Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Oh, hey...

Yup, I'm still here. I did seem to go missing for a couple weeks, almost three. Whoa! It took a bit of time, but my achy toe seems to have gone away. Then last week was school vacation which means I lose my run time since the boys were home. Actually, I had a master bedroom remodel scheduled last week, so while I was busy doing that, they were at their grandparents for most of the week. 

My first paid remodeling job!

I should have planned better so I could still fit in my runs, but I was so exhausted every day from work doing any more physical activity was honestly the last thing I wanted to do. And the time that I was with family, I didn't want to take away from that by going for a run. Now that project is done, the boys are back in school, and we also finished getting our old house ready to put up for sale, I got to run today.

New floor and the old house is DONE!

Thankfully, it is a drop-back week on my training plan and I can ease back into it. Today's run was just three easy miles, though they felt a little tough from the time off. I have no doubt that I'll be back to where I was in no time. 

I'll be getting up early to run on Thursday since I'm subbing at Finn's preschool that day, but I already can't wait to lace up my Mizunos again.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Weekly Roundup: Oh, my toe.

Disclaimer: There may be an ugly foot picture in this post. Since this is mainly a running blog and you are reading this, you most likely are also a runner and also have ugly feet. If you are not a runner, you are still welcome, but consider yourself warned.

Let's start out with last week's running schedule:

Monday - off
Tuesday - 2 mi easy @ 9:38
Wednesday - off
Thursday - 5 mi tempo (1 mi WU, 3 mi @ 8:13 that ended up being 7:50, 7:59, 7:40, 1 mi CD)
Friday - off
Saturday - off
Sunday - off (NOOOO!)

So my toe hurts. My fourth toe on my left foot...the one next to the pinky. I'm not sure what I did. I don't recall stubbing it and can't pinpoint when it started hurting, but I did wear dressy shoes on Friday for a few hours and while they aren't super tight, they may have caused my toe pain. It is localized on the side next to the nail and under the skin, like a bruise, but you can't see anything. If anything, it's a tad swollen and most likely my nail had a bit of trauma from my shoes.

Pointing to the exact hurt location with a Lego ninja sword.
Super lame. And what's worse is that I skipped my long run on Sunday in hopes it would feel better Monday and I could run then. But it still hurt yesterday too, so I scrapped this week's long run altogether in hopes it will heal faster. It doesn't help when your kids somehow step squarely on the hurt toe a total of three times in the matter of a few hours. 

Am I being a super big baby about this? I'm pretty good with dealing with pain, I mean I had two kids without any drugs whatsoever, but this toe is bumming me out. What do you think? Suck it up and run or not let it get any worse and heal first? Do you have toe problems? Any lame injuries?

To make up for the ugly foot picture, here's a cute one of Finn sleeping...

Friday, February 7, 2014

3 Years

Three years ago I set out for a run. It was a cold and sunny day, much like today. I mapped out a two-mile route that included a massively steep hill, laced up my Nike's, and hit the pavement. It wasn't fast. It hurt...a lot. I walked...several times. But I finished. 

And I got back out there. It got easier. I found a training plan. I ran a 5K.

Race the Runways - April 2011

Then a 10K.

L.L. Bean 10K - July 2011 w/ my speedy friend Meredith (2nd female)

Then a half marathon.

Race the Runways - April 2012

And eventually a full marathon and whole slew of distances in between.

Maine Marathon - September 2012

I run when it is hot. 

I run when it is dark. 

And when it's raining.

I run when it is cold. 

And snowy.

I run when I am tired because running has a way of waking me up and making me feel alive. 

I run alone. 

I run with my husband. 

Sea Dogs Father's Day 5K - June 2012

I run pushing a double stroller full of two little boys.

Bath Heritage Days 5-Miler - July 2013

I run with my friends.

Bond Brook 5 Mile Trail Run - October 2012

While I ran competitively way-back-when in high school and college, I always would take the summer months off. There was no running for me year-round.

So today, I celebrate three years of running and have no plans to stop.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tempo Success

I had a tempo run on the schedule today and decided to head to the bike path in Brunswick instead of finding a treadmill to use. It just snowed yesterday so I was hoping that they had the path plowed - and they did! It was still covered in packed snow but there were a few spots where it was starting to melt and uncovering the pavement. I forgot to bring my Stabilicers so I wasn't sure how it would go. I was prepared to adjust times accordingly depending on the traction. 

99.9% of the path was like this.

I started out for my one mile warmup (9:27) and was still unsure if I'd be able to run the tempo pace (8:13) for three miles. I shouldn't have worried. The first tempo mile came to 7:50. Oops. The second tempo mile was 7:59. Still too fast, but better. I focused on easing up a little. The third and final tempo mile...7:40. So much for easing up! Add on one cool down mile at 9:01 gave me 5.02 miles in 42:05 with an average pace of 8:23. I am so pumped! Take that snow...you are no match for me!

Partial credit goes to my Mizuno Wave Rider 17s

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler {Race Recap}

This race might be my favorite race of the year. Unfortunately it's also usually my first race of the year and then I have to wait a whole entire year to run it again! The good thing is that it is a nice thing to look forward to in winter in Maine. 

This was the third time I've run the Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler. You can read my race recaps from 2012 and 2013 if you like. I met up with Stacy in Topsham and headed down to Cape Elizabeth with a couple others and met up with Jen, Jill, Ward, Wade and about every other badass Maine runner I know that thinks racing in February in Maine is a great idea. 

One of the best things about this year is that the weather gods smiled upon us and gave us clear roads and temperatures in the upper 30s. This is my ideal racing weather! I've mentioned it before, but I get super hot when I run, so taking into account I'd be running hard for 10 miles I decided to wear a running skirt and tank with my Zensah arm sleeves. You would not believe how many people (including those who know me) said I was crazy. You probably think I am crazy too, but it was absolutely perfect. 

After a couple of bathroom breaks and a quick warm up with Jen, we headed to the start and the race began. I really wanted to stick with Jen as much as possible, but she takes off like a rocket and with the first mile being downhill we clocked a 7:41 for the first mile. There is no way that I would be able to hold this pace through the entire race and pulled back to settle into a better pace for my current fitness level between an 8:10-8:15. 

Smiling at mile 1.2!  (photo courtesy Maine Running Photos)
I skipped the water at the first stop around mile three per my norm and kept plugging along knowing that I'd be stopping for fuel at mile five. I ate one Shot Blok before the second stop and that ended up being the only fuel I took other than water again around mile 7-8. 

Attacking the hill at mile 5 (photo courtesy Maine Running Photos)
Why do I always make funny faces and Jen always looks fantastic?!? (photo courtesy Maine Running Photos)

We started slowing down after that stop, maybe since it was the first time we walked (I can not run and drink at the same time) and struggled to get to the same pace. I'd start to get a side cramp, but focused again on breathing and they quickly faded away. My legs were getting tired, but I managed to push through. Jen and I barely talked throughout the entire 10 miles...not really more than she asking how our pace was at the mile markers and grunts here and there. Even though we aren't out there to win anything, I like to focus on running during a race and Jen was listening to music. We were a perfect pair!

Trying to hang on at mile 8 (photo courtesy Maine Running Photos)
The last two miles seem to be mostly a gradual uphill that is tough to keep going at this point in the race, but having Jen there to pull me along made all the difference. I mentioned that she could go ahead if she wanted to, but she stuck right by me. Once we hit the entrance to the high school and knowing that the finish was about a quarter mile away, I sped up. Somehow knowing that I'll be done soon brings out the competitor in me. I may also have dreamed about racing Jen to the finish. I just didn't think that I'd actually have the opportunity to...my girl is speedy!

We crossed the finish side-by-side, shared a sweaty hug and just like that my third Mid-Winter Classic was done!

Final stats:
313/779 overall
112/414 females
32/78 AG 35-39

It was another great race with plenty of support from volunteers. It's well organized and the field size (increased to 1000 from 800), is perfect in my opinion. I love seeing all my running friends, it's like one big party. If you have the opportunity to run this race, do it! Just make sure to sign up quickly, it sells out within a day! I'm thinking after this year of rebuilding I'll be going for a course PR in 2015!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Weekly Roundup

I just got back from two easy recovery miles at an average pace of 9:38. The plan called for a 9:40 pace, but I figure anything within five seconds +/- is fine. I'm a little sore from Sunday's race (recap coming soon), but I managed fine and actually feel better now than before I ran. I also got in another 25 burpees for the FitFluential 1000 Burpee Challenge bringing my total to 100. It's not too late to join in the fun! I also wanted to mention that there is a Mizuno Twitter chat tonight with Mr. Seth Hasty (who may or may not have shoved Jen and I at the race on Sunday - heehee). My twitter handle is @mainemomrunning or you can follow me by clicking the twitter icon on the left sidebar of this blog. We'll be talking about getting started with running and three people will win a pair of Mizuno's new Wave Hitogami (I really, really, really, really want to try these!). For more info, click here.

So what did last week look like?

Monday - off
Tuesday - 3 easy miles at 9:41 pace
Wednesday - off
Thursday - 4 miles (1 mi WU, 2x1600 8:05-8:15 pace, 1 mi CD), 75 burpees
Friday - off
Saturday - off
Sunday - Mid-Winter Classic 10-Miler (8:18 pace)

It looks like we are going to be hit with some snow tonight and tomorrow, so I'll likely be hitting up a treadmill for my speed work on Thursday. I've also been playing around with the look of the blog...I'm looking for something more clean and organized. Still a work in progress! Otherwise have a great week and I hope to chat with you tonight!