Saturday, April 30, 2011

Race Goals

As usual I am getting more anxious and stressed out the closer it gets to the race. Today while we were walking around after the expo the back of my leg/hip started to hurt. Hopefully this is not a sign that it will give me issues tomorrow. If all goes well in the morning, these are the goals I am aiming for...

1. PR (sub-2:21.57)
2. Break 2:20
3. Sub-10:40 average

At my last race I met all of my goals. I don't want to be overconfident that I will meet them this time, but I'm hopeful I can accomplish at least one of them. I know this is probably my last "real" effort at a half until fall, so I want to make it count!

See you on the flip side...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Training Week 16 Recap (Taper)

Sunday - Ran 7 miles @5mph
Monday - Biked 8.5 miles, swam 1000 yards
Tuesday - Ran 3 miles @5.7mph
Wednesday - Walked 1 mile
Thursday - Ran 3 miles @5.6mph
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Rest

Taper week hasn't gotten exactly as planned. I haven't been able to sleep well at night, I'm not sure if this is related to tapering or something else. It has been a very stressful week at work so it might be partly due to that. I had to take sleeping pills 2 different nights, and I still didn't sleep that much. I have a cold that luckily hasn't been that bad (thank goodness!) but hopefully it clears up a little more by Sunday. It's hard enough trying to breath through my nose when it's not stuffed up!

Goals post tomorrow. Time to take another sleeping pill!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Sick :(

It is so convenient that the first time I get sick this year is 5 days before a half-marathon. Way to go, immune system!

Coincidentally a few other bloggers are also sick right now, so I don't feel so alone. At least I got to work from home today (I usually work in the office on Wednesdays).

I am pretty sure I am still going to do the race, unless I get drasticly worse by Sunday. At least I am tapering so my body is getting extra rest anyway. I only have 1 more run left tomorrow and then 2 rest days. I'll use my extra energy to will my body to get better.

My eyeballs hurt. Probably time to put the computer away.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Eating, running, reading

I cannot believe how much food I consumed this weekend. It started with an innocent trip to the grocery store during which a few items of Easter candy were purchased, combined with hubby bringing home a bag full of Paradise cookies, going out to dinner with my parents at an establishment that makes the best brownies known to man, followed by a gut-busting brunch this morning that included doughnut muffins (amazing!) and cinnamon roll biscuits, topped off with additional Easter candy.

Thank goodness for running is all I can say.

I had my last long run of training today, it went pretty well. Much better than last weekend's long run, I only did 7 miles but I felt good at the end, I didn't walk any of it, and I drank less than 1 bottle of water (compared to last week when I needed 3 bottles). It makes me a little more confident for my half-marathon.

I have been doing a good amount of reading lately. I am developing a nice stack of books on my nightstand:

I can't remember the last book I read (or magazine for that matter) that was not related to running. Is it bad that I like to spend all my non-training time doing training-related reading, eating, and writing?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Training Week 15 Recap

Holy cow I have been training for 15 weeks straight!

Sunday - Ran 11 miles @5mph
Monday - Swam 750 yards
Tuesday - Biked 13 miles
Wednesday - Ran 4.5 miles @5.7, 5.5, 5.3
Thursday - Biked 15 miles, 60 minutes Zumba, swam 1000 yards
Friday - Ran 4.5 miles @5.2 with 6 X 400 (2 @6.6, 2 @6.7, 2 @6.8)
Saturday - Rest day (i.e. eat lots of Easter candy and hope I can work it off during my long run on Sunday)

Next week I am tapering, then on Saturday we head down to Eugene! The current weather forecast for next Sunday is partly cloudy, high of 61. Perfect! I am feeling much better physically and energy-wise than I did at this point in my training for my last half-marathon. Besides my tough 11-miler last weekend, all of my workouts have been pretty good.

Tomorrow I have my last long run, 7 miles, hopefully to be done after church. Hope everyone has a happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Keeping with theme of three, I had three great workouts today! This morning I did a 15-mile ride on the trainer before work. Then right after work I went to a Zumba class with my friend Rachelle. After Zumba I came home and put my suit on and went for a swim at the gym. I swam 1000 yards straight! I can't believe it. Exactly 2 weeks ago I had my first swim of training and I swam in 25 and 50 yard increments.

2. Yesterday and today I have run, biked, and swam (swum?) distances longer than those required in my sprint tri. I am feeling pretty confident I can complete it so now I am working on a time goal. I think right now, my goal is 1 hour, 45 minutes. 20 minute swim, 50 minute bike, 30 minute run, and 5 minutes for transitions. I have no idea if this will actually happen, but I'm optimistic.

3. I found out yesterday that my hubby has all of next weekend off and gets to come to Eugene and run the half-marathon with me! Yay! I'm so excited! He has been wanting to go to Eugene for awhile so it works out great. Can't wait!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My long run today was TOUGH. I was surprised because my last 11-miler went really well. I had planned on taking my power bar breaks at 3, 6, and 9 miles. I had to add a few breaks in at 8 and 10 miles too. And I went through 3 bottles of water! I usually only need 1. When I have a bad run this close to a race it really shakes my confidence so I am trying to think of reasons why this run was hard...

1. I had 6 days of solid workouts this week, and while yesterday was technically a rest day, we probably walked 4-5 miles around the city.
2. Because I delayed my long run last week, I ran a total of 26 miles in the last 7 days. During my peak training I usually top off at around 21 miles a week.
3. I ate a lot yesterday, but before that I had only been eating around 1500 calories a day all week.
4. I am only 14 days out from a half-marathon, at which I had a big PR.

I tried to shake off the bad long-run mojo by wearing my favorite post-long-run t-shirt:

And eating my favorite post-long-run meal:

BBQ chicken sandwich from Claim Jumper. Best.sandwich.ever.

And I am about to indulge in another post-long-run favorite - a foot/leg rub from hubby! All-in-all not a bad day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Training Week 14 Recap

Sunday - 30 minutes Elliptical, swam 600 yards
Monday - Ran 6 miles @5-5.2mph (long run)
Tuesday - Biked 11 miles, 60 minutes Zumba
Wednesday - Ran 4.5 miles @5.5mph (tempo/steady state)
Thursday - Biked 11 miles, swam 700 yards
Friday - Ran 4.5 miles @5.2mph w/ 6 x 400 @6.6mph (speed intervals)
Saturday - Rest

It felt so good to get a speed workout in yesterday, so far I have just been training to complete races and hoping for a certain time, rather than training for a time. I finally looked up the right paces, etc. for hitting my new time goal and yesterday was my first run towards that goal.

Hubby and I went downtown today and had a food fest. Cookies, pasta, gelato, and cupcakes. So delicious. I know I will work it off tomorrow during my 11 miler so I'm not too worried. And I did lose 1 lb this week (yay!), so I figure one day of fun is ok. I also got some cinnamon-raisin swirl peanut butter that I can't wait to try out! Maybe tomorrow before my long run...

Friday, April 15, 2011

No more 25s or 50s for me!

Except for drills of course.

Last night I went to the pool and I swam - are you ready? - 300 yards straight! I know that is not a lot, but I could barely swim one length when I started, and this is only my 3rd swim of training. I did three 100s, one 300, and one 100 for a total of 700 yards. I did my 600 in 18 minutes, a 3 1/2 minute improvement from last time. My first goal is to do it under 15 minutes. Since this is such a short portion of the race, I'm not going to focus on speed too much as long as I can do the distance.

In other news, I am officially registered! As of June 26th, if all goes as planned, I will be a true-blue triathlete!

I have one more run tonight then a rest day tomorrow. My legs are already tired from this week, I know this is going to be a tough one. Just gotta keep my eye on the prize!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. The weather sucks around here. I think we are breaking some record for going the longest into the year without hitting 70*. We already broke our record for going the longest without hitting 60*. Remind me again why I wanted to move back to the PNW?

2. I love Luna bars. I wish they were cheaper, I would eat like 3 a day. Except they do have some saturated fat and I have high cholesterol (by 2 pts) so that probably wouldn't be a good idea.

3. I must eat REALLY bad if I have high cholesterol and I am at a healthy weight and I exercise 6 days a week. I have started eating fish a few days a week, and I only eat junk food on the weekend now. I am hoping it will be normal when I get it re-tested in June. It only needs to go down 3 pts to be "normal." Eating giant Voodoo doughnuts and Cinnabon probably isn't helping.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Despite my hamstrings still being super tight from Saturday's yard work, I was able to get in a 6-mile run after work. I tried out a new Power Bar flavor I got at REI - Milk Chocolate Brownie. I am not a big fan of the regular chocolate flavor so I wasn't sure how it would go, but it was actually pretty good! So, I continue to find ways to eat chocolate that I can pass off as "nutrition."

The run was pretty good, still trying to take it easy after the half so I stayed around an 11:45-11:50 pace. On Wednesday I should be back to my regular 10:54 pace hopefully.

Tomorrow morning I am hoping to do an hour on the bike trainer before work, then go to Zumba with my friend Rachelle after work. This could be dangerous since we may end up going to frozen yogurt afterward. Lately this has become an addiction so I am trying to limit it to once a week.

Hmm maybe hubby will buy me this mug...

It does not help that there are no less than 4 frozen yogurt places within 15 minutes of our house.

Ok, I need a distraction before I find myself in the car on my way to Mango Tango. Hopefully catching up on blogs will do the trick!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm nothing if not ambitious

Two swims into my sprint tri training and I'm already contemplating a 70.3. This is how it started with running, I just wanted to be able to run a 5k. Never wanted to run a half-marathon. A year later, I've run 3. So in all likelihood a year from now you will find me blogging about my 70.3 training :)

Today's swim went pretty well, except for the continuous foot cramps. I was supposed to do a 6 mile run today, but yesterday I spent 2 hours giving our front yard some much-needed TLC and my hamstrings were way too tight to attempt a run. So I swapped out my run for tomorrow's planned swim. Last Thursday I swam 600 yards in 24 minutes, tonight I did it in 21 1/2 minutes! I also swam 150 yards straight, a first for me. I did four 25s, three 50s, one 150, and two 100s. Last week I think I did six 25s, seven 50s, and one 100.

Before my gym session we spent the afternoon shopping for gear. I love it! We went to Road Runner Sports and I got an awesome new handheld, it has 3 pockets! One small one for a key, one big zippered pocket, and one open mesh pocket. And it's hot pink. I am so excited. We also went to Performance Bicycle and hubby got a bike helmet. Then we drove down to the Pearl Izumi outlet. I was in heaven! Hubby got a really cute cycling outfit and gloves, and I got an awesome tri suit! It was from last season so it was 30% off! And I got matching gloves.

Try not to be jealous:

I know the color coordination is going to help me kick butt at my tri. It's science.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Training Week 13 Recap (Recovery)

Sunday - Race for the Roses Half-Marathon
Monday - Biked 4 miles (easy)
Tuesday - Walked 1 mile, 15 mins elliptical
Wednesday - Ran 2.5 miles
Thursday - Swam 600 yards, biked 6 miles
Friday - Ran 3 miles
Saturday - Rest

Feeling pretty good. I was very sore on Monday and Tuesday, with only slight lingering soreness the rest of the week. I didn't want to go too easy this week since a) I have another half-marathon in 3 weeks and b) I have my first triathlon in 11 weeks. So, I chose active recovery. Definitely got a lot of sleep in, and made sure to eat at least 2000 calories a day for 3 days after the race to restore my muscles and energy stores. Hopefully I did everything right, I'm back into full-on training next week!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Since my tri training officially started on Monday, I figured I had better get a swim in today. I am not following an exact training plan because I am also incorporating continual half-marathon training. Since my tri requires a 600 meter swim, I decided to swim 600 meters and get a baseline for my training.

The last time I swam (January), I did 500 meters and stopped every time I got to the wall. I don't even know how long it took me. This time I did 50 meters straight 7 times, and 100 meters straight once. In total it took about 24 minutes. Considering this is my first swim in my 12 weeks of training, I am very happy. I'm just going to keep doing 600 meters and try to cut out breaks as much as I can until I can do 600 meters straight. The race has a 30-minute cut-off for the swim portion so I am feeling pretty confident that I will be able to do it.

For dinner I had veggie burgers with sauteed mushrooms and colby jack cheese. De-lish! I have had a bad few weeks of eating so I am trying to get it under control again. Ugh I hate dieting!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Slow and steady wins the race

Last night I went to the gym. We got free 3-month passes so I finally signed up. I got on the treadmill to do an easy walk and loosen up my legs. The girl on the treadmill next to me was running. She looked sweaty and miserable. I was jealous. I had to fight the urge and stick to my blazing speed of 2.5mph. Did I mention it's still hard to go down the stairs? I figure better safe than sorry.

Today though, that treadmill was mine. I had waited 2 days, that's long enough right? I was debating between 2 and 3 miles, so I did 2.5. It felt awesome! My IT band complained a little at the start, but overall I was relatively pain free and full of energy. I wanted to keep going for an hour or two but I don't want to risk injury or delayed recovery with Eugene only 25 days away. So I am taking it slow and steady. Friday I may even get up to 3.5 miles, whoo-hoo!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The real pain of recovery

is waiting till the soreness goes away so you can get started training again! The last 2 days I have been itching to run but every muscle in my legs is so sore, I am trying to be patient and let my body recover. I did 4 very easy miles on the bike last night to loosen things up. I plan on walking 1-2 miles tonight to work some more kinks out.

Hopefully tomorrow I can do a slow 2-3 mile run. Based on the recovery rule of thumb though, I shouldn't run hard for 11 more days. I don't know if I can wait that long. I can't wait to get some speed workouts in!

I want my sub-2:20 half!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Race for the Roses Half-Marathon

Warning: this is going to be a long one!

I woke up at 4:40 and had half a raisin bagel with peanut butter (made last night and waiting on the nightstand). I got up, got dressed, and tried to find something on tv which of course there isn't at 4:40 on a Sunday morning. I headed downstairs at 5:15 to gather all of my race stuff (garmin, race bib, gloves, etc.). I chatted with hubby, he was also up early since he works on Sundays. I got online to check the weather one last time (supposedly 40* at the start, a little colder than predicted) and had a Power Bar at 5:30. I went to the bathroom one last time and did a quick mental checklist to make sure I had everything packed. I was out the door at about 5:50.

I got to the convention center at 6:20 and parked in the garage. I hadn't planned on using the bathroom again but the line was short and it was a real bathroom and not a porta-potty, so I figured what the heck. However, I forgot to take my gloves off so when I came out of the stall to wash my hands, I realized I couldn't really wash my gloves. I didn't want to just leave, so I took my gloves off and washed my hands. Oops!

Everyone was gathered inside because it was cold out, then around 6:45 everyone started heading to the start line. The sun was just starting to come up and it was pretty cold. I was by myself and didn't have anyone to talk to, so I just stretched a little and tried to stay warm. The race started without much to-do and we were off!

Right away we turned down a street and then went across a bridge. Portland has 7 bridges across the Willamette River, so many races here go over at least 1 bridge. I was determined to not burn out in the first half, so my plan was to stay around an 11-minute pace and then pick it up to a 10:30 pace after the half-way point. My natural pace seemed to be around 10:30 so it was hard to slow down. After about 3 miles we started on the hill. I'm guessing the hill was about a mile long. I had planned to have part of a Power Bar at 3.5, 7, and 10.5 miles so my first part came on the hill. I did not realize that the cold weather would turn my Power Bar into a brick so it took forever to chew. I walked for about 1/10th of a mile to chew and drink. We continued up the hill which seemed like forever. Finally we reached the top, and then we had to go down what we had just come up! It was beautiful. I still tried to hold back but I was still feeling very strong and the downhill seemed to go forever. Miles 5-7 flew by as we wove around the city. At the half-way point I was on pace for a 2:22 finish. I had another part of my Power Bar at 7.5 miles and walked for another 1/10th of a mile to chew and drink.

Around 8 miles I started to lose steam. I hoped that I hadn't given too much up during the first half. We turned down a long out-and-back so all we had to look at were the runners coming back at us. I was getting tired but I really wanted my 2:22 finish so I knew I had to hold at least an 11 minute pace. From there on out it was a mental struggle to keep at it. I knew physically I could do it, I just couldn't give in to the temptation to walk. I started counting down when I got to mile 9. I took my last Power Bar break at 10.5 miles. We went from one out-and-back into another out-and-back so the last 5 miles were pretty boring. I kept checking my time to make sure I would finish at 2:22. I told myself I could walk for a bit at 12 miles since I would only have 1 mile left, but once I got to 12 miles I was so happy I hadn't done any more walking than planned so I wanted to stick it out. I knew there was a sharp hill at the end and I was not looking forward to it.

At about 12.7 miles we started up the bridge that would take us to the finish line. It was TOUGH. I think it was about an 80 foot gain over 1/4 mile. I started talking crap to myself about wanting to quit, and how could I quit when I was so close to the top. I felt like I was going soooo sloooow but I was still under an 11 minute pace. Finally we crested the bridge and I saw the mile 13 sign. There was a woman running right next to me and I said "Good job!" and she laughed and said "now comes the hard part." The last .1 did seem to drag on for awhile. Finally we rounded the corner and there was the finish line! My watch said 2:21.35 and I sprinted in to try to get under 2:22. Final result...2:21.57! Barely made it. Since we got our finisher's medals when we picked up our packets, it was a little anticlimactic. I drank 2 cups of water, looked around the room, and went back to my car. They had some food (bananas, oranges, bagels, etc.) but I didn't feel like sticking around by myself. Plus I was pretty sweaty and just wanted to shower.

It's funny, during the last few miles of the race I was thinking, good thing I am getting my sub-2:30 half now, I can just have fun at Eugene. I don't want to put out this much effort for a long time. During the car ride home I started thinking I can probably break 2:20 at Eugene. Only 27 days to go!


11:28 (big hill and first Power Bar break)
10:56 (second Power Bar break)
11:11 (third Power Bar break)
1:22 (.14)

Elevation gain: 362 feet
Elevation loss: 362 feet

As Eminem says...

I guess I don't know my own strength.

Let's review my race goals from yesterday...

Goal 1 - PR (sub-2:33.50)
Goal 2 - Break 2:30
Goal 3 - Sub-11 minute average

I am happy to report, I crushed them all!

2:21.57 (10:50 ave)

Race report and photos to come.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Race Goals

T-14 hours! (ish)

As usual I am having more doubts the closer it gets to the race. Did I run enough? Did I rest enough? Did I eat the right foods? Will I be too warm/too cold? Seeing as how I have another half coming up in 4 weeks (Eugene), I am going to set a few goals but if something goes wrong I can figure out what went wrong, and try to fix it for next time.

Goal 1 - PR (sub-2:33.50)
Goal 2 - Break 2:30
Goal 3 - Sub-11 minute average

This is my first solo half so I am a little worried about not having any back-up (motivation, hydration, nutrition, etc.). I think this will be a different half because of it. I am relying 100% on myself. My last solo race went great so hopefully this one does as well!

March Summary

Running: 80 miles
Biking: 61.5 miles
Swimming: 0 miles
Walking: 16.25 miles

Runs: 15
Non-run workouts: 11
Rest days: 5

Cross-training: strength training, elliptical, Zumba, Pilates, walking, biking

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tools of the Trade

People always ask me, what are your race secrets? (Just kidding, no one actually asks me that.) So, I have decided to share my tools of the trade. This entry will cover my favorite tool:


Today I am 2 days out from the race. For many runners, this means eating healthy and "clean." I prefer to fuel on sugar. Say what you will, but I ran my 16-minute half-marathon PR after eating giant chocolate chip cookies, and my 6-minute 10K PR after eating krispy kreme donuts and samoas. I do what works.

My favorites for this race include a little of this:

Some of that:

And of course, a few of these:

Much of the same will be consumed tomorrow. Possibly more pictures to come, if I can restrain myself from eating long enough to get my camera.

Training Week 12 Recap (Taper)

Sunday - Ran 7 miles
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Ran 3 miles
Wednesday - Walked 2 miles
Thursday - Ran 3 miles
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Rest

Feeling good and rested. Bring on the race!