Thursday, April 17, 2014

Three Things Thursday - Snow, Tempo Runs, and Big Butts

One - 
I most definitely jinxed myself when I declared spring was finally here in my last post and then I woke up to snow covering the ground yesterday. 

I wonder if I'm going to have to reseed my lawn? At least this is my perfect running temperature, though I'm a bit sick of the white stuff.

Two - 
Last week I talked about how changing my attitude from negative to positive really helped me successfully complete a difficult training run. I would be lying though, if I said I wasn't a little worried about my tempo run on the schedule today. I noticed last night on my way to work that the relatively flat bike path in Brunswick is under water due to the river overflowing its banks. I like doing tempo runs on flat areas since it is easier to stay at a constant speed. However Bath is not flat. Really the only flat place is the track, 1.5 miles away. So I ran a slow warm up mile, then started the first tempo mile on the road and finished it on the track in 8:07. 

I really wanted to set up those hurdles.

Exactly the pace I was supposed to run. Tempo mile two came in at 8:08...close enough. Tempo mile three - 8:00. Okay, a little fast, but I'm feeling really good. I started the fourth and final tempo mile keeping up the slightly faster pace knowing the last half mile would be on the road and up a quarter-mile fairly steep hill. I left the track to start heading home and was not going to let this hill defeat me. My watch beeped just as I crested the hill, I look down and it says 7:56! Woo-freaking-hoo! 

I win again, hill!

Another easy mile got me home for a total on six miles in 51:29, an average pace of 8:35. It's a few hours later now and I'm still feeling amazing.

Three -
A week or so ago I was checking my Blogger stats and noticed that someone had found my blog by a search for "big booty women in compression shorts."


Okay, I know I'm a little thick through the hips and quads, but I was curious as to what image was out there that matched me up - a picture of me in my Tommie Copper compression shorts. Then I recognized the person in the picture next to mine. 

Christy from My Dirt Road Anthem. Christy is one of the fittest people I know through blogging. She most certainly does not have a big booty and honestly I don't think mine looks that big either. What the heck, Google? Anyway, we both had a good laugh about it and enjoyed being bootylicious together. 

What about you?
If you have a blog, has anyone found you through a funny search?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week in Review - Believe in the Run

It's been another good week of running. I think spring is finally here for good. I am ignoring the fact it is calling for a mix of rain and snow tomorrow night. 

On Tuesday I did an easy 3 miles (8:58 pace) in the rain before picking Finn up from preschool. 

Wednesday is an off day and I spent it worrying about my speedwork session the next day - mile repeats. Yes, back in the day I was a sprinter, but running faster than my 5K PR pace for multiple miles had me a little concerned. 

I woke up Thursday and decided that my negative thinking was just setting myself up for failure. Believing in myself and embracing the fact that this run would probably hurt was what I had to do to complete this run with success.

After a mile warm up, I got to work and clocked the first mile repeat at 7:25. I was pleasantly surprised. I knew the second repeat would be tougher since I have to go up a gradual incline, then up and over an overpass, and turn around and go back up and over before the mile was over. I still managed to beat my goal time of 7:37 by two seconds. 

The last 800 meter rest interval seemed to go by so quickly, but I knowing that I only had one more fast mile to go and the fact that I had met my goals for the previous two got me motivated to finish strong. The last one was tough, but I felt pretty good the whole time. My breathing never got out if control and when it started getting hard, I'd just tell myself to relax and it really helped. My last mile repeat was done in 7:22!

One more mile as a cool down and I completed 6 miles in 52:58 and an average pace of 8:46. I was riding a runner's high for the rest of the day and felt so proud that I absolutely crushed that run. 

Maybe it was the shoes?

Friday and Saturday were rest days from running, but it was pretty busy at work. We headed to the library on Friday and had fun playing in the park. 

We also made apple-cinnamon muffins to take to Finn's Art and Music Show for preschool on Saturday morning. 

So yummy.

It was so cute. He did a great job with all the singing and motions.

Preparing for his performance. Note the extreme concentration.

Sunday was my long run day, but unless I am meeting up with the girls to run, I find it very hard to take the time to get out there myself. It is the one day that all four of us are home for several hours at a time, so sometimes I would rather spend our family time together unless I already have plans.

So I did my long run Monday instead when Zeke was in school and Ian can spend some one-on-one time with Finn. Plus it was a much nicer day yesterday than on Sunday. Actually the weather was gorgeous! 

Ian wanted to get in a run too, so I decided to only do 6 miles instead of the 11 on my plan, but chose a route that hits some of the steepest and/or longest hills to make up for the shortage in mileage.

I really ran on feel and rarely looked at my watch. I just focused on keeping it easy. This was a little hard because of my need to attack the hills and the fact I was already sweating like crazy within the first mile. I was so thankful for the light headwind during the gradual mile-long hill between 2.5 and 3.5 miles of the route. I ran down by the athletic fields and track and prepared myself for the last doozie of a hill. I really focused on my form, lifted my knees and pumped my arms, and before I knew it I had conquered the last big hill. I felt pretty badass after that one. 6 miles done in 56:37, an average pace of 9:26. I'm hoping that I can acclimate to the warmer temperatures quickly (though I never really do) and will have to get used to carrying a hand-held water bottle again.

My springiest outfit.

Tell me - 
What's your ideal running temperature?

For me it's between 40-50 degrees. I race the best right around the freezing mark. Needless to say I was melting yesterday at 59 degrees.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week in Review

Okay, so now all the sickness is out of our house. Despite my hopes in my last post, both boys got sick again, but I'm happy to say they are better and finally have their appetites back. 

I have to get started with P90X2 again. I did the first two days then the sickness hit, so I need to just start over.

I did run over 20 miles last week, which is a HUGE win for me!

Tuesday I did a very, very slow 3 miles. I could pretty much count on one hand the things I managed to eat over the weekend when I was sick, so my energy levels were still pretty low on Tuesday. 

Everything is still so brown, but the sun is shining!

Thursday I did an easy 4 miles. If you remember, last week I accidentally did this week's tempo run a week early. I am thankful now that I did, so I get to ease back into running with an easy one. I did my normal 4 mile loop on an absolutely gorgeous day. It finally is feeling warm here!

Yay for 40+ degrees!
No tights!

Sunday I met up with the girls on the Rail Trail in Gardiner. It had been such a long time since we had run there. There were still a couple icy and snowy sections, but for the most part it was clear. Stacy, who is running the Sugarloaf Marathon again in May had 19 miles on her plan, so Jen, Jill and I joined her for part of it. 

I ran 13.42 miles! The last time I ran over 10 miles was way back in October at MDI! My calves were pretty cramped at the end, but I slipped on my compression sleeves and by keeping moving that night at work and using the foam roller, they were perfectly fine by Monday morning.

I've also been digging up the backyard to put down grass seed. Hopefully, we'll have a nice lawn this year rather than the sunken dirt pit with a few weeds and clumps of grass like last summer. Anyway, I've been turning the soil by hand with a shovel and leveled it all out. 

I got to spread the seed yesterday and we had a nice soaking rain overnight, so hopefully in a few days it will start to grow! And we can enjoy more afternoon naps in our newly landscaped backyard...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The sickness has left the building.

I think. I hope. I really, really hope. 

So after my awesome tempo run and second day of P90X2 last Thursday I was feeling great! I was looking forward to a rest day on Friday, but also excited to keep this going and finish March up strong. However a nasty bug flew in and found a place to visit - our home. 

Let me start this by saying I am rarely sick. I'll maybe get the sniffles once a year, but I honestly can't remember the last time I was all out sick like what I just experienced. The same goes for the rest of us. We've been pretty lucky with the boys as well...I think this past weekend was making up for the lack of illness in our house.

I went to bed Thursday night at 11 and Zeke woke up at 1 AM Friday morning and was sick all. night. long. I stayed up with him on the couch. 

4 AM

It was a very long night and I wasn't loving the two hours of sleep I got with no chance to sleep the next day and having to go to work Friday night. After 21+ hours I finally got to go to bed and slept reasonably well.

Saturday morning I was feeling okay all things considered until about 11. Then I couldn't decide if I was actually getting sick or it was due to the lack of sleep. So I went into work and about an hour in I wasn't sure how I was going to make it another eight hours...chills, light-headed...not fun when my job requires standing 99.9% of the time and dealing with the public. I managed to stick it out for half my shift and an awesome friend came in to close for me. 

I was sick. I got home went immediately to bed with a fever of 100.4 and pretty much stayed in bed for the rest of the night until it was Finn's turn to be up all night. There was no way I would make it another night up with a sick child, so lucky Ian got to deal with all the fun stuff this time around. 

I was feeling a lot better Sunday, just really run-down and dehydrated. I went to work that night and thankfully it wasn't busy and I was able to get out early. I would have liked to run yesterday to get in a last few miles for the month of March, but I didn't want to push it so I had to leave my month running miles total at 53.18. I was really hoping to hit 60, but it is what it is. I'm still happy with that number, so it's okay.

So why did I tell you all of this? Well, it's my blog and I can do what I want. No, but I just to say that just because you have a goal, sometimes things are out of your control and you have to step back and be patient before continuing on. Whether it be an illness or injury, taking a short break and getting healthy first is the best way to go, else you risk lengthening the time it takes to really get back out there. I know I am stubborn (and so are a lot of other runners I know), but sometimes you just have to LET IT GO

P.S. We might be the only family with young kids that has yet to see that movie.

What about you? 
Are you impatient when faced with sickness or injury?
Have you seen Frozen yet?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. Zeke's Kindergarten concert was last night. Talk about cute! 

Very proud to wear Dada's tie.

Top row - center

He was standing right next to a little girl in another class who is the daughter of someone I knew when I was little. Her mother, Lauren, was the youngest in her family and her oldest sister was in my younger brothers class. (Did you follow that?) I remember holding Lauren as a baby and now we have kids in the same class. So weird!

2. I started doing P90X2. Yesterday was my first day and it is tough! It is ridiculous how weak my core is, but exciting that I'll be getting stronger every day and I know it will make me a better runner.

Stability balls make good pillows.

I was worried that it would negatively affect my running at first as my body adapts to a strenuous strengthening program, but so far so good...see #3.

3. All week I have had in my head that today's run was six miles. One mile warm up, four miles at 8:10, and one mile cool I headed to the bike path and that's what I did. After looking at my training plan afterward, today was a cut back week and I was only supposed to do four easy miles. Oh well. 

The highlighted day, Carrie. The highlighted day.

Thankfully some of the wind we had yesterday had died down, but certainly not all of it! It was at my back for the warm up and first two tempo miles. I was still a bit slow for those at 8:19 and 8:13 and  was honestly concerned that when I turned around and hit the wind head on, I'd slow down even more. But I had to stay positive or I'd be setting myself up to fail. 

The wind-blown look is nice, no?
Sure enough I turned around to start the third tempo mile and got smacked hard in the face by wind. It was so hard to breathe as the wind seemed to suck the breath right out of my lungs. I just put my head down, pushed forward and planned on reassessing to see if it was worth doing the fourth tempo mile when I got to the end of the third. I was seriously surprised to see an 8:04 on my watch. I was certain I had slowed way down, I thought my lack of breath was completely due to the wind. I walked for approximately ten seconds, told myself to suck it up and finish the workout. I may have said a few swear words. But it worked and I clocked an 8:01 for my fourth and final tempo mile. I have never looked forward to that cool down mile more. Total of six miles in 52:12, overall pace of 8:42. Now I'm just resting and refueling before I tackle day two of P90X2!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Shamrock Sprint 5k {Race Recap}

I ran in the 5th Annual Shamrock Sprint 5K as part of the Blarney Days celebration here in Bath on Saturday. I want to participate in and support my local races and there is something just fun about racing on the streets where you train. This is certainly an advantage when you know how far you have to go and how many hills are left.

I was pretty sure this wasn't going to be a PR attempt given that my current 5K record was set last summer on a flat course. Bath is hilly and I am really still getting back into my rebuilding phase (remember I took 2.5 weeks off just a month ago?) so my only hope going into this race was to have fun. 

It was raining prior to the race, but it had pretty much let up by the start. The temperature was in the high-30s like at the Mid-Winter Classic in February, but it seemed colder because my hands were absolutely freezing. Yup, this genius didn't wear gloves. Otherwise I was pretty comfortable wearing my Irish colors. 

Staying warm and dry in the car before the start.

I had originally purchased shamrock socks to wear, but when I tried them on, I could not get them over my calves. Well I did, but the squeezed my legs all weird. So tight! Apparently they are only for people with stick legs. So I cut off the feet and used them as arm sleeves. They were perfect! Festive and kept me warm!

I also wore my purple visor in memory of Jaime, another young mother who was hit by a car and killed while running in Virginia last week. 

The start was uphill (big surprise) and I knew I was running too fast knowing what was to come, but I felt good and clocked the first mile at 7:33. I let up a bit to ensure I had enough energy to finish. There wasn't a lot of passing going on with a small field of 131 runners, but I did pass a couple of guys and a girl passed me somewhere in mile two. I remember thinking she might be in my age group. Being a small race the age groups are divided by 10-year increments.

I had looked at past results and my PR would have got me second female in last year's race. I had that in the back of my mind, but like I said this was more of a fun run and I didn't think I was in shape to have a super speedy race. Still, her passing me got to me. 

I started making some grounds and really made up time on the long downhill to the finish that I screamed down at just over a 6-minute-mile pace according to my Garmin. 

I waited around for the award ceremony to see if I was one of the top two finishers in my age group. No dice. I still enjoyed the yummy blondies Mae's Cafe had provided for the finishers. 

Blue jacket, orange sleeves waiting for the awards. (Photo courtesy Maine Running Photos-David Colby Young)

Later on while I was at work I saw that the results were posted. That girl was in my age group. And I missed placing by 4 measly seconds. Ahhh! 

But I am overjoyed in the outcome. 

3rd out of 21 in my age group (30-39)
6th out of 79 females
22nd out of 131 overall

And my time? Only 50 seconds slower than my PR on a far more difficult course.  I'm very happy about this and I'm really looking forward to next year and go for the AG win!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I ran a half marathon.

Hi there! I've really got to start scheduling my blogging time, because I seem to be having a tough time getting on here at the moment. Here's a little look at what's currently going on. 

Even though we are currently having a snowstorm, we had some great weather last weekend with temps hitting the 40s and I was so excited to get out to run in it. I had a great tempo run on the bike path last Thursday. {1 mi WU, 3 mi @ 8:09, 1 mi CD = 5 mi @ 8:34 av. pace}

I was hoping to get out again on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning in the sunny weather, but I opted for hanging out with the boys and Ian instead.

I made Monday my long run day (10 miles) and it was so amazing. I didn't run until noon and the weather was great. I ran on some new roads here in town as well as some of my usual routes. Even though it was a good run, I still experienced some doubt in the beginning, specifically if I wanted to run the full 10. During the first couple I though about only doing four. After four miles, I contemplated going to eight. 

Then I made the decision to run along the waterfront and was snapping some pics as I was going along and took this one of the bridges between Bath and Woolwich.

Sagadahoc Bridge (vehicular) and Carlton Bridge (now trains only)

As I ran under the bridge and went to turn toward home, the stairs in front of me were just inviting me up.

So I took them and decided I'd run across the bridge and back...just because I could. 

After attacking all the hills on the run so far, going up the bridge was certainly a challenge for my tired legs, but I was happy that I did it. I've driven over this bridge and the old one next to it (that is now strictly for trains to cross the Kennebec River), literally thousands of times in my life. I had never been across it on foot. Let's just say it's much easier to drive over it, but it's much more exhilarating to run over it!

Carlton Bridge

View from the top

Once coming off the bridge I was at 6.5 miles and I headed toward home, but before I got to my street I had made the decision to continue on for the full 10 miles. Even though my legs were tired and knew I had several more hills to face, I was having such a great time and wasn't ready to be done just yet. There was no valid reason why I shouldn't keep going. 

I ended the 10 in 1:35:37 with an average pace of 9:34. 

I hadn't eaten anything since two slices of toast at breakfast and didn't drink or fuel on the run. I was ravenous. In the first mile I had run past Beale Street Barbeque and smelled all the deliciousness wafting in the air. I craved pulled pork and ribs like crazy the whole run and through the afternoon so that's what we ended up getting for dinner. It was so good!!!

Tuesday is a usual day for me to run and even though I had just done 10 miles the day before and never run two days in a row, the sun was out again and the temperature was even warmer. It was the perfect opportunity to shake out my legs with an easy 3 miles and try out my new Janji running shorts.

I'll have a full review soon, but let's just say even though I never run in shorts, I am pretty happy with these and can see wearing them a lot this summer. I tacked on an extra .1 so I can say I ran a half marathon over the weekend (13.1 miles over two days).