Thursday, May 27, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Biggest Loser: I was way behind on the biggest loser episodes and last night I was finally able to sit down and watch the Marathon episode and the finale!  I wait all season just to see them run a marathon and each time it really makes me want to run a marathon!  It was impressive to see all the weight the contestants had lost, although I thought that Koli looked way too thin.  I love that Stephanie and Sam are dating and honestly I think that Michael has a thing for Ashley, or he is just really feminine.  Overall, everyone looked amazing, the outfits were awesome, and I loved Allison Sweeney's hair!

2. The Weekend: I am counting down the hours until the end of the day because I have taken off from work tomorrow to enjoy a four day holiday weekend!!  Is it weird that even though I have the day off tomorrow, I still want to get up early to run?  Friday night I am headed out for a girls night to see Sex and the City 2!  Hopefully the rest of the weekend will be fun too, although I don't have any real plans yet!

3. Moving: After much prodding, my roommate finally revealed about a month ago that she was moving in with someone else!  I was left saddened as I could not find any one to move in with me.  So next week I will be moving back home which feels like total defeat for me.  I guess I could live alone but for the sake of safety (and money) I opted to move back in with the good old parents.  I really am going to miss all my regular running routes!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Literary Wednesday

Many of you asked about the book I am reading for my new, real life book club.  Well, for June we are reading A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger (the author of The Perfect Storm).

I just started reading it a few days ago and I not that far into the book, but basically it is a non fiction piece about the Boston Strangler (full review by The New York Times).  Not exactly your most appealing book out there.  Why the club picked a book about a strangler to read is beyond me, when there are so many other good, fun, non scary books out there!  That being said I am going to give it a chance and hopefully I wont get too scared.

The book club meeting isn't until early June so I have some time.  I mentioned before that this book club was organized by my high school alumnae association, where my high school was an all girls catholic school.  I can just picture the scene I am going to walk into in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully it wont be a bunch of crazy old women. 

Let's hope that next months book will be better.


The weather this week has been steamy with temps in the mid 80s and mornings have been around 60F!  Yesterday I did a hill workout just to mix things up.  I chose a steep hill and did 7 repeats before heading home.  This morning I woke up with sore hips - I guess I need to work on my hip strength!  This mornings run was 1 mile easy, 2 miles fast, 1 mile easy.

Now that the weather is so nice, there are so many walkers and runners out.  Every morning I pass an older woman walking and I always say Good morning.  Well she never says anything back and I  thought that she was just being rude and ignoring me but this morning when I saw her I realized she is wearing headphones.  She obviously can't here me and that is why she hasn't replied.  I guess I should have paid closer attention!

Hope you are having a great week and getting some good runs in! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saturday track intervals

Saturday morning = track workout!

The temperature was much warmer than I expected when I woke up on Saturday morning.  I got dressed, ate some toast and peanut butter and then called Brian to let him know I was going out running.  The following conversation ensued:

J: Hey, I'm heading to the track to run.
B: Oh, I just woke up.  Can I come with you?
J: {pause} Ok but you better be ready soon!

45 minutes later we finally headed over to the track.  I originally planned to get there around or before 9am but we didn't arrive until almost 10!  The sun was out and it was over 75 degrees!  I brought along water, a mocha GU to try, and my camera. 

I started on my mile warm up while Brian just walked around the track.  My legs felt good, the sun felt great to run in and soon it was time to start the workout (2x400m, 1x800m, 1x1600m, 1x800m, 2x400m with 400m rest recovery jog).

400m - 1:39
400m - 1:36
800m - 3:17
1600m - 6:45
800m - 3:16
400m - 1:38
400m - 1:33

I felt great on the first two 400s.  My goal pace was 6:40min/mile which meant a 1:40 400 and 3:20 800.  The first 800 was so tough and no matter how much I told my legs to go faster they wouldn't.  Then came the mile which Brian actually ran the first lap with me.  I wanted to quit after 3 laps but just pushed through and my time was slower which upset me.  I wanted to run these all fast which I know is impossible but I just wanted to!  I ate half of the GU before the mile and the other half afterward and I don't know if that helped me or not.  I know that it was hot out for this workout but I just expected myself to preform better.  Oh well it is over now.  Brian forgot to take pictures of me otherwise I would have had some to add to this post.

I finished the workout before 11am and just wanted to get out of the sun.  I tried to rehydrate the rest of the day but it was hard since we were running errands.  Saturday night I was just about to drift off to sleep when I thought about my July race - The Boilermaker 15k.  I started to get really nervous and anxious because it is coming up really fast!

That set the wheels in motion for Sunday when I started counting the weeks until the race and mentally decided to start increasing my mileage on my long runs!  I haven't even register for the race either! I really need to get going!

Sunday I went to the gym and lifted weights.  I have been a major slacker on all cross training and weights! I really want to start doing planks after my morning runs but every morning I always feel that I don't have enough time!

This morning I was sore from lifting and my arms were hurting for the start of my run.  I ran 3.5 miles at about an 8min/mile pace and it just felt good.  I felt like I was running, but not running hard.  It was a nice way to start off the week plus it was 60 degrees out which was great! I just love the warm mornings!

Well thats my weekend in a nutshell!  Hope you had a good one too!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Positive Friday

I woke up this morning and didn't really want to go for my run.  I knew I would regret it if I missed the run so I headed out for a 4 mile zombie, half awake run where I just cruised along.  I came into work and have been mopping around for the past couple of hours, not wanting to do any actual work.

So obviously I am being totally lame and a pessimist!  In order to try and snap me out of my grouchy, crappy mood this morning, I wanted to make a list of good things:

- It is sunny and beautiful outside.
- I ran this morning and I didn't trip and fall!
- Almost the weekend!
- Interval workout planned for tomorrow!  Yippie!

What do you have to be happy and positive about???  HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  After my little tumble on Tuesday, I bandaged myself up and went to work.  My ankle swelled up a bit but it seems to be doing decently well.  I ran this morning and my scraped knee just feels stiff because of the large scab that has now formed.  It is funny because I ran all winter in the dark and snow and ice and didn't fall, and now the weather is nice and its light out in the mornings I end up falling on my face!!

2.  I joined a book club - like a real life, meets once a month, book club!  My high school alumnae association organizes one and my friend Kaylie just happened to find the information about it!  They meet on the second Monday of every month so I need to get reading!

3. Two weeks ago I went to a baby shower for Brian's new nephew.  I finally was able to reveal my crochet creation! I crocheted a green baby blanket back at Christmas time but didn't show anyone for fear that somehow Brian's sister would see the blanket and know about it before she got it as a present! So far it has been my favorite thing that I have crocheted!

One more day until the weekend!  Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Training Plans

Training has been a part of my life for many years.  There hasn't always been a plan but there has always been a goal.  Whether it was to pass the physical fitness test to play Varsity sports in 8th grade or to get ready for my senior season of college basketball, there was always a reason to run.

During my four year career in college basketball, I often looked forward to the summers.  Those few months were filled with no strict training plan, no scheduled workouts.  I knew I had to be in shape come September but there never was a plan on how to get into shape - I just ran.  Those summers were filled with weeks of morning runs and track workouts.  I was out on the road (or the track) all by myself just putting one foot in front of the other, letting my heart guide me.

It was thrilling to not have a coach telling me what to do.  I could choose to run long or short, fast or slow.  I didn't care about mileage - I knew my routes and my best times for those routes and I would just try to beat those times every time I ran the route.

Not much has changed since I left the world of organized sports.  I still don't really have a training plan.  I tried to follow one last summer and it worked well but I ended up having hip/knee problems.  When I finally got back into running, I decided that training plans weren't really my style.  The excitement for me is sitting down the night before and planning out the next mornings run.  I think with a training plan, I take it too seriously and push too hard.  I don't need the pressure, I just need to run.

I am not saying that training plans are bad or wrong.  I basically have a training plan - it just isn't written down.  I know each week that I will do a slower run, a longer run, a faster run, a track workout.  Each week just doesn't look like the last.  It is all about flexibility for me.  Maybe someday I will give a training plan a try again and see how it goes.  

So what am I training for next?  Well there is the Boilermaker 15k (my 6th year running it!) in early July and then a half marathon in September that I am running for fun with friends along with many other fun races scattered in between (most likely 5ks or 10ks).  What are you training for?

This mornings run was anything but uneventful!  I was running a hilly out and back route and as I was about half a mile from home I was passing by a walker and tripped, rolled my ankle, scraped both my knees and one hand.  It was not pretty plus I was embarrassed because I fell right in front of the woman walker!  I half ran, half hobbled the rest of the way home to clean myself up.  My ankle is still a little tender, I will just have to keep an eye on it all day!

4 miles/31:59/8:00 pace

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Running into the Wind

Just like Lacey, Saturday was my track day!

I was determined to do mile repeats!  I haven't run mile repeats since pre-season basketball in college so I was a little nervous.  Brian came with me to the track to be my timer!

It was super windy on Saturday which made running a challenge.  I managed to get two mile repeats done before calling it quits.  The goal was to average between 6:32-6:44 miles with 1:38-1:41 400m splits.

Mile 1: 6:33
Mile 2: 6:38

My first 400m was consistently too fast which made the final 400m hurt a lot!  I didn't do any recovery jogs between mile 1&2, just waited about 4 minutes and then started up again.  My legs felt good it was just the darn wind that made this workout hard.  I hope to get back into some longer interval workouts like I was doing before.

Sunday I went out for a run since it was beautiful outside!  My legs were not tired from the day before and I ran 4.6 miles at 7:40min/mile pace.  I paid for running that fast later when Brian and I went to a local festival and walked around for a good two hours!

Tonight I am headed to a much needed yoga session at the gym!  Hope you had a great weekend!! 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Three Things Thursday!

1. This week the mornings have been really cold and I just have not had the desire to get up and run.  Especially this morning.  I was able to get out Tuesday morning for 3.6 miles and yesterday for a fast 2 miler in the misty rain.  But this morning when the alarm went off at 5am, my body said no.  So I rolled over and went back to sleep for another 45 minutes.  The extra sleep was glorious but at the same time it was a beautiful morning that I missed out on.  Weirdly enough, I have been really wanting to run mile repeats...maybe this weekend...??

2.  Last week my parent's cat got a hair cut.  Her winter fur coat is so thick that when summer time comes around her fur gets all knotted.  So my mom had her groomed so she would be more comfortable!  And she really is - she loves not having the fur!  Isn't she cute???  (Before and after shots below)

3.  30 days ago, I wrote about participating in Amanda's 3 Changes Challenge where I said I would a) stop eating candy, b) make an effort to connect with friends and c) get rid of clothes that do not fit anymore.  Well I am proud to say that I haven't eaten any candy! Not a single piece!  It was hard at first but then I just kept on going and I feel so much better without it!  I have been eating my fair share of cookies and cake though!  I have made attempts to connect with friends but work and family stuff has gotten in the way.  And lastly, I have nice big pile of clothes on my bedroom floor that I will be donating!  It feels good to get rid of the clothes that didn't exactly make me look that good because they didn't fit - it was like a mini episode of "What Not to Wear" in my bedroom!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!!  Happy Thursday!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pink Ribbon 5k Race Report

Sunday dawned COLD and snowy with a temperature of 32F!!  I didn't think it would be that cold so I hadn't brought any warm clothes with me, as I was staying at my parents.  My mom and I made a quick stop at my apartment to pick up my pink under armour top and then we headed to the race around 8am.

We arrived at around 8:30 with the race set to start at 9:05am (not sure about those extra 5 minutes...)  The parking lot was filled with women all dressed in every shade of pink!  We quickly found the registration table and signed in but the people couldn't find my mom's name.  I had accidentally signed my mom up to run the 5k instead of walk...opps!

We made a bathroom stop and then huddled together for warmth while we waited for the race to start.  I didn't even warm up before the race but I knew that I would be ok since I had been practicing running 2 miles fast in the morning with no warm up!

The start of the race was also the finish as it was an out and back course!  Soon it was almost time to start but not before every important person got to say a few words! I was freezing, my feet and fingers were cold and I just wanted to get started so I could warm up!

Before I knew it we were on our way.  I followed a few women and just tried to stay with them as I wasn't sure how fast they were going. I could barely feel my feet because they were numb from the cold which really is the oddest feeling while running!  In the past I have always started out way too fast on the first mile but this race (and in the other 5k race I ran 2 weeks ago) I started off at just the right pace.  I actually ran the same split for my first mile as my last 5k which was awesome.  I was happy I was able to control the pace right from the beginning and not start too fast.

Soon we passed the first mile marker and there was a nice decline but I knew I would have to climb it on the way back.  I slowly picked off two runners and felt strong.  I did feel a little crampy in my stomach but just kept focusing on moving my arms in the correct form and soon I felt better.  We made a left onto a side street for the loop around and I passed another runner.  We finished the loop and came out on the street for the final part of the race.  By this time there were many runners going the opposite way as me and they cheered as they saw the leaders go by.

As I passed mile 2 I still was feeling good.  Legs were moving, arms felt good and breathing was under control.  I just keep chugging along.  A little after 2 miles I crested the uphill and a volunteer yelled to "Keep going - it's all downhill from here"!  I was not happy about that - I knew it was not downhill from there!

As I was about a half mile away from the finish I saw my mom walking.  She stopped and quickly snapped some pictures before continuing on her way!  The walkers had taken a different route than the runners - kind of odd but she said she enjoyed it.  As you can see we had the whole road to ourselves by this point as most of the runners were on the way back.  The girl in front of me was in my age group and I just couldn't stay with her.  She ended up beating me by about 15 seconds.

My shoulder had started to ache and I had lost all control of my form.  I felt like I had slowed down a lot but tried to pick up the pace again once I saw how close I was to the finish.  We turned back into the park for the final stretch and I just kept lifting my legs and sprinted in.  I was out of breath and dying but I knew I was within reach of  PR so I pushed it!

I came in 16th place and I was second in my age group with a time of 21:37 which was a 10 second PR!  I wasn't able to get my splits but I know that my first mile was 6:51 and I passed the second mile marker at about 13:56.

After finishing I started walking back out to the course to find my mom!  She was really moving and even sprinted the final straightaway from the finish! She was moving so fast that I missed her and didn't get a picture of her finishing!  I did make her stand and pose after the race thought!

I really enjoyed running this race with my mom on mother's day! I just wish it had not been so cold and windy!  I can't wait for the summer weather when it will be warm for races!  This was my first women only race and I loved it!  I really hope that I can do this race again next year with my mom!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

How accurate is accurate?

I don't have a Garmin.  I don't know if I even want one.  I like just going out and running.  I usually know the distances of all my routes by heart and I just go.  On the chance that I do run a new route I use Gmaps Pedometer to find out exactly how far I ran.

But is that program really that accurate?? 

Yesterday I was trying to map out a 2 mile loop and the lines that Gmaps was mapping just didn't seem right.  I run on the sidewalks...not down the middle of the road.  So I remapped the 2 miles manually and found that in fact the distance previously mapped was a little short.  Now I am questioning if in fact all my distances are actually what I thought they were! 

This morning I may have run 5.1 miles...not sure how accurate that is!!

5.1 miles/40:35/7:58 pace

This is my last run before the Pink Ribbon 5k Run Sunday for Breast Cancer.  I will be racing this and my mom will be walking it!  We have done a few races together and I really like it!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! And Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why run in the morning?

I will tell you why...

Because something always comes up after work.  For example, Today.  I was walking out to my car at 4:30pm and I was planning on heading home when I received a call from my wonderful boyfriend Brian.  He was having car trouble and needed me to pick him up at the car dealership/repair place across town.  An hour and a half later I arrived home, hungry and cranky.

It was a good thing I got up out of bed this morning for a quick 3.6 mile run.  Otherwise I would have been one unhappy camper about not being able to run today!  I had hoped to get in a second short 2 miler after work...but obviously that didn't happen.

And that is why you should run in the morning!  Happy Wednesday! Hope you got your run in today!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Battling the humidity!

This weekend was super humid but it was warm outside which was great! The massage on Saturday morning was awesome - she worked on my legs and my shoulders!  Afterward, I spent the afternoon outside reading!

Sunday I decided was going to be a track day.  It was 70F and 10am before I arrived at the track.  The air was heavy as I warmed up and the clouds off in the distance looked dark but I just started in to the workout.  Thankfully it didn't rain or thunder at all and I was able to get in 2x800m and 5x400m (not in that order) before my legs decided it was time to quit. 

Track workout: 800m, 4x400m, 800m, 400m
Goal: Run all intervals at a pace of 1:30 (6:00min/mile)
Times: 3:05, 1:30, 1;30, 1:31, 1:32, 3:13, 1:32

Overall it was a good workout and I actually didn't do a recovery jog between each set, I just stopped and rested for 3 minutes after the 800s and 90 seconds after the 400s.  The second 800m was really tough and I did not feel well for most of it.  I wish I could have done more (like I usually do on the treadmill) but I had to make myself realize that on the treadmill I was running at a slower pace and therefore able to run more intervals.

After a great track workout yesterday that definitely left me dehydrated I headed out for a recovery run this morning.  For the first time it was in fact at a recovery pace.  The air was humid and I chose a particularly hilly route so I just kind of ran along.  The sounds of the birds chirping surrounded me as I completed the 3.5 mile out and back.  I passed a few lilac bushes and was overcome with the smell.  Right before turning into my apartment complex, the house has a lilac bush, so I picked three branches out and ran quickly home hoping that no one saw me!  Now I have a nice bouquet of lilacs in my kitchen!

3.5 miles/31:56/9:07 pace

Now it is time to rehydrate before hitting yoga tonight after work!  Hope you had a good weekend! Happy Monday!