Monday, May 13, 2013

I did it! :)

The Lincoln Half Marathon was last Sunday. I am very proud to say that I finished the half and met my goals! Admittedly I kept my goals pretty attainable, but it is fabulous to have met them. :)
My primary goal was to run the entire half. Well, with the exception of water stops, I am not skilled at chugging water and running at the same time! I walked as I was drinking at the water stations but ran every other step. My second goal was to finish between 2:30 and 2:40. I finished in 2:33 and some seconds (can't remember). My average pace was 11:40, I kept negative splits (barely, but still) and felt really good the majority of the course. I am not a speedy runner not did I do any speed work while training for this race so my pace was good for me and represented my training well.  

I had a great experience at the race! It was pretty great to have such great spectators along the course. My wonderful friend Brooke was there to cheer me on as well as some of the Sole Sisters (those who weren't running it). David and the girls caught me twice along the course and have me a huge energy boost each time. To be honest running my usual loops around town is boring compared to all the signs and cheering spectators!

There were a few things that I did not love about the race. The first would be waiting 45 minutes after the gun start to cross the start line. I appreciated the space it gave all the runners at every pace but it was not fun waiting in the cold for that long. I was shivering and my legs were very stiff but after the first mile I felt much better. Oh and I did not love hearing an old professor's name being announced a few minutes after I finished the half. He of course finished the full! I can hear him criticizing my training and pace in my head quite clearly. He was that kind of professor! But he is also a speedy runner so kudos to him! ;)

I am excited to have my half number two already scheduled. It  be another fun one. :) Maybe I will work on getting a tiny bit faster?!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sometimes there just aren't words....

I can only imagine what those who are affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon are going through. As a mother, I love to have my family at races cheering me on, to be honest, I think races are wonderful events that hopefully will inspire my daughters to want to be active. My heart breaks for the families of the injured and for the three who lost their lives.

I think there is something very special about the Boston Marathon. It is inspiring to me that so many every day runners work their tales off to qualify to run those 26.2 miles. I watched this year's marathon on line (in fact, I happily skipped my scheduled 3-5 mile run to watch) and watching the elite runners pound out mile after mile at their insanely fast pace was beyond impressive. I was bummed that the coverage ended so completely after the elites finished and the interviews were over. I would have loved to have seen footage of the runners who have careers outside of running. I totally understood why Marathon Monday is the best day in Boston.

I know the blogosphere is filled with many different Boston Marathoner's stories about this year's marathon. Kate's personal experience was really touching and heartfelt.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Overall, a success!

Yikes, I have been slacking at posting! The good news is that I am on top of my half-marathon training scheme! Somehow it is easier for me to think of my training more generally, like a scheme, rather than a detailed plan. ;)

Last Thursday I completed my first 10 mile run! I finished it, but it was not pretty. Normally, I never take walk breaks but somehow the wind convinced me it would be better to take walk breaks and complete the distance than to shorten the run. It was fine, the breaks were short but way too frequent the last two miles.

My biggest challenge right now is finding a route that is long enough so that I am not running two loops over and over again. I have a really good suggestion that I need to check out, I just have to get over/handle my fear of running on a non-residential street. Oh, and I have to complete my long runs between school drop-off and pick-up for Cally. No more waiting for slightly warmer temps and 9 am to roll around. Or I just have to become. fast runner, that should be easy! ;)

I also solved my cramping/painful calf issue! After reading lots of running calf pain Q&As on the Internet I ruled out any serious issues and realized I was most likely not hydrating enough. I guess with more consistent and higher weekly mileage I needed to up my diet soda intake. (Those who know me well will know if I am joking or not!) It is a huge relief to be running comfortably again!

My scheme for this week is to run a 5 miler (I did that today), 3 miles (tomorrow), 11 miles on Thursday and cross train on Friday. I love having a rest day in the middle of the week, I get to help in my daughters' classes at school. I also love taking the weekends off from set workouts. The flexibility is perfect for family activities, especially with spring's nicer weather making an appearance every now and then here.

How about you? What is your running/fitness schedule like?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Leprechaun Chase 2013

The Leprechaun Chase was held this past Saturday and was the March race of the month for Runner's World magazine. A fact that you could hear any number of times as the event. ;) This was my first time running or attending the race. Also this was only my second 10k race. Lets just say that I did NOT PR...

I really liked this race, I thought it was fun and really well run. My two daughters and I were in and out at the packet pick-up. There was even a greeter at the door to answer any questions. My girls snagged a trail mix sample so all was good (well until it was discovered that there was an odd number of M&Ms in their sample...). The race shirts were cute and sized correctly.

On race day we had no problem with parking and walking to the event. Runners were advised to carpool and allow 45 minutes to get parked and over to the event location, but we didn't need close to that time. The event was held at the Air and Space Museum in Ashland next to Mahoney State park. I think the location was perfect! There was enough space to move around and there were enough indoor restrooms for the size of the crowd. I waited in line for 5 minutes around the peak for bathroom use. So not bad at all! Also, the museum is a great place to explore for kids and any other spectators.

I think the race started on time. It seemed to go smoothly, my chief complaint is that you are indoors before crossing the timing mats so it is hard to link your GPS devices before you get going. The guys start 5 minutes after the ladies and then it is pretty much race on. I pictured it being a bit more crazy than it was, but there were still plenty of guys cutting other runners off to get to the front. After the initial cross country bit there was a stretch where the lads had their own lane to race in to get ahead of the slower runners. That definitely helped to keep things more friendly.

Personally, I thought the drink stations were just where I needed them. Each and every time I really wanted to walk to help out my right calf, a water station popped up! I walked through the water stations and was able to hydrate and stretch that calf at the same time. I liked most of the course, but I don't think anyone likes running in a bunch of parking lot loops and there was some of that.

I ran about 3.5 minutes slower on this 10k than my first one in September. I am fine with that, this course is not flat and my first one is super flat. Also, my training runs have not been going well so I actually think this race went a lot better pace-wise than it could have. I was glad to be finished! Runners were given cold water and a kozy (is that spelled right?) after they cleared the finishing chute area. David found me right away and we quickly claimed my free diet Pepsi (also ice cold!). Whole Foods also had some post-race snacks available. I think there might have been beer available too? ;)

Overall, I think this race was really well organized and a lot of fun. My only other issue is that the pace posted in the results is based on your gun start time and not chip time. My posted pace is nearly a minute slower than my actual running-pace. So, that was crushing to my ego! ;)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Great coupon code and other random mumblings...

I can't be alone when I say that sometimes sticking to a training plan feels like an appointment that you don't really want to keep. Or maybe I am alone in that feeling? I think this is why I have about three half-marathon training plans that I am 'following'. I must be on track for at least one, right? ;)

I am actually doing ok with my training. I have been struggling with the weird calf issues that I dissected in my last post (two long weeks ago...) but have seen improvement. I ended up going back to wearing inserts for plantar fasciitis. For some reason I was really committed to not wearing them anymore (even though I have worn inserts for 2 years) but after having bad run after bad run followed by even worse runs I figured that maybe somethings are ok after all.

Still, though, I am struggling with my right calf. I get about 5 minutes into a run (after warming up by walking and dynamic stretches) and my calf is so tight that I have to slow down to a walk until I can run again (at a very slow pace). Today it took nearly 2 miles of this before I was able to run without any tightness/pain). The last 5 miles of the run felt great and I never have any pain or soreness after a run. I am kind of clueless about this sort of thing, any suggestions??

In more exciting news, I am going to be brave and try ProCompression's marathon socks. I have wanted to try them for a while but I have been dragging my feet because well, they are pricey and I am not exactly an elite runner who requires fancy socks. ;) But after seeing coupon code after coupon code for 40% off and free shipping, I decided to go ahead and try a pair. The code expires tomorrow (nothing like waiting until the last minute!) but there are usually a few running blogs with a code to offer.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A little off stride....

Some runs just come easier than others. I know this and believe me, I never take a great run for granted, but I have been struggling a little bit lately. I am still on track with my training plan and am even hitting (well as close as I am likely to get in this lifetime) my paces as dictated by Runner's World. But.....

I feel as if my stride is off, even after I am warmed up and at the point where typically I am going strong. In my mind, I am sure that I must look like Phoebe from Friends when she runs. I have weird leg/calf issues that crest and wane as I run. I know my shoes are not likely to be the cause so I am left hoping that each run will just be better.

There are definitely 'things' I should be doing better as a runner. Primarily, strength training! Second, I need to do some cross training to give my legs a break. In an effort to be proactive I will do some strength training while my girls bathe (we have a huge master bath) and I will make Fridays my elliptical days. I think trading an easy 3 mile run for 3 miles on the elliptical makes sense for me now. Hopefully, next week I can report back that I back to normal!

Monday, February 4, 2013

New shoes!

I finally got organized (and I am not even joking when I say this-I wasted a whole lot of time and gas driving to the store without my purse in an attempt to get new running shoes!! Who knows how this happened? Seriously? Any ideas, because I can't even claim this was the first time I did this?!) enough to not only shop for new running shoes but to actually purchase them!

I went to my local running store because I wanted to make sure I spoke with someone knowledgeable about all things related to running and shoes. My chief complaint about my old pair was that I had to lace them very loosely or they were just too tight and my feet would go numb/fall asleep. I tried on 5 pairs of shoes, all of their stability styles. I fell in love with the pretty Mizunos but they came up higher on my ankle and that just felt off for me. I did not care for the looks of the Nike shoe I tried on, but they felt great. In the end, I went with my current shoe the Brooks adrenaline in a wide. I was not thrilled to go with a wide but I will blame it on my higher than typical arch/instep (or whatever the salesman said).

I did an easy 3 miles on the treadmill at the gym this morning and was pretty pleased with my shoes. I have read that some people log their miles so they know exactly how many miles are on their shoes. I have just relied on my feet/legs to let me know when I need to replace. How about you? Do you track mileage or do you replace when you feel the need?