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!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love for the Parents' House

So I decided to do a post on a lighter note after my post yesterday.  And, since I came home this afternoon after work to my parents' house to a) go to the doctor to make sure I'm not dying of pneumonia (I'm not) and b) hang out with my mom tomorrow since it has been an entire month since I saw her (much too long!) I decided to do a post about my love for my parents' house.  Plus, this provided a much-needed diversion from planning my next unit of 7th grade science!

Things that my 24-year-old-soon-to-be-25-year-old-self still loves about coming "home" to my parents' house:

-  Oliver, the world's cutest cat
- not one, but two big TV's with 600 channels!
- the fact that there is never any food, the milk is dated 2/16, but there is always a bag of chocolate chips.  toll house.  yes, you are correct in assuming that was lunch. ;)
- wireless internet.  scratch that.  internet in general that is reliable and consistant is pretty sweet.
- the fact that my mom always washes my towels and puts them in a little clean stack in the bathroom!  so cute and mother-ly!
- doing my prep work at the big kitchen table....
- ....spreading my stuff out and thinking about doing my prep work while blogging/reading blogs at the big kitchen table
- and when all else fails...there is always more chocolate chips!

Pumped for a day tomorrow with my mom!  Only a few more days until I'm back to the real world of working both jobs.....better get back to this prep work.....the glamorous life of a teacher, lol. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dedication vs. Obsession

What!?!  A mid-week post from me?!?!  You can tell I'm not at my normal Wednesday night workout.  Which brings me to the topic of this post.....

So here is something that has been on my mind for awhile, and has recently come to the forefront of my mind during the last few days as I have struggled through working out while sick.  Here goes.....

The thing is, I think of myself as a dedicated person.  Dedicated to doing my jobs well, making money, creating a life for myself a few years out of college, and of course, dedicated to my running.  I also would describe myself as a bit OCD on lots of levels- nothing crazy, but I'm a neat-freak, list maker, and most of all, very OCD about my running/training.  When I see it all mapped out on paper for the week, I have it in my mind to get it done.  I always allow for flexibility in case something comes up at work, or I switch runs to run with a friend, but in the end the training will get done.

With that said, I mentioned how I had been feeling a bit under-the-weather since Saturday morning.  I got through my short run then, survived my LR on Sunday, but things just weren't getting better.  I got up at 3am to run before work on Monday, only to come home after work and crash hard, not getting to my Monday night Core Class.  I tried to 'get-ahead' on miles yesterday, by running 13 miles on the treadmill and taking a cycle class.  To me, this is part of push-through-it, suck-it-up, sometimes-training-is-hard, dedication.  However, in between all of this, I felt terrible.  I've been sleeping pretty much every second I'm not at work or working out, and my throat feels completely closed up.  I was looking forward to today most of all because since I didn't have to work, I planned to do my long workout on the treadmill, a swim, and then my night Core/Cycle class.  In my head, it was going to be the perfect day.  However, my body had other plans.  I woke up feeling worse than ever, and finally made a doctors appointment for tomorrow after work.  I decided the dry air of the gym wasn't doing my throat any favors, so I took my run outside.  Thankfully, my Garmin had no batteries because my splits on my 6 mile run were so terrible.  And the swim post-run wasn't any better. 

But, it occurred to me during today's run that I was crossing the line right then.  The line from being "dedicated" in my training, to being "obsessive" about my training.  Probably the reason I'm not getting better is because I'm not taking the time to rest.  I get so hung up on getting it all in nomatter what because I don't want any regrets when I hit that starting line.  If I run a bad marathon, I don't ever want it to be because I didn't work hard enough in preparation.  But I'm so afraid of those feelings of self-doubt and regret, that they are driving me to an unhealthy place right now.  As my mom so "mom-ish-ly" put it on the phone to me earlier- "Nothing you are going to do today is going to effect how you run a marathon 3 months from now."  And I know she is right.  Training is consistancy over the long-haul.  But I get so caught up in the day-to-day sometimes that it is hard to see that.  And I'm so excited about where I'm at training wise at this point, I hate to lose it all. 

I don't want this post to come off as all self-centered-ish and poor-me or anything.  I just know there are lots of runners out there who are like this and I think we have to get real with ourselves sometimes.  I'm not a bad person or a bad runner because I 'only' got in a short run and swim today.  Today alone will not make me more or less prepared in Newport, Oregon on June 4th.  But today I did realize that I need to be honest with myself and where my actions are rooted.  There are only two emotions:  Love and Fear.

Hopefully this didn't come off totally crazy/random!  I hope you are all having great weeks- take THE BEST care of yourself!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shorts -> Snow

I totally need to make an attempt to blog during the week because I think of all these interesting, witty (well, witty in my head!) things to say during my runs throughout the week, and then forget everything by Sunday night, when I sit down to blog!

Oh well, here's the recap:

Monday- Ouch.  Legs were TIRED from legit run on Sunday.  Same old recovery day- 10 miles split into 6/4.  The 6 in the morning were hard- hilly route + wind = bad decision.  The 4 at night were nice/faster up to core class.  Core class was good.  I got into a jump rope competition with another guy.  Don't worry, I dominated him.  86 jumps in 35 seconds.  We'll see if I can beat that tomorrow!

Tuesday- 10 miles.  On treadmill.  Wish I could have had some faster ones in there, but my leggies were still pretty wiped.  My recovery this week has been terrible in general, so I'm glad that I got this done.  I think it was 8:20ish pace?  Swim afterward felt amazing.

Wednesday- a character-building 15 miles on the treadmill.  This was a complete mental battle, as opposed to a physical one.  The thought of getting on at 6:30am, and watching the clock make two complete circles was messing with my mind.  But I'm really happy I am pushing through these runs.  12 miles in, I felt great.  Hit the last few miles around 8.0mph.  Overall, good run.  Post-work, I had a session with a personal trainer.  She showed me some stretches and some hamstring-strength exercises.  It was actually really good/interesting.  Then, core class.  Then, cycle.  Both were lovely, actually.  New instructors than when class started, but I can roll with that.  Wednesday's are good days.

Thursday- Didn't have to work at the bakery (yay!) so I flopped my Friday milage to this day so that I could swim on Friday.  Did 6 miles, nice and easy before work.  Then, met up with Mike for 8 more miles, after work.  This was a really good run.  It was warm and Mike and I always run fast without trying.  I have to admit that my legs were tired by the end though.  8 minute pace overall.  14 mile day, which was good.

Friday- Outside run in shorts and a t-shirt at 3:45am- awesome.  It was breezy out which added a eery feeling to being out that early.  Was right at 8:00min pace again, which was amazing because these super-early, super-dark runs I'm happy to hit 8:30pace.  90 minute cycle class was fun too- I am trying to push myself more in these classes lately.  Post-cycle, I completed the morning's reverse triathalon with a swim (mile-ish?).  Awesome way to start out the day.  Equally awesome is coming home from work and taking a nap.

Saturday-  Ugh.  Woke up feeling terrible.  Cold/flu symptoms and totally run down.  It was 4am, and I debated going back to bed, but hated the idea of 5 easy miles hanging over my head all day at work.  So, I took them to the treadmill and squeaked them in in just under 40 minutes.  After work, I proceded to nap from 3pm-6pm, then sleep again from 8pm-9am this morning.  Either I suck at recovering, or I am sick.

Sunday (today)- 17 mile long run on the schedule, luckily with no MP miles.  I decided to go the complete opposite of last week and *not* be a slave to my Garmin and just run as I felt (because I still was feeling so blah.)  Headed out on my favorite 15 mile loop that I could now do because it was actually light and most of the snow had melted.  8 miles in, I started feeling pretty bad.  Slogged through the end, actually.  I'm really happy I pushed through and got it done, but I'm really hoping my body feels better soon.  8:13 pace, which is good, but the effort it felt like I was putting out the whole run was terrible.

And since I finished my LR on perfectly dry pavement about 6 hours ago, about 6" of snow has fallen.  Ugh. I hate winter so much, and was so excited about it not being here anymore!  Good news is, I'm on winter-break from teaching.  Bad news is, I decided several weeks ago when talking with my boss at the bakery, that it would be a good idea to volunteer to pick up extra hours there this week, rather than just chill out and reap the benefits of being a salaried teacher.  So I'm working more at the bakery.  Starting tomorrow at 6am.

So that is it from here.  Recap:

2 core classes
2 cycle classes
2 swims
77 miles :)

This week is a 'cut-back' week, and as much as I usually hate that sort of thing, I'll take it right now.  I may even have a full rest day in my future as it has been 6 or 7 weeks at this point.  We shall see how it goes!

Hope everyone is ready for the new week!  Hope it is filled with Peace, Love, and Running! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

running in shorts....priceless.

Ok, this post may get a bit lengthy because I'm on a total post-run high right now and all week I've been running and thinking of the most random things that I wanted to blog about, but never having the time until now!  So here goes with the play-by-play recap....

Monday:  "easy" day = 10 miles split- 6 in the morning (on treadmill) + a nice swim, then 4 at night up to core class + 60+ minute core class with running group.  All of this went well.  Swimming felt great.  I honestly love swimming in a way so different from running.  It is so natural to me to be in the water and I really think it helps my recovery, although I didn't have a whole lot to recover from without a LR the day before.  My paces were fast too, which I tried to hold back a bit because I really need to focus on keeping hard days hard and easy days easy.

Tuesday:  8 miles.  Post double-work day, on my favorite random-off-the-freeway route.  This run was unexpectedly great.  I spent the first two miles going into the sub-zero freezing wind uphill.  The whole time I wasn't looking at my Garmin, but instead thinking how great it would be when I got to "Joy" (yes, that is literally the road's name) road and got to run with the wind at my back.  But when I got to Joy, I realized that since it is a not-very-travelled dirt road, it hadn't been plowed.  Fail.  So I slipped and slided and had a really hard time keeping pace.  Once I hit pavement again, I pushed it in to get done before sunset.  7:38 pace.  Very pleased, especially considering the conditions.

Wednesday: Quickly becoming one of my favorite training days.  13 miles on the treadmill before work - I feel like this is building me mentally more so than physically, which is good.  I did it progressive style, starting at 7.0 and working up into the high 7 mph for the last part.  Again, this is something that is not natural for me, so I'm glad I pushed myself to do it.  Ended at 9.0.  Ouch.  That was a hard 1/2 mile.  No time for a swim though.  Spent much of the run wondering why anyone would work out inside in pants.  Isn't the whole point of working out indoors in the winter that you don't have to wear alot of clothes?  Digress.....
Post work, I got a 'fitness assessment' at the new gym I joined.  Moral of that story = my flexibility is in the toilet.  Hmm, maybe I should try that stretching thing?  Then, it was core class and cycle class.  Favorite instructor wasn't there. :(  Replacement instructors were pretty good. :)  Lots of working out on Wednesdays makes me happy!

Thursday:  Another bakery morning = easy run at night.  6 miles that were by far the worst of the week.  I left G-man at home so I have no idea my pacing.  All I know is that it felt uphill and against the wind the whole way.  It was a loop so that probably wasn't the case.  Blah.  Glad I did it though!

Friday:  GREAT day.  Did 9 miles on the treadmill at 4am before cycle.  8.0mph for the last few miles felt effortless.  That hardly ever happens, lol.  90 minute cycle class was good too.  Very different instructor at different gym.  Lots of folk music.  Somehow it works though.  Did 2 more shakeout miles afterward on the indoor track to make it 11 for the day.

Saturday:  Early.  4:30am run.  8 miles.  Very windy, even early and I made the mistake of running 4 miles with the wind first.  Fail again.  Not a great run, but glad to get it done before 8 hours at the bakery.

Sunday (today):  Good, no GREAT run.  Had to work again at a market, (blah, 7 day workweek!) but only from 9am-2:30pm.  I am a terrible run-late-in-the-day person, especially for my LR.  But there was no other option this week.  I knew my leggies would be a bit tired after standing all morning, but I decided to run where we were at the market for a change of scenery, and because if I just changed and went right after, there would be no time to procrastinate or change my mind.  The city was totally geared T-mart style - open, flat, roads (but very windy.)  I actually ended up running all 19 miles on one road that was about 5 miles long.  My schedule called for some marathon-pace miles, but I'm deathly afraid of doing that, so I thought about scrapping it.  So I just started running.  Mile 1 = easy = 7:25.  From there, I decided to just go for it, and hit the first 5 HARD.  7:07, 7:07, 7:04, 6:52. Average = 7:09 Woah nelly.  I stopped and reset my Garmin, planning to run back "easy."  First "easy" mile was actually at MP - 7:32 but it felt slow.  So I decided again to go for it.  7:25, 7:17, 7:14, 7:06.  Average = 7:18.  First 10 miles @ 7:14 pace.  At this point, I knew my legs were pretty tired.  I decided to stop being a slave to my Garmin and just *run* the last 9 miles.  They felt soooo good up to the last couple.  Pushed it at the end and hit 8 miles @ 7:58 pace.  (then did a very slow mile to end.) 18 miles at 7:33 pace.  1 second under my PR marathon pace.  I realize that they weren't at all even, but I was really pleased to hit sub-8 pace after the initial 10 hard miles.  By the end, I'm pretty sure my fatigue was due to the fact that I hadn't eaten or drank anything during the run and it was warm (40s!).  But I loved that.  Running in shorts.  Melting snow.  Freedom.

Now, I'm sitting here with my calves twitching like crazy (anyone else have a horrible time with this?)  I'm sure I will probably feel it a bit tomorrow.  I so wish it was Saturday because I feel like it should be and I'm headed back into another work week without any time off.  Yucky.  Oh well, thus is life.

2 cycles
2 core
1 swim (boo, I wish it were more!)
75 miles :)

Bring on the next week!  Love me some training!

Peace, love, and Running,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another week closer to spring!

And yikes, I am totally ready!  Got snow dumped on us this week (snow day, yay!) but I would have totally traded a day off from work for NOT having snow. 

But anyway...

This week, training-wise was *ok.*  I actually felt kind of bad about it on a daily basis, but looking back over the week, I'm satisfied.  I'll just hit up the highlights, rather than hitting it up day by day, because that is what I'm feeling tonite.

Wednesday was the snow day ie: 12 miles on the treadmill.  I'm actually getting kind of 'into' these mid-week treadmill runs as a way to build some mental toughness.  This one was rough because I was home at my parents' house so I went to the tiny gym (where I've literally never paid for in years).  We got there at 10:30ish (my mom and I) and they were closing at noon for some reason, so I had incentive to hurry!  Busted out the 12 miles at 8:08 pace or so.  Shout out of thanks to my mama for finishing her workout and walking to Kroger to get me a Crack-berry Zero.  (aka the best powerade zero ever).  Yessir, I was sweaty!  Shout out also to the snowday for allowing me to sleep for 3 additional hours, post-run/lunch.  Yes, that was nice.

Thursday was my pseudo 'long-run' day because I was planning to race a 5K this morning with my friend (more on that later.)  Unfortunately, I had to split it, because of work so I know it is not *quite* as good.  Hit up 10 easy miles on a good treadmill pre-work.  Post-work hit up the country roads in the falling darkness for another 8 miles.  I challenged myself to hit the first 4 below MP.  It was an out and back 2 miler each way, and since I didn't have my headlamp, I had to get it done before dark.  The first 2 miles felt easy, but as I turned around I realized it was because the wind had been at my back!  Running back into the wind was character building and I was falling apart by the last mile.  Splits = 7:34, 7:15, 7:17, 7:07.  Nice.  The last 4 miles felt easy.  All was well with the world.

Triathlon Friday = run, bike, swim.  All went well.  Love me 3 hours of work-out bliss before work!

Saturday- saw an awesome shooting star at 4:30am, during a 10 miler.  My eyelashes froze to my face.  It was awesome.

Sunday- was supposed to be my 5K day, but my friend was too sick so I too opted out and instead slept for a glorious 14 hours.  Then did 10 miles.  Negative splitted them to get exactly 8:00minute pace average.  Which I'm happy with considering the weather/terrain, but unhappy with how difficult it felt.  All week, running hasn't felt as 'effortless' as I would like.  Hopefully that is because I am increasing my milage and also cross training much more (which I haven't included in this recap so much).  Dunno.  My whole right leg was sort of numb and not really moving well by the last mile.  Totally strange.

So yeah, there you have it.  I skipped some stuff I did, and obviously the runs/workouts on M/Tues but overall, those were the highlights.  Hoping this week feels alittle better.  Happy to hit 72 miles though!  Now I'm off to eat and pack up for the week!  Stay warm and snow free everyone and have fantastic weeks!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First "official" week of training = done and done

Ahh yes, the joys of being at my parents' house on a Sunday.  Heat, internet, and cable TV.  Why haven't I been here in 3+ weeks again?

So yes, reliable internet means two things to me: paying bills and blogging.  I'll sum up the week again like last time because it seems that weekly updates are happening more often than daily right now for me....

Monday- pretty much a reserved easy day this time around because of doing LRs on Sundays most weeks.  6 miles in the AM + an easy swim.  PM was my 60+ minute core class at the running shop.  Pushed myself in that area this week, which was a good thing.

Tuesday- bakery morning = one run later.  This week, it was an 8 miler outside in the area around where I teach.  Got to run in shorts, which was nice although the snow hitting my legs was not.  Think it was about 8 minute pace, which was also pretty pleasing as I stink at running well later in the day.  That night was a late (for me!) soccer game.  Since I stink at sprinting, yet am super competitive and crazy, it is actually a pretty good workout.  I always leave dripping in sweat so it can't hurt my training I guess!

Wednesday- LOVE IT.  Did 12 miles on the treadmill early- progressively faster.  Nothing too fast or too amazing, but just the idea of speeding up throughout a run is a novel and difficult thing for me.  This I averaged around 8:10s but I'm not sure because the treadmill shut off and restarted.  Then, swam for about a mile at the gym.  This pool was colder than I was used to as I was at the new gym I joined, rather than the Y.  Cold pool = faster swimming!  The workout fun continued post-teaching with a 30 minute core class, then 60 minute cycling.  Love the intructor.  Love the vibe.  Love the company. ;)  You better believe the 5 hours of sleep I got that night were hard.

Thursday- Much-needed easy day.  Bakery blahs in the morning, so running group at night was my workout.  It was dumping snow and only myself and my friend Mike showed up.  We slogged through 6 miles of feet dragging.  Both of us had dead legs and basically cursed winter the whole time! 

Friday-  Hard day as well.  I was up early-early and on my apartment gym's treadmill before 4am to knock out 7 miles.  7:45 pace or so.  This run felt really good and I was finishing at 8.5 mph wishing I had time to extend the run.  But, I had to get back, change, and head to the Y for my 90 minute cycle class.  This class is totally different than Wednesday nights, but enjoyable.  Post-cycle I finished my milage for the day with 4 easier miles on the treadmill.  Nice way to start the day!

Saturday- UGH.  A total slog through deep snow at 5am.  I knew in my head I should hit up the treadmill to run before bakery at 7am, but I just really didn't want to.  It snowed a decent amount over night and it was sort of freezing-snow-raining at the time.  7 miles of slowness later, I was done.  My garmin was covered in a sheet of ice and my legs were totally shot.  It was rough to go to work on my feet all day, especially with the idea of a LR on the horizon.

Sunday- which brings me to today- an unconventional LR of 20 miles split into 10/10.  The first 10 were done with a friend around her neighborhood.  Miles with a friend = exponentially better than alone miles.  These flew by and were very enjoyable.  After a 30 minute drive home, I literally jumped out of my car at my parents' house and headed out on the second 10.  These were much harder.  My legs felt good, but they are cutting costs in my parents' town by literally not plowing any streets.  So I spent the whole run trying to find pavement only to be drugding through unplowed snow or slipping and sliding over streets the whole time.  Any time I picked up the pace for a few strides, I would be stopped dead by deep snow.  So it was frustrating in the sense that I felt like I had more to give, but conditions were favorable.  I was still really pleased overall with my pace considering the conditions.  I got back to the condo complex where my parents' live (that is plowed) and knocked out the last mile in 7:42 which showed me that despite how tired my legs were, they still had alittle something in them.  Now I just have to be patient with my runs and training and peak correctly.

2 swims
2 cycle classes
2 core classes
1 soccer game
70 miles :)

Going forward, I would like to get in another strength/core type class during the week so hopefully I can find a small gap in my schedule somewhere this week that works.  But, my milage will also still be increasing. We are also suppose to get a foot of snow Wednesday (WTF!?!) so we will see how that influences things...

Which brings me to my big announcement:  I've signed up and committed to my MAIN marathon- The Newport Marathon in Newport, Oregon on June 4th!  I'm really pumped- after lots of research, this seems to fit my criteria between timing, course, a new place I have never been, and weather.  I'm running a 'tune up' marathon 4/17 close by, but Newport will be my main focus for the next 18 weeks or so.  Yay!

Off to grocery shop at my favorite market, and rustle up some fro yo for dinner.  Yes, I sometimes use long runs as an excuse to eat fro yo for dinner the night before, and the night of the LR.  Addiction?  You bet.

Have a good week everyone! :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wait...another week went by!?!?

That title is seriously how I feel!  Time is flying- between workx2 and workouts and driving and suddenly the week is over! 

I'm going to make this snappy because I'm at a coffee shop (stupid internet is STILL completely MIA) and I'm hungry and ready for some fro yo dinner- post 'LR' treat! :)

This week went really well, training wise.  Well actually, it went really well in general- but I feel like my small number of readers cares mostly about the running'/training.  I'll sum it up, as quickly as I can since I'm not posting daily anymore!

Monday- Did an easy 6 mile recovery after LR on Sunday.  It was early and freezing but my legs legit felt great so I through in a couple of 0.75 mile hill repeats.  Reminded me of Boston training last year!  Ugh.  I hate hills.  Then, I swam which felt amazing.  PM brought about 75 minutes of core training with a group.  Lots of squats and lunges = hurts so good.

Tuesday- VERY good workout.  I had to make it count in a limited amount of time because I was working 4am-4pm between the two jobs and then had a soccer game at 8pm.  I was sleepy, but it ended up being an unexpectedly good run with 7 miles @ 7:10 pace (2 @ 7:35ish, then 5 @7:00ish)  Finished off the 10 miles with a slow 3 mile cooldown.  My legs were pretty tired after this, but I still dominated at  My team lost miserably.  I think we're in a 'building' year.....

Wednesday- hit up another early 6 miler.  Slow. Dark. Icy.  Post-work a ran a few more treadmill miles before core class then cycle at the new gym I joined.  Love the instructor.  Love her music.  It was spritual.  Only downfall is being out until 9pm before working Thursday morning.  Ha, I'm such a Grandma!

Thursday- again working at the bakery means only 1 workout.  This time it was a snowy 7 miler at run club with my friend Mike.  He is training again after 6 months off due to injury.  This makes me happy.

Friday- LOVED Friday.  Got up early early and was on my apartment treadmill before 4am.  Knocked out 6 miles at 7:50 pace which I consider "speedy" for the early my body is pretty confused for the first 3 miles or so.  Got caught up on random TV news shows.  Then headed off to my cycle class from 6am-7:30.  Besides hurting my butt, it was good.  Finished off with a swim.  A reverse triathalon.  Picked up my favorite coffee and lots of food from a local place I love.  Then, got to hear my coworkers talk about my food...ugh, so annoying.  Always commenting on what/how much/how little/how often I eat.  Laaame.

Saturday (today)- had to work at the bakery at 7am.  Set the alarm for 4am to hit out my run beforehand.  Alarm went off- I hit snooze.  Went off again- and I reset it for 6:30am.  My body was not moving.  Went to work and debated a rest day before my cut-back LR tomorrow.  Then got the brilliant idea to just do my run when I got off work.  It was 7 degrees out, so I didn't have to worry about a heat wave running at 3pm.  Got off work.  Headed home.  Changed without thinking.  Started running.  Decided to do the full 15 miles right then and there.  Hit the first few sub 8s, even though my legs were so stiff because I couldn't feel them.  Decided to 'make it hurt' a bit and keep the pace throughout.  The whole run I kept even pace (between 7:35-8:08 = even for me!).  I felt like I was running away from the 2 hour mark the whole time!  Finished hard- the last mile hurt- in 1:58 and change.  Really happy.  Faster than I was training this fall, but I still have a ways to go.  Proud of a good run in tough conditions after work.  Now it is off my plate for tomorrow!

So yeah, there you have it!  Easy run for tomorrow to cap off 60 miles, plus I am planning on legit sleeping for 13+ hours.  Looking forward to not going anywhere tomorrow besides the grocery store (which I never got to last week meaning I ate PB and old freezer-burned GF bread all week for dinner).  Prep work, cleaning, is it sad that I'm looking SO forward to this low key day?

Ok, that isn't such a short post after all!  I do have to go though because I'm getting weird looks for refilling my water glass so often here...hmmmm..

Fro yo time!  Have a good night everyone!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekly blogging = laaaame

So I totally am not meaning to blog this infrequently, but my internet situation has gotten dire.  As in, my internet rarely works anymore at home (read: never.)  So, it is impossible for me to blog.  Never fear though, I braved the Sunday night coffee shop crowd in order to inform y'all what I have been up to- I know that many were sitting on pins and needles wondering....

This past week was very legit, workout-wise.  My cross training has been going well and I can't wait to progress further with it.  I hit up 2 spin classes last week, including a 90 minute one at the Y that left me sweating more than humanly possible.  I also got in 3 core/strength classes, and a couple of swim sessions.  My milage is still on the low end, just under 60 miles for the week I believe?  But, although I know that I still have lots more work to do and need to continue to build more into my schedule, I'm feeling decent about where I'm starting from.

Today was a very nice day for a long run!  Although it snowed waaay more than preferable yesterday, and the temps were lingering in the teens all day, the sun was out and that in itself was a mood booster!  I biggest mood booster was getting to run with a friend in a new town!  There is something about running with good company that make the miles so much more enjoyable.  We did a 3 loop route which broke up the run nicely (4.5, 8, 4.5) for a total of 17 miles.  Since I haven't been running more than 8 or 10 miles at one time (and my longest run since Chicago last fall was 11 miles!) I was pleased that I was able to hit 17 without it being too bad.  Maybe all hope is not lost on me yet?  Only time will tell...

I also braved the ice bath post-run.  It was tough though because by the time I drove home and got ice, I was freezing!  I think that it helped my legs, but tomorrow will be the judge of that.  They are feeling great right now, so I'm hoping some foam rolling and an early bedtime and all will be well!

Well, I'll *try* to update more if my internet magically starts happening.  Until then, I wish everyone good runs and good times! :)  Bring on the new week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ididarun and running through a newbe's eyes

So when I last left you, I was feeling a bit down and was headed to the "Ididarun" which was held last night.  This is a crazy race held in a small town through a snowy trail.  4 x2 mile loops which makes for a slow 8 mile race, given the conditions.  It actually went pretty well and gave me hope that all was not lost yet in my training!  I ended up completing the course in around 65 minutes (I think 8:06 pace or so?) which was waaaay faster than last year, and I was actually really pleased with, considering this course.  Unfortunately, some crazy girl ran much faster than me, so my time was only good for second place.  I actually felt really good, and if it wasn't for my stomach giving me some...umm...trouble...the last 2 loops, I think I could have negative splitted and hit a sub-8 pace.  Again, this is not that impressive outright, but running through darkness and snowy trails makes it *slighty* more comforting to me.  So all is not lost....hopefully....

This morning/afternoon I drove back to the area where I teach (ugh 40 minutes) to meet one of my students for her "long" run.  She is training for a 1/2 marathon (her first) in Miami in a few weeks and has raised over $3000 for charity in the meantime.  As an 11th grader, I am totally impressed at her dedication and volunteered to run with her as needed.  Well, today we tackled 10 miles, her longest run ever (previously I did an 8 miler with her as her long run before break).  It was steady run-walk process that took us all over town.  Although it was cold and snowy, we made it and she finished feeling so proud/excited/pumped.  And kept commenting how "it felt like it went by so fast!"  Which made me happy because I am always worried people are totally bored with me when they are running with me because I am random and tend to ramble about stupid things (I know, shocker, if you are a blog reader you would have never guessed.....)  Anyway, the moral of the story was that it really makes me appreciate running when I see it through the eyes of someone who is experiencing it for the first time.  I get so hung up on the fact that I'm "out of shape" right now, or can only hit x:xx pace, or only run XX miles a day or week or whatever, but the truth is, running is amazing.  Hands down.  I wish I could have harnessed the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that she was feeling.  It was so pure and refreshing.  I'm so happy that I got to be a part of it, even if the drive time + run time ate away a pretty huge portion of my Sunday!

Now, I'm leaving the coffee shop (and to get ready for the week.  I'm determined to make it better, all around than last week and hoping that I finally feel better in a day or two.  Hope everyone out there has a great start to the week!  Send thoughts of working-internet my way! :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hoping they get better from here...

Well, unfortunately my blogging didn't happen as often as planned this week.  This was mostly due to the fact that my bootleg internet at my apartment decided to be 100% absent once I got back on Monday and throughout the rest of the week.  :(  Not cool.

Furthermore, despite my best laid plans, my training didn't go as great as planned.  Monday- Wednesday were good but Thursday and Friday it was not possible as I was sick.  I hardly ever take unplanned rest days, but it simply was not possible.  So I feel like I gained some momentum, but am now 'starting over'.  Which is frustrating.

I'm also looking into joining a second gym (thanks to a new friend I met through the blog!)  I'm really excited about the prospects of this gym (more classes, crosstraining opportunities, multiple locations, better hours) but stressed about the cost.  I'm also trying to save for a destination marathon as well is well....survive the decision is a big one.  If I can make it work though, I really want to do it!

Today, I did a quick 5 miler this morning.  It was 9 degrees.  I'm so over winter!  Tonite I defend my title at the "Ididarun" - a crazy trail race that I did last year and ended up winning (probably because it is through a foot of snow for 8+ miles, in the dark, and it was 5 degrees so there weren't many people!)  Anyway, I'm excited to reconnect with my running group and do the race for fun- no pressure- as I am still not feeling 100%.  Should be a good time.

So this is just me saying that I did not fall off the face of the earth (and blogging) yet, and will hopefully do a better job with blogging, training, and life in the week ahead!  I'm hoping I still have a few blog readers out there and I promise that I will attempt to make these posts a bit more interesting!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, Fun Training, let the good times roll!

So how 'bout that blog?

Truth time:  I took some time off from blogging.  Honestly, my training has been pretty chill and my schedule has been pretty anti-chill (ie the usual crazy).  As much as I've enjoyed the 'run and exercise as you feel' philosophy I'm really excited to start up training (and blogging!) regularly again.  I'm still working to finalize my races for this spring, but despite my crazy indecisiveness and inability to make a decision, I have decided to embark on a training plan this Monday.  I just really feel like I need some guidance and structure to my training in order to feel like I am making some serious gains in fitness.  Plus, I have alot of new ideas and a new outlook on my training and I honestly can't wait to get started.

Ok, now is the time when I get all philosophical.  The thing is, I've done alot of thinking and reflecting on my Chicago experience and my racing in the last year or two in general.  And for a time, I considered 'giving up.'  Not in the sense of stopping running or exercising or anything, but in the sense of being in my mind a 'legit' runner.  Chasing PRs.  Structuring training to work toward something that means so much to me.  I felt like it has been so long since my running has been good that maybe I'm too late or too old or too whatever to hit my goals.  But the thing is, I'm not.  Plain and simple.  I'm not ready to stop working toward my 1/2 and marathon PRs.  I'm not ready to stop training like crazy as my 'third job'.  If anything, I am more positive and more hungry for the good things to come.  I have to work harder and smarter and with more focus.  I have to retrain my mind to overcome the mental barriers that have previously sabatoged my training and racing.  Although my recent racing history reads like a bunch of 'failures' it really is just a bunch of learning experiences that will take me into being a stronger and smarter runner.  I am so physched to see where I can go from here!

It is New Years and all.  And I do have goals for 2011 in running and life.  But for now, I will just leave it at what I said.  I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season and are ready to tackle the new year head on!  Check back as blogging will now resume and I hope to have more specific training and racing plans laid out tomorrow!