Friday, October 28, 2011

A Freezing Nine

Wahoo! I had an awesome run at the track this morning! The thermometer at the house said 29-degrees, but my car said 32. It felt it! I got to wear my new Brooks vest and Champion capris. Along with my long sleeve YMX, Zensah calf sleeves, hat, and gloves, I was ready!
After getting back as it was finally light out!
The stars were beautiful with Jupiter blazing brightly. Gorgeous! Just what I needed to take my mind off the cold and fact that I was just starting my nine-mile, personal record distance, tempo run. After my warm up mile I was in fact warm. I didn't run this yesterday because when I woke up it was 35-degrees and raining. I don't have a problem with either separately, but really didn't feel like being soaked and frozen. This week was also supposed to be a short 4 miles, but since I didn't do my tempo run last week due to my hip pain and next week is a taper week before the Great Osprey Ocean Run 10K, I decided to do last week's tempo run instead.

The run:
1 mile warm up
2 miles @ ST (8:00)
1 mile easy (9:35)
1 mile @ ST
1 mile easy
2 miles @ ST
1 mile cool down

While I didn't hit my paces for the fast miles, I felt great. My breathing was totally in control and I truly believe that I could have kept going forever...well, at least 4.1 more miles!

My paces:
Warm up (9:26)
2 miles ST (8:31, 8:27)
1 mile easy (9:20)
1 mile ST (8:26)
1 mile easy (9:23)
2 miles ST (8:38, 8:24)
Cool down (9:26)
Total time: 1:20:05, 8:54 pace

I'm feeling very optimistic about a sub-2 half marathon come April!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Track Tuesday

I had a great weekend! My hip is feeling a ton better since resting it late last week. Saturday I had a birthday lunch with my parents and got some great new running gear. Thanks Mom and Dad! Sunday I did seven miles on the Rail Trail with all the girls, Jen, Stacy, Jill, and Jess! Words can not express how thankful I am to be able to run with this awesome group. I spent yesterday with the boys and my niece and nephew while my brother and sister-in-law went back to Boston to have my brother's knee checked out again post-surgery. And today, another stellar track session!

The run:
10 min warmup
4 x 1000 @ 4:32 w/ 400m RI
10 min cooldown

My splits:
1 - 4:30 
2 - 4:30 (consistency is the key) 
3 - 4:32 (right on the money) 
4 - 4:26 (zoom-zoom)

And now to get to work finishing the boys' Halloween costumes. Last year, I started them in September. They were pretty involved though. Zeke's T-Rex head alone took me several hours.

Halloween 2010
This year I've been slacking like crazy. I don't even have one done, but I'm not stressing too much...yet.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Skipped Tempo

I made the decision to skip my tempo run this week. After last Sunday's eight-mile run followed by a twelve hour work day on my feet, I got a nagging pain right on the top of my pelvis on the right side. It's in a very specific spot and doesn't hurt all the time. Really it only hurts when I climb stairs or am bent over pushing the boys on one of their riding toys.

Iliac crest (source)
I've had this pain before, a few months ago when I started upping my mileage for the first time. I found by just taking it easy for a bit it eventually went away. I'm assuming it's just aching again from overuse. It's definitely not as bad as last time.

I did my track workout Tuesday with no problems, just a twinge here or there. My tempo run was supposed to be nine miles on Thursday, but I decided to wait until today to give myself an extra day to rest. It was raining Thursday morning anyway. Last night my hip was still a little achy. I decided that I'd just skip the run altogether, instead of risk injuring it further. I also wanted to make sure I can go "running with the girls" this Sunday when we have seven miles planned.

It was really hard not to get up and run, but on the other hand, Finn has slept really well the last two nights which means I do too!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Track Tuesday: Birthday Edition

The first gift I got for my birthday today is a kick-ass run at the track. I've been super excited to do this particular interval run since I saw it on the training schedule. Lots of short, fast runs! Other than having to remember four separate target paces, I was ready to kill it. I wore my new YMX shirt that I won on a Facebook contest. I love this shirt and now that I've run in it I love it even more! I'll get around to a review at some point.

1 mile warmup
200 (200 RI), 400, 600, 800, 800, 600, 400 (400 RI after each), 200
1 mile cooldown

I got a good day's rest yesterday after my eight miles followed by a 12-hour work day on Sunday and my legs felt ready to run fast. The stars were bright at a half moon lit my way.

I'm happy to report that I beat all my target paces by 7  to 13 seconds with the exception of my last 600 (that was by 3 seconds...I know awful :-P), but during that one I was paying more attention to the huge flock of seagulls that flew into the infield and I was trying not to get pooped on.  

My splits:
200 - :45 (no set pace for a 200) 
400 - 1:37
600 - 2:28
800 - 3:27
800 - 3:29
600 - 2:38 (look out for the birds!) 
400 - 1:36
200 - :44

And now I am officially halfway to age 70. Ewww... More positively, I am officially in the year of my life in which I will be running my first half and full marathons! 34 was a great year, I got running back into my life, fit into my pre-pregnancy, even pre-marriage clothes (I think I gained 10 pounds on our honeymoon!), started this blog that has helped me to find the incentive and commitment to make running a permanent fixture in my life and through I have the support of my friends and family, virtual or in-person (some of the former have become the latter).







When I got back this is what Zeke had waiting for me:

Blue frosting, because blue is my favorite color.

Zeke dictated the inside of the card to Ian. But he signed his name!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Running with the Girls

Yesterday morning I got to run with Jen and Jill of Running with the Girls fame!
Jen, Jill, Stacy, Jess (Photo courtesy of runningwiththegirls.blogspot.com)
I was so excited to be running with them, to be running in a new place, and be setting a personal record distance of eight miles. The girls run regularly at the Kennebec River Rail Trail, a 6.5 mile path that runs from Gardiner to Augusta. My dad also happens to be on the Board of Directors. I can really see myself running there often in the future. It's just over 20 minutes from my house, has great views of the river, no traffic, and is relatively flat. The only other time I've run with someone was with my friend Heather at the Androscoggin River Bicycle and Pedestrian Path in Brunswick. You can read about that here. The issues I have with the Brunswick trail is that it also runs along heavily traveled Route 1. Breathing exhaust isn't the best while running. The Rail Trail is also nearly three times as long as the Brunswick path making it more conducive for longer runs and it is 10 minutes closer to home. Why wouldn't I go back for more? But the best reason for going back is to run with these awesome ladies again.

Jill is just coming back from a short break from running and ran with us for the first three miles before turning back. Jen and I continued on for another mile. We talked about our kids, husbands, weight loss after babies, work, running shoes, our blogs and the sweet stuff we've won. I picked her brain about her Garmin since I'm still on the fence about wanting/needing one.

And then we were done. Eight miles behind us. Wow, that was fast. I mean, we weren't really running that fast (9:24 pace), but the time flies by when you are running with others. I get a little bored with the conversations with myself on solo runs. Technically, according to my 10K training plan, my long runs should be at a 8:30 pace (this will be bumped up to around 9 minutes when I start the half marathon plan), but this run wasn't about how fast we were going. It was about making friends, connecting through running, and enjoying the company.

Thank you Jen and Jill for making my day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Long Run Fueling Advice Needed

On Sunday I'll be completing my first eight mile run. I've done a seven-miler twice. Next week, I've two nine mile runs and a ten-miler the week after. Starting in December I'll be starting the RLRF half marathon training program. Since all of my runs thus far have been less than an hour minus one, I haven't had the need to refuel on the go. I don't even bring water to drink.

It's now time to start experimenting with fueling during my runs, but I honestly don't know where to start!

How long do you run before refueling?

What have you tried? 

What products work the best for you? 

What are the easiest to carry and eat while you are huffing and puffing down the road?

Do you carry a beverage and how?

I really appreciate any suggestions you have. This long run newbie needs your expertise!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tempo Run Success...Finally!

I had the brilliant idea last night that I would run this morning's tempo run on the track.  I though this would be smart for a couple of reasons. One, it's a lot safer running on the track. No traffic and it's partially lit from the parking lot lights since I have to run before sunrise. Two, what better way to be able to keep a steady pace than on a flat surface that is measured out for me? My prior tempo runs have been less than successful. I've done the distances, but meeting the required paces have eluded me. This way, I'd be able to easily see how far I've gone in what time, how much distance I have left, and keep a steady pace due to the lack of hills. And my plan worked!

On the docket:
1 mile warm up
4 miles @ MTP (8:15)
1 mile cool down

The verdict:
Warm up mile - 9:53
Tempo mile #1 - 8:16 (so far still to go) 
Tempo mile #2 - 8:16 (keep it up!) 
Tempo mile #3 - 8:19 
Tempo mile #4 - 8:10 (loved counting down the laps on this one) 
Cool down mile - 10:10 (a hard mile, it would have been easier to continue to go fast) 
Total time  - 53:05

Other than the monotony of 24 laps around and around, I am stoked that I was able to pretty much hit the right pace. I think I'm going to employ the track for my tempo run for the time being, at least until daylight savings kicks in and it is lighter in the morning. Plus it does wonders for my attitude toward the tempo run!

In other news, I might be running my long run on Sunday with Jen, very exciting! I'm supposed to do a personal distance record of eight miles, we'll see if it works out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Track Tuesday

I'm back, did you miss me? I realized that I haven't posted in a week. Maybe it's because I haven't been running much...not following my schedule. I didn't run my track workout last Tuesday. My legs were still recovering from last Sunday's 10K. I ran a six-mile tempo run on Thursday with dismal results and didn't feel like it was worth complaining writing about. On Sunday, I had an eight mile long run to do, but worked a double that day which equals 12 hours running around without a break on a crazy Columbus Day weekend. I probably walked close to eight miles that day, though. So...I doing a do-over. I'm repeating last week's running schedule since I only completed one out of three runs. No problem. I've still got 178 days until I need to be able to run 13 miles for my first half marathon.

Today's workout:
1 mile warm up
2 x 1600 @ 7:27 and 1 x 800 @ 3:36 w/ 400m RI
1 mile cool down

The results:
1600 #1 - 7:22
1600 #2 - 7:27
800 - 3:31

It is so dark at 5:30. I do like watching the sky turn colors with every lap of the track, though. We'll see how the rest of the week goes. I might get up half an hour earlier on Thursday and do my long run then, since I'm also working all day on this Sunday too. Or maybe suck it up and do it Monday morning. At least I have a whole slew of new compression products to try out. The folks at Tommie Copper sent me an awesome package full of gear for my review, so be on the lookout!

Oh, and they posted some photos from the Apple Fest 5K from a few weeks ago. There were only a few taken it seems. I only found myself in the one of the start.

Can you see me hiding in there?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Westport Island Shore Run 10K Recap and Another PR!

Wow, that's a wordy title! I feel like adding the PR part makes it more exciting. I hope I don't bore you with what is to come, but I suppose it's just another race report when it comes down to it.

Sunday was the Westport Island Shore Run 10K that had been postponed due to Hurricane Irene. And, of course, it was raining buckets. Actually, other than the astronomically high tides that threatened to wash the runners off the two causeways along the course, the weather was much better on the original race date in August.

I like running in the rain. I think it makes it a little more exciting, though not always the most comfortable. The best part of running cross-country in high school was getting wet and muddy. Luckily, it was pretty cool (54 degrees at race time) and I knew I wouldn't have a risk of overheating like I did during the L.L. Bean 10K in July and the Beach to Beacon in August. Maybe for some that would be cold, but once I get going it is perfect. I decided to wear my black running skirt, my new Everyday Endurance performance tee that I bought with the gift certificate I won from FitCraftyEnglishTeacher, and my blue Zensah sleeves. One runner asked me if I was cold as we made the trek to the start (about a quarter mile from the finish) as a lot of people were wearing long sleeves or jackets. Nope, this is perfect running weather. I'm a little crazy. They were offering runners trash bags to wear for the walk to the starting line, but I declined. I was about to get wet, why bother trying to stay dry? Another guy asked me what the blue things on my legs were and I gave him a quick lesson on compression. I love how they make my legs feel AND the fashion statement they make!

Once lining up, I recognized Wade, Jen from Running with the Girl's brother-in-law, and at first thought it was Ward, her husband. They are twins. But, duh, why would her husband be running this race when she is running her first marathon?!? Anyway, Wade ended coming in second overall! The race director made the announcements and we were off. I led the female runners for about .2 miles! I was winning! Ha ha! One girl passed me as we were passing the town hall where we would eventually circle around to finish at and I tried just keeping her in my sights (She was only one of two people to pass me the entire race). Ian and the boys came to cheer me on and I waved as I ran by. Troopers they are, coming out in the rain. Zeke was happy though, he got to hold the umbrella.

I felt really good the first mile. Soaked already, of course, but having a good time. I felt like the pace was manageable and the field of runners so small that it was easier focusing on my pace than racing everyone else around me. Mile one split - 7:47. Wow! This feels good for that fast! 

I caught up to one guy and ran with him through the second mile. We actually chatted for a bit and he was from Edmonton. As in Canada. As in over 2700 miles away. And he was just passing through on his way to Arizona making a giant circle around North America! Mile two split - 8:00. Chatting and running fast. Awesome! There was an unmanned water station that I skipped and he slowed down at, so I went on ahead.

There were some major hills throughout the course. Steep, almost fall on your face downhills and steep, almost crawl on hands and knees uphills. Mixed with wet leaves and pine needles, I really had to concentrate on not falling down. I could still see the girl that passed me in the beginning way up ahead, but for almost the entire rest of the race I ran by myself.

Mile three - 8:06 (still going strong)
Mile four - 8:35 (slowing down, but still on the road to a PR)

So up until this point I was in second place for females. Very exciting. Then I heard someone coming up behind me right before the mile five marker. And then they passed me. Darn, it was a woman.

Mile five - 8:39 (stay strong and you will PR)

Down a hill, across the second causeway, and ahead lies the beast of a hill. Sea level to 110 feet in less than a quarter mile after running for over five miles = torture.

My legs were screaming and now I have to admit that I walked up this hill. Yes, I walked. For shame. But it was a full arms pumping, lean into the hill, power walking that was probably close to as fast as I was running, and it allowed me to catch my breath and the lady who passed me and was still running got no further ahead. I normally like to attack the hills, but knew if I wanted to finish strong I needed to let up and recover a little here. It started to level out and I took back to running.

Mile 6  - 8:53 (see, I didn't loose much time from walking)

The last .2 is mostly downhill and I powered to the finish, waved at the boys on my way by, and looked at the clock at the finish line!

51:45!


Seriously? That's 1:55 off my best 10K! On a hilly course in the pouring rain. I was probably carrying a good five pounds of water in my clothes. I was hoping for a sub-53, but was unsure of how the terrain would actually be and I killed it! Yay!

Final standings - 
8 out of 24 overall (very small field)
3 out of 10 females
1 out of 3 in my age group (30-39)


    
Lucky #11 and race bling!
Soaked and smiling!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Date with a Half

Since starting back at running earlier this year, it had been my plan to only run 5K and 10K distances for my races. Then, with a year under my belt I would attempt my first half and full marathon in 2012. So far, this plan has worked out. I have fallen back in love with running and am excited that this will be a part of my life as long as my body can carry me.

The Maine Marathon and half are tomorrow and I know quite a few people (either in real life or through bloggyland) who are running either their first full or half. I'm very excited for them and they all will cross the finish line with flying colors. Good luck Heather, Jen, Shannen, and ltlindian! You're going to kill it!

It is in my running plan to run the full Maine Marathon next year. One year from tomorrow, I will be fulfilling a dream I've had since high school. But prior to that, I want to get one or two half marathons in.  

And I have decided what my first half will be! 

Last year was the inaugural Race the Runways and my first ever 5K.

Wow! My legs are so much skinnier now!
They also have a one mile race and a half marathon, all run on the runways and surrounding area at the former Naval Air Station in Brunswick. I think it is more than fitting that since it was the location of my first distance race, I make it my first half marathon! Mark your calendars for April 7, 2012!


It also works out as far as training goes. I really like the Furman's RLRF training plan and just completed the 5K program. The half marathon plan is 18 weeks long, which means I'll need to start training in just over two months. This gives me enough time to do the last half of the 10K program to get distances up to eight miles in (I've gone as far as seven so far) to be better prepared to start the half plan. Perfect!

I think the most difficult part is going to be training for such a distance over the Maine winter. When I started running it was the latter part of the winter and three miles were my max. There is just enough sidewalk near my house to run short distances, but anything over three I have to take to the road (unless I want to repeat the same 1.5 miles). I have a feeling I'll be visiting the Wiscasset Community Center to use a treadmill often when the snow flies. Unless anyone wants to make a donation. :-P

Yay! I am so excited!