 1:48:22 (8:36 pace)
26.2 miles: 4:10:47 - almost sub 4:10 but not quite. I'll take it though.

Immediately start trying to walk through an incredibly crowded finish area. I wanted a diet coke and got that and then we started walking back to the car as I could not handle the crowds, it was not well organized at all IMO. To get to the car though we had to go up a few hills which sucked but the walking was good for me.

We got back to the hotel and I took a freezing ice bath and then a nice warm shower. We went to the Outback and I ate a ton of bread since I could finally eat gluten! Tasted soooo good.

Spent the rest of the day hanging out, had some Ben and Jerry's, relaxed and then had a restless night of sleep before we headed home Monday. I was sore until Wednesday and did my first post marathon run on  Thursday.

So my first marathon is in the books and although it was full of ups and downs, I'm thrilled with it and can't wait to do another. I also have some reflections on training etc ... that I will try and post tomorrow.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekly Recap 4/5-4/11

Monday 4/5 - 20 min Yoga for Runners and 35 minutes of abs and strength. Didn't have much soreness from the 19.25 miles the day before.
Tuesday 4/6 - 5.05 miles, 45:20, 8:59 pace. Did 6 hill repeats during the 2nd mile. Felt good. 15 minutes of strength.
Wednesday 4/7 - 45 min strength and intense foam rolling
Thursday 4/8 - 7 miles, 1:03:40, 9:06 pace. I ran the first 6 miles outside and then headed inside to my apartment's gym due to gastro issues. Bad move, the treadmill just aggravates my calf way too much, so instead of doing 4 on the TM and getting a total of 10 for the day, I only did 7.
Friday 4/9 - rest day!
Saturday 4/10 - 10.6 miles, 1:39:30, 9:24 pace. I dropped my Garmin on the sidewalk during the 3rd mile and it crapped out on me. Damn. I was improvising the route too and shooting for 10, so I'm glad I knew enough landmarks and the mileage from my apartment for them, so I got over 10 miles. I bought a new Garmin 310XT that afternoon. 60 min of power yoga and 20 min abs and strength in the evening.
Sunday 4/11 - 20.4 miles, 3:15:28, 9:35 pace. I felt decent during this long run. Headed out and it was overcast and pretty warm. I tackled about 4 hills in the first 5 miles and was feeling good. My foot had a nagging pain near the toes for most of the run though and I'm really hoping it's nothing like a stress fracture. I got down to the beach around 8 miles, ran about 2.25 miles out, stopped at CVS to buy a water to refill mine and the person in front of me had like grocery shopped in CVS and spent 100 dollars and took forever! That was an unexpectedly long break. Headed back down the beach, and then repeated the beach route again for mileage. I realized I had run a little more along the beach than needed when I got to my turn off spot with about 3 miles left, when the spot is 3.25 miles from home. Oh well, I'd run more. So I just ran until I got to the store past my apartment where I buy gatorade and that was 20.4 miles.
I feel awful though, my brother called twice during my run and I didn't answer because the number was weird. I rarely ever get to talk to him because he's stationed overseas (Marines) and I missed his calls. I want to cry because I really miss him and would have liked to talk to him. Ugh. I hope I get a call again soon.

Total miles: 43.1 miles, 6 hours and 44 minutes of running, 9:23 average pace
3 hours and 15 minutes yoga, strength and abs

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Weekly Recap 3/29 - 4/4

Monday, 3/29 - 4 mile recovery run on the treadmill. 40:05, 10:02  min/mile. Felt good.
Tuesday 3/30 - Abs. Just a quick workout.
Wednesday 3/31 - A little bit of strength training.
Thursday 4/1 - 9 miles, outside. Gorgeous evening. Ran along the beach which was so nice. 1:20:56, 9:00 min/mile. Did some strength training too.
Friday 4/2 - rest day.
Saturday 4/3 - 9 miles at MP. Started out too fast, didn't eat before my run so I bonked ugh. Really had to push myself to finish but I did it. The last 3 miles weren't at MP though unfortunately. 1:19:26, 8:50 min/mile.
Sunday 4/4 - 19.3 miles. I was determined to have a negative split on this run and to feel strong through out after yesterday's run. I got up at 5:20, had a piece of brown rice toast w/ pb and got ready. Headed out at 6, ran 9 miles at around 9:50 min/mile pace, stopped back at my house to switch water bottles and pee quickly at 9.75 miles and then headed out for the rest. I had 1 bottle of propel/nuun for the first 9.75 miles, then had a GU roctane during my pit stop. Brought another bottle of propel/nuun for the next 9.25 miles and had a pack of sprots beans between 14-16 miles. The second half of the run averaged about 9:25 pace with the 19th mile being sub 9. I felt so good and strong. When I was done, I felt soooo accomplished. It's my longest run yet! 3:05:00, 9:37 min/mile.

Weekly mileage:  41.3 miles, 9:21 min/mile average pace

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekly Recap 3/22 - 3/28

I've been so busy with work the past few weeks and haven't been up to writing. I'm basically going to start just doing weekly recaps for myself and race reports when I race on this blog as I lack the energy/time to do much else these days but I'd like to have weekly recaps to go back and analyze for myself.

3/22 - Rest Day. Should have biked and lifted but I was too exhausted and still recovering from the week of work before as I had stayed at work until 10pm 3 times that week.
3/23 - 4.07 miles, 34:07, 8:24 pace. I felt amazing on this run and it just went so well. It was in the pouring rain and I actually love running in the rain, I find it fun and love hopping over puddles etc ... I also did Runner's World Never Get Hurt program, core work and foam rolling after my run.
3/24 - Rest Day. Left work early as I wasn't feeling well and came home and fell asleep until 7:30pm. Too exhausted to work out.
3/25 - 9 miles, 1:18:55, 8:47 pace. Nice run, gorgeous weather. I had a little foot numbness and tight calves but felt good overall. A little faster than my usual mid week runs but it wasn't bad.
3/26 - Rest Day.
3/27 - 9.2 miles. I had signed up for Tall Mom's Virtual Race, so I decided to do a 5K time trial in the middle of this run. Ugh, bad idea, it did not go well. I warmed up for 3 miles and then set my Garmin for a 5K, finishing in 24 minutes. I started out and just wasn't in the right mindset. I can't race unless I'm actually at a race. I finished in 25:34 8:13 pace, which is barely faster than my HMP but oh well. Overall, 9.2 miles, 1:21:35, 8:55 pace. It was cold out this morning too and I wasn't happy about that as I had put most of my winter running gear away and had to pull some of it out.
3/28 - 11.4 miles, 1:42:51, 9:02 pace. Awful run. I was supposed to do 12 but talked myself into 11.4. I felt awful, so tired. I can't believe my pace was 9 min miles, I felt like I was moving so slowly. But it's done and now it's time for stretching, a smoothie and an ice bath.

Weekly mileage: 33.6 miles
March mileage: 129.7 miles (I have one more March run)
2010 mileage: 352.3 miles

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hyannis Half Marathon Race Report


So why am I disappointed … I shouldn't be. I made it under 1:50:00 which was my 2010 goal. But I feel as though I didn't leave everything out there. I don't think I've learned how to race yet but I need to realize that that is okay, it is a learning process and this is only my second half marathon. I've really only been racing for the last 6 months as before that I never trained etc … and did not run consistently. So I've only been a trained runner for about 6 months and I've cut 7:21 off of my half marathon time. That's a good thing not a bad thing.

I did feel so so much better during this race than my last half marathon. So here's a race report, a few days later, so we'll see what I remember.

Saturday: Got up after not sleeping well the night before. I woke up nauseous twice randomly. Not fun. Dave and his friend had stayed up until 2ish playing video games but luckily I managed to fall asleep around 11. I got up and quietly headed out for an easy two miler. It was snowing lightly and it was very pretty and peaceful out. I was feeling good about my running. We headed out around 11 since I needed to go to the running store for a rain running jacket. Yep, I didn't have one and rain/snow was the Sunday forecast. After stopping there and a few other places, we headed down to the Cape. I was able to sleep some of the hour drive which was nice. Stopped by the Expo and picked up my number. It wasn't an overly impressive expo, a lot of running stuff for sale but not many free samples anywhere. Oh well. We headed to the hotel to check in and then spent some time in the pool/hot tub before going out to dinner.

We went to dinner at UNOs since they have a Gluten Free Menu and I'm currently GF. I had the cheese and tomato pizza which was pretty good and a salad. We ate early and just headed back to the hotel to relax and watch the Olympics. I managed to fall asleep around 10 and stayed asleep until 4. I woke up at 4 and couldn't fall back asleep until almost 5. Ugh. 

But I got back to sleep and slept until 7am. Got up and made my waffle with PB (smuggled a toaster into the hotel room for this) and had some coffee. We headed out around 8:45 thinking we were only a 5 minute drive away and we'd be fine for a 10am start. Not quite. There was quite a bit of traffic and then we had to park far away so I had to decide at the car what to wear. At this point it was overcast but not too chilly, I ended up with capris, a short sleeve running tee, my new running jacket, and a headband. I bought cheap gloves when we got to the Expo since my hands got cold walking there. So we got there and it was about 9:30. I grabbed the gloves and said bye to Dave since he wasn't running. I headed to the porta potty line which moved dreadfully slow and I was very worried about missing the start but the porta potty was so necessary. Finally got in around 9:55 and then ran over to the start. This was not my plan, I had hoped to get a ten minute warm up in after the porta potty. Ooops. I was stretching in the jam packed starting area. There was literally no room to move around though. We finally got started around 10:08am.

Mile 1: 8:29 – my HR monitor was a mess this mile, it said my HR was 195 and kept saying HR too high over and over. Eventually it settled down. I knew there was no truth to it since I felt good and the mile was nice and easy until my stomach started cramping. Ugh. I just kept running through it. This mile was nice and flat but included a lot of maneuvering around people due to the crowded start.

Mile 2: 8:05 – Faster than I had planned at this point but I was feeling good. My running jacket was driving me absolutely crazy though. Bad choice. It kept riding up and I had my Sports Beans in my pocket along with gloves, so it was driving me crazy. My HR strap was bothering me too and I wished that I would see Dave to give it to him. I also wanted to take the jacket off but I couldn't since my fuel was in it and my ipod was in the little ipod pocket. Damn.

Mile 3: 8:01 – I honestly don't remember much about this mile.

Mile 4: 8:10 – I think the first water stop was during this mile, I managed to grab a water and keep running while I drank it. Feeling good and right on pace.

Mile 5: 7:58 – Ooooh, getting a little too fast at the beginning. But feeling good, some downhills here. I think we were along the ocean at this point but I don't remember much. It boggles my mind that people can remember intense details of their races, I just can't, I wish I could.

Mile 6: 8:17 - There was a hill here but not a bad one. I think I took some sports beans and there may have been water. Still feeling good.

Mile 7: 8:09 - I don't remember anything here.

Mile 8: 8:20 - I think there were some hills here.

Mile 9: 8:51 - I had to stop to take in some Sports Beans here, I couldn't eat, run and breathe at the same time. I was getting hot and really wanted to take my jacket off. There was a water stop here too.

Mile 10: 8:18 - Feeling good again, except for a minor stumble in which I twisted my ankle. Ugh. They had only a small part of the road for us to run on and it was right on the shoulder and crowded. I was worried for a second but my ankle recovered fine. Started to notice the pain from my blister here. It always feels like a rock is stuck in my shoe at that one spot.

Mile 11: 8:05 - There was a girl in her yard cheering us on while jumping on a mini trampoline. It made me smile and gave me some energy.

Mile 12: 8:34 - Unfortunately, I had to stop for sports beans again. Why, I don't know. I should have just kept running.

Mile 13: 8:10 - Almost there, I'm thinking I'm definitely going to be in the 1:48 range according to my Garmin.

Mile 13.1: 1:35:25 (7:13 pace) – I had a nice kick up the hill at the end, hitting 5:35 pace at one point and passing about 5 people which felt amazing! My Garmin measured this as .22 miles. 

Final time: 1:49:02 (Race chip official time) 8:20 pace/mile

Garmin stats: 13.22 miles, 1:48:54, 8:14 pace/mile

It's so weird to me that my Garmin is less than the official time since I started it after the start mat. And my official time is usually a good 10+ seconds less than my Garmin. Weird, it must have been off that day but whatever! It's a 7+ minute PR and only :03 off of 1:48:xx, so I'll live. I'm much happier now looking back at it. Now it's time for the Marathon training to really begin!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Half Marathon Goals

Eeek, it's going to snow on Sunday! That's what I get for running a half marathon in New England in February, I suppose.

A Goal: Sub 1:48:00. McMillan Running Calculator thinks I can pull off 1:45:53. I disagree, so I'm giving myself two extra minutes for my pie in the sky, reach for it goal. I just don't think I have the mileage in training for a sub 1:46:00 right now.
B Goal: 1:48-1:51:59. I will be extremely happy with any time in this range. Preferably, sub 1:50:00 but I'd take sub 1:52:00 right now especially if the conditions are bad.
C Goal: 1:52:00-1:54:00. I'll take it but I won't be thrilled.
D Goal: A new PR (1:56:23 is my old one). I won't be very happy with anything over 1:54:00 though.

My PR was on a very hilly course, my long run going into it was a 10 miler the week before and I stopped twice for at least 3-4 minutes total during the race due to some foot issues.

This training cycle, I've done 2 10 milers, 1 11 miler, 2 12 milers, 1 13 miler, 1 14 miler and 1 15 miler and I've PRed by 3 minutes in the 10K and this course is supposedly much flatter. So if there is not decent improvement, yes I will be disappointed.

I need to start figuring out what to wear, what to pack for the weekend etc ... I'm so anxious for some reason and it doesn't help that I've been staying up to watch all the figure skating in the Olympics every night. The Ladies start tonight, so I definitely won't be going to bed early! I hope I don't sleep past my alarm tomorrow like I did this morning.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2/15 Training Week

This week was my second to last week of training before my Half Marathon (2/28) next weekend! It went really well overall and I'm feeling confident. I'm working on my goals for the Half and will update this week once I decide on them. I've looked at the 10 day weather forecast and it's not looking good, so I'm hoping that changes!

Here's a recap of this week

2/15 - 15.04 mile run 2:23:18 (9:32min/mile)  - recapped in previous post
2/16 - Lifting Day - 10 minutes on the stationary bike to warm up. Followed by: 2x12 squats (25lbs). 2x12 pushups. 2x12 dumbell rows (25lbs). 2x12 step ups (20lbs). 2x10 prone jacknife. Also did Week 3 Day 1 of hundred pushup challenge - pushup sets of 14, 18, 14, 14, 27.
2/17 - 3 mile run 27:40 (9:14 min/mile) on the treadmill, not a great run because I hate the treadmill but it got done. 20 minutes of foam rolling, using The Stick and a tennis ball for some spots.
2/18 - 5.10 mile tempo run 45:00 (8:50 min/mile), Mile 1 was warmup followed by Mile 2: 8:34, Mile 3: 8:27 and Mile 4: 8:08 and then cooldown for 1.1 miles. Not bad, felt pretty good increasing the speed each mile. I just wanted to get a feel for Half Marathon (8:15-8:20) pace.
2/19 - Rest day. Went out for Happy Hour after work to see a friend who is moving to CA this weekend. Then came home and crashed. I was exhausted.
2/20 - 5.20 mile run 46:17 (8:55min/mile). Nice easy run. Spent two miles trying to pass another runner in front of me and finally did and stayed ahead :). I needed something to focus on since my heart wasn't really in the run for some reason.
2/21 - 11 mile longish run 1:42:38 (9:20min/mile). Really good last long run before the Half. I ran down to the beach, which was soooo windy but the sun was out so it wasn't bad. I started in capris, a short sleeve tee, new lululemon arm warmers and my Brooks jacket. I had my Brooks jacket off for about half of the run though when I was out of the wind. I ran the last mile in 8:06 as I decided to see if I would be okay for half marathon pace at that time and it felt great. My last mile includes a decent sized hill too. 

Week: 39.3 miles 6:04:54 time spent running.

I hope my good feeling carries into next weeks half!

Monday, February 15, 2010

15 Mile Run

I have a mileage PR - 15.04 miles :). I did it this morning, luckily I have today off so that I could get out there for my long run.

I ran 3.38 miles on Saturday morning. I was supposed to do 5 miles but Dave's little sister had a swim meet that we were going too, so I didn't have much time. Still, they were good, fast miles so I was okay with it. We spent the rest of the morning at the swim meet sitting on some awful benches. So uncomfortable. Then Saturday night, I headed into the city to see a friend who is moving across the country next week. There were about 8 of us and we just hung out in a friend's hotel room watching the Olympics and catching up. I was debating whether I'd do my 15 miles the next morning or wait until Monday since I had it off. I only had one glass of wine since I wasn't sure. But then I stayed out later than I planned, still not too late, only 12:15ish since I had to rely on public transportation and it stops running at a certain point. So by the time I got home, I figured I'd just go to bed and see how I felt when I woke up.

I didn't feel too great when I woke up, I was just tired and blah. Then my hamstring started randomly cramping, so I decided to wait a day. Dave's hamstrings were bothering him too, so we're blaming it on the awful benches from the swim meet. We just hung out together yesterday, did a little shopping and then I napped before watching the Pairs short program of the Olympics. Went to bed as soon as it was over so that I could get a decent nights sleep.

I got up and headed out around 8:15 this morning. I'm living in a new area so I had mapped out a run to try but I knew it wasn't 7.5 out so I'd have to do some improvising. I headed out and 3.3 miles later, I was at the water! I was sooo excited to run along the water. I ran out about 3 miles and then back stopping once to take some sports beans and to text Dave to turn on the ice maker since I had forgotten! Then I decided to go past where I had turned onto the water but that didn't work out so well since it went to a major road that didn't seem to safe. So I turned around, crossed the street and ran back along the water but on the opposite side which had a nice trail that weaved in and out of some woods and park. I took some more sports beans now. Turned around at 10.6ish miles and finally when I got back to the road I came in on it was time to head back. Finished up the last 3.3 miles, which included a huge hill with about .5 miles left! That was a killer.

I'll have to take my camera with me next time because there are a lot of nice views from the water, especially since I could see a lot of Boston as I ran. I love the route down there, so I think in the future I'll just plan to do that part of the run 2x instead of going elsewhere to add miles. 

Total: 15.04 miles, 2:23:18, average pace 9:31 min/mile (with a nice negative split!), average HR 161bpm

I made sure to stretch a lot and then I took a nice 20 minute ice bath. Eeek, I shivered for awhile after that! But now I feel great. I do have a few blisters but they are recurring ones not new ones. I'm planning on trying out some new shoes after my half in two weeks to find a blister solution.

Now it's time for chilling on my couch and watching the Olympics. I love the Olympics sooo much.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ugh speedwork.

For my Thursday runs I've been trying to do some type of speedwork just to get my legs moving faster. Today I had 6x800 planned at about 3-5k pace. I got on the treadmill after staying at work late and I was already exhausted and frustrated but I was determined to get my 7 miles in, even though my legs have been rebelling against the treadmill lately, I had no choice since it was dark and icy out by the time I got home. I wish there was a track near me that was lit as that would be a nice change of scene. Anyway, I got on the treadmill and warmed up for 1.25 miles and then did my first 800 @ 7:13 pace. Ugh. I was already struggling. Did a 400 recovery then for the next 800 I went a little slower, about 7:20 pace. I got through it. Then another one, this one only at about 7:30 pace. After my next rest interval I went to up the speed and just couldn't do it. My legs were fighting me and since I have a half in 2 weeks, I decided to listen to them and just finish the 7 miles at least. So I only did 3x800. But it's something I guess.

I'm struggling to recover from Sunday's 10K. More than I expected. Oh, and I know my mile times posted in the race report probably don't make sense for a 47:35 finish but my Garmin was off. Which is normal for Garmins. It was about .10 of a mile short. At first I thought the course would be short but they had it mapped on MapMyRun and it was 3.1 (it was a 2 loop course) and I repeated it in Gmaps Pedometer to verify and it was 3.1 miles there too. So, I think it was just my Garmin that was off. I have to always remind myself that that is possible and not to rely on paces from my Garmin too much.

So, since I'm struggling to recover and my back and legs are bothering me, I decided it would be a good idea to ice bath tonight! Eeeek it was an extra cold ice bath but it was much needed! I at least got to talk to my brother through email during it on my Blackberry. He's stationed overseas so it's always nice when I get a chance to chat with him! It's morning there, so it works out perfectly when he's on email and I'm at home chilling.

Not much else to report. I'm going to try Bikram Yoga tomorrow night. I'm excited. Dave's going with me too. And then I have 5 miles scheduled for Saturday and 15 miles for Sunday. 15 miles will be my longest run ever! I have to figure out a route because there is no way I am doing it on the treadmill like I did for my 14 miler two weeks ago.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Finished my 10K in 47:35 today. Made it in 1:25 under my goal.

I got up this morning around 8:15 and had a Luna bar and got everything ready. It was frigid this morning but I wanted to wear capris since I hate tights, they restrict my calves too much and my calves are what cause most of my problems. So I decided to go with the capris and bring a pair of tights in case I changed my mind. On top, I wore a base layer long sleeve C9 tee, then a Nike Drifit Fleece on top and my Brooks jacket over it. I wore a bright pink lululemon ponytail hat, SmartWool socks and my UnderArmour gloves. Haha, I seem to have had every brand I own on this morning. My boyfriend and I left around 8:55 for the race since I had picked up our numbers yesterday. Ate a banana on the way. We got there around 9:20 and walked around for a few then sat in the car warming up for awhile before jogging for about 10 minutes to get warm enough to stretch. The race was supposed to start at 10AM so we lined up at 9:50ish and stood there for awhile. It didn't start until about 10:10.

Mile 1: 7:50. Had to weave in and out a lot at the beginning since a lot of slower people started at the beginning. Dave was ahead of me at this point, so I caught up and ran with him for awhile. Felt really good here. The sun was shining and I was getting pretty warm. So thankful for my sunglasses since it was bright today!
Mile 2: 7:47. This mile was half into the wind and that was not fun. The course was right on the water which definitely made it even worse. Felt fine here too.
Mile 3: 7:54. Had a really narrow part of the race on this mile and it was right on the water and very windy!
First 5K split: 23:59. About 25 seconds off of my 5K PR. Not bad!
Mile 4: 7:52. A lot of switching back and forth between negative thoughts and positive ones. I have to be better with the positive self talk. My left calf was starting to bother me but wasn't too bad. Convinced myself that I was strong and I would not stop and walk at all.
Mile 5: 7:55. Back into the wind. Hard but not too bad. My left foot was a little tingly now.
Mile 6: 7:49. Felt really good and just kept pushing.
.2: 7:37 pace but I forgot to turn off my Garmin right away so I think it was faster.

My Garmin has 47:45 as my time but the official race time is 47:35! Nice, I think I started it a little early and then forgot to turn it off right away.

I'm so happy with this result and I hope my good training will carry me to a 1:50 half marathon in 3 weeks!

After the race, Dave and I met up with my mom and cousin who is in town for brunch. It wasn't great and I was freezing from being sweaty and then being in the cold not moving before we went in for brunch but I was still so happy plus it was good to see my cousin again one more time before he headed back to NYC.

So, I had a great weekend and a great race!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Quick Update

I have my first race of 2010 this weekend. I'm running this 10K: I'll be sure to post a race report. My goal is sub 49:00. I really want it and I'm going to push as hard as I can and fight to the finish. I don't think I've ever given it my all in a race, so this one I will be. Plus, I want to get an idea of my fitness to make a goal for my upcoming Half Marathon.

Quick recap of the year so far:

Total miles: 137.7 miles

January miles: 126.6 miles
January 1-3: 17 miles
January 4-10: 27 miles
January 11-17: 21 miles
January 18-24: 29.5 miles
January 25-31: 32 miles

February miles: 11.1 miles
February 1-7: 11.1 miles so far, probably will add 2 tomorrow morning and about 8 on race day for a total of 21.1 miles 

Doing pretty good so far this year, can't wait to see what happens Sunday!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm feeling colorful today so I'm changing up the font a bit :)

I headed out for my long run this morning. The temperature read 15 degrees feels like 0 degrees so I dressed as warm as I could: a pair of running tights, a pair of fleece running tights, a long tank to keep my midsection extra warm, a fleece turtleneck, my Brooks running jacket, gloves, hat and a balaclava. I looked a bit ridiculous with the balaclava and sunglasses on but the sunglasses were necessary since the sun was bright and we still have a lot of blinding white snow on the ground. I was very warm from the beginning of my run. I had planned to do just 6.5 miles out and 6.5 miles back for a total of 13, well apparently the road I was headed down is much shorter than I thought, only 3.5 miles so I ran up and down and around some side streets to get the mileage up. I finished in 2:05:14 for an average pace of 9:37 min/mile and an average heart rate of 161bpm. Just perfect :) 

I came home and got into my ice bath with as many layers on my upper body and head as possible, along with a cup of hot green tea but it was still frigid! It took me about two hours to warm up after the ice bath and it also took me awhile to eat anything since my run made me feel a bit nauseous this morning. Not sure why. Then I had to watch my Patriots play absolutely awful and lose. Ugh. But the boyfriend and I were at his parents for dinner and it was delicious! His aunt made this apple and squash dish which I loved. I will definitely be making it myself soon!

I said I was going to post about core exercises this weekend but I have a little bit of work to do so it's going to have to wait. 

Ending with a running quote that I get in my email daily from Runners World:

As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are
- Joan Benoit Samuelson 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

26 miles so far

I've run 26 miles in 2010 so far and I am thrilled with the start I am off to, especially since it's been mostly pain free! I only had some pain during Tuesday's run but once I stretched around mile 2, it went away.

Runs this week:

Tuesday: 5.01 miles, 46:53, pace 9:22 min/mile
I ran outside and it was kind of miserable because the sidewalks on the main road aren't paved, so I ran up and down my side road and one circle for 5 laps. Oh well I got it done and it was a decent run despite some calf twinges. 

I had PT on Wednesday in between my running days and it was much needed. I love massage and ART! So nice. I had to do one new hard exercises, stepping into alternating squats on squishy half circle type things, so the flat side on the ground and I was stepping on the rounded squishy one. Eeeek, it was hard and everyone was watching me. But I got it done and it helps my leg strength.

Thursday: 4.00 miles, 36:10, pace 9:03 min/mile 
This run was done on the treadmill. I alternated incline and speed with each song, so song 1 - flat and 6.3, then song 2 - incline and 6.3, song 3 - flat and 6.4, song 4 - more incline and 6.4 etc ... for 8 songs which was most of my 4.00 miles, and then I sprinted the last .4 of a mile or so, increasing the speed every .05 miles. It was a good workout!

I've also been doing some Core Training and I think this weekend I'm going to work on a post about that but for now I have to go back to doing some work I brought home. (Yes, one of my goals was not to do this but I had PT twice this week, so it's just makeup work for time missed, not extra work I'm bringing home. As soon as PT is over, bringing work home will end).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Treadmill Running

It snowed all weekend here in MA. I woke up yesterday and was debating about whether I wanted to go Power Yoga then run or run then go to Power Yoga. Then I looked out the window and realized I probably wouldn't be running outside. I like to run in the snow but when it's constantly snowing, I have to worry too much about plows which is no fun. So I knew I needed to go the gym and run on the treadmill. Then I decided not to go to Power Yoga at all since I had taken too much time in bed making up my mind and would have had to rush to clean off my car and help my mom shovel. So I got up, did some shoveling and cleaning off then picked up the boyfriend and headed to the gym. I decided I would switch Saturday's 5 miles with Sunday's 12 miles in case I couldn't make it out at all on Sunday.

So, on Saturday I did 12 miles on the treadmill at the gym, with a dead ipod. Oh my gosh, I was soooo bored. I just started at the time and distance the whole time. I was going 1/12th of the way done, 1/6th of the way, 1/4th etc ... But I did it, 12 miles in 1:59:10. Just shy of two hours, with the second 6 miles a few minutes faster than the first. The only time I had to stop was when the treadmill ran out of time, since the longest I could set it for was 99 minutes. So I had to reset it to finish the last 2+ miles. I felt pretty good. My calves didn't bother me at all, which thrilled me. I took an ice bath after and relaxed all afternoon.

This morning, the snow wasn't as bad as yesterday but the roads still weren't very runnable. So back to the gym we went. Luckily, 5 miles go by a lot faster than 12 miles even when they are recovery miles. I ran it in 51:33 or something and my heart rate never went above 154 which was good. I was a little sore after the 17 total miles but not bad.

I did day 3 of the 30 Day Shred tonight and Level 1 is definitely getting easier for me. I'm sure when I move up to Level 2 it will be killer though. I'm going for 10 days at each level.

Back to work tomorrow, so it's early to bed for me tonight. I'm so thankful for the time off I get due to working for a University. It's really nice. I loved being able to sleep in, run whenever I wanted, nap if I wanted etc ...

Friday, January 1, 2010

So I read “Skinny Bitch” and …

It really has changed the way I think about food. I was already leaning towards becoming vegetarian after watching the documentary Food Inc. a few weeks ago and reading "Skinny Bitch" sealed that for me. So as of yesterday, I have given up meat. I'm debating about what else will also go. I should give up dairy especially since it has really negative effects on me and that part of the book really struck me. I've always found it weird that humans are basically the only adult mammals that consume milk and well I don't even like milk, it's other dairy products (cheese, ice cream etc …) that will be harder for me to give up, so I'm still processing this part. I think I need to give up a lot of, if not all, the dairy I consume because I do notice the effects of it on my body it's just harder to let go of than meat for me. So I'm starting with meat and will continue with the process from there. I'm sure I'll read "Skinny Bitch" many times while going through this life change, as it really does lay it right out there for you. And, I think that while I'll end up giving up meat and dairy, I may not give up fish which may seem weird and I'm not sure I can explain it … but it's something I'm processing. I'm really just starting out right now and I think everything takes time and I don't want to rush anything so for now gone from my diet are:

  • Meat
  • Soda

I'm researching and processing

  • Dairy
  • Seafood
  • Caffeine
  • Artificial sweeteners (well they're going for sure, I just need to wean myself off of Propel and Crystal Light packets and then I'll be done. I haven't had any today!)

FYI: Skinny Bitch is very blunt, lays it out there and has a lot of swearing … just a forewarning if anyone's interested in reading it. It is very informative though and I really enjoyed it. I need to buy "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch" for recipes now.

So this is part of my 2010 journey … we'll see where it takes me.