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!