Sunday, August 28, 2011

Done with Doubles!

Today I finished the last of my double long runs in preparation for my double half-marathons. I was happy that it was my last long run because I have been so fearful of injury, but sad because I really have enjoyed this past month of getting up early every Saturday and Sunday to do my runs.

I am feeling pretty good about my upcoming races. I know my body can handle the miles, and as long as I eat enough before and during I will have enough energy to get through them both. I am not looking forward to the 5-hour round-trip for the second one, but there's not much I can do about that.

I have noticed a few other improvements related to my running over the last month. For one, I no longer have to wait 90 minutes after eating before running. I used to get bad sideaches if I didn't wait that long, but now I can run 30 minutes after eating and be fine. Also, no more tummy issues! (Knock on wood!). Previously I would get bad cramps after runs of more than 4-5 miles, and they would last for up to 2 hours. I amazingly did not have a single cramp during or after any of my 8 long runs. I could not believe it.

I am soooo grateful that I made it through this training. At times I thought I had any number of injuries - shin splints, stress fractures, pulled hamstring, patellar tendonitis, achilles tendonitis, soleus strain, ITBS, you name it. Yes I possibly over-react and jump to conclusions at the slightest twinge of pain. Luckily my husband happily puts up with all of my running craziness :) I am lucky to be married to a fellow runner.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend and stayed safe during the hurricane! So sad to see all the flooding/damage where we used to live in VA :(

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Only 9 more days till my "Jupiter" weekend! (In Half Fanatics you reach the 4th level, Jupiter, when you do 2 half-marathons in 2 days). I have found it is easier to say Jupiter weekend than double half-marathon weekend.

2. I have become addicted to oatmeal. I used to eat Quaker instant oats but I found a new kind called Oat Fit. It is all natural, and it comes in this packet that is also a measuring cup! So you just pour the oats into a bowl (or a big mug, in my case), then fill the packet with water and pour it in. So easy and fast! And I don't have to bring a measuring cup to work anymore.

3. I am soooo jealous of everyone running Hood to Coast! I live in the Portland area so I know lots of people doing it. I would love to go cheer them on but I have to work all day and then run errands after work :( If you have not seen the Hood to Coast movie you should, it is awesome and will make you want to go for a run afterward.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Run-Filled, Fun-Filled Weekend

This weekend I had another round of 10-milers on the books. I had originally planned on doing 11 miles, but I didn't want to risk injury anymore than I already am. So, 10 miles it was.

Saturday I got up at 5:30 and did my 10 miles before Zumba. I have had to make some sacrifices due to running, but I refuse to give up my favorite Zumba class! After class I hung out with my husband till around 2 when he left for work. Then I headed over to Road Runner to get some IT band wraps. My IT bands were feeling sore after the run so I wanted to give them a try. I stretch and foam roll after runs, but I still have some issues when I run 2 days in a row.

After the running store I stopped by Borders. They are having a liquidation sale and I picked up "Run Less Run Faster" in the bargain bin for $2.99! What a steal! I prefer to only run 3 days a week and I love to crosstrain so I am interested to see how this program works.

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing around the house, hanging out with my pup and eating an amazing BBQ chicken salad


Sunday I slept in until 6:30 then did my other 10 miler. I was feeling sore Saturday evening so I was very cautious and incorporated some walking to make sure I didn't overdo it.

After my run, hubs and I headed downtown to enjoy the beautiful weather we are having! We had lunch (and I had dessert of course) and then headed over to Foot Traffic to pick up an IT band wrap for hubs. We have a lot in common :) I am glad we both run, otherwise I would probably drive him crazy with all my running talk.

It is rare for us to both have a weekend day off (he usually works during the weekend) so it has been nice hanging out today. Yes even watching Sunday Night Football. The things we do for love!

Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paranoid? Hypochondriac? Or just being cautious?

Since I have been increasing my mileage a lot for my double halfs, I have become very worried about getting injured.

I woke up in the middle of the night and my ankle hurt, of course this means I have a stress fracture.

My shins hurt for a few minutes during a run, so I obviously have shin splints.

I had a little pain in my right knee after my tempo run, definitely means patellar tendonitis.

So now I am icing, resting, wearing a PT strap, etc. trying to avoid injury at all costs. I think I am just being cautious. But, perhaps I am being paranoid. Or a hypochrondriac. Or both.

But can you blame me? After reading about other bloggers' various injuries (and long recoveries), that is the last thing I want. My races are only 2 weeks away! At this point I am willing to do just about anything to ensure I show up at the start line(s) injury-free.

If you have any injury prevention tips or advice, I would love to hear it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Done and done!

My back-to-back long runs went great! I decided to do both 10-milers on the treadmill to make it easier on my knees. I kept my pace very slow and every 2 miles I would walk .1 mile. So far I feel no soreness at all. Yay!

I have been using Power Bar Energy Blasts lately instead of bars. They are sooo much easier to chew and I can actually run while eating them instead of having to stop and walk. I think they are a winner!

After my run I went to Sweetest Thing Cup Cakes for a little post-run treat.

I think 1 to 1 is a good cupcake to long run ratio. The one on the left is chocolate with peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache on top. The one on the right is vanilla with crushed oreos, and oreo buttercream frosting. They were delicious! I think I will make this a new long run tradition.

I am feeling a lot more confident that I will be able to finish both half-marathons. I was almost sad when my runs were done because I was enjoying them so much. I think I like long runs more because I don't have to worry about going fast, I can just relax and enjoy it.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Double Trouble

With any luck, I will accomplish my goal of doing back-to-back half-marathons three weeks from now. I am excited but anxious.

I have chosen the Oregon Wine Country Half-Marathon on September 4th, and the Labor Day Half-Marathon on September 5th. I chose the first race because it is about 30 minutes from my house and you get a logo wine glass. I don't drink wine, but I am a sucker for anything with a race logo. I chose the second race because it was the closest one I could find on that day (2.5 hours away) and it doesn't start until 10:30, so my legs will have about 25 hours of rest/recovery between finishing the first race and starting the second one.

I tweeted Marlene for advice since she did the Goofy Challenge last year. She said to do back-to-back long runs every weekend, so last weekend I did 9 miles on Sunday, 5.5 miles on Monday (I didn't wake up early enough to get more than that in before work). I kept my pace slow (around 11:45/mile) and I felt totally fine after both runs and wasn't sore at all. That is my goal for the two races, I am not worried about my time (for once!).

This weekend I have my first back-to-back double digit runs - 10 miles each on Saturday and Sunday. I'll be honest, I don't know how its going to go. I will do at least one run on the treadmill to make it easier on my knees. And in case something goes wrong or I decide to cut my run short. Once you're 5 miles from home, it's hard to end a run early!

After my two runs last weekend I was basically eating everything in sight, so I plan on having a fun day on Sunday :)

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Treadmills, not just for running anymore!

This morning I did my long run on the treadmill since it was supposed to be around 83 degrees out. As soon as I hit the stop button, my dog Roxy came running into the room and curled up on the treadmill while I stretched.

At first I thought she just wanted to be near me. But then she stayed there after I left. It turns out she has discovered that the treadmill belt gets nice and warm after I run on it, and makes the perfect napping spot. She is very smart sometimes. Then other times she attacks her reflection in the mirror.

Now I am off for a shopping trip with my mom, sister in law, and niece! Hope everyone is having a great weekend, especially Julie who is doing her first 70.3 today! Whoo-hoo!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Taking the Plunge...26.2 Here I Come!

I am moving full steam ahead with the running goals I set for myself, so I started looking for a marathon to register for. Hubby decided he wanted to join me too, since running is one of our favorite things to do together. We had a few requirements for the race; we wanted a springtime race so we could train during the winter, and we wanted to do one in a big city. After looking around we found the perfect race us...

In years past it was the SunTrust National Marathon. In 2010, we were visiting DC the weekend of the marathon. Seeing people on the Metro with their race medals was what inspired me to want to run a half-marathon. We also LOVE DC and will use any excuse to visit. Our training will start in late November, which is perfect because I have the Portland Half-Marathon on October 9th, so I can take a few weeks off before diving in.

We happened to decide this last weekend, and registration opened on August 1st. They were giving a free race entry to the first person to register from each state. So of course at 9pm (12am EST), we were both poised on our laptops ready to go.

Guess who was the first person to register from Oregon and is running her first marathon for FREE?!

This girl!

I am sooooo excited. Not only will I be running my first marathon with my best friend/favorite running partner, in one of my favorite areas of the country, but I get to do it for free! I can't wait to start training...3 1/2 months to go!