Monday, July 25, 2011

Ooops- its been awhile!

Hello!  If anyone is still out there reading, I apologize for the hiatus.  Actually, after the Newport Marathon, I tried to write a recap for awhile, but it never materialized.  Then, with school finishing up and giving/grading finals and all the fun that comes with being a teacher at the end of the year, life got crazy.  And now summer brings me to living a split life between chilling up north, and working like crazy at home.  Quite the life right now!

Anyway, Newport.  Ugh.  It went epically bad.  Basically, it was a repeat of my horredous Chicago Marathon last fall, although this was mostly a physical thing rather than mental like Chicago.  Regardless, my time was *almost* as bad, ranking as my 2nd worst marathon ever.  It was really rough, honestly, I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't.  I planned for month for that trip, my parents came and were awesome, and overall I wanted it to be good so badly.  My health issues of the winter still have not been completely resolved, so I think that played a role.  I guess I was just sad and anxious to move on afterwaard.  The trip itself was amazing though- we did so much so other than the marathon I was happy with it.

I headed right back into training post-Newport, more determined than ever.  I knew that I was in shape there, based upon some pretty solid training runs that I had leading up.  So far this summer has been about upping my milage and getting in some fast(er) stuff.  I'm hovering just under 90 miles/week right now.  Although I'd love to get in some 100 mile weeks, just for the confidence factor, I feel like where I am is good for now.  I'm keeping some freedom in my training and really loving it.

Oh, and I ran another marathon....yesterday.  I returned to the teeny tiny 100 person, 3 loop, flat marathon that I ran last year and basically had an equally amazing day there.  No taper, no sleep (12 hour workday before) and no looking at my splits/pace throughout the whole thing- just running by feel.  I say this not to toot my own horn, but because I honestly think the more relaxed I am going into the race, the better the outcome.  I ended up running a 3:35, which was in the top half of my marathon times.  More importantly, it gave me the confidence that I'm in the kind of shape that I thought.  I've never claimed to be in PR shape right now (sub 3:18) but I have felt like 3:30 is about what I'm capable of.  Yesterday proved that to me (GI troubles slowed me down a bit in the last few miles.)  The best part was how great my legs felt and how much fun I had- I seriously had a big goofy smile on my face the whole time!  I officially love that race and that course- even if I had to pay $70 for a cotton tshirt and a popsickle at the finish!

So that's about where things stand right now.  I'd like to get back to blogging and perhaps get sommore pictures going on my blog so that there is more visual, less me rambling about stupid stuff.  Problem being, I don't have a camera....hmm...

I hope any readers out there are having fantastic summers!  I'm loving the hot weather we are having in Michigan! 90 degree days- I wish summer could last forever!

Peace, Love, and Running.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oregon Bound!

FINALLY, today is here- I seriously cannot believe it.  After a long day of listening to 7th graders do presentations in Science and reviewing with my high school classes for finals which start next week, I will be on a plane to OREGON!  I'm so pumped for tonite, I don't know how I'm going to focus on doing my job today.

This week has been full of the regular taper fun- having crappy runs and questioning the last 5 months of training.  Monday was very hot up north and I left at 11am without eating or drinking much and totally bonked- on a 7 mile run, not so promising.  Yesterday, I had a 5 miler filled with stomach cramps which never happens to me.  Hoping that all the junky runs are getting out of my system!  Today = rest.  Tomorrow = shake out 2 miler.  Saturday, I marathon!

I'm off to finish packing before this crazy day begins.  Hopefully I can pop in to blog from somewhere along the way.  If not, please think fast thoughts for me on Saturday between 7:00am PT and however long it takes me to finish.....

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New PR! (for my poppy)

Good Sunday Morning!

It is a beautiful (although chilly) morning in northern Michigan!  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of running the Bayshore 1/2 Marathon with my poppy (ie dad.)  The weather was cool and rainy, although the rain didn't actually fall during the majority of the race.  It was actually a pretty perfect day for running weather-wise.  I was really excited for this race because I love running with my pops, and I knew he was in PR shape.  Also, I have run a race at Bayshore for the previous 5 years (2 10Ks, and 3 marathons) but had never done the 1/2 before!

Honestly, the race felt great.  Runners are bussed to the end of the course on Old Mission Pennisula, and then run back.  Having run the marathon the past 3 years, it felt like I had already gotten half of the run out of the way without actually running it!  My dad did great- we were super consistant running splits betwen 7:50-8:15 the whole race and finishing with 1:45:21.  That was over 3 minutes faster than my dad's first half marathon a year and a half ago!  Now I got to convince him to run another to get under 1:45....

Personally, the race felt great because I plan to go out conservatively in Newport next weekend.  I want to have that feeling of feeling really fresh still at the halfway point and be able to speed up from there.  I've gotten much better at negative splitting my runs this training cycle and feel like I understand much better the idea of pacing.  Running with my dad showed me how racing is supposed to feel- like I can keep going faster instead of crashing and burning.  Whether this can play out in Newport remains to be seen, but I feel really good/confident about my strategy after yesterday's half.

Today is a *gasp* rest day.  I'm headed into town to the running shop to look for pictures from the race.  It is cool on the race course because they take pictures and then stick them to the walls in the running shop and let you take them for free!  I would love to find our to commemorate a great run with my pops!  Although there is 20% off at the running shop, which could be deadly for this girl.....

Enjoy your Sunday! :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

2 months! Yikes!

Oh man oh man, I can't believe how long it has been!  Honestly, I think blogging is like alot of stuff in life (healthy eating, exercise) in that for whatever reason, after missing a few days, it becomes harder and harder to start again and therefore you continue to avoid it.  But, for whatever reason, here I am- writing an update and hoping to get back on the 'blogging wagon!'

So what has been going on?  Really, the reason I stopped blogging was because of some health issues I was having/trying to get figured out.  This made for a really rough March/April and I'm still not 100% with getting stuff sorted out.  With that said, things are much better.  My training took a hit during those months, although in hindsight, I still was training alot.  The last 6 or so weeks have been much better though- really in all areas.

Running first....
Right now, I'm up north!  Basically if you are a reader from before you know that this is my favorite place ever.  I haven't been up since Christmas!  What does this have to do with running?  Well, tomorrow I'm running the Bayshore 1/2 Marathon.  This is bittersweet because I've done the marathon at Bayshore for the past 3 years (1st year was my PR).  I decided after a disappointing race last year that I needed a break from the full marathon, but still wanted to support Bayshore because it is my 'hometown' marathon.  So I signed up.  As did my dad.  So tomorrow, I will be running it side by side with him, hoping to help him PR.  Why not go all-out for my PR?  Well, besides not being in shape for it right now....

...The Newport Marathon is in one week!!!  I'm seriously so pumped to be going all the way from Michigan to Oregon to run this marathon.  For a few weeks when I was the most sick, I was doubting I would even be able to do it, which was rough/depressing.  Now, I'm so grateful just to be able to get out there and toe the starting line.  I do have some expectations for the race, but also feel flexible with what I want out of it.  My training has been pretty solid lately, both pace wise and milage wise so I'm excited to see how it pans out.  All and all, it should be a good trip- I cannot wait!
Hmmm, what else?
I have 3 more official weeks of teaching before summer, although they are pretty low key in terms of review time and giving finals, plus a couple random days off in there.  I'm pumped for a break, but honestly that is just because I want to be up north!  I actually really like my job and the routine of it (other than the part where I commute 100 miles a day).

I'm also very involved in trying to get my business up and running.  I will be selling my own Gluten Free baked goods at Farmer's Markets in the area (along with still selling for the bakery I work for on Saturdays.)  There has been alot of time and money spent getting my recipes nailed down, the paper work sorted out, insurance, and buying supplies.  My first market as my own bakery will be in just 2 short weeks on June 11th!  I've been waiting years to have the opportunity to do this as my main 'job' so I'm pumped to get started.

Other than that, I'm already thinking about my summer training plans post-Newport.  Although I don't think Newport is going to be my PR day, I feel like I'm on track with my training and body and am getting close to being able to make it happen soon.  This summer, I want to be running 100ish mile weeks again and really get my body responding to the work I put in.  My work schedule will be interesting with the markets and driving up north, but I'm really psyched for the whole she-bang.  It should be a good summer! :)

Thanks for checking back on my blog!  I promise not to fall off the face of the earth again, now that I've got my health *alittle* more sorted out.

Good luck to anyone racing this weekend! :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another sunday blog! :)

I totally believe what is said about the weeks going by faster and faster as you get older.  I cannot believe another week has gone by- time is seriously flying.

So yeah, how about that training????

This week was *ok*.  My cross training was almost nonexistant, which stunk but I'm battling some sort of something that is causing my energy level to be in the toilet.  Seriously, the fatigue has been so overwhelming that I've been going out to my car during my lunchbreak and sleeping at work.  Because I'm that classy.  I even crashed at the parents' house one night last week, just to spare the drive and ended up sleeping all late afternoon, evening, and night.  I need to get this figured out though, as it is hindering my training!

Atleast I got my runs in, for the most part.  Ended up with a few less miles than I would have liked, but considering how I felt, I'm ok with that.  Highlights included Monday's runs where upon running 8 miles at 8 minute pace in the morning felt rough, but running 3 more miles at 7:30 pace in the evening felt effortless and like I could keep going forever.  Tuesday = run with a friend = always the best miles of the week, even when they involve freezing rain.  Wednesday was 13 miles on the old treadmill before a swim.  Seriously- I felt my character being built.  Hmmm, what other runs were special?  Thurs/Friday, not so great.  I felt most exhausted that day.  Saturday, I woke up super-early to run pre-bakery in freezing weather, only to find when I got off at 2:30, it was BEAUTIFUL sunny and warm out.  So I put in a few more lovely miles. 

So today- the long run.  I was flying solo again today, with 20 miles on tap.  I procrastinated by getting up early and cleaning my whole apartment, washing sheets, and getting together tons of clothes to donate.  I was hoping it would warm up, but it didn't really.  Low 30s, which isn't terrible, but the wind was strong.  I planned a new route, hoping that it would be fun.  The first loop was intended to be 10-11 miles, then I would get some water at my place and head out again.  However, I sort of turned it into a game where as I approached turning back toward home, I turned the opposite way and kept adding on miles.  I felt like every time I extended it before going back to my apartment, I was getting 'ahead.'  Random, I know.  By 13 miles though, I was getting pretty thirsty and paid 2$ for an apple juice at a gas station that I downed in 30 seconds.  The thing about this route was that it was HILLY.  I am the first to admit that I hate hills, and although the town I live in is hilly, I try to avoid them as much as I can- especially on long runs.  Mostly this is because they effect my pace so much and I am a slave to my pace sometimes.  Well, today I just sort of embraced the crazy hilliness and kept doing what I could to challenge myself.  Which was basically going out of my way to make it hard.  My legs were very fatigued by the end, which was expected, but I was satisfied with this run, not because of pace (8:27, although considering the route is decent) but because I really stretched myself outside my comfort zone.  And that is what running is all about, right?

Random things on the run observed:
1) A nun walking on a dirt road about 3 miles from civilization, dressed in full-on nun-clothes
2) A HUGE deer road kill that I literally came millimeters from stepping on as I was zoning out during the run.  Then I proceded to jump 20 feet in the air out of surprise!
3) 2 seperate occasions I saw near car-deer collisions, which reminded me of #2
4) I man running FAST up a steep uphill next to me in jeans and running shoes
5) The fact that I have the most random..errr...eclectic music taste ever.....thank ipod.

So yeah, another week begins.  Hoping to up my milage from the 71 miles of this past week.  But we will see.  I really gotta get these health things worked out and go from there.

Hope everyone had great weekends and great runs!  Enjoy the new week! :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

skip a i am!

I know you were all worried, but I didn't completely fall off the face of the earth....

Actually, the week before this past week turned into a total bust.  First, I totally messed up my hamstrings Tuesday night taking a strength training class.  The combo of the class and my complete lack of muscular strength, some tempo miles that night, and a slightly inclined 13 miles on the treadmill the next morning, left my legs completely zonked.  Which made me have to pull back a bit on my milage for the next few days in hopes of rallying for my long run on Sunday.  Which didn't end up happening because I got extremely sick Saturday night (due to some GI problems I have) which made it impossible to run more than a few, slow, dehydrated miles on Sunday.  So basically, the week turned into a wash.

This past week has been better though.  Although the said GI stuff isn't completely gone which has decreased my eating and hense my energy level more than I would like.  Other than feeling more sluggish and labored on runs than I should, they have been good overall.  Highlights included an 11 miler on Tuesday with 7 miles at 7:29 pace.  Wednesday was a wet and freezing 14 miler outside at a oh-my-gosh-my-legs-are-moving-so-slowly pace.  Friday I did 10 miles before cycle class right around 8 min pace, and then had a really great cycle class.  Since I had to work today and not yesterday, I did my long run yesterday.  18 miles of not-so-confidence-building running.  I'm not sure if it was the week catching up to me or what, but I felt exhausted and run down the whole time.  And the wind was bad.  My pace was slow.  But I got it done.

Really what is stressing me the most right now is not the milage or putting in the work or the actual runs I'm accomplishing, but how they are feeling.  It's not a matter of being able to run X:XX pace or whatever, but it is the level of effort that I'm feeling when doing so.  I was hoping by now my pace would be dropping more, but also it would be getting easier to accomplish that pace drop.  So I guess my confidence is a bit shaken right now in that regard because it is difficult to imagine doing what I want to do over 26.2 miles.  Oh well, still 12 weeks until Newport.

Overall, good week:
- 2 core classes
- 2 cycle classes
- 2 lovely swims
- 81 miles :)

Let's get the next one started!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reality, here I come...

This past week has been sort of an alternative-reality for me: I've been sick, my workouts all over the place, and I had the week off from teaching.  Because of this, I'm actually feeling so ready to get back to my 'normal' this week of training and working both jobs.  I'm finally feeling almost 100% from this ridiculous cold I had and I think my lighter training volume this past week has made me more ready than ever to tackle a good week coming up.

The last few days were filled with short, easy runs, so I won't bore y'all with the details!  Today brought about a lovely 20 miler with my friend.  What is it about runs with friends that make the time fly by?  I really enjoyed everything about the run, except for the fact that stupid snow-banks kept cropping up- I'm so beyond ready for winter to be over!  Atleast I felt like I'm back on my training-game and can tackle a good week head on!

Alright, I guess this was a pretty lame-o post!  I'm just in the habit of Sunday night posting.  Hopefully I'll have some better workouts to report in the coming week- Newport Marathon in less than 14 weeks!  Eeeek!

Have a good week everyone!