Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Kellie - Nike Women's Marathon
Eryn - Girlfriend's Half Marathon
Jenna Renee - Run Like Hell Half Marathon
Raquel - Mankato Half Marathon
Becka - Zombie Half Marathon
Bobbi - Full Moon 5K
Jill - Girls on the Run Practice 5K
Sherry has been dealing with some pain during her runs but managed her 16 miler this week and her doc gave her the OK to keep running. I think Pam could probably relate to these issues! Julie was able to run her accidental 19-miles but suffered some knee pain as well. Hopefully everyone is back to 100% soon!
Rene ran her last 20 miler. Mindy ran 12 miles and is less than a month away from her first half marathon. Meggan ran 15 and is getting closer to her first marathon and Amy got in an 18-miler.
Good luck to those with races this weekend: Ruth, Kelly, Caro, Anne, Becka, Pam and Julie
Also, good luck to Rene next week.
There will be no update next week since I'll be technology free for the week. However, I'll do a big post the following week. That's all for now!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Three months ago, my goal for this weekend's upcoming half was to go under 2 hours.
My goal for this weekend's upcoming half is just to enjoy it and have fun. I have no idea what to expect running on the other side of country. I have no idea how traveling for it will affect me. It falls on day one of the vacation too so there really isn't a point in trying to go all out for it. I certainly didn't 'train' for this since all I've been focused on is the marathon that happened earlier in the month. I don't really expect to be able to pull it off. Therefore, my only goal is to enjoy it. There'll be plenty of other times when I can shoot for a specific goal.
However, I will say that I finally feel 100% back to normal, re-focused and truly loving each and every single run I've been doing the last couple of weeks. My overall decreased mileage has led to speedier (well, speedy for me, definitely not truly speedy) times which is a nice change of pace. Not having some sort of plan has been a little weird though, so I may have created the following this weekend, just as a general guideline for the next several months. I have nothing officially planned but figured I'd create it based on what I'm thinking and then refine it later. I got so used to having everything planned out that I've been a little lost trying to decide which days to run, which days to do some other work out and how much to do of each.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
3. This is what my desk looks like right now. It might not look that bad but things are crazy right now!!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
I've never been to the area (well, according to my parents I was when I was 6 months old but I don't remember much of that trip). While we have the trip pretty much planned out, I'd love any insight from others familiar with the area of anything we shouldn't miss. If it isn't obvious, I'm a fan of jam-packing vacations with as much as possible!
This trip has been in the works for a long time and it's exciting that it's almost here! I actually signed up for the Hoover Dam half before deciding on the marathon - yeah, a long time. Luckily I talked my sister out of running a full marathon the first day of our vacation but I'm pretty sure that is what planted the seed in my mind to tackle a marathon this year.
We tried to get permits to hike to The Wave but neither of our applications were chosen in the lottery. :-(
Friday, October 15, 2010
While waiting at the marathon, my Mom must have told my husband that once all this running was over I'd start cooking again. Totally selling me out. I actually never stopped cooking. The thing is, my husband wants to eat salads with grilled chicken every single night. Seriously, he wants that routine at dinner now. I can certainly have that in the house at all times and then make some different things as well because I'm not really on board with his plan.
Anyway, I was craving chili...my Dad's chili is the only kind I am used to and while I know his basic proportions, mine isn't as good, but still fits the bill. Especially when served my favorite way - over spaghetti.
Brown the meat with onion, green pepper and garlic. Add sauce, soup and seasonings. Simmer for a few hours. Then, add beans and continue to simmer. If I'm pressed for time, I just add it all at once and let it simmer as long as I have. Tastes better the longer it goes!
1 pound ground turkey (can easily omit)
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans condensed tomato soup
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can EACH light red kidney beans, dark red kidney beans and chili beans
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder (generous portion), red pepper flakes and any other seasonings to taste
As soon as fall starts, apples start and I start hearing the question: "When is there going to be an apple cake in this house". There's an apple orchard less than 5 miles from our house. When I was planning long runs during the marathon training, I totally thought I was going to be able to find some back roads that would lead me past the orchard. I was very disappointed when I found out that none of them would go directly by it but I came close.
I totally cannot get a good picture of a Gooey Apple Cake because it looks awful. Certainly nothing you would want to serve guests, but it is a lovely mix of deliciousness.
Gooey Apple Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, almost completely melted
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup buttermilk (I never have and just use skim milk)
2 cups chopped apples (Jonathan or McIntosh here!)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 – ½ cups powdered sugar
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
½ cup oats
Mix melted butter and sugar. Add eggs. Beat well. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Mix well; fold in chopped apples. Spread in greased 13x9 pan. Mix topping ingredients and pour over cake before baking. Do not stir. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes; center should remain slightly gooey.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Katie and Jen - Hudson Mohawk Half for both of them!
Amber, Harmony, Lisa (kind of first) - Portland and Bobbi - Chicago
Other Race Reports:
Ruth posted a 5K race report from a few weeks ago, Becka had a double-header of 2 half marathons in one weekend. Rene had a 10K and Allie posted her recap of the Akron Half Marathon. Luke completed the Take Flight Triathlon and Julie had a 5K.
Raquel and Natalia both ran 16 miles, Ann completed a 20 mile training run, Meggan had a great 17 miler and Amy completed a 19 mile long run that included a bit of getting lost. This seems to be a recurring theme, I think we've all pretty much gotten lost once or twice!
Good luck to everyone this weekend: Olivia, Erika, Aneta, Kellie, Linz, Aimee, Bret, and Eryn!!
Last Week's Poll Results:
What do you neglect when you get busy:
Core Work - 38.8%
Cross Training - 54.8%
Long Runs - 3.2%
Stretching - 3.2%
Monday, October 11, 2010
For now, what I think I've done right and what I've done wrong along the way so far:
1. Registered for races. I've mentioned many times becoming hooked on running after completing the first 5K on Thanksgiving 2009. I quickly signed up for a 5 miler in January and after that one, signed up for two halfs and the full marathon. Obviously I'm a goal person. Knowing I was signed up for all the events kept me motivated and excited for the next challenge. Although I signed up for a lot and was overly ambitious, I tried to still keep it somewhat in check and not go completely overboard with shorter distances. Speed hasn't been a goal at all so I skipped lots of shorter distances since longer distances were my goal.
2. We broke our treadmill. This certainly wasn't intentional but in February our treadmill became completely unusable. It certainly wasn't a top of the line one to begin with but for several years I hopped on that puppy every couple of days and busted out 3-4 miles at 10:00 min. pace and 2% incline. I never changed it. It was solely to burn off calories to keep off the 50+ lbs. I lost and keep my energy level up. I could NOT run outside. It was entirely too difficult. I'm also pretty sure the treadmill wasn't calibrated correctly. After it broke, it forced me outside. With the races in mind, I started loving running outside. It took awhile, but I eventually got to the point where three miles felt easy, then 4, 5, 6 and beyond. A broken treadmill forced me to run in the cold, the scorching heat, rain, wind, hills and other unpredictable circumstances. Now, I can't stand the thought of the treadmill and can't imagine not running during the week to clear my mind.
3. I bought a Garmin. In January of this year, I didn't know there was any type of Garmin other than the one you'd find in your car (which we don't have anyway). I thought I was being pretty fancy when I went to Wal-Mart and bought a Timex that had a stopwatch on it. I never had a clue how far I ran except the couple of times I hopped in the car and re-traced the route. Wow...4.5 miles! I was so excited. As I learned more, I started stalking Amazon and when the price was right, ordered the Forerunner 305. I can't imagine life without this now. Although I'm somewhat obsessed with the data after the fact, I only look at it occasionally when I'm running. But, it's made me truly accountable for how far I've run and how long it took. I was a victim of over-estimating what I had completed before having it. Plus, I never have to plan my routes - just get out and run.
4. For several months, I had no plan. This is odd, but for the first two half marathons (March and April), I had no plan. I was so new to this, I took the laid back approach that my sister suggested which was to get to a point where I could run 5-6 miles easily and then run 9 or so miles a couple times. Somehow this worked and I really think this approach is what made me continue to love it. I almost think if I had it too planned out early with specific lengths of runs or types, it would've felt like work and wouldn't have turned into a lifestyle.
5. Then, I had a detailed plan. Once I was hooked and realized how far 26.2 miles really was, I picked a plan (Hal Higdon Int. 1) and was completely committed to working as hard as I possibly could, in a responsible way toward the marathon goal. I still chose that plan because it was simple. No complicated speed workouts, hill repeats, etc. The aim was to build the endurance to run 26.2 miles and not injure myself along the way and it was successful. I stayed almost completely on track with the plan as well.
6. I listen to my body. I've been pretty good at differentiating minor aches and pains from other potential issues. When my Achilles felt I bit sore, I backed off knowing that was a pain not to try and push too much. If I was just tired and achy, I pushed through it. I purposely chose an intermediate plan for this reason. I figured I could try it and if it was too much, my body would tell me and I could back down to a lesser plan. In then end, I had to do this and only got in one 20 miler before the marathon.
7. I completed long runs alone. This is an easy one since I'm usually a solo runner, but I certainly understand and appreciate company (was extremely helpful in the actual race). However, I do think running alone builds up a bit of mental toughness that you need to keep pushing yourself forward.
8. I figured out fuel/hydrating. I was very naive on this topic at first too but once the length of the runs was above 10 miles, I started experimenting with just about everything out there. It took a couple of times, but I eventually figured out the perfect combination for me.
1. I tried to add races into my schedule instead of scheduling my training around the races I wanted to run. Running a 18 mile long run after doing a 5 mile race the day before? Sounded fine on paper, didn't work in reality for this beginner.
2. I bought shoes at a running store. What? This is the wrong category. Yes, actually it is. I went to a running store early in the game and bought myself a fancy pair of shoes. They were so cushy and comfortable. Problem was I wasn't used to a built up shoe. I was used to cheap, on sale shoes. I remember starting out in that pair (Asics Nimbus) thinking they felt weird because the heel felt high but I went with it because they were 'real' running shoes. I've learned what I want and actually need in a shoe now.
3. I only got in one good 20 mile run. My 20 miler went really well. I only had time to do one since I altered my schedule but I almost wish it would've been a little tougher for me. I plan on doing one 22 miler in my next training round, just for myself mentally.
4. I picked an Intermediate plan. This is getting lumped into both the right and wrong categories. I'm still glad I chose it but I was getting a little burnt out towards the end. I fully intend on creating my own schedule next time around. It'll still be high intensity but I'll make it work my life and schedule a little better.
5. I attempted to eat way too healthy. In the spring, I vowed I was going to become super healthy during the whole training. You know, I was going to eat just like all those food blogs I follow. I would cut out every bad processed thing in my pantry and my refrigerator would be filled with a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that I'd prepare in a new and exciting way every day. This doesn't work for me. I eat relatively healthy to begin with. I figured that out several years ago when I lost weight by simply tracking what I ate and how much of it plus adding in a little bit of exercise. Crazy concept, right? Even then I didn't completely cut anything out completely. So, if I want Taco Bell and a bag of Skittles every once in awhile, who cares!
6. I neglected cross-training/strength training. My XT day was supposed to be on Mondays. The day after my long run. I did it about 90% of the time but it was quite half-assed. Somewhere along the way I decided to do some push ups and couldn't even do 10 anymore. I've been ramping back up in this department and continue to keep it in the mix. I think before I got obsessed with the running, I was actually a little bit stronger!
Friday, October 8, 2010
I'm not sure it's typical to fall completely off the wagon though. Doritos and applesauce for dinner? Sure, why not? Sleep in? Sure, there's no reason to get up early!
I have run twice and did one additional workout but I've purposely been trying to take it easy. When I do that, I seem to go completely out of control.
I like the structure of having each and every day planned out from the start at 5 AM.
But, it's Friday! I'll be making my weekend to-do list tonight and will also plan out next week. Even if I take it a bit easier than I had been, I can still plan out plenty of things to do, like tackling some of those household chores that have been neglected. Plus, I still have a goal to works towards. A vacation and half-marathon at the end of the month!
Best wishes to everyone racing this weekend!!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Julie ran the Twin Cities Marathon!
Zaneta posted the recap of her first half marathon - Women's Running Magazine Half. Also, new member Jill ran this half as well and it was her first...visit her too!
Becka got a new PR at the Maine Half Marathon
Ann completed her first sprint triathlon.
Amy completed the Central Park Biathlon
Olivia paced her husband at the Susan G. Komen 5K.
Sherry ran her first 20 miler, as well as Linz! Aimee also had a great 20 miler! Meggan was able to get through her 16-miler while Pam had a great 16 miles. Kellie tackled a solo long run. Mindy ran 11 miles with her new Garmin.
New member Julie signed up for her first marathon - Rock N Roll Las Vegas. Molly has a post of her favorite and least favorite races. Rene continues to train and sign up for more races! Luke isn't exactly loving the taper for races!
Aneta had a bit of a hard week - here's hoping the rest will get that knee back in shape quickly! Kelly is back to running after taking some time off due to injuries.
Lisa, Amber, Harmony, Bobbi, Jen and Katie are all running their events this weekend. Good luck to all, have a wonderful time and can't wait to hear all the details!!
Poll (Topic Stolen from Runner's World)
Sunday, October 3, 2010
We made our way off the field and could see my Mom and Kevin in the stands. I have no idea what we are doing in this picture:
We made it to the food tent and I spotted Domino's pizza boxes. I don't think I've ever jumped on food or devoured it so quickly. My eyes lit up like a 5-year old on Christmas morning as I stuffed my face, as evidenced in this picture. Don't I look high holding that pizza?I was barely walking at this point but managed to shuffle over to the Bavarian Inn to pick up my pint glass. In the original plan, I was going to try meet up with Tracy at Our Life with 3 Guys and a Doll but that didn't happen - I didn't see the tent where she thought she would be and there were people everywhere. We made one loop to see what was there but we were all pretty much ready to head out.
We spent the car ride back talking about the details and hearing about what we missed on the other side where the 5K, 10K and half marathon began. My mom and Kevin had a great time in the 5K. This is only the 2nd year for Freedom's Run and I have to say it was incredibly organized and executed. The course is very hard but certainly scenic (and historic!).
My sister indicated that I should definitely try a large city marathon to experience the excitement and energy they bring. I'm still very happy that I ran this one since it was more local, small and challenging but I do think I'll want to try another one, of a different size and type sometime in the future. This was a unique race with a handcrafted finisher's medal on a scenic course - you can't say those things about some other races. She also agreed this was a very hard course and said the hills we ran were more like the type you'd encounter in an ultra and said that in an ultra most everyone would have been walking the hills too.
All in all, it was a successful day. When I got home, I encountered the biggest challenge of the day -- getting out of the car after riding for 45 minutes. After a long, long shower, I spent the rest of the day relaxing. I'm surprisingly less sore than I thought I'd be the next day, although I am still struggling a bit on stairs!
If you made it this far, thank you and I warned you it would be detailed 2 posts ago!
After eventually making our way back to the parking lot, I headed home and waited for my mom and sister to arrive. They were spending the night so we could get up early and head to the race start. Although I attempted to go to bed early, I tossed and turned most of the night. I was imagining all kinds of aches and pains and was starting to really doubt if I was going to be able to finish a marathon. I was also concerned because my right hamstring was tight. On Thursday night, our sump pump stopped working and we ended up with about 4 inches of water in our basement. I just happened to open in the basement door that evening and feared I saw I damp floor. I had no idea the extent of the problem until one of the dogs headed down the stairs in front of me and I started to hear - slosh, slosh, slosh. I started scooping out buckets of water while Kevin headed all over the surrounding areas purchasing a pump and a new sump pump. Then, once all the water was pumped out, I spent a lot of time sweeping water. This cross-training wasn't in the plan.
Anyway, back to Friday night. I eventually got to sleep and woke up at 4:30 AM. I headed downstairs and saw this on the kitchen counter. Hmm...what's that?Started reading - it's the sweetest card from my husband - lots of words of encouragement, how proud he was of me and my determination, etc. You know, everything that would make a girl cry. I totally wasn't supposed to start crying this early in the adventure!
I typically eat very little before a long run in the morning because sometimes food before a run makes me sick. I had planned on eating a banana but then my sister got me worried when she asked if I ever ate bananas before running. I'm pretty sure I had but then couldn't exactly remember. I went with one piece of plain wheat bread instead and then we were off. We dropped one car off in Hagerstown and then all rode together the rest of the way.
Here's where my planning failed a bit. I didn't know how we were all going to get to our respective starting points and the directions I had were to the River Riders parking lot. However, my mom and my husband were heading to Shepherdstown for the 5K after Nikki and I started the marathon. I thought you could park at this River Riders lot and it was just a short walk to the start. Then, after we started, they could walk back to get the car and head into Shepherdstown. I guess you could, but it was pitch black and I don't know how we could have gotten there so we all ended up on a shuttle bus which they claimed was the last one. Then, Kevin and my mom were going to ride the shuttle back and try to drive back over to the start so they could see us start and take my jacket. There was temporary parking at the start, just not parking where the runners could leave their cars. By this time, it was past 6:30 AM. Nikki and I immediately hopped in the bathroom line. It all worked out because after one bathroom stop, we started walking to towards the start line and my mom and Kevin were just pulling back into the lot and we were getting close to the start. Here we are before the start:And we are off:
We headed through Harpers Ferry and were quickly running through a field to the Murphy Farm overlook. The fog was just lifting which made it a pretty sight. This was a quick out and back, which was kind of odd so early in the race. Then, we started downhill and these first few miles clicked by quickly. Next, it was over the Potomac River bridge (great sight!) and we made our way down the slippery, twisty stairs and onto the C&O Canal. At this point, we were at mile 5 and things are going well and feeling good.
We were on the towpath for about 10 miles. At mile 8, I almost stepped on a dead critter in the middle of the trail; he startled me! Around mile 11, my sister left me for a bathroom stop and told me to keep going and she'd try to catch back up to me but if not to keep running. I started slowing down a bit - not intentionally. I was ready to be off the trail. It was starting to get a little boring and I actually getting a bit annoyed with the run/walk combo people. I realize this works well for many people but on the canal path it was kind of annoying to constantly pass and then be passed by the same groups of people over and over. You had to watch when and how you were passing people due to the nature of the trail.
Around my 13 or so, Nikki caught back up to me. We had 2 more miles on the canal before we started into the land of hills. I wore my Garmin for the first time in a race. I didn't watch it that often, but looked down occasionally to get a sense of the pace. I actually thought I was going faster than it ended up. It seemed like every time I glanced down the pace was 9:45-10:00 min./mile but when I looked at the mile splits after the race, all of those miles were actually over a 10:00/mile pace.
Throughout these miles, I sipped on the G2 I was carrying and grabbed water at the few water stations along the way. I also ate a couple GU Chomps every few miles. My hamstring was still feeling a little tight, but overall things were going really well. As we started up Miller's Sawmill Road, it was a long uphill but I ran (well, it was slow, not sure it was actually running) up it. It actually felt good to be off the trail and back onto a road and soon we were at past mile 16.
This post is long enough...More to come in part II.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Mission: Run first marathon, Freedom's Run.
This will be the very brief overview with more details than anyone would ever want to know coming in the next couple of days.
It was amazing.
It was hard. Really hard. Really, really hard. The course description of "challenging" is 100% accurate.
Nothing could have prepared me for the feeling of accomplishment realized as the finish lined approached. Words can't describe it.
It took me longer than I planned on and I struggled in the last 6 miles, but I couldn't care less how long it took. It was still a wonderful experience.
Oh, and the title? Yes, it says complete FIRST marathon. I fully anticipate another sometime in my future.