Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tour de Pain

Thursday night was the final August cross country 5k race, but with a twist! My original hatred of XC started with this exact race when I ran it back in 2005. Its name speaks for itself and it is a killer workout!

Tour de Pain:
XC 5k followed by
1 miler follower by
400m uphill

I ran the 5k course in the beginning of August in 23:27 so I was looking to improve on that time and hopefully come in under 23 minutes.

At the start I found a woman from the running group, who I also ran with at the last race and I decided to try and stay with her for the beginning. She paced us beautifully through the first mile and then I took over on the trails. We started reeling in the people in front of us and passing them. I was tired but my legs just kept turning over and I never reached the point where I wanted to quit.

I pulled into the finish in (unofficially) 22:52! I was so happy with the XC 5k PR!

After waiting for everyone to finish, we headed to the mile start line. The whole race took place in a local park - the same place we did our Tuesday night group workout this week. The mile started straight uphill and at the top of the hill you run a loop around and then back down. It was a great run - the sun was setting and we were at the highest point in the city! What a great view!

I finished the mile in (unofficially) 6:19!

We walked over to the 400m start and by now it was almost 8pm and getting dark! The 400m race course starts out flat but then starts going uphill, and then gets even steeper! My quads were burning as I basically ran straight up!

The 400m finish in (unofficially) 85 second!

This time around (compared to 2005) I had such a great experience. Now XC really isn't my thing, but I did enjoy the challenge and meeting a lot of great people! I ended up coming in 3rd in the open women's divison and got a nice new running hat, t-shirt and sweat shirt!!

Now its time to get some rest!! Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Running and Scrapbooking Part 2

Another Tuesday night = Another running club workout.

We switched up the meeting place this week and went to a local park instead of the track. It was good to switch things up but it was hard to run on the grass, trails and hills!

First we did approximately two miles for warm up on the trails. This was when I was wishing I had a garmin, although I am not sure it would have been able to get an accurate reading because of all the tree cover. We then split up into workout and pace groups and set out.

My group was doing a ladder workout:
First set: 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 with at 5k pace, with same recovery time (1 min fast, 1 min easy, etc)
Second set: 1-2-3-2-1 (same idea as above, just took out the 4 minutes cause we were tired)

By the end of this workout my hips were killing me from running on the grass. It took a lot of focus to run fast on the grass and not trip. We totaled roughly 9 miles by my estimates and I was beat by the end. Today my legs aren't sore, but I can tell they are tired from the workout last night.

Now onto Part 2 of scrapbooking (first part here)! I try to keep my projects pretty simple, plus I am not that creative. I just like to see all the pictures put into books!

First up - pick out some pictures. I am way behind and currently working on my half marathon from Sept. 2008, Christmas Tree cutting from Nov. 2008, and Christmas 2008.

I started with the half marathon pictures and separating the pictures into starting line, mid race, and finish. The page I worked on first was the starting line.

I figured out which ones I wanted to put together on one page (4 of the 7) and then cut them to fit together. I added a few simple embellishments and stickers writing out "half marathon".

And its done! One page of my September half marathon complete. I totally wish I would do some grand page like I see in the magazines but I don't have the time, money or patience for that!

Here is another example of a page I did for a 5k I ran back in 2008. Sometimes I like to keep the Bib from the race and I found a way to incorporate it. Otherwise I just throw them away because usually they get all sweaty and deteriorated!

I'll have one more post next week about scrapbooking! Hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of how I put stuff together! Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekly Mileage

Unintentionally I ran fewer miles this week than the past 3 weeks. Without a long run and two full back to back rest days, my legs and my body didn't know what was going on. My mini cutback week was only 4 miles less than usual but I could still feel the difference.

Friday I crawled out of bed with sore cramping calves and ran a decent 4 miles.

Saturday I talked my dad into picking me up 4 miles from home.

Sunday I put off my (supposed to be long) run (because of down pouring rain) until right before dinner. 4 more miles.

That left me 4 miles short. And it bothered me that I didn't run those miles. Those extra 4 miles, that really didn't matter in the scheme of things and by not running them my body got a chance to rest up.

So last night I decided I would try to do a longer run Monday morning. But what did it matter, a new week would be beginning and my mileage for last week would be what it was.

After dealing with my second night of semi insomnia, I set out early this morning in a constant drizzle of rain, pitch darkness and wind. At times it was scary. I wondered what the drivers were thinking as their headlights caught my reflective vest. Were they thinking I was crazy for being out at 4:50am running on the road in the rain??

I got in 5 miles and that seemed like enough; a decent way to start off the week. Now if I can just stay awake at work until the end of the day, that would be great!

How's your weekly mileage?? Happy Monday!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Running and Scrapbooking Part 1

Last night was another round of team track workouts. It was much cooler and there was a hint of fall in the air. I had anticipated doing 1000m repeats last night but when coach suggested mile repeats, I jumped on board.

2 mile warm up
1x800m at tempo pace
3x1600m at tempo pace with 1 min recovery
2 mile cool down

We use a sheet called VDOT to calculate tempo, interval and repetition pace and it really comes in handy. You just put in a race time and distance and then it calculates what you should pace you should be running. A vdot calculator can be found here!

1x800m = 3:30
3x1600m = 6:55, 6:47, 6:49. I felt really good on the 1600m repeats. My goal was a 7 min/mile pace but everything just came together and my legs wanted to go faster.

Last week when I posted the ten random things about myself, I mentioned that I love to scrapbook. I decided to post a mini series on scrapbooking including how to get started and ideas to help preserve those previous (running and every day) memories.

First off I thought I would just show you my collection of completed scrapbooks. I keep them in my closet and off the floor so that they wont get damp and ruin the photos. So far I have 11 in total, including one dedicated to my four years of college basketball.

Also I wanted to share a part of the scrapbook that Brian made me! He did such a great job putting it all together! Here is the last page where he asked me to marry him!!

Recently, Caroline of Boston Runner posted about making a scrapbook for her sister of her wedding. She did a really great job so go check it out!

Next week I will talk about how to get started!! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back from Vacation!

Wednesday afternoon we packed up all our stuff and headed to the lake! I have been going to this lake since I was born!!

Brian started out Thursday morning with a hike up the hill behind the camp to look for firewood for a camp fire.

We made peanut butter s'mores (and regular ones too!)

It was a beautiful evening where I tried to take pictures in the dark.

And my family was there too!

Friday morning at 6am I headed out for my 12 mile long run! I felt horrible for pretty much the whole run but I just thought it was more important to run the mileage. I am in uncharted mileage area now! I really haven't done many runs over 10 miles! The other funny thing about this run - I sweated so much that the skirt bled black all over my legs. Opps!

And then I sat on the beach and tried to get rid of my watch and other weird running tan lines!

This was the view from the place we stayed. Not too bad except for that other house in the way!

Saturday we did a bit of hiking and enjoyed the area. The weekend went by too quick!

Sunday we traveled home, making a quick stop at my family reunion where it poured rain! Today it is back to work! Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Happy Thursday to all!! I am on vacation at the lake and hopefully enjoying some relaxing time in the sun!

1. This past Monday night, Brian and I had dinner with my best friend Kaylie and her fiance Mark! We had the most delicious meal of steak-spinach salad with sour cream potatoes followed by a dessert of blueberry crumble with cornmeal-almond topping! It was a great evening filled with great stories and lots of laughter! Yum, Yum!!

2. While on vacation I hope to get in a long run, like 12 miles long, and to top that off, I want to run it in my running skirt. If all goes well I think I will run in it for the half marathon in September too!

3. Brian and I have set a date for our wedding!! Since we are both engineers we are very into numbers and such. We will be getting married on September 10th, 2011 (also written as 9.10.11) We just love the consecutive numbers!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A sweaty mess

Last night it was hot - like dripping with sweat, looks like I just took a shower hot.

I arrived at the group workout and was already sweating. We did the normal warm up of 2 miles and then got ready to start the workout.

3x {4x400m} with 200m jog recovery and 5 minutes rest between sets

4x400m: 87, 90, 89, 91
4x400m: 85, 91, 92, 97
4x400m: 87, 93, 92, 95

The first set I ran with a man and his daughter and we were aiming for 90 seconds for each repeat. I started to feel funky around the 3rd repeat. The second set I ran with an older woman but she was feeling the heat too and dropped after the third repeat. The final set I ran with some older men who told me they were going to slow down and aim for 90 seconds. They didn't slow down and I just couldn't stay with them. The first repeat of each set I went out too fast and then I would feel it on the remaining repeats.

It was a brutal workout and I wanted to quit so many times but I am glad that I got through it and finished. The air felt thick and made it hard to breathe. We did some core work and stretches and then I headed home. I was one sweaty mess when I got home with soaking wet clothes.

Today me, my family, and Brian are headed off on vacation until Sunday! I packed my hydration pack and lots of gels in hopes that I may be able to fit in a long run!

Enjoy the rest of the week! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 9, 2010

XC 5k and random facts

Thursday night I headed over to a local park for the XC 5k series. The races are being held every Thursday in August and I signed up for 3 out of 4 since I will be on vacation one week.

I had run this course five years ago and I knew where the BIG hill was and I wanted to conquer it. The last time I had felt like death for 2/3 of the race and so I went out slower this time.

We started by running across an open field of grass which was not pleasant. I was afraid I was going to roll my ankle and fall over - but I didn't. I came into mile 1 (and the BIG hill) at 7:15 and felt good. I was in a small pack of men and I just kept moving. After the hill we headed into the woods and onto the trails. This was my favorite - I felt good and it was shaded!

All through the trails there was a woman running behind me. She really helped to push me and then with about half mile left she ran along with me and encouraged me to pick it up! It was nice to have some one to run with in a race!

Goal time: Under 24 minutes
Official Time: 23:27

And now some fun random facts! Katie over at Legally Fit tagged me to list ten random facts about myself!

1. In my wallet I keep a quote; "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."

2. I learned how to cross country ski when I was 2 and downhill ski when I was 6.

3. I am named after my Grandpa Joe and Great-Grandma Anna.

4. I love to scrapbook and have pretty much my whole life all scrapbooked.

5. I don't drink much alcohol but when I do have some, it goes right to my legs and makes them feel all tingly.

6. I love to wear high heels but Brian is only about an inch taller than me so I don't get to wear them as much because we both don't like me to be taller than him.

7. I have been to Canada and the Bahamas but besides that I have never been outside the United States.

8. I have lived in the same city my whole life.

9. I can never make a manicure last. Within a few hours of painting my nails, there is always at least one nail chipped, smudged or messed up in some way!

10. I had my appendix removed just 5 days after graduating high school. I couldn't run or lift anything for two weeks.

I am tagging:
Lacey at Common Objects
Amy at Amy Runs a Marathon
Molly at I'm a Sleeper Baker
and anyone else who wants to play along!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tackling the Track

As of yesterday I am officially signed up for the running club!

It was a scorcher outside when I left work at 5pm and headed to the college track where the group meets. The distant clouds threatened thunderstorms but they dispersed and we had a sunny evening of running.

The Workout:
2 mi warm up
800m at tempo with full recovery
3x {600m, 400m, 200m) at repetition (or mile race pace) with 400m recovery
2 mi cool down

The Results:
800m (3:20)
600m (2:14), 400m, (1:29), 200m (:41)
600m (2:16), 400m, (1:28), 200m (:42)
600m (2:16), 400m, (1:27), 200m (:41)

Total Miles = 9

I warmed up and cooled down with the other girls, but ran the workout by myself because there was no one else who wanted to run at my pace. Some girls were running together but were going slower; another group was running together but were going just a little bit too fast for me; and the fast girls were doing a different workout all together!

The heat got to me by the second set and I was pretty tired, but focused on keeping my form which helped me to get through the workout and stay on pace. It was so hot out I started to feel funky in my stomach and intestines and that made it really hard to eat after the workout once I got home.

Every August, the running club sponsors a XC 5k series which is held each Thursday of the month. Even though I loathe cross country, I will be participating at the first one tomorrow! Hopefully it wont be as bad as my last experience!

Thank you SO much for all the comments on my engagement to Brian! We are so happy and excited! I spent a good chunk of time yesterday just looking at wedding cakes!

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, August 2, 2010

An unexpected Surprise

This past weekend was the best weekend of my life!

It started like most of my weekends have this summer. I was exhausted Thursday night after working 40 hours and I went to bed early. Friday I went blueberry picking with my mom while Brian went off with the guys for the morning. In the afternoon, I went over to Brian's and we ran some errands - returned the running shoes and got new Asics, returned library books, and picked up food to make dinner!

Usually I make dinner with some help from Brian (He grills the meat) but Friday night, Brian was adamant on making it all by himself. I sat on the couch, just watching him and directing when needed and he pulled off a great meal of kabobs, corn, couscous and potato salad!

We ate the delicious meal and although Brian protested, I did the dishes. I then sat back down on the couch and Brian said he has a surprise for me, to make sure I knew how much he appreciated me. He then handed me a white scrapbook and told me to open it. Inside were pictures from our first date, vacations together, past Christmas and more. On the second to last page was writing in the shape of a heart followed at the bottom by "I only have one question for you..."

It took me a moment to register what was happening and I turned the page to see "Will you marry me?" in large print across the page!! Brian pulled out a ring and asked me again and I said YES! It was a blur of happiness and smiles! I was completely surprised and did not expect it at all! I was so glad that he wrote down how he felt instead of actually saying it to me because I would never have remembered it and now I have it forever!

Plans quickly changed from there as we decided to go home to Brian's parents house the next morning! I brought my running clothes and still managed to get my 10 mile run in! Brian had scheduled a manicure and pedicure for me on Saturday so I would have nice nails to show off the ring! We went out to dinner Saturday night to celebrate and pretty much had the whole restaurant to ourselves!

I still cannot believe everything that happened this weekend! It was so amazing and wonderful and I have not stopped smiling! It is hard to believe that I have a fiance now!

Happy Monday!

***Since this is a running blog!
July Running totals: 98.9 miles!