Friday, April 30, 2010

29- busy friday, busier weekend

Whew, today was a busy day!

Kept my running day to one, singular 7 mile run @7:48pace.  I had to squeeze it in between my morning short (6am-10am) shift at the bakery, and a 12 noon docs appointment I had before rushing off to teach.  I'm really glad I did though, because after work, I had to drive home to my parents' house for a cat-sitting weekend.  Anddd, it was 80 degrees when I was running at 10:30, which was amazing!  Especially chugging a Blue Powerade Zero (aka crack) after in less than a minute.  Yum....

Honestly, my legs felt pretty tired today.  I'm happy with the fact that I am pushing through these runs.  I'm getting nervous about Sunday, because I have a 20 miler planned and I really NEED it to be quality.  As for tomorrow, it will be another easy day.  Unfortunately I have to get up at 4am to make it to the bakery from here by 6am.  And, I'll have to run afterward, as well as drive the hour back.  Buzz kill #2 is the fact that I have to work Sunday as well.  Weekend = non existant.  It's all good though, because my parents' comp me with food $$ (which is the easiest way to win me over!) and our cat is a cutey. 

Ok, I'm off.  I have a feeling I'll be in bed soon after my 4:45am wakeup this morning, and in anticipation of my 4am wakeup tomorrow.  Yeah, exciting stuff on a Friday night!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

30- quicky

Quicky tonite.

12 miles today; 5 in the morning, 7 at night with Mike.  Morning was tough, night was better.  Need to pack now.  Tomorrow = busy day.  Hungry.  Off to get some fro yo from the freezer for dinner.  Because I'm classy like that.

It's all good.

Long Overdue (long) Boston Recap

Ok, I don’t want to totally blow off my Boston recap, but honestly I don’t have much to say. The experience itself was good in that I was able to learn a lot about my training and about what I am doing right and wrong. Really though, it was kind of anticlimactic doing it a second time. I’ll try to keep this short and sweet:

My friend and I flew out of Detroit with her mom on Saturday afternoon. It was stressful/dramatic getting to the airport and we almost missed the flight. I won’t go into details, because everything was happening between my friend and her mom, but it was a rocky start. Thankfully, we all got to Boston safe and sound and headed right to the expo. After doing all of the normal pics and collecting our stuff/freebees, we headed to “Legal Seafood” to meet some of my friends’ moms’ friends. (dinner with lots of people I didn’t know…..) It was actually fun though, they were all cyclists and I’m pretty OK with talking it up with anyone. Plus, Legal Seafood had really good gluten free rolls! Ha, simple pleasures…… We then headed out of Boston to the house we were staying at (which were more friends of theirs, who I didn’t know.) We got there late and crashed. Unfortunately, I slept horribly that night because one of the little kids was throwing up in the bathroom that ajoined to our all night… kill…..

Sunday was spent pretty chill-like. We did a short run, got some groceries, and tried to avoid the sick little kids. Mostly, we just sat/laid in bed. It was the most sitting I’ve done in probably a year! Nice, but nerveracking. By 7pm, I just wanted to go to bed and get started!

Race day. Wake up pre-5am, which was no big for me because I do that so often. We got a ride into Boston, and boarded the busses. The bus ride seemed to take FOREVER which I remember from last year. Once in Hopkinton, we met up with my training bud who I always talk about (his name is Mike, maybe I should just start calling him that!) I think he was grateful to have people to chill with. Coffee + banana + brushing my teeth (yeah, I have a fetish about having minty fresh breath when I run) and I was ready to race. We all walked to the buses together. We joked because my bus was this lame white schoolbus that looked totally out of place, and I was in the last corral of Wave 1. Lame bus for the slowest ones! We split into our corrals and I was finally alone. It actually felt really good to finally be away from the stress of traveling and mingling with people and just be able to focus on myself and my run. But it was also weird because I felt like I was just in Hopkinton! Seriously, time flies!

The race began, but I hardly knew it because I was so far back! It took a good 10 minutes for me to get to the start. But, when I hit it, I took off. I really tried to keep my pace chill, but honestly I suck at that. Every time I felt like I was going ‘slow’ I would look at my Garmin and see 7:14 or something like that! But it felt ok. For now.

Let me rehash that my goal for this race was only to requalify without killing myself or making my body too sore to stop training. I was ‘training through’ this race for Bayshore. However, I think that is easier said than done. To be honest, part of me was hoping I could just pop off an amazing time without trying. Yeah, that would be the crazy part.

By mile 10, my pace was feeling less effortless. I know I came through in around 75 minutes. I was 1:39 at the half, but knew it wouldn’t last, so I backed off. I had been trying those “gu chomps” things throughout the race, but I was not sure if they were really helping. (I’ve never eaten goo or anything during a race). Mostly, they just got stuck in my teeth and I kept thinking about how many cavities they would be giving me! After Wellsley, I still felt OK, but my “OK” was registering a slower pace than my previous “ok”. The thing is, I felt like I consciously backed off, but was upset with how quickly my pace dropped. Seriously, it felt like in the blink of an eye I went from 7:30s to 8:30s to 9:15s. That was the most depressing part. How quickly my pace slipped away. The rest of the race I just packed it in. I knew I would requalify, but I knew I wouldn’t PR or Boston PR, which I was OK with me. I ended up running a 3:37:something. Second half split = depressing, but I kind of accepted it and just went with the flow. Best part of the race was when I gu Chomp fell out of my little running short-pocket thing and into my panties. Yeah, nice and sticky. And it happened going up heartbreak hill. That made for a fun last 5 miles with the gooey-ness all up in my grill…..if you know what I mean……

OK: reflection time. Here’s the thing. I got back into running two days later (swam for first two days). If you have been following my blog you know that I picked back up my training to a higher level this week. So on that front, Boston was a success. It taught me the lessons about my training that I mentioned in a previous post. Again, a success. Lastly, I was able to run a ‘decent’ time with minimal taper (both pre and post race.)

With that said……

I would be lying if I said I was completely OK with it. I just feel so worried/paranoid that I will never be able to PR again. Like my 3:18 was a total fluke. I even wish sometimes that I never ran that time, because then I wouldn’t be so disappointed with my 3:3X finishes that I have had basically for the last 2 years. It’s not that there is anything wrong with running in the 3:30s, but I just don’t feel satisfied with it, when I know I have/can do better. I have been training harder than ever for the last year, and I wonder sometimes if there is a missing piece. Why isn’t my racing getting better? I have set the bar really high for myself, and don’t seem to be stepping up come race day. And that is tough. I’m trying not to dwell on it though. All that I can do is keep pushing 100%. So that’s what I’ll do.

Wow, this turned into a doosy! I’ve been writing it on my breaks at work today, and now I shall hit ‘publish.’ Hopefully I’ll be back tonite with a recap of the day’s runs and such. For now, I have to run (literally) to meet up with my group for run #2 of the day! :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

31- elbow tan!?!

Ok, I'll just get right to it, because I gotta crash soon....

Today = good running day.  Running 15 miles this morning was close to ideal.  I got to run between 9am and 11am ish, the temp was perfect.  It was sunny (which I LOVE) but alittle more windy than I would have liked.  As I mentioned before, where I live now is really cool in that I can go in the direction of the 'city' or the 'country' when I am running.  Today I did a new rolling-hill route through country roads.  I went by a few farm and saw (and smelled....) quite a few horses and goats!  It was actually really pleasant.  I held a 8:10 pace on average, which I am OK with right now.  The worst part was having to jump in the car right away for my 45 minute commute!  Not so great on the legs....

Which brings me to post-work.  I met up with my running club at a local 5K, which was really nice in that it was on my way home from work.  I ran the '1 mile fun run' with my friends' little daughter, which was super cute!  Then, it was time for the 5K.  After putting in 16+ miles at this point, I had no expectations except to have fun and not totally embarress myself.  I haven't raced a 5K in awhile and my speed is pretty lacking right now.  I was acutally really happy with it though- I felt decent and ran a 20:29 without feeling like I was pushing too hard.  Andd, in combination with all my running today made for a 20 mile day (with additional running at the 5K).  Not bad for a Wednesday!  And I got a sweet mug for placing!  Free stuff makes me happy :)  And one of my students was there and did really well too!  I was so proud of her- too cute!

Legs are TIRED now though.  I will push through it tomorrow, but it will be more chill pace/distance wise.  My post title is referring to the fact that I am getting a tan in the creases of my elbows from having bent arms while running.  Sweeeet.  You know you're a runner when........

And I'm off to get ready to do it all over again....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

32- winter!?!? WTF

This morning it was thirty something degrees on my morning run at 7am.  Even more disturbing was the fact that there was a wind chill!?!? WTF.  I'm not a fan. 

However, despite the conditions, there was running to be done.  Specifically 12 miles with 6x1000 tempos thrown in.  I'm not gonna lie, my legs felt sluggish right away when I woke up this morning, and I wasn't sure how this run would go.  I know that I'm asking alot of my body jumping in even harder post-Boston, but I'm really just focusing on pushing through the tiredness this week and hopefully coming out stronger.  The repeats went pretty well (especially the ones that were with the wind vs. against it!)  When I was finished, my legs were tired though.  I kept my rolling stick handy in my passengers seat today so I could roll out my right quad while driving (at stoplights of course! ;) 

Fast forward through the work day to tonite.  I met up with my training bud at the track and we knocked out 400 repeats at 1:17-1:19 pace.  The workout was only a few miles, but it was good to get some leg turn over again.  Now my legs are officially spent.  Hoping to recover overnight because I have *planned* a mid-long run + a 5K race tomorrow.  We will see how that goes......

On another note, I seem to be constantly hungry since Boston, and it is really bothering me.  Perhaps I will try to do a fueling post to get some insight from others about how my eating compares to other runners, because maybe I'm lacking in something?  I'm not even all that sure how many calories I 'should' be eating in regards to my lifestyle + jobs + running.  If anyone knows of any good bloggers out there or info, I would appreciate it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

33- It's Go Time.

Well, I promised a post about where my training is headed, so here goes! :)

Let me start by saying that I haven't had the best luck with 'training plans.'  The most thought/planning that I put into a plan was before I started Boston training, and it quickly fell apart once I injured my back and was out for 3+ weeks.  With that said, I'm always leery to set too much in stone.  Buttt, I'm also very ambitious and recognize that I have a limited training window to hit if I have any hopes of smashing my PR at Bayshore.  So, I'll be hitting it pretty hard.  How hard you ask?  Well, I'm hoping to toe that line between peak performance and burn out/injury pretty closely.  This means that the next three weeks, I hope to be doing nothing but my jobs, followed by training and anything that contributes to improving that training (ie rest, good food, sleep, reading about running lol).  I'm totally OK with devoting even more of myself to this.  Because when I step out to that starting line, I want to have no regrets.  And I won't.

So with my refreshed knowledge via "Advanced Marathoning" in combination with the lessons I learned about myself and my training through running Boston, I'm going to take the training planning one week at a time.  The things that I'm going to change from previous (thanks to my new knowledge) include the following:

- split runs on recovery days in order to maximize recovery w/o sacrificing milage (ie today's 10 miles was split into an AM 6 and a PM 4)
- speed work on Tuesdays (I did this alittle during previous training, but need to do it more regularly)
- dedication to the mid-week medium-long run
- 20 milers - atleast 2
- long runs must finish faster than I start (ideally marathon pace)  I'm very good at running 13-15 miles at my marathon pace, but it is the last 10-13 that really matter.  I need to teach my body to hit it hard at that point.
- tempos.
- keep up with my swimming to maximize recovery

So there you go.  That's the gist of it.  I have this week mapped out and I'm hoping it will go according to plans.  I'm still dealing with the fatigue of hitting it pretty hard post Boston and have to watch my one knee and foot that don't feel quite 'right.'  Other than that, I'm pumped.  I may not PR at Bayshore, but you better believe I will do anything and everything in my power to make it happen.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Oh man, today has been a good day.  Filled with all of my favorite things in life; running, food, family, shopping, and now finally relaxing at my parents' house with my mom.  The half marathon this morning was INTENSE!  I can't believe I ran an ultra (50K) on the same trail last fall.  There is literally not a single flat stretch on the trail.  It was actually really fun though, I saw a guy that I ran with last summer up north and got to chat with him, as well as meet lots more cool runners on the trail.  The atmosphere of these 'trail types' is so different than road races.  Lots more chatting and conversation, and alot less spandex and aloofness.  Like I've mentioned before, I love roads and am not much of a trail person overall, but at the same time I appreciate the 'zen like' attitude of lots of these runners.  When I was talking to one guy about Boston and Bayshore (my upcoming marathon), he asked where Bayshore was and I told him Northern Michigan and that it was a great course and blah blah.  He turned to me and said simply "I don't run many road marathons, only trails; much more interesting!"  I laughed in my head because although that is probably true, I never would have thought of it that way!  Different strokes for different fokes!  Anyway, I ended up running about a 9min pace and finishing around 2 hours which I was pleased with for my last 'easy' day and the difficulty of the trail.  I literally ran to my car to rush home and change for brunch!  It was so. good.  Seeing my sis and bro-in-law wasn't bad either ;).  They left to drive back to Chicago (after seeing my new place ;), my pops drove up north and my mom and I braved the crowds of IKEA.  It was pretty nuts, but we did get some good ideas atleast.  Drove an hour back to my parents' house and here I am, blogging on my NEW PINK laptop!  (ie B-day present from my parents)  I ordered the laptop a few weeks ago through my dad's work figuring I would just pay him the $$ when it came in.  Amazingly, my parents' decided to give it to me as my b-day present which was so great.  Now I have a 'portable' laptop back, after mine died a few weeks ago.  Life is good.

So the plan is this, since I know I've bored y'all already with my post: Tomorrow I start back in on my "official" training.  I've been rereading "Advanced Marathoning" (aka my running bible) so tomorrow I will unvail my training stuff.  Then, Tuesday I can do a quick Boston recap.  Sound good?  For now, I'm off to enjoy the tail end of my b-day while rolling all of those trail-hills out of my tired quads!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

10 Reasons to be pumped!

Oh man, I'm in a great mood tonite.  Here are my "Reasons to be Pumped":

1) done with the work week!  sunday = weekend for me!
2) my apartment in SPARKLING thanks to my hard work cleaning this evening.
3) I get to see my sis and bro in law tomorrow (first time since Christmas)
4) I get to eat delicious food tomorrow at a high class brunch- BUFFET style (they lose money on me!)
5) said #4 is happening because tomorrow is MY BIRTHDAY! :)
6) said #5 means I get some presents tomorrow
7) I'm running a trail 1/2 marathon in the morning! (emphasis on 'running' vs. racing)
8) I just ate frozen yogurt for dinner
9) my mom and I are going to Ikea tomorrow after brunch to look for stuff for my new place- my Ikea cherry will officially be popped!
10) I'm about to curl up in bed with "Again to Carthage" and it is only 8:38pm.  Love.  Sleep.

All in all, good today and good tomorrow.  Don't worry, I'll race recap + new training plan precap soon!  For now, I'm off to relax on my last evening as a 23 year old!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Love Running. Love Life.

Sooo, I keep putting off doing a "Boston Recap" because I anticipate it being lengthy and so forth, so the though of putting my thoughts on paper keeps me from starting in the first place!  Perhaps I will get there eventually.  For now, the bottom line is this:  it was as expected.  Requalification for Boston, without too much effort.  2 days off from running (just swimming) and I was back at it.  I also realized that I have 5 weeks rather than 4 before my "key" marathon, which is amazing (Memorial Day is later this year.)  Somehow, this seems so much more managable in my head training-wise.  Soooo we are really at T-36 days.

Buttt, what I really wanted to mention was what I have been thinking about lately.  I really hope this doesn't come out sounding corny or lame because honestly it is the truth.  So here goes:  I. Love. Running.  Plain and simple.  Contrary to what it might seem after training and running Boston, I am anything BUT sick of training.  I felt like this training cycle I just fell more and more deeply in love with running.  I hated the two days before Boston and the two days after Boston, because I was running little or not at all.  The only reason why racing bugs me is the fact that it interferes with me training as much as possible.  I know me saying this makes me sound obsessive, but honestly, running doesn't feel obsessive to me.  Because obsessive to me means doing something that you don't want to do because you feel like you HAVE to. It doesn't feel like an obligation 90% of the time, but instead like a craving.  Like something my body just wants to do so bad.  All.  The.  Time.  I feel like I'm always thinking about running, or training plans, or reading running books (currently in the middle of "Again to Carthage.")  Whenever I drive anywhere, I always think "I wonder what it would be like to run along this road," hense why I tend to pull over randomly and go running when I can!  Running just feels so right to me.  And I realize that I commit alot of time to it, but I have no regrets about that.  I love the life-stage that I am in right now: young but done with college, and responsible for no one but myself.  I feel like I work hard to keep myself financially afloat the best I can with my 2 jobs, but beyond that I just want to train.  I don't care that I don't have a crazy social life, or that I'm rarely awake past 10pm, or that I'd rather look up marathons to run online than go on Facebook.  All my decisions are based on making me a better runner, which makes me happy as a person.  I'll run with anyone or alone, anytime, at any pace.  I like being committed to something so deeply.  And I love that lately it just feels so NATURAL.  I only wish there were more hours in the day (or that I had to work less hours in the day!) so that I could spend more time as a runner.  I've been running my whole life, but now more than ever I appreciate and love it.  1 ultramarathon, 7 marathons, 7 1/2 marathons, hundreds of shorter races, and the thought of training truely still makes me giddy.  Running = happiness.

I don't really know why I cared to share all of that, but I've been formulating those thoughts in the last couple of days.  It is probably because I've been wanting to run so much, but have kept it to 7 milers the last couple days, as I can tell some fatigue from monday is still present.  I have lots to talk about and changes to make the next 5 weeks of training.  I will have to reveal them another day, as this post is getting way to long.  Suffice to say, the next 3 weeks will be intense.  No holds barred.  I'm in this for one reason.  Bayshore here I come!

Hope running loved you and you loved running today! :)

Running = :)
Bakery 6am-2pm Saturday = :(

Monday, April 19, 2010

0- done and done

Boston is in the books, and I am back home already this evening, preparing for work in the morning.  I'm pleased with the whole experience, but y'all just have to wait until tomorrow for me to reveal the recap and start on my next round of training!  T-32 days until Bayshore!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2- Well here we are.....

This chronicle started on 102 days, and is now fittingly ending 100 days later, with 2 days to go.  Don't worry, I new countdown will start up for Bayshore next week! ;P  This is just my last chance to blog before hopping on a flight to Boston!!!

Honestly, I cannot believe how fast the time has passed.  Between my two jobs, training, and trying to maintain an occasional social life (and my sanity) suddenly "Boston Weekend" is here.  Since this is my last pre-Boston post I've basically just slept since I posted yesterday, I decided to share my 'list of tangibles.'  These are things that I will draw upon in the race.  Accomplishments of my training that no bad time or bad feeling can take away.  What I will draw upon when the going gets tough.  And why I will succeed.

1) 4am runs before the bakery
2) Double and Triple days when I could
3) Swimming 3x per week to balance out my running
4) "Heartbreak Hill" repeats (only my hill was longer and steeper ;P so I'm extra ready)
5) 800 repeats on the track - 10 @ 2:55
6) Tempo runs with my running friend
7) Dropping my pace on most of my runs and finding my 'new comfortable'
8) Prioritizing running over many other things in my life
9) Fitting in training around 2 jobs + my commute
10) Completing long runs in 3 different cities!

So those are the facts.  I know that with the marathon, nothing is given.  I thought I was 100% ready for Philly, only to tank it.  Even with the above being true, I could have a bad race.  And, I'm not planning on going full out because I need to do that at Bayshore, 5 weeks from today.  However, I'm proud to say that at this moment, I have done all that I could.

Bring it on Boston!  I'm ready.

Friday, April 16, 2010

3- ps

I forgot the mention the coolest thing!  I'm on Tina's blog at  Pretty much the coolest thing ever.

I'm the first one on her "Last of the Runners" post (in case you didn't know ;)  Obviously she saved the best runners for

3- Let's do this thing.

Happy Friday!

It feels soooo good to have the workweek done!  And, for me it is extra special because my normally one-day weekend (Sunday), is officially a 3 day weekend- woo hoo!

I feel much more calm/excited today than the jittery/nerves of the past few days.  My main worry is that I'll start running and my legs will feel like lead (ie how my runs have felt the past few days).  I remember last year being a few miles in and knowing my legs didn't have it in them.  I knew I could finish, but it wouldn't be pretty.  And I did.  But it wasn't.  I just really mentally need to fall into pace the first mile and just feel GOOD and cruise.  That is my goal.  And going out slow(er) = other goal.  We'll see if they happen.

Today was pretty busy.  Quick morning shift at the bakery (6am-10am).  Squeezed in a short run @ 7:50 pace, and a short swim to reset everything.  Then, I had to rush off to teach.  Hit up the bank on the way home so I could have some money to blow in Beantown, and the grocery for portable snacks.  Thennn, I did the best thing ever and came home and cleaned my apartment.  It is now sparkling and smelling fresh and there are no long piles of clothes intermixed on the floor.  Good times.  Tomorrow morning I will pack because I'm waiting on laundry and such right now.  Our flight leaves in the afternoon so we aren't even heading the the airport until 11:30am.  And I'm not running tomorrow (gasp!) so I'll have plenty of time.  It will feel good actually just to sleep in, pack leisurely, and drink coffee all morning.  Not gonna lie, kinda pumped for that.  Plus, my parents may stop by my apartment this weekend when I'm gone with 'my' couch from up north that they are giving me.  Sooooo happy to get off of the futon- it would be amazing to come home to a couch here!  Another reason why I had to make sure my apartment was clean ;)

In other news, I got a card from my sis today in the mail with my tatoos on it.  Her and my brother and law are my first marathon supporters (they live in Chicago and Chicago was where I ran my first two marathons.)  I consider them my 'pit crew.'  My sis is also an amazing photographer, so I never have to worry about ordering pics from a race she attends!  Basically in the past, she has drawn and written on my for races she is at (on my arms = motivation during the race)  Last year, she tried to send my tattoos in lue of this, but they didn't arrive until post-Boston (so I wore them for Bayshore.)  I was so happy that she sent me some and they got here this year!  I can't wait to wear them.  They are animal representation of our family.  So I will have all that power during the race.  I also got a cute card + $$ from my mom today, wishing me luck.  Both cards actually just capped off my feelings of pumped-ness and ready-ness. 

I will post tomorrow before I leave, as this is getting lengthy and I want one more time to mentally put my thoughts 'out there.'  If you have good running vibes out there, please send them my way!  I probably won't be able to check my computer after tomorrow morning, and I can use all the help I can get!

Happy Weekend! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

4- the anti-confidence building tempo

Boo, I hate to say it, but tonite's tempo was just that- anti-confidence building.  I met up with my boston bud at our thursday night group.  We were going to do a 4 mile tempo @ 7:15 pace, which I figured would feel easy compared to last week's 5 mile tempo @ 6:42ish pace.  Well, the first mile felt easy!  The rest felt just as hard as last week!  It was hot.  84 degrees, but I like the heat! I just wish is had felt easier.  We ended up running 7:20, 7:04, 7:04, 7:15 for the tempo miles and almost 7 miles total, so we did it.  I just was alittle discouraged with how tough it felt!
I swam this morning.  Now, the next three days are my 'taper.'  I'm training through and using Boston as my long run for the weekend, but I still want fresher legs than I felt tonite.  I guess I'm just freaking out a bit.  My cold is still kicking hard and I'm debating about getting antibiotics tomorrow, but fear it is too close to the race.  Tonite at run club we had a "Tea Party" because 5 members are going to Boston.  It was fun, but I think just made me realize how close it is!  It was super nice, because my running bud there brought in gluten free cookies for me, because I can never eat the food other people bring.  Andd, he let me take home the leftovers because he know I'm poor.  So thoughtful, it seriously made my day!

Ok, I'm off.  One more day of jobs x2 to get through.  Plus a SHORT run and swim.  And cleaning my apartment.  And packing.  I want to run RIGHT NOW!!!!

Take care everyone! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 - blah

Ultra- quick post tonite cuz I need more sleep!  This cold is sooo bad!  And, although I got 12 hours last night, I'm still sooo tired. Boo.

Atleast my run was decent today.  Didn't feel quite as effortless as I would have liked, mostly because I couldn't breathe!  The weather was perfect though and I ran a new route with rolling hills which was ok.  Overall, 8 miles at 7:24 pace in the books. 

In other news, my teaching is suffering this week.  I don't feel on my game and my mind is on Boston!  I'm leaving on Saturday and it can't get here soon enough!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

6- my butt is being kicked by cold/allergies!

Ugh, I dunno what is going on, but these cold/allergy symptoms are intense!  I slept so crappy last night again, and then overslept my first alarm.  Luckily, I always have a backup so I wasn't *too* far behind in the morning, but I did have to rush a bit to get my run + swim in this morning before work.  When I am running, it feels like I am sucking in through a straw to get air.  It is really messing with my head/confidence because although today's short run wasn't *that* much slower than usual, it felt harder.  I caved and bought some allergy medication along with some frozen yogurt tonite.  Dinner of champions right there.

Other than that, not much else going on.  I had sort of an 'off' day teaching-wise.  Plus, grades were due.  Plus, I soo behind on my prep work but lacking motivation to do it, so I'm sort of flying by the seat of my pants this week.  Good news is tomorrow morning= no bakery.  So, I get to sleep in a bit and get in a bit longer of a run before teaching the afternoon away.  Plus, dinner with my friend tomorrow night.

I'm off to try to sleep this off, one more time.  It is getting alittle too close to the marathon for my comfort level!

Monday, April 12, 2010

7- One Week!

Yahoo!  T-1 week!  I'm getting so excited!  Although I am training through this race and not officially tapering, this week in general will be alittle lighter in the sense that I won't run more than once per day, and I will take Saturday off.  I don't want to arrive in Hopkinton tired/sluggish, but I also know that I won't be as fresh as if I had tapered for reals. 

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the whole experience.  It is nice having it be my second year- I kind of know what to expect and I feel like I am taking a really good attitude toward the race itself.  Plus, I get to take a day off of work ;)  All good.

Today was an easy 7 miles.  4 up to the gym, and 3 with my mom.  I decided to skip the strength training at the gym, as it seemed to irritate my SI joint last week.  Instead, I biked for awhile and stretched, which was good.  Work, errands, and here I am!  Tomorrow is a long day of teaching, so I'm going to hop in bed soon.  My cold and/or allergies is still kicking my butt pretty bad, so extra rest never hurts!  Atleast that's what I tell myself when I get in bed when it is still light out......


Sunday, April 11, 2010

8- one of those days.....

Today was totally a day where I felt like I did "stuff" all day, yet got little done.  I guess by the time I woke up (post 10am- perfect), had coffee, ran, and had lunch, the day was basically halfway over.  Then, when I attempted to do prep work while getting sucked into a marathon of "The World's Strictest Parents" I was less than productive to say the least....Hmm, not having TV at my own place seems to increase the appeal of it at my parents' house!  Oh well.  It looks like I will be prepping as I go this week.  The good news is, (well bad money-wise) I have only one shift at the bakery (cuz I'm leaving for Boston Saturday!!! and they didn't need me Wednesday), but that with the fact that I will be running *slightly* less this week = more time to actually do my 'real' job ie: teaching. Hah.

I'm alittle worried because the last couple of days I've been experiencing a sore throat and cold-like symptoms.  Hoping it is just allergies from the crazy weather-swings we have been having.  Other than that, it atleast felt good not to have anything 'scheduled' for today.  I'm more ready mentally for the week.

Andddd, yesterday.  Half marathon pacing of my friend = success.  He wanted to go under 1:45, and we went 1:44:03.  It was FREEZING at the start, (20 something degrees + shorts = cold legs for first few miles).  I was really proud of my friend.  We went out pretty fast (~7:15ish first 3 miles) but then settled back.  Miles 9-12 he was struggling a bit (battling an arm injury) but pressed through it and finished strong.  A couple of those miles lagged to an 8:30 pace, but other than that, they were fairly even.  On a personal level, it was a great race for me mentally.  I felt like those middle miles could have been under 8, making it a 1:42ish effort.  And, upon finishing I felt like I was just getting warmed up and could do the whole thing over again!  Great confidence booster, having that pace feel fairly 'easy'.  It also taught me that I can start conseratively and leave room to pick up the pace.  As I've said before, I have 'issues' with this, but perhaps I am getting smarter/more confident as a runner.  Overall, it was a great morning.  My friend did great, and used his connections to get me a free asics jacket from the race, along with my free entry! :) Lovely. 

My legs were tired on this mornings' easy run.  I think that was more of a factor of jumping in my car immediatly after the race, driving 40 minutes back to work, then working for almost 10 hours on my feet.  Then driving an hour to my parents' house.  Blah.  That part of the day = not as fun.  But money = good.  Plus, I got my paycheck from last week at the bakery when I worked 40+ hours.  Somehow, that makes it all worth it!

Now, my parents are due in any second from Chicago.  Time for me to go get ready for the week and eat some fro yo for my throat!

PS: I am getting SO PHYCHED for Boston!  I don't think I can focus on anything this week other than that!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

9- day off....from blogging

So I would love to update y'all on my busy day, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.  I ran a half marathon this morning, then worked an almost 10 hour day at the bakery, then drove home to my parents' house.  I'm not complaining- it was a fun day!- but I'm just too tired.  Y'all will have to live in suspence until tomorrow!

Can't wait to sleep in tomorrow.  It has been over 2 weeks since I really and truly slept in.  My body is craving it!

Hope everyone had a good day! :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

10- eyes.....closing....

Its only alittle past 7:30pm, and I'm SO ready for bed!  Today was busy, but good overall.  Tomorrow will be even crazier.  I switched my work shift so that I could pace one of my Thursday night run club friends in a half marathon tomorrow.  I'm not really sure what is in store pace-wise other than the fact that he wants to negative split it.  This will be great practice for me too!  Anddd, he is getting me a free jacket from the race! Score!  Moral of the story is, I will be up at 4:30am to get to the race (starts at 7am).  Thennn, I have to be back to work by 11:30am-7:30pm.  And then, I need to drive home to my parents' house to cat sit for the night.  It will be a long, but hopefully fun day!

But first, today!  I worked a super short shift at the bakery today (6am-10am) so I had a window of time to run before rushing off to teach.  I knew I had an hour tops, and I wanted to maximize my distance in this time- enter my 8 mile loop!  I almost squeeked it in (1:00:15).  In hindsight, I probably should have chilled out on the pace because my quads were alittle tired from yesterday night's tempo and I want to have my A-game to pace my buddy tomorrow.  Oh well.  I really wanted to do a second run, but because of forementioned reasons, went to the pool after teaching tonite.  My swim was pretty bad, honestly.  I hate going to the Y after work because it is crowded.  And, today I had to pee and was very hungry halfway through my swim.  I totally could not find my groove and felt like I was swimming through quicksand.  Oh well.  They can't all be great, can they?

Ok, honestly, I am going to bed now.  And I'm OK with it.  These pre-5am alarms start to catch up to me!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

11- Tempo-Tastic!

Well, winter has returned to Michigan! Today there were super high winds and the temp kept dropping until by 6pm, the wind chill was in the low 30s! Yuck! Cloudy, cold, and windy.

My running bud from my Thursday night group and I had planned/agreed to do a tempo today at run club. Let me tell you, the idea sounded a lot better on Tuesday night after an 80 degree easy run! I was nervous about it all day, and we both were unsure about how it would go when we met up. But, we decided just to put in the effort and see what happens. I’ve done zero tempo running this training cycle and I’m not really good at feeling out pace. He wanted to go 6:50 miles for 5 miles. Sooo, we set off into the wind for a mile warm up.  It. Was. Intense.  Suddenly it was time to start the tempo- we both laughed because it was the one time the warmup felt fast- when we were dreading the start!  Atleast we had turned at this point and were perpendicular to the wind.  We fell into pace naturally.  He looked at his Garmin more than me, and I just tried to look when the mile splits beeped.  We ran a familiar loop of dirt roads, so the footing was soft, but decent and it was *relatively* flat.  Here's the breakdown:


I didn't break down the average pace, cuz I'm bad at mental math!  With the slow warmup and cooldown miles, it was a 7:14 average.  Looks like the tempo average was in the 6:43ish range?  We were both really proud of this- better than we planned and more so considering the conditions and the fact that we both had little tempo experience.  It felt hard, but not killer-hard- which I think is a good sign?  Overall, satisfying.  Glad to have that one in the books!  Will mentally draw upon it during tough times at Boston....

I'm pacing another friend in a half marathon Saturday!  Should be fun!

Off to bed for me.  Lots of work, and hopefully running and swimming for me tomorrow starting bright and early at the bakery!

PS: Random moment that made my day- One of my favorite students said to me "Ms. M- you were the one teacher I missed over break!"  Too cool- one of the moments where being a teacher feels good!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

12- lots of hills, little run and a PSA

Good afternoon!

I'm posting a bit earlier because I'm meeting my friend for dinner, then have to do a few things in the area afterward, so I won't be getting home until 'late' (ie like 9:30pm for me!).  But in my defense, I have been up since 4:45am....

Today was all about the hills.  I wanted a more 'chill' day milage and pace wise, and I needed time for a swim.  Sooo, I parked by the Y, at the base of a series of hills that my elevation map told me were steeper and longer than Boston.  The route was short, (only 5 miles), and I tried to keep the pace natural (ie not kill myself pushing it uphill, and not pound too hard/fast on the downhill.)  Ended up being at about 7:55 pace overall, with uphills at 8:10ish and downhills at 7:40ish.  Last mile = flat = 7:29.  Yay!  I'm really happy with my sporatic hill work for this training cycle.  Although most of my routes contain some hills, the specific hill workouts are what I am going to draw upon mentally once I reach Newton in Boston.  The idea of "you have done this already only steeper and further" is going to propel me up those hills!  Plus, I've noticed that my swimming = more arm strength = helpful on the hills!  Speaking of which, the swim afterward today felt great too!  I couldn't believe it had been a week since I was in the pool- much too long.  Glad to be all loostened up and good to have an easy day.  Last year, I would have considered a day like today 'hard-ish' with a run + a swim.  Now, I am doing doubles or triples more often than not and running high-ish milage, so it seems easy!  Yay for progression!

My PSA for today (and another reason why I kept my hills not-too-hard) is this: do not eat cake immediately before running.  Let me provide some background info by saying I have been eating EXTREMELY clean for the past 2 months or so.  I haven't really talked about it on the blog but for this time I've eaten completely sugar-free and fairly natural.  Well, today at work, my boss was sampling this new gluten free cake we are making.  He got really excited because I can never try anything at the bakery and I'm the only gluten free employee.  Right before I left, he gave me a nice sample to try.  I'm not one to turn down cake, and I was hungry because I didn't get a lunch break.  Yeah, not a good plan.  My body was in shot/rebellion for awhile.  Sugar free clean eating = much better for my body and my performance!

Tomorrow I'm FINALLY back teaching.  The break has been nice.  Too bad I fell asleep while doing prep work in my bed this afternoon (yeah, that was dumb.)  Tomorrow is also a triple thursday - my favorite!  I'm going to attempt a tempo run in the evening with my running boston bud (who is super speedy)!  Wish me luck on that!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

13- good runs and good times!

Today was just that: a day full of good runs and good times!

This morning, I did one of my fav runs- I drove with my mom to her work, then ran home!  It is a lovely 10.5 mile run- all roads- and I got it done by 9am this morning.  Great way to start the day.  I tried to keep it a bit conservative so as not to mess with my SI joint too much.  7:47 pace.  Felt just right. 

I accomplished alot today before heading back to my place.  We had crazy storm warnings so I took the opportunity to do what I've been wanting to do for awhile- take a lovely nap once I got home.  My apartment was cool, my bed was comfy, and I just passed out!  Felt. So. Good.  Did sommore errands in the afternoon, including dropping off my Comcast stuff.  I've decided to go TV-less at my new place for awhile.  Comcast is a rip off, and I'd rather save money for races ;)  Plus, I'm so busy I don't have much TV time anymore.  For now it is very freeing!

Then, I met up with a couple of the guys from my Thursday night group.  It was 80 degrees at 6pm and I loved it!  We ran a relaxed 6 miles at 8:10 pace.  Nice to chat with them.  Nice day for running.  16+ mile day = not bad in my book!

Tomorrow, I'm back at the bakery, then Thursday I'm back teaching.  After almost 2 weeks off from teaching, I'm ready to go back!  I miss my students and my routine. 

Ok, gotta run.  Lots to pack for tomorrow, plus the alarm will be going off at 4:45am!

Monday, April 5, 2010

14- loving the weather. and life.

Quicky again tonite.  Here's the scoop.

Today was a lovely day in my neck of the woods.  Began the day with a 10 miler.  7 miles up to the gym @7:47 pace, then 3 miles with my mom (8:50ish).  Strength training afterward.  I'm alittle worried cuz my SI joint (my injury from the start of this training cycle) is acting up tonite and I think its from the strength moves that I did.  I will stick with swimming from here on out!

Got lots done today, all in beautious weather!  Got to do my prep work on the deck, get some groceries and I met my mom for an amazing dinner at this hippy place that uses all local ingredients and such.  Perfect. 

I'm alittle nervous about my SI joint, other than that, life is GOOD.  2 weeks till Boston!  I'm getting EXCITED! :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

15- Happy Easter! And long-ish run fun!

Happy Easter everyone!

Today has been a great day- busy, but chilled-busy.  My parents are on a cleaning warpath that I am caught up in whenever I come home.  I'm happy to help, but it is hard because I am still trying/spending so much time getting my own new apartment unpacked/organized that it is the last thing I want to do when I come to their house!  Plus, I now have my crappy twin bed here (and my lovely plush queen at my own place), so coming to their house loses alittle appeal!  Andd, I've done zero prep work on this 'break' so I gotta get on that!  Need to teach those kiddos something!

I must say though, today was a good, enjoyable, went-by-really-quick long run!  Unfortunatly, I couldn't get my 12 hours of sleep in because of needing to run before church.  Anddd, I didn't give myself enough time as it was so it was a 15 miler today (hense the long'ish' run).  But, it was a nice one!  Here's the breakdown:

8 miles in 1:00:04 (7:30.5 pace)
3 miles w/ my mom (8:50 pace)
4 more miles: 7:46, 7:36, 7:26, 7:26

TOTAL: 15 miles @ 7:46 pace

I was pleased with this because if I would have taken out the miles I ran with my mom, it would have been closer to 7:35 pace (just a hair over my MP).  But, to me it is WAYYY more important to get the chance to run with my mom than worry over pacing too much.  I'm fairly confident that I could have maintained the same pace throughout though, and even with the slower 3 miles, it was still my fastest long run.  The other good point was the fact that I picked the pace back up after dropping off my mom.  I am so bad at speeding up, ususally once I slow down I never get my pace back.  Today showed me that I could and my body actually did so fairly naturally.  Recovery was non existant too, as in I wish I could have run more later today because my legs felt so un-tired.  But, I was too busy cleaning and eating!  No regrets there though. 

Ok, I'm rambling.  I'm off to enjoy some family time and maybe do some work!?!?!  Yeah, that's a nice though!  I do think some chocolate pudding is in my future though......

Have a lovely evening everyone!  Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

16- every three weeks....

Well, as anticipated, today was a REST DAY.  Once every three weeks, like clockwork.  Luckily, by the time I got off work, the winds had reached hurricane levels and it had started to rain and it was even worse once I got home to my parents' house.  Sooo, its a sign.  I'm not sure what to do about my long run for this weekend.  I'm training through Boston, and ran 19 last week, so I'm thinking something in the 15-17 mile range for tomorrow.  I'm hoping the rest will do my leggies good, because this week working + working out seemed to tucker them out!

Work today was really fun.  We brought our product down to Eastern Market in Detroit, which is basically a huge farmers' market.  Myself and the assistant manager worked the booth and time flew by!  It was really cool too because Detroit actually seemed cool and alive vs. ghetto and lame.  Other than waking up at 4am it was a good day, and now I have a few precious days off before going back to my normal teaching + bakery life.  At the market too, I bought a bunch of local produce and stuff.  I joked to my boss that I spent about 2 hours worth of my paycheck at the market!  Funny....but probably true.....

And now I'm home at my parents to celebrate Easter.  They are currently screaming at the TV about the MSU game.  Ha, good times.

Happy Easter everyone! :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

17- Good, Good Friday

Good evening!
Going to make this quick because I'm on a role cleaning my apartment and don't want to interrupt it!

Let me tell you- 4:45am felt SO EARLY this morning.  I promised myself I would nap post-work and probably take a rest day.  My quads were tired from hills yesterday and overall I just felt wiped from the week. 

Work was busy of course, but not too bad.  The shift really drug on though and I was so ready to leave by the time 2pm rolled around.  I knew I had a million and one things to do tonite to get ready to go home to my parents' after work tomorrow and I've hardly touched my to-do list for the week because of all of my working + working out.  Buttt, the only thing on my mind was a nap.  I ended up talking to my mom on the way home + about 4 more time after so I only laid down for 30 minutes or so.  That is when I decided to go in the opposite direction- if a nap wasn't resting me, a run would!  I knew that I would still be fighting gail force 4:30pm winds, but I just decided to head out on a new route and take it as easy as I could, as my legs were feeling fatigued still (don't know if it is work, running, or I'm just being a wimp!)  Anyway, I love running in 80 degree weather in a tank top and shorts- the hotter the better!  I ended up on a new loop that was really nice (except for the 2.5 miles straight into the wind!)  Funny story: I was running through this farm/industrial place/pizza headquarters at this point and for some reason they have 23 American flags (yes, I counted) really high up.  I could see them all from really far away, blowing right in my face- mocking me!  Ha, it was intense!  Long story short, the run was good, short, sweet and relaxed, and really energized me!  I got 7 miles in at 7:31 pace.  Chatted with my sis on my porch (I love my new apartment!) and got cracking on cleaning.  All good.

Tomorrow is crazy because I got an 'offer' from my boss to work a farmers' market with him in Detroit (we sell the stuff from the bakery).  Soooo, we are meeting at 5am at the shop, and it will be a 5am-5pm day.  Good news = overtime.  Bad news = 3:45am alarm.  Probably will take a rest day tomorrow as it has been exactly 3 weeks, which I like. 

Alrighty, I'm off to pack and finish up cleaning!  Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

18- You never regret a run

Oh man, long day today!  Passover + Easter + 80 degree weather = busy day at the bakery!  Special sandwich orders, pasties, and the usual prep, plus constantly being called to work up front.  Annd, I had to stay late so I was there 5am-2:30pm.  Needless to say I was SO READY to get out into the beautiful day!

The problem being, it was almost 3pm and I meet my running group at 6pm.  Butt, I wanted to get in some "Heartbreak Hill" repeats as I usually do on Thursdays.  Let me tell you- I was SO not feeling it.  I debated as I was driving about just not, and running easy in the evening.  That's the point when I always remind myself that you never regret a run, but will almost always regret not running.  Sooo, I pulled into downtown about a mile from the hill, did a quick change (into a tanktop and shorts!!! 80 degrees!!!) and started off.  It was a quicky, because I needed a few minutes between runs, so it went something like this:

1 mile wu @ 7:20
3/4 mile hill @ 8:08
downhill rest @7:25
3/4 mile hill @ 8:10
downhill rest @ 7:26
1 mile cooldown @ 8ish I think

I only had 40 minutes on the meter, so that was my time limit!  Overall, the 5 miles were 7:54 pace which I am pleased with.  It was super hot- I loved it!  And, I did the repeats almost 30 seconds per mile faster than 2 weeks ago! Yay!  I was happy afterall that I did this workout.

Came home, changed into non-sweaty clothes, pounded a smoothie and was back on my way to meet my running group.  Super-easy run tonite.  My legs/quads were dead though, from the hills!  Then, we stuffed packets for an upcoming race.  Nice evening just chilling out talking running with good people. 

And suddenly it is 9pm and I'm wondering where the day went!  I need to pack and get ready to do it all over again.  I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty beat- in my body and just fatigue from early mornings.  So much for a 'break!'  Ha, isn't that how it always works?

Running wise- tomorrow will be EASY.  One run.  And I'm going to make it slow.  I need some recovery after doing doubles and triples everyday this week!

Did I mention that I LOVE this weather!?!?!