Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review

2010 in numbers...

Miles ran/walked: 516.46 (since 4/4)

Races completed: 6 5Ks, 1 8K, 4 10Ks, 1 8-Mile, 2 Half-Marathons

Pounds lost: 23.4

Pounds gained back: 6ish

Lessons learned: countless

Others inspired to run as a result: 3 (Yay!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two weeks

In the last two weeks I have
- found out I was officially moving 3000 miles away
- taken an impromptu trip 3000 miles away to look for a house
- bought said house
- had the joy of telling family members 3000 miles away that we are coming home
- had the joy of telling family members here that we are moving 3000 miles away
- had an interview for a promotion (yes, 3000 miles away in case you aren't seeing the theme here)
- gained 3 lbs
- only run 4 times total, as a result of all of the above

I had to pull out of the OBX half marathon (insert crying face here). Due to our trip out west/sleep deprivation/constant raining/obsessing about houses, I went a shocking 5 days without running. In the 8 months I have been running, I have never gone more than 2 days without running. I just didn't have it in me. I also caught a cold on the plane and am in no shape to run 13.1 miles. I did not, however, completely lose my ability to run as I feared I would after not running for 5 days. I did a 4 mile run on Thursday at 10:54 pace, not bad for being sick and having eaten two chicken enchilladas an hour earlier. I should really wait longer next time, I don't like having to worry about barfing chicken enchilladas all over the treadmill at the gym. I don't think other people would like that.

I am sad about missing my last race of the year, but I have already put together a list of races I am going to do next year in my new home state! Up first is a 10k on January 2nd, which will keep me in running shape over the holidays. It will be kind of nice to not worry about training for a few weeks. Not that I could train if I want to, in three weeks I will be living across the country and in the meantime must pack up the apartment, meet with movers, have an additional interview for previously mentioned promotion, spend time with friends and family here, go to PA/NJ for Thanksgiving weekend, go to a 1 year old's birthday party, and try not to gain disgusting amounts of weight from stress eating. Should be a good time!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Blue Moon Wicked 10K

I wish I had posted a goals post about this race so I could say I met them all! Better late than never, these were my goals:

A) Run the whole thing without stopping (I get race anxiety and don't think I can make it without walking, even though I have run longer than this distance several times)
B) PR (sub-1:11.55)
C) Break 1:10

Still waiting for official times to be posted, but my Garmin came in at 1:08.11. A 3 1/2 minute PR! Yeah! The race itself was awesome, it was a huge 10K (about 7500 people) and many dressed up in costume. We saw some crazy costumes, it was awesome. I wish I would have brought my camera so I could take pictures of everyone. It was supposed to be around 44 degrees at the start (surprising since it was 85 earlier this week!) so I was fretting a little about what to wear since I didn't want to be too hot or too cold. I settled on my black capris and new magenta long-sleeve top. I also picked up 2 bondi bands at the expo and wore one of those. I was glad I had not worn a jacket, the last mile and a half was on the boardwalk running straight into the sun basically.

After we crossed the finish line we got our medals (which double as a bottle opener, cool even though I don't drink beer), metal water bottles, and black running cap. I gave that to hubby, I could never wear one with how much hair I have.

It was my friend Mel's first 10K and I was glad I didn't slow her down like I did at the half-marathon. Our average pace was 10:54, which is pretty good for us for that distance. Tonight she and her hubby are having a Halloween party so I am spending most of the rest of the day baking "bat" brownies and getting ready. I am going as a bee, I'll try to post pics of my costume if it's not too inappropriate.

Happy running!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Back in the game

New longest run ever! I went out for a 9-mile run tonight, planning on taking regular walk breaks and going easy. Since I have a 10k next weekend I decided I would run the first 6-6.5 miles straight, then take a break. After about 4 miles I felt really good and the running was coming really easily so I started thinking I could run the whole thing without stopping (my previous long run with no walking was 8 miles). The miles kept ticking by and before I knew it I had hit 6.5. I kept going and was able to run the whole way! I even ran to the car after hitting 9 miles, for a total of 9.1. I had the usual minor aches and pains but overall I felt pretty good afterward. Strangely I did not need to drink or eat anything while running for almost 2 hours.

I am feeling very optimistic about the OBX half marathon. Previously I had been worried due to my lack of miles and long runs lately. I am trying to balance recovery/injury prevention with maintaining distance and cardio endurance but it hasn't been easy. I was also sick with a bad cold for about 2 weeks which has limited my exercising as I got a wheezing cough every time I ran. But now with 3 weeks to go I finally got a good long run under my belt. If it hadn't gotten too dark I would have kept going for another mile or two. Hubby said to write down everything that could have contributed to having such a great run after almost 5 weeks without a long run...

- Had two days of rest with no exercise
- Previous exercise in the week: Sunday - 25 min elliptical and 45 min treadmill walking hills, Monday - 50 min bike, Tuesday - 4 miles speed intervals (6-7mph)
- Ate 2500+ calories the past two days (usually eat around 1500 a day, my BMR is around 2200) including a lot of junk food which I don't normally eat
- Slept 7ish hours the past two nights
- Pre-run snack: Powerbar performance bar
- Food previously eaten in the day: english muffin with peanut butter, cheese manicotti, 100 calorie pringles, sugar free pudding
- Fluid previously ingested in the day: 6 cups H2O, 1 diet coke
- Temperature was around 60 at the start, around 52 at the end
- Wore Reebok running capris and Reebok running tank top

Hopefully I can repeat all this before the OBX half!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sick sick sick

Boo! I hate being sick. I started getting sneezy and sniffly last Friday and yesterday it turned into a full-blown cold. It got so bad today that I called in sick for the first time in over 4 years. I was able to get a 3-mile run in last night when I was still feeling somewhat ok, but if I feel like this on Saturday I may have to sit out the Race for the Cure. It would be the first race I have missed since I started running. I should be happy though, other bloggers I follow are missing marathons due to long-term injuries so I am lucky my cold will pass and I have other races I can do. For now I am laying on the couch watching daytime tv. Time to catch up on Days of our Lives!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

She's as cold as ice

My butt that is. And thigh. And foot. Went for a very successful 6.36 mile run today, but in the process developed pain in my foot (well, that has been there since Friday), ankle, IT band, and piriformis. The pain I'm most concerned about is the ITB. Usually this does not hurt while running, just afterwards. Today it started after about 2.2 miles and persisted the rest of the run. So I have spent the rest of the day icing, elevating, stretching, "Stick"ing, foam rolling, and scaring myself by reading about the dangers of ITBS. I really hope my body can stick it out for just 5 more weeks till I get through OBX. If I go back to running every 3rd day, I would only have 11 runs left till then. After OBX I am fine taking a month off, I just really want to get through the races I have planned first. I'm so bummed because energy-wise I felt like I could have kept running for a couple more miles this morning. The weather was great (55 degrees when I started) and yesterday's diet of Mexican food and chocolate was fueling me like a charm. I guess I will just take it one run at a time now. Sigh.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Back in the saddle

Finally had an ok week running-wise. Sunday 5 miles (11:36 pace), Wednesday 3 miles (10:43 pace), Friday 3 miles (10:41 pace). I felt like I could have gone longer today but I am hoping for 8 on Sunday so I took it easy. If I have any hope of completing OBX I need to get in at least an 8-miler and a 10-miler in the next couple weeks.

I started cross-training last week and I think it's helping. This week in addition to my 3 runs I did a spin class, elliptical session, and treadmill walking hill repeats. It was nice to do something other than run. My goal is to exercise 30-60 minutes, 5 days a week. Secretly, it is just to keep my BMR up so I can eat more :) But supposedly it's good for you too.

I am FINALLY losing my vacation weight from August. 1 lb to go till I'm back to pre-Oregon weight. Thank goodness! It has taken long enough to lose 4 stupid lbs. I still don't think I fit back into my size 4 jeans though. They only fit for about 2 days. Someday I will get back into them!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Race for the Cure next weekend! It is the second year I have done the Tidewater RFTC. Last year my friend Mel and I did it but walked it since she was 36 weeks pregnant. We joked about being able to run it next year. And now we are running it! I got my t-shirt in the mail today, I like it a lot better than last year's. After the race we are going to Cheesecake Factory. To make up for the 300 calories we burned. (I'll use any excuse for Cheesecake!)

2. Still having IT band issues. I am keeping my mileage low, as long as I only do about 3 miles it seems to minimize the pain. I did 5 miles on Sunday (walking 1 min per mile) and I was hurtin afterwards. Not sure how the 10k in 3 weeks and 13.1 in 5 weeks are going to go.

3. Running weather is here! It's been in the 60s several days this week and the humidity is basically gone. It definitely makes a difference. I went out for an easy 3 mile run on my lunch break yesterday, not putting in a big effort but running at a natural pace and I averaged 10:43/mile. A good 30-45 seconds/mile faster than an easy run in 80 degrees. And it's only getting cooler!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Paying the piper

On the bright side, I was able to get through 6 months of training and 2 half-marathons without being sidelined by any injuries. On the not-so-bright side, all that training has been silently building tension and irritation in my IT bands, which have decided now is a good time to let me know. I need to get back on my training plan if I am going to be ready for OBX in 6 weeks, but I can't get rid of this nagging IT band pain. The good thing is it doesn't hurt when I am actually running, just afterward. And especially when I try to rub it or use the Stick on it. After the race I tried doing 2 days rest, 1 day running but it didn't last long; I ran 3 days out of the last 4. Not so smart. I am going back to 2 days off, 1 day on I guess. The pain doesn't really bug me, but I don't want it to turn into a bigger problem where I have to take a few weeks off or get professional treatment.

I have a 5K and a 10K planned in October, so hopefully I can get through those without problems. With tapering and the halfs it's been awhile since I've run 10K straight (2 months to be exact). It will be an interesting month.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Photos from the race

At the race expo

Bib number

All our race stuff ready to go

Me before the race

Chris before the race

City Hall, my favorite building in Philly

Museum of Art, the Rocky steps!

Race starting line

After the race!

Chris after the race

Photo taken by Haribo gummy bear person

The Garmin started having issues when we went through a tunnel. We did not actually go 13.45 miles.

Celebratory carrot cake

Eating my yummy Delilah's mac and cheese!

Chris eating his giant sandwich

Shirt, bib and medal

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rock n Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon


The weekend started off shaky, only got about an hour of sleep Friday night, wasn't drinking enough water and carbs on Saturday, so I had a few worries about how the race would go. I took a sleeping pill at 7:30 on Saturday (I don't think you are supposed to do that the night before a race but I was desperate for some sleep) and didn't fall asleep till 9:30, then woke up early at 4:15. I laid in bed drowsing till my alarm went off at 6.

I had a bagel with peanut butter in two parts, half at 6am and half at 7am. Also had a little water and powerade. Then got dressed, got ready and left around 7:15. Luckily I realized within a block that I had forgotten my sunglasses. Hubby went back and got them for me and we were off to the start, about a mile from our hotel. There were lots of other runners walking over and the city was still pretty quiet so it was nice.

We checked our bags, found a section of porta potties that amazingly had no line, then got in our corral. They were interviewing Ryan Hall, the defending champ, over the loudspeaker. The race started at 8 and we were released around 8:20. Within the first mile we saw the elites coming back our way (the course went south, then turned around and went north past the starting line). We saw Ryan Hall! I just saw him for a few seconds but it was really cool. He was easy to pick out as the other leaders were all Kenyan or Ethiopian.

The first few miles went by pretty fast, I stopped to get some water at the 3-mile stop but only walked for a few seconds. We went through a tunnel after mile 4 and our Garmins lost the signal so they were about 1/4 mile off the rest of the race. I took brief water breaks about every 1-1.5 miles and gel breaks at 4, 7.5, and 11 miles, and tried to keep my walking to 1-2 mins. This seemed to work very well, I didn't hit "the wall" till around 11 miles. The course was BEAUTIFUL, it went down this treed, downhill road next to the Schuylkill River. It seemed we went a lot more downhill than uphill. It was also very shady until the last 2 miles.

The last 2 miles...were tough. I could feel myself running out of steam. I'd been fighting a foot cramp and a side ache for several miles, and my toes were hurting from slamming into the front of my shoes during all the downhill stretches. I was so tempted to take longer walk breaks and let everything rest for a few minutes but I could tell we were close to making 2:35 (this randomly became my goal sometime during the race). Hubby was very good, he wanted to run the whole time without stopping so he would slow his pace and stay close in front of me while I walked, then speed up when I caught up with him. He also helped me to avoid possible puke situations, which I am grateful for :)

After mile 13 there was a sharp incline to the finish, I was not expecting it! But knowing we were just a few hundred feet from the end was enough motivation to power up it and through the finish line. I had the BIGGEST smile on my face when I got my medal. We got our checked bags back and then made our way over to Reading Terminal Market, about 1.5 miles away. I got my mac and cheese from Delilah's and had a mini carrot cake. So good! Then we came back to the hotel to shower, put on compression sleeves, and wait for the official results :) My legs are tired but overall I feel good. Actually I feel great! We cut 16 mins off our last half-marathon time! And we successfully ran 2 half-marathons 2 weeks apart. Pretty good in my book.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One week till Philly!

It has been a little tricky balancing recovery and training during the two weeks between the two races. I ran Monday/Wednesday/Friday last week and my knees were starting to hurt during the last run, so I eliminated one of my runs for this week and will only be running on Monday and Thursday to allow my legs to rest as much as possible before Sunday. I hope I'm not making a mistake by taking that many rest days this week. I get so anxious and overanalytical about stuff like that.

I'm a little nervous about Philly. I didn't have any expectations for Virginia Beach except to finish, but now I feel like I need to do better at Philly because I know what to expect with a half-marathon, and I should be able to avoid making the same mistakes I made last time. The good thing is I should get about 2-3 more hours of sleep, the weather will be the same if not better, and I will make sure to eat more before the race and hydrate more during the first half. So as long as I don't train too hard/too easy this week I should be good to go.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Race pics

Bib number. There weren't really 20,000+ in the race, they did it by corral. I was in corral 20.

All my running gear ready to go...

D tags on!

Me and Mel before the race.

After the race! Yeah!

Hubby after the race.

The race according to Garmin. All that weaving around walkers and slow runners added up. We actually hit 13.1 around 2:47.

The shirt is a little big. But it makes for a nice picture!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Last night I went out for a slow 2-mile run to try to work some kinks out of my muscles. Today I am still sore in my quads and glutes but nothing too bad. Only 12 days till Philly! Can't wait. I'm aiming for a 6-7 mile long run this weekend and just a few 3-4 milers other than that. My goal for Philly is just to improve my time over Virginia Beach, and feel strong throughout the race. Eventually I'd like to have a sub-2:30 half, but that won't happen anytime soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Rock and Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon

Short story: I did it!

Long story: I got in bed at 9:30 hoping to get a good amount of sleep. Due to various reasons (mind was racing, neighbors were arguing, kept getting up to pee), I didn't fal asleep till about 11:30. I had set my alarm for 3:25 but woke up at 3:20 when I heard hubby in the bathroom. Got up, ate a cup of multigrain cheerios, got dressed. Our friend Melanie came over at 4 since she was riding with us. Got everything ready, went through one last mental checklist, and we were out the door around 4:15.

We got to the parking location about 5 and loaded the shuttle to the race start. It was pretty dark out and I was still waking up. The shuttle took about 20 minutes and then we were there! I ate another cup of cheerios and we all used the porta-potties since there wasn't a line yet. The race didn't start till 7 so we waited around, talking and stretching. They had water and bananas available but I was afraid of having cramps or having to make a bathroom stop during the race so I didn't have anything (mistake #1).

Around 6:30 we walked over to our corral, it was pretty far back (we were 20 out of about 27). The sun was starting to rise and it was right in our eyes. At 7 the race started, and we slowly moved toward the front. The crowd was pretty energized and excited. The horn finally blew for our corral around 7:30 and we were off! We started off great. Everyone was excited, there was crowd support right away, and the weather was cool and breezy. The first 3 miles flew by. We stopped at the first station at about 3.5 miles, it was our first planned stop. And the first time I drank some water (mistake #2). I kind of had to go to the bathroom but didn't want to hold Chris and Mel up so we walked for a bit for my water and GU to settle, then started running again. Around mile 5 we all stopped to use the porta-potties. The line took several minutes and it was hard to get started again. Still doing ok though.

We stopped at another station at around 7 miles, our second planned stop. I could feel I was quickly losing steam. I had 1/2 a Hammer Gel and some more water, but I only made it about a mile before I had to stop again. I was completely out of energy with 5 miles to go. I felt so bad making Chris and Mel stop to walk with me, I kept telling them to go ahead but they wouldn't. I just took it 1 mile at a time, walking every so often. Around 10 miles I could tell I was pretty dehydated, my skin was covered in salt from sweating and my fingers were pretty swollen. I started stopping at every station to drink water. Then all the water made me feel sick when we ran. Then I would feel bad for walking. It was a bad cycle.

Finally we turned the corner onto the boardwalk, the final stretch. We could see the finish line but it seemed so far away. I was expecting to feel some huge catharsis or revelation when we crossed the finish line. I didn't. I was excited we had finished the race, but other than that I didn't feel a whole lot. We got our water bottles, snack bags, and medals. I could see potential vomit situations around us so I tried to get out of the "secure area" as fast as we could. We met up with Mel's husband and his parents, and she left with them. We walked around for a bit and the soreness started to set in. I immediately had a newfound respect for runners. All I wanted to do was sit down, but they had instructed us to walk around for at least 20 minutes. I got another water bottle and Chris got our checked bags back. We walked down to where the shuttles were and luckily got on a bus that had room for us to sit. There was no way I could stand and brace myself for the 20 minute ride.

Back at the parking location we took a few pictures with our medals. I tried to upload some but the computer is not cooperating. We drove back home and hubby picked up pizza for me while I was in the shower. I felt pretty good by then, the only soreness I had yesterday was in my achilles. Today I had some soreness in my quads and lower back. I'm surprised I'm not more sore actually.

I'm frustrated and disappointed at how the race turned out. I put in all the training, read all the books, and thought I was very prepared. But looking back I made 2 crucial mistakes; I didn't eat enough before the race (2 cups of cheerios doesn't get you very far), and I didn't hydrate enough before and during the race. My long runs are usually done by 7:30 and I don't have to deal with the effects of the sun; we didn't even start till 7:30. Mainly I am sorry that I held Mel and Chris back, because I know they could have gone a lot faster if I hadn't kept stopping.

Moving on, Philly is in two weeks and I am looking forward to taking what I learned from this race and applying it. I just wish I had had a better experience for my first half, and for Mel and Chris' first too.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I love race expos!

Today we went to pick-up our packets for the race. The expo was awesome! We bought so much stuff. I got a new pair of Brooks, a cute Brooks tee, a box of Chocolate Outrage GUs (and it came with a free water bottle!), some running-themed coasters, and a ton of free samples. Hubby got a running hat and a Timex Ironman watch. We had a great time, we were there for almost 2 hours. It was awesome! I am so full from all the snacks I had too, Snickers marathon bars, GU Chomps, Cytomax, etc. The one thing I wish they had out here is Hammer Gels, all they have are GUs and Powerade Gels.

I started my carbo loading today and it is awesome. So far I have had 2 bagels (1 w/peanut butter, 1 w/cream cheese), a banana, and a granola bar. I am having some Special K vanilla almond later. I finally weighed today after my vacation binge and I'm up 3.8 lbs. Not too bad overall, but I'd like to lose it quickly. I am letting myself eat whatever I want on Sunday and Monday, then its back on the diet.

It is crazy to think that in less than 36 hours I will be running a half-marathon! Yikes!

Oh, at the expo we decided to register for the OBX half in November. It was $10 off so we figured why not.

I have all my running stuff already laid out for the race, I love getting everything ready. I got a new pouch for my fuel belt and I can fit all my goods in it - GU, Hammer Gel, handy wipes, and imodium. I'm set!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One more run to go...

till the big day! Tomorrow I have a short 3-miler then its rest for two days and the half on Sunday. I can't believe it is here already! A hurricane is supposed to pass by tomorrow night/Friday so hopefully it doesn't mess stuff up too much. I would be really upset if they canceled the race after I've been training for 22 weeks!

The last two weeks of training have been tough. I've been doing all my planned runs (except for my 12-miler in OR), but I've felt so tired and like I want to quit every time. I know I will be able to finish the race, I just hope I enjoy it. My long run on Saturday didn't go too well, I got a horrible side ache/cramp and had to keep stopping to walk. I also overdressed for the weather and was overheating. I'm trying to brush it off as just a bad running day but I'm worried it will affect me mentally during the race and make me lose confidence.

Hubby and I have been reading "Ultramarathon Man" by Dean K. and it has inspired hubby to start trail running. There is a pretty good 5-mile trail near where we live that he ran a few days ago and loved it. He has decided to train for a 10k or half-marathon trail race in Georgia in October. And, there is a meet and greet with Dean K. the night before the race! Sadly I cannot go, I've commited to another race here the same weekend. But now that he has caught running fever like me, we've been planning out races we can do this fall, both together and apart. It is nice to have a hobby in common! Plus now he understands my love of all things running. We went to a local mountain sports store to get him outfitted with trail running shoes, etc. For now I will stick with street races, I am not a fan of the trails.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I have been on vacation for the last 7 days, and so far it has been very bad and very good for my running. The bad part is that I didn't have a chance to do my 12 mile run last weekend or this week because we've been busy running around all over the Pacific NW. The good part is that the weather is perfect and my running times have been great! 4-mile run Sunday at 9:56/mile, 3-mile run Wednesday at 11:10/mile (it was around 85*, hottest day of the week), 3-mile run Friday at 9:49/mile. My average is usually 11-11:40/mile in Hampton so I was very pleased. Tomorrow I am going to try to get a long run in but since the race is 1 week away I'm going to keep it to 7-8 miles. I feel bad about not getting in my 12 miler, but a lot of training programs only have runners go up to 10 or 11 miles for the longest run so I should be ok.

We went to REI and they had a HUGE selection of gels so I am trying an Apple Cinnamon Hammer Gel tomorrow. I also got a few more Gu's. They have a much better selection than the Dicks and the running store by us.

My eating has been atrocious but I curbed it after 4 days of all-out junk fests so I think I should only gain about 2 lbs. But with 2 half marathons in the next 3 weeks I will lose it pretty quickly hopefully!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

T-minus 3 weeks and counting

This morning was my second-to-last long run of training, 11 miles. Up until now I have been using the non-recommended method of running as long as I could before taking a walk break, even though everything I've read has said to take breaks early and often, before you need them. With only 2 long runs left I figured I should try a new strategy today, since I haven't always been feeling the best during/after my long runs.

My new plan is to take 1/4 mile walk breaks at 3 of the water stops at the half-marathon, at 3.2, 6.7, and 9.6 miles. Each running segment will be 2.65-3.25 miles, totally manageable. Today to make it easier to remember during the run, I took walk breaks at 3.5, 7.25, and 9.5 miles. It went much better, I felt much stronger, and I recovered much faster than previous long runs. I felt fine afterward when I usually feel like laying on the couch for a few hours. So I think this is a good strategy to go with. Overall my average pace was not much slower than normal (12:06/mile, also had to stop to tie my shoe once) and my total race time would be around 2:38 if I do the same pace on race day. I hope to go a little faster, I was purposely going slower since it was just a training run. The good thing is I was able to maintain miles between 11:30-12 min the whole time, when I usually slow down a lot at the end.

After the run I showered and had breakfast and we headed down to the Outer Banks for a few hours. We had Dare Devils Pizza and got some homemade ice cream at Scoops. I also got some fudge for later tonight, yum! I can't remember the last time I ate this much, my body is just using up everything I put in it.

Next weekend is 12 miles but I'm not sure where we will do it since we will be in Oregon. I can't believe the race is so close now. Only 3 weeks to go!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Burn out

Sigh. Lately I've been feeling like running is more of a chore than a choice. I think it can mostly be attributed to having to get up at 5:30, and the hot, humid weather. I've been keeping up with my training schedule perfectly, but I find myself longing for the days when I won't have to plan everything around running. I miss having free weekends, sleeping in on Saturdays, not worrying about how what I eat will affect my running, not being hungry all the time, and having normal-looking toes and toenails. I am looking forward to being done with my half-marathon, so I can go back to running when I want, how long I want, how fast I want, and how often I want. As of tomorrow I will be 18 weeks through training, 4 to go. This is the critical time, only a few long runs left then it's into my taper and then it's race day! I think it will be good to take some time off from racing after that, find a good spring race to focus on, and take it from there.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Double Digits

First 10-miler today! The weather was great, around 70 and partly cloudy. Hubby has been having a problem with his hip so he ran the first 2/3rds of it with me and I ran the rest solo. I walked for 1/4 mile during mile 9 but other than that I ran the rest. I was sooo tempted to walk a second time but I knew I would regret not giving it my all. We beat our previous 8k and 10k times (56:44 and 1:11.25, previously 57:57 and 1:15.01) and my total time was 1:59.04/11:54 min pace. Not bad! Much better than my 8-mile and 9-mile runs. Next weekend is only 8 miles so that should go fine.

Afterwards I kind of felt like I was going to pass out. I made it through the door and had to sit down right away, I had no energy left at all. Hubby made me get up and walk around to cool down and let my heart rate slow down gradually. I started guzzling water and powerade and hubby cut me up an apple. After a few minutes I felt better but I was still pretty drained for awhile. I should probably start eating breakfast before my long runs, I am just used to getting up during the week and going straight out for my short runs. I had two Gu's during the run but it wasn't quite enough to balance out the 1,100 calories I burned :)

I also technically hit my 3rd goal weight after the run, but of course I am not counting this as my real weight. It's still fun to see the number on the scale though :) I keep lowering my final goal weight, when I started I wasn't sure how low I could go since I haven't been this low since I was in elementary school. So far I've been hitting all my goals luckily. We are going on vacation in 3 weeks so hopefully I'll be close to my (new) final goal by then so I don't have to diet during vacation.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Running is so much more fun when its not 85 degrees out!

This morning I got up to do my usual 4-mile run and when I checked my phone it was only 70 degrees out! I decided I could do a slow 4-miler any time, so I should take advantage of the weather and do a fast 5K.

Mile 1: 10:02
Mile 2: 9:58
Mile 3: 10:28
.01: 0:48.
Total time 31:16, average pace 10:06. Beat my old 5K time (33:42) by almost 2 1/2 minutes!

It felt good to actually feel like I was running and not just jogging/running in slow-motion. It was so much cooler too, I didn't feel like I was in a sauna the whole time. I am definitely looking forward to the fall and cooler running temps. I told hubby, next summer I am not training for a half-marathon, long runs in the heat take all the fun out of running. I can do a spring/late spring race, and a late fall race, but nothing from June-September. At least not while we are living in the south. I'm jealous of all my friends that get to run in Oregon, it was perfect running weather last time I was there. That is one advantage of the climate that everyone seems to complain about!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It ain't pretty

Today hubby and I had what I call an "ugly" run. A 9-miler was on deck, and despite the current heat wave we set out at 6am, both dreading it. It was already about 83 and fairly muggy when we started. We went to the golf course since it has a 3-mile loop and we could stop back at the car between loops to refuel and rehydrate. Even hubby, who never sweats when we go at my pace, was sweating. I hate walking before I really need to, but we knew with the heat and humidity we would have to be careful. After about 5 miles I got really mad at the weather and just wanted to be done. There were bugs flying everywhere (tons of gnats, dragonflies and giant moths in this region) and they kept hitting us in the face and buzzing by our ears. I was completely soaked in sweat, luckily I brought a towel so I could dry off before getting in the car. We were SO GLAD to be done and not have it hanging over our head all weekend. Next week will be 10 miles but I don't even want to think about that right now!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Have you seen my running mojo?

I don't know where it went. My two 4-mile runs this week were awful. My pace wasn't horrible but it wasn't great - 11:38 on Tuesday and 11:29 today - but I just felt terrible. I had no energy, my legs were fatigued (which never happens), I felt nauseas, I started to get stomach cramps (which also never happens). It was a struggle just to finish. It's frustrating because I've had three great running weeks with no problems, not even on my long runs. It doesn't give me a lot of confidence going into my 9-miler this weekend. Hubby says not to worry and everyone has bad days, but I haven't had a bad run in almost a month. It was 78* and pretty humid both mornings, but that's how its been for the last 2 months and I've been fine. Hopefully I find my mojo again cause I don't know how many more runs like this I can take!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Good running week

I'm very pleased with the 3 solid runs I got in this week:

Sunday - 8 miles, 12:30ish pace (didnt bring Garmin, just a normal watch)

Tuesday - 4 miles, 11:51 pace (still recovering from long run)

Thursday - 4 miles, 11:02 pace (love my splits! 11:18, 11:00, 10:56, 10:54)

The average temp at 6am is around 77, and humidity so high the windows are completely steamed up when I wake up. I wonder how much faster I could go if it was just 10 degrees cooler. Right now I'm just trying to make the best of the weather. Only about 2 months of summer left!

Coming up I have 6 miles on Saturday (my bday!) then two more 4-milers next week. Maybe I'll work in a speed workout too. I'd like to work up to doing 3-4 miles at 10:30/mile so I can improve my 5k time. Can't wait till fall weather comes!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

8 miles and 20 pounds

Our heat wave finally broke this weekend and it was a surprisingly cool 73 at 6 this morning. Made for perfect long-run weather! Hubby had to leave at 6am for a (military) PT test so it helped having someone else get up early with me. I set out to do 8 miles, fully aware I would probably have to take walk breaks. I didn't have the Garmin since hub was using it for his test, but I had measured a loop around our apartment that was 1 1/3 miles so I ran that 6 times. Surprisingly I was able to run the whole 8 miles! I felt pretty good till the last mile when I started to lose steam. I had a Powerade gel after 4 miles, it probably would have helped if I had another later on but I was stopping at 8 so I didn't.

Immediately after my run my stomach started freaking out. It couldn't decide if it was hungry, nauseaus, or crampy. It's been about 2 hours and I still feel pretty crappy. This is the only bad thing about running, the post-long-run stomach issues. It is the only thing that may keep me from doing long-runs in the long-term. I'm hoping my body will adjust as I do more long runs but so far I have problems if I go more than 3 1/2 miles, with rare exceptions.

For the rest of the day I'm just going to relax, maybe ice my aching ankle and knee. Eat some ice cream and cookies, it is my cheat day after all and I burned about 1000 cals this morning. Oh! Which reminds me, after my run I weighed and I was at a new lowest weight ever, again! Down exactly 20 lbs from March. Some of it was from sweating, but I did drink 20 oz of water during my run so it's not too much lower than my "real" weight. Whoo-hoo!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weekend Update

Had a great holiday weekend in Alexandria. Spent some time in DC and Baltimore, did a lot of walking, ate some delicious but guilt-inducing food. I tried to be good because I always gain weight on vacation, but I wanted to enjoy myself a little bit. I decided to be good for breakfast and lunch, and then be "bad" for dinner and dessert. Nothing like some Pops ice cream and Lavendar Moon cupcakes! Got two good workouts in, one 3 1/2 mile tempo run and one 2 mile speed workout. Plus several hours of walking each day. So overall I think I did pretty good.

This morning I went out for a tempo run and ended up doing 6 1/2 miles. I was pretty happy with my splits, usually I slow down after the first 2 miles but today I kept pace pretty well till the last mile: 11:33, 11:40, 11:33, 11:33, 11:43, 11:57. I know I've said it a million times on here but HM goal pace is 11:27. Weather was pretty good this morning, around 75 with a light breeze and low humidity. About as good as it gets here in the summer. I wish every morning was like that! Much better than 85 and humid.

We went to a Pacers running store in Alexandria, they had an awesome selection of gels (25-30 options if not more) so I got a few that I haven't seen around here. I tried one out today - Chocolate Mint - amazing! It tastes like a york peppermint patty. I'm going to order some on Amazon I think. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for 8 miles next week and hopefully having some tasty Gu to look forward to will help!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It's nice when you can just listen to your body and let it surprise you. I normally don't run two days in a row because I have bad knees, but I gave it a try this morning to see how I could hold up. I felt good starting out, didn't really care about pace but managed to stay around race pace (11:27/mile). I was only going to go 3 miles but when I got to 3 I was feeling good so I kept going. Then I was going to stop at 4, but I felt compelled to keep going. Finally I was sure I was going to stop at 5 miles, but just as I reached 5 miles Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" came on the ipod. You can't stop running when you're listening to that song. So I kept going, ended up doing 5 1/2 miles running and 1/2 mile walk cool-down. I could not believe I ran 5 1/2 miles! My previous longest run was 4 1/2 miles, and that was on a treadmill. This was not the only surprise.

- I didn't get a foot/calf cramp until about 5 miles. Usually this happens after 3 miles, if it happens.

- Not a single stomach cramp after running. Usually this happens within an hour, and can last for an hour or more. It always happens if I run more than 3-3 1/2 miles.

- I weighed before I got in the shower and I was at goal weight #2! I'm not counting this as my real weight since some of it is due to water loss from running, but it was cool to at least see that number since I haven't weighed that little since I was in elementary school (I was a fat kid).

So, I am very happy I went with my instincts and trusted my body. It knew what it was doing. I can tell I will feel it in my knees and quads tomorrow. But I don't have to run tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The joys of running

I did not feel like getting up at 5:30 this morning to go for a 3 mile run. Running made it up to me. After two days of rest my legs felt great and I decided to do a fast run rather than my usual tempo run. I did the first mile in 8:24! I couldn't believe it, that is the fastest mile I have ever run. I slowed down to a 10:30-11 pace for the next 2 miles and finished in 30:15. I know I told myself no more races till the half, but I found a 5K on my birthday (7/17) that I may do. I'm pretty sure I can get a PR and I thought it'd be a nice birthday present to myself. Only bad thing is that it's at 7:30 in Virginia Beach, so I'd have to leave around 6am. So we'll see!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Measurable Progress

I usually never take measurements when I'm exercising and losing weight. I'm always too afraid to take them at the start, and then I kick myself later when I have no idea how much I've lost in inches. I didn't take measurements when I started running (beginning of March), but I did happen to take them in January when I started some brief fitness attempt. I was about 4 lbs heavier by the time I started running (apparently the fitness attempt back-fired), but these measurements are a general idea:

Jan. 11
Chest: 36.5"
Waist: 30.5"
Hips: 40"
Thigh: 24"

June 27
Chest: 33.75"
Waist: 27"
Hips: 38.5"
Thigh: 22.75"

Now that is measurable progress! My hips haven't gone down that much, but I think that's because I used to have a pretty flat butt and when I started running and strength training I actually got a butt from developing my gluts. So my hips have gotten smaller width-wise, but I've expanded out the back a little. Which is fine with me, it gives me more shape in my side-profile.

Anyway I was pretty pleased with the results! I looked at some size charts online and it looks like I've gone from a 10/12 to a 6/8 (bottom half is always a size bigger). My goal is to get to a size 6 all-around, just gotta lose another 1-1.5" in my waist and hips. Hopefully I'll get there!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chesty Puller Memorial Twin Bridge Run 10K

I really should learn by now to forget time goals when its over 80 outside. In addition to being ridiculously hot for a race (88 by the time we finished), this race included two over-and-backs across two big bridges for a total of four hard inclines and declines. The good thing was we both had our ipods so the music distracted us from our misery for awhile. But it couldn't save us.

The first mile was awesome. Started out strong, sub 10-min/mile, felt easy. When we turned onto the first bridge I knew it wasn't going to stay so easy. I drank water at almost every stop so I would stay hydrated in the heat, but I get nauseous whenever I have anything in my stomach when I run, so I was basically nauseous the entire time. We decided it was ok to take walk breaks so I could drink and walk for a few minutes. Overall it was pretty much the same break-down as my last running 10k, walked 1 mile total and ran 5.2 miles total.

My favorite part of the race were these two military people running with gas masks on, one carrying a full size American flag and one carrying a Wounded Warrior Project flag. It was so inspiring and motivating.

I was talking with hubby during the race and after, and I think I am going to run-walk the half-marathon. It is too hot and humid here to run the whole thing straight. It's frustrating because in the right climate I could probably do it. But this heat just makes me miserable and I know I would burn out and not want to keep running long-term. So I think starting with my next long run I'm going to try a run-walk strategy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Had to happen sooner or later...

I guess I have my first real training injury. I've had blisters and minor aches/muscle strains, but nothing that didn't go away within a day. I am now on day 3 of foot pain. It is feeling a little better every day so I'm not worried, but I am hoping it goes away soon since I have a 10K in 5 days. I only did a 1 mile recovery walk yesterday and today I'm only doing yoga in an effort to stay off of it and speed healing. I've been RICEing it today too and I think that helped. I am a little scared that it will happen again after my next run though since it hurt during my last 2 runs before the 8K. We'll see what happens, I'm hoping to run tomorrow evening. I'm going to take it easier this week and stick to two 3-mile runs before the 10K. Last week I did 3 1/2 miles, 4 miles, 3 1/2 miles, and 5 miles, and didn't take more than 1 day off in-between so I think that may have contributed to the foot problem. Fingers crossed I wake up tomorrow pain-free!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Icelandic Seafood Fest 8K

Turns out trying to run 5 miles when its almost 90 out isnt the best idea. My goal of course was to run the entire race as my long run. My secondary goal was to finish in under an hour. We were doing pretty well until I got a foot and calf cramp after about 3.5 miles. My foot was turning outward with every step so I walked a 1/4 mile to try and stretch it out, and drink some water. It was a scorcher! Then when we were nearing the end of the course I just felt awful (and the course was mismarked, I thought we had .5 miles to go but we only had about .36 to go), so I walked for maybe a minute to drink some more water. If I had known we only had 1/3 of a mile left I probably wouldn't have walked! But oh well. Our final time was 57:57. Average pace 11:40 min/mile. My goal was between 11:30 and 12 due to the heat.

There were some positives with this course (lots of pre-race communication, catered seafood dinner, expo booths, etc), but there were several negatives as well. First the mismarked course, as I mentioned. Secondly, they ran out of water at two of the water stops, when only about half of the 900+ runners and walkers had gone by. This didn't affect us personally since we had a fuel belt, but I felt bad for the others who were clearly suffering in the heat. Thirdly, they scheduled it for 7pm in late June, when it is usually in the high 80s/low 90s and high humidity! Who schedules a 5-mile race when its that hot out?!

We were so beat from the heat and running that we didn't even feel like eating the dinner. I just had the brownie they offered for dessert. Then we came home and I had some Special K vanilla almond, yum! Now we are putting the feeties up. The last three times I ran I have gotten a bad pain on the outside of my right foot. I'm hoping it's nothing serious, but it hurts pretty badly when I run. Next Saturday we have a 10K but luckily it is in the morning so it should only be in the 70s. Then it's no more races for a while!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Goal Weight Day!

Whoo-hoo! I was nervous to weigh-in today since I usually gain weight on vacation, but when I stepped on the scale I couldn't believe my eyes. I hit my first goal weight! (2.8 lbs down from my pre-vacation weight). I was careful with dieting and exercising, but I still had 3 2000 calorie days (usually only have 1 per week), and I had 3 rest days with no exercise (usually only have 1 per week). But my exercise sessions were better, I usually run 3 times a week for 3-4 miles and do 2-3 days of strength or cross training. Last week I did 2 10ks, a 4 1/2 mile run, a 2 mile run, a 2 mile walk, an hour of Zumba, and 2 short strength training workouts. Definitely more than usual. And it paid off!

My next goal weight is 5 lbs down. My original goal deadline was Sept. 5th, half-marathon day. But since that is 12 weeks away, I'm hoping I can hit it before then. Doing good so far, lost 13.8 lbs since March 3rd (14 1/2 weeks). Hope I can keep it up!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Helvetia Drop Top 10K

So proud of my mom! Our goal was to finish in under 2 hours (as previously stated), normally she does between 3.1 and 3.4mph on the treadmill for an hour so we figured this was doable. And we were right! Our finish time according to my Garmin was 1:46.42. Chip times haven't been posted yet but I'm guessing it will be close to this. We started out doing 17-17:20 min miles and sped up to 16:40-17 min miles the second half. To speed walkers that probably doesn't sound fast, but for us it is great. I didn't really train to walk it, I've mainly been running, and it was actually more physically strenuous and I felt more sore afterward than when I ran the 10k last weekend. I feel fine now, but my shins and quads were a little tight earlier. There were some good inclines and declines, but nothing too steep. Definitely nothing compared to last week.

After we finished (in the middle of a football stadium with thousands of people spectating), we went and got our free burgers from Helvetia Tavern (famous around the state for their burgers). I got a garden burger, it hit the spot! We sat in the stands of the stadium eating and watching finishers come in. It was such a fun event! We talked about doing it again next year, and maybe I would run the half-marathon and mom would walk the 10k again, and we'd meet after for the burger. When I get back to VA tomorrow I will try to post some pictures. Can't believe I am leaving Oregon in less than 8 hours. Sad :(

Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting faster!

I have to give partial credit to the runner-friendly Oregon weather (60 and cloudy), but I take some of the credit - ran 2 miles yesterday in 20:45! First mile was 10:22, second was 10:23. And there was a headwind. It didn't even feel like I was going fast, I felt like I was lagging. I should have done 3 miles but I had to cut it short since I was meeting my friend to go to Zumba. Which was awesome! A 2 mile run plus an hour of Zumba is my new favorite workout.

Tomorrow I am walking the Helvetia Drop Top 10k with my mom. She has been training for it for almost 2 months. I picked up our packets today, cute shirts (Adidas tech shirts), and free Clif Bloks and Snickers Marathon bars. It is going to be sunny and we are taking it easy (main goal is to finish, secondary goal is to come in under 2 hours), so I am looking forward to a nice walk in the Oregon country. I'm bringing my camera so hopefully we get some good pictures I can post.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Good days and bad days

I know every runner has good running days and bad running days, but I wish my bad days didn't happen to fall on my race days! I was unable to do the 5 straight miles I wanted during the 10k, then today I busted out 4.5 with energy to spare. Why does this happen?!

I registered hubby and I for the Icelandic Seafood 8k today. My easy goal is to finish in under 1 hour, hard goal is to finish in under 55 minutes. After the race, which is in the evening, runners get a catered seafood dinner - shrimp, garlic-crusted haddock, jasmine rice, and a brownie. Yum! I think that is half the reason I signed up for this race lol. Looking forward to it!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oregon's Run for the Roses 10K

It's never a good sign when you are standing at the registration table and you overhear the guy behind you saying the 10k course is "brutal." Apparently "back-country roads" = 6 straight miles of mountain-like hills that suck the life out of you. That, combined with 4 hours of crappy sleep and cross-country jet lag, made me reassess my race plan after about 1.5 miles. My original plan had been to run the first 5 miles as my long run for the week, and walk the rest as a cool-down. I decided that as long as I ran at least 5 miles total, it was ok if I took walk breaks in-between. I coordinated my walking with water stops so at least I had an excuse. After 3.5 miles I felt like I was running out of steam fast so I took half a Gu, which helped a little. All in all, I ended up running 5.25 miles and walking .95 miles total. I probably didn't need my last walk break, but I knew I was going to make my time goal (1:15) so I slacked off. My finish time was 1:12.55, average pace 11:41 per mile. Not my fastest race, but not bad for walking almost a mile. My first 2 miles were sub-11, which I haven't done before in a race. The remaining miles were in the 11s and 12s due to walk breaks.

The best part of the race was the last .1 mile, one volunteer yelled "you're almost there! you've got this!" and then going into the last turn another volunteer yelled out my race number and said "finish strong!" and I sprinted to the finish line with the biggest smile on my face. They handed me a rose since it was a "Run for the Roses" (part of Portland's Rose Festival), and I sat on the astro-turf (high school football field) drinking water and eating a banana. It was an awesome race atmosphere, more friendly and less pretentious than some of the races I've done in VA. One woman at the banana table asked me how I did and I just smiled and said "I finished!" and she laughed.

The man at the registration table was right, the course was brutal. But it was awesome. I absolutely loved this race and would do it again tomorrow. My knees aren't really in agreement right now, but I could probably convince them. I posted on my facebook after the race, "never thought I would say this...just ran my first 10k!" I really never could have imagined that I would be able to do that. I feel like I accomplished something, and it feels so good! Can't wait till the next 10K to do it again.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Impulse Racing

I am leaving for Oregon on Friday for a week-long visit to family and friends. I am walking a 10K with my mom on the day I leave, and I had previously dismissed the thought of running a 10K this Saturday morning. Last night I decided, heck with it - I'm gonna do it! I am not planning on running the whole thing, I am mainly using it to do my long run for this week (5 miles). The weather in Oregon is much better for running (mid-60s and partly cloudly, compared to 80s and 80% humidity) so I'm excited to be able to train there for a week. No racing in the heat for me!

Monday, May 31, 2010


I am at my MILs house for the weekend. She lives on a very steep hill, and every street in her neighborhood has a pretty good incline. I wasn't looking forward to it, but I knew I needed to get a run in since we are here for 3 days. So despite the fact that I am not a morning runner, I don't really have experience training on hills, and it was extremely sunny out, I thought it'd be a good idea to jump out of bed this morning and go for a run around the neighborhood.


I was ready to quit after about 1/3 of a mile. The sun was brutal, and the hills were killing me. No matter where I ran, there was another hill. I stuck it out for 2 miles, and then walked 1 mile. I'm a wimp. It is the first time in a month that I've had to walk during a run. It's good I got some hill running in though, I never do that so it was a good opportunity. But I am looking forward to running on my nice, flat, shady golf course trail again!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Official

I am a registered participant in the Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon. I finally had to bite the bullet and sign-up (price is increasing this weekend). Estimated finish time is 2:30 (11:27 per mile). Went on an easy 3-mile run with hubby tonight, our pace was 11:29, 2 seconds off HM race pace. I found this website where you can buy temporary pace band tattoos and I really want one, if only cause it looks so cool!

When I was typing the first sentence of this post, I finally felt the gravity of it. I just registered for a Half-Marathon. Half. Marathon. Something I laughed off less than 3 months ago. And now I can't wait to do it. Yes I have lots of training ahead of me (14 1/2 weeks to be exact), but I know I can do it. And I have the best hubby and RP you could ask for to do it with me!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nice to meet you, Garmin Forerunner 405

Yesterday we happened to wander into Dicks and found that they had a Garmin Forerunner 405 with heart rate strap on sale for $50 off. We had talked about getting one for awhile so finally we caved and got it. It took me the better part of the afternoon to figure out all the programming aspects, and I took it for its first run today.

No wonder I have pacing issues!

My plan was to do an easy (12 min/mile) 4 miles. I started out between 11:15-11:30 min/mile and tried to slow down. I figured I was at about 12 min/mile and I checked the garmin - 10:45 min/mile. I tried continuously to slow down to 12 min/mile but I am just too used to an 11-11:30 pace. After about 2 miles I thought I was speeding up, and I was down to 11:50 min/mile. I had no idea how fast I was going at any point.

I was disappointed to find out that the golf course trail I am so found of is actually not quite 3 miles. Each mile is really about .98 miles. So by the time I finished 4 miles, it only registered as 3.91 miles on the Garmin. I ran around the parking lot until I hit 4 miles. So technically it's the longest I've ever run, but still only 4 miles.

It's also no wonder I have more difficulty in races when I think I should be fine. Previously I thought I was training at 11 min/mile, but really it was more like 11:15 min/mile due to the miles being shorter. So I thought I should be finishing 5ks faster since the golf course trail fooled me into thinking I was running faster than I was. But at least I know better now.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

5K Challenge Re-Cap

Slowest time: 38:15 (12:18 per mile, 4.88mph)

Fastest time: 33:42 (10:50 per mile, 5.54mph)

Time cut: 4:33 (1:28 per mile, .66mph)

Pounds lost: 7.6

Total miles ran or walked during training: 75

Average miles per week: 12.5

Overall I'm pretty pleased with the results. I wish I could have gotten a faster 5k time for the last one, but on the treadmill last week I did 3.1 miles in 33:10 so I know I have the ability to. My long-term goal is to have a sub-30 5k. But for now, I'm not signing up for anymore 5ks for awhile. 6 was enough!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Run For Your Life 5k

Interesting. It was held at a hospital/medical school campus, so for the course we did 3 laps around the parking lot and a few buildings. Not the most exciting course. I did it with my RP, who's been feeling a little under the weather this week. After about half a mile I was thinking, why do I keep doing this to myself? haha. I was pushing it though, going a lot faster than usual. For the first mile, we were on pace to hit 33 mins exactly (10:37), but a little after the half-way point RP wasn't feeling it and we had a very short walk break. We stopped again during the 3rd mile so she could drink some water, but that was less than a minute walking probably. We ended up finishing at 33:53, which is still very good for us considering we stopped twice to walk.

We stayed after the race for awhile which I normally don't do. We watched the kids' race, which was really cute. I told my RP to bring her baby next time since all the kids get medals, even if they are pushed in a stroller. We got some cool race goodies, a "Get Energized" wristband, a calorie/exercise/food thing that breaks down the exercise you have to do to burn calories in certain foods, and RP got an apple-shaped stress ball.

When I got home hubby had got me flowers! As a congratulations for completing all my 5ks. Tomorrow I will post some pics and do a 5k challenge summary. Overall I think it was quite a success.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ten pounds down!

Whoo-hoo! I finally lost 10 lbs! (Of the 18.8 I want to lose). It took about 11 weeks, not too bad. I don't have a deadline for losing it so I'm happy taking it slow. At first I had hoped that running would help me lose weight, but now I want to lose weight so I can run faster. I read somewhere that for every pound you lose, you cut 2 seconds off your mile time. I'll take all the help I can get!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Salute to the Military Red, White and Blue 5K

Favorite race so far. Hubby ran it with me, it was free for him since he is in the AF. There were a lot of military people there. Based on bib numbers I think there were around 500 people total. Last night I had been reading stories about embarassing running moments on and a lot of people had gone to the bathroom (either peed or pooped) on themselves while running, so this has become my new fear. Then today as soon as the race started I felt like I had to go to the bathroom! It was kind of good though because it kept me a little distracted from focusing on running.

The race started out with a loooong hill and had some downhills and then another big hill near the end. We had not trained for hills at all so I thought this would really eat into our time and/or wear us out. But, we did pretty good. Luckily they had mile-markers so I could keep our pace, at 2 miles we were at 21:44 and at 3 miles we were at 32:46. Our goal was to maintain an 11-minute mile pace and finish in about 34 minutes. Our clock time was 33:47, but it took us about 5 seconds to get to the starting line so I am putting our official time as 33:42.

This was my favorite race because the course was challenging but varied (hills, downhills, open sunshine, treed/foresty areas, etc.) and cause we rocked it. It started on the Coast Guard Training Center, which is right on the York River so there was a nice view. We have lucked out with nice 5K views, since last week we were on the Chesapeake Bay. Today was supposed to be my last 5K in the series but last night I signed up for one more. I am trying to get hubby or my RP to do it too, I do so much better when I don't run alone!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Second 4-miler

Ran with hubby tonight since my RP was busy. I checked our pace at every quarter mile and we stayed within 1-2 seconds of 11 min/mile the whole way. I am a bad pacer so I know this was all him. Our finish time was 44:02, over 4 minutes faster than last time, whoo-hoo! Based on this, the Runners World race calculator puts my half-marathon right around 2 1/2 hours, which is our goal. I can't believe my last 5k is this weekend. I'm 95% sure I will sign up for a 6th one next Saturday. But then I am really done, since I will be in NJ and OR for the next 3 weekends after that. One bad thing about the 4-mile runs is that both times I have gotten stomachaches afterwards. Hubby said that is normal and I just have to get used to it!

Monday, May 10, 2010

First 4-miler

Had an awesome 4 mile run with my RP today. We usually do 3 miles during the week but I've been itching to do a longer run and I have another 5k this weekend so we decided to try a longer one today. The funny thing is it felt easier than the first time we ran 3 miles. I think the weather had something to do with it, last week it was in the 80s and very muggy both days we ran, and today it was in the 70s and breezy so it was perfect. We maintained a steady pace (around 12 min/mile, 48:13 total) but we weren't trying to win a race or anything. It's hard to restrain myself from running every day but I'm trying to prevent injury, especially since I have a history of knee problems. Can't wait till Wednesday's run!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

5K by the Bay

Killed it! Well, as much as you can when you run as slow as I do. I was supposed to do it with my running partner and my husband but my RP had to stay home to take care of her sick husband. So it was just hubby and me. It was a beautiful course, right on the Chesapeake Bay. It went down a main street aways and then looped around a neighborhood and came back to the same street. It was very hot too, we were right in the sun and I think it was around 80* by the time we finished. On the main street there was basically no shade, but luckily we got a little when we were looping around the neighborhood. There was a water stop after about 2 miles, but the only time I have used a water stop I felt sick immediately after so now I avoid them.

The second half was a lot slower due to strong winds, but we still managed to get a PR (34:58, my goal was to break 35 minutes and we did!). I wanted to make hubby proud! It was his first 5K so of course it was a PR for him. He didn't even break a sweat, he is a fast runner (like 6-minute mile fast) so I am very appreciative that he ran slow for me :) I'm a little sad that next weekend is my last 5K in the series...I may have to sign up for a 6th!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

in other news...

I finally got new running shoes! It is an embarassing secret that I have been training in Reebok EasyTones. Definitely not good shoes for running. I wanted to take time though to research and find a good pair since I have one flat foot and I overpronate. So finally, after a few weeks of looking, I bought a beautiful pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10! I had looked at the major sporting goods store here and they didn't have my size, and every time I called the running store here they were sold out. But finally they had them! They are like heaven for feet. I am wearing them right now around the apartment just for fun. I am interested to see how they affect my running...

Tabb High School May Day 5K

This race had a LOT more people than last week, I think around 300. It was mostly teenagers and their parents (it was a HS fundraiser 5K). I got caught up with the crowd and started too fast, my first mile was about 10:40 and by 2 miles I was at 22:11. I was feeling a little sick, I think partially due to heat/sun (it is going to be in the 90s today and we were running directly under the sun), so I took a short walking break. It turned into a 3-minute break, and I figured my time was shot so I just half-assed it for the last mile, running and walking. It's a beautiful day so why not enjoy it! Plus most other people on the course were alternating running and walking so I didn't feel as much pressure to run the whole time. It was funny, a lot of the teenage girls that started out fast had to stop and walk before they had gone 1 mile.

One bad thing about the race was that it was held in the neighborhood across from the HS, and it was 3 down-and-backs on these long residential streets, so it was kind of boring. And not a lot of shade so we were basically running in the sun the whole time.

After the 5K I went over to my usual running trail to do some speed work. It was ridiculous how fast I got tired after the 5K. My goal was to alternate running 1/4 mile really fast, and then walking 1/4 mile. My running sessions quickly turned into 30-45 second sprints instead lol. At first I was bummed how the 5K turned out, but I reminded myself that running every 5K isn't the goal, the 5Ks are just a training tool to get me physically used to running several times a week, and mentally used to races and getting up early on the weekends. So with that perspective, the race was still a success.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Had a fantastic run today, despite my shoelace coming untied and a bug flying into my mouth. I think the last two fast run-walk sessions have helped because I finished my 3 miles in 34:49, 1:14 faster than my 3 miles last Thursday. I know I am still slow by anyone else's standards, but I am getting faster. My first "training run" was exactly 8 weeks ago and I ran 1/4 mile, walked 1/4 mile, for 1 mile total. I ran at 4.5mph. Considering I can now run 3 miles straight at about 5.17mph (today's pace), I think I'm improving. I wish tomorrow wasn't my rest day so I could go out and run again!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


On today's training run (3 miles) I tried running faster and then taking short (1 min) walking breaks to see how that felt. My time was 34:50, which is over a minute faster than last time when I ran the whole time, but I still felt so tired by the end. It's frustrating because I wish I was showing more improvement. I have gotten faster, but so far I only run 3 miles and then I'm spent. How am I ever going to get to 13.1!?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"the change"

I had two signs this week that I am slowly changing into a real runner. The first happened a few days ago. When I first started running my running partner said she would eventually like to do a half-marathon, and I remember thinking I would never want to do that. Within a few weeks, we were planning our first half. I knew for sure though that I would NEVER need or want to do a full marathon. Well imagine my surprise when earlier this week the thought of finishing a full marathon entered the realm of possibility. And I looked online and found one I could actually try, 2 months after our half. Dare I dream it? The second sign happened yesterday when I was driving to the airport and I noticed a nice forest-y area by the side of the road and I thought that would be a nice place to run. I wish they had a trail there. I have never thought anything like that in my life! I always despised running and would never wish I had the opportunity to do it. I know these are small signs, but they still made me optimistic that maybe I can stick this out and actually be a real runner.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A 5K Race Against Diabetes

This was by far the smallest race I have ever been in. They gave out bib numbers as people signed in and the highest number I saw was 39. It was about half runners, half walkers.

I started out of the gate a little too fast. In order to sustain running for 3 miles, I have to maintain a pace of 5mph/12 min mile. I hit the first 1/4 mile at 2:30 (6mph). I was excited to be running that fast but I knew I couldn't keep it up. I started struggling around 1 1/4 mile and I remember my husband said not to worry too much about running the whole time, I should try to enjoy it and have fun because otherwise what's the point. So, I allowed myself to take a short (maybe 1/8 mile) walking break. When I started running the second time I felt more energized and was able to run faster again. I took another short walking break at the 2-mile point to take advantage of a water stop. Turned out to be a bad idea since I felt sick as soon as the water hit my stomach. I probably didn't need to take a third walking break, but I wanted to make sure I was running across the finish line. I'm glad I had my watch so I could pace myself to finish on time. Despite taking three walking breaks, I ended up beating my old time by 2 1/2 minutes (35:41 compared to 38:15). Whoo-hoo!

I am definitely a fan of the run-walk method. I feel better during the running periods, I don't want to die at the end, and I don't get the usual aches/pains/blisters. I feel like I could go out and do another one right now. I read it is better for your body too because running and walking use different muscle groups so it gives your muscles a chance to recover. I'm glad I have 3 more 5Ks left to experiment with different running strategies. It's also kind of fun doing them solo because I don't have to worry about keeping up with the other person or slowing them down too much. My next 5K is solo, then I have one with my running partner, and then one with my husband. Then who knows!

Friday, April 23, 2010

#2 tomorrow

For tomorrow's 5K I'm flying solo. I feel less pressure to improve my time, but since I'm super familiar with the course (I run it 2-3 times a week) I feel like I should do better than last weekend. My 3-mile run on Wednesday took 36:03, which would put me right around 37:15, about 1 minute faster than last time. After the 5K I have to run back and shower and go pick up my husband from the airport. He's finally coming home! Yay!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

badge of courage

I used to get embarassed when I would sweat through my pants while running, but now I view it as a badge of courage. I am courageous enough to let people see that my butt sweats. Deal with it people!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It probably wasn't the best idea...

Looking back I probably shouldn't have also signed up for a stairclimbing race in the middle of my 5ks. The race is on Sunday the 25th, 25 stories/580 steps, the day after my 5K Race for Diabetes. Today they offered a free "boot camp" session that I went to because they said it would be a little strength training, stretching, and stair climbing. It turned out to be 30-35 minutes of group exercise and running up all 25 flights as "practice" for next week. I'm pooped! And I get to do it all over again next weekend. At least I'm burning lots of calories! Once the stairclimbing race is over it will be a lot easier to train for the 5ks since right now I'm having to alternate running and stairclimbing every day, and then adding strength training 3 days a week. Just focusing on running will be a nice change!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Run the D.O.G. 5k

Today was the first of the five 5ks. It was rainy this morning, and the course had some hills which we hadn't trained for, but overall we did pretty good. There were a lot of "real" runners there, it was intimidating! We made the rookie mistake of wearing the race shirt during the race, which didn't help once it got soaked with sweat and rain. I felt bad about stopping to walk briefly in the middle, but I was just not feeling that good this morning. I think it was a combo of not enough sleep, not enough of a pre-race breakfast, and race-day nerves. After the race went to IHOP and I had stuffed french toast - sooooo good! Totally makes running worth it :)
Still waiting for chip time to be posted. They took pictures of everyone as they passed by - here's us!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I'm slowly getting faster...3-mile run today took 36 minutes. Not too shabby considering I didn't even think I'd finish it when I started! Getting excited for the first 5K this weekend. My friend is doing it too which makes it a lot more fun. And I get to eat carbs on Friday! Which reminds me, time to eat some dinner!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The birth of the 5 x 5K challenge

After having to walk the entire YVR, we decided to do a 5K next weekend so we can have a chance to actually run. I was looking around on, Virginia Running Club, etc to see what other events we can do. I noticed that 5Ks are offered basically every weekend, and usually more than one per weekend. My husband is gone for the next two weeks for work and when he's away I like to find something to do to keep me busy and keep me from digging in to the Ben & Jerry's. Thus, the 5 x 5K challenge was born. Over the next 5 weeks, I will run 5 5Ks. I'm psyched! I am hoping to get a little faster each time, but really I will just be happy if I finish each one. My 3-mile training run yesterday took about 38 minutes, so I'm hoping to finish the first 5K in under 40 minutes. I'm slow I know! But considering how I had to walk the 5Ks I did in Oregon and it took an hour, at least I'm improving. Anyway, here is a list of the 5Ks I will be doing:

April 17th, 8am
Run the D.O.G. 5K

April 24th, 9am
A 5K Race for Diabetes

May 1st, 8am
Tabb High School May Day 5K

May 8th, 9am
20th Annual 5K by the Bay

May 15th, 8:30am
Salute to the Military "Red, White and Blue 5K"

Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


2:19.21. We had to walk the whole way! The woman at the registration table said it was a free-for-all and we could run and walk as we please, but when we got to the starting line they said that all walkers had to walk the entire time. Boo! It was still a good time though. Then we had a super fatty lunch at Olive Garden. We had to re-charge after burning all those calories! Kind of a bummer that we couldn't run though. My calves and ankles are super tight so I may go on a walk later tonight to loosen em up. Looking forward to the next race and actually running!

Friday, April 2, 2010

8-Miler tomorrow....

It's finally here! Yorktown Victory Run 8-Miler tomorrow. I was pretty proud of my carbo-loading today, I had spaghetti sandwiches which is carbs on top of carbs. Followed by some Special K, in case I hadn't had enough carbs yet. The longest we have run/walked during training is a little over 6 miles so hopefully 8 goes well.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

One week to go

Training's been going good. There aren't any training schedules for 8-milers so I've been using a 10K training schedule. I started out alternating running 1/4 mile (at 4.5mph) and walking 1/4 mile. I have improved to running 1/2-3/4 mile (at 5mph) and walking 1/4 mile. The longest I've run at once now is 2 miles (on a treadmill), the first time I have ever run that far in my life! I'm pretty proud of the progress we've made, especially considering how I'm a non-runner and my running partner just had a baby 4 months ago. We're awesome!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I must be crazy...

Despite the fact that I've never walked more than 3-4 miles at once, and I have only run 1 mile straight once in my adult life, I agreed to do an 8-mile run/walk 1 month from today. Time to start training!